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C. E. Chetwoode,
13 August 1835.
you have already read from the rules of 1834, No. 41?-Yes, that article, No. 41, was originally in the Irish rules. It was introduced into the rules drawn up in 1821, and continued from that time.
252. This volume, which purports to be an account of the proceedings, ends at page 222 with the proceedings as reported by yourself, there being no account for 1830 or 1831?—This appears to be an account for the 15th of June 1829. The period of 1829 was the period of the measure called Catholic Emancipation; and that had such an effect, many of the people thought there was a total revolution going to take place. I refer to those of the lower class. Many of the country people thought there was no use in keeping up any loyal societies, as they termed them, for that the whole constitution was going to be overturned; the consequence was, that their meetings very generally ceased, and we had no business going forward for a certain period, nor any grand lodge at that period assembling. I do not think they assembled for a certain time after. There was some difficulty in persuading the lower orders that this was not the case; they considered that the Government, by carrying that measure, meant to sacrifice the Protestant interests, and that there was no use in being loyal any longer; so that those who wished to go on quietly had great difficulty in removing the apprehension; and until that was removed in some degree they did not recommence their proceedings.
253. The measure of Catholic Emancipation received the Royal approval on the 13th of April 1829, and here is a meeting taking place on the 15th of June 1829-Yes, some months afterwards; we did not find the working of the measure until some months afterwards; I corresponded with many country members, who assigned the carrying of that measure as the reason we had no accounts from them. They said, "It is of no use to be loyal any longer; we are about to be sacrificed."
254. Still there was a meeting held on the 15th of June 1829?—I should suppose there was.
255. How do you reconcile that account of the cessation of the meetings of Orange Lodges from the year 1829 to the 16th of February 1832, with the production of a circular, signed with your name, dated in 1831?-I can account for it in no other way than that that circular was omitted to be entered from inaccuracy or oversight, from my not having clerks, and the business not being kept regular.
256. It appears that after the Catholic Emancipation Bill in June 1829, a meeting was held, and the detail of what took place at that meeting is entered in that book; you state that in consequence of Catholic Emancipation a cessation of meetings took place?-Fartially.
257. The next entry in the book is the 16th February 1832, and yet there was a meeting held in 1831, and a circular signed by yourself was distributed through the country, and as you state, sent to 300 lodges?-1 dare say it was.
258. It then appears that in the interval between 1829 and 1832 there was a meeting held, and the Duke of Cumberland was in the chair?-Perhaps so.
259. How do you reconcile that fact with the statement that all meetings of the Orange Societies ceased?--I did not say all, but many of the lower orders ceased, under the impression that it was useless to maintain the principles which they consider loyal. There was a period during which there was no meeting of the grand lodge. In addition to that, I think I recollect that the Duke of Cumberland was in Berlin during part of that time, and we had no lodge during his absence. I am attempting to account for non-assembling of the grand lodge.
260. In the circular signed by yourself and proved this day, it appears that a meeting was held in 1831, at which the Duke of Cumberland was present?—I do not deny that. The question I understand to be, why there is no record of proceedings of the grand lodge during a certain period. I think about that time that the Duke of Cumberland was in Berlin: he was there in 1828, and it was in the latter end of that year that the Orange Society in Ireland was revived. His Royal Highness did not return to this country for some time afterwards, and the meetings were deferred, partly in consequence of his absence, and partly from the state of feeling among the lower classes of our society.
261. You state that the Orange Societies were revived in Ireland in 1828, having been interrupted in the year 1825 ?—In deference to the law they discontinued their proceedings, and dissolved their grand lodge.
262. But in this country the proceedings of the Orange Institution were carried on in 1825, 1826, 1827 and 1828?-Yes, there was no interruption here until the Catholic Emancipation Bill was passed, and then only temporarily.
263. You state that a meeting of the grand lodge took place in the year 1831-It appears so.
264. You had a few minutes ago in your own hand the circular signed by yourself? Yes.
265. Are the Committee to understand that the book purporting to be the minute-book is not a correct account, as there may be omissions?-That is an evident omission; there is a blank left for those minutes.
266. You have shown that by the Rules of 1826, No. 28, and by the amended Rules of 1835, No. 41, provision is made for the admission of non-commissioned officers, soldiers and sailors to the lodge; is there any resolution or rule respecting the issuing of warrants to privates and non-commissioned officers in the army? I am convinced there is one; that there was a resolution.
267. Can you state the nature of it?--I can; I will not pretend to give the words; it was that no application from any military person for a warrant should be granted, unless with the sanction of the commanding officer.
268. Was that agreed to at the grand lodge, or was it a resolution of the committee?-It was a resolution of the grand lodge.
269. Was that resolution passed while you were secretary ?-Long before I quitted the society.
270. This book containing the proceedings of the grand lodge while you were secretary, and entered up to a certain period with great minuteness, have the goodness to show that resolution ?-I cannot do that unless I had time to go over the book.
271. Is there any such resolution or rule among the printed rules?—I do not think there is; I think that was an omission, and that it ought to have been.
272. Will you state any instance where an application was made by a private and where you acted on that rule, that you would not grant a warrant without the sanction of the commanding officer?-There was an application from the 3d Regiment of Guards.
273. When was that?-It was some years ago; I cannot precisely state the time; in the year 1823; the person making the application not having furnished a document to show that he had the sanction of the commanding officer, I waited on the colonel or commanding officer; I brought him a book of the rules and regulations of the society to show the nature of its object, and endeavoured to impress upon him that it would rather tend to strengthen the soldiers' duty, according to my view of the subject, than otherwise; however he said it would be a breach of discipline were he to sanction any thing of the kind; accordingly the warrant was not then issued, nor has it been to the present moment.
274. Are the Committee to understand that this course was invariably followed in all cases of applications from non-commissioned officers and privates?—I do not recollect that I ever had an application for a new warrant from any person in the army, but in this instance.
275. What distinction do you make between a new and an old warrant?— I mean by a new warrant, one to found or establish an Orange meeting in a regiment where one did not previously exist.
276. Do you believe that there are any warrants which have been given to non-commissioned officers to form lodges which have been granted after the sanction of the commanding officer has been obtained?-That I cannot say; most of the lodges formed in the army originated under Irish warrants, and under the Irish Institution; I do not know of any military lodge that originated under an English warrant.
277. Does the rule which you have now stated, which you think exists, apply to the granting an original warrant, and not to the renewal of a warrant that had been granted before from the Orange Institution in Ireland?-I conceive it to apply solely to founding new warrants.
278. Are the Committee to understand that every soldier in the infantry, cavalry and artillery holding lodges under the Loyal Orange Institution of Great Britain, held them with the previous sanction of the officers having been
C. E. Chetwoode,
obtained?-I cannot say; I take for granted when the warrant originated they must have previously had the sanction of the commanding officer.
279. Do you know whether there are any warrants in the army held under 13 August 1835. the Orange Institution?-I am sure there are.
280. Are you aware of any instance where the sanction of the commanding officer has been given?-The mode of my proceeding was this: when I received an old Irish warrant transmitted to me for exchange, I exchanged it as a matter of course, considering that when it was first established it was properly established.
281. Would it make any difference whether the commanding officer of the particular regiment had been changed in the mean time?-No, I never inquired how that lodge became established, so that I found it existing.
282. Finding it established under a particular commanding officer, whose assent you perceived had been obtained, if a new commanding officer was at the head of the regiment when the renewal was applied for, should you have thought it necessary to apply to him for his sanction?-No, I had no means of knowing who was the commanding officer at the time when it was granted.
283. In those instances in which you gave warrants, had you the sanction of the commanding officer for giving those warrants?-Not in giving the exchange.
284. Do you conceive that if a warrant had been granted by the grand lodge in Dublin, you were entitled to change it for one of your warrants?--As a matter of course.
285. What was the necessity for having the warrant changed, seeing that Orangemen, who were admitted into the grand lodge in Ireland, could be admitted into your institution as members of the Orange Institution?-It was a mere matter of the fancy of the parties.
286. Did you, in fact, grant many renewals, as you call them, of warrants to non-commissioned officers in the army?—I do not think there were many; there
287. Were those ever reported by you to the grand lodge at the meetings, so that they were made aware that the old warrants were surrendered, and new warrants were granted?-Not in detail; it was generally represented to the grand lodge that a certain number of warrants were applied for; the grand lodge received that information, and the numbers and persons to whom granted were afterwards set forth in detail.
288. Did not every officer belonging to the grand lodge receive a copy of that printed report when it was issued?-Not every one; sometimes some of the higher classes did not.
289. Are you to be understood to say, that those reports were printed, and sent to every lodge holding under you? They were sent to every master.
290. Were not the same rules applicable to the presidents in London-They generally did receive them at the same time; if a leading member was out of town, his circular was not usually sent after him.
291. Were they generally sent to their places of abode?-As a general rule, but not always.
292. If any master did not receive from you that report, containing the details of the numbers of the warrant at the date of issuing, the person not receiving it must have been more of an exception than otherwise?—Yes.
293. Then your former statement was correct, that it was your desire, as grand secretary, to put every individual in possession of what had passed at the previous meeting?-In general it was.
294. Are the Committee to understand by the words, you took it for granted that the original warrants had been properly granted, that you supposed the original warrants from the lodges in Ireland had been obtained by non-commissioned officer or private, after they had received the sanction or approbation of the commanding officer of the corps he belonged to?-That was the impression upon my mind.
295. Had you ever brought before you at those renewals any letter, note or certificate, purporting to be the sanction of the commanding officer, to individuals to form a lodge?-I do not recollect that I ever had; I never sought for it.
296. On what grounds were you impressed with the belief that those lodges
had been previously sanctioned?--Under the impression that the same resolution existed in the institution in Ireland.
297. You did so under the belief that there was a rule in the grand lodge of Ireland that no warrant should be issued to a non-commissioned officer without the sanction of the commanding officer?-It was my impression that that was the practice.
293. Are you aware that there was a resolution of the grand lodge of Ireland expressly to the contrary, that no commanding officer should be made acquainted with the issue of any warrant to a non-commissioned officer?-Never, nor I should not believe it unless I saw it in print.
299. This is the first time you ever heard of such a rule?-The first time I ever heard of it.
300. Had you known when an application was made to you for the renewal of a warrant, that no application had been made to the commanding officer; when a warrant was granted in the first instance, would you, in the course of your duty, have renewed the warrant, or have made any objection?-If I had had reason to suspect that, I should not have issued the warrant.
301. The Committee are to understand, that in every case when a warrant was exchanged, you did it on the impression that such a rule existed in Ireland? -That such a practice existed in Ireland; but for that I should not have issued the new warrant.
302. Are you aware that there is this resolution of the grand lodge in Ireland, on the 15th of February 1833 (Appendix), "William Scott, 16 Company, Royal Sappers and Miners ;"" that the committee would most willingly forward all documents connected with the Orange system to any confidential person in Ballymena, as prudence would not permit that printed documents be forwarded direct to our military brethren"?-I do not assert this to have been the case.
303. Do you recollect whether this kind of necessity of applying to the commanding officer was mooted at the time the Duke of York made the observations to which you have referred ?--I do not think it was.
304. It would not form any part of the questions you put to the legal officers whose opinions you took ?—No, I think not.
305. Will you refer to the book, and say whether there is an entry of a warrant to William Boys, Woolwich, Royal Artillery?—Yes.
306. By whom is that entry made in the book?-It is made by some clerk of mine, I believe.
307. What is the title of that book?—The general register.
308. By whom was that book kept?-By me.
309. Have you reason to believe that a correct entry?-I believe that to be taken from a return; I have no reason to think it incorrect.
310. Can you state whether that was an original warrant or a warrant renewed?—I cannot judge from this; these are the members' names.
311. Is there not "Royal Artillery, Woolwich," added?—Yes; but he might have been a member of a warrant in London, and have been in the artillery.
312. Look in that page for the name of Richard Burford, No. 213; he is reported as belonging to the 77th regiment; what is the date of that entry?— December 1822.
313. What is the number of the warrant ?-213.
314. Is that an original or a renewed warrant ?-It was not a military warrant, to the best of my recollection, at all.
315. Why is the 77th regiment put down ?-Merely that man belonged to the 77th regiment, that we should know where to find him; the warrant was held at Norwich.
316. Is not the entry of the 77th regiment intended to point him out as belonging to that regiment?-It is his designation, like the residence of a civilian; the warrant, numbered 213, to which he belonged was not in a regiment.
317. To what does it belong?-To the town of Norwich; he was an old Orangeman very probably, and joined that body; the master sent a return, and among others it contained his name.
318. There is John Bunkler, entered under the same number, and James Briggs, but there is nothing further attached to their names?—No, because they were known to be resident there; this man was not so. I first provided this book in compliance with what I understood to be required by law, and
C. E. Chetwoode,
13 August 1835.
C. E. Chetwoode, with a view that if there should be at any time a complaint against a member of the institution, the magistrates should, by reference to this book, be enabled to know where he was to be found; in fact, that the society should not be a secret society.
13 August 1835.
319. Is lodge 213 held in Norwich? It was.
320. Where is it held now?-That I do not know; I presume it is held there still.
Colonel William Blennerhassett Fairman, called in; and Examined.
321. YOU have produced several books, three of them belonging to the secretary, and two to the treasurer of the Loyal Orange Association ; from whence did you get those books-I fancy they were handed over to me by the grand lodge, as heir-looms of the office.
322. What situation do you hold in the grand lodge? -Deputy grand secretary, and deputy grand treasurer; I believe those are the two only situations. I hold officially in the grand lodge. I am, in addition to these, the deputy grand master of London, and master of the Metropolitan warrant.
323. Are you a member of the grand committee?—Yes, by virtue of my office. 324. When were you appointed to the first of those situations?--I think in January 1831.
325. Whom did you succeed?-Mr. Chetwoode Eustace Chetwoode.
326. Were you a member of the lodge before you were appointed secretary?
think I was made in 1814 or 1815.
328. Where were you made?—At a house in the Strand, opposite to Southampton-street.
329. Do you recollect the number of the lodge ?--Fifty-nine, I think, the Metropolitan warrant.
330. Who was master-I believe at that time Mr. John Joseph Stockdale. I am speaking from memory.
331. Were you a member of the Orange Lodge of Ireland before that ?--No. 332. Were you first initiated by Mr. Stockdale ?--I think so, in 1814 or 1815. 333. At that time how were you initiated, what were the terms of initiation ? -To the best of my recollection, much the same as they are now; when a member is brought forward to be initiated, the ritual is put into the hand of the candidate, a chaplain holding the other, and certain questions are put, to which there is a printed answer.
334. Is that the ritual?--[a paper being shown to the Witness.]—I should say substantially it is, subject to any alteration on a reprint; this is the form now in existence.
335. This is not the ritual by which you were admitted ?--No.
336. Can you produce the ritual by which you were introduced? No, that is impossible; in short it never was absolutely in my possession; we do not give the ritual into the possession of the candidate admitted, except at the moment, that he may be enabled to answer the questions.
337. Did you take the Orangenian's oath ?-There was an oath administered
of some sort; I do not recollect the precise words of the oath; but it was perfectly harmless and innocent.
338. Have you since that period made any Orangemen yourself?-Numbers. 339. Have you been in the habit of administering oaths to them?-Never. 340. Are you quite certain of that?-Quite certain.
341. And no declaration?-No.
342. Have you never in any instance administered an oath to any persons whom you have admitted ?—I feel as sure of it as 'that I am sitting in this chair.
343. Are you a magistrate ?-I am not.
344. Did you make Orangemen in lodges generally, or in private houses?— In lodges; and I am quite sure I never did in private houses, for this reason, that till I became deputy grand secretary I never initiated by myself alone; candidates were always initiated in grand lodge or private lodge, under certain forms and ceremonies. It is only very lately I have had the power and authority of initiating in my own person; when travelling in the country, or under certain circumstances, by virtue of a special commission from the grand lodge.