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the General Body of Dissenters of Birmingham should be presented . This was done , in the most able and gratifying maiier , by Lord Calthorpe . The reception it met with from the House of Lords , was more favourable to the petitioners than could possibly have been anticipated . Not a single peer came forward to defend the clause objected to . The short discussion which took place
between the Lord Chancellor and the Earl of Eldon , only respected the proper course for the governors to pursue , in order to expunge it from their biii . The next day they entered iuto a formal agreement to take the measures , for this purpose , which had been recommended . They accordingly presented an humble petition to the Lord Chaucellor , in his Court of Chancery , for permission to amend the bill , and the clauSk is now
ERASED . Thus this extraordinary attempt of the governors of the Free School , to abridge the civil franchises of the Dissenters of Birmingham ; to brand them as persons for ever unworthy of a most honourable and important trust ; and to revive against so large a portion of their fellowtownsmen the odious spirit of religious persecution , met with a signal and merited defeat .
The Committee of Dissenters have ordered this narrative , and the papers that accompany it , to be printed and circulated , that their brethren , in all parts of the kingdom , may be info lined of what has taken place in Birmingham , and , should it unfortunately prove necessary , be encouraged to resist similar aggressions .
the Governors are to be successively elected , " The present governors of the school , nevertheless , have submitted to Parliament a bill , which has been already read
a second time in the House of Lords , and is to go before a coruirjittee of that House ou Friday next , the 28 th May instant , which contains a clause ( pp . 39 , 46 ) directing ' that no person . shall be elected a governor who is not a member of the Established Church of England . '
" To this clause the Dissenters from the Established Church , and others * who reside within the towu , parish , and manor of Birmingham object , that it is not in accordance with either the letter or the spirit of the Royal Founder ' s Charter , but in effect coutravenes both .
They further allege , that the proposed restriction does great injustice to a large and important portion of the inhabitants of Birmingham , by declaring them ineligible to an office which , until within a recent period , some of their ancestors held , and uniformly administered with strict impartiality .
" And above all , that this private bill , in fact , involves a great public principle ; since it proposes to re-esta blish , so far as the corporation of the Birmingham Fiee School is concerned , those disabilities from which Dissenters from the Church of England have been relieved by the repeal of the Corporation and Test Acts .
" As the school was founded for the common benefit of the town , parish , and manor of Birmingham , without exception , it is submited that eligibility to the situation of governors should continue to be the privilege of all ; the rather , since the harmony and good will of the towu and neighbourhood are disturbed by the introduction of the proposed enactment ; and would be yet more seriously injured by its becoming a Jaw .
" For these reasons the Disseuters resident in Birmingham respectfully hope that their case will be fully considered by the British Legislature , whose wise and just and salutary measures during the last two sessions of Parliament , iu
* This was added purposely with the view of including both those who , although they do not come under the technical desciiption of Dissenters or Protestant Dissenters , were yet aggrieved by the clause iu question , and those ( not a small body ) members of the Established Church who cordially sympathized with their Dissenting neighbours aud fellowtowu sine u .
70 Intelligence . —Birmingham Free Grammar School Bill .
APPENDIX OF DOCUMENTS . [ Some of these being of minor importance , or implied in other parts of the statement , are omitted here . ] C ase of the Dissenters and others , in opposition to a Clame in the Birmingham Free Grammar School Bill .
In the year 1552 , Kiug Edward the Sixth granted Letters Patent for the establishment of the Free Grammar School iu Birmingham , aud ' willed and ordained that for the future there should be twenty men of the more discreet aud
more trusty inhabitants of the town and parish of Birmingham , or of the manor of Birmingham , who should be governors of the possessions , revenues , and goods of the said school ; ' but the Charter does not prescribe auy other limitation of the persons from among whom
Monthly Repository (1806-1838) and Unitarian Chronicle (1832-1833), Jan. 2, 1831, page 70, in the Nineteenth-Century Serials Edition (2008; 2018) ncse.ac.uk/periodicals/mruc/issues/vm2-ncseproduct2593/page/70/