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Lately published, bandsomely prinied in royal octavo, price

in boards 31s. 6d., or half-bound with russia backs and corners and lettered, 35s., the Twenty-first Volume of

A TRIALS, and Proceedings for High Treason and other

Crimes and Misdemeanors, from the earliest Period to the present Time; with Notes and other Illustrations, by T. B. HOWELL, Esq. F. R. S. F. S. A.

A Table of Parallel Reference, compiled for the purpose of rendering this Edition of The State Triale applicable to those Books of authority in which references are made to the last Folio Edition, is given with this Volume. Gentlemen desirous of becoming Subscribers may have the option of purchasing the Work as far as published, at one time, or of being supplied at the rate of a Volume per month.

In the Edinburgh Review, (No. 49, June 1815, p. 208, note,) this work is noticed (together with the New Parliamentary History,) as deserving " to be numbered among the most useful and best conducted Works of late Years;-being an indispensable part of all collections of English History.” “The death of a person so singularly qualified for his task as Mr. Howell, the Editor, is a public loss very difficult to be repaired. The choice of a successor is a point in which historical literature is materially concerned. To inention such an important Work in a Note may seem to be a treatment very unsuitable to its importance. The truth is, that it has long been intended to notice it more becomingly; that such an intention is far from being now relinquished; but that experience of the accidents which are apt to delay the execution of literary projects, induces us to take the earliest opportunity of apprizing all our readers of its great value.”

The Subscribers to the “ State Trials" are assured, that the Proprietors have been fully impressed with the necessity of due cantion in the choice of a successor to Mr. Howell in a work of such National Importance; that the delay which has necessarily taken place since his death will prove in every respect of ultimate benefit to the Work; and that arrangements are nearly completed which will ensure its progress, and speedy termination.

Printed for Longman, Harst, Rees, Orme, & Brown ; E Jeffery; J. M. Richardson; Black, Parbury, and Allen; J. Hatchard ; J. Booker ; Baldwin, Cradock, & Joy; J. Bouth; E. Lloyd; R. H. Evans; Budd & Calking and T. C. Hansard.

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OF THE

OR

THIRD SESSION

inquiry, be found to be as he had stated. Certain he was, that if the present Bill

passed into a law, there could not happen SIXTEENTH PARLIAMENT a vacancy in which, in all human proba

bility, a great many of the freeholders

would not find themselves disqualified. GREAT BRITAIN.

The Bill enacted, that no freeholder

should have a right to vote who did not (Continued from Vol. XXV.] enter his freehold in a register to be kept Debate in the Commons on the he was ready to admit

, a very moderate

for that purpose; and that a certain, but, County Election Bill.] May 15, 1786. expense was to be incurred by so doing. On the order of the day for going into a To both of these regulations he strongly Committee on the Bill for the better objected, because he was persuaded few of securing the Rights of Voters at County the free and independent mass of freeElections,

holders, whom undoubtedly that House Mr. W. W. Grenville observed, that must look to as the properest description could he have conceived the Bill would in of freeholders to send representatives to the least facilitate any one of those objects parliament, would be sufficiently careful which the noble framer (earl Stanhope) to enter their freeholds in the register, and had in view, he should certainly have because any expense whatever was in his given it his support; but being perfectly mind exceedingly wrong to be imposed on convinced that it tended to a very different the poorer part of freeholders. If the Bill effect, he must object to its being pro- passed, in all probability those freeholders ceeded in any farther. So far from secu- only who were in the interest of some ring the rights of election to freeholders, great and overbearing power which in. the Bill tended rather to annihilate their Auenced the county, would be taken care existing rights, and to deprive them of of to make them enter their freeholds, their votes. A Bill similar to the present while the freeholders in the interest of had been passed in the parliament of Ire- favourite characters, and the larger de. land in the course of the last session ; and scription of independent freeholders in no such had appeared likely to have been its particular interest, but who consulted their operation and effect, that had any vacancy own judgment as to who was the fittest for a county member happened, there person to represent them, would not one would not have been a single voter quali- half of them think of entering their freefied to have voted for the candidate who holds, and thus they would, on an election offered to fill the vacancy. He under taking place, find themselves unexpectedly stood, therefore, that the very first act of disqualified. The operation of the Bill the Irish Parliament in the present session, consequently would be, that the great and had been to pass a Bill to suspend the ope- overbearing county interests must prove ration of their act of the preceding session. strengthened, and all the other interest's He spoke of this fact under some degree weakened, so that instead of encouraging of doubt; but he believed it would, upon men of moderate fortunes to stand the (VOL. XXVI.]

[B]

chance of an election, they would be de- , the Speaker's leaving the chair ; but if terred from it, and the returns would lay the hon. gentleman intended to go into a where undoubtedly they ought least to committee, with a view to the pa:sing the rest. The votes of freeholders appeared Bill into a law that session, he certainly much better secured as the law stood at would oppose the motion. present, by being assessed by the land- Sir Joseph Mawbey commended the tax assessors, and appearing upon their Bill, and said, that in Surrey he was perreturns. He must, therefore, object, to suaded its operation would be extremely the Speaker's leaving the chair.

beneficial. Mr. Pitt remarked, that were he not Mr. Bastard described the Bill as a colconvinced of the excellence of the Bill, lection of clauses, each of which alternately the opinion of his right hon. friend would contradicted the principle laid down in weigh very considerably with him against the clause preceding it; indeed, it conit, and his argument still more; he was tained so much extraordinary matter, that however decided in his sentiments, that he could not imagine its operation would so far from having the tendency of ex- be attended with any beneficial consecluding from the power of voting those quences. who were entitled to vote, and of increasing Sir

W. Dolben contended, that the prethe expense of elections, it would operate sent Bill went to a great object, the atin a directly opposite way. It would tainment of which must be extremely deconfine the election to those only who sirable; -for what could be more so than were entitled to vote, except such as by the securing the rights of voters, and the their negligence in registering their free- putting a stop to the ruinous expense of holds shewed themselves unworthy of that county elections ? He admitted that the privilege, and would, in his opinion, very Bill, as it stood at present, was incorrect; much diminish the expense of the election. but when he saw the great abilities which

Thus, all the faults to be found in the most were likely to be exerted upon amending unobjectionable part of the constitution of it, he had no doubt but that if it was sufthe House of Commons (the county repre- fered to go into a committee, it would sentation) would be effectually remedied; come out so improved, that all the objeca blessing which he hoped the country tions to it would be done away. would one time or other be able to obtain Sir G. P. Turner observed, that he had in every other department of the repre- formerly supported the Bill; but having sentation,

heard two of his friends, the representaMr. Duncombe said, that he deemed it tives of large counties, who must be the a very good bill; and being persuaded that best judges of the subject, declare it would it would have an excellent effect in large not answer the end, he had so much concounties, he should certainly give it his fidence in their superior knowledge, that support. A former Bill of this nature has he would vote against the Speaker's leave by no means answered the purpose which ing the chair. the hon. gentleman (Mr. Powys) had The Earl of Surrey declared, he rose doubtless meant to effect by it.

with a full conviction of the necessity of Mr. Powys entered into a few observa- the Bill going into the committee, that tions to mark the distinction between his gentlemen who had started objections Bill and that under consideration. His might be apprised of the checks and guards Bill was meant as a mere index to the votes against the operation of those objections of freeholders, by obliging the land-tax that were meant to be put in the Bill. He assessors to return the freeholds in their appealed to the candour and liberality of respective districts; whereas the noble the House, whether, if means could be earl's Bill professed to register them, and hit upon to prevent gentlemen, of large contained some very complicated provi- fortunes even, from wasting those fortunes sions for the purpose, making each voter in county elections, those means ought not his own scrutineer. He thought the Bill to be resorted to, and those elections placed extremely inadequate to its effect; but if upon that footing of freedom and small the hon. gentleman who had now taken expenditure which would encourage men the charge of it, would say, that he meant of moderate fortunes, but independent no more by going into the committee than principles, to stand for counties without to amend it as much as possible, and then risk of ruin. let it go forth to the consideration of the The House divided on the question, country at large, he would not object to that the Speaker do now leave the chair.

:}

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present Bill

pass

Tellers.

where would be the justice of inflicting Sir J. Mawbey

unmerited restrictions on one set of men Yeas

98 Mr. Steele.

by way of douceur to another? He par

ticularly adverted to the two clauses which NOES

Sir W. W. Grenville-
Mr. Powys -

22 the Bill went to repeal ; and said, that

only three or four counties had enforced The House then went into the Com- the clause empowering magistrates to mittee.

suppress hawkers and pedlars, and to ob

lige them to keep without the district of Debate in the Commons on the Bill to the county. It was fair, therefore, to conexplain the Hawkers and Pedlars Act.] clude, that as thirty-six or thirty-seven Mey 16. The order of the day being read counties had forborne to put that severe for the second reading of the Bill to ex- clause in execution, the extreme arbitrari. plain and amend the Act of the last ses- ness of it had carried conviction to them, sion relative to Hawkers and Pedlars, that it ought not to be enforced. An honest

Mr. Popham reminded the House, that employment was as much a man's proa heavy tax had last year been imposed on perty as his estate; and competition was shopkeepers, and that at the time it had the heart and soul of trade. It was unibeen held out to them that the hawkers versally admitted to be true policy to enand pedlars should be abolished; but that courage competition as much as possible ; afterwards that measure was changed, and upon that principle, therefore, it would be the House had thought that, as hawkers wise to let the

ipto a law. and pedlars were men liable to no local Lord Mulgrave was fully aware that assessments, nor contributing in any pro- competition was the soul of trade; but portionable degree to the exigencies of then he wished always for a fair and equal ihe state, they were fair objects of taxation competition, and not to suffer a hawker and and restriction. Upon this the House a pedlar, who was not liable to local assesshad proceeded in their Act of the last ment, and contributed little or nothing session, and therefore the faith of Parlia. either to parochial or government taxes, ment was pledged, that the hawkers and to carry his goods to market under those pedlars should remain under the restric- advantages, to undersell the resident shoptions then imposed. He concluded by keeper, who paid many very heavy taxes moving, That the second reading be put of both kinds. If the hawkers and pedlars off until that day three months.

deserved the high character given them Mr. J. H. Browne described the hawk- for industry and knowledge of business, ers and pedlars as an honest, industrious, why could they not fix their abode, and

and useful description of people. There take shops to sell their goods in as well as 1

were some thousand acres of the county carry them about the country? With reof Stafford, which the hawkers and pedlars gard to a compact, undoubtedly no exhad cultivated, and converted from a press compact had been made, so as to barred and wild spot to a rich and fertile pledge that House to any specific line of circuit. They had there given the strongest conduct respecting hawkers and pedlars; proofs of their industry, their peaceable but gentlemen must recollect that it had disposition, and their aptness for civil so- been suggested, when the shop tax was ciety; why, therefore, should so laudable stated to the House, that shopkeepers a set of men be singled out for severity? would be relieved from the intrusion made He had heard nothing urged against them upon them by hawkers and pedlars. but ungrounded suspicions, upon which Therefore, although the House were not alone the Legislature surely ought not to pledged by any specific stipulation to rest any measures of an injurious tendency. abide by the act of the last session, they He saw no reason why it should be ima were bound in honour to do so. gined that hawkers and pedlars were more Sir E. Astley contended, that when the addicted to smuggling than shopkeepers. shop tax had been proposed, the shopThe latter could surely better conceal keepers were given to understand from muggled goods in their shops and houses authority that the hawkers and pedlars than a pedlar, who carried all his goods were to be abolished. Under that pro

on his back. He denied that the faith of mise and suggestion it was, that many i Parliament had been pledged to the shop- gentlemen had been induced to support

keepers, that the act of the last year the shop tax, and though the House had should remain in full force, and asked, not acted up to the extent of that sugges

tion, yet the matter had been in a man- , and pedlars to remain under all the severe ner compromised by the tax imposed on restrictions imposed by the Act of the last hawkers and pedlars, and the restrictions session so forcibly, that the collective auwhich accompanied it. In Norfolk, the thority of all their constituents put togeclause of the Act, authorizing magistrates ther should not induce him to support an to prevent hawkers and pedlars from en- act of injustice, and such he considered tering or continuing within the county, the Act of the last session. He had been had been enforced, and the shopkeepers a supporter of the shop tax; he still ap. considered their being so kept out as some proved of that tax, and he should be exdouceur, and they the more cheerfully tremely glad to hear it was cheerfully paid the tax on shops in consequence of paid; but he would not purchase the it. He denied that hawkers and pedlars consent of the shopkeepers at the expense were generally considered so useful as had of the oppression of the hawkers and been represented, and declared that they pedlars. Competition, as an hon. gentlecarried about old-fashioned, and often man had said, was the soul of trade. It smuggled goods ; and being generally was so undoubtedly; and therefore he employed in travelling about, had no set- wished to leave the hawkers and pedlars tled home, and consequently did not pay unfettered with restrictions calculated to in any proportion to the taxes, to which support the most ardent wish of every the resident shopkeeper so largely contri. shopkeeper, a monopoly. buted.

Mr. Alderman Neunham said, that the Mr. Alderman Hammet appealed to the shop tax was certainly an oppressive and recollection of the House, if the Chan- partial tax, but he could not see how cellor of the Exchequer had not, when he taxing hawkers and pedlars would render first proposed the shop tax, mentioned his it less so. Hawkers and pedlars were, in intention of suppressing the hawkers and his mind, a very honest, useful, and inpedlars, and whether many gentlemen had dustrious set of people. If any body of not been induced to vote for the shop tax men could be said to earn their bread by in consequence of that proposition, and, the sweat of their brow, that body cer. in particular, influenced the hon. baronet, tainly consisted of hawkers and pedíars. who now so consistently opposed the pre- Mr. J. T. Ellis said :-- The worthy sent Bill. If the Bill was in any view alderman must have been particularly proper, it should have been accompanied fortunate in his dealing with the hawkers with another for the repeal of the shop and pedlars, to venture to speak so detax.

cidedly in declaring them to be a very Mr. Powys remarked, that he could not honest set of people. I think so many of see any reason to refuse releasing the the late revenue burthens are laid on oc. hawkers and pedlars from restrictions cupiers of houses, that they have a claim which bore hard upon them, and could pot to protection against competitors, who do be supported upon any principle of expe- not equally contribute to the exigencies diency, necessity, or justice. The argu- of the state. I wish to guard against the ment against the Bill, he understood to facility which, as the clauses are now be, that a compact had been made between worded, they give to evasion. Such reparliament and the shopkeepers, that the strictions as the Legislature think it wise restrictions imposed on hawkers and ped to continue should remain inviolable. lars by the Act of the last session should Shopkeepers submit to their burthens, not be repealed. He knew of no such relying on the stability of our proceedings, compact; nor indeed was it possible that and that we shall not suffer these invaders such a compact should have been made, of their rights to make farther encroachbecause the House would not bargain to ments on their means of subsistence; but oppress a harmless and innocent set of if to what the Legislature professes to people, for so that House had declared grant, they should be permitted, through hawkers and pediars to be by tolerating our inattention, to carry their trade into them. If they were not fit people to be every market.town in the kingdom, they tolerated, let them be abolished altoge- would share the profits without proporther ; but the House surely would not act tionably sharing the burthens of the place. 80 unjustly as to pronounce them fit to I shall therefore give my vote for the exist, and then, in an indirect way, de- amendment. prive them of the means of existence. He Mr. Beaufoy.If I do not mistake the felt the hardship of obliging the hawkers arguments of the hon. gentleman who

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