HL Deb 18 August 1831 vol 6 cc208-10
Viscount Strangford

hoped for the indulgence of the House in calling its attention again to the subject of the approaching ceremony of the Coronation. He wished to put another question to the noble Earl opposite relative to the mode in which it was proposed, by his Majesty's Ministers that the ceremony should be conducted; and he believed that it would be no inconvenience to his Majesty's Ministers to answer that question, while it would certainly be a great convenience to many noble Lords that the question should be answered. The noble Earl had stated on a former occasion, that he had received no intimation of his Majesty's final determination on the subject. The question which he wished to ask was, whether any determination had been come to on the point to which he had formerly referred—namely, whether the peers were to be permitted to do homage each by himself, or only by a representative of each class? It was important to many noble Lords, that the determination in this respect, whatever it was, should be known, as their arrangements and preparations must be made accordingly. The noble Earl had taken credit to himself and the rest of his Majesty's Ministers for the economy with which the ceremony was to be conducted; but he saw no ground for their taking credit for economy as far as respected the plan of doing homage, since, although each peer should be allowed to do homage for himself, the expense would be borne by himself, and the arrangement would not cost the public one farthing, but would be of some benefit to the trading classes, who always looked to a coronation as a matter which would give a stimulus to the national industry. The economy, therefore, which the noble Earl looked to, was an economy for the rich, but not for the poor and the manufacturing classes. The plan of doing homage by delegates would be of advantage only to the Aristocracy, and not to the public; and the poor would be losers, and not gainers by it. There was another point, of still more importance, however, which had reference to the unseemly curtailments about which he had spoken the other night. He wished to ask the noble Earl, whether it was intended that the peeresses should join in the procession to the Abbey, and put it to the good taste of the noble Earl, whether that part of the ceremony ought not to be permitted to remain without curtailment. It was a laudable old English practice, and ought to be retained. The noble Earl had spoken of certain kinds of splendor not being conformable to the spirit of the age; but surely the noble Earl could not seriously maintain that it was not conformable to the spirit of the age to allow this gratification to the ladies. He threw out this hint for the consideration of the Cabinet select vestry.

Earl Grey

observed, that there was no disposition in his Majesty or his Ministers to make any unseemly curtailments in the ceremony of the coronation, but he still thought it useless to have it conducted upon so large a scale as the former coronation. He wished to add, that he had received his Majesty's commands on the subject of the homage to be performed by the Peers, but that it was the King's desire that it should be performed as at the coronation of George 3rd.

The Marquis of Londonderry

hoped that the procession of the peeresses would be preserved, as nothing could be more suitable to the occasion. He begged that noble Lords would bear in mind, when they heard of the expense of the last coronation, that there were various items, not connected with the splendor of the ceremony, which might have been well struck out. The splendor of the coronation, and all the advantages which it was expected to produce on the trade of the country, would have been as well accomplished without those circumstances to which he alluded as with them. On this occasion the sums of money to be spent would come from the aristocracy of the country, and they would find their way to the industrious classes of the community, who, he was sorry to hear, were already complaining of the niggardly manner in which the ceremony was to be conducted, and the consequent loss which they would thereby suffer. He, therefore thought, as the one point was settled in a manner which could not be satisfactory to the feelings of the greater part of their Lordships, that they should use their best exertions that the other, which was material to the splendor of the ceremony, should not be omitted. He hoped the noble Earl and his colleagues would reconsider this subject of the procession of the peeresses from Westminster-hall to the Abbey, and that in a few days they should hear that this was conceded.

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