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" trust, as are most eminent for their probity, , Crown.- -He next comes to the qualifitheir fortitude, and their knowledge; for it cations demanded of the electors; and,

was a known apothegm of the great lord from his account of this part of the consti“ treasurer Burleigh, 6 6s that England tution, it will be easily seen, what is now * « could never be ruined but by a parlia- wanted in order to restore the spirit of that «« « ment :

and, as sir Matthew Hale ob- constitution." The true reason of re“serves, this being the highest and greatest quiring any qualification, with regard to court, over which none other can have ju- property, in voters, is to exclude such per“ risdiction in the kingdom, is by any means sons as are in so mean a situation that they a mis-government should any way fall upon ure esteemed to have no will of their own, it, the sulijects of this kingdom are left with- If these persons had votes, they would be out all munner of remedy. To the same tempted to dispose of them under some undre "purpose the PresidENT MONTESQUIEU, influence or other. This would give a great, “ Though I trust too hastily, presages ; on artful, or a wealthy man, a larger share “ that as Rome, Sparta, and Carthage have in elections than is consistent with general “ lost their liberty and perished, so the liberty. If it were probable that every “ constitution of England will in time lose man would give his vote freely, and “its liberty, will perish: it will perish, “ without influence of any kind, then, “ whenever the lcgislative power shall be- upon the true theory and genuine prin* come more corrupt than the executive."ciples of liberty, every member of the

community, however poor, should have "With regard to taxes : it is the antient, “ a vote in electing those delegates, to “indisputable privilege and right of the “whose charge is committed the disposal " house of commons, that all grants of sub-" of his property, his liberty, and his life. “ sidies or parliamentary aids do begin in “ But, since that can hardly be expected * their house, and are first bestowed by " in persons of indigent fortunes, or such " them; although their grants are not ef- “as are under the immediate dominion of « fectual to all intents and purposes, until others, all popular states have been oblig" they have the assent of the other two ved to establish certain qualifications; “ branches of the legislature. The gene- whereby some, who are suspected to “ral reason, given for this exclusive pri- “ have no will of their own, are excluded

vilege of the house of commons, is, that “ from voting, in order to set other indivi" the supplies are raised upon the body of " duals, whose wills may be supposed inde“ the people, and, therefore, it is proper “pendent, 'more thoroughly upon a level “ that they alone should have a right of taxing

« with each other.” 6 themselves. This reason would be unan“ swerable, if the commons taxed none but “ The kuights of the shires are to be & themselves : but it is notorious, that a “ chosen of people dwelling in the same or very large share of property is in the “counties; whereof every man shall have “possession of the house of lords; that “ a freehold to the value of forty shillings * this property is equally taxable, and “ by the year within the county ; which, “ taxed, as the property of the commons ; by subsequent statutes, is to be clear of as and, therefore, the commons not being “all charges and deductions, except par“ the sole persons taxed, this cannot be liamentary and parochial taxes. The " the reason of their having the sole right knights of shires are the representatives " of raising and modelling the supply of the landholders, or landed interest, of “ The true reason, arising from the spirit" the kingdom, their electors must there

of our constitution, seems to be this: The « fore have estates in lands or tenements, “ lords being a permanent and hereditary " within the county represented : these « body, created at pleasure by the king, “ estates must be freehold, that is, for term

are supposed more liable to be influ- “ of life at least; because beneficial leases

enced by the crown, and when once in- for long terms of years were not in use « fluenced to continue so, than the com- “at the making of these statutes, and co« mons, who are a temporary elective pyholders were then little better than ril

body, freely nominated by the people. It lains, absolutely dependent upon their “ would therefore be extremely dangerous, “ lord: this freehold must be of forty “ to give them any power of framing new shillings annual value; because that sum “ taxes for the subject.”— That is to " would, then, with proper industry, fursay, it would be extremely dangerous to give “ nish all the necessaries of life, and render a power of taxing the people to any per- "the freeholder, if he pleased, an indepensons, liable to be under the influence of the

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". As for the electors of citizens and bur- “ magistrate, which according to his no

gesses, these are supposed to be the mer- ~ tions, amount to a dissolution of the go“ cantile part or trading interest of this vernment, “ if he employs the force,

kingdom. But as trade is of a fluctuat- “ treasure and officers of the society to “ing nature, and seldom long fixed in a corrupt the representatives, or openly to " place, it was formerly left to the crown pre-engage the electors, and prescribe " to summon pro se nata the most flourish- ““ what manner of persons shall be chosen.

ing towns to send representatives to par- For thus to regulate candidates and si liament. So that, as towns encreased in " " electors, and new model the ways of trade, and grew populous, they were ad- « election, what is it,” says he, " but to “ mitted to a share in the legislature. " " cut up the government by the roots, and. “ But the misfortune is, that the deserted " poison the very fountain of public sc“ boroughs continued to be summoned, curity.' or as well as those to whom their trade Such, Gentlemen, is BLACKSTONE's de“ and inhabitants were transferred.” scription of the Constitution of England,

He next comes to the qualifi. as far as relates to the composition of the cations and disqualifications of representa. House of Commons, and to the share tives.-" That in strictness, all members which the People ought to have in the

ought to be inhabitants of the places composing of that House. Let us, then, “ for which they are chosen: but this is en- see how the fact squares with this descrip

tirely disregarded. That no persons con- tion; let us ask ourselves, whether that “ cerned in the management of any duties which Blackstone says ought to be the “ or taxes created since 1692, except the state of things, in this respect, really is the « commissioners of the treasury, nor any of state of things at this present time; or, in “ the officers following, (namely, commis- other words, whether we now have that con“ sioners of prizes, transports, sick and stitution, which the friends of corruption “ wounded, wine licences, navy and victu- accuse us of a desire to destroy.- Hare

alling; secretaries or receivers of prizes; all men of property (except the peers) a

comptrollers of the army accounts; | voice in parliament, either personally or " agents for regiments; governors of plan- by their representatives? --- Is there a « tations and their deputies ; officers of branch of the legislative power, which “ Minorca or Gibraltar; officers of the resides wholly in the peple ? —Are the s excise and customs; clerks or deputies county members elected by the proprie« in the several offices of the treasury, ex

tors of the land ?--Are the borough “ chequer, naval, victualling, admiralty, members elected by the mercantile or “ pay

of the army or navy, secretaries of trading interests of the nation ? Are the “ state, salt, stamps, appeals, wine licences, members of the House of Commons per“hackney coaches, hawkers, and pedlars) sons most eminent for their probity, their " nor any persons that hold any new office fortitude, or their knowledge ? Has “ under the crown created since 1705, are there neer, by any means, a misgovern

capable of being elected members. That ment fallen upon that House? Do the “ no person having a pension under the people really, by their representatives, tax “ crown during pleasure, or for any terin themselves ? Is the qualification for " of years, is capable of being elected. voters such as to exclude persons in so “ That if any member accepts an office mean a situation, that they are esteemed to. “ under the crown, except an officer in the have no will of their own, and are liable

army or navy accepting a new to be tempted to dispose of their votes under s mission, his seat is void; but such mem- some undue influence or other? - Is the “ber is capable of being re-elected;" income of forty shillings a year now sufwhich latter, it must be observed, is in ficient to render the freeholder an indeconsequence of an act, made to repeal a pendent man?--Are placemen and penpart of the act, which placed the king's sioners excluded from seats in the House of family upon the throne of England. Commons; or, do the people really acI conclude with what he says about the quire the right of choosing them anew value of really free elections. .“ It is after they have accepted of places?. essential to the very being of parliament, Are elections absolutely free, which Black" that eleccions should be absolutely free ; stone ayers to be essential to the very “ therefore, all undue influences upon the being of parliament? And finally, is “ electors are illegal, and strongly prohi- the force or treasure, or are the offices, of “ bited. For Mr. Locke ranks it among the society, nerer employed to corrupt the ss those breaches of trust in the executive / representatives, or openly to pre-engage



the electors, and prescribe what manner “ the nomination to a Writership, in order of persons shall be chosen ?

to facilitate his procuring a Seat in ParliaIV. Leaving it to you, Gentlemen, to ment.--2. That it was owing to a disaanswer these questions, I shall now pro- greement among the subordinate parties, ceed to state certain undeniable facts, ap « that this transaction did not take effect; pertaining to this subject; and then I and---3. That by this conduct Lord shall leave you to draw your own conciu- « Ca threagh had been guilty of a gross sion, and to decide the question, wheilier “ violation of his duty as a Servant of the a Befornu of the House of Commons, bu, • Crown; an abuse of his patronage as or belot necessary.-----The first of these « President of the Board of Controul: and fauts

IS, That, in the year 1793, a Petit on “ an attack upon the purity of that House, was picseit to the flouse of Commons, which Resolutions were rejected by the by CHARLES Grey, Esq. (now Earl Grey), Piouse:- Seventh : That, upon the in which Petition it was, amongst other same day, and upon the same occasion, things, s'a'ed, the one hundred iind fifty the blouse passed a Resolution in substaoce four individuals, did, by their patrona? as follows :-" That while it was the (or uniariful influence) send three hundred « bounden duty of that House to maintain at and seren Members to the House of Com- all times a jealous guard upon its purity, mons, forming, of course, a decided ma- and not to suffer any attempt upon its jority of the 558 Members of which the privileges to pass unnoticed, ihe atHouse then consisted, and that the peti- tempt in the present instance (that tioners were realy to prove this at the “ of Lord Castiereagh and Mr. Reding), bar of the House.- SECOND : That, in not having been carried into effect, that the said Petition, the petitioners declared,

“ House did not think it then necessary that they had the most reasonable grounds to proceed to any criminatory Resolu. to suspect, that no less than one lundred “ tions respecting the same.”. -Eighth: and fifty of the Members of the Commons' | That, on the 11th of the present month of House, owed their elections entirely to May, Mr. Madocks made, in the House the interference of Piers. Tund: That of Commons, a charge in substance as folthe Statute Law di clares, that Peers shali lows: “I affirm, then, that Mr. Dick purnot interfere in the election of any Member « chased a Seat in the House of Commons of the Conimons' House. - -FOURTH : “ for the borough of Cashel, through the That, for many years past, Seats in the agency


HENRY House of Commons have been publicly WELLESLEY, who acted for, and on behalf advertised for sale.---Fifth: That, on of, the Treasury: that, upon a recent the 10.1 of December, 1779, the House question of the last importance, when of Commons passed a Risolution in these “ Nr. Dick had determined to vote acwords:

~ That it is highly criminal for cording to his conscience, the noble any Minis:er or Ministers, or any other Lord, CASTLEREAGH, did intimate to that « Serrant of the Crown in Great Britain, gentleman the necessity of either his directly or indirectly, to 'make use of the voting with the government, or resigning his

power of his office, in order to influence seat in that House ; and that Mr. Dick, ihe election of Members of Parliament, and • sooner than vote againsi principle, did that an attempt to exercise that influence « make choice of the latter alternative,

was an aitack upon the dignity, the No. “ani vacate his seat accordingly: To nour and the independence of Parliament, “ this transaction I charge the Right Ilo“ an infringement of the rights and tie « nourable Gentleman, Mr. PERCEVAL, as « liberties of the people, and an attempt to being privy and having connired at it. This

sap the "asis of our free and happy Con- I will engage to prove by witnesses at 6 stituto dun." -SIXTH : That, on the 25th “ynur Bar, if the House will give me of Ajrii iast, the ic! swing Resolutions « leave to call them."- -Ninth : That, were, by LORD ARCHIBALD HAMILTON, at the end of a long Debate upon this moved in the House of Commons: “ 1.subject, the question wis taken upon a moThat it appears in the House, from the tion FOR AN INQUIRY into the matter; "evidence on the table, that Lord Visc. that there appears from the Report of the “ Castle cagh, in the year 1805, shortly Proceedings, published in the papers, to “ afier be bud quitied the situation of Pre- have been 395 Members present; that, “sident of the Board of Controul, an 1 out of the 395, only 85 voted for the mobeing a Privy Counsellor and Secretary tion, which, of course, was lost, there “ of State, did place at the disposal of Lord being 310, out of the 395, who VOTED " Clancarty, a Member of the same Board, AGAINST THE MOTION FOR IN.

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QUIRY.--Tenth: That, in the year, tion; but, those of you,

who 1802, this same Mr. PERCEVAL, being with me, that the present state of the rethen Attorney General, prosecute l Philip presentation is not consonant with those adHamlin, a Tinman of Plymouth, for mirable principles, will, I trust, be disposhaving committed the crime of offered to follow me in my next Let er, into ing Mr. Addington £.2,000, to give him an inquiry respecting what sort of Reform a place in the Custom House ; that, upon it would be just and prudent to adopt. this occasion, Mr. Perceval demanded judgment upon the said Ilamlin, for the

Your friend, sake of public justice; and that the Judge,

WM. COBBLTT. after expatiating upon the “ incalculable Botley, 24 May, 1809. “ mischie,” to which such crimes must naturally lead, sentenced the said Hamlin ELEMENTS OF REFORM.”. to pay a fine of a hundred pounds to the There has been pubiished, in London, king, and to be imprisoned for three ca- a pamphlet under this title, and under the lendar months.- -ELEVENTH: That in name of " MR. WILLIAM CORBETT,” as the year 1805, Evidence was taken before the author. It consists of passages from a Committee of the House of Commons, my writings, aguinst Reform and against and was laid before that House, proving Reforners; and, the object of it is, to that the late minister, Pitt, had lent, counteract, by the publication of these without the consent or knowledge of Par- passages, the effect of what I am now liament, and without the consent or know. writing in fivour of Reform.- -That the ledge of any council of the king, £40,000 compilers of such a work should include of thc public money (without any interest those passages from the diflerent parts of paid to the public) to tivo rnembers of the then my works, wherein I have candidly conHouse of Commons; and that, when this fessed the error, under which I wrote what matter was brought before the House, in they have selected for publication; that 1805, no censure whatever was passed on such persons should do this is not to be the said minister, but he was, by a bill of expected; nor is it to be expected from indeinnity, secured from any punishment them to make even fair extracts as far as for having in such way employed the they go. They have, as might be reasonmoney of the public.---Twelfth : That, ably expected, garbled every thing that it appears from a Report, laid before the they have touched. But, while I am House of Cominons, in the month of June very certain, that their publication will last, in consequence of a motion made by wholly fail of its object; while I am cerLord Cochrane, that there then were, in tain, ihat no one will think me bound to that House, seventy-eight Placemen and praise John Bowles nunc, because I praised Pensioners, who, though part of what they him in 1800, when I must almost necesreceive is not stated, are, in the said Re- sarily be, and when I really was, totally port, stated to receive 178,994 pounds a ignorant of what I have since learnt reyear out of the public money.

specting the subject of his writings, as Now, Gentlemen, to these facts, and to well as respecting his too evident momany, many others (others too numerous tives; while I am certain, that no one, to state, even in the most brief manner), who has a grain of sense, will think me which might be added to them, I shall bound now to censure Sir Francis Burdett, not subjoin a single word by


of because I did severely censure him at a ment. I wish to avoid every thing like time when I acted under a total misreprehigh colouring; every thing like declama-sentation of bis principles and his charaction ; every thing calculated to rouse any ter; while I am certain, that no man of angry passion in your breasts : I wish to common sense, or common honesty, will avoid even persuasion; I wish lay the think me bound to deprecate a Reform of state of the case fairly and clearly before Parliament now, because I did deprecate it you, and to leave the decision to the in- at a time when I had never known that telligence and the rectitude of your own seats were advertised for sale, and when I minds. Those of you, who, notwithstand had never seen, or dreamt of the possibi. ing what has been here stated, may be of lity of, any thing like what has now come opinion, that the present state of the re- to light and has been proved respecting presentation in parliament is consonant the House of Commons; while I am cerwith the principles of the Constitution of tain that the nation, who, with far better England, will of course, sce no justifiable opportunities of knowing tbe truth, were cause for any reform in that representa- | full as much deceived as I was, and whose


change of opinion has kept pace with the change of opinion in others. All mine, will not think me now bound to ap- we want is, as Major Cartwright has said, plaud a system of politics, war, and fi- discussion ; discussion is what these gennance, of which it was terrified into an tlemen are assisting with all their might; approbation ten years ago, and all the and, if they have but a moderate share of mischiefs of which we have since seen exo discernment, I should think that the great posed; while I am certain, that none but sale, which their pamphlet is said to have, very weak persons indeed will think any must leave upon their minds the mortifyman bound to praise any thing after ing conviction of the popularity of the has discovered it to be unworthy of the Elements of Reform, by MIr. Wm. Cobvett;" praise that he once bestowed on it'; while for, from this title, it is not a work against, I am certain of all this, I cannot refrain but in favour of Reform, that the public from observing how favourable a symptom this think they are buying. They think it is a new publication is to the cause of Reform; how work; a work containing what I have writstrong an indication it is of the fear, which ten at the present time ; and by adopting such the friends of corruption entertain, of the a title and taking my name, the publisheffects of that discussion, upon which they ers themselves confess, that that matter perceive me to have seriously entered. and that name stand high in the public In America, my opponents, who were estimation. The publishers are very cauvery numerous, and who had far greater tious, in their advertisements, to let fall talents than the persons, with whom I nothing hostile to me; because they know, have now to contend, were driven to a that by so doing they would injure their somewhat similar expedient. The public, sale ; and, it is truly curivas to see the after having been surfeited with their Courier and even the MORNING Post pamphlets against me, would read no trumpeting forth the praises of a Work more'; when, what did these opponents on Reforin," by Mr. Wm. Cobbett,the do? Why, what has now been done here: effect of which must be this : that all they published pamphlets under my name, those, who do not read the pamphlet, will and then, for a time at least, they found | look upon those papers as having become them sell. There were several booksellers converts to my doctrine; while on the at a time living upon my name; actually other hand, the pamphlet will have no buying bread and cheese with it. I used effect at all upon those who do read it, to urge the injustice of their not giving because they have already read my conme a share ; and, really, I think, that the fession of the errors, which it contains. gentlemen here are liable to the same -The doctrine of consistency, as now in charge ; for, not one of them has offered vogue, is the most absurd that ever was me the smallest acknowledgment. If the broached. It teaches, that, if you once public will not read books unless they think well of any person or thing, you have my name to them, I think it is but must always think well of that person or just, that I should have some small part in thing, whatever changes may take place the gains. I shall be content with less either in them, or in the state of your inthan a Dutch-Commissioner's profit; but formation respecting them. For instance, something I certainly ought to have.- if you praise a man to-day, and, to-morThat those, with whom this pamphlet row, receive proof of his having long been originates, wish, by the publication, to in- a thief, you must still continue to praise jure the cause of Reform there can be little him. Where is the man, who has not doubt; and, I think, that there can be as changed his opinions of men as well as little, that they are, in this effort, counter- of things ? Those who write every day, acting their own wish. For, in the first or every week, must express what they place, their flying to my former opinions | think at the time; but, it new sources of as affording a contrast to those which I information open to them, they must exnow entertain, upon this subject, is press what they then think, and not with pretty good proof that they have neither any regard to what they have given as fact nor argument, whereon to meet their opinion before.—But, 'how would me upon the merits of the case. In this doctrine suit my opponents, if I were the next place, the errors, which they to attempt to hold them to.

If I am to expose, and which have, long ago, been say, to some of the friends of corruption, distinctly confessed by me, only serve you used to praise me, and why do you to show, in the strongest possible not praise me now?" They would, light, how completely I was deceived, doubtless, answer :

« Oh! but, you and, thereby, to form an apology for I then wrote to please us; and now you


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