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CHAP. moft remarkable instance of which was in
one thousand fix hundred and fixty-one, in
In England, as I heard from a very in. telligent officer of the house of lords, to whom I owe much information, the judges do not regularly attend to carry bills, unless it be such as relate to the royal family; nor at any other time unless when they are particularly called upon in a body:
The carrying of bills is generally allotted in England to the masters in chancery; two of the college of twelve masters regularly attend for that purpose: in Ireland a rota is established, by which two judges always attend, and carry money bills ; common bills are carried by the four masters in chancery; and two judges are occasionally ordered to remain in town, who are excused from the circuits for this and other purposes.
I have had the presumption to hazard a CHAP. conjecture, that this custom of the judges carrying bills originated from the ancient practice of their forming the resolutions of the two houses into bills at the end of the session, which was the early mode of framing laws, nor have modern times, perhaps, devised a better mode of legislation.
The orders of the lords of Ireland * are so accurately transcribed from those in Eng
* The standing orders of the lords, in both kingdoms, contain no regulations for the trials of peers. From the commencement of the journals there are but two instances of these trials in Ireland, viz. of vis. count Neterville in 1743 ; and of lord Santry near that period, whose trial is not recorded in the journals, as lord Santry was tried in the lord high steward's court in the interval of parliament. Both of them were indicted for murder : the former was acquitted; the latter found guilty, but pardoned as to his life; though the title and estate were forfeited, as murder of malice prepenfe was made high treason in Ireland by an act of the íoth of Hen. VII. C. 21.
The chancellor Windham was the first, and the only high steward ever appointed in that kingdom: a circumstance noted in his epitaph in Salisbury cathedral,
CHAP. land, that very little alteration is obfervable;
and fo many of the latter have been adopted, that from memory I can only recollect one which has been omitted; namely, an order by which printing the works of peers
without their confent is declared a breach of privilege. This order, it is said, was adopted in one thousand seven hundred and twentyone, in favour of Sheffield duke of Buckinghamshire * I could wish it were adopted, as it might be an introduction to the same system of literary protection in Ireland, which prevails in England. If there be any property in which men have the most decided right, it is in the production of their own understandings : literary piracy is most disgraceful, and the pillage of the writings of other men prevents our own exertions.
On both the above trials all the lords were summoned, though till 1773 a peer might have been tried by a jury of twenty-three peers, in the high steward's court, as was the case in England before the Revolution; but in 1773 the law of king William was adopted, by which peers are now to be tried in Ireland as they are in , England.
* Johnson's Life of Pope ; Lives of the Poets, vol. iy. p. 91,
As one not the least laborious, if not the CHAP. most brilliant of noble authors, I cannot help wishing for a law in Ireland to protect literary property *.
* In the foregoing statement, that parliament which was held by King James the second in 1689-90, has been purposely omitted.
The first act of this parliament, the proceedings of which are not recorded in the Journals, was the entire repeal of Poyning's law, by which the king gave his consent to acts without the advice of the English privy council : from this circumstance, with others, that parliament was considered to be illegally convened.
I have observed, in a curious tract upon the proceedings of this pretended parliament, one act among others to prohibit the importation of coals from England, and stating the great loss farmers in the neighbourhood must sustain, by not supplying Dublin with peat, or turf as it is called, and wood, for fuel.
To the curious it may probably be acceptable to record one odd remnant of this parliament within my own memory, viz. that the robes used by king James the second were worn by the Irish viceroys till the ad. ministration of the earl of Buckinghamshire in 1777, when new robes were substituted in their place by order of his majesty,