These proceedings called forth an opposite class of Associations, in which the clergy of the Establishment took the lead. The bishop and clergy of Worcester, and Dr. Watson, the bishop, and the clergy of Llandaff, met and presented addresses to the king, expressing their abhorrence of the doctrines of these Associations, which made no secret of their demand for "the rights of man—liberty and equality, no king, no Parliament;" and they expressed their conviction that this country already possessed more genuine liberty than any other nation whatever. They asserted that the Constitution, the Church, and State had received more improvements since the Revolution in 1688 than in all previous ages; that the Dissenters and Catholics had been greatly relieved, the judges had been rendered independent, and the laws in various ways more liberalised since the accession of his present Majesty than for several reigns previously. They asserted boldly that in no country could men rise from the lowest positions to affluence and honour, by trade, by the practice of the law, by other arts and professions, so well as in this; that the wealth everywhere visible, the general and increasing prosperity, testified to this fact, in happy contrast to the miserable condition of France. They concluded by recommending the formation of counter-associations in all parts of the country, to diffuse such constitutional sentiments and to expose the mischievous fallacies of the Democratic societies. This advice was speedily followed, and every neighbourhood became the arena of conflicting politics. The Democrats, inoculated by the wild views of French licence, injured the cause of real liberty and progress by their advocacy of the mob dominion of Paris; and the Constitutionalists, urged by the alarm and the zeal inspired by opposition, grew intolerant and persecuting. The eyes of thousands who had at first hailed the French Revolution as the happy dawn of a new era of liberty and brotherhood, were now opened by the horrors of the massacres of the French clergy in September of this year, and by the sight of swarms of priests, who had fled for security to London and were everywhere to be seen in the streets, destitute and dejected. A public meeting was called at the London Tavern towards the close of 1792, and a subscription entered into for their relief.But the British were in no condition to take advantage of American exhaustion. At a time when the Ministry at home had obtained the most magnificent grants from Parliament—grants for ninety thousand seamen, thirty thousand soldiers, and twenty-five millions of pounds to pay for them—there was scarcely a fleet on the American coasts, and nothing which could be called an army. Had Cornwallis been in possession of an adequate force, he would speedily have cleared all the Southern States. Wherever he came, even with his handful of men, he drove the Americans before him. He now took up his headquarters at Cross Creek, where he sought to rest his troops and recover his sick and wounded. He hoped there to establish a communication with Major Craig, who had been successfully dispatched to take possession of Wilmington, at the mouth of Cape Fear River, but this was not very practicable, and as the country about Cross Creek was destitute of the necessary supplies, Cornwallis himself descended to Wilmington, which he reached on the 7th of April. Colonel Webster and others of his wounded officers died on the march. Greene, with his fragment of an army, as badly provisioned as that of Cornwallis, followed them at a safe distance.
Sir Charles Barry was the architect of numerous buildings, but his greatest work was the New Palace of Westminster. When the old Houses of Parliament were burned down in 1834, amongst the numerous designs sent in Mr. Barry's was selected, and he had the honour of constructing the magnificent temple of legislation in which the most powerful body in the world debates and deliberates, upon the old, classic site, rendered sacred by so many events in our history. It has been disputed whether the style of the building is altogether worthy of the locality and the object, and whether grander and more appropriate effects might not have been produced by the vast sums expended. But it has been remarked in defence of the artist, that the design was made almost at the commencement of the revival of our national architecture, and that, this fact being considered, the impression will be one of admiration for the genius of the architect that conceived such a work; and the conviction will remain that by it Sir Charles Barry did real service to the progress of English art.On the 3rd of May Lord Cornwallis arrived on the coast with a squadron of transports, convoyed by Sir Peter Parker, with several ships of war. General Clinton arrived soon after, and took the command of the troops; and, in concert with Parker, he determined to attack Charleston, the capital of South Carolina. On the 4th of June they appeared off Charleston, and landed on Long Island. They found the mouth of the harbour strongly defended by fortifications on Sullivan's Island, and by others on Hadrell's Point on its north. On the point lay encamped the American General Lee. Clinton threw up two batteries on Long Island to command those on Sullivan island, whilst Parker, from the ships, was to assist in covering the landing of the troops on that Island. Clinton was informed that he could easily cross from one island to the other by a ford; and consequently, on the morning of the 28th of June, Sir Peter Parker drew up his men-of-war—three vessels of fifty guns each, and six frigates of twenty-eight guns each, besides another of twenty-four guns and the Thunder bomb. But he had been deceived; what was called a ford, he found impassable. He was compelled to reimbark his troops, and meanwhile Parker's vessels, also unacquainted with their ground, ran upon a shoal, where one of them struck. In these unfortunate circumstances, the Americans, from the island and from Hadrell's Point, poured a tremendous fire into the ships, doing dreadful execution. Clinton sailed away, after this ignominious attempt to join General Howe, but some of the vessels were compelled to remain some time at Long Island to refit.
Trautmansdorff declared that, if necessary, forty thousand troops should be marched into the country; but this was an empty boast, for Joseph had so completely engaged his army against Turkey, that he could only send a thousand men into the Netherlands. On the contrary, the French Revolutionists offered the oppressed Netherlands speedy aid, and the Duke d'Aremberg, the Archbishop of Malines, and other nobles and dignitaries of the Church, met at Breda on the 14th of September, and proclaimed themselves the legitimate Assembly of the States of Brabant. They sent the plainest remonstrances to the Emperor, declaring that unless he immediately repealed his arbitrary edicts, and restored their Great Charter, they would assert their rights by the sword. In proof that these were no empty vaunts, the militia and volunteers again flew to arms. Scarcely a month had passed after the repeal of the Joyeuse Entrée before a number of collisions had taken place between these citizen soldiers and the Imperial troops. In Tirlemont, Louvain, Antwerp, and Mons blood was shed. At Diest, the patriots, led on by the monks, drove out the troops and the magistrates. Dalton and Trautmansdorff, instead of fulfilling their menace, appeared paralysed.
There was one irritating circumstance connected with the Emancipation Act: the words, "thereafter to be elected," were introduced for the purpose of preventing O'Connell from taking his seat in virtue of the election of 1828. The Irish Roman Catholics considered this legislating against an individual an act unworthy of the British Senate—and, as against the great Catholic advocate, a mean, vindictive, and discreditable deed. But it was admitted that Wellington and Peel were not to blame for it; that on their part it was a pacificatory concession to dogged bigotry in high places. Mr. Fagan states that Mr. O'Connell was willing to give up the county of Clare to Mr. Vesey Fitzgerald, and to go into Parliament himself for a borough, adding that he had absolutely offered 3,000 guineas to Sir Edward Denny for the borough of Tralee, which had always been regularly sold, and was, in point of fact, assigned as a fortune under a marriage settlement. Mr. Vesey Fitzgerald, however, rather scornfully rejected the offer, and Mr. O'Connell himself appeared in the House of Commons on the 15th of May, to try whether he would be permitted to take his seat. In the course of an hour, we are told, the heads of his speech were arranged, and written on a small card. The event was expected, and the House was crowded to excess. At five o'clock the Speaker called on any new member desiring to be sworn to come to the table. O'Connell accordingly presented himself, introduced by Lords Ebrington and Duncannon. He remained for some time standing at the table, pointing out the oaths he was willing to take, namely, those required by the new Act, and handing in the certificate of his return and qualifications. His refusal to take the oaths of supremacy and abjuration having been reported to the Speaker, he was directed to withdraw, when Mr. Brougham moved that he should be heard at the bar, to account for his refusal. But on the motion of Mr. Peel, after a long discussion, the consideration of the question was deferred till the 18th. The Times of the next day stated that the narrative of the proceeding could convey but an imperfect idea of the silent, the almost breathless attention with which he was received in the House, advancing to and retiring from the table. The benches were filled in an unusual degree with members, and there was no recollection of so large a number of peers brought by curiosity into the House of Commons. The Speaker's expression of countenance and manner towards the honourable gentleman were extremely courteous, and his declaration that he "must withdraw," firm and authoritative. Mr. O'Connell, for a moment, looked round as one who had reason to expect support, and this failing, he bowed most respectfully, and withdrew.
Meanwhile the war had continued, and with the commencement of 1841 fortune began to favour the British. The Chinese position at the mouth of the Canton river was forced, and the Emperor was compelled to send a Commissioner, Keshin by name, to treat with the "outer barbarians." Keshin cunningly transferred the scene of negotiations to Canton, in order to secure time to strengthen the forts and prepare for defence. He accordingly employed the interval busily in erecting new batteries at the Bogue, barricading the bars in the river by sinking boats laden with stones, throwing up breastworks near Canton, and levying troops. The British Commissioner, wearied and irritated by these proceedings, gave directions to Commodore Bremer to proceed at once to compulsory methods of bringing the Chinese to reason. On the 7th of January, therefore, he opened fire on the Bogue forts, on two of which the British flag very soon floated. Next morning, when everything was ready to attack the principal fort, Annughoy, a flag of truce was sent by the Chinese, and hostilities were suspended. Keshin offered to adjust matters immediately, and on the 20th a circular appeared, signed by Captain Elliot, and dated Macao, addressed to "Her Britannic Majesty's subjects," stating that her Majesty's plenipotentiary had to announce the conclusion of preliminary arrangements between the Imperial Commissioner and himself, involving the following conditions:—1st. The cession of the harbour and island of Hong Kong to the British Crown. 2nd. An indemnity to the British Government of 6,000,000 dollars, to be paid in annual instalments in six years. 3rd. Direct official intercourse between the two countries upon equal footing. It was quite evident that her Majesty's plenipotentiary did not understand the sort of people he had to deal with; otherwise, he would not have arrested the operations of Commodore Bremer till he had all the principal forts in his possession. In fact he was completely duped by Keshin.In September, 1791, the Assembly, having completed the Constitution, which was accepted by the king, dissolved. Its place was taken by the National Legislative Assembly, which met on the 1st of October. As the Jacobins had expected, the elections of the Departments had occupied but little attention. The public gaze had been fixed on the acts of the Assembly about to retire, so that a race of new men appeared, which seemed at first to divide itself into two parties—the Coté Droit, or Constitutional party, and the Coté Gauche, or Democratic party; but the latter party soon divided itself into two, the Mountain and the Gironde. It is difficult to discern the distinguishing traits of these two Revolutionary parties. At first they all worked together, clearly for the downfall of the monarchy. Robespierre, Petion, Marat, Danton, were associated with those who afterwards divided themselves into the Gironde, with Condorcet, Brissot, the Rolands, and Vergniaud. Though Robespierre, Petion, and Danton were no longer in the Assembly, they ruled the Jacobin party there from the clubs. It was not till the question of war arose that the split took place. The Jacobins and Girondists were for war, Robespierre was obstinately against it. At first he stood nearly alone, but by degrees, though he did not draw the Jacobins very soon to his views, he drew them speedily away from the Girondists. This party of the Girondists had been growing and forming for some time. It took its rise originally at Bordeaux, the great commercial city of the department of the Gironde. Bordeaux was of Roman origin. It had always displayed a warm love of independence, which its Parliaments had continually kept alive. It had of late years become the chief commercial link between France and the revolutionised United States. It had early, too, become leavened with the new philosophy; it was the birthplace of Montaigne and Montesquieu. The Gironde sent up to the new Assembly twelve deputies, all as yet unknown, but all deeply imbued with the new principles. These, on arriving in Paris, soon found themselves mixed up, at the house of Condorcet and the Rolands, with Robespierre, Danton, Petion, Buzot, Brissot, Carra-Louvet, Thomas Paine, and, in fact, nearly all the thorough Revolutionists. The active centre of the whole party, up to the period of the question of the war against the Emigrants, was Madame Roland, and such she continued to be of the Girondists after their separation into a distinct party, and after that they had become the antagonists of the Mountain or Jacobin party.On the 26th of March the Marquis of Chandos made an attempt to obtain some relief for the agricultural interest, which was then in a very depressed state, and the measure he proposed was the abolition of the malt tax, which brought in the sum of ￡4,812,000. Sir Robert Peel prophesied that if this tax were abolished they would be in for a property tax. He said: "My prophecy is, that if you repeal this tax you will make an income tax necessary; to that, be assured, you must come at last, if you repeal the malt tax. You will lay your taxes on articles of general consumption—on tobacco, on spirits, on wine—and you will meet with such a storm that will make you hastily recede from your first advances towards a substitute. To a property tax, then, you must come; and I congratulate you, gentlemen of the landed interest, on finding yourselves relieved from the pressure of the malt tax, and falling on a good, comfortable property tax, with a proposal, probably, for a graduated scale. And you who represent the heavy land of this country, the clay soils—the soils unfit for barley—I felicitate you on the prospect that lies before you. If you think that the substitute will be advantageous to your interests, be it so; but do not—when hereafter you discover your mistake—do not lay the blame upon those who offered you a timely warning, and cautioned you against exchanging the light pressure of a malt duty for the scourge of a property tax." The motion was rejected by a majority of 350 to 192.
THE ADMIRALTY, LONDON.There was a sort of understanding in those times that Hyde Park was the peculiar preserve of the aristocracy. Women of notoriously bad reputation would not then have dared to show themselves in Rotten Row, and the middle and lower classes of London did not think of intruding themselves as equestrians upon the pleasure-ground of the nobility. At that time it was every way more retired; the walks were fewer, and cows and deer were seen quietly grazing under clumps of trees. The frequenters of the park, who then congregated daily about five o'clock, were chiefly composed of dandies and ladies in the best society; the former, well-mounted and dressed in a blue coat, with brass buttons, leather breeches and top-boots, with a tremendously deep, stiff, white cravat, and high shirt-collar, which rendered stooping impossible. Many of the ladies used to drive round the park in a carriage, called a vis-à-vis, which held only two persons, having a hammer-cloth rich in heraldic designs, powdered footmen in smart liveries, and a coachman who assumed all the airs and importance of a wigged archbishop.In Canada the management of the war was more successful. To maintain the war in that quarter, Congress had ordered nine regiments to be raised. One of these was to be raised in Canada itself, and for this purpose a commission was given to Moses Hazen, who had formerly been a captain of rangers, under Wolfe. He was not, however, very successful. The Canadians were not to any extent disaffected to the British Government, and by no means well affected to the New Englanders, who were bitterly bigoted against Catholics, which the Canadians chiefly were. When Hazen and Arnold saw that the Canadians would neither enlist nor bring provisions to their camps, without cash payment, they commenced plundering for all that they wanted, and thus confirmed that people in their hatred of the Americans. They, moreover, insulted the Canadians by ridiculing their rites of worship.
The Ministry lost no time in introducing their Irish measures—the new Municipal Reform Bill and the Bill for the Relief of the Poor. The former, after three nights' debate, passed the Commons by a majority—302 to 247. It was during this debate that Mr. Sheil delivered his brilliant reply to the indiscreet and unstatesmanlike taunt of Lord Lyndhurst, who, when speaking on the same question in the Upper House, declared that the Irish were "aliens in blood, in language, and religion." "The Duke of Wellington," said Mr. Sheil, "is not a man of sudden emotions; but he should not, when he heard that word used, have forgotten Vimiera, Badajoz, and Salamanca, and Toulouse, and the last glorious conflict which crowned all his former victories. On that day, when the destinies of mankind were trembling in the balance, when the batteries spread slaughter over the field, and the legions of France rushed again and again to the onset, did the 'aliens' then flinch? On that day the blood of the men of England, of Ireland, and of Scotland was poured forth together. They fought on the same field, they died the same death, they were stretched in the same pit; their dust was commingled; the same dew of heaven fell on the grass that covered them; the same grass sprang from the soil in which they reposed together. And is it to be endured that we are to be called aliens and strangers to that empire for whose salvation our best blood has been poured out?"The year 1743 opened with a mighty struggle on the subject of gin. In 1736, as we have seen, the awful increase of drunkenness, which was attributed to the cheapness of gin, induced a majority of the House of Commons to pass an Act levying twenty shillings a gallon duty upon the liquor, and charging every vendor of it fifty pounds per annum for a licence. Walpole at the time declared that such an attempt to place gin beyond the reach of the poor consumers would fail; that it would fail equally as a source of revenue, for it would lead to wholesale smuggling and every possible evasion of the law. The event had proved Walpole only too correct in his prognostications. So far from checking the use of gin, the Act had stimulated it enormously. The licences, so preposterously high, were wholly neglected; no duty was paid, yet the destructive liquid was sold at every street corner. Ministers now saw that, by attempting too much, every thing in this case had been lost. They were sacrificing the revenues only to sacrifice the well-being of the people. They determined, therefore, to reduce the licences from fifty pounds to one pound per annum, and at the same time to retain a moderate duty on the liquor. By this means the fatal compound would remain much at the same price, but the vendors would be induced to take out licences, and the revenues would be greatly improved, whilst the whole sale of the article would be more under the restraints of law and police. A Bill was framed on these principles, and passed rapidly through the Commons; but in the Lords it encountered a determined opposition. It was, however, carried entire, and, says Smollett, "we cannot help averring that it has not been attended with those dismal consequences which the Lords in the Opposition foretold."
Prince Ferdinand this summer had to contend with numerous armies of the French. De Broglie marched from Frankfort into Hesse with a hundred thousand men. On the 10th of July they met the hereditary Prince of Brunswick at Corbach, and defeated him, though he gained a decided advantage over them a few days after at Emsdorf, taking the commander of the division and five battalions prisoners. This was followed by Ferdinand himself, who was at Warburg, where he took ten pieces of artillery, killed one thousand five hundred of the French, and drove them into the Dimel, where many were drowned. The British cavalry had the greatest share in this victory. In fact, the Marquis of Granby led them on all occasions with such spirit and bravery, that Ferdinand placed them continually in the post of danger, where of course they suffered more severely than the other troops.
Many improvements were made also in the glass manufacture during this reign, and more would undoubtedly have been made but for the very heavy duties upon it to help to support the ruinous wars of the period. In 1760, the first year of the reign, crown glass is said to have been introduced. In 1763 the first glass plates for looking-glasses and coach-windows were made at Lambeth. In 1779 flint-glass was first made; and about that time plate-glass. The duties on different kinds of glass at that date were about one hundred and forty thousand pounds per annum. So oppressive were those duties that, in 1785, the St. Helens Plate-glass Company petitioned Parliament, stating that, in consequence of the weight of taxation, notwithstanding an expenditure of one hundred thousand pounds, they had not been able to declare a dividend.
The progress in the manufacture of hardware is strikingly exhibited by the increase of the population of Birmingham. According to the census of 1821, it was 106,722; in 1831 it was 146,986; in 1841 it was 181,116, showing an increase of 80 per cent. in twenty years. The number of houses during the same period was nearly doubled. Mr. Babbage has given a table, extracted from the books of a highly respectable house in Birmingham, showing the reduction in the price of various articles made of iron between 1812 and 1832, which varied from 40 to 80 per cent. The exportation of cutlery from England amounted in 1820 to about 7,000 tons; in 1839 it was 21,000 tons. Since 1820 the annual value of the exportations of hardware and cutlery increased about 50 per cent. The town of Sheffield is another remarkable instance of the growth of population in consequence of the manufacture of cutlery. In 1821 the population was 65,275; in 1841 it was 111,000. The various manufacturers of cutlery and plated goods, and the conversion of iron into steel, employed in 1835 upwards of 560 furnaces. The declared value of British-made plated ware, jewellery, and watches, exported from the United Kingdom in 1827 was ￡169,456; in 1839 it amounted to ￡258,076. The value of machinery shipped to foreign countries in 1831 was only ￡29,000; in 1836 it was ￡166,000; in 1837, ￡280,000; and in 1840, ￡374,000.详情
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