§ Sir John Borlase Warren presented a petition from the governors, &c. of the Naval Asylum, pray 131 ing for the aid of parliament, to carry into effect the purposes of the institution. The petition was brought up, and read; setting forth, "that the petitioners have observed and deplored, that in this nation no provision whatever was made for the orphans of those brave men whose lives have been devoted on board of his majesty's royal navy to the defence of his empire, and therefore undertook to form an asylum for the reception of such orphans, aided by the munificence of the royal family, and by the liberality of the public, whereto not only the brave defenders of their country may look for the future support and protection of their orphans, but wherein orphans of like description are now reared by the petitioners for the service of their king and country; and that, in order to carry their objects into full effect, the petitioners do humbly petition parliament for public aid; and, in conformity with their former exertions, they trust, that by their application of any grant now made to then, the present liberality of government will prove future economy to the nation; and that, with respect to the sum requisite for the purchase of ground and the erection of buildings for the asylum, the committee repose on the generosity of parliament, while they beg leave to point out two precedents; the one is a grant, during the space of fifteen years, from 1756 to 1771 inclusive, of 33,000l. per annum, on an average, to the Foundling Hospital; the other is a grant, last year, of 32,400l. after preceding annual grants to a much larger amount, to the military asylum at Chelsea; and the petitioners hope also, that the parliament will, as in the case of the Foundling Hospital, be pleased to render the asylum and its limits free from all parliamentary and parochial dues and rates, except those already imposed thereon, and from all parochial jurisdiction whatever, civil and ecclesiastical."
§ Mr. Pierrepoint seconded the motion, and expressed his full persuasion, that the house and the country at large would be cheerfully disposed to concur in granting liberal aid to an institution, the object of which was to protect the orphans of those gallant seamen who had bravely fallen in the defence of their country.
§ Mr. Wilberforce too supported the petition, and heartily approved its object; hoping the house would institute a full enquiry into the subject, and extend its provisions to the orphans of officers in the same 132 manner as in the military asylum at Chelsea.—The petition was referred to a committee.