§ Mr. Dent
called the attention of the house to a circumstance which occurred relative to this election, which greatly involved the privileges of that house. A petition had been presented against him, as one of the sitting members for that town, charging him with bribery and corruption, and loading him with all those epithets which petitions of that description usually contain. It was, however, permitted to drop, but not until he had been put to very considerable trouble and some expence, in preparations to resist it; in doing which he discovered, that five of the persons petitioning against him were not at Lancaster; and he found that there was not the smallest chance of even obtaining that redress which the law of this country gives in cases of forfeited recognizances, as the party so entering into such recognizances on this occasion did not appear to be worth sixpence. He further discovered that warrants, as from the speaker, to attend the committee in town, had been served on several persons, five or six of whom were in attendance then in the lobby, but that all these warrants had been forged; that a person well known to a right hon. gent. opposite (Mr. Tierney) appeared as the solicitor conducting his petition, and the ostensible agent of the petitioners; that the warrants were discovered to be forged, on application at the office of the speaker's secretary; that they were dated the 26th of Feb., whereas none were issued from that depart- 178 ment until the 4th of March; and that Mr. John Alcock, of the Borough, was the person to whom he alluded as the ostensible agent of the petitioners.—Here the hon. member was proceeding to submit a motion on the subject, when
§ The Speaker
suggested the propriety of merely mentioning a future day for taking the matter into consideration, and at present moving, that the offending parties be upon that day ordered to attend.
§ Mr. Tierney
did not rise to oppose any enquiry which the house might make upon the business, but merely to say, that he thought to-morrow would be too soon, as it might not be possible for Mr. Alcock, in so short a time, to have an opportunity of justifying himself. He certainly could not, and would not disavow his knowledge of that gentleman, and since he was thus publicly noticed as having such knowledge of him, he would add, that he believed him an upright and honest man.—After some desultory remarks from other members, it was at last ordered, that Mr John Alcock do attend the house to-morrow together with other persons named in the order.