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on the contrary, there was body of voters, whose rights were entitled to any respect; and the sole question was, to whom can the privilege of electing two members of parliament be transferred with the greatest advantage to the public. The adjacent hundreds had no more claim to such a boon than any other part of the kingdom; nor was the county entitled to any preference; for the share which Cornwall already enjoyed in the representation, did not require to be inereased. On the contrary, every principle of justice and prudence and constitutional law demanded, that the vacant franchise should be transferred to some place or district, which did not possess that direct influence in the legislature, to which its importance might give it a reasonable claim. These principles were strongly advocated by the noble mover, Mr. Tierney, and Mr. Wynn, and, in spite of the opposition of the ministers, they seemed to coincide with the general feeling of the


Upon their application, however, a further difference of opinion prevailed. Lord John Russell wished to give the franchise to Leeds; indeed, the very preamble of his bill of disfranchisement was, "Whereas, the borough of Leeds, in the county of York, having, of late years, become a place of great trade, population, and wealth, it is expedient that it should have two burgesses to serve in parliament." Lord Castlereagh objected strongly to this preamble, as containing an admission that Leeds was destitute of representation, and yet possessed that which the bill would recognize as the criterion

of representation; so that every place of trade, wealth, and population might apply to have the privilege of sending representatives conceded to it. This objection seems to us altogether unsubstantial. The preamble did not presume to propound any criterion of representation; it merely asserted, that, parliament having two seats in the popular branch of the legislature to dispose of, it was expedient to grant them to places of trade, wealth, and population, not hitherto possessed of the elective franchise; and the utmost extent to which the precedent could lead, would merely be, that if, hereafter, any other borough should be disfranchised for corruption,some wealthy and populous city might plead what was done in the case of Grampound, as a reason for giving the vacant elective franchise to it, rather than to the district, however poor, and however little populous, in which the disfranchised borough might happen to be situated. In such a principle, and such a precedent, it is impossible to see any danger.

But many, who did not accede to the principle of lord Castlereagh's objection, were averse to lord John Russell's plan, conceiving that it would be better to confer the elective franchise on some agricultural district than on a manufacturing town. Yorkshire, from its extent and wealth, seemed to have a strong title to preference; and, from its division into ridings, a change could be introduced into the representation of that county with less inconve nience than any where else. North and East-Riding might return each a member, while the West-Riding returned two; só


that no double right of voting would be created, while, from this division of the county, the expense of a contest in either part would be much diminished, and the freeholders might be brought up to poll in much less time than at present. Upon the whole, it was very evident, from the temper of the House, that, if the franchise should be taken away from Grampound, Yorkshire would be the object of favour, rather than Leeds; but the noble mover was little anxious, whether it was a wealthy town, or a wealthy agricultural district, that obtained the preference; in either case, a great good appeared to him to be secured. Indeed, in selecting Leeds, he could not have been influenced by any narrow party motives; for, of all the great towns in the kingdom, it was, perhaps, the one, in which the Whigs would have had the least chance of success. In times of discontent and tumult, Leeds has always been quiet and orderly in a remarkable degree; the upper classes of the inhabitants have more influence with the lower, than in most seats of manufacturing industry; and in the county elections the greater part of its political weight has been thrown into the ministerial scale. The measure was not carried on to any termination in this session. On the 5th of June, when the bill was about to be committed, Mr. D. Gilbert moved, that it should be an instruction to the committee, that they have power to make provision for extending the right of voting for burgesses to serve in parliament for the borough of Grampound, to freeholders of the two adjacent hundreds, and for limiting the

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On the 25th of May, lord Archibald Hamilton, with a view of bringing the state of the Scotch representation before parliament, moved for a copy of the roll of freeholders of every county in Scotland. The document, he stated, was one of little use in itself, but of great importance to his ulterior object; and that object he declared to be a change of the present mode of election. As matters now stood, the qualification of a voter had no connexion with property. The whole representation of Scotland might be in the hands of men who did not possess one inch of the soil, while the land-owners might be left without a single vote. Such a system ought never to have been allowed to spring up; and if, unfortunately, it did exist, it ought not to be tolerated any longer. In introducing a fresh principle of representation, he did not mean to disturb any existing rights; they who now possessed the elective franchise, would be allowed to retain it; and he would be satisfied with extending the privilege of voting to those who had it not at present, though possessed of property to an extent, which, on every sound principle,

ought to give it. Mr. Abercromby, in enforcing and illustrating the observations which had been made by the noble mover, urged upon the House the wide difference betwixt the Scotch and the English representation, and maintained, that even the most timorous could not fancy, that there was any danger in transferring to Scotland a principle of election, which had been found to answer so well in the wealthier and more turbulent part of the island. The motion was granted, as a matter of course, the document being one of a public nature; the ministers were satisfied with deprecating the premature discussion of so important a subject, and with protesting against the soundness of the views which had been adopted by lord Archibald Hamilton, and those who followed on the same side.

A defect in the aristocratic representation of Scotland was brought under the notice of the other House of Parliament. At the elections of the sixteen Scotch peers, a number of individuals, claiming to be peers of Scotland, though they had never made their claim good, had been in the habit of tendering their votes. Though these votes were protested against, it was necessary to accept them in the mean time, and, by this means, they exercised an undue influence on the return. A bill was, therefore, introduced, to prevent any but the direct descendants of peers from voting, till they had made out their titles.

Lord Lauderdale, in supporting the bill, stated that, in the elections of Scotch peers, he could, at any time, command fifteen or sixteen votes, which would be good for the time, though, in reality, the persons could not establish their pretensions to Scotch peerages. The chancellor approved of the measure. Indeed, it seemed to meet with the concurrence of all parties: the only doubt was, whether the brothers of deceased peers should be forced to make out their titles before voting, or whether they should be placed on the same footing with direct descendants.

Besides these specific proceedings, relative to the constitution of the legislature, the general question of parliamentary reform was several times mentioned in the House of Commons, and various petitions in favour of it were laid on the table; but the session passed without its being made the subject of formal or lengthened debate. Mr. Lambton, indeed, gave notice of a motion on the subject, for the sixth of June.

The arrival of the queen, in the interval, made it necessary for him to adjourn the consideration of the subject to the 27th of June. But, before that day came, the affair of the queen occupied the nation and parliament so exclusively, that he found it convenient to withdraw his notice, and defer the consideration of the question till the ensuing session.


Mr. Brougham's Plan for the Education of the Poor-General State of Education in England-Comparative Stute of Education in different Districts-Mr. Brougham's Arrangement of the Parts of his Plan-Regulations relative to the Establishment of Schools, and the Mode of defraying their Expenses-The Appointment and Removal of the Master, by whom the Schools are to be visitedAnswer to the Objections against connecting the System with the Established Church-Regulations concerning the Admission of Children-The Course of Instruction-Estimate of the Expense -The Mode of supplying Defects in existing Trusts-Provisions to improve the Management and Application of Charity FundsProvisions for Cases where there is a total Failure of the Objects of charitable Trusts-Clamour against the Bill among zealous Dissenters and zealous Churchmen-Sir James Mackintosh's six Bills for the Improvement of our Criminal Code-Three of these Bills passed-The Alterations made in them in the House of Lords-The Bankrupt Laws-Bill to amend the Marriage Act passed by the Commons-Debate upon it in the House of LordsIt is rejected-Lord Holland's Bill for the Repeal of the Royal Marriage Act-Other Bills-The Welch Judicature.

AMID the keen party dis

which parliament during the present session, many measures were introduced, which were intended and were calculated to improve the general character and composition of society among us. Of these, Mr. Brougham's plan for the education of the poor, is undoubtedly the most worthy of attention, on account of the importance of the subject as well as of the stores of knowledge and grasp of mind which he displayed in his mode of treating it. He had before entitled himself to the gratitude of his countrymen, by his efforts in establishing a system for discovering and remedying the abuses which had crept into VOL. LXII.

the administration of charitable

funds. He now undertook to show to what extent the means of education, provided for the lower orders of the people, were inadequate, and to propose a plan by which they might be rendered equal to our national wants. This he did, on the 28th of June, in a speech, which, though of no remarkable brilliance, was one of the most elaborate and, most instructive ever delivered in parliament. He began by showing, with what zeal and alacrity the clergy of the established church. had exerted themselves, to collect and communicate to the committee an immense mass of local and detailed information, without which, no correct notions of the [E]


actual state of education in different parts of the country, could be formed. Not contented with expatiating in general praise, he gave particular instances of most meritorious and zealous diligence; and his inference from all this was, that the superintendence of the execution of the plan which he was about to propose, could not be entrusted to any class of men with more propriety, than to those who had exerted themselves so ably and cheerfully in laying the ground-work on which he was to proceed.

Mr. Brougham next illustrated the importance of the statistical details (if we may give to moral facts of the highest importance, an appellation which has been dishonoured by an indiscriminate application to the most contemptible trifles), which had been extracted from the returns of the clergy, by contrasting them with the loose speculations of the most distinguished political arithmeticians. Then, after expatiating on the importance of know ledge to the poor, and after repelling some of the objections which are made, and conciliating some of the prejudices which exist, against the extension of education, he stated a few of the most important of the general results which had been established by the inquiries of the committee.


endowed schools 15,432 children were educated, and 490,000 in unendowed schools, making a total of 655,432; exclusive of 11,000, who might be allowed for the unendowed schools in 150 parishes, from which no returns had been made. This number amounted to about 1-14th or 1-15th of the whole po

pulation of England;* and from the statements of clergymen, founded upon their personal knowledge of their own parishes, it appeared that the children requiring education, as compared with the whole mass of the population, amounted to about one-tenth. It was therefore evident, that a very large proportion of the children requiring education, were without its benefits. This proportion, too, was greater than at first seemed; because, of the number above stated, 53,000 were educated at dame schools, which, though useful by their tendency to inculcate habits of regularity and discipline, could scarcely be regarded as places of instruction; since the children went to them too young, and usually discontinued their attendance just at the age when they began to be competent to learn. Deducting these 53,000, the proportion of those who had the means of education, would be reduced to one-sixteenth of the population; and even this scanty means had existed only since the establishment of the Lancasterian schools in 1803. Those schools, in ntimber 1,520, received about 200,000 children; so that in 1803 not more than the one-twentieth part

In all these calculations, Mr. Brougham appears to have estimated the population according to the returns of 1811, that is, at somewhat more than nine millions and a half. But, according to the returns of 1821, it exceeded eleven millions and a quarter; so that, in fact, not more than one-seventeenth of the

whole population was placed in the way of receiving education. This circumstance must be kept in view in all Mr. Brougham's calculations. He is so far from straining them in his own favour, that his case is in truth strongert han it is according to his own showing.

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