HC Deb 14 June 1833 vol 18 cc797-811
The Speaker

said, that the question before the House was, that the Petition presented by the hon. member for Bath do lie upon the Table.

Mr. Macleod

said, that he had not the benefit of much parliamentary experience, but from the little he knew, he should infer that it was not at all the practice of the House to receive such petitions as the one under discussion. If the House countenanced the reception of a petition from Jurors, complaining that their verdict had been set aside by a superior Court, it might next expect to be addressed by the Master of the Rolls, complaining that a decree of his Court had been reversed by the decision of a superior Court upon appeal. It had been argued that there was nothing to identify the parties assembled in Calthorpe-street, with those who issued the placard calling the meeting together; but he was of opinion, that the Government was bound to believe, that the intentions of the meeting, and the feeling of the meeting, were to be found in that placard. What was Government to do then, knowing as it did that the meeting would take place? It might be said, that Government could have taken one of several courses, and one course was, to do nothing at all. [Cheers] Was he to understand by those cheers that Government should have done nothing? But then, supposing that no notice had been taken of the meeting—supposing an immense multitude of people had assembled—supposing it had then been found necessary to call out a large military force—and supposing the military had come into contact with the people, and that much blood had been shed and many lives lost—who would have been so loud in condemning the inactivity of Government us the hon. Gentlemen on the other side of the House? It was said the meeting was contemptible, so was the conspiracy of Thistlewood contemptible; but it was not the less proper that such conspiracies and meetings should be suppressed, and not the less just that such men should be punished. If Government had taken no steps to prevent or disperse the meeting, one of two opinions would have been adopted by the people—either that the meeting was legal, or that the Government was too weak to prevent the meeting from taking place; either of which would have had a lamentable effect. If the ground had been pre-occupied by the police, what would have prevented the advanced guard of the meeting from taking another position, for choosing another open piece of ground? It was, he contended, not only the duty of the Government to disperse the meeting, but to take the ringleaders into custody; and he was convinced, from all he had heard, that the interference of the policemen had prevented much mischief. The blow which killed Culley was struck with a deadly weapon, while that man was discharging his duty. He lamented that the eloquence of the hon. member for Dublin had been exercised in justifying the verdict of justifiable homicide which had been given by the jury. It was clear to him, from the evidence, that Culley had not exercised any unbecoming violence in the discharge of his duty. Being of that opinion, he concurred entirely with the line of conduct adopted by his Majesty's Ministers in taking proceedings to set aside the verdict.

Sir Samuel Whalley

said, the greater part of the Jury were personally known to him, and he felt confident they were men who would act conscientiously upon their oath, and that they had given in this Verdict simply upon the evidence laid before them. If, however, it was possible to believe that the verdict was against evidence, it still appeared to him that Government ought to act with caution in any attempt to set that verdict aside, after the deliberation that had been given to the subject by the Jury. He thought no defence could be set up for the course which Government had pursued, and therefore thought himself justified in impugning it. He was as anxious as any man could be to preserve the institutions and peace of the country; but in his opinion the conduct of Ministers was more calculated to increase disquiet than insure peace. The meeting was contemptible in every point of view, and was convened by only a very few individuals; and therefore the Government was not, in his opinion, justified in taking alarm, and calling out the military and police. It was really giving a greater importance to the proceedings than they deserved; for he was sure that the people—now that they had a House of Commons over which they could exercise some control—would never think of having recourse to the establishment of a national convention. He could not believe—looking at the placard by which the meeting was called—that the parties had the object in view which some persons attributed to them. As to that part which stated that the meeting was for the purpose of considering the propriety of having a national convention, they all new that a national convention had been formed in one country, from whose proceedings he would say, "God forbid he should ever see it established in this country." A society had also been formed in the sister country for the same object, but its proceedings were not only most peaceable but beneficial; therefore, the meaning of the words "national convention," was in fact very dubious, and it ought not to have created so much alarm. The placard also stated as another object, that they should endeavour to secure the rights of the people, and those were words that had often been repeated without objection at various public meetings, but he had never heard that they implied a subversion of the Government. He thought his Majesty's Ministers had acted very prejudicially; they should have treated the meeting with contempt, or at most have provided a force which would have prevented a great number of persons from assembling. Some time ago he had presented a petition from an individual who was wholly unconnected with the proceedings; but who, in returning home from his labour, was knocked down, and had his head cut open. He would ask the legal Gentlemen on the Treasury Benches, what would have been the verdict if that man had been killed under such circumstances? The Jury, as it appeared to him, could have returned no other verdict than murder. Then, was it prudent, was it right, was it sensible, of the Government to place themselves in that position when their acts were liable to such misinterpretation. He could not silently allow the privileges of Englishmen, the rights of the people, to be interfered with; but in this case not only was the Coroner's Inquisition set aside, but the Government took upon themselves to impugn the verdict of the Jury. At least they ought to take measures to have another inquest, so that, at all events, the cause of the death of the policeman should not be left in doubt, and the people be ignorant whether to call it murder or manslaughter. He believed that upon the occasion the Coroner had not acted in the manner in which a Coroner ought to act. His duty was to have pointed out to the Jury the law of the case. In place of doing so, he throughout showed a strong party feeling in suppressing part of the evidence which was brought before him. Even Colonel de Roos said, the people were very quiet, with the exception of a few stones being thrown, and in his opinion, there would have been no disturbance had the police not made an attack upon the people. Now, if the Coroner had acted properly, he would have explained to the Jury the difference of the law, as applied to the various degrees of guilt, in the case, and the verdict which the evidence would bear out. So far from attempting that, he wished to throw out a part of the verdict. He might have drawn it up in such a way as would have defied the Court of King's Bench to have set it aside. He had considered it his duty to say so much in vindication of the Jury, some of whom he knew to be most honourable men, and in his opinion they had acted most conscientiously.

Mr. Pryme

did not consider that the question now was, whether the Coroner had done his duty or not; and, though he was to admit that Government had not taken the proper steps to prevent the meeting, still, he thought it was their duty to disabuse the public mind of the idea that a policeman, acting in the discharge of his duty, might be slain with impunity, even though he had exceeded the line of that duty. At all events the killing of Culley amounted to manslaughter, as was proved by the judgment of Chief Justice Best, in a case at Hertford, where a police officer had a warrant against an individual for a misdemeanor, and mistaking his duty, broke open a door and was shot. There Mr. Justice Best said, though a charge of murder could not be supported, it was a clear case of manslaughter. Under those circumstances it was clearly the duty of Government to have acted as they had done, and by applying to the Court of King's Bench have the verdict set aside. As the matter had already obtained so much publicity, he did not see any reason for summoning a new Jury. It was perfectly unnecessary. With regard to the finding of the inquisition, every body knew that a person guilty of such an offence as this never was tried upon that inquisition.

Mr. Hardy

rose rather to put it to the House than for any other purpose, whether it could be useful and profitable to proceed with the discussion? The proceeding principally complained of was not a proceeding that tended to destroy Trial by Jury—it was merely the setting aside of an illegal verdict, which the Court of King's Bench was bound to do upon its being brought before it. The petitioners stated, that the proceeding was calculated to bring Trial by Jury into discredit, and they prayed that steps might be taken to prevent that. He knew not what steps could be taken, even if the petitioners' premises were right. The House had now been discussing this subject for nearly two days, and he was quite sure that, after all, it could only lead to a most fruitless result, if the conduct of Government, on this occasion, was to he called into question, that ought to be done on a specific motion, of which due notice ought to be given. It would not do at all times to treat such a meeting as this with contempt. Every one must know, that the meeting of 1780 was too long treated with contempt. If the conduct of the Coroner was to be impugned, it ought also to be by a specific motion. The Jury had committed an error, in consequence of which the verdict had been set aside ["No, no, it was the Coroner's error"]. He could not allow it to be said it was the Coroner's error. The Jury had subscribed to the verdict, that the policeman was in the peace of God and the King, that no breach of the peace had been committed, and that no offence had taken place; and the Jury were intelligent enough to have seen the discrepancy of this if they had chosen to look; and having made a trip, the Government were perfectly right in taking advantage of it; and he hoped the regular business of the House would now be suffered to proceed.

Mr. Finn

said, the hon. Member who spoke last had asserted that there was no imputation cast upon the Jury; but how could such a statement be made, when it was notorious, that the Secretary of State had issued a Proclamation offering a reward for the conviction of the murderer of Culley—thus stamping the name of murderer on a man whom the Jury had declared, to have been justified in what he had done? He thought that the conduct of the Corner throughout the whole transaction was extremely culpable. The Coroner had attempted to influence the decision of the Jury, and during the inquest he had done all in his power to promote the selection of such evidence as would be likely to lead to a verdict of murder. In fact, it was evident that the Coroner was grossly partial, and no doubt, in preparing the verdict, he had kept back the first part from the Jury. The House should remember that it had been called upon to enact despotism in Ireland upon the verdict of the Jury at Carrickshock; and yet an hon. friend of his, who was present at that inquest, declared, that upon the same evidence, he should have brought in the same verdict. He admitted the general praiseworthy conduct of the police, and regretted that they should have been brought into disrepute by the Government. It seemed as if the Government set their faces against popular verdicts, and would only maintain such as were in accordance with their own views; but he implored Ministers to take a different course, and at least not fall into the errors and vices which had been committed in Ireland for the mere purpose of upholding their subordinates in the false steps they had taken.

Colonel Evans

quite agreed with the hon. member for Bradford in the impolicy of the House entering into a legal or judicial discussion on the subject at the present moment; but with respect to the conduct of the Executive Government, he must confess he thought it a fair subject for discussion. There was a disposition in the other side of the House to throw blame on the Jury, for the purpose of removing it from the Coroner; now, in his opinion, if any blame was to be attached to either party, it was most decidedly upon the Coroner, and not upon the Jury. Whatever the results of the trial might be against the different parties who had taken part in the meeting, he thought the House ought to take the conduct of the Executive Government into consideration, and give its opinion upon it.

Mr. Rotch

deprecated the attack that had been made upon the Coroner, without any notice whatever having been given to that individual or his friends. With regard to Ministers, the thing stood upon a different footing; the present discussion having been brought forward upon an understanding with them. With respect to the Coroner, he never could believe, that the charges which had been made against him were true. He had the honour of knowing him personally, and he would take upon himself to assert, that a more honest, conscientious, and upright man did not exist. He could not for his life see anything more in his conduct, than that he was astounded at the illegal conduct of the July, and had endeavoured, if possible, to prevail upon them to record a legal verdict. Hon. Members, instead of making these side-wind sort of charges against the Coroner, should come forward with a specific charge against him, as that would put the Coroner upon his defence; and he could assure the House, that he would be the last man to defend the Coroner if he thought that officer had acted improperly. In conclusion, the hon. Member deprecated such a discussion at the present moment, however much some hon. Members might feel gratified in making long speeches on the subject.

Mr. Cobbett

said, with respect to impugning the conduct of the Coroner, he begged to remark, that it was not the fault of the hon. member for Bath that that Gentleman's conduct had come before the House; the Jury had petitioned the House in their own defence, and in the defence of their own character; and they prayed the House not to suffer a precedent to be laid down which would be injurious to the Trial by Jury. In defence of the Government and of his own conduct in applying to quash the inquisition, the learned Solicitor General had produced the inquisition of the Coroner to justify the steps he had taken. If he had not done that, the Coroner's conduct would never have been brought in question. If the hon. Gentleman (Mr. Rotch), who was a friend of the Coroner's, wished to take his part, he must throw the blame on the Solicitor General, and not on the hon. member for Bath. If the hon. member for Cambridge (Mr. Pryime) had been in the House yesterday, he would have heard the clear and satisfactory statement of the hon. member for Kidderminster (Mr. Godson), whose argument was the most convincing that the conduct of the Jury and their verdict were proper, and that it was the fault of the Coroner, in not drawing the inquisition in a proper form; therefore it was, that the Court of King's Bench had been called on to quash it. He (Mr. Cobbett) confessed that he did not perfectly understand the subject until he heard that hon. Member's speech. He wished now to observe upon what the learned Solicitor General said about the people, and he regretted that that Gentleman was not present. He had the greatest respect for that hon. and learned Gentleman, because he believed him to be a humane and just man. He had yesterday stated, that the mischief of that verdict was, that it would fill the people's minds with notions destructive of the peace of society—that it would tend to make the people ferocious, and make them believe that they might, whenever they chose, kill a policeman with perfect impunity; and he also said the consequences had been seen already, for he had observed it recommended in the public papers, that when the people went to attend public meetings, they should go armed with knives in their pockets—the description of knife being what he (Mr. Cobbett) understood a stiletto to be, and he observed, also, that this was the first time such things had been ever heard of in England. Certainly it was the first time they were ever heard of in England, and. Indeed, never till now had they heard of police officers in England with daggers to their thighs, and pistols in their belts [Mr. Lamb: "No, no!"]. perhaps not on the present occasion, but they had certainly been armed with pistols and swords once within the last twelve months [Mr. Lamb: "Not pistols!"]. He believed it was so, although the hon. Gentleman might not have been aware of the circumstance. However, it was something new in England to see peace-officers in uniform, embodied in companies and battalions, marching in rank and file, commanded by Serjeants and colonels—under the mock name of superintendents. It was once the boast of Englishmen that we had no gens d'armes and no mouchards. Get rid of the gendarmerie, and let us have peace-officers of our own choosing, as formerly; if not, the people must arm themselves. They might say, that that would be destroying part of the institutions of the country, but were these policemen any part of the Constitution of England? Why, he was a grown up and a married man before ever the word "Police" was applied to a body of men in England; even the Attorney General might well recollect the time when there were a few—a very few police Magistrates with their 300l. a-year, and their few Bow-street Runners, as they were called in those days; but now there was a host of Magistrates, with salaries of 800l., and whole regiments at their beck. Yes, whole regiments of policemen were supported by the parishes of London—there was the parish of Mary-la-bonne, which was taxed to the amount of 27,000l. a-year for the support of these troops, and yet they were taken away from the parish, and sent down to guard the gentry at Epsom Races. Oh, in fact, as he had often said, it was altogether an abuse from beginning to end. He had told the hon. Gentleman opposite (Mr. Lamb), that he knew it was the intention of Government to introduce the system in every village in England, and he would now say, that he was very much mistaken if a plan of that kind was not now before them. The fact was, and the intention was, that it allowed the Government to levy more taxes than they otherwise could do. Then, as to the illegality of the meeting—he did not yet know that it was illegal—he had not yet heard one single proof to convince him that the people had not a perfect right to have met on that occasion. These police troops had been complimented, and complimented too, as it appeared to him, in fear. He would allow, that there was cause for terror, fur in fact they were now like the mouchards—the mouchards of Paris—half a dozen men, or even half a dozen of the Members of that House, could scarcely stand in the street now, but one of them reared his long blue body over them, peering into their faces, and trying to make out what they were talking about. He would tell the House some of their exploits, certainly not from personal experience, but it happened to a servant of his. He sent a servant of his from Kensington to Fleet-street, on a message. He got there, and was returning with a packet of letters, and it happened that a turkey had come from the country, and he was bringing it home only a little before dusk. Well, the police saw the man with the turkey, and one of them said to himself: "What! a poor man with a turkey!—a man in England with a turkey—and he not a gentleman—he must be a thief!" And had England really come so low, that a man, with a jacket, could not carry a turkey, but it was primâ facie evidence that he was a thief? Well, the policeman took hold of him when he was within the distance of 200 yards of his master's door; he instantly told the name of his master too; but no, that would not do, he must go back nearly half a mile, to what they called their station-house, he was kept there for a considerable time, when one of what they called their Serjeants came in and broke open his parcel, when he found that the man's story was true, and they then let him go—sent him off with a sort of permit, stating to his master that he had been detained by them for so long a time. Oh, how had England fallen when such things were permitted! Now he would tell them another instance [No, no!]. "Oh yes (said the hon. Member) but I will though." He had been in seaports, in barracks, and at many of what were called low meetings, but he had never seen such a rude assembly as that; but he would tell them the story, and they must hear it. Well, then, he had two farm servants, whom he ordered to come to him early in the morning; they were doing so, each with a basket swung behind him over a stick. Well, they were jogging along, when one of these policemen came up and said: "You must come along with me to the station, house;" they rather demurred to that, and the fellow sprung his rattle, when six more of these "gendarmerie" came up, but the two men were stout, strong countrymen, and they drew their sticks out of the baskets, and laid about them with good effect; they laid three or four of the police on the ground, and the others made the best of their way off, like prudent men, or like cowards. He would warn the Government, that that was the way they would be served if they were sent into the villages of England. But now supposing, that one of the policemen had been killed, would any man have dared to say, that he was murdered in the discharge of his duty? What business had they to meddle with the men, who were only obeying the orders of their master? It might be said: "Oh, it was early in the morning." So it was, but that was what he had ordered them to do. Now, was it not humiliating to live in a country where you might be, and where you were, watched and dogged about—to have a fellow menacing you and looking after you wherever you go? He again called upon the Government to take a lesson by what he had told them, and be content with having their force in the metropolis.

The Attorney General

said, that he owed an apology to the House for his absence yesterday—he would certainly have been in his place when the matter was brought forward, but he had two reasons to state for his absence. In the first place, he was yesterday engaged in the Court of Exchequer in his professional capacity, and in the next, he was not at all aware of the intention of the hon. Member to present the petition on that day. Much had been said by hon. Members about the weight which should be given to the verdict of a Jury—no man had more veneration for such decisions than himself, but much must depend on the temper and judgment with which the Jury were actuated. He agreed with all those hon. Gentlemen who urged, that the doors of that House should be open to all petitioners; but it was not a question as to who had a right to petition that House, but what could with propriety be done by the House. In order to go into the merits of the case, it was necessary to trace the proceedings. It appeared that a placard was first issued calling upon the people to assemble and form a national convention. Now, no man could shut his eyes to the fact, that the forming of a national convention would be to supersede the legislative functions of that House. He thought it quite unnecessary to go into any argument upon this question, and he declined contending against the assumptions of the hon. Members who led the House to infer, that they were better acquainted with the intentions of those who called the meeting than others were. Besides this placard there were other papers published, to which the placard might be taken as the text, and it was only fair to take those in Connexion. It was necessary that the Government should be upon its guard to preserve the peace, but not necessary that it should swell the matter into undue importance by the issuing of a solemn Proclamation. A meeting being held, he would appeal to the plain sense and reason of those who heard him, whether it was not reasonable to infer, that the large meeting so assembled had been brought together by the placard, or was, in other words, the meeting intended to be held? What, then, ensued as respected the question before the House." Why, it was found, that the policeman was killed with a single blow by a weapon. And here he must differ entirely from the hon. member for Oldham, who supposed, that it was the habit of the people of this country, when pursuing their ordinary avocations, to be armed with such a weapon as that used to inflict on the policeman a mortal wound. It could not be credited, that the man who killed Culley was engaged in his ordinary occupation, but that he went armed to the meeting for the purpose expressed in the placard. It was a great mistake for Gentlemen who talked about this inquest to confine themselves to one side of the question. The Jury had found, that the death of Culley took place without any previous violence whatever. It was impossible for him, then, to remove from his mind the full conviction, that to say the death of that man, under such circumstances, was justifiable homicide—was, undoubtedly, against the law of England, and against the plain sense of every man. Gentlemen said, this verdict was an important document—he thought so too, and it was on that account it had been submitted to the high authority before which it had been laid. If Government had permitted this document, which had attracted the attention of all the people of England, to remain unquestioned, containing, as it did, not merely the assertion of a simple fact, but the proposition of law, that a policeman in the King's peace, and in the discharge of his duty at a meeting to which he had been called, was to be killed by any man without having offered a shadow of provocation, was justifiable homicide, the Government would have neglected their duty in a most essential point. Had the verdict been quashed by any illegal means? Was there any Gentleman in that house would say the Court of King's Bench was not the proper tribunal into which it ought to have been carried? And would any Gentleman deny the propriety of bringing it forward there [hear, hear]? A Gentleman opposite said "hear, hear.' It might have been improper to have taken it into the Court of King's Bench, if that Court had refused the application made to it; but the very interference of the Court in quashing the verdict showed it to have been an illegal verdict, and that it was the duty of those who brought it there so to have done. For his part, he was a very humble individual, and his opinion entitled to very little respect; but he did conceive, in consequence of the reports he heard throughout the town of the nature of that inquisition, it to be his duty to call for the document, and having received it, upon a consultation with his hon. and learned colleague, they had come to the conclusion, that it was their bounden duty, unless they meant entirely to slumber in their legal office, to bring the subject before the Court of King's Bench. Government had taken that course which the law pointed out, and the consequence was, that the King's Bench had quashed the verdict. With respect to the finding of the Jury, he would assert, that he had come to the conclusion he had arrived at with no hostile feeling towards them, nor had he adopted that course, thinking that the Jury had intentionally misconducted themselves; he did not believe they had intentionally erred; and he very much mistook the feeling which actuated the Juries of England if he did not feel certain that they would be gratified by having any mistaken judgment of theirs set right by the highest legal authority in the country; and he thought he should belie the Jury if he did not say, that he felt thoroughly convinced, that after the feelings that at present existed were gone by, they would feel grateful for the course Government had adopted. No man in that House reverenced Juries more than he did; but in the same pro-portion as he reverenced, he would importune every Jury to take great care that they did not yield to the impression of the moment, to prejudice, or to passion, but would remember, that their jurisdiction had been given unto them by the laws of England to protect life and property, and that no men could exercise the awful responsibility intrusted to Juries, if they allowed themselves to be swayed by feelings and prejudice.

Mr. Ruthven

thought the whole proceedings on the part of the coroner most disgraceful and scandalous, and deserved the reprobation of that House. He thought, that in bringing the subject forward in the Court of King's Bench, it had a tendency to induce a belief, that from the great array of legal knowledge against the unfortunate man who was to be tried for his life, he would not have a fair and impartial trial; and if he were convicted and executed, he would be considered merely as the victim of the despotic application of the law. He could instance some great cases in which a similar feeling had been manifested—viz. Lord William Russell, Sir Thomas More, and Sir Walter Raleigh, all of whom were certainly executed according to law, but certainly not according to justice. He would not further ransack the pages of history for instances, especially as an hon. Member near him had a petition to present; but, he believed, that it was not of much importance. The Under Secretary opposite had yesterday called the mob that broke the Duke of Wellington's windows, last year, a loyal mob; but, for his own part, he could only look on it as an outrageous mob.

Mr. Lamb

had only used the word loyal from the circumstance of its having been an assemblage going up to address the King.

Mr. Petre

was decidedly of opinion, that the Government could have acted in this affair in no other way than that in which they had. To say, that the death which had taken place in this instance was an act of justifiable homicide was to hold oat a premium to riot and murder. As to the force which had been sent down to the meeting, was it legal or illegal." There could be no doubt of its legality, and, as one of the best lawyers whom this country had ever seen had said, it was the most likely force to get rid of, and would be the best mode of getting rid, of military power in this country.

Mr. Roebuck

said, that his reason for bringing forward this petition at this time was, lest the proceedings which had been had recourse to should be regarded as a precedent hereafter; and he wished the country as strongly as possible to mark its disapproval of such a proceeding. There were three distinct points involved on this occasion'—the conduct of the government—of the police—and of the law officers of the Crown. As regarded the conduct of the police, no one in that House had risen up to attempt to defend it, except the Under Secretary opposite. Their conduct was highly impolitic and illegal. Admitting it to have been an illegal meeting, no breach of the peace had taken place, until a violent, unauthorized, attack was made by that force. The hon. Under Secretary shook his head at this, but that shake was opposed to the verdict, and to all the evidence given upon the inquest. The police had no right to make an unprovoked attack on his Majesty's peaceable subjects. The people cherished an inbred obedience to the law; that feeling would continue to grow until improper physical force was resorted to, and when Government could resort to that, instead of depending on their moral strength, resulting from the integrity of their course, and good feeling of the country, they might rest assured upon going to the wall. As regarded the police, he had formed a favourable opinion of them; but he was for putting down any improper expressions of public feeling—not by physical power—but by moral force. He felt the seriousness of the subject in all its bearings, and he could not but condemn part of the propositions of the hon. member for Oldham. The Government was not justified in issuing a Proclamation for the arrest of the man who killed Culley, as if he were a murderer. He complained of the manner in which the Solicitor General had spoken of his (Mr. Roebuck's) setting his opinion up in opposition to that of the four Judges, whilst he had abstained from mixing any personal observations—for which there was such a rich field—in his introduction of the petition. He understood the widow of the policeman was to receive a pension. [Mr. Lamb said, such was not the case. The Government regretted that it could not do so.] The law officers, and, in particular, the Attorney General, had avoided meeting what had been so ably said by the hon. member for Kidderminster, which drew such an able distinction between the verdict of the Jury, and that part of the inquisition drawn up by the Coroner. Indeed, as was shown by that hon. Member, the King's Bench had done more to impugn the conduct of the Coroner than he (Mr. Roebuck) had himself done. He had not set himself up in opposition to the four Judges of the King's Bench; but he had a right to say, that it had always been the case that four Judges could be found ready to support the Crown. From ship-money downwards, they had always been ranged on the side of despotism. He hoped that nothing that had now taken place would debar him from taking any further steps he might deem necessary.

The Petition was laid on the Table.

Back to