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The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 39



Jan. 11th.—Mr. Justice Field gave judgment that the privileges of the House of Commons prevented Mr. Bradlaugh from obtaining any redress for the assault upon him on August 3rd,. 1881.

Feb. 15th.—Great demonstration in Trafalgar Square; from eighty to one hundred thousand people present. (Evening Standard says 30,000; Daily News, 50,000 an hour before the meeting.) Mr. Adams, chairman; Rev. W. Sharman, Jos. Arch, and Mr. Bradlaugh, speakers.

Opening of Parliament. (Mr. Gladstone at Cannes.) Government give notice for to-morrow for leave to introduce bill to amend the Oaths Act, 1866. Sir R Cross gives notice of opposition on second reading of same. Mr. Bradlaugh consents, with the approval of his constituents, expressed on the 13th inst., to await the fate of the measure.

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Feb. 16th.—Sharp succession of frantic speeches in the House of Commons by Mr. Newdegate, Alderman Fowler, Mr. Warton, Mr. Henry Chaplin, Mr. Onslow, Mr. Grantham, Mr. Beresford Hope, Lord H. Lennox, Lord C. Hamilton, Mr. A. Balfour, Mr. Ashmead Bartlett, and Mr. A. O'Connor. Divisions : from two to three to one for Government. The Marquis of Hartington consents to adjourn the motion for Bill until Monday at twelve.

Feb. 18th.—The Observer says that when Conservatives ask Liberals whether they really mean to alter the law for the purpose of admitting Mr. Bradlaugh, it is fair for Liberals in turn to ask Conservatives whether they really mean to maintain an admitted abuse and injustice for the mere purpose of excluding Mr. Bradlaugh.

Feb. 19th.—First reading of Bill carried on division by 184 votes to 53; second reading formally fixed for that night week.

Feb. 20th.—Daily News says Bill will be carried by large majorities, and will be regarded by the House and the country as the appropriate settlement of an unfortunate controversy.

The Times says the leaders of the opposition will not succeed in finally preventing the Bill from becoming law. Its real concern is that Mr. Bradlaugh has been substantially in the right; that he has been unjustly excluded from taking the seat which belongs to him.

The morning Advertiser thinks the Government may yet find it difficult to persuade the House to adopt the Bill.

The Morning Post justifies the irregular opposition to the first reading of the Bill, and thinks notice of the measure should have been given in the Queen's Speech. No measure had created more excitement or raised more indignation in the country, which desired to see it rejected by a decisive majority.

March 5th.—Appeal case Bradlaugh v. Clarke part heard before the House of Lords.

March 6th.—Case concluded; judgment deferred.

March 9th.—Action for maintenance—Bradlaugh v. Newdegate—tried before Lord Coleridge and a special jury. Henry Lewis Clarke, the common informer, swore that he had not the means to pay the costs, and would not have brought the action if he had not been indemnified by Mr. Newdegate. Case adjourned for argument of legal points.

March 17th.—Maintenance action argued; four counsel appearing for Mr. Newdegate. Lord Coleridge reserved judgment.

March 20th.—The Solicitors to the Treasury compelled Mr. Bradlaugh to pay the costs of the House of Commons in the action against the deputy Sergeant-at-Arms.