HC Deb 23 August 1831 vol 6 cc456-7
Mr. O'Connell

presented a petition from certain inhabitants of Nottingham, complaining of the prosecution of the rev. Robert Taylor, and praying for his discharge. Noman, said the hon. Member, should be persecuted for holding certain opinions, as long as he injury and offended no prejudices by propagating them in a coarse and improper manner. Taylor was a miscreant, and if the Government wished to take away the power of doing mischief from him, they would order his liberation from gaol, and consign him to his proper insignificance.

Mr. Hume

said, that in his opinion, every man had the right of free discussion, although he was directly opposed to Mr. Taylor as to his doctrines. But while he said so, he did not think his learned friend right in calling Taylor a miscreant. He might be a deceived or a deluded man, and should not be persecuted as he had been.

Mr. O'Connell

considered that Taylor was, in every sense of the word, a miscreant, because he received money, not to establish his own opinions, but to insult and contemn those of others.

The petition laid on the Table.

On the Motion that it be printed,

Mr. Hunt

said, he heard a great deal more of Mr. Taylor in that House, than he did any where else, and was surprised that the learned Member (Mr. O'Connell) should have called Taylor a miscreant while presenting a petition in his favour. The humanity of the learned Member was strange. It was like saying of a perfectly healthy animal, there goes a mad dog, and calling on people to shoot it because it was mad.