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Text of Mr. Robert Grant's Bill, 1830

Israel Abrahams

<plain_text><page sequence="1">TEXT OF MR. ROBERT GRANT'S BILL, 1830. By ISRAEL ABRAHAMS, M.A. On four occasions the Bill printed below was introduced into the House of Commons. Mr. (afterwards Sir) Robert Grant introduced the Bill in 1830, when the House rejected it. After the House had been reformed under the Act of 1832, Mr. Grant secured the acceptance of his Bill on two occasions, 1833 and 1834. The House of Lords, however, rejected it. When Sir Robert Grant left England to assume the Governorship of Bombay, the Bill was re-introduced, and was backed by the Chancellor of the Exchequer and Mr. Baring (1836). Again the Bill passed the Commons, but the Lords would have nothing to do with it, the second reading not being even moved. A full and clear account of the parliamentary proceedings on these occasions may be read in the volume issued to members on July 23, 1908, " in commemoration of the fiftieth anniversary of the passing of Acts enabling Jews to sit in Parliament, July 23, 1858." The volume was written by Mr. H. S. Q. Henriques, and was entitled The Jews and the English Law. Section X. (pages 265 seq.) deals with the whole question. It has, however, been thought desirable to print the actual text of Mr. Grant's Bill as a supplement to the account of the Jubilee Celebra? tion reported in this Volume (pp. 88 seq. above). In a letter written to I. L. Goldsmid as late as March 31, 1830, Mr. Grant expressed himself in favour of declaring in the Bill the right of Jews to hold land. But the Bill introduced on April 5 makes no reference to the subject. On the other hand, Grant's objection to tacking on a repeal of the Statute de Judaismo was effective. (Compare Trans? actions of the Jewish Historical Society of England, iv. 155, 156.) 249</page><page sequence="2">250 TEXT OF MR. ROBERT GRANT'S BILL, 1830. 5 April 1830 A BILL FOR The Relief of His Majesty's Subjects professing the Jewish Religion Note.?The Words printed in Italics are proposed to be inserted in the Committee Preamble. ? t e a 0, by fne operation of various laws, His Majesty's Subjects professing the Jewish Religion are subject to certain restraints and disabilities: And whereas it is expedient that the same should be removed, and the Subjects of His Majesty professing the Jewish Religion be placed in the same state and condition, as to all civil rights and privileges, as His Majesty's Roman Catholic subjects; May it therefore please Your MAJESTY, That it be Enacted, ^ntt fce it ?nactetl, by the KING'S most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in this present Parliament assem To have and bled, and by the Authority of the same, THAT from and after the passing same Rights as ?f ^w'5 Act, it shall be lawful for any of His Majesty's subjects professing His Majesty's ^e Jewish religion to have and enjoy all such and the same civil rights, Roman Catho- . " . 1 lie Subjects. franchises and privileges, and to hold, exercise and possess such and the same offices, places, employments, trusts and confidences as the subjects of His Majesty professing the Roman Catholic religion are now by law able and competent to have, enjoy, hold, exercise and possess, and under</page><page sequence="3">TEXT OF MR. ROBERT GRANT'S BILL, 1830. 251 the same restrictions : Provided always, That His Majesty's subjects Form of Oath, professing the Jewish religion shall in all cases in which His Majesty's Roman Catholic subjects are by law so required to do, take, in the form and manner and under the modifications hereinafter mentioned, and subscribe the Oaths set forth and appointed in and by an Act passed in the last Session of Parliament, intituled, " An Act for the Relief of His " Majesty's Roman Catholic Subjects," and make and subscribe the Declaration prescribed by an Act passed in the ninth year of His pre? sent Majesty's reign, intituled, " An Act for repealing so much of " several Acts as impose the necessity of receiving the Sacrament of the " Lord's Supper as a Qualification for certain Offices and Employ " ments." Provided always, and be it further Enacted, That when any of His Words in the Majesty's subjects professing the Jewish religion shall take the said omitted. Oaths or subscribe the said Declaration, the words " on the true faith 4' of a Christian " shall be omitted. And be it Enacted, by the'authority aforesaid, That whenever any Oaths to be taken in like manner as in of His Majesty's subjects professing the Jewish religion shall at any time or times hereafter present himself or be required to take the said Courts of Justice. Oaths appointed and set forth in and by the said Act passed in the said last Session of Parliament, or any other Oath or Oaths, all the said Oaths shall be administered to and taken by such person professing the Jewish religion in like manner as Jews are admitted to be sworn to give evidence in courts of Justice; and the same shall be deemed a sufficient and lawful taking of such Oaths on all occasions what? soever. And be it further Enacted, That from and after the passing of this Jews to be liable to the same incapa Act, His Majesty's subjects professing the Jewish religion shall be and become subject and liable to such and the same incapacities, citi?s as his IVIajesty's disabilities and penalties as His Majesty's subjects professing the Roman Roman Catho Catholic religion now are subject and liable to by law, and to none other llc Subiects incapacities, disabilities or penalties whatsoever ; and that the Oath herein? before referred to, being taken in manner aforesaid and subscribed by any person professing the Jewish religion, shall be of the same force and</page><page sequence="4">252 TEXT OF MR. ROBERT GRANT'S BILL, 1830. effect, for the relief and exemption of the person taking and subscribing the same, from any disabilities, incapacities or penalties whatsoever as the same Oath would be for the relief and exemption of a person pro? fessing the Roman Catholic religion, if taken and subscribed by such person in the manner directed by the said Act of the last Session of Parliament; and that the Oath hereby authorised to be taken by persons professing the Jewish religion shall be administered, recorded and certified by the same persons and in the same manner respectively as by the last-named Act the Oaths thereby authorized to be taken by persons professing the Roman Catholic religion are directed to be administered, recorded and certified. The Bills of 1833, 1834, and 1836 are practically identical with the preceding. There are certain changes in punctuation and slight modifi? cations in phraseology from the Bill of 1830. The three later Bills are identical, and agree in all the following changes from the Bill of 1830. In the Preamble, the last words are changed to " as His Majesty's Subjects professing the Roman Catholic Religion." After the Preamble, the words, " May it therefore please your Majesty " are deleted. The First Paragraph begins uBe it therefore Enacted by the King's most Excellent Majesty." The words (line 14) "and under the modifi? cations " are transferred to line 18 ; for " the Oaths set forth " the " Oath set forth" appears; and for the words, " passed in the last session of Parliament" (which would only be true of 1830, as the Catholic Bill was passed in 1829) are substituted the words, "passed in the Tenth year of His late Majesty King George the Fourth" (George IY. died in 1830). Similarly, line 18, for "His present Majesty's reign," the reading is "His late Majesty's reign." In the Second Paragraph, for " shall take the said Oath or subscribe the said Declaration," the later Bills have " shall make or subscribe the said Declaration." In the Third Paragraph, the words "by the authority aforesaid" are omitted. In line 4 "Oath" replaces "Oaths," lines 4-5 are again modified owing to the death of the King. In line 5 for " All the said Oaths," the reading is " the said Oath or Oaths." In the last Paragraph, line 13, there is again a modification owing to the death of George IY. Line 4 from the end now reads, " by the</page><page sequence="5">TEXT OF MR. ROBERT GRANT'S BILL, 1830. 253 same Persons and (save as to the mode in which the same Oath is to be administered as aforesaid) in the same manner respectively." In line 3 from end for " last-named " is substituted " last-mentioned," " Oath " for "Oaths," with the consequential emendation of "is directed" for "are directed." These changes are, it is obvious, all unsubstantial. There is only a historical interest in these Bills, as none of them was adopted, and the final settlement took a different shape. The struggle was renewed by Lord John Russell in 1847, and in subsequent years by himself and others. The whole story is admirably told by Mr. Henriques (op. ext.), and the steps carefully indicated by which in 1858 and 1860 the Jews obtained their complete parliamentary rights. The Grant attempt, however, was the first stage on the road towards this success, and the text of his Bill is printed as a tribute to his part in the cause.</page><page sequence="6"></page></plain_text>