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House of Commons would probably have treated the matter very differently.

There probably came into play, to save Lord Fitzhardinge on this occasion, that community of interest and reciprocity of service between a government and an influential parliamentary supporter which enters so largely in the working of our political system. The Government of that day tried to protect Lord Fitzhardinge against inquiry, just as a government of which Sir F. Thesiger, now Lord Chelmsford, would be a member, would endeavour to save one of its parliamentary supporters. Reasonably, too, it may have influenced the disinclination to pursue Lord Fitzhardinge with a parliamentary inquiry, that the political scandal had grown out of a family brawl.

In the debate on Mr. Wakley's motion, Admiral Berkeley, the present Lord Fitzhardinge, stated for and from his accused brother, that "it was the "foulest falsehood that ever disgraced "any set of men, when it was asserted "that he had induced any of his "tenantry to retire from the corps of "which his brother was captain; and "that he had not in any way interfered "with respect to the election."

It is fair to Mr. Grantley Berkeley to produce the reply which he made on the moment to this contradiction, and which is recorded in "Hansard." It was not Mr. Grantley Berkeley's fault that he had no opportunity of proving his statement before a Committee of the House of Commons.

"I feel it only necessary to say that I happen to be the captain of the corps which has been mentioned, and I can assure the House of the truth of the interference. I have in my possession the letters of the tenantry serving in my corps, telling me that they would not have left me had they not been coerced to do so by their landlord. If the committee is granted, I can produce these letters in support of my assertion. When I returned the muster-roll of my corps to the War Office, I represented the fact under the printed heading for observations, why so many of my best men had suddenly deserted my corps, as I thought it might appear owing to some error in my own conduct; and I then stated that they had left me through the coercion of the Lord-Lieutenant of the county. I was not permitted to send that muster-roll to the War

in obedience to my commanding officer, after having consulted a gallant officer, a friend of mine, in this House,I erased the words having first inquired how I was to report the fact why so many men had left my corps. I can assure the House that these men were compelled to leave it through the interference of their landlord."

The scandalous history of the 'West Gloucestershire election of 1847, and the other incidental revelations in Mr. Grantley Berkeley's book of delicate relations between the Lord of Berkeley Castle and the cities of Bristol, Gloucester, and Cheltenham, are lessons which should not be thrown away by those who desire to effect a real purification of the English system of representative government. The expediency, justice, and even practicability of excluding peers from influence in elections for the House of Commons, may be fairly disputed. The sessional order against any peer's "concerning himself" in elections is, and perhaps had better be, inoperative. In the last session of Parliament a nobleman, who cannot be suspected of revolutionary tendencies, broadly stated—what has indeed been stated over and over again, and is notorious, but what comes with peculiar effect from such a quarter—that the representation of counties was chiefly in the hands of peers. It was on the occasion of Mr. Locke King's motion, he introducing his often rejected Bill for a ten-pound county franchise, that I-ord Robert Montagu expressed himself as follows:—

"His own great objection to the Bill was, that it was founded on a delusion. It assumed that the representation of the country was a real thing. This was a hallucination. The fact was, that the representation of the counties was in the hands of large landowners. It was chiefly in the hands of the peers."

Many boroughs, also, exemplify an over-ruling or marked influence of peers. The influence of the peerage in elections is inseparably associated with political power to peers, and a large share for the aristocracy of Government patronage; and the problem to be solved is, how to separate the legitimate influences of rank and property from abuses of wealth and power, and save is so strong that we can hardly look upon Hogarth otherwise than as an advocate on the part of beer versus gin. In the latter years of the reign of George I. and in the earlier years of George II. the drinking of spirituous liquors, chiefly gin, was carried to such an excess that the moralists hegan to prognosticate a general dissolution of society. The town was filled with miserable little shops in which they were retailed, and troops of itinerant hawkers carried them about the streets. The government of the day, influenced by the declamations of the zealous moralists and by the presentments of grand juries, resolved to interfere; but, instead of attempting to regulate and moderate the sale of spirits, they sought to suppress it altogether; and, in 1736, the celebrated Gin Act was passed, in the preamble to which it is stated " that the drinking of spi"rituous liquors, or strong waters, is "become very common, especially among "people of lower and inferior rank." To remedy this, a very heavy duty was levied upon all spirituous liquors, which was equivalent to a prohibition; and a no less heavy fine was levied on all persons who infringed or evaded the Act. The hawkers of "strong waters," whether male or female, were ordered to be "stript "naked from the middle upwards, and "whipt until his or her body be bloody." This measure encountered strong opposition at the time, and there were people who proclaimed publicly that it was contrary to Magna Charta and to the liberties of the subject. But there was a much more serious evil attendant upon it. 'While the result was not at all that which the advocates of the act expected— for the sale of spirituous liquors was not suppressed, but merely thrown into the hands of a low and dishonest class—it exposed respectable people to persecution of a most frightful character. As the rewards for informations against those who infringed the act were considerable, society was invaded by gangs of infamous wretches who made a living by informing; and, as their statements were taken upon their own oaths, nobody was

not hesitate to revenge themselves by laying false informations against those who had offended them. Thus the Gin Act became more and more unpopular, until, after a very unsatisfactory trial of six years, the prohibition duties were repealed in 1742, and moderate duties substituted in their place.

Among the pamphleteers who engaged in the heat of the gin controversy, some tried to give it a political character. "Mother Gin" represented the populace, the mob. "The Life of Mother Gin" appeared in 1736 from the pen of an anonymous writer, who claimed the title—claimed by everybody who had no claim to it—of "an impartial hand." This remarkable matron was, we are told, of Dutch parentage, born in Rotterdam. Her father had been active in the faction opposed to the De Witts, and on that account had left his country and settled inEngland, where he obtained an act of naturalization and married an English woman of low rank. It will easily seem that there is much quiet and clever satire in all this. In spite of her low origin, the wife of the emigrant boasted of a rather large acquaintance among ladies of rank; "and, as to Mother "Gin herself, though she did not live in "a constant intercourse of friendship with "persons of fashion, yet she was often "admitted into their confidence, and was "universally admired, and even idolized, "by the common people." Her father wished to give her a good education, but her English mother objected to it, judging that education was only detrimental to morals. Her father died when she was five-and-twenty, and her mother survived but a short time, and, as they were both dissenters, they were buried in the same grave in Bunhill Fields.

Although her parents were very lowchurch indeed, Mother Gin herself was high-church in her principles, and was a great and effectual supporter of Dr. Sacheverell Indeed, her zeal in his cause contributed greatly to the change of the administration. The new ministry formed a just estimate of the political value of Mother Gin, and laboured to conciliate House of Commons would probably have treated the matter very differently.

There probably came into play, to save Lord Fitzhardinge on this occasion, that community of interest and reciprocity of service between a government and an influential parliamentary supporter which enters so largely in the working of our political system. The Government of that day tried to protect Lord Fitzhardinge against inquiry, just as a government of which Sir F. Thesiger, now Lord Chelmsford, would be a member, would endeavour to save one of its parliamentary supporters. Seasonably, too, it may have influenced the disinclination to pursue Lord Fitzhardinge with a parliamentary inquiry, that the political scandal had grown out of a family brawl.

In the debate on Mr. Wakley's motion, Admiral Berkeley, the present Lord Fitzhardinge, stated for and from his accused brother, that "it was the "foulest falsehood that ever disgraced "any set of men, when it was asserted "that he had induced any of his "tenantry to retire from the corps of "which his brother was captain; and "that he had not in any way interfered "with respect to the election."

It is fair to Mr. Grantley Berkeley to produce the reply which he made on the moment to this contradiction, and which is recorded in "Hansard." It was not Mr. Grantley Berkeley's fault that he had no opportunity of proving his statement before a Committee of the House of Commons.

"I feel it only necessary to say that I happen to be the captain of the corps which has been mentioned, and I can assure the House of the truth of the interference. I have in my possession the letters of the tenantry serving in my corps, telling me that they would not have left me had they not been coerced to do so by their landlord. If the committee is granted, I can produce these

letters in support of my assertion. When I returned the muster-roll of my corps to the War Office, I represented the fact under the

printed heading for observations, why so many of my best men had suddenly deserted mycorps, as I thought it might appear owing to some error in my own conduct; and I then stated that they had left me through the coercion of the Lord-Lieutenant of the county. I was not permitted to send that muster-roll to the War

in obedience to my commanding officer, after having consulted a gallant officer, a friend of mine, in this House, I erased the words having first inquired how I was to report the fact why so many men had left my corps. I can assure the House that these men were compelled to leave it through the interference of their landlord."

The scandalous history of the 'West Gloucestershire election of 1847, and the other incidental revelations in !Mr. Grantley Berkeley's book of delicate relations between the Lord of Berkeley Castle and the cities of Bristol, Gloucester, and Cheltenham, are lessons which should not be thrown away by those who desire to effect a real purification of the English system of representative government. The expediency, justice, and even practicability of excluding peers from influence in elections for the House of Commons, may be fairly disputed. The sessional order against any peer's "concerning himself" in elections is, and perhaps had better be, inoperative. In the last session of Parliament a nobleman, who cannot be suspected of revolutionary tendencies, broadly stated—what has indeed been stated over and over again, and is notorious, but what comes with peculiar effect from such a quarter—that the representation of counties was chiefly in the hands of peers. It was on the occasion of Mr. Locke King's motion, he introducing his often rejected Bill for a ten-pound county franchise, that Lord Robert Montagu expressed himself aa follows:—

"His own great objection to the Bill was, that it was founded on a delusion. It assumed that the representation of the country was a real thing. This was a hallucination. The fact was, that the representation of the counties was in the hands of large landowners. It was chiefly in the hands of the peers."

Many boroughs, also, exemplify an over-ruling or marked influence of peers. The influence of the peerage in elections is inseparably associated with political power to peers, and a large share for the aristocracy of Government patronage; and the problem to be solved is, how to separate the legitimate influences of rank and property from abuses of wealth and power, and save from the injurious effects of boroughmongering malpractices and political jobbery.

Mr. Henry Berkeley, the member for Bristol, who has worn for many years the ballot-mantle of Mr. Grote, and annually delivers a clever and amusing speech on the iniquities of bribers and intimidators, has excluded the Berkeley examples from his catalogues. That is not surprising. His brother Grantley supplies the omission. The many public admirers of the present parliamentary apostle of the Ballot will read with interest some of the notices in this volume of Mr. Henry Berkeley's younger days. He was, it appears, "before his severe illness, of his weight, the best amateur boxer in the kingdom," and, when only sixteen, "went to the Fives Court, under the special introduction of the late Mr. Berkeley Craven and Colonel Berkeley, and with the trial gloves on, set to, and had a great deal the best of it, with one of the well-known pugilists of the day, Caleb Baldwin." It is further related that the member for Bristol never went to bed, in his youthful days, without suspending the clothesbag, full of linen, to a nail . and hitting at it, right and left, by way of practice, for half an hour together. "The child is father of the man," and the youthful pugilist who tried his prentice hand in punishing dirty-clothes bags has ripened into the hard hitter of the House of Commons against the foul practices of intimidation and corruption.

P.S.—Since the above article was in type, we have seen a small pamphlet, which is a Reply to some passages of Mr. Grantley Berkeley's book by his four surviving brothers. The passages replied to exclusively relate to the conduct of their parents and the question of the legitimacy of the elder children under an alleged secret first marriage, which the late Lord Fitzhardinge failed to prove to the satisfaction of the House of Lords. As in the introduction to our article we have incidentally stated the illegitimacy of a portion of the family as a fact, in accordance with Mr.

decision of the House of Lords, it is, perhaps, .fair, in so delicate a matter, that we should give currency to the following declaration of Mr. Grantley's four surviving brothers, one of them being Mr. Moreton Berkeley :—

"The surviving brothers do not desire here to discuss the questions involved in the decision of the House of Lords; they simply desire to give to the world their united testimony as against that of their brother—that in their belief the history of the matter given by the late Earl and Countess, under sanction of their oaths, was the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. Their father solemnly, in his place in the House of Lords, made his declaration that the first marriage had been solemnised and registered, and confirmed that statement by his oath. Their sons believe devoutly their parents' solemn declaration. In this belief Mr. Moreton Berkeley shares as strongly as his elder brothers, and they have a perfect knowledge that their brother Craven up to the time of his death held the same conviction."

It is further stated in this pamphlet, that, long after Mr. Grantley Berkeley became a member of Parliament, "he professed to share the belief of the other members of his family in the due celebration of the first marriage."

The four brothers also say :—

"Mr. Grantley Berkeley knows that his father, within a few days of his death, and while in full possession of his intellect, and mindful of the Presence in which he must soon appear, too weak to write, dictated, and with his own hand signed, a letter to the Prince Regent, containing the following words:—'Your Royal Highness was well acquainted with the situation which I had placed my wife and children in by concealing my first marriage in 1785.' This letter was handed to the Prince Regent, who endorsed on it these words,—'I certify the whole of these particulars to be true. G. P.R.' The Prince made a statement to the same effect to Mr. Sergeant Best, counsel for the claimant, but His Royal Highness was not called as a witness by counsel, they supposing his evidence to be a declaration made post litem motam, instead of being, as in fact it was, ante litem. motam. The mistake was fully explained in letters now extant, and which have been seen by Mr. Grantley Berkeley.

With the main object of our article this question has nothing to do; the reply of the four brothers does not touch election matters ; for ourselves and the public the decision of the House of Lords House of Commons would probably have treated the matter very differently.

There probably came into play, to save Lord Fitzhardinge on this occasion, that community of interest and reciprocity of service between a government and an influential parliamentary supporter which enters so largely in the working of our political system. The Government of that day tried to protect Lord Fitzhardinge against inquiry, just as a government of which Sir F. Thesiger, now Lord Chelmsford, would be a member, would endeavour to save one of its parliamentary supporters. Reasonably, too, it may have influenced the disinclination to pursue Lord Fitzhardinge with a parliamentary inquiry, that the political scandal had grown out of a family brawl.

In the debate on Mr. Wakley's motion, Admiral Berkeley, the present Lord Fitzhardinge, stated for and from his accused brother, that "it was tho "foulest falsehood that ever disgraced "any set of men, when it was asserted "that he had induced any of his "tenantry to retire from the corps of "which his brother was captain; and "that he had not in any way interfered "with respect to the election."

It is fair to Mr. Grantley Berkeley to produce the reply which he made on the moment to this contradiction, and which is recorded in "Hansard." It was not Mr. Grantley Berkeley's fault that he had no opportunity of proving his statement before a Committee of the House of Commons.

"I feel it only necessary to say that I happen to be the captain of the corps which has been mentioned, and I can assure the House of the truth of the interference. I have in my possession the letters of the tenantry serving in my corps, telling me that they would not have left me had they not been coerced to do so by their landlord. If the committee is granted, I can produce these letters in support of my assertion. When I returned the muster-roll of my corps to the War Office, I represented the fact under the printed heading for observations, why so many of my best men had suddenly deserted my corps, as I thought it might appear owing to some error in my own conduct; and I then stated that they had left me through the coercion of the Lord-Lieutenant of the county. I was not permitted to send that muster-roll to the War

in obedience to my commanding officer, niter having consulted a gallant officer, a friend of mine, in this House. I erased the words having first inquired how I was to report the fact why so many men had left my corps. I can assure the House that these men were compelled to leave it through the interference of their landlord."

The scandalous history of the West Gloucestershire election of 1847, and the other incidental revelations in Mr. Grantley Berkeley's book of delicate relations between the Lord of Berkeley Castle and the cities of Bristol, Gloucester, and Cheltenham, are lessons which should not be thrown away by those who desire to effect a real purification of the English system of representative government. The expediency, justice, and even practicability of excluding peers from influence in elections for the House of Commons, may be fairly disputed. The sessional order against any peer's "concerning himself" in elections is, and perhaps had better be, inoperative. In the last session of Parliament a nobleman, who cannot be suspected of revolutionary tendencies, broadly stated—what has indeed been stated over and over again, and is notorious, but what comes with peculiar effect from such a quarter—that the representation of counties was chiefly in the hands of peers. It was on the occasion of Mr. Locke King's motion, he introducing his often rejected Bill for a ten-pound county franchise, that Lord Robert Montagu expressed himself as follows:—

"His own great objection to the Bill was, that it was founded on a delusion. It assumed that the representation of the country was a real thing. This was a hallucination. The fact was, that the representation of the counties was in the hands of large landowners. It was chiefly in the hands of the peers."

Many boroughs, also, exemplify an over-ruling or marked influence of peers. The influence of the peerage in elections is inseparably associated with political power to peers, and a large share for the aristocracy of Government patronage; and the problem to be solved is, how to separate the legitimate influences of rank and property from abuses of wealth and power, and save

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