HC Deb 09 May 1842 vol 63 cc270-1
Mr. Sheil,

seeing the noble Lord the Secretary for Ireland in his place, would take that opportunity of asking him a question respecting a matter to which he had claimed the noble Lord's attention on a former occasion. It appeared that Mr. Biddulph, one of the magistrates of King's county, a gentleman of considerable respectability, was fired at some time ago, and two persons, named Doherty and Calvert, had been tried for firing at him with intent to kill. No less than three trials had taken place; two under the late Government. In another place a complaint was made by Lord Charleville respecting the constitution of the first jury, who, it appeared, could not agree in their verdict, and at the second trial one of the jurymen was taken ill. At the late spring assizes of the King's county those two persons were acquitted, the jury being unanimous. It appeared that a counsel of great eminence, Mr. Keating, was sent down to conduct the prosecution, to which much importance was attached; and upon the examination of Mr. Biddulph, he, the prosecutor and a magistrate, admitted that he had conveyed advice to the prisoners, who were charged with the felony, to fly the country and escape from justice. Mr. Murphy, the counsel who cross-examined the prosecutor, said— I leave you now in the hands of the Attorney-General. And that was said in the hearing of Mr. Keating, who appeared there as the deputy of the Attorney-general. It was also stated, that the steward of the prosecutor, a person named Castles, was sent by him to the prisoners, to tell them to fly the country. Now, he had understood that Mr. Biddulph had since been dismissed; and he wished to know on what day the trial took place, and what was the date of the supersedeas more especially?

Lord Eliot

believed, the hon. and learned Gentleman had accurately stated the facts of the case, but at that moment he was not able to state the dates required by the hon. and learned Gentleman; he would, however, prepare himself with the necessary information. The Lord Chancellor, after investigating the circumstances of the case, had dismissed Mr. Biddulph from the commission of the peace in the King's County. The first information which had reached the Government was through the question which had been put by a noble person in another place, no representation of the circumstances having been made to himself by the Attorney-general.