HC Deb 23 April 1875 vol 223 cc1513-613

I beg to move, Sir, that the Orders of the Day be postponed until after the Motion relative to the trial of The Queen v. Castro.

Motion agreed to.


Sir, I rise to move— That an humble Address he presented to Her Majesty, praying Her Majesty to be graciously pleased to appoint a Royal Commission, to consist of Members of both Houses of Parliament, to inquire into the matters complained of with respect to the Government Prosecution of The Queen ". Castro, and to the conduct of the trial at Bar, and incidents connected therewith, and certain incidents of the said trial which have occurred subsequent thereto. I have thought it better, Mr. Speaker, on due consideration of all the circumstances connected with the case, to move for a Royal Commission, which shall consist of Members of both Houses of Parliament, rather than to move for a Select Committee. I am afraid the public generally—it is not for me to say whether rightly or wrongly—have an impression that there is a large, an overwhelming, probably I might not be wrong if I said almost an unanimous body of hon. Members in this House who have formed a very strong opinion upon the case, and therefore a Select Committee, appointed by this House, would not command so much confidence, or give so much general satisfaction to the English nation as would a Joint Committee consisting of Members of both Houses. I am anxious, therefore, that into this Royal Commission the element of the Lords should be introduced, because I have seen or heard nothing to justify me in supposing that there is the same strong opinion formed in the Lords as I am afraid is formed in the Commons. There is another reason also why I should like some of the most eminent Members of that House to be joined in the Royal Commission. It has been my lot, as it has been that of most lawyers, to study the decisions of the House of Lords; and I think I may safely say that no decisions in the world ever commanded, or have been worthy to command, such universal approbation as the decisions of the House of Lords. When one contrasts those decisions with those given in what are called the Inferior Courts, it seems like travelling from darkness into sunlight. I am anxious therefore, if there should be a Royal Commission granted, that it should be one which would command the very greatest amount of faith in the country, because of the Members whom it should consist; and I believe a great portion of that faith would be affected if there were not Members of the other House joined in it. Now, Sir, I do not intend on this occasion—nor did I ever intend—to retry the Tichborne Case in this House. I do not intend to deal with any of the puerilities or the technicalities of the law that occurred in that Case. I do not intend to take a Nisi Prius view of it—I leave that to any little lawyers who may follow me. I wish to draw the statesmen of the House into the controversy, because I believe this is a matter for statesmen and not for pettifoggers. If the statesmen on both sides of this House were as well aware as I am of the mighty feeling throughout the nation which this great issue involves, I am perfectly certain they would reserve the discussion of it for themselves, because it is they only who are likely to solve this great and momentous issue. I presume it will be conceded that I ought to know something about this Case. There are a great many hon. Members here who, no doubt most conscientiously, have come to a definite conclusion in the matter, and fancy they know more about it than I do. If I might offer very respectful counsel to those hon. Members, I would ask them to consider for a moment and to ask themselves whether it can be possible that any private individual in this House, no matter what his opportunities may have been, no matter how carefully he may have studied the newspaper reports, can possibly have that knowledge of the Case which I, fortunately or unfortunately, possess. I have not brought forward this matter, nor have I taken any very active part in its discussion throughout the country, from any wonderful admiration which I had for my client. Everybody knows that while I endeavoured to do my duty to the man, I made no secret that he was no hero in my estimation. Therefore, I hope it will not be imagined for one moment that any false sympathy with him, or undue admiration for his character, is the reason why I have taken a prominent part in this agitation. I have taken it up simply and solely as a matter of duty, as a matter which I believed I was bound to take up, unless I was a traitor to every principle of honour and justice. Therefore, I hope that Gentlemen will listen to me, not speaking here as an advocate—I am not one—but as a man who knows thoroughly the history of that prosecution, and who feels it his bounden duty to bring the conduct of that prosecution before this Grand Inquest of the nation. Although I never was vain enough to imagine that I could meet with unqualified success here, still I do sincerely hope and trust, for the sake of the high character which the House of Commons ever has maintained, and ever must desire to maintain, in the country, that it will not rashly or harshly decide in its refusal to grant a Royal Commission. No harm can be done by inquiry; on the contrary, a very great deal of good may result from it, because if the matters which are now agitating the minds of so many millions of the people are false and groundless, the Royal Commission which I ask for will demonstrate their falsity and groundlessness in a very short time, and in the most conclusive way. There will then be no subject-matter for complaint whatever, and the precedent of the Tichborne Case, which so many people now challenge, will be one of which we ought afterwards to be proud, and not ashamed to follow. The opinions that have been formed here have probably been formed in a great measure from reading what are called summaries of the trial in the newspapers. There is no doubt a very great number of persons in this country—I have met them myself—who have followed with great care the evidence taken from day to day, and who are masters of that evidence to an extraordinary degree. Nevertheless, I can hardly imagine that the large body of Gentlemen here have all followed that evidence with the amount of precision which would be required to form an accurate judgment of the Case. In all probability they are engaged in business or fashion, or in other pursuits during the day, and have contented themselves with deriving their knowledge of the Case from the summaries in the newspapers, and assuredly if they found their knowledge on those summaries I can assure them that they are untrustworthy in the highest degree. Some hon. Members, as I understand, are very much struck by the fact that there is in this Case a concurrent verdict of two juries. But it is within the experience of every Gentleman here that the verdicts of juries are set aside every day on the ground that they are wrong or against evidence, or on some other equally satisfactory ground. We ourselves do not require to be told that over and over again the Home Secretary has taken upon himself the responsibility, often with the sanction and approval of the country, of reversing the opinions of juries. The right hon. Gentleman very recently reversed the decision of a London jury in the case of the Countess de Civry, who was convicted and sentenced by a most learned Judge after she had been most ably defended and after evidence had been given, I think, on both sides. But circumstances came to the knowledge of the right hon. Gentleman which convinced him that the jury were wrong, that the Judge ought not to have received their verdict, and that justice would be best done by his interfering and liberating the lady. As to the Tichborne Case, without meaning to cast any imputation upon the right hon. Gentleman, it would appear as if he were ready to re-open every case but that. Probably, the right hon. Gentleman has had no time to enter into its particulars, merits, and details. I do not know what may be the reasons which may be operating upon his mind; but I think even he will hardly deny that he is thoroughly sick of it from beginning to end, that he looks with a species of dismay upon any new Motion or Petition in the matter, and that he would gladly get rid of it by some means if he could do so consistently with a sense of duty and honour. I trust that the right hon. Gentleman will and me in getting a Royal Commission. I am perfectly sure that no decision which the House may come to to-night adverse to the Motion will ever content the people of this country; and if the right hon. Gentleman and his Colleagues really wish to quell what I must almost call the growing dissatisfaction in the country upon this matter; to reconcile all Englishmen together as if in one holy and fraternal bond, his plan will be to have the matter inquired into which has been made the subject of so many Petitions by our countrymen from all parts of the nation, and thus allay for ever any discontent or dissatisfaction which may be felt through-out the country. That is what statesmen have done in former times, and what I hope statesmen will always be prepared to do. Certainly, a more statesmanlike or dignified course than that of granting me the Commission for which I ask I can scarcely conceive I do not know how it is, or why it is, that in the Tichborne Case there should be a general impression that justice has not been done. As a rule, we all know perfectly well that there are no people in the world who are so fond of abiding by the decisions of our legal tribunals as the English people are; and it must be, indeed, some extraordinary state of things which produces the ferment we now see raging all around us. A fact not unworthy of consideration, as I mentioned to hon. Gentlemen the other night, is that the German nation agrees with the English people generally that justice has not been done; and I myself have received numerous letters from various parts of America showing that there is a widespread feeling in the United States also condemnatory of the manner in which this case has been conducted. The intense disaffection that prevails in the country has not been 'caused by me, as has been falsely pretended. That disaffection has existed from the time of the first trial in the Court of Common Pleas. Everyone knows that during that trial great discontent was expressed. I do not mean to enter into the merits or demerits of that trial, nor is it my purpose to show whether that discontent was wisely founded or not; but certainly the conduct of the Chief Justice then did provoke frequent remonstrances from the unhappy Claimant when he was under cross-examination. With those remonstrances a large body of the people sympathized, and we know quite well that after the failure of the Claimant's case in the Common Pleas, when he made various journeys through the country, he was received almost like an Emperor or King in the large towns, followed by thousands and thousands of people who were convinced that justice had not been done to his case. From that time the discontent has been gradually increasing. From that time the discontent, which may be said to have risen as a mountain stream has now grown into a mountain torrent, which is rolling over the land. This I mention for the purpose of repudiating, as strongly as I possibly can, the false idea attempted to be propagated, that I am answerable for the present disaffection throughout the country. On the contrary, it was in a great degree the conduct of the late Government which was the cause of this disaffection. It was the extreme, the almost Russian, measures of despotism and apparent persecution which they adopted in the prosecution of this matter that, in my humble judgment, first gave the impetus to that which has grown, as it were, into an overwhelming ocean. It was that conduct which has seated right hon. Gentlemen on the benches opposite, and placed the Members of the late Government in the cold shade of Opposition. My client has been, in fact, the best friend which the present Government ever had. I do not say that their entire success has been owing to the extraordinary behaviour of the late Government in reference to that prosecution. I think those right hon. Gentlemen were entitled to the respect and gratitude of the country for having passed the Reform Bill of 1867, and they will still more entitle themselves to the gratitude of the country if they continue in the course they have hitherto pursued, and give no countenance to the Judicature Act, and things of that kind. Another reason why, in my humble judgment, there is such a powerful feeling in this country is, that it is the reaction against the Reign of Terror which was set up by the Court of Queen's Bench before and during that trial. I need hardly call the attention of hon. Gentlemen to the feeling then generally experienced that the doctrine of Contempt so-called was pushed to an extent that had never been known, or thought of, or contemplated in any free country before. That every Court should have a right to punish Contempt committed before it no lawyer will dispute. I believe it was the Court of Chancery which first pushed the idea that they could punish for Contempt that was not actually committed before their eyes; but the Court of Queen's Bench went a length that no human being ever dreamt of, and established a system in this country which, in my humble judgment, is subversive of the Constitution and entirely destructive of the rights of the British people. Therefore, the feeling that is now existing among so many millions is a powerful and just re-action against that Reign of Terror, and I should be ashamed almost of the spirit of my countrymen, if they did not, as it were, constructively rebel—of course, I mean it in a constitutional manner—against a doctrine of that nature, which during the trial muzzled all free thought and free expression of language in England; which made us for the first time in our lives almost dread to say our souls were our own, and against which, I am sorry to say, no Member of the late Government had the courage to rise up and enter his protest. Everybody seemed at that time cowed and muzzled. I do not know why, because I am sure the power that thought to do it was not strong enough to succeed, if it had been resisted at the moment; but now you have a re-action, and a most proper reaction, against that state of things. The British mind was chained and fettered; the people were prevented from expressing their thoughts during that time upon what they conceived to be the unparalleled wrongs of that trial, and I do not wonder if they are now banded and united together as one mighty man, for the purpose of raising a powerful, I hope a successful voice, against the doctrine of Contempt of Court as carried into practice by the Court of Queen's Bench. There is one great trial which the Members of this House will perfectly remember, and it had analogies which they ought to apply to the present circumstances—I mean the trial of Lord Cochrane before Lord Ellenborough. The two cases of Cochrane and Tichborne seem to me to be pretty much analogous. Cochrane received very little justice from Lord Ellenborough, and I am prepared by-and-by to show what justice Tichborne received from his Judges. But there was an outcry raised against Cochrane in his day, as there is an outcry raised now against Tichborne, and Cochrane was made the victim of that wicked outcry, and he was convicted and punished, and expelled from this House. And what subsequently took place? After the services of that great and glorious hero—because a hero he was in the truest acceptation of the term—had been lost for a whole generation to his country, the country, when it was too late to do him tardy justice, reversed the whole of the abominable judicial proceedings of which he had been made the victim, reinstating him, as it were, although only partially, in his rights; but it never could recompense him for the 30 years of his life that had been lost, and for the misery that he had suffered. If the trial and verdict in Lord Cochrane's case were bad, and false, and disgrace- ful to the country, let not the present House of Commons, in the name of justice, allow those who shall come after us to brand by the same name, the equally-infamous trial and verdict in the Tichborne Case. If the House does not enter into a full inquiry now, posterity will brand it in the same way as all honest and righteous men brand the shameful proceedings in the trial of Lord Cochrane. As some precedent for this language may be wanted, I hope I shall be pardoned if I read a passage from the speech of Mr. Edmund Burke, which he made in the House of Commons, December 6th, 1770, when Serjeant Glynn moved that a Committee be Appointed to enquire into the Administration of Criminal Justice, and the Proceedings of the Judges in Westminster Hall, particularly in cases relating to the Liberty of the Press, and the Constitutional Power and Duties of Juries. At that time, as I need hardly remind the House, it was taken as the accepted law of the land, and was laid down indeed by the Judges in their usual infallible way, that in cases of libel, the jury had nothing whatever to do with the question whether the matter complained of was libellous or not. The only issue left to the jury, was whether there had been a publication or not. That had gone on, unchallenged, though not unmurnmred at for a great many years; Judge after Judge laying it down as a matter of absolute and unquestionable law. The feeling of the country at length rebelled under so unconstitutional a perversion of the rights of the people: and Serjeant Glynn, as the mouthpiece of the country, moved for the Committee, and thus struck the first blow at the abominable and most illegal declaration of the law which His Majesty's Judges had propounded: and he eventually succeeded in placing the law on its present footing. On that occasion Burke said— Have not the greatest lawyers, the profoundest casuists, and the staunchest patriots erred? Why, then, should the Judges be thought exempted from the common not of humanity? Why should they be deemed infallible more than other mortals? Believe me, the wisdom of the whole nation can see farther than the sages of Westminster Hall.…Sir, my reverence for the Judges, against whom the popular cry is now so loud, will not deter me; because I know all Judges are but men. Not only former Judges, but juries have erred. Why not the present? Yes, Sir, juries have erred, and they may err again. When they do, I shall be as ready to inquire into their conduct as I am now into that of the Judges. Gentlemen may talk of their great respect for juries, and their readiness to acquiesce in their determinations; but I am not disposed to be so complaisant. I will make no man, nor any set of men, a compliment of the Constitution. It is too valuable an inheritance to be so lightly relinquished. When the actions of juries are praiseworthy, let them be applauded; when they are criminal, let them be punished. Popularity should not be bought at so high a price. For my own part, let the malicious and the ungenerous say what they will, I am a blind follower of no man, nor a bond slave to any party. I have always acted according to the best information of my judgment, and the clear dictates of my conscience. On this occasion I solemnly protest before (rod, that I entertain no personal enmity against any man, nor have I any interested schemes to promote. My sole object in supporting the proposed inquiry is the public welfare and the acquittal of the Judges. For I am satisfied that an acquittal will be the consequence. In acting thus, I think myself their best friend, because no other plan will clear their character. Till this stop is taken, in vain do they pretend to superior sanctity; in vain do some Gentlemen tread their halls as holy ground, or reverence their Courts as the temples of the Divinity. To the people they appear the temples of idols and false oracles, or rather as the dwellings of truth and justice converted into dens of thieves and robbers. For what greater robbers can there be than those who rob men of their laws and liberties? No man here has a greater veneration than I have for doctors of the law; and it is for that reason that I would thus render their characters pure and unsullied as the driven snow. But will any of you pretend that this is at present the case? Are not their temples profaned? Has not pollution entered them, and penetrated into the Holy of Holies? Are not the priests suspected of being no better than those of Bel and the Dragon, or rather of being worse than those of of Baal? And has not, therefore, the fire of the people's wrath almost consumed them? The lightning has pierced their sanctuary, and rent the veil of their temple, from the top even to the bottom. Nothing is whole, nothing is sound. The ten tables of the law are shattered and splintered. The ark of the covenant is lost, and passed into the hands of the uncircumcised. Both they and ye are become an abomination unto the Lord. In order to wash away your sins, let Moses and the prophets ascend Mount Sinai, and bring us down the second table of the law in thunders and lightnings; for in thunders and lightnings the constitution was first, and must now, be established. Let the Judges mount up to the source of precedents and decisions, and trace the law clear and unpolluted along the stream of time, and the silent lapse of years. Let them march in procession to this House, ushered in by a long train of precedents, and opinions, and lay them all in a bundle in the middle of the room. Then, and not till then, will they stand justified. In vain do you trust to the virtue of the furred gown, or to the magic of that bauble, as Cromwell truly called it. They confer neither real power, nor, what is often its parent, a fair character. These desirable possessions are acquired by an upright conduct, and the confidence of the people."—[Hansard, Parl. Hist. xvi. 1267–8–9–70–71.] I hope that Gentleman will bear in mind that lofty language, for it is considered, at present, a species of blasphemy to utter a word against the supposed infallibility of the Bench. I trust that those words of one of the greatest of men will not be forgotten, but will be carefully borne in mind, when they come to consider of the decision which they are asked to give in the present case. Serjeant Glynn failed, it is true, in his Motion, as I shall probably fail in mine, but he sowed the seed from which sprang up afterwards a glorious tree; and in the result, though beaten for the moment, he established the rights of juries, and maintained the liberty of the Press. Sir, before I enter into the matter to which I wish more particularly to call the attention of the House, I think I ought to be permitted to state one or two of the reasons—I shall be as brief as I can—which have convinced me that my client was truly the man whom he represented himself to be. In the first place, a more perfect gentleman than Tichborne never crossed a drawing-room. I do not now merely give my own opinion on the matter, but that of Noblemen and Gentlemen of high position in society with whom that unhappy man was accustomed to live in familiar intercourse. I myself may not be a very wonderful judge of these things; but I suppose and hope I have some judgment, and I must say that he impressed me from the very first moment of my intercourse with him to the last as being in all externals of grace and manner as complete a specimen of a gentleman as I ever met. I never heard a low or vulgar sentiment from his lips, nor one which was not consistent with the highest feeling of honour. I never heard him, although we all know how sorely pressed and attacked he was, use one expression of reprehension or abuse against his too numerous adversaries. On the contrary, every word that fell from him bore the impress of high birth and high breeding, and even what might have been expected from a nobleman or gentleman of the highest position in the country. Another reason for my faith in him was the undying confidence of Lady Tichborne in his identity. She never faltered in the belief that he was indeed her son. I am not now going to trouble the House with any sentiment or romance; but I am sure that many Gentlemen who hear me know that Lady Tichborne was a woman of a cool, cautious, and sensible temper, and a person who exercised the greatest possible amount of circumspection in forming her judgment before she came to a conclusion. We know that she lived in the same house with my client for nearly a year, during which time she must have had constant opportunities of penetrating into his whole life, and of discovering from daily intercourse whether he was an impostor or the true man. And when I find that Lady Tichborne lived in the faith that he was her son, and that when she died, almost her last dying words had been to give him the blessing of a mother, I must confess that those circumstances produce a most powerful effect on my mind. There was another circumstance which powerfully influenced me, leading me to the irresistible conclusion that he is the true and genuine heir. The House will remember that it was always insinuated during the course of the trial that this man was "Red-haired Orton," and was perpetually dyeing his hair. A lock of hair of unmistakably—shall I call it—auburn colour, had been sent home from Chili by some suspicious person there, and the defendant's statement to me was that his attorney (Mr. Holmes) had pressed, had even compelled, him to recognize it. That lock of hair was produced in Court by order of the Chief Justice to Mary Ann Loder, and she and one or two others swore that it was the exact colour and description as Orton's hair. Whether or not that circumstance had great weight with the jury I cannot say; it certainly was dinned into the public ear that this man's hair was naturally auburn, but that he disguised it by the daily use of a dye, and one story was, that after he was sent to Millbank he was discovered to be Arthur Orton, because his hair had then become unmistakably red. Sir, there never was a more untrue statement. I myself saw the man in Millbank months after he had been sent there, and when he had no means or opportunity for using dyes with his hair, and when it was not possible that his hair could be made different from what it had been in the Queen's Bench; and I can state that there was not the slightest streak of red in his hair, which was as black as that of any Gentleman in this House. But there is another matter, and a more wonderful one still, to be noticed. When the Rev. J. Rigby came up from Stonyhurst on the 5th of June 1873, he spoke in these terms in reply to examination— Do you remember Roger sufficiently to remember his appearance?—I remember it, I think, perfectly. Will you describe it?—First of all, he was very thin; his features were small, and his eyebrows dark. His hair, to the best of my recollection, was a rather dark brown, and I distinctly remember his habit of turning his head round when combing his hair. He used to comb it on one side. He were it rather long; it often fell down, and he jerked his head that way to throw it back again. When he so threw it back, I certainly remember distinctly that the under hair was more of a brown than the surface hair. Do you mean that it was lighter or darker?—I mean that it approached a reddish brown, and when his hair was combed on one side, the under portion showed more redness than the upper, which was dark brown. Now, when that evidence was given, I looked at the defendant, who sat under me, and his hair presented exactly the aspect which has been described by Mr. Rigby; and I believe that if the right hon. Gentleman the Secretary of State for the Home Department will make inquiry at Dartmoor, he will receive a report from the authorities there to the effect that the prisoner's hair now presents the appearance described by Mr. Rigby, the upper portion of the hair being darker than the lower, which is of the reddish-brown described by that reverend gentleman. That I think was the most remarkable circumstance of the trial; but there was also the malformation of the thumb which was shown in the Paris photograph, and in that of Chili of 1854, both presenting the same appearance. These facts were enough in my mind to convince me that he was the undoubted man. I now proceed, Sir, to arraign the conduct of the late Government with respect to the prosecution. I say that that conduct was of such a nature that it led to the course which was pursued towards him at his trial. I need hardly say that upon the personal honour of the Leader of the late Government I cast no reflection whatever. I think it will be quite enough for my purpose to say, in modern and fashionable phraseology, that his conduct was unwise. I do not think he ever entered into the Case. The right hon. Gentleman always reminded me of the famons magician described by Washington Irving, who was lulled into slumber in the palace of the Alhambra with beautiful damsels on each side. The damsels by whom the right hon. Gentleman was fascinated were Theology on his right side and Greek Literature on his left, and I believe those bewitching companions led him quite astray from any serious comtemplation of the Tichborne Case, so that he was quite ready to adopt the views of anybody who told him that Tichborne was an impostor. I can easily understand somebody one day rushing into his study when he was thus engaged, and saying—"I can give you a conclusive proof that Tichborne is an imposter." The right hon. Gentleman might ask—" What is it?" "He has forgotten the letters of the Greek Alphabet." The right hon. Gentleman, forgetting that Sir Walter Scott had confessed that he himself had forgotten the letters of the Greek alphabet, would say—" That is perfectly conclusive to my mind. Any one who forgets his Greek must be both a butcher and an impostor." That must have been the sort of reasoning which actuated the right hon. Gentlemen when he allowed his Government to commit itself to the prosecution of that unhappy man, Tichborne, and I really do think that the way in which I have ventured to describe his conversion from a belief to a disbelief was probably the true mode in which he became an Ortonite rather than a believer in Tichborne. And here, Mr. Speaker, I beg leave to challenge the statement that because the Judge committed a prisoner for trial, the Government was necessarily bound to prosecute that prisoner to the bitter end, and if anybody advised them that that was law, they had very bad advice. They ought to have left the matter to the ordinary course of law, and there were weighty reasons which ought to have made these Gentlemen pause and consider before they embarked upon that unexampled expedition. If they had only seriously considered the matter, they would never have entered into it in the spirit in which they did—because, first of all, the violent, the strongly-partizan language of Sir John Coleridge, their Law Officer, ought alone to have prevented them from taking up that position. He had converted the position of an advocate into that of a private and malignant foe, and he was, therefore, utterly unfit to act as counsel or adviser for the prosecution. There was another reason why, as it seems to me, they ought to have shrunk with horror from entering on the prosecution, and that was the production of the Pittendreigh forgeries by their own Law Officer. That production was a crime without parallel in the annals of the trials of our country since the days of Elizabeth and James, when such devices were common. Those forgeries were made, and they were known and almost proved to be forgeries before over they came into Court. They were issued by the counsel knowing them to be forgeries, and when all those facts were brought to the knowledge of the Government, the Government should have shrunk back in horror from the suspicion of attaching themselves to a cause which was supported by false documents. If there ever was a period when a Government should have withdrawn with abhorrence from a path upon which it had once entered, it was in this Case. But the Government seemed to have abandoned all those high and chivalrous ideas altogether which are believed to have ruled the conduct of the ruling powers for the last half-century, and they took the forgers and their forgeries to their arms. They cherished them and they fondled them, and they stood up for them in this House and elsewhere, and would hardly allow a Question to be asked concerning them. I remember, and hon. Gentlemen will also remember very well, that if a Member get up and asked a Question, he hardly ever get a civil Answer in reply, but was snubbed down or sneered down, and was treated with contempt, being looked upon almost as a man who ought to have been a sort of exile from society because he questioned the policy of the Government. These things also had entered into the heart of the people. They were watching the conduct of the House in this matter, and they are watching it still. They were not satisfied with it then, and it rankled in their hearts, and it rankles there yet, and that is one of the other numerous reasons why there is this powerful and tremendous ferment of feeling in the country. The people compared the conduct of the late Government with regard to the Gurney case with that which they had pursued in the Tichborne Case; and they thought the Government had declined to prosecute in the former case for political and not for honest reasons. They felt that the Gurneys had brought misery and poverty into innumerable families, and had destroyed the happiness of a thousand homes, and they were convinced that the Government abstained from action for political reasons. They remembered that case, and they believe so still. The Government gave also in their conduct a very evil example. Those persons who saw the Government defending forgery may have thought—"Forgery is right and proper, and why should not we too resort to it?" One of the reasons why I am going to ask for a Royal Commission to inquire into this question is this, that after the fullest and completest examination I have now come to the conclusion that every one of the letters produced on the trial purporting to be the letters of Arthur Orton was a distinct and positive forgery. I wish the authenticity of those documents to be made the subject of inquiry by a Royal Commission, that they were fabricated documents. It did not occur to me at the time, and I am sorry that it did not; but I really never had time to master that tremendous Case, and it never occurred to me that those documents were forgeries; but now I have gone carefully through them, I have come to the conclusion, which remains unaltered, and will remain unaltered until irrefragable proof is brought to the contrary, that every single document produced at that trial, except probably one, was as deliberately a forgery as the Pittendreigh documents themselves were. At the trial we were so pressed for funds that there was no money to call in the and of an expert. It was sneeringly said that I had to be my own expert, and it is probable that I made but a poor expert; but whether they were forgeries or genuine documents, we at that time had no money to provide experts, and we were deprived of the opportunity to get money by the unjust and wicked conduct of that Court, as I think I shall demonstrate before I sit down. There was another document connected with that case about which I wish to speak. There was printed and published all over London a little forgery, to which at the time the attention of the Government was called, and it was one which most undoubtedly originated with the Government itself, or in some treachery or evil device of some person connected with this trial. My hon. Friend the Member for Peterborough (Mr. Whalley), in a letter which he addressed to the Treasury on the 14th September, 1872, called the attention of the Government to this, and said— The paper I enclose is publicly sold in shops, and exhibited in windows, and in so far as it purports to be a fac simile of the writing of Arthur Orton is a false and wicked forgery. Now, Sir, I hold in my hand a Parliamentary Paper, printed by Government on the requisition of the hon. Member, and hon. Gentlemen will bear in mind that the documents of which it is a photograph were documents supposed to be in the possession of the Government, and supposed never to have get out of their hands. How they get into the hands of the persons who executed the forgery I do not know. Probably a Royal Commission will ascertain. It is a fact of no small moment, for the letters were both written by the same man, my unhappy client; but the person who forged them headed one "Arthur Orton to his sister," as if he were the genuine Arthur Orton himself, and on the opposite page wrote "The Claimant to the Dowager Lady Tichborne," so that everybody passing a stationer's window, believing these letters to be genuine and true documents, compared the handwriting, and concluded that that attributed to Arthur Orton and that attributed to the defendant were the same. The only falsehood was, that they said that one was written by Arthur Orton, when they knew perfectly well that it was written by the Claimant. I should have thought this was such a serious matter that when it was brought under the notice of the Government, they would have done something for the defence of their own honour and the honour of their servants or agents, and would have repudiated the parties who were guilty of such a crime as that. But they did nothing. They never gave facilities for information to anybody connected with the defendant as to how these forgeries were brought before the public, and I do say that conduct of this description must have unquestionably encouraged other persons to forge documents in the subsequent proceedings, and must have tended to colour the minds of a great many persons against the unhappy defendant. My theory is, and I hope it will be examined into by lawyers on the Commission, with the assistance of experts, that the handwriting of the Claimant having by some means, I do not know how, get for a time into the possession of the defendants in the Common Pleas, the documents purporting to be the letters of Orton, were forged and produced at the trial. Whether or not this House thinks the forgery serious enough to be inquired into by a Royal Commission it is not for me to decide. In making those allegations I am stating that which I believe will turn out to be true, and I shall rejoice if this particular matter is made the subject of inquiry before a Royal Commission. I think we shall not be very wrong or harsh in our judgment if we come to the conclusion that the parties who were engaged in doing not one, but two forgeries would not hesitate to fabricate other documents and pretend that they were the handwriting of the defendant. There is another matter which I think ought to be inquired into, although we have unfortunately lost one main source of information on the subject, the party in chief having been lately drowned. It was stated that a Dr. Wheeler had a long and powerful affidavit, which, if true, established that the Claimant could not be Arthur Orton. It was stated that that person was taken under the auspices of the Government, and sent out of the country. Now that anybody in high office would be connected with such an act as that I do not for one moment believe, or that anybody in personal communication with the First Lord of the Treasury at the time could have sanctioned such a proceeding cannot but be untrue; but it is the curse of all Governments to have persons around them who think that by committing any act that will benefit the Government, they thereby help themselves and their cause, and so it came to pass that Dr. Wheeler, who had made an affidavit, suddenly had a Government appointment and left the country, and could not be present at the trial. I believe I am not wrong in stating that the affidavit of that gentleman is now in the office of the Home Secretary. I dare say his attention has been called to it, and if it has, he, as a lawyer, will know the value of that evidence, and if a Royal Commission be not appointed, the right hon. Gentleman himself may think it well for the sake of justice to make some inquiry into the extraordinary circumstances to which I venture to call attention. Those things did not seem in any way to influence the Government; they relaxed and relented in nothing; and accordingly the trial came on, and at the trial was discovered another most extraordinary fact, which Her Majesty's Government certainly ought to have attended to. The way in which it seems to me all these things are relevant, and very relevant, is this—that certain persons connected with the late Government, however unwittingly and unconsciously, were the means of encouraging a good deal what took place at that trial, which, in my humble judgment, was against every principle of justice. When Mr. Chabot was called at the Claimant's trial, he was asked a few questions as to the Pittendreigh forgeries. I could not have conceived that such a thing could have taken place in England as that a respectable lawyer would produce forgeries in open Court. But Mr. Chabot, on being questioned, took the forgeries in his hand and said two of the documents were genuine; and, he believed two others were forgeries. He said he put them into the hands of Mr. Dobinson, the solicitor, and told him they were forgeries. I think Mr. Chabot entitled to great respect: he is a man who has some peculiar theories of his own in respect of handwriting, but I do not believe that he would intentionally deceive any tribunal. Certainly, he behaved in an honourable manner in that case, for he satisfied, indeed he convinced, Mr. Dobinson, the lawyer who had produced the two forged documents, that they were really forgeries. When I was commenting on the case to the jury I thought it my duty to call attention to the fact of Mr. Dobinson producing these forgeries, because anyone who would do that would do things equally as bad, and it was part of my case that there was a combination on the part of various persons to convict this man. I entirely exonerated the Solicitor General from any knowledge whatever that these documents were forgeries. I said it was impossible for any member of the Bar to commit himself to a crime of that description, or to a consciousness of its existence. I poured out the vials of my wrath on Mr. Dobinson, exonerating Sir John Coleridge. Mr. Dobinson is dead, but Mr. Geare, his surviving partner, wrote a letter to Sir John Coleridge, expressly calling his attention to the fact that he knew these documents were forgeries when he used them. I shall read a passage from the letter of Sir John Coleridge. It is dated—

"House of Commons, July 24.

"My dear Hawkins,—I feel bound to trouble you with a few words with reference to the attack made on Mr. Dobinson by the counsel for the defendant in the case now going forward in the Court of Queen's Bench. It is my duty to say that the purport of Mr. Chabot's report was communicated by Mr. Dobinson to me."

Therefore, he knew perfectly well at the time he used those documents as genuine documents in the Court of Common Pleas that those documents were forged. There is his own language— It is my duty to say that the purport of Mr. Chabot's report was communicated by Mr. Dobinson to me, and no misleading instructions were at any time given or misleading questions suggested to me by him.

Well, Sir, that certainly seem to me to be a matter——[Sir WILLIAM HARCOURT: You have not read all the letter.] If the hon. and learned Gentleman wishes it, I will do it with great pleasure. It continues— It is true that all through the case at Nisi Prius I had the inestimable assistance of yourself and other distinguished men, most generously rendered; but for any imperfect or inaccurate execution of the instructions I am alone responsible, and I am quite prepared to defend my conduct in every part of that cross-examination if it really needs defence.

I shall ask the Royal Commission to afford an opportunity for that defence which has never yet been afforded. The letter goes on— Mr. Dobinson, however, who has been at tacked, is dead, and during the continuance of the trial I knew of no means open to me to vindicate from an utterly mistaken charge the character of a man of singular integrity and honour, and for whom I had the highest regard, except writing to you these few lines to be communicated, if you will be so kind as to take the trouble, to the Lord Chief Justice and his colleagues, and to the counsel for the defendant,—Believe me, my dear Hawkins, yours always, most truly,


"H. Hawkins, Esq., Q. C."

The House will see that I did not intentionally suppress any portion of the letter. I should be ashamed of myself if I were to put before the House any part of a document which was controlled or contradicted by the remainder. That matter occurred in open Court, and there was even then no repudiation whatever by the Government of this extraordinary conduct of their Law Officer who had been guilty of it. I am now going to read the shorthand writer's notes of the hon. and learned Gentleman's speech in the Common Pleas, February 19, 1872. He said— Well, gentlemen, imputation upon the plaintiff, a man who has made the statements he has made, and who has taken in Mr. Scott and all the rest of it, that he should try and get hold of one of Mr. Dobinson's copying clerks, is a very venial business indeed, and not worth while to take up time with. The observation upon that is that it is a 'shabby, dirty thing,' but not 'more shabby and dirty than a hundred other things he has done,' therefore I do not want to spend time in breaking the fly upon the wheel.…. Well, Mrs. Pittendreigh would have been a very important witness, and I should have trusted to her oath, but for this circumstance, knowing everything I did of the plaintiff, and thinking it an excessively likely thing. You recollect that she had furnished us with copies of her 'supposed' answers, and the copies of those supposed answers to the plaintiff's answers, were put to him, and the plaintiff said, 'Oh! no, those are not her answers to me; I have her answers somewhere,' and her answers were produced and shown to be totally unlike the copies shown to us; therefore, it became clear that Mrs. Pittendreigh was a person on whom no man in his senses, or an honourable man could place any reliance. She had gone first of all apparently to the plaintiff, or get into communication with him under circumstances infinitely disgraceful; because, although Mr. Pittendreigh was not a confidential clerk—I overstated that in examination—he was a copying clerk, and that was bad enough, in Mr. Dobinson's employ, entering into negotiations of some kind or other with the plaintiff in the action. That was disgraceful enough, but when it turned out besides that Mrs. Pittendreigh has been actually putting on us copies of letters which she said she had written to the plaintiff, and when the originals were produced, it turned out that they were not a bit like them, why, it is perfectly clear that Mrs. Pittendreigh—I suppose, if she could keep in with both sides—'had been deceiving us grossly, deceiving both sides.' She had deceived Mr. Dobinson in a gross way, giving him a perfectly false account of what she had written, and after, I am convinced that she put upon us copies which turned out, when produced, to be false, no man in his senses, and certainly no honourable man, would say she was a person you could place reliance upon at all, apart from any fact which can be proved aliunde, which she has been the means of bringing to light. Therefore, wherever there is a doubt, I am not going to insist upon her for a moment. She is a person who has written herself down knave by her conduct, and she is, as far as she is personally concerned, one to be entirely separated from the body of the defendants. 'She has taken us in, in a most disgraceful manner; but you know there may be, nevertheless, apart from her character, certain facts which aliunde admit of proof, which she has been the means of bringing to light, and then only in that way I bring her before you. 'Now, I drop the two last letters. I have a notion upon them, and you might, if you look at them, have notions upon them—you might think the two last letters were the composition of the plaintiff, if not written by him; you might think that there had been pencil marks underneath, and a tracing over.' I think in one of them it is tolerably clear that there have been pencil marks; and that the tracing was a tracing by some one over those pencil marks.'

Now, Mr. Speaker, it is as clear as anything can be that at the time Sir John Coleridge was using this language in the Court of Common Pleas, Mr. Dobinson had given him information as to the real state of the case. Yet here is a suggestion to the jury, that they may, if they think fit, draw the conclusion that these two letters were written by the Claimant, when the learned Gentleman well knew that they were not. But I resume my extract from his speech, commencing as it did in page 4,779— 'All I am concerned to point out now is that the case, as far as Mr. Dobinson is concerned, had a perfectly genuine and bonâ fide look when it was presented to him. We had never seen Mrs. Pittendreigh's real answer; she imposed upon Mr. Dobinson just as much as upon the other side. Mr. Dobinson, naturally, as anybody would, believing he had the whole correspondence before him, the copies of letters sent, and the originals received, viewed it in a totally different light than he would have viewed it by the light of the real letters.' All I am anxious to do is to separate ourselves with Mr. Dobinson from any connection whatever with Mrs. Pittendreigh. There is the correspondence; there are the two genuine letters; you must place any construction on them you like. Two she gave us as genuine, and you must be judges as to whether she was right on that subject or not. It may be that we have not get to the bottom of it—whether we have or not does not seem to me important at this stage, because the evidence dehors that, is overwhelming on the subject of his connection with the Orton family. 'Of course, I shall call Mr. Dobinson, he will tell you how he get those letters, and will say he was completely imposed upon by her, as she imposed upon the plaintiff at the time, and I ought to say, of course, that long since all connection with Mr. Pittendreigh and Mr. Dobinson has terminated altogether.' There are persons on whose word he could not place the slightest reliance, and with whom he will have nothing to do, and he has long since left his office, and all connection of any sort or kind has ceased.

So that you see it is suggested that Mr. Dobinson was deceived by Mrs. Pittendreigh. Well, I do not believe that Mr. Dobinson would have been guilty of the wickedness of getting into the box and swearing that Mrs. Pittendreigh had deceived him. But I do, and must, say-that all these things are calculated to injure the course of public justice and public virtue, and as I trust we have still a regard for public justice and public virtue, I hope that if a Royal Commission is granted that it will for ever put an end to acts such as this, and prevent the promotion to an honourable place of a man who has been guilty of conduct of this description. Now, when there was a vacancy in the Court of Common Pleas by the death of Chief Justice Bovill, this man came to me and said—" I know I shall be acquitted in this court, but how about my action in the Court of Common Pleas, which I shall recommence when I am acquitted? They are going to appoint Sir John Coleridge to be the Chief Judge of the Court, and I want you to write to the Lord Chancellor to complain of it." I told him that the appointment was with the Prime Minister, and that I saw no harm in his writing to him, and accordingly he brought me a letter which he intended to send to the First Lord of the Treasury. Knowing the irregular habits of the man, and that he was as likely after he left me to light his cigar with it as to post it, I get him to leave it with me to send, and I posted it myself. The letter was addressed to the right hon. W. E. Gladstone, Esq., M. P. That is, I suppose, an additional evidence that this man is Orton. The letter was dated the 14th of November, and was as follows:—

"34, Bessborough Street, 14th Nov., 1873. "Sir,—I have waited for some days in expectation of an answer to the letter which I did myself the honour to write to you on the 4th instant, and a duplicate copy of which I sent also to the Lord Chancellor. I am informed that the appointment of Chief Justice of the Common Pleas is in the hands of the Prime Minister. If you look at the correspondence between Sir John Coleridge, Mr. Hawkins, and Mr. Geare which was published on the 25th of July last, in all the newspapers, Sir John admits that at the time he used the Pittendreigh Letters at the late Trial in the Common Pleas, he had been informed by Mr. Dobinson that they were forgeries; yet Sir John used them as if they were genuine. I distinctly charge him, therefore, with uttering these documents knowing them to be forged. This is a crime of great magnitude, and one which is confessed by himself; it is a crime never before avowed by any one who was afterwards made one of Her Majesty's Judges, and if this appointment should be made, I will take measures to have it brought before Parliament. I have no desire to annoy you; but I must ask you to pause and consider whether you will make yourself responsible for such an act. At the O'Connell Trial, in 1848, the then Attorney General (the right hon. T. B. C. Smith), one of the greatest lawyers in the Kingdom, goaded to irritation by the remarks of one of the counsel for the defendant sent him a challenge to fight. This was considered so great an offence that Sir Robert Peel did not venture to appoint him Chief Justice, but gave him the very inferior post of Master of the Polls; for it was felt that if Chief Justice of the Queen's Bench he never could, with propriety, adjudicate upon criminal informations calculated to cause a breach of peace, when he had so grossly committed himself. How then could Sir John Coleridge ever try a prisoner charged with forgery, or with uttering forgeries, when he had himself been guilty of the same offence. I trust to your honour, to your public character, and to your love of justice, therefore, never to make such an appointment.—I have the honour to be, Sir, your obedient servant,


"P.S.—I have sent a duplicate of this letter to the Lord Chancellor."

That letter failed to produce any effect. The learned Gentleman (Sir John Coleridge) was appointed to, and still occupies, the place of Chief Justice of the Court of Common Pleas, and I think it a matter deserving of public inquiry on what grounds it was that he was appointed to that office under the circumstances that were brought to the knowledge of the Government. There is another thing that deserves inquiry. It has been thought all along that the new Chief Justice was quite satisfied that the Claimant was Orton, and consequently that he was not entitled to any particular sympathy from anybody; but it appears by a memorandum made by four of the constituents of the junior Member for Bristol (Mr. Morley) that they waited on him and that he declared in their hearing that it was merely a private opinion of his, but that, in his opinion, the Claimant was not Arthur Orton but an illegitimate member of the Tichborne family, as he could not else have obtained such an intimate knowledge of the affairs of the Tichborne family, and that he was supported in this by the late Attorney General having stated that that was his opinion also. So that we have this gentleman telling the Member for Bristol that he believes the Claimant to be an illegitimate member of the Tichborne family.


I rise to Order, and ask permission to state that this is absolutely untrue.


The hon. Member for Stoke is in possession of the House, and the hon. Member for Bristol will have an opportunity of explaining by-and-by.


Of course, you will understand when I state these matters that I give my authority for them. I myself have no personal knowledge of the hon. Member for Bristol or of his affairs. I merely state these things on the authority of four of his constituents with whom I have been in communication, and I believe the hon. Member himself has been in communication with them on the matter, and whether it is true or whether it is false, the hon. Member and his constituents must settle among themselves. I have nothing to do with that. Now, Sir, I say that these circumstances which I have brought before the House entitle me to ask on good grounds for the appointment of a Royal Commission to inquire into this breach of public duty, I may almost say of public law. I consider that the appointment under these circumstances was a public crime. I consider that the whole conduct of the Government in attaching themselves as they did to that particular prosecution deserves the most full examination, and if that Commission find that there was nothing extraordinary, or unusual, or wrong, in their conduct, in attaching themselves to that prosecution, I am sure I shall not shed any tears over it. I bring the matter before the nation on national grounds, for I believe the whole of their conduct has been productive of evil example, and has lacerated the English heart into rage and fury. It is in that point of view that the seriousness consists. I believe that a great deal of the agitation which exists has been brought into being by the conduct of the Government. Undoubtedly, for the sake of public tranquillity, these things ought to be inquired into. If a careful investigation by a Royal Commission, consisting of noblemen and gentlemen, without fear and without reproach, should exonerate them from all blame in the matter I shall be most glad, for I myself am a thoroughly loyal and constitutional subject, and I am anxious to see a constitutional Government receive the support of the people. I am not glad—I am deeply and sincerely sorry—when anything occurs to injure even in the slightest degree, the old and splendid fabric of the Constitution, and it is for the sake of that Constitution that I beg of this House to give me this Royal Commission, so that these gentlemen may be rendered free from any reproach, and maybe able to give that clear and conclusive answer to these things I should wish to see them do, and which I am sure they would be glad to do. The next matter to which I have to call the attention of the House is a matter which I think ought to be inquired into by a Royal Commission, and that is, with reference to that part of the Notice of my Resolution at which the right hon. Gentleman at the head of the Government, in his humorous way, rather laughed. The right hon. Gentleman, who is undoubtedly a very acute critic, might be right in objecting to the words "certain incidents of the late trial which have occurred subsequent thereto." Well, perhaps instead of using the word "trial "I should have said "question;" but what I wanted to convoy was, that certain incidents had come under my observation, and they ought to be made the subject of a Royal Commission. Now, I really do not know what to do here, because I know very well that hon. Gentlemen are always very impatient when documents are read; but I have here before me six statutory declarations, one made by a man named Rochett, a man named Willoughby, a lady named Alexander, and three men named Locke, and Deacon, and Flinn. These statutory declarations were all made out in Australia. They are the testimony of persons who, if the Claimant had had money, would have been brought over by him; but having no money, of course he was unable to bring them. I may be told that I might send these statutory declarations to the right hon. Gentleman the Home Secretary, and that he would very carefully read them; but I am sure the right hon. Gentleman will not think I am casting any imputation upon him when I say that I would rather bring the people themselves before a Royal Commission to be held here. The question of money ought not to be brought into the matter at all. This is a case such as will not occur again in a lifetime. There has been no trial which has so awakened the feelings and affections of the English people, and Scotchmen and Welshmen also, since the trial of Charles I.; and there is a general opinion which, whether well-founded or not I shall not venture to ask in the presence of so many Gentlemen who have formed their own particular conclusions on the subject, that justice has miscarried, and that it would be forwarded by the production before a Royal Commission of these, and perhaps other, witnesses. The mere cost of bringing these witnesses over will not, I am quite sure, enter into the minds of hon. Gentlemen. They spend half-a-million of money in an armour-plated vessel which, very soon after she gets into blue water, turns upside down and goes to the bottom. Nobody grudges the cost of that, and if we are so extremely generous in matters of that kind, we ought not to mind money spent for the purpose of securing justice, and quieting the minds of the people of this country. I am quite certain that hon. Gentlemen know of the disquietude as well as I do, because there are daily reports in the newspapers giving accounts of the state of feeling amongst the people, not amongst the lower classes only, but amongst the more important and intelligent classes of individuals, who may be numbered by millions, there is only one general spirit of discontent. The word "discontent" can hardly describe it. Nothing has ever been equal to it in England. All faith in the administration of public justice is shaken, if not destroyed. This is a most melancholy state of things—particularly in England—the most law-abiding country that perhaps the world ever saw. I fancy that the right hon. Gentleman the Home Secretary must have had many reports from the police with reference to it. The great thing to be admired in the people is that, notwithstanding their evident discontent and dissatisfaction, there has never been a single breach of the peace at any one of the numerous and immense meetings which have been held. There has never been anything but the greatest concord and good nature exhibited, coupled with the strongest resolve that the question should be inquired into. Now, I really do not know what to do with reference to these statutory declarations. I have no desire to weary hon. Gentlemen, but if I read them I cannot fail to do so. ["Read, read!"] I feel very greatly indebted to hon. Gentlemen who have called out to me to read. It is another proof, if that were wanted, of their willingness to sacrifice their own convenience to the interests of justice. [The hon. Member accordingly read the declarations in a summarized form. The first declaration, that of Mr. Rochett, upwards of 20 years pilot of the port of Melbourne, gave an account of the arrival of the men saved from the Bella, at that port. The writer's attention was particularly directed to one young man who had been a passenger in the Bella, who was thin, and and looked ill, and who—the hon. Member added—I say was Roger Tichborne. The second declaration was by Captain Willoughly, who was then mate of the Comet steamer in the port, who spoke of a number of shipwrecked men arriving, amongst whom was a young gentleman who had also been saved from the wreck. The third was that of Anna Maria Alexander, who said that in the year 1847 and 1848 she was well acquainted with Roger Charles Tichborne in England, and that in 1855 she met a man named Thomas Castro who was the same person. The original of this declaration was forwarded to the head of the late Government, from whose hands it passed into the Treasury, and he was sorry to say it could not now be found. The declaration stated that Castro was wrecked in the Bella, and that he was not tattooed. The hon. Member then stated the substance of the declaration of a Mr. Locke, as to the trial of Castro and Orton on a charge of horse-stealing, and also similar testimony of persons named Flinn, Wheeler, and Deacon.] Those, Sir, continued the hon. Member, are the circumstances connected with the first and last portions of my Resolution; and I humbly submit to the wisdom of the House that I have given sufficient reasons for an inquiry with regard to them. I now come to the middle branch of my Resolution, and in dealing with it I shall endeavour to be as short as I can. I am perfectly sensible of the indulgence which has been awarded to me, and I am shocked that I have been so long addressing the House. I have now to speak of the conduct of the trial. There are two Acts of Parliament bearing on this subject to which I wish to call attention, the first being the 12 & 13 Will. III., c. 2; and the second, the 2 Geo. III., c. 23. 12 & 13 Will. III., c. 2, sec. 3, enacts— That after the said limitation shall take effect as aforesaid, Judges Commissions he made, Quamdin se bene geaserint (as long as they shall well conduct themselves), and their salaries as- certained, and established; but, upon the Address of both Houses of Parliament, it may he lawful to remove them. 2 Geo. III., e. 23, sec. 1, enacts— That the Commissions of Judges for the time being shall be, continue and remain in full force, during their good behaviour, notwithstanding' the Demise of His Majesty (whom God long preserve), or of any of his Heirs and Successors. Sec. 2— Provided always, and be it enacted by the authority aforesaid, that it may be lawful for His Majesty, his Heirs and Successors, to remove any Judge or Judges, upon the Address of both Houses of Parliament. These Acts define the position and duties of the Judges, and provide for the manner in which they may be removed. As regards the latter point the statute does not say that a Judge may be removed for corruption, or wickedness, or villany, or anything of that kind; it says that he shall continue to be a Judge during "good behaviour," and how the words "good behaviour "are to be construed must be a question for any tribunal which enters into an investigation of the conduct of a Judge. Now, I wish at once to state to the House that I am not here as an accuser of the Judges at all. I am bringing before the House matters which, as a humble Member of this House, I think demand inquiry. If the House accords me that inquiry well and good; if it does not think an inquiry is called for I shall acquiesce in their decision. I am bringing forward matters which have been related to me. Everything that I say on the authority of others, I shall give chapter and verse for; what I say on my own authority I think I can corroborate, if it shall be questioned, by an appeal to the shorthand writer's notes of the trial. Now, Sir, I was brought into this case by Lord Rivers, who, as this House knows, has taken very great interest in the cause of the Claimant. When Lord Rivers waited on me, he called my attention to the fact that at the time Petitions were actually prepared, which were signed by large numbers of the people, praying that Sir Alexander Cockburn might not preside at the trial of the Claimant. At that period a report had been widely circulated that the Chief Justice of the Queen's Bench had unfortunately committed himself to certain opinions with regard to the Claimant. It is obvious that I, who have been charged with all the crimes that have been committed, from the murder by Cain of his brother Abel downwards, could have nothing to do with all that, because it was done by the Claimant's friends before I came into the case. I do not know whether it was correct or not, but I was told, Sir, at that time, that you yourself had been consulted with reference to the presentation of those Petitions, and it was related to me that you had said they must be received, though you hardly fancied that the House would entertain them. I merely mention this to show that at that time there was a widespread feeling that prejudices existed in reference to this subject. My attention was also called to a letter which was sent to the Lord Chief Justice by one of his old constituents at Southampton, calling his attention to the existence of this widespread feeling, and asking him whether there was any ground for it, or whether it was merely an imaginary delusion, founded upon what the Lord Chief Justice called the other night "wild stories." Well, no answer was vouchsafed to the writer of that letter. I have a copy of it here, but I will not trouble the House by reading it. The Claimant himself, Sir, undoubtedly shared in the feeling which so many of his friends entertained; for among the other words for which he was brought before the Court for contempt in January, 1873, were the following, which were read in open Court:— Four years ago the Lord Chief Justice of England publicly denounced me as a rank impostor at his club. I know of others (occasions), but cannot prove them, so will not. But I can prove that he subsequently, within these last two months, at a party where a lady friend of mine was, distinctly turned round to those ladies, and said it was a disgrace to mention my name in decent society. ["Oh, oh!"] I think I have a right to call on him to answer for contempt of Court. I do not suppose they would grant the rule, but rest assured I will apply for it. And I maintain, ladies and gentlemen, that he had no right to sit on that Bench (to-day). At St. James's Hall my friend, Mr. Onslow, stated that the Lord Chief Justice was not a fit Justice to sit on my forthcoming trial. He gave as his reasons those I have mentioned, and that he had also, during the late trial, while sitting by the side of Judge Bovill, written on a piece of paper—' Had I been Judge, and you leading counsel, we would have had this fellow in Newgate long ago.' He was a party concerned, and if he had had the slightest delicacy for his honour he would never have sat on the Bench (to-day). So much have I heard, that I intend to petition Parliament against his sitting on my forthcoming trial. No doubt I shall be able to prevent him. If I do not, I will go into that Court without counsel, attorney, or witnesses, and let him crush me as he thinks proper. ["No, no!"] If the Lord Chief Justice has got to sit and adjudicate on my case, I will offer no evidence, but throw myself on the country." [Applause.]—[Criminal Law Cases, xii., 347.] I must again entreat the House to remember that this language was publicly used by the Claimant, and language similar to it at numerous large meetings throughout the country, many months before I ever became acquainted with him. This is a complete refutation of those false speakers who charge me with having been the fount and origin of the present wide-spread spirit of rebellion. And the above words were used in St. James's Hall, London, some time in the year 1872. When, therefore, Lord Rivers came to me, and questioned me as to whether it would be desirable to present Petitions which had been numerously signed, praying that the Chief Justice should not, because of these prejudgments, officiate as Judge at the forthcoming trial, I at once said, that if such a design were seriously contemplated and carried out, I should decline to act as counsel for the defendant. I made a note of the answer which I gave, and with the permission of the House I will now read it. I said— It is impossible that in a case like this, the Chief Justice will be led away by his bias, or prejudice, or preconceived opinions. He aspires to an honourable place in judicial history. He seeks to rank with Holt. I will stake my life upon his integrity. He will set a grand and shining example to the world and to all future times of the most serene and perfect impartiality. It is the last great cause that he will probably try, and he will be glad to retire with unsullied glory from the Bench where he has sat so long. If he has committed himself to any opinion here, or there, think nothing of it—that very fact will make him more scrupulously careful, more zealous of his fame. The eyes of the world will be upon him; and he will behave like the very impersonation of Justice herself; and from the first moment of the trial till its end, you will see such a spirit of honour, equity, and fairness, as will exalt his name for ever. I added to these words, that I should be no party to the presentation of these Petitions, as I thought it would be a public scandal and an evil of the worst hind to call upon Parliament to prevent a Judge from presiding in his own Court. And I asked for a pledge that it should not be done. Lord Rivers was not thoroughly convinced, and he proposed a consultation with the Claimant, asking my permission to introduce him to me within a day or two. I, of course, assented, and then it was for the first time that I met this most unhappy and unfortunate of men. At that interview there were mentioned the names of several persons to whom the Lord Chief Justice had stated in conversation quite enough to make anybody think that he was approaching the case with a highly prejudiced mind. And I am at this present moment quite satisfied in my own mind that notwithstanding any apparent denial that might be given to these alleged facts, that those denials would vanish away into mist upon examination by a Royal Commission, no matter from whom these apparent denials came. That is all I think it necessary at present to declare, and I say it upon my responsibility as a gentleman, a man of honour, and a Member of Parliament. The whole matter was fully discussed at that interview. The Claimant, much to my pleasure, and I must say my astonishment, and I think likewise greatly to his credit, agreed with me, observing that he was perfectly certain, not only that Sir Alexander Cockburn would try him fairly, but that he would come round to his side, and instead of being against him would be for him. The evidence, he said, was so strong that he was sure it would convince him, and there must be no further talk of Petitions against the Lord Chief Justice. There the matter ended, and we went into Court perfectly satisfied that justice would be done. I myself never for a single instant doubted that if there was a model of equity, justice, and fairness, it would be exhibited at that trial. How I have been disappointed and deceived the world knows. I regret that I must now call attention to what happened on the 13th day of the trial. The name of a hon. Baronet, a Member of this House, is mentioned in the memorandum I am just going to read, and therefore I wrote to him yesterday, begging him to be here. On the 13th day the defendant put into my hands the following extract from his diary, dated the 8th May, 1873:— Mr. Whalley has just told me that Sir Robert Peel told him yesterday that Lord Chief Justice Cockburn told him I was sure to be convicted, and that they had already made up their minds to give me fifteen years' penal servitude. Mr. Hendricks was present, Now, Sir, I express no opinion upon that matter. I have and can have no knowledge of it; it lies between the hon. Baronet and the hon. Member for Peterborough. But if that statement be correct, I shall be curious to hear what can be alleged by any ingenious person in defence of the Judge of whom it is made, and I shall be curious to know how a matter of that kind can avoid being brought before the Royal Commission. If that be true, and I have no reason whatever for supposing that it is untrue, it demands inquiry; while if it arose from a misunderstanding or a misapprehension, it ought to be cleared up. I can conceive nothing of greater or more serious import than that a Judge who is about to try a case of great magnitude should declare on the 13th day of the trial, that the man would be convicted, and should even go the length of saying that the Judges had made up their minds as to his punishment. I received a letter dated the 22nd September, 1873, from a gentleman of position, whose name I am not at liberty to mention, but I have no doubt at all that if there should be an inquiry, he will come forward and substantiate everything contained in this letter. In it he says— If there should be any further discussion about the right of the defendant to make remarks in public as to his innocence and identity, I beg to submit to you that it would be a very proper rejoinder that he has quite as much right to do so, as the Judges who were trying the case, and who had openly made in society such remarks as—'It is all over with the Claimant now; he is sure to be convicted. The Lord Chief Justice, to my knowledge—' ["Name!"] I cannot give the name. This is a private letter written by a gentleman of position, and I have always understood that it is perfectly Parliamentary for a Member to read a letter of the identity of which he pledges himself, although he cannot pledge himself to its accuracy. He says— The Lord Chief Justice, to my knowledge, and Mr. Justice Mellor, to my belief, have been making remarks of this kind for months past. That letter, taken in conjunction with the memorandum which I have just read to you, will be quite sufficient grounds for urging that further inquiry should arise out of this matter. Now, Sir, amongst the incidents of what I call the misbehaviour of the Court, was the pushing of the doctrine of Contempt to the outrageous lengths to which it was advanced. There is a belief in the public mind that the doctrine of Contempt was pushed to that length for the purpose of injuring the Claimant's cause, and undoubtedly it was used for the purpose of repressing the Claimant's friends. Mr. Whalley and Mr. Onslow were brought before the Court early in the January term, and were fined large sums of money, and reprimanded in very strong language. Mr. Skipworth and the Claimant were brought up during the same term, and Mr. Skipworth was fined £500, and sent to prison for three months. It was on that occasion that the statement of the Claimant that the Lord Chief Justice had publicly denounced him as an impostor at his club was read. I think, Mr. Speaker—and I say it with all deference to this House—that the Lord Chief Justice, knowing that language was going to be brought before the Court as a matter of Contempt, ought to have been present. He was not; he allowed the other Judges to sit in his absence, Mr. Justice Blackburn presiding for him. If I had had the honour of filling the Chief Justice's place on that occasion I should not have thought it beneath my honour, or unworthy of my place, for the sake of the public, to have come down to the Court, and when that language was read, to have denied it openly in Court. The Lord Chief Justice was of opinion that the Claimant was so bad and disreputable a person that it was beneath him to deny anything that he had said; but I put it to the House whether that was a proper reason for a Judge to advance. A Judge, it seems to me, ought to form no opinion at all upon the merits of the case, or the character of the man, he has to try. He ought to look upon every man as innocent until he is proved to be guilty, and he has no right to treat him as a man whose allegations are unworthy of attention. But that, I understand, is the way in which the Lord Chief Justice justifies to himself his not coming down and openly denying the allegations made openly before the world against him. Sir Alexander knew the feeling throughout the country. He must have been aware that he had incurred a great amount of obloquy and contumely for the unfair way in which he was supposed to have tried the Claimant. Allegations of this kind had been made throughout England, Scotland, "Wales, and I believe a great part of Ireland, and I think he would have rightly consulted the dignity of his high office if he had come down, and when this language was read had solemnly denied it. However, it has never been denied, as far as I know, up to the present time. The Claimant was let off on that occasion as a piece of great benevolence; he received no punishment, though Mr. Skipworth did. Yet what he said was a thousand times a greater Contempt of Court than that which had been attributed to poor Skipworth. But now see how we are treated. In the course of the following term, Mr. Routledge published a book called The Tichborne Romance, which probably contained as frightful a series of libels and misrepresentations as were ever published within the two covers of a book. For that, when I complained of it to the Court, I could hardly get any redress at all; it was only after labouring a considerable time, and quoting passages which might bear upon the trial then going on, that the Judges consented to give me a rule. But what could be a greater contempt of law and public justice than, when a trial was about to come before the public, to write a book defamatory of the defendant, and representing him as a scoundrel and a liar from the beginning of his existence? Because it was calculated, above all things, being sold at every railway stall, to prejudice the mind of every reader against the unfortunate man, and teach them to believe that he was all that the writer alleged him to be. And yet, though I brought some of those terrible and dreadful passages before the Court, I could get no redress whatever until I showed a certain passage in the volume which by a remote possibility might reflect upon the trial, and then after great difficulty and in the most ungracious manner ever known I get a rule. That rule, however, was never served, because we thought from the way in which it was given it would be perfectly absurd to do so. If I show that the Court acted unjustly and unfairly in this matter of contempt; that it heaped all the punishment upon one side and gave all the rewards, as it were, to the other, that, I submit, is such misbehaviour as was contemplated by the two statutes to which I have referred. It is a mistake to suppose that corruption is the only ground for removing a Judge, and our wise forefathers, no doubt, after due consideration, used the extremely mild and gentle word "misbehaviour" which may mean anything; something very bad, and something not very bad; but yet sufficient to necessitate the removal of a Judge. I shall mention to the House a few instances of those cases, in which the Judge gave the Claimant no redress when he had been libelled by his adversaries. All the punishments and penalties were inflicted on one side; but neither was accorded to the other—the unhappy Claimant's side. We brought before the Court a Mr. Apple-yard, of Farringdon Street, who had published some caricatures with reference to the defendant, calculated to do him the greatest possible harm. Mr. Appleyard pleaded that only 200 had been sold, and that the rest had been destroyed; but although 200 might have get into the hands of men likely to be on the jury, yet the Court visited him with no punishment whatever. I next brought before the Court the case of The Cosmopolitan, which had said that the defendant had been guilty of forgery and perjury, but there was no punishment for The Cosmopolitan. I next brought before the Court The Western Daily Mercury, which said that the defendant dyed his hair—a matter of the greatest possible importance—and it subsequently get so into the minds of the jury that they were perfectly satisfied he was a red-haired man, who dyed his hair black every day. There was, however, no punishment for The Western Daily Mercury. I next brought before the Court The Times, for what I called a libellous article, but there was no punishment for The Times. I brought The Times a second time before the Court for an article which I complained of, but there was no punishment for The Times. In the meantime, an unfortunate gentleman down in the country, a Mr. Cochrane, was brought before the Court and fined £150 for saying that the defendant was not Arthur Orton. Then came what seemed to me one of the worst and most scandalous incidents of this trial, one which cannot be defended, and which has entered most deeply into the minds of the English people. The defendant was a perfect pauper. His mother had £2,000 a-year, and she al- lowed him £1,000 while she lived, but when she died her affairs went into the Probate Court, the will was disputed, and the defendant was left penniless. He, therefore, had no means of getting any money, except by going about the country exhibiting his wonderful skill in shooting, and large sums of money used to be raised for him by persons fond of sport, not only for the purpose of seeing one of the best shots in the world, but of seeing a man who had excited so much public wonder and mysterious inquiry. He appeared at these shooting matches, as he was entitled to appear, in his name of Roger Tichborne. I should like to know in what name he was to appear. Was he to call himself John Smith or Arthur Orton? How was he to appear at these meetings, if not as Roger Tichborne, the man he professed to be? Yet because he dared to go to a public meeting as Roger Tichborne the Court said they would send him to prison if he went to any further meetings. I conceive that to be about as great an act of tyranny and injustice as was ever perpetrated. The man had no money to bring forward his witnesses, some of whom were in France, Australia, and very remote places. To deprive him of his money was to deprive him of his witnesses, and to deprive him of his witnesses was to deprive him of his liberty and, I may say, his life. That is a matter which should be inquired into and justified, if it can be justified. Again, for contempt of Court, Mr. Whalley was brought before the Court and fined £250 for simply saying that Luie was a true witness. That was the head and front of Mr. Whalley's offending, and if the House of Commons overlooks conduct of that kind, I certainly shall be very much surprised. Mr. Lewis was employed as an attorney for Luie, and because he made some remark in justification of his client, the Court absolutely threatened him with their censure. There is another matter of which I complain, and that is, that the Judges themselves gave evidence in the course of the trial. I will only mention one or two cases. The height of the defendant was a most material matter. Arthur Orton was measured when a growing lad of 18, and at that time his height was 5 feet 9½ inches. The defendant's height at the present time, according to the measurement of a person connected with the Horse Guards, is 5 feet 9 inches. A witness named Mr. Hobson, who had been a midshipman in the Navy, was in the box, and I asked the Judge to ask the witness whether seamen are measured in their stockings for their height. The Lord Chief Justice said—"It is one thing in the Royal Navy, and in the Commercial Marine another." There was a piece of evidence given by the Judge upon a matter of the most material kind. The inference sought to be conveyed to the minds of the jury was, that in the Royal Navy men are measured in their stockings, and that in the Commercial Marine they are measured with their shoes on. What was intended to be insinuated was that Arthur Orton was measured with his shoes on, and that so measured he would appear to be 5 feet 9½ inches, and the defendant measured with his shoes off was 5 feet 9 inches. In my judgment, it is misbehaviour for a Judge to give evidence. Again, two of the learned Judges visited the village of Tichborne. They visited a place there called "the Grotto." A photograph of the Grotto was produced in Court, and the Chief Justice, having inspected this Grotto, said from the Bench, in the hearing of the jury—" I think it reflects the highest shame and discredit upon the man who concocted that photograph." I could not cross-examine the learned Judge, and the jury took the impression from the Judge that the photograph was false. A very indignant letter was sent to the Chief Justice by the photographer, but he did not think it right or proper to call attention to that letter. It had also been insinuated that Mr. Onslow had been guilty of manipulating this photograph, and he likewise wrote a letter. The Judge said he would deal with it when he came to the evidence regarding Lady Radcliffe, but he never alluded to it, and Mr. Onslow remains under the imputation cast upon him of having been guilty of the crime of being a party to manipulating the photograph, though I believe him to be as completely innocent as the child unborn. I am glad that I am coming to a close; but there is another matter to which I must allude, and which gave great dissatisfaction. In consequence of the expression of public opinion respecting the payment of the prosecuting witnesses by the Treasury, it was promised that similar assistance would be given to us, and, after a great deal of exertion on our part, it was understood that our witnesses were to be paid. We accordingly brought up several witnesses, but the Chief Justice said that five or six would do as well as fifty, and, after hearing these witnesses, his Lordship stated publicly from the Bench that their expenses would not be paid, thus intimating to the jury that he did not believe their evidence. I ask, could there be anything more subversive of the interests of justice than an intimation from the Bench to the jury that he did not believe certain witnesses? Then our witnesses were treated rudely—I need not weary the House with cases—it will take my word when I say that many of our witnesses were treated very rudely, very insolently; but how can I go through the eases of so many witnesses in a reasonable time? There is another matter of which I deeply complain; I mean the manner in which the witness Thomas Castro was dealt with by the Court. Castro came from Melipilla to give evidence as to the identity of the defendant with Roger Tichborne. I saw him in the gallery, and he seemed to be a respectable specimen of a sensible Spanish gentleman. He looked down upon the defendant, and seemed to be in a state of agitation. He kept his eye fixed upon him, and walked up and down the gallery as if something were pressing on his mind. When the time came for examining Castro, we were told that he was raging mad. A medical man connected with the police was then called, and asked whether Castro was suffering under any delusions. The medical man said he was not, and then Mr. Pureed, a barrister, who had taken an active part in the prosecution, and had been out to Chili, was asked whether it would be safe to call Castro as a witness, and he said certainly not, thus contradicting the medical man. I was not allowed to see this witness who was reported to have gone mad, and in this denial I think that a very extreme amount of judicial power was exercised. I think that the jury should have seen the man, and have judged for themselves; but if he could have proved the defendant to be Roger Tichborne I can understand why the prosecution was not willing that he should be examined. I submit that it was an extreme stretch of judicial prerogative for the Chief Justice to refuse me permission to examine this man. Another point, in my judgment, was of great importance. I allude to the palliation of falsehood by the Chief Justice. Lord St. Lawrence had said that he made certain statements to the defendant for the purpose of leading him into a trap, and ladies had wrapped themselves up, and gave wrong names, for the purpose of puzzling him. I said— I have already expressed my opinion to you about ruses and equivocations, and I need not repeat what I think of a person who would he guilty of a falsehood. I see no difference. If any man or woman would deceive me by what is called a ruse, they would deceive by an untruth. I would have no faith in them ever after. The Lord Chief Justice: Suppose a man met you on the highway, and put a pistol to your brows, and told you to give up all you had about you, and you had concealed about your person a thousand-pound note, and you gave him your purse with ten shillings in it, and he asked you whether that was all you had, would you not tell him it was. Dr. Kenealy: No, my Lord, I should not. The Lord Chief Justice: Then you do not agree with Dr. Johnson, who was one of the greatest moralists that ever lived, that there are occasions when persons have no right to expect the truth from you, and that you have a right to tell a falsehood. Dr. Kenealy: I repudiate such language with horror, and I am sorry that Dr. Johnson should have committed himself to it. The Lord Chief Justice: I am not. Dr. Kenealy: It is opening the door to any amount of equivocation and fraud. The Lord Chief Justice: It is simply this, that every rule, however sacred, may have some special exception. Dr. Kenealy: I do not think there can be any exception to the question of truth. The Lord Chief Justice: I do not agree with you. Here was palliation of falsehood coming from the highest judicial authority in the land, and which, being circulated throughout the country was calculated I think to bring discredit on the Bench. As to Dr. Johnson being our greatest moralist, if this be a specimen of his morality I can only wish it were better. But I cannot believe that Dr. Johnson spoke thus; it must have been that Boswell in his half-whisky toddy moments misrepresented his patron. However, I cannot go further into detail. I state in my place in Parliament, and on my responsibility, that these things have taken place, and I have to add, pledging myself as a man of honour for the truth of my statement, that the summing-up of the Judge was most elaborate against the defendant. Everything that told against him was put forward in the most prominent light, whilst whatever told in his favour was left in obscurity. I will not say that the latter were not alluded to, but certainly they were not put in such a shining light as the incidents on the other side, and this I shall be able to prove when we obtain a proper Court of Inquiry. At present I can go no further. I cannot do impossibilities. I cannot expect hon. Members to follow me line by line through the summing-up of the Chief Justice; but at the proper time I hope to be able to prove that it was one-sided from beginning to end, and if I am able to do so, that will serve my purpose. And now, Sir, I have done. I have gone through a most ungracious task. It can be no pleasure to me to bring before this Court, the great high Court of the nation, a gentleman with whom I once lived in habits of intimacy and friendship, and for whom I entertained as sincere a regard as one man could entertain for another. I went into his Court with the strongest conviction on my mind that the man I was defending would receive justice. My interest was not to quarrel with the Judge, for every one knows that to be on bad terms with the Judges is fatal to the career of a barrister. I submitted, therefore, as long as I could, until the question lay between my duty and my interest. I might, by sacrificing my client, have kept on terms with the Bench, but I decided to sacrifice interest to duty. I did sacrifice myself to honour. For that which I have done in that Court I have been ruined in my profession, but I entertain no feeling in bringing forward this Motion—no feeling apart from a desire to do my duty. This unhappy man was never a hero in my estimation, although at the same time I differ from the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Birmingham, who described him the other evening as a man unworthy of our sympathies. The right hon. Gentleman will believe me when I say that for his conduct towards me in this House, I have no feeling but one of gratitude. But the country is not coming forward in behalf of this man, because they believe he is worthy of sympathy in himself, but because they believe he has been wronged. I admit it is no light thing for three Judges who tried this case to find themselves arraigned as they have been. It has been said in the newspapers that I have gone about the country abusing the Judges. It is utterly false. Whatever I have said about the Judges remains in manuscript, and every word of the language I have delivered remains exactly as it was read, and there is no word of abuse of the Judges in that lecture from beginning to end. I have stated such matters as I have stated this night. Matters for which I have had to rely upon my own knowledge I have given upon my own authority; where I had them upon other authority I have given my authority. The whole question, as it now stands before the House, is a question of the law and the justice of England. If this House does not interfere, this man, who may be Roger Tichborne—whose mother lived and died in the undoubted belief that he was Roger Tichborne—this man may and must rot in gaol. I am sorry that the hon. and learned Gentleman whom I see sitting opposite to me, the Attorney General to the present Government, did not think it right or expedient to grant a Writ of Error in this case. I am sure that that hon. and learned Gentleman knows perfectly well that I have no feeling towards him but a feeling of admiration of his honour and his character; and he will not be offended when I say that he was brought up in the school of Equity, and that he cannot be supposd to be perfectly learned in Common Law. I think he could not in the refusal of that Writ of Error have acted upon his own judgment; and, if he has acted upon the judgment of others, it is to be lamented. There was, on the part of Tichborne's supporters, the most perfect desire from the beginning to the end of this trial that everything should be conducted in the purest and strictest way. It was not until the refusal of the Writ of Error—which, I say, would have been a Writ of Right in this case—by the hon. and learned Gentleman that discontent began to make itself manifest in this matter with any rapidity. An action was brought against an officer in the Petty Bag Office, to try whether the refusal to grant the Writ of Error could be justified, and I am sorry to say that that action was stopped by the order of a learned Judge. And therefore we are denied our Writ of Error by the dictum of only one man, and we are denied our appeal against that dictum by one Judge, and we have now no remedy but in an appeal to this House. I stated the other night that I should never again be allowed to bring on this Motion; and though the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Birmingham appeared to dissent from that, I believe, from the particular form which this Motion has taken, I shall never be able to bring it on a second time. Well, then, are we to have a Royal Commission or not? There are millions of people who, without such an inquiry, will refuse to believe that this trial was fairly conducted. There are witnesses upon witnesses whom we had no opportunity to produce at the trial. We were laughed at, and we were sneered at, in that trial, because we spoke of an old Hotel de Louvre in Paris. Witness after witness among those French priests said they had never heard of such a place; but now I am told that there was such a place as the old Hotel de Louvre, and that it can be proved by irresistible evidence. Now that is a most important matter, and if it be true that there was such a place, it could only be known to Roger Tichborne, and could never have been known to Arthur Orton, who was never in Paris in his life. I would implore hon. Gentlemen opposite in no spirit of hostility to thorn—because I have none—but in a spirit of most anxious desire that they should occupy the very highest position in the estimation of their countrymen—I would implore them to grant this Commission. Do not, I beseech you, in the face of justice and common sense, set yourselves against the almost intense and passionate desire which our people have at this moment for a further and a fuller investigation of the case of this unhappy man. Now or never is the time. I believe I shall not again be able to bring forward this Motion. I told the right hon. Gentleman the other night, and I repeat it now in the most sincere language of my soul, that if this appeal be disregarded, there will be a feeling of dismay and rage throughout the country. The intense and passionate love of justice on which Englishmen have always prided themselves seems wounded to the very tenderest core. I am convinced that nothing right hon. Gentlemen can accomplish can do more for the public good than will be done by according the Commission I ask for. The obstinate refusal of it will only increase the present feeling. Nobody can stop that feeling, nobody can tell where it will end. I myself look upon it as the most serious and grave feeling possible: I, myself, know the feeling there is among the soldiers of England. I do not believe or imagine that it will ever come to anything serious, because I believe there is quite enough common sense on the respective benches of this House not to do anything that will provoke the feeling of the people. The people of England were never more serious than they are in this matter, and I again implore that the Commission I have asked for may be granted. I will now conclude by thanking the House for the honour it has done me in according their attention to what I have said, and beg to move the Resolution.


seconded the Motion.

Motion made, and Question proposed, That an humble Address he presented to Her Majesty, praying Her Majesty to be graciously pleased to appoint a Royal Commission, to consist of Members of both Houses of Parliament, to inquire into the matters complained of with respect to the Government Prosecution of The Queen v. Castro, and to the conduct of the Trial at Bar and incidents connected therewith, and certain incidents of the said trial which have occurred subsequent thereto."—(Dr. Kenealy.)


was about to address the House, when


, interposing, said: May I ask permission, as my name has been mixed up with a gross misstatement in the speech of the hon. Member for Stoke, to make an explanation? The way in which it occurred was in connection with a meeting at Bristol. A few weeks ago I was in Bristol, and was invited by the secretary of the Kenealy and Tichborne Association to grant an interview to four members of that society. I granted that interview—perhaps unwisely—but it fortunately took place at the office of one of the leading firms of solicitors in the city of Bristol—Brittan and Sons—and there were present a member of the firm, and Mr. William Terrell. I conversed freely upon the subject, especially with reference to the presentation of a Petition on the subject of the appeal made to-night, and I consented to present any Petition from Bristol which "was worded in conformity with the Rules of the House. In conversation, the name of Sir John Coleridge was mentioned, and respecting that conversation, I was greatly surprised to see subsequently a statement, which appeared in a Bristol paper, and had appeared originally, I believe, in The Englishman, that I had represented Sir John Coleridge as having stated his opinion that the Claimant was not Orton. I am not disposed to rest my denial upon my own assertion, which I can assure the House is truthful; but the two friends to whom I have referred inserted a short note in The Western Daily ExpressTo the Editors of The Western Daily Press. "Gentlemen,—We have before us a letter winch has appeared in The Englishman, purporting to he signed by the four members of the Bristol Tichborne and Kenealy Association who formed the deputation that waited upon Mr. Morley. In this letter they insist upon the statement previously made by the secretary of the Association, that Mr. Morley told them that Lord Coleridge had given it as his opinion that the Claimant was not Arthur Orton. The conversation referred to took place in the office of Messrs. M. Brittan and Sons, and we were the only persons present besides Mr. Morley and the deputation. We are quite sure that the gentlemen who have signed the letter are under a wrong impression as to what actually passed at the interview in question, as our recollection is distinct that Mr. Morley did not attribute any such opinion to Lord Coleridge, but only referred to what his Lordship had said as to the exceeding cleverness shown by the Claimant in his cross-examination.

"We arc, gentlemen, your obedient servants,



"Bristol, 20th April, 1875."

This letter was signed by the two gentlemen to whom I have referred. It states the exact truth of the case, and I have only to add that the statement of the hon. Member for Stoke is absolutely untrue.


Mr. Speaker, I hope you will allow me to make a statement to the House. I wish to say that last Thursday week the Prittlewell Petition was read in this House, but I was unable to be in attendance from illness. It was not until the following day that I heard such Petition had been read to the House. The Petition, if the House will allow me to read, contained in one of the paragraphs a gross misstatement and falsehood—that is— That the Lord Chief Justice said to Mrs. Milbank, the wife of Mr. Milbank, Member for the North Riding of Yorkshire, several months before the trial of the Claimant took place, that he would send him, if he came before him for trial, to penal servitude. There is not one word of truth in that statement. I can give the words made use of. In the first place, Mrs. Milbank spoke to the Lord Chief Justice at a dinner party, and she said these words to him. She asked him a question concerning the trial—this, mind, was before the first trial ever took place at all. The Lord Chief Justice on being asked the question, replied—" I cannot give any opinion as I may have to try it on appeal." On another occasion—if I could call that an occasion at all—Mrs. Milbank spoke to the Lord Chief Justice about three or four weeks after the first trial took place. The date was the 19th of June, 1871. I ask the House to remember the date, because it is insinuated by the hon. Member for Stoke—who has gone stumping the country through from one end to the other, telling the public—gulling the public—that this statement was made after the first trial, and, in fact, after the Lord Chief Justice was appointed to try the case at bar. Now, if the House will allow me, I will read the words that took place, and the House will then judge for themselves. Mrs. Milbank said to the Lord Chief Justice that Lord Rivers believed so firmly in the Claimant that she believed he would never give him up, even if he was found guilty. The Lord Chief Justice then said—and the House may believe in a laughing and joking way—and the Lord Chief Justice did not know Lord Rivers at the time— Present my compliments to Lord Rivers, and tell him that in that case, he may probably have to accompany his friend to penal servitude. Unfortunately these words were told to Lord Rivers, who happened to call next day, also as a joke. On these words, spoken long before there was any idea of the second or criminal trial, the hon. Member for Stoke has founded this disgraceful charge, which he has made in his speeches throughout the country. I thought it only fair to make this statement. I was ready for the hon. Member for Stoke, but you will observe that in his speech he never said a word about Mrs. Milbank or myself. I ask him now why did he not? I ask him now, did he this morning receive a letter from Lord Rivers, and will he, or dare he read it to the House from beginning to end? [Dr. KENEALY was about to rise.] I will not, however, trouble the hon. Member to do so. I have got a copy of it here. Lord Rivers sent me a copy of it this morning. [Cries of "Read, read!"] I will read you the letter. In it he says— To the Member for Stoke,—I received your telegram by post this morning "—he thought he had get into a scrape—" and send this to London that you may receive it early on arriving there to morrow. I went to London on Monday, and accidentally called on Mrs. Milbank, whom I found very angry at the mention of her name in the Prittlewell Petition. Mrs. Milbank said she had this day seen the Lord Chief Justice, and reminded him of the conversation, which he at once admitted, and therefore Mrs. Milbank's letter to The Times was meant as denial of the accuracy of the statement and not a denial of what I told you. As, however, by the wording of the letter, the latter appears to be the case and you call upon me for an explanation, I am bound to give it that I may not appear as having told you an untruth. I must at the same time express my surprise at the unjustifiable use you have made of Mrs. Milbank's name and the breach of faith you have thus been guilty of towards me. When I gave you the statement I coupled it in confidence with the name of the lady who expressed her willingness to swear, if necessary, to the truth of the assertion before any one the Lord Chief Justice might appoint in private, but naturally objected to her name being made public use of. I certainly had a right to expect that the usage among gentlemen and men of honour would not have been departed from by you, and that a private communication, especially in which a lady was concerned, would have been held sacred. On the contrary, there is scarcely a platform in the kingdom or an issue of The Englishman in which there has not been a direct violation of the promise made to me by you.


I beg to be allowed to answer the hon. Member although I have spoken before.


I may remind the hon. Member that he will have the opportunity of replying. ["Now, now!"] If the hon. Gentleman desires to make a personal explanation he is at liberty to do so.


I feel much obliged to the House for allowing me to make a personal explanation. The exact words of Lord Rivers in the first or second interview with me when giving his reasons why the Petition should be sent in I will read as follows:— Mrs. Milbank: You are going to try the case of a friend—of an old friend of mine. The Lord Chief Justice: Who is your old friend? Mrs. Milbank: Lord Rivers. The Lord Chief Justice: Who is your friend's friend? Mrs. Milbank: Sir Roger Tichborne—the Claimant. The Lord Chief Justice: Give my compliments to your friend Lord Rivers, and tell him I shall send his friend to penal servitude. These words were published on the 1st of August, 1873. Lord Rivers saw them immediately on their publication, and Lord Rivers, after their publication, accompanied me to Milbank to see the prisoner there, and he never remonstrated with me that the version which I gave different from the present version, and never until this morning, when I received that letter had I the least idea that Lord Rivers was going to give a different explanation of it. I have received letters from him in the interval of a friendly character, which I can produce, if the House will allow me, but in no letter did Lord Rivers ever tell me that I had misrepresented what he told me. I asked Lord Rivers myself before the subject was printed in the paper—I sent him a copy of this very thing—I saw Lord Rivers the next day, and reminded him of it, and he said it was substantially correct. Therefore, I think it extraordinary that an entirely different construction has been put upon it in the letter that has just been read. I take the liberty, Mr. Speaker, of reading to the House two letters which I addressed to Lord Rivers, which I think are evidence of bona fides on my part. I may add that it is absurd to suppose that there could be anything confidential in a matter which was to be made the subject of a Petition to Parliament. That view of it is too ridiculous for comment or denial. On May the 21st I wrote— My dear Lord Rivers,—I sent you a telegram to-day of which the following is a copy:— 'I hear by telegram Mrs. Milbank contradicts in Times your Lordship's narrative to me. Kindly let me hear upon this.' I sent the above to Princes Gardens; but not having heard from you in answer, I fear it may not have reached your hands. I am perplexed by this, knowing your usual accuracy; and cannot understand why the lady should have delayed until now her contradiction of what has been before the world since August last. I distinctly challenged contradiction the other night in the House; but none was vouchsafed. It may be that Mr. Mil-bank was not there; but surely he must have known of this long ago, and ought not to have allowed the report to be circulated without immediate denial. This is a matter of which the outside world will form its own opinion. I have mine. I am anxious to hear from your Lordship as to what I should do on Friday, when the case comes on, as I shall be sure to have the question raised in some way or other by Mr. Milbank or his friends. I can, of course, only refer to you as my authority for the statement. If you have anything to say upon it, I shall he glad to know.—Yours sincerely,

"E. V. K.

"P.S.—I fully agree with what Onslow tells me he said to you—that where Tichborne's life or death are in issue, we must not, out of false delicacy, spare the over-nice feelings of any one. Am I right in saying the lady is a connection of yours by marriage?"

To that letter I have received no answer. I then wrote again— My dear Lord Rivers,—Not hearing from you in reply to my telegram, I suppose you are out of town and have not seen Mrs. Milbank's extraordinary letter in The Times of yesterday, April 21st. I looked into The Times of to-day, the 22nd, expecting to see an answer, or an explanation from you. I cannot understand the lady or her denial. If the statement was inaccurate, she ought to have set it right some time ago; but I fancy she must be under some mistake or want of recollection. The matter must be referred to by me to-morrow night in Parliament, and I shall have to refer to you as my authority. I shall leave here in the morning, and shall be at Gray's Inn from 1 to 3. At the latter hour, to the moment, I shall leave for the House where I wish to get a good and early seat. I hope to have the honour of hearing from or seeing you when I get to London or before I leave for Parliament. You always told me that when it came to the point Mrs. Mil-bank, though unwilling to be mixed up in such a matter, would boldly speak the truth. What am I to say or think now after her denial?


said, that the hon. Member for Stoke had at length had an opportunity of bringing under the notice of the House those circumstances of the trial of "The Queen v. Castro," which, in the opinion of the hon. Member, supported his view that the trial had not been a fair one, and justified him in his application for the appointment of a Royal Commission, and he did not think that the hon. Member had any cause to complain of want of attention on the part of the House to the observations which he had felt it his duty to make. It would be an ill compliment on his (the Attorney General's) part to the hon. Member were he to suppose or suggest that the hon. Member had not brought under the notice of the House all the circumstances connected with the trial that appeared to him to be of importance for the purpose which he had in view. He did not forget that the hon. Member had, in the course of his speech, stated that there were certain other matters of a character similar to those which he had brought under the notice of the House, but which he had refrained from referring to; but he did not understand that the hon. Member intended that it should be supposed that he had omitted to bring forward any points which were material to his case. He (the Attorney General) was consequently entitled to assume that all that could be urged had been urged by the hon. Member; and at some risk of being classed with the little lawyers and pettifoggers to whom the hon. Member had referred, it would be his duty to examine and to analyze the statements and assertions which the hon. Member had made, and to see how far they justified his application for the appointment of a Royal Commission to inquire into the various circumstances of the trial. Notwithstanding the disclaimer which the hon. Member had made at the commencement of his speech, he (the Attorney General) ventured to assert that the question which the hon. Member had brought forward amounted in substance to an appeal from the duly constituted criminal tribunals of the country to the judgment of the House. The prisoner Castro, after a trial of unprecedented duration, was convicted and sentenced upwards of 12 months ago; in the exercise of a right which he was entitled to assert, he applied to the Court of Queen's Bench for a new trial, and, so far as his advisers thought it necessary or expedient, he brought under the consideration of that Court, which comprised other Judges than those who presided at the former trial, all the circumstances that might have a tendency to show that his conviction had been contrary to the evidence, or that might otherwise indicate that his trial had not been a fair one, and the result was that his application for a new trial was unanimously refused by the Court. The hon. Member had referred to another incident that had occurred since the trial, and which more particularly affected himself (the Attorney General.) The hon. Member was quite right in his statement that the law imposed upon the individual who held the office of Attorney General for the time being the duty of considering the propriety of granting or rejecting any application that might be made to him for a Writ of Error,; and such an application had been made to him (the Attorney General) in his official capacity on behalf of the prisoner Castro. That application was based upon various grounds, which were drawn up with great deliberation and care by Mr. M'Mahon. a gentleman who had been the junior counsel for the defence at the trial, who had formerly been a Member of that House, and who possessed great experience and astuteness, and he was confident that every point that could with propriety have been urged on behalf of the prisoner was stated in the Memorial which was laid before him. He (the Attorney General) must altogether decline on the present occasion to enter into any justification of the decision at which he had arrived in the matter, further than to state [that, in refusing that application, he had discharged what was a judicial duty, and a painful judicial duty, to the best of his ability: as, however, the hon. Member had suggested that the refusal of such application had deprived the prisoner of a right which, if it had been granted, he would have had of disputing the fairness of the trial, he (the Attorney General) must beg permission to point out that the grounds of error which were brought under his notice were purely of a technical character, such as that a portion of the original trial at which the alleged perjury had been committed had been held in the Westminster Sessions House instead of in Westminster Hall; that the case was tried by a Middlesex instead of a London jury; and that adjournments of the trial had occurred which were not justified by the rules of the Court, and various other grounds of the same character; but there was no statement referring to the merits of the case, or alleging the injustice of the trial, or misconduct on the part of the Judges who presided over it. The prisoner Castro having thus availed himself, without success, of the privilege to which he was entitled in the ordinary course of law, of endeavouring to obtain a new trial, had now, through the and of the hon. Member for Stoke, brought the matter under the consideration of the House of Commons. The hon. Member for Stoke had an undoubted right to bring under the consideration of the House any question that involved injustice, oppression, or even mistake on the part of our legal tribunals; but the House trusted to hon. Members to exercise a discretion in such matters, lest a valuable privilege should be perverted into an engine of mischief. He also felt bound to point out the great inconvenience that must inevitably ensue if the time of the House were taken up in retrying criminal cases that had been determined by the ordinary tribunals of the country. The constitution of the House and its mode of conducting business were ill adapted to the determination or consideration of complicated or controverted facts, and made it difficult for it to arrive at a right conclusion. But there was a still stronger reason, and it was this, that in the exercise of that freedom of speech which every hon. Member was entitled to in matters that were under discussion, it would be almost impossible to avoid being guilty of injustice towards absent parties who could not answer for themselves. With respect to the specific propositions of the hon. Member, he had proposed that the inquiries of the Royal Commission, for the appointment of which he had asked, should be directed to three classes of subjects—first, to the matters complained of with respect to the Government prosecution of "The Queen v. Castro; "secondly, to the conduct of the trial at Bar, and the incidents connected therewith; and, thirdly, to certain incidents of the said trial which have occurred subsequent thereto. The hon. Member had dealt with the first and third of these subjects in the first instance, and had postponed his observations on the second to the last, and he (the Attorney General) would follow the same order in replying to them. The hon. Member had introduced the first of these subjects to the House by expressing his own personal convictions as to the identity of the Claimant with Sir Roger Tichborne, and he assigned his reasons for entertaining those convictions. He spoke of his former client as being a perfect gentleman, of his having been recognized by Lady Tichborne as her son, and of the colour of his hair. But the hon. Member appeared to forget that all these facts, which appeared to him be of such great weight, had been laid before the jury by whom the case was tried; not one word had fallen from the hon. Member imputing any corruption to the jury, or alleging any incompetency on their part to understand the ease, and yet they had decided against the prisoner in the face of the facts on which the hon. Member founded his present application. He (the Attorney General) thought that the House would be hardly justified in appointing a Royal Commission because one of the counsel said that he believed that the person charged was an innocent man, though he had been found guilty by the jury. Again, the hon. Member declared that popular opinion, to the extent of the belief of millions, was in favour of his former client, and that everybody believed that he was the real owner of the property of which he sought to recover possession; but that portion of the people to whom the hon. Member referred had not had the same opportunity of forming a just estimate of the merits of the case as the Judges or the jury had, and in all probability they had not read and studied the evidence given in the case with much care. When the hon. Member spoke about the existence of strong popular feeling on this subject, it must not be forgotten that the minds of the people had been much excited with reference to it by various publications and by speechifying, which had been carried on all over the country. That was the groundwork of the popular opinion, and that popular opinion had been created for a special purpose. The hon. Member, in the earlier part of his speech, had quoted some passages from a speech made by Burke, as long ago as 1770, upon a Motion by Serjeant Glynn for a Committee to inquire into the administration of Criminal Justice. The passages quoted by the hon. Member in support of his views that the conduct of Judges formed a proper subject for criticism in this House were eloquent and oratorical enough, but they contained very little argument. The hon. Member had called upon the House to remember the words of Mr. Burke, but he (the Attorney General) would ask the attention of the hon. Member and of the House to some passages in the speech of Mr. Fox, which immediately preceded it, and which appeared to be particularly applicable to the matter now under consideration. Mr. Fox spoke as follows:— We are told by the abettors of this motion that jealousies, murmurs, and discontents increase and multiply throughout the nation; that the people are under terrible apprehensions that the law is perverted, that juries are deprived of their constitutional powers, that the courts of justice are not sound and untainted; in a word, that the judges, like a dozen of monstrous Patagonian giants, either swallowed, or are going to swallow up both law and gospel. And how do they prove the truth of these allegations? The manner is pleasant enough. They refer us to their own libellous remonstrances, and to those infamous lampoons and satires, which they have taken care to write and circulate. They modestly substitute themselves in the place of the nation, and call their own complaints and grievances the grievances of England."—[Parl. History, xvi. 1264.] Such were the views of Mr. Fox, and the House would form its own opinion whether they or the passages quoted by the hon. Member from the speech of Mr. Burke were the more applicable to the present question. After having made some general observations as regarded his own personal share in the exciting of public feeling throughout the country, the hon. Member proceeded to indulge in some remarks which it was extremely difficult to follow. He appeared to attribute to the late Government some corrupt idea of securing the conviction of this man but for no assigned or comprehensible purpose. The hon. Member had used expressions which accused the Government of conniving at forgery, of having been the abettors of fraud and wickedness, and of having entered into a conspiracy to defraud this man of his rights. He charged them with having stuck at nothing to make certain persons hostile to the Claimant, and he asserted that one man who had intended to be a friendly witness had been converted into a foe by the gift of a Government appointment. He went into a long tirade on the conduct of Sir John Coleridge in reference to the trial, and suggested that he owed his promotion—which he said never ought to have occurred—to his present post—a post which he filled with much dignity and with great advantage to the country—to what he had done in opposition to the Claimant. In addition to all this he asserted, or at least suggested, that their conduct in relation to this trial had led to their ejectment from office. He (the Attorney General) was utterly unable to understand the gist of the argument of the hon. Gentleman in that part of his case. He would, therefore, pass on to the third reason assigned by the hon. Member for the appointment of a Royal Commission—namely, that it was desirable to inquire into certain incidents connected with the trial, but which had occurred subsequent thereto. He had been curious to know what these incidents were. It appeared from the statement of the hon. Member that certain declarations appeared to have been made by parties in Australia, and possibly by some in England, which were not before the jury at the time the original trial took place, and it was intimated that want of money was the cause of their not being forthcoming. But if he (the Attorney General) recollected rightly, the evidence of one or two of the witnesses mentioned by the hon. Member had been produced at the trial, and the evidence of others might have been adduced if it had been deemed prudent to do so; he believed also that the junior counsel for the defendant had been in Australia himself, and had taken the evidence of witnesses. The hon. Member appeared to attribute much importance to a horse stealing case, as to which it would appear that upon a particular occasion two men, going by the name of Orton and Castro, were tried for horse stealing, and the inuendo of the hon. Member was that as Castro and Orton were both tried at the same time, they could not be the same persons, but it was no uncommon thing for persons engaged in that kind of occupation to change their names; and, therefore, to prove that a man named Orton or a man named Castro had on a certain occasion been convicted might be no evidence whatever of the identity of either. This seemed to be the nature of the materials which the hon. Member had referrred to as having come to hand since the trial. His (the Attorney General's) impression was, that evidence of a similar kind had been given, but perhaps it had not been thought worth while to produce the whole. Under the circumstances, it was difficult to find in the incidents which had occurred subsequent to the trial sufficient reason for appointing a Royal Commission. Doubtless the hon. Member thought he was reserving his best shot for the last, and therefore postponed the consideration of his second reason for asking for a Royal Commission until after he had dealt with the first and third. With reference to the conduct of the trial at Bar, he had brought forward a variety of charges, the greater part of which seemed to de- pend solely upon the allegation of the hon. Member. In particular, he complained of certain statements which were said to have been made by the Lord Chief Justice to different persons, and which it was contended showed that that learned Judge had prejudged the case. As one instance he cited the authority of the Claimant for something which the latter said the hon. Member for Peterborough (Mr. Whalley) had told him the right hon. Baronet the Member for Tam-worth (Sir Robert Peel) had been heard to say he had been told by the Lord Chief Justice. That was a specimen of what the hon. Member treated as evidence and upon which the House was asked to act in the appointment of a Royal Commission. The hon. Member further told them that they were to treat any assertion made by the Claimant as though made by a man who was worthy of credit, but surely if a person had been convicted of perjury, as this man had been, without saying that he was utterly to be disbelieved in everything that he stated, the fact of his conviction went a great way to establish that what he said was not necessarily to be accepted as true. It was well known, moreover, how statements which were of the utmost insignificance, when spoken by one person to another, often became of great importance when the story had been constantly repeated by different persons. Another of the hon. Member's statements would illustrate this. A lady had happened to say that the Lord Chief Justice had once said to her that he believed the Claimant to be guilty—at least this was the allegation of the hon. Member—and although no doubt the words if used had had reference simply to a hypothetical case, they had been distorted into a statement that the Lord Chief Justice was determined, whatever might happen, to send the man to penal servitude. Other assertions of the same kind would probably be found on examination to shrink into nothing. Another allegation was that the Court of Queen's Bench, in the course of the trial, had, in an extreme degree, exercised its powers of commital for contempt of Court, as against the Claimant and his friends, while the prosecution were enabled to commit much greater offences without having to answer for them; but when offences of 47th kind had been committed, the offenders were punished, not so much for their comment on facts, as for the manner and the place in which those comments were made. When a mere country newspaper made a simple allusion or remark to the subject-matter of the trial, without any indication of ill-feeling or ill-will, it might no doubt be guilty of a technical contempt, but it was not to be punished in the same way as others who were actuated by different motives. If hon. Members would take the trouble to look back into the reports of the trial, they would see the difference between the cases in which punishment was, and those in which it was not, inflicted. The hon. Member had brought forward as one of the strongest instances of misconduct in the course of the trial, the prohibiting the Claimant from going about the country to the various shooting matches which took place for the purpose of raising money for the defence, but surely the hon. Member could not have forgotten that the occasion of those shooting matches was not availed of for the purpose of shooting only, but for the purpose of discussing the trial then pending, and that platform speeches were made by the Claimant and others in which persons in authority were brought into contempt, and that it was in consequence of the language used at those places that the Claimant was prohibited from going about the country. Then the hon. Member was severe on what he called" the conduct of the Judges in giving evidence;" but it must be well known not only to legal Members of the House, but to others, that there were certain matters of which a Judge must take cognizance, as being clearly within his knowledge, although not in the evidence before him. There might be circumstances which it was in the interest of everybody to have clearly explained, and which it might be in the power of the Judge to explain. The hon. Member, however, had not attempted to point out any of the instances in which he said the Judges had given evidence, with the exception of the circumstances attending the Grotto, and that, in regard to one point in the evidence, the Lord Chief Justice had mentioned that one class of sailors were measured in their shoes, and another in their stockings only; and surely if that well-known fact served to explain the evidence, it was right for the Judge to mention it. However that might be, it was difficult to find in such conduct any ground for instituting an inquiry by a Royal Commission. The hon. Member further charged the Lord Chief Justice with the palliation of falsehood from the Bench, and he read certain passages—which of course it was somewhat difficult to follow as he read them—in support of the assertion. No one who knew the Lord Chief Justice could suppose for a moment that he would palliate a falsehood, and he (the Attorney General) ventured to say that there was nothing whatever even in the passages which had been read which afforded the slightest foundation for such an allegation. The hon. Member asked the House to accept his statement, based on his recollection, of what had occurred on the trial, but he (the Attorney General) thought he was justified in asking the House to give the three Judges of the Court of Queen's Bench—with respect to whom not a breath of suspicion had ever before been raised with regard to their integrity, their honour, or their impartiality—some credit for having exercised sound judgment and discretion and common honesty in the exercise of their judicial duties, and he thought that the House would be of opinion that the questions before the Judges and the Jury had been properly disposed of. He did not know that he need occupy the time of the House further. Following the line of reasoning adopted by the hon. Member in support of his Motion, he had endeavoured, as far as he could, to analyze the arguments he had used in the course of his speech, and it appeared to him that the hon. Member had utterly failed to assign any good reason for the granting of a Royal Commission. Indeed, it appeared to him that on no one of the several points which he had urged had the hon. Member made out a case. All the hon. Member had said was, in effect, that if he were given a Commission he could call witnesses who might be able to dispel the mists which hung about his strange story. It was not, however, the custom, even in the Superior Courts of Law, to grant a new trial merely on the supposition that something might come out which might alter the complexion of the matter; and, even if the House of Commons were regarded as a Supreme Court of Appeal, he thought it would never adopt such a course as the hon. Member suggested, unless some most important and most cogent matters were brought forward for its consideration, and unless it was perfectly satisfied that there had been a miscarriage of justice. The hon. Member had referred to the case of Lord Cochrane, but the circumstances of that case, which occurred 60 years ago, were very different from the present. Lord Cochrane, having been tried and found guilty of an offence, a Motion was afterwards made for his expulsion from the House: that Motion was met by a proposal for the appointment of a Select Committee to inquire into the facts of the ease against Lord Cochrane, with the view of seeing whether what had been treated as proved in the trial could be controverted, but the feeling in the House was so strong against interfering with the decision of the Court that had tried him that the proposal was withdrawn, and the Motion for his expulsion was carried by a large majority; a subsequent Motion, made after his expulsion, was merely an application that, in consideration of the very great services he had rendered as a naval officer, the ignominious portion of his punishment—namely, standing in the pillory—should be remitted; but in the meantime the Crown, in consideration of the distinguished services Lord Cochrane had rendered to the State, remitted that portion of his sentence. Lord Cochrane was a Member of the House and of high and distinguished reputation in the noble profession to which he belonged—a man whose acts of heroism and bravery were in everybody's mouth; but even in his case, there was nothing which could be regarded as a precedent for the Motion before the House. In conclusion, he the (Attorney General) would only repeat that the hon. Member had had the opportunity, for which he had expressed himself to have been so long desirous, of bringing the case of The Queen v. Castro before the House. He had done it that evening, if he (the Attorney General) might be allowed to say so, in a manner and in a temper with which nobody could find fault. He had brought the matter calmly and dispassionately before the House, although, at the same time, he had expressed his views very strongly, as he had a right to do, if he believed in the justice of his case and the truth of his assertions. On the other hand, he (the Attorney General) had endeavoured fairly to meet the arguments which the hon. Member had adduced, and he submitted to the House that no case whatever had been made for the appointment of a Royal Commission.


said, that the hon. and learned Attorney General, although a Chancery barrister, had answered the speech of the hon. Member for Stoke in a purely Nisi Prius speech; but he (Mr. Whalley) did not think that course of proceeding was at all the proper way to meet this great question, or one in accordance with the wishes of the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Birmingham, who was looked up to with so much respect and reverence, he might say, in that House, or those of the right hon. Gentleman at the head of the Government, who had greater responsibility in this matter than he at present seemed to be aware of. Both those right hon. Gentlemen wished the matter to be discussed in that House, and as they said, settled and disposed of. The hon. and learned Attorney General had referred to public opinion, and he said the public feeling on this question was due to some such causes as gave rise to public disaffection at a remote period. He (Mr. Whalley) did not think that was a just view to take of the matter, and he emphatically denied that the feeling that had been aroused in the country in favour of the Claimant was in any material respect due to anything that the hon. Member for Stoke could have said or written. That hon. Gentleman had been severely spoken of on former occasions in that House about The Englishman, and he had been treated there very much in the same manner, in the opinion of the public, that he was treated in the Queen's Bench. There could be no doubt that the case of the Claimant was weakened by the advocacy it had received in The Englishman, and he referred to it as strengthening the application for a Royal Commission, knowing that the feeling of the public in favour of the Claimant arose from an honest conviction that he had not had a fair trial. He paid the expenses of the last 50 witnesses that were examined for the Claimant out of his own pocket, and it was not from the want of witnesses or money to bring them up, as alleged by the hon. Member for Stoke, that the public believed he had not had a fair trial, and had been unjustly convicted, but from the exercise of the power of Contempt in the suppression of public discussion, preventing the man going to private meetings, and to the course pursued towards his advocate, which rendered it impossible that the advocate, under the fire of rebuke and obloquy to which he was exposed, could do justice to his client. He was not there to arraign or defend the hon. Member for Stoke. If the man was innocent, and he had been found guilty in consequence of the hon. Member for Stoke having at an early period of the trial come into collision with the Bench, and that the jury could not find a verdict without appending to it a censure on the hon. Member for Stoke, was quite sufficient for the Motion. The hon. and learned Member for Taunton (Sir Henry James) had denounced him (Mr. Whalley) as a mountebank. He accepted the compliment. He never felt more proud at anything he had ever done than the part he had taken in this trial. Seeing a man overwhelmed, as he thought, by a great power, and believing from circumstances within his own knowledge that he was the victim of a conspiracy, he supported him. The Claimant had been prosecuted under circumstances never before known, and he challenged the hon. and learned Member for Taunton, who had get up this case, to show a single instance where a man had been prosecuted by Government under similar circumstances. So convinced was he that the Claimant was the right man, that he would appear on every platform in the country, and beg from door to door for money, that he might be defended. It was from his attending many of these meetings that he ascertained that the feeling of the public in the Claimant's favour was based upon the broad facts of the trial, and not from any speeches that he had made, or any personal influence that he possessed. On none of these occasions was there a feeling that the Claimant had had a fair trial in the Common Pleas, or at all events in the Queen's Bench. It was absurd to suppose that this state of feeling was produced by the lampoons which had appeared in The Englishman. The House must be pleased to condescend to consider that they were not in all respects a competent body to decide upon this question, and that the end of forcing on the Motion would probably fail to be attained, for the House was a judge in its own cause. It had ordered the prosecution under circumstances never before known. Sir John Coleridge was counsel for the family in the case before the Common Pleas, and urged, or, at least, sanctioned the action of the Judge in the Common Pleas, and upon that evidence the Claimant was sent to Newgate, instead of a preliminary examination before a magistrate being allowed. The reason assigned by the public for that course being pursued, was that he was thereby not entitled to have any allowance for his witnesses. Subsequently, when questioned in that House, the hon. and learned Gentleman threw the responsibility of the prosecution on the Home Secretary and the Chancellor of the Exchequer, and disclaimed responsibility himself, because he had been counsel in the cause. The present right hon. Gentleman the Secretary of State for the Home Department had, in like manner, refused to give any explanation concerning the expenses of that prosecution. In that ease the House of Commons was responsible for a departure from common sense for allowing their officials to act on such information, and the House could not throw the blame from itself. Again, when last Session, having read a letter from the Lord Chief Justice respecting his being sent to prison, he moved that the subject be referred to a Committee of Privileges, the Prime Minister took upon himself the whole responsibility of proposing the Committee and nominating the Members. That Committee did not think the matter he brought before them sufficiently pertinent. The matter was simply this—because he had ventured to express an opinion that a man who had been committed for perjury was not guilty, he was fined £250 and sent to prison, because he declined to pay the money until he had some opportunity of explanation. This statement was contained in a letter written by him, but not published with his consent, in answer to what he believed was one of the most atrocious conspiracies by the detective officers of this country that was ever brought to the notice of the public. Subsequently, when he was about to submit the matter to the consideration of hon. Members, the House was, by the connivance of both parties, counted out. He mentioned these circumstances to show that the House ought to exercise some degree of special consideration before it rejected the Motion of the hon. Member for Stoke. He would now call attention to the letter respecting himself, written by the Lord Chief Justice a few days ago. In that letter, which was written to the hon. and learned Member for Ipswich (Mr. Bulwer), the Lord Chief Justice complained of a statement made by him (Mr. Whalley), imputing to the Lord Chief Justice that he had addressed to the hon. Member for Stoke language to this effect—"What would happen if the defendant should not be found guilty? What a moral and social disaster it would be if these high personages were convicted of perjury! "The learned Judge emphatically denied, and he was confirmed in that denial by the other two learned Judges, that he had made use of any such language; but all he (Mr. Whalley) had to say was that he did not condescend to make any personal explanation in answer to the Lord Chief Justice. With regard to the letter of the Lord Chief Justice, he recognizing the ring of that learned Judge's voice when the letter was read to the House the other day; but as he found himself, on reflection, seated on the benches of the House of Commons, and not in the Court of Queen's Bench, he felt considerable relief. What he wished to point out was the animus and tone of the language in that letter, which deserved the attention of those hon. Gentlemen who had charge of the Privileges of that House. He had consulted Sir Erskine May's book with reference to the question, and learned from it that to insult a Member of Parliament for what he had done in the discharge of his duties was a high crime or misdemeanour. What did the Lord Chief Justice say in that letter? He spoke of the "statement made by Mr. Whalley to the House of Commons "as being "so preposterously absurd and ridiculous that it carries with it its own refutation." The Lord Chief Justice, instead of using such language as that, might have simply said that the statement was not correct. Why should he say "preposterously absurd and ridiculous?" Why disparage an unfortunate Member of Par- liament in that way? Besides, the statement was not "preposterously absurd and ridiculous." Since that letter was read, he had been inquiring into the matter, and Mr. Guildford Onslow had written him on the subject, a reply which the House, to whom that gentleman was not unknown, would hesitate to disbelieve. Mr. Guildford Onslow sent him a copy of a portion of the report of the learned counsel's speech as given in The Daily News, Dr. Kenealy had just before undertaken to prove that the whole story about the tattooing was a pure and wicked invention, and then followed this remark by the Lord Chief Justice—"Remember well the moral influence that the conviction of those high personages of perjury would have upon the country; "to which Dr. Kenealy replied—"Moral influence, my Lord, is not to be considered in a criminal case." But he had besides a letter to the same effect from the hon. Member for Stoke himself, and an affidavit from Mr. Harding, who acted as a secretary to the Claimant, and always sat by his side in the Court. The letter then went on—"It is not only untrue from beginning to end, but absolutely destitute of the slightest shadow of foundation." Were these Judges paid for exercising great volubility of language? Surely, they had a better field for the exercise of their powers than in vituperation, and in assailing Members of Parliament. The letter went on, in effect, to say that he (the Lord Chief Justice) could not suppose Mr. Whalley would intentionally misrepresent him in what he had done in the discharge of his judicial functions, for the purpose of damaging his judicial character. That, of course, deprived the Lord Chief Justice of the slightest excuse for using the language now complained of. The letter further stated that it was "difficult to suppose any one possessed of common sense could have been imposed upon by a statement so extravagantly absurd as he (Mr. Whalley) had made." The letter of the Lord Chief Justice was countersigned by Mr. Justice Mellor and Mr. Justice Lush, who said,—"We fully confirm what has been said by the Lord Chief Justice. Mr. Whalley's speech is entirely without foundation." The hon. Member for Stoke, however, would no doubt be able to say whether the statement in question was without foundation or not, and he confidently appealed to I the hon. Member, whether with his own ears he did not hear the words which he (Mr. Whalley) had attributed to the Lord Chief Justice. If the Government refused to furnish the House with copies of the shorthand notes of the trial, it was impossible for him to point out the particular statement to which he referred. He had, however, in his possession the affidavit of his friend (Mr. Guildford Onslow); but he could not search through that hay-rick (referring to documents) to find that particular needle. Let the hon. and learned Member for Ipswich himself look for what he wanted. But, in any case was it true—was it not palpably untrue, deliberately false, on the part of the Lord Chief Justice—["Oh, oh!" and "Order!"]


rose to Order. He wished to know whether the remarks which had just fallen from the hon. Member were not out of Order?


The language of the hon. Member, though strong, is not out of Order, not being applied to any Member of the House. I hope, however, that he will restrain his language.


regretted that the hon. Member for Guildford had not allowed him to finish the sentence. He would act upon the suggestion of the right hon. Gentleman in the Chair, and would only say that if he had transgressed, he must plead excitement consequent upon indisposition as the explanation and excuse of his strength of expression. The real issue was not merely whether the man was guilty or not guilty; but if not guilty, why there existed a conspiracy—a great and outrageous conspiracy—a social and religious or political influence at work—which had so contrived to make its power felt on the justice seat, in Parliament, and even with the Government, to such a degree that public money had been used to prosecute him in a manner utterly unprecedented. That was the issue. Was it destitute of the shadow of foundation? He was himself personally placed under suspicion, not of having been cognizant of the man being an impostor, but of conspiracy; and paragraphs get about in the newspapers immediately after the trial that he and his friend Mr. Guildford Onslow were to be indicted. Detective officers were even sent over to Brussels to make inquiry of his own proceedings there, and the result was that one unhappy lady, of most respectable character, was absolutely ruined by the inquiries that were set on foot. One result of that debate would be, if the Commission were not granted, that those who sympathized with him would form an organization to discover the conspiracy which undoubtedly existed on the other side, and to discover it, too, without the and of any paid detective or injury to anybody whatever, for a more deliberate conspiracy was never concocted in this country than the one to which he referred, the object of it being to deprive a man of his own property. That conspiracy was due to the religious influence of the parties concerned, who considered it expedient that the Claimant should be kept out of the estate. It was a contest with the law of England to see whether that influence—which was the religious influence directed by the great Catholic families of Norfolk, Arundel, and others, should prevail or not. That was his belief at the outset, and it was for that reason that he took up the matter, and he would never rest until the conspiracy was found out. Not merely for the sake of the man who was in prison. There might be others in prison on account of a miscarriage of justice; but the Claimant was there a monument of disgrace to the law of England; and he would either remain there, or he would come out. He was suffering under that subtle influence whereby many people were blinded and deluded. It was also those in high places upon whom the net of the Catholic and of Jesuit influence was exercised. It was on this platform that he should endeavour to keep alive the interest which was taken by the public in this question. The hon. Member for Stoke had been disbarred and deprived of his status as Queen's Counsel for his conduct on the trial. ["No, no!" and "Question!"] Perhaps the hon. and learned Member for Denbigh who said "No," would rise and explain on what ground the hon. Member for Stoke had been disbarred. It was most important that the night should not be utterly wasted, and he wished the hon. and learned Member to explain on what ground the hon. Member for Stoke bad been disbarred. The public looked to the matter with great interest, and considered the Government responsible for the origin and management of the prosecution, and yet the hon. Member for Westminster (Mr. W. H. Smith) refused to give the House an account of the expenditure which had been incurred in carrying on the proceedings. The hon. Member was, as he had said, responsible for refusing the information that was asked for as to the amount paid to the witnesses, distinguishing those who were called and those who were not called. The hon. Gentleman, moreover, would not produce the affidavits which had been made in confirmation of what had been stated by the hon. Member for Stoke about the systematic forgery which had been committed in this case—showing that the jury were furnished with letters purporting to be written by the sisters of Arthur Orton which were never written by them at all. He had refused to furnish the House with those affidavits, and with the shorthand writers' notes which had been asked for. He would not further intrude upon the attention of the House than to remind hon. Members that the debate had been forced upon the House at the instance of the Government, with the sanction of hon. Gentlemen opposite to them, for the purpose of putting an end to the excitement and agitation which prevailed out-of-doors. On former occasions, it was stated that there was no necessity for discussion, and now it was stated that the House was constituting itself a Court of Appeal, in order that the decision might be final. Now, he thought that the course of the debate could not carry that conviction to the minds of the people. The entire point had been misrepresented by the hon. and learned Attorney General, who had represented that the agitation was entirely due to the hon. Member for Stoke. Now, he (Mr. Whalley) must repeat it was nothing of the kind. The conviction of the innocence of this man had been by every possible means placed before the public by Mr. Guildford Onslow and himself, when they were endeavouring to obtain the means of providing for his defence. Nobody disputed the evidence of the man's presence, demeanour, or language; or if they did so, they were soon convinced of their error. Having pointed out the origin of the agitation, the Attorney General was entirely under a misapprehension in supposing that the excitement exhibited by the public was attributable to the conductor of The Englishman. Before concluding, he wished to call the attention of the House to one circumstance, which, perhaps, might have some effect in inducing the hon. and learned Gentleman to do justice. The hon. Member for Stoke had referred to a species of forgery; but he did not fully explain the species of forgery which had been perpetrated on the public in regard to the exhibition and sale in the shops in London of certain autograph letters—one supposed to be written by Arthur Orton and the other by R. C. D. Tichborne. These letters were obviously in the same handwriting, and there could be no doubt that they were written by the same person. They first came to his (Mr. Whalley's) knowledge when attending a meeting at Oxford. He immediately went to Mr. Guildford Onslow and the Claimant, and asked what was the meaning of that. The Claimant said that the letter signed Arthur Orton was written by himself, at the dictation of a man who was sent over to meet him at New York. He (Mr. Whalley) made that statement to the meeting, and he also communicated the fact to the Government. If that explanation was true, he had this question to ask of the hon. and learned Gentleman. These letters were in his hands, and were placed by him in the custody of the officer of the Court of Common Pleas, who was responsible for them. Now, how did they get out of his hands and become exhibited in the public streets? After the Oxford meeting, a meeting was advertized to be held in the St. James's Hall. Endeavours were made to prevent the holding of that meeting, by means of an injunction in the Court of Chancery; and when the parties failed in obtaining that injunction, a shorthand writer was sent to take down what Mr. Onslow and himself might say, and out of that arose the proceedings for Contempt of Court. This House might enfold itself in the confidence of its own supremacy; but they might depend upon it that out-of-doors they would not be satisfied with the verdict of this House. It would only increase the excitement and agitation, and deepen and intensify the public scandal of the hitherto untainted and unsullied administration of justice. He would only add that so far as the hon Member for Stoke and himself were concerned—as well as all the other fools and fanatics who took the same view of the question—they would be perfectly prepared to abide by the result of the inquiry for the institution of which they now asked.


said, that as a brother officer of Roger Tichborne, he wished to be allowed to make a few observations. He wished on his part and that of his brother officers of the Carabineers, who had given evidence on the trial, to say that they had done so under the deepest sense of responsibility. He begged, he might add, to tell the hon. Gentleman opposite the Member for Stoke that evening, as he had informed him at the other side of Westminster Hall, that he did not believe in his client, who, in his opinion, had never been in the Carabineers, or even a soldier at all, and who, in fact, had told a great many lies on the subject. He should be the very last person to like to see a man who had been his brother officer where the Claimant was now; but he was of opinion that he was an impostor from the very first moment he saw him in 1867, and to that opinion he had ever since adhered. He had not the same hair as Sir Roger Tichborne, and certainly not the same nose. It was also remarked that his hair seemed to grow darker from day to day as the trial proceeded. No doubt, a good many soldiers gave evidence in the Claimant's favour; but they had not the same means of judging of the man that the officers had, and he believed that only two officers were found in his favour out of 16 or 17. Since the trial, he had seen no reason to change his opinion, and should be ready to give the same evidence which he gave on the former occasion in any Court of Justice. He believed that the Claimant had a full and fair trial; but the weight of evidence was against him, and he was convicted, and he thought that the verdict of the jury would be endorsed by every right-thinking person in the country. He would say, in conclusion, that he thought the Claimant as Arthur Orton in Dartmoor Gaol was "the right man in the right place."


Were there not, Sir, special reasons on my part why I feel it my duty to address the House I should have preferred to have remained perfectly silent in this debate. When a few nights ago the hon. Member for Stoke said he had been treated since he entered this House as a Pariah, perhaps those words fell with little meaning on the ears of most hon. Members, but to me they gave cause for reflection. For 20 years or more we had followed the same profession, travelling on the same circuit; and with regard to those years, I trust he will have memory now of nothing but amenity that ever passed between us. I fully appreciated his ability. I envied his great learning—and yet when he entered into this House I could offer him no welcome, I could give him no greeting. I do not tarry now, for there are serious questions before the House, to explain why I took that course; but I hope the hon. Member will think it was from no ill-will towards himself, and that every observation I make to-night will be affected by some recollection of our old acquaintance. I think I am justified in saying we have serious matters before us to-night, and if what is told us of what is occurring outside these walls be true, we ought, indeed, to treat this question as a serious one. I feel, in the first place, that the House ought to express itself as emphatically as it can that it has every desire to afford all opportunity for the reception of Petitions from subjects calling attention to grievances they believe to exist. Those words can scarcely be repeated too often. It cannot be expressed in too emphatic language that there is no hon. Member of this House who wishes to see the doors of it closed against Petitions that tell us of a grievance. I also trust it will be known to the country as the general feeling of this House, that it is the very right of the subject, if he has cause of complaint that there has been corruption on the part of a Judge, or that any Judge is unfit to fulfil the duties of his office, to place before us cause to address the Crown to remove that Judge; and if the hon. Member for Stoke had come to-night with a circumstantial statement of corrupt conduct on the part of any Judge—if he had shown grave misconduct sufficient to justify the removal of any Judge from the Bench—I believe his Motion would have received full consideration from this House. But if for one moment we depart from the principle of claiming that such a case shall be established before we proceed to investigate the conduct of Judges, let me point out to the House what would be the effect of the Motion of the hon. Member for Stoke. I must for one moment call the attention of the House to the circumstances under which it has now to approach the consideration of this Motion. I must say—although I do not think the form of the Motion reflects heavily on the hon. Member for Stoke—it is, as a matter of Parliamentary procedure, subject for regret that it should have appeared on the Paper in such a state; so general in its terms that no one could anticipate what matters would be touched on, or against whom accusations would be made, or whether corrupt conduct would be charged, and those who have to reply, can only do so on the same scanty materials. But, taking the Motion as it is framed, I will endeavour to deal with it according to the several heads into which the hon. Member himself has divided it. The most serious part of the Motion is the imputation on the conduct of the Judges. It is a charge against them of misbehaviour in their high office; and, whilst I will not discuss with the hon. Member for Stoke the meaning of that word "misbehaviour," let the House consider what it is that must be shown before it can grant any inquiry into the conduct of the Judges. Now, Sir, the House will remember that there was a time when the Judges were the mere servants of the Crown, removable at the will of a Ministry, and it was not for the protection of the Crown, or for the protection of the Judges themselves, but for the protection of the subject, that the Judges were allowed to hold their office by a different tenure. It was in order that a majority, at the command of a Minister, or yielding to popular clamour, should not be able to interfere with the conduct of the Judicial Bench, that the Judges were allowed to occupy their offices so long as they conducted themselves properly. Then was taken away from the Crown, or those who represented it, the power of criticizing the conduct of a Judge, unless the Judge's conduct unfitted him for his office; and when the term "misbehaviour" is used, it means not that the conduct of a Judge has been such that the House may disapprove of it, perhaps for words idly spoken, but that there has been corruption or some other conduct which equally unfits the Judge for his office. It is only upon that being shown and the charge established, that this House has the slightest right to interfere; and unless the result of this Motion is that the House will be prepared to move in conjunction with the other House of Parliament an Address to the Crown for the removal of a Judge, it is not the duty of this House to take action. "What would be the result if the contrary were to be the case? Take, for instance, times of great political excitement. Take a time when there had been a political trial. It would be in the power of the Ministry of that day to demand from this House of Commons censure on a Judge's conduct. Who would suffer then? It would not be so much the Judge as the subject who would suffer. Take, too, the case, not of a Minister, but take the case of a popular clamour demanding the punishment of a Judge. Take it that those who form part of this Assembly should be influenced by the demands of their constituents, or, what would be worse, by the clamour of the mob pressing around us, and then, yielding to such demands, by a vote we should ask for an inquiry into the conduct of a Judge who had tried a particular case in which he had defended the liberty of the subject. Who, then, would suffer? It was by the statute of 1700 that the liberty of the subject was protected by rendering the Judges above the criticizm of Parliament. That statute protected the Judges from being interfered with in their official capacity. Then, Sir, the Judges were saved from one power—the vultus instantis tyranni—but there is the still greater power which we are contending against to-night—the civium ardor prava jubentium—and it is the rejection of this Motion which alone can defeat that still more evil influence. Dealing with these matters in relation to the Judges—before I refer to the other matters to which the hon. Member has called the attention of the House—I think, Sir, I have the right to ask this House what have been the charges made against the Judges who have tried this ease to which reference has been made? Have they amounted to corruption? The hon. Member for Stoke says he makes no such charge. What, then, is the nature of the charge we have to investigate? Is it one of partiality, such as an advocate on one side very often thinks he sees in the Judge when he is trying a case? I will not consider the case quite in that way, because charges have been carefully and seriously made in this House, and the hon. Member for Peterborough (Mr. Whalley) has used language that certainly conveys charges of grave misconduct against the Judges of the Court of Queen's Bench. I have a right to ask, in the first instance, against whom are those charges made? They are made against Judges who for years have been subjected to criticism of different descriptions. They are made against Judges who are subjected, in the first place, to the severe criticism which the Bar ever affords to those that sit upon the Bench; and, whilst I have no right to speak on the part of my profession, I can say this, that I mingle much amongst my fellows, and I have not heard one syllable of condemnation of any act or word of the Judges proceeding from them in relation to any matter connected with this trial. I know that the charge has been made that the Bar is not prone to judge—[Dr. KENEALY: Hear, hear!]—is not prone to judge the Bench as they ought to be judged. [Dr. KENEALY: Hear!] I should like to quote the opinion of one man, in which, speaking of Sir Alexander Cockburn, he says— This volume is most respectfully inscribed by one who shares in the profound admiration, honour, and regard which the whole Bar feels for the Judge, jurist, and the scholar. Those are the words of the hon. Member for Stoke. He says, too, at the conclusion of a preface— And, having now rescued these productions from that species of oblivion to which nearly all Magazine literature is subject, and having been graciously permitted to send them forth on their adventure under the auspices of a name universally loved and honoured, I bid the final farewell to the muse to whom I have played truant. It is true those words were written some 10 years ago, and there may have been a change of opinion since then; but, if so, it is the change of opinion of one man only. As the hon. Member then wrote, the Bar of England feels now. The honour of the Bench is the very birthright of the Bar, and those who watch every act and closely scan every act of the Bench would be the first, if they saw a cause of complaint, for their own sake to denounce it. And now the charge must be, if this quasi-corruption, this misconduct, be true, that the Bar are making common cause to support the Bench in a course dishonourable and disgraceful to itself, and one which I presume it is impossible to suppose could have passed unnoticed by them. There is another mode of criticism to which the Bench is now subjected beyond that of the Bar. It is the criticism of the Press. Has that power entered, too, into a conspiracy to pass unheeded any act of impropriety on the part of the Bench? It is also subjected to the criticism of a greater power, and that is the watchful care of the jury. Certainly, then, so far as the circumstances of this case occur, the Bar, the Press, and the jury must be subjected to one common attack because they have not been censurers of the Bench. Before I refer to the treatment of the jury by the hon. Member for Stoke, let me point out to the House what would be the result if, upon a matter so stated by the hon. Member, we were to grant this Commission and to summon these Judges. What would be the answer 'of the Judges to the demand that they were to appear before a Commission—that they were to be arraigned before a public tribunal—that they were to have witnesses called against them, and to give answers to the charges? I imagine that no Judge would subject himself to the investigation—at least, he would not consent to remain a Judge at the time he did so. I should hope that, for the independence of the Bench, the same answer would be made that Lord Holt gave to the House of Lords when they summoned him before them to answer for a judgment he had given as Chief Justice in the Court of Queen's Bench. He said— I acknowledge the thing. I gave my judgment according to my conscience. We are trustees of the law. We are to be protected and not arraigned, and are not to be asked to give reasons for our judgment; and therefore I desire to be excused from giving evidence. In the same way now, if the Judges' conduct in relation to that which they may have said or done—is to be arraigned before a tribunal of this House without our having cause to ask for their dismissal, can it be conceived that Judges of independent authority will be willing to submit to such investigation? I know that it has been said in the course of this debate—"Why, if there be any ground of suspicion in the mind of so large a number of the community, why not grant an inquiry?" What does that mean? It means that we are to find a true bill as grand jurors against the Judges. We are to present them as guilty of an offence for which they can never afterwards be tried. And so now, because a popular cry has been raised by means of the false statement that there has been some irregularity in the opinion of the advocate engaged in the cause, we are asked, without one precedent for the Motion to be found on the Journals of this House, to cast this indignity on the Bench without its being suggested that any further step should be taken against them. It is not only an attack on the Bench, but also an attack on trial by jury. Twice has this cause been investigated by juries; twice have juries arrived at the same determination and result. I will not discuss the composition of the jury. I will read to the House the view of the Member for Stoke on the capacity of the jury who tried the last cause. On the 58th day of the trial he said— There is hardly any of you, if I may presume to say so, who did not come into the box with his mind inclined to a certain extent, prejudiced one way or the other. But although that is my belief—and you could hardly be men if you did not come here so inclined—I am bound to say, from what I have heard of you, I believe that twelve men more able to do complete and perfect justice in this case could not be assembled in the jury box; twelve men from whom (pardon me for saying—I do not mean to flatter, because I am above so base and mean an art) twelve men who could have paid more attention to this case in a more obvious desire to do their duty fairly and honourably, it would be impossible for any plaintiff or defendant to have had. Therefore, whatever your verdict may be, I have no doubt it will meet with the approbation of your country, because everybody must know and will testify to the whole world if necessary, May I ask the hon. Member for Stoke some day to bear this testimony?— That you are as good a specimen of an English jury as was ever presented, that you will do your duty between the Crown and the defendant without fear, favour, or affection. A hundred days passed on, and on the 158th day of the trial, when the hon. Member was bringing his observations to a close, he said, addressing the jury— The attention that each and all of you have paid to this trial considering its enormous length, considering its multifarious variety, has been something remarkable, has been something most glorious and honourable in the annals of England. I have heard observations now and then expressly directed against the cause I re- present. Nevertheless, I have had faith in you, and over will have faith in you! Yet it was of a jury so composed and who had so treated him we now hear of their being venal and corrupt. When the hon. Member appealed to the Home Secretary whether he had not had cause to reverse the decisions of juries in criminal cases, I think it will be his experience, and that of every hon. Member of this House, that there never has been an instance where the verdicts of two juries, approved in both instances by the Judges who tried those causes, have been interfered with by a Minister of the Crown; and after the testimony borne to the jury who tried this cause by the hon. Member for Stoke, there can be no reason why an exception should be made in this case. May I now call attention to the view which the hon. Member took of the conduct of the Judges who tried the cause? On the 10th of March, 1874, some two or three days after the cause was finished, there appeared this paragraph in The TimesAt the request of Dr. Kenealy, we withhold from publication the letter which, as we mentioned yesterday, he sent us on Saturday. Dr. Kenealy explains that, on reading over his letter in print, it appeared to him that it might be open to the construction of imputing partiality to the Judges who tried the case, and that nothing could be further from his intention than to make any such insinuation. If he did not approve of that statement being made on his behalf, why did he not contradict it, and why was it sent forth to the world with his express approval, without his saying at the time that he intended to arraign the Judges on the first opportunity, either in public meeting or in the House of Commons if he obtained that position, for the very partiality to which the disclaimer was given? There are, however, one or two topics which nobody could have anticipated the hon. Member for Stoke would have brought before the House. I will not enter into the small matters of a Judge giving evidence, the propriety of a Judge visiting the locality—a common matter among Judges who desire to perform their duty—and whether a Judge used a particular word or not. Those matters, however, formed the ground for a Motion for a new trial. The hon. Member made that Motion; he brought these grounds on which a new trial could be granted before the Court of Queen's Bench, but it was refused, and, therefore, to the names of the three Judges who tried the ease must be added the names of Mr. Justice Blackburn and Mr. Justice Quain. So, if any wrong has been done, if there is anything in the Motion which can induce the House to accept it, we shall have to sit as a Court of Appeal not only from the Judges at Bar, but from all the Judges of the Court of Queen's Bench. Are we a fit tribunal for such a purpose? Have we any constitutional right so to act? What power have we to determine the numerous points that have been mentioned, beyond the great and inherent power which a Court of Law must have? What power should we have to act on any determination we might come to? Is it possible to conceive a more useless inquiry for this House to undertake than to determine whether the decision of the Court of Queen's Bench was right. But there are one or two topics referred to by the hon. Member for Stoke which I think require some answer. In the first place, the hon. Member attacked the late Government, and the right hon. Gentleman at its head. I cannot conceive the possibility of a Court of Inquiry to determine whether or not it was the duty of that Government to institute the prosecution; but if the question is to be determined by this House, can there be a doubt of it? If the unfortunate man was guilty, he was a criminal, who had been guilty of great and gross deception. I think it unbecoming to express any opinion on the matter one way or the other; but if he were guilty, surely he was an offender deserving heavy punishment; and are we to be told, because it was a difficult case to try, that the State should shrink from bearing a share in the expense which it assumes in respect to every criminal prosecution throughout the country? When the Judge committed the man for trial, was the Government to shrink from an expense which no private family could bear in bringing a criminal to justice? Although, upon the whole, the accusation against the late Government was light in its character, yet there was one grievous charge against it, which was that they had aided, abetted, and cherished an act of my noble and learned Friend (Lord Coleridge). This imposes on me a task which no one could have anticipated—to say one word in defence of the honour and truth of my noble and learned Friend. But the charge has been made with circumstance and in detail, and in language that is not capable of two constructions, that he uttered a forged instrument for the purpose of placing false testimony before a jury. Without any notice that this charge would be made—not even within the terms of the Motion put on the Paper—my noble and learned Friend has been arraigned and charged with an offence that seems to me exactly the same as that of a person who issues a fraudulent instrument, knowing it to be fraudulent. The incidents of this charge did not take place on the trial at Bar at all; but in the previous trial, and we ought to have been told something more than that the incidents of the trial at Bar would be brought before this House. But for an accident, my noble and learned Friend would have stood in this position—that without the slightest notice being given to him, minute details would have been entered into, and his very words read, without his having any opportunity of answering the charge. By mere accident, however, I have had an opportunity of conferring with my noble and learned Friend; and, with his sanction, I make a very simple and short statement of his conduct in relation to the dealings with those letters which have been referred to. In the course of the first trial four letters purporting to be written by the plaintiff were placed in the hands of the legal advisers of the defendant who were instructing my noble and learned Friend. They were submitted to an expert, Mr. Chabot, for an opinion as to their authenticity. He reported as to two of them that he was certain of their being the plaintiff's writing; as to the third, he had doubts whether it was the plaintiff's or not; and as to the fourth, the original had been written in pencil which was over-written in ink, and he could form no opinion as to its authenticity. That report was not seen by my noble and learned Friend, but the purport of it was communicated to him; and, finding that doubts did exist, he used the letters to this extent—not as the hon. Member for Stoke has stated by putting them before the jury as genuine, but he placed them in the hands of the plaintiff, and asked him to state if they were his letters or not. The plaintiff stated that they were his letters; and, having admitted their handwriting, he was asked as to their contents, until, looking at one or two of them, he expressed a doubt as to their genuineness. As soon as these doubts were expressed, it was brought to the knowledge of my noble and learned Friend that there might have been some deception in the matter, and he withdrew the letters from the consideration of the jury, and they were never placed before the jury again. That is the only statement I have to make on my noble and learned Friend's authority, and I ask the House—and may I not almost appeal to the Member for Stoke himself—is it fair or right, if his object is only to obtain the release of an innocent man from custody, to make such a charge against a public man behind his back—to charge him with uttering a forgery, when he has done no more than any advocate would have done, and when he has not been guilty even of an indiscretion in the course he took? I have almost to apologize to the House for entering into this detail; but I fear that if it had not been done, it would have been supposed—if not hero where my noble and learned Friend is known—"elsewhere," that there is some shadow of foundation for a charge against that distinguished Judge, which, if there were any approach to truth in it, would render him unfit to administer justice in this land. And now, with regard to the Motion, respecting which it is said there is reason to believe that the defendant is innocent. Even if it were so, the House of Commons has no power to re-try him by Commission. It is not within their power to grant a Commission to try the innocence or guilt of a man; and I say the hon. Member for Stoke can find no authority by way of precedent or principle for such a proposal. The demand that the House shall re-try the guilt or innocence of a man is a demand against the liberty of the subject; it is a request to revise the verdict of a jury; it strikes hard home against the institution of trial by jury; it is a demand that the House of Commons shall, by a majority, at any time—by a majority commanded by any means, set aside the verdict of a jury at its own will and pleasure. When the hon. Member claims that he desires to protect the liberty of the people of this country—when Magna Charta is invoked, is it trial by jury that is to be invaded by the House of Commons? Are we to grant Commissions on the statement that fresh evidence can be obtained, or that the jury has misunderstood its duty in relation to the construction of evidence, and to set aside this verdict for that which might be said of any verdict—namely, that some may think there is cause to be dissatisfied with it? If we do, we shall strike a blow, the result of which can scarcely be appreciated. The power will be assumed now, for the first time, under circumstances which can scarcely commend themselves to our apprehension, and it is a demand which I trust the House will not entertain. The consideration of the smaller topics to which the hon. Member referred ought to be avoided, for if hon. Members do so, they will be forming themselves into a tribunal to review the decisions of the Bench and of juries. We are told that certain persons have made statutory declarations; but on what ground are we to consider them? Some eight years have now elapsed since the first investigation commenced, and there has been ample time and opportunity to procure every witness, and bring every question before the jury. Is it, therefore, not trifling with the House to say that upon the mere chance of some further evidence being produced we are to interfere? Why should the two subjects of the corruption of the Judges and the due administration of justice be mixed up together? If the Judges are corrupt, they ought to be removed; but take a proper and fitting course, such as will justify a joint Address, asking for their dismissal, by both Houses, and not such an unreasonable one as to ask for inquiry, first into their misbehaviour, next into the conduct of my noble and learned Friend, then into the power of the Judges in respect of Contempt of Court, and, finally, into the guilt or innocence of this man. If all these things are to be mixed up, what can be the function of such a Com-mission? I challenge the hon. Member for Stoke to say if there can be found any precedent for such an inquiry as this, and whether, since the year 1700, except in a case in which corruption was established, there has been any inquiry into the conduct of the Judges? The Resolution is an appeal to us to grant what, after all, it is not in our power to give; and I hope the House will feel that the demand is not an appeal to our justice, but that it is an appeal to us to depart from precedent, and to attack alike the position of the Bench and the strength of trial by jury. We were told a few nights ago that we stood upon a volcano, and that he who often lingered on the crater's brink bid us listen to the rumblings within. "We have almost been told that if this Motion is refused to-night, before to-morrow's sun shall sot there may be rebellion breaking out among a law-abiding people. I have no belief in such a dark prophecy. But should such outbreaks occur, we can gauge the limit of the evil, we may foresee the result of the disaster. But far worse than all such evil—more injurious than all such disaster—will be the result if the English House of Commons, yielding to ignorant clamour, shall vote away the independence of the English Bench and the proper and stable administration of the law.


The hon. Member for Stoke, Sir, will probably not be advised by Gentlemen of the long robe, and as no one has arisen except such hon. and learned Gentlemen, it may not be considered an inopportune interruption if, before the discussion closes, I make a few observations upon the Resolution. The Motion is made in consequence of an alleged miscarriage of justice; a miscarriage due to corrupt means and corrupt Judges, and there can be no more important question brought under the consideration of the House of Commons than a case of that kind if it be well founded. I have listened with much attention and interest to the hon. Gentleman, and I have acted as impartially as one can do upon matters which for a considerable time have necessarily occupied the attention of everybody in the country: and I am bound to say, having listened to the hon. Gentleman, he does not appear to me to have brought forward a case which would in any way authorize the interference of the House of Commons. I have not heard alleged any ground for that interference which has not been mentioned before, and which should have been mentioned on those authentic occasions which the law and institutions of the country provide for those who believe they are suffering under the grievance of a miscarriage of justice—such, for instance, as a Motion for a new trial, on which every particular the hon. Gentleman has adduced to-night might have been adduced and considered by the ablest Judges of the land. Then, again, with regard to other means by which a miscarriage of justice might have been prevented—namely, by an appeal for a Writ of Error, my hon. and learned Friend the Attorney General has assured us that such an application was made to him; that he gave to the Petition the most sedulous consideration, but that he did not feel himself justified in advising Her Majesty to accede to its prayer. He has, however, this evening favoured the House with all the particulars of the Petition, and none of them were such as the hon. Gentleman the Member for Stoke has adduced on the present occasion in support of his Motion. On the contrary, all of them were, as we have heard, of a technical nature. Well, then, we find that on this occasion the House of Commons are called upon to take a step most unusual and which I think upon reflection we must feel to be pregnant with great dangers to the liberties and laws of this country. We find that the hon. Member had the opportunity of moving for a new trial, of which he availed himself, and on which occasion he might have adduced every argument which he has brought forward this evening, in order to prevail upon us to adopt a course of a most unusual and unprecedented character. We find that he had recourse to a Petition of Eight, and that in that Petition not one of the circumstances he has brought forward now were included; but in which the merits of the case as then viewed by the hon. Gentleman consisted only of technical points which, as narrated to the House, must have been considered by every hon. Gentleman as of a most unimportant character. And my hon. and learned Friend the Attorney General, giving to the consideration of the matter the whole of his attention, found that he could not, with a due sense of responsibility, recommend the Crown to grant that Petition of Eight. I may, remembering these two circumstances, remind the hon. Gentleman that he has never himself appealed to the Secretary of State against the conviction of Orton; yet appeals to the Secretary of State against convictions are not infrequent; nor has the hon. Gentleman at any time ever appealed either to the Lord Chancellor of the present Government or to the Lord Chancellor of the late Government against the conduct of the Judges. The hon. Gentleman, however, now comes to the House of Commons complaining of a great miscarriage of justice. He has a day selected for hearing his case. He has an opportunity of stating it fully and completely, without any interference, if not to a friendly, yet I must say to a most courteous audience. He cannot, therefore, say that he has not been able to do justice to his case, or that he has appealed to those who have not had the candour to give him their calm attention. Yet what do we find? What is the result of all these great and solemn preparations? Why is the House of Commons arrested in the progress of its labours? Why are we threatened throughout the land with horrible catastrophes and impending revolutions? For what? To listen to a thrice-told tale, and if it has been told not without force, we must remember that it has often been repeated, and that the hon. Gentleman comes this evening with all the advantages of a practised actor who, after the provinces, comes to seal his reputation on the metropolitan stage. Perhaps I may be only about to repeat what has been stated before and in a more able manner; but I scarcely think it due to the question and to the circumstances that I should be silent. Let me, then, remind the House what are the three chief allegations which after all this preparation the hon. Gentleman has made. First of all, there is the charge against the late Government. One would suppose from the manner in which the hon. Gentleman expressed himself, and the mysterious air with which he alluded to this head of the charge, that the late Government had been concocting some plot worthy of Titus Oates; and that they had formed some deep and dark design which the hon. Gentleman indeed has not explained to us, but which the hon. Member for Peterborough has occasionally by dark inuendoes shadowed forth. What is the charge really brought against the late Government? Why, that they performed a duty which every Administration under the circumstances must have fulfilled—and they would have been liable to the gravest imputations if they had remained silent and passive. And yet this is the head and chief charge which has been made this evening—the most important in its character, the most material in its substance—the charge—namely, against the late Government of the country of combining in a dark conspiracy, in order to bring about a state of affairs which would have outraged the laws and Constitution of the country. Well, there has not been the slightest evidence adduced by the hon. Gentleman on the subject. He has only proved that the late Administration did that which: would have been the duty of the present Administration had they been in their place, and which would be equally the duty of any Administration responsible for the due administration of justice in this country. The second great head of the hon. Gentleman's charge appears to me to be really the most trivial that can possibly be conceived. It is with reference to that strange expression, my just criticism upon which he has acknowledged this evening—namely, "the incidents of the trial which subsequently occurred thereto;" that is, as explained, the offer of evidence which would of course establish or strengthen the case of the client of the hon. Gentleman, but which he had not at his command on the occasion of the trial. My hon. and learned Friend the Attorney General destroyed in a moment that flimsy allegation. It appears—and of course it would happen under any circumstance when a trial of this importance has long engaged public attention—that after the trial there were offers of evidence in favour of the defendant. Well, there are always offers of evidence after a trial. The "day after the fair" is a proverb, and after a trial there is always evidence which ought to have been brought forward. After a division in this House, the minority would always have won only some were snowed up in the country. The minority, however, have not the power next day of counting the Members who did not arrive, and if evidence is to be heard after the verdict of a jury—often, probably, collected a considerable time after the verdict is given—legal controversies never would terminate. But what are the facts of the present case? A Commission was sent out during the trial to obtain evidence from Australia. They were there some considerable time. They made extensive investigations, and I believe that some of the members of the Commission returned with very different opinions of the merits of the case from those with which they left this country, but on which side they changed their opinions it is quite unnecessary now to dwell. Well, as I understand, and as I understood at the time, there were certain statutory declarations made by certain individuals in Australia. They were not witnesses whose evidence was considered of sufficient importance and weight to bring over to Europe; but the statutory declarations arrived. Probably some of them may have arrived even after the trial, and this is the ground which the hon. Gentleman dwells upon as so important for the vindication of his client, and this is the evidence to obtain which in an authentic manner the House of Commons is called upon to interfere after the verdict of two juries in this great case. Well, now, Sir, there is but one point really important in this matter, and that is the third point, because it is one which if it were proved—if it rested on any real ground of substantial evidence, it would be of a very grave character. And no doubt the statements and misrepresentations—whether they were intended to be misrepresentations I will not now say—which have been made on this head out-of-doors have affected—and to no inconsiderable degree—the public mind, and that is the allegation that the Judges have been partial and corrupt in their conduct—because their misbehaviour would amount to corruption—and that by their arbitrary and corrupt behaviour a false verdict has been given in this issue. Well, I would now call upon the House to observe that against two of these three Judges not the shadow of an allegation is made. The name of one has not even been mentioned, and the name of another was only added on to that of the Lord Chief Justice in a supplementary whisper. It is against the Lord Chief Justice of England then that this charge is made. It is against his corrupt misbehaviour that the country has been agitated. What is the evidence that has been brought forward to-night by the hon. Member for Stoke, in order to substantiate a charge which never ought to be ventured upon unless it can be vindicated by testimony of the most irresistible nature? Why, Sir, we know something about Lord Chief Jus- tice Cockburn. He is a man of transcendent abilities. He was for a considerable time a Member of this House. He did not belong to the political connection of which I am proud to be a Member; but I was proud always of being a Member of the House in which Lord Chief Justice Cockburn sat. His eloquence is remembered in this House, and when he left us to ascend to the highest tribunal almost within the Realm, he sustained the reputation which he had attained here and in the Courts of his country with learning and majesty. But it is not only as an eminent Judge that he has distinguished himself. He has shown himself a jurist and a publicist of the highest character—a man who can be trusted with the most important national interests; and who at a critical period vindicated those interests and sustained the honour of his country. But we must look to the idiosyncrasy of individuals when we have to decide upon questions like the present. The Lord Chief Justice, although he is a man of great learning, although he is a man equal to the exercise of the highest functions, and has employed a great portion of his life in the gravest and most responsible pursuits, yet he is a genial and social being also. He is not one of those individuals who enter saloons with Rhadamanthine gravity; he seeks, and properly seeks, some distraction from the cares and labours of a most exhausting profession and position; and is it to be endured that misrepresentations of the casual conversation in society of such a man are to be brought forward on no authority whatever, and to be made the foundation of the gravest charges in one of the greatest Assemblies in the world? We know very well—there is nothing on my mind more to be deprecated than the introduction of this private gossip of private life here. I have often—the House will pardon me for saying it—heard what I never heard when I first entered this House, of observations and opinions that have been expressed by hon. Gentlemen on either side in the Lobby repeated in debate. That I look upon as a most loose and unmannerly proceeding. One of the most brilliant Members of this House, the eloquent and amiable Mr. Shiel, was subjected to a most horrible persecution, because when the great debate was going on upon the Coercion Bill of Lord Grey, in which Mr. Shiel took a leading part, of course in opposition to it, while he was dining at his Club—the Athenaeum, I believe—and solacing himself for the moment with a cutlet and a glass of claret, a dull man of the House of Commons came to his table and insisted upon gravely talking upon the Coercion Bill, which for the moment the brilliant Shiel had hoped he had forgotten. Wishing to get rid of this dull intruder who was unfortunately a Member of the House, he made one of those playful observations such as the Lord Chief Justice is said to have used. Upon which, this Gentleman came down to the House, and on the earliest opportunity impugned Shiel for insincerity, and made what is called a personal statement, which, I believe, cost the House of Commons two or three nights before it was settled—agitated England, and confirmed them for a long time in the belief that Mr. Shiel was the most insincere of politicians, because he had endeavoured to extricate himself from the toils of a bore. And so to-night, because the Lord Chief Justice goes to a party and meets—I regret that the name of the lady has been unfortunately introduced—one whom everybody acquainted with her knows to be a most charming lady—I hope she will not be too much mortified by her introduction into this ruder society—but because she being interested in the question pressed the Lord Chief Justice for an opinion, which, evidently, by the first account, he desired to avoid, and tried to parry with some of that gay fun which is permitted under the circumstances, all England is to be agitated. We are advancing upon a volcano, revolution is to happen to-morrow, and if a certain Resolution is not carried this evening, on the chance of which I will venture to give no opinion, tomorrow is to be marked with the darkest fate, and probably even this House of Commons may never again assemble. This, Sir, is one of the most preposterous things—I am not talking of the trial, I am not alluding to that singular history which posterity will not easily forget, and which it will philosophically criticize, but I am speaking of this interlude, or rather this second piece, this divertissement, as being the most preposterous, the most absurd, the most flimsy business that ever occupied the attention of the House of Commons. I only regret that a Gentleman like the hon. Member for Stoke, who is a man of talent and is, as I know, a scholar, should have by some hallucination wilder than has ever influenced a public man, destroyed a position and reputation which he himself created, which no one wished to injure or envy; and who, if he had only exercised a discretion equal to his ability and learning, would probably have found in due time his place in this House, and have secured many opportunities of vindicating those Constitutional principles to which he seems so devoted, and all the blessings which accrue from them, which he is ready by his own account to imperil, and, perhaps, to cause the destruction of to-night, by carrying this infernal machine, which he has described in the Motion before us. Sir, I will venture, before the House divides, to express my belief that the state of England and of the House of Commons, is not to terrible as the hon. Gentleman has intimated. Unfortunately, my excellent Colleague the Secretary of State for War is prevented by indisposition from attending here; but I do not think his indisposition is such that he would have concealed it from me if there were that danger of general mutiny in the Army which has been referred to by the hon. Member. My right hon. Friend, too, the Secretary of State for the Home Department has not broken to me the news which the more candid Member for Stoke has communicated to the House; I hope I may get home in safety to-night. But, Sir, what I do regret is this—that the people of England whom I have described before, and whom I shall describe again as the most enthusiastic people in the world—there are people more excitable, but none more enthusiastic—should have their fine and noble sympathies wasted on such a case; should be influenced by such misrepresentations, and be directed to such mischievous ends. Let the House for a moment consider what would be the consequence of the adoption of this Resolution, throwing aside all those melodramatic foreshadowings as to the probable consequences of its rejection. What must be the practical result if the House were to adopt this Resolution and were to act upon it? The House of Commons would become a great Court of Appeal, and we should at last have secured that object which has baffled the ingenuity of the most distinguished Law Reformers "elsewhere." There is not a case that could be tried in this country, the issue of which would not have to be decided here; not a question of master and servant that would not certainly be brought before this Assembly. It might become a great Court of Appeal, but it would soon, under such circumstances, cease to be a House of Commons. I trust that the House will show to-night in a manner that cannot be mistaken— will show the country that it has treated this question in the spirit which it deserves, and that we have availed ourselves of this opportunity which has been given to the hon. Gentleman in a manner becoming this House, and I hope, re-assuring to the country. The hon. Gentleman has had his occasion, he has been before the assembled House of Commons in no slight numbers, he has stated his case with ability and art, he has had every opportunity of marshalling his facts and managing his inferences, he has put forward his strongest points, and what have they amounted to? They have amounted to this—to bring conviction to the minds of everyone who has heard him that all this agitation, all this tumult that has disturbed the country for months had no solid foundation; that there has been no miscarriage of justice, and that England and Englishmen may still be proud of their institutions and confident in the administration of the law.


Sir, since the hon. Member for Stoke has taken his place in this House, I have felt it my duty more than once, in some sort, almost to interpose on his behalf. I have done so, as I trust the House has seen, from no other object than to show that every man who comes within these doors shall receive the most perfectly fair and generous treatment among us. I am unwilling, however, that this debate should close without stating some reasons why I cannot agree with the hon. Member in the proposition which he has submitted to the House, and why my name will be found among what, I trust, will be a very great majority against that proposition. I must confess I was rather disappointed by the speech of the hon. Member. I fancied, nay, I almost believed, that we should have had some very serious charges made against the Judges. There certainly have been charges against the Judges brought forward in the speech of the hon. Member; but I am happy to feel that they have been of no important character, and cannot affect the judgment of this House in arriving at a determination with regard to the characters of the Judges impugned. But as the hon. Member proceeded with his speech, it was clear that what he wished to do was to bring into review and to obtain a reversal of the verdict in the late trial, and a reversal altogether of the sentence and punishment, because he declared his firm belief—and, in fact, if he had not had that belief it is difficult to know how he has taken the course he has taken—in the innocence of his client and not only in that innocence, but in the gross injustice of the trial. I want to put this question a little as it has appeared to my own mind, with the view that, by some good chance, I may affect the opinions of some persons outside this House. It seems to me a most monstrous thing to say that this case has not been fairly tried. Why, there has been no trial in this country so long—indeed, since the days of the trial of Warren Hastings, it is a trial of a length perfectly without example, but to that I will come by-and-by. Four Judges, one of them the Chief Justice of the Court of Common Pleas, another the Lord Chief Justice of England, and two other Judges of a reputation equal to that of any Judge upon the Bench, have had the case under their consideration, and their judgment has been perfectly unanimous. It has been under the consideration of two juries chosen in the most fair manner; indeed, no one has suggested that the juries were packed, and it is impossible to look at the names, or, rather, at the occupations of the jurymen, without seeing that it is quite impossible, in our mixed society, to summon jurymen of a more representative and a more impartial character than were upon these juries. I noticed that on the last jury there was one country gentleman—I give no names, and, in fact, I have not get the names with me—and one city merchant; another was a draper; another was a publican—and I am not sure that there not two who followed that occupation; one bootmaker, whose knowledge of his trade was of great use at one part of this case; another, I think, was a man in the position of keeping a respectable lodging-house; another was a hair-dresser and perfumer; and another was connected with a business which has been very much before this House lately—that of selling milk. Now, I might safely leave it to the hon. Member for Peterborough himself to say that there was not the slightest suspicion that any of these gentlemen were in any way influenced by the Jesuits, and I might appeal to the hon. Member for Stoke to say that upon the face of this list, there is no reason to suspect that they were influenced in favour of the rights or claims of aristocratic and territorial families. In fact, I think that these 12 men formed a jury such as the English Constitution intended and expects shall be called upon to decide great questions of personal rights and liberties. On the occasion of the first trial the jury stopped the case, after hearing a prodigious amount of evidence in favour of the then Claimant, and they stopped it on evidence of a very important character, which the Claimant's counsel was unable to meet. I am not much versed in legal matters, but I understand that if the Claimant's counsel had chosen to go on, the trial might have concluded in the ordinary manner; but Mr. Serjeant Ballantine, who was the principal counsel for the Claimant, elected to be non-suited, and in that way the trial was concluded. On looking back to that trial, we do not find that anybody ever heard that Mr. Ballantine abused the Judge who presided over it, and I have not heard that he has condemned the jury, but he allowed the matter to pass. He had been unfortunate and 'unsuccessful, as the most powerful advocates may be, and, as one hopes that they will always be when their case is not perfectly good. Now I come to the second trial. It has been charged against the person responsible, who I suppose is my right hon. Friend the late Chancellor of the Exchequer, that no liberality was shown by the Government in the matter of the payment of the witnesses for the defence. But the Court was in favour of the payment of the witnesses for the defence. The three Judges whom the hon. Member has denounced as being partial, and as having made up their minds that the trial would end in a conviction and in a sentence of I do not know how many years' penal ser- vitude, were in favour of the payment of the witnesses for the defence. It was not to be expected, however, that the Government was to bring witnesses from all parts of the earth, of whose probable evidence no man had the slightest knowledge, and to pay all their expenses. But in the cases in which the Court refused to pay the expenses of any witness, the matter was argued in open Court; and I undertake to say that no impartial person who reads the account of this trial would say that the decision of the Court, not to pay certain of those expenses, was otherwise than perfectly just. The hon. Member for Peterborough has just now told us that those who were conducting the defence had no money, and that, therefore, they could call no witnesses; but he told us the other night that he himself had contributed £200 towards the defence. But I should like to know, if they did not call all these witnesses who, it is stated, were prepared to give evidence for the defence on account of the expense, why they did not call the two sisters, I will not say of the defendant, but of Arthur Orton—who, I understand, stated both before and after the trial, and, for anything I know to the contrary, may say now, that the defendant was not their brother—if he was not really their brother. The reason why they were not called was not because the defence had no money, neither was it on account of the distance they had to be brought; they lived in the East End of London, I suppose, and therefore it was not in consequence of want of funds that they were not called. Had they been called they might have made another link in that extraordinary chain of evidence by which a verdict was given and a conviction was obtained. I am not about to deny to the hon. Member for Stoke that there is a large amount of opinion outside this House in favour of the view he takes of this trial—that the defendant was convicted without due consideration. But it is not very difficult to create an impression of that kind. The hon. Member for Peterborough said, upon a late occasion, that the jury were wearied out, and that they had sat so long and heard so much that at last they gave a verdict so as to get away. That is a view I cannot accept, but still, when this trial has proceeded for so long a time, I am not at all surprised to find that many persons should be unable to follow the train of evidence. Consequently, if such statements are made persistently, I am not surprised at many persons outside the House being influenced by them. If the hon. Member for Stoke and one or two of his friends in addressing public meetings say over and over again to their audiences—"Do you believe that it is possible for a mother not to know her own son? "—that is a question likely to have a great effect on some people. But we in this House know perfectly well that it is a fair presumption in most cases that a mother will know her own son, yet it is possible to produce an amount and accumulation of evidence that will absolutely destroy that presumption. Many persons appear unmindful of the fact that in a claim of this nature it is not what a man remembers, but what he forgets that is most likely to be of importance in determining his identity. Nothing is more easy than for a man to remember a good many things about another man which somebody else has told him. It is quite possible for two or three persons to tell me certain things about any hon. Member of this House which may enable me for a time to pass myself as being that other Member; but in the case of a conspiracy of the kind alleged to have occurred in this case, no circumstance could make a man forget that which he forget in the sense of forgetfulness shown by the defendant. That which he forgets if it be important, and if the facts be numerous, is that which he never knew. The effect of that forgetfulness is a hundred times more strong to condemn him than the effect of a few curious small matters which he may, by possibility, seem to remember, but which may have been communicated to him by somebody else. The House will pardon me if I go into or two points of detail with regard to this matter. The hon. Member for Stoke has done so more largely, and therefore I think I have some right to do it, and perhaps my doing so will be of use to some of the people who will read the proceedings of this evening. Nothing was more clearly proved than that the defendant knew almost nothing of his life till he was 16 years of age. He did not remember the names of his tutors—excepting one. He did not remember that he had ever had more than one tutor. I venture to say there is no man in this House who could not tell a good many things about his tutors, some of them not of a very agreeable character perhaps. Look at our own experience. We have all had a long life from the time we were 16 years of age; but every one of us could write a volume of the incidents of our young life, from the age of 5 or 6 up to 16. But in this case there was no memory. It was a blank. There were no persons who could give the information. The memory could not be cultivated. The whole thing was a forgetfulness which could not have come from conspiracy, but must have come from the fact that the person was assuming to be something which he was not. When it is asked, as it is in these meetings in the country—" Do you think that a mother can forget her own son? "I answer—" Do you think that a young man, who lives almost entirely with his mother till he is 24, when he gets to 35 or 40 can be totally ignorant of his mother's name? "But more than that, do you think that a young man who, up to 24, has spoken ordinarily and perfectly the French language, and can scarcely speak English so as to be fairly well understood, can at the age of 35 or 40 not only be unable to speak the French language, but can be ignorant of the pronunciation or meaning of a single word in it? He knows so little of it that he is advised not to attempt even to speak it. Now, I should like to ask any one, whatever may be the opinion he now has of the case, whether these facts—the absolute ignorance of all that happened till the age of 16, the total forgetfulness of the mother's name, and the entire disuse and total forgetfulness of the language spoken till the age of 24, and, in addition to this, I may say, the multitude of contradictions in which the statements he made were involved, for it is notorious that everything which he said while in Australia about his enlistment or engagement in the Army was directly and flatly contra-dieted in every particular by that which he said about his military life when he came to England—I should like to ask any man whether these facts are not conclusive against the claim which was set up? The hon. Member blames the Judges. Four Judges agreed, and he condemns them all. He does not seem to me very much to condemn the juries. Perhaps, like the hon. Member for Peter- borough, he thinks they were wearied out, and would rather despise them than condemn them. I believe that juries not unfrequently make mistakes; but I believe also that in the main they honestly intend to do their duty according to the evidence given before them; and I think no person could read the transactions of that trial—I speak particularly now of the last trial—without being struck by the remarkable intelligence displayed by the jury whenever there was a call for any expression of their opinion. I was very often surprised to see how minutely they appeared to have in their memory all that had passed before, and how clear was their comprehension of the whole question as it was being offered to their view. And here let me tell the hon. Member for Peterborough that he must, I think, admit that the jurymen were not members of great families—that they were not allied to the aristocracy, that they were not even allied to the Jesuits. They were men as intelligent as he is with regard to their duty as jurymen, and I have no doubt he will admit, for I am sure he wishes to be fair, that they were honestly disposed to do their duty. Now, what should the House do? This jury was in the box—I forget how many days the trial lasted—every day and every hour. Some person wrote to me, or wrote of me, that I would not express a certain opinion if I had read any portion of the evidence. Well, I confess that I read all the evidence, so far as I could find it in the newspapers, and I read all the long speeches and all the summing-up of the Chief Justice. Therefore, I ought to be moderately well acquainted with the case. But I do not pretend to put my opinion against the opinion of that jury. Those 12 men are my countrymen, they are those to whom the law and the Constitution gave the power of adjudication in this case. They are as honestly-minded as I can be, and they sat in that Court every hour and every minute the trial occupied, and listened with intense attention to all the statements made by all the witnesses. Well, shall I set up my judgment against their unanimous judgment, or how shall the hon. Member for Peterborough or any one who takes his view set up his judgment against the judgment of that jury?


I rise to Order. ["Order, order!"] The right hon. Gentleman has misrepresented what I said. ["Order, order!"]


The right hon. Gentleman is in possession of the House.


There were forged letters—that is all I said. ["Order, order!"]


I do not mean to say that he at all supposed or wished the House to suppose that the jury was not perfectly honest. All that he said against the jury was, that the trial was long and they were weary, and, in point of fact, they became almost incompetent to take a fair view of the question.


I said they had forged letters before them.


Now, I ask the House—I ask the hon. Member for Stoke—I ask the hon. Member for Peterborough—whether, with these facts before us—and I think that in no criminal trial could there be less reason to quarrel with the facts than in the present case—I ask whether it is right, whether it is tolerable, that great multitudes of people should be taught that the defendant had not a fair trial? If you go among the people and teach them that there was some dark design in this—some dark and mysterious conspiracy—I say you do a great harm to them, you mislead them, you wound them in their dearest interests. You turn them against the institutions which exist only for their guardianship and their good. I confess I am not squeamish about criticisms on the conduct of Judges or juries. I do not think that either Judges or juries are immaculate; but I say that, considering the facts I have stated—and they are but a very small portion of the facts which might be stated in support of the view I am urging upon the attention of the House—it is a great public injury, it is a great wrong, that Gentlemen of education, and occupying the position of Members of this House should seek to convince persons who could not by any possibility have had so good an opportunity of judging of the matter as the Judges and jury whose conduct is condemned—I say it is a great evil to teach such persons what I believe to be utterly untrue, that the Judges were partial and corrupt, and that the jury were mistaken in the view which they took. Sir, I can take no such view. I can take no part in such conduct. I would uphold the institutions of this country in the main as they exist with regard to the administration of justice; I think the poorest in the land has at least as great an interest in that being done as the richest in the land; and it is because I think this, that I cannot for a moment think of giving my vote in favour of the proposition of the hon. Member for Stoke.


, in replying, said, that he had, indeed, listened to much eloquence, but that when there was a very sympathetic audience, high flights of oratory became comparatively easy. He had paid great attention to what had passed, but not greater attention than the case and the speakers called for; but he was sorry to have to add that, although there had been fine specimens of oratory, it had been oratory merely. None of the facts which he had brought before the House—most important facts, in his humble judgment—had been grappled with from the beginning to the end. The hon. and learned Gentleman the Attorney General had, no doubt, made an exceedingly clever speech on the matters which had been brought to the notice of the House, and he (Dr. Kenealy) had listened with great attention to the speech, but had been unable to discover in it any answer to his argument. It might be distasteful to the feelings of hon. Gentlemen to have a lady's name brought into a discussion of that kind, and more especially so, when it was apparently done for the purposes of prejudice; but he begged the House to remember that if a lady's name had been so brought in, it was not done by him. Her own husband it was who dragged her into notice. In connection with that incident, he could not understand the conduct of Lord Rivers, nor did he think the outside world would be able to comprehend it. But let those things pass. The hon. and learned Gentleman the late Attorney General had defined the offences for which a Judge could be removed from the Bench to be corrupt conduct and gross misbehaviour. He quarrelled with both those definitions; they were not in accordance with the law, and the hon. Gentleman ought to have known better. The law did not lay down that a Judge must be either guilty of corrupt conduct or gross misbehaviour before he could be removed from the Bench. The framers of the statutes on the subject simply adopted the word "misbehaviour"—a very elastic word, having great width of meaning. If a Judge went on the Bench in a state of open intoxication, that would be a kind of "misbehaviour "that would compel the House to interfere. In the same way, it was one of the charges against Chief Justice Scroggs that he was in the habit of cursing and swearing on the Bench—a practice which would be quite enough to justify the removal of any Judge in our time. Anything that was calculated to bring the judgment-seat into contempt was such conduct as ought to cause a Judge to be removed. Could anything be more calculated to bring the judgment-seat into contempt than the statement which had been made on the authority of the right hon. Baronet the Member for Tamworth, and which had not been denied, and as he believed could not be denied? Could there be a grosser scandal in the administration of justice than that a Judge on the 13th day of the trial, when not more than six or seven witnesses had been examined, should have stated publicly and openly that the defendant was certain to be convicted, and that even then the Judges had agreed on his punishment? If that fact stood alone, he was entitled to the passing of his Resolution. Were the House judging of the matter in a dispassionate manner, without that sympathy for the Lord Chief Justice which the speech of the First Lord of the Treasury had excited, bringing before them reminiscences of his genial temper, his love of fun, and all those qualities that made him so popular in fashionable society, he believed the House would have looked on conduct such as he had de-scribed as compelling them to cause an inquiry to be instituted. The right hon. Gentleman at the head of the Government told them that nothing whatever had been adduced against two of the Judges; but what stronger thing could be adduced against them than the statement made by the right hon. Baronet the Member for Tamworth? In that agreement upon the sentence to be pronounced, made before the man had been tried at all, they were all equally compromised; all equally guilty. At the end of that remarkable summing up, which lasted so many days, the other Judges said they agreed in every syllable spoken by the Lord Chief Justice. He was told that there was no precedent for a Motion of this kind. He answered there was no precedent for conduct of that kind; and if there was no precedent, the House ought to make one. No harm could be done by inquiry. The right hon. Gentleman used an argument of an ad captandum kind, when he said this was an attempt to destroy trial by jury. On the contrary, he (Dr. Kenealy) was trying to uphold that institution. No one who read the summing-up could doubt that the jury in the verdict they gave were coerced. ["Oh, oh!"] The jury were not free agents; they were coerced. ["Oh, oh!"] They were misled by the language of the Chief Justice, who led them just as a fisherman might lead a fish with a hook in his mouth. He denied he had ever charged corruption on the jury; but while admitting they had exhibited an independent judgment during the trial, he declared they surrendered it in the end. He had heard with great astonishment the statement that the Judges would dare to refuse to obey a Resolution of that House, and he looked upon this as one of the greatest insults ever offered to that Assembly. They could not accept the authority of the right hon. Gentleman the Prime Minister on matters of law, and, indeed, nothing could be more wild or wandering than the suggestion that he should have brought forward these complaints in a motion for a new trial. Such an idea struck one as more suited to Arabian tales of magic than to that Assembly. Equally wandering and wild was the notion of a Writ of Error embodying those complaints. He was sure the right hon. Gentleman did not get that idea from the hon. and learned Gentleman the Attorney General. Another wonderful argument used by the right hon. Gentleman with great power was, that no appeal had been made to the Secretary of State. Why, as far as he (Dr. Kenealy) was able to ascertain, the Secretary of State had hardly anything else to do except answering letters relating to the Case. Another astonishing argument put forward by the right hon. Gentleman was, that no appeal had been made to the Lord Chancellor against the Judges. They might as well appeal to a bootcleaner in the street as to the Lord Chancellor, who had no power whatever to regulate the conduct of Her Majesty's Judges. Then stress was laid on the circumstance that he did not call the two sisters of Arthur Orton. Why, what a ridiculous position he should have occupied if he had called those sisters! Mr. Hawkins or the Lord Chief Justice would have said in the blandest and most fascinating way—" Gentlemen of the Jury, these are two sisters of Arthur Orton. Of course, you cannot expect them to tell the truth; because, if they do so, they will convict their brother. You must, therefore, make every allowance for them." He was perpetually challenged by the Bench to put those women into the box, but he determined not to do so, and he did not regret that decision. The right hon. Gentleman the Member for Birmingham (Mr. Bright) laid down another very extraordinary proposition—namely, that there were certain cases in which certain facts could destroy the recognition even of a mother. He (Dr. Kenealy), at all events, never heard of such cases, nor was he able to imagine them. He did not deny that this was one of the most mysterious cases ever known. Indeed, he could not pretend to solve a thousand mysteries in it, nor to enter into the extraordinary mazes of that man's mind; but, as the right hon. Gentleman mentioned a fact which weighed very powerfully on his mind, he would mention another fact which weighed very powerfully on his own mind. He was present one day at the first trial when a long letter written by the undoubted Roger Tichborne was put into the hands of the Claimant. There was one word in that letter which had puzzled the experts and everybody to whom it had been shown, but as soon as the Claimant saw it; he said—"I wrote that letter, and the word is Correio," as, in fact, it proved to be. In conclusion, he wished to say he had no cause whatever to complain that he had not been listened to on that occasion with candour, patience, courtesy, and attention. If he had failed to convince any hon. Member that his Resolution ought to be carried, of course that was his misfortune and his fault, but if he could get any support he should divide the House.

Question put.

The House divided:—Aye 1; Noes 433: Majority 432.

O'Gorman, P. Kenealy, Dr.
Whalley, G. H.