The One-Legged Sailor & the King

DENNIS COLLINS PLAY BY RICHARD DAVEY1

THE ONE-LEGGED SAILOR AND THE KING – Dennis Collins

by Cormac F Lowth

Throughout the year 1832, debates raged in the British Parliament at Westminster on the subject of Reform. Passions were aroused on the subject and there were heated exchanges which were reported in detail in the newspapers of the day. These reports were often accompanied by lengthy editorials and letters from the public which swayed from one end of the political spectrum to the other. There were many aspects to the proposed legislative reforms and these included the abolition of slavery in the Colonies, punishment in the army, child labour and the abolition of tithes. The principal debates, however, centred upon Parliamentary reform and the extension, or limitation, of the franchise, depending on which side of the house the argument came from. The abolition of Capital Punishment for a number of offences was another issue that took up a great deal of time and debate in Parliament. This ultimate sanction had only recently been abolished for the crime of forgery but it remained on the statute books as a punishment for a number of crimes, notably the stealing of livestock and horses, and crimes against property, such as burglary and stealing goods to the value of five pounds. One member, Lord Tenterden, objected to the principle of the bill. He objected to the abolition of the punishment of death—–