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Ministers are, doubtless, desirous to preserve to private banks | number of partners. Twenty-two country banks declared the connexion and the business they have taken so many their insolvency in the course of one year. Yet so little attenyears to acquire; but while they keep that in view, they will tion did government bestow on the subject, and so wholly was be under the necessity of considering that persons possessing the consideration of the Bank of England directors confined the important privilege of issuing bank notes ought to lodge to their own establishment, that the unfortunate limitation undoubted security somewhere, so as to remove all question of to six partners was again inserted in the Bank of England their responsibility. Such a measure has not yet been Charter, when renewed in 1800. This insertion was proproposed to country bankers; but they have anticipated its ductive, as might have been foreseen, of new scenes of emdiscussion, and have found it to involve the following consi- barrassment: in 1810, twenty country banks stopped payderations. Country banks in England serve, as in Scot- ment; in 1812, seventeen; while, in 1814, 1815, 1816, the land, as a medium for the transfer of money from one class average number was nearly thirty. Lastly, in the two years of persons to another. From those who have money to lend, 1825 and 1826, the failures of country banks amounted to they receive deposits and pay interest at 3 per cent.; while to no less than eighty. Now, amidst all these stoppages in those who stand in need of advances, they lend money at an England, not a single bank proved insolvent in Scotland; interest of 4 or 5 per cent., the difference forming their in consequence certainly not of greater prudence or greater profit. Now the depositors, say the country bankers, are wealth in that part of the kingdom, but of the non-existence their most valuable customers; they are the select friends of the limitation in question, and the consequent power of of the partnership, and ought certainly not to rank second, the
banks to admit a sufficient number of partners. in point of security, to those of the public who happen The approaching expiration of the Bank of England (frequently by accident) to be holders of their notes. This Charter affords the opportunity, which has been so long argument has some claim to attention ; but it should be neglected, of chartering country banks. Should such a borne in mind that there is an essential distinction between salutary principle be adopted, it would be important to declare the position of a depositor in a country bank, and a holder of that partners in such banks shall be liable for only a specific its notes. The one makes an election without any control : sum, at the rate, perhaps, of 2001. for each 1001. share they he believes in the security of the bank, and he lends his may hold. This exemption from unlimited responsibility money to it. The other is, to a certain degree, compelled to would have the best effect on men of property. It would take the notes; for, if they constitute any large portion of induce both the landholder and retired capitalist to become the currency of a district, an individual cannot refuse to shareholders in such banks. receive them, without the most serious inconvenience. The workman might, in the event of such a refusal, be deprived
Small Notes of Country Bankers. of employment, and the shopkeeper of customers. Let us In 1797, when leave was given to the Bank of England hope, therefore, that it will be found practicable to obtain secu- to circulate small notes of 1l. and 21., the same privilege rity from country bankers or their sureties, without depriving was conferred on country bankers, and continued to be exthem of any great part of their capital. Various kinds ofercised by both until 1821. In that year the small notes of security would be eligible ; funded property; mortgages on the Bank of England ceased to be issued, their place being land and houses; and, to a certain extent, personal bonds, supplied by sovereigns. In regard to the small notes of might answer the purpose of government.
country bankers, the case would have been the same, had
not that been a year of agricultural distress. At that time witChartering Country Banks in England.
nesses were examined, and an elaborate report was made on We come next to a question which, like the requisition the subject by a committee of the House of Commons. The of security from bankers, ought long since to have engaged prices of corn and cattle continued equally low the year the attention of government ;-the granting of charters to after, and led to such complaints from the landed interest, the principal country banks in England, as was done above that ministers could not refuse their request, that the small a century ago to those of Scotland.
notes of country bankers should continue to have currency The origin of this most unfortunate defect in our banking some time longer. A clause to that effect was introduced system was as follows. So long ago as the year 1708, å into an act of parliament, and small notes continued, much joint-stock association, called the Mine Adventure Com- more than sovereigns, to be the circulating medium of pany, began to issue promissory notes, payable to bearer, country districts during the years 1823, 1824, 1825. An like those of the Bank of England; on which the latter, opinion then became prevalent, that the extravagant specuhaving made a very opportune advance of money to govern- lations of the last of these years had been fostered by the ment, obtained an act of parliament to the effect that “it too ready issue of small notes on the part of country bankers; should not be lawful for any body-corporate, or any persons and early in the session of 1826 an act was passed for their whatsoever, united in partnerships exceeding the number being called in in the course of three years. This act was of six persons, to issue any notes payable on demand ;" in passed almost by acclamation. The considerations that are short, that no bank for circulating notes, except the Bank alleged, and with some reason, for the re-issue of small of England, should have more than six partners.
notes, are the following :The metropolitan bank, bearing from the first the name 1. Notes of 11. and 21. are a currency for petty payments of Bank of England (not Bank of London), might allege, or purchases; not for speculation in either buying or selling. in some degree, a claim to a circulation of its notes through- 2. There was no speculation of consequence in corn or out the kingdom, and a right to restrict the business of other country produce during 1824 and 1825; they were country bankers. Had it been made incumbent on the latter almost the only articles exempt from the mania of the day. to give security for their issues, the interest of the public 3. Country bankers cannot, as the governor of the bank would bave been provided for, and the Bank of England informed the parliamentary committee of last year, maincould hardly have complained of the grant of charters; but tain a larger issue of notes than the wants of their districts to limit all country banks to six partners, was to deprive require: they issue only on demand, and the extent of the them of a stable foundation ; permitting them, indeed, to demand depends on the prices current in their neighbourcirculate notes, but providing that these notes should be hood at the time. of secondary credit.
4. Excitement and speculation may be carried to a great At the time this enactment took place, and for many height in countries devoid of small notes, and, even in some years after, the extent of injury arising from it was not per- measure, of bank paper; witness the case of France in ceived, because there were few country banks in England, 1830. At that time credit was so extended, and bill transand, of course, few failures among them; but, during the actions had been so multiplied in France, that the re-action last half-century, the case has been very different. After in trade consequent on the troubles in Paris and Brussels the year 1770, a progressive increase took place in the was most serious and long-continued ; and was hardly infecotton and iron manufactures. The extension of our town rior to the re-action in England in 1826. population brought an addition to the number of provincial Three years elapsed between passing the act for calling banks. Liverpool, Manchester, Leeds, Birmingham, Nor- in the small notes and their actual recall. On the appointwich, Hull, all became populous. This increase continued ment last year of a committee on banking affairs, it was during the ten years of peace that followed 1783, a period expected that a re-issue of the small notes of country of 'prosperity and general content. But the sudden check bankers would be called for by several of the persons exagiven to trade by the war of 1793, fell directly on country mined. Little, however, was said on the subject, the wit-banks, and brought but too clearly into view the pernicious nesses considering that in the event of a commercial alarmeffect of the act which forbade their having a sufficient the chief trouble to the bankers would arise from the hum bler classes, who are commonly the holders of small notes.
BANKING IN SCOTLAND. ! If country banks in England were to be put upon a solid footing, uniting security and public accommodation, the From the mixed picture presented by country banks in recurrence of alarm would be prevented. If, however, it England it is gratifying to turn to those of the northern part should still be thought expedient to prevent the issue of of the island, however inferior to the southern in wealth and small notes, attention should be given to the point of mak- population. The contrast affords one more example, that ing 51. and 10l. notes of the Bank of England a legal ten the distress which has at different times pressed so heavily der, and thus enabling country bankers to pay small on England is, in several points, the result of our own missums in such notes instead of gold. This would be a consi- management, and would not on any occasion have reached derable accommodation to country banks, who are at pre- such a height, had country banking been left to its natural sent obliged (see evidence of Henry Burgess) to keep nearly course. The distinction between the two countries hitherto half the amount of their circulation in gold. Of Bank of has been, that the one has possessed great capital without England notes a much smaller proportion would suffice, freedom in the mode of employing it; the other a limited satisfied as the partners would be, that when a supply was capital with complete liberty in its appropriation. Hence wanted they would have merely to send for it to the neigh- a stability almost uninterrupted in its banking establishbouring branch of the Bank of England. The plan of ments; no alarms, no runs, such as prevailed in England making 5l. and 101. Bank of England notes a legal tender, to so fatal an extent in 1793, 1814, and 1825. is advised by several witnesses examined before the late Lord Liverpool, in one of his speeches against the use of committee;-men who never issue notes, and have conse- small notes, adverted to the state of France in the years quently no interest in the question, such as Mr. Tooke, the 1814 and 1815; " though twice invaded and overrun, there Russia merchant; Messrs. Glyn and Grote, the London was," said his lordship, “no panic in the public mind as to bankers ; Mr. Norman, the Bank of England Director; and money, because, the currency was not small notes, but gold others. The effect of improvements in banking is, to reduce and silver.” We have here an example of the mistakes the charge of discount to the public. Such would be the into which even a well-informed mind is apt to fall when consequence of the proposed measure, and it would have the eager in a particular argument. Had Scotland the misforfarther advantage of rendering the Bank of England the tune to be invaded, the inhabitants would not question the place of deposit for metallio currency for the kingdom at solvency of their banks, but would consider their money large. The directors would then know, much more distinctly safer there than in their own custody. And in England, than at present, the amount for which they would have to alarm, when it occurs, arises not from the currency being in provide in case of adverse exchanges.
paper, but from the banks being of insufficient capital, in
consequence of the unfortunate restriction as to partners. BRANCH BANKS OF THE BANK OF ENGLAND.
The amount of bank paper circulated in Scotland is beThese form the latest appendage to the great establish-tween three and four millions, of which more than half are ment in Threadneedle Street. The towns in which branch in notes of 11 and 21. The number of banks in Scotland which banks have as yet been established are
issue notes is thirty, of which the three principal hold charManchester, Bristol,
ters; viz. Liverpool, Newcastle on Tyne, Hull,
The Bank of Scotland, established in 1695; capital proBirmingham, Gloucester,
Norwich. gressively augmented to 1,500,0001., its present amount. Leeds, Swansea,
The Royal Bank, established in 1727; capital 1,500,0001. It was in the year 1826 that the Bank of England began The British Linen Company, incorporated in 1746; capito establish these branches, at the suggestion, it was said, tal 500,0001. of the late Lord Liverpool, and for the purpose of lessen- Of the other banking companies in Scotland, several have ing the inconvenience and loss arising from the frequent a great number of partners; to the extent of two, three, discredit of country banks. - The branches were not ex- four, or even five hundred; but as they act without charters, pected to be productive of profit to the Bank of England, nor each partner is liable to the extent of his property. The have they proved so.
management is uniformly in a body of directors chosen by In laying down regulations for their branch banks, the the shareholders. These often conduct husiness at small Bank of England directors have carefully avoided inter-profit to themselves or the bank. But insolvency on the part fering with the business of country bankers. Their agents of a Scotch bank is extremely rare. Where the transactions at the branches allow no interest on money deposited with are extensive, the number of partners affords complete secuthem, nor do they permit any one to overdraw his account. rity; and where the partners are few, the concern is, in The latter is occasionally done by private bankers, and gene- general, very prudently managed. rally without risk, in consequence of the intimate knowledge Notes of il, have been issued in Scotland during more they have of the affairs of their customers. The branches than a century, being suitable to a country which at that further consult the convenience of the neighbouring bankers time was poor and thinly peopled. In 1826, when parliaby supplying them with gold when required, and by lending ment called in small notes in England, a similar attempt at the moderate interest of 3 per cent. Bank of England was made in regard to Scotland; but a committee being notes to those bankers who think fit to use them instead called for by the Scots members, the result was a deterof notes of their own. As yet, however, few bankers have mination in nowise to interfere with the existing system thought fit to withdraw their notes from circulation, being in that part of the island. Ireland preserved her small under an impression that their respectability in the eyes of notes in like manner. It is customary with banks in Scottheir neighbours would be lessened by the withdrawal, and land to give what they term “ cash credits," that is, to make by substituting Bank of England notes in their place. A advances of money on receiving personal security from the branch bank is further useful in a large town like Leeds, in friends of the borrower. An individual, whether engaged in receiving gold from the bankers who happen to hold more trade or farming, finds two neighbours or relations, of fair than they require, and in supplying gold to those who stand character and circumstances, who become his guarantees to in need of it. Lastly, branch banks are useful for the safe a bank, to the extent of 5001., or any given sum. The transmission of money from a country town to London, or money is forthwith advanced by the bank, and an account vice versa, the rule being to take charge of such payments opened with the party, in which he receives credit for the at the branch bank without any expense but postage. It sums, however small, which it may suit him to pay from time is fit to add, that the Bank of England, after having agreed, to time in reduction of his debt. The persons receiving this on the deposit of certain securities to advance a sum of accommodation are generally industrious and respectable, money to a country bank, has not, under any circumstances, otherwise their relations or neighbours would hardly become contracted such credits. The stamps and other charges on responsible for them. the notes of a country banker cost from 1 to 2 per cent. Another custom of banks in Scotland has a title to unannually on the amount of his circulation; so that several qualified approbation ; we mean that of allowing interest persons believe it would be a public advantage, that the even on small deposits. They perform the part of savingbank paper in circulation were almost wholly of the Bank of banks on a large scale. The depositors are very frequently England.
mechanics or humble tradesmen; yet the aggregate of the Of the whole paper-money of the Bank of England, about sums so deposited in the different banks to the north of the three-fourths are in circulation in the metropolis, and its Tweed, is said (Evidence before the Parliamentary Comdistrict; the remaining fourth in country parts, particularly mittee on Banking, in 1826,) to amount to twenty millions. in Lancashire,
A similar service is rendered in various parts of England by
country banks. But in Scotland it is an established practice'; | Belfast with a capital of half a million, under the title of the and the depositors are wholly free from anxiety, there not Northern Banking Company. In the same year there was being one example in a century of money being lost by con- established in London the Provincial Bank of Ireland, with fiding it to a bank.
the large capital of two millions, subscribed chiefly in London.
That great establishment has since appointed in all the BANKING IN IRELAND.
chief towns of Ireland branch banks, which have been of the ! The history of country banking in the sister island greatest service to the public, and supply the void caused may be termed a bad epitome of that of England, the by the unfortunate failure of the local banks. Happily the same faults, unhappily, having been committed, and the Provincial Bank and the Bank of Ireland carry on their evil arising from them having been much more conspicuous. business in perfect harmony, their agents at the different It is now half a century since there was established in towns giving cash for the notes of either bank indiscrimiDublin a national bank, with privileges similar to those of nately. the Bank of England, and containing most unfortunately in The amount of the bank paper current in Ireland on acits charter a clause, that “ no other bank issuing notes count of the Provincial Bank and the Northern Banking should consist of more than six partners." This was, doubt- Company is between two and three millions. The charter of less, inserted on the part of the Bank of Ireland to give it a the Bank of Ireland extends to the year 1838, and the remonopoly of the circulation.
striction as six partners cannot be removed from country In a country so advanced in civilization and trade as banks before that time, except by a special arrangement beEngland, the defects of public institutions are frequently tween government and the Bank of Ireland. The capital of neutralized by the prudence and reflection of individuals ; the latter is 3,000,0001. but in Ireland, an agricultural country, with comparatively little experience in trade, the case was very different, and the
Sayings' BANKS. delicate business of banking has been conducted in pro- Our view of the Banking System of Great Britain would vincial towns with very little method or judgment. What has be incomplete, if it did not comprehend a slight notice of been the consequence of that and of the unfortunate limita- those admirable institutions for the safe deposit of the accution to six partners ? The failure of one bank after another, mulations of the humbler classes, the Savings Banks. The so that out of a total of fifty country banks in Ireland, no political impostors, who, in their ignorance or roguery, conless than forty have stopped payment; and of these ten found the ideas of currency and capital, denounce Savings failed in one year, viz. 1820, all in the southern part of the Banks as withdrawing so much from the circulating medium island.
as the deposits represent in money. This attempt at deluThe exemption from paying in cash granted to the Bank sion comes too late. The people know that what is accumuof England in 1797, was extended in that year to Ireland, lated in Savings Banks is so much capital saved from un. and led forth with to a great increase in the circulation of productive consumption ;-and they know, in the same way, bank paper. From little more than half a million sterling that if the Birmingham, or any other currency fanatic, could in 1796, the circulation of the Bank of Ireland was carried be allowed, to-morrow, to coin as many notes as he pleased, by the end of the war in 1815 to three millions. At present not a penny would be added to the national riches. On some it is twice that amount, and the income of the bank is large, future occasion we may return to this subject. In the mean -the rate of discount charged by it being higher by 1 per time we give the following Summary of Savings Banks in cent. than in London or Edinburgh.
England, Wales, and Ireland, for 1832 ; with the increase In the north of Ireland banking is better understood than (i) and decrease (d) as compared with 1833 .in the south, and in 1825 a joint-stock bank was formed at
of Mexico was declined, in the year 1824. The great change
in the situation of the bank took place after the exemption We have now passed in review the principal events in the from cash payments in 1797. Extremes are always prohistory of the Bank of England since it was first constituted, ductive of injury, and this change added too largely to the nearly 140 years ago. Throughout almost the whole of that profit of the bank-for it altered to rapid accumulation that long period the management of the persons intrusted with its gradual acquisition of property which had marked its transdirection has been marked by prudence and consideration. actions during a century. But even these augmented Confining themselves to the proper business of their esta- gains led to no imprudent adventure on the part of the blishment, they have looked steadily to a secure investment directors. Their extended means continued to be applied to of their funds, satisfied with a moderate profit when assured the same objects ; to assist the mercantile body by discounts, of the safety of the principal. They have, all along, avoided and to facilitate to government the payment of its vast extaking part in speculative enterprise, however alluring the penditure. Great errors, doubtless, were committed in profit. The plausible scheme of traffic to the South Sea, carrying that expenditure to such a length, and in failing above a century ago, was declined by them in the same to consider that a day of reckoning and retribution must manner as the no less plausible project of working the mines come ; but these were considerations for ministers and the parliament. The blame to be attributed to the Bank of England directors was applicable to many others during the
THE INQUEST ON ROBERT CULLEY. war; to the great majority of our merchants and public men. Tus verdict delivered within these few days by the coroner's It arose from deficient information in regard to trade and jury, in the case of the policeman who met with his death finance ; for none of them appear to have profited by the at the late meeting in Coldbath-Fields, is even more translessons of history. Holland, a commercial state like Eng- cendantly absurd than we had anticipated it would be from land, had borne, a century earlier, the burden of resisting the previous proceedings of its authors. From the comthe power of France; but there was no distinct record of the mencement of their labours, indeed, the persons to whom manner in which evil had arisen to her from undue expendi- we are indebted for this new exposition of the law afforded ture. The case was the same as to the injury arising to this us abundant means of perceiving how well qualified they country from the heavy charges attendant on the wars of were for the discharge of the duty which had devolved upon 1756 and 1775. Historical writers give very imperfect views them ; but we put the most charitable interpretation we could of the injury caused to productive industry by war and upon their various escapades, and certainly did not imagine taxes; while our public seminaries present as yet but that, when they came to perform the last and most solemn feeble means of instruction in that department, highly im- obligation of their oath, they would commit themselves by so portant as it is to the merchant, the member of parliament, tremendous a display of inconsiderate and presuming ignoand, above all, to a public minister. How vast a sacrifice rance. It is well, however, as matters have turned out, that might have been spared had either the members of the we have the whole of their conduct before us: nothing can cabinet, or the directors of the Bank of England, been aware be desired better calculated to neutralize the mischief of the of the hazardous situation in which their paper circulation
verdict than the report of the inquest. was placed after it ceased to be convertible into cash! That extraordinary verdict is in the following terms :Though it continued suitable for the payment of all public We find a verdict of Justifiable Homicide on these grounds, expenses at home, the case was very different in regard to ex---That no riot act was read, nor any proclamation advising penditure abroad, the foreign exchanges being perpetually put the people to disperse ; that the government did not take to hazard by the payment of subsidies, or by keeping up the proper precautions to prevent the meeting from assemtroops in any great number on the continent.' Had public bling; and that the conduct of the police was ferocious, men been aware of the insecure foundation of our circulating brutal, and unprovoked by the people; and we, moreover, medium, they would have paused before beginning a second express our anxious hope, that the government will, in war in 1803, or forming a new coalition in 1805. They went future, take better precautions to prevent the recurrence of on blindly, thinking that as our bank paper had stood its such disgraceful transactions in this metropolis." ground during several years, it would continue to do so; Now, what a strange jumble, under the shape of an expoand they became alive to its insufficiency for foreign pay- sition of reasons, have we here. The slaughter of the policements only when it was too late to recall their steps. man, it seems, was an act of justifiable homicide, because
From these distressing errors in banking and finance, it “ the government did not take the proper precautions to is satisfactory to advert to the benefit arising from a legiti- prevent the meeting from assembling. The persons who mate and prudent use of public credit. If it present no- tell us this might as well have told us that the man was thing brilliant or wonderful-nothing like what filled the justifiably killed because Lord Althorp did not make what imaginations of our countrymen above twenty years agomit they deemed a good speech, a few evenings before, in the will be found to comprise much that is useful and substantial. House of Commons. Supposing the government to deserve To go back to a primitive age: the origin of banking is to this charge of negligence or mismanagement, was that the be traced to a plain and obvious cause; the advantage of fault of the policeman ? Was he to be therefore considered having a place of safe deposit for money, jewels, and other as deprived of all right of protection, and subject to be put precious effects. Such was the earliest object of banks; but to death with impunity ? The consequences of the general as the population and wealth of the towns or districts in application of this principle would be somewhat new. Whenwhich they were situated increased, they were made useful ever it was conceived that an act of interference, legal in for other purposes; particularly for advances of money to itself, had not been gone about in the best of all possible government and individuals. In a country like England, modes, we might expect to find the officers of justice not where money and bill transactions are so frequent and on so only resisted in the execution of their duty, but, when opporlarge a scale, banks are of the greatest use, saving to mer- tunity served, stabbed to the heart. The murder, or assaschants and others the trouble and risk of carrying sums of sination, as we have been accustomed to regard it, would be money from place to place, or of keeping them, at a degree a justifiable homicide. But," as the gravedigger in Hamof hazard, in a private house. The convenience arising from let asks,“ is this law?" Ay," as his companion answers, banking is most strongly felt when it happens to be for a marry is't; crowner's quest law.” season out of our reach. Those of our countrymen who have
The poor policeman, however, according to these juryresided in France, have had ample opportunity of seeing, in men, deserved to be killed on another account. “No riot the provincial towns, the inconvenience of carrying about act was read, nor any proclamation advising the people silver in bags; and of having none but individual merchants, to disperse." And what of that? Has any authority laid or rather dealers, to apply to for the discount of bills. it down, till now, that an illegal assembly may not be dis
Large cities, like London, Paris, and Amsterdam, are re- persed by officers of the peace, armed only with their batons, markable for the subdivision of employment, and for the without the riot act being read? The riot act, indeed, makes simple and economical form thereby given to the business it felony in any one to remain on the ground longer than an of houses of the greatest capital and connexion. In no line hour after it has been read; but to be present at an illegal is that more remarkable than in banking, particularly in meeting at all is a misdemeanour at common law. Any London. No commission is charged on receipts or pay- individual, who is so present, may be apprehended; and, if ments; nor is any interest allowed on deposits. The emo- he shall resist, force may be used for that purpose. It may lument of the banker arises from the use he may make of be used whether the riot act has been read or not. The the money deposited with him by his connexions, or, as they performance of that ceremony makes no difference as to the are familiarly termed, his customers ; a profit which must officer's right either to take offenders into custody, or genebe small when interest is so low as it has been for several rally to use force to clear the ground. Most especially, noyears; it can be great only by the extent of business done. thing so wild was ever imagined, until this jury told us so,
In former times bankers in London were accustomed to that it was the reading of the riot act alone which made circulate their promissory notes like country bankers, but it in any degree a crime for a person seized by an officer in during fifty years and upwards they have relinquished that a mob to retaliate upon his assailant by stabbing him to the practice, and circulate only notes of the Bank of England. heart. Such an act might, or might not, he justifiable on This was one important step towards simplifying, in other other grounds altogether; but to put its justification on this words improving, the business in the metropolis. The circumstance, is simply to show an entire ignorance of the changes which require to be made in country banking will law bearing on the subject. all tend to the same result; and will benefit the public, inas- We come then to the third allegation of the jurors—" that much as diminution of expense is always in the event a
the conduct of the police was ferocious, brutal, and unpronational benefit.
voked by the people.” It is the only statement they make in the least degree like a ground for their verdict; but even if it were made out, it certainly would not in law support that extraordinary delivery. The plain English of the de
clamatory rumble of epithets, “ ferocious, brutal, &c." can | staff over the shoulder, immediately stabbed him with his be no more than that the attack of the police was made with dagger, and then ran off
. It does not, however, distinctly undue impetuosity, and that they used their batons with appear that this was the policeman who was killed; and wanton and unnecessary violence. It is not alleged or in the scene of the transaction, near the Union public house, sinuated either that their advance itself for the purpose of Bagnigge Wells, would seem to imply that it was not, capturing the flags was, apart from its circumstances, illegal Culley having certainly received his death-wound in Cal. or unauthorized; or that it placed the unresisting people in thorpe Street. However, the foreman, in his conversation such clear and imminent danger of losing their lives that with the coroner after the delivery of the verdict, intino chance of safety appeared except in a resort to deadly mated his disbelief of the evidence of this witness; and, at weapons. And yet, if even all this had been asserted, it any rate, it would not have made out a case of justifiable would have been a sufficiently bold and unusual thing (espe- homicide. As for the evidence of the woman Hamilton, cially fof a coroner's jury, whose constitutional duty it is in after she had been browbeaten in the vulgar style which all cases of the least doubt to send the person at whose marked the whole of these proceedings, one of the jurors, hands another has met with a violent death to take his trial when she described the instrument with which the man before a higher tribunal) to return a verdict of Justifiable was stabbed as resembling a butcher's steel, sneeringly Homicide. Manslaughter, or Excusable Homicide, is the remarked, “Then it may have been a piece of wire most lenient description which even in the case supposed for aught you know;" an interruption which called forth could properly be applied by such a jury to the act of taking from the coroner the exclamation, “Good God! gentleaway life. But it is indeed something altogether unheard men, witnesses are not to be treated in this way:"-another of till now for a jury of any kind to declare that if, in at- juror, a Mr. Alexander, had the decency to declare, that if tempting to disperse a mob, or in forcing their way to the he must speak his mind, he did not believe one iota of what hustings in order to seize the leaders and their illegal ban- she had stated. Fricker's account was, that when Culley ners, the police shall knock a few individuals down, who stepped forward and seized one of the banner-bearers, he may afterwards get kicked and trampled upon, the people saw a young man, a mere boy, seize Culley, who fell imme. shall be perfectly justified in turning upon them with deadly diately. It is plain, that the persons who brought in a weapons, and that any of the unfortunate officers of the law verdict of justifiable homicide could have put no faith in who shall fall in the encounter by pistol-shot or dagger, shall, this statement. Of the real circumstances of the homicide, in so far as the verdict of the said jury can effect that object, therefore, which they thus boldly justified, we are warranted perish without those who slew them being even sent to trial in affirming as we have done, that they knew and could for the deed.
know nothing. If this doctrine is in future to be law, we will not mince The two witnesses by whose evidence the jury seem to have the matter, but will say at once that the possibility of society been most influenced, were a Mr. Nathaniel Stallwood, of 13, holding together is at an end. The doctrine laid down by Calthorpe-Street, who was the first person that presented these jurors is nothing else than a sanction to any act of the himself for examination; and a Mr. William Henry Goore, wildest insubordination. What is to be expected to come of of Broadway, Worcestershire, solicitor. Both these indiviit, for one thing, except that whenever a public meeting is duals testify to great violence having been exhibited by the called, under the avowal, it may be, of the most treasonable police. Stallwood is a most amusing personage. and revolutionary purposes, the desperadoes by whom it is pears, if we may trust the newspaper report of the inquest, convoked, and their partisans, will come, as this verdict says to have gone about on the day of the meeting representing they may and ought to do, one and all of them armed? And himself as a justice of peace for the county. This is proved, which of them, if any attempt should be made by the civil not only by Mr. Thomas and Mr. Jeffery, but by Mr. Wilforce to disperse the assemblage, will have the least hesi- liam Carpenter, the Editor of the True Sun, who was one of tation in shooting or poniarding any officer of the law who the witnesses on his own side. However, it appears that he may come within his reach? It will be too good an oppor- has no claim to the character which he thus assumed, havtunity for the ruffian to neglect of despatching without risking, according to his own confession on the third day of the a few of his natural enemies. There only needs a certain inquest, been some time ago struck out of the commission. degree of confusion, which is easily got up, to ensure the He stated at the same time, that the Duke of Portland relaw's actual approval of what he has done; for that, we may fused to allow him to see the evidence upon which he was without exaggeration say, is really the meaning of a verdict dismissed. He has probably seen quite as much of it since of justifiable homicide. It is the sentence which would be as he cares to see; for it has been published to all the passed on a magistrate if he were brought to trial for super- world in the Times
. As for Mr. William Henry Goore, intending the execution of a malefactor under a legal warrant. he professes to be a solicitor, and possibly is so. The law has no higher testimony of absolute innocence and passing down Gray's-Inn-Lane, on Monday last;" the propriety of conduct to bestow in any case in which it is clear newspaper makes him begin his evidence. He does not let that one man has fallen by the hand, or under the orders, it appear, observe, that he was on his way to the meeting, of another. And this is the meed, it may almost be said, of or that he proceeded thither with any particular object. praise and honour, which the persons who sat on the late He merely, having met a body of people carrying banners, inquest have taken upon them to bestow upon the hidden turned round and marched along with them. Entering into perpetrator of the foul assassination they were charged to conversation, he told them of Lord Melbourne's proclama. investigate. They must, of course, feel somewhat surprised tion, of which they were not before aware ; but they consiand disappointed ihat the hero, or patriot, whom their high dered it, it seems, not effective or legal, because it was not authority has thus justified, has not yet chosen to come for signed by his lordship. The witness does not say that he ward and avow himself
. They could hardly have expected put this idea in their heads. He afterwards proceeded to less, while they were drawing up his honourable acquittal, counsel them to be exceedingly guarded in their conduct at than to hear of him exhibiting himself openly in the streets the place of meeting, because the police were lying in amnext morning, bloody dagger and all.
bush close at hand. Notwithstanding all his sagacity and But the strangest of all the circumstances attending this prudence, however, Mr. Goore, wise and wary as he was, unexampled verdict remains to be noticed. Its authors had the bad luck to be knocked down in the confusion himactually thereby pronounce their justification of a transaction self. Then, according to the newspapers, he goes on to of which, by their own confession, they know nothing what- swear ; “ Perhaps forty or fifty policemen walked over me, ever, except that it terminated in the loss of the policeman's treading on and bruising various parts of my body, before I life. They indulge, it is true, in various conjectures upon could recover strength to raise myself from the ground." the subject. One juror, the first day, started the ingenious No wonder to find him adding, “ I was very much bruised." hypothesis that Culley might have been stabbed by one of However, he was immediately after able to assist a gentlehis own comrades. They certainly did not bring in their man to his gig, who had received two cuts in the arm, one verdict upon their belief of any of the direct evidence which of which had broken the limb, but who, if we may believe was brought forward. There were only three of the wit- Mr. Goore, refused to tell his name, lest the government nesses, at least according to the newspaper report, who spoke should say he was in some way concerned in getting up the to having seen the man stabbed--the girl Mary Anne Per- meeting. The next instant we find the witness flying to the kins, the woman Mary Hamilton, and the boy Henry Wil assistance of another man, who had received a wound in liam Fricker. The girl said the 'act was committed by a the skull. This person he took along with him to the office person dressed like a working man, but having a respectable of the True Sun, feeling exceedingly anxious, he declares, appearance, who, having received a blow from a policeman's that the thing should be made public. But Mr. Goore
• I was