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person they are in the the Commissioness nece
tion; and this, with the chance of the inquiry being in future renewed, if necessary, must operate powerfully to prevent the recurrence of the malversation or neglect. The things which yearly returns bring to light are far less necessary to be recorded than those which the Commissioners put upon record; because they are in their nature open to the knowledge of many persons-of all the objects of the endowment-and of most persons in the neighbourhood.
It may now, in the last place, be fit to remind the reader of what Mr Parry has wholly forgotten, the great expense and consequent patronage to which his plan would give rise. Some objection may be made to the establishment of the present stipendiary Commissioners and their clerks; and much clumsy ridicule has been thrown upon the large and liberal economy of the plan. But it is insignificant, compared with Mr Parry's project, which is to erect in each county an office, with a good salary and a building, implying the existence of both clerks and inferior agents under him. The business would not be very trifling. In one county, Cheshire, there are 1500 charities; many have far more, but let us take this instance :- Provision must be made for keeping most securely the whole deeds and papers accumulated in all time past, down to the most trifling scrap of a voucher, relating to those numerous estates and sums; and, beside arranging these, and making them constantly accessible, (which implies much room, many distinct compartments, and several clerks and servants), provision must be made for the yearly increase of the original documents by at least 1500 more papers of some length,-but, new leases and correspondence and estimates, and accounts included, we may rather say four or five thousand new papers will pour in yearly; for Mr Parry must not forget, that, beside the sort of annual return required from Trustees, the taking from them the custody of their muniments implies, that every new deed or instrument relating to the property, must be likewise from time to time surrendered to the same safe keeping. Only see, then what an expense, and, still more dangerous, what a patronage would thus be created in the county of Chester! Perhaps we do not overstate it, in supposing that somewhere about a dozen places, great and small, calculated to influence different kinds of persons, and all giving power most directly to the Crown, would be thus created in that district: And a proportionate addition would in like manner be made to influence in every other county. Were the benefits of Mr Parry's plan as great as they have been shown to be inconsiderable; were it as superior to the one adopted, as we have proved it to be less effectual, we
should hesitate about approving it in practice, when we find it entail so serious an evil as we have just now been contemplating; serious at all times of our history, but of truly fatal consequences in a period like the present.
Since we last treated of this subject, which has occupied our attention in the foregoing pages, no new Report of the Commissioners has reached us : We therefore cannot enter into any account of their late proccedings; which, however, there can be no doubt, have been of an important and interesting nature. Accounts from all quarters bear testimony to their diligence in discharging their duties; and the simultaneous operation of different Boards in the most distant provinces, with their unexpected appearance at various points, has had everywhere the salutary effect which was expected, of warning and stimulating the managers of charitable endowments. *
We formerly took occasion to demonstrate, from their first Report, how fully borne out the Education Committee had been in the evidence of abuses, collected by them in all the cases where the Commissioners had gone over the same ground. A remarkable confirmation of their accuracy has recently come before the public, in another and a high quarter; a confirmation which, of itself, might be expected to silence for ever the silly and the interested clamours so meanly, yet industriously, raised against their honest and enlightened labours—if, indeed, experience did not beget a melancholy conviction, that from controversy, especially where ignorance and selfishness go hand in hand, all candour is banished. Nevertheless, as a further illustration of the base calumnies with which the Inquiry was assailed, we shall now' advert to the late decision of the Court
. * Since writing the above, we have understood, from good private information in London, that a Second. Report, containing much valuable matter, has been printed some time, but it has not yet come to our hands. We are also informed, that there is a Third. Report, just made to the Crown, and ordered to be laid before Parliament, in which the Commissioners, after investigating many cases, avail themselves of the extended powers given by the last act ; and direct the Attorney-General to proceed in five or six cases. Among these, the reader who recollects the calumnies lately showered on the Education Committee, will be interested to learn, that the famous St Bees' case is one. Nor is the lease to the Lowther family the only matter there observed. We are told, that another lease, for 1000 years, at no rent at all, has been found by the Commissioners to have been formerly granted to a College in one of the Universities, in lieu of a small rent-charge out of the land ; and that the rents are worth near 5001, a year.
of Equity; the rather because, very unaccountably, whilst it appears to have been wholly with the Committee upon the merits, it partook of the spirit of those calumnies, in the manner. We allude to the case of the Attorney-General v. the Mayor and Corporation of Huntingdon, which came on before his Honour the Vice-Chancellor of England, upon the 17th of this month of January.'
The reader will bear in mind, that the Huntingdon case was singled out with an especial effort of circumspection, by the enemies of the Committee, as the ground on which to attack them for premature judgments, collecting ex parte evidence, encouraging malignant accusations, and calumniating innocent and meritorious trustees. The Chairman was peculiarly marked, as an object of this invective; his conduct plainly imputed to the most unfair motives of party hostility; and his character held up to public detestation, as one who affected dictatorship, and showed a spirit worthy of the Spanish Inquisition. Why this case was thus selected, may easily be conjectured. The argument was in the hands of some persons deplorably ignorant of every thing beyond the walls of a College, and most peculiarly ill informed respecting every thing that related to Law, or to the practice of Courts of Justice. When they saw, therefore, only one witness examined on this case by the Com- mittee, and observed that he had been the solicitor of the Relators against the Corporation, they rashly concluded that the question rested on his evidence; and seeing the paper, entitled, a Schedule in the Cause,' which he produced, they were ignorant enough not to know, that he was only called to authenticate this document, and that this contained the admissions, upon oath, of the Corporation against themselves. There was also another ground upon which the shallow calumniators prefer. red this case to the rest—they had a guess that a Corporation must have friends and supporters. Its side of the question was that of power—and the presumption is generally strong in favour of such important and wealthy bodies; more especially, when leagued with a ministerial nobleman's family for political purposes. Altogether, they considered themselves lucky in their selection ; and away they went to work, vituperating the Committee with a venom only surpassed by their profound ignorance of the whole matter in dispute. The complete exposure of these pretenders, both by the learned and able author of the • Vindication,' and in the former pages of this Journal, tended perhaps a little to damp their zeal; but the decision of a Court was wanting to convince even those whom reason and facts assail in vain, because they are resolved to rely upon authority alone.
This check, this galling chastisement, their insolent conceit has now received from the Vice-Chancellor. We insert the following authentic note of his judgment upon the cause.
- The Vice-Chancellor said it was impossible for him to ora • der the Corporation, as a body, to account to the Charity for 6 the loss it had sustained by their granting leases at reduced 6 rents to their own burgesses, because that would be appro• priating to a particular purpose the funds of the Corporation, • which were certainly destined for other public purposes. He
regretted extremely, that when the information was drawn up,'
the persons who had profited by these leases had not been « made parties to the suit; because in that case the Court could « have reached them in their individual characters as tenants, (and could have made them refund to the Charity the profits o which they had improperly derived from its estates. The ( manner in which the trust had been executed, with regard to " these leases, was a most SHAMEFUL and SCANDALOUS sacrifice
of the interests of the Charity. His Honour made the following decree.—That Sir John Arundel be removed from the
office of Master of St John's Hospital; and that the offices of ( Master of the Hospital, and Member of the Corporation, be • held incompatible: that it be referred to the Master to in• quire with whom the appointment of Master resides, and what « are the proper qualifications for that office; also with whom • the appointment of schoolmaster resides, and what are the necessary qualifications : that the Master approve of a scheme
for the future management of the revenue of the hospital: that s an account of the rents and profits be taken from the filing of o this information: and that the Corporation be made to ac
count for these rents and profits since that time;-the costs of • the information to be paid by the Corporation. This order
to be without prejudice to the relators, if they shall think pro
per to file a bill against the persons who derived benefit from • the property of the Charity. *
* The reader who is but moderately acquainted with such subjects, is at once aware of what the reasoners above alluded to do not perhaps know—that the effect of this decree is to the Charity, nearly what the disfranchisement of a borough for bribery and corruption is to the convicted delinquents. A more severe sentence never yet was pronounced in a similar case,-or accompanied with stronger language on the Judge's part. We may add, that, as if to leave no part of the Committee's Report unsupported, the decree against the Corporation was immediately followed by an opposition in the borough,--a thing till then unknown.
VOL. XXXIII, NO. 65.
The reader will probably agree with us in thinking, that this decree is in fact a judgment, not only upon the affairs of the Hospital and the conduct of the Corporation, but that it is in. effect a sentence upon the calumnies and ignorance of those pert, flippant personages, formerly described by us, who presumed to thrust themselves into this controversy, with a stock of their own facts, larded with other men's jokes and with Law which no man can be found to acknowledge. It seems as if His Honour were at one and the same time severing the trustee from his mismanaged trust, and the Commentator from his abused office of political critie; sending him back to the place from whence, through vanity, he came; there henceforth to hang over dusty lexicons until he be dead; and to have mercy on the moderate reputation of a third-rate word-monger, which he might previously have earned through the forbearance of friends in his monkish retreat.
Here we should close our remarks,—but for the strange and altogether unaccountable sally which is said to have escaped the Learned Judge whose decision we have just cited. In the course of the argument, he took occasion it seems to interrupt the Counsel, in order to express a disapprobation of the Parliamentary Inquiry, and to say, that it had misled the public mind, producing a great deal of improper zeal and popular clamour.' Now, to all who heard this notable reflexion, it must have been matter of extreme surprise to find, that what is here termed 6 misleading,' really turned out to be telling the truth, or rather considerably under-stating it; and that, by popular clamour,' His Honour was pleased to intend the wish to have gross abuses corrected precisely by such decrees as he was then on the point of making. All who heard the remarks must have expected a decree dismissing the suit with costs, accompanied by observations very flattering to the Defendants, and reprobating the extraneous statements of the Relators. But; strange to tell, the Vice-Chancellor goes far beyond the Education Committee in his reprobation of the whole conduct of those Defendants; condemns them in costs as a corporation, and to refund what, as a corporation, they had received ;-while he regrets that the form of the Bill precluded him from convicting them as individuals; and suggests that separate suits be forthwith instituted against them in their private capacity.
The great inconsistency of this conduct, is as remarkable as the impropriety of any Judge censuring the proceedings of either House of Parliament. Men are daily committed for breaches of privilege, whose libels never can affect the authority of the Legislature one hundredth part so much as the sneers of