LORD  BYRON  and  his  TIMES
Documents Biography Criticism

Memoirs of the Rev. Samuel Parr
Ch II. 1807-1810

Ch. I. 1747-1752
Ch. II. 1752-1761
Ch. III. 1761-1765
Ch. IV. 1765-1766
Ch. V. 1767-1771
Ch. VI. 1771
Ch. VII. 1771-1776
Ch. VIII. 1771-1776
Ch. IX. 1776-1777
Ch. X. 1779-1786
Ch. XI. 1779-1786
Ch. XII. 1779-1786
Ch. XIII. 1780-1782
Ch. XIV. 1786-1789
Ch. XV. 1786-1790
Ch. XVI. 1776-1790
Ch. XVII. 1787
Ch. XVIII. 1789
Ch. XIX. 1790-1792
Ch. XX. 1791-1792
Ch. XXI. 1791-1796
Ch. XXII. 1794-1795
Ch. XXIII. 1794
Ch. XXIV. 1794-1800
Ch. XXV. 1794-1800
Ch. XXVI. 1800-1803
Ch. XXVII. 1801-1803
Ch. XXVIII. 1800-1807
Vol. II Contents
Ch I. 1800-1807
‣ Ch II. 1807-1810
Ch III. 1809
Ch IV. 1809-1812
Ch V. 1810-1813
Ch VI. 1811-1815
Ch VII. 1812-1815
Ch VIII. 1816-1820
Ch IX. 1816-1820
Ch X. 1816-1820
Ch XI. 1816-1820
Ch XII. 1816-1820
Ch XIII. 1816-1820
Ch XIV. 1819
Ch XV. 1820-1821
Ch XVI. 1816-1820
Ch XVII. 1820-1824
Ch XVIII. 1820-1824
Ch XIX. 1820-1824
Ch XX. 1820-1825
Creative Commons License

Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License.
Produced by CATH
A.D. 1807—1810.
Dr. Parr’s letter to Mr. Roscoe on peace—Abolition of the slave-trade—Dismissal of the Whig ministers—Dr. Parr’s encomium upon them—His portraiture of himself—The Catholic question—Dr. Parr’s censure on the Copenhagen expedition—His thoughts on Spanish affairs—Death of Sir John Moore—Dr. Parr’s inscription to his memory—Royal jubilee—Imprisonment of Sir Francis Burdett—The right of imprisonment, asserted by the Commons, denied by Dr. Parr.

Deep was the regret felt by Dr. Parr, in common with many of the best friends of their country, when he saw the negotiations for peace, so happily begun under the auspices of Mr. Fox, terminated by his death, and the very spirit of peace expiring with him. It was however some satisfaction to observe that, amidst the loud and increasing clamours of the war-party, there were a few bold and determined advocates of peace: among whom conspicuously appeared Mr. Roscoe—a name now become as dear to liberty and humanity, as it was before to literature and the arts. In a pamphlet, entitled “Considerations on the Causes, &c. of the Present War,” that able writer delivered a clear and powerful exposition of the dangers of persisting in the contest, and of the expediency and necessity of proposing a negotiation for peace. Of this publication, and of the great object to which it
is directed, Dr. Parr expressed his opinion in a letter, dated February 8, 1808, from which the following is an extract:—

“Dear Sir,—I have been rambling in Buckinghamshire; where, on January 26, I kept my birth-day, in a company of sound constitutional Whigs. Yesterday, on reaching Oxford, I had the pleasure of receiving your letter, which my daughter had forwarded from Hatton. Accept my best thanks for the present of your excellent book. I read it with eagerness. It is a most masterly performance; and will produce all the good effect you wish for among good men. But of peace itself I begin to despair, &c.—S. P.”

It was at a somewhat earlier period that the “Life of Lorenzo de Medici” had been followed, from the pen of the same writer, by the “Life and Pontificate of Leo X.” During the progress of this work, Dr. Parr was often consulted and on its appearance before the public, he thus offered his congratulations to the author:—

“Dear and excellent Mr. Roscoe,—Accept my hearty thanks for the most valuable present with which you have honoured me. I expected your book with much impatience, under the fullest conviction that you have triumphed over all the difficulties of your subject. It is your right and your duty to speak out on the motives of agents, as well as on the effects of actions; and in me you will

1Roscoe’s Life and Pontificate of Leo X., 4th edition.—To the Rev. Dr. Parr, these volumes, improved by his corrections, and honoured by his remarks, are respectfully presented by the author.”—Bibl. Parr. p. 383.

find not only an attentive, but an impartial reader. Reflection and study have worn down the prejudices of my ecclesiastic profession, and raised my mind to higher considerations, than the victories of the turbulent, or the wranglings of the orthodox, &c.—S. P.”

In the new parliament, which assembled January, 1807, the electors of Liverpool did themselves honour by returning, as one of their members, their highly-distinguished townsman, Mr. Roscoe; nor was there any election, at that time, which gave more general satisfaction. The lovers of literature united in their congratulations with the lovers of peace and freedom; and among the first who hastened with their joyous expressions on the happy occasion was Dr. Parr, in the following note, perhaps Mr. Roscoe’s first franked letter:—“My dear friend,—I seize my pen, amidst the bustle of elections, to congratulate you on your election.—May Heaven bless you and yours!—S. P.”

Painfully disappointed in his hopes of peace, Dr. Parr found no small source of consolation in the triumph which, about this period, the cause of justice and humanity obtained by the abolition of the slave-trade. It was a long-contested and a hard-earned victory, gained over a system of fraud, violence and oppression, revolting to all the feelings of human nature; but sanctioned by time, supported by national pride and prejudice, and connected with commercial and trading interests.

For no less than twenty-one years,1 a question

1 The first petition on the subject of the slave-trade was

—which to the unprejudiced and unperverted mind needed only to be stated, in order to be decided—was agitated, again and again, in both Houses of Parliament, often with little success, and sometimes with little prospect of success. Even so late as the session of 1805, the usual bill presented to the Commons, for the fourteenth or, fifteenth time, was rejected, with much indifference, by a majority of 77 to 70. But the end of this infamous traffic was at last approaching. The memorable resolution of 1806, adopted in both Houses, declaring the necessity of abolishing it, was, in the very next session, carried into full effect. That resolution had been moved by
Mr. Fox; and his reflections on this last important service, rendered to his country and to humanity, are said, on good authority, to have soothed his pains, and cheered his spirits, in the last moment of expiring life.

Of all those, who devoted themselves to this glorious work of justice and benevolence, the praise is pre-eminently due to three individuals, Granville Sharpe, Thomas Clarkson, and William Wilberforce. To the first belongs the proud distinction of being the first active mover in the great cause: to the second and the third, that of being its most zealous and persevering advocates, the one within, the other without, the walls of parliament. Of bodies of men, engaged in the same great moral contest, the sect of the Quakers is entitled to the highest commendation; and next to them,

presented to the House of Commons by the Quakers in 1783.

the clergy of all denominations, especially those of the Establishment. As these last have too often exposed themselves to censure, for their opposition to reforms and improvements, civil or ecclesiastical; let it to their lasting honour be remembered, that, by their exertions in arousing attention, and diffusing information, they have mainly contributed to produce the grand and happy result, which relieved the nation from a heavy load of guilt and infamy; and delivered, from dreadful wrongs and cruelties, the unoffending tribes of Africa.

Foremost in this goodly array of all the wisdom and virtue of the nation, it is scarcely necessary to say that Dr. Parr took his stand. On every occasion, he was ready with his pen, and with the sanction of his name and his presence, to aid in exposing and destroying a system of horrible outrage against all the common rights and feelings of humanity. In a note to a neighbouring friend, dated so early as July 1800, he thus writes—“And now for the slave-trade—Pray consult with your leading men at Warwick. I shall sign; and, if called upon, but not otherwise, will write the petition. Again let me repeat—pray consult! S. P.”

Scarcely had this most wise and most righteous measure been accomplished, when, by a sudden revolution in the cabinet, produced by the agitation of the Catholic question, the Tory principles, so triumphant through the late reign, after a momentary depression, revived once more; and gained a new and signal victory in the dismissal of the Whig ministers, who have never since been
able to re-obtain the ascendancy. Their rise had been joyfully hailed, and yet their fall was little lamented, by the nation, or even by their own partisans.1 Justly censured, however, as they were, for some unadvised and unfortunate acts; yet the short duration of their power, and the peculiar difficulties of their situation, considered, it must be acknowledged that they performed many important services, for which they will long be remembered with respect and gratitude by their country.

The following encomium, passed by Dr. Parr upon the members and the measures of the Whig administration, though merited, on the whole, is yet too indiscriminate to be perfectly just:—

“They were men of sense, men of letters, gentlemen, and statesmen. They restored the old and venerable character of a free, a just and strong government, in the view of the people and of Europe. When I think of Mr. Canning, Lord Harrowby, and Lord Chatham, I shall not say that their predecessors engrossed all the talents. They never themselves harboured such a presumptuous thought: they never uttered such a silly expression. But their intentions were honest: their measures were wise; and their fall was unmerited by themselves, though not unexpected by those who have observed of what stuff court favourites and novi homines are sometimes made.”2

1 Dr. Johnson’s words were often quoted on this occasion, with too much appearance of reason, “that Tories are Whigs when out of place, and Whigs Tories when in place.”

2 Characters of Fox, p. 306.


Whilst thus lamenting the dissolution of the Whig ministry, Dr. Parr, in anticipation of allusions that might be made to his own connexion with them, has given a sketch of himself, conceived with much spirit, and touched with strong effect, in the following passage:—

“Some men will ask—Was I not personally interested in the continuance of their power? For aught I know, I might; and for aught I know, I might not. But thus much I do know; and to those who would insult me with the question, I should confidently say thus much—that, from my youth upward to the present moment, I have never deserted a private friend, nor ever violated a public principle—that I have been the slave of no patron, and the drudge of no party—that I have formed my political principles without the smallest regard, and have acted upon them with an utter disregard, to personal emoluments and professional honours—that for many and the best years of my existence I endured very irksome toil, and suffered very galling need—that measuring my resources by my wants, I now so abound, as to unite a competent income with an independent spirit—and that, above all, looking back to this life, and onward to another, I possess that inward peace, which the world can neither give nor take away.”1

The dismissal of the Whigs from office was speedily followed by the dissolution of parliament; and so complete was the triumph of toryism, supported by its powerful ally, fanatical zeal, that

1 Characters of Fox, p. 306.

many even of the most independent and patriotic members were unable to secure their re-election. Among them,
Mr. Roscoe found himself obliged to resign his pretensions to the honour of representing his native town, so lately conferred upon him. This displeasing event, and the deplorable infatuation of the public mind, at that period, Dr. Parr bewailed, with anguish of spirit, in the impassioned language of the following letter:—

“Dear Mr. Roscoe—I am seized alternately with stupor and indignation at the state of public affairs. Do not suppose that I am a tame or careless observer of the strange and disgraceful events, which have occurred at Liverpool. Disdain, I beseech you, to repel any accusations. All wise and all virtuous men will deplore your removal from parliament, and will detest or despise the artifices of your opponents. Reading, reflection, the society of wise men, and the conscious rectitude of our own intentions, will preserve you and me from the perturbation and dismay which other men may experience in these strange and eventful times. The yell of ‘No popery!’ has been heard even at Cambridge; the effects of it were visible in the late election; and on the walls of our senate-house, of Clare-Hall chapel, and of Trinity-Hall, I saw the odious words, in large characters. The good sense of the country, dear sir, will not speedily return. There is a great and portentous change in the public mind; and you and I are at a loss to assign the cause, or to predict the consequences. So it is that amidst the fury of the tempest, and the wreck of our fairest
hopes, I feel myself sustained and animated by the reflection that you, and those who supported you, deserved a better fate. I am, &c.—S. P.”

The old and the hideous cry, mentioned in the above letter, raised by the Tory ministry, in order to secure their triumph, was re-echoed with all the frantic vehemence, real or assumed, of terrified or irritated bigotry, from all classes of the people, and especially—eheu! posteri, negabitis!—from the two universities1 and the whole clerical body—though not without some splendid exceptions. Among the last, who not only admitted, but strenuously supported, the claims of the Catholics, a conspicuous place is due to Dr. Paley, Mr. Wyvill, Bishop Watson, Bishop Bathurst, and Dr. Parr.

The three former, in this small but illustrious band, have left their deliberate and decided opinion in favour of Catholic emancipation—the first in a celebrated work,2 considered by some as of almost oracular authority—the second, in a small, but admirable pamphlet, entitled, “A more extended Discussion in favour of Liberty of Conscience recommended”—the third, in a “Charge” delivered to his clergy, and published in 1808, and also in the interesting “Memoirs of his own Life.” In this last posthumous work, Bishop Watson thus strongly

1 “No circumstance, in the opposition made to the Catholic claims, is so provoking to me, as the blind infuriate hostility of the two universities, which our Roman forefathers most meritoriously founded and endowed. Here my heart sometimes glows with indignation, and sometimes bleeds with anguish.”—Dr. Parr’s Letter to Mr. Butler. Reminiscences, vol. ii. p. 215.

2 Moral and Political Philosophy, vol. ii. p. 341.

expresses himself: “I have thought it my duty to declare publicly my approbation of a measure, calculated, I sincerely believe, above all others, to support the independence of the country, to secure the stability of the throne, to promote peace among fellow-subjects, and charity among fellow-Christians, and in no probable degree dangerous to the constitution in church or state.”1

The venerable Bishop Bathurst, who still lives to uphold the national church by his wisdom, and to adorn it by his virtues, from the first session after his elevation to the bench, as often as the Catholic claims were brought under the consideration of parliament has never failed to appear in his place, as their advocate; though hitherto opposed, with a single exception, by all his right reverend brethren. To the extraordinary merits of these exertions, and to the various excellencies by which this eminent prelate is distinguished, Dr. Parr has borne his testimony in his “last will” as follows—“I give a ring to the Right Reverend Dr. Bathurst, Lord Bishop of Norwich, as a mark of my reverence for his learning and wisdom—for his inflexible firmness in supporting the sacred cause of toleration—and for those pure and hallowed principles of Christian charity, which adorn every part of his character, social and religious.”

It has been noticed in a former part of this work, that Dr. Parr, early in life, entertained doubts about the expediency of repealing the test laws; but that, by further reading and reflection, these doubts were removed; and in his later years, he

1 Anecdotes of Watson, vol. ii. p. 241.

saw and felt, with strong conviction, as a matter of policy, the advantage, and as a matter of claim, the justice, of admitting Catholics, as well as other dissidents, to all the civil privileges of British subjects. “Unfeignedly and avowedly,” says he, in one of his publications, “I am a well-wisher to the petitions which the English and the Irish Catholics have presented to parliament in order to obtain relief from certain galling restraints and insulting exclusions. I do not believe, whatever others may, that the success of these petitions would be dangerous to the doctrine, the discipline, and the usefulness, of the Established Church, to the fundamental principles of the constitution, or to the permanent tranquillity of the state.”1

The honest recorder of Dr. Parr’s opinions must not attempt to conceal that, for the old Romish church, he ever entertained an almost reverential respect; and that he was accustomed to extol its merits, to soften its errors, and to palliate its enormities, more than, to the writer’s apprehension, truth would warrant or candour require. In his strong way of talking, he used to say that he was but imperfectly a Protestant; and that, if ever he changed his religion, it would be to go back to the bosom of the mother-church, “that great and ancient and venerable church,” as he loved to designate it. So highly did he estimate the erudition of its many great scholars, that, speaking of a distinguished modern divine, he said, “he was a very learned man in the English church, and would almost have been considered so in the Church of

1 Letter to Dr. Milner, p. 35;

Rome.” He carried his favourable opinion of the latter so far, as to avow his belief that, with the reformation of some of its more glaring abuses, it would have stood firm and flourishing to this day.1 “I shall always maintain, openly and unequivocally,” says he, “that in far the greater part of those doctrines, which the Church of England has classed among the essential truths of Christianity, the Church of Rome has long professed, and continues to profess, the same belief.”2

Great stress has been laid, by many Protestants, on those interpretations of Scripture which refer to the Romish hierarch and hierarchy, the prophetic declarations, in the apostolic epistles, about “the man of sin,” and “the son of perdition,” and “the antichrist;” and those also in the Apocalypse about “the mystery,” “Babylon the great,” “the mother of harlots,” and “the abomination of the earth.” But whilst Dr. Parr acknowledged “depth of science in Mede, eminence of genius in Bishop Warburton, acuteness of reasoning and elegance of diction in Bishop Hurd, and a spirit of diligent inquiry in Bishop Newton and Bishop Halifax,” by all of whom these interpretations are zealously maintained: yet, in common with Grotius, Episcopius, Archbishop Sheldon, and Dr. Hammond, he considered the interpretations them-

1 “Every intelligent and serious and honest teacher of the English church, ought to read attentively the three following books—The Catholic Liturgy, published by Gandolphy—The Roman Missal for the use of the Laity—Vespers according to the Roman Breviary. S. P.”—Bibl. Parr. p. 681.

2 Characters of Fox, p. 623.

selves as destitute of all just foundation;1 and, at the same time, as calculated, at once, to embitter the minds of the Protestants and to exasperate those of the Catholics. The notion, also, that the Church of Rome is chargeable with impiety or idolatry in their supposed worship of glorified saints, or in their adoration of the sacramental elements, Dr. Parr resisted as a false and groundless imputation.

But though he thought thus favourably of the Romish church, yet it would be most unjust to conclude that Dr. Parr did not give a sincere and decided preference to the church to which, by profession, he belonged: nor would the writer have thought it necessary to guard against so unwarrantable a conclusion, had it not been for the amazing and audacious attempt of the late Dr. Milner, to induce the world to believe, contrary to all probability, and in the absence of all evidence, that many not only of the members, but of the dignitaries of the English church have died in the Catholic faith. Dr. Parr himself undertook to rescue the fame of Bishop Halifax2 from so gross an aspersion; and that no similar imputation may rest upon his own name, the following passages from his printed works are here subjoined:—

“For my part, it is my lot to differ from the

1 Characters of Fox, p. 653, &c.

2 “Not only Bishop Halifax, Bishop King, Dr. Rennel, Dean of Winchester, according to Dr. Milner, but Luther, Melancthon, Beza, secretly cherished, while they openly rejected, the Catholic faith!”—See Milner’s End of Religious Controversy, part iii. p. 326.

Church of Rome in several doctrinal points more widely than some of its fiercest opponents.”—“I wish the cause of Protestantism to be ever victorious over the errors of the Romish church.”—“I think the Church of England the best ψυχης ΄Ιατρειον in Christendom.”1—“With the members of the English church, I have lived in communion from my boyhood to my grey hairs; and in the same communion, I hope to pour forth my latest breath.”2

By the wretched expedient of rousing against the Catholics the blind rage of religious bigotry, so disgraceful to the character of the nation and their own, the new ministry, with the Duke of Portland as the nominal, and Mr. Perceval as the efficient head, soon found themselves firmly fixed on the seat of government. Their first attention was directed to the vigorous prosecution of the war; but unfortunately their wisdom did not appear equal to their vigour. Almost their first measure was an attack upon Denmark, a friendly state, because she refused to give up the entire of her fleet into their possession. This unjustifiable transaction was instantly condemned by a considerable part of the nation,3 with a truly English

1 Characters of Fox, p. 620. 658. 818.

2 Letter to Milner, p. 36.

3Lord Sidmouth designated it as ‘an outrage.’ Lord Grenville denounced it as ‘an indelible disgrace to the country.’ Mr. Windham and Dr. Lawrence both termed it ‘a lasting monument of disgrace.’ Mr. Whitbread branded it as ‘a treacherous and base aggression on our parts.’ Mr. Sheridan, Mr. Tierney, and other distinguished members of parliament, spoke of it in corresponding language of obloquy and

abhorrence of whatever looks like a violation of public honour or equity: though in the minds of the far greater number that noble and characteristic feeling was absorbed for a time, in admiration of the boldness of the enterprise, and in joy at its success. Among the former conspicuously stood
Mr. Roscoe; by whom it was exposed and reprobated, in the publication before alluded to.1 Writing to him on the subject, Dr. Parr thus expressed himself:—

“I find nine persons out of ten disposed to continue the war—disposed to approve of all that passed at Copenhagen—disposed to consider Mr. Canning’s defence of the measure as solid and satisfactory. What are you to expect from people so infatuated? When Canning proposed seizing next the Russian fleet, the King is said to have answered—“Well—well, Canning, we will have no more ship-stealing this year.” The culprits, dear sir, may be taken up and punished, when another opportunity occurs. I am with you in every statement, every opinion, every conclusion, of your book,” &c.

Early in 1808, the attention of all England and all Europe was drawn towards the Spanish Peninsula; where scenes of outrage were passing, at which the astonishment, first excited, was soon lost in the extreme of indignation and horror. The prime mover and the chief actor, it soon appeared, was the designing and daring ruler of France;

condemnation.”—See Parliamentary Debates, February 14, 1808.

1 See p. 14.

but the events are too recent to need repetition here. Suffice it to say, that the effect of his bold and flagitious attempt to seize the sovereignty of Spain, was to rouse, in the whole Spanish nation, the spirit of determined resistance—which recoiled on the oppressor, and finally destroyed him.

“Spain,” says Dr. Parr, speaking of these times, “has made a noble effort to recover her independence; and Napoleon will, I trust, experience the justness of Hannibal’s observation, Non temere incerta casuum reputat, quem fortuna nunquam decepit. Let us not despair. The people, opposed to this mighty conqueror, are actuated by the purest and strongest motives, which can influence the human mind. Under the auspices of leaders truly patriotic, they will show what a people can achieve, who are fighting for their laws, their independence, their family, their friends, and the religion of their fathers.”1

The first great object of the Spanish patriots was to effect a peace, and to form an alliance, with England; and their overtures were answered by a correspondent spirit, on the part of the sovereign, the parliament, and the people. A powerful force was sent to their aid, under the command of Sir John Moore, a general of high repute. It is not within the design of the writer to narrate the manner in which, deceived by false intelligence, and allured by deceitful promises, the British general, advancing from Corunna too far into the country, found himself opposed by a far superior force; part of which was commanded by Marshal

1 Characters of Fox, p. 576.

Soult, and part by Napoleon himself. Compelled by hard necessity, he began, and, amidst incredible hardships, finally accomplished, his retreat to Corunna. Here, at the head of exhausted and dispirited troops, he was attacked by the pursuing army. A hot engagement ensued: the enemy was beaten; but, in the moment of victory, the brave commander, struck on the right arm by a cannonball, fell, and soon afterwards expired.

With a generous admiration of skill and valour even in an adversary, Marshal Soult reared a monument to the fallen hero on the spot, where he had received his mortal wound. But being formed of wood—though afterwards repaired by order of the Spanish general, Marquis Romana—within a few years the monument appeared to be going fast to decay. In 1814, therefore, by direction of the English government, a new and more durable monument of marble was erected on the same spot; and, at the request of Lord Bathurst, the inscription was written by Dr. Parr.1

The British general fell, indeed, in “the field of proud honour:” yet, for a moment, a cloud seemed to gather over the splendour of his reputation; as if, in his Spanish campaign, he had betrayed either a want of foresight in advancing, or a want of firmness or courage in retreating. But this cloud soon passed away; and ample justice was done to his extraordinary merits, on this, as well as on former occasions, by the nation, in whose battles he had so often bled, and in whose

1 See App. No. II.—See also a translation by Dr. Parr, App. No. III.

service he had so nobly died. Whatever, in his military plans, might seem open to objection, is satisfactorily explained, in the “
Narrative of the Spanish Campaign,” written by his brother, James Moore, Esq.

Dr. Parr entertained much regard for the family of Sir John Moore, as well as the highest esteem, mingled with admiration, for the illustrious general himself. His father was the amiable and excellent Dr. Moore, well known for his pleasing and popular works, consisting chiefly of “Travels” and “Novels;” and honourably distinguished as the kind and judicious friend and correspondent of the celebrated Ayrshire poet. With his brother, just named, a surgeon of eminence in London, and author of several useful medical publications, Dr. Parr cultivated a personal acquaintance. He frequently visited at his house; and always spoke with great respect of his character, and of his professional talents. In his last will, he bequeathes a ring “to his highly-valued friend, James Moore, Esq.1

October 25, 1809, was pleasingly distinguished in the annals of British loyalty, as being the day on which the Sovereign entered into the fiftieth year of his reign. It was observed, therefore, throughout the kingdom, as a national jubilee. The virtues of the King’s private life, and the good intentions which marked his public acts, were the theme of

1Moore’s History of the Small-poxHistory of Vaccination.—The gifts of the author, a skilful surgeon in Conduit-street, and brother to the celebrated, but injured, Sir John Moore.”—Bibl. Parr. p. 473.

universal and grateful acknowledgment; and most sincere was the public rejoicing on the happy occasion. Among other places, Hatton-parsonage was the scene of loyal festivities: in which the writer had the pleasure of participating.
Dr. Parr pronounced, on this occasion, a beautiful and affecting eulogy on the character of the King; and gave, also, as a toast—“May all good kings live to be old; and all old kings live to be good!” Alas! the monarch long, indeed, survived this era: yet his rational existence closed the next succeeding year, when he was seized with a mental malady, from which he never recovered.

In the year 1810, during the parliamentary inquiry into the Walcheren expedition, the public attention was suddenly and powerfully diverted from it, to some rash and unadvised proceedings in the House of Commons. A person named John Gale Jones had been summoned to its bar, on a charge of publishing a libel, reflecting on the character of one of its members; and was ordered, on the speaker’s warrant, to be sent to Newgate. Against the power, thus assumed, Sir Francis Burdett, both in his place in parliament and in a letter to his constituents, indignantly protested, as entirely subversive of the principles of the constitution, and utterly inconsistent with the personal safety or liberty of the subject. If an accused person, without form of trial, without means of defence, without examination of witnesses on oath, can thus be pronounced guilty, and committed to prison by those who are at once his accusers and his judges, then, indeed, there is despotic power
in England, of a most tremendous kind, against which all the securities, provided by the laws, are of no avail. But in opposition to this plain and cogent reasoning, the Commons, on both sides of the House, seemed determined to maintain their imagined privileges; and, for venturing to deny them, Sir Francis was committed prisoner to the Tower: whence he was not liberated till the close of the session.

On this subject, after much inquiry and much deliberation, Dr. Parr formed a most decided opinion, in which almost all the reflecting part of the nation have since concurred, that under no circumstances whatever is the House of Commons invested with authority to inflict punishment for any misdemeanour, further than may be strictly necessary to preserve order, and to prevent interruption, in their own proceedings. In confirmation of his opinion, he appealed to the debates and resolutions of the two Houses, on the Aylesbury case, in the reign of Queen Anne. On that occasion, the commitment of the six men of Aylesbury to prison, by the Commons, was declared by a vote of the Lords to be contrary to the laws; and a decision was pronounced by Lord Chief-justice Holt, that they ought to be forthwith set at liberty. “If this exorbitant claim,” said that great and upright magistrate, “were once established, the subject might be deprived of his dearest right by the mere arbitrary will of the Commons; and the injured party remain wholly destitute of any legal or regular means of reparation or redress.”