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the same in political subjects ; if a pointed. Sir F. Burdett is in posses-
of a man's affairs. His domestic ar-
policy, as in their attacks up for them they are here baffled: they
Thus will faction distort every
fecimus ipsi, ing this plain' question :- Is it not
possible that a man of birth, of wealth,
them the distinctions in the mode of quiries into the state of the country,
But a man may be rich, and have will not join in the corrupt views of
the conquest. To the genealogists and of the borough not to vote against historians of that county we leave the him except in certain cases. If the history of his ancestors ; suffice it for member, who is returned for a borough us that he came into the world like under these conditions, that is, it he other children, had no prodigies that obtains the borough for nothing, or at we know of at his birth, passed through an interior price, and disagrees with his infantine years as usual, and at a his principal, he is said to act unhandproper age was sent to Westminster somely, it he does not resign his seat school. After the usual school edu- by accepting the Chiltern Hundreds. cation, and a year or two spent at Ox- A curious question bas thus arisen ford, he made the tour of Europe, in this country :--May a member for under the care of Mr. Chevalier, a county or a large town act against whose learned writings on the seat of the decided sense of his constituents ? antient Troy have given him a dis- Yes, say the borough - mongering tinguished name in the literary world. faction ; for he is under no bond or As he was upon the continent at the ție from them; he is freely elected beginning of the French revolution, by them, and during the time he is in he could not fail of being witness to parliament may follow what course many of the extraordinary scenes that he pleases. May not, then, it is askaccompanied it. In those scenes he ed, a member 'put in by a private had no concern; he was merely a borough also exercise his own disspectator; and at different courts' of cretion in his votes? No, says the Europe, meeting persons of different borough-mongering faction: it was sides, he was the better enabled to expected, when he went into parliaappreciate the views and motives of ment, that he should study the wishes the different factions. On his return of his principal; and he acts against to England, he married; and was, in his honour if he goes against these the year 1796, returned for parliament wishes. Thus the members for counfor one of the boroughs belonging to ties and large towns are free and inthe Duke of Newcastle.
dependent; but the members for The part he took in politics on his small boroughs are to be the liverycoming into the house of commons,na- servants of the proprietors. The lanturally gave rise to an enquiry into the guage is so common now, that no one manner of his coming into parliament; is surprised at it; and these impudent and when it was found that he was borough-mongers have the insolence returned for Boroughbridge, in York- to talk of honour in their depraved shire, under the auspices of the Duke transactions. of Newcastle, a complaint was made Sir Francis Burdet is not in the least in certain circles, that he was guilty affected by the false notions enterof improper conduct towards his sup- tained by these borough-mongers.-posed patron. Every reader does not He came first into parliament, it is know, perhaps, the nature of these true, through one of them; but he supposed improprieties; and he will was not under the least bond, tacit or be surprised when he does know it, implied, to vote with the patron that so wicked, so base, so dishonour- through whose interest the seat was able a practice exists in this country. obtained. He went into parliament By a very great misfortune, many completely unshackled; and the Duke boroughs are now so in the hands of of Newcastle had nothing more to do private people, they can make them with his vote than any other man in an article of trade, or put in for the kingdoni. nothing any member the patron The time when Sir F. Burdett came pleases. If the patron puts in a mem- into parliament will ever be disber without receiving any emolument, tinguished in the annals of this counit is understood that the member is try. The Pitt and Melville faction never to vote against his patron. If had obtained complete 'ascendency; the borough is sold at the market they had conquered every thing that price, then the member is not under was bonourable in the kingdom; they this obligation. If it is sold under the were supported by the most depraved market price, the member is held un- majority ever known). It was suta der a tacit kind of bond to the patron ticient that a measure was brought forward by the minister; it was imme. that his compassion was only for traidiately voted, and the few who dared tors, for seamen, whose lives were to open their mouths against the impu- forteited to their country. The fact is, dent and insolent tax-monger,were set that his compassion was first excited down immediately as jacobins, or de- for the hardships of men untried, torn mocrats, or traitors to their country. from their wives and families, and Implicit confidence was the word; cast into prison; and it is now well and the country now begins to feel known that the minister who threw the effects of that implicit confidence. these nen into prison never meant to Such ignorance of the affairs of Eu- bring them to trial, and sued for a bill rope, such a profligate waste of the of indemnity, which he easily obtainpublic money, will make the pame ed from that house which, instead of of Pitt the son as inglorious, as that a bill of indemnity in his favour, of Pitt the father will be glorious, to ought to have presented against him the latest posterity.
a bill of impeachment. Sir Francis Burdett was not daunted The circumstances which led Sir F. by the threats of adıninistration, nor Burdeti to an enquiry into ihe state of atiected by the verbosity of the bom- the bastille, lately erected in this bastical minister. When it had be- country in Cold Bath Fields, were come, from the effect of the well- these : -- On the suspension of the known gagging, bills, in which Lord Habeas Corpus act, a number of perGrenville, row discovered by the whigs sons were taken up on suspicion, 'exto be so great, and so good a patriot, amined before the privy council, and when it bad become almost obsolete then thrown into this prison. We to meet at a public dinner on a po- call it a prison, though in fact it was litical subject, Sir F. Burdett took ihe built for a house of correction and chair at a more numerous meeting penitentiary house, upon a new printhan had been held to that time at ciple, which, under proper managethe Crown and Anchor. He there was ment, may be made very useful in the received with the utmost applause. correction of delinquents. The house His person, his inanners, his language is divided into a vast number of small attracted universal attention. His sen- cells, so numerous, that each delin. timents were plain and undisguised. quent may bave a cell to himself. He declared himself a decided enemy This doubtless is useful, even for the to the borough-mongering system, sake of health and cleanliness; and and earnestly attached to a reform in besides it has this advantage, that if parliament; that the house of com- a person is refractory, and disturbs mons might be brought back to what the order of the house, he may be it ought to be by the constitution of kept in solitary confinement til he the kingdom-a fair representative of has learned better manners, The the people, and to be kept in honour- principle is a good one; but the more able dependence on the people, by excellent the principle is, the more being only of short duration, care is necessary to prevent its being
In the house of commons he was abused; a most watchful eye must be no less strenuous for the rights of the kept over the jailor and his servants, people; and of course was resisted by that what was intended to preserve ihe minister, and feebly, if at all, sup- good order, and correct immorality, ported by the Whigs. One subject, may not be converted by them into on which he exerted himself to the engines of sordid avarice, cruelty, and utmost, and which will ever endcar oppression. him to every impartial man, was his But whatever may be the excellence enquiry into the conduct of ministers of the principle, or however well towards those
persons who were, to adapted the house might be for the the disgrace of the ountry, submitted inrrisonment or conviction of delinto their controul by the suspension of quents, it cannot be doubied that to the Habeas Corpus act. The atrocity take a similar course with persons not of this conduct was so notorious, that found guilty of any crimes, is in the every art was used to calumniate Sir bighest degree wicked and tyrannical. Francis, and to throw a veil over every It was base in the house of commons part of the proceeding. It was said, to suffer such an intringement of the
rights of 2n. Englishman. There were Englishmen seemed at that time to prisons in abundance in London, and have lost their nature: to be accused why was the usual mode to be set of a crime was then equivalent to abaside, to gratify the malice of a vin- solute guilt, and they desiied no court dictive minister. Sutfice it, however, of justice-10 trial; but called for that a number of persons were thrown nothing but punishment. Base and into this prison, and were treated as intamous times ! May they, who delinquents. With very great dif. countenance them, take a lesson from ficulty, they made their grievance an apostle upon this subject :--When known to their friends on paper, ob- Paul was treated in this manner, he tained with the greatest difficulty, compelled the magistrates of the place and on which they wrote by means to come in person, and to give him of skewers and tobacco juice, or blood, satisfaction for the injurytheydad done instead of ink. Several of these let- him; and only his goodness preserved ters were brought to a gentleman by them from a superior punishment, a person who was collecting sub- and such as they richly deserved. scriptions for the wives and children It was in vain, for a long time, that of the writers of these letters, and Sir Francis endeavoured to call the this gentleman carried them to a large attention of the house to the state of party a few days after, where he met the prison. The renewal of the susSir F. Burdett' and several members pension of the Habeas Corpus act, of both houses at dinner. Here he gave him an opportunity of stating a shewed the letters as he had received fact that could not be denied. He them. They made a considerable stated it plainly before the house, impression on every one, and they “ that a number of persons were produced at the moment an effect brought up to town from Manchester very favourable to the families of the loaded with irons, and thrown into distressed. à subscription was made the house of correction, in rooms unfor thenı, and the matter might have prepared for their reception; and on passed off without any farther en- 'the next day, when exhausted with quiries.
fatigue, with hands and legs swollen, The circumstance made a deeper and severely galled with the weight impression on the mind of Sir Francis and friction of the fetters, they were Burdett. A few days after he desired sent before the privy council, to be to see these letters; he requested in- examined on charges of which they formation relative to the general na. were ignorant, and, as it has since ture of the prison, its origin, and appeared, completely innocent. He general conduct. He determined to asked whether this was a fit and progo himself, and be an eye-witness of per treatment for persons apprehendthe state of the prison; and to this ed on suspicion only, whose accusers purpose he procured the usual order were probably men of doubtful or inot admission for himself and a friend famous character? And whether, in or two, for he never went alone; and that situation, they were likely to be thus had an opportunity, by three possessed of that calm and steady revisits, of making his own remarks and collection of mind necessary to stand investigations. He would have gone before so august a body as the privy a fourth time; but, as imposture council ? Yet, while thé Habeas Cor. dreads the light, an order was issued, pus act was suspended, there was no that he should not go into that or any redress for men, innocent men, howother prison in the kingdom. ever ill they were treated.”
His visits had given him ample in- Upon this fact Aris the jailor was formation. He found completely examined; and he stated that when verified the complaints that, for want these men arrived at the prison they of ink, had been written with blood. were all heavily double ironed and He was convinced that a prison so handcuffed together; that they were conducted was a disgrace to the coun- all tnrown into one room during the try, and determined to bring the first night, without a bed to lie on, or wbole subject before parliament. The fire to warm them, though the wearesistance he met with is incredible. ther was severe, having nothing on
which they might repose their weary so confined, as to sleep and live two
committee by the prisoners of insufThe facts now began to make an ficiency of food, and want of warmth impression upon people friendly to in winter, they say, “ We think these administration. Something was to be complaints were in some cases made done, and care was to be taken that on very reasonable grounds.” On the it should not be done by Sir Francis general management of the prison Burdett. The friends of administra- they say, “ In the course of our ex, tion took the opportunity of his ab- amination into the management of sence, and formed a committee to this prison, it was impossible not to enquire into the state of the prison, observe, and highly to blame, the irThis committee would of course view regular facility with which the punish. every thing in the most favourable ment of refractory behaviour has been light; they would not notice any thing inflicted. On occasions of important it they could possibly avoid it. Yet outrages, indeed, we remark some in. their report was such as completely stances of reference to the authority to verify' every word that Sir Francis of magistrates; but we find no traces had advanced upon this subject. They of any register of punishment; nor use these words:-" We believe Mr. does it appear that any regard has at Aris to be very deficient in point of any time been paid to those limits, in obedience to those rules which enjoin point of time and circumstances, which him to execute the duties of his office the law has specifically directed." — in person, to see every prisoner, and Upon the whole the committee de. to examine every cell, once at least clare, that “ in the present state of in each day." In speaking of a cer- this prison, we do not hesitate to protain class of prisoners, they say, "we nounce it an improper place of conapprehend that prisoners in this situ- finement for these several descriptions ation have but too well known how of unconvicted persons; por indeed, to suit their proposals to the wants of until its discipline, regulations, and the governor; and that in fact he has arrangements shall have undergone been sometimes tempted beyond what considerable alterations, can we conhe has had fortitude to resist." In sider it as much less improper for prianother place they observe," that the soners convicted for misdemeanors on space contained in each of the cells af indictments at common law. So this prison is certainly not greater than necessarily does this conclusion appear is necessary for the healthful respira- to us to follow a view and enquiry into tion of the one person intended to be a state and management of this prison, lodged in it; to lodge two persons in that we are led to apprehend that those this space is to counteract the prin- magistrates who have acted contrary ciple and subvert the intentions of the to it, may have neglected to inspect, law.” Nevertheless, " it must have or otherwise inform themselves of the happened in the present year that one real situation in which prisoners are hundred and forty persons have been placed by their commitments."
[To be concluded in our next.)