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Stirling peerage

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rity, and thus lessen the character and respectabihty
of the peerage in the eyes of the pubUc." *
To the same committee was referred a petition from
the Marchioness Dowager of Downshire, the female
descendant of the fourth Earl of Stirling, complaining
of the undue assumption of that title by Mr Hum-
phrys. Her ladyship conceives, that if the new
patent founded on by Mr Humphrys had really been
issued, its effect would be to vest the peerage, not in
his, but in her person, — an inference very correct, so far
as the ordinary rules of succession apply.
These atrocious proceedings could not be permitted
to pass unnoticed by Mr Humphrys, who accor-
dingly favoured the committee with the following
" PROTEST to the Right Hon"^ the Select Committee of
the House of Peers, appointed to take into consideration
the Laws and Regulations now in force relatinji to the
Election of the Representative Peers of Scotland, and to
report their opinion to the House.
*' My Lords, — Having learnt that a petition of the Mar-
chioness of Downshire, Baroness Sandys, lately pi'esented to
the House of Lords, and complaining of my having assumed
the Earldom of Stirling without right or authority, has been
referred to your Lordships, I take leave most respectfully to
lay before your Lordships the following protest against the
said petition being entertained in any respect whatever.
" If the Marchioness of Downshire has any right to question
my title, the courts of Scotland, where it has been established,
are, I submit, the proper courts to apply to, and not at your
Lordships' bar, in the first instance ; for that, as a peer of
* " Mirror of Parliament," p. 1280.

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