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Limerick City Petitions


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Petitions Relating to the Local Taxation of the City of Limerick page 1
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Limerick City Petitions
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Limerick City Petitions

Date of Article: 31/07/1822
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ON PETITIONS RELATING TO LIMERICK TAXATION. 13. by the entries of 1672, of the 6th October 1673, when the Bishop of Limerick was sworn free at the court of D'Oyer hundred, of the 14th Oc- tober 1672, when the proceedings of the common council were ratified and confirmed by the general assembly, as also in later times by the secondary evidence of the contents of the suppressed books. An order Report ,76,. Re_- was made on the 20th August 1723, " that all leases to be made by printed 1820, p. 23. " the corporation, of any lands, tenements or hereditaments, should be Report' p> 4- { S first propounded to the court of D'Oyer hundred for their assent;" and J. Geeran's Evi- from the evidence taken on oath in 1761, it is clear that the payment of dence'lb- 12' . all tolls was regulated by the same authority; that corporate elections, as of the members of the common council, not being the elections of lb. p. 4.1 June officers, were subject to the approval and confirmation of the general assem- I7': 7' iii i - . V , . o 6 June 1727. bly; that the appropriation or, and accounting tor the corporate revenues, 23 June 1727. were similarly governed and directed, as well as the raising of money on P-- 8, Ma? mortgage of the city property. When the legislature interposed to prevent abuses in the elections of corporate magistrates by the freemen at large, the existence and duties of the court of D'Oyer hundred are re- cognized by a regulation, " that no matter or thing in anywise relating to " the affairs of the citty, shall be hereafter propounded or debated in the " court of D'Oyer hundred or general assembly of the said citty, till the " same shall have first passed the common council of the said citty ;" and though, under the present government of the corporation, this court does not seem to have been efficiently holden, yet even in the existing records proofs of its existence and duties remain. The restoration of such a court, Mr. Parker, sanctioned, as it appears to Your Committee, both by charter and usage, App. ( A.) Min. Ev. as well as by the practice in other cities and towns in Ireland, would tend ^ H' D- Grad>' unquestionably to check the many irregularities which have been shown to exist in the corporation of Limerick. By the ancient usages of the city, the eldest sons of freemen, the sons Rep0rt 1820, p. 35. in law of freemen, and the apprentices of freemen, are entitled as of right lb. p. 44, 45. to the freedom of the city. One entry contained in the suppressed books appears in itself conclusive. The corporation, in reply to a letter from Printed Minutes, the lord lieutenant, Lord Clarendon, in 1686, state, " that they never did l820> P- 35" " refuse the freedom of the city of Limerick to such as had just title " thereto by birth, service, or marriage." Notwithstanding this and innumerable other entries of a more special nature, the corporation resisted all admissions of persons claiming their freedom ; and three judgments of the court of King's Bench were obtained in 1813, after the fullest argu- ment, establishing, at an expense of nearly 15,000/. the three rights to the corporate franchise, by birth, marriage, and service. The costs of these suits were, as Your Committee have already remarked, paid out of the corporate revenues, granted solely " for the public uses of the city." Notwithstanding these adjudications by the highest legal authority, the evidence of which the corporation have contrived to suppress on their Mr. D'Esten- e, books, lest it should be used against them, all admissions of claimants Minutes 1820, continued to be pertinaciously refused, and the existence of these rights to p' 57' be denied. In 1820, a select committee re- affirmed these rights, already sanctioned by the unanimous judgment of the court of King's Bench. Even this decision did not induce the corporation to alter their course; a petition of appeal was lodged, and the question has been set to rest by a final legislative adjudication in favour of these claims. The corporation then adopted a new line of proceeding; they admitted the claims in theory, but interposed in practice obstacles, delays, and difficulties, which appear to Your Committee wholly without justification or excuse. When the mayor was required to bring the petitions of the claimants, and the evidence tendered in their support before the common council, he declined doing ' 617. D so
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