The troops of Austria were already in Bavaria on the 21st of August. They amounted to eighty thousand men, under the nominal command of the Archduke Ferdinand—a prince of high courage and great hopes—but really under that of General Mack, whose utter incapacity had not been sufficiently manifested to Austria by his miserable failures in the Neapolitan campaign, and who was still regarded in Germany as a great military genius. His army had been posted behind the Inn, in the country between the Tyrol and the Danube, into which the Inn falls at Passau. This was a strong frontier, and had the Austrians waited there till the arrival of the Russians, they might have made a powerful stand. But Mack had already advanced them to the Lech, where again he had a strong position covering Munich. Meanwhile, the Archduke Charles, Austria's best general, was posted in the north of Italy, with another eighty thousand men, and the Archduke John in the Tyrol with an inferior force. Such were the positions of the Austrian armies when Mack was invading Bavaria, and Buonaparte was preparing to crush him.The new Premier, however, was resolute, and persevered with his arrangements. He found an excellent successor to Lord Eldon, as Chancellor, in Sir John Copley, the Master of the Rolls, who was created Lord Lyndhurst. Mr. Peel, as Home Secretary, was succeeded by Mr. Sturges Bourne, who retired after a few weeks to make way for the Marquis of Lansdowne. He represented a section of the Whigs, prominent among whom were Brougham, Tierney and Burdett, who gave their support to the Ministry. The Duke of Clarence succeeded Lord Melville as First Lord of the Admiralty, and the Marquis of Anglesey the Duke of Wellington as Master-General of the Ordnance. Viscount Palmerston was appointed the Secretary at War, with which office he commenced his long, brilliant, and popular career as a Cabinet Minister. The new Master of the Rolls was Sir John Leech, the Attorney-General Sir James Scarlett, and the Solicitor-General Sir N. Tindal. Mr. Lamb, afterwards Lord Melbourne, succeeded Mr. Goulburn as Chief Secretary of Ireland.The news had the most instant effect across the Channel. All hesitation on the part of the French Court to enter into the treaty with the United States disappeared. The American Commissioners, Franklin, Deane, and Lee, were informed that the King of France was ready to make a treaty, claiming no advantage whatever, except that of trade with the States. It was intimated that this proceeding would, in all probability, involve France in a war with Great Britain, but that she would claim no indemnity on that score. The only condition for which she positively stipulated was, that America should, under no temptations, give up its independence, or return under the dominion of England. The two kingdoms were to make common cause, and assist each other against the common enemy. The Americans were to endeavour to make themselves masters of all the British territories that they could, and retain them as their rightful acquisition; the French to obtain whatever islands they could in the West Indies, and retain them. France did not venture to seek back the Canadas or Nova Scotia, well knowing that the Americans would not consent to have them there as neighbours. Neither country was to make peace with England without the other. Lee was to continue at Paris as the first American Ambassador there, and the treaty was to continue some weeks a secret, in order to obtain, if possible, the accession of Spain to it, which, however, they could not do then.
The prisoners were at once sent to Richmond Bridewell, on the South Circular Road, where the Governor did all in his power to make them comfortable. Good apartments were assigned to them. They dined together every day, and they were permitted to receive, without restriction, the visits of their friends and admirers. The Government was the less disposed to interfere with these indulgences, as their object was not so much punishment as prevention, and besides, the traversers had appealed against the sentence. A majority of the twelve English judges affirmed the judgment of the Court of Queen's Bench, while condemning the counts on which the Irish court relied. An appeal was then made to the House of Lords. The decision was left to the five law lords—Lyndhurst, Brougham, Cottenham, Denman, and Campbell. The first two were for a confirmation of the judgment, the last three for reversal. Lord Denman, in pronouncing judgment, said, referring to the tampering with the panel, "If such practices as had taken place in the present instance in Ireland should continue, the trial by jury would become a mockery, a delusion, and a snare," a sentence which was hackneyed by repetition for years afterwards. The news of the reversal reached Dublin on the afternoon of the 5th of September. Great crowds had assembled on the pier at Kingstown, and tremendous cheers broke forth from the multitude when the Holyhead packet approached, and they saw held up a white flag, with the inscription, "Judgment reversed by the House of Lords. O'Connell is free!" The news was everywhere received by the Roman Catholics with wild excitement.
The House of Lords did not sit on that day; but on the following day the Marquis of Lansdowne, Lord Stanley, Lord Brougham, and the Duke of Wellington gave earnest expression to the feelings of their lordships upon the subject of this national bereavement. The Duke of Wellington in particular, as might be expected, was deeply moved while expressing his great gratification at what had been said as to the character of Sir Robert Peel. He added his testimony as to what he believed to be its strongest feature—his truthfulness. "In all the course of my acquaintance with Sir Robert Peel," said the Duke, "I never knew a man in whose truth and justice I had a more lively confidence; or in whom I saw a more invariable desire to promote the public service. In the whole course of my communication with him, I never knew an instance in which he did not show the strongest attachment to truth; and I never saw in the whole course of my life the smallest reason for suspecting that he stated anything which he did not firmly believe to be the fact." Lord John Russell, who had been absent on the previous day, spoke in the warmest terms of admiration of the late statesman, and avowed his conviction that the harmony which had prevailed for the last two years, and the safety which Great Britain had enjoyed during a period when other nations were visited by the calamity of revolution, had been owing to the course which Sir Robert Peel had thought it his duty to adopt. He concluded by offering, in the name of the Crown, funeral honours similar to those accorded on the death of Pitt or Grattan. But Mr. Goulburn stated that Sir Robert had recorded his desire to be interred in a vault in the parish church of Drayton Bassett without funeral pomp. On the 12th of July, pursuant to a motion made by the Prime Minister, the House of Commons went into committee for the purpose of adopting an address to the Queen, praying her Majesty to order the erection of a monument in Westminster Abbey to the memory of Sir Robert Peel, which was unanimously voted. He stated that the Queen, anxious to show the sense which she entertained of the services rendered to the Crown, had directed him to inform Lady Peel that she desired to bestow upon her the same rank that was bestowed upon the widow of Mr. Canning. Lady Peel answered that her wish was to bear no other name than that by which her husband was known to the world.[See larger version]
We have the accounts of what took place from both sides—from the magistrates and the people. Mr Hulton, the chairman of the bench of magistrates, made the following statements in evidence, on the trial of Hunt, at York. He said that the warrants for the apprehension of the leaders of this movement were not given to Nadin, the chief constable, till after the meeting had assembled, and that he immediately declared that it was impossible for him to execute them without the protection of the military; that orders were at once issued to the commander of the Manchester Yeomanry, and to Colonel L'Estrange, to come to the house where the magistrates sat. The yeomanry arrived first, coming at a quick trot, and so soon as the people saw them they set up a great shout. The yeomanry advanced with drawn swords, and drew up in line before the inn where the magistrates were. They were ordered to advance with the chief constable to the hustings, and support him in executing the warrants. They attempted to do this, but were soon separated one from another in the dense mob, and brought to a stand. In this condition, Sir William Jolliffe also giving evidence, said that he then, for the first time, saw the Manchester troop of yeomanry. They were scattered, singly or in small groups, all over the field, literally hemmed in and wedged into the mob, so that they were powerless either to make an impression, or to escape; and it required only a glance to discover their helpless condition, and the necessity of the hussars being brought to their rescue. The hussars now coming up, were, accordingly, ordered to ride in and disperse the mob. The word "Forward" was given, and the charge was sounded, and the troop dashed in amongst the unarmed crowd. Such a crowd never yet stood a charge of horse. There was a general attempt to fly, but their own numbers prevented them, and a scene of terrible confusion ensued. "People, yeomen, constables," says Sir William Jolliffe, one of these hussars, "in their confused attempts to escape, ran one over another, so that by the time we had arrived at the midst of the field, the fugitives were literally piled up to a considerable elevation above the level of the ground."At the opening of 1841 the country might be said to be free from all excitement on the subject of politics. There was no great question at issue, no struggle between rival parties seemed impending. Many of the principal topics which in former years had agitated the public mind had been settled or laid to rest. The Chartist riots seemed to have abated the desire of the leading Reformers to extend the suffrage to the working classes. Still the Government was lamentably weak, and only existed on sufferance. Nor did the conduct of affairs in the House of Commons tend to strengthen their position. The reintroduction by Lord Stanley of his Bill to regulate the registration of voters in Ireland led to much angry discussion with damaging results to the Government, who had already suffered grievous defeats in attempting to arrest the progress of the measure during the previous Session. Two days later Lord Morpeth brought in a Government Bill for the same object. The main features of the plan were to abolish certificates; to make the register conclusive of the right to vote, except where disqualification afterwards appeared; to establish an annual revision of the registers, and to give a right of appeal equally to the claimant and the objector. The main point of difference between this and Lord Stanley's Bill consisted in the tribunal to which the appeal was to be made. The Government proposed for this purpose the creation of a new court, consisting of three barristers of a certain standing. An additional feature of the Government Bill was a proposal to settle the question of the basis of the franchise by fixing upon the Poor Law valuation as the standard; and the Bill proposed to enact that every occupier of a tenement under a holding of not less than fourteen years, of the annual value of ￡5, should have the right of voting previously enjoyed by persons who had a beneficial interest of ￡10. The Conservatives complained of the unfairness of thus introducing by surprise a fundamental alteration in the elective franchise of Ireland, founded upon principles unknown both in England and Scotland. It was represented as a new Reform Bill for Ireland, tacked on as a postscript to a Bill for amending the registration. The ￡5 franchise, it was argued, would in effect be little short of the introduction of universal suffrage. The House divided on the respective merits of the rival Bills, when the Government measure was carried by a majority of five. The result was hailed with cheers from both sides of the House, the Opposition regarding the victory as little better than a defeat. Lord John Russell at first announced that he would proceed immediately with the measure, but he afterwards moved its postponement till the 23rd of April. During the interval Lord Morpeth announced the conversion of the Ministry to the principle of an ￡8 rating. When the question was introduced again, on the 26th of April, it gave rise to a party debate. While the House was in committee on Lord Morpeth's Bill, Lord Howick proposed an amendment to the effect that the tenant, in order to entitle him to the franchise, should have a beneficial interest in his holding of ￡5 a year over and above the rent. Lord Morpeth proposed as a qualification for the franchise a lease of fourteen years, and a low rating of ￡8. Lord Howick proposed that the yearly tenant should be entitled to vote as well as the leaseholder if he had an annual interest of ￡5 in it; but Lord Morpeth contended, and showed from statistics, that this principle would disfranchise more than three-fourths of the ￡10 tenant voters in several of the counties. In short, it would have the effect of almost entirely disfranchising the existing occupying constituency of Ireland. On a division, Lord Howick's amendment was carried by 291 to 270. Finally the Bill was reduced to such a jumble of contradictory amendments that it was impossible to proceed with it. Thus ended the great struggle of the Session. Much time had been wasted in party debates and fruitless discussions, and the proposal to give the Irish people the benefit of the Reform Act by putting its perishing constituencies on a proper basis, simple as it may seem, utterly failed. Lord Stanley also abandoned his measure, and there the matter ended. The whole of the proceedings plainly indicated that the doom of Lord Melbourne's feeble Cabinet was at hand.
During these disgraceful days the Church-and-King party took no measures to prevent the destruction of the property of Dissenters. Noblemen, gentlemen, and magistrates rode in from the country on pretence of doing their duty, but they did little but sit and drink their wine, and enjoy the mischief. They could have called out the militia at once, and the mob would have been scattered like leaves before the wind; but they preferred to report the outbreak to the Secretary-at-War, and, after the time thus lost, three troops of the 15th Light Dragoons, lying at Nottingham, were ordered to march thither. But the arrival of the Light Dragoons showed what might have been done at first if the magistrates had been so minded. The mob did not stay even to look at the soldiers; at their very name they vanished, and Birmingham, on Monday morning, was as quiet as a tomb. Government itself took a most indifferent leisure in the matter. It did not issue a proclamation from the Secretary of State's office till the 29th, when it offered one hundred pounds for the discovery and apprehension of one of the chief ringleaders.Defeated in this object, the Patriots united all their force to embroil us with Spain. There were many causes in our commercial relations with Spain which led to violent discontent amongst our merchants. They found the trade with the Spanish settlements in America exceedingly profitable, but they had no right, beyond a very limited extent, to trade there. The Spaniards, though they winked at many encroachments, repressed others which exceeded these with considerable vigour. Their Coastguard insisted on boarding and searching our vessels which intruded into their waters, to discover whether they were bringing merchandise or were prepared to carry away colonial produce. By the treaty of 1670 Spain had recognised the British colonies in North America, and England had agreed that her ships should not enter the ports of the Spanish colonies except from stress of weather, or with an especial licence from the Spanish Government to trade. By the treaty of 1729 we had agreed to the old regulations regarding trading to the Spanish Main, namely, that we should have the Assiento, or right of supplying these colonies with slaves, and that, besides this, we should only send one ship annually to the Spanish West Indies and South America. As fast as that authorised ship discharged its cargo in a Spanish port, she received fresh supplies of goods over her larboard side from other vessels which had followed in her wake, and thus poured unlimited quantities of English goods into the place. Other English traders did not approach too near the Spanish coasts, but were met in certain latitudes by South American smugglers, who there received their goods and carried them into port. In short, such a system of contraband trade was carried on in these waters by our merchants, that English goods in abundance found their way all over the Spanish American regions, and the great annual fair for goods imported from or by Spain dwindled into insignificance.The next day, the other column, which had marched through Moffat, came up, and the united army advanced towards Carlisle. They were perceived as they were crossing a moor on the 9th, about two miles from Carlisle, by the garrison, which began to fire their cannon upon them, and kept it up actively for some time. On the 10th Charles sent a letter summoning the garrison to surrender, but the garrison returned no answer, except by its cannon. They expected that Marshal Wade would soon march to their relief, whence their courage; and, indeed, the prince heard that Wade was on the way by Hexham, and, instead of waiting for him, he went to meet him at Brampton, in the forest of Inglewood, seven miles from the town; but, finding he had been deceived, he sent back part of the troops to commence the siege of Carlisle in form. As the batteries began to rise, the courage of the commanders in the town began to fail, and they offered to capitulate; but the prince declined any terms but surrender of both town and castle, the troops being allowed to retire without their arms on engaging not to serve against Charles for twelve months. These terms were accepted on the 15th, and the prince made a triumphant entry on the 17th.
On the following evening Lord Melbourne, having explained why he resigned, said, "And now, my lords, I frankly declare that I resume office unequivocally and solely for this reason, that I will not abandon my Sovereign in a situation of difficulty and distress, and especially when a demand is made upon her Majesty with which I think she ought not to comply—a demand, in my opinion, inconsistent with her personal honour, and which, if acquiesced in, would make her reign liable to all the changes and variations of political parties, and render her domestic life one constant scene of unhappiness and discomfort." The Whigs, therefore, returned to office, but not to power.
The miscellaneous literature of this reign was immense, consisting of travels, biographies, essays on all subjects, and treatises in every department of science and letters. Prominent amongst these are the "Letters of Junius," who, in the early part of the reign, kept the leading statesmen, judges, and the king himself, in terror by the relentlessness of his scarifying criticisms. These letters, which are the perfection of political writing, have been ascribed to many authors, but most generally to Sir Philip Francis; though it is hard to speak on the subject with certainty. The writings of Dr. Johnson furnish many items to this department. His "Dictionary of the English Language" (1755) was a gigantic labour; his "Lives of the Poets," his "Tour to the Western Isles," would of themselves have made a reputation, had he never written his poetry, his periodical essays, or edited Shakespeare. Burke, too, besides his Speeches, added largely to general literature. He wrote his "Inquiry into the Origin of the Sublime and Beautiful;" assisted in the composition of the Annual Register for several years; and, in 1790, published his most famous work, "Reflections on the French Revolution." Besides these he wrote political letters and essays. Lady Mary Wortley Montagu produced her celebrated Letters about the middle of the century, and many other women were popular writers at this period: Sophia and Harriett Lee, Anna Maria Williams, Mrs. Lennox, Mrs. Catherine Talbot, Elizabeth Carter, the translator of Epictetus, Mrs. Montagu, an essayist on Shakespeare, Mrs. Chapone, author of "Letters on the Improvement of the Mind," Mrs. Barbauld, and Mrs. Charlotte Smith. In theology, metaphysics, and mental philosophy, the earlier portion of the reign was rich. In rapid succession appeared Reid's "Inquiry into the Human Mind," Campbell's "Answer to Hume on Miracles," Beattie's "Essay on Truth," Wallace's "Essay on the Numbers of Mankind," and Stuart's "Enquiry into the Principles of Political Economy." But nine years after Stuart's work appeared another on the same subject, which raised that department of inquiry into one of the most prominent and influential sciences of the age. This was the famous treatise "On the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations," by Adam Smith (1776), which produced a real revolution in the doctrines of the production and accumulation of wealth. In teaching the advantages of free trade and the division of labour it has rendered incalculable services to mankind.
THE MARQUIS OF ANGLESEY. (After the Portrait by Sir Thomas Lawrence.)"'Partes ubi se via findit in ambas.'"
Before the close of April a great commercial crisis had taken place in England, and Ministers were compelled to make a new issue, by consent of Parliament, of five millions of Exchequer Bills, to assist merchants and manufacturers, under proper security. The sudden expansion of industry which was met by an undue increase of the paper currency rather than bullion, combined with reckless banking, produced the crisis. It was calculated that out of the 350 provincial banks 100 failed. In the circumstances the issue of Exchange Bills was a most successful makeshift.On the 1st of September the British commander made a formal demand for the surrender of the fleet. The Danish General requested time to communicate this demand to the Crown Prince, but the vicinity of the French would not permit this, and the next day, the land batteries on one side, and our bomb-vessels on the other, began to fling shells into the town. The wooden buildings were soon in flames, but the Danes replied with their accustomed bravery to our fire, and the conflict became terrible. The bombardment of the British continued without cessation all day and all night till the morning of the 3rd. It was then stopped for an interval, to give an opportunity for a proposal of surrender; but, none coming, the bombardment was renewed with terrible fury. In all directions the city was in a blaze; the steeple of the chief church, which was of wood, was a column of fire, and in this condition was knocked to pieces by the tempest of shot and shells, its fragments being scattered, as the means of fresh ignition, far around. A huge timber-yard taking fire added greatly to the conflagration. The fire-engines, which the Danes had plied bravely, were all knocked to pieces, and, to prevent the utter destruction of the city, on the evening of the 5th the Danish governor issued a flag of truce, and requested an armistice of twenty-four hours. Lord Cathcart replied that, in the circumstances, no delay could be permitted, and that therefore no armistice could take place, except accompanied by the surrender of the fleet. This was then complied with, and Sir Arthur Wellesley, Sir Home Popham, and Lieutenant-Colonel George Murray went on shore to settle the terms of the capitulation. This was completed by the morning of the 7th, signed, and ratified. The British were to be put at once in possession of the citadel and all the ships and maritime stores, and, within six weeks, or as much earlier as possible, they were to remove these and evacuate the citadel and the isle of Zealand. All other property was to be respected, and everything done in order and harmony; prisoners were to be mutually exchanged, and Britons seized in consequence of the proclamation to be restored. The whole of these measures were completed within the time specified, and seventeen ships of the line, eleven frigates, and twenty-five gunboats became the prize of the British.Whilst affairs with Holland were in this position, Count Florida Blanca, the Spanish Minister, had adopted the system of seizing all neutral vessels, of whatever nation, that were found carrying British goods, and conveying them into Spanish ports as lawful prizes. This, as he calculated, raised the resentment of all the neutral Powers—Russia, Sweden, Denmark, Prussia, Holland, and the trading States of Italy—who denounced these outrages on their flag. But Florida Blanca replied, that so long as England was suffered to pursue this system, Spain must continue to make reprisals; that it was, however, in the power of the neutral nations to combine and defend their flags, by compelling England to desist. The result was as he had hoped. Catherine of Russia, who had hitherto considered herself an ally of England—who had, at one time, contemplated furnishing soldiers to assist in reducing the American rebels, and who protested against the monstrosity of France encouraging the colonies of England to throw off their allegiance—was suddenly induced to change her tone. On the 26th of February she issued her famous proclamation, "that free ships should make free goods." This meant that all neutral nations should continue to carry all kinds of articles to Powers at war with one another, without search or question, except such goods as were expressly specified in treaties. Sweden, Denmark, Prussia, France, and Spain, all readily entered into this league, which assumed the name of the "Armed Neutrality," the object of which, though ostensibly to control all belligerent Powers, was really to suppress the naval power of England. Holland eulogised this league, but did not yet venture to join it; but prohibited the exportation of stores to our garrison in Gibraltar, whilst her ships were busy carrying supplies to the Spanish besiegers. Sir Joseph Yorke, therefore, on the 21st of March, 1780, informed the States that, unless the stipulated help was furnished within three weeks, England would suspend, pro tempore, the regulations in favour of the Dutch commerce. The States still refused to furnish the succours, and at the specified time the privileges in question were suspended, though Count Welderen still continued in London, and Sir Joseph Yorke at the Hague. It was evident that Holland could not long continue in this position, and Frederick of Prussia was soliciting Catherine of Russia to enter into an engagement to protect the Dutch commerce in every quarter of the globe. If Frederick could have prevailed, he would have stirred up a universal crusade against England; but Catherine was not rash enough for this quixotism.详情
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