LEADING TO BURDETT'S ARREST

The Address of Sir Francis Burdett to his constituents, in a letter, dated March 23, denying the power of the House of Commons to imprison the people of England …

London, T. Broom, [1810].

8vo, pp. [2], 38, with a half-title; a very good copy, lower and upper edges untrimmed, self-wrappers, re-stitched, spine neatly restored with Japanese paper.

£300

Approximately:
US $409€349

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The Address of Sir Francis Burdett to his constituents, in a letter, dated March 23, denying the power of the House of Commons to imprison the people of England …

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First edition(?) in book form, written in response to the arrest of the radical John Gale Jones for breach of privilege after he had challenged the exclusion of ‘strangers’ (i.e. the public) from the Commons debates about the disastrous Walcheren expedition.

On 12 March, Burdett moved for Jones’s release, ‘denouncing the use of privilege as an offensive weapon, but he secured only 14, mostly reluctant votes. Cobbett’s Political Register of 24 Mar. 1810 reprinted his speech and prefaced it with an address to his constituents impugning the House for illegal exercise of its privilege. Ministers welcomed the issue as a diversion from the Walcheren question and, with their connivance, Thomas Buckler Lethbridge moved on 27 Mar. that Burdett was in breach of privilege’ (History of Parliament online). He was found guilty on 5 April, and was ordered to be sent to the Tower, but his supporters came out in force and he was only taken four days later.

There was also an edition printed for Bagshaw and Budd in the same year.

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