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Lord John Russell, who introduced the measure, Lord Althorp, Mr. Smith of Norwich, and Mr. Ferguson pleaded the cause of the Dissenters with unanswerable arguments. They showed that the Church was not now in danger; that there was no existing party bent on subverting the Constitution; that in the cases where the tests were not exacted during the last half century there was no instance of a Dissenter holding office who had abused his trust; that though the Test Act had been practically in abeyance during all that time, the Church had suffered no harm. Why, then, preserve an offensive and discreditable Act upon the Statute Book? Why keep up invidious distinctions when there was no pretence of necessity for retaining them? Why, without the shadow of proof, presume disaffection against any class of the community? Even the members of the Established Church of Scotland might be, by those tests and[266] penalties, debarred from serving their Sovereign unless they renounced their religion. A whole nation was thus proscribed upon the idle pretext that it was necessary to defend the church of another nation. It was asked, Did the Church of England aspire, like the Mussulmans of Turkey, to be exclusively charged with the defence of the empire? If so, let the Presbyterians and Dissenters withdraw, and it would be seen what sort of defence it would have. Take from the field of Waterloo the Scottish regiments; take away, too, the sons of Ireland: what then would have been the chance of victory? If they sought the aid of Scottish and Irish soldiers in the hour of peril, why deny them equal rights and privileges in times of peace? Besides, the Church could derive no real strength from exclusion and coercion, which only generated ill-will and a rankling feeling of injustice. The Established Church of Scotland had been safe without any Test and Corporation Acts. They had been abolished in Ireland half a century ago without any evil accruing to the Church in that country. It was contrary to the spirit of the age to keep up irritating yet inefficient and impracticable restrictions, which were a disgrace to the Statute Book.The great meeting had been intended to take place on the 9th of August; and on the 31st of July an advertisement appeared in the Manchester Observer calling on the inhabitants to meet on the 9th in the area near St. Peter's Church for the purpose of electing a representative to Parliament, as well as for adopting Major Cartwright's plan of Parliamentary Reform. This immediately drew from the magistrates a notice that such a meeting would be illegal, and that those who attended it would do so at their peril. The working men on this announced that the meeting would not take place, and a requisition was presented to the borough-reeve and constables, requesting leave to hold such a meeting. It was refused; and on its refusal the people proceeded with their original design, only appointing the 16th as the day of meeting, with Hunt in the chair.

Encouraged by their success against the commercial treaty, the Whigs demanded that the Pretender, according to the Treaty of Peace, should be requested to quit France. It had been proposed by the French Court, and privately acceded to by Anne, that he should take up his residence at Bar-le-duc or Lorraine. The Duke of Lorraine had taken care to inquire whether this would be agreeable to the queen, and was assured by her Minister that it would be quite so. As his territory—though really a portion of France—was nominally an independent territory, it seemed to comply with the terms of the Treaty; but the Whigs knew that this was a weak point, and on the 29th of June Lord Wharton, without any previous notice, moved in the Peers that the Pretender should remove from the Duke of Lorraine's dominions. The Court party was completely taken by surprise, and there was an awkward pause. At length Lord North ventured to suggest that such a request would show distrust of her Majesty; and he asked where was the Pretender to retire to, seeing that most, if not all, the Powers of Europe were on as friendly terms with the king as the Duke of Lorraine. Lord Peterborough sarcastically remarked that as the Pretender had begun his studies at Paris, he might very fitly go and finish them at Rome. No one, however, dared to oppose the motion, which was accordingly carried unanimously. On the 1st of July, only two days afterwards, General Stanhope made a similar motion in the House of Commons, which was equally afraid to oppose it, seeing that the House was still under the Triennial Act, and this was its last session. The slightest expression in favour of the Pretender would have to be answered on the hustings, and there was a long silence. Sir William Whitelock, however, was bold enough to throw out a significant remark, that he remembered the like address being formerly made to the Protector to have King Charles Stuart removed out of France, "leaving to every member's mind to suggest how soon after he returned to the throne of England notwithstanding." The addresses carried up from both Houses were received by the queen with an air of acquiescence, and with promises to do her best to have the Pretender removed. Prior, in Paris, was directed to make the wishes of the public known to the French Government. But this was merely pro forma; it was understood that there was no real earnestness on the part of the English queen or ministry. Prior, writing to Bolingbroke, said that De Torcy asked him questions, which for the best reason in the world he did not answer; as, for instance, "How can we oblige a man to go from one place when we forbid all others to receive him?" In fact, the Abbé Gualtier, in his private correspondence, assures us that Bolingbroke himself suggested to the Duke of Lorraine the pretexts for eluding the very commands that he publicly sent him.

CHAPTER III. THE REIGN OF GEORGE II.

In 1817 the number of power-looms in Lancashire was estimated at 2,000, of which only about 1,000 were then in employment, and the wages had fallen below the rate at which goods could be produced by machinery. To the power-loom, therefore, the hand-loom weavers gradually gave way. In 1832 there were 80,000 power-looms in Lancashire, employing persons of both sexes and of all ages from nine years upwards, at rates of wages varying from half-a-crown to ten shillings a week. In 1817 the estimated number of persons employed in the spinning of cotton in Great Britain was 110,763, and the quantity of yarn produced was under 100,000,000 lbs.; in 1853 the yarn spun was nearly 700,000,000 lbs. In 1838 the total number of cotton factories in Great Britain and Ireland was 1,815, of which there were in England and Wales, 1,599; in Scotland, 192; in Ireland, 24. The total number of persons employed in these factories was 206,000, of whom 145,934 were females.

[See larger version]These acquisitions were more valuable for the defence which they afforded the British than for the direct income, which did not amount to more than half a million sterling a year; but they included all Tippoo's dominions on the coast of Malabar, thus cutting off his mischievous communications with the French by sea. It would have been easy at this time to have stripped Tippoo of the whole of Mysore, but it was not deemed politic. We were far from having great faith in the continued fidelity of the Mahrattas, and it was thought necessary not to remove the check which the existence of Tippoo's power, and his desire for revenge on the Mahrattas, presented. Besides, the finances of India were in a very embarrassed state, and the question of Indian war was unpopular in Britain. With all the territory resigned to the Indian allies, Lord Cornwallis could not avoid giving deep offence to the Mahrattas, who desired to obtain a regiment of British troops in pay. The ill-concealed jealousy between them and the Nizam made an outbreak between these States very possible; and the moody resentment of Tippoo, who writhed under his humiliation, added greatly to the uncertainty of long-continued peace. On the other hand, the soldiers were highly discontented at not having had the opportunity of plundering the opulent city of Seringapatam; and to soothe them Cornwallis and General Medows, the second in command, surrendered to them their shares of prize money, and the former ordered them, besides, six months' batta out of the money paid by Tippoo.

The poets who most retained the robes of the past, without disguising the divine form within, were the Rev. George Crabbe and Cowper. The poetry of Crabbe, all written in the metre of Pope, is, nevertheless, instinct with the very soul of nature. It chooses the simplest, and often the least apparently lofty or agreeable topics, but it diffuses through these, and at the same time draws from them, a spirit and life that are essentially poetry. Nothing at the time that it appeared could look less like poetry. The description of a library, the dirty alleys, the pothouses, the sailors, and monotonous sea-shores in and about a maritime borough, struck the readers of the assumed sublime with astonishment and dismay. "Can this be poetry?" they asked. But those who had poetry in themselves—those in whom the heart of nature was strong, replied, "Yes, the truest poetry." Nature smiles as the rude torch flickers past, and shows its varied forms in its truest shape. In his "Tales of the Hall" Crabbe entered on scenes which are commonly deemed more elevated; he came forward into the rural village, the rectory,[184] and the manor-house; but everywhere he carried the same clear, faithful, analytical spirit, and read the most solemn lessons from the histories and the souls of men. Crabbe has been styled the Rembrandt of English poetic painting; but he is not merely a painter of the outward, he is the prober of the inward at the same time, who, with a hand that never trembles, depicts sternly the base nature, and drops soothing balm on the broken heart.LORD CLIVE. (After the Portrait by Gainsborough.)In 1831 the number of churches and chapels of the Church of England amounted to 11,825; the number in 1851, as returned to the census officer, was 13,854, exclusive of 223 described as being "not separate buildings," or as "used also for secular purposes," thus showing an increase in the course of twenty years, of more than 2,000 churches. Probably the increase was, in reality, still larger, as it can hardly be expected that the returns were altogether perfect. The greater portion of this increase is attributable to the self-extending power of the Church—the State not having in the twenty years contributed, in aid of private benefactions, more than £511,385 towards the erection of 386 churches. If we assume the average cost of each new edifice to be about £3,000, the total sum expended in this interval (exclusive of considerable sums devoted to the restoration of old churches) will be £6,087,000. The chief addition occurred, as was to be expected and desired, in thickly peopled districts, where the rapid increase of inhabitants rendered such additional accommodation most essential. In the ten years between 1821 and 1831 there was an addition of 276 churches; from 1831 to 1841, 667 were added. Taking the Nonconformist communities, we find the statistics of the progress of the Independents, or Congregationalists, to be scarcely less remarkable than those of the Established Church. The earliest account of the number of Independent congregations refers to 1812. Before that period Independent and Presbyterian congregations were returned together. At that time the number of Independent churches in England and Wales was a little over 1,000. In 1838 the churches had increased to 1,840, and the census of 1851 made the number 3,244, of which 640 were in Wales. These places of worship furnished sittings for 1,063,000 persons.

As the Government was determined to persevere, and to carry the Reform Bill by means of a large creation of peers, if necessary, some of the leading members of the Opposition in the Upper House began to think seriously of their position, a sort of appeal having been made to them in a letter from the king's private secretary, suggesting the prudence of compromise and concession in order to save his Majesty from the painful alternative of a creation of peers. Accordingly, Lords Wharncliffe and Harrowby put themselves in communication with Lord Grey, and this fact was announced by the former in a letter to the Duke of Wellington, stating that he entertained good hope of being able to arrange such a plan of compromise as would prevent the necessity of a second rejection of the Bill by the Lords, and so enable them to alter and amend it when it came into committee. The Duke, in reply to this, said that he was glad of a possibility of an arrangement by mutual concession on the Reform question; and that, for his part, all that he desired to see, under the new system, was a chance of a Government for this hitherto prosperous, happy, and great country, which should give security to life and property hereafter. "The political unions," he said, "had assumed an organisation which any man who could read would pronounce to be for military purposes, and nothing else." In the meantime Lord Wharncliffe had waited by appointment upon the Prime Minister at his house, in Sheen, where he discussed the Reform question with him for two hours, without ever adverting to the political unions, and he reported the issue in a long letter to the Duke of Wellington. The result was that Lord Grey made some trifling concession in matters of detail, and in return Lord Wharncliffe gave him the assurance that he would do what he could to bring the Opposition lords to take a more favourable view of the Ministerial scheme and its probable consequences. This was followed by cordial shaking of hands, and[346] permission was given on each side to communicate with intimate friends and colleagues. The Duke of Wellington, however, declined to take any part in these deliberations. He believed that the Government could be carried on, though with difficulty, under the existing system; but under the system which the Reform Bill would introduce he doubted if the Government could be carried on at all. Nothing came of Lord Wharncliffe's negotiation with the Government, which declined to make any material concession. It had the effect, however, of splitting the Conservative party in the Upper House, breaking the phalanx of the Opposition, and thus preparing the way for the triumph of the Government.From Cuddalore, Tippoo and Bussy, the French general, turned their forces against Wandewash; but they were met by Coote, though he was now sinking and failing fast. They retreated, and he attempted to make himself master of the strong fort of Arnee, where much of the booty of Hyder was deposited; but Hyder made show of fighting him whilst Tippoo carried off all the property. Tippoo was obliged to march thence towards Calicut, where the Hindoo chiefs, his tributaries, were joining the British under Colonel Mackenzie. Hyder at this moment was confounded by the news of the peace made by Hastings with the Mahrattas, and expected that those marauders would speedily fall on Mysore. His health was fast declining, and yet he dared not introduce his allies, the French, into his own territory, lest he should not so readily get them out again. Besides[332] his suspicions of the French, he had constant fears of assassination. Hyder died in December, 1782.After the Painting by SEYMOUR LUCAS, R.A., in the National Gallery of British Art

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Gage attempts to seize American Arms—Skirmish at Lexington—Blockade of Boston—The Second Congress at Philadelphia—Washington chosen Commander-in-Chief—Fall of Ticonderoga and Crown Point—Washington at Boston—Battle of Bunker's Hill—The Olive Branch Petition—Condition of the American Army—Expedition against Canada—Capture of Montreal—Arnold's Expedition—His Junction with Montgomery—Failure of the Attack on Quebec—The Employment of German Mercenaries—Washington seizes Dorchester Heights—Evacuation of Boston—Howe retires to Halifax—The War in Canada—Thomas's Retreat—Sullivan evacuates Canada—The War in the South—Attack on Charleston—Paine's Pamphlet, "Common Sense"—New York and Virginia decide for Independence—Debate in Congress—Report of the Committee—Arbitrary Proceedings—The Declaration—Overtures to France—Arrival of Lord Howe—Position of Washington—Howe's Overtures—Battle of Brooklyn—Washington's Retreat—His Desperate Position—Howe receives a Deputation from Congress—Washington retires Step by Step—Cornwallis's Pursuit—Close of the Campaign—The Articles of Confederation published by Congress—Fresh Overtures to France—Parliament votes large Sums of Money—John the Painter—Chatham demands a Cessation of Hostilities—Washington's Change of Tactics—Surprise of Trenton—Washington outman?uvres Cornwallis—He recovers New Jersey—Difficulties of Congress—Howe advances against Washington—Alteration of Howe's Plans—Battle of the Brandywine—Howe crosses the Schuylkill—Cornwallis enters Philadelphia—Battle of Germantown—Washington at Valley Forge—Burgoyne's Plan of Campaign—His Advance—St. Clair's Defeat—Burgoyne on the Hudson—The Beginning of his Misfortunes—Battle of Bemus's Heights—Burgoyne's Message to Clinton—He is Surrounded—He attempts to cut his Way through—The Surrender of Saratoga—Clinton's Failure to relieve Burgoyne—Close of the Campaign.When Sir Robert Peel delivered up the seals of office, the first thing the king did was to send for Earl Grey, who declined the task of forming an Administration. He advised his Majesty to entrust it to Viscount Melbourne. The business, therefore, devolved upon Melbourne, and he hastened to complete it out of such materials as he had at his command. These were substantially the same as those which composed his former Administration. Lord Brougham, however, was now left out, as Lord Melbourne, in a series of plain-spoken letters, had already informed him he would be; also Lord Althorp, who, being in the Upper House[386] as Earl Spencer, did not seem to have any ambition for the toils and honours of office. Lord Howick, the eldest son of Earl Grey, became a member of the Cabinet. There was no Lord Chancellor appointed for the present, out of consideration for Brougham's feelings. The Great Seal was put in commission, the three Commissioners being the Master of the Rolls, the Vice-Chancellor, and Mr. Justice Bosanquet. The offices were distributed as follows:—Lord Melbourne, Premier; the Marquis of Lansdowne, President of the Council; Lord Palmerston, Foreign Secretary; Lord John Russell, Home Secretary; Mr. Charles Grant, Colonial Secretary; Mr. Spring-Rice, Chancellor of the Exchequer; Viscount Duncannon, Lord Privy Seal and Chief Commissioner of Woods and Forests; Lord Auckland, First Lord of the Admiralty; Sir John Hobhouse, President of the Indian Board; Mr. Poulett Thompson, President of the Board of Trade; Lord Howick, Secretary-at-War; Lord Holland, Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster. The appointments not in the Cabinet were—Sir Henry Parnell, Paymaster of the Forces; Mr. Charles Wood, Secretary to the Admiralty; Sir George Grey, Under-Secretary of the Colonies; the Honourable Fox Maule, Under-Secretary for the Home Department; Mr. Labouchere, Vice-President of the Board of Trade and Master of the Mint; Attorney-General, Sir John Campbell; Solicitor-General, Mr. Rolfe. The Irish appointments were—The Earl of Mulgrave, Lord-Lieutenant; Lord Morpeth, Chief Secretary; Lord Plunket, Chancellor.

Thus argued the Conservatives, and not without effect, for the clause against disfranchising the freemen was carried only by a majority of twenty-eight; and in the passage through the Lords several important amendments were carried against the Government, owing chiefly to the vigorous opposition of Lord Lyndhurst. He proceeded to convert the Bill into what was called a Conservative arrangement, and when Peel's moderation was brought up against him, is said to have remarked, "Peel! What is Peel to me? D—— Peel!" On an amendment which he proposed—to omit the clause disfranchising the freemen—he defeated the Government by a majority of 93; the numbers being 130 to 37. He followed up this victory by a motion to secure to the freemen their Parliamentary franchise, which was carried without a division. The Commons thought it better to adopt some of these alterations, however repugnant to their feelings, rather than lose the measure. The Bill, as amended, was accordingly passed on the 7th of September. London, with its numerous and wealthy incorporated guilds, was reserved for future legislation, which the lavish hospitalities of the Mansion House and Guildhall[390] postponed to a later date than municipal reformers then thought of.Before another attempt was made to open the portals of the Legislature the question was brought to a practical issue by an event similar to the Clare election, by which O'Connell forced on the decision with regard to Catholic Emancipation. The City of London had returned Baron Rothschild as one of its members; and at the morning sitting on the 26th of July, 1850, he presented himself at the table to take the oaths. When the clerk presented the New Testament, he said, "I desire to be sworn on the Old Testament." Sir Robert Inglis, in a voice tremulous with emotion, exclaimed—"I protest against that." The Speaker then ordered Baron Rothschild to withdraw. An animated debate followed as to whether the Baron could be sworn in that way, although he declared that that was the form of oath most binding upon his conscience. He presented himself a second time, when there was another long debate. Ultimately, on the 6th of August, to which the matter was adjourned, the Attorney-General moved two resolutions—first, that Baron Rothschild was not entitled to vote in the House till he took the oath in the form prescribed by law; and, second, that the House would take the earliest opportunity in the next Session to consider the oath of abjuration, with a view to the relief of the Jews. These resolutions were carried—the first, by a majority of 92 to 66; the second, by 142 to 106.

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