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'was rather less than it had been in 1727, when he was first elected into it.

• These two circumstances in Mr. Onslow's character, are of them, felves sufficient to render the memory of that character revered and Jespected by all the world; but the recollection of them is peculiarly pleasant to the Editor of this work, who, amongst the many fortunate events that have attended him through life, ihinks this one of the most considerable, that, in a very early period of it, he was introduced and placed under the immediate patronage of so respectable a man; from whose instructions, and by whose example, he was confirmed in a sincere love and reverence for those principles of the confitution, which form the basis of this free government; the strict ob. fervation and adherence to which principles, as well on the part of the crown as of the people, can alone maintain this country in the enjoyment of those invaluable blessings, which have deservedly drawn this eulogium from the best informed writers of every nation in Europe, That as this is the only conftitution which, from the earliest • history of mankind, has had for its direct obję at “ Political Liber

;" fo there is none other, in which the laws are so well calcu. • lated to secure and defend the life, the property, and the personal • Jiberty of every individual."

The information contained in this volume is arranged under the following titles : MEMBERS, Rules of PROCEEDING, SPEAKER, CLERK, FEES, KING; each of which is fubdivided into different heads, accompanied with many useful illustrations by Mr. Hacsell. Of a work so little connected in its parts, it cannot be expected we should be able to give our Readers any thing like an uniform abridgment. We Thall, therefore, content ourselves with telecting one or two passages that appear moft applicable to subjects immediately interesting to the Public.-The following observations on the prerogative of the King, to give or with-hold his affent to bills that have pafled the iwo Houses, acquire some importance from the intiination lately said to have been thrown out by a certain great minister, relative to the revival of this power, which has now been suffered to lie dormant almost a century.

· Bihop Burnet gives the following account of the bill, which in 1680 was not offered for the Royal attent:' There was a severe ac passed in the end of Queen Elizabeth's reign, by which those who did not conform to the church, were required to abjure the kingdom, under pain of dea:h; and for some degrees of non-conformity, they were adjudged to die, without the favour of banishment. Bosh Houses pailed a bill for repealing this act; it went, indeed, heavily in the House of Lords; for many of the Bithops, though ihey were pot for puiting that law in execution, which had never been done but in one single initance, yet they thought the terror of ic was of some use, and that the repealing it might make the party more infolent. On the day of the prorogation, this bill ought to have been offered to the King; but the Clerk of the Crown, by the King's parçicular order, withdrew the bill. The King had po mind openly to

deny THE

MONTHLY REVIEW,

For

M

ARCH, 1783.

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A T. I. Precedents of Proceedings in the House of Commons, under jeparate Titles; with Observations. By John Hatsell, Esg; 400: 63. Iewed. Doddley. 1781. O preserve order and regularity in the proceedings of a

great popular assembly, such as the House of Commons, where objects so important in their nature, and so vast in their extent and variete, come under daily deliberation, is a matter of the greatest difficulty, as well as of the highest moment. The rules and orders established for this purpose, have probably been the refult rather of experience than of foresight; of experience which has been progressive, as inconveniences were felt to arise from the want of regulations adapted to particular exigencies. Hence, if in the perufal of this publication there Dould occur fome few regulations descending to a degree of minuteness, seemingly inconsistent with the dignity of a British House of Commons, we are not to pronounce that they were, eitablished without consideration, or without neceslicy. In an. affembly, consisting of men of the first fashion and fortune in the country, it might appear perhaps fuperfluous, if not an infult to the persons who composed it, to imagine the following infances of indecorum required to be restrained by positive, specific orders of the House, viz.

. - Members speaking impertinently, or beside the question-the 28th June 1604.

'- Using unmannerly or indecent language against the proceedings of the House, the 13th and i6th of February 1606;

. (lerk to the House of Commons. Rey. March 1783.

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Under the head of the King's calling the Parliament, Mr. Hatsell combats the notion of those who have imagined, that by virtue of the statute of 4th Edward III. and 36th Edward III, intituled, “ A Parliament shall be holden once every year,” the King is obliged to call a parliament once at least in every year; and thole persons who maintain this doctrine do not mean, that, according to thele facutes, a session of parliament shall be holden every year, but that a new election shall be had ; that is, that by the ancient law and constitution of this kingdom, the King ought to hold parliaments elected annually.

• If there is any foundation for putting this construction upon these ftatutes of Edward Ill, it is rather remarkable, that in the famous parliament which was elected in 1620, and in which Sir Edward Coke took so great a part, and of which Mr. Glanvylle, Mr. Noy, Mr. Crewe, Mr. Hakewill, Sir John Davies, Sir Edwin Sandys, and Sir Robert Phelips, were membersmall men, than whom there never were persons better acquainted with the history of the English conftitution, or more anxious to preserve it in all its purity--that there great and able men, throughout all the debates of that parliament, which are very accurately preserved (and have been lately printed), should never, amongst their other Spirited endeavours to maintain the rights and privileges of the people, once assert, or even allude to this doctrine. On the contrary, though the parliament of 1620 was called in January (after an intermiffion of parliaments for six years), when an acjournment was proposed, and which took place from June 1621, to the November following; though much doubt arose about the mode of this adjournment; yet, lo far from any idea being entertained of its illegality, or that the parliament ought to be dissolved, to give an opporiunity for the calling of another to meet in the next year; Sir Edward Coke himself drew up the resolution respecting the privileges of the members during this very long adjournment: And when the Parliament met again in November, and, after fitting fome time, adjourned till the February following (before which the King dissolved them in disguit), so far from the House of Commons supposing that by law, and the statutes of Edward III. a dissolution ought to take place, they address the King, on the 18th of December, not to prorogue them at Christmas, but that he will consider what time will be fittest for their departure and re-access, to perfect those beginnings which are now in preparation.” And not a hint is dropped throughout this very long session, that by the statutes of Edward III. they ought to be dissolved in January 1621, and that a new parliament ought to be summoned.

It is as remarkable, that after an intermillion of parliaments for {welve years, when a parliament was fummoned, and met in April 1640-2 parliament of which all the historians speak in the highest terms, and of which Lord Clarendon says, “It could never be hoped, that more fober and dispassionate men would ever meet together in that place, or fewer who brought ill purposes with them;"-and when a committee was appointed to consider, amongst otber things, " of the liberties and privileges of parliament,"--and when that committee report, on the 24th of April, three heads of grievances,

ard

aked, what would be the consequence of putting that threat into ' execution, and naming a member? he answered, “The Lord in Heaven knows !" from whence they collected, that it was nothing .but a threatening expression of his own, that would have no conse'quence at all. He might have referred them to the Journal of the

stb of May 1641, or of the 22d of January 1693, where they would have found, that if the Speaker is compelled to name a member, fuch member will thereby iocur the displeasure and ceasure of the • House.'

As the name of Onslow occurs frequently in the course of these pages, a short character of this celebrated man is judicioudy introduced in the Preface. We confefs ourselves highly pleased with the respectful and spirited eulogium Mr. Hatsell has bestowed on his old friend and patron. Mr. H.'s extenfive parliamentary and conftitutional knowledge, as well as his ingenuous and amiable manners, have rendered him juftly esteemed both within and without the walls of the House of Com. mons; and praise from a mind like his, is the most grateful incense to the memory of departed worth.

The account of Mr. Onslow is thus introduced :

' It will be imposible to peruse a page of the following Work, without observing the great advantage that it derives from the notes and observations of Mr. Onslow, the late Speaker of the House of Commons, which have been very obligingly communicated upon this occafion by his son, the present Lord Onslow.

• It would be impertinent in the Editor of this Collection to fuppose, that any thing, wbich he can say, will add to the reputation of a character so truly eminent as that of Mr. Onslow; bat, as it was under the patronage, and from the instructions of that excellent man, that he learnt the first rudiments of his parliamentary knowledge; and when Mr. Onslow retired from a public station, as it was permited to the compiler of this work to visit him in that retirement, and to hear those observations on the law and constitution of this government, which, particularly in the company of young perfons, Mr. Onllow was fond of communicating, he may perhaps be allowed to indulge himself for a moment in recollecting those virtues which diftinguithed that respectable character, and in endeavouring to point them out as patterns of imitation to all who may wish to tread in his steps. Superadded to his great and accurate knowledge of the hiftory of this country, and of the minuter forms and proceedings of parliament, the distinguishing feature of Mr. Onslow's public character was, a regard and veneration for the British constitusion, as it was declared and established at the Revolution. This was the favourite topic of his discourse; and it appeared, from the uniform tenor of his conduct through life, that, to maintain this pure and inviolate, was the object at which he always aimed.-In private lise, though he held the office of Speaker of the House of Commons for above three and thirty years, and during part of that time enjoyed the lucrative employment of Treasurer of the Navy, it is an anecdote pere fefily well knowo, that, on his quitting the Chair in 1961, his income from his private fortune, which had always been inconfiderable,

O 2

was

was rather less than it had been in 1727, when he was first elected into it.

· These two circumstances in Mr. Onslow's character, are of them. felves fufficient to render the memory of that character revered and respected by all the world; but the recollection of them is peculiarly pleasant to the Editor of this work, who, amongst the many fortanate events that have attended him through life, thinks this one of the most considerable, that, in a very early period of it, he was introduced and placed under the immediate patronage of fo respectable a man; from whose instructions, and by whose example, he was confirmed in a sincere love and reverence for those principles of the conflitution, which form the basis of this free government; the ftri& ob. fervation and adherence to which principles, as well on the part of the crown as of the people, can alone maintain this country in the enjoyment of those invaluable blessings, which have deservedly drawn this eulogium from the best informed writers of every nation in Europe, That as this is the only conftitution which, from the earliest • history of mankind, has had for its direct object “ Political Liber

ty;" so there is none other, in which the laws are so well calcu• Jared to secure and defend the life, the property, and the personal Jiberty of every individual.'

The information contained in this volume is arranged under the following titles: MEMBERS, RULES OF PROCEEDING, SPEAKER, CLERK, FEES, King; each of which is subdivided into different heads, accompanied with many useful ilJustrations by Mr. Hatfell. Of a work so little connected in its parts, it cannot be expected we should be able to give our Readers any thing like an uniform abridgment. We shall, therefore, content ourlelves with telecting one or two paffages that appear moft applicable to subjects immediately interesting to the Public.-The following observations on the prerogative of the King, to give or with-hold his affent to bills that have paffed the iwo Houses, acquire some importance from the intia mation lately said to have been thrown out by a certain great minister, relative to the revival of this power, which has now been suffered to lie dormant almost a century.

• Bihop Burner gives the following account of the bill, wbich in 1680 was not cffered for the Royal atent:- There was a severe ad passed in the end of Queen Elizabeth's reign, by which those who did not conform to the church, were required to abjure the kingdom, under pain of dea:h; and for some degrees of non-conformity, they were adjudged to die, without the favour of banishment. Both Houses pailed a bill for repealing ihis act; it went, indeed, heavily in the House of Lords; for many of the Bifhops, though they were not for putting that law in execution, which had never been done but in cne single initance, yet they thought the terror of it was of some use, and that the repealing it might make the party more infolent. On the day of the prorogation, this bill ought to have been offered to the King; but the Clerk of the Crown, by the King's parsicular order, withdrew the bill. The King had no mind openly to

deny

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