It was arranged that the coronation should take place early in the summer of 1821, and the queen, who in the interval had received an annuity of ￡50,000, was resolved to claim the right of being crowned with the king. She could hardly have hoped to succeed in this, but her claims were put forth in a memorial complaining that directions had not been given for the coronation of the queen, as had been accustomed on like occasions, and stating that she claimed, as of right, to celebrate the ceremony of her royal coronation, and to preserve as well her Majesty's said right as the lawful right and inheritance of others of his Majesty's subjects. Her memorial was laid before the Privy Council, and the greatest interest was excited by its discussion. The records were brought from the Tower: the "Liber Regalis" and other ancient volumes. The doors continued closed, and strangers were not allowed to remain in the adjoining rooms and passages. The following official decision of the Privy Council was given after some delay:—"The lords of the committee, in obedience to your Majesty's said order of reference, have heard her Majesty's Attorney- and Solicitor-General in support of her Majesty's said claim, and having also heard the observations of your Majesty's Attorney- and Solicitor-General thereupon, their lordships do agree humbly to report to your Majesty their opinions, that as it appears to them that the Queens Consort of this realm are not entitled of right to be crowned at any time, her Majesty the queen is not entitled as of right to be crowned at the time specified in her Majesty's memorials. His Majesty, having taken the said report into consideration, has been pleased, by and with the advice of the Privy Council, to approve thereof." The queen's subsequent applications, which included a letter to the king, were equally unsuccessful.CAPTAIN COOK.
Paine, in his "Rights of Man," was far from restricting himself to the courtesies of life in attacking Burke. He had been most hospitably received by Burke on many occasions at his house, and had corresponded with him, and must therefore have seen sufficient of him to know that, though he might become extremely enthusiastic in his championship of certain views, he could never become mean or dishonest. Yet Paine did not hesitate to attribute to him the basest and most sordid motives. He branded him as the vilest and most venal of apostates. Paine had, in fact, become a monomaniac in Republicanism. He had been engaged to the last in the American Revolution, and was now living in Paris, and constantly attending the Jacobin club. He was hand-in-hand with the most rabid of the Republicans, and was fast imbibing their anti-Christian tenets. Paine fully believed that the French were inaugurating something much finer than any millennium; that they were going to establish the most delightful liberty, equality, and fraternity, not simply throughout France but throughout the world. Before the doctrines of the French clubbists and journalists, all superstition, all despotism, all unkindness were to vanish from amongst mankind, and a paradisiacal age of love and felicity was to commence. To those who pointed to the blood and fury already too prominently conspicuous in this business, he replied that these were but the dregs of corrupt humanity, which were working off in the great fermentation, and all would become clear and harmonious.In the following Session Fox introduced a Bill to grant some further privileges to the Catholics, but it was rejected; but in 1793 the Catholics of Scotland were admitted, by an Act introduced by Mr. Robert Dundas, the Lord Advocate, to the same privileges as the Irish and English Catholics. The question appeared to rest till 1799, when there seems to have been a proposition on the part of the English Government to make an independent provision for the Catholic clergy of Ireland, on condition that they, on their part, should enter into certain engagements. There was a meeting of Roman Catholic prelates in Dublin at the commencement of that year on the subject, at which they agreed to accept the proposal. Pitt was favourable to the Catholic claims, though the Irish Parliament previous to the union would not hear of them. He had caused promises of Catholic Emancipation to be circulated in Ireland in order to induce the Irish to accept the union; and when he found that the king's immovable resistance to this measure would not allow him to make good his word, he resigned office. Nothing was done in it during the time that he continued out, chiefly, it is said, through his influence; and when he returned to office in May, 1804, he did so without any mention of the Catholics. In truth, he appears to have given them up for the sake of enjoying power again; for, when, on the 9th of March, 1805, the question was raised by Lord Grenville in the House of Peers, and, on the 13th, by Fox in the Commons, Pitt opposed the motion on the ground that the reasons which had occasioned him to quit office still operated against this measure, and that it was impossible for him to support it. It was negatived by three hundred and thirty-six against one hundred and twenty-four.
CHARLES JAMES FOX. (After the portrait by Sir Joshua Reynolds.)
In January, 1812, Government made another attempt to punish the Catholic delegates, and they obtained a verdict against one of them, Thomas Kirwan; but such was the public feeling, that they did no more than fine him one mark, and discharge him. They also abandoned other contemplated prosecutions. The Catholic committee met, according to appointment, on the 28th of February, addressed the Prince Regent, and then separated. The usual motions for Catholic Emancipation were introduced into both Houses of Parliament, and by both were rejected. It was the settled policy of this Ministry not to listen to the subject, though the Marquis Wellesley, Canning, and others now admitted that the matter must be conceded. The assassination of Mr. Perceval, on the 11th of May, it was hoped, would break up that Ministry, but it was continued, with Lord Liverpool at its head. Though Lord Wellesley this year brought forward the motion in the Lords, and Canning in the Commons, both Houses rejected it, but the Lords by a majority of only one. The question continued to be annually agitated in Parliament during this reign, from the year 1814, with less apparent success than before, Ireland was in a very dislocated state with the Orangemen and Ribbonmen, and other illegal associations and contentions between Catholics and Protestants, and this acted very detrimentally on the question in England. Only one little victory was obtained in favour of the Catholics. This was, in 1813, the granting to Catholics in England of the benefit of the Act passed in Ireland, the 33 George III., repealing the 21 Charles II. And thus the Catholics were left, after all their exertions, at the death of the old king.Of all the expectants of office in the Wellington Administration, the most bitterly disappointed was the ex-Chancellor, Lord Eldon, to whom official life had from long habit become almost a necessity. He had enjoyed power long enough in reason to admit of his retirement with a contented mind; but the passion for it was never stronger than at the present moment. He hastened to London a few days after Christmas on account of rumours of a dissolution of the Cabinet. Having so often done this when there was a talk of a Ministerial crisis, he was called the "stormy petrel." Believing that he had mainly contributed to bring about the Ministerial catastrophe, he was dreadfully mortified when he saw in the newspapers the list of the new Ministers beginning thus: "Chancellor, Lord Lyndhurst." He had not set his heart this time on the office of Lord Chancellor, he would have been content with the Presidentship of the Council or Privy Seal; but his name was not found in the list at all, nor had he been consulted in any way, or informed about what was going forward during the fortnight that passed before the Ministerial arrangements were completed. This utter neglect of his claims excited his anger and indignation to the utmost, and caused him to indulge in bitter revilings and threats against the new Cabinet. The great Tory lords shared in his resentment, and felt that they were all insulted in his person. Referring to the Ministerial arrangements, he wrote:—"You will observe, Dudley, Huskisson, Grant, Palmerston, and Lyndhurst (five) were all Canningites, with whom the rest were three weeks ago in most violent contest and opposition; these things are to me quite marvellous. How they are all to deal with each other's conduct, as to the late treaty with Turkey and the Navarino battle, is impossible to conjecture. As the first-fruits of this arrangement, the Corporation of London have agreed to petition Parliament to repeal the laws which affect Dissenters."Trautmansdorff now hastened to conciliate in earnest. He issued two-and-twenty separate proclamations, made all kinds of fair promises, restored the arms of the citizens, and liberated the imprisoned patriots. But it was too late. The insurgents, under Van der Mersch, were fast advancing towards Brussels, and Dalton marched out to meet them; but he was confounded by the appearance of their numbers, and entered into an armistice of ten days. But this did not stop the progress of insurrection in Brussels. There the people rose, and resolved to open the gates to their compatriots. Women and children tore up the palisades, and levelled the entrenchments. The population assumed the national cockade, and the streets resounded with cries of "Long live the Patriots!" "Long live Van der Noot!" Dalton retreated into Brussels, but found no security there. The soldiers began to desert. The people attacked those who stood to their colours, and Dalton was glad to secure his retreat by a capitulation. In a few days the insurgents from Breda entered, Trautmansdorff having withdrawn at their approach, and the new federal union of the Netherlands was completely established. The State of Luxembourg was the only one remaining to Joseph, and thither Dalton retired with his forces, five thousand in number.
At the close of the Session of 1837 an earnest desire was expressed by the leaders of both parties in the House for an amicable adjustment of two great Irish questions which had been pending for a long time, and had excited considerable ill-feeling, and wasted much of the time of the Legislature—namely, the Irish Church question, and the question of Corporate Reform. The Conservatives were disposed to compromise the matter, and to get the Municipal Reform Bill passed through the Lords, provided the Ministry abandoned the celebrated Appropriation Clause, which would devote any surplus revenue of the Church Establishment, not required for the spiritual care of its members, to the moral and religious education of all classes of the people, without distinction of religious persuasion; providing for the resumption of such surplus, or any part of it, as might be required, by an increase in the numbers of the members of the Established Church. The result of this understanding was the passing of the Tithe Bill. But there were some little incidents of party warfare connected with these matters, which may be noticed here as illustrative of the temper of the times. On the 14th of May Sir Thomas Acland brought forward a resolution for rescinding the Appropriation Clause. This Lord John Russell regarded as a breach of faith. He said that the present motion was not in accordance with the Duke of Wellington's declared desire to see the Irish questions brought to a final settlement. Sir Robert Peel, however, made a statement to show that the complaint of Lord John Russell about being overreached, was without a shadow of foundation. The noble lord's conduct he declared to be without precedent. He called upon Parliament to come to the discussion of a great question, upon a motion which he intended should be the foundation of the final settlement of that question; and yet, so ambiguous was his language, that it was impossible to say what was or was not the purport of his scheme. Sir Thomas Acland's motion for rescinding the Appropriation resolution was rejected by a majority of 19, the numbers being 317 and 298. On the following day Lord John Russell gave Sir Robert Peel distinctly to understand that the Tithe measure would consist solely of a proposition that the composition then existing should be converted into a rent charge. On the 29th of the same month, Lord John Russell having moved that the House should go into committee on the Irish Municipal Bill, Sir Robert Peel gave his views at length on the Irish questions, which were now taken up in earnest, with a view to their final settlement. The House of Commons having disposed of the Corporation Bill, proceeded on the 2nd of July to consider Lord John Russell's resolutions on the Church question. But Mr. Ward, who was strong on that question, attacked the Government for their abandonment of the Appropriation Clause. He concluded by moving a series of resolutions reaffirming the appropriation principle. His motion was rejected by a majority of 270 to 46. The House then went into committee, and in due course the Irish Tithe Bill passed into law, and the vexed Church question was settled for a quarter of a century. The Municipal Bill, however, was once more mutilated by Lord Lyndhurst, who substituted a ￡10 for a ￡5 valuation. The amendment was rejected by the Commons, but the Lords stood firmly by their decision, and a conference between the two Houses having failed to settle the question, the measure was abandoned. In these events the Ministry had incurred much disrepute.The year 1797 was opened by the suspension of cash payments. The Bank of England had repeatedly represented to Pitt, as Chancellor of the Exchequer, that his enormous demands upon it for specie, as well as paper money, had nearly exhausted its coffers and could not long be continued. The payment of our armies abroad, and the advances to foreign kings, were necessarily made in cash. The Government, in spite of enormous taxation, had already overdrawn its account eleven million six hundred and sixty-eight thousand eight hundred pounds, and the sole balance in the hands of the Bank was reduced to three million eight hundred and twenty-six thousand eight hundred and ninety pounds. Pitt was demanding a fresh loan for Ireland, when a message came from the Bank to say that, in existing circumstances, it could not be complied with. Thus suddenly pulled up, the Privy Council was summoned, and it was concluded to issue an order for stopping all further issue of cash, except to the Government, and except one hundred thousand pounds for the accommodation of private bankers and traders. Paper money was made a legal tender to all other parties, and the Bank was empowered to issue small notes for the accommodation of the public instead of guineas. A Bill was passed for the purpose, and that it might not be considered more than a temporary measure, it was made operative only till June; but it was renewed from time to time by fresh Acts of Parliament. The system was not abolished again till 1819, when Sir Robert Peel brought in his Bill for the resumption of cash payments, and during the whole of that time the depreciation of paper money was comparatively slight.In the West Indies it was decided that Great Britain should, of the French islands that she had taken, retain Tobago, Dominica, St. Vincent, and Grenada, but restore to France Guadeloupe, Martinique, and St. Lucia.
Grey followed, contending that we ought to avoid the calamities of war by all possible means. A long debate ensued, in the midst of which Mr. Jenkinson declared that on that very day, whilst they were discussing the propriety of sending an ambassador to France, the monarch himself was to be brought to trial, and probably by that hour was condemned to be murdered. All the topics regarding Holland and Belgium were again introduced. Fox was supported by Grey, Francis, Erskine, Whitbread, and Sheridan; but his motion was negatived without a division.Hearing that General Cope—who had seen his blunder in leaving open the highway to the Scottish capital—after having reached Inverness, had begun a rapid march on Aberdeen, trusting to embark his army there, and reach Edinburgh in time to defend it from the rebel army, Charles marched out of Perth on the 11th of September. He reached Dunblane that evening, and on the 13th he passed the fords of Frew, about eight miles above Stirling, knowing that several king's ships were lying at the head of the Firth. On their approach, Gardiner retired with his dragoons from the opposite bank. Stirling, being deserted by the troops, was ready to open its gates; but Charles was in too much haste to reach Edinburgh. Hearing that Gardiner, with his dragoons, intended to dispute the passage of Linlithgow Bridge, Charles sent on one thousand Highlanders, before break of day, under Lord George Murray, in the hope of surprising them; but they found that they had decamped the evening before, and they took peaceable possession of Falkirk and the old palace. The prince himself came up on the evening of that day, Sunday, the 15th, where the whole army passed the night, except the vanguard, which pushed on to Kirkliston, only eight miles from Edinburgh.
All Europe was astonished by the news of the French Revolution. The successful insurrection of the working classes in Paris—the flight of the king—the abolition of monarchy—the establishment of a Republic, all the work of two or three days, were events so startling that the occupants of thrones might well stand aghast at their recital, and tremble for their own possessions. It would not have been surprising if the revolutionary spirit emanating from Paris had, to a large extent, invaded Great Britain and Ireland. The country had just passed through a fearful crisis; heavy sacrifices had been made by all classes to save the people from starvation; many families had been utterly ruined by gigantic failures, and there was still very general privation prevailing in all parts of the United Kingdom. In such circumstances the masses are peculiarly liable to be excited against the Government by ignorant or unprincipled agitators, who could easily persuade them that their sufferings arose from misgovernment, and that matters could never go right till the people established their own sovereignty—till they abolished monarchy and aristocracy, and proclaimed a republic. The Chartist agitation, though not formally proposing any such issue of the movement, had, nevertheless, familiarised the minds of the working classes with the idea of such a revolution. The points of their charter comprised vote by ballot, universal suffrage, annual parliaments, payment of the members, and the abolition of the property qualification. Besides, the Chartist leaders had been in the habit of holding what was called a National Convention, which was a kind of parliament of their own, in which the leaders practised the art of government. The train was thus laid, and it seemed to require only a spark to ignite it; but a thick shower of sparks came from Paris, as if a furnace had been emptied by a hurricane. It would have been almost miraculous if there had been no explosions of disaffection in Great Britain in such circumstances as these.Mr. Nicholls next applied himself to the solution of the problem how the workhouse system, which had been safely and effectually applied to depauperise England, might be applied with safety and efficiency to put down mendicancy and relieve destitution in Ireland. In that country the task was beset with peculiar difficulties. Assuming the principle that the pauper should not be better off than the labourer, it would be difficult to devise any workhouse dress, diet, or lodging that would not be better than what many of the poor actually enjoyed. But, on the other hand, the Irish poor were fond of change, hopeful, sanguine, migratory, desultory in their habits, hating all restraints of order and system, averse from the trouble of cleanliness; and rather than be subject to the restrictions and regularity of a workhouse, an Irishman, in health and strength, would wander the world over to obtain a living. Hence, no matter how well he might be lodged, fed, and clad in a workhouse, he could not endure the confinement. Consequently, Mr. Nicholls found in the state of Ireland no sufficient reason for departing from the principle of the English Poor Law, which recognises destitution alone as the ground of relief, nor for establishing a distinction in the one country that does not exist in the other.
Circumstances appeared now to be growing serious. Meetings were held in defiance of the strict measures of Government throughout the manufacturing districts; and at Blackburn it was announced at such a gathering, on the 5th of July, that the women had also formed themselves into "Sister Reform Associations," and these called on their own sex everywhere to imitate their example, so as to co-operate with the men, and to instil into the minds of their children a hatred of tyrannical rulers. The men, at the same time, made another advance in the Reform agitation; this was drilling-a movement which gave great alarm to the magistrates of Lancashire, who wrote from various quarters to apprise Government of it. It was a circumstance that might well excite suspicion that something more than Reform was intended. But when it came to be explained by the parties themselves, it turned out to mean nothing more than that the Reformers in the neighbourhood of Manchester were intending to hold a great meeting in order to elect a representative, as the people of Birmingham had done, and that they wished to assemble in the utmost order and quiet. But the very means employed by them to avoid confusion, and enable them to meet and disperse with decorum, were just those most calculated to excite the fears of a magistracy and Ministry already suspicious.This was a thunderstroke to Hastings and his friends. Fifty of Pitt's followers immediately wheeled round with him; Dundas voted with Pitt, and the motion was carried by an exact inversion of the numbers which had negatived the former article on the Rohilla war, one hundred and nineteen against sixty-seven. The Session closed on the 11th of July with the rest of the charges hanging over the ex-Governor's head in ominous gloom.
Mr. Fyshe Palmer was not tried till the 12th of September. He was then brought before the Circuit Court of Justiciary at Perth, and charged with writing and publishing an "Address to the People," which had been issued by the Society of the Friends of Liberty, at Dundee. Palmer was an Englishman of good family, in Bedfordshire. He had taken his degree at Cambridge, and obtained a fellowship at Queen's College; but he had afterwards joined the Unitarians, and had resided and preached some time at Montrose and Dundee, and had delivered lectures on Unitarianism in Edinburgh and Forfar. It appeared that Palmer was not the author of the Address, but had only been asked to correct the proof of it, and that he had, whilst so doing, struck out some of the strongest passages. One Mealmaker, a weaver, acknowledged himself the author of the Address; but Palmer was a Unitarian, and this, to the bigoted Presbyterianism of his judges, was rank poison. His advocate pleaded that he was not quite sane, but neither did this avail; the jury brought in an instant and unanimous verdict of guilty, and the judges condemned him to be transported for seven years. This was a still more outrageous sentence than that of Muir, for Palmer had corresponded with no French or Reforming societies whatever; he had simply corrected a proof!
From the Painting by Robert HillingfordWashington found no rest at Princeton. Cornwallis no sooner heard the cannonading near Princeton than he immediately comprehended Washington's ruse, and, alarmed for his magazines at New Brunswick, he hastened in that direction. Washington, aware of his approach, found it necessary to give up the attempt on New Brunswick. He therefore hastened across Millstone river, broke down the bridge behind him to stop pursuit, and posted himself on the high ground at Morristown, where there were very strong positions. Here he received additional troops, and entrenched himself. Cornwallis, not aware of the real weakness of Washington's army despite all its additions, again sat down quietly for the winter at New Brunswick. For six months the British army now lay still. Washington, however, lost no time in scouring all quarters of the Jerseys. He made himself master of the coast opposite Staten Island, and seized on Newark, Elizabeth Town, and Woodbridge. The inhabitants had been plundered by the Hessians and English, and now they were plundered again by their own countrymen for having received the English well. Washington exerted himself to suppress this rancorous conduct of the New England and Virginian troops, and issued a proclamation absolving the people of their oaths to the English, and promising them protection on their taking a new oath to Congress. The people of the Jerseys gladly accepted this offer.详情
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