Disappointed in this quarter, the odious race of incendiary spies of Government tried their arts, and succeeded in duping some individuals in Yorkshire, and many more in Derbyshire. That the principal Government spy, Oliver, was busily engaged in this work of stirring up the ignorant and suffering population to open insurrection from the 17th of April to the 7th of June, when such an outbreak took place in Derbyshire, we have the most complete evidence. It then came out, from a servant of Sir John Byng, commander of the forces in that district, that Oliver had previously been in communication with Sir John, and no doubt obtained his immediate liberation from him on the safe netting of his nine victims. In fact, in a letter from this Sir John Byng (then Lord Strafford), in 1846, to the Dean of Norwich, he candidly admits that he had received orders from Lord Sidmouth to assist the operations of Oliver, who was, his lordship said, going down into that part of the country where meetings were being frequently held, and that Oliver, who carried a letter to Sir John, was to give him all the information that he could, so that he might prevent such meetings. Here, as well as from other sources, we are assured that Oliver only received authority to collect information of the proceedings of the conspirators, and by no means to incite them to illegal acts. We have also the assurance of Mr. Louis Allsop, a distinguished solicitor of Nottingham, that Oliver was in communication with him on the 7th of June, immediately on his return from Yorkshire, and informed him that a meeting was the same evening to take place in Nottingham, and he and another gentleman strongly urged him to attend it, which Oliver did. Mr. Allsop says that Oliver had no instructions to incite, but only to collect information. All this has been industriously put forward to excuse Ministers. But what are the facts? We find Oliver not only—according to evidence which came out on the trials of the unfortunate dupes at Derby—directly stimulating the simple people to insurrection, but joining in deluding them into the persuasion that all London was ready to rise, and that one hundred and fifty thousand from the east and west of the capital only waited for them. We find him not only disseminating these ideas throughout these districts from the 17th of April to the 27th of May, but also to have concerted a simultaneous rising in Yorkshire, at Nottingham, and in Derbyshire, on the 6th of June. Thornhill-lees, in Yorkshire, was on the verge of action, and ten delegates, including Oliver, were arrested. In Derbyshire the insurrection actually took place.In 1820 the amount of revenue paid into the exchequer as the produce of taxation was ￡54,000,000. The interest upon the National Debt was ￡31,000,000, and the sums applied to the redemption of public debt were about ￡2,000,000. At the same time the current annual expenditure was ￡21,000,000. The revenue increased to ￡59,000,000 in 1824, after which it declined to ￡50,000,000 in 1830, when the annual expenditure was reduced to ￡18,000,000. In 1840 the revenue was ￡47,000,000, and the interest on the public debt ￡29,000,000; the total amount paid and expended being ￡49,000,000.
But in October the patriots of Breda surprised the forts of Lillo and Liefkenshoek, on the Scheldt. Dalton dispatched General Schr?der with a strong force, who retook the forts; but on Schr?der's venturing to enter Turnhout after the insurgents, a body of three thousand of them, under Van der Mersch, armed with pitchforks, bludgeons, and staves, attacked and drove him out. General Bender, who had been dispatched against the insurgents at Tirlemont, was driven out in the same manner. General Arberg was compelled to retreat behind the Scheldt, and the people were victorious in Louvain, Ghent, Bruges, Ostend, and most towns of the district. Both Joseph and his Governor and Commander in the Netherlands now fell into the utmost alarm. The news which Marie Antoinette sent from Paris to her Imperial brother only rendered this consternation the greater. Joseph, with that sudden revulsion which he had manifested on other occasions, after equally astonishing rashness, now issued a conciliatory proclamation, offering to redress all grievances on the condition of the Netherlanders laying down their arms. But they were not likely, after former experience, to trust any such promises of Joseph. On the 20th of November the States of Flanders assumed the title of the High and Mighty States; they declared the Emperor to have forfeited the Crown by tyranny and injustice; they proclaimed their entire independence, and ordered a levy of twenty thousand men.But on the 15th of December, only eight days later, Lord Shelburne followed up the question by moving that the alarming additions annually made to the Debt, under the name of extraordinaries incurred in different services, demanded an immediate check; that the distresses of landed and mercantile interests made the strictest economy requisite, and that the expenditure of such large sums without grants from Parliament was an alarming violation of the Constitution. He showed that these expenses bore no proportion to those of any former wars as to the services performed for them, and stated plainly that the cause was notorious—that the greater part of the money went into the pockets of the Ministers' contracting friends. Lord Shelburne's motion was also rejected. He then gave notice for a further motion of a like nature on the 8th of February.The Assembly had, on this memorable night of the 4th of August, decreed nothing less than—the abolition of all serfdom; the right of compounding for the seignorial dues, and the abolition of seignorial jurisdictions; the suppression of exclusive rights of hunting, shooting, keeping warrens, dovecotes, etc.; the abolition of tithes; the equality of taxes; the admission of all citizens to civil and military employments; the abolition of the sale of offices; the suppression of all the privileges of towns and provinces; the reformation of wardenships; and the suppression of pensions obtained without just claims. The Assembly then continued the work of the constitution.
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CONFERENCE BETWEEN THE HOUSES OF PARLIAMENT, 1835. (See p. 392.)In all these transactions Carteret showed the most facile disposition to gratify all the Hanoverian tendencies of the king, in order to ingratiate himself and secure the Premiership at home. But in this he did not succeed; he was much trusted by George in foreign affairs, and in them he remained. Lord Wilmington, Prime Minister, had died two months before the signing of the treaty at Worms, and the competitors for his office were Pelham, brother of the Duke of Newcastle, and Pulteney. Pelham was supported by Newcastle, Lord Chancellor Hardwicke, and still more powerfully by the old Minister under whom he had been trained—Lord Orford, who, though out of office, was consulted in everything relating to it. Pulteney and Pelham had both, according to their friends, neglected the necessary steps for succeeding Wilmington. Pulteney had declined any office, vainly hoping that his great popularity would enable him to guide public affairs. His friends reminded him that had he taken the Treasury on Walpole's resignation, he would now have been still at the helm. Pelham's great adviser, Lord Orford, said to him, "If you had taken my advice, and held the Exchequer under Wilmington, the whole had dropped into your mouth." Pelham, however, received the appointment from the king, and this was communicated in a letter from Carteret, who candidly told him that, as the old friend and colleague of Pulteney, Lord Bath, he had done all in his power to secure the office for him, but now he would support Pelham cordially, notwithstanding. Pelham was at this period forty-seven years of age, of far inferior talent to Orford, but pursued his cautious principles and acted under his advice.Man and woman of middle class Parson Lady and gentleman Labourer and wife
After a rough passage the squadron arrived, at three in the morning, in Carrickfergus Road, about seven miles from Belfast. The water in the Channel was not deep enough for the Victoria and Albert, and the royal party went on board the Fairy tender, in which they rapidly glided up the lough, and anchored at the quay, where they landed in order to see the town. Loyal mottoes told, in every form of expression, the welcome of the inhabitants of the capital of Ulster. An arch of grand architectural proportions, richly decorated with floral ornaments and waving banners, spanned the High Street. Her Majesty visited the Queen's College and the Linen Hall. Although a flourishing city, Belfast had not then much to boast of architecturally, and therefore there was not much to be seen. The numerous mills about the town would remind the Queen more of Lancashire than of Ireland, giving her assurance by that same token that Ulster was the most industrious and most prosperous province of the Emerald Isle. If, in Cork, where O'Connell had been obeyed almost as Sovereign of the country, the Queen was hailed with such enthusiastic devotion, how intense must have been the loyal demonstrations in a town out of which the Repeal chief was obliged to fly secretly, to avoid being stoned to death.
In connection with this reform an Act was passed which supplied a great want—namely, the uniform registration of marriages, births, and deaths. The state of the law on these matters had been very unsatisfactory, notwithstanding a long series of enactments upon the subject. Although the law required the registration of births and deaths, it made no provision for recording the date at which either occurred, and so it was essentially defective. It only provided records of the performance of the religious ceremonies of baptism, marriage, and burial, according to the rites of the Established Church, affording, therefore, an insufficient register even for the members of that Church; while for those who dissented from it, and consequently did not avail themselves of its services for baptism and burial, it afforded no register at all. Even this inadequate system was not fully and regularly carried out, and the loud and long-continued complaints on the subject led to an inquiry by a select Committee of the House of Commons in 1833. In order, therefore, to secure a complete and trustworthy record of vital statistics, the committee recommended "a national civil registration of births, marriages, and deaths, including all ranks of society, and religionists of every class." In pursuance of these recommendations, a General Registration Bill was brought into Parliament; and in August, 1836, the Act for registering marriages, births, and deaths in England became law, as a companion to the Marriage Act, which passed at the same time. Their operation, however, was suspended for a limited time by the Act of 7 William IV., c. 1, and they were amended by the Act of 1 Victoria, c. 22, and came into operation on the 1st of July, 1837. One of the most important and useful provisions of this measure was that which required the cause of death to be recorded, with the time, locality, sex, age, and occupation, thus affording data of the highest importance to medical science, and to all who were charged with the preservation of the public health. In order that fatal diseases might be recorded in a uniform manner, the Registrar-General furnished qualified medical practitioners with books of printed forms—"certificates of cause of death"—to be filled up and given to registrars of births and deaths; and he caused to be circulated a nosological table of diseases, for the purpose of securing, as far as possible, uniformity of nomenclature in the medical certificates. In order to carry out this measure, a central office was established at Somerset House, London, presided over by an officer named the Registrar-General, appointed under the Great Seal, under whom was a chief clerk, who acted as his secretary and assistant registrar-general, six superintendents, and a staff of clerks, who were appointed by the Lords of the Treasury. From this office emanated instructions to all the local officers charged with the duties of registration under the Act—superintendent registrars, registrars of births and deaths, and registrars of marriages, any of whom might be dismissed by the Registrar-General, on whom devolved the entire control and responsibility of the operations.On the day after the surrender of Ulm, Buonaparte announced by proclamation to the army that he was going to annihilate the Russians, as he had done the Austrians; that Austria, in fact, had no generals with whom it was any glory to compete; and that Russia was only brought by the gold of England from the ends of the earth, for them to chastise them. At the end of October, accordingly, he commenced his march on Vienna.
On the 27th of November, only two days after the receipt of the news of the surrender of Lord Cornwallis, Parliament met. The king adverted to the unhappy event, but still declared that he should be betraying his trust, as sovereign of a free people, if he did not refuse to give up the contest; that he still trusted in Divine Providence, and he called for fresh, animated, and united exertions. He turned with more satisfaction to the successes in the East Indies, and the safe arrival of our principal mercantile fleets. In the Lords, the Earl of Shelburne attacked the Address, supported by the Duke of Richmond and the Lords Camden and Rockingham; but the most tempestuous burst of indignant eloquence from the Opposition took place in the Commons. Fox asserted that he had listened to the Address with horror and amazement. He declared himself confounded at the hardihood of Ministers, after such a consummation of their imbecile management, who dared to look the House of Commons in the face. He would not say that they were paid by France, for it was not possible for him to prove the fact; but, if they were not, he avowed that they deserved to be, for they had served the French monarch more faithfully and successfully than ever Ministers served a master. He especially singled out Lord Sandwich for reprobation, as the author of the wretched condition of our fleets, which were inferior in number of ships and their appointments to those of the enemy all over the globe. He called on the House to insist on the total and immediate change of Ministers, and urged the adoption of measures which should, if possible, repair the incalculable injuries they had inflicted on the nation. The Ministers, however, had strength enough to carry the Address by two hundred and eighteen votes against one hundred and twenty-nine; but the debate was resumed on the Address being reported, and then William Pitt delivered a most scathing speech, declaring that so far from our being warranted in pressing this ruinous war, he was satisfied that, if he went from one end of the Treasury bench to the other, such was the condition of the Ministry, he should find that there was not one man who could trust his neighbour; and the truth of this was becoming strikingly evident. Dundas, the Lord Advocate, hitherto one of the staunchest supporters of Lord North, spoke now as in astonishment at the language of the Ministers, declaring that some of them in Council clearly did not give their honest opinions. There were other like symptoms of defection; the sensitive placemen saw that the end of the North Administration was at hand. Lord North, perceiving the ground failing beneath him, lowered his tone, and, on Sir James Lowther, seconded by Mr. Powys, proposing a resolution that the war against America had been an utter failure, he explained that he did not advocate, in future, a continental warfare there, a marching of troops through the provinces, from north to south, but only the retention of ports on the coast, for the protection of our fleets in those seas, and the repulse of the French and Spaniards. Parliament was adjourned on the 20th of December till the 21st of January, and thus closed the year 1781.
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The whole company caught the royal infection. They vowed to die for the king, as if he were in imminent danger. Cockades, white or black, but all of one colour, were distributed; and it is said the tricolour was trodden under foot. In a word, the whole company was gone mad with champagne and French sentiment, and hugged and kissed each other in a wild frenzy. At this moment a door opened, and the king and queen, leading the dauphin by the hand, entered, and at the sight the tumult became boundless. Numbers flung themselves at the feet of the royal pair, and escorted them back to their apartments.Armed with their Act of Parliament, the Poor Law Commissioners who had been appointed to carry it out hastened to Ireland for the purpose of forming unions, providing workhouses, and making all the necessary arrangements. Mr. Nicholls was accompanied by four Assistant Commissioners, Mr. Gulson, Mr. Earle, Mr. Hawley, and Mr. Voules. They assembled in Dublin on the 9th of October, where they were joined by four Irish Commissioners, namely, Mr. Clements, Mr. Hancock, Mr. O'Donoghue, and Dr. Phelan. The erection of workhouses was proceeded with without loss of time. Reports of the progress made were annually published, and in May, 1842, the whole of Ireland had been formed into 130 unions; all the workhouses were either built or in progress of building, and eighty-one had been declared fit for the reception of the destitute poor. Mr. Nicholls left Ireland in 1842, his functions being delegated to a board consisting of Mr. Gulson and Mr. Power. It was indeed a most providential circumstance that the system had been brought into working order before the potato failure of 1846, as it contributed materially to mitigate the nameless horrors of the awful famine.详情
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