§ Mr. W. Bankes
presented a Petition from the Mayor, Burgesses, and Householders of Marlborough, against the Reform Bill.
§ Mr. L. Wellesley
said, he was instructed to state, that the petition did not speak the sentiments of the great body of respectable inhabitants of Marlborough; that it was got up by certain persons connected with the Corporation, on pretence of applying a charitable fund, existing in the town, to the benefit of those who signed it, and who were under the influence of the noble Marquis who was denominated the patron of the borough. The petition did not express the general sentiments of the inhabitants of Marlborough.
§ Mr. W. Bankes
did not attribute calumny to the hon. Member, but to those from whom he had derived his information.
presented a Petition from the Chancellor, Masters, and Scholars of the University of Oxford, in which they set forth, that they understood that the present Parliament was especially assembled to pass a measure similar to that introduced in the last Parliament, for altering the Representation of the people; that they felt it to be their duty to express their decided and deliberate opinion, that several of the provisions of that measure were exceedingly dangerous; they thought that any corruption which existed in the election of Members of Parliament might be removed by wise and prudent measures; but they could not give their assent to such a bill as was formerly proposed, if it did not undergo very considerable modifications. The hon. Gentleman observed, that this petition was worthy of the serious attention of the House; that by the proposed measure the number of electors could be materially increased; that it came from a body of gentlemen not resident in any particular place, and that it expressed the sentiments of the large body of the Gentry of England.