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through him; and a reverend common-council man, even returns a parcel unopened, which I had forwarded to him, supposing it contained the treason, * which your Lordship may read in the following pages. . In short, if I felt it necessary to place before your Lordship the twistings and turnings I have experienced, all of which are so many reasons most confirmatory of the solidity of my argument, I should fill as many sheets of paper as I have stood in need of to place before your Lordship my views of the constitution of that town, which calls aloud for a redress of the many irregularities which have been practised against the decided opinions of its inhabitants.
Well then, what was to be done? Was I quietly to submit to this mysterious silence ? Was I to wrap up the results of my inquiries in a napkin ? On this, I once more consulted some learned, discreet, and excellent friends. Unanimously have they said, “ let your strictures and observations be printed, they must prove serviceable to the town and parish in which you live.” Again I communicated with the corporate officers, not with a view to amend every irregularity which prevails among us, but to beg of them to evince a disposition to correct, by proceeding to the removal of a
Vide, more particularly the Clause W, which grants to the mayor and burgesses, that is, the inhabitant householders, the privilege of having a gaol.
corporale officer, who is gone to reside in South America, and who had ceased to be an inhabitant of Tiverton for many years. This, it appears, for reasons only known to themselves, they seem not disposed to do, although this shocking inconsistency is the theme of animadversion at almost every mention of the corporation.
As a loyal subject, therefore, and to secure that proper feeling which every friend of his country must wish to see prevail, I hesitate no longer to submit to the wishes and requests of those, whose good opinion I have the honor to possess.
Deploring (as much as your Lordship will do, at no distant period, for having turned a deaf ear to the reasonable suggestions of many, some, indeed, favorable to your Lordship’s connexion with our borough) the unaccountable line of conduct which has of late been adopted by our common council, permit me, with sentiments of respect and esteem, to assure your Lordship, I am, in sincerity and truth,
Your Lordship’s faithful,
and obedient servant,
F. L. J.
SIR HENRY CAREW, BART.
LORD OF THE MANOR OF TIVERTON.
My present income, slender as it is when compared with my very large family, precludes my attempting the emancipation of my fellow parishioners, otherwise than by collecting such information respecting those rights and privileges, which they ought to possess and enjoy, as persons who live in a town, which was a borough long before any corporation existed in it; or as inhabitants, whose interests and benefits their Majesties James and George intended to promote, by the grant of their respective charters, on which I have drawn up the following cursory observations.
If in these pages, you should find any thing at all likely to realize that, which I conscientiously think a prudent regard to the pecuniary interests of those most dear to me, alone prevents my succeeding in; the deep stake in point of property which you have in the town and parish of Tiverton -your very ample resources—your public spiritedness—the neglect and exclusion which your family have hitherto experienced from those who have had possession of the corporate offices, many of whom having at the same time no real local interests within the borough, will all combine to induce you to aid the inhabitant householders, and such as have property within the parish, with your advice and assistance; the acquisition of which I have undoubted authority to believe, would lead to the downfall of an usurpation, as destructive of the comforts, as it is inimical to the true interests, of those, over whom you, as Lord of the hundred, manor, and borough of Tiverton, are still entitled to exercise jurisdiction.
MY MUCH RESPECTED FELLOW TOWNSMEN,
With a view to obtain for your benefit, a fair and pure administration of the charters, which their Majesties James and George intended should operate for your welfare and advantage, and in return for which it was expected, “you would think yourselves more specially and strictly obliged to do and exhibit what services you can to the king and his government,” I have been induced to draw up these cursory observations on the constitution of the town and parish in which we live.
I have not indulged in the great question of parliamentary reform ; I have not even agitated the propriety of destroying the system of self election which now regulates our corporate offices; I have, it is true, slightly alluded to the exercise of the elective franchise, as claimed by our mayor and common council ; but my chief object has been to ascertain how far those rights and privileges have been perverted, which it was evidently