[Emerson Tennent, politician and Governor of Ceylon. ] Autograph Letter Signed ('J. Emerson Tennent') to Alexander Dickey of Belfast, complaining of parliamentary procedure on petitions (Irish in particular), and discussing Church of Scotland reform.

Emerson Tennent [Sir James Emerson Tennent, 1st Baronet, born James Emerson] (1804-1869), Irish-born British politician and traveller, Governor of Ceylon [Alexander Dickey of Belfast]
Publication details: 
16 March 1840. 19 Pall Mall, London.
SKU: 22741

4pp, 4to. Bifolium. Panel, a little under one-sixth of total area, missing from bottom outside corner of second leaf, with attendant loss to text, otherwise in good condition, lightly aged and worn. Folded three times. A good long letter in a neat and stylish hand, with a firm underlined signature. He begins by writing that he has that morning 'received the Petition from Belfast which I was pleased to expect from having seen in the Report of your meeting that you had done Mr Dunbar and myself the honor to entrust its presentation to us'. He complains of the 'loss to the public, & the great disadvantage to a member anxious to give effect to the representation of the people, occasioned by the regulation made in the year 1835 regarding the presentation of Petitions in the House of Comms by which we are restricted from doing more than merely mentioning the quarter whence the Petition emanates the number of Signatures & the prayer'. He considers that by this regulation the member of parliament is 'shut out from any mention of other circumstances which would give it interest and arrest attention'. He continues: 'I feel this particularly in the case of this petition and others which I have presented and expect from Ireland, as I shall be unable to do little more than make a statement in a very few sentences regarding it'. After a brief discussion of house business he writes: 'I attach even more [last word underlined twice] importance to the Irish Petitions in this matter than even to the Scotch ones because they shew an extended sympathy with the Church of Scotland, even from those who have no similar end and no analagous grievance amongst themselves to complain of, & whose feeling is therefore purely disinterested'. He turns to the 'course likely to be taken by the Governmt.', with reference to a report received from 'Capt. Gordon (brother to Lord Alexander who takes a most lively interest in the question)', with whom he dined 'at the Speakers on Saturday evening', and to 'the abolition of all patronage' in the Church of Scotland.