This is a transcript of the 14 reports in The Times on the proceedings of the committee to determine a petition raised by members of the Liberal (Whig) party against the election of the Conservative (Tory) candidate in the Cambridge byelection of 5th September 1839.
The committee appointed, under the 2d and 3d of Victoria, c. 38, to hear and determine the merits of the petition in this case, assembled on Saturday morning, at 11, in the Speaker's house.
Sir C. Lemon was in the chair. The other members were, Sir J. Walsh, Mr. Divett, Lord Darlington, Mr. Plumptre, Mr. Protheroe, and Sir W. Somerville.
Mr. Austin, Mr. Cockburn, and Mr. J. Talbot appeared for the petitioners; and Mr. Biggs Andrews, Queen's counsel, with Mr. Serjeant Wrangham, for the sitting member.
As soon as the committee has all assembled, the Chairman directed the room to be cleared, for the purpose, as we presume, of discussing the instructions which were subsequently addressed to the counsel and the parties, as will be seen below.
Upon the readmission of the public Mr. Andrews took a preliminary objection to the committee's entering upon the case at all, which objection he said was in the nature of a plea to the jurisdiction of the committee, and which was founded upon the 47th and 48th section of the late statute 2 and 3 Victoria, chapter 33. By that act, the general committee were empowered to appoint the special committees to which the trial of the respective election petitions was to be delegated, and notice of the day on which any such appointment would be made was to be given to the parties interested at least ten days before the day of appointment. In the present case, notice was given on the 6th of March, and an order made for the appointment of the committee on the 16th; but that order was subsequently discharged, and a new order made, under which the present committee were about to sit. Now, he, (Mr. Andrews) contended that the general committee having given the first notice, and appointed the former committee, were functi officio, and had no power whatever under the act to appoint a new or fresh committee for the trial of the same petition for which they had appointed another committee before. Many members of the committee would recollect that this was the opinion expressed by the Attorney-General in the debates which had taken place upon the subject in the House. If the opinion were correct, the whole of the proceedings about to occur would take place coram non judicibus, the oath administered to the witnesses would be a mere nullity, and Mr. Sutton would have charges of the gravest nature brought against him, upon the testimony of persons who would not be placed under the sanctions or subject to the liabilities which were attached to all similar occasions. The only effect of deciding this question in his favour would be, that an act of Parliament would be passed to supply the deficiencies of the present state of the law.
Mr. Austen said, that so far as the matter of authority was concerned, the committee would recollect, that the opinion of the Attorney-General was in opposition to that of the Solicitor-General, as well as to that of every other lawyer who was a member of the house. It was also to be recollected that the house itself had decided against the objection, that it had then referred the subject to the general committee to ascertain its own powers, and proceed accordingly; that the general committee had decided against the objection, and appointed this committee; and that the committee of chairmen had come to the sane conclusion and appointed a chairman. There were, therefore, three decisions upon the subject already, and he (Mr. Austen) contended that exactly as under the former system the order for the appointment of the special committee might be discharged as often as might be convenient, and a new order and appointment made upon the subject.
The Chairman here interposed and stated, that the committee were unanimously of opinion that they were properly constituted. He added that their decision was founded exclusively upon the construction of Sir Robert Peel's act, and not upon any analogy derived from the 9th George IV.
The usual preliminaries were then gone through, and the petition was opened by the clerk in attendance.
The petition, which was signed by Mr. Ebenezer Foster, a banker, and three other electors of the borough of Cambridge, consisted of two distinct sets of allegations. It recited, in the first place, the general circumstances of the election, stating that at the close of the poll Mr. Manners Sutton had 717 votes, and Mr. Gibson 617, and that therefore Mr. Manners Sutton was returned to serve in Parliament for the borough. It then went on to allege, that before the taking of the poll Mr. Manners Sutton had been guilty of bribery, and had become thereby ineligible to be returned at that election: that notice of such ineligibility was given on the day before the polling to about 300 of the electors at their places of abode, and that a similar notice was posted up in all the conspicuous places within the borough upon the day of election. That according to the law of Parliament the votes of the 300 persons who had received the notice at their houses, and had notwithstanding voted for Mr. Sutton, were entirely thrown away and lost, and ought to be now removed from the poll, and that as the effect of such an operation would be to leave Mr. Gibson in a majority of unquestioned votes, he was entitled to be declared the sitting member for the borough. The second part of the petition consisted of a general allegation in the usual form, that Mr. Manners Sutton had been guilty of bribery and treating, and was therefore incapable of sitting to represent the borough. It prayed, therefore, that if the house should not consider Mr. Gibson to be entitled to the seat, they would declare the election to have been altogether null and void, and grant such further and other relief as to the house should seem meet.
Before the case of the petitioners were entered upon,
The Chairman said that he had been directed by the committee to call the attention of all parties to the 83d and 84th sections of Sir Robert Peel's Act, as to the subject of costs, and to say that the committee expected that the question would be brought forward, if at all, immediately at the end of the case. The committee expected from them that the costs of each class of witnesses, and of each department of the case, if more than one, should be decided by themselves; that each class should be concluded before another should be entered upon; and that in reference to any class, the counsel should not state any matter which had not been contained in the general opening. Upon the subject of bribery, they expected that counsel would, in opening the case, state the names both of the parties who had given and of those who had received the bribes, as well as the time when and the place where the bribes had been administered; and that any acts of treating which directly inculpated the principal party should be distinctly stated in the opening address.
Mr. Austen seemed to feel that the restrictions imposed by the resolutions would produce some embarrassment. He however made no observations upon them in that stage of the case, but proceeded to address the committee upon the part of the petitioners. In most instances, and especially where, as in the present case, the proceedings were of a criminatory character, it was more satisfactory to transmit statements of fact in the authentic form of sworn testimony than through the medium of the advocate's address. In the present instance, however, with a view to the more distinct understanding of the case, and for another reason which would appear upon the face of the report, it became necessary to deviate from this rule. The learned counsel stated in the course of his speech, that a person named Samuel Long, a journeyman harnessmaker, had some time prior to the election been suspected of acting as a bribing agent of Mr. Manners Sutton, and that he was afterwards arrested and indicted for that offence; that upon his arrest he was in company with one of Mr. Sutton's agents; that on being conveyed to prison he tore in pieces one or two papers, of which the fragments were picked up and readjusted by the police and others; that upon his person there was found a sum of 17l. in gold, and that he was bailed by gentlemen who were authorized agents or warm partizans of Mr. Sutton; that a very short time before the assizes when the indictment was coming for trial, a communication was opened between Long through a Mr. Scott with either the attorney for the prosecution or the attorney for the present petition, and that such communication ended in the fact of Long's making full and important disclosures to Mr. Cannon (Mr. Gibson's agent) of the whole history of his (Long's) conduct in respect of that election, and in his authorizing somebody to withdraw his plea of "not guilty" and in his name to enter a plea of "guilty" to the indictment. The communication which Long was represented as having made to Cannon was to the following effect:—that he (Long) had been connected with Mr. Fisher, the banker, and with the rest of the Tory party at Cambridge, for a considerable time, and had acted in conjunction with Mr. Fisher at several elections there as well as at the registrations; that he knew Mr. Mitchell, the landlord of the Eagle, at which Mr. Sutton's principal committee assembled, and that he knew Mr. Sutton perfectly well since he first became a candidate for that borough; that during the last election, and for some time before, he had met Mr. Sutton every day, as well as Mr. Fisher and Mr. Mitchell; that he sometimes met them separately, and sometimes all together, sometimes in the general committee-room, and sometimes in the private apartment of Mr. Sutton; that such meetings usually took place in the evening, and that Long was sometimes allowed to sup with Mr. Sutton and the two other gentleman already mentioned; that in respect to the voters of a district called Barwell, he was principally consulted by them (Mr. Sutton and his friends), as he (Long) knew all the voters of that district, in which he had lived for 14 years; that he had represented that many of those voters could be got if well looked after and properly courted; that upon this representation he was asked by Mr. Fisher and Mr. Mitchell to go through the registry, and make out a list of the persons whom he thought accessible; that three or four days after he gave an account of the parties whose votes could be had for money; that Fisher then directed Mitchell to give Long 40l. for the purpose of bribing the voters, and that the money was accordingly given to him; that Mr. Sutton was present during the whole of this conversation, which was carried on in the usual and ordinary tone; that there was no affectation of concealment or disguise; that the object for which the money to any amount would be forthcoming whenever it could be advantageously applied for the same purpose; and that Long had bribed a person named George Smith with 9l., part of the 40l. which he had so received from Mitchell by direction of Fisher in the presence of Mr. Sutton.
Upon the conclusion of Mr. Austen's address,
Mr. Andrews objected, that Mr. Austen had stated some cases of bribery against Mr. Sutton without stating the time or place where the alleged offences had been committed. The learned counsel submitted, that in consequence of such omission it would not be competent to Mr. Austen hereafter to go into any such cases without a violation of the resolution which had been read from the chair at the commencement of the proceedings.
Mr. Austen said, that the course which he had adopted was exactly the same as that which had been pursued in the next room (in the Ludlow case), and that it would be productive of the greatest inconvenience, and tend to defeat the ends of justice, if the counsel were obliged to state all the minute particulars of every such transaction in a general opening speech, of which the object was merely to give a correct general outline of the case.
The room was cleared for some time, and upon the readmission of strangers,
The Chairman announced that the committee had agreed to strike the words "when and where" out of the resolution above-mentioned, but that no case could be gone into which had not been stated in the opening.
Mr. Cockburn then proceeded to call and examine Mr. Francis J. Gunning, the town-clerk of Cambridge. He accounted in the usual way for the custody of the poll books, and stated, that Mr. Fisher and a Mr. Twiss, a solicitor, appeared on behalf of Mr. Sutton, to make arrangements for the election in conjunction with the witness and the mayor; that Mr. Sutton was nominated by Mr. Fisher; that Mr. Twiss acted as Mr. Sutton's agent when the polling commenced; that the bill for Mr. Sutton's share of the expenses of the hustings, &c., was transmitted by the witness to Mr. Fisher, and paid by Twiss by a check upon Mr. Fisher's bank.
Mr. Cockburn then called Samuel Long, but nearly half an hour elapsed before the witness appeared. Upon his being sworn he stated, in answer to the learned counsel, that he had not had any communication whatever with either Mr. Fisher or Mr. Mitchell upon the subject of the election; that he was not present at the Eagle, where Mr. Sutton resided, and where his principal committee assembled, more than once during the period of the election, and that he had never spoken a syllable to Mr. Sutton in the whole course of his life. He admitted his having apprehended on a charge of bribery, together with the bailing and his plea of "not guilty," but most positively denied that he had, directly or indirectly, authorized anybody whatever to withdraw that plea and substitute another in the manner mentioned above.
Mr. Cockburn then proceeded to read over from the beginning to the conclusion the whole of the statement above set out in the speech of Mr. Austen, and which that learned gentleman asserted to have been addressed by Long to Mr. Cannon. The witness admitted that he told Mr. Cannon everything therein stated, but said that not a word of it was true. Upon being asked by Mr. Cockburn why he had so minutely and circumstantially stated what he now declared to be false, he declared, that as he was not upon his oath in his interviews with Mr. Cannon, he thought himself at liberty to say what he liked, and that he had therefore made communications to Mr. Cannon as often as he was asked to do so.
Upon his being asked by Cockburn whether, as a matter of fact, it was true that he had given George Smith a bribe of 9l.,
Mr. Andrews objected to the question, upon the ground that the answer to it had a tendency to criminate the witness, and that the witness was therefore privileged against being compelled to answer it.
Mr. Cockburn said that the privilege, whatever it might turn out to be, was the privilege of the witness himself, and not of any other party, and that the counsel had no right to interfere to prevent the question from being answered. If the witness himself had no objection to the question, he would answer of course. If he had any, the committee, on hearing it from the witness, would judge whether it was valid or not. He (Mr. Cockburn) submitted, at any rate, that he was entitled to hear from the witness himself the grounds upon which he refused to answer.
After a good deal of discussion, and after the witness had been two or three times been obliged to withdraw, he stated at last that he refused to answer the question upon the ground that the answer might criminate himself.
Mr. Cockburn then proposed to give the examination another direction, upon which
Mr. Andrews made a new objection to this course of proceeding, and submitted, that before the witness could be called upon to state a fact which professed to be, on the face of it, of a criminal character, and the criminality of which it would be attempted to bring home to Mr. Sutton, some evidence ought to be given that the witness was the agent of Mr. Sutton in the transaction referred to. At present there was before the committee no evidence at all upon this point, except the evidence of the witness himself, who had expressly and decidedly contradicted the statement which had been made upon that subject in the opening speech of Mr. Austen. The learned gentleman concluded by stating, that, under the former system of election committees, it was generally decided that no evidence of bribery was admissible until after sufficient evidence had been given of agency.
Mr. Cockburn said, that under the former system there were several instances in which evidence of bribery was first admitted, without any evidence of agency. He was, however. surprised to hear any decisions of former committees quoted as authorities upon the subject. It was well known, and he (Mr. Cockburn) should not shrink from stating the fact, that the practice referred to by Mr. Andrews was adopted for the purpose of shielding the corrupt practices which so generally prevailed at every election in the kingdom. But now that they had entered upon a system which he (Mr. Cockburn) believed would not impede the course of justice by a restriction which would in many flagrant cases render it impossible to prove anything at all. In some instances it would be extremely inconvenient to commence the evidence by a proof of agency, and very easy to commence by evidence of bribery, whilst in others the evidence of the bribery and of the agency were so mingled in the same transaction, that if the parties should be compelled to begin with exclusive evidence of either part of the case, they would be incapable of giving any evidence at all. With regard to the present witness the learned counsel observed, that no man had ever appeared in a witness-box who, according to his own account, was less entitled to any description of privilege or protection. It was also evident, that if the petitioners should be prevented from wringing out of him the secrets which he evidently possessed, and was as evidently determined, if possible, to conceal, it was impossible that the present inquiry could ever have the effect of attaining the ends of justice.
The room having been cleared for about an hour, it was announced at the end of that period (about half-past 4 o'clock) that the committee had come to no decision upon the subject, and had adjourned the further consideration of it until this morning.
The committee assembled yesterday morning at 11 o'clock; Sir C. Lemon in the chair.
At the commencement of the proceedings the room was cleared, and upon the readmission of strangers,
The Chairman announced that the committee had resolved that evidence of agency must be given before adducing any evidence of bribery, but that the committee would not reject any evidence of bribery which might prove agency also.
Mr. Austen then called Samuel Long, in respect of whom we stated in our report of Mr. Austen's speech in The Times of yesterday that he was a journeyman harness-maker. It appears from his own testimony given to-day, that he is a master in his trade, and employs other men to work under him. In answer to the further questions of the learned counsel, the witness said, that within two or three days of that in which he was apprehended he had received 2l. or 3l. from Mr. Swan, jun., and 8l. from the elder Mr. Swan, and that the money was given to him for goods and labour, and that he did not receive any money whatever from any member of the firm upon any other account during the period of the election or canvass, or for a long time before. He could not exactly say where he had got the 17l. which was found upon him when arrested, as he was in the habit of receiving money from different persons to the extent of from 2l. to 8l. a week. The witness went on to say—The book now produced in Mr. W. Swan, jun.'s book, and was found on me when I was arrested. Some of the pen and some of the pencil writing in it is his, and some is mine. That paper (a paper professing to be a letter from a Mrs. Large to Swan) was also found on me, as also the other papers now produced. I tore up some papers on being taken before the magistrates, and burned some at a blacksmith's forge after I had been bailed. They consisted of a list of the voters and some memorandums relating to the election, which nobody ever saw but myself. The paper now produced is one of those which I tore. I saw Swan this morning, and several times on Saturday, and also on the day before I left Cambridge, five weeks ago, but not in the interval. I did not tell him at Cambridge that I was coming here. I saw Rance, the attorney for my defence, also at Cambridge on the day before I left, but did not tell him that I was coming away. I don't know if Swan shook hands with him when I met him there. I did not see him after my examination on Saturday until this morning. I received a letter from him at Basingstoke during the five weeks of my absence, in answer to one which I had written to him from London. It was transmitted through Mr. Bigg, who is agent for Mr. Sutton. At Bigg's offices in Southampton-buildings I saw himself and a person named Goldfinch, and others whom I did not know. I did not tell Cannon any thing of my communications with Bigg, Goldfinch, or Swan. I met Cannon at the Craven Hotel, in the Strand, by appointment.
At this stage of the inquiry
Mr. Andrews applied to the committee for an order to exclude Messrs. Cannon and Cooper, Mr. Gibson's agents, from the room during the progress of that part of the examination which related to themselves. This application he made with great regret, but as he believed that he should be obliged, in the course of the present inquiry, to advance against them charges of deep criminality, the examination of which would require the utmost vigilance upon the part of the committee, and as the decision of those charges would in some degree depend upon the evidence of those gentlemen themselves, it was most material that they should not be able to hear the evidence, in order that they might not through that means enjoy additional facility in concocting their defence. The present case would in fact very soon turn out to be one of the most extraordinary that had ever been brought before either a committee or a court of justice, and he believed that before the conclusion of it he should be able to prove that the gentlemen whom he had mentioned, and who were the agents of Mr. Gibson, had been guilty of fraud, conspiracy, and an attempt to procure, in support of the petition, any evidence, true or false, by any means, however foul, not only by tampering with the witness, and holding out the prospect of gain as the reward of his testimony, but, by abusing the forms of the criminal law for the same purpose, holding out to the witness the prospect of impunity upon one hand, and of punishment on the other—in short, by practising or attempting every description of guilty artifice, and every mode of corruption. In the celebrated Hull case an agent, who was charged only with treating, was excluded during that part of the evidence which related to himself, but here the imputation was of a much graver character. The rule for the exclusion of witnesses is general, and the exception in favour of agents is only adopted for convenience; but when the question comes to be one between the convenience of parties and the ends of public justice, he hoped the committee would not hesitate to comply with his application. He should, at a subsequent stage, have to advance charges of a similar nature against others of the agents besides Messrs. Cannon and Cooper; but should not apply for the exclusion of those other persons until the arrival of the time when their particular conduct should be more immediately brought under the notice of the committee.
Mr. Austen said, that it was quite unnecessary for his learned friend to have introduced his application with so much pomp of language and energy of action. It would have been sufficient for him to state simply that he had a charge to advance against Messrs. Cannon and Cooper, and that the witness was now about to state the evidence applicable to the charge, in order to let the committee see at once the general nature of the application. He (Mr. Austen) hoped that the application would be rejected on two grounds—first, that it was contrary to every principle of justice and law to allow a witness to depose to facts highly criminating a person who was prevented from being present to hear the charges made against him, and who had, therefore, no means of instructing his counsel in the manner which was necessary to enable him effectually to cross-examine the witness. In the next place, it was to be observed, that the application was of a kind which had usually been rejected by committees, of which instances ancient and modern were to be found in abundance. The learned counsel then referred to a case connected with Southwark, in Peckwell's Reports; to a Carlow case, in which a witness named Dowling was allowed to be in the room during the giving of that part of the evidence which affected himself; and to the Ludlow case just concluded, in which Mr. Coppock had been allowed to hear the evidence which was adduced for the purpose of proving that he himself had been guilty of bribery. The learned counsel was proceeding with his argument, when
The Chairman interposed, and stated that the committee were of opinion that Messrs. Cannon and Cooper ought to be allowed to remain in the room.
Mr. Andrews observed, that this method of conducting the discussion placed him under great disadvantages, and that, as Mr. Austen had been heard in opposition to the application, he (Mr. Andrew) ought to be heard in reply. The learned gentleman expressed at the same time a very confident expectation that he should be able to make a distinction between the present case and those which had been cited by Mr. Austen.
The Chairman said, that if the committee were to hear the reply of Mr. Andrews, they must, in the first instance, allow Mr. Austin to conclude the observations which he had commenced.
Mr. Austen, however, in the circumstances of the case, contented himself with making a single observation, after which he sat down.
Mr. Andrews the proceeded to reply at some length, repeating the arguments which he had formerly used, and again declaring that the committee had no notice at all of the case which he should ultimately present to their notice; that he should in the course of it unfold against the parties whom he had named all sorts of criminality, and that the case before its conclusion would appear to be the most important which had ever occurred.
The room was then cleared, and after a considerable interval the committee decided that Messrs. Cannon and Cooper should be excluded from the room during each part of the evidence as related to their communications with Long. This decision appears to have the effect of expressly and entirely rescinding the resolution which the committee had previously announced upon the very same point, before hearing the reply of Mr. Andrews.
Long was then recalled, and his examination continued. He said—I told Swan that I was going to meet Cannon. I told nobody else. Whilst absent from Cambridge I wrote only to Swan, except one letter to a person named Stonebridge, telling him to call on my wife and say that all was well, as neither my wife nor any one else at Cambridge knew where I was. I wrote several times to Goldfinch (Bigg's partner) and to Bigg himself, at Tavistock-square. I saw Bigg on Thursday at Chelsea. He told me to tell the truth in my examination.
A few more questions, the answers to which did not appear to us to be material, closed Mr. Austen's examination of this witness.
In answer to Mr. Andrews, the witness said—The warrant for my arrest was signed by Professor Henslow. The prosecutor was Mr. R. Foster. Mr. Ebenezer Foster, the petitioner in this case, was on the bench during the hearing of the case, as were also Mr. Headley and Mr. Humphrey, who were both active partisans of Mr. Gibson at the election. Mr. Gibson himself was on the bench at the time, and the magistrates applauded the examination against me. I had employed for my defence Mr. Lawrence and Mr. Rance. Messrs. Cooper and Cannon were the attornies for the prosecution. The indictment was at the borough sessions, but I instructed Messrs. Lawrence and Rance to have it removed to the assizes, and they were preparing for my defence, and I was ready for my trial. I never gave any instructions whatever, directly or indirectly, to Cannon to interfere in the case; but a person named Scott applied to me on the part of Cannon.
Mr. Austen observed, that as they were now evidently at the opening of the case against Mr. Cannon, he should object to hearing from the witness any statement of what passed between the witness and Scott until it had been shown that Scott was the agent of Cannon.
Mr. Andrews, referring to the whole course of the previous examination, in which acts of all sorts were given in evidence against Mr. Manners Sutton without any evidence whatever to connect him with the persons who did these several acts, observed, that the objection of Mr. Austen was, in the actual circumstances, the coolest that he had ever heard in his life.
The Committee decided that the course of examination commenced by Mr. Andrews might be persevered in.
Long being recalled went on to say—Scott, on the part of Cannon, communicated to me that Cannon was willing to make me a handsome remuneration if I would come as a witness and give evidence before the committee of the House of Commons; that Cannon dared not name any specific sum, but would give me something very considerable; in fact, enough to make me independent for ever, and the the prosecution against me should be abandoned. This was said two or three times. I came up from Cambridge with Scott by a roundabout course which had been settled by Cannon and Cooper. The expenses of the journey, which lasted two days, were paid by Scott out of money which he had received from Cooper. When we arrived at the Craven Hotel all things had been prepared for my reception, and we were introduced, Scott and I, as Mr. Shaw and Mr. Leicester. We arrived in the evening, and had tea, and so on, supper, wine, and so on, in fact everything necessary. Cooper and Cannon then proposed to take my statement, but I refused to make it. I did not at that time see my way very clearly. We all slept at the hotel, and next day after breakfast I made the statement, but I had previously in the morning seen Mr. Bigg at Southampton-buildings. Before the statement was made Cannon and Cooper said the prosecution could be got rid of by going before a judge at chambers. I gave an authority to Mr. Parkes, the agent for this petition, to act for me. The paper was drawn by Cooper; a copy of it was kept by Scott, and I signed it.
Here it was announced that the Speaker was at prayers, and the Committee adjourned.
The committee assembled yesterday at 11 o'clock, Sir C. Lemon in the chair.
Samuel Long, who had been already under examination, was then recalled, and examined by Mr. Andrews. He said—the paper which I signed at the Craven Hotel was said by Cooper and Cannon to be intended for getting rid of the prosecution. I signed it under that impression. It authorized Messrs. Parkes and Preston to withdraw the plea which I had put in to the indictment. I did not at the time know that any such persons as Parkes and Preston were in existence. After it had been signed, Cooper, Cannon, and Scott, went out, and were absent for a couple of hours. Upon coming back they told me they had been to the Judge's chambers, and that the prosecution was withdrawn. We all dined together, and after dinner, about 8 o'clock, they took me to the Great Western Railway station. When we got there, Cannon told me to go to Windsor. I paid nothing at the hotel. Cannon paid my fare by the railway. He sent us, Scott and me, to Windsor, that we might be out of the way, and might not be found. At Windsor we stopped at the Swan, kept by Mr. Lillywhite. We came back to London next day. Slept at a little public-house near Scott's father's house. We next day went to Basingstoke, and when our funds became low there, Cannon came down and gave Scott 2l. We left Basingstoke with Cannon, at his request, and came in a post-chaise to Reading, and thence to London, where we put up at a coffee-house near Westminster-bridge, where we had tea and coffee; after which we went to the Exchequer Coffee-house, where beds were prepared for us. In the evening we went to Mr. Parkes. I saw him then for the first time. Cannon, Scott, and I went to the theatre in the evening. Cannon paid for us all. I slept at the Exchequer Coffee-house that night. We all breakfasted together next morning. Parkes breakfasted with us, and served me and Scott with the Speaker's warrant. I got 2l. with the warrant, and Scott 1l. 10s. Scott also got 10l. from Cannon to bear our expenses, and we went back to Basingstoke, where we stayed several days, after which we went to Southampton, and thence to the Isle of Wight, thence back again to Southampton, and thence to Portsmouth; we were travelling all through under the assumed names of Leicester and Shaw. Cannon and Cooper came by appointment to meet us at Portsmouth; we all dined there together. Cannon upon going away gave Scott 5l., and appointed to meet us at Basingstoke on the following Monday (yesterday week.) We all came to London on that night with young Mr. Searle, son of the brewer at Cambridge. We stopped in town at the Exchequer Coffee-house, where we were in a private room, and where Scott and I still went under the fictitious names of Leicester and Shaw. We left the Exchequer Coffee-house next morning, and went again to the station of the Great Western Railway, along which we went as far as West Drayton, where we had a chaise, by which we went to Chertsey, where we stayed until Saturday morning last, and where Cannon came to me. All the expense of all this travelling was paid by Cannon, through Scott. Cannon also told me that he would allow my wife 25s. a week in my absence. The statement which I made to Cannon was made for the purpose of getting rid of the prosecution. It was all my own invention.
Mr. Austen.—Invention! Is not there a shorter term by which it may be designated?
This ended the cross-examination of the witness.
He was then re-examined by Mr. Austen, in answer to whom he said—The statement made by me to Mr. Cannon was all false. I knew it to be so, and that if I made it upon oath I should be guilty of perjury. I repeated it as often as I was asked, well knowing that it was false. I never told anybody what the statement was I should make to Cannon, but upon the evening after the statement was first made to Cannon at the Craven I told Bigg what I had stated. Bigg did not reprehend me for what I had done. He did not say that in telling such a falsehood I had been guilty of most scandalous conduct, or that it was my duty to tell Mr. Cannon the truth. When I was subsequently going to leave London at Cannon's request, Bigg neither said do it, nor don't do it. I did not tell Swan before I left Cambridge what I was going to tell Cannon. Swan did not know I was coming up to town to cheat Cannon. It was on Tuesday, five weeks ago, that I told Bigg the statement which I had made to Cannon. I had seen Bigg for advice. He would not give me any, but said, "The case is your own, do as you like with it." I did not tell Bigg what I was going to tell Cannon. I have made several statements to Bigg since then from time to time, and communicated to Bigg where I was. It was no part of my understanding with Cannon that I should thus communicate with Bigg. I was therefore cheating Cannon all this time; but I don't know that I was defrauding him all the time during the five weeks that I was living at his expense. I told Bigg all that transpired from time to time, and that I was travelling under a fictitious name. I received from Bigg anonymous communications, which were addressed to me under under the name of "Leicester." I have none of them in my pocket, but have one at the Ship at Charing-cross, where I now lodge. Scott and I slept there last night, and we breakfasted together this morning. I have not seen anybody else there whom I know. I went there by the direction of a gentleman whom I don't know, and who told me that the house was very comfortable. (This gentleman afterwards appeared to be Mr. Joseph Crowcher, the Parliamentary agent.) The letter which I have at the Ship I had received at Basingstoke. I pay for myself at the Ship. I pay as I go, with my own money. I brought money with me from Cambridge. Scott was aware that I wrote to Southampton-buildings. He did not know that I was imposing on Cannon. Scott did not believe my story. He told me that it was so improbable that he could not believe it, but he never expressed that opinion to Cannon in my presence. I have not spoken to anybody upon the subject of my evidence since Saturday. I saw Bigg several times, but he would not speak to me. I told Scott last night in what way I had given my evidence on Saturday. Scott's coming to the Ship was quite accidental. I had been to his father's to inquire after him, but the father did not know where he was. I left my address with the father, and he meeting Scott in the street, brought him to the Ship. I had no particular business with Scott that I knew of; but I did not wish to be alone. I brought 5l. with me from Cambridge. I had not received relief from the poor-rates recently before leaving Cambridge; nor had I been relieved from the payment of the rates; nor had I applied to, nor had my wife.
This closed the re-examination of the witness by Mr. Austen.
In answer to questions put by several members of the committee, he said, Bigg always refused to speak to me, but directed that when anything transpired I should let him know from time to time. It is very probable that I told Swan that the prosecution against me would be abandoned. I told Bigg on the first evening after I had come to London that all which I had told Cannon was false. I was also put into communication with Cannon at the same time. I received a letter from Swan through Bigg, which was addressed to me under the name of Leicester, and which was destroyed by Scott. When I left Cambridge I did not know what statement I should make to Cannon, but intended to make a false one. I expected that I was to get a sum of money for making that statement, but no specific sum was mentioned. When I made the statement I did not intend to go through with it, and meant to tell the most improbable story that I could. I was quite sure that the house of Commons would not believe a word of it if I told it here. My motive in making the thing as improbable as I could was in order that the House of Commons might not believe it. My other object was to impose upon the agents of the petitioners, and I hoped that in consequence of my making the statement the prosecution would be abandoned. I think I was as much justified in making a false statement to Messrs. Cooper and Cannon as they were in asking me to state what I knew, and I thought myself at liberty therefore to state whatever I liked. They did not ask me to state what was false. There is no doubt but they wished to hear what was true. But they also wished that such a statement should be true as that which I made to them. I had not previously given anybody a sketch of what I was going to tell Cannon. The person whom I met at the Bolt-in-Tun, I understood before I met him, to be acting upon the part of Mr. Manners Sutton. The meeting had been settled by Mr. Swan.
The witness now finally withdrew.
William Jury Cannon was then called and examined by Mr. Cockburn, and stated that he was a solicitor practising at Cambridge, and was the agent of Mr. Milner Gibson. He went on to say—I attended the examination of Long before the magistrates on the 2d of March. I received a communication from Long, through Scott, concerning the prosecution. I never authorized Scott to make any overture to Long until Long had, through Scott, made overtures to me. I did not know Scott at all. I don't know what he is, except that on his card he describes himself as an accountant and teacher of arithmetic and algebra, and a copyist of mathematical and other manuscripts. Scott told me he was very much disappointed with the treatment which he had received from the Tory party, by whom he had been neglected entirely since his apprehension on the charge of bribery: that Rance had taken possession of the 17l. which had been found in his pocket when he was apprehended: that it was impossible he could endure confinement, and that if he should be sentence to any considerable term of imprisonment, it would produce his death. Scott went on to say, that in these circumstances Long was anxious for an arrangement, and that he (Scott) was sure that Long was prepared to make a full disclosure of all that he knew concerning the last election, if the prosecution should be given up. He added, that if Long should do so, it would be impossible for him to continue at Cambridge, and that he would be entitled to have some permanent provision made for him by the parties whom I represented. I answered that no proposition for a pecuniary provision of a permanent nature for Long could be entertained, but that the case, as far as it related to the prosecution, could be arranged without difficulty, as our object was not to punish the instruments of the bribery, but, if possible, to get at the principals. I said that we could not consent to abandon the prosecution, but that if the plea of "not guilty" were withdrawn, and a plea of "guilty" entered, I would undertake that the prosecutor should not call upon Long to come up for judgment. On the next day I saw Scott, in consequence of a letter which I had received from him. He said that Long hesitated a little about concluding the affair, but consented to make the disclosures about the election, reserving to himself the right to abstain from stating anything which might inculpate Mr. Swan. This exception was agreed to, and I saw the prosecutor, Mr. Foster, the next morning. He concurred with me, and I communicated his consent to Scott. He then said that Long was in poor circumstances, and would wish to leave Cambridge in the interval between that time and the meeting of the committee of the House of Commons. I assented to this wish, and agreed to pay the reasonable expenses of Scott and Long in the mean time. I also agreed to pay his wife 25s. a week for the support of herself and three children during Long's absence. Scott said, that Long's mother lived in Essex, and that Long would pretend that he was going to see her before his trial, and they, Scott and Long, traced out a circuitous route for that purpose, to which I agreed. The first time that I saw Long himself upon the subject was at the Craven. I there repeated to him the terms of arrangement which I had mentioned to Scott at Cambridge before. He said that he thought the prosecution was to be unconditionally abandoned, and observed, that by his pleading "guilty" I should have him entirely in my power. I answered, that this was true, but that I would give him an assurance, that if his disclosures were satisfactory and true, he should never be called up for judgment. If the plea of "not guilty" had not been withdrawn, I should certainly have gone to trial at the ensuing assizes. Finding that Long was not disposed to make any communication at that time, I recommended him to go to bed, as it was then late at night. I complained that Scott had put me to the expense and trouble which had been incurred, without coming to a distinct understanding with Long. But still I told him, that if in the morning Long should not be in a disposition to give any information, the expense and trouble need not induce them to do anything to which they had any objection. On the next morning I had a conversation with Long upon the same subject, after which Cooper and I went out, leaving Long and Scott to themselves. When Cooper and I returned, the other parties had gone out, and upon their return, after an absence of about two hours, Long professed himself quite ready to make the statement, which he accordingly did. Long said that he was afraid that the statement would involve him in other cases of bribery. But I gave him an assurance in writing that no proceedings should be taken against him in respect of any cases which might arise out of his communication to me. I then asked him to make the statement. He told me to ask him any questions that I pleased. I said that I had no questions to ask, and only wanted him to state what he knew. He said that his story would be a multum in parvo; after which he proceeded to make the statement, which Mr. Cooper took down in writing, and which is that which I now produce. He subsequently made another statement to the same effect, which I also now produce, and which was made in the presence of Mr. Parkes. (It is unnecessary to state here the contents of these two papers, as they are in substance to the same effect, and as the contents of them have been already stated in The Times of yesterday in the report of the speech delivered by Mr. Austen on Saturday.) I advanced about 35l. altogether to Scott upon account of the expenses of the going about, but made no promise, direct or indirect, through Scott or otherwise, to Long, that he would receive any pecuniary compensation. What I did say upon that subject was, that it was very likely that Long would in some way or other protected against injury to which he might become exposed in consequence of having stated the truth.
The witness was cross-examined during the whole remainder of the day by Mr. Serjeant Wrangham, but the cross-examination produced nothing but a continual repetition of facts which had been already stated by Long or by Cannon himself, and many of which must appear upon the shorthand writer's notes at least 20 times repeated in the same words.
It was at last announced at 4 o'clock that the Speaker was at prayers, and the committee adjourned to this morning.
The committee reassembled yesterday about 11 o'clock, but the room was immediately cleared, and after the exclusion of strangers for a quarter of an hour,
The Chairman intimated an opinion that sufficient time had been devoted to the collateral point, and that the committee wished attention to be directed to the case affecting Mr. Manners Sutton. During the whole of the previous day they had been sitting in judgment on the character of Mr. Cannon; if, however, the counsel considered likely to affect the return, the committee would willingly hear the rest of the examination.
After some further remarks, the Chairman directed the examination to be resumed.
Mr. Cannon was then called in, and his cross-examination by Mr. Serjeant Wrangham was continued.—Witness as agent for the petitioners, presented the petition on the 31st of January, which was the last day open for the reception of election petitions. Long had moved to transfer the indictment by certiorari, which postponed the trial. Witness applied in Hilary Term to change the venue, and a rule nisi was obtained, but was discharged on the 19th February at the instance of Long, the defendant. Had the rule been made absolute this petition would have been heard before the trial could have taken place. His first knowledge of negotiations by Long for the compromise of the prosecution was on the 2d of March. Received the first intimation of Long's disclosure through a communication by Brown to Mr. Cooper. It was arranged to remove Long from Cambridge, but he never contemplated any difficulty relative to his bail in consequence of his disappearance. Heard Long's absence attributed to the manœuvres of the other party, but neither contradicted nor affirmed the rumour. Remembered the court was crowded when Long was examined before the magistrates, who were all, or nearly so, of the Liberal party. During the evidence some cheered. Appointed Scott to look after Long during his absence, because he thought it a cause of a peculiar character, and doubted if Long would speak the truth. It was not on his evidence he expected to test the legality of Mr. Sutton's return; the petition was arranged prior to his negotiations. Placed Scott with a view to prevent communication; thought the other party were aware Long was in the hands of witness. Saw Long in London and other places, and paid all expenses. Invited Scott and Long to dinner. Had not been in the habit of associating with Long, but thought it then advantageous. Would not have treated him so except for the purpose of getting his evidence.
Re-examined by Mr. Cockburn.—Thought, with one or two exceptions, all the borough magistrates were Liberals; but had forgotten the six or seven heads of houses. Wished to change the venue on account of a strong prejudice against Mr. Gibson, but that question was disposed of before witness's communication with Long. Thought Long ought to be protected; he would lose his situation, and ought to be indemnified.
In answer to questions by members of the committee.—Had reason to suspect Long, having an indifferent opinion of his character. Requested him to state nothing but the truth. Nothing passed before the meeting at the Craven hotel. He then objected to make any disclosure unless the prosecution was abandoned. Allowed Scott and Long between 2l. and 3l. per week while absent, besides a payment of 25s. per week to Long's wife. Scott was to have further payment for his services. Took them both to the Haymarket Theatre, but did not visit the boxes. They took their seats in the gallery. Did not doubt Long's statement, but his fidelity. Noticed no discrepancies in his verbal disclosures, nor in his two statements in writing.
Mr. Charles Henry Cooper, examined by Mr. Austin.—Is managing clerk to the last witness. Knows Mr. Brown, the assistant overseer of Barnwell, and had a conversation with him on the 2d of March relative to Long's proposed disclosures. Brown had seen Scott, who said Long was anxious to make these disclosures in order to avert the impending prosecution. Remembers the proposal for Long to withdraw his plea, in order to take out a summons, on his authority, with a view to a retraxit.
Cross-examined by Mr. Andrews.—At the interview, it was arranged that Scott should be remunerated and Long indemnified for the consequence, but witness did not contemplate his receiving money for his evidence. Does not call indemnity for pecuniary loss, remuneration. Did not give him to understand he would have the expenses of the removal of his family. Understood Scott to have represented the contingency of leaving the town. His intimation to Long was no promise, but he had no doubt persons would protect him. He was to be provided with money until the inquiry, if he left Cambridge at the request of witness. Knew nothing of terminating the prosecution before the suggestion by Brown.
Re-examined by Mr. Austin.—What is your general opinion of Long's character? Could not make much out of it. Had not a high opinion of him; but received his statement with suspicion of its truth. He said he would sign his statement, and make his disclosure a multum in parvo. The proceedings at Cambridge were not such as to induce him to think Long's statement extraordinary. Knew little of Scott, but was inclined to credit him. Knew Long to have acted at previous elections for the Tory party. Thought his disclosures were given for the sole purpose of escaping the prosecution.
Mr. Corner, a clerk in the Crown-office, was examined relative to the withdrawal of the proceedings against Long. The plea was withdrawn, on production of an authority, by retraxit.
Mr. Fisher, examined by Mr. Austin.—Is a banker at Cambridge. Has been an elector since the Reform Bill, and has generally supported the Conservative interest, but voted on one occasion for Mr. Pryme, on personal grounds. Remembers the last election movement. Mr. Sutton came down to canvass before the vacancy. There was no organized committee; but certain friends had met at the Eagle. Witness was seldom there, but had seen Mr. Sutton present. That gentleman was at Cambridge until after the election. He left the Red Lion, where he had been staying, and went to Trinity College before the polling. This was by invitation, and consequent, on a previous instruction, of Mr. Gibson, who was also a member. Believed the party met daily at the Eagle, but there was no organized committee. The circular now produced had been issued in the name of "the committee," but that was without his knowledge or consent. There were occasional meetings in the large room and in a smaller one. Had taken the chair at meetings of the larger body, but had not acted as chairman to the smaller. Mr. Twiss was Mr. Sutton's agent. Had consulted with Mr. Sutton on the management of the election. Had been a party to some correspondence with the town-clerk relative to the hustings. Had seem various individuals present at the Eagle, and had noticed canvassing-books, register-books, writing materials, &c. Had given orders for certain copies of the register to be interleaved and bound. Had seen business transacted both up stairs and on the ground floor; such as casting up and entering returns relative to the canvass. Mr. Twiss kept the returns of promises, &c.
Here the witness was requested to withdraw, and Mr. Andrews took an objection to the mode of examination, which was answered by Mr. Austin, who defended his course on the ground of the party being a "hostile witness." This was protested against by the counsel for the sitting member, who appealed to the chairman.
The Chairman was of opinion that there was no objection to the course of examination, It was the impression of the committee that the gentleman was not a hostile witness, though reluctant.
A member of the committee intimated his disapproval of the use of the latter word.
Mr. Fisher's examination continued.—Has no recollection of having seen Mr. Sutton present when the numbers were cast up, but had seen him during the proceedings. Spoke to Mr. Sutton on the result of the canvass, on information conveyed by Mr. Barker. Doubts whether Mr. Sutton knew of the numbers from information conveyed through the books. Witness and Mr. Barker canvassed in August last with Mr. Sutton. Never saw Long but once during the election, and did not then speak to him, nor did Long speak to any of the party while witness was present. All arrangements took place at the Eagle. Thinks he was never present during any arrangement for canvassing. Witness joined with them in the canvass in several streets. Mr. Swan introduced the candidate. Unless Mr. Sutton was out canvassing, witness was continually with him, morning, noon and night. The real and substantial business of the election was carried on in both rooms at the Eagle. Has no knowledge of any conversation with reference to the mode of obtaining votes for Mr. Sutton otherwise than by canvassing. Took an active part in the last registration. Has been with Mr. Sutton at Mr. Swan's house more than once, when there were arrangements for canvassing. Mr. William Swan has been a party to such arrangements. Does not recollect discussing the names and sentiments of individual voters. Never saw Long there. His house is in Barnwell, but his shop opposite Mr. Swan's. Did not know him to have been active in the registration. Did not see him in court. Knew him before the last election. Has had no communication with him for one or two years, except on an occasion when witness was engaged as chairman in the commission of taxes, and——
Here the messenger announced that the Speaker was at prayers, and the committee adjourned.
The proceedings were resumed yesterday at 11 o'clock.
Mr. Ashton, clerk of the peace, produced the depositions taken at the examination of Long by the magistrates.
Mr. Fisher was then called in, and his examination by Mr. Austen was resumed.—Witness proposed Mr. Sutton at the election, and was present with him at the chairing. Remembers the tax-collector of St. Andrew-the-Less absconding, and an inquiry taking place in July as to who had paid their rates. Brown and Long were appointed, the latter on the nomination of Mr. Swan, to inquire whose rates had been paid, with a view to prevent disfranchisement. Some were afterwards struck off on the ground of payment without authority from the parties. Witness is a member of the Cambridge Conservative Mechanics' Institute, but was not present when two purple flags were presented by Mr. Swan. Remembers Long's arrest, but was not at the inquiry, and knew of no subscription for his defence. Heard on Saturday previous to Long's disappearance that the agents of the other party had been tampering with him, and were about to send him off on Sunday under the care of Scott.
Mr. Andrews then objected to a question by Mr. Austen relative to the acquaintance of the witness with the knowledge of certain facts by another person, urging that Mr. Sutton was no party to the matter, and that it was a mere fishing examination.
Mr. Austen defended his course of proceeding, and alleged that he was proving agency very fast, as the evidence showed the connexion between Mr. Fisher, Mr. Swan, and Long.
Mr. Andrews replied, that the election was in September, and the conversation alluded to took place half a year afterwards. It had no reference to the question for decision, and he should ask the committee to order it to be struck out.
The Chairman decided that the question should be retained.
Mr. Fisher was again called in, and the examination proceeded. Heard on Monday morning that Long was gone from Mr. Michael Headley and Mr. W. Swan, jun.
Mr. Austen.—Did Headley know on Saturday that Long was going?
Mr. Serjeant Wrangham objected to this question, and the witness was ordered to withdraw. How could Mr. Headley's knowledge of Scott's going establish agency to Mr. Sutton at the election? He asked the decision of the committee, if knowledge of Long's abduction by Mr. Headley could bear on the agency of Swan, Headley, and Fisher, six months before?
Mr. Austen quoted Mr. Rogers's work on Election Law, and the room was cleared.
After a deliberation for half an hour, strangers were admitted.
The Chairman stated the opinion of the committee, that there was a valid objection to the form of the question, but that the course of inquiry was unobjectionable.
Mr. Serjeant Wrangham said, if the committee considered the question relevant, he would not object to its form; but he wished the committee had decided whether it was relevant to the main issue or the collateral one.
Mr. Fisher was again called in. Witness had an impression that Mr. Headley knew of the projected abduction of Long on the Saturday. Heard from time to time where Long was taken to. Saw a letter addressed to Mr. W. Swan, jun., and believes it was from Scott. It was signed only with initials, either "L. S." or "S. L." Saw Mr. Sutton in London on the Monday or Tuesday following, and thinks Mr. Sutton then knew of Long's abduction. Came off to London after an interview with Mr. Swan and Mr. Headley. Believed Long was perfectly satisfied with everything relative to the trial. Mr. Swan was as active as himself in the election. Saw him after the apprehension of Long, and before the election, in the yard at the Eagle, Received letters from Mr. Gunning, the town-clerk, and thinks the paper now produced to be in his hand-writing. Never showed the second letter, of which a piece is now produced, to Mr. Swan, though perhaps to Mr. Twiss. It was in his pocket on the day following Long's arrest. Took it out of his pocket, and, having no paper near, tore the envelope in two pieces, and some person wrote down the names at the time when Long was at the Town-hall. Received only three letters from Mr. Gunning; and remembers tearing up the second letter and dividing the envelope. Saw Mr. Gunning on the Saturday; but does not recollect his saying that a piece of his letter was found in Long's possession. He said he had something important to communicate; and added, that witness was implicated with Long in a way that would affect Mr. Sutton's seat. On witness asking if he was charged with bribery, Mr. Gunning twice said "No;" but that Mr. Gibson was in possession of facts implicating witness and affecting the seat. Witness said he had no objection to receive any communication when and where he pleased. Mr. Gunning appointed a meeting at 3 o'clock on Saturday by note (No. 3), now produced. Witness attended with Mr. Harris, whom he took with him as a friend and a professional man, he having occupied the same situation as Mr. Gunning before the operation of the new Municipal Act. Mr. Gunning said he should not make his communication in Mr. Harris's presence. Does not recollect the former saying that part of his letter was found on Long; but if Mr. Gunning has stated that he did say so, witness has no doubt that he did, though he does not recollect it. A doubt crossed his mind whether part of the letter had got into the hands of the other parties, who it was reported were exceedingly anxious to get possession of papers. The body of the letter was torn up, and the preservation of the envelope was accidental. Does not recollect Mr. Churchman, but remembers seeing a gentleman in the company of Mr. Robert Deck, of Ipswich, who might have been that person. Mr. Deck and his friend came in after a dinner which had taken place on the evening of the election. His health was drunk, and in returning thanks he remarked on Mr. Gibson's conduct at Ipswich, and mentioned that Mr. Gibson's committee had remonstrated with that gentleman for having personally bribed the electors there to such an extent as to endanger the return of both himself and his colleague. Witness knew before the committee met what course Long was likely to take, from the letter signed "S. and L.," and from conversation with Messrs. Lyon, Barnes, and Co. First knew Long's intention shortly after his disappearance. Knew pretty well the movements of Cannon and Cooper in London. Knew of their coming, but suspects they did not know of his. The election accounts were sent to Mr. Twiss; some were paid through witness's bank. Mr. Sutton had no account there during the election. About 1,126l. was paid on checks for election expenses. The greater part of the money was subscribed; and Mr. Sutton gave a check for 400l. on his bankers in London. Out of this amount sums of 470l. and 300l. were disbursed for various expenses by Mr. Moses Brown and Mr. Bishop, both retired tradesman. Witness was not consulted about the expenses. The book produced contains a copy of the account from the bank books. The bills at the Eagle were paid through Messrs. Brown, Bishop, and Twiss. Witness knew Aaron Skinner, a publican, and was at his house during the election, when Mr. Sutton spoke from the window, but neither Mr. Swan nor Long were present.
Mr. Andrews, finding it wanted but a quarter to 4 o'clock, suggested the postponement of the cross-examination of the witness, who appeared much exhausted. The witness, whose examination in chief has lasted a day and a half, is, we understand, in very indifferent health, and was supported from the room at the close of the proceedings. The course of the examination and its protraction were very harassing, and the witness was compelled to appeal to the committee, in consequence of the irregular communications by Mr. Cannon, the agent for the petitioner, to his learned leader, from a position nearer to the witness than the barrister.
Adjourned until 11 o'clock on Saturday morning, in consequence of the intervention of Good Friday.
The inquiry was resumed on Saturday (the sixth day) at 11 o'clock.
Mr. Fisher, cross-examined by Mr. Andrews.—The meetings at the Eagle were by the Conservative electors and the friends of Mr. Sutton, of whom sometimes 50 or 60 were present. The canvass was effected by private individuals on causal arrangements. Witness was a party to the arrangements relative to the hustings. Has taken an active part in the Parliamentary registration since 1836, but Mr. Barker attends to the municipal registry. Both are assisted by many friends, who also join in canvassing. Party spirit runs very high in Cambridge. Five or six individuals were at different times engaged in canvassing each of the 14 parishes, and the whole number must have been considerable. Witness never advised or prompted Long's going away. Said on his examination in chief that he thought Mr. Headley knew of the intended removal of Long on the Saturday; believes now that that was incorrect, and that it was not known to Mr. Headley until Sunday. Messrs. Bishop, Brown, and Spencer settled the accounts, on reference to them by Mr. Twiss. There was a subscription among the Conservative party after the election for the expenses. Mr. Sutton was to have paid 300l. towards it, but his subscription was, on witness's recommendation, increased to 400l., in consequence of the expenses of the charing, which amounted to between 300l. and 400l., the procession extending nearly a mile. The hustings expenses amounted to 87l. Does not believe that Mr. Sutton paid a farthing more for expenses in Cambridge, and thinks he could not have done so without witness's knowledge. Mr. Swan canvassed in Trinity and Barnwell, with the registration of which he was best acquainted; but witness does not think he was more active than other members of the same party. Mr. Sutton had no control over the subscription fund or the expenses of the election.
Re-examined by Mr. Austen.—The subscription was set on foot the week after the election; there was a list of subscribers, but witness has not a copy. Subscribed ten guineas, and no more. Does not know whether or not Mr. Swan subscribed; but Mr. Headley, Mr. Cory, and others, subscribed a similar sum to himself. On the first day sums were received by witness at the Eagle. The expenses of the election were controlled by Mr. Twiss, assisted by other gentlemen, but witness took no part.
Mr. Austen.—Is not Barnwell a very low district?
Mr. Fisher.—It is very different now from what it was in your time. (Laughter.) A portion of Barnwell is still a low neighbourhood, and Castle-end is little better.
In answer to questions by members of the committee.—Did not go to Mr. Gunning's, relative to the hustings, as Mr. Sutton's authorized agent. Mr. Twiss was present. Witness had no authority to appear. When he was at Mr. Swan's house on the Saturday previous, did not know the arrangements for Long's absence, but anticipated his disappearance. Wished Mr. Swan, his employer, if he had sufficient influence, to persuade Long to remain and take his trial. Remembers tearing the envelope on Saturday morning distinctly, and thinks it was about 10 o'clock. Does not believe it was so early as 9 o'clock, and is certain it was much later than 8 o'clock.
Mr. William Bishop, examined by Mr. Austen.—Is not in business at present, but was a tailor and robemaker. Assisted others in the canvass. Remembers the day of election. Did not bring up any voters, but was stationed at one of the polling-booths until the close, in order to see that no obstruction took place. Received no instructions to attend. Since the election accounts have passed under his supervision for various expenses. The bills were from printers, publicans, &c., some of whom lived in Barnwell and Castle-end. Paid Mr. Carter, of the Birdbolt, 20l. for liquors, beer, &c.
Mr. Austen.—Was this sum for liquors and beer supplied during the election?
Mr. Serjeant Wrangham objected to the question, and the witness was ordered to withdraw. He felt some diffidence in rising to make an objection after the decision by the committee the other day, but this was so clear that he did not think the committee would go on straining the laws of evidence to this extent. There had been no notice for the production of the bill, but he would rather rely on the broader objection. Treating, if the orders were considerable, would undoubtedly render the election void; but the amount must be on authority, or by the agent of the candidate. The facts were immaterial if they were not subject to his orders or control. He now objected to asking about the consumption of liquors without showing a connexion with the candidate. His learned friend attempted to set at nought the resolution of the committee, that agency should be established before acts were given in evidence. Had it been shown that these expenses were incurred by the direction of Mr. Sutton, or under the authority of his agent? If this course was followed—if a wild and vague examination, as evidenced in the case of the last witness, was allowed, it would become a mere question of expenses, a contest to see whose purse was longest. There was no scintilla of evidence to show agency in this witness, and he (Mr. Serjeant Wrangham) entreated the attention of the committee to the objection. This was a mere fishing inquiry, with a hope of picking out some inadvertent act: it was immaterial and illegal, and therefore inadmissible.
Mr. Austen was ready to show the election to have been tainted with bribery and treating, if the objection about agency was waved (sic—Ed.). If he should ever sit as a member of an election committee, as he hoped some day to do, there should not be found such a difficulty in the way of proving bribery. The course of corruption now was, that there should be no committee, no agent, excepting a mere legal agent, who of course had nothing to do with these objectionable matters. He should, however, show these parties to have acted so as to make Mr. Sutton responsible. Did not payment of printer's and publicans' bills constitute agency? payment of sums at public-houses out of a mixed fund, part of which was Mr. Sutton's own money, showed this person to have been distinctly Mr. Sutton's agent for that purpose.
Mr. Serjeant Wrangham replied.—This was an attempt to induce the committee to strain the proceedings to such an extent as to reach, if possible, the alterations to be suggested by his learned friend in the Legislature. What were the evidences of Bishop's agency? The funds raised subsequently to the election, and disposed of two months afterwards, were to prove agency at the election, and affect Mr. Sutton's seat. His learned friend presumed the liquors were for the election. If the committee presumed they were so applied before it was shown by evidence—unless it was shown that it was for the purpose of undue influence—then all principles of justice were withdrawn. That Mr. Sutton's share in the fund could create an agency through an act done in its disposal might become the law when his learned (friend—Ed.) should be a legislator, but it would not be so before.
Strangers were ordered to withdraw, and on the reopening of the doors,
The Chairman announced the decision of the committee to be, that the question could not be allowed.
Mr. Bishop recalled.—Paid numerous bills after examination. Does not remember particulars, but has the bills in his pocket. Received them in a parcel by a messenger, without any message. Will swear that he received no message, but had been previously requested by Mr. Moses Brown to examine them. The witness answered several questions relative to the contents of the bills.
Mr. Andrews objected to the witness being called on to look at the bills in order to speak of certain matters of which he had no knowledge. In order to constitute treating, it was requisite to show what were the articles, to whom given, when, and for what purpose.
Mr. Austen only asked the question to show agency, not treating.
After a short deliberation, the Chairman decided that the question might be put.
Mr. Bishop recalled.—Paid 29l. to the band, 19l. 19s. to the ringers.
The witness was about to hand some of the bills to Mr. Austen at his request, when an objection was interposed, and he was again ordered to withdraw.
Mr. Serjeant Wrangham said the bills were not evidence, and his learned friend had no right to look at what was not in evidence,
Mr. Austen contended for a right to look at the bills and examine the witness from them under the authority of Mr. Roscoe's Law of Evidence, page 132.
Mr. Serjeant Wrangham said the authority referred to the right of counsel in cross-examination, and was not in favour of his learned friend's claim. The witness might have a right to refresh his memory, but that was no reason why his learned friend should see the documents, in order to be enabled to fish out something for his own purpose.
The room was cleared, and on our return,
The Chairman decided that the bills should not be handed to the counsel until put in as evidence.
Mr. Bishop was recalled, and proceeded to enumerate these bills by name and amount. They were 120 in number, and the majority of them from publicans, for sums varying from a few shillings to three of four pounds, and two exceeded 9l. Before the bundle was gone through the hour of adjournment arrived.
Mr. Austen applied to have the whole of these bills lodged with the clerk of the committee, which was objected to as unnecessary; and after a short discussion,
The Chairman said they were not in evidence, and their disposal must, therefore, be left to the discretion of the witness.
The proceedings were resumed yesterday (the seventh day) at 11 o'clock.
Mr. William Bishop called, and examination by Mr. Cockburn continued.—The witness proceeded with the enumeration of the election bills, as submitted to him for examination. As we mentioned before, the amounted in number to 120, and a list of them would be tedious and useless. A considerable proportion of them were from publicans, some for very trifling sums, others more considerable. Some have been paid, others partly so, and some are still under consideration. Amongst them may be mentioned, as of most importance—Mr. Brown, printer, 59l. 4s. 6d.; Mr. Williams. ale-brewer, 6l.; Watts, a publican, 15l. 5s. 8d.; John Sharman, publican, 16l. 11s. 6d.; Farren, publican, 20l. 8s. 6d.; John Page, Rose and Crown, 34l. 8s. 8d.; James Honeyman, fly-letter, 18l. 1s 6d.; the Independent Press, 2l. 12s. 6d.; Mr. Hubbard, draper, 5l. 10s.; Mr. Magitts, under-sheriff, 21l.; Mr. Newbury, the Fountain, 53l. 10s.; Mr. G. Briggs, for various clerks, inspectors, and assistants, 48l. 4s. 6d.; Mr. Francis Gunning, town-clerk, 87l. 17s. 3d.; John Smith, publican, 12l. 6s. 6d.; Worland, fly-letter, 5l. 15s.; the band, 79l. 16s.; Bailey, publican, 17l. 1s.; Webb, the Albion, Castle-end, 60l. 12s.; Aaron Skinner, publican, 19l. 11s.; for the chair, 14l. 10s.; William Mitchell, fly-letter, 17l. 14s,; Mr. Garbutt, printer, 10l. 13s. 6d.; Mr. Hall, printer, 34l. 2s. 5d.; Mr. Oliver, Star and Garter, 32l. The remainder consisted of small sums for ringers, criers, messengers, and other minor election functionaries. Witness paid part of the bills by proceeds of checks drawn on Messrs. Fisher's bank. Subscribed 10l. to that fund. The subscription was subsequent to the election; amount unknown to witness.
Mr. Cockburn.—Did you take steps to ascertain if the articles had been supplied?
An objection was taken by Mr. Andrews, but the question was allowed.
Mr. Bishop recalled.—Took little notice whether the articles had been supplied. Put questions to some of the parties. Made a deduction on one bill, because he thought the ale charged too high, but made no deduction as to the quantity supplied. Gave an order to Smith, the Red Cow, to supply breakfasts for six or eight on the morning of the poll. Gave no other order.
Cross-examined by Mr. Serjeant Wrangham.—The order was in his own parish, and was given on his own notion. Had no authority from Mr. Sutton, or from any agent. The subscription was raised to pay bills incurred during the election. Received the bills some time after, and then some delay occurred before they were examined. Gave Mr. Barnes the bill since the petition was presented. Newbury, whose bill was produced, is no longer a publican, in consequence of proceedings against him by Mr. Searle, the chairman of Mr. Gibson's committee. In all the things witness had done he had acted on his own authority, without any recognition of his acts by Mr. Sutton, except in canvassing.
Mr. Moses Brown, examined by Mr. Austen.—Is a retired tradesman. Volunteered to examine the bills a few weeks after the election, in a conversation with Mr. George Fisher. Called on the last witness, who, with Mr. Spencer, consented to assist. They held no authority, but paid the bills jointly through the bank, Signed checks for 320l. and 150l., of which the money for the former was disbursed in payment of bills at Mr. Bishop's house. The 150l. was brought to the Catherine-wheel, and was partly distributed by Mr. Hazzard, a merchant, and himself. These payments were made without bills, and witness has no minute. There might have been payments to as many as 150 individuals, but he could not speak to 30 more or less. Some received 5s., others 10s., a few 20s., and one was paid as much as 30s. There were no notes; all was in gold or silver. The payment took place in an afternoon, and lasted two or three hours. Did not know how they came to be paid, but supposed some notice had been given. Mr. Charles Balls and Mr. William Barrow were present, but does not know that the latter acted as clerk. Some had tickets: perhaps the majority, but not all. Did not know if the amount was endorsed on the tickets. They were cards, and varied in amount. according to the number of days' service. Thinks there were no vouchers or names on the tickets. Not one, amongst the whole 150, was a voter, as especial care had been taken that no voter should be employed. It had been so arranged before the election. They consisted principally of messengers, flag-bearers, men who walked before the band, &c., and might have been rather low fellows, from the appearance of their dress. Of the bills examined at Mr. Bishop's house, had given no orders for the goods in any instance.
Mr. Austen.—Did you subscribe to the fund?
Mr. Bishop objected to the question; but on its being repeated by the Chairman, said he did not. He did not think fit to bear any expense. Received instruction to draw the check from Mr. Winter, as well as he can recollect; but certainly not from either Mr. Fisher or Mr. Twiss. Witness only signed them. After it was discovered that he was connected with the examination of the bills the applicants almost pulled his bell down. (Laughter.) Repaid into the bank about 60l., which was left unexpended out of the 150l. produced at the Catherine-wheel. The sum was repaid before the larger check was drawn.
Cross-examined by Mr. Andrews.—Never spoke to Mr. Sutton, except when he was canvassed by him. Did not promise his vote, but said that he would not vote against him. Voted afterwards for Mr. Sutton, but took no other part.
Mr. Field Dunn Barker, examined by Mr. Austen.—Is a banker in Cambridge, and has no partner. Has taken an active part in the municipal registration, and is chairman of a local association established for its superintendence. Knew Mr. Sutton at College. Canvassed for him, and looked over the canvassing books. Kept a register, and made a general return from information received from various friends at the Eagle, and elsewhere. Went to the Eagle to transact business relative to the canvass; as, so far as that, for the management of the election. Saw Mr. Fisher, Mr. Swan, and others, and had probably occasional conversation with them, as well as others, relative to the returns. Never spoke to Long. Remembers his apprehension, but received no communication on the subject, nor with reference to his bail. Knew nothing relative to his disappearance. Knows nothing about the payment of the expenses of the election. Gave an order to Fenner, who keeps the King's Arms, on the day previous to the election.
Mr. Austen.—What was the order?
Mr. Serjeant Wrangham objected, and the witness was ordered to withdraw. What had this to do with Mr. Sutton's election, unless there was shown an authority to give the order? When the petition was lodged, his learned friend ought to have been in a condition to prove something tangible. As yet he had not called a witness with the nature of whose evidence he could have been acquainted. His learned friend had called the leading Conservative electors, and was seeking to find out something as a ground for subsequent inquiries, which ought to have been made out before he had ventured to come before the committee. Had a witness been called by his friend whose evidence had not been a mere speculation? Mr. Barker's orders could not affect Mr. Sutton's return, unless it was shown that they were given for articles to be supplied to voters at a time prohibited by law, and at the instigation of Mr. Sutton, or his agent. The question of authority was preliminary; and the committee ought not to allow his learned friend attempt thus to get data on which to found charges.
Mr. Austen contended that it was sufficient to show Fenner's bill to have been paid by a person acting under Mr. Twiss, the agent for the sitting member, out of a fund to which Mr. Sutton had been a principal contributor.
Strangers were ordered to withdraw, and after a deliberation, which lasted nearly a quarter of an hour,
The Chairman announced the decision of the committee in approval of the question.
Mr. Barker recalled, and examination continued.—The order was for refreshments for 12 or 14. He gave it himself to Fenner. Tea and cold meat were to be supplied for breakfast; but there was no order for spirits or beer. Expected the viands would be consumed by voters, but gave no particulars as to place or persons. Did not go himself, nor did he send any individual. Expected payment would be made by a subscription after the election. The order was given on the nomination-day, and was for the polling morning. Fenner voted for Mr. Sutton, but had voted at the previous election for the Whigs. Witness canvassed him. He had long before promised voluntarily to vote for Mr. Sutton. Indeed, he had given a written promise immediately after his voting in 1837 for the other side; he having then broken his promise to vote for Mr. Knight and Mr. Sutton. Had long before been witness's servant, but is not his tenant. He applied to witness about the bill after the election, when witness told him that if it was not paid in any other way, he would pay it himself.
Cross-examined by Mr. Serjeant Wrangham.—Never heard of any other agent to Mr. Sutton except Mr. Twiss. Witness was not an agent. Did not give the order in question as Mr. Sutton's agent, but gave it on his own account, and intended to have paid it himself if there had been no subscription. Had no expectation that Mr. Sutton would pay it. It was an understood thing that there should be a subscription for the expenses of the election; and it was never expected that Mr. Sutton would be held responsible for those expenses. Witness gave his services at the registration for the benefit of the party generally and furtherance of his own views, without reference to any particular candidates. Made up the accounts of the returns relative to the canvassing for his own particular pleasure. It was a very favourable canvass, and it was thought the return of Mr. Sutton was quite safe some days before the election was held. The number calculated from the canvass returns was 731; and of these 716 voted.
In answer to question by members of the committee.—When witness gave the order to Fenner, he had not heard that Mr. Sutton intended to pay any expenses at all. That was the only witness ever gave. There were no tickets given.
Adjourned at 10 minutes to 4 o'clock.
The proceedings were resumed yesterday (the eighth day) at 11 o'clock.
Mr. Rowland Morrice Fawcett, examined by Mr. Austen.—Is a surgeon at Cambridge, where he has resided 12 or 13 years. Canvassed for Mr. Sutton at the last election, but did not take so active a part as he had done on previous occasions. Did not subscribe to the fund for the election expenses. Knows there was no committee, as it was determined that there should not be one. Complained of it to Mr. George Fisher, who said it had been so arranged before the election. Witness did not hear why. There had been a committee at previous elections. Parties met at the Eagle to forward Mr. Sutton's election, but the rooms were open to everybody. Might have said that it was ridiculous to say there was no committee, and absurd that there should not be one. Is satisfied, in fact, there was an open committee, composed of 770 electors. Saw Sharman, of the Royal Oak, the day before the election, and ordered breakfast for 12 or 14 Barnwell electors after polling. Gave then tickets after voting to serve as vouchers, and make himself responsible. The refreshments ordered were to the extent of 5s. per head. Knew of no gin being supplied, but beer was an ordinary part of the breakfasts of such persons. Witness was intrusted to take up voters from Barnwell, and he told them they should have nothing before polling, but the usual refreshments afterwards, such as had been customary on former occasions. Went to the Star and Garter on Mr. Twiss's suggestion, but had no specific instructions to order the breakfasts.
Mr. Austen.—What was your impression as to Mr. Twiss's communication?
Mr. Andrews objected, and asked for words, not impressions.
The room was cleared, and after about then minutes' discussion,
The Chairman allowed the question.
Mr. Fawcett recalled.—Had no precise instructions from Mr. Twiss, but thought himself authorized to give the order.
Cross-examined by Mr. Andrews.—Mr. Twiss said distinctly, "Remember, there must be no treating." Witness's impression was, that there should be nothing given before polling, but that it would not exclude some small refreshment afterwards. Gave no order of any description to voters for refreshment before polling.
In answer to questions by members of the committee.—An election committee met regularly on former occasions and sub-committees were formed, but not in 1839. It was a ground of complaint that there was no organized committee for the management of the election, and it was thought likely to be unfavourable to the cause. Mr. Twiss received any information from from electors on the business of the election; and witness though there would be an impression that there was a committee at the Eagle.
Aaron Skinner, examined by Mr. Austen.—Keeps the Butchers' Arms at Barnwell; at least he is the landlord, and it partly keeps him. Saw Mr. Sutton at the Butchers' Arms once, but is not certain he was at home at the time. (Laughter.) Thinks he was there before Mr. Sutton went away. Saw him in the house. "Can't say when, upon my soul. I'm telling the truth, take it as you like." (Laughter.) "I don't know if it was within a week, or a month, or two months of the election: I can't tell, really. I can't say if it was after the election. I didn't hear a speech; but I believe there was a talking out of window to a goodish many. I don't know whether they listened or no. I didn't ask. I didn't go out to look, as I was comfortable over my pipe and my glass. I can't say who else had pipes and glasses, but there was a good many in the house."
Mr. Serjeant Wrangham rose, and asked what course was now intended to be taken? The bribery case had disappeared; was the committee now on a question of treating? If not, there was nothing at all in the proceedings. He felt compelled to ask the question as to what course his learned friend intended to pursue, but his friend treated such matters with a high hand.
Mr. Austen alleged that he had invariably acted with courtesy. He had been inconveniently interrupted in the examination of a witness, and should decline giving an answer.
Mr. Serjeant Wrangham, in reply, urged his right to ask his friend the nature of the case he was going to prove. Two distinct cases had been opened—bribery, and treating. The former appeared to be, at least for the present, laid aside; and he wished to ask if the evidence now adduced related to bribery or treating?
The Chairman (to Mr. Austen).—Does this go to the question of agency?
Mr. Austen directed the witness to withdraw, and explained that he was endeavouring to lay a broad foundation for proof of agency. The question might bear on treating or bribery, but that was incidental to the proof of agency.
Mr. Serjeant Wrangham expressed himself satisfied with the explanation.
Aaron Skinner recalled, examination continued.—There were no rooms hired during the election at his house. Many persons called at the time, strangers and others; and he did not know whether they were connected with the election. "A many came, but nobody said nothing to me. If they were gentlemen, my wife accommodated them. (!!—Ed.) I supplied meat for breakfast, but without orders. I am a butcher, and supplied steaks and other things to various parties, waggoners, neighbours, and others. Never had no orders for a hap'orth of nothing. There was a chalk on the door, but I don't know for what. There was a bill, but I didn't see it. I took it to Mr. Bishop, but I can't say by whose orders. I was paid by Mr. Stubbings and Mr. Bishop. I don't know who Stubbings is. but I think his name's up where the other used to carry on business, but I a'nt certain, as I'm no scholar, and 'tis a trouble to read. I never looked at the bill, and can't say how much it came to. It was a little under 20l. I received, by 10l. and 9l., in two payments; but I'm not quite certain. I never received a farthing more. I don't know to whom the things were supplied. I couldn't tell if you would give me 100l. There was no breakfast at my house at the time of the election. I can't swear it, but I think I could."
Mr. Bishop was recalled for the purpose of producing Skinner's bill, but it appeared that he had sent all the bills back to Cambridge, under the impression they would be of no further service, as they were not put in evidence. On finding his mistake this morning, he had sent off for them again. Under these circumstances, it became requisite to proceed with another witness.
John Titterton, examined by Mr. Talbot.—Is the superintendent of police at Cambridge. Apprehended Long at Mr. Swan's yard, under a warrant for bribery. Followed him to the station-house, and saw, by the way, that he was fidgetty, and had his hands in his pockets. Searched him at the station, and found on him a quantity of small bits of paper, a registration book, a letter, a piece of a letter, &c. Put the bits of paper together, and gave them to Mr. Cooper. Could identify the book and papers now produced. Found on him 16 sovereigns and a half-sovereign, but no silver. Gave the papers on the day following to Mr. Cannon. Was at Mr. Gunning's house on that morning, about 8 o'clock, and saw Mr. Cooper there soon after. Is positive the part of a letter bearing a direction to "George Fisher, Esq.," was part of the papers he then produced. Has no doubt he took that paper from Long's person on the Friday evening.
Cross-examined by Mr. Andrews—That paper was marked at Mr. Gunning's house, but not the others. Thinks it was Mr. Cooper who called Mr. Gunning's attention to it. Was sent for by that gentleman, and directed to bring the papers to his house. Mr. Gunning had nothing to do with evidence to be taken before the magistrates. Believes he is an active party man. Witness voted for Mr. Gibson. Only produced the small bits of paper before the magistrates—not the others. Had orders to that effect from Mr. Cannon, to withhold the book and other papers. In ordinary cases witness always produces articles found on prisoners, but under Mr. Cannon's orders omitted to do so. Gave all the documents on the Sunday following to Mr. Cannon, and had never seen them since. Particularly noticed the paper bearing Mr. Fisher's name in the first instance at Mr. Gunning's.
Re-examined.—Has no doubt he saw the paper on Friday at the station-house. Thought it of more importance when it was alluded to at Mr. Gunning's house.
By the Committee.—Had not shown the papers to Mr. Gunning before Mr. Cooper arrived.
Mr. Francis Gunning was examined by Mr. Cockburn, but nothing new was elicited. His account of his communications with Mr. Fisher did not vary in any respect from the testimony given by that gentleman.
Cross-examined by Mr. Serjeant Wrangham.—Sent for Titterton with a view to further the ends of justice. Had no official situation, entitling him in any way to interfere. His only view was to find a case of bribery; and he sent for Mr. Cooper for that purpose. Was desirous of knowing all the circumstances, and had a view to the proceedings now taking place. Was present at the Town-hall on Long's examination. The papers alluded to were not produced. Witness did not know why, but was not surprised.
Re-examined.—Thought the proof of bribery of more importance than the proceedings against Long.
Mr. Cannon recalled, and examined by Mr. Talbot.—Did not see Titterton till he went to the Town-hall on the Saturday. Told the magistrates that other papers were found on Long, but said he did not intend to produce them on that occasion.
Cross-examined by Mr. Andrews.—Is not aware that he desired Titterton not to produce the other papers previous to the examination. Does not remember whether during the inquiry he told him not to produce them, or before the inquiry terminated. Kept the papers at this office ever since, under lock and key. Showed them to half-a-dozen persons, but is not certain to whom, Had no object in showing them. Never showed them to Mr. Babington of St. John's. Mr. Cooper had access to them.
Mr. Cooper recalled, and examined by Mr. Cockburn.—Never saw the paper bearing Mr. Fisher's name before he went to Mr. Gunning's. Did not introduce it then among the papers brought by Titterton.
Adjourned at a quarter past 4 o'clock.
The proceedings were resumed yesterday (the ninth day) at 11 o'clock.
Mr. Cannon asked an opportunity of correcting a statement in his evidence, as given on the previous day. When he was asked if the green book found on Long had been ever out of his possession, he forgot to state that about five weeks since he lent it for a quarter of an hour to Mr. Gunning.
Mr. Cooper recalled, and cross-examined by Mr. Serjeant Wrangham.—Saw Long immediately after his apprehension, and knew beforehand that he was to arrested. Did not draw the information; but had drawn one, which the magistrate's clerk refused to adopt. Mr. Cannon was the attorney for Mr. Foster, the prosecutor. Went to Mr. Gunning's on the Saturday morning by appointment, and for the purpose of meeting Titterton. Knows of no connexion which Mr. Gunning had with the matter, except by election interest. Has a key to the drawer in which the papers were kept by Mr. Cannon, but rarely makes use of it. Never took them out but once, and then did not let them out of his hand, having merely submitted the book to the inspection of Mr. James Hunt, with a view to his opinion relative to the hand-writing. Had seen the book and the papers submitted to the inspection of several persons—to Mr. Harris, Mr. Hallett, &c. It was not shown to the latter to induce him to become a surety on the petition. Had never asked any one to subscribe, towards the expenses of the petition. Went to Portsmouth to see Long; and Mr. Cannon then took the book and papers. Had a conversation with Long, but thinks it was not reduced to writing, though he understands that Mr. Cannon has stated it to have been put upon paper. Was not present during the whole of the time, and it might have been taken during his absence. Knows Edward Edwards, who was waiter at the Eagle, but is not in the habit of speaking to him. Received no communications from him at the time of the election, and does not recollect seeing him on the day of Long's examination. Is quite positive he did not speak to him. Did not see Mr. George Fisher on that day, and neither gave him any paper nor received any paper to be given to him. Is quite certain of it, and certain that he (witness) received nothing from Edwards. Did not know before he went to Mr. Gunning's that a paper had been found on Long bearing Mr. Fisher's name. The apprehension and the discovery were much talked of on the Friday evening, and there was a rumour prevalent that "a regular bribing book" was found. Thought that a fair translation of a register-book, having such marks in it. Does not recollect giving any directions to Titterton not to produce the book and other papers, but it was intended they should not be produced. Thinks the book was immaterial to the case against Long, though he thought then that the book ought to have been put in.
Mr. Bishop recalled and examined by Mr. Austen.—Produced the bills which had been returned from Cambridge. Identified Aaron Skinner's bill. Sees that the top part of the bill has been cut off, but does not know what became of it. Some of the bills were sent in addressed "To the committee," and this was torn off as incorrect, before they were paid. Does not recollect what was on Skinner's bill; perhaps it might have been headed with Mr. Sutton's name. When it bore the name of any private individual it was allowed to remain untouched.
Mr. Austen here proposed to put in all the bills.
Mr. Andrews objected. The only ground for such a proceeding would be to show something against Mr. Sutton. If Mr. Sutton gave the orders, and the goods were supplied, it might be proved by the parties to the order and delivery. His learned friend must connect the bills with Mr. Sutton, and must prove treating, as he had already stated, by showing who gave the orders for the goods, when and where they were supplied, and to whom and for what purpose.
Mr. Austen said, the bills were connected with Mr. Twiss, the gentleman who had been ostentatiously put forward as Mr. Sutton's agent, through whose hands they passed to the parties whom he and Mr. Fisher had appointed as auditors, and who paid them in full or in part, out of a fund for election expenses, to which Mr. Sutton was the most important contributor. It was wasting time to contend further on the proof of agency.
Mr. Andrews, in reply, said, that to show Mr. Sutton's connexion with the alleged treating it was requisite to do something more than make the bills evidence. Mr. Twiss, the agent, had paid the town-clerk, the flag-bearers, and the messengers; but did nothing with the other bills except in handing them over to the parties connected with the local subscription. This was——
The Chairman announced that the committee had decided that the whole of the bills should be put in; adding, after a momentary pause, unless Mr. Andrews chose to go on with his argument to show that they ought not.
Mr. Andrews said, it would be useless to go on arguing the point after the committee had expressed its decision.
Mr. Bishop was again recalled.
Mr. Cockburn.—Here is Carter's bill for articles supplied at the Birdbolt: it is cut off at the top and bottom; have the goodness to explain that.
Mr. Serjeant Wrangham objected to this, and the witness was order to withdraw. He said there had been no proposal by the other side, to prove treating, through Carter's aid at the Birdbolt, and they were not entitled to go into a matter of which no notice had been given. The same objection had been made on the same bill in the examination of the same witness on Saturday, and he now only asked the committee to adhere to its decision. There was no connexion between the agent and the payment of these bills, which he had passed by him as things with which he had nothing to do. Skinner's bill had been duly opened, on his own evidence; but what right existed to allow his friends to go into the particulars of Carter's bill? If this was allowed, what could counsel trust to, after the resolution with which the committee opened the proceedings should have been thus set at nought?
Mr. Cockburn wished to take the decision of the committee at once on the right of going into new matter, as it must be decided sooner or later. The mutilations and erasures on the bills were pregnant with fraud, and called for an explanation, so that an inquiry was imperatively requisite.
Mr. Serjeant Wrangham interposed.—If fraud is alleged, we will admit the bills at once.
Mr. Cockburn declined pressing that point, and said that wanting the bills to prove agency, the state of them was important. He thought that under the qualifying clause in the preliminary resolution he was entitled to enter into the matter, and not limited to the points opened in the commencement of the proceedings.
Mr. Serjeant Wrangham.—If fraud is imputed in the mutilation of the bills, let them be all examined from end to end. If it is proposed to enter into their contents with reference to treating, they are not, at least at present, admissible.
The room was cleared, and after a brief deliberation,
The Chairman announced the determination of the committee to be, that they were of opinion that on the terms of the resolution it was competent to the counsel to go into cases on the bill put in, besides those specifically mentioned by Mr. Austen in his opening speech.
Mr. Bishop recalled and examined by Mr. Austen.—Carter's bill is cut both at the top and bottom, but witness does not know who cut it. Does not recollect that particular bill, because there were many similarly treated. Most likely received them entire, and they were mutilated by himself, Brown or Spencer, though both might not have been present, as they were generally altered when paid. Does not recollect making any erasure with a pen. The witness then went over each of the bills, seriatim, as they were handed in to him by the counsel.
Cross examined by Mr. Andrews.—It was his intention to alter all, where addressed to Mr. Sutton or to the committee, as such designations were incorrect. If he did not alter the whole, it was an unintentional omission, as it was not intended to pay any bill without.
Mr. Austen proposed an adjournment, to allow time for the selection of certain bills, or for putting the whole upon the notes, for the purpose of examining their contents. He saw that some hon. members were unwilling to finish the day's proceedings at so early an hour, but he felt compelled to make a formal application for an adjournment. He was unable at present to go on with the case without digesting and arranging the bills, and obtaining a knowledge of their contents.
The room was cleared, and after a few minutes' delay,
The Chairman announced the decision in favour of an adjournment.
Mr. Austen applied for leave to the agents for the petitioners to examine the bills, which were deposited with the clerk of the committee.
This was allowed, and the clerk directed to remain in the room for the purpose.
Adjourned at a quarter past 3 o'clock.
The proceedings were resumed yesterday (the 10th day) at 11 o'clock.
Mr. John Eaden, a solicitor, at Cambridge, deposed, to his knowledge, of the hand-writing of two of Mr. Twiss's clerks, on two bills produced, with a number of others, but was unable to recognize the hand-writing in the registry book.
On Mr. Andrews' application, leave was given for inspection by other parties.
Thomas Amey, of the Marshal Blucher, at Cambridge, produced an account book, which he handed to Mr. Austen.
Mr. Andrews objected, and the witness was ordered to withdraw; but on Mr. Cockburn's stating that it was not proposed to make it evidence, the witness was recalled.
Thomas Amey, examined by Mr. Austen.—Supplied refreshments at the last election. Did not make out the bill from the book, but made up his book from the bill. The first entry in the book bore date 1736, and the book had been ever since in use. Made the entry relative to the election in his own hand. Kept no daily account by book, but keeps a score with chalk on the door, and sometimes on a slate. The other entries in the book related principally to his trade as a tailor. Believes the refreshments were supplied to voters after polling, but was absent from home till evening. Upon his oath he did not breakfast with any voters, nor were there any voters in his house taking refreshment at the time. Took his bill to Mr. Twiss's office in consequence of the advertisement. The entry in the book, "For 27 voters, at 3s.6d. per head," was made by himself. The half-barrel of ale charged for was ordered after 10 o'clock in the evening by Mr. Swan. It was all supplied on speculation for himself. Does not know who paid the bill, as he received the money by a check on Messrs. Mortlock's bank.
Cross-examined by Mr. Andrews.—The house was full of voters and their friends, it being a general merry-making after the election. Sent in his bill on speculation; but felt if the parties had not been honourable enough to pay it he could not have demanded it. Was promised an order for the supply of 20 voters for breakfast if he voted for the Whigs, but refused, having always been on the other side of the question. Was canvassed for Mr. Gibson by Mr. Herring Smith. Mr. Fetch has had a copy of the entries in the book. He served me with a copy of the Speaker's warrant on Sunday morning, and then obtained a copy of the bill for the petitioners. He got it in an undermining way, and by intimidation. I asked him his authority to see the book before he served me with the warrant. He then produced another paper to signify that I should be committed if I did not give the book up, and I then allowed him to take a copy of the account.
By the Committee.—Is a freeman, and has been a voter for some years. There were no names of voters in the bill. Knew the names of some, who were neighbours. Others gave their names, but there were no tickets.
Mrs. Mottram, examined by Mr. Austen.—Keeps the Bee-hive. Sent in a bill for election expenses, 10l. 5s. It was after voting that the goods were suppled. Kept the account on a slate, and made the bill from that. The consumption of refreshments commenced between 11 and 12 o'clock. Knew from her own judgment that no refreshments were to be given before polling. Had no order, but supplied things on speculation, as she had done on previous occasions. Has had her house open before on account of the Whig party.
Cross-examined by Mr. Serjeant Wrangham.—The house opposite the Horse and Groom, kept by a person named Edwards, was open free for voters of the opposite party, and refreshments were supplied two or three hours before voters were received at witness's house.
Mrs. Skinner, examined by Mr. Austen.—Her husband keeps the Butcher's Arms. People were there on the following day, but does not know if they were all friends of Mr. Sutton. Refreshments were supplied after polling. Supplied breakfast without charge about 11 o'clock, but does not know to how many. Is no scholar, and did not make the bill; but it was made out by another person from the marks on the door. There were refreshments supplied to the watch party, but cannot say when. There were no rooms hired by Mr. Sutton, but he spoke from the front window on one occasion. Many people were in the house at the time, but witness took money for all articles supplied. Furnished nothing without money from the parties served. 66s. worth of liquor were drunk on the polling-day, but does not think it took long to drink it. The half barrel of ale for the day after the polling was given to neighbours and their wives. The house was not open during the night after the nomination. The doors were certainly shut up, but witness could not say what time she went to bed. Supplied no drink then to persons who did not pay. The watch committee was there, and ate and drank, but did not pay for it, though it was now paid. Had not included them in her previous statement.
The Earl of Darlington inquired the nature of the watch committee.
Mr. Serjeant Wrangham thought they were persons employed to see that no one was bribed by the other party.
Mr. Austen suggested they were required to pick up the drunken men of their own party.
Mrs. Skinner's examination continued.—A stranger slept at the house that night, but no one slept there, because he was too drunk to be removed.
By the Committee.—Knows that at the Seven Stars and at the Racehorse barrels of ale were given away by the other party. The watch committee had refreshments to the amount of 2s. per head. Did not know if they were voters.
Charles Oliver, examined by Mr. Talbot.—Keeps the Star and Garter at Barnwell. Supplied refreshments at the election time on the voting day, and to the watch on the night previous. Mr. Bishop paid him half his bill by a check for 15l. In August a few of the gentlemen came backwards and forwards, and witness made a charge for the use of his parlour, which he called a committee room. Gave them a list of friends to be called on. Knows Long as a neighbour, but he does not drink. Long might have been in and out at the election time. Provided a dinner for 38 men on the day of the election. Did not know all of them, but they were friends of Mr. Sutton's, and electors. Considered others had no right to be there. Was not told to confine it to electors, but did it out of his own head, and all upon speculation. Looked to nobody for payment, but had hopes from Mr. Sutton's friends, and still has hopes of getting the other half of his bill. All who came stated that they had polled. Knew no reason why something should not be given before polling by way of encouragement. Had tea and coffee ready, with cold meat, about 8 o'clock, but no beer was then supplied. Saw no cards or tickets on the polling day, but received tickets on the day of the chairing. Sees an item in the account, "Ale for two nights and one day, five barrels." There were friends watching Mr. Gibson's party, and they came in and out during the nights before the nomination day and the polling. Did not get one wink of sleep during one night, and not above an hour's sleep during the two nights. Was walking the streets with some of the watch during part of the night, and the rest was spent in journeys up and down between his tap and his cellar. The whole of the ale supplied from first to last amounted to 180 gallons of XXX. Did not let any of them get drunk. Some members of the watch committee wished to be sedentary, but he turned them out, and insisted on their watching their friends. (Laughter.)
Cross-examined by Mr. Serjeant Wrangham.—Went out with parties occasionally to watch, and in order to see that Mr. Gibson's party disturbed none of Mr. Sutton's friends, who had promised him their votes. Has known voters carried off by the other side; and that was the reason why the watch was established during those two nights. Went to reconnoitre at the Waggon and Horses amongst the other party. Did not tell Mr. Bishop that anything had been given to voters before polling, but had allowed some to have a slice of cold meat and some tea. Never was paid anything by Mr. Twiss, but sent in his bill when he saw the advertisement, and had hopes of being paid.
By the Committee.—Does not know who appointed the watch committee. Witness was one of the watch, but was not appointed; he volunteered. Had no order for refreshment for them, but thought as they were up all night they wanted a little drink, and supplied all with ale in moderation. Mr. Bishop said he thought witness's bill too much.
William Webb examined by Mr. Cockburn.—Keeps the Albion, at Cambridge. Voted for the Whigs at the previous election, and promised his vote to Mr. Gibson at the last, but altered his mind, and voted for Mr. Sutton. Came to that decision on the morning of the poll. Supplied refreshments to electors after voting on the polling day. Sent in his bill, and was told on several occasions to call again. Met Mr. Twiss in the street, when he said he had nothing to do with it. Called on Mr. George Fisher, who said he had nothing to do with the matter. Then went to Mr. Bishop, but with no better success. On a subsequent application by his wife to the latter she received 30l. in part payment. Keeps no books, except in his other business as a coal-merchant. There is nothing in his books relative to the election, and he had not brought them. Supplied refreshments after the polling, and on the day of the chairing. The supply of ale lasted all day and all night. Charged for 10 barrels of ale 30l. [Bill handed to witness.] "August to September, 1839; from the commencement of the canvass, 10l." Had not understood the previous question to allude to the supply of things being confined to the polling and chairing days. Must have misunderstood, but could not say why. The ale was partly supplied previous to the election. Voters and their friends were at his house every day, from the commencement of the canvass. The liquors and cigars charged for extended over the same period. The lunches were only supplied on the day of voting. The order was to supply refreshments after polling. Received no order. Cannot say how these two different expressions can be reconciled. Charged 20l. for the supply of chops, steaks, ale, &c., but cannot say how many. Thinks at the rate of half-a-crown a head, but then they stopped all day. "Luncheons" includes every think (sic—Ed.) for eatables and drinkables on the day of polling, and the separate charge for ale was not for that day. Had no order in particular from any one, and was told afterwards by Mr. George Fisher, that he must have an order from some one to obtain payment. Then made his account on the order of Mr. Charles Wagstaff, his landlord, but that was after the bill was prepared. Thought that requisite as there was no committee. Charged two guineas for a committee-room for Mr. Sutton's friends, as engaged by William Newman, a constable; but no one came except the constable and another or two whom witness did not know. Mr. Sutton spoke on one occasion from a window, but not of that room. He was accompanied by Mr. Fisher, Mr. Bishop, and others. No ale was drawn the except what was paid for, or the principal part. All was paid for, to the best of witness's knowledge, as none was supplied gratis to them.
Cross-examined by Mr. Serjeant Wrangham.—Was cautioned by Mr. Stephen Rowley against giving voters refreshments before polling. The room was never used as a committee-room, as no business was transacted. Mr. Sutton spoke from a window on the first floor, and Mr. Gibson also, from the same window, on a subsequent day. Had promised to vote for the latter, but not for the former. Had a reason for changing his mind. Did not know Mr. Gibson's principles till a few hours after he had promised his vote.
Mr. Serjeant Wrangham.—Do you mean his late principles, or his present ones? Do you know that he is now of a different party from what he was formerly?
Witness.—Yes, he is now for a repeal of the corn-laws, and I did not know that when I promised him the vote.
Re-examined.—Did not recollect Mr. Rowley's caution till his name was mentioned.
By the Committee.—Mr. Gibson was not aware of his retraction of his promise when came to the house. Witness only made up his mind to vote for Mr. Sutton on the night before the election, though he had been supplying ale to that gentleman's friends for some time previous.
Adjourned at a quarter past 4 o'clock.
The proceedings were resumed yesterday (the 11th day) at 11 o'clock.
John Newbury, examined by Mr. Austen.—Was a publican at the period of the last election, and kept the Fountain. Supplied refreshments on the polling day to 200 or 300 people, of whom, perhaps, half were voters. Received a 10l. check in part payment, and afterwards 20l. in the same manner, from one of Mr. Twiss's clerks. These check were paid at Messrs. Fisher's bank, and the remaining sum, 23l. 10s., was received from Mr. Bishop three or four months afterwards. Had worked for the latter as a tailor, and asked him to advance the money, for which he gave a receipt as for the balance due. Supplied refreshments on the nomination-day, all of which were paid for by the parties, except by some who were musicians or flag-bearers, and for whom witness charged 10s. in his bill. The three barrels of ale, charged at 8l. 14s., were for the nomination and chairing day, but principally for the latter. Has brought no books or papers, because he had none to bring. The supply on the polling-day commenced about half-past 9 o'clock. Received no directions, but refused to supply before polling, on the advice of Mr. Jay, a neighbour. Made a charge of "Refreshments for 170 at 5s. per head." There might have been more, for there were so many kept coming in that he was tired of marking them down. Supplied beef, ham, veal, lamb, bottled ale and porter, &c. There were no tickets; he never had any, not even one. Sees now in the bill, "As per ticket signed 'W. B.'" Had forgotten that, which was a supply, two days after the election, to messengers under Mr. Bishop's orders. Some were intoxicated on the polling-day before night, others stopped till about 11, when witness was tired of drawing. His house was shut during the night between the nomination and polling. Was out during part of the night, but cannot recollect with whom, and went home about 2 o'clock, when he is sure the house was shut up and no one drinking. On the nomination night there were from 10 to 20 persons at his house drinking and playing at bagatelle, all of whom paid for what they had. Received no orders for supplying refreshments from any one. Some of his neighbours had said, "You may as well have a good spread," but he could not recollect their names. Is not aware the Mr. Milns told him to open his house, but thinks he might have done so. Never told his brother Robert that he had a good order from the Tories for the election. Paid for the beer supplied from money in his house, and had no money advanced to him at the time. Had previously borrowed from Mr. Bradley, on a bill of sale, and received a loan from Mr. Barker about a year and a half ago.
Cross-examined by Mr. Andrews.—Rented the house from Mr. Searle, one of Mr. Gibson's committee, and has been ejected from the house, since the election, on a magistrate's warrant, after the expiration of a notice to quit. Only owed a quarter's rent at the time, which has since been paid. Voted for Mr. Sutton on account of the bad behaviour of his landlord. His house was close to Parker's-piece, where the nomination too place. Had words with his wife, because he had prepared so much victuals for the polling-day, and so few persons came in. Witness then went out, and invited voters in on their return from polling. The University Arms is the only house near the polling place; that was taken by the Whigs, and the parties there had a much better trade in supplying the voters for Mr. Gibson. Was much distressed for money when he applied to Mr. Twiss. Beer on the chairing-day was drunk outside the house from pails. When out with the watch on the night before polling saw many of the other party, and amongst others Mr. Hallock and Mr. Eaden, at a Tom-and-Jerry ("a low beer-house"—Ed.) in Gas-lane, Barnwell, where witness went in to take a glass of ale, in order to see what they were after. Supposed they were looking out to catch apostate voters.
George Smith was called, and was about to be sworn.
Mr. Andrews.—Do you believe in the truth of the book you are about to be sworn on?
Witness.—I believe in the Scriptures, and the Ten Commandments, and believe they comprise the whole duty of man.
Mr. Andrews.—Have you ever said you did not?
Mr. Protheroe interposed, and the question was overruled.
George Smith recalled and sworn, examined by Mr. Cockburn.—Is a shoemaker at Cambridge, and voted at the last election for Mr. Gibson. Was bamboozled out of his vote at the previous election, but had always been on the same side. Knows Long, who called on him during Mr. Sutton's canvass, but whom he had never spoken to before. Witness made a pair of shores for his little boy, which he subsequently paid for. On another day, the 22d of August, he called about a pair of shoes for his daughter, and having taken a pair to try on, he afterwards returned with a measure, and then spoke about politics and the approaching election. Witness said he was sorry there was to be another election, as it caused much dissension. Long said it was immaterial to a poor man which way he voted, for Whigs or Tories, as they were all a bad lot. Witness said he thought so too, and was still of the same opinion. (Laughter.)
Mr. Serjeant Wrangham.—Have the goodness to address yourself to the committee. (Renewed laughter.)
Mr. Cockburn.—Did he say anything to you about your vote?
This was objected to, and the witness was ordered to withdraw.
Mr. Serjeant Wrangham said the objection was obvious. The question was asked with a view to get the supposed history of what passed between Long and the witness relative to the purchase of his vote. This was intended to be put in evidence, but until it was shown that Long was acting as the agent of the sitting member, his friend was not entitled to give evidence thereon to affect Mr. Sutton's seat. He supposed it was unnecessary to go into any argument in support of the resolution of the committee against taking evidence of acts of bribery until agency to the sitting member had been shown. His objection therefore stood simply, that the agency of Long was not proved, and he would leave his learned friend to try and make it out.
Mr. Austen was ready to take up the challenge, and would show that the evidence connected Long as a sub-agent with Mr. Swan, himself an agent of Mr. Sutton, and so connected as to render the latter responsible for the acts done by both in those capacities. Here the learned gentleman entered into a recapitulation of such parts of the evidence as related to proof of agency, through which it is unnecessary for us to follow him. He proceeded to say that the disappearance of committees was now usual where the practices were likely to be dangerous. Mr. Twiss, the acknowledged agent, was located at the Eagle, the head-quarters of the party at the previous elections, and the place where his friends met when Mr. Sutton came to canvass before the vacancy. The real existence of a committee was fully proved by Mr. Fisher's acts, and amongst others by the letter written by Mr. Twiss, and signed by Mr. Fisher, addressed to Dr. Woodhouse of Caius College, cautioning him against voting at the elections; and in which these words occurred, "As chairman of Mr. Sutton's friends, it is a part of my duty which cannot be avoided, &c." The committeemen however were, like the publicans, sitting "on speculation," with a positive clerk in the person of Mr. Twiss, and he (Mr. Austen) asked the present Parliamentary committee to give that conciliabulum a name. He cared not much for the designation, but he asked that they should be treated as liable for the acts performed.
Mr. Plumptre inquired if all the party at the Eagle were to be considered as agents?
Mr. Austen said they were adopted as such by Mr. Sutton, who was answerable for all acts done by them in that capacity.
Mr. Serjeant Wrangham hoped without difficulty to satisfy the committee that Long was not an agent to Mr. Sutton. It was unimportant to the present inquiry whether the resolution and the law were good or bad, although they were both impeached by his learned friend; it was sufficient to show that Long, who had no communication directly or indirectly with the sitting member, did not come within them. If it were possible to let in parties so circumstanced as agents, the consequences would be more fatal than the dangers of general bribery, alluded to by his learned friend. He (Mr. Serjeant Wrangham) would not open the door to bribery and corruption, in themselves most serious evils; but he felt, that to allow proof of agency on such flimsy pretext, and thereby render an individual liable for acts of which he could not have had the slightest cognizance, would be the grossest and most violent injustice to which any human being could be exposed. The agency of Mr. Swan was alleged, but his learned friend had not ventured to put that gentleman into the box to prove it, though he had been summoned as a witness; but it was more convenient to allege agency than to attempt to prove it. If all the facts which were alleged had been proved, and they had not, they would no more establish Mr. Swan's agency than that of all the other members of the party. Not an iota of the business of a committee, as understood by all the world, was done by the persons assembled at the Eagle; and it was clear that it was a mere meeting of parties who came to hear news of the affairs of the election, in which all took so great an interest. Each individual voter was enabled to make himself a member of this body, if body it was; and it would be monstrous to propose to make Mr. Sutton responsible for the acts done by these parties according to their own pleasure, even if they could be proved to have been connected with the conduct of the business of the election, which could not be done.
The learned serjeant was about to proceed with another branch of the subject to be treated on in his reply, when, on its being discovered to be past 4 o'clock, the committee adjourned.
The committee assembled again on Saturday morning at 11 o'clock.
Mr. Serjeant Wrangham resumed his address in reply to the arguments of Mr. Austen. The learned serjeant went over the various topics alluded to in the report of Saturday, and after occupying the attention of the committee for upwards of two hours, concluded by submitting that there had not been the least proof of agency established. it was perfectly clear from the testimony of every one of the witnesses who had been questioned on the subject, that there had for a length of time been a number of individuals in Cambridge who had, whether the contest had been for churchwardens, overseers, or any other parochial office, or whether the battle had been to be fought before the revising barrister, or at an election for member of Parliament, been in the habit of labouring most industriously in favour of the views of their particular party, and it was equally clear from the evidence that the parties who watched the registration court accompanied the different candidates on the canvass. But surely the committee would not decide that that was to be considered a proof of agency. If Long was to be considered as an agent, every party, be he who he might, who at all interfered in elections, must hereafter be considered an agent. The fact was, the whole of the evidence showed that Mr. Twiss, and Mr. Twiss alone, was the only authorized agent of Mr. Sutton at the last election. Mr. Twiss and his clerks had a room at the Eagle, where he conducted the legal business of the election. It was no secret conclave, as his learned friend had termed it, but one formed for carrying on the legal business of the election. If agency was supposed to prevail on such testimony as that laid before the committee, no hon. member could ever in future be secure of his seat. Finally he submitted that no satisfactory proof had been given of agency, and therefore Mr. Sutton could not be held liable for the acts of unauthorized individuals.
Strangers were then ordered to withdraw, and after an exclusion of nearly an hour were recalled, when
The Chairman said—The committee are of opinion that the agency of William Swan, jun., is proved, and they consider Long as the instrument of Swan for the purposes of the election.
George Smith, the witness, was then recalled.—He said—It was on the Saturday morning that Long called at my house and asked when the shoes would be done; and then, after I had replied in the affirmative, he began to talk about the election, saying that a vote was of little use to a poor man, and that if I thought it well to vote for Mr. Sutton, it would be a few pounds in my pocket. I said, "It is a very strange question to put to me, when you know I have always been on the other side." I then added, that I would give him a positive answer on the next morning when I took the shoes home—that would be the Sunday morning. After that I saw Long again on the following Tuesday at my own house, when he called to pay for the shoes. I was obliged to send my daughter and then my wife out for change, and during the absence of the latter I asked him if the shoes fitted and were liked? Long replied, "Very well; and that Mrs. Long felt inclined to have a pair for herself." In accordance with an arrangement with him, I went to his house to measure his wife in the evening. After I had done that, Mrs. Long went out of the room, and Mr. Long got out some wine, of which he offered me a glass, and inquired what the price of a pair of blucher boots would be? I said, "About 12s. 6d.," upon which he observed, that that sum and the cloth boots for his wife would make something like a sovereign; "but," continued Mr. Long, "to cut the matter short about the election, I can give you 10l. if you will vote for Mr. Sutton—9 sovereigns now, and the other you shall receive when you bring home the two pairs of shoes." I said "That is a very pretty price for two pairs of shows. I should like to have a few more such customers." (A laugh.) Long then said he could pay me the money then, but he would not do so, as my wife could call up at any of his meal times and receive it; "and then, you know," continued he, "nothing can be said about bribery. You will know nothing about the money, and then, as to bribery, why it is all nonsense." I left, and told my wife that if she went up to Long's next day he had some money for her. On that day I went off to Royston market. On the day after that I received 9 sovereigns from my wife, and marked them with a file four times on the edge. These sovereigns I subsequently gave to Francis Eden, to whom I had previously communicated the nature of the conversation I had had on Saturday with Long. Upon the latter occasion Mr. Eden had asked me what I meant to do? I replied "Why, that which is right—Show Long and his party up, to be pointed at by the finger of scorn." (Laughter.)
Cross-examined by Mr. Andrews.—I have lived 14 years at Cambridge on the 5th of next month. Long first came to me about shoes, between the canvass for Sutton in May and the election in August, but the first time he introduced politics was on the 22d of August. It was on the Saturday evening that he said he would put some money into my pocket. He went on with a long rigmarole about the poor man's vote not being of any use to him, so far as to the party to whom he gave it, and about the Poor Law. I am quite certain as to the day. It was on the previous Thursday that he first broached the subject of the poor man's vote. He first conversed about the child's shoes, and then went on to say that we should soon have the election; that it could be of no consequence to the poor man how he voted; and that if would give mine to Sutton, it would be pounds in my pocket. When I told him that I would give him a positive answer on the Sunday morning, I had made up my mind what it should be.
Mr. Andrews.—Well, what was the answer?
Witness.—Why, that would depend on circumstances.
Mr. Andrews.—Well, but what was it? Surely you can tell us.
Witness.—Why, I should have told him that I did not intend to vote for Sutton. I should have given him to understand that I wished him to know that he had not got a flat to catch, and that I was not going to be bribed by him nor any other man. When I said I should like to have other customers who would give me 10l. for two pairs of shoes, I did not give Long to understand I meant that my vote should be included. I did not say that I would take the money and vote for him. I meant that he should take himself in, if he chose to make the attempt to bribe me. On the Tuesday night I said to my wife, "You go up to Long's to-morrow, he has some money for you—nine sovereigns." I saw Mr. Cannon on the Sunday after I had seen Mr. F. Eden. I have not said that the Bible is the d——t, lyingist book that was ever printed. I have never said so in the presence of any person, not even in that of Joseph Dealtry, with whom I have had several conversations in the course of my time. I was never asked in his presence my opinion of the Bible, to my knowledge, and it is the greatest falsehood ever uttered from man's lips, if it has been said that I have spoken so of the Bible. God forbid that I should say that I did not believe in it, or that if I thought my children read it I would punish them. I have always acted differently with my children and my apprentices. I take this imputation as the hardest blow I have ever received; and I spurn the question whether it comes from you, Mr. Andrews, or any other man. I know Robert Burgess Smith. He is one of the basest men in Cambridge. I have never said anything in derision of Jesus Christ in the presence of that man. I know Robert Last. He was an apprentice of mine, and I have often flogged him because he would not go to a place of worship on the Sunday.
By the Committee.—When I fell inclined to go to a place of worship I go. I have been more than once this year. I do not belong to any particular community or sect of Christians. I have three Bibles in my house, and there are few Sundays on which I do not read them. My children sometimes go to church, and sometimes to a Dissenting chapel. I do not feel it necessary to go regularly to church, for as long as I consider that I am doing my duty to God and man and my family as well as it is in my power, I think I do as much as is required of me. I do not consider it to be my duty to go to, or belong to, any particular sect of Christians.
Charlotte Smith.—I am wife of the last witness. On Wednesday, to 28th of August, in consequence of what my husband told me, I went to Long's house. Long, however, on that morning had called, and said he should be at home at 1 o'clock. I went up at that hour. He said "I suppose, Mrs. Long, you know what you come for? I replied, "My husband had said, to receive nine sovereigns." I afterwards said, "I understand it was something about the election." He then gave me nine sovereigns, saying, "Tell your husband that that is better to him than his vote, for a vote is no matter to the poor man, and it is no matter to him which way he votes." I took the money, Long observing that in the course of the week, perhaps, he should be able to put another pound or two in my husband's way, and at a future time more. He next said, "Your husband knows all about this." During that day Mr. Sutton's friends called and left a card. On my husband's return from Royston he asked me if I had been to Long's, but I did not give him the money until the next morning, when he marked the sovereigns with a file.
Cross-examined.—When I think proper to go to church I go to a Dissenting place of worship. I do not go to any particular one. I send my children to a Dissenting chapel.
By the Committee.—My husband told me I might do as I liked about going to Long's for the money, but he did not say what I was to do with it. He told me Long had offered him nine sovereigns to vote for Sutton.
The committee then, it being past 4 o'clock, adjourned to 11 o'clock on Monday (this day.)
The committee met yesterday at the usual hour, 11 o'clock.
Lydia Smith, the first witness called, proved that she was the daughter of the witness George Smith, who was examined on Saturday, and that prior to the election Mr. Sutton, Mr. W. Swan, and Mr Headley had called at the father's house during his absence, and left a canvassing card.
Cross-examined by Mr. B. Andrewes.—She had seen Mr. Sutton once before the election. She might have seen that gentleman during the election, but she did not recollect.
Francis Eden, examined by Mr. Austen.—I know George Smith the shoemaker, who on the day prior to that on which Long was taken into custody called at my house. I had previously seen him several times, and on the Thursday preceding that on which the examination of Long's proceedings was gone into he gave me nine sovereigns, which he told me he had received from Long. These (they were here produced) are the sovereigns, and they have been in my possession ever since.
Cross-examined by Mr. Serjeant Wrangham.—I had frequent conversations with Smith about this money which he had received from Long. Smith asked me what he should do in consequence of Long having offered him the money. He wanted to know if he should take it, but I gave him no opinion on the subject. It was not until the matter had become a topic of conversation that I said anything about what Smith had told me. My name was put down as one of Mr. Gibson's committee, and I attended every day at the Hoop tavern, where the committee held their meetings. I canvassed for that gentleman, but I did not know that Messrs. Cannon and Cooper were Mr. Gibson's agents.
Re-examined by Mr. Austen.—On the Tuesday evening it was that Smith told me he should take the money from Long, but added, that it would not affect his vote. It was on the following Thursday that I mentioned this transaction to Mr. Cannon.
By the Committee.—Smith told me that bribery was going on to a considerable extent, and said it was desirable that the matter should be made public.
Mr. Cooper was then again recalled, and examined by Mr. Cockburn.—He said—I remember George Smith relating various conversations he had had with Long, and the fact of that person having offered him money for his vote, provided he gave it for Mr. Manners Sutton. The statement which has been made by George Smith is substantially correct. Mr. Cannon and myself met Smith at Mr. Gunning's office on the Thursday.
Cross-examined by Mr. B. Andrewes.—I may have called at Smith's house to tell him to send to my house for shoes to be mended. Smith's daughter is a sort of under or assistant servant at Mr. Cannon's.
William Marsh, examined by Mr. Austen.—I am a watch-maker in Fitzroy-street, Cambridge. Prior to the last election at Cambridge Long called on me. He called on the 19th of August, and asked me if I had a gold chain which would link a couple of greyhounds together as a brooch.
The Chairman.—What chain, and what for, do you say?
Mr. Austen.—Oh, for a brooch, Sir. You know, Sir, there is no accounting for the tastes of different individuals in the present day, for there are some persons who like a couple of dogs across the neckhandkerchief, or even to have a hunt itself running across their neck or breast. (A laugh.)
Marsh, in continuation.—Long left the brooch with me, because on looking I found I had not such a chain by me as would answer the purpose. Long then asked me if I had a vote, and on my replying in the affirmative, he inquired for whom I intended to vote; I said I could not tell, for I did not then know who were coming down, or who were likely to come forward. Upon this Long said, "Why, Gibson, the rejected and the turncoat of Ipswich, is coming; surely you will not be one of those electors to have him, or allow yourself to be gulled in that way—you must either have him or no one." I told Long that if Mr. Gibson were to come down I should hear what he had to say. Long said, "It is of very little consequence to us who we have, for they are all alike, both Whigs and Tories." And he then went on to say that a man situated as I was, a young tradesman with a large family, would of course look out for my own interest. On the 28th of August I saw him again. I met him in the street, near his own house; he asked me to walk in, which I did, when he further invited me to take a glass of wine. He then again asked me if I had promised my vote yet? I replied that I had not; whereupon he said, "if I would promise to vote for Mr. Manners Sutton, he would give me 10l., on condition that I would let him keep back one sovereign for himself." (A laugh.) I answered that I could not conscientiously take the money, but that I would think of the proposition. I then left the house and went away. Whilst I was there a female called to see Long. On the next morning about 9 o'clock Long called at my house, but I had no conversation with him then, because I had a customer in the shop with me. I did not see him again until the time of his examination. I had then informed Mr. Cooper of the nature of the conversations I had had with Long. When I saw Long at the hall at his examination, he said, "Marsh, I thought I could have trusted you." I said, I did not wish to injure him or his family, but I hoped that those who had employed him, for of course he was employed by somebody, would get punished.
Cross-examined by Mr. Serjeant Wrangham.—I had at this time told Mr. Cooper of Long's offer to me, but I do not know whether the information I had so given him had been written down, at all events I had not sworn to anything of the kind. I saw Mr. Cooper on the Thursday after Long had made me the offer. I had told Long I could not conscientiously accept his offer, for I was not a Tory, nor ever would be. The reason why I said I would think of it was, that I wanted to consider what would be the best step for me to adopt about the matter. I did not know what conclusion Long might arrive at from my answer to him. It was no business of mine what conclusion he came to upon it, nor what he might understand from it. I did not by my answer give Long reason to believe that by thinking of his proposition I meant that I would consider whether or not I would accept the money he had offered to me. I can give you no other explanation for making the answer that "I would think of it."
Re-examined by Mr. Austen.—I considered it to be my duty to expose and to bring to light the darkness in which the other party were walking.
By the Committee.—When Long came to me I thought he was after catching me, and therefore I answered in an uncertain manner, and left him to form his own opinion, and to draw his own conclusion from it. I told my wife what Long had offered me, and also what I intended to do about the matter, which was that I would go to Mr. Cooper and tell him what had taken place. I am a Wesleyan Methodist.
Mr. Cockburn then rose, and in an address of some hours' duration summed up the whole case on the part of the petitioners, concluding with the expression of a firm conviction that both on the allegation of treating, as well as on that of bribery, clear and satisfactory proof had been offered.
It being now past 4 o'clock, the committee adjourned till 12 o'clock to-morrow.
The committee yesterday met at 12 o'clock, when
Mr. B. Andrewes said, that in rising to address the committee on the part of the sitting member, he should, he doubted not, convey to them information of a very gratifying nature, when he announced that he should have to trouble them with a very short speech. Since the committee had last met, indeed he might say since Saturday, on which day they had come to a resolution which had gone the length of establishing the fact of agency, it had been the duty of his learned friend and himself to apply themselves to the consideration of what might eventually be the proper steps for them to adopt in consequence thereof. They had considered the resolution in all its bearings; indeed he might add, that they scanned it in every point on which it could bear, and they had at length arrived at the determination, the committee having come to such a resolution as the following—"The committee are of opinion that the agency of William Swan, junior, is proved, and they consider Long as the instrument of Swan for the purposes of the election,"—they felt that it indicated so strong an opinion on the part of the committee, founded on the evidence which had been produced before them, that although they might have brought forward testimony which was of a nature to alter that impression, yet they felt that where an opinion had been expressed of so strong a character as was conveyed by the resolution in question, they could not offer such evidence as was altogether calculated to remove or weaken the intimation of the committee on the particular issue relative to agency. They had not indeed sufficient confidence in the evidence at their command which would justify them in persisting in putting the sitting member or the clients of his learned friends to the further expense which the attempt would necessarily entail. His learned friend and himself had therefore come to the conclusion not to give any further trouble either to the committee or to the petitioners. The consequence of that determination would of course then be, that the committee would come to such a resolution as would declare that the last election for the borough of Cambridge was void. That, then, being the course with respect to the main issue between the parties, namely, that of agency, the only issue upon which the committee had come to a conclusion, he and his learned friend had resolved to withdraw from any further contest. Under those circumstances he had at that moment, on the part of Mr. Manners Sutton, to withdraw from the inquiry.
Mr. Austen said, that his learned friend having thus retired from the committee under the circumstances he had stated, it would become the duty of the committee to resolve that the last election for the borough of Cambridge was void, and that Mr. Manners Sutton had by his agents been guilty of bribery. There would therefore be two resolutions, and not one, as suggested by his learned friend.
The room was cleared, and after upwards of an hour's exclusion, the parties and counsel were recalled, when
The Chairman read the following resolution:—"That the Hon. John Henry Thomas Manners Sutton is not duly elected a burgess to serve in the present Parliament for the borough of Cambridge. That the last election of a burgess to serve in Parliament for the said borough is a void election. That the petition of Ebenezer Forster and others did not appear to the committee to be frivolous or vexatious. That the opposition to the said petition did not appear to the committee to be frivolous or vexatious." The committee also report—"That it appears to the committee that certain agents of the Hon. John Henry Thomas Manners Sutton were guilty of bribery and treating at the last election for the borough of Cambridge. That it appears, from the evidence taken before the committee, that an extensive and corrupt system of treating prevailed on the part of many influential members of the constituency at the last election for the borough of Cambridge."
Mr. Austen felt himself called on to direct the attention of the committee to the way in which they had worded their fifth resolution, to which there was objection.
The Chairman.—But was there a legal objection?
Mr. Austen.—Undoubtedly there was. The resolution, the hon. chairman would observe, was not such as any precedent on the journals of the house would sanction. In fact, there was not only no such precedent, but no such resolution had ever before been passed by any committee.
Mr. Divett observed, that the committee, in framing the resolution in question as they had, had been anxious to make it known that in their opinion the considered Mr. Manners Sutton had had as little to do with these transactions of his friends as any one member of the committee sitting in that room.
The Chairman said, if the resolution was not a legal one, of course the committee would at once amend or alter it. There had, however, in drawing up that particular resolution, been a strong disposition on the part of the committee to save the character of Mr. Sutton from any imputation that he had been a cognizant party to these proceedings. That was the only object the committee had had in view in wording as he had read the resolution.
Mr. Austen had no desire to cast reflections on the character of Mr. Sutton in reference to the matters, but at the same time the committee would see how necessary it was that there should be a legal resolution. There was no precedent on the journals of the house for the resolution as it at present stood.
Mr. Divett again remarked, that the committee were of opinion that Mr. Sutton individually had had as little to do with the improper proceedings as any man placed in the position of a candidate could possibly have had.
Sir. J. Walsh said that the committee by their resolution had been anxious to express their decided opinion that Mr. Sutton had been as ignorant of, or had been as little a party to, these practices as any man could be.
Mr. Protheroe, however much he in common with the other members of the committee was anxious to bear lightly upon Mr. Sutton, was under the necessity, although it cost him great pain to make the avowal, of saying that he could not go altogether to the extent which other members of that committee appeared inclined to do.
After some further discussion,
The Chairman said the committee had agreed to substitute the following for the fifth resolution already read—"That it appears to this committee that the Hon. John Henry Thomas Manners Sutton was by his agents guilty of bribery and treating at the last election for the borough of Cambridge."
The committee then broke up.
On 8th June 1841 the Tory MP for Montgomeryshire and former cabinet minister Charles Williams Wynn moved for the Attorney-General to prosecute one Dr. Richard Webster (a surgeon & apothecary) for bribery, in the Liberal interest, at an election in St. Alban's the previous February. The motion was agreed to. Then, three days later...
House of Commons, Friday, June 11.
ALLEGED BRIBERY AT THE CAMBRIDGE ELECTION.
Mr. WARD (Whig, Sheffield—Ed.) then rose to bring forward the motion of which he had given notice. He assured the house that he felt much pain in bringing forward this motion, which he should not have undertaken but for the course which had been taken on a former evening by the right hon. gentleman the member for Montgomery (as we understood the hon. member, who throughout his speech was very indistinctly heard in the gallery). That right hon. gentleman, Mr. Ward proceeded to say, held a deservedly high character for his perfect acquaintance with, and great respect for, the privileges of that house, and he (Mr. Ward) would readily bow to his authority on all such questions. How had the right hon. gentleman expounded the law and practice of Parliament in cases of bribery on a former evening? He stated, that with such a report as that of the St. Alban's Election Committee before him, he did not feel that he should be discharging his duty fairly if he suffered such a case of bribery as was there noticed to pass without calling on the house to exercise its privilege in directing the prosecution of Dr. Webster. In taking that course the house would not act as a judge, but merely as a grand jury, and send the accused party to take his trial for the alleged offence. In the sentiments expressed by the right hon. gentleman on that occasion there were several hon. members who declared their entire concurrence, and it was said that such a prosecution would be particularly useful on the eve of a general election, that it would be greatly advantageous to the borough of St. Alban's, as it would give it the opportunity of wiping out the stain which had been cast upon it; that it would be also advantageous to Dr. Webster, as the trial would enable him to establish his innocence if he were innocent. Now he (Mr. Ward) did not dissent from any of those general propositions; but let him observe that St. Alban's did not stand alone in respect of a stain being cast upon it. There were other boroughs which would also have the opportunity of wiping out stains connected with their election proceedings. It had also been said by the right hon. gentleman (Mr. C. W. Wynn) that the testimony of even one witness would establish such a primÔ facie case as would justify the house in sending a man to trial for bribery. He (Mr. Ward) did not deny that, but the case to which his motion referred was more than a primÔ facie case. In selecting a case for prosecution he might have chosen other boroughs; but he took the Cambridge election, as affording to his mind the most conclusive evidence as to bribery having been committed. There were, besides, circumstances in that case which were wanting in the case of St. Alban's. The Cambridge Election Committee had made a special report, which had the concurrence of the great majority of its members. He believed that only one member, the hon. baronet the member for Radnorshire, dissented from the opinions of his colleagues in the report. It had been said by the right hon. gentleman (Mr. C. Wynn) that the situation in life of Dr. Webster was a great aggravation to his offence, for that he belonged to one of the liberal professions, and therefore his example was doubly pernicious. In all this he (Mr. Ward) fully concurred, but in the Cambridge case the right hon. gentleman could fly at much higher game. Here was a gentleman of high rank and station in society—one who might be said to have almost an hereditary claim to a knowledge of the rules and privileges of Parliament, and who, therefore, could not be supposed to be ignorant of the consequences of the offence with which he was charged. Surely, such an example must, according to the right hon. gentleman's own admission, be more than "doubly pernicious." Under such circumstances he hoped he might fairly calculate on the right hon. gentleman's support of his motion. The hon. member then read the resolutions of the committee, finding that Mr. Manners Sutton was by his agents guilty of bribery at the election for the borough of Cambridge. The two persons chiefly implicated were Swan and Long. The latter seemed to be one of those persons so well described by the hon. and gallant member for Donegal, the other night, as "defeating Parliament, frustrating justice, and leaving delinquency unpunished." It appeared by the evidence, that Long went to the shop of of a shoemaker named Smith, who had a vote, under pretence of ordering a pair of shoes. He remarked to Smith, that it was of little consequence to a poor man how the election went, but that, if he would vote for Sutton, he could put a few pounds in his pocket. At a subsequent interview, he gave Smith some wine, and offered him 10l., saying he could give him 9 sovereigns now, and the 10th when he brought the shoes to the house. Another case was that of Marsh, a watchmaker, from whom Long bought a brooch, offering him 9 sovereigns. Marsh, however, communicated this fact to another person, and Long was brought to the town-hall to answer the charge. He (Mr. Ward) thought that agents who acted in this way ought to be punished, and if the links which connected the agents with the candidate could not be made out, the house ought to proceed against the candidate himself. In this case it appeared to him that the links were made out with more than usual clearness, and as the house had declared that all bribers should be punished, and that it should be left to the courts of law to decide who were really guilty, they ought to pursue offenders with impartiality, and not to allow rich and powerful criminals to escape, while the poor were visited with severe punishment. The man who was really guilty in cases of bribery was the possessor of property, who took down 3000l. to his bankers, in order to corrupt a constituency, and not the man who was detected in dispensing some fractional portion of the money. They never could hope to root out bribery by proceeding only against obscure individuals like Long or Swan or Dr. Webster, while they passed over the chief offenders. He should now move the resolution of which he had given notice, leaving the house to deal with it as they thought fit:—"That a committee of this house having reported that the Hon. Henry Thomas Manners Sutton was, by his agents guilty of bribery and treating at the election for the borough of Cambridge, the Attorney-General be directed to prosecute William Swan and Samuel Long, the principal agents of the Hon. Henry Thomas Manners Sutton, for bribery." Should the house accede to it, he should then move a further resolution, for which he at least should vote, whatever might be the amount of support he should receive on it, directing the Attorney-General to prosecute Mr. Manners Sutton.
The motion having been put,—
Sir C. LEMON wished, as having been chairman of the committee, to remind hon. members that the question before it was not whether Mr. Sutton was morally guilty or not of bribery in his own person, but whether the persons who had used those means of influencing the electors were or were not connected with his as agents for electioneering purposes. Nothing implicating Mr. Sutton himself personally had been proved, so that he could not be prosecuted in a court of law with any chance of conviction. With respect to Long, the evidence was as distinct and clear as any thing could be. He had not the smallest doubt, therefore, that a conviction must have followed if Long had been prosecuted at the proper time. But then came the question, whether it was proper to take up the matter after it had been suffered to rest for so long as a year and a half. He must confess that he should be sorry to see a prosecution now instituted against a man who, however worthless, had certainly had reason to suppose that his offence would be passed over. Therefore, if the motion was pressed to a division, he should feel called upon to vote against it.
The Earl of DARLINGTON thoroughly agreed in all that had fallen from the hon. chairman of the committee. He could not think it fair to proceed against Long, who had been indicted at the time, but who had since been allowed to suppose that the proceedings against him would not be followed up. He did not think that Mr. Swan had had any communication whatsoever with Mr. Manners Sutton, nor was there anything in the evidence taken before the committee to prove that he had. The hon. member for Sheffield had failed to make out a single charge against that gentleman. It was the opinion of the committee, who were reluctantly compelled to introduce Mr. Manners Sutton's name as connected with bribery by his agents, that no candidate had ever lost his seat who was less connected with bribery transactions. It appeared to him that there was never a case so utterly without foundation as that attempted to be made out by the hon. member for Sheffield, for as far as Mr. Manners Sutton was concerned, that gentleman came out as pure as any member in that house. (Hear, hear.)
Mr. PROTHEROE, who, as well as the preceding speaker, was indistinctly heard, in consequence of the murmured noise in the house, was understood to say, that in the course of the investigation before the committee it appeared to him that Mr. Manners Sutton had done no more than contributed 300l. or 400l. to the expense of the election, which was about the usual sum expended by candidates. That gentleman was as far from bribery as any man possibly could be who stood for one of the old boroughs. (Hear, hear.) It was impossible in any of the old boroughs for any candidate to avoid being implicated, in some way or other, in bribery, and being aware of this, he could not agree in the motion for prosecution, further (as we understood) than as regarded the agent.
Mr. THESIGER was of opinion that it would neither be creditable nor desirable for the house to institute a prosecution with the certain prospect of defeat before it (hear, hear); nor was it at all consistent with the dignity of the house to institute such proceedings in a spirit of retaliation. (Loud cheers.) What, he would ask, had the present case to do with the case of Dr. Webster? (Hear, hear.) Were the merits of the of the present case involved in that? Why not take each case and rest it on its own merits? (Cheers and counter-cheers.) He repeated that it was neither expedient nor desirable to institute the proposed proceedings; it was no light matter for that house to direct a prosecution, as in doing so the individual about to take his trial would have a prejudice excited against him, inasmuch as it would be assumed that the house had good grounds for sending the case for trial, and the party would, therefore, labour under a prejudice from the commencement. (Hear, hear.) The house should, therefore, be careful how it proceeded. He would not refer to the case of St. Alban's. (Ironical cheers from the Ministerial benches, and counter-cheers.) That case had nothing to do with the one then under consideration. It was clear, from the evidence of chairman of the committee which sat upon the Cambridge petition, that nothing was elicited which could implicate Mr. Manners Sutton, and the hon. member for Halifax bore testimony to the same effect. (Hear, hear.) Neither did there appear in the evidence any thing which could implicate Swan. He regretted that the hon. and learned Attorney-General was not present, as he should have wished to appeal to the hon. and learned gentleman, whether in the administration of criminal justice any person was held responsible for the conduct of his agent, unless that person were himself in some degree personally connected with the act. (Hear, hear.) In civil cases the principal was responsible for the conduct of the agent, but, with the exception already made, such was not the case in the administration of criminal justice. If he was right in this opinion, the consequence of a prosecution being directed by the house would be, that those who administered the criminal laws in our courts of justice, seeing not the slightest pretence for a prosecution, would direct an acquittal, and then the house would suffer in the eyes of the country for having at the same time that several of its members were members of the legal profession also, not only sanctioned, but directed a prosecution when there was no evidence whatsoever to connect Mr. Manners Sutton with Swan, whilst at the same time no act of bribery could be proved against Swan. With respect to Long, he (Mr. Thesiger) was not prepared to defend him. There was no doubt that a case of personal bribery had been made out against Long, for which he was liable to a prosecution. The house, however, did not seem to be aware that a prosecution had already been commenced against Long. It was instituted in January 1840, at the borough sessions of Cambridge. He was taken on a warrant issued by Professor Henslow, who was an ardent friend and partisan of Mr. Gibson, and who proposed that gentleman as a candidate. The case was heard in the first instance before four magistrates, who were also partisans of Mr. Gibson, and at certain portions of the evidence which appeared to make against Long one of the magistrates expressed applause. Long was held to bail by those magistrates, himself in 500l., and two sureties of 250l. each, though he was only a poor harnessmaker earning 3l. a-week. (Hear, hear.) The case was moved by certiorari to the Court of Queen's Bench, and was ripe for trial, which was to come on at the spring assizes of 1840. The attornies for the prosecution, who were also the agents for the petitioners against Mr. Manners Sutton, came to town and met Long by appointment at the Craven Hotel or some hotel in Craven-street, where he was told that the prosecution against him would be foregone if he would give evidence against Mr. Manners Sutton. (Hear, hear.) This person made a statement that he was present at, he (Mr. Thesiger) thought the Eagle, when one Mitchell, in the presence of Mr. Fisher, a leading Conservative in Cambridge, handed over to him 40 sovereigns, for the purposes of bribery. When however he came before the committee of the House of Commons, this man, on his oath, positively denied that that statement was true, and declared that he had only made it for the purpose of getting an abandonment of the prosecution. Certainly he (Mr. Thesiger) was not there to defend such a person as this, but he submitted that it was more likely that the truth should come out when the man was before the committee than when he was making a statement to the opposing party. He wished to ask the Attorney-General whether he ever had known an instance in which an ex officio information against a party had been filed when an indictment for the same offence was already depending. He could not think that the Attorney-General could be induced to enter upon such a prosecution, and for the reasons he had given he trusted the house would negative all the resolutions.
The ATTORNEY-GENERAL said, that he should act in this case as he had done in the last, and not vote at all. If an information were decided upon, it would be his duty to obey the orders of the house. But he should not vote, because, if he were to do so, it would be urged against him before a jury that he was prosecuting a case on which he had before sat as judge in the House of Commons.
Sir E. SUGDEN said, that there was not a single word of evidence—not a ground for instituting proceedings against Mr. Manners Sutton. It appeared that that gentleman's name was reluctantly introduced by the committee into their report on the representation of the opposite counsel, Mr. Austen, that the finding would be inoperative without it. There was also nothing to implicate Swan as a briber, and therefore he (Sir E. Sugden) presumed, that if he were indicted, he would be acquitted. With respect to Long, he would venture to say the house would never direct a prosecution against a man over whose head an indictment for the same offence was already pending. He would suggest that the hon. member should withdraw the resolution relating to Mr. Manners Sutton.
Mr. WARD said, that after what had fallen from the right hon. gentleman, he was perfectly willing to abandon the resolution against Mr. Manners Sutton.
Lord J. RUSSELL said, he could not give his vote without adding his wish to that of the right hon. gentleman that the second resolution be withdrawn, because he did not see anything in the evidence that implicated Mr. Manners Sutton. It would also be desirable, he thought, to separate the first resolution into two, because the cases of the two persons there mentioned appeared to rest on different grounds. If there were any case to connect Swan directly with bribery, the evidence of it ought to be pointed out, and brought clearly before the house. With respect to Long, both sides agreed that he was guilty of several acts of bribery. He must say, that it seemed to him to be just the case in which the house ought to interfere.
Mr. WYNN should be very sorry that the idea of a prosecution for bribery should be entertained by the house in a case where the bribery was by agents only, without knowledge on the part of the member being shown, because it would deter committees of the House of Commons from doing that which they might do—namely, affect the seat of the member, though no legal grounds were shown for a criminal prosecution.
The ATTORNEY-GENERAL urged that it would be better to leave a discretion with the law officers of the Crown as to the form of the prosecution.
After a few words from Mr. Y. B. Hobhouse and Mr. Plumptre,
Mr. WARD replied. He would have no objection to comply with the suggestion of the noble lord the Secretary for the colonies, and put his motion in the form of two resolutions, one against each of the parties named. He thought that the moral culpability of each was the same. He would move a twofold resolution—first, that Samuel Long, and next that William Swan, be prosecuted for bribery at the last Cambridge election.
The house divided—
|For the resolution for prosecuting Swan||78|
The motion for the prosecution of Long was agreed to without a division.
COURT OF QUEEN'S BENCH, Westminster, June 2
(Sittings in Banco)
THE QUEEN V. SAMUEL LONG
The defendant in this case had been found guilty of giving 10 sovereigns to a person called George Smith, with a view to induce him to give his vote to Mr. Manners Sutton and Sir Alexander Grant at the last election but one for the borough of Cambridge. The judgment of the Court having been prayed against the defendant, Mr. B. Andrews put in an affidavit in mitigations, stating that the present offence was the only one of which the defendant had been convicted.
The Attorney-General, with Mr. Gunning, appeared upon the other side, and mentioned to the Court, that although there had not been any conviction in fact against Long for bribing any other person than Smith, yet that upon his being taken into custody 17 sovereigns were found in his pocket, along with a list of persons to be bribed, in which list was included the name of Smith.
Mr. Justice Patteson, after having in his address to the defendant alluded to the fact that he had made three or four attempts to commit the offence before he succeeded in doing so, sentenced him to be imprisoned in the gaol of Cambridge for nine calendar months.
 a garbled account: Sir Alexander Grant had no electoral connection with Cambridge until the contest consequent on the disqualification of Mr. Sutton.
There is no record in The Times of any prosecution against William Swan—Ed.
HOUSE OF COMMONS, Thursday, April 21.
Mr. WARD ... said he now had to present a petition the peculiarity of the circumstances attending which induced him to request that the house would attend to it. It came from an individual named George Smith, who stated that at the election for Cambridge, in 1839, The Hon. T. H. M. Sutton and Mr. M. Gibson were candidates; that a person of the name of Samuel Long was accused of have received nine sovereigns as a bribe to vote for Mr. Sutton, the said nine sovereigns having been given to the wife of Samuel Long; that in the course of the investigation before a committee of that house the nine sovereigns were produced in evidence, and Mr. Sutton was unseated; that 12 months ago that house directed the Attorney-General to prosecute the said Samuel Long for bribery, who was prosecuted accordingly; that on the occasion of the trial, a committee-clerk of that house appeared and produced the nine sovereigns which had been originally given in evidence; that subsequently the nine sovereigns were returned to the clerk; that they now produced no benefit to any one; that they were not fructifying in any way whatever; and the petitioner, therefore, prayed, that unless those nine sovereigns were, within a given time, restored to some person who had a right to receive them, they should be appropriated to the relief of the distressed operatives of Paisley (laughter), or presented to such other charity as that hon. house might in it wisdom think fit. (Laughter.) The hon. member said he really did not know what to do with this petition. The prayer of the petition seemed to be very reasonable, and therefore he should to-morrow move that it be printed.
 another garbled account: Long was accused of have offering nine sovereigns to George Smith as a bribe to vote for Mr. Sutton, the said nine sovereigns having been given to the wife of George Smith.
History does not record the fate of the nine sovereigns—Ed.
Transcribed by Keith Edkins 2009. Original reports believed to be in the public domain due to their antiquity.
Return to: The Cambridge elections of 1839-40 and 1852-4