said, he wished to put a question to his noble Friend the Chairman of Committees (Lord Redesdale). He understood that by the Resolution which his noble Friend was about to propose, the 23rd March was fixed as the last day on which that House would receive petitions for private Bills that Session. Now, he had an appeal to make to his noble Friend to relax the strict rule in that respect with reference to one or two cases of some urgency which it was highly expedient should be brought under their Lordships' consideration this Session, especially that of Mr. Shedden. That was a question of title to an estate, tried in Scotland nearly fifty years ago, and subsequently reviewed by the House of Lords during the Chancellorship of Lord Eldon, on both which occasions he (Lord Brougham) acted as counsel for Mr. William Shedden, the claimant. Without going now into the merits of the case, he would only say that there were circumstances connected with it of such a peculiar character as, in his opinion, imperatively to require that it should be reopened in some shape before their Lordships' House with the view of justice being done to the unhappy gentleman, Mr. W. Shedden, whom he represented, and who had suffered a grievous wrong for nearly sixty years. Mr. Shedden would probably bring his case under the consideration of the House in the form of a private Bill; but as, unless a relaxation were made in the rule of the House, he should not be able to do so until his (Lord Brougham's) return from a necessary absence of some weeks in the country, he should be obliged if his noble and learned Friend (Lord Redesdale) would make the case an exception and suspend the forms of the House in its favour, as it was one in which he (Lord Brougham) took an especial interest.
§ LORD REDESDALE
said, the 23rd of March was the day fixed as that beyond which no private Bill could be introduced to the House; and, although he wished to adhere to that rule as far as possible, yet, as the case to which his noble and learned Friend had referred was one of a peculiar 688 character, he should offer no objection to it on the score of time, after the appeal made by his noble and learned Friend.
said, nothing could be more considerate than the prompt manner in which his noble and learned Friend had yielded to his request, and he was convinced that when their Lordships came to hear the case of Mr. Shedden, whatever appearance of difficulty there might be about it, they would devise a remedy, however long that might have been delayed, for the injustice which he believed to have been perpetrated.
THE LORD CHANCELLOR
said, without meaning to interpose any obstacle in the way of the forms of the House being relaxed for the accommodation of this particular case, he would only remark that the parties whom it was now sought to oust from the estate in this case had been in possession of it for, he believed, sixty years, and if their Lordships at this distance of time reopened a question of this kind, the title of not one of the Members of their Lordships' House to his estate would afterwards be free from some similar attempt to question its legality.
§ LORD REDESDALE
said, the remark of his noble and learned Friend on the woolsack would be quite true in reference to an ordinary case; but there were peculiar circumstances about this which appeared to make it an exception.
§ EARL GREY
said, he was about to present a petition to the House on behalf of Mr. William Shedden, and should have done so this week had it not been for the intended absence of his noble and learned Friend (Lord Brougham), who had explained to their Lordships the great personal interest he took in the case. He (Earl Grey) would ask their Lordships in the meantime to suspend their judgment until the facts were before them, which he thought were such as to prove to them that injustice had been done, and that it demanded a remedy.