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disfranchised. In 1870, the boroughs of Bridgwater, Chapter Beverley, Sligo, and Cashel, and certain voters of the cities of Norwich and Dublin, were disfranchised by special Acts;1 and in 1871, certain other voters of Norwich were disfranchised. In 1876, after the reports of two commissions, an Act was passed forbidding an election for Norwich until the end of the Parliament, and disfranchising several persons for a period of seven years, in Norwich and Boston.

1 33 & 34 Vict. cc. 21. 25. 38. 54.

: 39 & 40 Vict. c. 72; see also the Acts 44 & 45 Vict. c. 42; 45 & 46 Vict. c. 68, prohibiting elections for

Boston, Canterbury, Chester, Gloucester, Macclesfield, Oxford, and Sandwich.

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BILLS

Table of Contents, see Introduction.

IMPEACHMENT BY THE COMMONS. TRIAL OF PEERS.

OF ATTAINDER.

odern

IMPEACHMENT by the Commons, for high crimes and mis- Rarity of

impeach demeanours beyond the reach of the law, or which no other ments in authority in the state will prosecute, is a safeguard of public times. liberty, which happily, in modern times, is rarely called into activity;? as the times in which its exercise was needed—when the people were jealous of the Crown ; when the Parliament had less control over prerogative; when courts of justice were impure; and when the Crown and its officers screened political offenders from justice,-have passed away.

Impeachments are reserved for extraordinary crimes and Grounds of extraordinary offenders: but by the law of Parliament, all ment. persons, whether peers or commoners, may be impeached for any crimes whatever.

It was always allowed that a peer might be impeached for Peers and any crime, whether it were cognizable by the ordinary moners. tribunals or not: but doubts have been entertained, upon the authority of the cases of Simon de Beresford, in the 4th Edward III., and of Fitzharris, in 1681, whether a commoner could be impeached for any capital offence.

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1 The earliest recorded instance of impeachment by the Commons was in the reign of Edward III., 1376. During the next four reigns, cases of impeachment were frequent; but none occurred in the reigns of Edward IV., Henry VII. and VIII., Edward VI., Queens Mary and Elizabeth, Hallam, 1 Const. Hist. 357. In the reign of James I., the practice of impeachment was revived. Between 1620, when Sir Giles Mompesson and Lord Bacon

were impeached, and the Revolution, 1688, about forty cases of impeachment occurred; in the reigns of William III., Queen Anne, and George I., fifteen; and in the reign of George II., that of Lord Lovat, 1746. The last cases were Warren Hastings, 1788, Lord Melville, 1805.

? 2 Rot. Parl.53, 54; 3 Edward III. Nos. 2 and 6, 14 L. J. 260 ; Blackstone, 4 Comm. c. 19; Lord Campbell, 3 Lives of the Chancellors, 358. 359. 410; 13 L. J. 755.

XXIV.

The authority of the cases of Simon de Beresford and Chapter

of Fitzharris has been superseded. When on the 26th
Case of Sir June, 1689, Sir Adam Blair and four other commoners
A. Blair
and others, were impeached of high treason, the Lords, after receiving

and considering a report of precedents, including that of
Simon de Beresford, and negativing a motion for requiring
the opinion of the judges, resolved that the impeachment
should proceed. And thus the right of the Commons to
impeach a commoner of high treason has been affirmed by

the last adjudication of the House of Lords.
Commence. It rests, therefore, with the House of Commons to deter-
ment of
proceed. mine when an impeachment should be instituted. A
ings.

member, in his place, first charges the accused of high
treason, or of certain high crimes and misdemeanours, and,
after supporting his charge with proofs, moves that he be
impeached. If the house deem the ground of accusation
sufficient, and agree to the motion, the member is ordered
to go to the Lords, “and at their bar, in the name of the
House of Commons, and of all the commons of the United
Kingdom, to impeach the accused; and to acquaint them
that this house will, in due time, exhibit particular articles
against him, and make good the same.” The member,
accompanied by several others, proceeds to the bar of the

House of Lords, and impeaches the accused accordingly. Articles of A committee is appointed to draw up the articles, and on impeach.

their report, the articles are discussed, and, when agreed
to, are ingrossed and delivered to the Lords, with a proviso
that the Commons shall be at liberty to exhibit further
articles from time to time. The accused sends answers
to each article, which, together with all writings delivered

ment.

1 Judicature of Parliament, 3
Seld. Works, part ii. 1589; see also
Lord Hale, Jurisd. of the Lords, c.
16; 4 Hatsell, 60, n., 84. 163. 187.
216, n.; 2 Hallam, Const. Hist. 144;
Sir R. Belknap and others, and
Simon de Beverley and others, 1383,
3 Rot. Parl. 238.240; 13 L. J. 755; 8
Howell's St. Tr. 231-239; 2 Burnet,
Own Times, 280; 4 Hans. Parl.

Hist. 1333; 8 Howell's St. Tr. 326 ;
Chief Justice Scroggs, 13 L. J. 752.

: 4 Hatsell, 428 ; 14 L. J. 260.

3 45 ib. 350; 60 C. J. 482. 483. In the case of Warren Hastings, articles of impeachment were prepared before the formal impeachment; but the usual course has been to prepare them afterwards.

Chapter in by him, are communicated to the Commons by the
XXIV.

Lords; and to these, replications are returned, if necessary.?
If the accused be a peer, he is attached or retained in Accused

taken into
custody, by order of the House of Lords; if a commoner, custody.
he is taken into custody by the Serjeant-at-arms attending
the Commons, by whom he is delivered to the gentleman
usher of the Black Rod, in whose custody he remains,
unless he be admitted to bail by the House of Lords, or be
otherwise disposed of by their order.

The Lords appoint a day for the trial, and in the mean Managers time the Commons appoint managers to prepare evidence“? and conduct the proceedings, and desire the Lords to sum. Witnesses

summoned. mon all witnesses, who are required to prove their charges. The accused may have summonses issued for the attendance of witnesses on his behalf, and is entitled to make his full defence by counsel.4

The trial has usually been held in Westminster Hall, The trial. which has been fitted up for that purpose. In the case of peers impeached of high treason, the House of Lords is presided over by the lord high steward, who is appointed by the Crown, on the address of their lordships; but, at other times, by the lord chancellor or Lord Speaker of the House of Lords. The Commons attend the trial, as a com- Charges to

: be confined mittee of the whole house, when the managers make their to the charges, and adduce evidence in support of them : but they artic are bound to confine themselves to charges contained in the articles of impeachment. Mr. Warren Hastings complained, by petition to the House of Commons, that matters of accusation had been added to those originally laid to his charge, and the house resolved that certain words ought not to have been spoken by Mr. Burke. When the case has been com pleted by the managers, they are answered by the counsel for the accused, by whom witnesses are also examined, if necessary; and, in conclusion, the managers, as in other trials, have been allowed a right of reply.

? 20 L. J. 297 ; 18 C. J. 391; 61 : 61 C. J. 169. 224. ib. 164.

* 20 Geo. II. c. 30; 45 L. J. 439. ? 20 L. J. 112; 27 ib. 19; 16 C.J. 545 ib. 519. 242; 42 ib. 793. 796; 37 L. J. 714. 6 44 C. J. 298. 320.

the accused

Lords de. When the case is thus concluded, the Lords proceed to Chapter termine if atomi

XXIV. à determine whether the accused be guilty of the crimes with be guilty. which he has been charged. The lord high steward puts

to each peer, beginning with the junior baron, the question
upon the first article, whether the accused be guilty of the
crimes charged therein. Each peer, in succession, rises in
his place when the question is put, and standing uncovered,
and laying his right hand upon his breast, answers"guilty,"
or “not guilty,” as the case may be,“ upon my honour.”
Each article is proceeded with separately, in the same
manner, the lord high steward giving his own opinion the
last.? The numbers are then cast up, and, being ascertained,
are declared by the lord high steward to the lords, and the

accused is acquainted with the result.
Commons If the accused be declared not guilty, the impeachment is
demand
judgment, dismissed ; if guilty, it is for the Commons, in the first place,

to demand judgment of the Lords against him; and they
would protest against any judgment being pronounced until

they had demanded it.
The judg. When judgment is to be given, the Lords send a message

to acquaint the Commons that their lordships are ready
to proceed further upon the impeachment; the managers
attend; and the accused, being called to the bar, is then
permitted to offer matters in arrest of judgment. Judgment
is afterwards demanded by the Speaker, in the name of the
Commons, and pronounced by the lord high steward, the
lord chancellor, or Speaker of the House of Lords.

The necessity of demanding judgment gives to the Com-
mons the power of pardoning the accused, after he has been
found guilty by the Lords; and in this manner an attempt
was made, in 1725, to save the Earl of Macclesfield from
the consequences of an impeachment, after he had been
found guilty by the unanimous judgment of the House of
Lords.5

ment.

i Printed trial of Lord Melville, p. 402,

? Ib. p. 413.

3 Commons' resolutions, Earl of Winton's and Lord Lovat's impeach

ments, 18 O. J. 405; 25 ib. 320.

* 22 L. J. 556, 560; 27 ib. 78.

5 Ib. 554. 555; 20 C. J. 541 (27th May, 1725); 6 Howell, St. Tr. 762.

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