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2-017 (Raw)

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addressee author,male,Settlers of VDL,un
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Plaint Text :
Government English
Petitions & Proclamations
Clark, 1977
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2-017-raw.txt — 3 KB

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The humble Petition of the Gentry, Merchants, Landholders, Housekeepers, and other Free Inhabitants of His Majesty's Colony of Van Diemen's Land, in Public Meeting assembled by the Sheriff, Most humbly sheweth, - That your Petitioners beg leave to approach your honourable House, to express their feelings of unshaken loyalty to His Majesty's Government, and attachment to your honourable House, in which feelings, though so far separated from the Mother Country, they are not surpassed by any class of subjects in any part of His Majesty's dominions. [344]
That your Petitioners are desirous of conveying to your honourable House their expressions of unfeigned gratitude for the introduction into this Colony of the privileges which have been conferred, under the Act passed in the fourth year of His Majesty's reign, entitled, "An Act to provide, until the 1st day of July, 1827, and until the end of the next session of Parliament, for the better Administration of Justice in New South Wales and Van Diemen's Land, and for the more effectual government thereof, and for other purposes relating thereto," under which Act the Inhabitants of this Colony have enjoyed greater protection in their persons and property, by the erection of the Supreme Court of Judicature, and the partial introduction of Trial by Jury.
That your Petitioners beg most respectfully to impress upon your honourable House, that your Petitioners are British subjects, and that they have been accustomed to enjoy all the rights and privileges of the British Constitution, and whilst your Petitioners express their gratitude for the creation of the means by which these privileges have been partially enjoyed, they cannot refrain from conveying to your honourable House, their most ardent desire for the perfect introduction of Trial by Jury, and a participation, through their own Representatives, in making those laws and enactments, which may be necessary for the future Government of the Colony, or for the protection and expenditure of its revenue, and although your honourable House did not consider when the Act was passed to grant a Legislative Assembly or a Trial by Jury, your Petitioners now cherish the hope, that the time is arrived when your Petitioners are not only fit to enjoy such benefits, but that your honourable House will be pleased to grant them.
That your Petitioners beg to remind your honourable House, that the Colony of Van Diemen's Land was not acquired by conquest, and that it is, with the sister Colony of New South Wales, unlike any other of His Majesty's Plantations, inasmuch as it is a British Colony, entirely peopled by Britons, and governed by British Law alone.
That although the Juries in the Criminal Court, composed of seven British Officers, and though two Magistrates as assessors in the Civil Court, may have acted in every instance with integrity, yet your Petitioners, admiring the British Constitution, cannot consider themselves secure or happy under any Institutions which may be offered as a substitute for them, which are not only the pride and birth-right, but also the safeguard of every Briton - Trial by Jury and Legislation by Representation. [345]
These, the earnest wishes and desires of your humble Petitioners, they submit to your honourable House, in full confidence that their importance and necessity will obtain that share of consideration from your honourable House which they merit; and from the experience which your Petitioners have had of the paternal regard and solicitude of your honourable House for the prosperity and happiness of His Majesty's subjects, your Petitioners entertain the confident hope, that your honourable House will not withhold from this Colony of Van Diemen's Land blessings so dear and valuable.
And your Petitioners will ever pray, etc.