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601 The History of the last Seffion of Parliament, &c. Be Hiftory of the Seffion of Parliament, which began Nov. 8, 1768, being the second sef
for of ibe Thirteenth Parliament of Great Britain ; with an Account of all the marerial Questions therein determined, and of the political Disputesthereby occafioned witb. out Doors. Continued from p. 411.
Tak supply to his majekty, and con-
the value of eltates still continued to certed the ways and means of raising encrease, and neither the tenant nor it, by the land tax and other custo. the proprietor expressed the minutest mary aids, they now began, notwithdissatisfaction. ftanding they were still barrassed with This observation the manufacturers a number of election petitions, to re of leather urged in support of their peceive the complaints of various artifi- tition to parliament, which was much cers, who represented the distresses opposed by the landed interest, who arising to their several professions from were extremely apprehensive of fufthe im policy of many laws, as well as fering not a little by any new regulaa the unaccountable negligence of go. tions in respect to an article where vernment. The principal petition of they were so immediately concerned. this nature was from the manufacturers The manufactures moreover observa in leather, who long law with astonith. ed, that the price of leather had been ment bounties granted upon the ex of late years extravagantly enhanced, portation of corn, while our inferior notwithstanding the commodity was artisans were reduced to the greatest one of our principal staples, and notditress all over the kingdom from an withstanding an infinite variety of actual want of bread: the absurdity of mechanics were either remotely, or this measure was so evident, that it immediately affected, to say nothing of Toosed the uniterfal indignation of the the whole kingdom, every individual humane and the disinterested, and of which was more or less a sufferer our prints were incessantly filled with by the exorbitancy of the market : to remonstrances to the reason, or appli- lower the price, therefore, among ourcations to the benevolence, of the mi. selves, and to enable our artisans to nifter. Still, however, the evil was supply the foreign demand, were tolerated; we shuddered the matters of much importance ; and thoughts of injuring the landholders, though the value of hides would neces. and exposed ourselves to all the farily be decreased to the British land. dangers of famine, through an inflexi. holder, by tolerating the importation ble regard for the farmer and the of foreign skins, Itill as the landholier husbandman. At last we discovered among others would be benefited by that it was not altogether good policy the reduced rates of the manufacture, to starve the nation; we therefore not his loss on the raw material could not only removed the bounty upon the ex be considerable, especially as his bark, portation of our own wheat, but open. by the consequent encrease of the tan ed our ports for the grain of other yard, muft rise in the same proportion countries, the most salutary conse- that his hides were diminished. quences immediately followed; the The reduction of leather being a loilen gloom of want foon gave way business of universal moment, the to the chearful sunshine of plenty, and House of Commons were addresled by the faces of our laborious poor, which a multitude of professions, and particu. had long been ficklied over by the larly by the cordwainers company of baleful hand of penury, were now London, who remarked that all leather expanded into the most lively demon- tanned in that part of Great Britain ftrations of joy : yet though a measure, called England, was subject to a duty which was generally thought injurious of 145. per cent. in the rough, accordto the landed interest, was thus adopt. ing to two acts of the gth and 1cth of ed for the common preservation of the Ann, and that, though government kingdom, the landbolders were no allowed a drawback upon the exporway prejudiced in the issue ; on the tation of the article' manufactured, October, 769
The History of the last Session of Parliament. Oa, they thought it would be much better to debtors, at the same time that every posgive up that drawback towards forming sible precaution was taken to prevent the a bounty for encouraging the importa. fraudulent from reaping the advantage tion of raw hides, a mealure which they of a law which was wholly intended for were confident would prove no less ad. the relief of the unfortunate. With vantageous to the government than er this view, as it had been often customary fential to the welfare of the kingdom: tho' for ariful villains, when a bill of infol. the propriety of the regulations here pro- vency was in agitation, to throw them posed was evident to many, yet the house relves into goal before the time which relieved them but in part; they allowed wascommonly rendered neceffary for their the free importation of raw bides, and imprifonment, the Commons altered the fins, those of horses only excepted, from usual period, and thus disappointed the Ireland and the plantations in America, infamous designs of many who intended for five years from the firft of June, to plunder their honest creditors. 1769, provided they were entered at iné The preamble to this a&t observes, port of importation, and landed in the " that whereas many persons, by toffes presence of an officer; otherwise they and other misfortunes, are rendered inca. were liable to pay duty.
pable of paying their whole debts; and, In the place of the former import though they are willing to make the ulupon seal ikins tanned, or tawed, which most satisfaction they can, and many of stood repealed from the first of June, them are able to serve his majefty by 1769, they substituted a duty of id. I fea or land, yet are detained in prison by per pound, and directed this duty their creditors, or have been forced to to be under the receipt and management go into foreign parts out of this realm ; of the Excise Office, to be raised, levied, and whereas such unhappy debtors have and secured in all respects as the duties always been deemed the proper objets upon hides and skins by the act of the oth of public compaffion, and, by several of Queen Anne. They also allowed a acts of parliament, have been discharged drawback of one penny per pound on the on the conditions in such acts mentionexportation of fuch tanned, or tawed, ed: for the relief, therefore, of info!feal ikins. The bill concluded with a vent prisoners and fugitives, who shall clause of indemnification, to those who comply with the terms contained in this should advise, or execute, his majesty's act, to be respectively observed by them, orders of council, prohibiting the im- and faithfully discover, upon oath, and portation of raw hides, of cattle infected, deliver up and align a their estates or for contracts not performed in obe- and effects whatsoever, for the benefit dience thereto; and the king was im- of their creditors; and to prevent, as far powered, by proclamation, or order in as posible, the many frauds and abuses council, to prevent the importation of which, in a great measure, have obtuch contagious hides; and in either case structed the good ends of such acts, it prosecuted by any action, or suits ; in the is hereby enacted that, from and after fift, allowed to plead the general issue, the passing of this ad, all gaolers or and recover double costs ; and in the le keepers of prisons, within this kingdom, cond, allowed to plead the same general Ball make out alphabetical lists of priissue, and recover treble costs. In this soners in custody for debt on the 29th form the leather bill received the royal of September, 1768, or since then; allent, and it may not, perhaps, be un with the time when charged, and at necesary to remark here, that the ma whose fuit: the same to be delivered in nufacturers seem Atill determined to ap to the quarter-sessions. The warden of ply for more ample regulations. the Fleet, and marshal of the King's
Greatly, however, astheCommonswere Bench prison, are to take the oath pretaken up in matters of a commercial na feribed by this act, on delivering in ture, as well asin affairs of a political kind, their lifts; and other gacles are to take they, nevertheless, found time to exer another prescribed oatli allo by this aa, cile their humanity, and in compliance with on the delivering in theirs. The oath the wishes of numberlessunhappy wretches is to be adıninistered by the juttices in Languifiing within the gloomy walls court, and entered and subscribed at the of a prison, an act of insolvency was de- bortom of each lift, which is to be kept termined upon for the relief of confined by the clerk of the peace.
1769. The HISTORY of the last Session of Parliament. 503
Copies of the lists are to be delivered to fue, and execute any trust or power, In, to be fixed up in the prisons, and on in the prisoner's behalf; and to give disthe gates thereof.
charges. They are to get in, with all Persons inserted in the lifts, being pri. speed, the estate and effects of the prifosoners, without a fraudulent intention, on ner, and make sale, within two months, the 29th of September, 1768, conform- of the prisoner's real estate, in manner ing to the regulations of this act, shall be agreed upon at a meeting of the credi. discharged; and prisoners in custody at tors, fummoned for that purpose ; and the time of passing this act, who were ar make a dividend within three months, rested for debt on or before the 29th of first making up their accounts, and veSeptember, 1768, and held to bail, and rifying the saine upon oath. Thirty surrendered themselves on or before the days notice is to be given of making any 28th of November, 1768, on conform- dividends, and none are to receive any ing to the regulations of this act, Ihall Mhare thereof, but such as shall prove be discharged.
their debts, which, entered, are to be Justices, upon the petition of the pri- examined into and determined by the foner, and his delivering a schedule of court; and the surplus of the prisoner's his estate, are to issue their warrant for estate, after satisfying all claims thereon, bringing the prisoner to the quarter-lef is to go to the prisoner. fions, &c. with the warrant of detainer, No fuit in equity is to be commenced, and copy of the writ, &c. and the gaol. but by consent of the majority in value er, &c. is to obey such warrant. of the creditors. The clerk of the peace
The schedule of the prisoner's estate is to exhibit to the creditor, or his attoris to be transınitted to the clerk of the ney, upon payment of is. the fihedule peace, for inspection of the creditors; of the prisoner's eltate and effe&ts; and and prisoners, intending to petition an attested copy thereof is to be granted, for their discharge, are to give previous which shall be evidence in all courts : notice thereof thrice in the Gazeite, and and the clerk of the peace, refusing to other news papers, mentioning such no- produce fuch schedule, or to deliver a tice to be ihe first second, or third, copy thereof, or taking exorbitant fees and, for inserting such notices, are to for the same, forfeits vol. and treble pay two.pence each time, and no more. costs; one moiety to the prosecutor, and The first notice is to be inserted thirty the other to the poor of the parish. days, and the last ten days, Before the Alignees of copyhold and customary quarter-sessions.
estates are to compound with the lord The prisoner being brought into court, of the manor, and co be admitted tedue publication of the notices required nants thereupon. being proved, is to deliver in a sche The prisoner's right and interest only dule of his estate, debts, and creditors, is to be affected by this act. taking the oath prescribed by this act, Effects on the premisses, where rent is on delivering in the said schedule, both due, are to be transferred to the landwhich are to be subscribed in she court, Jord, and not made over to the assigand lodged with the clerk of the peace, nees, unless they hall agree to satisfy for the examination of the creditors. the landlord. The court, if required by the creditor, All mortgages, Atatutes, recognisances, may administer an oath to the gaoler, and judgments, are to take place, prefeor any other person, touching any of rable to claims of an inferior nature; the matters prescribed to be sworn to; and the power in the prisoner of leasing and, the prisoner's oath not being dif- land, tenements, and hereditaments, is proved, the court is to discharge him, to vest in the allignees. upon paying a fee of 18. to the gipler, The acting gaoler, at the time of dewhich thall indemnify him from any livering the lifts, is the only one liable to action of escape.
befworn; and ihe court, if required by a The estare and effe&s of the prisoner, creditor opposing the prisoner's difupon his discharge, are to velt in the charge, is io administer an oath prescriclerk of the peace, who is to make over bed by this act to the gaoler ; but if the Same to the assignees named by the liich person hall not have been the court, for which he is to be paid zś. and gaoler on the 29th of September, 1768, no more. The aflignees are impowered then another oath, prescribed also by this