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demanded from the other mem- or Acts;" and further, “the said bers of the House. The case solemn Affirmation or declaration seemed to him, he said, to depend so made as aforesaid, shall be adentirely on the construction to be judged and taken, and is hereby given to the 22 George II. cap. enacted and declared to be of the 46. There had been a contrary same force and effect, to all intents decision of the House of Commons, and purposes, in all courts of in the case of Mr. Archdale a justice and other places, where by Quaker, in the reign of William law an oath is, or shall be allowed, III., and subsequently to the pass- authorized, directed, or required, ing of the 7th and 8th William as if such Quaker had taken an III. Mr. Archdale had expressed oath in the usual form." Now, his willingness to make his de- this enactment was so universally claration of fidelity, if it would be applicable to all cases in which accepted in place of the oath ; but oaths were administered, that he the House would not receive it, was certain the gentleman now and, as he declined to take the applying to take his seat, might, oath, declared that he was not if balloted on an election comentitled to sit. The words of the mittee, act as a member of such 7th and 8th William III. were so committee ; taking, instead of the strong, that he would have voted oath, his solemn Affirmation or against this resolution in Mr. declaration. It was true sir WilArchdale's case. But if any liam Blackstone had said, that, doubtscould have existed then, they “a statute which treats of things had been entirely removed by the or persons of an inferior rank 22nd George II. That statute cannot, by any general words be proceeded on the recital of doubts extended to those of a superior." having arisen whether the Affir. That doctrine was quite correct mation allowed to be made by where general words only were Quakers under the 8th George I. employed in the statute ; but, in could be allowed in any case the present instance, the words of where an Act of Parliament re- the statute were express and parquired an oath, unless such Act ticular, declaring the Affirmation expressly allowed the declaration of a Quaker to have the same or Affirmation, instead of an oath. force and effect as an oath in all On this recital, the statute enact- courts of justice and other places ed, “ That in all cases wherein, by where by law an oath could be reany Actor Acts of Parliament quired. There could be no doubt that now in force, or hereafter to be the two Houses of Parliament were made, an oath is or shall be superior to all other courts in their allowed, authorized, directed, or privileges and rights, and that these required, the solemn Affirmation could not be limited by implicaor declaration of any of the people tion. But it was notoriously the called Quakers, in the form pre- practice of the other House, when scribed, by the said Act made in acting pot in its judicial, but in the Sth year of his late Majesty's its legislative capacity, and dereign, shall be allowed and taken ciding on the expediency or ininstead of such oath, although no expediency of a proposed law, to particular or express provision be examine Quakers on their solemn made for that purpose in such Act Affirmation. They did it constantly in the case both of Divorce the exceptions contained in the Bills and of Inclosure Bills. On Act itself, viz, evidence in criminal the same principle he thought it trials, and oaths to be taken by was the bounden duty of the persons appointed to offices under House to admit Mr. "Pease to the government. In another case make his declaration at the table, in the reign of George III., Lord in lieu of taking the oath required Mansfield had said, that he could from other members.— The Solicit- not even start a doubt, the point or General agreed in these views. was so clear. But, at all events, Originally by the common law, the Act of George II. had removed every person duly elected, was every doubt. It was true, that entitled to his seat without taking superior courts, or persons of any oath, Oaths were first re- superior rank, were not to be conquired by the 5th of Elizabeth, cluded by Acts of Parliament cap. 1. But as that statute, and which merely mentioned courts or the other statutes imposing oaths, persons of an inferior order ; and it were infringements on the com- was likewise true, as a maxim of law, mon law, and were besides, penal that the King was not bound by an statutes, they must be literally Act of Parliament, unless he was and strictly construed; whereas expressly mentioned in it; but the remedial laws, relaxing such then the King was bound by an provisions, and so far restoring Act in which the legislature the common-law right, were to be plainly intended to include the liberally construed. It was clear King. Now it was evident, that that at the time of passing the the legislature, in passing the 7th and 8th William III., Qua. 22nd George II., intended to put kers could not sit in Parliament, Quakers on the same footing in having been excluded, along with England, with all other dissenters, all other dissenters, by the 30th except Catholics; and this being Charles II.; but under the Act of the case, the Act ought to be conWilliam they would have been ad- strued in accordance with the inmissible, if its provisions, as they tention of the legislature in passought to have been, had been con- ing it. strued liberally. In a case which No member expressed an opoccurrred shortly after the passing posite opinion ; and the motion to of the Act, Chief Justice Holt had allow Mr. Pease to make his held, that in all cases where an solemn Affirmation, in place of oath was required, the Affirmation taking the oath, was agreed to of a Quaker could be taken, under uvanimously.
Bill for the Suppression of Disturbances in Ireland introduced into the
House of Lords– Explanation of ils provisions, and, description of the state of Ireland, by Earl Grey- The Bill passes the Lords with. out opposition—In the Commons, the first reading of the Bill mel by an Amendment for a fortnight's delay-Debate of six days—Speeches of Lord Althorp-Ur. Grole--Mr. Stanley - Sir Robert Peel- Mr. O'Connell – Division on the first reading - Amendment that the Bill was unnecessary, moved against the second reading, and lost-Opposition to the Bill going into Commillee— Proceedings and discussions in the Commiltee, and alterations introduced into the Bill---Bill passed Discussions in the House of Peers on the allerations made in the BillBill for changing the place of trial for offences in Ireland — Application of the Coercion Act--Mr. Stanley resigns the office of Secretary for Ireland, and is made Secretary for the Colonies.
THE first important subjects had obtained leave to bring in a
for the consideration of par- bill to amend the grand jury laws liament were those measures for of Ireland. the more effective government of The bill for the suppression of Ireland which had already produced disturbances in Ireland, or, as it so much warm debate The Irish was commonly called, the Coermembers, and some English mem- cion Bill, was introduced into the bers, had pot concealed their desire House of Lords by earl Grey, and to get rid of the church establish- read a first time, on the 15th Fe. ment in Ireland, as being the bruary. His lordship stated that heaviest of all the grievances under ministers proposed such a bill, which that part of the empire without applying for a committee laboured. Ministers, too, while to inquire into the circumstances pressing Parliament to arm the which rendered it necessary, begovernment with extraordinary cause the evils to be redressed were powers, had declared their inten- so great and so notorious as to rention to remove evils, and more der inquiry superfluous. It was not especially to deal with the church. with a secret conspiracy, directing Before they proceeded even to in- its concealed attacks against the troduce the bill for putting down government, that they had to do disturbances in Ireland, lord Al - it was not by covert measures thorp had opened, in the House of that they were assailed-it was Commons, the measures which he not the secret seeds of mischief meant to propose in regard to the against which they had to provide. church; and before the former had The further powers which govern
down from the Lords to the ment demanded, were called for in Youse, the Irish secretary order to repress a system of as
sociation which proceeded openly whose duties was to enlist and under an organization, and was enrol the neighbouring population, avowedly directed to the accom- farmers and labourers, in associaplishment of objects that destroyed tions which should be under the the peace and safety of the com- direction of the central association. munity, and threatened the unity The declared objects of the society and integrity of the empire- to were, pacitication, the maintenance put down combinations formed in of the peace, the holding meetings defiance of the law – to defeat simultaneously with the quarter armed bodies that violated the sessions, superseding the necessity rights of property, inflicted death of police. That the Volunteers were for purposes of terror or vengeance, to be ultimately armed, though at and rendered the law bugatory by present unarmed, was acknowdeterring prosecutors and witnesses, ledged; but they were not to be and intimidating jurors. The as. armed till the law of the land sociation newly formed in Ireland, permitted it-till the association under the title of the Jrish Volun- became, by the influence of moral teers, avowedly had for its object and physical agency, a power supethe repeal of the union. Neither rior to the government itself, and past experience, nor the present could establish, as a proof of revoaspect of affairs, furnished any lutionary success, a national guard well-grounded expectation that a similar to that of a neighbouring mere redress of grievances would country. This was the association, restore peace to Ireland. No one and its action depended on the had been more sanguine than him- breath of a single man. A Mr. self in hoping that emancipation Steele, a person actively employed would have produced tranquillity, by these Volunteers, had professed and that Parliament would have himself “an instrument in the been allowed to pursue its course hands of the great liberator and of further amelioration undisturbed pacificator of his country. No man by popular violence. But he had can be a pacificator, unless he be a been grievously disappointed. To fierce popular agitator, and has the allow such a pause did not suit approbation of Daniel O'Connell. the views of the promoters of I told the men of Clare, that if agitation; the sweets of power bad such a crisis were to arrive, in been tasted by the popular leaders; consequence of any atrocious act of the slow work of redress dirl pot the government, like that of Camanswer their wishes or purposes; den and Castlereagh in 1798, and from that moment, agitation was if O'Connell should command us renewed, and the state of Ireland to have recourse to arms, blood, had become, and now was, worse, and convulsion, instead of our perhaps, than at any former period. usual constitutional warfare, in Nay, this new body of Irish Volun- that case, I would not order the teers threateneri consequences still Clare men to go into Cratloe-wood more alarming. Its organization to cut down trees for pike-handles, was to extend over the whole but I would first send them to cut country. There was a central as down the trees on my own domain, sociation in Dublin, and for every and would not myself be idle, por parish in Ireland were to be ap- a mere looker on, in the conflict.” poiuted three pacificators, one of Such an association could not be
suffered to exist, and to extend and be employed, forbidding laitself throughout so many ramifi- bourers to work for obnoxious cations, without an abandonment masters, and preventing a master of the security, the safety, and the from employing such as were not power, on the maintenance of which obedient to their orders. They government must depend for its enforced their commands by acts well-being. To put down this as- of cruelty and outrage—by spoliasociation, therefore, and associa- tion-murder-attacks on houses tions like it, was one of the first in the dead of night-by dragging objects of the intended bill. the inmates from their beds, and
The other provisions would be so maltreating them, that death directed to repress disturbances, often ensued, or by inflicting evils for, in many parts of Ireland, a scarcely less than death. These state of things existed little short persons assembled by signals, made of actual rebellion. Bodies of men concerte movements, watched the were collected and arrayed by sig- route of the military, and, by in. pals, evidently directed by a system formation received, so avoided them of organization in which many that they could not be put down were combined, and they were by the army. It would, therefore, conducted in a manner that had be one object of the act to prevent hitherto set at defiance all the ex- meetings of people by night. ertions of law and government. But a still more material object He would not say how far these was, to restore the authority of the disturbances and the association of law. The ordinary tribunals had Volunteers or its measures were been rendered almost powerless, connected as cause and effect; but for one of the chief causes which there certainly was a remarkable exposed persons to persecution and coincidence between them; and per- injury was, the having assisted in sons forming such an association, any manner in prosecutions for and taking advantage of its meet- such offences; witnesses and jurors ings to make violent and inflam. were equally terrified into silence. matory barangues, ought not to In one instance, the master of a be surprised if further discontented female servant was ordered to disfeelings and disturbances were miss her, because her mother had grafted on their proceedings. If given evidence against a person the police force was denounced as brought to trial for a capital crime; cruel, arbitrary, and unconstitu- and similar cases were of almost tional, was it wonderful, that at- daily occurrence. A letter had tacks on the police, and death, been forwarded to the lord-lieushould follow? But whatever was tenant, dated Cashel, Jan. 29, from the cause, the condition of a great a chief constable of police, giving part of the country was notorious. an account of a murder " which
The disturbers did not proceed had just been perpetrated in that merely against tithes. They pre- neighbourhood by five armed men, scribed the terms on which land who went to the house of Patrick should be let; and any who dis. Lalor, a man of nearly 70 years of obeyed their orders were subject age, and shot him through the to have their property destroyed, body. He had been ordered, to or to be put to death. They dic- give up some ground which he tated what persons should employ held, but disobeyed the mandate,',