I should be glad to know why a society of ancient maids, who may unite together, and agree not to go beyond their garden walls, are less respectable or less virtuous than the same number of ladies dispersed abroad, who collect parties at whist, or at any other amusement.
An Honourable Gentleman opposite (Mr. T. Jones) has called this a nun-baiting bill. I, however, am their defender; and the bull himself turned into a baiter, is running furiously among the nuns. As to danger to the state, every person must scout the idea. If conversion be the evil complained of, why is that greater in this case than in that of the sectaries? I have heard it as an argument for the bill, that if it will do no great good, it will do no hurt: but this I deny, so long as unjust prejudice is liable to spring from it. I therefore vote against …
The Bill, with some modifications, was passed by the House of Commons, on 1st July, but was rejected by the Lords.
This Bill, according to the Annals, would have impacted heavily on the Community, hindering
…the receiving of members, as also to subject us to a Visitation when, & by whom they pleased to appoint, & likewise to force us to return to Brussels a year after the peace was concluded, which it was impossible for us to do, our House there being sold & demolished—our furniture, lines, Books, Church stuff, plate &c which we had left behind all lost to us, beside our Capital in the Bank of Vienna; but Almighty God raised up powerful friends by whose aid the bill was defeated, so our enemies were frustrated of their wicked intentions, praise be to God—as soon as the news reached us which was on the Translation of Holy Fathers Relics, the 11th July, after Compline, we assembled together, accompanied by the Rev. Mr Milner, our good Father and friend, & joyfully said the Te Deum in thanksgiving.