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Mr. Dauncey, very unexpectedly, (I do not say to the church warden, who as one of Mr. Foster's party, was probably in the secret, but certainly very unexpectedly to Mr. Lendon,) took an objection to proceeding on the scrutiny at all, as an illegal measure. Mr. Serjeant Selo lon, in reply, contended that the scrutiny being a measure incidental to the election, therefore, as the election was legal, so must be the scrutiny. He also proved from the parish records that several scrutinies had taken place, within the last 120 years, on elections of the same kind. He admitted that it was in the first instance discretional with the churchwarden, to refuse or to grant it; but that þaving formally consented to it, the lists of objected votes having been exchanged, and all other arrangements completed, he contended, that under these cir. cumstances, the church warden was bound in equity to proceed. Serjeant Sellon having been taken by surprise, he requested Jeave to consider the point till the following morning, which was granted, and it was then reargued on both sides, at considerable length; after which the court adjourned, on the proposal of the assessor, till the next morning, in order that he might in the interim advise with the churchwarden before he pronounced his decision. The Court being met, agree äbly to the adjournment, the church warden delivered to the vestry clerk, which by him was read aloud, a paper expressive of his opinion of the illegality of the scrutiny, and of his determination, that it should not be proceeded on. This curious paper, (a copy of which I have not been able to procure, but the contents of which I distinctly bear in mind) also set forth the grounds on which the churchwarden's determination was founded, and which I think you will agree with me to be, if pos. sible, still more extraordinary than the deterinination itself. ". The first reason was, that in granting the scrutiny (I do not pretend to give the precise words, but the literal effect and meaning) the churchwardens acted under the impression that they could not refuse it. Now, Sir, it will, for the present, be sufficient to assert what will, in a judicial forum, be proved by a host of witnesses, of unimpeachable character, and among others, by the vestry clerk himself, that when a scrutiny was deinanded in open vestry by Mr. Lendon, and a considerable number of homseholders of the first respectability, the church wardeu did not comply with it, until he had, in the face of the meeting, referred to the vestry clerk for bis advice as to how he should act, who told him that it was discretionary with him either to grant or refuse a scrutiny; but that he would recommend him to grant it, upun which the churchwarden immediately did grant it.
The second reason alleged by Mr. Foster's friends, the churchwardens, was that Mr. Foster, at the conclusion of the poll, was in public vestry declared to be duly elected, It would be a perfect waste of your time and my paper, if not an insult to the common understandings of your readers, to offer much observation on the absurdity of this argument, when I inform you that the scrutiny was granted immediately after this declaration of Mr. Foster's having been duly elected, and at the same meeting, and which declaration, in the plain sense of things, could mean no more than that that gentleman had the majority of votes on the poll: for the church wardens well know (what, from the nature of the fact, will admit of the easiest and fullest proof), that Mr. Lendon and his friends formally declared their intention at or about the close of the poll, to demand a scrutiny; and that that demand would have been made at the place of poll (the work- . house), had not the vestry clerk given it as his opinion, that it ought to be made in the church after the return of Mr. Foster was announced. I mention this latter circumstance for no other end than to enable you the better to judge with what consistency and fairness the churchwarden could, under these circumstances, make the use he has done of the declaration of Mr. Foster's having been duly elected. It is evident that Mr. Foster must have been declared elected, or, in other words, returned, as the successful candidate on the poll, before a scrutiny could possibly have been required, much less allowed. That circumstance being the very ground of such a proÇeeding, yet Mr. Foster's return as the elected minister is by the churchwardens adduced as an argument for refusing a scrutiny, and that, too, a whole month after it had been granted.
The third reason of the church wardens for determining not to proceed on the scrutiny was, that they had not authority to summon witnesses, or to enforce their attendance, or to administer an oath. But did the want of this authority render the scrutiny illegal? Certainly noț:
no more than it rendered the poll illegal, where there was. an equal defect of legal authority to administer an oath, : And it surely cannot be seriously contended, that “authority” is necessary to procure the attendance of witpesses at a parochial scrutiny. Was any diffculty of this sort, I would ask, ever experienced at former scrutinies? The churchwardens must have known ioo, froin the nature of the objections to the votes exchanged, that where there was one vote, proof respecting which depended on parole evidence, there were ten which der pended on the collector's books; and “here was the rub," the collectors of the poor and church rates in the middle district of the parish, were zealous friends of Mr. Foster's, and it was well understood that many trying questions would be put to them about alterations in their books, to make. bad votes good ones; and that many awkward things would come out on cross examination,
you will be of my opinion, I think, when I tell you that these same collectors not only refused, on the poll, to take an oath at the desire of Mr. Lendon's friends, attending as they then did with their books, by order of vestry, but, previously to the sciutiny, actually refused in direct and daring violation of law, to produce their books to the friends of Mr. Lendon, on a regular application made for that purpose, though every parishioner paying taxes, has a right to inspect them.
The last reason assigned by the churchwardens for not entering on the scrutiny was, that Mr. Lendon refused to be eventually bound by the result of it, which he undoubtedly, did. I will not ask, Mr. Editor, whether Mr. Lendon had not good reason to do so, when he knew": that the very person who was to decide on the merits of the scrutiny was a party unduly interested in the cause? but I will ask a question of much more relevance to the point; and that is, by what right bas the returning officer, at a scrutiny, to require that the parties shall be finally bound by the issue, and to refuse a scrutiny on that ground? Is it one iota inore absurd and unjust, than if the Lord Chief Justice of the king's Bench were to say to the plaintiff and defendant, in an action brought in his court, “ I will try your cause, but you must first promise ine that you will not, in case of dissatisfaction at the issue of the cause, move for a new trial, or make au uppral from the decision of this court, to the House of..
Lords;" or in other words, “if yon should not meet with justice here, that you will not resort to any other means of obtaining that redress, which may by the laws of the country be left open to you?”
It savoured not a little of ini pertinence in.Mr. Foster's counsel, (but counsel are sometimes obliged to ask questions, to which they have no right to receive an answer, because their clients desire it) to ask Mr. Lendon, whether he would be eventually bound by the scrutiny? but for the judge, of all other persons, to urge that gentleman's refusal to engage himself to be bound by it, as a reason for not proceeding on the investigation, is as gross an instance of folly, indecency, and injustice, as can well be conceived.
I have already observed, that the churchwarden who presided in the scrutiny court, had Mr. Reader, a respectable professional gentleman, for his assessor; and it will appear strange, that with such an adviser at his elbow, the church warden should convict himself so egregiously ; but the wonder will cease, when you are informed that he acted in opposition to the opinion of his assessor, and he, and his brother in office, were determined to have their own way.
You will naturally suppose that Mr. Lendon and his friends do not intend to let matters rest in this state. It is their intention to bring the whole before a court of law, where all the unjust arts of the methodist party, to get the living of Clerkenwell into their own hands, will be exposed in their proper colours; and I trust that this business will end in a complete triumph to the friends of our Church, in this parish, where they have (to their credit be it spoken) made a firm stand against the sectaries, notwithsianding all the low intrigues and unwarrantable means which that party have employed to carry their point.
It should also be made generally known that this has been made a common cause among the methodists throughout the kingdom; and prayers have even been offered up in their chapels, for the success of what they called the evangelical candidate *. .
. * In a meeting house, in Clerkenwell Parish, a collection was actually made towards defraying the expenses of Mr. Foster, on account of the scrutiny; and at Lady Huntingdon's chapel, I am credibly informed, the same object was recomınended froin the pulpit to the congregation in that place, during the canvass."
The matter of this communication, which I hope will prove interesting to your readers, must be my apology; Mr. Editor, for its length. Clerkenwell,
EUSEBIUS, Sept. 10, 1804.
REMARKS ON SHEPPARD'S LETTER TO DAUBENY.
TO THE EDITOR OF THE ORTHODOX CHURCHMAN'S
MAGAZINE, SIR, A PAMPHLET has just fallen into my hands, in the A form of a letter, from a Dr: Sheppard to Mr. Daubeny. Upon Mr. Daubeny's publication of “A Guide to the Church,” Dr. S. says, that he published some obo servations in a letter, which I do not learn that Mr. D. took any notice of. As it appears to me very probable that he may not pay any more attention to the present publication, I will take the liberty (with your permission) to make a few remarks upon it, through the medium of your magazine.
Dr. Sheppard is very anxious to let' as know certain particulars about Mr. Daubeny; but he is not equally full of information with regard to himself. He tells us, however, that he is “a presbyter of the Church of England,” and, “ a true independent minister;" in which latter character he seems most desirous of appearing. In fact his letter is not merely an apology for dissenters, but a direct attack upon the Church itself. How far that attack is supported by truth, in point of facts, alleged against the Church and its ministers, or by sound argument on the part of Dr. S. may appear in some degree from the following remarks, in which I propose to animadvert on some of those passages which bear upon the Church in general, rather than on those which are personal to Mr. Daubeny. . In page 7, we meet with the following words: “ You have subscribed to the 17th article of the Church of England. You said to me in person,' that you were not called upon to believe in ihe doctrine by subscribing tor this article.” And in the next page, “ The clergy say they sign them (the articles, as articles of peace, not