HC Deb 24 January 1805 vol 3 cc58-61

A message from the lords informed the house that the lords had passed a bill, intituled, an act to remedy certain omissions in an act, passed in the last session of parliament, intituled, an act for the relief of certain insolvent debtors. Read a first, and ordered to be read a second time to-morrow;—On the motion of Sir J. Anderson, a bill was ordered to be brought in for the indemnification of certain persons who sold coals, from penalties incurred under an act passed in the last session of parliament, by opening a, free market for coals in the city of London.—Mr. Alexander brought up the report of the committee of supply. The resolutions were read a second time, and a committee of ways and means appointed.—A petition of the several persons whose names are thereunto subscribed, on behalf of themselves and others, being lawful electors of the borough of Knaresborough, in the county of York, was delivered in at the table, and read; setting forth, "that his majesty's writ, tested the 9th of July last past, for the election of a burgess to serve in this present parliament, in the room of W. Cavendish, esq. who had accepted the office of steward or bailiff of the three Chiltern Hundreds of Stoke, Desborough, and Bonenham, in the county of Buckingham, was issued, directed to the sheriff of York, and which was, on the 23d of July last, delivered to James Fox, esq. then sheriff of the same county of York, who thereupon issued his precept, directed to the bailiffs of the said borough of Knaresborough, the said bailiffs being the returning officers of said borough, requiring them forthwith to cause a burgess to be elected for the said borough, in the place of the said W. Cavendish, esq. according to the command of the said writ; and which precept was on the 23d of July delivered to John Carr, one of the bailiffs of the said borough; and that, on the 25th of the same month of July, James Collins, the other bailiff of the said borough, together with the said John Carr, did cause proclamation to be made, on the Market Cross in Knaresborough, that the election would be proceeded in on Monday the 30th of the same month of July, at 11 o'clock in the forenoon, at the Tolbooth there; and that the petitioners, and several other persons having, or claiming to have, a right to vote for members of the said borough, were proceeding to the Tolbooth on the morning of the said 30th of July, in order to give their votes at the said election; but in consequence of a very great riot arid tumult, raised by a very large number of persons, who were not electors for the said borough, and in consequence of violent assaults and ill-treatment committed on several of the electors, and on the magistrates and constables intended to keep order at the said election, and by blocking up the passage to the Tolbooth at the said borough, and preventing the bailiffs, magistrates, and electors, from entering the same, the said election could not be proceeded in; and that the said bailiffs made the following return to the sheriff of the said county of York, who transmitted the same to the clerk of the crown, annexed to the writ where it is now filed, "We the bailiffs of the borough of Knares-borough, in the county of York, having received the precept of the sheriff of the said county for the election of a member for the said borough, hi the place of William Cavendish, esq. did, on the 25th of July inst. make a proclamation at the Market Cross in Knaresborough aforesaid, that the election would be proceeded in on the day of the date hereof, at eleven, o'clock in the forenoon, in the Tolbooth there: that, in pursuance of the said proclamation, we attempted to proceed to such election with the assistance of sir John Ingilby, bart a magistrate for the West Riding of the said county, and of 20 special constables, but were unable to get to the court room by the violence of a mob, consisting of several hundred people, who had previously obtained possession of the stairs leading thereto, headed and instigated by the following persons, namely, J. M. Allen, attorney at law, R. Dewes, an ensign in the Kuaresborough volunteer infantry, R. Walker, half-pay quarter-master in his majesty's forces, T. Abbot, Serjeant of a volunteer corps of cavalry, W. Whitehead, corporal of a volunteer corps of infantry, M. Lewty, J. Turnbull, and W. Turnbull, all of Knaresborough aforesaid, and several others whose names are at present unknown, who not only insulted and pelted the magistrate and one of the returning officers, but also took the staffs from the constables, knocked them down, as well as several of the electors, and destroyed their clothes, and also dragged one of the special constables, servant to the said sir John Ingilby, a considerable distance to the river side, threatening to drown him: that, after our return from the Court-house, the said sir John Ingilby, being afterwards accompanied by John Watson, esq. and the rev. Charles Knowlton, clerk, two other magistrates for the said West Riding, finding that it would not only endanger the lives of themselves, the returning officers, and voters, it they attempted to proceed in the election, or read the riot act, but would be absolutely useless, as there were no soldiers nearer than the barracks at York, being 20 miles from this place, except the volunteers of Knaresborough, several of whom were seen to encourage rather than suppress the mob. From the above circumstances, we hereby certify, that we are unable to execute the precept as directed; as witness our hands, this 30th of July 1804, James Collins, John Carr;" and that the petitioners in behalf of themselves and the other electors of the said borough of Knares-borough, humbly beg leave to represent the premises to the consideration of the house; and therefore praying that the house will take the premises into their consideration on an early day, and grant to the petitioners such relief in the premises as they in their wisdom shall think meet, so that the petitioners, and the other electors of the said borough of Knaresborough, may be represented in the present parliament, and that the persons who were guilty of the violence and outrage, which prevented the election from being proceeded in on the 30th day of July last past, may be brought to punishment."—The chancellor of the exchequer presented to the house, by his majesty's command, the Papers relative to the Discussion with Spain in 1803 and 1804; and also a paper intituled "Declaration," dated Downing-Street, 24th Jan. 1805. The following are faithful copies of the said papers: