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good-will amongst men, with the lawless and practised by the heroes who first spread plunder of the Petitioners' property, and the renown of English valour throughout the sanguinary destruction of their lives; the universe ; a religion which the Petisuch is the case of the Petitioners, and tioners firmly believe to have been instifrom the situation to which they are thus tuted by the Divine Redeemer of all manreduced, they appeal for relief to the kind, and transmitted in unbroken succeswisdom and the justice of the House ; this sion to the present day, forbidding vice, the afflicting state of the Petitioners is an crime, and immorality of every description, unmixed evil to the British Empire; the teaching all social and moral duties, inindividual advantages which a few of the culcating all practical virtues, and sancProtestants derive from it are perfectly tioning and commanding all domestic and undeserving of regard, when contrasted private charities; the Petitioners respectwith the dangers which must necessarily fully, and in the spirit of perfect charity, menace the lives and properties of every state their conscientious conviction that class of his majesty's subjects, from the this the religion of the ancestors of the results of the present system of injustice, House, and of the Petitioners, is the best and with the insecurity to the Throne, and form of Christian faith; but the Petitioners the instability of the Constitution, created do not rest any part whatsoever of their by the long-stored and just discontent of claim to relief on such, to them, undoubted the Irish nation: for, may it please the superiority; the Petitioners claim for reHouse to understand, that the Petitioners lief is founded solely and exclusively on are discontented, deeply, universally dis- the principle of freedom of conscience, not contented at being excluded and degraded as applicable to their particular case or in their native land, without there being creed, but as belonging of right equally to any just or natural cause whatsoever for every sect and persuasion of Christians : such degradation or exclusion, and with the Petitioners respectfully call on the out there being a plausible pretext, how- House to recognize that sacred principle, ever slight, for continuing the present to leave conscience free and unfettered, to system: the Petitioners respectfully sub- allow to man the right of worshipping mit that they would be undeserving the God as to him may seem best, and not to attention of the high-minded and the good, interfere between conscientious man and if they were capable of suffering injustice his Creator; the principle of such interwithout feeling discontent and indigna- ference cannot be admitted by any human tion; and the Petitioners respectfully beginstitution, tribunal, or legislature, without leave to state, that they would endure with affording a justification of the horrors of uncomplaining submission, the evils atten- every religious inquisition, and of all the dant on their degradation in their native cruelties of the Pagan emperors to the land, if they had merited that degrada- primitive Christians: the Petitioners, theretion by any crime, or if it were palliated fore, most respectfully and humbly implore by any natural or moral inferiority on the House to establish at length that their part : but the fact is otherwise; no sacred principle, to do to others what crime can be imputed to the Petitioners, they would wish to be done to themselves, save the conscientious adherence to the and to grant to the Catholics of Ireland pure and holy faith of their ancestors, and the opportunity of adhering to the faith of the ancestors of the House; that faith of their fathers without suffering in conwhich confessedly was the religion of all sequence thereof, any pains, penalties, exEngland for more than eight hundred clusion, or deprivation, whatsoever: the years; a religion introduced to our Saxon Petitioners further respectively show that, ancestors by a Catholic monk, whose by acceding to the prayer of this their name stands high in our Calendar, Saint humble Petition, and granting them what Austin, a religion which was so introduced they ask, namely, an equalization of civil by the command and under the directions rights with their Protestant fellow-subjects, of a pope, a man whose name has won the House will make an holy alliance universal esteem from all English scholars with the inhabitants of that fertile but and divines, Saint Gregory the Great; a re- hitherto wretched island; the House will ligion which was firmly believed and faith- combine all classes of his majesty's subfully practised by the patriots and states-jects in the indissoluble bonds of mutual men, who founded and framed the British affection and mutual interest; the House constitution; a religion which was believed I will increase the strength of the govern.
ment, they will add to the security of the | a full participation in all civil rights and throne, and give permanent stability to privileges. the British constitution. May it, there- Ordered to lie on the table. fore, please the House, in its justice, wisdom, and generosity, to grant to the Peti- CORN Laws PETITION tioners the restoration of their long with-STARVING Weavers OF BLACKBURN.] held rights, by giving them an equalization Mr. Hume said, he rose to present a petiof civil rights with their Protestant fellow- tion, which was certainly couched in very subjects, unfettered by any conditions, strong language; but the letter by which qualifications, or restrictions, whatsoever." it was accompanied expressed a hope,
, Ordered to lie on the table and to be that the House would not cavil at strong printed.
language, when it came from men who were in a starving condition. The petiti
oners described themselves as “ The StaryHOUSE OF COMMONS.
ing Weavers of Blackburn and its neighFriday, February 9.
bourhood ;" and the petition set forth; CATHOLIC EMANCIPATION.) The “ That the starving petitioners, with the Hon. William Hare rose to present a pe- rectitude of injured men, presume to aptition from the Roman Catholics of Lis- proach the House in order to lay before towell, in the county of Kerry, praying for the House a statement of their complaints a removal of those civil disabilities under and wishes, to the end that the House which persons of their religious persuasion may grant them that relief which their laboured. The hon. gentleman said, he unmerited sufferings require : the petihad himself witnessed the many evils tioners, for many years, have suffered which resulted from the system of exclu- more than language can express, but sion which was acted on towards his Ro- within the last two years they have not man Catholic fellow-subjects. All the had half food, of the worst kind, for their disunion, ill-feeling, and animosity, public support, consequently hundreds of weaand private, which prevailed in Ireland, vers, their wives and children, have died might be traced to that source, nor could from absolute want of food : the petitionhe conceive how permanent tranquillity ers, being able-bodied men, cannot earn could be secured in that country, so long more than 5s. per week each, and, with two as such a penal code was suffered to exist workers in each family, averaging six souls, It was a matter of infinite moment to con- 10s. weekly is the whole for food, clothing, ciliate the feelings of the people of Ire- fuel and rent; and this scanty pittance land, and by that means to restore peace, the petitioners are necessitated to live order, and unanimity; and he was con- upon : that the petitioners, with all due vinced, that nothing could effect that deference to the House, would respectfully most desirable object but complete and ask, is the sum above stated sufficient for unqualified emancipation. Such a mea- the moderate wants of a man? If it is not, sure might be said to carry its own se- then are they perishing for want of food. curity along with it, since it was calcu- The petitioners humbly conceive, that they lated to excite the warm gratitude, and to cannot bear affection to the House while draw forth the friendly and affectionate that House manifests no disposition to feelings, of the millions for whose benefit relieve them: the petitioners are human it was intended. He was as ardently at- beings, and worship the same God, wheretached to the constitution as any man fore then should they be so oppressed in could be. He gloried in it as the proudest their native land? Why should they, who boast of the country; and if granting a labour sixteen hours per day, not obtain participation in all its immunities to his for that labour food and clothing for comRoman Catholic fellow-subjects was likely, fortable existence; there is a point when in the slightest degree, to impair the con- / endurance becomes a crime, and to that stitution, he would oppose any further point the petitioners have arrived: the concession. But he denied the assertion. petitioners cannot do much longer; they Such a measure would strengthen, instead are dying daily for want of food, and to of weakening it; and he could not see be silent under such circumstances would how it was incompatible with its safety, be highly criminal : that the petitioners to admit those who bore their full share have calmly and considerately examined of the taxes and burthens of the state to into the causes which have produced such
calamities to the working classes of this particular distinction, that he was brought county, and are convinced that all have up and educated together with his majesty. originated from the people not being repre- It might, perhaps, have been said, that sented in the House; that the national differences of opinion sometimes existed debt, the enormous church revenues, all between them, but in a country constithe unmerited placer n, pensioners, sine- tuted as this was, how could differences of cures, a standing army to murder the opinion be avoided? There had always, people if they complain, all the bloody however, existed between them the strongwars that the nation has been plunged est brotherly affection. With respect to into, are all owing to a want of a reform in their lordships and the public, they had the House; the Corn Bill, that monstrous however to contemplate the illustrious monopoly of the landed interest, and which deceased, not only in the relation which bill was passed while the House was sur- he bore to the royal family, but in the rounded with soldiers, all may be traced relation in which he stood, as having for to the people not being represented in the a period of more than thirty years filled House : believing, therefore, that a re- the high and important situation of comformed parliament, chosen by ballot, and mander-in-chief. He certainly, for one, by the whole of the population, would remembered the appointment of his royal grant unto the people relief, the petition- highness. He was so circumstanced as to ers, as the forlorn hope, humbly hope, that know something of the army at that time; the House will begin the god-like work by he was enabled to watch the progress of repealing the Corn Bill.”
all the acts of that illustrious individual ; Ordered to lie on the table and to be and it was impossible for any person who printed.
had so observed him to withhold from him
the highest praise. With respect to the HOUSE OF LORDS.
command of the army, it had been made
a question with some whether a person so Monday, February 12.
near the throne ought to hold such an Death of the Duke of York-office; that was to say, whether such an Address of CONDOLENCE TO His MA- arrangement was for the public interest. JESTY.] The Earl of Liverpool rose to He was of opinion, that if this question move an Address of Condolence to his Ma- was looked at as an abstract proposition, jesty on the Death of his royal highness it would be impossible to coine to any the Duke of York. He was sensible that general conclusion upon it. But, leaving the general feeling of regret was so much that question undecided, he had no hesitain accordance with his own, that it might tion in admitting, that inefficiency on the be thought even intrusive in him to say appointment to office of princes of the any thing in proposing the motion which blood, would be far worse than any inhe intended to submit to the House. But efficiency which might occur in the hands he confessed that he felt it as a melan- of other persons. But he could himself choly duty-a duty imposed upon him by say from experience, and all who knew recollections both pleasing and painful- any thing of the British army, and he that in proposing the address which he believed the greater part of the public, should submit to the House, he should would also say, that the interests of the make a few observations, in which he army had derived most essential benefit meant humbly to bear testimony to the from the administration of the illustrious merits of that illustrious individual now no individual, who, he was sure their lordships more, who had been the first subject of would concur with him in saying, had, in this realm, and who stood in the situation his situation, done much good, had done of heir presumptive to the British Throne. all the good in his power, and had in They had likewise many and strong in- many instances done much good, which ducements to approach the throne on this none but himself could have done. If occasion with their sentiments, and to their lordships would look at the state of state to his majesty their feelings of regret. the army at any period before the late No man, at all acquainted with his majes- illustrious person was appointed comty, could doubt the feelings of affection mander-in-chief,--if they wished to comwhich he entertained to every part of his pare its efficiency, they must look at what family. But with respect to his late royal | the army was before and after the royal highness the Duke of York, there was this I duke was appointed to that high situation.
It was above all to be recollected, that it and a kindness so striking, that it was imwas that army which had been gradually possible for any persons to have lived near formed under his administration which him, or to have had any intercourse with turned the fate of a war, in the result of him, and to have failed to have their minds which the best interests of this country impressed with the possession of those and of all Europe were involved—which qualities by the illustrious Duke. It had turned the fate of the great war in the been said of him--truly said of him—that Peninsula, and enabled his noble friend " he never broke a promise, and never near him (the duke of Wellington) to deserted a friend." He must still further prosecute that war to a successful termina- say, what he felt to be of importance, betion, to penetrate into the interior of cause it added strongly to the value of the France, and to bring the contest to a final illustrious Duke's character in his mind, conclusion by the victory at Waterloo. If that though he was in a public situation their lordships, after recollecting the which brought him in contact with a great efficiency of the army, looked to the com- variety of persons, yet to all who came to forts of the soldier, he was confident that him he was easy of access, and though in every man who heard him would concur the discharge of his official duties he was with him in the conviction, that in the more exposed to intercourse than had administration of any service, never was usually fallen to the lot of persons of his more attention paid to the comforts of rank, yet he never lost sight of what was those individuals whose lives were devoted becoming on his part, and never acted so to the service of the country, than had been as to make any one forget what was due paid by the late illustrious commander-in- to his character and station. All who apchief. In the next place, if their lordships proached his royal highness felt what was looked at the patronage of the army, and due to his illustrious character. Under to the distribution of that patronage, it these circumstances, he proposed to their would be allowed to be a difficult matter lordships to move, to avoid giving offence, where there were “ That an humble Address be presented so many claiınants, and so few but what to his Majesty, to assure his Majesty that would be disappointed; yet he must say, we fully participate in the deep regret that he never heard less complaint of which has been so generally manifested by grievances, injustice, and unfair partiality, his Majesty's loyal subjects on the Death than during the administration of his royal of his royal highness the Duke of York :highness; and in every part of the exercise To convey the expression of our sincere of that power-a great power he admitted condolence with his Majesty on the loss it to be —which he had had to exercise for of his beloved and lamented Brother :more than thirty years, he could fairly say, That we take this opportunity of again that no power was ever more moderately, recording our sense of the eminent services more justly, or more beneficially executed which were rendered by his royal highness for the interests of the country. He might the Duke of York, in the capacity of appeal to most of their lordships, to all commander - in -chief of his Majesty's those individuals who ever had occasion Forces ;—That we witnessed, with the to come in contact with his royal highness utmost satisfaction, the continuance, to on matters of business connected with his the last period of the life of his royal highofficial situation, if ever they found any ness, of that unremitting attention to the public man more easy of access, more fair duties of his high office, and of that strict and upright in his dealings, more affable, impartiality and justice in the exercise of more simple, he might say, in his manners. all its functions, which have so essentially Having said thus much with respect to the contributed to perfect the discipline, and character of the illustrious individual whose exalt the character, of the British army :loss they had to regret, he should feel it That to the expressions of those feelings unbecoming in him to trespass on their of grateful acknowledgment of the public lordships by more particular details. It services of his Royal Highness, and of sinwas, however, impossible for him to refrain cere sympathy with the present 'affliction from observing, that his late royal high- of his Majesty, we add the dutiful assurness possessed all the peculiar characteris- ances of our loyal and affectionate attachtics of an English gentleman. Whatever ment to his Majesty's sacred person.” failings he might have, there appeared in The Address was agreed to nem, diss. all his actions an openness, a sincerity,
HOUSE OF COMMONS.
of a nation are offered in
of those measures which the House is called Monday, Feb. 12.
upon to sanction by its approbation; and CATHOLIC EMANCIPATION.] Mr. if to this numerical preponderance you add Villiers Stuart said :- I rise for the pur- the weight and influence of a vast proporpose of presenting petitions from sundry tion of landed property in the hands of bodies of Irish Catholics. The first, on the Irish Protestant proprietors, it must, I part of the Catholic bishop and clergy of think, be conceded, that few questions The diocese of Waterford, and the rest ever came to the consideration of the from various parishes in that county, pray- House, backed by so powerful and mighty ing to be emancipated from the political | an advocacy as does that which now, on disabilities to which they are now sub- the part of the petitioners, claim the dejected. I should not venture to accom- cision of the legislature in its behalf. A pany the presentation of these memorials favourite topic of those opposed to the with any remarks at length, if it had not claims of the Catholics, has hitherto been been the wish of many of my constituents, the apathy with which these have been rewhose names are attached to them, that I garded by all but, as it was stated, a facshould press the consideration of this question belonging to the Roman Catholic pertion upon the House, in as strong a manner suasion; and the indifference with which, as possible. I cannot help feeling that I, excepting a few among the higher classes, who am a very young member of society the subject of their disabilities has been and of this House, should offer some treated by the great proportion of those apology in rising to address it on a subject who have laboured under the pressure of of such vast importance as that contained them. The day is past, the hour is gone in the prayer of the petitions I now hold for ever, when such an allegation as this in my but the very importance of could be resorted to as an argument against the question, connected as it intimately is concession. Aye, if it were matter of with the well-being, bound up as it is with doubt on the minds of any before the disthe dearest interests, of those whom I have solution of the late parliament, the event the honour to represent, will, I trust and of the general election must have flashed believe, be accepted as no trivial excuse conviction on the minds of all how deeply my coming forward on this occasion.- interested are the feelings of every
class Sir, I have not the presumption to request of Roman Catholics in the question of attention to my own opinions, merely as their emancipation; and how false, how those of the individual who has the honour utterly false, have been the charges of into address the House. I am aware, that, difference, under which those in the if what I say shall be considered to humbler grades of society have laboured. have any claim at all upon its considera- The Catholics have shewn they know their tion, it must arise from the sanction of rights, and knowing dare assert them. those who have deputed me to speak their They have given ample proof, that the prayers, and from the circumstance of love of liberty and those rights is with those prayers being offered up by the peti-them superior to the considerations which tioners, in common with nearly the entire commonly influence men in their humble nation to which they belong; and, Sir, in walks of life; they, even the lowliest of making this assertion, I would not wish to them, have, for the sake of emancipation be understood as putting forward any ex- from the political disabilities under which aggerated statement of facts. In Water- they labour, been content to incur the ford, with which I am more particularly weight of their landlord's heaviest displeaconnected, Catholics are to Protestants as sure ; they have dared to brook his anger, twenty-three to one; in the province of and the poverty and oppression incident Munster, of which that county forms a to it: they have confronted, undismayed, part, the proportion is still more favourable disease and famine; but turned indignantly to them; and in the two provinces of away from the bribe which, perhaps, might Leinster and Connaught, it is, perhaps, have saved them from the ravages of both. scarcely less so; and these calculations, Such has been the conduct of, such the founded as they are upon a census taken noble refutation given by, the peasantry of with the closest investigation and most Ireland—the much calumniated forty-shilaccurate research, bear me out in the as- ling freeholders—to the slanders of their sertion, that nothing less than the prayers / enemies, when an opportụnity offered to VOL. XVI,