29 FEBRUARY 1840, Page 14


AT the second reading of Sir EARDLEY Wiestor's bill for the trial of offenders under sixteen years of age, numerous objections were stated. One Member said the measure would materially interfere with the trial by jury ; another refused to put counties to the ex- pense of maintaining additional prisons; and a third thought that the Under Secretary of the Home Department should take the mat- ter in hand. The last suggestion may be dismissed with the remark, that the neglect or omission of the Horne Office to attempt a needed reform, is of itself reason enough for an independent Member undertaking the duty, and for the House supporting him. No doubt, an additional expense for new places of confinement would be imposed upon the counties; but if the object is approved, the pecuniary means of accomplishing it ought not to he with- held. The objection that the bill would deprive juvenile de- linquents of the protection of trial by ,jury, is of a kind which is always sure to tell in the House of Commons, and indeed very generally, among the people of England. The reverence for jury trials amounts to a superstition; which will retain its hold on the public mind at least as long as confidence is withheld front those whom it is proposed to substitute for juries. Wailing the argn- Ments for and against trial by jury, we may tell Sir EARDLEY WiLmor, that the people regard juries as safeguards against the oppression of country gentlemen ; and that a stronger objection by tin' than any which was urged to his bill in the House of Commons, lies in the incompetency of the unpaid Justices to administer he law, and their frequent abuse of magisterial power. Any measure for extending the limits of their virtually irresponsible authority must belealously watched. The "principle" of my bill, says Sir EARDLEY WILMOT, is IO " stop boys from being contaminated by early imprisonment :" and with this view, he would empower two Magistrates to inflict sum- mary punishment in petty cases, where the age of the culprit is under sixteen. He would provide that where the penalty is im- prisonment, the place of' confinement shall resemble a penitentiary more than a common gaol. The object being so praiseworthy, we regret the utter unfitness of the proposed means. " Any two Magistrates !"—what a variety of characters, conditions, and ages, are suggested by the words! A more difficult duty than that which Sir EARDLEY WILMOT would throw upon " any two" per- sons happening to hold the commission of the peace, is hardly to be imagined. The cases of adult offenders, which Sir EARDLEY WILmoT would not submit to summary jurisdiction, seldom require so much discrimination in the judge, as the delicate task of appor- tioning punishment to the youththl culprit. As regards society, it may make little difference whether the criminal of mature age be dealt with exactly according to his deserts or not—lie is probably a lost man : but it is presumed that a boy may be re- formed. It may depend upon the treatment his case receives from " any two Magistrate's," whether he shall become a useful citizen or a confirmed rogue. Wilst a Grievous mistake, then, to treat young delinquents with less consideration than the old and hardened ! The same punishment lin• the same offence may have a precisely contrary effect on different children ; and as the object is rcl'ormation, the delicate task of adapt; lig punishment to the in- dividual nature and circumstances of each prisoner demands a nice skill and care. The selection of persons to administer the law in this spirit should be made with extreme caution ; the more espe- cially as their proceedings would be almost entirely withdrav:n from the public eye. Our fear is that ti W are well qualified for the duty, who could be induced to uLdcrtake it : but it would surely be a great crime to intrust it to " any two Magistrates."


ONE duty of a Downing Street scribe, who the "rum atilt! offices," and receives his daily instruction from the Treasury Whipper-in, or from any other functionary charged with the management of the Government press, is to simulate indignation whenever his patrons are wrathful. If at the same time the scribe, under colour of avenp incr. his employers' wrongs, can contrive to vent a little of his own indivi- dual spite, 'tis amusing to observe how eagerly the opportunity is seized. He pockets, apparently, his own affront ; but how pat riot ica ly he swells and funleA if the Minister is hit! Fretting under the pain of' his own hurts, he would fain make the world believe that his sympathy and sorrow arc only for those galled jades his masters, while his own withers are unwrung. Thus, we are well aware that the Globe has small reason to he satisfied with certain exhibitions he has made in the columns of the Spectator; and we were not at all surprised to see him this week shirk the defence 'of his own "turned position," and, under covert of alleged injury to his patrons, pour forth a mixture of spite and absurdity, of which this was the opening- ." The spectator employs glasses of a peculiar construction, which .trans- nut ob.p et, under forms so completely distorted as to excite surprise that any one, it not altogether insensible to the proportions and value of truth, should not long since have abandoned their use as incompatible with self-respect, or even with a proftssion of affording the public correct views of political ques- tions.

" It is only when some more titan commonly flagrant distortion of facts oc- curs, for the purpose of prejudicing the Government or its supporters in public opinion, that we think it worth while to call attention to the misrepresenta- tions w hid, earn for our contemporary the honours of quotation by the Tory journals."

Really, we fancied that the Globe had fallen into the mistake of "thinking it worth while" very often to attack the Spectator, and for a reason opposite to the one here avowed ; for we also fancied—lacking, MO doubt, the " giftie " of seeing ourselves as others sec us—that we were rather scrupulous in regard to truth and fact. The Globe, on the other hand, in consequence of the same infirmity of human nature, may have indulged in the extravagant supposition that he had gained credit and renown in those encounters : imaginary halos of victory may have crowned his temples, as he lay sprawling in the mire.

Banter apart, let us deal seriously with the particular case, which has furnished this Ministerial tool with the pretext for a general aspersion of the honesty of a journal which doubtless has little respect for Whig officials, and less fur their press, but scorns to misrepresent either, wittingly.

Our last number contained, under the title " Electioneering Extra- ordinary," a statement, of which the materials were drawn front pro- vincial sources, that Ministers liad. " put out of the field, for the pre- sent year at least, two Tory candidates, who were expected to offer severe if not successful opposition to the return of Whig nominees." One of these cases we rested solely on the authority of the local newspaper; the other and more serious one was corroborated by a published corre- spondence of the parties interested. It was said that the list of gentle- men presented by the high Sheriff of Cheshire to the Judges as fit per. sons to serve the Ante of High Sheriff, had been altered by the Privy Council, so as to include the name of Mr. TOLLEMACHE, the Conserva- tive candidate for South Cheshire ; who, according to the general prac• tice of selecting the three first names on the retiring High Sheriff's list of twelve, would have escaped the service, and been left at liberty to oppose the W lug Member, Lord IltBRINGTON'S brother-in-law, Mr. G woos WILBmmArAMI. Suds was the substance of the allegation; which, we added, " had been the subject of correspondence between Mr. Wilbraham and Mr. Tollemache in the Chester papers." The Globe pronounces our statement a " mischievous " The hest way of dealing with this mischievous fabrication is to exhibit the truth by a plain, unvarnished statement of facts; and then leave the public to form their own judgment on the Spectator's impartiality as the basis of his claims to public confidence "Die Privy Council, says this stern advocate of truth and justice, saw fit to deviate from the general practice, and selected from the twelve names given by the Judges i?lr. Lawton, Mr. Tollemache, and 31r. Hammond.' If the writer of this calumny did not know, lie ought to have inquired as to the 'general practice' of the Privy Council in the appoint- ment of Sheriffs—and therefore ignorance cannot prevail as a plea in abate- ment of the sentence of condemnation such a publication of falsehood merits. But if, as we more titan suspect, the misrepresentation wets wilful, and put forth for the purpose of more effectually. creating confidence by affected fami- liarity with the course of proceeding, then is the iniquity of the falsehood yet more flagrant, and its punishment ought to be more condign."

Now, first as to the charge of " mischievous fabrication" and "wilful misrepresentation." Be it observed, we distinctly pointed to our autho- rity—" a correspondence in the Chester papers." We proceed to make good this reference. In the Chester Courant of February 18th, we found the following- " At the last August Assizes for this county, Mr. Ilibhert, the retiring Sheriff, according to the usual custom, presented to the Judges a list, contain- ing the names of twelve gentlemen competent to succeed him in the Sluievalty, In this list the names stood in the following order—Mr. Hammond, (a Con- servative,) first ; Mr. Edward Davenport, (a Liberal,) seeoml ; and Mr. Law- ton, third ; the natnes of several other individuals equally eligible then. folk lowed,—that of Mr. Tollemache occurring seventh or eighth in the order of rotation, it being purposely placed there by Air. llibbert, and, as he then thonght, 'sufficiently low down on the list to insure the freedom of Mr. Tol- batutehe front nomination to the office of Sheriff; the intention of the last- naintal geatientatt io become a candidate for the representation of South Cheshire being at that time a matter of notoriety among the gentry of the county.'

" So matters rested till the 12th of November last ; on which day, (it being t1e morrow of St. Alartin,) according to ancient custom, a Privy Council was held itt the Court of Exchequer, at Westminster, where the Judges' list of 12 f; returned ; when, instead of tAing the three first names on the Sheriff's ori- ginal list of 12, (as is grnetally hdieved to be the immemorial custom,) the tl,ree undertneutioned gentlemen were selected as Sheri its promiscuous& from the list of I2—and even the order of'hioir rotation entirely changed : 1, Cliarles Lawton, Esq., Oli61;:illy plated third; 2, J. 'I'ollcn>acle, eighth ; and Jetties ‘Valthull Hmmond, first ; the !ISM of Mr. Davenport, who is in full ilm.ies,ion of a lug property, mid possessed also of all the necessary quail& catMus Mr ofilee, M.ing en tire!y passed over." In corroboration of this statement of an old-established and respect- able journal—given with a distinctness and particularity of names and circumstances which command attention, if not implicit credence— we find the declaration of Mr. Totts:macita: and other gentlemen of their belief that Ministers had interfered unhandsomely to deprive them of their candidate. Ott the 19th of last November, Mr. Tom:F:- 31,1(.1in, having ascertained that he was one of the three nominated for the office of High Sheriff, wrote to the Marquis of NORMANBY, Mn• turning that he expected to receive a requisition from a numerous body of electors to represent them in Parliament, and expressing a hope that " her Majesty's Ministers would not appoint" him Sheriff. Mr. Fritter Se(n.Qtary Pniwres wrote to Mr. TOLLE?! ACHE, that his appli- cation had been laid before Lord IstxsnowNe, President of the Council. On the rith of' January, Lord iloNar ClICII;MONDELEv, and two other gentlemen, informed tile Marquis of LANsouwsE, that between 9,000 mid 8,000 electors wished Mr. TOLLEMACHE to become their candidate, and therefore it was hoped that that gentleman would not be appointed Sheriff. Mr, W. L. BAYmiI•usr fbrmally acknowledged the receipt of the letter : and on the :Milt of January, Mr. GREVILLE transmitted to Mr. To1.LEMACltE the warrant of his appointment to the Shrievalty. In an address to the electors, Mr. TOLLEMACHE announced that " her Majesty's Ministers had incapacitated him from coining forward as a candidate" for South Cheshire.

Mr. WILBRAHAM next appears on the scene. On the 10th of Febru- ary, he wrote to Mr. TOLLEMACIIE, to state, that, as he understood from Mr. TOLLEMACHE'S address to the electors, and from his friends, that Mr. TOLLEMACHE considered himself unfairly treated, he had written to Lord LstssoowNs requesting that an alteration might be made. Mr. WuantsnAm's letter to the Lord President of the Council is published. It expresses much anxiety that Mr. TOLLEMACIIE should be excused; but, as Mr. TOLLEMACHE drily remarks, since he had been gazetted and sworn in, Mr. Wilatnanam's letter came late in the day. In his reply to Mr. WILBRAHAM, Mr. TOLLEMACHE says-- ' I to believe that the electors of South Cheshire and myself have been un- folly &tilt with. * * * My appointment to the Shrievalty must, from the uncertainty it occasions, (to say nothing of other reasons,) prove most inju- rious to my cause and advantageous to yours." In another letter, Mr. TOLLEMACHE says—

e How the list handed in to the Judges by the late High Sheriff came to be altered so as to include my name in the three to be laid before the Privy Council, cannot, I think, be satisfactorily explained." And up to the date of our last paper no satisfactory explanation had been offered. The documents now quoted we distinctly referred to : yet the Globe ventures to assert that we " fabricated" the statement. More el' fabrication anon. 'l'o the main point--that the list banded in by the retiring High Sheriff' was altered by the Privy Council—the Globe puts forth the following authoritative reply :

"Ile Privy Council, as is notorious, has nothing whatever to do with the seketioa from the tw, tee names; the Privy Couto il is not (rot cognizant of any ,tames trap/ the thr,e s,leeted by the Judge of dis&izt, that selection being made minty bo the marries/ Sheriff' and the Jody(' (f Assize, out q which the Privy Connell choose the one who is first on the fist, if lie alleges no valid objection to serving'. In this instance, the three names returned by the Judge of Assize, 711r, jelstire l',Ilte mm, (who, be it remembered, although a most 'inflexibly im- [olio! Noyistrate, is an avowed Tory,) and by .11r, Bilk, rt, the retiring Sheriff; also a Tory,) were, 1. Mi. Lawton, 2. ittr. 'PA mewl e, 3. Mr. 'Lomond. Pi

Vith respect to Mr. Lawton, that gentleman being seventy years of age, was

legally exempt front the obligation of serving. The ease of Mr. Tollemache was then to he censidered, and the grounds of his application to he excused examined. It was stated that Mr. Tollemache had been invited to stand tbr the county of Cheshire at the next election ; and the application to the Privy Council was, that he in consequence should be excused. "The Marquis of Lensdowne, as will be seen by his letter, which we give below, was anxious to have the application for exemption granted, 'solely to avoid the appearance of a party object ; and referred to Mr. C. Greville, the Clerk of the ('muted, (a Tory, and appointed to his office twenty years since, consemiently by a Tory Administration,) to know whether the practice would admit of grantine Mr. Tollemache's application on the ground stated. Air. Greville nelneitat 'ugly replied that it smith' not ; that during the considerable period. he had held the office of Clerk to the Privy Council, no such declared intention had ever been admitted as an available excuse ; that if it were so ad- mitted, as must be obvious, a gentleman had only to say that he meant to stand for his county (an intention he might or might not execute) at the next eleetion, and he would escape serving Sheriff altogether. But in the case of Mr. Tol- lemache the Council had no alternative. Mr. Lawton having pleaded his age, and claimed exemption Ily the terms of the act of Parliament, the other gen-

tleman on the list pleaded inadequate means as the ground of exemption. Would it, them have been just toward him to have excused Mr. Tollemache on such grounds, and have thus subjected him to the inconvenient expense of the Shrievalty ?"

a The following is the Marquis of Lansdowne's letter to Mr. Wilbraham: ' (ColY.) • London. 15th February ISO.

' Dear Withralron— I have written to '3Ir. Tollemmhe himself, and Charles Greville has written als to ..,,me Cheshire gentlemen who halve moiled to him ; and I am not aware ti.at any no flier explanation can be of re,pecting the appointment to the Arley', It v.

' The Privy l'untieil has done nothing hat its duty. which isnot to passover any name returned to them by the Court of Exellegner, withmo it ,alicient excuse.

' My first ttielina:ma wa, to exem,e Mr. Tollemaehe ,doly to avoid the appearance °fa pally ole ell: 1110 it ;I vpeare.I from the ret,ileetion of all present to he contrary to all eu,toni; and you may refer Mr. Tollt,maelie tool his ft iends to Charles Grevilte. who has been Clerk to the I outwit ender lire or six Adm Mist rat ion,. and to whom I put the gnesth n to know witeiht.r such au excuse has ot or 1:vou alluded except in the MA year ofan expirimr earn:mem. and net always thee; and in • It, present year we IlisalLwed a similar excuse from a Whig gent lelliali of lar.:e loom...n.110 mould have great reason to complein if ee aime‘ei it in the cane of Mr. Toil...:.1acl....

' Bel iris me let.) lei:tautly 1 w.irs, ' L:txsDOWNE.

, G. wienabam, Esq.'

"The gm denten alluded to in the Marquis of Lanstlowne's letter, whose excuse, similar to that of Mr. Tollemache's, was also disallowed by the Privy Council, was Mr. Diaz, who stated his intention to stand for Dorsetshire, and theretbre asked teiemption. In this case, the gentleman whose name was Wand en tic list 'Meta have been taken. for he kale no objection ; but as it was contrary to all the practice of the Privy Council to admit the excuse of Mr. has, he was appointed Sheriff. Where then, we ask, is the justice, where the decency, of the Speetatmos imputation upon Ministers, that they ' have mine,:ed to pit cut of the field two Tory candidates, wile were expected to offer severe, if not successful opposition to the return of Whig nominei.:,?• '' We had not et:en Lord LANSDOWNI.:tS letter : it is not innong those published in the local newspaper which contains the rest of the cor- respondence : and the Globe does not explain how the copy for publi- cation was obtained. But this is of little e0II6e1.1ltellee, as tho Lord Pre- sident of the C'ottneil never touches the main point—titer/iteration in the Sheriff's list. It is another question whether the excuse alleged by .11r. TOLLEMACHE and Mr. Dn.tx should be valid. What puzzled Mr. TOL- LEMACHE Wti, how it happened that he became one of the three from whom the Slmriff was to lie chosen. Lord Lax soowse does not explain this. Now aim' the Globe's attempt. Be it remenileurol, the Spectator is charged with " ignorance" which "cannot prevail as a plea in abatement of the sentence of condemna- tion" for puldishi lig falsehood, es ul likewise with " w ilful misrepre- sentation." Now of course the offic•ially-intbrmcd and authoritative Globe took care to acquire correct information on the subject, which the .S'ileetoier nii,represented wilfully and yet knew nothing about ! Let its see. The Ws, asserts, that "The Privy Counril, as is notorious, has nothing whatever to do with the selection from the te dee names."

Turning, however, It) BLACKSTONP, we find, that " Since the time of Fortetcue, Chief Justice and Chancellor to Henry the Sixth, all the Judges, together with the other great officers and .Privy Olen- eiltors, meet in the Exchequer on the morrow of All Souls yearly, (which day is 110w altered to the morrow of St. Martin,) and then and there the Judges propose three persons to he reported, if opprorot iv.; to the King, who after- wards appoints one of them to be Sheriff."

And from IlsacssTose's commentator, who brings the practice to a late date, we learn that the Chancellor, Chancellor of the Ex- chequer, Judges, and several of the Privy Council, assemble ; and that "{f any one of the .,11inistry, or Judges, has an objection to any person named in the list, lie mentions it, and another gentleman is sominated in his stead."

But we need not refer to the law as it is, or the practice as it has been : we can more effectually deal with the Globe's authoritative and insolent but ,fidse assertion, by referring to what actually took place on the nomination of Sheriffs last November.

The Globe asserts—" The Privy Council, it is notorious, has ludhing whatever to do with the selection from the twelve names ;" and adds, in its Superfluity of impudence, that " the three names returned by the Judge

of Assize," were Mr. Itarrost, Mr. TOLLEMACHE, and Mr. Haataroxis. Now what says the London Gazette of November 15th- " The names of those who were nominated for Sheriffs by the Lords of the Council, at the Exchequer, on the morrow of St. Martin, in the third year of the reign of Queen Victoria, and in the year of our Lord 1839 "-

And then follow among others, the names, for Cheshire, of- " Charles Lawton, John Tollemache, James Walthall Hammond."

Yet, forsooth, the Privy Council have " nothing whatever to do" with the selection of names for the Sheriffs' lists.

We were perfectly satisfied last week that the Sheriff's list had been altered, not adhered to: and had we no further evidence than that sup- plied by the local papers, corroborated by the correspondence between the parties already alluded to, we should still firmly believe that the Globe, either of his own accord or in obedience to instructions, had asserted a falsehood. But we have further evidence on that point. In the Chester Courant of Tuesday the 25th, we find the following letter from Mr. TOLLEMACHE, bearing the same date as our last pub- lication—

" Sir—I have just received from a friend an explanation (resulting from his own inquiries) of the circumstance of my name appearing- on the roll laid be- fore the Privy Council, of persons for the office of Sheriff ; and considering the explanation on this point to be satistiictory, I at once subunit it to the public, in the form of a letter to you, in order M remove an impression which I entertained in common with others, that the alteration in the Sheriff's list was effected by unfair means. " It appears that when once a person's name is entered on the roll submitted to the Privy Council, it cannot be removed without a sufficient reason being assigned. My name was put on the roll in Michaelmas 1838; consequently, the alteration made in the list handed in to the Judges in 1839, (which placed me below Mr. Davenport and Mr. Hammond,) could not interfere with the arrangement of the previous year ; and my name was necessarily submitted to the Privy Council. 0 This information, which is derived from unquestionable authority, acquits the Government of any irregular proceeding in my appointment to the Sluiev- alty therefore, the proper course for me to adopt is to publish it. " I (kepis regret, that a circumstance, apparently so inexplicable, should have led me, as well as others, to put an unfavourable construction on an act of the Ministry ; and I am most anxious that the public mind should be dis- abused 011 the subject. " May I beg the insertion of this letter in your next paper. And I remain,

Sir, your obedient humble servant, J. TOLLEMACHE. " Titstone Lodge, 22d February 1840."

What now becomes of the Globe's triumphant declaration, that Mr. TOLLEMACHE was one of the three names returned by the Tory Justice Payresox and the Tory Mr. Hummer ? It was by the Judge and by the Sheriff of 1538, not of 1839, that Mr. TOLLEMACHE was placed high on the list. By the Judge and the Sheriff of 1839, he was placed low on the list ; and the Lords of the Council altered his position. Mr. TOLLEMACHE, it appears, is very easily satisfied. Yet if all has been fair and above-board, how did it happen that Mr. Hari 'NV was third not first on the list, in the place of Mr. LAWTON, who was sure to be excused front serving the office ? And why was it that neither Mr. TOLLEMACHE himself, nor Lord HENRI CHOL3IONDELEV, speaking for 2,000 or 3,000 electors, nor yet even " Dear \Visite:111am," could ex- tract from the official people the reason why Mr. TOLLEMACHE was nominated ? flow. very easy it would have been to have told the truth, and stopped all scandal—all suspicion of unfair play and irregularity. Mr. WILBRAHAM was most anxious to be relieved from all suspi- cion of unfitirness. The Marquis of LaNsuownn, we learn from his letter, had been in communication with Mr. TOLLEMACHE ; but it was only through the personal inquiries of that gentleman's friends that the circunistances, " apparently so inexplicable," came to light. Per- haps it' Mr. dossEstasfun had made further inquiries as to the removal of the names of persons once placed on the roll submitted to the Privy Council, he might have found, that sometimes, without any objection being nude, names have been removed, and again put on the' lists— that the rule is not invariable. Still more might Mr. TOLLEMACHE'S belief in his friend's statement of the reasons for retaining hint on the list have been shaken, had lie been aware, that the Government news- paper had positively reported that the Judge and Sheriff had placed his name second on the list, and then DU alteration had been made. Yes—on the very day that Mr. Tutu:mm:1m e statement, explaining the manner in which the Sheriff's list had been altered, was published in Chester, the official organ of the Government in London, fortified by a letter from the Lord President of the Council, put forth a positive declaration that there had been no change. and charged the Spectator with " wilful misrepresentation" for stating what Mr. TOLLEMACHE asserts to be true, on " unquestionable authority."

If it be asked why, without waiting for further explanation, we drew the inference that an electioneering trick had been practised by the Government people, we reply— First, that three weeks had elapsed since the affair became notorious, before we commented on it : we did wait for an explanation : we saw that Mr. ToLLEMACHE could get none; that it was refused to Lord HENRY CHOLMONDELEV and the electors of cheshire : that it was denied even to Mr. WILBRAHAM ; and had we abstained from remark until Lord LANSpowNE's letter was published, land only published by the Globe on Tuesday this week for the purpose of confuting us,) we should have been no better informed than Mr. Tossealsents—to whom the whole affair was " inexplicable " till last Saturday. when he received an explanation directly at variance with the office-instructed Globe's.

Secondly, we knew that the Ministers live by delusion and tricks ; we had seen them on other occasions resort toftais q' dexterity against opponents ; we had reasons for believing, that though there are men of high honour in the Ministry, some of them are nut men of high honour, but perfectly capable of any meanness. Parodying the closing remark of our former paper, the Globe con- cludes his official task with the following words, which we quote in his own typography- " 11-e are not aware that any remedy exists for the wrongs inflicted weekly on the cause of truth, and on public confidence, by the columns of the Spec- tator. 4 It is, howercr,fitling that THE THING should be known !' On the decency of this—under the circumstances of the is which has now been dissected as a political and literary curiosity—it s not our part to add one word: let the public judge between us.