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The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 37

Parliamentary Usurpation

Parliamentary Usurpation.

One by one the barriers to the spread of centralisation have been practically abandoned; although they retain their legal existence, we affect to consider them obsolete. Institutions which had withstood the King and his Barons now yielded to the Third Estate. The endeavor to establish the entire ascendency of Parliament in England, and of their own estate in Parliament succeeded. The local liberties, though not annulled, have been suffered to become obsolete and forgotten. The sacrifice has been made. How has it profited the Churl that made it. While local administration remained to him pauperism was unknown. Each Hundred maintained its poor, and was adequate to that great duty. The instances of death from want were so rare, that when they happened they produced in the minds of all, not their barren and useless pity for the fate of the unknown wanderer, but a deep sense of a criminal and an inhuman neglect on the page 12 part of that Hundred, where, from the finding of the corpse the death might be supposed to have happened. Such an event was always a matter of judicial inquiry; and if the death appeared to the jurors to have been really the effect of want, they made their presentment as in cases of murder, and the Hundred was mulcted in the murder fine. These were their only poorlaws! How far the happiness and prosperity of the Churl have been since promoted by that I transfer of power which relieves him of his proper burden of solicitude for the welfare of the State, let the poorlaw act, corn laws, chartism, riots, repeal, and the whole aspect of this empire in 1843 make answer. (Chisolm Anstey.)