HC Deb 22 July 1833 vol 19 cc1054-6
Mr. Clay

presented a Petition from an individual named Henry Dundas Perrott, formerly a Lieutenant in the Navy. The petitioner complained of having been struck off the list of Lieutenant of the Navy. The circumstances were these:—In March, 1812, Lieutenant Perrott was convicted at the Assises at Maidstone, of a misdemeanor in obtaining 20l., for having given protection to one Bullen, a master mariner. He was convicted, as he affirmed, in consequence of not being permitted to take a copy of the indictment, so that he could not be prepared with witnesses to rebut the charge. After some months' imprisonment, the party on whose evidence the conviction was obtained, died, and consequently a bill of indictment could not be preferred against him, and on Lieutenant Perrott's applying to the Court of King's Bench, the Judges reversed the sentence and judgment which had been given against him. Upon the strength of that judgment the petitioner applied to the Admiralty to be restored to the Navy, but was told that the reversal of the sentence having proceeded upon technical grounds, his restoration could not take place. In July, 1825, he procured a restoration of a pension of 2s. 6d. a-day, which he would have been entitled to under the regulations of the service, had he been only a Midshipman. Affidavits were in existence, swearing that other persons, now dead, were guilty of the forgery attributed to the petitioner. He trusted that the House would consider he had made out a sufficient case for its consideration.

Mr. Thomas Attwood

thought the case of the petitioner one of signal hardship, and could not help stating his firm belief to be, that the petitioner was the victim of personal malice on the part of some of the late members of the Board of Admiralty or their subalterns.

Sir Edward Codrington

supported the prayer of the petition. If the House looked at the number of pensions that were given for doing nothing, they would consider it a great disgrace to take from this poor man his paltry pittance.

Sir James Graham

was sorry the case had been brought before the House, inasmuch as it would render it imperative upon him to make statements that would not be very pleasant to the feelings of some parties. Up to 1812, he admitted, the petitioner had conducted himself in the most becom- ing manner, and had done a great many gallant actions, but in that year he had been tried at the Maidstone Assises, for obtaining money under false pretences from the wife of a sea-faring man named Bullin, he having represented to her that he was able, through the instrumentality of some relations at the Admiralty, to protect her husband from impressment. He was convicted of this, but some objection being taken to the indictment, that point was reserved for the consideration of the twelve Judges, who decided against the validity of the indictment, and the prisoner obtained a reversal of his sentence of two years' imprisonment. In consequence of his conduct, his name had been removed from the Navy List. In 1823, the petitioner presented a petition to the Admiralty Board to be restored, which was referred to Counsel, who advised the Board not to accede to the request of the petitioner. The petitioner now stated that he had fresh grounds; but he (Sir James Graham), after having given the subject his best consideration, felt compelled to come to the conclusion that the petitioner had been guilty of the charge imputed to him; and he, therefore, could not, consistently with his duty to the public, advise the House to accede to the prayer of the petition.

Petition to lie on the Table.

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