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Amongst the most distinguished persons captured were Lords Kilmarnock, Cromarty, Balmerino, Mordington, and Lovat. Cromarty, Balmerino, and Kilmarnock were brought to trial before the peers in Westminster Hall on the 28th of July. "Cromarty," says Horace Walpole, "was a timid man, and shed tears; and Kilmarnock, though behaving with more dignity, pleaded guilty, both expressing remorse for their past conduct, and their fervent good wishes for the person and government of the king." But old Balmerino, the hero of the party, pleaded not guilty, and took exceptions to the indictment. "He is," writes Walpole, "the most natural, brave old fellow I ever saw; the highest intrepidity, even to indifference." All these noblemen were pronounced guilty. Cromarty pleaded piteously the condition of his wife and family: that he left his wife enceinte, and eight innocent children to suffer for his fault. His wife's entreaties and the interest of the Prince of Wales saved him; Kilmarnock and Balmerino were beheaded.The next day all seemed quiet; but at evening, the men having got their Saturday's wages and their usual beer, there were some disturbances in Moorfields, and the mob abused some of the Catholics there. The next day, Sunday, the 4th, fresh crowds assembled in the same quarter, and attacked the houses and chapels of the Catholics, and this continued for the next three days. Troops were sent to quell them; but, having orders not to fire, the mob cared nothing for them. Some of the rioters took their way to Wapping and East Smithfield to destroy the Catholic chapels in that neighbourhood; and others burst into and plundered the shops and houses of Messrs. Rainsforth and Maberly, tradesmen, who had been bold enough to give evidence against the rioters taken on Friday. Another detachment took their way to Leicester Fields to ransack the house of Sir George Savile, the author of the Bill for the relaxation of the penal code against the Catholics. This they stripped and set fire to, and some of the pictures and furniture, as well as some of the effects taken from the Catholic chapels and houses in Moor fields, were paraded before the house of Lord George Gordon, in Welbeck Street, in triumph. The mob had now acquired a more desperate character. The fanatic members of the Protestant Association had retired in consternation from the work of destruction, seeing fresh elements introduced into it—elements not of simple religious frenzy, but of plunder and revolutionary fury. They had begun the disturbance, and the thieves, pickpockets, burglars, and all the vilest and most demoniacal tribes of the metropolis had most heartily taken it up.

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.

The Premier was at this time subjected to a great mortification in being compelled by the House of Commons, and public opinion out of doors, to cancel the appointment of the Marquis of Londonderry as ambassador to St. Petersburg. A deep sympathy with the oppressed Poles, and an abhorrence of the unrelenting despotism of Russia pervaded the public mind in the United Kingdom. The Marquis of Londonderry had distinguished himself by sympathies of an opposite kind, and had characterised the Poles as the Czar's rebellious subjects. It was generally felt that England could not be fairly represented at the Court of St. Petersburg by a man of such well-known sentiments. The press was loud in its condemnation of the appointment, and Mr. Sheil brought the subject before the House of Commons by moving that an Address be presented to his Majesty for a copy of the appointment. As Lord Stanley declared emphatically against the selection of the noble marquis for such a mission, it was evident that if Government had gone to a division they would have been defeated. Sir Robert Peel therefore gave way with a good grace, stating that the appointment had not been formally made out; and though the House seemed to be interfering unduly with the Royal Prerogative, he would not advise his Majesty to persist in it. The motion was then withdrawn, and when Lord Londonderry read the report of the debate in the papers next day, he immediately sent in his resignation. In announcing this in the House of Peers, he said: "Having but one object, and that to serve the king honestly and to the best of my ability, were I to depart from this country after what has passed in the House of Commons, I should feel myself, as a representative of his Majesty, placed in a new, false, and improper position. My efficiency would be impaired, and it would be impossible for me to fill the office to which I have been called with proper dignity or effect. Upon these grounds, I have now to announce that no consideration will induce me to accept the office which his Majesty has been graciously pleased to confer on me."[See larger version]In the meantime, the Ateliers Nationaux, or Government workshops, had, as might have been expected, miserably failed to answer their object, and the working classes were now in a state of great destitution and dangerous discontent. The number of persons employed in the national workshops had increased to 120,000; misery was extending to all classes of society; one half of Paris was said to be feeding the other half, and it was expected that in a short time there would not be a single manufacture in operation in Paris. It was therefore determined to reduce the number of workmen employed by the Government, and the[554] reduction was begun by sending back 3,000 who had come from the provinces. But having passed the barrier, 400 returned, and sent a deputation to the Executive Committee at the Palace of the Luxembourg. The interview was unsatisfactory, and the deputation marched through the streets, shouting, "Down with the Executive Commission! down with the Assembly!" They were joined by great numbers, and it was soon discovered that an insurrection had been fully organised; and, although next morning the National Guard appeared in great force in the streets, the people began to erect barricades at the Porte St. Denis, the Porte St. Martin, in the Faubourg St. Antoine, and in various other places. The Government had, however, made effectual arrangements for putting down the riots; but the army, the National Guard, and the Garde Mobile had to encounter the most desperate resistance. Paris was declared by the Assembly to be in a state of siege, and all the executive powers were delegated to General Cavaignac. Next day he was reinforced by large numbers of National Guards from the provinces. Sunday came, and the dreadful conflict still continued. In the evening of that day the President of the Assembly announced that the troops of the Republic were in possession of a great number of the strongholds of the insurgents, but at an immense loss of blood. Never had anything like it been seen in Paris. He hoped that all would that night be finished. This day (June 25th) was signalised by the murder of the Archbishop of Paris.

In 1820 our imports of foreign and colonial merchandise were valued at £32,000,000; our exports of foreign and colonial merchandise at £10,000,000; and our exports of British and Irish produce and manufactures at £38,000,000. In 1840 these sums had respectively increased to £67,000,000, £13,000,000, and £102,000,000, setting aside odd numbers. From 1831 to 1840 the average annual export of British produce and manufactures was £45,000,000, while in the nine subsequent years it was nearly £56,000,000. From[423] 1830 onwards the value of our exports to France increased sixfold, notwithstanding the jealous system of protection that prevails in that country. The sphere of our commercial operations was being continually enlarged from year to year, and the enterprise of our merchants was continually opening up fresh markets in distant parts of the world. The value of the exports of British and Irish produce in 1820 was as follows:—To Northern Europe, £11,000,000; to Southern Europe, £7,000,000; to Africa, £393,000; to Asia, nearly £4,000,000; to the United States of America, nearly £4,000,000; to the British North American Colonies and the West Indies, £5,750,000; to Central and South America, including Brazil, £3,000,000. The total value of our exports to foreign countries, and to our colonies in that year, was £36,000,000. In 1840 we exported the following quantities, which, it will be seen, show a large increase:—To Northern Europe, about £12,000,000; to Southern Europe, £9,000,000; to Africa, £1,500,000; to Asia, £9,000,000; to the United States, £5,250,000; to the British North American Colonies, £6,500,000; to the foreign West Indies, £1,000,000; to Central and Southern America, including Brazil, £6,000,000; total, £51,000,000: showing an increase of £15,000,000 in the annual value of our exports to foreign countries during twenty years.

[See larger version]The very day that Lord Cornwallis had marched from Wilmington, Lord Rawdon was bravely fighting with Greene at Hobkirk's Hill, in South Carolina. Greene had not ventured to attack Lord Cornwallis; but he thought he might, by diverting his course into South Carolina, induce him to follow, and thus leave exposed all North Carolina to Wayne and Lafayette, as well as all his important posts in the upper part of North Carolina. Greene failed to draw after him Cornwallis, but he sat down at Hobkirk's Hill, about two miles from the outposts of Lord Rawdon's camp at Camden. Lord Rawdon, hearing that Greene was waiting to be reinforced by troops under Lieutenant-Colonel Lee, did not give him time for that. He marched out of Camden, at nine o'clock in the morning, on the 25th of April, and quietly making a circuit through some woods, he came upon Greene's flank, and drove in his pickets before he was perceived. Startled from his repose, Greene sought to return the surprise by sending Colonel Washington, a nephew of the American commander-in-chief, with a body of cavalry, to fall on Rawdon's rear, as he was passing up the hill. But Rawdon was aware of this man?uvre, and prevented it, still pressing up Hobkirk's Hill, in the face of the artillery, charged with grape-shot. Greene's militia fled[281] with all speed, and Rawdon stood triumphant on the summit of the hill, in the centre of Greene's camp. But the success was not followed up, owing to the insufficiency of the English troops, and Greene was able, without risking another engagement, to compel Rawdon to retire to Charleston. The American general encamped on the Santee Hills until September, when he descended on Colonel Stewart, who had succeeded Rawdon. After a severe struggle at Eutaw Springs on the 8th of September, Stewart retired to Charleston Neck, and all Georgia and South Carolina were lost to the English, with the exception of Charleston and Savannah. Meanwhile, Lord Cornwallis only allowed himself three days' rest at Presburg; he marched thence, on the 24th of May, in quest of Lafayette, who was encamped on the James River. Cornwallis crossed that river at Westover, about thirty miles below Lafayette's camp, and that nimble officer retreated in all haste to join General Wayne, who was marching through Maryland with a small force of eight hundred Pennsylvanians. Lafayette and Wayne retreated up the James River, and Cornwallis pursued his march to Portsmouth. There he received an order from Sir Henry Clinton, desiring him to look out for a position where he could fortify himself, and at the same time protect such shipping as might be sent to the Chesapeake to prevent the entrance of the French. Cornwallis fixed on York Town, on York River, and there, and at Gloucester, in its vicinity, he was settled with his troops by the 22nd of August. Sir Henry Clinton wrote, intimating that he should probably send more troops to the Chesapeake, as there was a probability that Washington and Rochambeau, giving up the attack of New York, would make a united descent on York Town. Wayne and Lafayette were already continually increasing their forces above York Town; but any such reinforcements by Sir Henry were prevented by the entrance of the Comte de Grasse, with twenty-eight sail of the line and several frigates, into the Chesapeake, having on board three thousand two hundred troops, which he had brought from the West Indies. These troops he landed, and sent, under the Marquis de St Simon, to join Lafayette, much to his delight.JOHN WESLEY.

In all those arts which increase the prosperity of a nation England made the most remarkable progress during this reign. A number of men, springing chiefly from its working or manufacturing orders, arose, who introduced inventions and improvements in practical science, which added, in a most wonderful degree, to the industrial resources of the country. Agriculture at the commencement of the reign was in a sluggish and slovenly condition, but the increase of population, and the augmented price of corn and cattle, led to numerous enclosures of waste lands, and to improvements both in agricultural implements and in the breeds of sheep and cattle. During the thirty-three years of the reign of George II. the number of enclosures averaged only seven per annum, but in the first twenty-five years of the reign of George III. they amounted to forty-seven per annum. During that period the number of enclosures was one thousand one hundred and eighty-six, the number each year rapidly increasing. The value of the produce also stimulated the spirit of improvement in tillage as well as enclosure. Many gentlemen, especially in Northumberland, Kent, Norfolk, and Suffolk, devoted themselves to agricultural science. They introduced rotation of crops instead of fallows, and better manuring, and also cultivated various vegetables on a large scale in the fields which before had generally been confined to the garden, as turnips, carrots, potatoes, cabbage, parsnips, etc. Their example began to be followed by the ordinary class of farmers, and the raising of rents greatly quickened this imitation. At the opening of the reign the rental of land did not exceed ten shillings per acre on an[188] average; the rental of the whole kingdom in 1769 being sixteen million pounds, according to Arthur Young, but in a few years it was nearly doubled. This gentleman, who has left us so much knowledge of the agricultural state of the kingdom in his "Tours of Survey," tells us that, northward especially, the old lumbering ploughs and other clumsy instruments were still in use, instead of the improved ones, and that there was, therefore, a great waste of labour, both of man and beast, in consequence. But still improvement was slowly spreading, and already Bakewell was engaged in those experiments which introduced, instead of the old large-headed and ill-shaped sheep, a breed of superior symmetry, which at once consumed less food and yielded a heavier carcase. It was at first contemptuously said by the old race of farmers and graziers, that Bakewell's new herd of sheep was too dear for any one to purchase and too fat for any one to eat. As he was pursuing his improvements in Leicestershire, Culley prosecuted similar ones in Northumberland in both sheep and cattle.

The king's speech at the opening of Parliament, and the martial tone of the speeches by the members of both Houses, exceedingly exasperated Napoleon; for though preparing for war he was scarcely ready, and meant to have carried on the farce of peace a little longer. Talleyrand demanded of Lord Whitworth the reason of this ebullition of the British Parliament and of the Press. Lord Whitworth replied, as he had done regarding the comments on the trial of Peltier, that it was the direct result of the insulting articles in the Moniteur, which was known to be the organ of the French Government; whereas, in Britain, the Government had no direct control, either over the speeches in Parliament or over the press. Talleyrand and Whitworth again discussed all the vexed questions of the retention of Malta, the conduct of Colonel Sebastiani in the East, the aggressions of Napoleon in Italy, Germany, and Switzerland, in violation of the Treaty of Amiens; and Lord Whitworth declared that all Britain wanted was, that the Treaty should be faithfully carried out on both sides; that we were ready to evacuate Malta, and recall our complaints, on that being done. But this was what Napoleon was resolved never to do, and he therefore resorted to the most extraordinary insults to the British Ambassador. He requested Lord Whitworth to call at the Tuileries at nine o'clock in the evening of the day on which he had had his conference with Talleyrand. Napoleon had, by an assumption of extreme hauteur and impetuosity, frightened the Austrian Ambassador at Campo Formio, and he probably thought of frightening the British one; but Britain had not been beaten like Austria, and such a proceeding could only enrage the British people. In this interview, Buonaparte ran over, in a rapid and excited harangue of two hours' length, scarcely permitting Lord Whitworth to interpose a word of reply, all the alleged causes of dissatisfaction with England; at one moment threatening to invade it, if it cost him his life; at another, proposing that France and England should unite to rule the Continent, and offering to share with it all the benefits of such an alliance. Lord Whitworth replied, as before, that the British Government desired nothing but the bona fide execution of the Treaty of Amiens, and could not for a[488] moment entertain such schemes of aggression and domination as the First Consul proposed to her. He began to comment gravely on the aggressions in Switzerland and Italy, but Buonaparte cut him short angrily, saying those things were no business of his and that he had no right to talk of them. There was a fresh interview with Talleyrand, and fresh notes from him and Andreossi of the same character. A similar though more violent scene occurred at a levee on the 13th of March, in which Napoleon passionately accused Britain of driving France into war. A shrewd observer, Madame de Rémusat, was of opinion that his rage was simulated.But the matters most important, and in which the Rockingham Ministry succeeded the best, were those of attempting to accomplish the peace with America, and with the Continental nations, on which they had so long and so loudly insisted. Fox first tried his diplomatic genius with the Dutch, whom he could, as he boasted, soon conciliate; but, to his infinite chagrin, that calculating people were so elated by the recent ill success of the English, and relied so completely on the powerful fleets of France and Spain to protect their trade and islands, that they returned a contemptuous answer, declaring that they could not treat without their allies. Still more mortifying was his repulse by the Americans. His offers of negotiations for peace were received with a haughty indifference by Congress, and he was[292] again referred to France. Fox now had recourse to the mediations of Russia and Prussia. But Frederick the Great declined to intervene, and the Czarina Catherine coupled her offers of alliance with conditions which the king and the majority of the Cabinet refused to accept, though Fox thought they were reasonable.

Howe, who, with seven thousand soldiers and more than one thousand sailors, did not feel himself safe at New York till the new reinforcements should arrive, sailed away to Halifax—a circumstance which gave the appearance of a retreat to his change of locality, and had thus a bad effect in more ways than one. Washington, who was informed of his final destination, immediately marched with the greater part of his army to New York, and thence went himself to Philadelphia to concert future measures with the Congress. This body, in commemoration of the surrender of Boston, ordered a medal to be struck in honour of it, and that it should bear the effigy of Washington, with the title of the Asserter of the Liberties of his Country. The medal was cast in France.The army of Lord Cornwallis, which had so triumphantly pursued Washington through the Jerseys, supposing the Americans now put beyond all possibility of action, if not wholly dispersed, lay carelessly in their cantonments on the left bank of the Delaware. The two main outposts, Trenton and Bordentown, were entrusted to bodies of Hessians. At Trenton lay Colonel Rahl, and at Bordentown Count Donop. As the Christmas of 1776 was approaching, they had abandoned all discipline. The British officers, too, had mostly quitted their regiments, and had gone to enjoy the Christmas at New York, where General Howe was keeping up great hospitality, imagining the war to be fast drawing to a close. But if the English paid no attention to Washington, he was paying every attention to them. His plans arranged, he set out on the evening of Christmas day, 1776, and crossed the river at Mackonkey's Ferry, nine miles above Trenton, to attack that fort. The river was so encumbered with ice that he found it a most arduous undertaking, but he accomplished it with the division immediately under his command—two thousand four hundred in number. He continued his march through the night on Trenton, and reached it at about eight o'clock in the morning. A trusted spy had informed him over night, that he had seen the soldiers, both British and Hessians, asleep, steeped in drink. When he arrived, the soldiers still lay sunk in their Christmas debauch; and it was only by the first crash of the cannon that they were roused. When they ran to arms Washington had already invested the town. The brave Colonel Rahl, in his endeavour to form his drunken troops, and lead them on, was mortally wounded by an American rifle, almost at the first discharge. The light horse and a portion of the infantry, who fled on the first alarm, escaped to Bordentown. The main body attempted to retreat by the Princeton Road, but found it already occupied by Colonel Hand and his regiment of Pennsylvanian riflemen. Thus cut off, ignorant of the force opposed to them, and without enthusiasm for the cause, they threw down their arms and surrendered. About a thousand prisoners and six cannon were taken. The Americans had two killed, two frozen to death, and a few wounded. As soon as Washington had refreshed his men, he re-crossed the Delaware, carrying with him his prisoners, the stores he had taken, and the six field-pieces that he brought with him.

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The new British Parliament met on November 26, and Ministers were seen to have a powerful majority. The king announced, in his speech from the throne, that hostilities had broken out in India with Tippoo, and that a peace had been effected between Russia and Sweden, and he mentioned the endeavours that were in progress for restoring amity between the Emperor of Austria and his subjects in the Netherlands. In the debate on the Address in the Commons, Fox appeared inclined still to laud France, and to condemn our interference in the Netherlands. His eyes were not yet opened to the real danger from France, whose example was indeed exciting popular disturbances in the Netherlands and in Poland. Already the doctrines of Liberty and Equality had reached the ears of the negroes in St. Domingo, who had risen to claim the rights of man so amiably proclaimed by France, and the troops of France were on their way thither to endeavour to put them down, in direct contradiction of their own boasted political philosophy. In the Lords, Earl Grey—the father of the Whig statesman—on the 13th of December, called for the production of papers relating to Nootka Sound. The motion was negatived by two hundred and fifty-eight against one hundred and thirty-four votes. But the Marquis of Lansdowne contended that Spain had a right to the whole of the North American coast on which Nootka Sound is situated, and had had it since the reign of Queen Elizabeth. He asserted that we had insulted the weakness of Spain; and that Mr. Mears and the other projectors of the trading settlement of Nootka Sound were a set of young men of letters, seeking for novelties. He completely overlooked the provocations which[376] Spain had lately given us, and her endeavours to enter into a conjunction with France against us. He condemned Ministers for having alienated France, Spain, Russia, Denmark, and Sweden, overlooking the fact that they had made alliances with Prussia, Austria, Holland, and the Netherlands. Pitt's cousin, Lord Grenville, replied to this one-sided view of things, and proudly contrasted the position of Britain at this moment to what it was at the conclusion of the American War, when Lord Lansdowne himself, as Lord Shelburne, had been in the Ministry. Pitt, on the 15th of December, stated that the expenses of the late armament, and the sums necessary to keep up the increased number of soldiers and sailors for another year, before which they could not be well disbanded, owing to certain aspects of things abroad, would amount to something more than three millions, which he proposed to raise by increasing the taxes on sugar, on British and foreign spirits, malt, and game licences, as well as raising the assessed taxes, except the commutation and land taxes. He stated that there was a standing balance of six hundred thousand pounds to the credit of the Government in the Bank of England, which he proposed to appropriate to the discharge of part of the amount. He, moreover, introduced a variety of regulations to check the frauds practised in the taxes upon receipts and bills of exchange, which he calculated at three hundred thousand pounds per annum. With this, Parliament adjourned for the Christmas recess, and thus closed the eventful year of 1790.In England a remarkable event closed the year 1810—the appointment of a Regency. For some time the old malady of the king had returned upon him. He had not attended to open and close the last Session of Parliament, and there was a general impression as to the cause. But on the 25th of October, when Parliament had voted the celebration of a general jubilee, on the king's entrance upon the fiftieth year of his reign, it was announced publicly that his Majesty was no longer capable of conducting public business, and the House of Commons adjourned for a fortnight. This was a melancholy jubilee, so far as the king and his family were concerned; but the nation celebrated it everywhere with an affectionate zeal and loyalty. The royal malady had been precipitated by the death of his favourite daughter Amelia. On the 20th or 21st of October he visited her on her death-bed, and she put on his finger a ring, containing her own hair, and with the motto, "Remember me when I am gone." This simple but sorrowful act completed the mischief in progress, and George retired from the bedside of his dying daughter a confirmed lunatic. The princess died on the 2nd of November, but her father was past consciousness of the event.

In the West Indies a small squadron and some land troops took the islands of Tobago, St. Pierre, and Miquelon. At the invitation of the planters, we also took possession of the western or French portion of St. Domingo; but in Martinique, where we had had the same invitation, the Royalist French did not support our efforts according to promise, and the enterprise failed from the smallness of the force employed. Besides these transactions, there occurred a severe fight between Captain Courteney, of the frigate Boston, with only thirty-two guns and two hundred men, and the Ambuscade, a French frigate of thirty-six guns and four hundred picked men, in which both received much damage, and in which Captain Courteney was killed, but in which the Frenchman was compelled to haul off. In the East Indies we again seized Pondicherry, and all the small factories of the French.[See larger version]

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