presented a Petition from the Scot and Lot Payers of Dartmouth, complaining that all the inhabitants were not permitted to vote, though that right was given to them by a charter of Edward 3rd; but that the right was claimed exclusively by a Mayor, twelve Aldermen, 574 and a limited number of freemen, making altogether fifty-one, of whom twenty-two only were resident. The petitioners prayed for Reform in the representation generally, as well as in their own particular case.
§ Mr. Cresset Pelham
knew, that some of the allegations in the Petition were founded in fact; he regretted that the ancient constitution had been so departed from, and thought the time was come when the people would not be contented without some species of Reform.
§ Mr. Holdsworth, the sitting member for Dartmouth, suggested that the Petition should be withdrawn, as it had a tendency to prejudge his case. His return had been petitioned against, and he was now on the eve of a ballot.
said, he would withdraw it if the sense of the House was in favour of such a proceeding.
§ The Speaker
said, the noble Lord must use his own discretion. There was no objection to the Petition, except as to the time of presenting it.
§ Lord Ebrington withdrew it for the present.