had a Petition to present from a numerous and most respectable body of his Majesty's subjects. The petition had been drawn up and signed under circumstances of so peculiar a nature, that he thought it necessary, before he requested their Lordships to allow it to be laid on the table, to state from whom it came. It purported to come from the undersigned ministers and laymen, assembled in London as deputies from various parts of the empire, to consult on the best means to be adopted for effecting, by all possible legal and constitutional means, the object of the petition. Though the petition was not signed by more than 200 or 300 deputies, yet he was informed that upwards of 400 deputies were present at the time the meeting was held, and that it was only from the accident of several of them, above 100, leaving town before the petition was prepared, that their names were 519 not also appended to it. He wished also to state to their Lordships, in what way, and from what places, these persons came to town. They came, in the popular sense of the term, as representing congregations of various religious denominations in different parts of the country. They also represented different bodies of men not being religious congregations. Upwards of 500 of these congregations and meetings had been holden in the country, at which it was agreed to send deputies to town, for the purpose he had already mentioned, though not many move than 400, or 420, actually came. He believed that no portion of his Majesty's subjects, either in character, ability, or station in society, were more respectable than the great body whom those individuals, who had signed the petition on this occasion, represented. He again used that word only in its popular sense; but in one sense of the word, he believed that they strictly, as well as popularly, represented them, for he believed, that in this petition, they spoke the unanimous and strong opinion of all the persons composing those assemblies, which had deputed them to come to town.
§ Petition to be laid on the table.