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Debates and Proceedings of the First Sef try had impaired his health, it would
foon of the House of Commons of the ill become that House to place him Fifteenth Parliament of Great Britain, again in a situation in which the busieppointed to meet Oct. 31, 1780. ness of the House must either be fre
A quently suspended, or the valuable lite UCH of the news of the hon. gentleman endangered. members of the For that reason, and that only, ano
House of Com- ther gentleman had been thought of; S
and when he acquainted the House sworn being al-_that he intended to move for Mr. sembled in their B Cornwall to be their Speaker, he trust. own House, and ed that no member who had fat with
his Majesty being that gentleman in parliament would feated on the throne with the House withhold his affent. of Peers, the usher of the black rod Mr. W-I-e El-, in seconding was sent to command the attendance cthe motion, sincerely lamented that the of the Commons; when the Lord late Speaker should last fellion have Chancellor [Thurlow] signified his had occasion to complain of the imMajesty's pleasure, that they do imme- pression made upon his conftitution by diately repair to their own House and the fatigues of his fituation, though he chule a Speaker, and that they do pre- could not but own he considered it as fent the person of their choice for his Dthe natural consequence of constant Majesty's approbation the next day at attendance, and the continual applica. two o'clock. In obedience to the royal tion to which men in elevated stations command, the Commons returned, and must necessarily submit; but as this being feated, Mr. Hatsell, one of the was a proof that the hon. gentleman clerks in parliament, acquainted the e preferred the duties of his office, and members prelent, that the firft busi- the service of his country, to the prenels to be proceeded upon was (what servation of his own health, and the his Majesty was pleased to direct) to tranquillity of his own mind, so in chuse a Speaker.
gratitude this House, now an opportuLd Gro. G-rm- then rose, and niry offered, ought to relieve him from entertained the House with the duties f those labours and those anxieties, by and neceffary qualifications of a chusing another Speaker. With this Speaker ; remarked that the right view it was, that he looked upon
Mr. hon. gentleman who lat filled the Cornwall as a proper fuccefor tv Sir chair poiletled every qualification Fletcher Norton; nor could he give which the duties of that oifice require that gentleman betrer advice, that to ed when he was fitt elected to that let the conduct of the late Speaker be office; but, now that the fatigues his model, if the House should honour which the right hon. gentleman had him to far as to seat him in tlie undergone in the service of his coun- chair.
Mr. D-n--g expressed his sur- man at pleasure, a pensioner, and a prize, when on coming down to the representative of one of the cinque House he heard that Mr. Cornwall ports, a fit guardian for the privileges was to be Speaker. There was no of the people - But why chuse a new gentleman for whom he had a higher Speaker ? If Sir Flercher Norton was regard, nor to whom he would have so worthy, wly dismiss him? To remore readily have given his support, Alieve him, fay they, froin fatigues, than to the gentleman proposed, had which his constitution is unequal to, the chair been in the fair sense of the
Mighty plausible, but wholy unfoundword vacant; but, at a time when ed. The lurking reason originated in Sir Fletcher Norton, the late Speaker, that memorablespeech which proved his was in the House, and to all appear- impartiality as a Speaker, his zeal for ance as capable of cxecuting the du- B his country, his feeling for the na: ries of the ofice as ever, it itruck himotional distrelles under which Great as the most fingular of all mealuies to Britain laboured. Hence the cause of conless, as the moble lord who made the present attempt to disgrace and in, the inotion, and the hon. gentleman fult him; and, as it was unmanly and who fecondej it, bad done, that the illiberal, he trusted every member, laie Speaker was the propereit and young and old, those who sat in the mot able of all perons to fill the Cold parliament, and those who were chair will diguity; and, in the very newly chosen, would feel properly on moment of making that confeilion, to the occasion, and join with him in propose another candidate, and that supporting the motion of his honoura. ioo without stating to the House, as ble and learned friend, which he beg. might have been expected, that Sir ged leave to second. Fletcher Norton had formally exprefledd Sir F. N-rton said, he had risen bis defire to resign the chair, allign- refore in order to fave the House trou, ing as a reason for his so doing, that ble, and to tell them, that he came his health was in that impaired state in down with his mind full of the busiwhich the noble lord and the hon. Dels of the day, and with a full resogentleman had both declared it. He lution pot to go into the chair again observed, that if appearances were to Eon any confideration. He was happy, be relied on, or it allurances were to he said, in seeing so many members be believed, Sir Fle:cler Norron was of the late parliament present, and as well and as capable of going took that opportunity of returning his through the durits of that office as ever moi grateful thanks for all their goodhe had been lince he was firii chofen.ness to him. He begged also to thank lle concluded his speech with moving, F the roble lord who made the motion " That Sir Fleicher Norton be conii. for the clection of a new Speaker, and nued Speaker.”
his bon. triend (if he would allow him Right Hon. T. T-nh-d rose to to call him (o) who seconded it, for second the motion, and objected to the many handsome things they had Mr. Cornwall as an improper person faid of him ; but he should be an ideot ro fill the chair, were there even a va.
-Gindeed, if he could poffibly imagine cancy, as he held an oifice under the he merited such compriments, or that crown, ditpotable at the pleasure of his state of health was the real cause the crown, an was the representative of of their moving for a new Speaker, one of the cinque ports; whereas the Every inan, he was sure, who had the office of Speaker ought to be filled by least pretensions to understanding, a person tree from all influence of the Hwent before him in feeling, that a concrown. It was the first duty of the fideration of his state of health was not Speaker to guard the rights and privi- the true motive for the present mealeges of the people against the in- fure. With regard to the gentleman creafeil and increaling influence of the who was the object of the noble lord's Crowl, Was Mr. Cornwall, a place. motion, he highly approved of him;
but, but, as the House must be beforehand Mr. B-g reprobated the motion as with him in seeing through the fallacy an insult to the late Speaker, and comof the reasons stated by the noble lord plained of the last parliament having as the ground of the motion, and as been diffolved but two days after Sir it was an insult to the understanding Fletcher Norton set out for Yorkshire, of every gentleman present, to pretend without the least previous intimation that an anxiety for his health was the being given him of any such design, real cause for moving that another though he was the representative of a Speaker might be chosen, he called borough so near town as Guildford. upon the noble lord and his hon. He allo mentioned the rudeness of the friend to tell him, why he was thus minister's telling his friends, who atdisgracefully dismisled? He pressed_tended at the place called The Cock. this the more earnestly, he said, be- B pit, of the intention of moving, that cause, though he had been in town Mr. Cornwall might be elected Speakthree days, he had never been asked er, without giving the smallest intimawhether his health would enable him tion of such an intention to Sir Fletto continue in the chair, nor had he cher Norton. been applied to either directly or indi. Mr. C-nwell said, that if the rectly on the subject of chusing a new House thought proper to elect him to Speaker.
Cihe chair, he should exert his endeaMr. F-* strongly arraigned the vours to give them satisfaction; but ministry for having made it a system that he could not think it would be in during their continuance in office to his power to come near the partial exdisgrace every dignified character in pectations of the noble lord who made the kingdom, and especially to insult the motion, the hon. gentleman who and vilify those men whose conduct seconded it, or his learned friends.
D the House of Commons most approved. After a momentary pause, The noble lord who made the motion Sir F-tc-, rose, and declared, if had filled his speech, he said, with any thing could induce him to accept empty compliments on Sir Fletcher the chair again-he begged pardon for Norton, and, after asserting he was the the expression-10 aspire to it, it would ableit man the House could chuse to
be the contempt with which he was fit in the chair, had concluded his ad. treated. He surely had a right to dress with moving, that another gen- complain of fuch usage, and doubted tleman might be elected to fill it; and not but the House would put a true the hon. gentleman who seconded the construction upon the treatment he motion had recommended it to the had received, and the silence of migentleman moved for as Sir Fletcher nisters respecting it. Norton's successor, to copy the exam-F Mr. Elas declared, that he had no ple of Sir Fletcher Norton, telling intention either to insult or disgrace him in the most plain, potitive, and Sir F. Norton, but that he thought it direct terms, that his only chance for was better to chuse a Speaker of fresher making a good Speaker rested on his health, and who, from his time of implicitly following the model of Sir life, was better able to encounter and Fletcher Norton. What will theG fuftain the fatigues of his office. world fay? Will they not take this LM-h-declared, that he would measure as an ill omen, as a bad begin- oppose the motion, were there no other ning of the new parliament ? Sir Flet. reason for it but that it was made by a cher Norton feels himself insulted; he member of administration ; that admicomplains of the insult, and he de- nittration, whose baneful measures bad mands, honestly demands, to know H loaded their country with misery and the cause! Do minilicis answer him ? distress, had abridged the inheritance Does the noble lord in the blue ribbon of the Prince of Wales, and entailed speak out, and fairly avow the caule ruin on the House of Hanover. of his removal ? No; the noble lord Mr, R-by said, this was the first Lakes efuge in a cowardly silence,
debate in which he had heard it assert- that the gentlemen were to consider el, that there was any thing of insult, themselves here as representatives of disgrace, or contempt, to any man, in the people of England. In this view, appointing a Speaker, or that any gen- therefore, the baron of a cinque port, tleman was either to be called on or and the member for Old Sarum, was expected to fate his reasons why he either of them as eligible to the chair recommended, or why he voted for A as the members for the county of this or that particular candidate : He York. The conduct of Sir Fleicher had always understood, that, when a Norton had been loudly applauded, new parliament was fummoned, every and yet it might not strike every genindividual member had a right to give tleman as it did those who had been his vote as he pleased for a new Speak- so lavish in their commendations. One er; and he defied the most learned in B part of his conduct he had often menthe law to prove, that it was any part tioned to the late Speaker ; and that of the constitutional law of parliament, was, his relaxation of the rules of that when a member was once elected proceeding, and his want of strictness 10 the chair of the House, he was to in observing order, and keeping genfit there just as long as he pleased, un- ilemen within due bounds. This, he less fome charge of criminality could Choped, would be a main object of Mr. be made out against him. With re- Cornwall's attention, to restore parliagard to the speech alluded to, he ment to its dignity, by enforcing a thought then ihat the Speaker went strict observance of all the forms of the too far, that he was not warranted to House. He remembered, Mr. Onmake any such address to the throne, _Now was remarkable for having what and that it was flying in the King's Dwas called too much buckram in his face, and he thought the fame now, manner ; but though Mr. Onflow [A cry, to order, to order.) He infiited might be too pompous, the oppolice upon it he was not discrderly in what line was infinitely more liable to be arhe had said, he had a right to speak tended with bad consequences. As to of the last parliament. A great deal the mighty secret, the true cause of had been said about the conduct of Sir E moving for a new Speaker by one side Fletcher Norton while Speaker ; per- of the House, and supporting the old haps he did not perfectly coincide in Speaker by the other, it was reducible all that had been urged on that topic; to a very simple fact, and when put and for this and other reasons, not fit into plain English, and stripped of the to be given in that House, was dil. dress of eloquence, and the ornaments poled to support the nomination of Fof oratory, was no more than this: Mr. Cornwall, for whom he should - We will vote for you, if you will be certainly vote. He observed, that only for us ;" and as to the idea of places tiva mitreis were urged against the and placemen, that language will erer apwinment of Mr. Cornwall as ob- be held while parties continued, but jezions, and thole were, his repre- he should hear it with great indifferTeming a cinque port, and his being cence, till he was told that no persons a placeman. With regard 10 the lat- were seeking for places. He for one ter, an hon. friend of his had men- voted for ministry, because he thought tioned Mr. Onslow, but he had forgot well of them, at least he knew not thar Mr. Onslow was for some years where to look for belier ; but whentreafirer of the navy, a niuch better ever an administration could be found place than that held by Mr. Cornwall, capable of restoring unanimity to the and therefove more Jefirable. As tóH country, he would most chearfully Mr. Coron all's reprelenting a cinque give up his place to the support of such port, that was to him a very extraor- an adininiftration. dinary objetion indeed. He had al- Mr. Fx said, that side of the was under itood that there was no lo. Houle did not call i he hon. gentleman calls freientation within theie walls ; tu order for speaking of the last pariia
ment, but for using the King's name; bave ready access to his Majelty's that he hoped the young members person. would now see, thar what the new's- The Ld Chancellor replied, that he papers and the country said was true, was commanded to declare his Majelthat the King's name was on every oc- ty's royal allurance to preserve and cafion used as a melter and screen for A confirm, in the most full and ample ministers. With regard to the last manner, all the ancient privileges, parliament, most certainly he, for one, rights, and immunities, of the House was disposed to speak worse of it than of Commons; and mould always put probably the hon. gentleman would the most favourable constructions on do; he held it in deteftation, and, he all their proceedings. This business hoped, every man in England would B being finished, his Majesty delivered do the same.
his speech from the throne to both Sir E, A-11-y said, he should vote Houses (see vol. L. p. 538.); after for the late Speaker, because he had which the Commons returned to the acquitted himself in a most fair and House, and proceeded to be sworn, impartial manner.
which was continued till The House divided,
Nov. 6. For Ld Geo. Germain's motion 203
When a bill, for the more effectual For Mr. Dunning's motion 134 preventing clandestine outlawries, was Nov. I.
read the first time, and ordered to be The ing being seated on the read a second time; and then the throne, and the Commons at the bar, standing orders and resolutions of the Mr. Cornwall, the new-elected Speak-DHouse were read, and agreed to. er, addressed his Majesty in a short, The Houfe taking notice, by the fpeech, in which, in the usual style, book of returns, that the sheriffs of the he exprefled his doubts of his abilities city of Coventry had not returned any to discharge that weighty and impor- citizens to serve in this parliament, tant trust; and therefore intreated his and that they had made a special reMajesty to give his commands to the turn why they had not returned such Commons to proceed to another elec-E citizens ; the said return was read. tion.
Ordered, That Mr. Thomas Noxon The Ld Chancellor said, he was au- and Mr. Thomas Buller, late sheriffs thorized to say, that his Majesty high- of the city of Coventry, do attend ly approved of the choice which his this Houle upon Thursday the 23d Commons had made; and that it was day of this instant November.
F his Majesty's pleasure, that he should Mr. Speaker then reported to the take upon him the high and important House his Majesty's speech ; which truit.
being twice read, the hon. Mr. De Mr. Cornwall then, in an humble G-y moved, that an humble address manner, expressed his acknowledge- be presented to his Majesty, to return ments, and entreated that his Majelty his Majesty the thanks of this House would be pleased to put the most fa- for his most gracious speech from the voorable constructions on all his words Gthrone, &c. and actions, and honour him with his Mr. De G-y supported his moroyal forgiveness for the frailties and tion by taking a cursory view of the errors of his nature. And he must present pulture of American affairs, claim for the House of Commons, in which, he contended, was far more which he was to preside, the continue desirable than at any period since the ance of all their ancient rights, privi-a convention at Saratoga; and that our leges, and immunities; particularly, fituation was such as precluded every that the persons of the members, their prospect of honourable peace, but estates, and servants, lhould be free ihrough the medium of victory. Ic froin arrest and molestation ; that they was not now a question of allegiance hould enjoy freedom of debate; and and independency between us and our