Page images

ed, in behalf of the House, and for having | sáme terms, I believe the custody of the made which complaint, the wystart writer Seal, called the Sireet, belonged, as you in that paper has accused him of having | have stated; 'er officio to the Secretary of aimed a destructive blow at the liberty, State. -In 1750, when the office of Sea of the press, while, in the same breath, he cretary for Scotland was abolished, or laid extols Sir Henry Mildmay as the zealous aside, the custody of this Seal (under which champion of that liberty !

various grants, and all the King's judicial In my next, Sir, I propose to enter upon writs must pass) was given to Andrew Flethe topics hinted at in the former part of my cher, Esq. with the title of Keeper; and, first letter. I am, Sir, your, &c. &c. on his death, to the late Sir Gilbert Elliot. Day 16th, 1805. Wm. COBBETT. Whicther either of these gentlemen, had the

office granted to hina for life, I cannot say LORD Melville's PLACES.

positively; but I believe not; for the grant Sir,-Your hints relating to Lord Mel- to Lord Melville, in that way, occasione ville's places will, I trust, prove useful to some surprise, at the time, and was attributed the public ; but, in mentioning the precedent to the Earl of Shelburne's desire to attach of the grant of the Privy Seal to his lord Mr. Dundas to liis interest by the handsome ship's immediate predecessor you might have mode of making him independant Thai observed, that the predecessor was the lro the Keeper is, in fact, the Secretary is strictly ther of the Earl af Bute. Probably you correct, and is demonstrated by Mr. Drundas thought it superfluous; but the statement of the present Keeper, holding his seat in Parthe fact might have brought to the recollec liament'; for if it were a new office he world tion of persons, who were in Parliament, be ineligible. Here is another anecdote cr attendal to the politics, in the earlier shewing that formerly it was understood that years of His present Majesty's reign, certain the custody of the seals could not be granted cireumstances, shewing what were the ideas, for life. Archibild, Duke of Argyle, was at that period, of the question 12.) in long the Mirrister for Scotland, holding tie hand. ----Which John, Earl of Pue was all two offices of Keeper of the Great Seal and powerful in this country, his brother, Dr. Lord Justice General, and First Crimical Stewart Mackenzie, was the minister for Julge in Scotland, the last being now almost Scotland; that is the channel throach which á sinecure. It was intended to niake an ad. all preferment in that country weni. In the dition to the duhe's sinecure by increasing year 1763, it was intended to al lim

the salary of the Koper of the Great Seal, Keeper of the Great Scal, that aner the ap- just as Lord Melille lately obtained the a!pointment löd actually passes the King's dition to that of the Privy Seal. But the hand, it was discovered that it would render duke, whose sagacity was proverbial, 06Mr. Nackerizie incligil,le to Parlament. served, that, as he might be turned cit

The Duke of Athol, who then held the Privy of the office' of Keeper, it was betalt to Seal, was induced to resign it, and take the inake an addition to that of Justice Genenl, Great Seal, and Mr. Mackenzie was ap which he could legally hold for life, as one pointed Keeper of the Privy Seal, to which of the Judges; the matter was inan gedeeollice the same clujection, for reasons I need cordigly. His grace never dreamed that pot state, was held not lo apply. Bint, Mr. the office of the Keeper of the King's Seal Mackenzie, was not then appuinici for life, would be granted either for the life of the as nobody supposed the office could be so Sovereign or fort of his grantee.----Coagiven. Accordingly, on the chan ottle stäntly when the Justice General was atsi", ministry in 1705, he was dismisse ---On tie Clerk of the Justiciary Court supplied the coalition between the Lord Chutem and

bispare. Hence the Second Criminal Jude Bute in 1700, Mr. Mackenzie was re-in in Seeland (in torth the first effecót one) stated, and to prevent, as far as possible, ters the very awkward title of Lord Justice his losing the office, in case of a future chinge, Clcrk.---Tam, Sii, your humble servant, it was granted to him for his life.----Much -A. B. duy 13!), 1805. doubt was entertaineri, ai the Gre, whethen it could be effectual, but the chance

MESSRS. DUNDAS, PITT, AND BEYFIELD. was worth täking.--I believe, po doabt SIR,“ do not know what the precise was, entertained, that, in case of the Royal amount of the debt die fron the East India demise, the grant must k!l; but His va- Company, to the creditors et tie Ni Bay of jesty's life wits better than bír. Ihackenzie'is

Arcoi may be; but, I fancy it exceeds three As to tủe office of Keeper of the Signet, million sterling, and is a part of the present of which Lord

Melville had a great for his India debt. Yori line often alluderi the life, which is cow held by his son, upon the Nitob's debts, 2:the sanction which Lord

Melville gave to the claims of his creditors. | Nabob from this time became a 'marketáble It is certainly the most questionable part of commodity, after having been for many years hiş conduct, as the minister of India. I will little better than waste paper. ---In 1790, endeavour sisortly to state the case. It was Lord Cornwallis was compelled to apply the an old standing order of the Company, that whole réventies of the Carnata to the supnone of their servants should lend money to port of the war with Tippo Sultaun"; and the Zemindars or native Princes. But, not ilie payment Both of interest and principal withstanding this order, many persons tempt on the Nabob's debts to individuals was sused by the high interest, of thirty, forty, and pendel, amounting during the suspension of even biry per cent., did make loans to the interest

, nearli million steifrig -After native Princes and Zeminlars, in every part the

with uppoo,

the crcditors applied of India. I suppose, there may be at this for the interest which was due to the ri moment, two millions sterling due to the during the period that the revenues of the principal and legal interest of money', lent at Carnitie were under sequestration. This various times, by British subjects, to natives claim the Directors rejected, understanding under the Bengal government. But, as these that the payment of interest w?s to disconloans were in disobedience of positive orders, tinue during war. Mr. Dundas' was of a no man in Bengal was hardy enough to ap different opinion, and though he adinitted ply to the government abroad or at horne, that the payınent of interest must discontinue', for assistance in recovering their debts, until yet thie ilnim iras only suspended for a time. the debts of the Nabob of Arcot had been In vain did the Directors argue that this was legalized, and then, I believe, some appli- not the true construction of an agreement cations were made though unsuccessful. I forced upon them. Mr. Dundas a second do not hazard too much, when I say, that time compelled them tā transmit orders to the Rengal debts, were at least as fairly con India, of which they did not approve. In tracted, as those of the Valol of Arcot.-In 180), Lord Wellesley assumed the sove1784, Mr. Dundas, contrary to the strong reignty of the Carnatic, and made the NaTemonstrances of the Court of Directors, give bob a pensioner. a legal debts. The

a and there is no distinction between the debt speech from which you have made some due to them, and to individuals, who have quotations, but, I think, he has not been lona full lent their money to the East India correct in all his conciusions. A small part Company. You will find the original hisof the debt was contracted with the know tory of this transaction, very fälly detailed in ledge of the Madras government, and at a the Parliamentary Debates of February, time, 'when the loan to the Nabob was of 1805, when Mr. Fox bronght forward a moessential advantage to the Company. But tion on the subject. If I am not mistaken, the great mass'of the debt was contracted in Mr. Paul Benfield had at that time bonds of denance of their positive orders, and there the Nabob, to the amount of half a million fore, as the Directors arged, they ought not sterling; which, I believe, was about one da interfere in it. But Mr. Dundas was of a sixth of the whole debt, anti no man in his different opinion. His argument was this. senses would have given Mr. Benfield fifty If the Nabob will continue to assert, as he thousand pounds for his bonds, prior to Mr. docs, that this whule debt, was for money Dundas's arrangement. It may be said, Para fide lent to himn in the course of the last that as the Company are now the Sovereigns thirty years, and for the interest of which he of the Carnatic, it would be highly unjust in has not paid, there is no possibility of dis thein not to pay the debts of the late Sovecovering whether the bords were given for reign, eren if the arrangements of 1784, had money lent or not. He directed, therefore, not taken place. But this would he false that the whole of the debt, to which the reasoning. The objection of the Director's Nabob might not object, should be paid by was, that five-sixths of the debt, had been instalmenis. You will observe, that at this contracted against their most positive orders, time, 1734, the Nabob was deeply indebted which applied not only to their servants, but to-the £ist India Company, and by the ar every individual residing under their sancrangements, the Nabub was to pay a certain tion in India ; consequently, the man who Sun anneally, for the gradual liquidation of engages in an illegal peculation has no claim his publicazd private debt. The Directors for redress. I have said, that of the debt Were corupciiei by law to transmit this or now existing in India, three millions sterling dirto Madras, though against their own opi- is due to the creditors' of the Nabob of Ar nion, and after they had remonstrated against cot. Biit, I rather think, if I add what it in the strongest terms. The bonds of the the Company has already paid, I may say,


that a third of the whole debt of the Com some sunken sands, on which, without somo pany in India, is. owing to the legal sane change, we must inevitably stick. They ton which the Company gave to these debts. find the money, taken from the hard earne

Those who knew the late Naboo of the ings of the people, from the labour of the Carnatic, Mahommed Ally Cawn, must be country, from the, too often, scanty pitconvinced, that when he wanted money, he tances, and insufficient tythes of the clergy, was indifferent as to the price he paid for it, from the already too small pay of the officers, or the interest that he allowed. It was pre- lavished with profusion; the law for directcisely the same with the late Nabob of ing its appropriation, broken, and immense Oude, whose creditors are to this day un sums of it put unnecessarily to hazard. Surely paid, and must ever remain unpaid, because under such circumstances, orderly and rethe Bengal government would not interfere, spectable meetings, at which the aggrieved in behalf of his creditors.--I am, Sir, people may remonstrate, cau be considered your humble servant,

-ASIATICUS.-Moy in no other light than as honourable to the 14, 1$05,

feelings of human beings, endowed with

reason. They find also, that in the midst COLLECTORS OF Taxes.

of all cur perplexities for forming, reS10,--On reading Verax's second letter forming, and counter-forming volunteers, in your paper of the 27th ultimo, after ha- for adjusting places, pensions, and peeriges, ving read your arguments to prove that the for propping administrations; and screening country has sustained a loss, by the malver- delinquents; for dividing and sub-dividing sations of Lord Melville, a man's mind is county meetings, for raising urnie's by the imperceptibly forced to other matters of local influence, of parish officers. The

finance. I say forced, because all circum- / find, I say, that little or nothing is done to stances relating to public money are im check the career of Buonaparté. They find mediately about us, and press directly on the aggrandizement of the tyrant, increase, our senses : they are not regarded with the, equal to his thirst, under the politics of Mr. too often, cold indifference with which the Pitt ; and they find that after he has had Inass of the people of all descriptions, view the sole control of us, for twenty years, the alarming increase both of power and our purses, manners, habits, and senses, territory, of Napoleon. The heart-burnings he has left the whole, particularly the last

, in the West-Indies, the calamities in India, comparatively in a most shameful state of and such like events, which though tre- degradation. But, Sir, on these subjects mendous in themselves, lose great part of one might descant for ever ; who that has their consequence, because they do not im a spark of that feeling which has ever chamediately affect us. Not so as to the pre racterised the people of this island, hur vi sent value of money! Not so as to the exclaim with Macbeth, 'sums they pay the collectors of taxes. Every

- Can such things be man sees and feels that the state of things And overcome us like a summer's cloud, ris altered. Every man perceives that by

Without our special wonder?

You make me strange these overwhelming causes; the comfort and

Ev'n to the disposition that I owe, respectability of the clergy, and other parts When now I think, you can behold such thing; of the minor aristocracy, have merged into And keep the natural ruby in your cheeks, the vortex of merchants, contract jobbers,

While mine ale blanch'd with fear. and men directly under government. The | But, Sir, to return as briefly as possible to country swarms with them, they absorb every the point from which I started -Verix thing, and every consideration. They are points out, and with great truth, that much the «s locusts which cover the face of the mischief must accrue to the public, froin the " earth ;!' « and the clouds which hide the circumstance, of persons acting in the dou

ligiit of I leaven from our view." But ble capacity of collectors and paymasters ; to great as are the deprivations, by the majority which end it is obvious they must be sufof the people they were cheerfully submitted fered to hold in their hands Jarre balances, to, so long as they conceived the public ex in a twofold proportion larger than otherwise penditure - was guarded with honour and in there would be any occasion for. Now, tegrity, 40 long as they supposed, the im Sir, for the sake of exemplification, cnly posed burthers were necessary, to ward off take the office of Receivers General fur the attack of the modern Charlemagne. counties: they are distributors as well as But, Sir, tre people have been grossly de collectors, and must have, as has been al

. ceived ; 'they find “ the Pilot. who wea ready observed, a considerable balance for the " thered the Storm,” « who clear'd the former purpose. Now ench county has om " Breakers," is steering a direct course for gentleman filling this office, some have tut.

I am not prepared to say what is generally | petition, do verily believe, that, by the the average balance in each receiver's hand: wisdom and liberality of the legislature, but there can be no doubt but that it is con every safe and practical indulgence hath alsiderable, very considerable, and that if the | ready been extended to their Roman Cathoaverage sum was multiplied by the number lic fellow subjects in Ireland, and that the of receivers in the kingdom, it would make restraints and incapacities to wbich, by the a balance, for that head of service alone, in statutes now in force, they are still subject, cesible. Exactly the same may be said of and of which they now complain, are no cactors of customs; with this only dif- other nor greater than are indispensibly reLence, that they are not so many in num quisite to the maintenance and security of ber; and, indeed, the same may be said, of the Protestant Government and Protestant every similar office under government. Church, as they are happily by law establishThe cause of this obvious loss is too well ed in that part of the United Kingdom ; and known. The effect is, I think, equally that the petitioners see also much reason to clear ; to wit, that the interest of such mo apprehend, that a compliance with the prayney is properly the public's, for they have er of the above-mentioned petition would advanced it before it is wanted, and certainly lead, and, they fear, by direct and necessary to no purpose. I leave out of the question consequence, to the removal of every simithe temptation held out, to follow the ex lar restraint now subsisting within this realm ample of Mr. Trotter, of gambling with of England, and to the abrogation of those money, and thereby risking the whole; (as oaths, declarations, and tests, which are by in the case of Mr. Jellicoe) --I leave out law required of every person admitted to sit of the question the illegality, for illegal I am or vote in either House of Parliament, or to convinced it is, of increasing the salary, or exercise offices of trust and power ; all in other words, value of such offices beyond which, they are thoroughly persuaded, are what was intended by the legislature. still essentially necessary to the permanence These, and a thousand such transactions, and security both of our civil and religicall loudly, and, I trust, not in vain, for re ous establishments; and therefore praying, form, redress, and change of system. I that the House, in its wisdom, would be am, Sir, with great respect, your obedient pleased still to maintain and preserve inviohumble servant,

-R. B. -Portsmouth, late those laws which they sincerely believe May 1st, 1805.

to be tlie best safeguards, under divine pro

vidence, çf our present happy constitution OXFORD PETITION.-On the 8th of May, both in church and state. -Ordered, That 1905, a petition of the Chancellor, Masters, the said petition do lie upon the table. and Scholars of the University of Oxford, was presented to the House of Commons, SUMMARY OF POLITICS. setting forth, That the petitioners have seen, ROMAN CATHOLIC PETITION. On by the votes of the House, that a petition Friday, the 18th instant, a very long debate from certain noblemen, gentlemen, and took place, in the House of Lords, upon a others, Roman Catholics of Ireland, whose motion of Lord Grenville for the House to Dames are thereunto subscribed, on behalf go into a committee to inquire into the prayer of themselves and others His Majesty's sub of the Roman Catholics of Ireland. The dejects professing the Roman Catholic Religion, bate was adjourned, and resumed on Monbath some time since been presented to the day, the 13th ; on u hich day the same subHlouse, compilaining of divers restraints and ject was discussed in the House of Coinmops incapacities to which, notwithstanding the upon

a motion of Mr. Fox, similar to that of various indulgences heretofore granted them Lord Grenville. There also the debate was from time to time, they are still subject bý adjoursed, and was resumed and closed the the several statutes now in force against, next day. The numbers were, in the Lords, them; and praying that they may be effer 19 for the motion, and 178 against it; in the tually relieved from the operation of the said Commons, 1241 for the motion, and 336 statutes, as being now no longer necessary against it.---The petition of the Roman to be retained; and that the petitioners con Catholics will be found in p. 522; and the template, with much concern and anxiety, opposing petition of the University of Oxford the alarming extent of the prayer of the said will be found in the present sheet. --This petition, and the consequences which, in is so large a question, that it would be pretheir apprehensions, must inesitably follow, sumptuous to atternpo to write upon it in a if the same should be complied with ; and compass like that which I now have before that the petitioners, notwithstanding the al me. The debates upon the subject are very legations contained in the above mentioned important, and will be given nearly at full

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

lengil, and with great care, in the fourth vo of administration, that opinion and conlume of the Parliamentary Debates,---The “ duct, should be tegulated by what had conduct of Mr. Pitt (the PILOT, as Ir. Can uniformily guided the tenour of his public ming calls him in his song) is, at présent, the “ life; first to take a cool, deliberate, and pri.icipal object of attention; and, in order conscientious view of the subject, and then to enable the readers of this work to form a adopt that decision which to him should correct and impartial judgınent with regard appear best calculated to promote the to that conduct, I will lere quotė, at length, “ strength, the unanimity, and the general his declaration upon the subject of the Ca -“ welfare and prosperity of the ec'pire." tholic clairs, at the time when he resigned in Here is a little salvo at the close ; but, 1801. -Daring a debate in the Ilonse of observe, it was only in the case when he Commons, on the 16th of February, 1801, should " no longer act as part of admiuisas reported in Debrett’s Parliamentary Re tration," that he reserved to himself a yister, Mr., Pitt said: “The rumours, in right of future deliberation opon the subject, * deed, which have been spread abroad, were Connected with the foregoing declarso far founded, that it was upon account tion are two papers, which were distributed är of the turn which the Catholic question in Ireland, at the time of the resignation in *“ took, the success of which he had con- 1801. Upon reading these papers, which, “ceived to be essentially necessary to the it is very well known, and never has becu

strength, prosperity, and unanimiiy of the denied, issued from sources more than halfUnited Kingdoms, that he felt himself official, one does, as the author of the l'inia bound, in conscience and in 'honour, to Reply observes, clearly perceive an eviden

give in his resignation. This much he desire to engage the Roman Catholics in the “ would not hesitate to explain as 10 the support of that minister, who had “esponsed

motive of his resignation ; but he tristed " their interests ;" who had 'sacrificed bis “ it must be looked upon as a new doctrine own situation in their cause." One cati. “ to assert that a minister was obliged to not help thinking, adds he, that the man who "assign erery motive which might influence was so earnest in courting and securing the “ his resignation. He must venture to be good will of solurmidable a body, must have « licve that it never bcrore was imputed as had an eye to coming in again, even at the

crime to relinquüsh a high and honour. moment when he went out. The papers able situation, which it was the ambition here alluded to are inserted bob in Sir Ti" of his life and the passion of his heart to chard Musgrave's and Mr. Plowden's bis" continae to fill, as long as his exertions

tories. One of them was in the following “ could contribute to the welfare of his words: “ The lending part of his Majesty's

country, because he felt that a further “ ministers finding unsurmountable obsta" continuance in that situation had become cles to the bringing forward measures of “ incompatible with that conduct which the " concession to the Catholic' body whilst in

dictates of his honour and of his conscience ** office, have felt it impossible to continue

prisciled. He would only add, that as in administration under the inability to " to the merits of the Catholic question, and propose it with the circumstances neces" the propriety of the sentiments which he sary to carrying the measure with all its “ entertained respecting it, he would now “ adiantages, and they have retired from

suy noiling inore; he would rather leare bis Majesty's service, considering this linz " the part le embraced in it to the more of conduct as most likely to conirilute to

enlightened judgment of the country, and its ultimate success. Tire Catholic body " to the impartial decision of posterity. The will therefore see how much their future

early discussion and decision of that ques hapes must depend, upen strengthening ~ tion he thought were incumbent upon “ their cause by good conduct; in the mean " those who, under the circunstances of “ time they will prudently consider their " the union, which they were so auspicionis prospects as arising from the persons who “ to effectuate, considered it as a measure now espouse their interests, and compare

of the utmost importance to the strength “ them with those, which they could lock and tranquillity of the empire. So strong to from any other quarter; they may

was his conviction of the propriety and with confidence rely on the support of o

necessity of that measure, that he could those who retire, and of many who tě. not continue to remain a member of that main in office, when it can be given with

government which dermed it inexpedient to a prospect of success, They may be asentertain it. Whatever his future opinion “ sured, that MR. PITT will do his ulmast “ and conduct should be respecting that to establish their cause in the public fe

question, when he no longer acted as part vour, and prepare the way for their knally

« PreviousContinue »