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THE HOUSE OF LORDS,
IN CASES OF JUDICATURE,
ARE BOUND BY THE SAME RULES OF EVIDENCE THAT
ARE OBSERVED BY ALL OTHER COURTS.
The Second Edition.
THE SUBJECTS OF LAW
WHICH HAVE ARISEN IN THE
Bill of Pains and Penalties
AT PRESENT PENDING AGAINST
THE QUEEN OF ENGLAND.
EDWARD CHRISTIAN, OF GRAY's Inn, Esq.
PROFESSOR OF THE LAWS OF ENGLAND IN THE UNIVERSITY OF CAMBRIDGE,
AND CHIEF JUSTICE OF THE ISLE OF ELY.
MESSRS. CLARKE, PORTUGAL STREET;
AND HATCHARD, PICCADILLY.
The following Dissertation was written more than twenty-eight years ago: and the Author trusts that the Observations he has subjoined upon the subjects of Law connected with the present Bill of Pains and Penalties will be thought equally true, and well-founded, as far as they are applicable to every species of Trial, which can be brought before the High Court of Parliament, even twenty-eight years after the present time.
He has that perfect confidence in the justice and wisdom of the Two Houses of Parliament, and also in the sound sterling sense of the People of England, that he cannot entertain a doubt, but, when the reasons for the final conclusion of the present momentous subject (whatever it may be) are fairly and fully communicated to the world, it will be received with the general approbation of the Public.
In a Pamphlet, which I published in the course of last winter (viz. in 1791), containing the result of my inquiries concerning the effect of a dissolution of Parliament upon an unfinished Impeachment, the following observations were introduced *.
* The first time I appeared before the Public as a writer upon Law, was in the year 1791; when I published a Pamphlet with the title of “An Examination of Precedents and Principles, by which it appears that the Impeachment of Warren Hastings, Esq. is abated by the dissolution of Parliament."
I had, at the first, the modesty not to prefix my name to it; but finding that the authorities were approved by Lord Thurlow and the leading Lawyers of the day, I was induced to declare myself the author.
It was answered by the Hon. Spencer Perceval, then at the Bar. Mr. Pitt, the Prime Minister, adopted Mr. Perceval's side of the question : but how far the Profession adhered to my doctrine, will amply appear from the following paragraphs, which were published with this Treatise in 1792.
The important question, whether an impeachment was de termined by a dissolution of Parliament after having undergone a discussion for three days in the House of Commois, was decided in the negative; the number, being 143 and 30: and