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any thing pro bono publico, if he does not and that it was your duty, in that employment, apply it accordingly, he may be indicted; to settle the accounts of the paymasier, and to and refers to that which I have just stated state them with integrity to the auditor of froun 27 Assize; the distinction is very clearly the imprest; in the execution of which duty, taken too in 2d Hawkins, c. 25, $ 4; he says you were to take care that no articles of charge in these words, all kinds of inferior crimes were omitted to the detriment of the state. of a public nature, as apisprisions, and all | The declaration farther alleges, that you were other contempts, all disturbances of the called upon by the auditor of the imprest, peace, all oppressions, and all other mis- to execute with fidelity this important trust, demeanors whatsoever, of a public evil ex- and to disclose and make known to him any ample, against the common law, may be charges against lord Holland's representative, indicted;' now I quote that for these words which ought to have been inserted in this aethat follow : but no injuries of a private count; but that you with an intent to defraud
nature, unless they some way concern the the king, did wilfully, knowingly, and cor• king. In 6 Modern, folio 96, the court ruptly neglect and refuse to discover and make says: “If a man be made an officer by act of known the same, and did permit and suffer • parliament, and misbehave himselt in his lord Sondes, one of the auditors, to proceed
office, he is indictable for it at common to close the final accounts, without bringing • law; and any public officer, is indictable in the several articles according to the real • for misbehaviour in his office,' and there is truth: lord Sondes did actually proceed to do doubt but at all times, more especially in close the final account, by sending this imthis, they whose offices give them such power perfect account of yours into the treasury. over the public revenue, the public are That it was the duty of your office, as acextremely interested in; therefore I am of countant, to settle the paymaster's balance, opinion, that the crime found by the jury is you have, in your examination before the an indictable offence.
commissioners of accounts, and afterwards Mr. Justice Willes. I am of the same opi- before the treasury, on the 15th of February nion as to both points; about a new trial, and 1783, admitted. This examination at the an arrest of judgment.
treasury, the counsel have compared to a Mr. Justice Buller. My lord has entered court of inquisition or star-chamber; but so fully into it, that it is impossible to add surely the treasury, without this severe and any thing to what he has said ; therefore, I ill-founded reflection, had a right to inquire shall only enter my assent to every thing that into the conduct of one of their officers. has fallen from his lordship.
Evidence indeed was given that, in two in
stances, the ex-paymaster's accounts were Mr. Justice Willes. Charles Bembridge;- passed without your assistance, though you Amidst the various frauds and corruptions acknowledge it was your duty, when called which have crept into most of the public upon, to do it. Mr. Bangham, however, offices in this country, and wbich have long seems to think it was at your own option whe preyed upon the vitals of our constitution, you ther you would inake up the accounts of exare the only delinquent of this sort, within paymasters, or not; but it is admitted that whemy memory, since Peter Leheup was brought ther you were concerned yourself in passing up to receive the judgment of this Court, the accounts or not, that there was a fee due -a court, where neither favour nor interest to you as accountant; if the fees were not can protect you; but where punishment will optional, but must be paid on the part of the be impartially inflicted, according to every public, your duty, as receiving it, ought neman's demerii; and I am sure, in this age of cessarily to be performed, and was not at reformation, when public economy and fru- your own option. gality can alone save this impoverished state; Lord Holland's accounts were immediately there is no honest man who would wish to under your care, and deserved a more than screen an officer of public trust, who has be- ordinary attention, as your superior officer trayed his duty, by endeavouring to defraud Mr. Powell, the cashier, was, as lord Holhis king and country; examples become ne- land's acting executor, the person accounting. cessary, pro salute reipublica. It is not in the You were peremptorily called upon to take power even of this supreme Court of criminal care that no charges were omitted; but, injurisdiction, considering the venality of the stead of complying with the auditor's earnest times, to cleanse the Augean stable, and requisition, you referred him to Mr. Powell, therefore our only consolation must be 'est whose interest it was to conceal the truth, or 'aliquod prodire tenus si non datur ultra.' at least to delay the paying in the real ba
And now, without stating the precise formal lance. As to the allegation that you did this charges of the information, I will give you the with a view to cheat and defraud the king, I substance of them :-The information alleges will endeavour to explain the meaning of it; that you as accountant were invested with an by the 21st of the present king, chap. 48, it office of great public trust and confidence; appears that the commissioners of accounts
had reported that there remained at that furnish archers, et collector indicte pur time, in Powell's bands, as executor to lord conversion de ceo al son usc demesne.' Holland, a balance of 256,4661, 2s. 4d.; and
the act directs that so much of the balance of federacy with Powell, in this iniquitous busi such money as remained unapplied, should be ness, is self-evident and beyond a possibility paid into the exchequer, on or before the 24th of doubt; and what aggravates your crime is, of October, 1781; these accounts, which un- that you received as your share for examining der that act of parliament, ought to have been this account, 2,6001. ; whereas you were at passed, and the balance paid on or before the that time in league with the defaulter to con24th of October, 1781, were not delivered in ceal his omissions. till the 27th of October, 1782; and, by various And now, I cannot help lamenting the unarts and subterfuges, the real balance was happy state of this country, that in these not disclosed till the 4th of January, 1789; times of necessity and public distress, the during all which time, Mr. Powell availed passing the accounts of a paymaster should himself of the interest and profits of 116,0001., cost the state, in fees paid to its officers, the of which the public was defrauded. Can it enormous sum of 14,9001., as appears by the be said, that was not a fraud on the Crown? warrant read. The right to these extravagant You were privy to this cheat, and were at fees ought to be, and I hope will be hereafter, least a principal in the second degree: what a subject of parliamentary inquiry. share you had in the plunder is best known Your good character, as proved by several to yourself; but the Court cannot suppose respectable witnesses, has been mentioned by you were weak enough to be concerned in so your counsel as a ground for mitigating your gross a fraud without receiving some private punishment: in a doubtful case, a good chaadvantage from it.
racter will have some weight with the Court, In one respect, your conduct was more but in so clear a conviction as yours, it can criminal than Mr. Powell's, because, to an be of no avail. What remains for me, thereact of notorious dishonesty, you super-added fore, is only the irksome task, which falls to a breach of trust : that you did this wilfully my lot, of passing sentence upon you; and there can be no doubt, as the accounts lay the judgment of the Court is–That you, open in the office, and were obvious to every Charles Bembridge, be committed to the cusclerk's inspection in the office, and you your-tody of the marshal for six calendar months; self acknowledged to Mr. Rose, that you were and that you pay a fine of 2;6501.; and that perfectly apprized of each article.
you be imprisoned till you pay your fine. The jury have likewise found that you did it corruptly, and we think there is evidence sufficient to support that part of the charge; The proceedings against Messrs. Powell the error, though I ought not to call it so, and Bembridge occasioned much animated was not an omission of a few small articles, discussion in the flouse of Commons, in or one gross sum, but a variety of charges, at which Mr. Burke warmly supported the different times, amounting to 48,7991., so that accused. See the New Parl. History, Vol. there was an omission of half, and near a XXIII. pp. 801 et seq. 900 et seq. The comtbird, of the balance that was delivered in. passion which on these and all other occasions Was this a little peccadillo? In the execution was manifested by Mr. Burke for the sufferof your office, in my opinion also, the deliver- ings of those public delinquents, the zeal with ing in a penciled balance, which could be which he advocated their cause, and the eagerafterwards easily obliterated, was a proof of a ness with which he endeavoured to extenuate fraudulent intention; and yet, for want of a their criminality, have received severe reprebetter, the accouit, in this imperfect state, hension, and in particular when contrasted was sent by the auditor to the treasury. with his subsequent conduct in the prosecu
Negligence you cannot plead, after having tion of Mr. Hastings. been so often earnestly requested to do your Respecting the office of paymaster-general duty: Ignorance is a plea equally false, as of the forces, see the debates on the bills for the fact of concealment was so notorious; and regulating that office, 23 New Parl. Hist. when the account was afterwards carried in, pp. 134. 988. the penciied balance was rubbed out, and the additional articles inserted in your own clerk Colborne's hand-writing; and this account, at I regret that the report of sir Thomas the end of the transactions, was clandestinely Davenport's argument, p. 126, et seq. is not given in to the auditors office, and given to more intelligible; perhaps, however, the conone of the clerks, in order, if possible, that it fusion observable therein is not wholly to be might escape notice. Your collusion and con- imputed to the Short Hand Writer.
569. Proceedings against Philip Lord Viscount STRANGFORD for
acting criminally and corruptly as a Lord of Parliament in Ireland: 24 George III. A. D. 1784. [Journals of
Lords and Commons in Ireland, and Statute Book of Ireland.] It appears by the journal of the House of upon both questions in the negative, assignLords in Ireland, that a writ of error from the ing their reasons. Mr. Justice Hellens deCourt of King's-bench, in a cause wherein warrant, as stated in the first question, is con
livered his opinion, that the caption of the Gustavus Hume, esq. was plaintiff in error, Clusive evidence of the capacity of the and William Burton, esq. was defendant in error, had for some time been depending in chief justice of the Common pleas delivered
vouchee, assigning his reasons. The lord that House. On Friday, the 5th day of March, 1784, mative, and gave his reasons. The farther
his opinion upon both questions in the affire counsel in the cause having been on that day, consideration of the cause was adjourned as well as on preceding days, heard upon the unțil Thursday next, the 25th of March. On case, the two following questions were put Wednesday, the twenty-fourth, a motion beto the judges :-1st. Whether in a case where ing made to reverse the judgment of the the vouchee in a common recovery appears Court of King's-bench, to set aside the verby attorney, the caption of the warrant dict mentioned in the record to have been of attorney, appointing, such attorney, appearing upon the record to be taken by the given in that Court, and that the parties may chief justice of the Common pleas out of proceed to a new trial on the issue before the Court, be conclusive evidence of the capacity
Court of King's-bench, of such vouchee, as to the soundness of his
A long debate arose thereupon, and the mind, to make such attorney and suffer such question being put,
The House divided; and the lord vis. recovery? 2nd. Whether upon the face of the record before the bar were 16; and the non-contents
count Enniskillen reported, that the contents which was before the Court of King's-bench, in the House were 15. on the issue joined between the plaintiff and
It was resolved in the affirmative. the defendant in error, as sent to and now before this House on the present writ of error,
. there be any and what matter, which in law R. Dublin
Clifden was conclusive evidence in favour of the de- Char. Cashel fendant in error, so as to preclude the plain- J. D. Tuam
G. L. Kilmore tiff from giving the evidence offered in the Shannon
R. Cloyne Court of King's-bench?-And the judges were
Longford ordered to give their opinions on the same
Gosford upon Friday next, the twelfth.
Muskerry On which day the lord chief justice of the Then the following order and judgment common pleas acquainted the House, that was made :the judges were not prepared to give their Whereas, by virtue of his majesty's writ opinions upon the questions ordered to be of error, returnable into the House of Lords to them on Friday last, and that they desired | in parliament assembled, a record of the farther time might be allowed them, for Court of King's-bench was brought into this giving their opinions upon the said questions. House on the 11th day of November last,
Whereupon it was ordered, that the consi- wherein Gustavus Hume, esq. is plaintiff, and deration of the said cause be adjourned till William Burton, esq. is defendant; and counTuesday next, and that the judges do then sel having been heard on the 27th of February give their opinions upon the said questions. last, 1st, 2nd, and 5th days of March instant,
On whichdaythe lord chancellor acquainted to argue the errors assigned upon the said the House that the lord chief justice of the writ of error; and the judges who were orcommon pleas had informed him, that the dered to attend, having been heard seriatim, judges differed in their opinions, on the ques- as well on the 16th, 17th, and 18th days of tions proposed to them.
this instant March, to deliver their opinions, Whereupon it was ordered. that the judges with their reasons, upon two questions of do deliver their opinions seriatim, with their law, to them proposed, and due consideration reasons, which was accordingly done on the had of what was offered on either side in this 16th, 17th, and 18th of the same month. cause : Mr. Justice Crookshank, Mr. Baron Metge, It is hereby ordered and adjudged by the Mr. Justice Kelly, Mr. Baron Hamilton, Mr. Lords spiritual and temporal, in parliament Baron Power, and the lord chief baron of the assembled, that the said judgment given in Court of exchequer delivered their opinions the Court of King's-bench be, and the same VOL. XXII.
is hereby reversed; and that he verdict, &c. that the said parties do proceed to a new be set aside, and annulled. And it is further trial of the issue joined be tween them, in the ordered, that the parties do proceed to a said Court of our lord the king, before the new trial, upon the issue joined between king himself; and that the said Court do them, as in the said record, and that the therein according to law; and the aforesaid said Court do proceed therein according to record, and also the process had in the said law, and that the record be remitted. Court of Parliament on the premises, by the The tenour of the judgment to be affixed said Court of the said lord the king, before
said Court of Parliament are sent back to the to the transcript to be remitted, is as follows, the king himself, at Dublin aforesaid, to proyiz.
ceed thereupon, and do therein what to law - At which day, before the said parliament and justice may appertain. a foresaid, at Dublin aforesaid, came the par Ordered, that lord viscount Strangford do ties aforesaid, by their attornies aforesaid; atlend at his place in this House on Friday Whereupon the said Court of Parliament, hav- next. ing seen and fully understood all and singular Ordered, that George Rochfort, esq. do at. the premises, and having diligently examined tend this House on Friday next. and inspected the said verdict of the said ju On Friday, the 26th March, James Corry rors, the judgment thereupon given, and the being by order called in, was sworn at the bar; said bill of exceptions, under the seals of said and being examined, proved the service of justices of our said lord the king, before the the order of this House of Wednesday last king himself, and also the causes and matters on lord visc. Strangford, to attend in his place. above assigned in the said Court of Parlia The Lord Chancellor acquainted the House ment for errors, by the said Gustavus Hume, that he had received a leiter to excuse his in this, that the chief justice, and justices of attendance for a few days. our lord the king, before the king himself, Ordered, that lord viscount Strangford do upon the trial at the bar of the Court of attend at his place in this House on this day King's-bench to the jury there sworn to try se'npight. the issue joined between the said Gustavus Ordered, that George Rochfort esq., do Hume and the said William Burton, declared attend this House on this day se'nnight. and delivered their opinion to the said jury, On Friday, April 2nd, the lord chancellor upon the said trial, that the evidence in the acquainted the House, that he had received said hill of exceptions mentioned and offered a letter from lord viscount Strangford, into be given in behalf of the said Gustavus forming him of bis being unwell; whereupon Rume, to prove the facts in issue aforesaid, it was ordered that Dr. William Harvey, and was illegal and inadmissible evidence to go Geo. Rochfort, esq. should attend the House before the said jury; and declared that the on the morrow, between three and four o'clock. record referred to and mentioned in the said And accordingly on Saturday the third, bill of exceptions, and brought here before Dr. William Harvey, attending, was called in' our lord the king, and the lords spiritual and and sworn at the bar, and proved that lord temporal, upon the writ of error by the said viscount Strangford had the gout in his Gustavus lume against the said William Bur- stomach on the 31st day of March last, and ton, and now remaining in the Court here, was not able to attend at his place in the was conclusive evidence to the jury, to find a House. verdict for the defendant; and the chief jus Thereupon it was ordered that lord viscount tice and justices of the said Court aforesaid Strangford should attend at his place in the accordingly directed the said jury to find House on Wednesday next the seventh, and à verdict for the defendant; and accord that George Rochfort should attend the House ing to the said direction, the said jury found on the same day. a verdict for the defendant; without any evi On that day a letter directed to William dunce whatsoever, save the said record, it ap- Watts Gayer, esq., Clerk's office, House of pears unto the said Court of parliament, that Lords, signed, “ Strangford,” being read as the said verdict of the said jurors ought to follows, viz. be set aside and annulled, and that the judge
South-Hill, 7 April, 1784. ment thereupon given is erroneous, and that • Sir; The annexed memorial, submitted in the record and process aforesaid, and also to the Lords spiritual and temporal, could in giving the aforesaid judgment, there is not, in my poor opinion, be addressed with manifest error; therefore it is considered by ' propriety to any individual peer. Unfortuthe same Court of parliament aforesaid, that "nately my wretched state of health prevents the verdict of the said jurors be vacated and searching the journals, where probably preannulled; and that the judgment aforesaid, 'cedents might be found. Clear I am that for the errors aforesaid, being in the record in your official department of clerk to the and process aforesaid, be reversed, annulled, House of Lords, every paper transmitted to and altogether held for nought, and that the your care is to be delivered either to the noble said Gustavus Hume be restored to every 'viscount, chairman of the comunittee of prithing he hath lost on occasion of the judg: vileges, or offered to the consideration of the rent aforesaid. And it is further considered, • Hlouse. For thesç reasons, I recommend it
to your particular care, and am, with esteem, being brought accordingly, and making an Sir, your most humble servant,
apology for not attending in his place pur
"STRANGFORD.' suant to the order of the House, he hegged Then the said Memorial was, by order, read pardon of the House for such his disobe
dience. as follows, viz.
Resolved, that the lord viscount Strangford * To the Right Honourable the Lords be discharged out of custody for his contempt
spiritual and temporal, in Parliament in not obeying the order of the House. assembled ;'
The House then proceeded to take into conWith the utmost deference, lord Strang- sideration the matter of the letter heretofore "ford presumes to lay before their lordships produced to this House, and remaining with his absolute inability to obey their orders, the clerk of the parliament, directed to George having been severely attacked by the gout Rochfort, esq., with the name, - Strangford, in his stomach, one fit particularly, so re- appearing at the foot thereof; and the same
cently as Monday last; for which, and other being produced to the lord viscoumt Strangford complicated disorders, he is following thrice now in his place, he viewed and perused the a day a course of Dr. Harvey's prescriptions, same, and afterwards the said lord viscount which might, on attempting to go abroad, Strangford acknowledged that he wrote the produce most fatal consequences to the short said letter, and sent it as directed, but he
remainder of a very declining life. He still declared he had no corrupt motive or intention 'trusts, under God, their efficacy will restore in so doing. ' him to such a portion of health as shall After which he retired by leave of the
release him from present confinement, ren- House, and the House proceeded further in dered infinitely more afflicting by its de consideration of the said matter. priving him of an opportunity of learning The said letter was then read, as follows, viz the real cause of accusation, and conse
Dear Sir; As a busy scene is likely to quently taking the liberty of offering some defence in his vindication, to mitigate their
open after the recess, which will bring on lordships displeasure, happily never incurred
momentous transactions to individuals, I * before in the course of upwards of forty years
could wish by regular attendance to frame a he had the honour of a seat with their
right judgment on the different cases will lardships.
be brought forward; but as distressed cir
cumstances deprive me of means to appear, James Corry, being by order called in, was
shall I be deemed too presumptuous in sworn at the bar, and proved the service of the order of this House, of Saturday last, on
looking up once more to that friendship I lord viscount Strangford, to attend in his place.
experienced early in life? I am conscious Ordered, that Dr. William Harvey do attend
that on a former application you assigned
such reasons for a denial as silenced all this House tv-morrow, at three o'clock. George Rochfort esq. being by order called
reply, but as probably since that time, rents
have been more punctually paid, I am enin, was sworn at the bar, and proved the receipt of a letter, dated South-Hill, 10th
couraged from that consideration to hope Jan. and signed Strangford.
forgiveness, by renewing a request producOrdered, that the order for lord viscount
tive of too many advantages to enumerate:
• 2001. would fix me in the most enviable Strangford to attend at his place in the House this day be adjourned till to-morrow.
situation, and one hundred would surmount On Thursday the eighth, the House proceed- daily appearance to express my gratitude
some pressing difficulties, and enable me by ing to take into consideration the excuse made by the lord viscount Strangford for not attend
by doing justice, when I Hatter myself to see ing in his place according to the order of this
success crown the undertaking. Be so good
to favour with a line one who you may be House, and having examined Dr. William Harvey respecting the same, do conceive
' assured is, with the sincerest regard, dear such excuse not to be well-founded, and there
Sir, your very faithful and most humble servant.
SIRANGFORD.' fore do order, and it is hereby ordered, that the said lord viscount Strangford be taken
South-Hill, 10 January.' into the custody of the gentleman usher of Resolved, by the lords spiritual and tempothe black rod for his contempt of the order of ral in parliament assembled, nemine dissenthis House.
tiente, that it appears to this House, that the On Saturday following, the tenth, the gen- lord viscount Strangford in writing and sendteman usher of the black rod acquainted the ing such letter as aforesaid, hati acted crimiHouse, that he had taken the lord viscount rally and corruptly. Strangford into custody according to the order Resolved, that the lord viscount Strangford of the House on Thursday last, for his con- be committed to the custody of the gentleman tempt in not obeying the order of this House. usher of the black rod. Ordered, that the lord viscount Strangford be Resolved, that this House will, on Monday brought to the bar of this House, by the next, proceed to take into consideration, what usher of the black rod.
further becomes the justice and dignity of the Whereupon the lord viscount'Strangford House to be done on this occasion; and that