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the 23rd of January till the 3rd of February to consider what he should do. Mr. Seymour tells us that he was advised not to appeal to the Judges. Whoever gave him that advice, gave him, in my opinion, very bad advice. I am not aware that the Judges, who are, ex officio, Visitors of the Inns of Court, would have refused to entertain his appeal ; if they did refuse we shall know it before this cause is over.
LORD CHIEF JUSTICE COCKBURN :There is no ground at present for saying that the Judges refused to entertain an appeal.
Mr. SERJEANT SHEE :-None, my lord. And I say, gentlemen, that if they did refuse to entertain it, I am quite certain it will be known before this cause is over. Mr. Seymour states that he was advised that he could not appeal. I think that no single member of the Bar should have undertaken to give that advice. What! That a censure dishonouring to a member of the Bar, a Queen's Counsel, and a Judge of the land, should be passed by the Benchers of an Inn of Court, and that he should have no appeal against it to the Visitors of the Society ! that it should be screened in the Society's hall so as to give it (for that is the inevitable result) a certainty of publicity in the public papers, and that the member of the Inn so disgraced, it may be ruined, should have no opportunity of redress! I believe it to be wholly impossible. I do not know who gave Mr. Seymour that advice, but he was a bold man who did it ; and I believe that any one of my friends who hear me now would have told Mr. Seymour, if he had thought it right to consult him, “Do not lose a moment, write to the Lord Chief Justice of the Court of Queen's Bench, the highest in rank and in authority of Her Majesty's Judges, and ask him to cause the matter to be investigated.” Mr. Seymour did not take that course ; and I grieve now to have to call your attention to the course which he preferred to it. Mr. Seymour's course was one which, when fairly considered, as I have no doubt it will be before this cause comes to an end, leaves him no pretence whatever for bringing this action. He went, on the 4th of February, into the market-place of Southampton; he had assembled there to hear him the electors and non-electors of the borough ; he there made his appeal to them against the Benchers of the Inn to which he belonged; and that he then deliberately intended to withdraw a matter which related to his honour and character from its proper tribunal to the tribunal of the public, which never could fairly decide upon it, is plain from the last words of the speech which Mr. Seymour delivered upon that occasion, and which is set out upon this record :
“Now, gentlemen,” he said, “I have done. I have gone over the various points which fairly, or unfairly, have been pressed upon your attention, and upon which I have come down, though late, to Southampton in the honest hope that I might receive from you a verdiet such as would tell at once to the public that, whatever cruelty I have encountered elsewhere, however the dirty fingers' of certain members of my own profession have been employed in raking up the scandal of the past for the purpose of dragging up something tot damage my repute ; yet that you sympathized with your representative, that you accepted the result, that you saw me still a member of an honourable profession in spite of malice and jealousy, and of political hate, still holding the rank which by such hard struggles I attained, and that you would, by your determination, and by your pronounced opinion to-night, trample for ever upon this cruetattempt to call public attention to a matter which hitherto, at least, has been confined to a more limited circle, and has never yet been brought forth and laid before the glare of public day,”
He appealed to the public through his friends and supporters at Southampton. He must have known perfectly well, considering the position he then held at the Bar, and in the House of Commons, that every word he said would be taken down by reporters, and that it would
appear the next day in the Times newspaper, and he does not take exception to one word in the report which was furnished to the columns of that journal. We have him then appealing to the public against the Benchers of his Inn of Court, the jurisdiction to which he had submitted himself when he became a member of that Society, the jurisdiction which he knew to have been exercised in his case with very great leniency and forbearance. Gentlemen, he was not content with appealing to the people at Southampton, and to the public generally, but he took upon himself on that occasion to attack the Benchers of his Inn. * I was,” he said, “upon fifteen different occasions before the Benchers of my Inn, and I stood practically before fifteen different tribunals, because upon no two occasions were my judges the same. The examinations were conducted within closed doors. I would to God they had been conducted in the broad light of day, and before the face of my constituents and the country ; they were conducted by men sitting down after dinner, varying in their numbers and attendance, and sometimes postponing the inquiry upon the most trivial grounds." So that he went down to Southampton with the deliberate purpose of attacking gentlemen of the highest honour and character, as if they had displayed the same feeling which he charges upon the members of his Circuit, and had determined to pursue him, through motives of jealousy, and to work his destruction.
Now, gentlemen, let us see (because it is right it should be known) who the members of the Bench were. The members of the Bench who took part in that inquiry were Sir Laurence Peel, the late Chief Justice of Bengal; Mr. Greenwood, a Queen's Counsel, and solicitor to the Treasury ; Mr. Bagshawe, a Queen’s Counsel at the Chancery Bar, now one of the County Court Judges in Wales ; Mr. Karslake, a Queen's Counsel and one of the leaders of the Western Circuit ; Mr. Anderson, a Queen's Counsel, a member of the Chancery Bar going no Circuit; Sir William Alexander, a Queen's Counsel, the Attorney-General to the Prince of Wales, and one of the leaders of the Oxford Circuit ; Mr. O'Malley, a Queen’s Counsel, and one of the leaders of the Norfolk Circuit ; Mr. Thomas Chambers, a Queen's Counsel and Common Serjeant of the City of London ; Mr. Hawkins, a Queen’s Counsel and one of the leaders of the Home Circuit ; Mr. Green, a Queen's Counsel, and a member of the Chancery Bar; Sir Frederick Slade, a Queen's Counsel, and one of the leaders of the Western Circuit ; the present Queen's Advocate, then Dr. Phillimore ; Mr. Mills, a Queen's Counsel, and one of the leaders of the Norfolk Circuit ; Mr. Coleridge, a Queen's Counsel, and one of the leaders of the Western Circuit; Mr. Rodwell, a Queen's Counsel who practises at the Parliamentary Bar, and a member of the Home Circuit; Mr. Montagu Smith, a Queen's Counsel, and the leader of the Western Circuit ; Mr. Bovill, a Queen's Counsel, and one of the leaders of the Home Circuit; Mr. Monk, a Queen's Counsel, and one of the leaders of the Northern Circuit ; Mr. Hoggins, a Queen's
; Counsel, and one of the leaders of the Northern Circuit; and my learned friend, Mr. Knowles, a Queen’s Counsel, who had formerly been a member of the Northern Circuit, but who has thought right to retire from the practice of his profession on the Northern Circuit, having long been the leader of that Circuit, and in very large business. There are two other gentlemen, one a conveyancer, Mr. Hopley White ; and another gentleman, Mr. Reynolds, who has retired from practising the profession. Such was the tribunal before which Mr. Seymour appeared, and I ask you if it would be possible to assemble the same number of gentlemen from any profession, or from any number of professions, who would be more likely to arrive at a fair and just conclusion on the conduct of a member of a society to which they belonged than these gentlemen would be. Mr. Seymour was not content with appealing against them in the way I have just read to you from his speech, but when they were forced by his appeal to the public to screen their judgment, that is, to put it up in the Hall, he sent a letter to them which, he says, was written on the 3rd of February, and which he calls a protest, and that letter or protest he afterwards sent to the Times newspaper, in which journal it appeared. Let us see what he says in that letter respecting the gentlemen who had heard his case as Benchers of his Inn :
“There is another subject to which I feel bound to call your attention. You have held fifteen meetings, and in no single instance has your parliament been composed a second time of the same members as any previous parliament. In point of fact, therefore, I have been tried before fifteen different tribunals. Your numbers have been equally irregular, varying from a maximum of eighteen to a minimum of seven. One of your number first attended at the fifth meeting, one first at the sixth, two at the ninth, two at the tenth, and one at the thirteenth! The following is an analysis of the attendance of all the Benchers :—Two attended fifteen meetings, two attended fourteen, one attended twelve, two attended eleven, one attended ten, two attended nine, two attended eight, two attended seven, three attended six, two attended five, one attended four, two attended three, two attended two, and two attended one. Here is a remarkable disregard both of the spirit and letter of the wise rule of the Society which requires the attendance of the same numbers on every adjourned hearing of an inquiry into an accusation against a barrister.”
Are those fit observations for a barrister of an Inn of Court to make, and to make public by sending them to the Times newspaper, unless he intended to provoke a full discussion by the public in the public press of all the matters to which those observations related ? Was it right of Mr. Seymour, when he might have appealed to the Judges, or asked the Judges to entertain his appeal against the reprimand of the Bench, thus to attack the Benchers before the public? I apprehend not; but if he thought right to do so it is not reasonable of him to complain of any of the consequences which have resulted from it.
Let us now see what the sentence pronounced upon him by the Benchers was. It is a sentence which gives rise to questions of very serious importance,-questions in which the conduct of the Benchers is as much involved as the conduct of Mr. Seymour.
“ The Masters of the Bench have carefully considered the volu. minous evidence and documents which have been brought before them, and have come to the conclusion that the charges in the cases of Parker,' Coutts,' and Robertson,' respectively, are not proved, and that the charge of a proposal to hold briefs for an attorney in liquidation of his costs payable by you, is proved. The facts and circumstances which are disclosed, fully satisfy the Masters of the Bench of the necessity for this inquiry, and they regret to add that they cannot accompany their intimation to you of their decision on the three charges first named with any declaration that your conduct is not liable to censure ; on the contrary, they have the painful duty to perform of stating to you that they find much worthy of severe condemnation even on the most favourable construction of your actions. That in Parker's case, on your own statement of your conduct, evidence appears of a want of open dealing towards, and of concealment from, Mr. Parker. Mr. Parker's agreement with you on your own version of it, was inconsistent with your substitution of your credit for the money you undertook to add to his own, and with the use of his money for any purpose unconnected with the printing scheme. The breach of your agreement in these two respects was not communicated to Mr. Parker, whose consent alone could have justified the course to which you actually resorted. The Masters of the Bench are also under the painful necessity of declaring their opinion, that the settlement of Mr. Parker's action, while the charges of fraud included in it were, in the opinion of the Bench, not only not withdrawn, but were strongly re-asserted, as it was conduct calculated to destroy character by exciting suspicions that charges which were not boldly met could not be gainsaid, was an arrangement to which a right-minded man, even in the hour of heavy pecuniary distress, would not have submitted. They are compelled to add that no solid ground presents itself on the evidence in justification of the affidavit which was made by you for the purpose of postponing the trial of the action in question. With respect to Captain Robertson's case, there is found in your statements at various times, in relation to that case, a want of consistency which indicates some recklessness of assertion. Your assertion, so often repeated, that you had generously taken upon yourself very large liabilities which did not in any way belong to you, as you assert yourself to have been totally unconnected with, and innocent of, the transaction termed.' rigging the market,' is at variance with the statement in your letter to Mr. Lefroy, that the debt was as much Captain Robertson's as your own. The Masters of the Bench are unable to reconcile an act which, according to your version of it, would have been one of romantic generosity and self-devotion (scarcely consistent with your duties to others and with the reasonable claims of justice) with other portions of the evidence, and with the ordinary presumptions which arise from your conduct as disclosed throughout these painful transactions. The fourth charge relates to a matter of a different character. The Masters of the Bench are glad to find that it is not justified by you, but the grounds on which you attempted to palliate your conduct are not satisfactory to them. Your proposal was one most improper from a barrister to an attorney, and invited a breach of duty on the VOL. XIV.-NO. XXVIII.