Slike strani

should be sent to Surgeons-hall for dissec. laws; but though he would not recomtion. He had spoken of this bill to lord mend additional punishment to the latiKenyon, and the late lord chief baron tude, at present proposed, he thought it Skinner, who both seemed to approve of might fairly be applied to those offences it: nor had he heard of any objection to which came nearest to the guilt of mur. it, but that it would confound the punish- der. Of this description were those inhument of murder with lesser offences, and man robberies, where the offenders, not thereby render that pre-eminent crime content with taking the property of their more common. This he did not believe, fellow subjects, just stopping short of as this circumstance was only a secondary murder, exercised wanton cruelties by consequence, which those who were so maiming and wounding those whom they abandoned as to disregard life would not plundered. Another species of crimes consider. He hoped, that by this increase were those nocturnal depredations, in of punishment, the crimes of burglary and which men were deprived of their usual highway robbery would be diminished; courage and means of defence, and were, he confessed, however, he had another during the process of the burglaries, exobject in view, namely, to check a practice posed to terrors worse almost than death which had gained ground of late, and itself. In cases like these, where the which loudly called for some remedy; he offenders had not the same excuses, if, inmeant that of stealing bodies out of deed excuses could be admitted, and cerchurch-yards. The House were not, he tainly had none of the risk of common believed, aware of the extent to which highwaymen, he should not object to that infamous practice prevailed. He their being subject to those penalties, had made particular inquiries about it, even after death, which the law at preand he found that it exceeded almost all sent reserved for murderers. He should belief. If the bodies of persons convicted at the same time wish to exempt from of burglary and highway robberies were these severities, burglaries which were given for dissection, it would at all events not attended with such aggravating cirdiminish the necessity of robbing church- cumstances. yards, and most probably check the Mr. Serjeant Adair said, he felt great practice. He concluded by moving, satisfaction in happening to be down at « That leave be given to bring in a bill that early hour to hear the unexpected for Anatomizing the bodies of felons exe- proposal made by the learned gentleman, cuted for burglary, or highway robbery." and to give it his direct opposition. It

Mr. Buxton seconded the motion, was much to be lamented that there simply on the ground that, by increasing should be suffered to exist in the criminal the materials for dissection, it was likely laws of this kingdom, any thing which to promote improvements in surgery. could operate as a deduction from that

Mr. Francis said, that when this sub- general admiration which our judicial ject was first mentioned to him, he was led code was otherwise entitled to receive. to believe that anatomical improvement Unhappily, however, inequalities did exist was the principal, instead of the secon- in the classes and definitions of crimes, dary object of the hon. gentleman. How- by which the severest penalties were atever if the measure was likely to be attend tached to species of offence infinitely less ed by moral improvement also, in dininish- obnoxious than others which were pu. ing the number of burglaries and high- nished in a much slighter manner. This way robberies, very important addditional had been observed by all versant with the advantage would certainly be obtained. criminal justice of the country, and had There might be serious doubts entertained been considered as a manifest defect in as to the general principle of the bill, our criminal code. But were gentlemen lest, by extending to other offences those aware of the extent that was given to the aggravated penalties, which the law now definition of this kind of burglary? Were affixed exclusively to the crime of mur- they aware that a ragged boy who passed der, that impression of horror which na. the most populous street in the metroture, co operating with legislative provi- polis after sunset, which was at four sions, had implanted in the human breast o'clock on the 21st of December, and who, against a crime so atrocious and detesta. taking out a pane of glass with his knife, and ble, might, in some degree be diminished. with a wire drawing out two penny-worth In this view it might, perhaps, be deemed of ribbon, or a pair of garters, was guilty inexpedient to add to the severity of our of the crime of burglary, and must receive If they

sentence of death? Was the person who The Attorney General said, that had he took a few shillings, without committing been apprized that this motion was to any violence, to be compared to the noc. have come on, he would have made inturnal, way-laying murderer? Were the quiry among those who were at the head obvious moral distinctions of these crimes of his profession, and who were stated to to be confounded, and held forth to the have approved of the measure. people, as meriting the same severity of had entertained that opinion with any depunishment ? In truth, the complexion gree of confidence, he thought it probable of our criminal laws was already too sau. that this business would have come forguinary. The punishment of the torture ward in a different way. Death was, in had been long banished from this coun. his opinion, a sufficient punishment for try; and God forbid that it should ever any crime. The crime of murder alone be revived ! Since that time we had little appeared to him to call for the extraordimore than the penalty of death to inflict nary punishment of dissection. It cerupon offences the most foul and flagi. tainly must take away part of the horror of tious; and it was painful to reflect that it that crime, to put it on a level with others was not entirely reserved for murder and of an inferior nature; and therefore he high treason, but was inflicted for offences concurred entirely with the learned serwhich had no comparative enormity. He jeant who, by a long, able, and humane was far from wishing to justify, or even administration of the criminal law, had to palliate any breach of the law; he deserved the warmest thanks of his coun. could not for a moment, however, lose try. sight of the distinction to be made be- Mr. Fox said, the point on which his tween the man whom distress obliges to opposition to the proposed bill rested go out into the highway, and without any was, that it annihilated that distinction design upon the life of the person whom between murder and other crimes, which he met with, demands a few shillings, and was so essential to inspire just impressions the nocturnal assassin, who, without


of guilt. immediate risk that he knows of, lies in The motion was negatived. wait to start upon his prey. The law had set up, on the impulse of God and Debate on General Macleod's Motion nature, this barrier between murder and respecting the Employment of Bloodhounds all other crimes, and that legislature in the War against the Maroons.] March would, in his opinion, act most unwisely, 21. General Macleod said, that the transwhich should be induced on any account action he was about to state, and the moto remove it. The most that could be tion he should ground upon it, were of so expected from it, and even that must be much importance, not only to the honour extremely uncertain, was that they would of the House and of the country, but the have fewer burglaries and highway rob- interests of humanity for ages to come, beries, but more numerous murders. It that he regretted his inability for such a was the honourable boast of England, task. Before he entered into any detail, that murder was here less frequent than however, he should endeavour to wipe in any other country. Let them there- away some aspersions which had been fore be cautious how they destroyed, or thrown upon him since he had undertaken even confounded those impressions, pre- this business. It had been both publicly judices, and terrors, which separated and privately asserted, that he entertained murder in its consequences, as in its na- two objects for his present motion, priture, from every other crime. As to the vate malice and hypocrisy. In fact, that effect which the measure might have in he endeavoured to calumniate a noble the improvement of anatomy, it bore no lord under the mask of friendship. In proportion to the importance of the other reply to this cruel insinuation, he appealconsiderations; nor would the provision ed to all who kuew him, whether they of this bill, he believed, furnish all the believed him to be capable of entertaining supplies for which the surgeons might sentiments of private malice against any have occasion. He was not such an en- man, far less against a person whom he thusiast for the promotion of the science loved as a man, and respected as an acof anatomy, as to advance it at such a complished soldier, and with whom he price, and by such means. He trusted had always lived in habits of intimacy. the bill would not be suffered to go into The first account he had received of the

importation of blood-hounds, from the

another stage.

island of Cuba to Jamaica, was through ( son inimical to government, nor to the the medium of a newspaper; as that was introduction of the blood-hounds. The not, however, the most authentic inform- first inquiry that presented itself was, who ation for the House to proceed upon, he these Maroons were and the result of that would read the following extract from an inquiry would be, that they were men: and original letter :-“ Kingston, Jamaica, not only men, but freemen; that they never January 5, 1796. I dare say you have had been slaves themselves, nor had their heard of our internal war with the Ma- ancestors been so, their freedom having roons of Trelawny-town. We have la- been acknowledged by several generaboured under the oppression of martial tions. The second question, then, would law since August last, and when it will be, what were these blood-hounds that cease, God only knows. Last week they were imported with thirty Spanish chasmade overtures of peace, and requested seurs to hunt up the Maroons from their three days time to surrender, which was recesses ? and it would be found that they granted to them, and we entertained our- were dogs which the Spaniards had found selves with the flattering hopes we should of great use upon their discovery of soon again enjoy tranquillity. On the Mexico for the purpose of extermination. contrary, the three days truce afforded He would crave the attention of the them an opportunity of gaining every in- House to an extract from the writings of formation respecting our situation, &c. Bartholomew de las Casas, a simple and they are again retreated farther into monk, who was the only person that opthe woods than ever. Strange might the posed the barbarities of his countrymen. idea appear, but 'tis a fact, we have im. [The general here read an extract from ported from Cuba, 100 blood-bounds, at- Robertson's History of America, descriptended by twenty Spanish chasseurs, and tive of the horrors of this sort of warfare they last Friday proceeded into the woods in Cuba.] Bartholomew de las Casas, to hunt out and destroy the enemy. It on account of this inhuman butchery, is the opinion of people in general, they separated from his countrymen ; and rewill have the desired effect. Query, presented to the court of Spain such What effect will it have on Mr. Wilber- abominable practices. Would the parlia. force? I suppose he shrinks at the idea ment of Great Britain wink at such pro. of hunting human flesh and blood, as he ceedings as these? It was usual in Cuba, is pleased to stylethem, with blood-hounds. for the Spaniards to feed their dogs with We all wish him present. We had severe human flesh, that they might be unnatuduty during Christmas holidays, in keep- rally bloody and fierce; it was common ing guard in and about this town, that among the soldiers to split a child in two; being the critical juncture to observe the or cut up an Indian in quarters, and feast dispositions of the slaves, but I am happy their dogs. Would the House sit careto say, they are universally well affected, less, while fifty couple of blood-hounds and I never saw a quieter Christmas; were imported from Cuba, and thirty there is very little to be dreaded from chasseurs, to pursue the same bloody and them. One half Kingston is in Trelawny; inhuman sports? And who were the have been there these three months my- sportsmen? British subjects, British self; have been in one expedition against soldiers, and British officers! Surely the Maroons in Charlestown; they im- parliament would not suffer them to enjoy mediately laid down their arms. In addi- a chase that stained the character of the tion to a number of fine fellows that have country, and would blot the annals of his lost their lives, it has cost the country majesty's reign, as much as it had done above half a million since the commence those of Philip 2nd and Charles 5th of ment of this unfortunate war. You would Spain. We had not heard the cause of scarcely credit that 500 of these fellows this war, or what provocation the Maroons could so long withstand upwards of 5,000 had given. He would, however, for the troops, which are the number against them; sake of argument, allow that the war was they get into the interior parts of the in defence of our rights, and consequentmountains, and 'tis impossible to get ly just ; yet we had no right to resort to at them. I suppose you are almost tired unjustifiable means in prosecuting it. We of reading; if not, I am almost tired of had no right to pursue them with bloodwriting ; so will conclude the subject by hounds into their inmost recesses. He wishing a speedy extirpation to them.”- had read in his youth the works of PutThis letter was not scnt home by any per- fendorff and Grotius, and he could recollect that they reprobated all improper in- land of Cuba, these dogs were used to struments of war as unjust, because they prevent negroes from running away, and tended unnecessarily to increase the merely to seize and retain them, and not horrors of war. It had been said, that to tear and mangle them with that cruelty these Maroons had been set on by the which was described by the hon. mover. French. If this was the case, what effect The account given in the book quoted by would this produce on the French as an the hon. gentleman, he doubted not was enemy? Were we sure of retaining all greatly exaggerated, but however it might our West: India islands? He was afraid be a just picture of the former practice not. Supposing Grenada or St. Vincent's it was not applicable to the present time. to be taken by the French, might not He did not understand that the descripthey also send to Cuba for blood-hounds, tion given by the hon. gentleman was the and exercise those severities of which we real and true state of the matter. The had shown them the example? He hoped grounds stated for the motion certainly he had said enough to rouse the indigna- were insufficient. He confessed he had tion of the House, and to inspire them heard of the fact, but his chief objection with a zeal to vindicate their own honour was, that any information that could be laid and that of the nation, by an inquiry into before the House was lame and unsatisfac. a business of so shocking a nature. He tory. It was admitted, that the employwould now move, “ That an 'humble Ad- | ment of these dogs was not in consedress be presented to his majesty, that he quence of any direction of ministers here. will be pleased to give directions, that If the assembly of Jamaica had caused there be laid before this House, copies of such an application of them to be made, such intelligence as has been received which he did not imagine was the case, by any of his majesty's ministers relating it was surely unjust to lay the blame npon to the mode of carrying on the War against ministers. It was not requiring too much the Maroons in Jamaica."

from the House to ask them to believe Mr. Secretary Dundas said, he was that ministers, on the first intimation, possessed of no authentic information would adopt such measures as would preupon the subject, that he could offer to vent or prohibit the use of dogs in the the House. He hoped that he should manner so justly reprobated. This mj. be able to satisfy the House, of the im- nisters might easily be supposed to have propriety of the motion. The hon. gen. done. When the character of an absent ileman had taken it for granted that the governor, whose conduct had hitherto war with the Maroons was unjust, and commanded the greatest approbation, had originated in aggression on our part. was involved, he hoped the House would It should be remembered, however, that see the impropriety of pushing any farit had its rise in an insurrection of the ther a motion on such slight foundation, Maroons, unprovoked by any aggression and which must appear unnecessary, or ill usage, and that no part of it was considering the steps already taken to to be ascribed to the conduct of the as- prevent the employment of blood-hounds semblies or of the inhabitants of Jamaica. in the way deprecated. Ever since this insurrection, the island Mr. Barham said, that the information had been in a state of the greatest alarm on which the hon. gentleman rested, was and danger. The Maroons were accus- not sufficient ground for the motion.. tomed to descend from their fastnesses at Whether the dogs were imported for the midnight, and commit the most dreadful purpose of war was another question; ravages and cruelties upon the wives, but the hon. gentleman did not attempt children, and property of the inhabitants, to state that they were now fed on huburning and destroying every place which man flesh, either at Cuba or Jamaica : they attacked, and murdering all who therefore, so far they must be less ferounfortunately became the objects of their cious, than at the distant period stated fury. In this distressing situation, the in the book to which he had referred. milítia of the island were constantly in Every gentleman who had a park kept arms, and forced to be always prepared dogs to protect their venison, and to hunt for defence. He did not understand that the deer-stealers! some of these were called purpose of the dogs was such as had been blood-hounds, but he never understood stated, nor were they to be employed in that they partook of that ferociousness, the barbarous way that had been repre- which seemed to excite the humanity of sented. He understood, that in the is the hon. general. The object of using the dogs in Jamaica was to discover the tleman alluded, was that of publicly haunts of the maroons, and to protect the whipping a poor wretch through the town planters and their families from being for stealing a pig: Such was the pride murdered by those barbarous rebels of these independent people, that they The present was a war against robbers preferred death to such an ignominious puand murderers; and if a banditti consist. nishment. The effect of the Maroon's ing of about 400 infested any of our fo- bloody stripes created disgust throughout rests, or poured down from some moun. his nation. We had no right to try him tain and murdered every pirson that at all; as by an express stipulation became within their reach, would gentlemen tween us and the Maroons, they were to conceive it improper to hunt them out of be tried by a tribunal of their own. We their haunts in a manner the most likely had, in this instance, therefore, violated to get rid of such villains ? The hon. gen. an express article of a treaty. For the tleman seemed to lay much stress upon honour of the British character, he trusted the Maroons being freemen; their being that ministers would put an end to the freemen, however, gave them no more atrocities complained of. right to a claim on humanity than the Mr. Courtenay said, it had been assertslaves in the island. If the hon. general ed that these blood-hounds were employed meant to maintain the contrary, he must only to pursue and discover the lurking assure him, that, in the eye of the planters places of the Maroons; but when such freemen did not stand on a higher ground dogs were set on for a purpose of this than the slaves. The war was an un- kind, they would not stop at merely findprovoked rebellion on the part of the ing the fugitive. In a private letter from Maroons, because one of them was pu- Jamaica, it was stated, that two of these nished slightly, for an offence for which dogs had set on a soldier's wife on the in this country he would have suffered beach, and that two soldiers were obliged death. To the Maroons, since that time, to bayonet them in order to save her life. the most favourable offers had been made, If these animals were so ferocious when not but they had persevered in refusing all set on, what was to be expected from them terms.

when they were properly trained to this horMr. M. Robinson did not consider the rid business by Spanish chasseurs? It had communication contained in a private been said, that these Maroons came down letter sufficient to induce him to vote for from the mountains to murder during the the motion. But the defence of the hon. night. This was a mere assertion, and gentleman manifested the propriety of totally devoid of truth. But was it not its being adopted, as he confessed the strange that 500 men should oppose the fact of blood-hounds being actually em- whole armed force of the island of Ja. ployed in carrying on the war.

maica, and oblige the government to put Mr. Sheridan declared he had heard, with the inhabitants under military law, and the greatest satisfaction, that orders had permit a mode of warfare so discordant been sent to put an end to this atrocious to the feelings of British soldiers ? By the mode of warfare. He was concerned, treaty with the Maroons made in the year however, to find, that the war in Ja- 1783, it was expressly stipulated, that maica was a war of extermination. It when a Maroon should commit a crime, was surprising, that without the abomina- he was not to be punished, but given up ble aid of blood-hounds, the whole force to his nation. This article was insisted of Jamaica could not succeed in subduing upon by them, that they might not be these unfortunate Maroons, who, by op- subjected to corporal punishment by the pression, the breach of treaty on the part planters, which they considered the of the English, and in vindication of their greatest misfortune that could befal them. rights, had been driven to take up arms. Like all other savages, their passions There was nothing which could justify were strong, and their resentment of inthe use of blood-hounds. The object of juries indiscriminating. Let, then, repa. the war in Jamaica seemed to be the ex- ration and friendship be offered, and tirpation of this unhappy people. The their passions may be made to flow with hon. gentleman would not say that the no less violence in the opposite strean of Maroons whom in the habits of common affection and gratitude. To talk of exterintercourse with the planters, were not minating this handful of brave men, who, only extremely useful, but tractable. The had made such a noble resistance, was slight punishment to which the hon. gen the very achie of wickedness, and would

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