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July 30 1812: Parliament Prorogued


On July 30, 1812, the archbishop of Canterbury, the Lord Chancellor, the Earl of Harrowby, the Earl of Westmoreland, and the Earl of Liverpool, take their seats in their robes, as his Majesty's commissioners for notifying the royal assent to a Bill, and for proroguing the parliament.

Sir Thomas Tyrwhitt, the Gentleman Usher of the Black Rod, is sent to the Commons to require their attendance.

Shortly afterwards the Speaker, and several members of the House of Commons, came to the bar. A commission for giving the royal assent to a Bill was read by the reading clerk at the table.  The royal assent was notified, in the usual form, to the Insolvent Debtors' Bill for England.  The Lord Chancellor in the name of his Royal Highness the Prince Regent, delivered the following Speech and then Parliament was prorogued[1]:
MY LORDS AND GENTLEMEN, In terminating the present session of parliament, his royal highness the prince regent, has commanded us to express to you the deep concern and sorrow which he feels at the continuance of his majesty’s lamented indisposition.

His royal highness regrets the interruptions which have occurred in the progress of public business, during this long and laborious session, in consequence of an event which his royal highness must ever deplore.  The zeal and unwearied assiduity with which you have persevered in the discharge of the arduous duties imposed upon you by the situation of the country, and the state of public affairs, demand his royal highness’s warm acknowledgments.

The assistance which you have enabled his royal highness to continue to the brave and loyal nations of the Peninsula, is calculated to produce the most beneficial effects.

His royal highness most warmly participates in those sentiments of approbation which you have bestowed on the consummate skill and intrepidity displayed in the operations which led to the capture of the important fortresses of Ciudad Rodrigo and Badajoz, during the present campaign, and his royal highness confidently trusts that the tried valor of the allied forces under the distinguished command of general the earl of Wellington, combined with the unabating spirit and steady perseverance of the Spanish and Portuguese nations, will finally bring the contest in that quarter to an issue, by which the independence of the Peninsula will be effectually secured.

The renewal of the war in the north of Europe furnishes an additional proof of the little security which can be derived from any submission to the usurpations and tyranny of the French government.  His royal highness is persuaded, that you will be sensible of the great importance of the struggle in which the emperor of Russia has been compelled to engage, and that you will approve of his royal highness affording to those powers who may be untied in this contest, every degree of co-operation and assistance, consistent with the interests of his majesty’s dominions.

His royal highness has commanded us to assure you, that he views with most sincere regret the hostile measures which have been recently adopted by the government of the United States of America towards this country.  His royal highness is nevertheless willing to hope that the accustomed relations of peace and amity between the two countries may yet be restored ; but if his expectations in this respect should be disappointed by the conduct of the government of the United States, or by their perseverance in any unwarrantable pretensions, he will most fully rely on the support of every class of his majesty’s subjects, in a contest in which the honor of his majesty’s crown and the best interests of his dominions must be involved.

Gentlemen of the House of Commons, We have it in command from his royal highness to thank you for the liberal provisions which you have made for the services of the year.  His royal highness deeply regrets the burthens which you have found it necessary to impose upon his majesty’s people ; but he applauds the wisdom which has induced you so largely to provide for the exigencies of the public service, as affording the best prospect of bringing the contest in which the country is engaged to a successful and honorable conclusion.

My Lords and Gentlemen, His royal highness has observed, with the utmost concern the spirit of insubordination and outrage which has appeared in some parts of the country, wand which has been manifested by acts not only destructive of the property and personal safety of many of his majesty’s most loyal subjects in those districts, but disgraceful to the British character--His royal highness feels it incumbent on him to acknowledge your diligence in the investigation of the causes which have led to these outrages, and he has commanded us to thank you for the wise and salutary measures which you have adopted on this occasion.  It will be a principal object of his R. H’s attention to make an effectual and prudent use of the powers vested in him for the protection of his Majesty’s people; and he confidently trusts, that on your return into your respective counties, he may rely on your exertions for the preservation of the public peace, and for bringing the disturbers of it to justice.  His royal highness most earnestly recommends to you the importance of inculcating, by every means in your power, a spirit of obedience of those laws, and of attachment to that constitution, which provide equally for the happiness and welfare of all classes of his majesty’s subjects, and on which have hitherto depended the glory and prosperity of this kingdom.

1. The entire post is taken almost verbatim from here

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