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had the first trial produced this con- ted in those reports, that some of the viction on his mind, he should have conspirators were in custody, and he felt it his bounden duty to stay the had then suggested that these persons proceedings; but, in the absence of should be immediately brought to such conviction, ought he to have ab- trial. How had they been proceedstained from proceeding with the se- ed against? The causes were remocond prosecution, because the first ed by certiorari to the Court of King's had failed ?
Bench, to prevent a disclosure of the Sir Samuel Romilly entered more real nature of the charge against at large into topics connected with them; and at the next assizes in Lanthe general state of public affairs.-- caster, his learned friend, (Mr TopDesirable as it was that harmony ping, who acted for the Attorney-geshould prevail on the present occa- neral,) stated, that no evidence was sion, it was yet the privilege of mem- to be produced against them. Govern. bers to introduce affairs which had ment knew from the beginning that happened during the recess, especial- no evidence could be brought against ly if they had arisen from measures them by which they could be consanctioned by the House ;-therefore, victed; and therefore, turning the adthe noble lord was perfectly in or- vantage they had gained against the der when he animadverted on the late people, for it was so, to their own actrials, not so much as insulated events, count, they took credit for clemency, but because they might be consider- because they did not produce evidence ed as part of the system of govern- which had never existed. How otherment now exercised. They threw wise could it be supposed, that pergreat light on the extraordinary act sons conspiring to burn factories, atwhich deprived us of the more valu- tack barracks, and create a revoluable part of our constitution. Par. tion, should be discharged without liament was now called together un- trial or punishment? He would say der a public calamity; for what else nothing at present of the extraordiwas it, to be called together under the nary, unprecedented-unprecedentsuspension of the best parts of the con- ed he was confident in England, and stitution? It appeared to him, that he believed even in Scotland—the unthe transactions at Manchester, at precedented attempts to prevail upon Derby, and in Scotland, confuted all another prisoner to give evidence the grounds on which parliament had against the accused. In regard to been called upon to pass the suspen- the transactions at Derby, they apsion of the Habeas Corpus Act. It peared to him to involve a clear conwas stated in both the reports, that a demnation of the suspension, since, treasonable conspiracy of the most though it had subsisted for five atrocious kind had existed at Man- months, it did not prevent these dischester,—that it had been in agita- turbances: and though government tion by the idle and disaffected to at- declared that they had information of tack the barracks, and to burn the Brandreth having attended meetings, manufactories, solely for the purpose and formed treasonable designs, prior of destroying the means of work, and to the 8th of June, they did not avail adding, by general distress, to the themselves of this knowledge to seize numbers of those who would engage his person. In his conscience he bein desperate plans. In the Lords' lieved, from the information he had report, the phrase was, “to make received, that the whole of that inManchester a Moscow." It was stą. surrection was the work of the persons sent by the government—not be not to prosecute, inasmuch as the indeed for the specific purpose of fo- prosecution of the offence was certain menting disaffection—but as emissa- to extend the circulation. The sucries of sedition from clubs that had cessive trials had reference not to never existed. In regard to Mr Hone's identical libels, but to three distinct - parodies, he admitted, that though offences. If a man committed three not amounting to blasphemy, they different murders on the same night, were most offensive and indefensible. in the same house, would the acquitLong, however, before the prosecu- tal on one murder constitute an argution began, they were entirely sup- ment against future prosecutions on pressed ; and a guinea was stated to the other indictments? That differhave been paid for a pamphlet which ence existed in the case of Mr Hone: originally sold for twopence. It was the offences were to be proved by the Attorney-General who had intro- distinct evidence. He was prepared duced them into a wider circulation to assert, that if a man sold three li. than ever. He had given them a per- bels in the same shop, he might be manent place in the history of the prosecuted on an indictment which country, -he had made them a part comprehended all the libellous pubof its judicial annals,—he had given lications. Yet, if such a course had occasion to collect all the parodies been pursued by the Attorney-Genethat had been published in former ral, it would no doubt have been conages, to print them in one convenient sidered as extremely severe, and callittle volume, and to hand them down culated to embarrass and confuse the to posterity.–At all events, nothing defence of the accused. The libels could justify the repetition of the had by no means been so completely trials, especially in the third, which suppressed as had been represented; was the least criminal instance. on the contrary, they were republish
In reply to these strictures, the So- ed, and circulating in various parts licitor-General observed, that the per- of the country. sons discharged on their recogni- Lord Folkestone rose, and made a zances were not those accused of a speech in that high tone of popular design to burn Manchester, but the invective which he is accustomed to misled individuals who had acquired indulge. He verily believed that the the appellation of “Blanketeers," and persons set at liberty were the idenwhose offence amounted only to a tical persons who had been accused misdemeanour. The government had of conspiring to burn Manchester. not known of any meetings at which As to the trials at Derby, he verily Brandreth was present, prior to the believed, that the crime for which 8th June ; they merely inferred, from those unfortunate men suffered, was the circumstances of that day, that as much the production of Mr Oliver there must have been such meetings. -was as much the effect of the meaIn regard to the prosecution of Mr sures taken by his Majesty's ministers Hone, he did not conceive, that the -as any other transaction in which impropriety of the libel could be made Mr Oliver had taken a part. “I bea reason against its prosecution. If lieve it was the work of Mr Oliverthat objection was to be allowed any the agent of Lord Sidmouth-the inforce, the more atrocious a libel was, strument of ministers; and, if it was the more pernicious to the public mo- so, I do not envy them the triumph rals, the more dangerous to the pub. which seems to fill then with so much lic peace, the more reason there would pride, of having convicted and exe
cuted those three miserable indivi- on the House of Brunswick-which duals. Now, sir,” said Lord Folke- has deprived it of its greatest ornastone, " to come to the address. I ment." The feeling manifested on cannot entirely agree to the senti- this occasion, must do away, he
conments contained in it. There is one ceived, with the idea of that disaffecpart of it, which contains an expres- tion with which the country had been sion of the approbation of the House charged. “I am sure, Sir, if the last of the measures of his Majesty's go- and greatest plague of Egypt had vernment, and attributes the present fallen on this country—if, on the improved state of the public feeling breaking of the morning, we found to their conduct. (Cries of “No, one dead in every house-the sorrow no!) It so struck me, when it was of the people could not have been read; and most indubitably, I do not more poignant, or more generally exagree in such a sentiment. (Cries of pressed. If any persons believe that No, no!') I understand there is there are enemies to the House of no such thing in the address, and Brunswick—if any persons think that therefore I shall pursue the subject disaffection towards it exists—they no farther." The address, moreover, must be taught, by the uniform conappeared to him flat, bearing on nó duct of the people on this melanchospecific objects, and dealing only in ly occasion, that it is not directed generalities. The honourable gen- against that part of it which is dignitleman who seconded it says, "there fied by virtue.” is nothing in the address that can be Lord Castlereagh did not intend objected to, and therefore I recom- to discuss at present the numerous mend it to the House.” This is not and irrelevant topics which had been the way in which addresses were for- touched upon in the course of the demerly voted. The speech used for- bate. Nothing could be farther inmerly to contain a general view of deed from his thoughts than to comthe state of the country, both foreign plain of the allusions made to that and domestic; and two or three days awful calamity, which the nation dehad been suffered to elapse before an plored. But topics of a very differanswer was returned. Now we are ent nature had been introduced; and called on to decide, without having attempts had been made to create a any opportunity of considering the feeling, as if the insurrection at Derspeech or address; and the apology by had been excited by the agents of always is, “O! it contains nothing; government. This was not the proper it pledges you to nothing; and there time to enter into a full refutation of fore you may agree to it.” He could the calumny. But such a time would have wished that a separate address come, and he would undertake then had been voted on the subject of the to disprove the assertion as strongly Princess Charlotte; and that the grief and as completely, as that which was of the House had been more decide not the truth could be disproved. In edly marked. He had been unjustly the mean time, he would assert, that represented as an enemy to the House there was not a scintilla of evidence of Brunswick. “I never was an ene- produced during the trials to implimy to that House; and therefore, I cate Oliver in the transactions of the wish to state my unfeigned feelings criminals ; nor was there any one cirof regret at the deplorable event which cumstance connected with the whole has filled the country with grief, proceedings, which in any way impliwhich has fallen with dreadfulviolence cated Oliver, excepting the last words
of one of the unfortunate men, and mockery of the public understanding. these were uttered under circumstan- It was obviously impossible that any ces which must strip them of all title country could go on in the state in to notice. When the time for discus- which England was at present, with sion came, he was fully prepared to a falling revenue and a starving peojustify the course adopted by his Ma- ple-with greater degree of misery jesty's government. No information among the population, than was to be would be withheld on this subject; found under any arbitrary governand he was confident it would appear, ment which the British ministers that if the powers intrusted had been might desire to imitate. great, they had been used in mercy In the Lords, Earl Stanhope made and in justice; and that they had been a speech of a somewhat ultra-royal the means of conducting the country character, going probably beyond the through very formidable dangers to views and wishes of ministers. He its present tranquillity. He did not drew an alarming picture of the prewish to lull the country into a feeling sent state of France, where he conthat there was now absolutely no dan- ceived Louis XVIII, and the Bourger, and that the peril was quite gone bons to be the objects of unlimited by. The happiness was, that it was so odium, so that only the presence of much diminished, that extraordinary the allied forces prevented the nation powers were no longer necessary to from rising against them. Yet he overcome it. On the whole, what- highly approved the measure of imever difference of opinion might pre- posing them upon France, as on a convail as to these points, he confidently quered nation, with whom we had a expected unanimity on the subject of right to do what we pleased. We the address.
ought to keep our troops in France After a few words from Mr Ben- for the utmost period allowed by net, declaring his confidence of pro- treaty, and longer if necessary, adving all that had been alleged against hering rather to the spirit than the ministers, Mr Brougham stated his letter of that agreement. He would anxiety not to disturb the unanimity have preferred to have divided France, which prevailed in the House on such as in Cæsar's time, into three parts, an occasion. This disposition was con- and placed separate dynasties over firmed by the declaration of Lord each. At all events, ministers must Castlereagh, that it was at length the now, for the very reasons which renintention of ministers to produce evi- dered Louisso unacceptableto France, dence as to the state of the nation be- support him on the throne as our onfore a committee of the House. Un- ly pledge of peace. That peace they til this inquiry took place, it would had nobly conquered, and of that be premature to give any judgment peace the best guarantee was Louis upon the question. Meantime, he XVIII. His government could not would only say, that his own opinion be destroyed without striking at the remained unaltered, that the evidence root of social order in every surroundand the want of evidence, alike shew- ing nation. A revolution there would ed those measures to be quite uncall- not only be attended with calamity to edfor.-Lord Cochrane denied all the France and the Bourbons, but to every statements of ministers as to the pre- part of Europe ; and it would be as sent state of the country. Their al- impossible to predict what the extent legation of prosperity, and their pro- of its effect might be, as it was in position of improvement was really a the year 1793. It was obvious that, in the event of a change, the man purpose had we triumphed ?-what who, by force or fraud, should at- was the object of all our toils, and all tempt to gain the supreme dominion the privations occasioned by the burof the French people, would endea- thens of war? The laurels we had vour to effect his purpose by propo- reaped would but wither on our brow, sing that which was dearest to the and all our battles have been fought heart of every Frenchman-foreign in vain. conquest and foreign dominion: and The Marquis of Lansdowne, apwe should then see their armies again pearing as the organ of opposition, devastating the face of Europe, and went over the ground agreed on by pursuing the same course of rapine them of joining warmly in the condoand aggression that had marked their lence in the afflicting event in the progress during the last twenty years. royal house ; at the same time declaHad their lordships sufficiently con- ring his scepticism as to the necessity sidered the character of that people? of the Suspension Act, and as to the -a people the most unprincipled on existence of any extensive or alarmthe face of the globe-a people who ing conspiracy. His Lordship adhad pursued the career of slaves and mitted, slowly and with hesitation, the robbers, and were now the most abject improved state of the country; but of the human race. If the calamities concluded with stating his intention of the last twenty years were to be not to make any opposition to the adrenewed from the same quarter and dress. to the same degree, for what purpose The address was carried in both had we fought and bled ?-for what Houses nem. con.