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Fifty thousand Irishmen in the United States of America, possessed of wealth and power, are eager to join and assist them. France looks on with anxious eyes—her press teems with pamphlets pointing out the means by which Ireland can assert her independence and become a free nation, and the naval and military preparations of her government show sufficiently their intention to take a part the moment the green flag is hoisted. Dunkirk is now fitting with cannon and warlike stores, and if you do not pacify Ireland, every effort will be made to rescue her from the British power and dominion. Russia also, and at no distant day the northern states, will hurl defiance at you, because your forces are all engaged in securing your ascendancy in Ireland. And the numerous and able petitions from your county, men of Kent, presented to parliament during the last two sessions, by myself and other peers, sufficiently attest you are alive to the awful internal state of your country ; you have stated that an overwhelming debt has destroyed the bold peasantry and the yeomen of olden times; that your enormous jails are now filled with criminals, your poor-houses and work-houses with paupers, victims to excise laws and excessive taxation; that your farms are worse cultivated, and your property on them deteriorated; and that the landlord has a bowstring around his neck extended and drawn at the two ends—first, by the necessity of paying the dividends and public expenditure, amounting nearly to sixty millions annually—secondly, by the poor-rates operating against enabling him so to do, by counterbalancing any rise in the value of corn and provisions. Turn again to Ireland. Even without a civil war, has not the election for the county of Clare proved that the representation of Ireland is in the hands of the Catholics? They will return eighty members to the next parliament. Will you allow them to sit If you do not, the Union will be virtually dissolved, and Ireland must be governed by a severe military despotism, as in the times of Cromwell and his cruel generals, if such an event were possible. On a review of these circumstances, were Lord Liverpool able to take a part in the councils of his country, he would say, the time is come to pacify Ireland, to restore the Roman Catholics to their civil rights, taking care to give the best possible securities to the Protestant establishments of the empire. So, I am confident, thinks the Noble Duke who is now at the head of his Majesty's government. So, I firmly believe, thinks the Sovereign of the country himself. So, in last session, thought a majority of the House of Commons, amongst them your county member, Mr. Honywood, ever, in all your contested elections, placed at the head of the poll, with his high mind and character, if he thought for a moment that a majority of his constituents would risk a civil war, bankruptcy, and the final separation of the two sister islands, for fear of the imaginary evils and apprehensions from popery in the present times, without a moment's deliberation his trust would be laid at your feet; his vote never yet caused this county to blush ; and the Commons of England have ever considered him one of their most upright members. So also thinks a gallant youth whom the intelligent freedom of Canterbury send as their representative ; and from the high principles and patriotic feelings of the noble house of Darnley, would Lord Clifton hold his seat one hour if he thought he spoke and voted against the sense of those independent men who sent him there?
So thought about one hundred members of the House of Peers last session—the highest in rank, the greatest in talent, the purest in patriotism, and the richest in landed possessions. So thought one-third of the University of Oxford when the petition against those claims was last discussed in convocation. So thinks Mr. Dawson, the friend and brother of Mr. Peel, the great opponent of these claims. So thinks Mr. Peel himself, for his silence in his late tour in Lancashire bears no other construction. So thinks, by a declaration I have just seen, a large majority of the Protestant peers, baronets, and landed proprietors of Ireland. Permit me therefore to think, brother freeholders, here are sufficient reasons to induce me to think also that the time is now come that makes it just, expedient, and necessary, to grant Catholic emancipation. We are not changed, but the times are changed-tempora mutan. tur, et neve mutamur in illis. The safety of our common country, the integrity of the empire, its ability to defend its colonies, its power to pay the public creditor, nay, even its means to prevent famine, and ultimately pestilence, from stalking throughout the land, all, all, my friends, depend on conciliating Ireland, and healing her wounded feelings, and bringing her ardent, her gallant, her enthusiastic sons once more to your bosoms, and to a real union of pride, glory, and satisfaction in their common country.
Freeholders of Kent-Deeply did I lament the very mistaken infatuation of many noble, able, and honorable characters who met at Maidstone to proclaim a Brunswick or an Orange club in this county. The result of its establishment must be to embarrass the government in this great work, to create party feuds, and raise animosities in this now happy and sociable county; it is the use of clubs that has actually brought Ireland to its present state, and, depend on it, that the authors of these clubs will have to rue the day that they established them in England. An appeal to the county on Catholic emancipation was made; and in my humble opinion the petition that was so triumphantly carried at Penenden
Heath was any thing but an approval of those clubs; its language is moderate, and it scarcely conveys an intimation against Catholic emancipation. The great exertions made by the victorious party were not met by the opponents of the measure by any similar means—therefore the Brunswickers triumphed; but, like Pyrrhus, regardless of the consequences of their victory. The poll now on the same spot must tell what is the real sense of the county of Kent on this question. The county of Kent can never again lay claim to character or consistency if it continues to send one member to parliament to support a measure, and another to oppose it. Pardon me the observations, my friends and brothers. You would all, in my place, feel the same sentiments. I trust I have vindicated myself, that I do not deserve the taunts that have been thrown on me; and I conclude by feeling convinced that you will believe that no freeholder of this county will exert himself more than I shall in my place in parliament, to secure the ascendancy of the Protestant principles of these kingdoms. When these measures are arranged, and they must be arranged this next session, that will provide for the extension of civil rights to the seven millions of the Catholic inhabitants of the United Empire. With every sentiment of respect, I remain, brother freeholders,
Your very obedient servant,
Tunbridge Wells, Oct. 28.
INCREASE OF CRIME,
AND THE DEGREE OF ITS EXTENT, THE PRINCIPAL CAUSES OF SUCH INCREASE, AND THE MOST LIKELY MEANS FOR THE PREVENTION OR MITIGATION
OF THIS PUBLIC CALAMITY.
IN THE FORM OF A REPORT,
GENTLEMEN, Some of our brother magistrates having expressed a wish that the facts contained in this Report should appear in print, I readily obey the intimation.
You are aware, that in order to suit its reading to the short space of time which it is supposed can be spared from the routine of local business on the county day, it was considerably shortened by the Committee, who transferred part of the text to the Appendix, omitted some of the remedial propositions, wholly left out the arguments adduced in support of others, and dispensed with certain extracts from public papers.
Presuming on your present comparative degree of leisure, and regarding such extracts, remedial suggestions, and arguments, as essential to the support of those resolutions which you were pleased to adopt on my motion at the Epiphany sessions, I have restored this draft Report to the order in which I presented it, through Mr. Lawson, to the Committee, myself being too indisposed to attend. Respectfully submitting it to your consideration,
I have the honor to remain,
RANDLE JACKSON. North Brixton,
24th April, 1828.