24 DECEMBER 1831, Page 13


• ON the 27th September last, in a debate on the story of Mr. DEACLE and his wife, Lord ALTH ORP, in allusion to a comparison which had been introduced between the state of Manchester and its neighbourhood at the period of the famous Peterloo affiiir, and the state of Hampshire at the period of the DEACLES' arrest by BINGHAM BARING, characterized the former "as most unjustifia- ble." This came with no bad grace from Lord A LTHORP, seeing it was himself who had moved for a Special Committee of the House of Commons to inquire into the particulars of the pretended riot of the People, but which has been generally looked on as a real riot of the Yeomanry, on the celebrated 16th August 1819. Amono.lr' the Magistrates of Manchester in 1819, there was one who cut a very conspicuous figure, and whose name is familiarly associated with the field of Peterloo,-Mr. HULTON, of Hulton Park. This gentleman, conceiving that he was particularly alluded to in Lord ALTHORP'S speech on the DEACLEs' case,-of which he had seen, or at least pretended he had seen, but one version, and that an inaccurate one,-thought fit, a short time afterwards, to announce his intention of retiring from the Bench. What services he has ever rendered to the country while on it, we do not pretend to know; it would appear, however, that among his companions of the magistracy, they were rated highly; and on the intention of Mr. HULTON of Hulton being made known, there was spread abroad a degree of alarm at the approaching loss, and of indignation at its cause, somewhat akin to what we may suppose the Earth and the rest of the planets would feel on being told by the Sun that he had been so grossly insulted by one of Jupiter's satellites, that he was determined to bid them farewell for good and all, and spend the rest of his days with Chaos his grandmother. Among those who appear to have felt most deeply on the occasion, was one Mr. FRANC IS PHILIPS, of Bankhall, near Stockport; who is, it seems, a Deputy Lieutenant of the county ; and what he felt, Mr. PHILIPS hastened to express to the Chancellor of the Exchequer. The spirit of Mr. PHILIPS s letter will appear from the following extracts. On the presumption of Lord ALTHORP in blaming the acts of the 16th August 1819, he remarks- " Scarcely conceiving it possible that a Minister of the Crown could have been so ill-informed and so indiscreet, I have referred to the columns of the Morning Chronicle and Morning Herald of September 28; and there, to my great astonishment, have found expressions which I am confident your Lordship will deeply lament, if you calmly investigate the facts of the case.' The effect of his Lordship's expressions, it seems, may be most serious- -" My Lord," says Mr. FRANCIS PHILIPS, "if our best Magistrates are to be thus insulted, and their feelings to be thus trifled with, who that are really Com- petent, independent, and honourable, will be found to act ?"

He adds, with consummate impertinence- .

• " beg to call your Lordship's attention to a circumstance which may appear unimportant, but it is deserving of notice. The . Times paper,. which cannot be

accused of opposition to your Lordship, has not given those offensive expressions. Did the able Editor suppress Me observation because it was unfounded or indiscreet?'

, • -

The letter closes witta i admonition to Lord ALMORP, to pause ere he proceed further in the downhill path of Reflam- " Pause, my Lord, in your rash career, ere it be too la:te. In private life, en- thusiastic indiscretion may be palliated by good intention ; but in the important office which your Lordship has ventured to undertake, sound judgment, grounded on deliberate and impartial investigation, becomes indispensable."

There are other offices than the Chancellorship of the Exchequer that ask for sound judgment—but enough of Mr. FRANCIS PHILIPS, Deputy Lieutenant of the county of Lancaster, and his- torian of Peterloo.

Lord ALTHORP did not answer Mr. PHILIPS, but he addressed Mr. HULTON, to express his regret that any misreport of his speech should have occasioned Mr. HULTON uneasiness and led to his Secession from the Bench; and in proof that the words used by him had nothing in them to justify such an extreme measure, he referred Mr. HuLrort to the Mirror of Parliament, where they were fitirly reported. The letter of Lord ALTHORP is one of ex- treme courtesy; and the only matter of regret—if we could regret an opportunity of placing before the public another proof of his Lordship's excellence of heart—is, that he should have so entirely miscalculated the character of the man whom he addressed. Lord ALTHORP had said, the words he employed "were not applied to the Magistrates, much less to an individual magistrate." To this the well-bred Mr. HULTON replies- " Your Lordship states in your letter, that though you did 'refer to the cir- cumstances• in general terms of disapprobation, you did not apply those terms to the Magistrates. To whom, may I venture to ask, did these expressions refer? There were only two parties,—on the one hand, the civil authorities, with the military acting under their orders; on the other, Messrs. Hunt, Carlile, and their compatriots, leading on an infuriated mob, who had been long trained to the use ot arms? Were the epithets intended for the orators or the assembly? Could any man of common sense doubt for whom the terms of disapprobation' were intended, uttered, as they were, by a Minister, with whose permission similar emblems of revolution, caps of liberty, and tricoloured flags, have been triumph- antly paraded, if not carried to the King's Palace? As Lord Althorp, the mem- ber for Northamptonshire, you had an undoubted right to express in your place in Parliament your abhorrence of the measures we were painfully obliged to adopt. To balance this disapprobation, we had the recorded thanks of the reigning Monarch, the support of the greatest legal authorities of the day, and the veraicts of two Juries. But when your Lordship, as Chancellor of the Exchequer and leader in the House of Commons, rose to censure Magistrates, whose conduct, if not ac- ceptable to your Lordship, was gratefully acknowledged at the time (and that

time twelve years ago) by dearly all the owners of property in the most crowded hundred in the kingdom, then I felt myself called upon, as Chairman of the

Committee of Magistrates, upon whom the responsibility in 1819 devolved, pub- licly to declare that I would not submit to be thus taunted ; especially at a crisis when, if I acted accordin' g to my deliberate construction of the law of England, I should repeat the same line of conduct which I pursued in 1819."

The gentleman who talks in this Ercles vein of taunts that never were offered, or imagined, concludes his bullying of the Chancellor of the Exchequer with a tribute of earnest applause to him- self— "I have only further to add, upon my word as a gentleman—a word which would, I believe, obtain credence among men of all political parties in this neighbourhood—that neither at Manchester in 1819, nor at any subsequent period, have I allowed my own Tory principles, firm and unbending though they are, to interfere with my duties as a magistrate."

"I know the Dauphin to be valiant," says Orleans. "I was told that," quoth the Constable, "by one that knows him better than you : marry, he told me so himself—and he said he cared not who knew it."

The speech which had so wounded Mr. HULTON of Hulton's feelings, as reported in the Herald and Chronicle, had described the transactions at Manchester to be "revolting ;" but there was an expression in Lord ALTHORP'S letter which was even more stinging than the misreport of his speech. The Chancellor of the Ex- chequer actually said he had forgotten that Mr. HULTON had any concern with Peterloo !—Think of that! forget the one bright spot of Mr. HULTON'S history ! It was enough to make a saint swear, much more a magistrate. Good Lord ALTHORP was not daunted, though somewhat perplexed, at the unlooked for issue of his well- meant attempt to soothe this angry old man : he addressed him again— "I told you," said the Minister, "I could not be at all sure that the report in the Mirror of Parliament was a correct one' nor can I be sure that the re- ports which you have referred to are incorrect ; hut I think they must be, be- cause I do not believe I ever used the words revolting' and 'frightful' in public speaking in my life. Eloquent people use these sort of exaggerated expressions; speakers like me do not. The words imputed to me in the Mirror of Parlia- ment are most unjustifiable.' The sentence is—' Thinking, as I did, the acts which were comnutted there were most unjustifiable, I considered it my duty to move for a Committee of Inquiry.' I think it probable that this is the correct report of what I said. You seem to think, that when I told you that I (lid not recollect that you had been concerned in the transactions at Manchester in 1819, I meant to convey a feeling of contempt by so saying; I beg to say I had no such intention whatever. I hope it is not my habit to say what is offensive to any man; and if I were to express any such feeling towards a gentleman of my own rank in society, as you are, I should be guilty not only of gross impropriety, but of great folly. As to the question of your retirement from the .Bench of Magistrates, you are the best and only judge of what you ought to do. You differ in political opinions from the present Administration most decidedly, as I am aware. You have no right to expect that, in coming into office, they should abandon the opinions which they have always professed; and if you do not like to act as a magistrate while the Administration of the country is in the hands of men professing and acting upon those opinions, they cannot be blamed on that account."

Certainly the mass of mankind would so conclude; but what says Mr. HULTON of Hulton?— " Your Lordship will neither deny nor admit the use of the word 'revolting,' as stated in several journals, or 'most unjustifiable,' as quoted from the Mirror of Parliament. But as your Lordship seems to think the last superlative epithet, so lunch the more gentle of the two, I will assume that it was the one applied- by your Lordship to some parties engaged in the transactions at Manchester in 1819. As your letters are not marked 'private,' I have shown them to several of my friends holding different political sentiments. They, and the public, had come to the same conclusion as myself; and fancied (errone- ously, as it now appears) that your observations applied to the Magistrates. It may be very presumptuous to make the inquiry ; but it would be extremely consolatory to me to hear from your Lordship, for whom the remark was in- tended."

"Patience," quoth Mrs. Tabitha Bramble, "is like a Welsh pony ; it will bear a great deal and trot a long way, but it will tire out at the long-run." The last specimen of Mr. HULTON'S pre • sumption was too much even for Lord ALTHORP. His reply is dignified, and more than atones, if atonement were required, for the simplicity of good-nature which induced him to enter on a correspondence with n man who was incapable of understanding or appreciating his motives- " Sir—I have had the honour of receiving your letter. I may have been wrong in volunteering a letter to you. My reason for doing itwas, that I never wish,, if I can avoid it, to give offence to any one. I was infonned.1 had given, offence to you. I had not intended to do so, and I wrote to you with the intention of removing any such impression from your mind, if it existed there. In this I have failed; and therefore I do not feel myself called upon to say any thing more. "I have the honour to be, Sir, your most obedient, humble servant,


The Reverend Mr. IRVING, long before "the tongue" had led him astray, amused himself and the public with a plan for the for- mation of a "Hell "—not the species of gaming-house so called, but a bona fide Hades—upon earth. Mr. IRVING'S seheme was operose and doubtful. Had he bebn content to stock the space set apart for his experiments with HuLroNs—men in whom the humanities were reversed—who, instead of attracting, repelled their fellows—whose inordinate vanity and waspishness of temper, like a dyspepsia, converted the healthiest aliment into gall and vinegar —he would have succeeded to a miracle. The Times expresses a hope that Mr. HULTON will think better of it, and resume his place on the Bench : Heaven, or else the Chancellor, stand be- tween him and such better thoughts ! The man who can feel as he must feel that wrote the letters of which we have given extracts, may be most upright and honourable in private life but he who carries such a temper as these letters indicate to the chair of justice, would need a better guarantee than his own word to make us believe that in that chair he would be either the one or the other. Far from hoping that Mr. HULTON of Hulton will ever again occupy his abdicated seat, our sincere wish is, that his friend Mr. FRANCIS PHILIPS, and all who think and feel with this par nobile, may speedily follow his example.