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23 several productions, which shew his taste and research. He was mild, charitable, and humane; and, at the period of the insurrection of 1798, shewed a disposition becoming a man and a Christian, at that time a circumstance of no ordinary occurrence. His acquaintance with the Moira family and his connexion with Mr. Grattan led him into much intercourse with the opposition. Mr. Preston the poet, Joseph Cooper Walker, author of “ Tracts upon Ireland,” Mr, Hardy, Mr. Curran, Mr. Berwick, and Mr. Grattan, formed altogether a circle which shed a lustre on private society, softened the asperity of party, and wore off the hard habits of the politicians; they often assembled at Tinnehinch, and there are many who even now may recollect the agreeable hours passed in that society, which united taste and talent, public spirit and public virtue. MR. GRATTAN TO MR. M'CAN.
Harrowgate, Aug. 11th, 1790. DEAR M'CAN, Send me the Evening Post regularly, and also any news. I think the Whig publication still wants correction, before it is published, as our Resolutions were in a distinct
paper circulated to the Members. Some further corrections should be made : in the line, “Superior height of public virtue,” superior should be omitted; however, I have some doubts. There are some other alterations : in the line, “ Men fallible and suspicious,” men should be omitted. Talk to Lord Charlemont about it. Yours ever,
H. G. I just got the Irish papers. What do they say of our Resolutions ? MR. GRATTAN TO THE REV. EDWARD BERWICK.
Harrowgate, Sept. 3rd, 1790.
kind letters and their contents. I am glad to find the Whig vindication* has made an im
* Mr. T. W. Tone in his memoirs, published in America, relates the following occurrence in reference to this public document :-Mr. Wogan
pression ; sure I am at present it is necessary to make some impression, otherwise the administration will tread
Browne, here alluded to, was a public-spirited, active individual, who always supported the liberal cause, and was very useful in upholding the independence of the county of Dublin, at a very trying election on behalf of the Talbot family, when the present Lord Talbot was returned one of its representatives to serve in the Imperial Parliament.
August 4th, 1790, Wogan Browne, Esq., foreman of the grand jury of the county of Kildare, sent down this evening to the bar-room, a newspaper, of the 3d, containing the resolutions of the Whig Club, in answer to a printed speech, purporting to be that of the Chancellor on the election of Alderman James. It was enclosed in the following letter: “Mr. Wogan Browne presents his compliments to the gentlemen of the bar; he encloses therein this day's paper, which he has just now received; he requests they will return it to him, and hopes they will find in the vindication of the Whig Club, principles similar to his own; as honest and blunt men must look up to talents for the support of their most undenied rights, in times when they are so shamefully invaded.' -This bold and manly epistle struck the bar of a heap. The father, a supporter of opposition in Parliament, was here only solicitous how he should escape giving an answer; which indeed,
every man save one or two, seemed desirous to shift on his neighbour. Burne* and Burrowest were decided to meet the letter boldly; Brownrigg and Espinasse for taking no further notice than acknowledging the receipt; the first, on the principle of preserving the harmony of the bar; the latter for some tiine, could assign no reason for his opinion, other than that he did not know who Mr. Browne was; but at length when pressed, he said with equal candour and liberality, that he did not like to receive anything from a reformed papist.' The general sense seemed to be for something in reply which should be perfectly insipid; I grew out of patience and proposed, I confess, without hope of its being adopted, a resolution to the following purport:-- That the Leinster Bar, in common with the Whig Club, and many other respectable societies, felt the warmest indignation and abhorrence at the late unconstitutional proceedings of the Privy Council in the election of Alderman James,--proceedings no less formidable to the liberties of the capital than alarming to every city in the kingdom, -as
---as forming part of a system evidently subversive of their franchises, whether established by custom, charter, or the established law of the land.'
“ This resolution, the majority seemed determined to conceive that I was not serious in; yet I was: however, being utterly hopeless of support, I did not press it. Two or three civil notes were proposed, of which the following by Rochford may serve as a sample .— The Leinster Bar present their compliments to Mr. Wogan Browne, and are thankful to him for his obliging communication of this day's paper, which they have the honour of returning.'
However, the sense of shame in the majority was too high to admit so milky a composition, and at length, after much irregular scuffling, the following was adopted as an answer : “The Leinster Bar return their
* A liberal minded and constitutional lawyer.
+ Mr. Peter Burrowes, the distinguished advocate, and on all occasions, the friend of public liberty.
CHAP. I.] MR. GRATTAN'S LETTER.
25 down the people, in all their orders and degrees — Dukes, Earls, and Commons; it is not rank, but office, that is now necessary to consecrate the subject against the levelling principle of Ministerial insolence. I like the preface much; it was necessary, and is useful and pointed. I have not read the defences-neither the one which you sent me, nor the other published in some of the papers of Dublin and London; but I looked into both, and saw refutable matter in abundance. One would think from both that animadversion on a judicial character is an unexpiable offence; but that animadversions by that judicial character made on other judicial characters, and on the whole body of the people, is an extraordinary virtue. The publications ought to be answered, otherwise they will give cause to boast. The Castle will say they were unanswerable, not contemptible. Besides, it is much better for us that the subject should not be dropped. The Chancellor is, I believe, vexed; but could he expect to abuse us as a pack of blockheads, and not to meet retaliation? I wish you would speak to M'Can, that no publication should come out in answer until well considered.
Since I wrote the above, I have read the pamphlet, and am very glad it has been written, because it gives a great opportunity and a great opening. The law part is a begging of the question in every position. I don't think it can make any impression, because it is too drowsy to read, as well as too illogical to convince. The only chance it has of being read, is being preserved in the answer to it.
If you see M'Can, tell him the newspapers are to be directed to Buxton, Derbyshire. M'Can writes in high spirits, and says we are very popular. Yours ever,
H. GRATTAN. Is Lord Rawdon gone to England ?
The new Parliament had assembled on the 2nd July, 1790, when Mr. Conolly proposed Mr. Wm.
thanks to Mr. Wogan Browne for his early communication of the resolutions of the Whig Club. However, individually, a majority of the gentlemen present may approve of the spirit of those resolutions, yet as many respectable members are absent, the bar as a body, do not feel themselves authorized to give any further opinion on the subject of Mr. Browne's letter.' The words, majority of gentlemen present,' being objected to by Mr. Moore, produced a division to ascertain the point, when nine were for continuing, and five were for expunging them.
“N.B. Such is the public spirit and virtue of the Leinster Bar.”
Ponsonby as Speaker; but the choice fell on Mr. Foster, who was proposed by Major Hobart, and again elected without a division.
The speech from the throne communicated the intelligence of two British vessels having been captured by the Spaniards off the American coast, and their crews imprisoned. The answer to this speech by the House of Commons was remarkable for the unanimity it displayed, and the determination to support the British connexion and British Constitution. In this sentiment Mr. Grattan and the leaders of the opposition fully joined. Parliament was then prorogued, and did not meet till the ensuing year.
Mr. Grattan, whose mind was always active, now sought for information on the subject which his friend Mr. Forbes had undertaken to manage, viz. the Responsibility Bill. In Ireland, the minister was not responsible. Impeachment, or an address to the Crown, was the only mode of punishing political delinquents. Mr. Forbes
prepared a bill to remedy this omission, and hence the desire expressed by Mr. Grattan in the subjoined letter. MR. GRATTAN TO MR. DAY.
Tinnehinch, 24th Dec., 1790. MY DEAR DAY, What acts in Ireland are done by the authority of the sign manual ? Are not all commissions in the army
under the sign manual? Is not the commission or patent of the Lord-lieutenant under the sign manual? I know it is under the great seal of England; but is it not also under the sign manual, as an order to the privy seal, which is an order to the great seal? With secrecy and certainty, as soon as possible, find out for me the above questions. Why I enjoin secrecy I'll tell you this day, when I expect to see you at dinner.
Most sincerely yours,
H. GRATTAN. Don't omit to come to me to-day.
PATENT OF LORD-LIEUTENANT.
REPLY. For the appointment of a Lord-lieutenant there first passes a patent in England, and then there comes over to İreland a King's letter, signed at the top of the page (i. e. superscribed) with the King's sign manual, and undersigned by the Secretary of State of England, directed to the Lord-lieutenant or Lords Justices, directing him or them to prepare patents under the great seal of the kingdom of Ireland. This King's letter is transmitted to the Attorney or Solicitor General, or in their absence, to any of the King's counsel, to prepare what is called the Fiant for passing the patent. When signed by them, or any of them, it goes to the Signet Office, that is, to the Office of the Secretary of State. After it is there signed, it goes the Hanaper Office, and the clerk prepares an engrossment of the patent, which is transmitted to the Chancellor's secretary, and by him laid before the Chancellor, who puts the great seal to it. From thence it goes to the Rolls Office, where it is enrolled, there being a provision contained in all patents that they are to be void if not enrolled within six months.
Commissions in the army are superscribed by the King's siga manual, and undersigned by the Secretary at War.