HL Deb 07 February 1826 vol 14 cc125-6
The Earl of Liverpool

rose to call their lordships' attention to a motion founded on the letter of Mr. Cowper, which he had read yesterday. He had the satisfaction of feeling that the motion with which he should conclude was one which would meet with no opposition. Their lordships knew how that gentleman had discharged the important duties of his office for a period of forty-one years. There was no instance of an individual having discharged his duty with more diligence, assiduity, and integrity, than Mr. Cowper had done. The situation was important in various respects. It was necessary that the person who filled it should be well acquainted with the course and forms of judicial proceedings. The office was also important from its connexion with the forms and regulations of the House. This was a kind of knowledge which could only be acquired by experience; and it was no disgrace to any one who sat on the woolsack to say, that he might be assisted by Mr. Cowper. No one better knew than the individual of whom he was speaking, what was due to the dignity of the House and to the maintenance of its orders. Besides, his duty had been always discharged with so much propriety and urbanity, that during the long period of forty-one years, no one had ever had occasion to complain of his conduct. For his own part, he could speak to a period of twenty years, and he did not recollect any instance in which he had given offence. The late earl of Rosslyn, when chancellor, had recommended that a pension of 1,000l. per annum should be granted to the clerk on retiring from office. Mr. Cowper had then stated, that if nothing further should be granted to him, he would be perfectly satisfied. Their lordships, however, would not avail themselves of this readiness to wave any future claim, when they took a view of the circumstances of the case. They had some years ago turned their attention to what was due to the gentlemen sitting at the table of the House. They had now to take into their consideration a case of retirement, and he was convinced that they would willingly concur in doing what was not an act of liberality but of justice. He would conclude by moving, that "That this House receives with sincere concern, the resignation of Henry Cowper, esq., and think it right to record the sense they entertain of the zeal, ability, diligence, and integrity with which he executed the important duties of his office during a period of more than forty years. Also, that an humble address be presented to the king, laying before his majesty a copy of the letter of the said Henry Cowper, esq., and likewise the resolution of the House respecting that gentleman, and recommending him to his majesty's royal grace and bounty."

The resolution was agreed to.