Imatges de pÓgina
PDF
EPUB

vices of such a body of men as the Bible, and no form of prayer to be established clergy_when he looked used except the Lord's prayer, or pasto the infinite benefit that would arise sages of Scripture. Under these refrom having the constant, the daily gulations it was conceived that only superintendance of such a character the most squeamish dissenters could as a well-educated and pious English object to sending their children.churchman-when he became sensi. They were to be exempted from the ble how much the durability of the Sunday discipline, which consisted in system would be increased by giving taking the children once a-day to the it that solidity, that deep root, that parish church, and teaching them in wide basis which no new system could the evening the Church Catechism, possess or acquire without being graft. and certain portions of the liturgy. ed on an old stock, he felt the full Mr Brougham finally stated the force of the argument. A religious measures proposed for improving the education was most essential to the efficiency of the endowments for eduwelfare of every individual. To the cation that actually existed. It was rich, it was all but every thing to proposed that, in the establishments the poor, it might be said, without a for grammar schools, there should be figure, to be every thing. It was to an arrangement for teaching reading, them that the Christian religion was writing, and arithmetic, either by the preached—it was their special patri- master himself, or an assistant. This mony; and if the legislature did not might be supposed to lower the dig. secure for them a religious education, nity of these schools, but it would they did not, in his opinion, half exe- make them much more useful. The cute their duty to their fellow-crea- present incumbents, however, were tures. Let the House look to the to be exempted from this obligation. alacrity, the zeal, the warm-hearted. He proposed also to limit or prohibit ness which the established clergy ma- the system of boarding, which, in nitested for the education of the poor. many of these establishments, engrossThey declared that blessings would be ed the whole attention of the master. poured down on Parliament if they Mr B. finally stated the expense of carried into effect a religious system the plan. Taking the whole kingdom of education, which they expressly at the same rate with Devonshire, declared to be the most effectual bar which was the county least provided rier against the prevailing vices of the with schools, the expense would be time. Under these views, he propo. for building of new schools, purchased that the parson should have a veto sing of ground, &c. &c., 850,000). on the election, and should have con- But taking the average with Cumberstant access to examine the school. land, which was only 400,0001., he The higher clergy were to have the could state the expense, on a liberal power of visitation; and the visitor average, to be only from 500,0001. to could dismiss theschoolmaster, subject 600,0001. These were not times in to an appeal to the metropolitan. The which any sums could be spoken of school fees were to be fixed by the as unimportant; at other times those parson and parish officers, and not to sums would have been thought little. be less than 2d. or more than 4d. a- The annual average upon the Devonweek. A certain number to be ad- shire scale would be 150,0001.: on the mitted gratis, or to have their fees Cumberland scale, 100,0001. paid out of the parish rates. No re- Lord Castlereagh said, that he had ligious book to be taught except the listened with much satisfaction to the

perspicuous details given with so that period it might be perfectly promuch ability by the honourable and per; and a court like the court of learned gentleman. He was quite in- great session might have been absocapable of giving any opinion at pre- lutely necessary. Now, however, that sent on the general merits of the pro- the boundaries of England and Wales posed plan, but he discharged his duty served for no other purpose than that by giving his consent to the bringing of a geographical distinction, and that in of the bill, reserving to some fun the interests of their inhabitants had ture occasion the discussion of its become so closely interwoven that principles. From the importance of they could never again be easily sethe subject, and the great details in- parated, the case was completely alvolved in it, he hoped the honourable tered, and the necessity for the exisand learned gentleman would not tence of a separate court, like the press the bill during the present ses- court of great session, was matesion. After the bill should have been rially diminished. It was urged, inbrought in, it could be printed, and deed, in favour of this system, that members could so be prepared for its the law was more cheaply adminis. discussion. He, at least, would give tered under it, than it could be under it his best attention.

any other. There was indeed a re. Mr Brougham expressed his ac- gulation by which every action must quiescence in this delay, though he be concluded within a week, but was would be better pleased to get the this consistent with the due adminisbill through in the present session. tration of law? If the suitor did not

Mr Wilberforce and Sir James like such summary justice, he must Mackintosh expressed their approba- either submit his case to arbitration, tion of the plan.

postpone it for six months, or carry Mr Vesey Fitzgerald and Sir John it to the next English county. Mr Newport expressed their sense of the Campbell endeavoured to shew, that great benefit which such a measure the alleged cheapness was illusory, would secure to Ireland, though there . unless in a few cases, where, if it apwere many details in the present bill peared expedient, the old system which appeared to them inapplicable could still be retained. Then there to that country.-Mr Brougham sta- were no lawyers in Wales duly acted, that in framing its provisions, Ire- quainted with equity proceedings, land had not been at all in view. which appeared indeed to be of only

Leave was then given to bring in secondary consideration in these cir. the bill.

cuits. He objected to the judges in Among the miscellaneous proceed- these courts being allowed to practise ings of the year, it would be impro- as barristers in other courts, and parper to omit the proposition made for ticularly to the mode of their apthe abolition of the Welsh system of pointment. The nomination lay in judicature. This was brought for the treasury, and when a vacancy ocward on the 1st June by Mr Frede- curred, instead of looking about at rick Campbell, who observed, that the bar for the most proper person the present system of Welsh judica- to fill it, they looked at the House of ture was first adopted at a period when Commons, of which they knew much a distinct line could be drawn between more ; and if a seat could be secured, England and Wales, and when great or a vote gained by it, so much the animosities subsisted between the in- better. They were not very nice in habitants of the two countries. At their selection, as the salary was so small, and the situation itself so un- sult ? Not that those courts should dignified, that few lawyers of respect- be abolished on the contrary, they ability could bear to lose so much recommend that they should be kept of interest and character as the up“ on account of" (as the preface acceptance of this situation might to the report observed) “ the cheapsuppose. The English judge held

his ness and expedition with which jussituation free and independent of the tice was administered in them.” They Crown; he discharged the duties of had pointed out, indeed, some partihis high office without dependence culær defects, and Mr Warren was upon those by whom he was appoint- preparing to bring in a bill to remedy ed. The situation of the Welsh judge these, and only waited the result of was, on the contrary, dependent and the

present motion. obscure, the administration of justice The motion was supported by Mr vague and uncertain. The defects of Creevey and Lord John Russell; also the Irish courts had been ably point- by Mr Wynn, who observed, that the ed out by Lord Colchester, who had committee had not reported on the observed, that the present English propriety of Welsh judges being aljudges would indeed be unequal to lowed to sit in the House. In consuch an addition of business, but that sequence of the lamented death of the purpose might be answered by Mr Ponsonby, the chairman of the three additional ones, to assist at the former committee, together with other Old Bailey, and go occasionally to circumstances, the effect and bearing the northern circuit.

of the evidence taken before it had These observations excited no small never been laid before the House. indignation in Mr Warren, the Chief Colonel Wood said, that though Mr Justice of Chester, who then filled his Ponsonby had begun the inquiry with seat in the House. It was too much strong prejudices against the Welsh for the honourable member to say that system, he had finally thought it in all the Welsh judges were obscure expedient that it should be entirely and ignorant. Did the honourable done away with. One great inconmember mean to say that he (Mr venience was, that many of the witWarren) was obscure? He should nesses could not speak English, and hope not. But had the honourable when put into the box their first angentleman ever heard that Sir Wm. swer was, dem Sassenach. The disGrant was one of those who had held tance and state of the roads would the situation which he himself had render it highly inconvenient to the the honour to fill? He presumed not. judges, the present Chief Justice, for Had the honourable member ever instance, to travel the Welsh circuit. heard that Justice Mansfield, that Sir He thought the alteration of their juVicary Gibbs, that Lord Kenyon, that dicature would excite great dissatisthe present Chief Justice Dallas, and faction through the principality. other distinguished characters, had Mr Wrottesley, confirmed the statefilled the same situation ? It was not ments of Colonel Wood; but Mr J. known, perhaps, to some members, Allan stated his impression to be dethat a committee had been appointed cidedly different. The only merits in 1817 on the subject of the Welsh he had heard ascribed to the system courts and the Welsh judges; and, of Welsh judicature, were its superior after the examination of several dis- cheapness and dispatch. Upon the tinguished individuals, they made point of cheapness, it might indeed their report-and what was the re- be said that the items, the details of legal expenses, were cheap; but if that was honourable in society; a juthey would take any town or district dicature to which, if he might believe of Wales, they would find that the the greater part of the evidence which total sum expended there in litiga- had been offered on the subject, that tion would very far exceed that of part of the country was most warmly any town or district of the same ex- attached. He objected, however, to tent in England,-a circumstance the wording of the motion, by which which arose, no doubt, from the ten- the committee were instructed to condency which the cheapness of laws sider the propriety of abolishing the had to excite litigation. It was as a Welsh judicature, and the best means member of this principality he now by which the same could be effected." claimed for his countrymen that they He would suggest the words of the should be admitted to all the advan- original motion for a committeetages of the British constitution-ad- “ To inquire into, and report to the vantages which they could not be House, their observationstouching the said to possess while they had infe- administration of justice in Wales.” rior judges, an inferior bar, and in- Atthe same time, his Lordship strongferior attornies.

ly censured the personal reflections Lord Castlereagh had always sup- which had been made upon indiviposed that the subject had undergone duals, and denied that the appointthe most elaborate examination, and ments were made by government, that every possible inquiry had been with any view except the efficient dismade. Now, however, it appeared charge of the situations. that the labours of that former com- Mr Barham stated his impression mittee had terminated under circum- that Mr Ponsonby had never matestances less satisfactory, certainly, rially altered his opinion on the subthan they would have been, if, after ject. He remembered his remarkable hearing all the evidence to be brought expression, “it would be better for all on the subject, and with the addi. to get into the great boat.” Many of tional advantage of hearing the man- the Welsh judges were highly rener in which it was given, they had spectable, but there were too many gone on to make a report which should of a different character. He belie. have been of that clear and ample na- ved the wish of the inhabitants was ture which generally resulted from almost unanimous to be placed on the the labour of a committee. He had same footing as England. no objection, if the House felt so dis- The Chancellor of the Exchequer posed—and he fairly owned he felt and Mr W. Parnell strongly defenchimself disposed-to have the ques. ed the character of the Welsh judges. tion further investigated ; but he Mr Campbell, after some discusshould wish that to be done without

done without sion, agreed to Lord Castlereagh's prejudice to the existing judges, who amendment, and the motion for a were distinguished by every quality committee was carried.

CHAPTER VI.

THE QUEEN-ARRIVAL.

Delicate situation of the Queen.-She quits.-Journey through France.--Inter

view with Lord Hutchison at St Omers.She crosses the Channel, and are rives in London.Popular enthusiasm in her favour.-King's Message to Parliament.--Debates in both Houses.-Delay.--Unsuccessful Negociation. -Resolutions moved by Mr WilberforceRejected by the Queen.

AFTER the disappointment of suc- its passions had been excited, might cessive attempts to involve the state have supposed, that nothing merely in anarchy, the nation began to personal to royalty, nothing which breathe, and sanguine hopes were did not directly tend to the benefit entertained that the new reign would and relief of the nation itself, could flow on in a more tranquil and uni- have caused any strong agitation.form tenor. The present, however, Experience only could shew that these was, on the contrary, the era of a principles still possessed so great a convulsion, which, if less perilous, force, and could serve even as a focus was more violent and universal than to collect all the energies of popular any which Britain had experienced faction. Not even those who were for ages preceding. We approach most to profit by the circumstance with pain to a subject, on which the could previously anticipate it. From passions of men were so highly in- the moment, indeed, of the recent Aamed, and where there appears so accession, it was perceived that the little room for praise on either side; relations between the two greatest but where, on the contrary, we may personages in the state must be of find something to blame in every delicate and difficult adjustment, and thing that was said and done by al- likely to involve the executive in semost every person. The event, how- rious embarrassment. The feelings of ever, makes too great a figure in the respective political parties were history, and afforded too ample a dis- shewn by the ample and exulting play of the genius and character of terms in which the one dilated upon the nation, to be passed over without the subject, and by the niggard and full notice.

cautious responses of the other. Both He who had observed the temper foresaw a struggle, though neither of of the British public for some time them that terrible struggle which acprevious, and the objects by which tually ensued.

VOL. XIII. PART I.

H

« AnteriorContinua »