In Ireland the magistrates acted on the circular, and on the 23rd of February, 1811, two magistrates proceeded to disperse the Catholic committee in Dublin. They were told by the committee that they were sitting simply for the purpose of petitioning Parliament, and they did not venture to interrupt it. The movement went on all over Ireland, the committees were numerously attended, and, notwithstanding a proclamation from Dublin Castle commanding the magistrates everywhere to disperse all such gatherings, in Dublin the general committee, numbering nearly three hundred persons, met in Fishamble Street on the 19th of October. Police were sent to disperse them, but on arriving they had already signed the petition, and were coming away amid a vast concourse of spectators. Several persons were arrested and tried, but the juries returned verdicts of "Not Guilty."It is only too true, however, that many of the Hampden Clubs entertained very seditious ideas, and designs of seizing on the property of the leading individuals of their respective vicinities. Still more questionable were the doctrines of the Spenceans, or Spencean Philanthropists, a society of whom was established in London this year, and whose chief leaders were Spence, a Yorkshire schoolmaster, one Preston, a workman, Watson the elder, a surgeon, Watson the younger, his son, and Castles, who afterwards turned informer against them. Mr. "Orator" Hunt patronised them. They sought a common property in all land, and the destruction of all machinery. These people, with Hunt and Watson at their head, on the 2nd of December, met in Spa Fields. The Spenceans had arms concealed in a waggon, and a flag displayed declaring that the soldiers were their friends. The crowd was immense, and soon there was a cry to go and summon the Tower. Mr. Hunt and his party appear to have excused themselves from taking part in this mad movement. The mob reached the Tower, and a man, supposed to be Preston, summoned the sentinels to surrender, at which they only laughed. The mob then followed young Watson into the City, and ransacked the shop of Mr. Beckwith, a gunsmith, on Snow Hill, of its firearms. A gentleman in the shop remonstrated, and young Watson fired at him and severely wounded him. Young Watson then made his escape, but his father was secured and imprisoned; and the Lord Mayor and Sir James Shaw dispersed the mob on Cornhill, and took one of their flags and several prisoners. Watson the elder was afterwards tried and acquitted; but a sailor who was concerned in the plunder of the gunsmith's shop was hanged. A week after this riot the Corporation of London presented an Address to the Throne, setting forth the urgent necessity for Parliamentary reform.
Whilst the French were seizing on Portugal, the Spanish royal family was convulsed by quarrels. Ferdinand, the Prince of Asturias, and heir to the throne, hated Godoy, as usurping the power which he himself ought to enjoy, and, stimulated by his friends, who shared in his exclusion, appealed to Napoleon for his protection, and to win his favour requested him to choose a wife for him out of his own family. This at one time would have been a subject of the highest pride to Buonaparte, that a member of the Bourbon family, and future King of Spain, should solicit a personal alliance with his; but that day was gone by. Buonaparte had determined to make himself master of Spain, and he left the request of the Prince without any answer. Urged on by his party, the Prince seems to have determined to do without Buonaparte, and to depose his father, but the plot was discovered, and the person of the Prince secured. The imbecile king, instead of contenting himself by the exercise of his own authority, appealed to Napoleon; and at the same time, to make the disgrace of his family as public as possible, he appealed to the Spanish people, by a proclamation against the conduct of his son, and informing them that he had put the Prince under arrest. But the appeal to Buonaparte did not succeed; for his own purposes, the French Emperor appeared to take part with the Prince, and caused his Ambassador, Beauharnais, to remonstrate with the king on his severity towards him. Charles IV. wrote again to Napoleon, and ventured to mention the Prince's private application to him for a wife, hoping, the king said, that the Emperor would not permit the Prince to shelter himself under an alliance with the Imperial family. Buonaparte professed to feel greatly insulted by such allusions to his family, and the poor king then wrote very humbly, declaring that he desired nothing so much as such an alliance for his son. Ferdinand, through this powerful support, was immediately liberated. But these mutual appeals had greatly forwarded Buonaparte's plans of interference in Spain. He levied a new conscription, and avowed to Talleyrand and Fouché that he had determined to set aside the royal family of Spain, and to unite that country to France. Both those astute diplomatists at once disapproved, and endeavoured to dissuade him from the enterprise. They reminded him of the pride of the Spanish character, and that he might rouse the people to a temper of most stubborn resistance, which would divide his attention and his forces, would be pretty certain to bring Britain into the field for their support, and unite Britain again with Russia, thus placing himself between two fires. Talleyrand, seeing that Buonaparte was resolutely bent on the scheme, dropped his opposition, and assisted Napoleon in planning its progress; thus enabling the Emperor afterwards to charge Talleyrand with the responsibility of this usurpation, as he had before charged him with counselling the death of the Duke d'Enghien. In after years, Napoleon used to denounce his own folly in meddling with Spain, calling it "that miserable war" and describing it as the origin of his ruin.This was an announcement of the utter overthrow of the Revolution, and the restoration of the ancient condition of France, with its aristocracy and its slaves. The sensation which it produced was intense. The king was immediately accused of secretly favouring this language, though it was far from being the case. It was in vain that he disavowed the sentiments of this haughty and impolitic proclamation to the Assembly; he was not believed, and the exasperation against him was dreadfully aggravated.
The year 1829 was distinguished by disturbances in Ireland, as well as distress in England. The 12th of July, the anniversary of the battle of the Boyne, was celebrated with unusual manifestations of defiance by the Orangemen. The country seemed armed for civil war. In the county Clare there was a conflict between the Protestants and Catholics, in which one man was killed, and seven or eight wounded on each side. In Armagh there was a fight, in which ten men lost their lives. In the county Fermanagh 800 Roman Catholics, armed with scythes and pitchforks, turned out and attacked the Protestants, killing four persons and wounding seven. The same party rose in Cavan, Monaghan, and Leitrim, threatening something like civil war. In Tipperary society was so convulsed that the magistrates met, and called upon the Government for a renewal of the Insurrection Act, and for the passing of a law rendering the possession of fire-arms a transportable offence.[See larger version]
CHAPTER VIII. REIGN OF WILLIAM IV.
On the 27th of May Mr. Ward brought forward a motion upon this subject. In an able speech he reviewed the state of Ireland, and remarked that since 1819 it had been necessary to maintain there an army of 22,000 men, at a cost of a million sterling per annum, exclusive of a police force that cost ￡300,000 a year. All this enormous expense and trouble in governing Ireland he ascribed to the existence of a religious establishment hostile to the majority of the people; he therefore moved that "the Protestant episcopal establishment in Ireland exceeds the spiritual wants of the Protestant population; and that, it being the right of the State to regulate the distribution of Church property in such a manner as Parliament may determine, it is the opinion of this House that the temporal possessions of the Church of Ireland, as now established by law, ought to be reduced."[See larger version]
The French, exasperated beyond further endurance, on the 22nd of November entered on the question of war in the Assembly in earnest. Koch, of Strasburg, the well-known historian, declared that no time was to be lost; that the German nations were every day violating the frontiers of France, and that the Minister for Foreign Affairs was not to be trusted. Three armies were formed. Rochambeau, who was now ailing, and out of humour, was appointed to that stationed in Flanders, and called the army of the north; Lafayette was put in command of the central division stationed at Metz, and Luckner of the one stationed in Alsace. Narbonne, the new Minister, made a rapid journey, and returning, announced to the Assembly that the different fortresses were fast assuming a creditable condition, and that the army, from Dunkirk to Besan?on, presented a mass of two hundred and forty battalions, one hundred and sixty squadrons, with artillery requisite for two hundred thousand men, and supplies for six months. This report was received with acclamations. So closed the year 1791.
IRISH TRAMPS.ANDREW HOFER APPOINTED GOVERNOR OF THE TYROL. (See p. 591.)
The restless Englishman, much more like a Frenchman in temperament and character than a native of England, had married Madame de Villette, a niece of Louis XIV.'s last mistress, Madame de Maintenon, a lady rich and well-trained in all the Court life of Paris. By this means Bolingbroke was brought into close connection with that Court. The notorious Cardinal Dubois had died in August, 1723, and in less than four months died also the Duke of Orleans, the Regent. Louis XV. being nominally of age, no other Regent was appointed; but the Duke of Bourbon, a man of better character but of less ability than the Regent, Orleans, was Prime Minister. He was greatly under the influence of his bold and ambitious mistress Madame de Prie; and Bolingbroke, who was high in the favour of both Minister and mistress, flattered himself that, with the aid of his courtier wife, he could govern both them and France.
Thus ended the rebellion of 1848, which had so long kept the country in a state of alarm. It is true that some of the leaders headed small bodies of insurgents in the county of Waterford, and attacked several police barracks, but in none of the affrays were the insurgents successful. The police, who were not more than one to fifty of the rebels, routed them in every instance without any loss of life on their part. The constabulary were then 10,000 strong in Ireland, and Smith O'Brien confidently counted upon their desertion to his ranks; but though the majority of the force were Roman Catholics, they were loyal to a man. Dillon and O'Gorman had escaped to France, but Terence McManus, a fine young man, who had given up a prosperous business as a broker in Liverpool, to become an officer in the "Army of Liberation," was arrested in an American vessel proceeding from Cork to the United States. A special commission for the trial of the prisoners was opened on the 21st of September, at Clonmel, high treason having been committed in the county Tipperary.详情
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