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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

Date of Article: 31/07/1822
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32 MINUTES OF EVIDENCE BEFORE SELECT COMMITTED Appendix offence; we then separated, and after a lapse of two or three days, I received this ( A.) letter, which I hold in my hand, which was given to me by the mayor's Serjeant, ^ > under the mayor's seal. J. N. Russell, Esq. [ The letter was delivered in, and read, as follows-] (. 8 June.) „ Gentlemen, " Limerick, Feb. 4th, 1822. " I have received your petition, in which you require me to call a council for the purpose of determining upon your admission as freemen of this city. In answer to which, I beg to state, that my predecessor in office, upon receiving your original petitions, claiming the freedom in your respective rights, laid them before the council, who appointed a committee to investigate your several claims, and also of such others as might conceive themselves entitled, with directions to report to the council the result of such investigation, which council will be held 011 the first Monday after the 24th June, being tfie next charter day, when the committee will of course make their report, and such persons as shall have proved the allegations contained in their petitions, will, I presume, be entered upon the books as freemen, in their respective rights. " I cannot forbear from commenting on the impropriety of the menacing manner and contumacious language made use of to me in my office, by some of your party, and their demand of an immediate answer to your petition, when I stated, that I should take a day or two to consider the subject of it. However you may differ from me in the choice of a representative, this is a moment when the magistracy should be upheld by every well wisher to the constitution. I have the honor to be, " Gentlemen, " Your most obedient humble servant, " Th& Ormsby, " Mayor of Limerick." Witness.— They say that the charter day on which they hold their council is the first Monday after the 24th of June, so that I presume, if I were to make an ap- plication early in July, I should be put off till the 24th of June following, before I could know whether I could be admitted or not. Was there any thing in the conduct of the applicants calculated to bring the character of the magistracy into contempt?— No; on the contrary, I stated that we entertained the highest respect for the office, and, as far as lay in our power, would uphold its dignity. Have you known any instances of admissions of the friends of the corporation to the freedom of the city of Limerick, without any difficulty or objection being made?— Yes, I have known a case, where a relative of mine was informed, that if he would write a letter, and bind himself to vote for a certain family, he would be admitted immediately; I scarcely need add, that such a communication was treated with contempt. The Committee understand that you are a freeman of the city of Cork?— I am. Can you state the mode in which persons are admitted, who claim by right, as sons of freemen, in the city of Cork ?— It is done by making application to the chief magistrate, and satisfying him of the right, and the party is sworn in as matter of course. Does it not go to the council before the oath is administered?— I cannot take upon myself to say, but I know it was done very quickly. There is no difficulty, in short, in the admission of persons claiming their right ?- No, there is no difficulty; when the right is made out to the satisfaction of the ma- gistrate, he gets it as matter of course. He is admitted by the mayor, but the petition is referred to the council, is it not ? — It may be so; I have known, at late elections in the city of Cork, persons of dif- ferent political opinions receiving their freedom with equal facility. Are you acquainted with any fees which are paid on account of the water bailiff of the city of Limerick?— I am. What are those fees?— Upon each vessel that anchors either in the pool at Limerick, or at the quays, a demand is made of fourteen shillings; as well as my recollection will carry me, the entire total of the fee for the various rates is fourteen shillings; and if she comes in ballast, two- pence a ton for every ton she has on board, that is paid to the water bailiff. Who
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