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were entirely the act of the police. This might have been the case, we had only the word of the magistrates for it, but one thing was clear; the challenge to break the peace was given by a “ placeman, a minister of the crown, an officer of state," whose peculiar duty it was to keep the peace, whilst the person whom he had challenged was alone seized by the police and prevented from meeting his antagonist.
Mr. O'Connell did not proceed to the Continent, leaving behind him the escheat of his recognizances, and having before him the fear of a Flemish gaol. On this occasion, Lord Norbury could not refrain from passing one of his jokes.
Who is this Mr. Under Secretary, Becket, asked his Lordship, who lodged the informations before Sir Nathaniel Conant, and preserved Peel from O'Connell?
Answer. He is the son of a Leeds clothier, his father and Peel's father were formerly partners in the cotton spinning trade, and both have been created baronets.
Oh then, said his Lordship, it is no wonder that the sons should cotton to one another.
Contrary to expectation, the affair between Mr. Peel and Mr. O'Connell passed off cum fumo, the former returned to his official duties at the castle in Dublin, and the latter to superintend the affairs of the Catholic Association. Nevertheless although the principals did not meet, it was thought necessary that the seconds should stand in their places, and accordingly Mr. Lidwill and Sir Charles Saxton repaired to Calais, whither Mr. Peel followed them with the avowed intention of calling upon the former gentleman, when he had settled his affair with Sir Charles Saxton. The following letters may be highly useful to those gentlemen, who wish to appear in the world as duelists, without any intention at the same time to fight a duel.
Calais Nov. 19, 1815. In one of the Dublin newspapers of the 4th September, a letter was published with your signature attached to it, purporting to contain an account of what had occurred between Sir Charles Saxton and you, upon the subject of a transaction in which I was concerned.
If you had strictly confined yourself to a report of that which passed at your interviews with Sir Charles Saxton, I should not have thought it necessary to address you, but you have thought fit to make in addition some offensive comments upon my conduct, which will be pointed out by Colonel Brown, the bearer of this letter and for which I must demand ample reparation I am, Sir, your obedient servant,
ROBERT PEEL, George Lidwill, Esq.
Conferences were then held between Colonel Brown and Major Lidwill, of which the following account is given :
Calais, November 29. Colonel Brown having delivered to Mr. Lidwill, Mr. Peel's letter of this date, and pointed out the offensive words therein alluded to, Mr. Lidwill immediately said he could not enter into any explanation on this subject; and as he afterwards explained, presuming that Colonel Brown had heard from Mr. Dickenson the whole of the particulars, he mentioned the result of his meeting with Sir Charles Saxton on the day preceding, stating that he had received Sir Charles Saxton's fire and had not returned it.
Colonel Brown was then referred to Major Lidwill for the usual arrangements.
Colonel Brown acquainted Mr. Lidwill that Sir Charles Saxton and Mr. Dickenson had quitted France before he arrived, leaving him and Mr. Peel in total ignorance of the proceedings of the day before. Mr. Lidwill introduced Major Lidwill to Colonel Brown, and immediately withdrew.
Major Lidwill repeated to Colonel Brown what Mr. Lidwill had said, and read a declaration made to Sir Charles Saxton on the ground, by Mr. Lidwill, and added, that he knew his friends, feeling all the delicacy of the restrictions of the Court of King's Bench had determined on leaving Ireland, not to fire at Sir Charles Saxton.
Major Lidwill having repeated Mr. Lidwill's determination
not to enter into any explanation whatever, Colonel Brown intimated to Major Lidwill, that after these communications, and the knowledge he now had of the feelings and conduct of Mr. Lidwill towards Sir Charles Saxton, he should consider himself guilty of little less than deliberate murder, if he were to permit Mr. Peel to fire at Mr. Lidwill.
Colonel Brown desires, therefore, to close these proceedings on his own responsibility, feeling, that after his above declaration, he can accept no apology, even if offered, nor deliver any message.
The copy of the above proceedings between us is given by me to Major Lidwill.
8. BROWN. Major Lidwill, in having entered into the circumstances of Mr. Lidwill's affair with Sir Charles Saxton, feels that he would be wanting to his own character, and to the respect he holds that of Colonel Brown in, were he not to declare that under the circumstances of the case, had any fatal event occurred without letting Colonel Brown know the former proceedings, he would be treating both himself and Colonel Brown with an unpardonable degree of impropriety and consideration, and subjecting himself to the most severe reproaches from Colonel Brown, his own conscience, and the world.
MICH. LIDWILL. To which, Mr. Lidwill added the following note :
When the above arrangement was handed to me by Major Lidwill, I reserved the power of making the underneath additions from myself, if I should deem it necessary, and communicated that reservation through him to Colonel Brown, viz.
“ That after a long conference between Colonel Brown and Major Lidwill, about the hour of two clock (29th Nov.), it was arranged between those gentlemen, that my making the following declaration should determinate the affair, then pending between Mr. Peel and me:
“ That I had great satisfaction in declaring to Cclonel
Brown that I would be glad the words were obliterated from Mr. Peel's recollection.”
Therefore it was after my avowal of my determination under my then existing circumstances not to agree to any explanation, that Colonel Brown on his return to my hotel at three o'clock, communicated to Major Lidwill his final resolution and the motives which led him to adopt it.
A copy of the declarations I allude to being left with me, I conceive it to be a fact therefore, not included in the stipulation between the above gentlemen, viz. “ Not to disclose any confidential communication.
To which Colonel Brown replied.
Dublin, Dec. 9, 1815. I perceive that Mr. Lidwill has from himself made the following addition to a statement which Mr. Lidwill and I under our respective signatures bound ourselves should be the only publication made upon the subject of the affair between Mr. Peel and Mr. Lidwill.
“ That after a long conference between Colonel Brown and Major Lidwill about the hour of two o'clock (Nov. 29) it was arranged between those gentlemen, that my making the following declaration should terminate the affair then pending between Mr. Peel and me.
“ That I had great satisfaction in declaring to Colonel Brown, that I would be glad the words were obliterated from Mr. Peel's recollection."
I feel it incumbent on me, expressly to disclaim any understanding on my part that such an arrangement as that mentioned in the above paragraph was made or that such a declaration could terminate the affair between Mr. Peel and Mr. Lidwill.
In the first place, it was agreed between Major Lidwill and me, that nothing which passed in conversation, should be considered as having passed, unless reduced to writings and signed by us respectively, which was not the case with the arrange ment above alluded to.
DANIEL O'CONNELL, ESQ.
In the second place, it was not in my power to close the affair with any thing short of the following apology, which Mr. Peel gave to me, as the only one he was willing to accept, and which I read to Major Lidwill :
Mr. Lidwill disclaims all intention of offering offence to Mr. Peel by the expression pointed out by Colonel Brown; he regrets that they were used by him; and as the reparation required, has no hesitation in retracting them.
I admit that Major Lidwill and myself discussed the possibility of terniinating the affair by an apology with an earnest desire on both sides, that it might lead to an accommodation, but I consider our mediation having failed, no trace of it remained.
I very much regret that after the precaution taken by Major Lidwill and myself, there should remain the possibility of a misconception on any point between us. The object of this letter, is not to discuss that point, but to record that the declaration now published by Mr. Lidwill, never could be considered by Mr. Peel or myself as sufficient to terminate the affair between them.
I am, Sir, your obedient servant,
Thus ended this affair also, and it must be acknowledged that the character of some of the parties was not raised in public estimation by the transaction; we shall refrain from making any remarks on the style, which distinguishes the whole of this singular correspondence, which considering that it emanated from men of rank and education, would in its construction disgrace an Eton school boy, the whole of it was collected and published, with the pithy remark annexed to it, for the instruction of those, who wish to know how to send or receive a challenge without any intention of fighting.