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and as the County of Norfolk is one of the largest and moft Anne 9. Geo. IL populous Countie: in England, the Expence of controverting
1735-36. the Election for that County must be much greater than most others ; but if you appoint the Petition from that County to be heard in so few Days, after the Day on which you have appointed the Yorkshire Petition to be heard, you would greatly enhance even that greater Expence ; because both the fitting Member and the Petitioners for Norfolk, muft have their Lawyers, Agents, Witnesses, and all the other Implements of a controverted Election, attending in Town, and living at their Expence, during the whole Time of the Controversy about the Yorkshire Petition. This, I fay, Sir, must be the Case, at least of the fitting Member, (Sir Edmund Bacon) because I ain pretty well convinc'd he is not in any Concert, nor knows any of the Secrets of the Petitioners for Yorkshire ; and the laying him under such an extraordinary Expence, or indeed under any Expence, is the more unnecessary, because the only Gentleman, whose Right seems to be controverted, is now dead, [Mr Wodebouje] by which Means the Petitioners and their Friends might, if they pleased, have an opportunity of trying their Interest in the County by a new Election, without putting themselves to the Trouble or Charge of controverting the former ; but it seems the Petitioners know that the Expence of controverting the former Election, great as it must be, will be less to them than the Expence of a new Election ; which, by the by, Sir, seems to me to be a Demonstration that their natural Interest in the County is not much to be depended on.
• Bat to this, Sir, I must add, that I have been informed, and really believe, that the Petitioners could not make near so good a Show upon a new Election, as they did upon the former ; for every one knows that on such Occasions many Promises are made by those, who do not depend upon their natural Interest, but upon the unnatural and acquired Intereft they may have by Means of the many Posts and Preferments they have at their Disposal: And I have heard, that many Promises were made upon the laft Election for the County of Norfolk, which have not been performed; from whence it is to be presumed, that the Persons to whom those Promises were made, and who were thereby induced to vote contrary to their Inclinations, will upon a new Election vote according to Conscience. This, Sir, I am afraid, is the true Reason for renewing the Petition from that County, notwithstanding its being certain that the Hearing of these Pe. titions will cost them more than a new Election can naturally colt them; notwithstanding its being certain, that a new Election would bring their Candidates sooner to their having
Anno 9. Geo. 11. Seats in this House, than they can be by the Hearing of the 1735-36.
Petitions and I must say, that the Motion now made to us
Merits of the last Election at the Bar of this House.
To this it was answered by Mr Winnington, Sir WilSir W. Yonge. liam Yonge and other Members, That it was impossible
to foretel how long the hearing of the Yorkshire Petition would laft; but they could not imagine it would last near so long as the honourable Gentleman seemed to intimate ; for as the controverted Votes on both sides would be very much reduced, and fully ascertained, by the Lifts that were to be mutually delivered, they could not think that Dirpute would take up many Days, much less several Wecks : That they would readily join in any Measures for preventing the Injustice of Returning Officers, as well as for making the controverting of County Elections short and easy; but the controverted Elections then depending could not be regulated by any such Measures : And as many of the Freeholders of Norfolk had complained of Injustice done them at the last Election, it was a Duty incumbent upon them, as Members of that House, to hear their Complaints, and give the Complainants fuch Redress as they should find them intitled to : That this they were obliged to do with all possible dispatch ; and if the hearing of the Yorkshire Petition Îhould last two or three Days, which might probably be the Cafe, it would be doing Injuftice to the People of Norfolk to put off the hearing of their Complaints for two or three Weeks : That they knew no more of the Secrets of the Petitioners for Yorkshire, than any other Gentleman of that House, so that their moving for having the Norfolk Petition heard, so foon after the Day appointed for hearing the Yorkshire Petition, could proceed from nothing but their great Defire to do Juftice to the Norfolk Petitioners, and the fitting Member, with all possible Dispatch : That if the Petitioners, their Lawyers, Agents, and Witnefles should be obliged to attend in a few Days before their Affair could be brought on, it was an Inconvenience which could not be avoided; it was an Inconvenience which People had always been, and must always be subject to, in all Courts, and in all sorts of Causes ; for unless People were fubjected to such an Inconvenience, every Court of Judicature in the Kingdom would often be put to a full Stop, which would make it impossible to adminiiter Justice to all those who might be obliged to sue to such Courts for Justice ; but whatever Inconvenience there was in this Respect, it lay heavier in the present Cafe upon the Petitioners than it could
do upon the fitting Member ; because the Petitioners would Annog Geo. It.
1735-36. be obliged to attend in Town, from the Day appointed for hearing their Petition, which they were not otherwise obliged to do ; whereas the fitting Member was otherwise obliged to be in Town, in order to attend the Service of the House: That they knew of no Promises made upon the former Election, nor any Disappointments People had since met with ; but believed that such Reports were without Foundation: That a new Election might perhaps be less expensive than to try the Merits of the last Election ; and likewise Gentlemen might perhaps come sooner to their Seats in that House by a new Election, than by having their Right upon the former Election determined ; but if any Gentleman had a Right to a Seat in that House upon the former Election, it was not reasonable to 'expect that he should give up that Right, which he must do by submitting to a new Election : That besides, if Injustice be done to him as well as the County upon the former Election, it was a Duty he gwed both to himself and his County, to prosecute the Authors of that Injustice in such Manner as the Laws of his Country direct ; and as that could not be done, but by bringing the Merits of the former Election to be tried at the Bar of that House, they thought that the Petitioners were in the Right to infift upon it : That this was certainly the Duty of the Petitioners, and it was their Duty, as Members of that House, to hear and determine the Affair as soon as possible, by agreeing to the Motion.'
Hereupon the Motion was agreed to without a Division ; and the Lifts of controverted Voters were ordered to be mutually delivered by that Day Month.
The same Day Mr Walter Plumer presented to the House Debate on a Pe. a Petition of John Neale, Esq; complaining of an undue
tition of John
Neale, Eiq; comElection and Return for the City of Coventry; and the plaining a morena fame being read, Mr Plumer stood up again and said, “That Coventry. tho' by the Forms of proceeding in that House, it was necessary for the Petitioner to present a Petition that Session, in the very fame Words with the Petition presented by him upon the fame Subject the preceeding Seffion, yet he had now given him Orders to acquaint the House, That in order to save Trouble to the House, and not to take up their Time any longer than was absolutely necessary, he was willing to pass from every Complaint in his Petition mentioned, Mr W. Plumer. except fo far as related to the Qualification of John Bird, Esq; one of the fitting Members for the said City ; which was the only Complaint he intended to infift on at the hearing of the Petition : And as the Determining of that Point could not take up above half an Hour of theis Time, he Vol. IV.
Annog. Geo. II. would therefore move, that the Petition might be heard at
the Bar of the House': But upon the Question's being put, it passed in the Negative, and the Petition was referred to
the Committee of Privileges and Elections. A Petition of An.
Jan. 21. A Petition of Anthony Chute, Esq; complainebony hinter der ing of an undue Election and Return for the County of undue Election for Southampton, was presented to the House and read ; and it Hampshire.
was ordered, That the Matter of the said Petition be heard Debate thereon,
at the Bar of the House, on the gth of March ; after which
it was moved to order, That the Lists, with respect to Mr Lille.
the faid controverted Ele&tion, be delivered by that Day five
Determination of the Yorkshire Election at least ; for as the Anno g Ceo. . Petition for the County of Norfolk, and that for the County
1735-36. of Flint, were both to be heard before the Petition for the County of Southampton could come on, there could be no Inconvenience in delaying to make any Order for delivering Lists with respect to the last ; because after the Determination of the Yorkshire Election, the House might order the Lifts for the County of Southampton to be delivered by that Day fe'enight ; and it was impossible the Norfolk and Flint Elections could both be determined in a Week's Time. For this Reason, he hoped the honourable Gentleman would, for the Convenience of the Petitioner, as well as for his. Convenience, and also for the sake of saving the Time of that House, wave the Motion he had made; and that the House would suspend making any Order for delivering the Lifts for the County of Southampton, till after the Determination of the Yorkshire Election.
To this it was answer'd, “That the usual Method was for the House to appoint a Day for delivering Lifts of all County Elections, at the same time they appointed a Day for hearing the Petition : That the three other County Elections might for fome Reason or other be put off, or perhaps entirely dropt, for which Reason it was necessary for those concerned in the Southampton Election, to be fully prepared and ready for the Hearing, against the Day the House had appointed, which they could not be, unless the Lifts were delivered against the Day then moved for : And that, as the fitting Member, as well as the Petitioner, had already had near a whole Year to inquire into the Qualifications of Voters and the Objections that could be made against any of them, it was to be presumed that their Lifts were then as much abridged as they could poffibly be.'
Then the Question being put for delivering the Lifts by that Day five Weeks, it was carried in the Affirmative without a Divifion.
January 25. Mr Eversfield presented to the House a pe- and sheppard, birds tition of Richard Sheppard, Esq; complaining of an undue complaining of a Election, and Return for the Borough of Southwark, which Southwark. was accordingly read ; and a Motion being made, and fe- Debate thereon. conded, that the Matter of the said Petition be heard át
Mr Eversfield. the Bar of the House ; Mr Winnington stood up and faid,
Mr Winnington • That altho' the honourable Gentleman, who presented the Petition, had moved to have it heard at the Bar of the House; and altho' that Motion had been seconded, and very nach pressed by the honourable Gentleman, who was one of the fitting Members for Southwark, and against whom the Petition seemed to be chiefly aimed; yet he hoped Gentiemen would have some Regard to the honourable Gen