« EdellinenJatka »
and justify the House in address. pleased to remove him from the ing the crown for his removal ; office of judge of the great session but in the present instance, there of Wales." The motion was neither was any such misconduct negatived without a division. actually, nor any good reason to The commission which had been believe in the existence of mali-" appointed to inquire into the adcious motives. True'it was, that ministration of justice in the court Franks had been 'acquitted ; but' of Chancery had made a very true it was likewise, that the grand elaborate and voluminous report, jury had found a true bill against to which was annexed an immense him. If Mr. Kenrick had been mass of evidence, containing some guilty of a malicious prosecution, grains of wheat amid a huge ac-,, and been convicted of that offence cumulation of chaff. The conclus in a court of law, that might jus-“ sions to which they came they had tify the House 'in praying for his reduced into 187 propositions, con- ; dismissal. - But the measure now taining the alterations in the pracę proposed was to deprive him of tice of the court which they the benefit of a legal trial.' He thought might be adopted with was liable to a criminal action in advantage ; and as it was known an ordinary court ; he was entitled that the attorney-general intended by the law of the land to be tried to bring forward a measure foundby twelve of his peers : but this ed on these propositions, Parliawas an attempt to deprive him of ment was for some time spared his birth-right, to try and con
those declamations, which, in fordemn' him by anticipation, and mer sessions, had usurped a place that, too, by the House of Commons. that would have been better filled If Franks should prosecute, how by pointing out specific defects or ; could Mr. Kenrick expect an im- suggesting specific improvements. partial trial, with a sentence al- Still it was impossible to suppress ready pronounced against him by entirely that paltry and unjust such an authority; and if he Mr. spirit, which, in order to wound Kenrick should be acquitted, in lord Eldon, had long been busy what light would the House of in depreciating the court of ChanCommons
cery; and the new efforts of his The House, however, entered detractors afforded new examples into evidence upon the charge; and of their incorrigible ignorance. Mr: Denman, after counsel had On the 7th of March, Mr. Hume been heard for Mr. Kenrick, moved, moved for a return of the number “That, the charges against Mr. of persons in confinement for conKenrick having been fully estab- tempt of the court of Chancery. lished, except that part which He did not seem to be aware that stated that he had offered to with- the process of contempt is not an draw the prosecution, in considera instrument issued voluntarily by ation of Mr. Franks's good cha- the court to avenge a supposed racter, it appeared to that House insult done to itself, but that it is that he had showed himself an the means which one subject em unfit
person to exercise the judicial ploys to compel another to do him function ; and that an address be justice; and that the man, who is therefore presented to his Majesty, in prison for contempt, remains in praying that he would be graciously that situation, only because he per
sists in refusing justice to his fel- was, that Richardson's infant son low subject. The great complaint was also in confinement along with which Mr. Hume made was, that him. Whether the child was the Insolvent Debtor's Act, though actually in confinement in conseit relieved persons who were in quence of any process, or had only contempt for not paying money been taken there to accompany his which the court had ordered them father, did not appear ; but, in to pay, gave them no relief where either case, the complaint was the contempt consisted in the non- frivolous and dishonest : for, if payment of costs. The attorney- the infant was in the prison by general, by way of answer, read the desire of his parents, that could to him the clause of the Insolvent be matter of blame to no one but Debtor's Act, which provided ex- them; and if he was there under pressly for the discharge of persons any process, that process was irrewho were imprisoned for non- gular, and contrary to the rules of payment of costs; and certainly, the court; and, the moment the a more satisfactory refutation there case was stated, would have been could not be. This clause, ex- discharged at the costs of the
tending the relief of the Insolvent solicitor who had so abused it. · act to cases of non-payment of Mr. Hume, in the observations costs, was originally introduced, with which he introduced the we believe, at the suggestion of petition, spoke of the Lord Chanlord Eldon himself.
cellor as a curse to the country, Mr. Hume repeated his attack The murmurs of disapprobation on the 11th of April, on the occa which broke forth from all sides sion of presenting a petition from of the House, and the loud exa person of the name of Richard pression of condemnation and disson, who complained of being con- pleasure which assailed him, were • fined in York Castle for contempt an involuntary testimony to the of the court of Chancery. The splendid talents and unspotted vircase was, that a mortgagee of a tue of the greatest of our judicial small property, which belonged to sages. Richardson for life, had filed a bill Another equally unreasonable of foreclosure ; Richardson did not complaint was made on the 21st of put in any answer, and the pro- April, when Mr. Sykes presented a cess of contempt, therefore, issued petition from an attorney in Hull. against him.
It never occurred This attorney had caused various to Mr. Hume that the mortgagee of his bills of costs to go through had no other means of getting his the form of taxation, when there money than by forcing on his suit; was no person to check his prothat he could not do so except by ceedings, and had thus gotten them forcing Richardson to answer ; and allowed against the estate of a that the process of contempt was lunatic. Some years afterwards, the remedy which the law of the the next of kin, having discovered land gave him to render his rights that the solicitor had not acted effectual. But lord Eldon was to properly, petitioned for a re-taxbe vilified, because, forsooth, a ation of the costs. Lord Eldon, mortgagee chose to enforce his acting upon the invariable prinrights! One circumstance of ag- ciples of the court, which have gravation stated in that petition been established with a view to
the safety of the suitors, ordered generally remains deposited for no the bills of costs to be re-taxed; long period of time. The thirtyand this order, though not to have nine millions said to be “ locked made it would have been error, up in the court of Chancery" are, was gravely stated as a ground of for the most part, no more locked accusation against the judge and up than an equal sum standing in the tribunal. In the discussion the names of trustees: and the on this most notable petition, Mr. increasing magnitude of the funds Hume displayed the usual igno- in court proves only the increasing rance of the assailants of our courts utility of the court as an organ of justice. “If,” said he, “they for administering property, and looked at the report on the table, for protecting the interests of inthey would find, that a sum of fants, married women, and others about thirty-nine millions sterling who are not able to assert their lay locked up in the court of Chan own rights. cery ; a pretty nest-egg for the The fury of the attack which chancellor of the Exchequer or his has been made of late on the court successors. The sum belonging to of Chancery, and the ignorance disthe suitors had greatly accumulated played by the assailants, though within no very long period of some of them were
men who years: what a mass of good would lived by the practice of the law, have been done, if such an immense form, indeed, a curious trait in the sum as this had been distributed parliamentary history of late years. to the parties ! But he believed That court has its faults, and is it would never be liberated by the capable of great improvement : present Chancellor.” Such were still, with all its faults, it administhe statements to which the English ters a much more enlightened and House of Commons deigned to comprehensive system of jurisprulisten! Did it never occur to the dence than exists any where else ; mind of this most accurate in- and it renders greater services to quirer, that the greater part of this the community than any other of sum was money which no person our tribunals. The courts of comhad, or could have, either right or mon law apply a system, which, power to distribute. It was there though useful within its own narfor the purpose of administration ; row limits, is altogether unequal the dividends were either paid to
to the transactions of human sothose who were entitled to receive ciety; and if no justice were to them, or they accumulated, if the be found in England except what person, who had the right to direct can be gotten in the King's Bench what should be done with them, or Common Pleas, law would be had so ordered ; the capital re more an instrument of wrong than mained in court, because the periods, of right. The Ecclesiastical Courts, fixed by wills, marriage settle- and the Courts of Admiralty, again, ments, trust-deeds, &c. for the dis- abound in gross abuses, and involve tribution of it, had not arrived: parties in the most enormous expenbut of the funds standing in the Yet the senseless vituperaname of the accountant-general, tions, which were poured out against there is only a very small part the court of Chancery, produced which is detained there by adverse some effect in degrading it in publitigation; and that small sum lic opinion ; for the generality of
men, as ignorant of the matter as professional to be generally intelthose who spoke on it, could with ligible, and partly because it was difficulty believe that senators not intended that any
prowould stand forth the accusers of ceeding should be taken in the the highest of our courts of justice matter during the present session. without taking the least pains to The object of his motion was understand the principles, or in- merely to bring the subject before vestigate the facts, on which the parliament; but the prosecution question of its merits or demerits of the bill was to þe deferred to necessarily turned. It did not the first session of a new parliaoccur to common 'understandings, ment. that a man of sense and virtue The discussion which followed could hold himself out as the im- the motion of the attorney-general, prover of a machine with the frame
was very tenperate. Some of the and structure of which he was minor orators were dissatisfied that totally unacquainted.
the commissioners had not found On the 15th of May, the Attor- fault with the Lord Chancellor; and ney-general moved " for leave to they stated, or insinuated, that bring in a bill to regulate the prac- that noble person had, in fact, by tice of the Court of Chancery." his influence caused the investigaHe prefaced his motion by a long tion to stop far short of the lengths and able speech, in which he ex to which it ought to have gone. plained, in popular language, some These statements and insinuations of the general principles of courts were fully answered by Dr. Lushof equity, and the outline of their ington: “ With regard,” said he, forms and course of proceeding. “ to the conduct of the Lord ChanIt was the more necessary to do cellor, he (Dr. Lushington) did this, because, the great difficulty but discharge a debt of justice to of meeting the attacks of enemies that individual when he said, that, of the court of Chancery consisted, from the beginning to the end of not in detecting the futility of the the investigation he had given the objections that were made, but in most material assistance to the communicating so much knowledge commissioners. He did not deliver of the subject to those who made his opinions to them as dogmas, or heard the objections as would but allowed those who doubted enable them to comprehend when of their correctness to investigate a satisfactory refutation was given. them thoroughly, affording them He described, likewise, the course every explanation which they rewhich the commissioners had taken; quired, and that, too, in a manner and, without descending to minute which left on his mind a most details, pointed out the aim and favourable impression with regard nature of the alterations which to the learning, intelligence, and the proposed bill was intended to integrity of that learned lord. So effect. We do not enter into the far from ever seeking to check particular topics discussed in the inquiry, he had done every thing speech ; partly because they were to promote and forward it.” necessarily of a nature too strictly
CHAP. V. HOP/" 11:21] !'yon, IRELAND: - Catholic Emancipation State of the Protestant Church in
the Province of Munster-Motion for a Committee of Inquiry upon First-Fruits--Motion for a Committee on the levying and application of Church Rates Education ---Chartered Schools Bill to regulate The Relation of Landlord and Tenant-Motion for a Committee on Tolls and Customs.
During the session of parliasharing largely in the generalment, the question of emancipation distress, her internal situation was was not formally stirred in either one of tranquillity, if allowance House. The vote of the House be made for those acts of indi- of Lords in the preceding session vidual atrocity which so frequent- had convinced the supporters of ly, darken her annals, and those the measure, that little could be heart-burnings fostered, if not hoped from again so speedily kindled, by the Catholic Associa- agitating the question; and the tion, which, in summer, blazed atrocious language used, and viou! forth at the command of the priest- lent resolutions voted, in assemblies hood, against the landlords at the of Catholics, only tended to create general election. The Catholic additional obstacles, by exciting Association, notwithstanding the greater irritation, and displaying act for its suppression, still existed more clearly their ultimate and in substance; the same irritating, dangerous views.* The question, and yet absurd, harangues were delivered; the same engines of * The oratory of men who can neiinfluence were kept in active ther think coolly and correctly, nor operation; the same contributions, speak with propriety, is never worth which formed the Catholic rent, preserving, except as shewing the very still continued to be levied. The lowest degree of sense and decency
compatible with public notoriety, and ordinary turbulences of elections vulgar influence of this it would be were indeed aggravated by the impossible to find a more valuable speunhappy spirit of religious rancour
cimen than the following language, which the zeal of the Catholic used in a public meeting in Dublin, in clergy superadded to political dif- O'Connell. When it is recollected that
the beginning of November, by Mr. ferences ; I and, in more instances the speech was delivered while the than one,
they terminated : in duke of York was labouring under the blood. But, with this exception, illness which, in a few weeks, terminated there was no violation of the public roused in a moment by an inroad of
his life, and just a month before Britain, peace; and Ireland remained free despotism' upon an ally, stood armed from the outrages to which the 'with the rapidity of lightning, on the suffering artizans, in the manu banks of the Tagus, and, fearless and facturing districts of England, prompt, frowned Europe into peace ; it
furnishes an admirable commentary on allowed themselves to be excited
the goodness of the man's heart, and by poverty and distress.
the soundness of his head, on the extent