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to prohibit the exercise of those very powers so regulated. This Act is now in full force; no defect in it has been stated; no amendment has been proposed; no infraction has been pretended. This law, made expressly to regulate the method of declaring dividends, does of necessity imply the exercise of that right under the conditions therein prescribed, which cannot be taken from the East India Company, without the most signal disgrace to the wisdom and good faith of the legislature, and the subversion of every principle of legal government. 4thly, Because it appears to us, that to restrain the subject in the disposition of his own property, without any other pretence than the mere possibility of abuse (this Bill having been chiefly defended upon that ground), is a principle unheard of in any free country, and most alarming to all the trading and monied interests of this Kingdom. It goes to the subjecting to the same restraint, on the same loose reasons, every great company, as well as every public or private stock, which may become of magnitude sufficient to tempt, in future times, an impoverished Treasury, and a rapacious administration, since no degree of innocence can be a security against such suspicion of a possible fraud; and such a suspicion may be made a ground for continuing an arbitrary restraint, until the subject shall consent to ransom his property on such terms as shall be prescribed to him. 5thly, Because this annual restraint tends to establish a perpetual interposition of Parliament in declaring dividends for this Company, and indeed all companies whatsoever, to the increase of that most dangerous and infamous part of stock-jobbing, which is carried on by clandestine intelligence, and to the vesting it in the worst of all hands, those of Administration; for a Minister, who shall hereafter acquire in Parliament (by whatever means) sufficient influence for the purpose, may, by his power of increasing, diminishing, or withholding dividends at his pleasure, have all the stockholders in these companies (a body extremely considerable for wealth and numbers) entirely at his mercy, and probably at his disposal, to the infinite increase of the already overgrown, and almost irresistible influence of the Crown. 6thly, Because we apprehend that this unprecedented practice of declaring dividends in Parliament, may become a more alarming mode of undue influence on the members themselves, than any of WOL. II. h
those which have hitherto so frequently excited the jealousy of the legislature, since it furnishes a fund of corruption far greater than any hitherto known; a fund in its nature inexhaustible, of the greatest facility in the application, and quite out of the reach of all discovery and prosecution. We think the principle of this Bill the first step towards the introduction of such a new system of corruption, and have therefore resisted it, lest the Constitution should become totally perverted from the ends for which it was originally established, and be no longer venerated by this nation, as giving security to liberty and property, and protection to the subject from all violence and injustice on the part of Government.
Daniel Finch, Earl of Winchilsea and Nottingham.
James Douglas, second Marquis of Douglas, had by his second wife two sons and a daughter. One son died young; the other became third Marquis, and eventually Duke of Douglas. The daughter, Jane, married Colonel Stewart, a dissipated person, and was reduced to great poverty. She was said to have borne twins on the Ioth of July, 1748, one of whom died. The mother died in 1753, being then fifty-six years old, and having had a miscarriage subsequently to the birth of the twins. When Archibald Douglas, Duke of Douglas, died in 1761, the boy was returned heir to his uncle; but the Duke of Hamilton disputed the return on the ground that the child was supposititious. The Scotch Courts gave their decision in favour of the Duke of Hamilton; but on appeal to the Lords the decision was reversed, Lords Camden and Mansfield speaking powerfully on behalf of the appellant.
The case excited great attention, and was commented on during trial in several pamphlets, printed by Dixwell, Wilkie, and E. and C. Dilly, on behalf of William Bogle and Francis Douglas. These persons, as far as they could be reached, were reprimanded by the Lord Chancellor, and ordered to deliver up the copies in their possession on the 1st of December. Archibald Stewart was subsequently created Lord Douglas, and the title became extinct in 1857.
The proceedings at the first trial were published in Edinburgh in four vols. 4to.
The following protest was inserted. It was held at the time to be irregular that the lay lords should vote on a legal question. See Carlyle's Autobiography on this case.
1st, Because, upon the whole of the evidence it appears to us, that the appellant has not proved himself to be the son of Lady Jane Douglas, and consequently not entitled to the character and heir of Tailzie and provision to Archibald, Duke of Douglas.
2ndly, Because we are of opinion that it is proved, that the appellant is not the son of Lady Jane Douglas.
John Russell, Duke of Bedford.
Lord Camden was Chancellor of the Duke of Grafton's administration, but had strongly opposed the attitude of the Government in the case of Wilkes. In 1769, the Administration had succeeded in the resolution which expelled Wilkes from the House, and to which they were strongly urged by the King. Between the 3rd of February and the 14th of April, the electors of Middlesex returned him again and again, but his name was by order of the House of Commons erased from the writ, and that of Mr. Luttrell substituted on the 15th of April. During the autumn, disaffection became general in the American colonies, and at the reassembling of Parliament on the 9th of January, Chatham took his place in the House of Lords. He attacked the Ministry on their conduct of American affairs, and for the expulsion of Wilkes. The speech was followed by a declaration of Lord Camden, in which he assailed the Ministry with great warmth. The result was a ministerial crisis, the break up of the Duke of Grafton's Ministry, and the accession of Lord North to power. Camden was deprived of the Seals, which were given to Charles Yorke, whose patent for the title of Lord Morden was forthwith ordered. Three days afterwards, on the 20th of January, he committed suicide. On the 15th of January, six days after Chatham's speech, Lord Rockingham moved a call of the House for Wednesday, the 17th of January, on which a counter motion was made by Lord Weymouth, ‘that the House be adjourned for a week.’ This was carried. On the 1oth of February, Lord North became Prime Minister. See Hallam's Constitutional History, chap. xvi. p. 111.
The following protest was inserted.
1st, Because the noble Lord who moved the House on Monday last, that the Lords should be summoned for Wednesday, had declared in his speech, that he meant on that day to make a motion, which in its consequences would afford the opportunity of bringing under consideration of the House, many matters of the most essential concern to the happiness of this country; and we think that this House ought not, at any time, to refuse the request of a Peer, who desires that the House may be summoned upon a motion which he promises to make, and which he declares to be of importance. And we are the better warranted in this opinion, as we apprehend, that in fact there are no instances of the House rejecting a motion for the Lords to be summoned. 2ndly, Because several Lords in administration being sensible of the indecency and novelty of directly rejecting such a motion, chose to get it rejected indirectly, by that parliamentary management of moving to adjourn to a long day; and we conceive such an artful conduct unworthy of a House of Parliament at any conjuncture, but to be particularly so in the present moment, when his Majesty, in his Speech, has recommended several matters of the most serious nature to our immediate consideration, and when the universal discontent of the nation (on account of certain arbitrary and illegal proceedings, whereby their most valuable rights are subverted) threatens some near and dangerous crisis. In this moment, and when the House has not sat one day to do any other business than sending a complimentary address to the Crown, when it had already adjourned for almost one week, to adjourn for another, will, we conceive, tend to damp the hopes of that relief, for which the people do, and ought in their present situation, to look up to this House: as it indicates an unwillingness to enter upon matters of the highest importance to the peace and welfare of the Kingdom, affords a bad prognostic of the protection which this House owes to the rights and liberties of the subject; and shews that we are more attentive to the conveniences of administration, than to the real grievances of the people. 3rdly, Because, although no reason was alleged for this uncommon proceeding, one was hinted at, of an extraordinary nature indeed, whereby we are made to understand that this delay of a week was necessary for Administration to settle arrangements relative to an office, which was so closely connected with this House, that it could not sit without the officer.
It is difficult for us to give our sentiments upon a matter which the Lord who mentioned it, though called upon, refused to explain. But when we reflect that this hint came from a noble Lord in high and confidential office, we think it could have alluded only to the removal of the Lord High Chancellor of England, the Speaker of this House, and when we recollect the part so honourable to himself, but perhaps so offensive to Administration, which that noble Lord had taken the first day of this Session; we cannot but be apprehensive that there may be some evil counsellor, hardy enough to attempt punishments for freedom of debate in Parliament; and to dare advise his Majesty to remove from his office a Peer of this House, at the head of the law, for his vote in Parliament. Charles Lennox, Duke of Richmond. Richard Lumley, Earl of Scarborough. Matthew Fortescue, Lord Fortescue. William Wentworth Fitzwilliam, Earl Fitzwilliam. George Montagu, Duke of Manchester. Charles Watson Wentworth, Marquis of Rockingham. William Henry Cavendish Bentinck, Duke of Portland. William Petty, Lord Wycombe (Earl of Shelburne). Richard Grenville, Earl Temple.
George Keppel, Earl of Albemarle.
On this day, Lord Rockingham moved a resolution ‘that the House of Commons in the exercise of its judicature in matters of election is bound to judge according to the law of the land, and the known and established custom of Parliament, which is part thereof.” He was opposed by Lord Sandwich, who quoted the cases of the Earl of Middlesex and Lord St. Albans in the time of James I, as cases of expulsion from the Lords, without any exhibition of resentment on the part of the Commons. Lord Chatham made a forcible reply, but the motion was negatived by 47 to 96. Woolaston was member for Whitchurch, and was expelled on the 20th of February, 1699, because he was a receiver of taxes; Walpole, member for King's Lynn, on the 15th of January, 1712, for ‘notorious corruption,’ and by vote of the 7th of March, 1712, declared ‘incapable of sitting in this present Parliament.’
1st, Because the resolution proposed was in our judgment highly necessary to lay the foundation of a proceeding which might tend to quiet the minds of the people, by doing them justice, at a time when the decision of the other House, which appears to us inconsistent with the principles of the Constitution, and irreconcilable