Thursday, 14 April 2011

The 1861 Hansard trawl, featuring guano and the demon drink

What about this for a section heading?:


Quite direct, that.  Anyway, to the point:

MR. VINCENT SCULLY said, he would beg to ask the Chief Secretary for Ireland, Whether his attention has been directed to the committals for drunkenness to local Bridewells in Ireland, under the Act of 6 and 7 Will. IV, c. 38, s. 12, and to the inconvenience of transmitting persons convicted under that Act from distant districts to the common gaol of the county, and whether Government intends to provide any remedy for such inconvenience?

MR. CARDWELL said, that his attention had beon directed to the committals for drunkenness to local Bridewells in Ireland under the Act stated by the hon. Member. He (Mr. Card well) was aware that there was an inconvenience felt of committing persons convicted under that Act from distant districts to the common gaol of the county, and it was the intention of the Government to provide a remedy for that inconvenience.

I imagine that Cardwell intended to remedy 'that inconvenience' by having more bridewells built, rather than leaving drinkers be.

Vincent 'the drinkers friend' Scully was the MP for Cork, and Edward 'not the drinkers friend' Cardwell was the MP for Oxford.  But for the predilection of that electorate, William Makepeace Thackeray would have been the MP and denied Cardwell this particular pulpit, apparently.

A particular undelightful piece of bigotry here:

MR. DENMAN said, he wished to he allowed to make an explanation in regard to a matter which was somewhat of a personal nature. On Monday last he presented a Petition from the Union of Tiverton against the appointment of Roman Catholic Chaplains and Schoolmasters in Union Workhouses. That Petition was presented in the ordinary way, but it so happened, owing no doubt, to some error, that in the Votes of the Proceedings next day that Petition was entered as one in favour of the free exercise of their religion in Workhouses by Roman Catholics. That was exactly the contrary of the prayer of the Petition, which was against the appointment of Roman Catholic Chaplains to Workhouses, and so it appeared in the newspapers.
I think he might have benefited from attending a diversity worshop.... 

Sticking with the past as a foreign country, the, ahem, Lunacy Regulation Bill:

THE MARQUESS OF WESTMEATH thought that some provision ought to be introduced in the Bill to enable some protection to be thrown round persons who, though not of sound mind, were not in such a dangerous state as to render it necessary to treat them as ordinary lunatics. He referred to the recent case of Lord Kingston, who, he said, had been more or less in the present state for the last twenty years. His mania took the form of giving away large sums as alms in indiscriminate charity, whereby he had destroyed his whole fortune.
Elsewhere, parliamentarians talking about what they know best, although normally it is the output of bulls rather than sea birds:

 MR. GREGORY said, he would beg to ask the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, Whether any Resolution was passed by the Peruvian Congress abolishing the monopoly of consignment of Guano, and offering to sell it free on board at 30 dollars per ton; and if so, why that Resolution was not carried out? He would also beg to ask whether the noble Lord has received any copy of the new American Tariff; and if so, whether he will lay it on the Table of the House?

LORD JOHN RUSSELL  said, he had received a copy of the American Tariff, but it was not quite in such a shape as to be presented to Parliament. With respect to the question relating to Peruvian Guano all the explanation he could give was that the question was raised in the Peruvian Congress, but he was not aware of any decision being arrived at respecting it.


  1. I was wondering where we'd learn of THE MARQUESS OF WESTMEATH were it not for this blog.

  2. We aim to address underreported tales in these parts, so I am happy to have been of service.

  3. The essential problem is refraining from making jokes based on the word guano.

  4. They do rather tend to write themselves, don't they?