HC Deb 19 August 1853 vol 129 c1822

said, he wished to ask the noble Lord the Member for London whether the attention of Government had been further directed to the case of Mr. Edward Murray, a British subject, condemned to imprisonment for life by the Government of the Pope, and whether they would take any further steps for obtaining his liberation?


said, it appeared that Mr. Freeborn, the British Consul, had applied in January last with respect to the case of Mr. Murray, and was told that no further remission could be made. In pursuance of his (Lord John Russell's) instructions in January last, Her Majesty's Chargé d' Affaires at Florence also applied, and received a similar answer. A further application had been made at a still later period by Mr. Petro and Mr. Freeborn, and the last answer that had been received was this, that the Papal Government had been subjected to many reflections on account of the clemency which had been already shown to Mr. Murray; that it had been said that the persons who had been executed for the same crimes had not been more guilty than Mr. Murray; that, consequently, the relations and friends of those persons who had been executed were indignant that so much mercy had been shown to Mr. Murray; and that, under those circumstances, the Papal Government would not extend any further mercy to him. He really thought, therefore, he should be holding out false hopes to the noble Lord if he said he thought the Government would obtain any further remission of the sentence by any further application. For the present, at least, he did not think it would be of any avail to make any further application.