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forego the pride and satisfaction, glowing in my breast, while retracing, in a just and honourable cause, the exertions I have made, with the ineans I have employed; means, aided by no crime, and seeking, therefore, no shelter : the recompense I still have (and whereof no injustice can rob me) in a conscience thus void of offence towards God and man,—this cheering and consoling retrospect I would not exchange for reflections, such as must be your's; nor could even all your wealth, or all your honours, tempt me to yield up the odds, which inust and will be mine, so long as, in the scale of moral good and evil, any difference shall remain betwixt right and wrong-truth and falsehood.
I have the honour to be,
&c. &c. &c.
Surrey Street, September 24, 1808.
P. S.—The Archbishop of Canterbury, although he had acknowledged the “ extreme hardship" of my case, and had himself, in espousing iny cause, established its justice, was, nevertheless, unable any longer to protect that cause, when opposed by the unalterable wishes of this chartered company. Honestly and candidly did his Grace assure me, that he had, by stating to his officers his own opinion on the subject, “ done all in his power ;" and that “ he could not consent to force a gentleman on the society against its inclination.” Such having been the result of my first appeal to the Most Reverend Primate, it manifestly follows, that no real necessity existed for the deception practised on his Grace; that, with perfect safety to themselves, my opponents might have invested the Archbishop with a discretionary power of conferring and revoking, at his (i. e. at their) pleasure, the appointment to the “high and important public office" of an ecclesiastical advocate ; and that, boldly bringing forward my comer ission, they might, with a like safety, have confronted it with a power, over which they themselves, as “ Counsellors” of the Metropolitan, had a direct and absolute controul. W hereas, in the way they went to work, there was, even after they had, by a stratagem, obtained the recall of bis Grace's mandate, there was still wanting an order for cancelling the commission itself. This order could be no otherwise procured, than by an avowal of the falsehood, they had previously committed, in denying the existence of the commission, for the purpose of obtaining a recall of the fiat. That the order was procured, has, however, been evidenced by the assurance, afterwards made to me, by his Grace's secretary, Mr. Dickes, viz. that that commission, which the Archbishop of Canterbury could not, in opposition to the express testimony of his “ proper officers,” believe to exist, had been cancelled by his Grace's order. And which infor. mation was furnished to me, in reply to a letter I had written, acquainting the Most Reverend Primate with the intention of my Counsel to move the Court of King's Bench for its production,
TO THE HONOURABLE,
THE COMMONS OF GREAT BRITAIN, IN PARLIAMENT ASSEMBLED,
THE PETITION OF NATHANIEL HIGHMORE,
Doctor and Professor of Civil Law, and Member of Jesus College, Cambridge;
That your Petitioner was, during eleven years, a Student of Civil Law in the University of Cambridge; in consequence of which long and expensive course of academic studies, he obtained the degree of Doctor and Professor of Civil Law: That this degree has ever been held, as by the statute and canon law ordained, a qualification for, and as giving a right to exercise the profession of an ecclesiastical advocate in the Courts of Civil and Canon Law, holden in Doctors' Commons; and which Courts, as belonging to the spiritual branch of the King's sovereigo jurisdiction and authority, are placed under the administration of his Grace the Archbishop of Canterbury :
That the rights, privileges, and immunities of the University of Cambridge are guaranteed and secured by divers royal patents and charters, confirming the same to its different members and to their several academic degrees : by one of which charters it is especially provided, that Doctors in Civil Law shall experience neither hindrance nor obstruction in their admission into all ecclesiastical offices, whether with or without the cure of souls; the latter of these, as your Petitioner humbly conceives, including the office of an ecclesiastical advocate. And this, together with the other charters of that University, was confirmed by an act of Parliament, passed in the 13th year of Queen Elizabeth.
And your Petitioner, having received from the Registrar of the said University a certificate of his full and complete qualification, did, in consequence thereof, obtain the fiat, or order of the Archbishop of Canterbury; in pursuance of which, his Grace's rescript or commission, appointing your Petitioner to this ecclesiastical office, was duly made out, and sealed with the seal of his Grace's Vicar-General. Notwithstanding such his qualification and commission, your Petitioner having been refused admission to exercise his canonical profession thereunder ; and having, in vain, appealed to the Archbishop of Canterbury, and to the Visitors of the College of Doctors of Law, applying to his Grace and the said Visitors for an hearing, and for redress, did carry his suit into the Court of King's Bench, and did apply for a rule to shew cause why a mandamus should not issue for his admission ; which application was, however, refused by that Court, for the reason, that your Petitioner had not been able to prove his right to be so admitted to exercise this ecclesiastical office, on any grounds, of which that Court could take cognizance.
Your Petitioner being thus unable, in a Court of civil jurisdiction, to obtain permission to plead his qualification and his title to exercise this spiritual office, and conceiving, still, that the right of admission into so high and important a public employment, (regarding, as it does, the interests of all his Majesty's subjects, and involving also the prerogative of the Crown) must not only be a matter provided for by the constitution, but, moreover, must be referable to and determinable in some one or other of his Majesty's courts, he did consequently, under the decision of the Court of King's Bench, consider the discussion of such his title and qualification to be a matter appertaining to the spiritual jurisdiction of the realm; and did therefore apply to the Archbishop of Canterbury for permission, in a Court of spiritual jurisprudence, to plead his canonical privi