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sense of the precedents on the Journals, and the plain sense of the law of the land.

law. It certainly, as Mr. Prynne says, is no restraint on the liberty of the people, to prevent their chusing improper persons to represent them; the British empire, the world, was all before the Middlesex electors; surely they might have found another person of equal abilities, patriotism, and virtue, with Mr. Wilkes, to represent them! If such a person was not to be found in this island, they might have brought Mr. Otis, Mr. Cushing, or any other patriot, from the other side of the Atlantic.

The learned serjeant has called this motion a conciliatory motion. Sir, it is quite otherwise; the worthy magistrate and learned serjeant must know the House cannot agree to it, and therefore we shall have this question over and over again; it will be kept as the continual firebrand of faction, to disturb and inflame the minds of the people. Therefore, Sir, though I am convinced that the late House of ComI beg leave to observe what has happen- mons only exerted the usual and necessary ed in the city of London, on similar occa- powers of the House in the case of Mr. sions. On their late vacancies for alder-Wilkes and the Middlesex election; and men, the citizens have not been able to fill though I feel the House ought to have them from the city. I am sorry to say, such power, yet I shall be for what I hope the citizens were necessitated to go to the to see, a moderate and reasonable Bill to west end of this town, and other parts of limit the time of expulsion; and I implore the kingdom, to find patriots sufficient to the House on all sides to join in such a preside over them as magistrates, and re- Bill, which will quiet the minds of men, present them in the city senate. What and extinguish this torch of faction: such have they done, Sir? They have adopted a measure will be truly conciliatory, and aliens instead of citizens; and instead of God send it may soon happen. the fat, inactive, commercial alderman, they have chosen patriots, as Shakespeare says, not sleek-headed men, and such as sleep o'nights; no, Sir, they have dis- Lord Stanley said, the worthy magis. carded the fat, sleek, well-carcased, black trate was mistaken in ascribing to the dock, from the city coach, and have sub-noble lord (North) the declaration, if any stituted in their stead the nag-tail'd, the other candidate had only six votes he patriotic alderman; they champ the bit, should be member for Middlesex. It was foam, prance, and curvet; but I doubt his father, the late lord Strange, who had whether these blood-bays will draw quite made that declaration. so well as the old blacks: and if the Phaëton now on the box should overturn the state-coach into Fleet-ditch, I question whether these light cattle will be able to get it out again.

But I will return more closely to the question, and beg leave to observe, that if the precedents I have read had been extracted from our Journals, had they been printed and stuck up against the door of every parish church in this island, common sense would have prevailed, and the people would not have been deceived and imposed upon as they have been, as to the whole of the proceedings of the House of Commons, in regard to the Middlesex election; and let me say to the young members of this House, that I would have them strip these proceedings of their sophistry, their powder, and paint, by which they have been disguised by artful men and lawyers; let them wash and sweeten this hackney'd and battered question, and then take her to their judgments, puris na buralibus: let them judge from the plain

Mr. For replied to the Lord Mayor, and thought the expulsion a right mea


General Fitzroy said, the magistrate was likewise mistaken, in attributing his expulsion to the noble lord (North). It was the measure of a noble duke, his brother, (the duke of Grafton) who was then minister.

The Lord Mayor replied in a spirited manner, and was particularly severe on the insolence (as he termed it) of a peer's interfering in the elections and privileges of the Commons.

Capt. Luttrell. Situated and connected as I am, I cannot give a silent vote upon this question: not that I mean to recapitulate the demerits of a case which has been so ably and frequently litigated; but as I ever wish to observe a consistency in my conduct, so I must express that detestation here I have uniformly done without doors, of every illegal proceeding respecting the Middlesex election. Sir, I shall not contend for the impropriety of Mr. Wilkes's expulsion, but as he was eligible in the eye of the electors to be again re turned for Middlesex, I never can recon

Mr. Van thought the hon. gentleman who made the motion might rest contented that he had obtained his seat, and charged him with being guilty of blasphemy.

The Lord Mayor called him to order, and had the resolution read; this occasioned much laughter. The resolution was read; and no such word as blasphemy appearing, he was called upon by the Lord Mayor to retract what he had said; on which he replied, though he had mistaken the precise word, yet impious and prophane were pretty nearly the same thing.

cile it to my ideas of right, how a person, | let this unconstitutional, this oppressive not possessed of the suffrages of a majority act, be obliterated from memory, and from of legal freeholders, could, by a vote of record. this House, become a legal member; therefore I have constantly lamented, that no arguments of mine, or of the real friends to the colonel, could prevent him from undertaking, or prevail with him to relinquish an act which I have ever considered of the greatest injury to the public; but when the colonel undertook this ministerial job, it was upon the fullest confidence and assurance of being returned by a majority of legal votes. Sir, he never meditated the violation of the sacred right of election, but he was unfortunately doomed to be the vehicle through which the machinations of a certain faction were to be carried into execution; and if he has been suspected of Quixotism in the head, I trust he never will be guilty of Stewardism at heart. Sir, with respect to the right hon. member who moved this question and was the object of that persecution, I have no knowledge of him in his private capacity, but in his public one I have ever held him respectable; he has exercised the great offices of magistracy, in this metropolis, with an assiduity and firmness that is scarcely to be paralleled; he has ever displayed that consistency and uprightness in all his public actions, that in these times of supineness and ductility, claim peculiar admiration.

Sir, naturalists have observed, that at any period of our lives, there is hardly an atom of the human body remaining, that belonged to it seven years before; now, perhaps, that hypothesis may hold good as to the human mind, at least as far as it relates to political life, if we should judge by the changeable principles and wavering fame of certain individuals, seated within the narrow compass of these walls; and therefore whatever may have been the complexion of this House seven years ago, I will now entertain a hope, as I feel myself deeply interested in the wish, that we may cheerfully agree to-night, by such a majority, as no ministerial magic can turn into a minority, to rescind such resolutions respecting the Middlesex election, as may have stained the conduct of the late parliament. Let us leave them in full possession of those laurels they so justly acquired, when they made Mr. Grenville's Bill for the trial of controverted elections, perpetual; and as the most effectual service we can render our predecessors, is compatible with our duty to the public,

Lord North quoted a number of precedents in favour of the resolution, and relied particularly on the expulsion of sir R. Walpole, and the cases of Malden and Colchester.

Mr. T. Townshend said, though the friends of the motion might be now outnumbered, he did not despair of seeing the day when those infamous proceedings would be expunged, and the authors of them brought to condign punishment.

Mr. Wallace insisted, that from the uninterrupted usage of parliament for almost two centuries, the House fully possessed the right of expulsion.

Mr. Attorney General said, he was neither in parliament nor in office, at the time the resolution was passed, but he understood then, and believed still, that the question was decided on the clearest principles of the laws and constitution.

Mr. Byng was of the same opinion with his hon. friend, (Mr. Townshend) and did not doubt but the day would arrive sooner than many persons imagined.

Sir George Savile took a very extensive view of the question, and argued it on many grounds.

The other gentlemen who spoke were Mr. Gilbert, general Fitzroy, Mr. St. John, &c. against the motion. Mr. James Grenville, Mr. Richard Grenville, Mr. Serjeant Adair, Mr. Wedderburn, and Mr. Vyner, for it.

The House divided. The Yeas went forth.

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List of the Minority.

TELLERS. Salisbury.

Lord visc. Folkestone

Mr. T. Townshend


Sir W. Wake

Robert Sparrow

J. Elwys
Christopher Griffith

Francis Annesley
Hon. admiral Keppel

Hon. J. Montagu

Earl Verney
George Grenville

J. Grenville, jun.
Richard Grenville

J. Aubrey

Jos, Bullock

T. Grosvenor


Sir John Molesworth
J. Amyand

Samuel Salt
Edw. Gibbon*
St. Michael.
Hon. T. Howard
J. Dyke Ackland
Henry Fletcher
James Adair
Ralph Gowland


Lord G. Cavendish


Lord Fred. Cavendish


Alex. Wedderburn

Sir George Yonge
Laurence Cox

Sir Ph. Jen. Clerk

J. Rolle Walter

Humphrey Sturt

John Damer
Hon. L. F. Carey
Thomas Coventry
R.H.W.G. Hamilton

Joshua Mauger



Lieut. gen. Lambton

J. Tempest


John Luther

Sir William Guise
Edward Southwell
Sir W. Codrington
Joseph Martin

Charles Barrow

Sir G. Cornwall
Thomas Foley, sen.
John Scudamore

HERTFORDSHIRE. William Pluner Thomas Halsey Hertford. Paul Fielde

Earl Ludlow

Hon. C. Marsham
Thomas Knight
Robert Gregory
Sir W. Mayne
Richard Milles

LANCASHIRE. Sir T. Egerton

Lord R. Cavendish

Sir W. Meredith
Richard Pennant
George Byng
Beaumont Hotham

Anthony James Keck
Robert V. A. Gwillym

LEICESTERSHIRE. J. Peach Hungerford


Ch. Anderson Pelham
Evelyn Anderson

Lord Lumley
Robert Vyner


John Glynn
John Wilkes
John Sawbridge
Richard Oliver
Frederick Bull
George Hayley

*Mr. Gibbon to Mr. Holroyd, Feb. 25, 1775. "On Wednesday we had the Middlesex election. I was a patriot; sat by the Lord Mayor" [Wilkes] "who spoke well and with temper; but before the end of the debate fell fast asleep. I am still a mute; it is more tremendous than I imagined; the great speakers fill me with despair, the bad ones with terror." Gibbon's Miscellaneous Works, vol. 1, p. 490.

Sir Edward Astley
Wenman Coke
Crisp. Molineux

Sir Harbord Harbord
Thomas Powys
Lucy Knightly


Sir G. Robinson
Richard Benyon
Higham Ferrers.
Fred. Montagu


Sir Matthew Ridley
Jacob Wilkinson

Lord Edw. Bentinck.
East Retford.
Sir Cecil Wray
George Sutton

Lord Wenman

Thomas Whitmore

R. H. Coxe

Edward Phelips

Milbourne Port.
Hon. T. Luttrell
C. Wolseley
Benjamin Allen

J. Smith
Abel Moysey

Edmund Burke
Henry Cruger


Jervoise Clerk

Edward Morant


Sir J. Griffin Griffin.

Hon, J. Luttrell
J. Fleming

George Anson

Rowland Holt

G. W. Van Neck

Sir Charles Davers


Sir Francis Vincent
James Scawen

James Adam


Sir Robert Clayton
Frederick Standert

Nathaniel Polhill


Lord G. Lenox
Sir T. S. Wilson
Sir H. Gough


Charles Goring

East Grinstead. Lord G. Germaine Gen. J. Irwin

Filmer Honeywood

Thomas Brand
G. L. Newenbam

Rt. Hon. T. Conolly

Sir Charles Holte
T. G. Skipwith
Edward Roe Yeo


Sir Mich. le Fleming

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tion and delicacy was not to be used in perfecting the Bill, it would rather provoke than effect any good purpose; he would not, therefore, without certain assurances, give his consent to its going to the committee. He contended, that the first operation of the Bill should be so cal. culated, that the innocent might in no event be confounded with the guilty, and observed, that the power given to the government and council of New Hampshire and Massachuset's Bay, to take off the restrictions laid by this Bill by proclamation, appeared to be so limited, that they could not issue such proclamation so as to secure those who were evidently well intentioned from the penalties of the Act: he insisted, that in common justice the commencement of its operation should be delayed to such a period, as would give those so inclined time to return to their duty'; and concluded, that if this was not to be the case, he should be adverse to its going one step further. On the contrary, if he heard from authority, that none but the unrelenting and intractable would feel its influence, he should wish the Bill


C. W. Cornwall
William Nedham
Lord Bulkeley
Sir H. Williams

Sir Robert Smyth
Tho. Asheton Smyth

Sir Wat. Will. Wynn
Evan Lloyd Vaughan
Hugh Owen


Earl of Fife

Elginshire. Hon. A. Duffe Kingherne.

J. Johnstone

Debates in the Commons on the Bill for restraining the Trade and Commerce of the New England Colonies.] Feb. 24. On the motion to commit the Bill to restrain the Trade and Commerce of the provinces of Massachuset's Bay and New Hampshire, and colonies of Connecticut and Rhode Island, and Providence Plantation, in North America, to Great Britain, Ireland, and the British islands in the West Indies; and to prohibit such provinces and colonies from carrying on any fishery on the banks of Newfoundland, or other places therein to be mentioned, under certain conditions, and for a time to be limited,

Sir John Griffin Griffin, after expressing his sincere wishes to see a happy conclusion put to the American disputes without bloodshed, declared, that upon reading the Bill, he felt himself alarmed, and was jealous that, if the greatest cau


Lord North replied, that it was intended to fill up the blanks in such manner as would answer the purposes wished for by the hon. gentleman, and that the first operation of the Bill would not have ef fect sooner than at the expiration of one month at least after its arrival.

A Petition against the Bill from the merchants, traders and others, of the city of London, interested in the American commerce, was presented, by the sheriffs of London, and read; setting forth, "That the commissioners are deeply concerned, to observe, by the votes, that a Bill is brought in, to restrain the trade and commerce of the provinces of Massachuset's Bay and New Hampshire, and colonies of Connecticut, and Rhode Island, and Providence Plantation, in North America, to Great Britain, Ireland, and the British islands in the West Indies, and to prohibit such provinces and colonies from carrying on any fishery on the banks of Newfoundland, or other places therein to be mentioned, under certain restrictions, and for a time to be limited; and representing to the House, that the said Bill, should it pass into a law, will, in its operation de prive thousands of his Majesty's loyal subjects of their actual subsistence, and reduce them to extreme distress, even that of famine, the said provinces not ge

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titioners beg leave to observe, that the restraints intended to be laid upon the Newfoundland fishery of the colonies, mentioned in the said Bill, if carried into a law, will not by any means be injurious to commerce, as the petitioners against the Bill conceive, because the fu ̈aign markets can be amply supplied, by e ending the Newfoundland fishery of subj. cts resident in England; and that the annual produce of the Newfoundland fishery carried on by subjects resident in the mother country, exceeds 500,000l. and that the Newfoundland fishery of the mother country is a constant nursery of seamen for the navy, that great bulwark of the nation, every fifth man employed being, by the 10th of William the 3rd, obliged to be a landman, a consideration of infinite weight, the petitioners imagine; and this the more especially, as the profits of the trade center intirely in this kingdom; and that the profits of the Newfoundland fishery, carried on by the colonies mentioned in the Bill, do not center here, nor is the Newfoundland fishery of the colonies a nursery of seamen for the fleet, because the Americans are not obliged by law to make use of landmen, nor are the American seamen compellable, like the British seamen, to serve their country in times of war; the petitioners are therefore greatly alarmed, lest a Petition from so respectable a body as the lord mayor, aldermen, and commons of London, should operate not only to their prejudice, but to the general prejudice of the kingdom, on a point of such importance to the national prosperity; humbly submit the foregoing facts to the consideration of the House, and soliciting, no less for their own immediate advantage than for the universal benefit of their country, such encouragement of the British fishery to Newfoundland as the parliament shall think proper."

nerally raising corn sufficient for their own support; and by the said Bill they will be prevented from receiving any supplies from their sister colonies, and precluded from their natural resource, the sea; and that the petitioners have reason to believe that very great numbers of men are bred and employed in the fisheries, who, in hardiness and intrepidity, are not exceeded by any in this extensive empire, and may be impelled, by the pressing calls of hunger and want, to such a conduct as may be productive of devastation and bloodshed, which may endanger the peace and welfare of that part of his Majesty's American dominions, or be induced to emigrate to the islands of Miquelon and St. Pierre, there to fish for the French, and give our rivals the means of supplying the markets in Europe, and thereby render it difficult for us to regain that valuable branch of commerce; and that there is now due, from the said provinces and colonies, to the city of London, a very large sum of money, and that their remittances are principally made by means of the fisheries, and consequently the ruin brought on those colonies will ultimately fall on Great Britain; and that, amongst other grievances of which our fellow subjects in America so generally complain, is, their being deprived of trial by jury in particular cases, and the extension of the jurisdiction of the admiralty courts; which grievances, the petitioners with much concern find, are not only continued, but extended by the present Bill; and they think it their duty to represent to the House, that it is their firm opinion, that the disquietude which universally prevails in the minds of their fellow subjects in America, will not be removed, unless lenient measures are pursued, and their grievances redressed; and therefore praying, that the said Bill may not pass into a law."

Mr. Alderman Hayley moved, that the petitioners have leave to be heard by themselves, or counsel; which was agreed to.

Feb. 28. A Petition of the merchants, traders, and principal inhabitants, of the town and county of Pool, was presented to the House, and read; setting forth,

"That the petitioners observe, that a Petition is presented to the House, from the lord mayor, aldermen, and commons, of the city of London, in common council assembled, against the Bill mentioned in the preceding Petition; and that the pe

A Petition of the people called Quakers was presented by Mr. Alderman Oliver, and read,

"Taking notice of the Bill to restrain the trade and commerce of the province of Massachuset's Bay and New Hampshire, and colonies of Connecticut and Rhode Island, and Providence Plantation, in North America, to Great Britain, Ireland, and the British islands in the West Indies;

and to prohibit such provinces and colonies from carrying on any fishery on the banks of Newfoundland, or other places therein to be mentioned, under certain conditions, and for a time to be limited;

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