Imatges de pÓgina

bill, that the military should be reforted to only in the fecond instance; and after the civil power had been first called in.

Mr. Minchin said, that this was the very principle of his bill.

Mr. Alderman Wilkes hoped the honourable gentleman Mr. Alden did not mean to grant powers of magiftracy to any

man, who man Wilkes should not previously have taken the oath, of office, to do justice between the King and his subjects.

Mr. Minchin answered in the negative.

Lord Beauchamp was of opinion that this would destroy the Lord Beaste very object of the bill. The principle of the bill was to dis- cbamp. pense with certain formalities in case of emergency; and yet, when the emergency should arrive, the magistrates must not act till they have gone through thole formalities, The bill was supposed to be a dispensing bill, and yet dispensed with nothing. There was indeed a bill which países regularly every feffion; which, by dispensing with the qualification oath of justices of the peace, naturally opened a door to the low and the indigent, and was the great cause why gentlemen of character were so averse, in Middlesex particularly, to act as magiftrates; they did not like to fit on the same bench with persons so greatly inferior to them in rank and fortụne. He wished, however, to see the bill brought in, when the House would have an opportunity to add whatever inight be found wanting in it.

Mr. George Onslow spoke against the magistrates; accused Mr. George them of shameful neglect of duty, which alone had made it Onflow. neceffary to call out the military on the late occasion.

Sir Edward Astley defended the magiftrates; and mentioned Sir Edward one in particular (Hyde] who, while he was at the head of Afley. the guards, that were drawn up for the protection of that Houle, had not swerved from his duty, though at the very fame time his own house was demolishing by the mob.

Earl of Surrey complained of the want of magiftrates in two Earl of counties, in which he sometimes resided. In one there were Susrey. very few; in the other, in the west of England, there were scarce any. This arole, he thought, from the manner in which commissions were made out by the cu/lodes rotulorum, and Lords Lieutenants. He wished that fomething might be done in the bill moved for, to regulate the commiflions of the peace, and supply the country better with magiftrates.

, Sir P. 7. Clerke faid, that the complaint of a scarcity of Sir P.. magistrates, was general all over the kingdom. The question was put, and leave given to bring in the bill,



The following is a copy of the ABSTRACT of the BILL 1

enable a! perfons, named in any commission of the peace, to ati in the suppression of the riots, notwithstanding they have not taken cut their Dedimus Poteftatem ; and for enabling them to tale the oath of Qualification.

“ It recites, That in cases of sudden riots, a sufficient number of magistrates duly qualified, cannot at all times be afsembled to quell luch riots.

66 It therefore enacts, That after a certain time to be mentioned in this bill, every person whose names shall be inferted in any commiffion of the peace for any county, riding, or divifion, Thall be fully authorized to act as a justice of the peace within tuch county, riding, or division, for fuppreffing any riots, notwithstanding he thall not have taken the usual oath of office under the writ of Dedimus Potefiatem.

" It also recites, That divers provisions have been made, for preventing and punishing such offences, especially by an act of George the Firit, and therefore enacts, That every person so named, in any commission of the peace, not having taken the oath of office, shall be, to all intents, a justice of the peace, within the meaning of the statutes aforesaid, and invested with all privileges and authorities, contained in such statutes, as other justices who may have taken the oath relating thereto.

“ It also enacts, That no such person, shall be capable of acting as a justice, unless qualified according to the act of the 18th of George JI. “ For the further qualification of justices," and having taken and subscribed an oath to be inTerted in this act, and the oaths of allegiance, fupremacy and abjuration.

“ It further enacts, That every justice within the same county, riding, or divifion, is to administer fuch oaths to any perfon before described, requiring to take the fame ; such oaths to be recorded, and the clerk to have a fee, to be fixed by this act, with a penalty for any person who shall prefume to act, without being qualified a clause limiting the time of bringing the action after the fact upon which the same is grounded, thall be committed, and allowing every defendant the benefit of making out his qualification.

And it enacts, That the clerk of the peace of every county, shall cause lifts of the names of all persons in the commissions of the peace, to be printed; and when in like manner, any new commission shall be made out, and transinit such printed lists to the church wardens of every parish,


and to the clerks of both Houses of Parliament; the expence
of printing the said lifts to be paid to every such clerk of the
peace, by the treafurer of such county, riding, or division.

S c H E D U L E.
County, riding, or

of ]
" Be it remembered, That A. B. being one of the persons
named in the commiffion of the peace for this county, &c.
caine before me I. P. one of his Majesty's juftices of the
peace acting for the said county, &c. and took the oath of


A. B. and I the above-named I. P. do also certify, That the faid *. B. also took the oaths of allegiance, supremacy, and abjuration, at the fame tiine before me. Given under my, hand and seal.

1. P.

(L., S.)
November 17.
The land tax bill at 45. and 'malt tax bills brought in and
read. No debate.

November 18. (Saturday.)
Land and malt bills read a fecond time and committed.
No debate. Adjourned to the 20th.

November 20. Mr. Fox said he had in his hand a petition of a very singular Mr. Fox. nature,

It neither complained of bribery and corruption, nor of an undue election or return. He could not say whether the House would think it proper to receive it in the character and description of petitions relating to elections.

He would read the petition, and the House would judge $, whether it should be brought up. [After Mr. Fox had read

it, it was ordered to be brought up.]
Substance of Sir Thomas Halifax and Mi. Rogers's petition
to the House of Commons, repetling the Coventry election.

Petition fets forth,
ift. That on thë gth of September last, being the day of
clection, a great number of colliers and other persons, not
inhabitants or freemen of the said city, riotoully assembled

together, with a blue flag and blue and white cockades, the i enligns of Edward Roe Yeo, and John Baker Holroyd,

came to the place of election, and violently dragged therea from many of the voters in the interest of the petitioners VOL. XVIII,


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there assembled, and took poffeffion of the booth, and all access thereto; assaulted the freemen, tore off their cloaths, and stripped them naked to the waist, and beat, bruised, and otherwise ill treated them, to the great danger of their lives; prevented them from polling, and declaring they came there to support the blues.

2d. That on account of the said violences, &c. only four persons could poll for the petitioners on that day, and the poll was adjourned to the rith.

3d. That the petitioners called on the sheriffs to protect the persons of faid voters, and preserve the freedom of elecLion; the sheriffs did appoint one end of the booth for the voters of the petisjoners to poll at, and the other for Yeo and Holroyd. Many conftables sworn to keep the peace: pofts and rails erected for separating the voters on each side and protecting them to poll. But the said rioters again assembled on Monday morning, cut and broke down the said posts and rails, and carried them away ; and during the poll obftructed the petitioners' voters from polling, and committed the like violences, as on the ninth, so that only 21 voters could poll.

4th. Said poll being adjourned till the next day, on the morning of the same several hundred voters for the petitioners being peaceably assembled at that end of the booth appointed by the sheriffs for them to be polled at, leaving open the other end, a great mob of colliers and other rioters, with many hundreds of their voters, came up to that part of the booth where the petitioners' voters were standing, and then and there dragged by the hair of the head, stripped, beat, and cruelly tore and bruised many of the petitioners' voters, and drove the rest from the said poll; would not permit them to give their votes, so that three only polled that day.

sth. Said rioters being determined that the petitioners' voters should not come up to the poll, they assembled in the night time continually afterwards, and took poffeffion of the booth, and kept the same until the time of polling the next day. Obftruéted all the avenues to the place of polling, violently drove back the sheriffs, magistrates, and peaceofficers, whenever they attempted to open access for faid voters ; took the staves from the conftables and broke them; same violences continued from day to day till the 18th inclusive.

6th. Previous to the day of election, and daring the poll, petitioners and the other candidates were called upon to poll


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by tallies, to prevent riot and confusion at the ele&tion. Agreed to by petitioners, but refused by Yoe and Holroyd.

Petitioners allowed to keep their majority of 27, and to poll at different ends of the booth, to be protected by peaceofficers, was accepted by Halifax and Rogers, and refused by Yeo and Holroyd.

7th. Said colliers were hired or employed by Yeo and Holroyd, and their agents, and paid, entertained, and provided with lodging, meat, and drink by them, and they abetted the riots and obstructions.

8th. On account of the said riots and violences offered the persons of the sheriffs, magistrates, and peace-officers, on the 18th of September, the poll was necessarily discontinued.

That your petitioners are ready with their witnesses to prove the truth of the several allegations herein made.

Wherefore your petitioners moft humbly pray that this honourable House will hear them by their counsel, and take the premises into consideration, and grant such relief therein as the nature of the case requires, and as to the House in its good wisdom and justice shall seem fit; and your petitioners Ihall ever pray, &c.

Mr. Fox said, he would not take upon him to affirm that Mr. Fox. the charge contained in this petition was well founded ; whether it was or no, would appear from the evideace to be brought to the bar : but he maintained that it was a heavy charge, and a specific charge : and if it should be proved, the gentlemen against whom it was brought were deserving of very severe punishment. The crime with which they were charged was of a heinous nature : a violation of the freedom of election, which tended to undermine the liberty of the country, by fapping the foundation of the freedom of the conftitution. He therefore moved the following refolu. tions :

First, That this petition be taken into consideration on Thursday next; which was agreed to.

Secondly, That Sir Thomas Halifax and Mr. Rogers, the petitioners, be allowed by themselves or their counsel, to bring evidence to the bar of the House of Commons, in support of the charge contained in the petition; which was also agreed to.

Thirdly, That Mr. Edward Roe Yoe and Col. J. Holroyd be desired to attend the House of Commons on Thursday next.

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