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on the 6th of the same month, he again addressed the House with much ability and eloquence for above five hours. . Although in this instance unsuccessful, he acquired much reputation by his exertions on the occasion; and from this period, his practice, both in the Court of King's Bench, and on the Northern Circuit, began to increase.
Through the influence of the Earl of Darlington, (now Marquis of Cleveland,) he, in the beginning of 1810, obtained a seat in Parliament for the Borough of Camelford; in the representation of which a vacancy had occurred, by the accession of the present Marquis of Lansdowne to the Peerage. His first Speech, which was made on the 5th of March, 1810,* on the debate upon Mr. Whitbread's motion, reprobating the Earl of Chatham's private transmission to the King of his narrative respecting the expedition to the Scheldt; has been usually considered to have disappointed the expectations excited by the knowledge of his great talents : it was, however, pertinent and perspicuous; but being delivered
• Collection of Speeches in the press.—Ridgway.
in that unassuming manner, which all young Members act prudently in adopting at the commencement of their Parliamentary career, it presented a striking contrast to the characteristic vehemence of the Speeches delivered by him on occasions more favourable to the display of his prodigious powers. It is right, however, to state, that this Speech was, in the course of the debate, alluded to by Mr. Adam, in terms of great commendation.
On the 15th of June, he addressed the House, in a Speech of great length and ability, on the subject of the Slave Trade, which was then carried on to a great extent by foreign nations; and after complaining of the inefficiency of the Abolition Act, to prevent the subjects of our own country from engaging in that infamous traffic in a clandestine and fraudulent manner, he concluded, by moving an Address to the Crown, beseeching His Majesty to persevere in his efforts to induce foreign nations to abandon the trade, and to give such orders to the officers of the navy, as would effectually check the commerce carried on by British subjects, in contempt of the authority
of Parliament: this Address was carried nem.
In the Session of 1811, Mr. Brougham strenuously opposed the passing of the Act for preventing Gold Coin from being paid or accepted, for more than its current value; and moved a string of Resolutions on the subject, which were negatived without a division: he also spoke in the debates relative to the administration of justice in Trinidad, and the use of flogging in the army.
In the course of the same year we find Mr. Brougham engaged as Counsel for the Messrs. Hunts, Proprietors of the Examiner, against whom a criminal information had been filed for an alleged libel, contained in an article, reprobating, in strong terms, the practice of flogging adopted in our army; and copied into that paper from the Stamford News. His Speech, on this occasion, elicited applause from the Attorney General, and was characterized by Lord Chief Justice Ellenborough as “ a Speech of great ability, eloquence, and manliness;” and notwithstanding his Lord
ship's decisive opinion, as to the libellous nature of the article in question, the jury returned a verdict of “ Not Guilty.” He was, also, specially retained at the Lincoln March Assizes, in defence of John Drakard, the Proprietor of the Stamford News, who charged with the publication of the original article ; but, although his Speech in behalf of this Gentleman, was characterized by even greater ability than that in defence of the Hunts, and was greeted with marks of applause, which, however indecorous and mistimed in a Court of Justice, shew its extraordinary power; and notwithstanding the line of defence adopted was precisely the same as on the trial of the former case, the result was different, and the Crown obtained a verdict.
Mr. Brougham was a very frequent speaker in the House of Commons during the long Session of 1812, taking an active part in the debates on Colonel M‘Mahon's Sinecure, the King's Household Bill, the East India Company's Affairs, Corporal Punishments in the Army, the Roman Catholic Claims, the Management of Lincoln and Lancaster Gaols, the
Negociations for a New Administration, and the Preservation of the Public Peace Bill, and greatly distinguished himself by his strenuous opposition to the Leather Tax, which the Ministry carried by a majority of eight only: but his great efforts, during this Session, were directed to procure the repeal of the Orders in Council, against which he had been heard at the Bar of the House in 1808. On the 3d of March he moved the appointment of a Select Committee, to take into consideration the state of Trade and Manufactures, particularly with reference to these Orders in Council, and the Licence Trade: this motion was negatived by 216 against 144: but on the 28th of April, Lord Stanley succeeded in obtaining a reference of the numerous petitions presented on the subject, to a Committee of the whole House. In the proceedings of this Committee, which sat for six weeks, Mr. Brougham took a very conspicuous part; and shortly after the conclusion of its labours, viz. on the 16th of June, he, in a long and masterly Speech, moved an Address to the Prince Regent, praying him to repeal or suspend the obnoxious Orders ; this Address