« 上一頁繼續 »
ith referred to the ways-and-means bers fo refused for the reasons aforesaid, conuittee; where it produced a refolu- on behalf of the several candidates, did fon, which was agreed on the 19th, for not amount to above eight or ten persons; ifning and applying the monies so re- and that the majority for the present weining. But this article, as no fuin is members amounted to above 400, notspecified, is not inserted in our account of withstanding the many violences used athe ways and means. [xxv. 493.] gainst, and the kidnapping, confining, Lease was given, Feb. 25. to bring in and even killing of fome persons, who :hil, to prevent occafional freemen from were in the interest of the present memrating at elections of members to serve bers; and that, as the right of the eleci parliament for cities and boroughs, tion of the present members could not be enda committee was appointed to prepare called in question, the petitioners did not
ad bring it in. The bill was presented think proper to trouble the house with Nach 9. by Mr Ridley,
their complaint thereon; but some of the On the 11th there was presented, and persons who had so been refused their read, a petition of the mayor and bur- freedom, being in very low circumstangates of the city of Gloucester, in com- ces, had since, by the instigation and at an council assembled; setting forth, the expence (as the petitioners had great That at the last general election of mem: reason to believe) of an attorney and bers for the said city, there were three counseller at law of the said city, applied azdidates, viz. the present members to the court of kings-bench, and obtainzl Povel Snell, Esq; and that several ed an information against three of the persons applied, after the test of the petitioners, who were then aldermen, as ttc to be admitted to the freedom of the particular persons applied to for their thead city, not having made any demand freedom, although the refulal for admitterst before, in order, as they decla- ting them thereto was made by the mayed
, and had since also declared upon oath, or and all the aldermen then present, for in note at the then next election; and it the reasons aforesaid, which was then keng then insisted upon, on behalf of declared to them by the town-clerk; buecf the fajd candidates, that by a re and that as such inconveniencies had alHitra of the house on a similar case of ready arisen to some of the petitioners, le do of Norwich, March 12. 1701, from their frict adherence to the said rede been determined, that persons ha- solution of the house, and might afterring a right to freedom before the test of wards arise to other persons at future ethe ri, and taking out their freedom after lections; and that as it was necessary the the A telt, not having demanded the rights of persons claiming their freedom fare before, had not a right to vote in night be fully looked into and examined, det ensuing election, the petitioners that and inany infamous and corrupt applicawere then present, as were the mayor and tions from the electors, and great exderen of the said city, (in whom the pence to candidates, might be prevented, poter of admitting freemen is vested), and also that security might be given to prehending, that if they did not con. magistrates and returning officers wiro ficou to the said resolution, they thould were desirous of impartially discharging scar the censure of the house, they did their duty; therefore praying that a mike to admit any person to their free. clause, or clauses, might be inserted in the turn, oa wbose behalf no demand had said bill, in order to ascertain some fixed been made prior to the test of the writ, time for admitting of persons to their od believing that the same would also freedom for voting in respect thereof, tund to millead and distress the sheriffs, previous to ele&tions, or that the house Ito are the returning officers of the said would be pleased to order that another , and perhaps thereby occasion petie bill might be brought in for the purpokaas to the houle; but all such perions fes aforelaid, and that the house would see afured, that they should be adinit- give fuch further and other relier, in the ed to their freedom as soon as the clec- premises, as they should think proper. at was over, and leseral of them who This petition was ordered to be referbad a right were accordingly afterwards red to a committee, and that they thould mitted; and that the petitioners be- examine the matter thereof, and report sted that the whole number of perfons the same, with their opinion thereupon, ficuled did not amount to above eigh- to the house; and a committee was aclets, and that the difference of the num. cordingly appointed, with power to send
for persons, papers, and records. But for election of members in England, wher what end this committee was appointed, his right of voting is as a free...an only does not appear, for they never made any shallbe admitted to vote, unlel, he tha report. Surely the magilirates of Glou- have been admitted twelve months befor cester did not expect that the house would the first day of such election. And if make an inquiry into any riot that had ny person shall presume to vote contrar been committed at the election of their hereto, he Mall every time forfeit 100 representatives, as the election itself was to the prosecutor, and his vote shall I mot disputed; and much less could they void. 2. This not to extend to perfor expect that the house of Commons would intitled to fieedom by birtlı, marriage determine the point of law, Whether or servitude. 3. Any mayor, &c. wk they had legally refused or delayed grant- shall wilfully and fraudulently antedat: ing the freedom of their city to those who, or cause to be antedated, the admillon as themselves acknowledged, had a right any freemen, thall every time forfe to it? for supposing that the resolution of 500l. to the prosecutor. 4. The recas that house in 1701 bad been as general as of every corporation wherein the admi they have represented, it might have fion of freenien shall be entered, Bhalli been a reason for the Meritfs to refuse permitted to be inspected by any cand the votes of those freemen, or at least to date or his agent, or any two freemes put a query upon their votes at the elec- upon demand, and the payment of ! tion; but I cannot think it a good reason between nine and three o'clock in ti for the magifirates to refuse admitting day-time, upon any day before, or wit! them to their freedom at the time they in one month after any ele&tion; and th. demanded it: and I hope no advantage are to have copies of the admission was taken froia the appointment of this such freemen as they think fit, upon pa committee, to frighten the people who ing a reasonable reward for writing el had commenced their law-fuit, in order saine ; and the said record itself is to ! to compel them to drop or give it up; as produced at every election, if demande such a proceeding would have been a fort on penalty of forfeiting every time 100 of, what the civilians call, curcussion; to the prosecutor. 5. All forfeitures which is a crime of so heinous a nature, be recovered, with full coasts of fuit,1 that I am convinced none of the magic action of debt, &c. 6. But no perk strates of Glouceser would have been to be liable to any forfeiture, unless pri guilty of it; and I am sure 110 gentle- fecution commenced within one year a man of the committee would have any way ter incurred. 7. This ađ to be read countenanced such a proceeding. every such election. 8. Not to extend
However, though no report was made London or Norwich. by this committee, and though the peti On the same day that the precedin tion itself seems to favour a little of the bill was moved for, viz. Feb. 25. anothe Boeotian; yet as it was presented upon of the faire nature was likewise move this occasion, and furnished a good argu- for; and leave having been given, and ment in favour of the bill, I thought it committee appointed to bring it in, s necesary to give it a place in the history Walter Blacket presented, March 16. of that bill: which was the next day bill to prevent fraudulent and occasion read a second time, and committed to votes in the election of knights of thi a committee of the whole house for the shire, so far as relates to the right 17th; after which it passed through both votiig by virtue of an annuity or rent houses in common courle, and received charge. By virtue of an instruction the royal assent on the 31st.
the committee on this bill, the provision The preamble of this act recites, That of it were made to extend to cities at whereas great abuses have been commit towns that are counties of themselves ted, in making freemen of corporations, and a proper addition was made in the in order to influence elections of members title. The bill was passed by the Com to serve in parliament, to the great in• 'mons April 11. and sent to the Lords fringement of the rights of the treenen It was passed by their Lordships, witt of such corporations, and of the freedom one amendment, and returned to tht of elections: Therefore, to prevent such Commons on the 18th, for their concur practices for the future, it is enacted, 1. rence. This was something extraordinaThat after the 1st of May 1763, no per- ry, as the bill related only to the election son claiming as a freeman to vote at any of members of the house of Commons.
The amendment was, however, taken that the effect would have been more
so confideration the same day; and ha- certain, if, with respect to every grant og been found reasonable, was agreed to; or aflignment made after June 1. 1763,
and the bill received the royal aslent next it had been enacted, That to the memotr, which was the last day of the sellion. rial thereof there should be added a cer"By this law it is enacted, That no tificate, upon oath, by the grantor and muity of rent-charge illuing out of free- grantee, or allignor and assignee, that bitlands
, of which a person was seiled the grant or assignment was really and before June 1. 1763, thall, after Aug. 1. bona fide made, for the use and benefit sh, intitle the annuitant to vote at any of the grantee or allignee, without any titor, unless a certificate, upon oath, trust, agreement, matter, or thing, to
i have been entered twelve months at the contrary notwith tanding. As the let before the first day of such election, law stands at present, a gentleman of a with the record-keeper of the county, large land-estate may create a number of #s, or town, where the lands lie ; nor voters for any ensuing ele tion, by grantSlany such annuity coming to a per- ing a great number of annuities at least in s descent, 6c. within twelve months twelve months before the end of a leptenmet before such election, intitle the an nial parliament, and getting a memorial meant to vote, unless a certificate, up- of each duly registered as soon as granted, an eizh, or affirmation if a Quaker, shall and may secure bimself by taking from bere been entered as aforesaid, before each a defeasance, declaring the graut * ért day of such election. In both to be in trust, and obliging himself to rethe cakes the form of the certificate is store it to be cancelled against such a day, by the act prescribed, and thereby the or as soon as demanded. Whereas, were zmaitant is to declare, that he is really such a certificate as I have mentioned addand bei fide seised of such an annuity, ed to the memorial, and registered witle fabioan use and benefit, without any it, no grantee would give such a defeatret
, agreement, matter or thing to the fance, as it would, if produced, be a tay notwithstanding; and when or proof under his own hand for convicting den te became feiled thereof; and more- him of perjury; nor could the grantor ser he is therein to describe the lands ever by law recover his deed of grani,
of which the annuity is to issue, and without not only confelling, but proviny, 10 when they belong.
himself guilty of perjury: 110 voters could Thos a to any annoity or rent-charge therefore by such means be created, but panied alcer June 1. 1763, it is enacted, by the grantor's trusting entirely to the That no fach annuity shall intitle the honour of the grantee ; which no gen. waitant to vote at any election, unless tleman would venture to do with respect 2. Semorial of such grant shall have been to any great number of persons; and the citered as aforesaid twelve months at putting of such a trust in two or three
xah before the first day of such election; only, would but seldoin answer any canpick memorial is to be drawn up and re- didate's purpose. tred according to the directions in However, I hope no such evasion of the ta: and that no aíligoment of an an- act, as it now stands, will ever come to be aty, or any part thereof, shall intitle praâised. If it should, it will be easy to Seafignee to vote at any election, un- put a stop to it, by adding such a regulaé a certificate or memorial of such as- tion as I have proposed. Which was my ament mall have been registered at reason for adding such a remark: for if no at twelve months before the first day stop should be put to such a practice, this Many such election. There are other act, instead of leffening, would add to tablesfor obliging every such record- the expence of elections; which are al epper to keep such a register, and to ready to expensive, that if an effectual mes Send any election with his record, at thod be not foon taken to reduce that exrequest of any candidate; and for pu- pence, it will put an end to the indeaking him, if guilty of any wilful neglect, pendency of, and consequently to any besidemeanour, or fraudulent practice. nefit the nation can ever expect from parUpon the whole, it is to be hoped that liament. No gentleman who is really irsa ze will be found to be effectual for dependent, will ever appear as a candipresenting any man's voting at an elec- date at any ele&tion, if a man must pur
a by virtue of a Niam grant or allign- chase, and purchase at a dear rate too; kat of an annyity: but I must think, no man will purchase that is not secretly
resolved to sell, either to the court, or to original plan; for those who reside in the a faction that is become formidable, by the place for which they are chosen, must cer. misconduct of ministers, or the madness of tainly be best acquainted with the senti, the people; and the nation never reaped ments of the people they represent. Such any advantage by a civil war, seldom by a parliament would really be a parliamen a faction's forcing them!elves into the ad- of Great Britain; whereas, at present miniftration.
our parliament may in some measure by But when I consider the present enor- said to be the parliament of London dili mous expence of elections, and how de- Westminster, and their adjoining counties structive it is to the morals as well as the as most of the members reside there du industry of the people, I am surprised, ring the greatest part of the year; an ihat instead of the many ineffectual reme- some of them, I believe, never see the dies we liave of late years invented and place they represent, from the time the prescribed, we have never thought of re- are chosen, till they go there again to b inrning to our old constitution, by reviving rechosen by the same means by which the those ancient statutes and customs which were at first elected; that is to say, by a confined elections to those that were re- illegal and corrupt influence, either of fiant in the county, city, or borough, public or private nature. It is this tha with relpect to the electors as well as the is the cause of the country's being in som elected. In those days, a constant resi- measure delerted by all our great and ricdence in the country, attended with a ge- families : and this, with the prodigio, nierous hospitality, and the general affec- increase of our national debt, have bee tion and esteem of the people in his neigh- the two chief causes of the late danget bourhood, were the only interest that ous increase of the cities of London an could procure a gentleman the honour of Westininster; for 110 man can be furprise representing his county, city, or borough, at this increase who considers, that th in parliament; and would be so still, if yearly interest of our national debt not Ihole ancient laws were revived. Such a amounts to above four millions, evel. country-gentleman could not then be bri- filling of which muit be paid here : bed out of his natural interest by a fortu- London; as we are told by the highest ar nate stockjobber or gamester coming down thority, that " where your treasure in from London, with his pockets full of illo there will your heart be allo:” and or got gold, and spreading idleness, drunk- not confining the right of voting to re enness, riot, corruption, and perjury, hants in the county or place is the caul through a whole county ; nor could such of a monstrous expence to the candidate a gentleman be bribed by a minister to at every contested election; as every on forfeit such an interest, by facrificing the knows what coach-fulls of voters are a true interest of his country to any fo- every such election carried down from Loni reign connection ; especially if we were a. don, to the most distant parts of the king gain to have, as of old, a new general dom; most of whom ingilt upon bein election for every new fellion of parlia- paid by the candidate, not only for th inent; which in a fhiort time would rene expence of their journey, but often fe der our general elections as quiet as the their loss of time allo; and that eve elections of the annual magistrates now when they are men retired from trade are in the city of London. A gentle- whose time for want of business hang man once chosen a representative for any heavy on their hands ; and for that rea county, city, or borough, would conti- fon would probably have purchased an e nue to be annually chosen without op- state, and retired to live in the county, positien, unless he ihould forfeit his inter- place where they were born; but having eft by his conduct; and if he should de- invested their money in our public funds clire serving any longer, bis recommenda. they must continue to reside in ornea tion would have great weight in the choice London, in order to receive the dividend of a succesor.
upon their fock in the public funds, a If these old laws were to be revived, it they become due, experience having wiuld certainly be recessary to make some shewn, that it is dangerous as well.as ex: alterations and exceptions, in order to ac- penfive to trust its being done by an at commodate them to the prelent circum- torney, itarces of the nation ; but in general we
[To be continued.] ought lo adhere as near as pollible to the
Observations on some clauses of the plan in commillioner, of the highways. C.
extent of 2001. Scots valued rent be a early![23.-27.], for making and repair. isg highways.
On cl. 4.] Gentlemen have already so
many established county-meetings yearly, [Some of these observations are taken from that, if potlible, one would rather will the pamphlet, and for some of them we are the number diminilhed than increased ; waliged to a correspondent. To those of the the first Tuesdays of March, May, and azhor of the pamphlet we annex A, and to August, and the last Tuesday of Oktober, the others C.]
for their quarter-fellions, a meeting in Os classe 2.] It will require little rea- May for the land-tax, the Michaelmas fening to show, that the clause here re- meeting in September, the third Tueldav dited, for casting abrut roads, ought to be of Mav for the roads, and the first TuerPealed. The wonder is how such a day of June for allelling the 10's. Scots on drufe ever flould have passed. But the the 100l. Scots valued rent. The two trul is, in those days the advantage of meetings last mentioned, and the March nyod roads was little understood. Car- quarter-Sessions, might all fitly be made Tieges were hardly used at all, and in le to fall on one day; and none seems more vel grounds people on horseback were not proper than the first Tuesday of April, cestined to one track; so that turning a here proposed. This the rather, that road was considered as a small facrifice since the alteration of the style, the five the insprovement of agriculture, which March and August quarter-fellions ought ** then in its infancy, and required e clearly to be altered, as they always hap: Fery fort of encouragement. As that is pen during the sitting of the court of sot the case now, there is no reason for feition in Edinburgh. A. continuing a power which, even as it The commissioners ought not to be ob. fund, is not properly limited, and which liged to name the clerk to the fupply to tof gentlemen know to be grossly abu- be their clerk. It would not be amiss fed
. At one time, for example, the road to oblige him, if named, to accept, and in turned ttie 200 yards, and in a few that under a penalty; but the commis: tears afterwards it is turned 200 yards fioners should be at liberty to chuse any more, and sometimes the 200 will mea- proper person to be their clerk. C. ure too yards. Under the colour of this On cl. 5.] Great part of the execution lave roads bave been cast about miles, to of the act depends upon a proper division the great prejudice of the public. The of the country into diftricts, which inould fpirit of dur law is now much changed in be of such a size, that the most distanı this particular. Every turnpike-act that part from the centre of meeting, should falles
, far from allowing the turning not be above five or lix miles, A. of roeds, impowers the trustees even to In many shires five parishes may be too barry them though incloures, if that is extensive; perhaps three should be the Kecelary, for straightening them. A.
greatest diitriet.' c. Os cl. 3.] It is realonable that judges On cl. 6.] It appears more adviseable other people's property should have a to pay overseers by the day, than to give palification and as justices of peace them a fixed salary, as it is a security band greater powers than commillioners that they are not to receive public mooffiply
, their qualification vught also ney withont working for it. A to be greater. A.
Moit proper it is, that overseers should Would it not be more eligible, that be rewarded, and enjoy immunities; but the commiflioners should not be confined not such as may take from the repairs of to fech heritors as are justices of peace or the roads. Therefore fuch ought to be free tormilioners of supply - It lometimes only from personal labour, and one half beppens, that heritors wbo have 200 l. of the statute-work due for lerrants and kots valued rent are in neither of those horses. C.
The commillions of the On cl. 7.] It would be of the greatest place are changeable, and the nomina- confequence, could the commissioners be an of the commislioners of fupply an. obliged to execute this clause concerning baal: fo the commiflioners for making and the rank and order of repairing the roads; repairing the highways molt depend up for that point being unce established, on the nomination of justices of peace or would prevent many competitions, which evzmisoners of fupply. - Remedy: often end in disappointing the itatnte-lesLe esery beritor who has property to ihe vice altogether. But it is fo great a