« PreviousContinue »
us who are poor, and to keep us in order. The great you see are too wise to mind it, for our Parliament are going to thank the Duke of York for his late conduct, though he lives with a bad woman, instead of his wife.' It is to couateract opinions such as these, gentlemen, that I call upon you, upon the County of York, nay, upon the empire at large, to send deputies from every part of it, to thank the only man, who for a long series of years has individually and boldly stepped forward, and dared to be honest to his country in the very worst of times. Let but our House of Representatives copy his example, trace corruption to its source, and banish the poi. sonous reptile from its walls ;. we then will dare the tyrant of France to land upon our shores, for Englishmen united, virtuous, and free, may, and will, dare the whole world in arms."
Mr. Lacy concluded a very eloquent and impressive speech in the following words :
“I must, gentlemen, acknowledge the pride I feel in having lately had the happy lot of becoming a resident in this county, and in having a right to claim your permission, as one of your magistrates, to have the bonour of adding my name to yours, in a vote of thanks to a Milton and a Wilberforce. To men, who are not only public ornaments, but domestic examples; who not only religiously observe the Christian law, but zealously defend
their country's law; who dare to check the torrent of corruption, though flowing from a Royal source, and scorn to take away the freedom of an Englishman, that first, that choicest gift of Heaven.'
It was resolved unanimously, That, ardently as we wish to promote the welfare and prosperity of our country, and warmly attached as we are to its true Constitutional Government, we cannot but deeply lament, tbat such shameful instances of corruption, such undue influence, and such unwarrantable practices, should ever have existed, as have been developed by the late proceedings of the House of Commons.
That Gwyllim Lloyd Wardle, Esq. by instituting the inquiry, which has brought this scene of corruption before the judgment of the public, has deserved eminently well of his country, and that the thanks of this meeting, with feelings of respectful gratitude, be presented to him for the manly, firm, and independent manner in which, amidst great discouragements, undaunted by threats of infamy and heavy responsibility, equally unconnected with, and unsupported by party, he has conducted this important and patriotic inquiry
That the particular thanks of this meeting be given to William Wilberforce, Esq. and the Right Honourable Lord Viscount Milton, the two representatives of this extensive and populous county.
That we thus openly express our sentiments, conceiving it to be the duty of a free people, when strongly urged by transactions which materially affect the essential interests of the whole community, to declare their opinions, unbiassed by partyconsideration, in order that independent men may be thereby encouraged steadily to pursue those just, rational, and constitutional measures which eventually root out every species of corruption, and prevent the repetition of similar evil practices, and which will also prove an effectual security against a profuse and unnecessary expenditure of public money
The meeting of the Friends of Constitutional Reform, and Enemies of Political Corruption, tvas held at the Globe Tavern, Liverpool, April 21, 1809; George Williams, Esq. in the chair.
It was resolved, that the grateful thanks of this meeting are due to Gwyllim Lloyd Wardle, Esq. for the undaunted, firm, and patriotic manner in which he brought forward and prosecuted the late inquiry into the conduct of His Royal Highness the Duke of York; a measure which has not only occasioned the removal of His Royal Highness from office, but, by having opened the eyes of the country to the conduct of their representatives, is likely to be productive of the happiest and most important consequences to the nation at large.
That the practice of persons holding offices, or enjoying pensions under the Crown, and having at the same time a seat in the Commons' House of Parliament, as representatives of the people, ale though it has been guarded against by our ances. tors with peculiar jealousy, has now arisen to an alarming excess; and that it has become highly expedient to resort to those methods for remedy. ing the evil which have formerly been adopted by the legislature of this country, and to use our endeavours to obtain the entire exclusion of placemen and pensioners from the House of Commons.
That the sending of members to Parliament, by places where the population is so far diminished as to render them liable to corrupt practices and undue influence, whilst other towns and places, of great importance and considerable popula. tion, do not enjoy such right, is inconsistent with the spirit of the Constitution, and is a defect introduced by inattention and lapse of time, which ought to be speedily and effectually remedied.
That a letter be written to Mr. Wardle, testifying the deep sense which this meeting entertains of his great and meritorious services, and that the same be signed by the persons now present, and
be left for the signature of such other inhabitants of the town and neighbourhood of Liverpool as may think proper to subscribe the same.
That the thanks of this meeting are also due to Sir Francis Burdett, Bart. Lord Folkstone, Samuel Whitbread, Esq. ; to Lord Stanley, Sir Samuel Romilly, General Ferguson, T. W. Coke, Esq. J. C. Curwen, Esq. and the other members of the House of Commons; and to William Roscoe, Esq. for proposing the address to G. L. Wardle, Esq. and the above resolutions, which have been unanimously adopted by this meeting,
That this meeting views with great regret and just indignation the refusal of the Mayor to call a meeting of the inhabitants to take into consideration those public proceedings in which the best interests and must valued rights of their country were deeply involved, and that it is the opinion of this meeting that the inhabitants be convened to exercise those privileges which are secured to them by the laws of their country, without any further application to the Mayor.
George WILLIAMS, Chairman.
On the 3d of May, the Meeting, convened for the purpose of thanking Col. Wardle, at Man