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ations, are nineteen out of twenty. The sum necessary to purchase a seat may vary from 2000l. to 8000l. PLYMPTON, The right of voting in this borough being in freemen, having an hereditary right to the same, agreeably to the decision in 1703, it is presumed that all those who have been made free by the mayor and eight aldermen have no right to vote. About forty of that description, chosen from all parts of England, at present exercise the privilege, to the total exclusion of such sons of freemen as are duly entitled to it, and have a right to admission. TIVERTON. If the right of election in Tiverton was in the householders, the number of voters would be twelve hundred: at present that right is possessed only by twenty-four individuals, and this select body are all under the influence of the Earl of Harrowby, who nominates both members. DARTMOUTII. This place, like Plymouth and Tiverton in this county, furnishes another instance of a populous town having its elective rights assumed and exclusively
now makes part of the public road, and is actually covered with pavement. Many other pieces of land, which are entirely waste, and covered with rubbish and weeds, have the right of suffrage annexed to them, and are considered as the most valuable voting property, because they admit of no inhabitant to give his suffrage for his personal effects. LYME REGIS.
This may be deemed one of those many dependent boroughs which are wholly under the control of an individual; the Earl of Westmoreland and his ancestors having had the entire influence in the corporation for the last century.
This borough, like all others, has a stated price, which the voters call their birth right; several candidates left them at the last election, in consequence of their demanding payment beforehand. It is not completely under the control of a patron, even as to one member, but the borough has for many years manifested such a partiality to the family of Mr. Sturt, that they generally return one of his nomination.
- CORFE CASTLF. This borough, which now consists of
exercised by a corporation composed of a few thatched cottages, is the joint pro
the select body, and a few freemen of their own making. This select number are again circumscribed by the operation of Mr. Crew's bill. The governor, the collector, comptroller, and all the officers of the Customhouse of Dartmouth, are taken from this immaculate body; and the remainder are mostly under the employment of government, as gunners, and other officers. , Dartmouth is termed a government borough. The treasury and admiralty having the nomination of the members, and the farce of electing might as well be performed by the clerks in those offices, as at such a distance from London. DORCHESTER. Almost one half of the houses and rateable property, which give the right of voting in this borough, belong to the Earl of Shaftesbury, who conveys them by freehold leases to his friends and dependants. One of these trust-holders claimed, and actually exercised, the right of voting for a piece of land on which a little shop anciently stood. but which
perty of the Right Honourable Nathan-
Here the modern system of sham conveyances was practised in its fullest extent. Houses were divided into many tenements, and the whole market-place parcelled out in different allotments, so that the votes were multiplied without number. On one occasion the contest was so very violent, that all the stamps in the county were consumed in the mock transfer of property, of which a space of ground, scarcely afford'hig room
for a grave was frequently the subject, and a further supply was necessary to be sent for from the metropolis. The expense of contention increased with the votes, so that the fortunes of both par
ties appeared in danger. At length, for
the purpose of putting an end to such ruinous litigation, the two contending parties, either by express agreement, or from an accidental concurrence of circumstances, parted with the whole of their voting property to one person. DURHAM. This city had been independent for many years, and was considered to be so from 1762, when the corporation had so basely endeavoured to subvert the freedom of election, by making 215 freemen at one time, to out-number the independent electors in the choice of a representative. The great number of non-resident freemen here causes an enormous expense in bringing them from all parts of the kingdom to vote at an election, and is one of those radical evils in the present system, which nothing short of an effectual reform can cure, by giving them the right of voting in the district where they reside. CO LCHESTER. The influence under which this town has the misery to labour, in common with most others, although in different degrees, is that of the corporation, who possess the absurd power of making foreigners, by which it is understood, non-residents, and others, who have no natural or legal claim to such a right, freemen of the said borough. This will always enable them to manufacture a majority in favour of a candidate whose interest they may choose to espouse. Such numbers of the freemen are dispersed all over the kingdom, that the expense of conveying them to the place of election is ruinous to all the candidates. We have known one hundred and twenty-five pounds charged for conveying two voters from a remote part of England in a chaise and four to vote at a Colchester
The right of election for this city hav
ing been confined to the corporation, and such freemen as this select body pleases to make, ever since the year 1690, its elective franchise fell under the influence of the then Dukes of Bolton and Chandos, who sent each a member, and sometimes each patron attempted to return both. -
A great majority of this corporation, who choose the virtual representatives for a population of near six thousand souls, are non-residents, and, as such, can have no interest or concern for the people, of whose rights they have the excluSlye exercise.
This borough cuts as distinguished a figure in the annals of bribery as any in England; not that it has been more venal than others, but less discreet in the practice of it. It has several times escaped disfranchisement by some of those side-wind accidents which have saved many other boroughs in the same pre
Great-Britain and Ireland. 645
dicament; such as previous questions, their establishments all existing in fiction. delays till the session was ended, want The borough itself, like Old Sarum, of time to examine further evidence, being a fiction, there existing no such when the fact, according to the declara- place but by name. The electors in all tion of a noble lord in the House of these boroughs are fictions named upon Commons, was as clear as the sun at parchment for the day. The returning noon-day ! and it therefore continues officer is also a fictitious character, called a the practice with impunity to the present balist, steward, portreve, or titular mayor, day. The price, we understand, is still having no office, function or power, but sixty pounds a man ; and though all the that of setting his name to the instrument houses in the borough are purchased up which concludes these fictitious proceedby the present members, who employ a ings. -
London attorney to manage them, they
Isle of wight. Newport, the capital of the island, including that part of the town which is
whitchURch. out of the parish, contains a population This is a burgage-tenure borough, the of 4000 persons, has two members chofreeholds of which belong to the two no- sen by a self-elected corporation of twentyble proprietors, except thirteen that have four individuals, many of whom are nonnot been purchased from individuals, residents. Whitchurch is generally represented by Yarmouth, which has only a populathe brothers of the two proprietors; who tion of three hundred and forty-three have only to make out seven temporary inhabitants, has two members chosen by conveyances, each for the election-day, a corporation of twelve individuals, only and as many voters are created for the one of whom is resident in the borough. occasion, as will go through the ceremo- Newtown, a hamlet in the parish of ny, in half an hour, of returning two Shalfleet in this island, composed of only nominal representatives for the people of half a dozen fishermen's huts, without a Great Britain and Ireland. church, town-hall, or officer of any de- PETERs to IELD. scription, and having scarcely the appear. In the last borough, the dean and ance of habitation, sends two members, -chapter of Winchester appointed the chosen by the owners of thirty-six bur
returning officer, and two lords returned gage tenures, paying a land-tax oi no
the two members: but here, one person more than 3s. 8d. the major part of
close or nominal boroughs in England, son. The members for Newtown are cho-
-ofThe re-opening of the intercourse with the Continent has enabled us to recommence, by means of a
Correspondent at Paris, an Article which some and interested many of our Readers.]
years since formed a feature of our Supplement,
GEOGRAPHY. Precis de la Géographie Universelle; ou Description de toutes les Parlies du Monde, sur un nouveau Plan, d'apres les grandes Divisions naturelles du Globe, &c. &c. of System of Universal Geography; or, a Description of every Part of the World, on a new Plan, according to the grand natural Divisions of the Globe: precelled by the History of Geography amongst the Ancients and Moderns, and a general Theory of Mathematical, Physical, and Political Geography, accompanied with an Atlas, elementa'ry, synoptical, and analytical Tables, and an alphabetical Table of the Names of Places. In 5 vols. Sto. and the Atlas in 4to. By M. Malle-Brun. US DER the modest title of a Precis, (a Summary,) M. Malte-Brun, whose pre-eminent talents as a geographer are known throughout the civilised world, has given to the public a work
embracing various desiderata in the cir
cle of general knowledge. Books of geography have been generally written by contract, as a builder would contract to build a house, at so much per yard square of letter-press. The immensity and variety of his researches prove that pecuniary recompense is a consideration which has not all entered into his calculations. The study of geography has been the grand object of his life, and by exertions which would frighten most authors to contemplate, he has succeeded in forming a Geography truly universal. That spirit of system, and those limited views, which disfigure the work of Pinkerton himself, is discarded for a general survey, in which philosophical truth is the primary consideration. Impartiality is a rare virtue; for our passions and our interests too frequently enter into our descriptions: as our author observes of Japan, that it has been too highly varnished by Thunberg, and too much abused by the missionaries. The former discovered in it only a magnificent bo
tanical garden; and the latter perceived only the traces of the blood of martyrs. So it has fared with the descriptions of most countries, from the fabulous relations of Mandeville, to the foolish narrative of Lord Blaney.” The province of
M. Malte-Brun has been to separate the
chaff from the wheat, to reconcile jarring opinions, and elicit truth from a multifa-' rious mass of contradictory evidence. The plan of the work, if not entirely new, may be truly considered so in the liberal acceptation of the word. “We propose to ourselves,” says he, “to include, in a series of historical essays, a comprehensive view of ancient and modern geography, which shall leave in the mind of the attentive reader a distinct and lively image of the earth and its diversified surface, with whatever is memorable or worthy of record in every climate, of the people who have inhabited them, or who still inhabit them. The task will appear immense, if we consider what various details must be united in a picture of such limited extent. The design even may appear too bold, if we reflect on the nature of the matters we have to treat of ; matters which, having been abandoned by the moderns to persons more learned than elegant, are generally considered as equally precluding the elegance of literary composition and the depth of philosophical meditation. “The timidity which the consideration of so many difficulties naturally inspires, has yielded to a conviction which led us to regard, in the science of geography, less what it has been, than what it might. and ought to become. We said to ourselves, is not Geography the sister and rival of History ! If the one holds its empire over every age, the other reigns over every place. If the one can recal past generations, cannot the other fix the permanent image of the moving pictures * His lordship has been . handled by the English critics. The French journalists have wielded the lighter arm of ridicule, and
exposed his lordship as a laughing-stock for their countrymen.
progress of geography.
- Retrospect of French Literature. 647
of History, in retracing to the mind the
eternal theatre of our short-lived miseries—that wast scene strewed with the
ruins of so many empires—and that im
mutable Nature, always occupied in repairing, by her bounties, the ravages of our discords ; And this description of the globe, is it not intimately connected with the study of man, and that of our manners and institutions ! Does it not offer to all the political sciences the most precious information, and to all the branches of natural history a necessary complement; and to literature itself a vast treasure of images and sensations. “The following is the arrangement we have pursued in this work.-We commence with a historical picture of the We take the science from its cradle. Moses and Homer, in the first place present us with the charts of two nations of antiquity. Soon after, by the science of the stars, the Phenician navigator traverses the Mediterranean, and discovers the ocean. Herodotus relates to the Greeks what he has seen and what he has heard. The vast colonial system of the Carthaginians, and the adventurous courses of Pythéas of Marseilles, discover the west, and throw rays of intelligence on the north. The glory of Alexander sheds a flood of light on the countries of the east.
The Romans inherit, in a great measure,
the discoveries of the polished nations of antiquity. The Eratosthenes, the Strabos, the Plinys, the Ptolemys, seek to give order to these inform masses of materials. The great migration of nations next overturned the whole edifice of ancient geography. It was in perishing that Greece and Rome learnt how much more extensive the world was than their systems had made it appear. By degrees this chaos settled into form, and a new Europe arose from the element of a new Geography The Spirit of enterprize, and making voyages, awoke : already it had led, without profit, the Arabians and Scandinavians to the Molluccas and to America. Science was not there to enable them to reap the fruits of their adventurous courses. More learned, and not less courageous, the Italians and Portuguese, aided by the mariner's compass, traversed the ocean
in safety. On every side fell the barriers. that Providence had raised to limit the horizon of Geography. Columbus gave us a new world. By land and sea, every nation now pursued with ardour the career of discovery ; and, by their united efforts, the vast total of the globe, notwithstanding a few partial shadows, was at length presented to the eye of Science.” Such is our author's outline of his plan, which he has filled up with a success scarcely to be anticipated. The first volume is devoted to the history of geography, down to the present time. In the coinmencement, geography was nothing more than the knowledge of the mountains and forests which bounded the steps of man in a savage state, and the river which arrested his progress.--" His neighbours were only known to him by their quarrels and combats with him, and all the rest of the world was to him as if it did not exist.—Fortunate hunters subjected their weaker and more pacific brethren ; from whence the first little sovereignties arose, which, doubtless changed their name with every new master. Those who subsisted on their flocks and fisheries were the first to endeavour to fix limits to the pretensions of neighbouring tribes; from whence the first countries, or cantons.—Agriculture gave a certain duration to the denomination of the country, and policy became the preserver of first conquests, permitted, at length, some kingdoms to aggrandise themselves sufficiently to obtain a place in history, and become luminous points in the immense night of ages.” “ It was then that commerce and navigation, taking a bolder range, traversed mountains and seas. An adventurous merchant, to shew his daring and increase the value of his objects of exchange, terrified his credulous countrymen with relations of the monsters and giants he had fought with, the gulphs and burning zones which alone had arrested his course.—Thus geography necessarily became, like history, the common depository of all fables and popular traditions, until the spirit of science, which is no other than the spirit of doubt, submitted to a severe analysis the gross materials amassed by credulous ages.