§ Viscount Duncannon
said, the noble Duke on the cross bench had on a former evening asked a question with respect to circumstances which were alleged to have occurred at a recent execution at Gloucester. The high sheriff had since inquired into the facts of the case. He had examined no less than forty witnesses, and they had stated that the circumstances sent forth to the public were without any foundation. The public certainly had a right to expect that melancholy scenes of this nature should be conducted with decency and decorum. He had read all the evidence, and those persons who attended the execution appeared to have conducted themselves with great propriety. He was aware that a paragraph inculpating the executioner had appeared in a Gloucester paper, and had been copied into the London journals. But he understood that the conductor of the Gloucester paper had reason to suppose that the statement made to him was a correct one, and hence the publication. That individual received the statement from persons on whom he thought he could rely, and having every reason to suppose that it was correct, he had published it.
§ The Duke of Richmond
did not at the time pledge himself to the accuracy of the statement, but having heard it, he thought it right to call the attention of the Government to it. He believed that the better feelings of human nature were weakened, if not extinguished, by attending such executions. If the executioner on this occasion had attempted to address the crowd, as had been asserted, it would have been a most indecorous act. He was extremely glad that the statement was not correct. He trusted that what had now taken place would induce individuals who appeared at executions hereafter to be more upon their guard, and that it would put an 929 end to that levity on such occasions which was now too prevalent.
§ Subject dropped.