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perienced by her during the last 25 from this dilemma but by opposing years.
the bill altogether. In voting yester“She now, most deliberately, and day against the second reading, this before God, asserts that she is wholly was the difficulty that influenced his innocent of the crime laid to her decision. It was not that he felt any charge ; and she awaits, with unaba- hesitation in making up his mind as ted confidence, the final result of this to the evidence, but he felt himself unparalleled investigation."
justified as a legislator, and under all
the circumstances of the sayA considerable discussion arose when ing “ Not content;' conscious, at the ther this protest did not so far reflect same time, that had he been called on on the dignity of the House, as to to decide in a purely judicial characrender it unfit to be received. The ter, he would have said “ Guilty." Chancellor, however, at last moved, He conceived, however, it would have "That this House, notwithstanding been much better for the interests of the exceptionable matter in some parts religion and morality, if the bill had of the paper now presented, does never been introduced. nevertheless, under all the circum- The Bishop of Chester had voted stances of the case, consent to receive for the second reading, only on the the same as the representation of what understanding that the
divorce clause her Majesty has further to state to was not to make part of the bill. The the House in the present stage of these Archbishop of Canterbury, on the conproceedings.”—The motion was car- trary, defended divorce on scriptural ried.
grounds; and being convinced that The House now resolved itself in- the charge was proved, could see no to a committee, for the purpose of objection to the bill standing in its considering the particular clauses of present form. The Bishop of London the bill. The alterations made upon held the same opinion. The King, it were merely formal and verbal, till he conceived by the Constitution, the divorce clause came under consi- could do no wrong; he could not deration. The Archbishop of York commit folly, much less crime. There came forward with a decided objec- was therefore no room for recrimination to this clause. He knew not tion. The divorce was passed as a where any mention was made in the penalty of crime, not as a personal word of God of a religious expedic relief to any party concerned. He ency that could justify this measure ;
could see therefore no bar to it. and, regarding marriage as a sacred The Earl of Lauderdale could not and solemn ordinance of religion, he agree with the Right Rev. Prelate, must look on the word of God, and that there could be one law of divorce on that only, as the guide of his con- for the King and another for the subduct on such an occasion. He could ject. Although, therefore, he belienot, therefore, consent to retain the di- ved the Queen to be guilty, and was vorce clause; and yet if it were not re. ready to concur in depriving her of tained, and the other provisions of the her public station, he could not help bill remained in force, they would ex- objecting to the clause of divorce. hibit the extraordinary, he might al
The Earl of Darnley would say, most say, the monstrous spectacle of (and he should say it with much saa degraded Queen continuing to be tisfaction) that it did appear to hin the consort of the Sovereign. He saw that their lordships could neither no possible way of extricating himself pass the bill with the divorce clause,
nor without it. They could not de- were of a Queen who had committed grade, unless they could divorce her. the crime of felony, one of the highCould the wife of the King be any est known to the law, would anybody other than the Queen ? He had heard say that that were not enough to jusmuch, it was true, of the omnipotence tify her degradation from her rights of an Act of Parliament; but he did and prerogatives as Queen? Would not suppose it had the power of alter- not that justify a measure of separaing the nature of things.
tion, though for it no divorce could The Earl of Donoughmore express- be inflicted. With respect to the high ed surprise at the opinion of his friend station of the parties, it had the disthe Earl of Lauderdale. In this case advantage of exposing one of them to the King was prosecutor only as the the effect of widely circulated calumhead of the state ; he had not appeared nies, which he could not consistently in his individual or personal capacity, with the dignity of his station publicly and from hence he went on to infer refute. And with respect to these cathe total absence of any analogy be- lumnies, he must say, without meantween the present measure and ordi- ing to bear hard upon the Queen, that nary divorce laws. He deprecated it was highly improper for those who the little respect and regard which could not know the whole of what had been manifested for the feelings might have occurred between the par. of that illustrious individual (his Ma- ties, to pronounce in a harsh and cajesty) in the course of this proceeding. lumnious manner upon one side of the It was agreed that her Majesty was question between them. unfit to be Queen; but, said certain The Chancellor felt many doubts noble Lords, “Let her remain Queen and difficulties on the subject. In con. -tie her still to his Majesty,—we will clusion, he stated that no man had give him no hope."
ever been guilty of more cruelty and The Earl of Harrowby thought, injustice than he had been, in acting that under the present circumstances, upon the evidence in divorce clauses, and after the long and recognized if the testimony now upon the table separation which had already taken were not sufficient to support the place, there was no propriety in the clause under consideration. It was clause of divorce.
his anxious wish, that each of the The Earl of Liverpool had never noble Lords, as yesterday, should exconsidered divorce as the object of plain his opinion, whether this clause the bill: and though he himself did ought or ought not to stand, with a not feel the force of the objections to notice of the grounds on which that it, he had always declared his readi- opinion rested. As for himself, he ness to concur in its omission, if felt wished to reserve his judgment until as revolting to the religious feeling of he had obtained all the light upon the any part of the House. It was said, subject that could be procured. that in this case the House could not The leading opposition Peers, the degrade the Queen without following Marquis of Lansdowne, Lord King, the degradation up by a clause of di- Earl Grey, the Earl of Carnarvon, vorce ; and that if the latter were not and Lord Holland, now came forward, adopted, the measure would be a bill and gave their decided support to the of degradation against the King, in- divorce clause, enlarging upon all the stead of the Queen. Now, he could inconsistencies and absurdities which not at all concur in this opinion.- would arise from its omission. AlSuppose for a moment that the case though this course bore an aspect un
friendly to the Queen, it was, in fact, your lordships, refer to the exact a highly politic measure, with a view time, but it must have been, I think, to her interest. As it appeared that when the noble Earl was out of place, many Lords bad voted for the second and looking for means to get into ofreading of the bill, only under the. fice, before the Regency !” understanding, and on the condition, The Earl of Liverpool.-" Never, that this clause was to be omitted, the upon my honour!” retention of it insured a diminution Lord King said, it was then an inof the number who would vote for stance to the noble Earl of the infidethe third reading. Earl Grey openly lity of reports. avowed this as the only ground upon Lord Redesdale supported the diwhich he could have given his vote, vorce clause. The Chancellor finally for a clause, of which, as of the whole declared, that his own opinion was in bill, he entirely disapproved. Lord its favour, but that he was willing to King, on this occasion, made some yield to the religious scruples of others, sallies which amused the House.- and was disposed to go along with There had been a confusion of opi- his friend Lord Liverpool. nions amongst the Ministers—there In consequence of the junction behad been a confusion of opinions tween the Queen's friends, and the amongst the lawyers and a confu- most decided among her adversaries, sion of opinions amongst the learned the divorce clause was carried by the Prelates. He was extremely sorry large majority of 67, (129 to 62). It that the noble and learned Lord on was a remarkable circumstance to see the woolsack had not derived from nine Cabinet Ministers in this limitthose to whom he had looked with ed minority. such confidence, information of amore On the following day, (November convincing and enlightened character. 10) the discussion on the clauses conBut if he had not received instruction tinued. The Earl of Lauderdale obfrom the Reverend Prelates, he could served, that a highly distinguished derive consolation from them; for nobleman (Earl Grey) had openly among them, as among Lawyers, there declared that his view in voting for appeared difficulty and doubt. Ad- the divorce clause was solely to put verting to the injustice of being bias- an entire stop to it. He asked whesed by reports, he could not deny, ther the noble Lords who differed that there were some which had con- from him in opinion would aid this siderable influence upon his mind. At trick and manoeuvre by voting against the period to which he had alluded, the third reading. Earl Grey rose it was said that the Queen had been with great warmth, and repelled the guilty of the greatest indecencies, not imputation as unjust, unfounded, and with Bergami, but with other persons; calumnious. He must say, that to that ber Majesty, at Blackheath, had be accused of tricking and manæubeen guilty of indecorum with Lord vring in his conduct, when he openLiverpool ! --and that she had played ly avowed the motive and the object at blindman’s-buff with the Chancel- of that conduct, appeared to him
the lor of the Exchequer! He could not most extraordinary and unauthorized refer to the exact period at which charge ever made in that house. He those extraordinary and indecent pro- repelled with indignation and disceedings took place
dain-and he was almost inclined to The Earl of Liverpool.-" They use a much harsher word—the impunever took place !"
tation that, for any earthly object, he Lord King.--" I cannot, I
would consent to practise tricks and maneuvres ; and he appealed to their and maneuvre in any reproachful or Lordships, whether his intention, with unparliamentary sense. respect to his vote, had not been Some trilling modifications in the openly and candidly avowed. No-' terms of the bill were then discussed, thing was more justifiable or more and the House adjourned till the fol. common in Parliamentary practice, lowing day. than for a member who strongly dis- Next day (11th November) a good approved of any measure, to endea- deal of desultory conversation took vour to clog it with conditions which place, but without the possibility of would procure its rejection. He bo- bringing forth any thing new on so ped that those noble Lords who had beaten a subject. The vote at length given a pledge that they would not being loudly called for, the numbers vote for the bill with the divorce
appeared clause, would now redeem that pledge, For the third reading, 108 and get rid of the bill altogether.- Against it, Lord Lauderdale explained that he did not mean to use the words trick
Mount-Edgecombe Earl - Westmorland, C. P.S.
Strange (Athol) Lord Chancellor
Abergavenny Arch. Canterbury
Immediately after the vote, Lord able a number of Peers as the second, Dacre put in a petition from the he and his noble colleagues would Queen, praying to be heard by coun- have felt it their duty to persevere sel against the
passing of the bill. with the bill, and to send it down to The Earl of Liverpool rose imme- the other branch of the legislature. diately, and said that he apprehend- In the present state of the country, ed such a course would be rendered however, and with the division of senunnecessary by what he was about to timent so nearly balanced, just evinstate. He could not be ignorant of the ced by their Lordships, they had state of public feeling with regard to come to the determination not to prothis measure, and it appeared to be ceed farther with it. It was his intenthe opinion of the House that the bill tion, accordingly, to move that the should be read a third time only by question do pass that the bill be put a majority of 9 votes. Had the third on this day six months. reading been carried by as consider- Earl Grey entered into a vehement
Saye and Sele
De la Zouch
Bolingbroke Marquis Bath
Enniskillen Archbp. Tuam
Duke of Glocester
Contents, 108 Ponsonby (Besborough) Fortescue
In all, 207