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history_of_england_in_three_volumes_vol._iii


CONTINUATION

OF

THE HISTORY OF ENGLAND,


BY E. H. NOLAN




Volume III





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3-001-george3.jpg George III.



CONTENTS


List of Illustrations

CHAPTER I.

ACCESSION OF GEORGE III.

MEETING OF PARLIAMENT ETC.

JUDGES MADE INDEPENDENT OF THE CROWN.

CHANGES IN THE CABINET.

THE OPERATIONS OF THE WAR.

THE RESIGNATION OF MR. PITT.

THE MARRIAGE OF THE KING.

CORONATION OF THEIR MAJESTIES.

MEETING OF PARLIAMENT.

DISTURBANCES IN IRELAND.

WAR WITH SPAIN.

FRANCE AND SPAIN DECLARE WAR AGAINST PORTUGAL.

DISSENSIONS IN THE CABINET.

EVENTS IN GERMANY, ETC.

NEGOCIATIONS FOR PEACE.

THE MEETING OF PARLIAMENT AND THE CONCLUSION OF PEACE.

THE RESIGNATION OF BUTE.

THE CHARACTER AND IMPEACHMENT OF WILKES.

CHANGES IN THE CABINET.

MEETING OF PARLIAMENT, AND FURTHER PROCEEDINGS AGAINST WILKES.

PROPOSITION TO TAX THE AMERICAN COLONIES.

OPPOSITION OF THE AMERICANS.

WAR WITH THE NORTH AMERICAN INDIANS.

DOMESTIC OCCURRENCES.

CHAPTER II.

THE MEETING OF PARLIAMENT.

DEBATES ON COLONIAL TAXATION.

INSTABILITY OF THE CABINET.

ATTEMPTS TO FORM A NEW ADMINISTRATION.

OPPOSITION TO THE STAMP DUTIES IN AMERICA.

EMBARRASSMENT OF MINISTERS AND MEETING OF PARLIAMENT.

SENTIMENTS OF THE AMERICANS ON THE DECLARATORY ACT.

THE DISSOLUTION OF THE ROCKINGHAM CABINET.

DECLINE OF LORD CHATHAM'S POPULARITY.

MEETING OF PARLIAMENT.

EAST INDIA QUESTION.

AMERICAN TAXATION.

CHANGES IN THE MINISTRY.

PROCEEDINGS IN AMERICA.

DOMESTIC TROUBLES AND COMMOTIONS.

THE RETURN OF WILKES, ETC.

RESIGNATION OF LORD CHATHAM.

THE AFFAIRS OF WILKES.

MEETING OF PARLIAMENT.

DEBATE ON WILKES.

DEBATES ON AMERICA.

EAST INDIA AFFAIRS.

PROROGATION OF PARLIAMENT.

DISCONTENTS IN ENGLAND AND IRELAND.

CHAPTER III.

THE AFFAIRS OF AMERICA.

MEETING OF PARLIAMENT.

DISSOLUTION OF THE GRAFTON CABINET.

DEBATES ON THE MIDDLESEX ELECTION, ETC.

THE QUESTION OF CONTROVERTED ELECTIONS, ETC.

DEBATES ON AMERICA.

RELEASE OF WILKES.

AMERICAN AFFAIRS.

RIOTS AT BOSTON.

THE PROROGATION OF PARLIAMENT.

REMONSTRANCE OF BECKFORD TO THE KING.

PROSECUTION OF WOODFALL AND ALMON.

DISPUTES RESPECTING FALKLAND ISLANDS.

AFFAIRS OF AMERICA.

MEETING OF PARLIAMENT.

DEBATE CONCERNING THE FALKLAND ISLANDS.

PARLIAMENTARY PROCEEDINGS OF THE LAW OF LIBEL.

QUARRELS BETWEEN THE LORDS AND COMMONS.

CONVENTION WITH SPAIN.

CHANGES IN THE MINISTRY.

CHAPTER IV.

RE-OPENING OF PARLIAMENT.

PROCEEDINGS AGAINST SHOREHAM.

RESOLUTIONS RESPECTING THE PUBLICATION OF DEBATES.

COMMITTAL OF THE LORD MAYOR AND ALDERMAN OLIVER TO THE TOWER.

CONTEST BETWEEN THE CITY AND LEGISLATURE.

THE QUESTION OF THE MIDDLESEX ELECTION.

THE QUESTION OF THE DISSOLUTION OF PARLIAMENT.

THE SESSION CLOSED.

RELEASE OF THE LORD MAYOR AND ALDERMAN OLIVER.

EDUCATION OF THE PRINCE OF WALES.

CITY PETITION TO THE KING.

DISPUTES IN THE CITY.

MEETING OF PARLIAMENT.

DEBATES ON SUBSCRIPTION TO THE THIRTY-NINE ARTICLES.

ECCLESIASTICAL NULLUM TEMPUS BILL.

THE CASE OF DR. NOWELL.

TEST AND CORPORATION ACTS.

THE ROYAL MARRIAGE ACT.

EAST INDIA AFFAIRS.

THE SESSION CLOSED.

FATE OF THE QUEEN OF DENMARK.

DEATH OF THE PRINCESS DOWAGER OF WALES.

REVOLUTION IN SWEDEN.

PARTITION OF POLAND.

INVESTIGATION OF THE MIDDLESEX ELECTION.

CHANGES IN THE MINISTRY.

THE MEETING OF PARLIAMENT.

EAST INDIA AFFAIRS.

CHAPTER V.

THE CARIBBS OF ST. VINCENTS.

PETITION OF NAVAL OFFICERS.

SUBSCRIPTION TO THE THIRTY-NINE ARTICLES.

DEBATES ON EAST INDIA MEASURES.

THE SESSION CLOSED.

PROCEEDINGS IN THE CITY.

CONTINENTAL POLITICS.

IRISH AFFAIRS.

DISPUTES WITH THE AMERICAN COLONIES.

MEETING OF PARLIAMENT.

EARLY MEASURES IN THIS SESSION.

THE BOSTONIAN PETITION.

PARLIAMENTARY PROCEEDINGS AGAINST AMERICA.

BILL FOR THE ADMINISTRATION OF CANADA.

PROROGATION OF PARLIAMENT.

PROCEEDINGS AT BOSTON.

GENERAL ELECTION.

MEETING OF THE NEW PARLIAMENT.

CHAPTER VI.

DEBATES ON AMERICA.

PACIFIC MEASURE OF LORD NORTH.

BURKE'S PLAN OF CONCILIATION.

CLOSE OF THE SESSION.

PETITION OF THE CITY OF LONDON.

DEPARTURE OF FRANKLIN.

PROCEEDINGS OF THE AMERICANS.

EXPEDITION TO SEIZE STORES AT SALEM.

AFFAIR AT LEXINGTON, ETC.

MEETING OF THE ASSEMBLIES AND OF GENERAL CONGRESS.

BATTLE OF BUNKER'S HILL.

GENERAL WASHINGTON.

EXPEDITIONS AGAINST TICONDEROGA AND CROWN POINT, ETC.

EXPEDITION AGAINST CANADA.

DISPOSITION AND REVOLT OF THE VIRGINIANS.

CONDUCT OF CONGRESS TOWARDS NEW YORK, ETC.

PROCEEDINGS IN ENGLAND.

PROSECUTION AND TRIAL OF HORNE TOOKE, ETC.

MEETING OF PARLIAMENT.

CHANGES IN THE MINISTRY.

THE MILITIA BILL.

THE NAVY AND LAND ESTIMATES.

PETITION OF NOVA SCOTIA.

PETITION OF CONGRESS.

MOTIONS OF THE DUKE OF GRAFTON.

THE LAND TAX INCREASED.

BURKE'S SECOND CONCILIATORY MOTION.

LORD NORTH'S PROHIBITORY BILL.

CHAPTER VII.

AFFAIRS OF IRELAND.

DEBATES ON AMERICA, ETC.

PROROGATION OF PARLIAMENT.

SENTIMENTS OF FOREIGN POWERS, ETC.

EVACUATION OF BOSTON BY THE BRITISH.

MISSION OF INDIAN CHIEFS.

AFFAIRS OF CANADA.

UNSUCCESSFUL ATTACK ON SULLIVAN'S ISLAND.

AFFAIRS IN VIRGINIA.

DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE BY CONGRESS.

EXPEDITION AGAINST NEW YORK.

DEFEAT OF THE AMERICANS ON LONG ISLAND.

CONFERENCE ON STATEN ISLAND.

CAPTURE OF NEW YORK, ETC.

CAPTURE OF FORT WASHINGTON.

CAPTURE OF FORT LEE, AND RETREAT OF WASHINGTON.

EXPEDITION AGAINST RHODE ISLAND.

SUCCESSES OF GENERAL CARLETON.

MEASURES OF CONGRESS.

DEFECTION OF THE COLONISTS, ETC.

MEETING OF PARLIAMENT.

DEBATES ON AMERICA.

ATTEMPT TO FIRE HIS MAJESTY'S DOCKYARD AT PORTSMOUTH.

CHAPTER VIII.

LETTERS OF MARQUE GRANTED.

BILL FOR DETAINING PERSONS IN PRISON CHARGED WITH HIGH-TREASON.

MISCELLANEOUS DEBATES.

SPIRITED ADDRESS OF THE SPEAKER TO THE KING.

LORD CHATHAM'S MOTION FOR CONCESSIONS TO AMERICA.

PARLIAMENT PROROGUED.

SUCCESSES OF WASHINGTON.

BRITISH EXPEDITION UP THE HUDSON RIVER.

AMERICAN EXPEDITION TO LONG ISLAND.

CAPTURE OF GENERAL PRESCOT, ETC.

BATTLE OF THE BRANDYWINE, ETC.

CAPTURE OF PHILADELPHIA.

OPENING OF THE DELAWARE.

CLOSE OF HOWE'S CAMPAIGN.

EXPEDITION AND CAPTURE OF BURGOYNE.

CLINTON'S EXPEDITION UP THE HUDSON.

MEETING OF PARLIAMENT.

DEBATES ON AMERICA.

DUKE OF RICHMOND'S MOTION FOR INQUIRING INTO THE STATE OF THE NATION.

FOX'S MOTION FOR INQUIRING INTO THE STATE OF THE NATION.

ARMY AND NAVY ESTIMATES.

INTELLIGENCE OF BURGOYNES DEFEAT

ROYAL ASSENT TO SEVERAL BILLS.

PARLIAMENT ADJOURNED.

CHAPTER IX.

DEMONSTRATION OF PUBLIC SPIRIT IN ENGLAND.

MEETING OF PARLIAMENT.

COMMITTEE FOR TAKING THE STATE OF THE NATION INTO CONSIDERATION.

BURKE'S MOTION RELATIVE TO THE EMPLOYMENT OF INDIANS.

COMMITTEE OF EVIDENCE IN THE HOUSE OF LORDS, ETC.

LORD NORTHS CONCILIATORY BILLS.

INTIMATION OF THE FRENCH TREATY WITH AMERICA.

INVESTIGATION OF THE STATE OF THE NAVY.

MOTION FOR EXCLUDING CONTRACTORS FROM PARLIAMENT.

REVISION OF THE TRADE OF IRELAND.

BILL FOR THE RELIEF OF THE ROMAN CATHOLICS.

MOTION OF CENSURE ON LORD GEORGE GERMAINE, ETC.

LORD CHATHAM'S LAST APPEARANCE IN THE HOUSE OF LORDS.

DEATH OF LORD CHATHAM, AND POSTHUMOUS HONOURS TO HIS MEMORY.

THE DUKE OF RICHMOND'S MOTION RESUMED.

THE SESSION CLOSED.

PROCEEDINGS IN FRANCE.

NAVAL OPERATIONS IN THE BRITISH CHANNEL.

DISGRACEFUL INFRACTION OF THE CONVENTION OF SARATOGA.

LAFAYETTE'S EXPEDITION TO CANADA.

UNFORTUNATE ACTION UNDER LAFAYETTE.

SIR HENRY CLINTON TAKES THE COMMAND OF THE BRITISH TROOPS.

ARRIVAL OF THE COMMISSIONERS IN AMERICA WITH THE CONCILIATORY BILLS.

EVACUATION OF PHILADELPHIA BY THE BRITISH, ETC.

DISGRACE OF GENERAL LEE.

UNSUCCESSFUL ATTACK BY THE AMERICANS AND FRENCH ON RHODE ISLAND.

OPERATIONS OF THE BRITISH ARMY.

ATTACK OF THE SAVAGES ON THE SETTLEMENT OF WYOMING, ETC.

ARRIVAL OF THE FRENCH ENVOY AT PHILADELPHIA.

MOVEMENTS OF THE BRITISH AND FRENCH FLEETS.

CAPTURE OF DOMINICA BY THE FRENCH.

CAPTURE OF ST. LUCIE BY THE BRITISH.

RE-CAPTURE OF THE ISLANDS OF ST. PIERRE AND MIQUELON.

FRENCH PLANS REGARDING CANADA COUNTERACTED BY WASHINGTON.

CAPTURE OF SAVANNAH BY THE BRITISH.

MEETING OF PARLIAMENT.

AFFAIR RESPECTING ADMIRAL KEPPEL AND SIR HUGH PALLISER.

CHAPTER X.

TRIAL OF ADMIRAL KEPPEL AND VICE-ADMIRAL PALLISER.

ATTACKS ON LORD SANDWICH.

INVESTIGATION RESPECTING THE CONDUCT OF GENERAL AND LORD HOWE.

RELIEF TO PROTESTANT DISSENTERS.

DEBATES ON THE TRADE OF IRELAND.

WAR WITH SPAIN.

DEBATES ON THE MILITIA BILL.

BILL FOR THE IMPRESSMENT OF SEAMEN.

PARLIAMENT PROROGUED.

THE CAUSES OF THE RUPTURE WITH SPAIN.

SPANISH ATTEMPT UPON GIBRALTAR.

FRENCH AND ENGLISH FLEETS IN THE CHANNEL, ETC.

AFFAIRS IN THE WEST INDIES.

OPERATIONS IN GEORGIA.

INEFFECTUAL ATTEMPT OF THE AMERICANS TO REDUCE SAVANNAH.

BRITISH INCURSIONS INTO VIRGINIA.

CAPTURE OF STONEY-POINT AND VERPLANKS.

BRITISH EXPEDITION AGAINST CONNECTICUT.

STONEY-POINT RE-CAPTURED, BUT DESERTED AT THE APPROACH OF THE BRITISH.

BRITISH GARRISON SURPRISED AT PAULUS-HOOK.

AMERICAN DISASTER AT PENOBSCOT.

AMERICAN RETALIATION ON THE INDIANS, ETC.

SPANISH INCURSIONS.

ACTION BETWEEN PAUL JONES AND CAPTAIN PEARSON.

CHANGES IN THE MINISTRY.

MEETING OF PARLIAMENT.

LORD SHELBURNE ATTACKS MINISTERS IN THE CASE OF IRELAND.

LORD OSSORY'S ATTACK ON MINISTERS RESPECTING IRELAND.

LORD NORTH'S PROPOSITION FOR THE RELIEF OF IRELAND.

DEBATES ON ECONOMICAL REFORM.

CHAPTER XI.

BURKE'S PLAN OF ECONOMICAL REFORM.

REJECTION OF LORD SHELBURNE'S MOTION FOR A COMMISSION OF ACCOUNTS.

MINISTERIAL BILL FOR COMMISSION OF ACCOUNTS.

BILL FOR EXCLUDING CONTRACTORS FROM PARLIAMENT REJECTED.

MOTIONS REGARDING PLACES AND PENSIONS.

POLITICAL ALTERCATIONS.

DEBATES ON THE INCREASE OF CROWN INFLUENCE.

LORD NORTH'S PROPOSAL RESPECTING THE EAST INDIA COMPANY.

GENERAL CONWAY'S PLAN OF RECONCILIATION WITH AMERICA.

POPULAR RAGE AGAINST THE CATHOLICS; RIOTS IN LONDON, ETC.

MEASURES ADOPTED BY PARLIAMENT, ARISING OUT OF THE LONDON RIOTS.

PARLIAMENT PROROGUED.

TRIAL OF LORD GEORGE GORDON AND THE RIOTERS.

ADMIRAL RODNEY'S SUCCESS AGAINST THE SPANIARDS.

ARMED NEUTRALITY.

RODNEY ENGAGES THE FRENCH FLEET.

EXPEDITION AGAINST SOUTH CAROLINA.

BATTLE OF CAMDEN, ETC.

AFFAIRS AT NEW YORK.

TREASON OF ARNOLD, AND FATE OF MAJOR ANDRE.

MARITIME LOSSES SUSTAINED BY THE BRITISH.

WAR WITH HOLLAND.

GENERAL ELECTION.

MEETING OF PARLIAMENT.

CHAPTER XII.

NOTICE OF THE RUPTURE WITH HOLLAND.

BURKE RE-INTRODUCES THE SUBJECT OF ECONOMICAL REFORM, ETC.

DEBATES ON THE SUPPLIES.

MOTION ON THE EMPLOYMENT OF THE MILITARY IN THE LATE RIOTS.

PETITION OF THE DELEGATES OF THE COUNTY ASSOCIATIONS.

THE MARRIAGE ACT CORRECTED.

MOTION OF FOX RESPECTING THE AMERICAN WAR.

PARLIAMENT PROROGUED.

ATTACK ON JERSEY.

THE GARRISON OF GIBRALTAR RELIEVED.

REVOLT IN WASHINGTON'S CAMP.

ARNOLD'S EXPEDITION TO VIRGINIA, ETC.

LORD CORNWALLIS'S EXPEDITION TO VIRGINIA.

SIEGE OF LORD CORNWALLIS IN YORK-TOWN.

LOSS OF THE BRITISH DOMINION IN FLORIDA.

ATTACK ON MINORCA.

FRENCH AND SPANISH FLEETS IN THE ENGLISH CHANNEL.

NAVAL ACTION WITH THE DUTCH.

CAPTURE OF ST. EUSTATIUS.

COMMODORE JOHNSTONE ATTACKED BY DE SUFFREIN, ETC.

FURTHER OPERATIONS IN THE WEST INDIES.

SENTIMENTS OF FOREIGN POWERS TOWARD ENGLAND.

MEETING OF PARLIAMENT.

CENSURES ON RODNEY AND VAUGHAN.

DEBATE ON THE NAVY.

MOTION OF SIR JAMES LOWTHER FOR PEACE, ETC.

CHAPTER XIII.

RECENT EVENTS ON THE THEATRE OF WAR.

FOX'S MOTIONS FOR INQUIRY INTO THE NAVY.

MOTIONS OF INQUIRY IN THE HOUSE OF LORDS.

DEBATES ON LORD GEORGE GERMAINE'S ELEVATION TO THE PEERAGE.

RENEWED ATTACKS ON LORD SANDWICH: RESIGNATION OF LORD NORTH.

THE NEW MINISTRY.

AFFAIRS OF IRELAND.

BILL FOR EXCLUDING CONTRACTORS, ETC.

RESOLUTIONS RESPECTING WILKES EXPUNGED FROM THE JOURNALS.

DISFRANCHISEMENT OF CRICKLADE, ETC.

DEBATES ON PARLIAMENTARY REFORM.

EAST INDIA AFFAIRS.

CHANGE IN THE MINISTRY.

PROROGATION OF PARLIAMENT.

VICTORY OF RODNEY.

AFFAIRS OF THE WAR IN AMERICA.

STATE OF THE WAR IN THE WEST INDIES, ETC.

MARITIME EVENTS.

SIEGE AND RELIEF OF GIBRALTAR.

PROSPECT OF GENERAL PACIFICATION.

MEETING OF PARLIAMENT.

PRELIMINARIES OF PEACE.

RE-ASSEMBLING OF PARLIAMENT.

THE COALITION MINISTRY.

RE-ESTABLISHMENT OF COMMERCIAL INTERCOURSE WITH AMERICA, ETC.

PITT'S PLAN FOR REFORMING THE TREASURY ETC.

EAST INDIA AFFAIRS.

PETITION OF THE QUAKERS AGAINST THE SLAVE TRADE.

SETTLEMENT ON THE PRINCE OF WALES.

PARLIAMENT PROROGUED.

EXECUTION OF TREATIES, ETC.

MEETING OF PARLIAMENT.

FOX'S INDIA BILL.

DISSOLUTION OF THE COALITION MINISTRY—PITT MADE PRIME MINISTER.

EFFORTS OF THE OPPOSITION AGAINST THE NEW MINISTRY.

CHAPTER XIV.

THE TRIAL OF PARTIES, AND TRIUMPH OF PITT.

A GENERAL ELECTION.

MEETING OF THE NEW PARLIAMENT.

ACTS TO PREVENT SMUGGLING, ETC.

THE BUDGET OF 1784.

PITT'S INDIA BILL.

BILL FOR THE RESTORATION OF FORFEITED ESTATES IN SCOTLAND.

PROROGATION OF PARLIAMENT.

THE STATE OF IRELAND.

MEETING OF PARLIAMENT.

THE WESTMINSTER SCRUTINY.

PITT'S REFORM BILL.

PITT'S FINANCIAL MEASURES.

THE AFFAIRS OF IRELAND.

CONTINENTAL AFFAIRS.

CHAPTER XV.

MEETING OF PARLIAMENT.

BILL FOR THE FORTIFICATION OF THE DOCK-YARDS AT PORTSMOUTH AND PLYMOUTH.

PITT'S FINANCIAL MEASURES.

DEBATES ON INDIA, ETC.

A RETROSPECTIVE VIEW OF INDIAN AFFAIRS.

ATTEMPT ON THE KING'S LIFE.

TREATIES WITH FRANCE AND SPAIN.

AFFAIRS OF THE PRINCE OF WALES.

CHAPTER XVI.

MEETING OF PARLIAMENT.

DEBATE ON THE TREATY OF COMMERCE BETWEEN ENGLAND AND FRANCE.

PITT'S PLAN OF FINANCIAL REFORM.

MOTION FOR THE REPEAL OF THE CORPORATION AND TEST ACTS.

AFFAIRS OF THE PRINCE OF WALES.

MOTION FOR INQUIRY INTO THE ABUSES OF THE POST-OFFICE.

IMPEACHMENT OF WARREN HASTINGS.

PARLIAMENT PROROGUED.

CONTINENTAL AFFAIRS.

MEETING OF PARLIAMENT.

DISPUTES BETWEEN GOVERNMENT, AND THE EAST INDIA COMPANY.

PITT'S FINANCIAL MEASURES.

ADDITIONS MADE TO THE BILL FOR TRYING CONTROVERTED ELECTIONS.

CLAIMS OF THE AMERICAN ROYALISTS, ETC.

THE SLAVE-TRADE QUESTION.

CHARGE AGAINST SIR ELIJAH IMPEY.

IMPEACHMENT OF WARREN HASTINGS.

PARLIAMENT PROROGUED.

CONTINENTAL ALLIANCES.

DERANGEMENT OF HIS MAJESTY: DEBATES ON THE REGENCY.

MEETING OF PARLIAMENT.

CHAPTER XVII.

ELECTION OF SPEAKER.

THE QUESTION OF THE REGENCY RESUMED.

RECOVERY OF HIS MAJESTY.

ADOPTION OF A PLAN OF FORTIFYING THE WEST INDIAN ISLANDS.

BILL FOR THE COMMEMORATION OF THE PEOPLE'S RIGHTS, ETC.

SHOP-TAX REPEALED, ETC.

MOTION RESPECTING THE CORPORATION AND TEST ACTS, ETC.

SLAVE-TRADE QUESTION.

ELECTION OF SPEAKER.

PITTS FINANCIAL MEASURES.

IMPEACHMENT OF WARREN HASTINGS.

PARLIAMENT PROROGUED.

CONTINENTAL AFFAIRS.

STATE OF PARTIES IN ENGLAND.

MEETING OF PARLIAMENT.

DEBATES ON THE TEST AND CORPORATION ACTS.

FLOOD'S MOTION FOR REFORM OF PARLIAMENT.

EAST INDIA AFFAIRS.

PITT'S FINANCIAL STATEMENT, ETC.

THE SLAVE-TRADE QUESTION.

DISPUTES WITH SPAIN.

IMPEACHMENT OF WARREN HASTINGS.

PARLIAMENT PROROGUED, AND DISSOLVED.

SETTLEMENT OF DISPUTES WITH SPAIN.

CONTINENTAL AFFAIRS.

PROGRESS OF REVOLUTIONARY PRINCIPLES IN ENGLAND.

WAR IN INDIA.

MEETING OF PARLIAMENT.

CHAPTER XVIII.

DEBATE ON THE WAR IN INDIA.

DISPUTE WITH RUSSIA.

BILL FOR THE REGULATION OF CANADA.

SLAVE-TRADE ABOLITION BILL.

CATHOLIC RELIEF BILL, ETC.

BILL TO AMEND THE LAW ON LIBELS.

FINANCIAL MEASURES.

IMPEACHMENT OF WARREN HASTINGS.

PARLIAMENT PROROGUED.

PROGRESS OF THE REVOLUTION IN FRANCE.

STATE OF PUBLIC OPINION IN ENGLAND, ETC.

CHAPTER XIX.

MEETING OF PARLIAMENT.

DEBATES ON THE RUSSIAN ARMAMENT.

DEBATES ON THE AFFAIRS OF INDIA.

PITT'S FINANCIAL STATEMENT.

THE SLAVE-TRADE QUESTION.

LONDON POLICE ACT.

ACT TO RELIEVE THE SCOTCH EPISCOPALIANS, ETC.

SHERIDAN'S MOTION RESPECTING THE ROYAL BURGHS OF SCOTLAND.

DEBATES ON PARLIAMENTARY REFORM, ETC.

TRIAL OF HASTINGS, ETC.

BILL RESPECTING THE NEW FOREST AND TIMBER FOR THE NAVY.

PROROGATION OF PARLIAMENT.

CHANGES IN THE MINISTRY.

EAST INDIA AFFAIRS.

PROGRESS OF THE FRENCH REVOLUTION.

AFFAIRS OF POLAND.

STATE OF THE PUBLIC MIND IN ENGLAND.

MEETING OF PARLIAMENT.

THE ALIEN BILL, ETC.

EXECUTION OF THE FRENCH KING.

CHAPTER XX.

HOSTILE MESSAGE OF THE KING TO PARLIAMENT.

DECLARATION OF WAR BY THE FRENCH, ETC.

PITT'S FINANCIAL STATEMENT.

THE TRAITOROUS CORRESPONDENCE BILL.

PREPARATIONS FOR WAR.

RELIEF GRANTED TO MERCANTILE MEN.

RENEWAL OF THE EAST INDIA COMPANY'S CHARTER.

RELIEF OF THE ROMAN CATHOLICS OF SCOTLAND, ETC.

TRIAL OF WARREN HASTINGS.

DISCUSSION ON A MEMORIAL PRESENTED TO THE STATES-GENERAL.

FOX'S MOTION FOR PEACE.

MR. GREY'S MEASURE OF PARLIAMENTARY REFORM.

PROROGATION OF PARLIAMENT.

AFFAIRS OF IRELAND.

PROSPECTS OF THE FRENCH REPUBLIC, &c.

CHAPTER XXI.

MEETING OF PARLIAMENT.

THE MILITIA AUGMENTED, ETC.

SUSPENSION OF THE HABEAS CORPUS ACT.

AGITATION IN ENGLAND AND SCOTLAND.

INTRODUCTION OF FOREIGN TROOPS.

THE SLAVE-TRADE QUESTION.

MOTION ON BEHALF OF LA FAYETTE.

MOTION FOR INQUIRY INTO THE RECENT FAILURES OF OUR ARMIES.

THE TRIAL OF WARREN HASTINGS.

THE PROROGATION OF PARLIAMENT.

MINISTERIAL APPOINTMENTS.

EMBASSY TO CHINA, ETC.

CORSICA ANNEXED TO THE CROWN OF ENGLAND.

LORD HOWE'S NAVAL VICTORY, ETC.

BRITISH CONQUESTS IN THE WEST INDIES.

DISPUTES WITH AMERICA.

MILITARY OPERATIONS ON THE CONTINENT.

THE INTERNAL CONDITION OF FRANCE.

CONVENTION WITH SWEDEN AND DENMARK.

THE STATE OF POLAND.

MEETING OF PARLIAMENT.

CHAPTER XXII.

BILL FOR THE SUSPENSION OF THE HABEAS CORPUS ACT (CONTINUED.)

SUBSIDY TO AUSTRIA.

SUPPLIES, ETC.

PITT'S PLAN TO MAN THE NAVY, ETC.

THE SLAVE-TRADE QUESTION.

TERMINATION OF THE TRIAL OF WARREN HASTINGS.

MOTION FOR INQUIRY INTO THE STATE OF THE NATION REJECTED.

MARRIAGE OF THE PRINCE OF WALES.

PARLIAMENT PROROGUED.

THE AFFAIRS OF IRELAND.

NAVAL AFFAIRS IN THE MEDITERRANEAN, ETC.

FRENCH OPERATIONS IN HOLLAND, ETC.

TREATIES BETWEEN FRANCE AND PRUSSIA, ETC.

TREATY BETWEEN ENGLAND AND RUSSIA, ETC.

THE CAMPAIGN OF THE ALPS.

AFFAIRS OF LA VENDEE.

ARMIES ON THE RHINE.

AFFAIRS AT PARIS.

MEETING OF PARLIAMENT.

BILL TO PREVENT SEDITIOUS MEETINGS, ETC.

CHAPTER XXIII.

GREY'S MOTION FOR PEACE, ETC.

PITT'S FINANCIAL MEASURES.

PROROGATION OF PARLIAMENT.

NEGOCIATIONS FOR PEACE.

MILITARY AFFAIRS ON THE CONTINENT.

SURRENDER OF CORSICA AND THE ISLE OF ELBA.

DUTCH ATTEMPT TO RETAKE THE CAPE OF GOOD HOPE.

FRENCH EXPEDITION TO IRELAND.

DISPUTES BETWEEN FRANCE AND AMERICA.

MEETING OF PARLIAMENT.

PITT'S FINANCIAL STATEMENT.

MISSION OF LORD MALMESBURY TO PARIS.

STOPPAGE OF CASH PAYMENTS AT THE BANK.

MUTINY IN THE FLEETS.

GREY'S MOTION FOR REFORM, ETC.

FRENCH DESCENT ON WALES.

BATTLE OFF CAPE ST. VINCENT.

BATTLE OFF CAMPERDOWN.

THE BLOCKADE OF CADIZ, ETC.

WAR ON THE CONTINENT.

INTERNAL HISTORY OF FRANCE.

MEETING OF PARLIAMENT.

CHAPTER XXIV.

REDEMPTION OF THE LAND-TAX, ETC.

IRISH REBELLION.

INVASION OF BELGIUM.

EXPEDITION TO MINORCA.

BATTLE OF THE NILE, ETC.

MEETING OF PARLIAMENT.

INCOME TAX SANCTIONED, ETC.

TREATY WITH RUSSIA.

UNION WITH IRELAND CONSIDERED

PROROGATION OF PARLIAMENT.

CAMPAIGN IN ITALY.

CAMPAIGN IN EGYPT.

ESTABLISHMENT OF THE CONSULAR GOVERNMENT IN FRANCE.

AFFAIRS OF INDIA.

MEETING OF PARLIAMENT.

PARLIAMENTARY DISCUSSIONS.

UNION WITH IRELAND COMPLETED.

PROROGATION OF PARLIAMENT.

CAMPAIGN IN ITALY.

CAPTURE OF MALTA.

NAVAL OPERATIONS.

MEETING OF PARLIAMENT.

MOTIONS FOR PEACE, ETC.

CHAPTER XXV.

COMMENCEMENT OF THE UNION WITH IRELAND.

MEETING OF PARLIAMENT.

RESIGNATION OF MR. PITT, ETC.

THE NEW MINISTRY.

MOTION FOR AN INQUIRY INTO THE STATE OF THE NATION.

PARLIAMENTARY MEASURES.

WAR WITH THE NORTHERN POWERS.

DISSOLUTION OF THE NORTHERN CONFEDERACY.

EXPEDITION TO EGYPT.

AFFAIRS ON THE CONTINENT.

NAVAL OPERATIONS.

TREATY OF AMIENS.

MEETING OF PARLIAMENT.

PARLIAMENTARY MEASURES.

PREPARATIONS FOR HOSTILITY.

MEETING OF THE NEW PARLIAMENT.

TRIAL OF COLONEL DESPARD.

PARLIAMENTARY PROCEEDINGS.

ACT TO RELIEVE CATHOLICS, ETC.

WAR PROCLAIMED WITH FRANCE.

THE CAUSES FOR THE RENEWAL OF WAR WITH FRANCE.

WAR WITH HOLLAND.

MILITIA BILL, ETC.

FINANCIAL MEASURES.

PROROGATION OF PARLIAMENT.

INSURRECTION IN IRELAND.

LETTER OF THE PRINCE OF WALES.

MOVEMENTS OF THE FRENCH

NAVAL CONQUESTS.

EAST INDIA AFFAIRS.

MEETING OF PARLIAMENT.

CHAPTER XXVI.

HIS MAJESTY'S INDISPOSITION.

CHANGE IN THE MINISTRY—PITT RESUMES OFFICE.

THE SLAVE-TRADE QUESTION.

ADDITIONAL FORCE ACT

DEBATE ON THE CORN-LAWS.

THE BUDGET—PARLIAMENT PROROGUED.

AFFAIRS OF FRANCE: NAPOLEON CREATED EMPEROR.

NAVAL AFFAIRS.

COALITION BETWEEN PITT AND ADDINGTON.

MEETING OF PARLIAMENT.

ARMY AND NAVY ESTIMATES, ETC.

DEBATE ON THE RUPTURE WITH SPAIN.

CLAIMS OF THE CATHOLICS.

THE SLAVE-TRADE QUESTION.

IMPEACHMENT OF LORD MELVILLE.

PARLIAMENT PROROGUED.

DISSENSIONS IN THE CABINET.

NAPOLEON CROWNED KING OF ITALY

CONQUESTS OF NAPOLEON IN BAVARIA.

THE BATTLE OF TRAFALGAR, ETC.

MEETING OF PARLIAMENT.

DEATH OF MR. PITT.

THE GRENVILLE ADMINISTRATION.

NEGOCIATIONS FOR PEACE.

WINDHAM'S MILITARY PLAN.

THE BUDGET.

TRIAL OF LORD MELVILLE.

THE SLAVE-TRADE QUESTION.

PARLIAMENT PROROGUED, ETC.

DEATH OF FOX.

NAVAL SUCCESSES.

DISPUTES WITH AMERICA.

AFFAIRS OF SICILY.

WAR BETWEEN FRANCE AND PRUSSIA, ETC.

MEETING OF PARLIAMENT.

CHAPTER XXVII.

DEBATE ON THE NEGOCIATION WITH FRANCE.

FINANCIAL ARRANGEMENTS.

THE SLAVE-TRADE QUESTION.

BILL FOR REMOVING THE DISABILITIES OF THE ROMAN CATHOLICS.

DISMISSAL OF MINISTERS.

NEW CABINET.

TRIAL OF STRENGTH BETWEEN THE TWO PARTIES.

DISSOLUTION OF PARLIAMENT.

THE NEW PARLIAMENT.

CAMPAIGN OF NAPOLEON.

THE PEACE OF TILSIT.

EXPEDITION TO COPENHAGEN.

HOSTILITIES AGAINST TURKEY.

EXPEDITION TO EGYPT.

DISASTERS IN SOUTH AMERICA.

WAR WITH RUSSIA.

FRENCH INVASION OF PORTUGAL.

MILAN DECREE, ETC.

DISPUTES WITH AMERICA.

MEETING OF PARLIAMENT.

DEBATES ON THE ORDERS IN COUNCIL.

FINANCIAL MEASURES.

DEBATE ON IRELAND.

MOTION RESPECTING THE DROITS OF ADMIRALTY, ETC.

PROROGATION OF PARLIAMENT.

RISING OF THE SPANISH NATION, ETC.

AFFAIRS OF PORTUGAL. CONFEDERATION OF FRANCE AND RUSSIA.

OPERATIONS IN SPAIN.

NAVAL AFFAIRS IN THE MEDITERRANEAN.

STATE OF THE CONTINENT.

CHAPTER XXVIII.

MEETING OF PARLIAMENT.

THE SUPPLIES, ETC.

CHARGES AGAINST THE DUKE OF YORK.

PARLIAMENTARY CORRUPTION.

MOTION FOR REFORM.

PROROGATION OF PARLIAMENT.

AFFAIRS OF SPAIN.

FURTHER OPERATIONS IN SPAIN.

CAMPAIGN OF NAPOLEON IN ITALY.

BRITISH EXPEDITION AGAINST NAPLES AND WALCHEREN.

DISSENSIONS IN THE CABINET.

MEETING OF PARLIAMENT.

DEBATE ON THE WALCHEREN EXPEDITION.

PROCEEDINGS AGAINST SIR FRANCIS BURDETT.

THE SUPPLIES.

THE SLAVE-TRADE QUESTION.

PETITION OF THE IRISH CATHOLICS, ETC.

PROROGATION OF PARLIAMENT.

CAMPAIGN IN PORTUGAL.

AFFAIRS OF SPAIN.

FOREIGN CONQUESTS, ETC.

THE MARRIAGE OF NAPOLEON, ETC.

ILLNESS OF HIS MAJESTY—OPENING OF PARLIAMENT, ETC.

OPENING OF PARLIAMENT BY THE REGENT

DEBATE ON THE RE-APPOINTMENT OF THE DUKE OF YORK TO THE WAR-OFFICE.

THE SUPPLIES.

THE BULLION COMMITTEE, ETC.

SUBJECT OF MILITARY DISCIPLINE.

LOUD SIDMOUTH'S MOTION RESPECTING DISSENTING PREACHERS.

AFFAIRS OF THE IRISH CATHOLICS.

AMENDMENT OF THE CRIMINAL LAW

PROROGATION OF PARLIAMENT.

DISPUTES WITH AMERICA.

CAPTURE OF JAVA.

AFFAIRS OF PORTUGAL.

AFFAIRS OF SPAIN, CAPTURE OF BADAJOZ, ETC.

NAVAL AFFAIRS

AFFAIRS OF FRANCE.

CHAPTER XXIX.

MEETING OF PARLIAMENT.

AUGMENTATION OF THE CIVIL LIST.

BILL FOR PROHIBITING THE GRANT OF OFFICES IN REVERSION, ETC.

CHANGES IN THE MINISTRY, ETC.

ATTACKS UPON MINISTERS.

ASSASSINATION OF MR. PERCEVAL.

ADMINISTRATION OF LORD LIVERPOOL.

FINANCIAL STATEMENTS.

POPULATION RETURNS, ETC.

BILL FOR PRESERVATION OF THE PEACE.

BILL TO EXTEND THE PRIVILEGES OF DISSENTERS.

PROROGATION OF PARLIAMENT, ETC.

CAPTURE OF CIUDAD RODRIGO BY THE BRITISH.

STORM AND CAPTURE OF BADAJOZ.

OPERATIONS IN SPAIN.

WAR BETWEEN FRANCE AND RUSSIA.

WAR WITH AMERICA.

MEETING OF THE NEW PARLIAMENT.

DEBATES ON THE WAR WITH AMERICA.

FINANCIAL STATEMENTS.

RENEWAL OF THE EAST INDIA COMPANY'S CHARTER.

THE CATHOLIC QUESTION.

CURATES' BILL, ETC.

APPOINTMENT OF VICE-CHANCELLOR.

DEBATES ON THE TREATY WITH SWEDEN.

PROROGATION OF PARLIAMENT.

AFFAIRS OF SPAIN.

AMERICAN CAMPAIGN.

MEETING OF PARLIAMENT.

BILL FOR ALLOWING THE MILITIA TO VOLUNTEER INTO THE LINE, ETC.

CHAPTER XXX.

PARLIAMENTARY MEASURES.

CAMPAIGN OF LORD WELLINGTON.

THE ALLIES ENTER PARIS; NAPOLEON DETHRONED, ETC.

TREATY OF PEACE.

HONOURS CONFERRED ON WELLINGTON, ETC.

VISIT OF THE ALLIED SOVEREIGNS.

CONGRESS OF VIENNA.

CAMPAIGN IN AMERICA, ETC.

TREATY OF PEACE WITH AMERICA, ETC.

MEETING OF PARLIAMENT.

RETURN OF NAPOLEON FROM. ELBA.

TRIAL BY JURY, ETC.

WAR RESOLVED ON; FINANCIAL MEASURES.

PROROGATION OF PARLIAMENT.

CONGRESS OF VIENNA.

AFFAIRS OF FRANCE.

THE BATTLE OF WATERLOO.

CAPTURE OF PARIS.—SURRENDER OF NAPOLEON, ETC.

RETURN OF LOUIS XVIII. TO PARIS.

BRITAIN GAINS POSSESSION OF THE ISLAND OF CEYLON.

EAST INDIA AFFAIRS.

MEETING OF PARLIAMENT.

DEBATES ON THE TREATIES.

FINANCIAL STATEMENTS.

ROYAL MARRIAGES.

VARIOUS MOTIONS.

PROROGATION OF PARLIAMENT.

RIOTS, ETC.

EXPEDITION TO ALGIERS.

MEETING OF PARLIAMENT.

MEASURES OF ECONOMY.

RESTRICTIONS ON PUBLIC LIBERTY.

COMMITTEE ON THE POOR-LAWS, ETC.

PROROGATION OF PARLIAMENT.

RIOTS AT MANCHESTER, ETC.

DEATH OF THE PRINCESS CHARLOTTE.

CHAPTER XXXI.

MEETING OF PARLIAMENT.

MOTION FOR SECRET COMMITTEES PREPARATORY TO A BILL OF INDEMNITY.

EXTENSION OF THE BANK RESTRICTION.

TREATY WITH SPAIN.

ROYAL MARRIAGES.

THE SUPPLIES.

THE ALIEN ACT, ETC.

PROROGATION OF PARLIAMENT.

STATE OF THE MANUFACTURERS OF LANCASHIRE, ETC.

DEATH OF QUEEN CHARLOTTE.

MEETING OF PARLIAMENT.

THE DUKE OF YORK APPOINTED GUARDIAN TO HIS MAJESTY.

COMMITTEE ON THE CRIMINAL CODE.

MEASURES FOR RESUMPTION OF CASH-PAYMENTS.

FINANCIAL STATEMENT.

CATHOLIC CLAIMS.

FOREIGN ENLISTMENT ACT.

SLAVE-TRADE, ETC.

PROROGATION OF PARLIAMENT.

SEDITIOUS ASSEMBLAGES.

MEETING OF PARLIAMENT.

MOTION FOR INQUIRY INTO THE STATE OF THE NATION.

PARLIAMENTARY REFORM.

CESSION OF PARGA TO THE TURKS.

DEATH OF GEORGE III.

CHAPTER XXXII.

ACCESSION OF GEORGE IV.

DECLARATION OF THE KING, ETC.

DISSOLUTION OF PARLIAMENT.

CATO-STREET CONSPIRACY.

MEETING OF PARLIAMENT.

BILLS FOR AMENDING THE CRIMINAL CODE.

EDUCATION BILL.

MOTION FOR A COMMITTEE ON THE CORN-LAWS.

MOTION FOR A COMMITTEE RESPECTING FREE TRADE.

THE CIVIL LIST, ETC.

MESSAGE RESPECTING THE QUEEN

TRIAL OF THE QUEEN.

CHAPTER XXXIII.

MEETING OF PARLIAMENT.

DEBATE ON THE HOLY ALLIANCE

THE CATHOLIC QUESTION.

MOTIONS FOR PARLIAMENTARY REFORM, ETC.

REPORT OF THE AGRICULTURAL COMMITTEE.

THE NAVIGATION LAWS.

THE SUPPLIES, ETC.

CORONATION OF GEORGE IV.

DEATH OF QUEEN CAROLINE.

MEETING OF PARLIAMENT.

CHANGES IN THE CABINET.

MOTION TO RESTORE ROMAN CATHOLIC PEERS TO THEIR SEATS IN PARLIAMENT.

MOTION ON AGRICULTURAL DISTRESS, ETC.

ACTS FOR THE REDUCTION OF EXPENDITURE.

DEBATES ON THE CURRENCY.

REDUCTION OF IMPOSTS, ETC.

MOTION FOR PARLIAMENTARY REFORM

CAUSE OF THE GREEKS—PROROGATION OF PARLIAMENT.

CHANGE IN THE CABINET.

CHAPTER XXXIV

MEETING OF PARLIAMENT.

AFFAIRS OF AGRICULTURE AND COMMERCE.

THE SUPPLIES.

THE CATHOLIC QUESTION.

AFFAIRS IN IRELAND.

MOTIONS TO REFORM THE CRIMINAL LAW.

MOTION TO REFORM THE SCOTCH REPRESENTATION.

NEW LONDON BRIDGE BILL.

MOTION RESPECTING THE DUTY ON THE LEEWARD ISLANDS.

EXPENSES OF THE CORONATION.

MUNIFICENCE OF GEORGE IV.

IRISH TITHE COMMUTATION BILL, ETC.—PROROGATION OF PARLIAMENT.

STATE OF THE COUNTRY.

MEETING OF PARLIAMENT.

ATTACK ON MINISTERS WITH REFERENCE TO SPAIN, ETC.

FINANCIAL STATEMENTS

THE TRADE QUESTION

ALIEN BILL, ETC.

DISCUSSIONS ON THE REVOLT IN DEMARARA, ETC.

STATE OF THE BRITISH COLONIES.

EAST INDIA AFFAIRS.

CHAPTER XXXV.

MEETING OF PARLIAMENT.

BILL FOR THE SUPPRESSION OF UNLAWFUL ASSOCIATIONS IN IRELAND.

CATHOLIC RELIEF BILL.

COMMITTEE OF INQUIRY INTO THE STATE OF IRELAND.

MR. HUME'S MOTION AGAINST THE IRISH CHURCH ESTABLISHMENT, ETC.

STATE OF THE IRISH CHARTER SCHOOLS.

DEBATES ON ALLEGED ABUSES IN CHANCERY.

REGULATION OF THE SALARIES OF THE JUDGES.

REJECTION OF THE UNITARIAN MARRIAGE ACT, ETC.

ACT AGAINST COMBINATIONS AMONG WORKMEN.

FREE-TRADE SYSTEM.

SURRENDER, OF THE CHARTER OF THE LEVANT COMPANY.

REPORT OF TREATIES.

FINANCIAL STATEMENTS.

PROPOSALS FOR THE ABOLITION OF CERTAIN TAXES, ETC.

PROROGATION OF PARLIAMENT.

GREAT COMMERCIAL PANIC.

THE BURMESE WAR.

REVIEW OF FOREIGN RELATIONS.

CHAPTER XXXVI.

MEETING OF PARLIAMENT.

MEASURES PROPOSED FOR RELIEVING COMMERCIAL DISTRESS.

BILL TO ENABLE PRIVATE BANKS TO HAVE AN UNLIMITED NUMBER OF PARTNERS,

APPOINTMENT OF A COMMITTEE ON EMIGRATION.

MODIFICATION OF THE CORN-LAWS.

DEBATES ON FREE TRADE.

FINANCIAL STATEMENTS.

BILL TO PREVENT BRIBERY AT ELECTIONS.

PARLIAMENTARY REFORM.

ALTERATION OF THE CRIMINAL CODE.

CASE OF MR. KENRICK.

STATE OF THE COLONIES.

MODE FOR AMENDING THE REPRESENTATION OF EDINBURGH, ETC.

RESOLUTION FOR THE REGULATION OF PRIVATE COMMITTEES.

MOTION TO HOLD PARLIAMENT OCCASIONALLY IN DUBLIN AND EDINBURGH.

RESTORATION OF FORFEITED SCOTCH PEERAGES.

MOTION TO DISJOIN THE PRESIDENCY OF THE BOARD OF TRADE FROM THE

CATHOLIC EMANCIPATION, ETC.

INDIA JURY BILL, ETC.

NATURALIZATION ACT, ETC.

PROROGATION AND DISSOLUTION OF PARLIAMENT.

GENERAL ELECTION.

THE BURMESE WAR.

MEETING OF THE NEW PARLIAMENT.

MOTION FOR A SELECT COMMITTEE ON JOINT-STOCK COMPANIES, ETC.

KING'S MESSAGE RESPECTING THE CONDUCT OF SPAIN TOWARDS PORTUGAL.

RESOLUTIONS AGAINST BRIBERY AT ELECTIONS.

CHAPTER XXXVII.

DEATH OF THE DUKE OF YORK.

MEETING OF PARLIAMENT.

CATHOLIC QUESTION.

THE CORN-LAWS.

DISSOLUTION OF THE MINISTRY.

REASSEMBLING OF PARLIAMENT.

EXPLANATIONS OF MEMBERS, AND HOSTILITY TO THE MINISTRY.

OPINIONS OF HIS MAJESTY ON THE CATHOLIC QUESTION.

MOTION ON THE CHANCELLOR'S JURISDICTION IN BANKRUPTCY.

MOTIONS REGARDING THE STAMP-DUTY AND CHEAP PUBLICATIONS.

THE CORN-LAW QUESTION.

FINANCIAL STATEMENTS.

CORRUPT BOROUGHS.

THE GAME-LAWS.

IMPROVEMENT OF THE CRIMINAL CODE.

PROROGATION OF PARLIAMENT.

DEATH OF MR. CANNING.

ADMINISTRATION OF LORD GODERICH.

REVIEW OF FOREIGN POLICY.

CHAPTER XXXVIII.

DUKE OF WELLINGTON'S ADMINISTRATION.

MEETING OF PARLIAMENT.

DISCUSSIONS AND EXPLANATIONS CONCERNING THE DISSOLUTION OF THE GODERICH

QUESTIONS OF FINANCE.

MOTION FOR A GRANT TO THE FAMILY OF MR. CANNING.

FINANCIAL STATEMENTS.

REPEAL OF THE TEST AND CORPORATION ACTS.

THE CATHOLIC QUESTION.

MOTION ON THE STATE OF THE LAW.

BILLS CONNECTED WITH ELECTION OF MEMBERS OF THE HOUSE.

CORN-LAW QUESTION.

DIVISIONS IN THE CABINET.

PROROGATION OF PARLIAMENT.

DISTURBANCES IN IRELAND.

DEATH OF THE EARL OF LIVERPOOL.

FOREIGN POLICY.

CHAPTER XXXIX.

THE CATHOLIC QUESTION.

MEETING OF PARLIAMENT.

SUPPRESSION OF THE CATHOLIC ASSOCIATION.

REJECTION OF MR. PEEL AT OXFORD.

THE TRIUMPH OF CATHOLIC EMANCIPATION.

BILL FOR THE DISFRANCHISEMENT OF THE FORTY-SHILLING FREEHOLDERS.

THE CASE OF MR. O'CONNELL.

FINANCIAL STATEMENTS.

MOTION FOR PARLIAMENTARY REFORM.

PROROGATION OF PARLIAMENT, ETC.

STATE OF AFFAIRS IN IRELAND.

AGRICULTURAL AND COMMERCIAL DISTRESS.

FOREIGN POLITICS.

CHAPTER XL.

STATE OF PARTIES.

MEETING OF PARLIAMENT.

MOTION FOR A COMMITTEE OF THE WHOLE HOUSE ON THE STATE OF THE NATION.

REDUCTION OF SALARIES OF PUBLIC OFFICERS, ETC.

MOTION FOR REVISING THE WHOLE SYSTEM OF TAXATION.

COMMITTEE ON THE EAST INDIA COMPANY'S CHARTER.

DEBATE ON A PROPOSAL TO ALTER THE CURRENCY.

FINANCIAL STATEMENTS—BILL FOR REPEALING THE DUTY ON BEER, ETC.

THE QUESTION OF REFORM.

THE CASE OF EAST RETFORD.

MR. O'CONNELL'S BILL FOR REFORM BY UNIVERSAL SUFFRAGE, ETC.

MR. O'CONNELL'S BILL FOR REFORM BY UNIVERSAL SUFFRAGE AND VOTE BY

BILL FOR REMOVING THE CIVIL DISABILITIES AFFECTING JEWS.

BILL FOR CAPITAL PUNISHMENT IN CASES OF FORGERY.

BILL FOR AMENDING THE LAW OF LIBEL.

ALTERATIONS IN COURTS OF JUSTICE.

ILLNESS OF HIS MAJESTY.

BILL TO AUTHORISE THE ADHIBITING OF THE SIGN-MANUAL BY STAMP.

DEATH OF THE KING, AND ACCESSION OF THE DUKE OF CLARENCE, WILLIAM IV.

CHAPTER XL. (Continued)

ROYAL MESSAGE TO PARLIAMENT—RUPTURE BETWEEN THE MINISTERS AND

PROROGATION AND DISSOLUTION OF PARLIAMENT.

STATE OF PARTIES.

MEETING OF THE NEW PARLIAMENT.

DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING THEIR MAJESTIES' VISIT TO LONDON.

MAJORITY AGAINST MINISTERS FOR A SELECT COMMITTEE ON THE CIVIL LIST.

FORMATION OF EARL GREY'S ADMINISTRATION.

DEATH OF MR. HUSKISSON.

STATE OF FOREIGN NATIONS.

CHAPTER XLI.

STATE OF THE REFORM QUESTION.

MEETING OF PARLIAMENT.

INTRODUCTION OF THE REFORM BILL.

DEBATE ON THE MOTION THAT THE BILL BE READ A SECOND TIME, ETC.

MOTION OF ADJOURNMENT PENDING THE ORDNANCE ESTIMATES CARRIED AGAINST

THE BUDGET—PROPOSED CHANGES IN TAXES, ETC.—ARRANGEMENT OF THE CIVIL

GENERAL ELECTION.

MEETING OF PARLIAMENT—THE REFORM QUESTION RENEWED IN PARLIAMENT.

REJECTION OF THE REFORM BILL BY THE LORDS.

CONSEQUENCES OF THE REJECTION OF THE REFORM BILL.

FINANCIAL STATEMENTS.

PROROGATION OF PARLIAMENT.

CORONATION OF WILLIAM IV.

OPENING OF NEW LONDON BRIDGE, ETC.

RAVAGES OF THE CHOLERA.

FOREIGN AFFAIRS.

MEETING OF PARLIAMENT.

NEW REFORM BILL.

CHAPTER XLII.

REFORM BILL PASSED BY THE COMMONS.

DEBATES ON THE REFORM BILL IN THE LORDS.

DISTURBED STATE OF THE NATION.

REASSEMBLING OF PARLIAMENT.

FAILURE OF THE ATTEMPTS TO FORM A NEW ADMINISTRATION—MINISTERS

REFORM BILL PASSED.

IRISH AND SCOTCH REFORM BILLS PASSED.

BILL TO PREVENT BRIBERY AT ELECTIONS, ETC.

COMMITTEES ON IRISH TITHES.

FINANCIAL STATEMENTS.

COMMITTEE ON THE CHARTER OF THE EAST INDIA COMPANY, ETC.

THE AFFAIRS OF THE WEST INDIES.

PROROGATION OF PARLIAMENT.

GENERAL ELECTION.

RESIGNATION OF THE SPEAKER.

STATE OF IRELAND.

STATE OF THE CONTINENT.

CHAPTER XLIII.

MEETING OF PARLIAMENT—RE-ELECTION OF MR. MANNERS SUTTON AS SPEAKER.

OPENING OF THE REFORMED PARLIAMENT BY THE KING IN PERSON.

CASE OF MR. PEASE.

IRISH COERCION BILL.

IRISH CHURCH BILL.

IRISH TITHE BILL.

FINANCIAL STATEMENTS.

BANK OF ENGLAND CHARTER RENEWED.

EAST INDIA QUESTION.

ABOLITION OF SLAVERY IN THE COLONIES.

FACTORY BILL.

THE CORN LAWS.

RESOLUTIONS AGAINST BRIBERY, ETC.

BILL TO REMOVE THE CIVIL DISABILITIES OF JEWS.—PROROGATION OF

FOREIGN AFFAIRS.

CHAPTER XLIV.

MEETING OF PARLIAMENT.

MR. O'CONNELL'S MOTION FOR THE REPEAL OF THE UNION.

DIVISIONS IN THE CABINET.

COMMISSION ISSUED TO INQUIRE INTO THE STATE OF THE IRISH CHURCH.

IRISH TITHE QUESTION.

RENEWAL OF THE IRISH COERCION BILL.

RESIGNATION OF EARL GREY, ETC.

REJECTION OF THE IRISH TITHE QUESTION BY THE PEERS.

STATE OF ECCLESIASTICAL QUESTIONS AND THE CLAIMS OF DISSENTERS.

POOR-LAW AMENDMENT ACT.

THE CORN-LAW QUESTION.

FINANCIAL STATEMENTS, ETC.

BILL FOR THE REMOVAL OF THE CIVIL DISABILITIES OF THE JEWS, ETC.

PROROGATION OF PARLIAMENT.

DISSOLUTION OF THE CABINET.

SIR ROBERT PEEL APPOINTED PRIME-MINISTER.

DISSOLUTION OF PARLIAMENT.

THE ACT ABOLISHING SLAVERY IN THE WEST INDIES CARRIED INTO EFFECT.

STATE OF THE CONTINENT.

CHAPTER XLV.

STATE OF PARTIES.

GENERAL ELECTION.

MEETING OF PARLIAMENT.—CONTEST FOR THE ELECTION OF SPEAKER.

OPENING OF THE SESSION.

DISCUSSION IN THE LORDS RESPECTING THE SLAVERY ABOLITION ACT.

MOTION OF THE MARQUIS OF CHANDOS TO REPEAL THE MALT-TAX.

THE DISSENTERS' MARRIAGE ACT.

REPORT OF COMMISSION REGARDING THE CHURCH OF ENGLAND, ETC.

REPEATED DEFEATS OF THE MINISTRY IN THE HOUSE OF COMMONS.

THE QUESTION OF THE APPROPRIATION OF THE SURPLUS OF THE REVENUES OF THE

RESIGNATION OF MINISTERS, AND RESTORATION OF LORD MELBOURNE'S CABINET.

MUNICIPAL REFORM AND THE IRISH CHURCH.

AGRICULTURAL DISTRESS.

DISCUSSION REGARDING ORANGE SOCIETIES IN IRELAND.

THE VOTE BY BALLOT, ETC.

THE BUDGET.

DISCUSSIONS REGARDING CANADA.

PROROGATION OF PARLIAMENT.

STATE OF THE CONTINENT.

CHAPTER XLVI.

MEETING OF PARLIAMENT.

THE QUESTION OF ORANGE LODGES.

BILL TO REFORM THE IRISH MUNICIPAL CORPORATIONS.

THE IRISH TITHE-BILL.

COMMUTATION OF TITHES IN ENGLAND.

BILL FOR REGISTRATION OF BIRTHS, DEATHS, AND MARRIAGES, ETC.

BILL TO ALTER THE REVENUES AND TERRITORIES OF THE DIFFERENT SEES, ETC.

BILL TO ABOLISH THE SECULAR JURISDICTION OF BISHOPS, ETC.

BILL TO AMEND THE ENGLISH MUNICIPAL CORPORATION ACT.

BILL TO ALLOW FELONS' COUNSEL TO ADDRESS THE JURY, ETC.

ABOLITION OF IMPRISONMENT FOR DEBT, ETC.

ELECTION COMMITTEES.

NEW HOUSES OF PARLIAMENT.

MOTION FOR THE REDUCTION OF TAXATION ON BEHALF OF THE AGRICULTURISTS.

THE BUDGET, ETC.

DISCUSSIONS ON THE COLONIES, AND ON OUR FOREIGN RELATIONS.

PROROGATION OF PARLIAMENT.

THE AFFAIRS OF IRELAND.

FOREIGN RELATIONS.

CHAPTER XLVII.

MEETING OF PARLIAMENT.

CONSIDERATION OF THE STATE OF IRELAND.

QUESTION OF ESTABLISHING A SYSTEM OF POOR-LAWS IN IRELAND.

IRISH TITHE QUESTION.

QUESTION OF CHURCH-RATES.

THE CHURCH OF SCOTLAND.

NOTICES OF MOTIONS FOR CONSTITUTIONAL CHANGES.

OPERATION OF THE NEW POOR-LAWS.

AFFAIRS OF CANADA.

STATE OF THE BANKING SYSTEM, ETC.

CONSIDERATION OF THE FOREIGN POLICY OF ENGLAND UNDER THE WHIG

MOTION ON THE STATE OF THE NATION.

ILLNESS AND DEATH OF THE KING—REMARKS ON HIS CHARACTER.

CHAPTER XLVIII.

THE ACCESSION OF QUEEN VICTORIA.

THE QUEEN'S MESSAGE TO BOTH HOUSES—EULOGIES OF THE LATE SOVEREIGN IN

BILL FOR PROVIDING THE SUCCESSION TO THE CROWN.

THE BUDGET, ETC.

ALTERATIONS IN THE CRIMINAL LAW, ETC.

PROROGATION OF PARLIAMENT.

STATE OF PARTIES AND ELECTIONS.

CITY BANQUET TO THE QUEEN.

OPENING OF THE NEW PARLIAMENT.

THE SUBJECT OF THE CIVIL LIST DEBATED.

THE SUBJECT OF THE PENSION LIST.

INTELLIGENCE FROM CANADA—DISCUSSION ON THE SUBJECT—ADJOURNMENT OF THE

STATE OF THE CONTINENT.

CHAPTER XLIX.

PARLIAMENT REASSEMBLES—DEBATES ON CANADA—ADDRESS TO THE THRONE

THE QUESTION OF ELECTION COMMITTEES, ETC.

MOTION FOR THE BALLOT.

PARLIAMENTARY QUALIFICATION BILL.

PERSONAL ATTACKS.

REVIVAL OF ANTI-SLAVERY AGITATION, ETC.

DEBATES ON THE IRISH POOR-LAW BILL—THE BILL CARRIED.

MOTION FOR THE REPEAL OF THE APPROPRIATION CLAUSE—MINISTERIAL PLAN FOR

COMMITTEE OF THE HOUSE OF COMMONS UPON THE IRISH MUNICIPAL BILL—THE

THE CORONATION.

DEBATES IN THE HOUSE OF COMMONS ON THE IRISH TITHE QUESTION.

THE IRISH POOR-LAW BILL CARRIED IN THE LORDS.

PROJECTED FORMATION OF A COLONY IN NEW ZEALAND, ETC.

FINANCIAL STATEMENTS, ETC.

MOTION FOR THE REPEAL OF THE CORN-LAWS.

VARIOUS IMPROVEMENTS IN THE LAW.

A SELECT COMMITTEE TO INQUIRE INTO THE OPERATION OF THE POOR-LAWS.

COMBINATIONS IN ENGLAND AND IRELAND.

JOHN THOM. ALIAS SIR WILLIAM COURTENAY.

COMMITTEE ON CHURCH LANDS.

ACT FOR ABOLISHING PLURALITIES, ETC.

THE SUBJECT OF EDUCATION DISCUSSED IN PARLIAMENT.

THE QUESTION OF CANADA RENEWED.

QUEEN PROROGUES PARLIAMENT.

DISAFFECTION AMONG THE WORKING CLASSES.

PROPOSED REDUCTION OF THE RATES OF POSTAGE.

THE STATE OF IRELAND.

THE AFFAIRS OF CANADA.

THE STATE OF THE CONTINENT.

CHAPTER L.

STATE OF PARTIES.

MEETING OF PARLIAMENT.

THE CORN-LAW QUESTION.

THE AFFAIRS OF IRELAND DISCUSSED IN PARLIAMENT.

IRISH MUNICIPAL CORPORATIONS BILL.

PROCEEDINGS IN PARLIAMENT RESPECTING JAMAICA.

RESIGNATION OF MINISTERS, AND FAILURE OF SIR ROBERT PEEL TO FORM A NEW

NATIONAL EDUCATION.

AFFAIRS OF CANADA.

THE SECOND JAMAICA BILL, ETC.

BILL FOR THE SUPPRESSION OF THE PORTUGUESE SLAVE-TRADE, ETC.

MOTION FOR THE BALLOT.

ACT FOR THE BETTER ORDERING OF PRISONS.

MOTION FOR A COMMITTEE OF THE WHOLE HOUSE TO CONSIDER THE NATIONAL

BIRMINGHAM RIOTS, ETC.

THE BUDGET—PROPOSED REDUCTION OF POSTAGE DUTIES, ETC.

PROROGATION OF PARLIAMENT.

AFFAIRS IN THE EAST INDIES.

STATE OF THE CONTINENT.

CHAPTER LI.

MEETING OF PARLIAMENT.—ANNOUNCEMENT OF THE QUEEN'S MARRIAGE.

BILL FOR THE NATURALIZATION OF PRINCE ALBERT.

THE CIVIL-LIST.

QUESTION OF PRIVILEGE—HANSARD AND STOCKDALE.

AFFAIRS OF CHINA, ETC.

THE IRISH MUNICIPAL CORPORATIONS BILL, ETC.

FINANCIAL STATEMENT, ETC.

THE UNION OF THE CANADAS.

ECCLESIASTICAL DUTIES AND REVENUES BILL.

THE REGENCY BILL.

PROROGATION OF PARLIAMENT.

AFFAIRS OF BRITISH INDIA.

THE MARRIAGE OF THE QUEEN.

STATE OF THE CONTINENT.

CHAPTER LII.

MEETING OF PARLIAMENT.

POOR LAW AMENDMENT ACT.

JEWS' CIVIL DISABILITIES REMOVAL BILL.

CHURCH OF SCOTLAND: NON-INTRUSION QUESTION, ETC.

LAW-REFORM.

FINANCIAL STATEMENTS.

DISCUSSION ON THE CORN-LAWS.

RESOLUTION OF WANT OF CONFIDENCE IN THE GOVERNMENT.

PROROGATION AND DISSOLUTION OF PARLIAMENT.

STATE OF PARTIES.

MEETING OF THE NEW HOUSE OF COMMONS, ETC.

RESIGNATION OF MINISTERS.—SIR ROBERT PEEL'S ADMINISTRATION.

STATEMENT OF SIR ROBERT PEEL AS TO HIS INTENDED COURSE OF PROCEEDING,

FINANCIAL STATEMENT.

POOR LAWS, ETC.

EAST INDIA AFFAIRS, ETC.

STATE OF THE CONTINENT.

CHAPTER LIII.

MEETING OF PARLIAMENT.

DEBATE ON THE CORN-LAWS—PROPOSITION OF MINISTERS ON THE SUBJECT.

FINANCIAL MEASURES—INCOME-TAX BILL, ETC.

NEW TARIFF.

MR. VILLIERS'S MOTION ON THE CORN-LAWS.

THE GREAT CHARTIST PETITION.

BILL FOR RESTRAINING THE EMPLOYMENT OF WOMEN AND CHILDREN IN MINES AND

BRIBERY AT ELECTIONS.

LAW REFORMS.

BILL FOR THE PROTECTION OF THE ROYAL PERSON.

POOR-LAW AMENDMENT BILL.

PROROGATION OF PARLIAMENT.

EAST INDIA AFFAIRS, ETC.

CHAPTER LIV.

STATE OF THE COUNTRY.

MEETING OF PARLIAMENT.

NATIONAL DISTRESS.

ADDRESS TO THE CROWN ON THE SUBJECT OF EDUCATION.

AFFAIRS OF INDIA, ETC.

THE CORN-LAW QUESTION RESUMED.

IRISH AFFAIRS.

FINANCIAL STATEMENTS.

EDUCATION.

CHURCH EXTENSION, ETC.

LAW REFORM.

PROROGATION OF PARLIAMENT.

AGITATION IN IRELAND, FORMATION OF THE FREE CHURCH IN SCOTLAND, ETC.

DISPUTES WITH AMERICA.

THE STATE OF INDIA.

CONTINENTAL AFFAIRS.

CHAPTER LV.

MEETING OF PARLIAMENT.

MOTION FOR THE STOPPAGE OF SUPPLIES.

AFFAIRS OF INDIA.

IRISH AFFAIRS.

RESTRICTIONS ON LABOUR IN FACTORIES, ETC.

THE CORN-LAWS AND FREE-TRADE QUESTION.

FINANCIAL STATEMENTS.

SUGAR-DUTIES BILL, ETC.

BANK CHARTER AND BANKING REGULATIONS.

DISSENTERS' CHAPELS BILL.

SEES OF BANGOR AND ST. ASAPH.

MISCELLANEOUS MEASURES OF THE SESSION.

PROROGATION OF PARLIAMENT.

THE STATE OF INDIA.

PROCEEDINGS AGAINST MR. O'CONNELL.

CONTINENTAL AFFAIRS.

CHAPTER LVI.

MEETING OF PARLIAMENT.

FINANCIAL AND COMMERCIAL POLICY—RETENTION OF THE INCOME-TAX, ETC.

THE SUGAR-DUTIES QUESTION.

CORN-LAWS AND FREE TRADE.

AFFAIRS OF IRELAND—MAYNOOTH IMPROVEMENT BILL.

ACADEMICAL EDUCATION IN IRELAND.

COLONIAL POLICY.

QUESTION OF THE OREGON TERRITORY.

MISCELLANEOUS MEASURES OF THE SESSION.

PROROGATION OF PARLIAMENT.

THE AFFAIRS OF INDIA.

THE STATE OF THE CONTINENT.

CHAPTER LVII.

STATE OF PUBLIC AFFAIRS AT THE COMMENCEMENT OF THIS YEAR, ETC.

MEETING OF PARLIAMENT.

SETTLEMENT OF THE CORN-LAW QUESTION.

CHAPTER LVIII.

POSITION OF THE CONSERVATIVE PARTY ON THE DEFECTION OF SIR ROBERT PEEL.

THE CONDITION OF IRELAND.—DISTURBED STATE OF THE COUNTRY.—DISAFFECTION

POLITICAL AGITATION.—YOUNG IRELAND.

AFFAIRS OF INDIA.—BATTLE OF ALIWAL.—TOTAL EXPULSION OF THE SIKHS

STATE OF AFFAIRS AT THE CAPE OF GOOD HOPE.—SUCCESSES OF THE

STATE OF NEW ZEALAND.—SUPPRESSION OF THE NATIVE REVOLT.

BORNEO.

OUR NORTH AMERICAN COLONIES.

FOREIGN AFFAIRS.

SOUTH AMERICA.

RELATIONS WITH CONTINENTAL EUROPE.

HOME.

CHAPTER LIX.

COLONIAL AFFAIRS.

FOREIGN RELATIONS.

STATE OF IRELAND.—PROGRESS OF FAMINE AND DISEASE.

CONTINUED POLITICAL AGITATION.—DREADFUL PREVALENCE OF CRIME.

DEATH OF O'CONNELL.

MR. JOHN O'CONNELL ASSUMES THE PRESIDENCY OF THE REPEAL

BITTER DISPUTES BETWEEN "OLD IRELAND" AND "YOUNG IRELAND."

GENERAL STATE OF AFFAIRS IN GREAT BRITAIN.

POLITICAL AGITATION IN ENGLAND.

THE COURT.

HOME NAVAL AND MILITARY AFFAIRS.

GENERAL HOME INCIDENTS.

PARLIAMENTARY HISTORY OF THE YEAR.

GOVERNMENT PLAN OF EDUCATION.

BILL FOR CREATING A NEW DIOCESS OF MANCHESTER.

DEBATE ON THE ANNEXATION OF CRACOW.

PROROGATION AND DISSOLUTION OF PARLIAMENT.

ASSEMBLING OF A NEW PARLIAMENT.

DEBATE ON THE DISTRESS OF THE NATION.

MEASURES FOR THE REPRESSION OF HOMICIDE AND OUTRAGE IN IRELAND.

MOTION FOR THE REPEAL OF JEWISH DISABILITIES.

ADJOURNMENT OF THE HOUSE.—CLOSE OF THE PARLIAMENTARY LABOURS OF 1847.

CHAPTER LX.

THE WAR IN INDIA.

MUTINY OF SIKH TROOPS IN THE PUNJAUB. AND REVOLT OF CHUTTUR SINGH.

SIEGE AND CAPTURE OF MOOLTAN.

CAMPAIGN IN THE PUNJAUB UNDER LORD GOUGH.

CANADA.

THE WEST INDIES.

FOREIGN RELATIONS.

THE UNITED STATES.

SPAIN: DIPLOMATIC DISAGREEMENT WITH THAT COUNTRY; DISMISSION OF THE

THE CONTINENTAL REVOLUTIONS.

ITALY.

THE PAPAL STATES.

NAPLES AND SICILY.

BELGIUM.

GERMANY.

THE AUSTRIAN EMPIRE.

THE GERMAN CONFEDERATION.

DENMARK.—SCHLESWIG-HOLSTEIN.

RUSSIA.

IRELAND.

ENGLAND.

VISIT OF FRENCH NATIONAL GUARDS TO LONDON.

COMMERCIAL AFFAIRS.

THE COBDEN TESTIMONIAL.

AGITATION CONCERNING THE NAVIGATION LAWS.

REWARDS FOR INDIA SERVICE.

REFORM OF THE CAMBRIDGE UNIVERSITY.

THE COURT.

PARLIAMENTARY PROCEEDINGS.

CLOSE OF THE SESSION.

DEATHS OF EMINENT PERSONS.

CHAPTER LXI.

PROSECUTION OF THE WAR IN INDIA, AND ANNEXATION OF THE PUNJAUB.

CHINA.

BORNEO.

THE CAPE OF GOOD HOPE.

CANADA.—POLICY OF THE GOVERNMENT.—OPPOSITION AND INSOLENT PROCEEDINGS

AUSTRALIA.—DISCONTENTS CREATED BY THE TRANSPORTATION QUESTION.

CEPHALONIA.

THE ARCTIC EXPEDITION UNDER SIR J. ROSS.

FOREIGN AFFAIRS.

STATE OF GERMANY.

DEMANDS OF THE RUSSIAN AND AUSTRIAN EMPERORS UPON THE SULTAN OF TURKEY.

CONTINUED DISTRESS IN IRELAND—CRIME AND OUTRAGE—POLITICAL

POLITICAL STATE OF ENGLAND.

COMMERCIAL AFFAIRS.

THE CHOLERA.

PARLIAMENTARY HISTORY OF 1849—OPENING OF THE SESSION.

REPEAL OF THE NAVIGATION LAWS.

AGRICULTURAL DISTRESS—MOTION FOR GOVERNMENTAL RELIEF.

IRELAND.

VOTE OF THANKS TO THE ARMY IN INDIA.

MR. COBDEN'S MOTION FOR REDUCING THE ARMY AND NAVY.

THE BUDGET.

MOTION ON THE STATE OF THE NATION

THE PROROGATION.

THE COURT.

THE QUEEN'S VISIT TO IRELAND.

THE ROYAL VISIT TO SCOTLAND.

DEATH OF THE QUEEN DOWAGER.

DEATHS OF EMINENT PERSONS.

CHAPTER LXII.

FOREIGN RELATIONS.

COLONIAL AFFAIRS.

INDIA.

IRELAND.

HOME EVENTS.—PROPOSAL FOR AN EXHIBITION OF THE INDUSTRY OF ALL NATIONS.

COMMERCE AND INDUSTRY.

THE CHOLERA.

PAPAL AGGRESSION.

COMPLIMENT TO LORD PALMERSTON.

ARRIVAL OF THE KOH-I-NOOR.

ATTACK UPON GENERAL HAYNAU.

PARLIAMENTARY HISTORY.—OPENING OF THE SESSION.

AFFAIRS OF GREECE.

CONSTITUTIONS FOR THE COLONIES.

AUSTRALIAN COLONIES' BILL.

LOCAL BURDENS ON LAND.

PARLIAMENTARY REFORM.

IRISH DISTRESS.

IRISH FRANCHISE BILL.

BILL FOR THE ABOLITION OF THE LORD-LIEUTENANCY OF IRELAND.

MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS OF DEBATE.

FINANCE.

THE BUDGET.

DEATH OF SIR ROBERT PEEL.

PROROGATION OF PARLIAMENT.

THE COURT.

DEATHS OF REMARKABLE PERSONS.

CHAPTER LXIII.

GENERAL PARLIAMENTARY HISTORY OF 1851.

EXHIBITION OF THE INDUSTRY OF ALL NATIONS.

THE CENSUS.

IRELAND.

THE COURT.

COLONIAL AFFAIRS.

FOREIGN AFFAIRS—EUROPEAN RELATIONS.

DISCUSSIONS IN THE ENGLISH PARLIAMENT CONCERNING THE STATE OF AFFAIRS AT

DIPLOMATIC DISPUTE WITH AUSTRIA AND TUSCANY, ARISING FROM AN OUTRAGE

STATEMENT OF MR. ERSKINE MATHER TO M. SALVAGNOLI.*

DEATHS OF EMINENT PERSONS DURING THE YEAR 1851.

CHAPTER LXIV.

DEATH OF THE DUKE OF WELLINGTON.

THE COURT.

PARLIAMENTARY PROCEEDINGS AND PARTY CONFLICTS DURING 1852.

PARLIAMENTARY REFORM.

THE MILITIA BILL.—DEFEAT AND RESIGNATION OF THE CABINET.

THE EARL OF DERBY'S ADMINISTRATION.

FOREIGN POLICY OF THE GOVERNMENT.—OUTRAGE ON MR. MATHER AT FLORENCE.

LAW REFORM.

PROROGATION AND DISSOLUTION OF PARLIAMENT.—GENERAL ELECTION.

MEETING OF THE NEW PARLIAMENT.

BOTH HOUSES CARRY RESOLUTIONS PLEDGING THEM TO THE FREE-TRADE POLICY.

THE GOVERNMENT SCHEME OF FINANCE.—DEFEAT AND RESIGNATION OF THE

FORMATION OF A NEW MINISTRY.

IRELAND.

COLONIES.

CAPE OF GOOD HOPE.

INDIA.

FOREIGN AFFAIRS.—BIRMESE WAR.

FRANCE.

GENERAL EUROPEAN RELATIONS.

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.

EFFORTS AGAINST THE SLAVE TRADE, AND TO SUPPRESS PIRACY.

DEATHS OF EMINENT PERSONS.

CHAPTER LXV.

GENERAL STATE OF GREAT BRITAIN.

THE COURT.

STATE OF IRELAND.

GENERAL CONDITION OF THE COLONIES.

CANADA.

FOREIGN AFFAIRS.

THE WAR WITH RUSSIA.

PARLIAMENTARY HISTORY.

INDIA BILL.

DISCUSSIONS ON FOREIGN AFFAIRS.—RUSSIA AND TURKEY.

DEATHS OF EMINENT PERSONS.

CHAPTER LXVI.

HOME AFFAIRS.—GENERAL PROSPECTS.

THE COURT.

IRELAND

COLONIAL.

FOREIGN AFFAIRS.—THE ALLIANCE WITH FRANCE, THE WAR WITH RUSSIA.

PARLIAMENT.

DEATHS OF EMINENT PERSONS.

CHAPTER LXVII.

HOME AFFAIRS—PUBLIC OPINION, AGITATION OF PEOPLE AND PARLIAMENT.

DEATH OF THE CZAR.

DEPARTURE OF THE BALTIC FLEET.

FINANCIAL OPERATIONS FOR THE YEAR.

SEVERITY OF THE WEATHER.

VISIT OF THE EMPEROR OF THE FRENCH.

DISTRIBUTION OF MEDALS BY THE QUEEN.

VISIT OF THE KING OF THE BELGIANS.

HER MAJESTY VISITS THE FRENCH EMPEROR.

VISIT OF THE KING OF SARDINIA TO THE ENGLISH COURT.

IRELAND.

PARLIAMENTARY PROCEEDINGS, MINISTERIAL CHANGES, AND DIPLOMATIC

THE CONDUCT OF THE WAR—OPERATIONS IN THE CRIMEA AND BLACK SEA.

OPERATIONS IN THE SEA OF AZOFF.

OPERATIONS IN ASIA MINOR.

OPERATIONS OF THE ALLIES IN THE BALTIC.

OPERATIONS IN THE WHITE SEA.

OPERATIONS IN THE PACIFIC, AND AGAINST THE RUSSIAN SETTLEMENTS IN

COLONIAL AFFAIRS.

INDIA.

CHAPTER LXVIII.

CONCLUSION OF THE RUSSIAN WAR.

GENERAL CONDITION OF THE FOREIGN RELATIONS OF THE UNITED KINGDOM.

BRITISH POLICY IN ASIA.

THE PERSIAN WAR.

WAR WITH CHINA.

DISPUTES WITH THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.

INTERNATIONAL MARITIME LAW.

INDIA.

IRELAND.

HOME—GENERAL CONDITION OF GREAT BRITAIN.

NATIONAL FINANCE.

PARLIAMENTARY PROCEEDINGS.

CHAPTER LXIX.

FOREIGN AFFAIRS: RELATIONS WITH FRANCE, AND WITH OTHER EUROPEAN POWERS

DIFFERENCE WITH THE UNITED STATES.

CHINA—PROSECUTION OF THE WAR.

JAPAN.

COLONIAL.

SARAWAK.

INDIA.

THE MUTINY.

HOME.

PARLIAMENT.

DEBATES ON THE CHINESE WAR-DEFEAT OF THE MINISTRY.

PROROGATION AND DISSOLUTION.

GENERAL ELECTION.

RE-ASSEMBLING OF PARLIAMENT.

SUDDEN CONVENTION OF PARLIAMENT IN DECEMBER.

THE COURT.

ART EXHIBITION IN MANCHESTER.

CHAPTER LXX.

FRANCE.

NAPLES.

PRUSSIA.

SPAIN.

HANOVER.

THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.

SOUTH AMERICAN STATES.

THE AUSTRALIAN COLONIES.

BRITISH AMERICA

IRELAND.

HOME.—THE COURT.

COMMERCE AND FINANCE.

PARLIAMENTARY AND POLITICAL.







Illustrations


Queen Victoria

Titlepage

George III.

Battle of Bunker's Hill

Ticonderoga

General Burgoyne Addressing the Indians

Death of Chatham

Portrait of Lord Rodney

British Surrendering to General Washington

Siege of Gibralter

Portrait of Lord Nelson

Yarmouth: Nelson's Monument

Portrait of Charles James Fox

Plain of Waterloo

Coronation Chair

Holyrood Palace

The Grass Market Edinborough

The Duke of Wellington.

Southampton

Battle of Alma

Battle of Inkerman

Bombardment of Sweaborg








GEORGE III.





chap01 (378K)



CHAPTER I.


     Accession of George III...... Meeting of Parliament, &c......
     Judges made independent of the Crown..... Changes in the
     Cabinet..... The Operations of the War..... The Resignation of
     Mr. Pitt..... The Marriage of the King..... Coronation of
     their Majesties..... Meeting of Parliament..... Disturbances
     in Ireland..... War with Spain..... France and Spain declare
     War against Portugal..... Dissensions in the Cabinet.....
     Events in Germany, &c..... Negociations for Peace..... The
     Meeting of Parliament, and the Conclusion of Peace..... The
     Resignation of Bute..... The Character and Impeachment of
     Wilkes..... Changes in the Cabinet..... Meeting of Parliament,
     and further proceedings against Wilkes..... Proposition to
     tax the American Colonies..... Opposition of the Americans.....
     War with the North American Indians..... Domestic
     Occurrences

1760





ACCESSION OF GEORGE III.

Few monarchs ever ascended a throne under more auspicious circumstances than George III. The sources of national wealth and prosperity were daily becoming developed, and the British arms were everywhere victorious. So extensive were their conquests, indeed, that it may be said, the sun rose and set, at this date, within the limits of the British dominions.

Prince George, who was the eldest son of the late Frederick, Prince of Wales, was riding on horseback in the neighbourhood of Kew palace, with his groom of the stole, Lord Bute, when news was brought him that his grandfather was dead. This intelligence was confirmed soon after by the arrival of Mr. Pitt, the head of the government, and they repaired together to Kew. On the next morning George went up to St. James's, where Pitt waited upon him, and presented the sketch of an address to be pronounced at the meeting of the privy council. Pitt, however, was doomed to find a rival where he thought to have found a friend. He was told by his majesty, that an address had already been prepared, which convinced him that Bute, on whose favour he had reckoned, would not be contented with a subordinate place in the new government, but would aspire to the highest offices in the state. In the course of the day, October 26th, George was proclaimed king with the usual solemnities.

The accession of George, notwithstanding, did not involve any immediate change in the existing administration. The Earl of Bute, together with Prince Edward, Duke of York, were admitted into the privy council, but it was given out that his majesty was satisfied, and even charmed, with the existing cabinet, and that he would make no changes, with the exception of a few in the household and in the minor offices. One of the first acts of George III., was a proclamation "for the encouragement of piety and virtue, and for preventing and punishing of vice, profaneness, and immorality." This was naturally looked upon as a token of his majesty's virtue and devotion, which view was borne out by his after character; for although the proclamation may be considered in the light of a dead letter as regards actual operation, it was enforced, or recommended, by his example; and example hath a louder tongue either than precept, proclamations, or laws. From the beginning to the close of his long reign, George III. manifested a decent, moral, and religious life, which doubtless had very beneficial effects upon society at large.

On the accession of the new king, parliament was prorogued, first to the thirteenth, and afterwards to the eighteenth, of November. In the meantime, public attention was engaged by the equipment of a large squadron of men-of-war and transports at Portsmouth, and speculations were rife as to the policy of the monarch—whether it would be favourable to war or to peace. All classes of society, however, agreed in anticipating the happiest results from his rule, since he had been born and bred among them, and was well acquainted with the language, manners, laws, and institutions of the people over whom he presided. Loyal and dutiful addresses, expressing such sentiments, were presented to the young monarch by the city of London, the two universities, and from various bodies of people, to all which he returned sententious but suitable replies, declaring his fixed resolve to respect their rights and conciliate their esteem. A letter was addressed to him by the venerable Bishop of London, Dr. Sherlock, as a parting benediction, in which he gave him the following wise council:—"You, sir," he writes, "are the person whom the people ardently desire; which affection of theirs is happily returned by your majesty's declared concern for their prosperity: and let nothing disturb this mutual consent; let there be but one contest, whether the king loves the people best, or the people him; and may it be a long, a very long, contest; may it never be decided, but let it remain doubtful; and may the paternal affection on the one side, and the filial obedience on the other, he had in perpetual remembrance."





MEETING OF PARLIAMENT ETC.

The new king met parliament for the first time on the eighteenth of November. He opened the session with a speech, announcing not only the state of public and domestic affairs, but also the general principles by which he intended to rule. One clause in his speech was very gratifying to the people: "Born and educated in this country," he observed, "I glory in the name of Briton." Having uttered this memorable sentence, he said it would be the happiness of his life to promote the happiness and interests of his loyal and affectionate people; and that their civil and religious rights were equally as dear to him as the valuable prerogatives of his crown. He then declared, that on his accession to the throne of his ancestors he found the kingdom in a flourishing and glorious state; victorious and happy; although engaged in a necessary war, which, in the language of the late reign, he designated, "a war for the Protestant interest." In this speech he neither spoke of peace nor negociation, but asked the assistance of parliament to prosecute this war with vigour. Finally, addressing the Commons on the subject of supplies, he concluded his speech thus:—"The eyes of all Europe are on you; from your resolutions the Protestant interest hopes for protection, as well as all our friends for the preservation of their independency; and our enemies fear the final disappointment of their ambitious and destructive views: let these hopes and fears be confirmed and augmented, by the vigour, unanimity, and despatch of our proceedings. In this expectation I am the more encouraged, by a pleasing circumstance, which I consider one of the most auspicious omens of my reign—that happy extinction of divisions, and that union and good harmony, which continue to prevail amongst my subjects, afford me the most agreeable prospects; the natural disposition and wish of my heart are to cement and promote them; and I promise myself, that nothing will arise on your part to interrupt or disturb a situation so essential to the true and lasting felicity of this great people." This speech was warmly responded to by addresses from both houses of parliament; and the supplies for the ensuing year, amounting to £19,616,119, were cheerfully voted, while the civil list was fixed at £809,000; the king, on his part, consenting to such a disposition of the hereditary revenues of the crown, as might best promote the interests of the nation.

War, therefore, was to be continued, and Mr. Pitt and his colleagues seemed to be confirmed in office: yet at this very moment the train was laying for their expulsion. Earl Bute was anxious to become secretary of state, and he was busily engaged in a correspondence with the noted intriguer, Bubb Doddington. A few days after the meeting of parliament his lordship declared to Doddington, that Lord Holderness "was ready at his desire to quarrel with his fellow ministers, and go to the king and throw up with seeming-anger, and then he (Bute) might come in without seeming to displace anybody." This expedient, however, did not please Doddington, and Bute paid deference to his opinion. Still the two friends took counsel together on this important affair. In a letter from Doddington to Bute, which was written in December, he advises "that nothing be done that can be justly imputed to precipitation; nothing delayed that can be imputed to fear." He adds: "Remember, my noble and generous friend, that to recover monarchy from the inveterate usurpation of oligarchy, is a point too arduous and important to be achieved without much difficulty, and some degree of danger; though none but what attentive moderation and unalterable firmness will certainly surmount."

In his career of ambition, Bute, who was "better fitted to perform Lothario on the stage," than to act as secretary of state, paid small regard to danger, but kept his eye fixed steadily on the point he had in view. In January, he told Doddington that "Mr. Pitt meditated a retreat;" and in the same month Doddington writes to him—"If the intelligence they bring me be true, Mr. Pitt goes down fast in the city, and faster at this end of the town: they add, you rise daily. This may not be true; but if he sinks, you will observe that his system sinks with him, and that there is nothing to replace it but recalling the troops and leaving Hanover in deposit." Again, on the 6th of February, Lord Bute declared, that it was easy to make the Duke of Newcastle resign, but at the same time he expressed a doubt as to the expediency of beginning in that quarter. Doddington replied, that he saw no objection to this step; and that if Bute thought there was, he might put it into hands that would resign it to him when he thought proper to take it. But Bute was not disposed to try the duke too much, nor to risk too bold a leap at once: so all ill humours were concealed under a fair surface.

Had Earl Bute taken any decisive step thus early in the reign of the new king, it would probably have exposed him to public derision and scorn. At this time the old system seemed to please everybody; and among the supplies voted by the House of Commons, none were more freely granted than the continental subsidies, and especially that of £670,000 to the King of Prussia. His victory at Torgau, which subjected all Saxony—Dresden excepted—to his power, was made known in England just before the meeting of parliament, and it had the effect of raising him high in the public favour of the people of England. Nor was it less advantageous to him on the Continent. His victory, with its results, indeed, were a full compensation to him for the previous losses he had sustained during the campaign. Laudohn raised the siege of Cosel, and evacuated Silesia; the Russians raised that of Colburg, and retreated into Poland; and the Swedes were driven out of Western Pomerania. In the same spirit of gratitude, the parliament granted £200,000 to our colonies in America, for the expenses they had incurred, and the efforts they had made in the present war—a war which laid some of the groundworks of the independence which a few years later was claimed by those colonies.





JUDGES MADE INDEPENDENT OF THE CROWN.

By an act passed in the year 1701, under the reign of William III., the commissions of the judges were continued quamdiu bené se gesserint; or the power of displacing them was taken from the crown, and their continuance in office was made solely dependent on the faithful discharge of their duties, so that it might be lawful to remove them on the address of both houses to the king. Still, at the demise of the crown, their offices were vacated, and George II. had even refused to renew the commission of a judge who had given him personal offence. Towards the close of this session, his present majesty, in a speech from the throne, recommended an important improvement in this matter, which greatly increased his popularity. He declared his wish to render the bench still more independent of the crown, and the administration of justice still more impartial; and he recommended that provisions should be made for the continuance of their commissions and salaries, without any reference to the death of one king, or the accession of his successor. In compliance with this expressed wish, a bill was framed for rendering the judges thus independent, which was carried through both houses. It received the royal assent on the 19th of March, on which day his majesty put an end to the session.





CHANGES IN THE CABINET.

Before this event took place, a certain party in the state began to think that circumstances would authorise them to commence a gradual change of ministers, and of the policy of the nation. In this his majesty seems to have coincided, for on the same day that he closed the session, Mr. Legge, who was co-partner with Mr. Pitt in popularity, was unceremoniously dismissed from the office of chancellor of the exchequer, and Sir Francis Dashwood nominated his successor. On the same day, also, Lord Holderness having secured a pecuniary indemnification, with the reversion of the wardenship of the cinque ports, resigned the office of secretary of state in favour of Lord Bute. It was said that the king "was tired of having two secretaries, of which one (Pitt) would do nothing, and the other (Holderness) could do nothing; and that he would have a secretary who both could and would act." At the same time, Lord Halifax was advanced from the board of trade to be Lord-lieutenant of Ireland, and was replaced by Lord Barrington; and the Duke of Richmond, displeased by a military promotion injurious to his brother, resigned his post as lord of the bed-chamber. Other changes, of minor importance, took place—such as the introduction of several Tories into the offices of the court, and there was a considerable addition made to the peerage. These changes were, doubtless, unpalatable to Mr. Pitt; but Horace Walpole says that he was somewhat softened by the offer of the place of cofferer for his brother-in-law, James Grenville. At all events Mr. Pitt continued in office, and Earl Bute consented to leave the management of foreign affairs in his hands; but at the same time, both Bute and his majesty gave him to understand that an end must be put to the war.





THE OPERATIONS OF THE WAR.

Since the accession of George III., the events of the war had been various. Although Frederick the Great had driven the Russians and Austrians from his capital, they were still within his own territory; while the French were on the side of the Rhine, and the Swedes continued to threaten invasions. Such was his situation when he heard that George II, was dead; that his successor was desirous of peace; that some of his advisers were projecting a separate treaty with France; and that it was probable that the English subsidies would soon be discontinued. This intelligence in some degree was confirmed by the tardiness with which the subsidy, so readily granted by the parliament in December, was paid into his treasury. Nothing daunted, however, Frederick planned fresh campaigns, and remonstrated with England; and, as an effect of the bold front he put upon his affairs, he had the satisfaction of learning, before he went into winter-quarters, that the Russians had retired beyond the Vistula, and that the Austrians and Swedes had departed out of Brandenburg, Silesia, and Pomerania. Still his situation was a critical one. His losses in men had been great, his coffers were empty, and his recruiting was therefore difficult: he looked forward to the campaign of 1761 with doubt and anxiety.

Contrary to the general rules of war, this campaign opened in the very depth of the winter. Contrasting the strong constitutions of his troops with the less hardy character of his opponents, Prince Ferdinand resolved to take them thus by surprise. Accordingly, early in February, by a sudden attack, he drove the French out of their quarters near Cassel, and they were only saved from utter destruction, by the defiles, and other difficulties of the country, which favoured their retreat. Almost simultaneously with this achievement, the Prussian general, Sybourg, effected a junction with the Hanoverian general, Sporken, and took three thousand French prisoners. Subsequently, these generals defeated the troops of the empire under General Clefeld; and Prince Ferdinand followed up these advantages by laying siege to Cassel, Marbourg, and Ziegenhayn. He was ably seconded in his operations by the Marquis of Granby, but he failed in capturing these places, and was compelled to retire into the electorate of Hanover. The retreat of Ferdinand took place in April, and in the same month the hereditary Prince of Brunswick was defeated by the French under Broglie, near Frankfort.

At this time, Frederick had certain information that the English were negociating with the French. This information appears to have paralysed his efforts, for preparations were not recommenced before June. On their part the French, also, were inactive till that time, when Broglie, being joined by the Prince of Soubise with large reinforcements, endeavoured to drive Prince Ferdinand and the combined army of English and Hanoverians from their entrenchments at Hohenower. On two several days Broglie made a fierce attack upon his posts, chiefly directing his murderous fire against that commanded by Lord Granby; but on the second day the French gave way, and made a precipitate retreat, leaving behind them several pieces of cannon, with five thousand of their comrades sleeping the sleep of death. Their non-success produced mutual recriminations between Broglie and Soubise, who had never perfectly agreed, and they resolved to separate: Broglie crossed the Weser, and threatened to fall upon Hanover, while Soubise crossed the Lippe, as if with the intention of laying siege to Munster.

The division of the French army caused a corresponding division in that of Prince Ferdinand; for whilst he marched with one half to watch the operations of Broglie, the hereditary Prince of Brunswick marched with the other half to check the career of Soubise. The skill and vigour of Ferdinand prevented Broglie from making any important conquests, though he could not protect the country from his ravages. Perceiving, indeed, that he could not check the onward march of his enemy, Ferdinand turned aside into Hesse, and cut off all the communications of the French in that country, destroying their magazines and menacing their forts, which, as he foresaw, had the effect of alarming Broglie, and causing him to retreat out of Hanover. In the meantime, the hereditary Prince of Brunswick had checked the career of Soubise, and destroyed many of his magazines; and soon after the French went into winter quarters—Soubise on the Lower Rhine, and Broglie at Cassel.

Frederick had taken the field in the month of April, and had marched into Silesia, where the fortress of Schweidnitz was threatened by the Austrian general, Laudon. On his approach, Laudon retreated into Bohemia, where he was joined by fresh columns of Russians under Marshal Butterlin. At the same time another Russian horde, under Romanzow, re-occupied Pomerania. The Austrian and Russian generals conceived that they could hem in Frederick, and prevent his escape; but aware of his danger, the skilful monarch threw himself into his fortified camp of Buntzelwitz, from behind the strong ramparts of which he laughed his enemies to scorn. A blockade was attempted, but the country, wasted by long wars, had become like a wilderness, and afforded no food either for man or horse; while their provision-waggons, 5000 in number, had all been taken by a flying column of Prussians, under General Platen, who had also destroyed three of the largest magazines which the Russians had established on the confines of Poland. Famine stared them in the face, and breaking up their blockade, Butterlin marched into Pomerania, and Laudon to an entrenched camp, near Fribourg. Thus relieved, Frederick marched towards Upper Silesia, which proved to be an unfortunate movement; for Laudon, taking advantage of it, rushed from his entrenched camp, made an assault by night upon Schweidnitz, which lie took by storm, and then took up his winter-quarters in Silesia. About the same time the Russians, assisted by the Swedes, took Colberg, which enabled them to winter in Pomerania and Brandenburg.

In the meantime the arms of the English had, for the most part, been successfully employed. Pondicherry, the capital settlement of the French in, the East Indies, and their last stronghold in that country, surrendered at discretion to Colonel Coote, after the garrison and inhabitants had been reduced to the necessity of feeding on the flesh of camels and elephants, and even upon dogs and vermin. In the West Indies, also, Lord Rollo and Sir James Douglas reduced the island of Dominica, which, contrary to treaty, had been fortified by the French. A less important conquest was made on the coast of Brittany. A secret expedition, which had been for some time in preparation, suddenly sailed from Spithead, and under the command of Commodore Kepple, with troops on board under General Hodgson, took its course across the Channel. Great things were expected as the result of this expedition, but it only enacted the old story of "The mountain in labour." The point against which this force was directed was the sterile rock of Bellisle, which, at the expense of two thousand lives, was captured. Thus disappointed, the people complained of the obstinacy of Pitt, and asked, sarcastically, what could be done with it? Nevertheless, if it was no use to England, it was a place of importance to France, as commanding a large extent of coast, and affording a convenient receptacle to privateers, whence it was insisted on as a valuable article of exchange, when peace was concluded between the two nations.





THE RESIGNATION OF MR. PITT.

At this time France was rapidly sinking under the efforts made to sustain war. Many of her colonies were conquered, her navy was ruined, and her finances exhausted, while the people were impoverished and discontented. Under these circumstances the king wished for repose and peace, and in this wish, Sweden, Poland, and even Russia were ready to join. Austria alone, whose empress-queen was bent on the recovery of Silesia, and the overthrow of its conqueror Frederick, was desirous of prolonging hostilities.

This wish of the king of France—which was also the wish of his people—seemed to be favoured by circumstances in England. The influence of Pitt was daily growing weaker, and Bute was fast gaining paramount ascendancy. The French ministers, therefore, flattered themselves that there would be no great difficulty in negociating; especially as they were ready and willing to make some sacrifices, in order to obtain peace. Accordingly an interchange of memorials was commenced, and in the month of July Mr. Stanley was dispatched to Paris, while the Count de Bussy came over to London, for the purpose of negociating. Preliminaries were mutually proposed and examined. On their part the French offered to cede Canada; to restore Minorca in exchange for Guadaloupe and Marigalante; to give up Senegal and Goree for Anamaboo and Acra; to renounce all claim to Cape Breton, on which no fortification was to be erected; and to consent that Dunkirk should be demolished. But one demand made by the French was fatal to the success of the negociations. They demanded the restitution of all the captures made at sea by the English before the declaration of war, on the ground that such captures were contrary to all international law, which restitution was sternly and absolutely refused, the English ministers arguing, that the right of all hostile operations results not from a formal declaration of war, but from the original hostilities of the aggressor. Another obstacle in the way of peace, was the refusal of the French to restore Cassel, Gueldres, and other places which they had taken from his Prussian majesty, although they were ready to evacuate what they occupied in Hanover. And as if these obstacles were not sufficient, the French preliminaries were accompanied by a private memorial, demanding from England the satisfaction of certain claims advanced by Spain, a country with which, though differences existed, England was at peace. The French ambassador was given to understand on this point, that the king of England would never suffer his disputes with Spain to be thus mixed up with the negociations carrying on with his country, and the cabinet called upon the Spanish ambassador to disavow all participation in such a procedure, and to state that his court was neither cognizant of it, nor wished to blend its trifling differences with the weighty quarrels of France. But this demand produced an unlooked-for budget, The Spanish ambassador at first returned an evasive reply, but he was soon authorized by the court of Spain to declare, that the proceedings of the French envoy had the entire sanction of his Catholic majesty; and that, while his master was anxious for peace, he was united as much by mutual interest as by the ties of blood with the king of France. The fact is, Charles III., who now occupied the throne of Spain, had privately agreed, before this date, with the King of France, to consider every power as their common enemy who might become the enemy of either, and to afford mutual succours by sea and land. It had been also stipulated between them, that no proposal of peace to their common enemies was to be made except by common consent; that the two monarchs were to act as if they formed one and the same power; that they should maintain for each other all the possessions which they might possess at the conclusion of peace; and finally, that the King of Naples might be allowed to participate in their treaty, though no other family, except a prince of the house of Bourbon, was to be admitted into this family compact.

Negociations for peace, therefore, proved abortive. Even Bute considered many of the proposals of the French if not insulting to the majesty of the British nation, at least inadmissible. Yet these négociations resulted in the downfall of Pitt. At the council-table, that great minister represented that Spain was only waiting for the arrival of her annual plate-fleet from America, and then she would declare war. He proposed, therefore, that her declaration should be anticipated by England: that war should be forthwith proclaimed against Spain, and a fleet sent out to intercept her ships and treasures from the western world. He likewise proposed an immediate attack upon her colonies; recommending the capture of the Havannah and the occupation of the Isthmus of Panama, from whence an expedition might be sent against Manilla and the Philippine Isles, to intercept the communication between the continent of South America and the rich regions of the East. It suited the purpose of Bute, however, to raise the laugh of incredulity as to the declaration of war by Spain, questioning, at the same time, the real meaning of the treaty entered into between the two Bourbons. The other members of the cabinet also—Lord Temple excepted—pronounced the measures proposed by Pitt too precipitate, and he had no alternative but to resign; especially as he found, also, that the king was adverse to his schemes. Accordingly, on the 6th of October, Pitt delivered up his seals to the king, which his majesty received with ease and firmness, but without requesting him to resume them. The monarch, notwithstanding, lamented to him the loss of so valuable a servant, while he declared that even if his cabinet had been unanimous for war with Spain, he should have found great difficulty in consenting to such a measure. Pitt was affected by the kind, yet dignified, behaviour of the young king. "I confess, sire," said he, with emotion, "I had but too much reason to expect your majesty's displeasure: I did not come prepared for this exceeding goodness: pardon me, sir; it overpowers,—it oppresses me."

Pitt retired with a pension of £3,000 per annum, which was to be continued for three lives. The peerage was offered him, but he declined it personally, accepting it only for his wife and her issue. He was succeeded in office by Lord Egremont, son of the great Tory, Sir William Wyndam. At the same time Lord Temple retired from office, and the privy seal was given to the Duke of Bedford. The resignation of Mr. Pitt, with his honours and rewards, were published in the Gazette on the following day, and in the same paper a letter was published from the English ambassador at Madrid, which was replete with assurances of the pacific intentions of Spain. On this circumstance, combined with the resignation of Mr. Pitt, Burke remarks:—"It must be owned that this manouvre was very skilfully executed: for it at once gave the people to understand the true motive to the resignation, the insufficiency of that motive, and the gracious-ness of the king, notwithstanding the abrupt departure of his minister. If after this the late minister should choose to enter into opposition, he must go into it loaded and oppressed with the imputation of the blackest ingratitude; if, on the other hand, he should retire from business, or should concur in support of that administration which he had left, because he disapproved its measures, his acquiescence would be attributed by the multitude to a bargain for his forsaking the public, and that the title and his pension were the considerations. These were the barriers that opposed against that torrent of popular rage which it was apprehended would proceed from this resignation. And the truth is, they answered their end perfectly."

This reasoning of Mr. Burke was strictly correct. The friends and partisans of Mr. Pitt raised violent clamours against Bute, for displacing a man who had raised the nation from its once abject state to the pinnacle of glory; and addresses, resolutions, and condolences were set on foot in London and the greater corporations, with a view of exciting the smaller cities and boroughs in England to follow the example. The press, also, was active in vilifying Bute for the part he had taken in this affair. But Bute had his friends as well as his enemies, and Pitt had his enemies as well as his friends. The press worked on both sides of the question; while it vilified Bute, it animadverted on Pitt's pensions and honours. At the same time the people were only partially in the favour of the ex-minister. The progress of addresses, resolutions, and condolences was languid, and in some instances the people were disposed to cast odium upon, and to blacken the character of, the retired secretary. The popularity of Pitt was, in truth, obscured with mists and clouds for a time, and it was not till after he had raised a few thunder-storms of opposition, that his political atmosphere once again became radiant with the sunshine of prosperity. For the mind of Pitt was not to be long borne down by its heavy weight of gratitude to royalty, or by public accusations: he soon shook off the one, and resolutely braved the other.





THE MARRIAGE OF THE KING.

On the 8th of July the young king having called an extraordinary council, made the following declaration to its members:—"Having nothing so much at heart as to procure the welfare and happiness of my people, and to render the same stable and permanent to posterity, I have, ever since my accession to the throne, turned my thoughts towards the choice of a princess for my consort; and I now with great satisfaction acquaint you, that after the fullest information, and mature deliberation, I am come to a resolution to demand in marriage the Princess Charlotte of Mecklenberg Strelitz; a princess distinguished by every eminent virtue and amiable endowment; whose illustrious line has constantly shown the firmest zeal for the Protestant religion, and a particular attachment to my family. I have judged it proper to communicate to you these my intentions, in order that you may be fully apprised of a matter so highly important to me and to my kingdoms, and which I persuade myself will be most acceptable to my loving subjects."

The preliminary negociations concerning this union had been conducted with great secresy, whence this announcement occasioned some surprise to most of the members of the extraordinary council. It met, however, with the warmest approbation of them all, and the treaty was concluded on the 15th of August. The Earl of Harcourt, with the Duchesses of Ancaster and Hamilton, were selected to escort the young bride to England, and Lord Anson was the commander of the fleet destined to convoy the royal yacht. Princess Charlotte arrived in England on the 7th of September, and on the following day she was escorted to St. James's, where she was met by his majesty.

Before the arrival of the future Queen of England, in a letter to one of his correspondents, Lord Harcourt had given this description of her:—"Our queen, that is to be, has seen very little of the world; but her very good sense, vivacity, and cheerfulness, I dare say will recommend her to the king, and make her the darling of the British nation. She is no regular beauty; but she is of a pretty size, has a charming complexion, with very pretty eyes, and is finely made." Lord Harcourt was right in his conjectures concerning the views which the king would take of his young bride. It is said, that in the first interview, although he saluted her tenderly, the king was disappointed in not finding in the princess those personal charms which he had expected. But this was only a momentary feeling. The king soon became interested in her artlessness, cheerful manners, and obliging disposition, while the whole court was loud in their praises of her affability, and even of her beauty. "In half an hour," says Horace Walpole, "one heard of nothing but proclamations of her beauty: everybody was content; everybody was pleased." So the marriage took place in the midst of good-humour and rejoicings: the nuptial benediction was given by Dr. Seeker, Archbishop of Canterbury, and the Duke of Cumberland gave away the bride.





CORONATION OF THEIR MAJESTIES.

Extraordinary preparations were made for the coronation of their majesties. It took place on the 22nd of September, and though described as solemn and magnificent, it did not materially differ from preceding coronations. The crown was placed on the head of the monarch by Archbishop Seeker, and before his majesty partook of the holy sacrament, he exhibited a very pleasing instance of piety before the assembled court. As he approached the altar, he asked if he might lay aside his crown; and when the archbishop, after consulting with Bishop Pearce, replied, that no order existed on the subject in the service, he rejoined, "Then it ought to be done;" at the same time taking the diadem from his head, he placed it, reverentially, on the altar. His majesty wished the queen to manifest the same reverence to the Almighty, but being informed that her crown was fastened to her hair, he did not press the subject. On the return of the procession, an incident occurred, which, had it happened among the nations of antiquity, would have been considered an omen of evil portent, which could only have been averted by a whole hecatomb of sacrifices. The most valuable diamond in his majesty's diadem fell from it, and was for some time lost, but it was afterwards found, and restored to his crown. The coronation of George III. could boast of one very extraordinary spectator among the many thousands present. This was Charles Edward Stuart, the young Pretender, who had come over in disguise, and who obtained admission into the abbey, and witnessed all the ceremonies consecrating a king on that throne which he considered legitimately belonged to his father or himself! It is said that George knew that he was in London, and that he would not allow him to be molested; feeling, no doubt, secure in the affections of a loyal people. And that he was secure, the éclat with which the great festival of his coronation passed off, fully manifested. All combined to testify that their majesties were very popular, and that they had good reasons for anticipating a happy and prosperous reign.





MEETING OF PARLIAMENT.

The new parliament met on the 3rd of November, when Sir John Cust was elected speaker of the commons. He was presented to his majesty on the 6th, on which day the king, having first approved of the choice, thus addressed both houses:—"At the opening of the first parliament summoned and elected under my authority, I with pleasure notice an event which has made me completely happy, and given universal joy to my loving subjects. My marriage with a princess, eminently distinguished by every virtue and amiable endowment, while it affords me all possible domestic comfort, cannot but highly contribute to the happiness of my kingdoms, which has been, and always shall be, the first object in every action of my life.

"It has been my earnest wish that this first period of my reign might be marked with another felicity; the restoring of the blessings of peace to my people, and putting an end to the calamities of war, under which so great a part of Europe suffers: but though overtures were made to me, and my good brother and ally, the King of Prussia, by the several belligerent powers, in order to a general pacification, for which purpose a congress was appointed, and propositions were made to me by France for a particular peace with that crown, which were followed by an actual négociation; yet that congress has not hitherto taken place, and the negociation with France is entirely broken off.

"The sincerity of my disposition to effectuate this good work has been manifested in the progress of it: and I have the consolation to reflect, that the continuance of the war, and the further effusion of Christian blood, to which it was the desire of my heart to put a stop, cannot, with justice, be imputed to me.

"Our military operations have been in no degree suspended or delayed; and it has pleased God to grant us further important success, by the conquest of the islands of Belleisle and Dominica: and by the reduction of Pondicherry, which has in a manner annihilated the French power in the East Indies. In other parts, where the enemy's numbers were greatly superior, their principal designs and projects have been generally disappointed, by a conduct which does the highest honour to the distinguished capacity of my general, Prince Ferdinand of Brunswick, and by the valour of my troops. The magnanimity and ability of the King of Prussia have eminently appeared in resisting such numerous armies, and surmounting so great difficulties.

"In this situation I am glad to have an opportunity of receiving the truest information of the sense of my people by a new choice of their representatives: I am fully persuaded you will agree with me in opinion, that the steady exertion of our most vigorous efforts, in every part where the enemy may still be attacked with advantage, is the only means that can be productive of such a peace as may with reason be expected from our successes. It is therefore my fixed resolution, with your concurrence and support, to carry on the war in the most effectual manner, for the interest and advantage of my kingdoms; and to maintain to the utmost of my power the good faith and honour of my crown, by adhering firmly to the engagements entered into with my allies. In this I will persevere until my enemies, moved by their own losses and distresses, and touched with the miseries of so many nations, shall yield to the equitable conditions of an honourable peace: in which case, as well as in the prosecution of the war, I do assure you, no consideration whatever shall make me depart from the true interests of these my kingdoms, and the honour and dignity of my crown."

His majesty concluded his speech by calling upon the commons for adequate supplies to enable him to prosecute the war with vigour, and by asking for a provision for the queen in case she should survive him. The commons, besides the usual address, sent a message of congratulation to the queen, and they proved the sincerity of their professions by making her a grant of £100,000 per annum, with Somerset House and the Lodge in Richmond Park annexed: a patent also passed the privy seal, granting her majesty the yearly sum of £40,000 for the support of her dignity. On the subject of the supplies for the ensuing year, however, a long and stormy debate took place; and a month elapsed before they were finally adjusted. Opposition to them chiefly arose from the circumstance that the sentiments of the people, and likewise of the court, were beginning to change respecting the German war. But Lord Egremont found himself compelled to walk in the very steps which Pitt had marked out, at least for some time, and the large demands made were pressed upon the parliament, and finally received its sanction. Seventy thousand seamen were voted, and it was agreed to maintain 67,676 effective men, beside the militia of England, two regiments of fencibles in Scotland, the provincial troops in America, and 67,167 German auxiliaries. Some new taxes, also, were imposed, including an additional one on windows, and an increased duty on spirituous liquors, in order to pay the interest of £12,000,000, which it was found necessary to borrow, to make good the deficiences of last session. In the whole the supplies for the year 1762, voted by the parliament, amounted to more than £18,000,000: two millions of which were required for the defence of Portugal.

GEORGE III. 1760-1765





DISTURBANCES IN IRELAND.

In the month of October, Lord Halifax, the new Lord-lieutenant of Ireland met his Majesty's first parliament in that country. The Irish parliament responded to the sentiments of the English parliament respecting the accession of the young monarch. Addresses replete with loyalty were voted by both houses; and the greatest confidence was expressed in the rule of Lord Halifax, auguring the happiest results from his administration, and promising cordial co-operation. That ill-fated country, however, was restless as the waves of the ocean. During the viceroyalty of the Duke of Bedford, it had been totally under the dominion of the lord's justices, and they had recently made an attempt to gain popularity, by expressing doubts in the privy council concerning the propriety of sending over a money bill, lest the rejection of it should occasion the dissolution of the new parliament, and thereby endanger the peace of the country. They were opposed in their views by Lord Chancellor Bowes and his party, and party violence was inflamed to the highest pitch. The popular coalition prevailed so far as to alter the established custom, by sending a bill not for the actual supplies, but relating to a vote of credit for Ireland, whence all ferment on this subject subsided. In such a contest it is not likely that the people would have joined, but they had grievances of their own, which endangered the public tranquillity. In his speech to the new parliament, Lord Halifax had recommended that the linen trade, which had been confined to the southern parts of the kingdom, should be extended throughout the country, inasmuch as there was a large demand for it, and it might thereby be made a source of wealth to the whole country. True patriots would have observed the wisdom of, and have acquiesced in, this measure; but self-interest in Ireland, as in all countries under the face of the sun, prevailed over the feelings of patriotism. The people in the southern parts of the kingdom murmured at such a project, as it would affect their personal interests, and their discontents were increased by the conversion of considerable quantities of land from a state of tillage to that of pasturage, for the purpose of feeding more cattle. By this measure, great numbers of the peasantry were deprived at once, not only of employment, but of their cottages. Many small farms were indeed still let to some cottagers at rack-rent, which cottages had the right of commonage, guaranteed to them in their leases; but afterwards the commons were enclosed, and no recompense was made to the tenants by the landlords. Thus provoked, and being joined by the idle and dissolute, these unhappy people sought to redress their own wrongs by acts of violence. Fences were destroyed, horses and arms were seized, cattle were maltreated, and obnoxious persons, especially tithe-proctors, were exposed to their vengeance. Many were stripped naked, and made to ride on horses with saddles formed of the skins of hedgehogs, or buried up to their chins in holes lined with thorns that were trodden down closely to their bodies. From their outrageous violence these people obtained the name of "Levellers," but afterwards, from the circumstance of their wearing white shirts over their clothes for the purpose of disguise, they were termed "White Boys." Their outrages demanded the strong arm of the law, and the royal troops were employed in their suppression. Many suffered the extreme penalty of the law, though many more were permitted to escape through the lenity of the judges, whence the disorders long prevailed. As the rioters were all Romanists, a popish plot was suspected, and the Romish clergy were charged with promoting their outrages. A motion was made in parliament to investigate this matter, but there not being sufficient evidence to inculpate any parties, it was dropped, and no efficient remedy was therefore applied to heal the disorder.





WAR WITH SPAIN.

The year had not closed before the ministers found that a rupture with Spain was inevitable. The first intimation of it was detected in the menacing conduct of the court of Versailles; and Lord Bristol, the English ambassador at Madrid, was instructed to demand the real intentions of Charles III., and the real purport of the family compact. General Wall, the Spanish minister replied more insolently than before; but an open rupture was avoided till the plate-ships had arrived at Cadiz with all the wealth expected from Spanish America. Then it was seen that the political vision of Pitt could penetrate much deeper than that of Bute and his colleagues. Complaining of the haughty spirit and the discord which prevailed in the British cabinet, and of the insults offered to his sovereign, Wall informed Bristol that he might leave Spain as soon as he pleased, and at the same time issued orders to detain all English ships then in the ports of Spain. Lord Bristol returned; the Count of Fuentes, the Spanish ambassador, quitted London, and war was mutually declared by both countries.

The declaration of war was made on the 4th of January, and on the 19th parliament met after its adjournment, when the king informed both houses of the measures he had been compelled to adopt. The members of both houses were unanimous in their approbation of his majesty's conduct, and in assurances of vigorous support. The consideration of the intelligence, notwithstanding, caused a stormy debate, but as no regular opposition was organized, and government was supported by Pitt, clamour died away, and the war met with general approbation. In the house of lords, a motion was made reprobating the expense of the German campaigns, and recommending a recall of the British troops for the security of our own dominions; but it was strongly opposed, and the previous question was carried by a large majority. Preparations were therefore made for war with Spain, without diminishing the expenses of the war in Germany; and while fresh troops were enlisted, some wise alterations were made by parliament in the militia laws, by which a line was drawn between those persons liable to serve, and such as were exempt.

Operations were commenced in the Havannah. On the 5th of March, an expedition sailed under the command of General Lord Albemarle and Admiral Pococke, in order to strike a severe blow against the commerce of Spain in that quarter. This expedition was joined in the West Indies by a strong squadron commanded by Sir James Douglas, and sailing through the Straits of Bahama, it arrived before the Havannah on the 5th of June. A landing was easily effected and siege was laid to the Moro, a strong fort which defended the harbour, and which was considered impregnable. The difficulties in making the approaches on a hard rocky soil were great, and the troops suffered from sickness, fatigue, and the fire of the enemy; but being joined by fresh reinforcements from New York and our West Indian Islands, the fort was isolated from the town, and it was then stormed through a narrow and perilous breach, and carried at the point of the bayonet. The city of Havannah maintained the siege a fortnight longer; but it was compelled to capitulate, and it was yielded up with 180 miles of country westward, or all the best part of the island of Cuba. Nine Spanish ships of the line and three frigates were taken in the harbour, and three ships of the line and a galleon were destroyed, while the booty that fell into the hands of the victors amounted to £3,000,000 sterling. But the ultimate advantages of this victory promised to be greater than its immediate results. By the possession of the Havannah, indeed, England obtained the absolute command of the passage pursued by the plate-fleets of Spain, and seemed to lay the wealth of that country at her feet.

It was not in the western hemisphere alone, that the dominions of the King of Spain were attacked. When the news of the war reached the East Indies an armament was fitted out at Madras, under the command of Admiral Cornish and Sir William Draper, which suddenly appeared off Manilla, the capital of Luconia, and the surrounding isles. Draper landed his forces and took possession of the suburbs of Manilla, before the inhabitants were well aware of the war between Spain and England. Manilla was governed by the archbishop, who proved by his conduct, that like the ecclesiastics of the middle ages, he could both fight and say mass. The archbishop excited the natives to assault the assailants in the rear, while at the head of about eight hundred Spainards he opposed them in front. The Indians fought with almost incredible ferocity; but they were cut to pieces by the sword, or died gnawing with their teeth the bayonets by which they were transfixed. The works of Manilla were carried by storm, and Draper's forces, which were chiefly composed of Sepoys and Lascars, began to plunder and destroy the city. The inner citadel, however, remained uncaptured, and the archbishop with the magistrates, and some of the garrison threw themselves into it for safety. A capitulation ensued, by which the city and port of Manilla, with several ships and the military stores, were surrendered to England, while a ransom was given for all private property, amounting to 4,000,000 dollars. The fruits of this important conquest did not terminate here. Two ships were despatched from the British squadron to intercept the rich galleon Phillippina, and though they missed this prize, they captured the Santa Trinidad, a great Manilla and Acapulco galleon, with a cargo valued at 3,000,000 dollars. The whole group of islands then submitted to the English flag.

The English arms were equally successful in a series of attacks on the remaining French West India Islands. Martinique, Grenada, the Grenadines, St. Lucia, St. Vincent, and Tobago, were all captured by an army under general Moncton and a squadron under Admiral Rodney, so that England obtained possession of the entire chain of the Caribbees. It was in vain that the French in that part of the world sought to stem the onward progress of the British arms: they were overpowering, and being hopeless of succour from their mother-country, the French everywhere submitted to the conquerors.





FRANCE AND SPAIN DECLARE WAR AGAINST PORTUGAL.

Before the news of the loss of Havannah and Manilla reached the court of Spain, that court had commenced a land campaign on the continent. A close alliance had long subsisted between England and Portugal, whence France and Spain at this period chose to consider the king of Portugal as the creature of the King of England. These two powers therefore determined on a rupture with Portugal, unless the Portuguese should renounce their English alliance. Preparations were accordingly made for an invasion of Portugal by France as well as by Spain, while in the meantime a joint memorial was presented by the two powers, inviting the king of that country to join the alliance of the Bourbons against Great Britain, which they were pleased to designate "the common enemy of all maritime nations." At the same time they insisted that he should expel all English merchants and English sojourners from his kingdom, and close his ports to English shipping. It was added that ii he acceeded to these proposals, his fortresses and sea-ports should be garrisoned by French and Spanish troops to protect him from England's vengeance, but that if he refused—and the answer was to be given within four days—he must take the consequences of such a line of policy.

There were circumstances existing which ought to have disarmed all hostility on the part of France and Spain towards Portugal, even if that hostility had been founded in justice. The Portuguese had not yet recovered from the effects of the earthquake which, in 1756, had reduced a third part of Lisbon to a ruinous heap. Then again, the Portuguese power was acknowledged to be weak; but, above all, the King of Portugal was the near relation of the King of Spain. The weakness of the Portuguese government, however, was rather a temptation than a barrier to the view of the Spanish monarch, and as for the claims of kindred, they were absorbed in his views of ambition. Portugal was incorporated geographically, and he longed to incorporate it politically with Spain, whence the claims of misfortune and kindred were overlooked by him. Conscience, moreover, was not allowed to assert its sway over his actions, for he had armed himself against its lawful power by leaving the decision of peace or war to his Portuguese majesty. If he joined the Bourbon alliance, well and good, for the forces of France and Spain would obtain possession of Portugal at an easy rate; but if not, if he still adhered to his old alliance with England, then it would be manifest to all the world, if he lost the kingdom, it would be his own fault: in such cheap estimation does ambition hold morality.

At this period, Portugal had not an army exceeding 20,000 men, and her fleet was reduced to six ships of the line and a few frigates, while her fortresses were in ruins. In such a desperate condition, therefore, it might have been expected that, however repugnant to his inclinations, the heir of the house of Braganza would have broken his alliance with England, and have joined the Family Compact. Prudence would seem to have dictated such a step, but he acted otherwise. He had spirit enough to declare that he would never submit to such conditions; and the French and Spanish ambassadors quitted Lisbon, while their armies on the frontiers put themselves in motion towards his capital. Ruin seemed to await the monarch of Portugal. Braganza, Miranda, and Torre de Moncorvo were captured by the Marquis of Saria, who commanded the Spanish army north of the Douro, while another body of Spanish troops penetrated south of the Douro into Beira, and occupied a post near Almeida. But the Spaniards were doomed to receive a check. The militia and the brave peasantry of Portugal, assisted and directed by some British officers, maintained a destructive war of posts on the forces of Saria, and thus stemmed his onward progress till relief came from England.

On the 11th of May, George III. ordered the following message to be laid before the house of commons:—"His majesty, relying on the known zeal and affection of his faithful commons, and considering that in this conjuncture emergencies may arise, which may be of the utmost importance, and be attended with the most pernicious consequences, if proper means should not be immediately applied to prevent or defeat them; and his majesty also taking into his most serious consideration the imminent danger with which the kingdom of Portugal, an ancient and natural ally of his crown, is threatened by the powers now in open war with his majesty, and of what importance the preservation of that kingdom is to the commercial interests of this country, is desirous that the house would enable him to defray any extraordinary expenses of the war incurred, or to be incurred for the service of the year 1762; and to take all such measures as may be necessary to disappoint or defeat any enterprises or designs of his enemies against his majesty or his allies."

This message was favourably received; Pitt advocated the cause of our ancient ally with fervour and eloquence, and the house of commons voted £1,000,000 sterling for the purposes therein specified. And this vote was followed by prompt and effective measures to arrest the arms of France and Spain. Eight thousand British troops under the command of Lord Tyrawley, the Earl of Loudon, General Townshend, Lord George Lennox, and Brigadiers Crawford and Burgoyne, landed in Portugal, and immediately commenced operations. At the same time the native Portuguese army consented to submit to the command of the Count de la Lippe, an active and experienced German officer, who had commanded the British artillery in Germany. The events of this campaign were complicated and various. Lippe concentrated the principal part of the Portuguese forces at Puente de Marcello, to prevent the progress of the Spanish arms northward, while Brigadier Burgoyne was detached to fall upon Valencia d'Alcantara, on the frontiers of Spain, southward. Burgoyne carried Valencia d'Alcantara by a coup-de-main, capturing a Spanish general with all his staff, and all the magazines which Spain had there collected for the purpose of an invasion along the Tagus, and then retraced his steps to Pnente de Marcello. At the same time Almeida was taken by the Spanish general, Count d'Aranda, and having garrisoned this place, and Ciudad Rodrigo, he marched towards the Tagus, designing to pass into the Alemtejo. When, however, he arrived at Villa Velha, on the Tagus, he found that the passage of the river would be disputed. Lippe, aware of his designs, had marched to Abrantes, the key of Portugal on the Tagus, and had posted detachments under Burgoyne and the Count de St. Jago at the adjacent passes of Alvite and at Niza. The Spanish general obtained possession of the castle of Villa Velha, and drove the Count de St. Jago from the pass of Alvite; but while some of the Spaniards were pursuing the routed Portuguese forces, Burgoyne threw a detachment across the Tagus upon Villa Velha, and while the Count d'Abrantes was amused in front by a feigned attack from Niza, this detachment, commanded by Colonel Lee, entered their quarters in the rear, and began a terrible fire of musquetry. It was under cover of the night that Lee entered the quarters of the Spanish commander, and thus surprised, the Spaniards were routed with terrible slaughter, while their magazines were destroyed and their guns spiked. This was a blow from which the Spaniards could not recover; and the French invading forces having failed in their co-operation, his provisions beginning to fail, the autumnal rains to descend in torrents, and the peasantry to block up the roads, the Count d'Aranda dismantled the few fortresses he had taken, and returned to Spain. To all these losses and defeats was added the capture of the Spanish ship, Hermione, off Cape St. Vincent, by the English, having treasure on board that amounted to nearly £1,000,000 sterling. The only expedition of the English which failed during this year was that against Buenos Ayres, which was as ill conceived as it was paltry. But this gave Spain no hope for the future. Taught experience by reverses, the war with England became, indeed, unpopular with the Spanish people, and their universal cry was, at the close of this campaign, "Peace with England, and war with all the world!"





DISSENSIONS IN THE CABINET.

Early in January of this year died the Czarina Elizabeth, one of the most bitter and inveterate enemies of our ally, the King of Prussia. She was succeeded in her empire by Peter III., who, by the month of March, had concluded a close alliance with Frederick, placing an army of 20,000 men, which had hitherto fought against him, entirely at his disposal to fight against Austria. This had no sooner become known to the English cabinet, than Bute and his party proposed that no further subsidies should be paid to Frederick; at the same time, they reminded his Prussian majesty, that he had himself declared that if he were once secured by the neutrality of Russia, he should have little need of further assistance from England. But the old Duke of Newcastle would not admit the validity of this reasoning of his colleagues. He waited on Bute, and declared his intention to resign, unless a subsidy of £2,000,000 was paid, and the continental war continued. Bute answered drily, "that if the money were granted, peace might be retarded;" but he never requested him to continue in office, nor said a civil word to the aged politician. Accordingly, the Duke repaired from the minister to his master, and resigned his office, refusing a pension which was offered as a reward for his services, and for the large sacrifices which he had made since he had been minister, out of his private fortunes. "If he could no longer be permitted to serve his country," he said, "he was at least determined not to be a burden on it: that if his private fortune had suffered by his loyalty, it was his pleasure, his glory, and his pride; and that he desired no reward but his majesty's approbation." Horace Walpole says, that he retired from the royal presence comparatively a poor man, to find how solitary and deserted could be the mansion of an ex-minister. Newcastle had been more than forty-five years in the cabinet, and this utter disregard to money-making exhibits his patriotism in a strong light: few would have served their country so long without well replenishing their coffers, especially at that age, when the virtues of disinterestedness and self-abnegation were exotic rather than indigenous to the human heart.

Bute had his reasons for answering the Duke of Newcastle coldly, and the result answered his expectations. He succeeded the ex-minister at the head of the treasury, "taking the reins of government with almost as little experience as Phaeton, and meeting with a fall almost as soon." Mr. George Grenville was appointed secretary of state; but he afterwards exchanged posts with Lord Halifax, who had recently been appointed head of the admiralty. Lord Barrington was removed from the Exchequer in which office he was succeeded by Sir Francis Dashwood, and he was appointed treasurer of the navy. Soon after the Duke of Devonshire resigned his post of lord high chamberlain, and the Earl of Hardwicke retired from public life altogether. Many of the friends of the duke retained their places or accepted others; but several noblemen and commoners of distinction before the end of the year ranged themselves in the ranks of opposition. Amongst these was the Duke of Newcastle, who, although during the summer he had abstained from opposing the government, at length formed a political connexion with the Duke of Cumberland, whom he had before invariably opposed.





EVENTS IN GERMANY, ETC.

Frederick of Prussia had not only entered into an alliance with Russia, but towards the end of May he had concluded a peace with Sweden. Backed by these two powers he boasted that he was in possession of more advantages than he could have derived from gaining three pitched battles, and without waiting for the English subsidy he took the field. He began operations in Silesia, and directed his attention to the recovery of Schweidnitz. He was aided in his designs by his brother, Prince Henry, who had gained an important battle near Freyburg, and thus changed the aspect of affairs in Saxony; but while he was intent on his plans, he was threatened with a sudden reverse of fortune. This was the death of his new ally, the Czar Peter.

After making peace with Frederick, and sending 20,000 of his troops to serve under him, Peter, from a spirit of admiration of the Prussian monarch, and of enthusiasm in his cause, insisted upon introducing the Prussian discipline, and even the Prussian uniform into his army. He set the example by appearing in the dress of a Prussian general, and he often observed that, if he had remained Duke of Holstein, he would have commanded a regiment in the Prussian service, and have become personally acquainted with Frederick. This naturally offended the national prejudices; but he took a more fatal step for his own welfare, by building or dedicating Protestant chapels, by ordering the removal of painted images of saints from the churches, and by checking the entrances of novices into convents. By these measures he therefore gained himself many enemies both among the military and the priesthood. Every third man he admitted into his councils or his presence, it has been said, was a traitor. His fall, however, might have been far distant but for the wife of his bosom. Catherine, Princess of Anhalt Zerbst, charmed the Russians as much as Peter disgusted them, and she was, moreover, induced to believe that he had discovered her guilty connexion with Count Gregory Orloff, and entertained a design of divorcing her and casting her into prison, that he might raise his own favourite mistress, Elizabeth Countess of Woronzow, to the throne. Hence—and being also inflamed with ambition—Catherine lent a willing ear to the complaints of the army, clergy, and nobility, and, aided by them, she effected another revolution in Russia. Habited in the garb of a man, and surrounded by some of the military and nobility, she proceeded to the church of the Virgin Mary of Casan, where a vast concourse of the clergy, the nobles, and the soldiery hailed her on her arrival as their deliverer. She was crowned sole empress by the Archbishop of Novogorod, and all present took the oath of allegiance to her. From the church, Catherine proceeded to the senate, which at once acknowledged her right, and swore fidelity to her cause. All the adherents of her husband were then arrested, and Peter himself was thrown into prison, where, after a few days, he died, as some say by disease, but more probably as others assert, by assassination.

No one was more interested in these proceedings than Frederick of Prussia. He conceived that he might find an enemy as implacable in Catherine as he had found in her predecessor, Elizabeth. His forebodings were not fully realized, for while the empress recalled the Russian troops serving under him, she restored the Prussian territories which had been occupied by Elizabeth, and promised to observe a strict neutrality. Thus set free from his fears, Frederick proceeded in his campaign with his accustomed vigour. Schweidnitz and Silesia were recovered, and the Austrians were driven into Bohemia, one part of the Prussian army advancing to the very gates of Prague. At the same time, the allied armies, under Prince Ferdinand and the Marquis of Granby, reduced Cassel, expelled the French from Hesse, and effected the salvation of Hanover—events which created alarm and despondency in the French cabinet.





NEGOCIATIONS FOR PEACE.

Notwithstanding the uninterrupted success of the British arms, Lord Bute was still anxious for peace. And his views at this time were seconded by the voice of the people, who loudly complained of the increased taxation and the expenses and burdens consequent upon this protracted war. Accordingly, having indirectly sounded some of the French cabinet, Bute engaged the neutral King of Sardinia to propose that it should resume négociations for peace. Both France and Spain, taught experience by their reverses, were eager for such a consummation; and Louis XV. had no sooner received the hint, than he acted upon it with all his heart and soul. Notes were interchanged, and it was agreed that a minister should be appointed on either side forthwith. In compliance with this agreement, the Duke of Bedford went as plenipotentiary and ambassador extraordinary to Paris, and the Duke de Nivernois came over to London in the same capacity. Preliminaries for peace were signed at Fontainbleau, on the third of November, by the ministers of Great Britain, France, Spain, and Portugal; and the sanction of the British parliament only was wanting to carry them into effect.

The terms of the preliminaries signed at Fontainbleau were as follow:—France consented to restore Minorca; to evacuate Hanover, Cleves, Wesel, Gueldres, the territories of the Landgrave of Hesse, the Duke of Brunswick, and the Count de la Lippe Bucke-burg, and every place taken from his Prussian majesty. France, also, renounced all pretensions to Nova Scotia, and ceded the islands of Cape Breton and St. John, with the entire province of Canada, including the islands in the Gulf and River of St. Lawrence; that part of Louisiana which is situate east of the Mississippi, and the tract between the Ohio and St. Lawrence, on which French forts had been erected, and which had been the proximate cause of the war. On her part Spain resigned East and West Florida, with all pretensions to fish on the coast of Newfoundland; and conceded the full right of cutting logwood in the Bay of Honduras. France and Spain promised full restitution to Portugal, and the fortifications of Dunkirk were to be demolished, according to the tenor of previous treaties. For these advantages, England agreed to restore Pondicherry, in the East Indies, Goree, in Africa, and Martinique, Guadaloupe, Mari-galante, Desirade, and St. Lucie, in the West Indies, to France, together with Belleisle, in Europe. To Spain she was to give up the Havannah, with all other conquests in Cuba, The conquests England retained, beside those specified in the preliminaries, were Senegal, in Africa, and St. Vincent, Dominique, Tobago, Grenada, and the Grenadines, in the West Indies. On the whole, England would evidently become a great gainer; but the terms gave rise to great contention, and a struggle of party on the meeting of Parliament.





THE MEETING OF PARLIAMENT AND THE CONCLUSION OF PEACE.

Although the great body of the people of England desired peace, yet there was a section of the community equally desirous for the continuance of the war. The citizens of London had largely profited by it; and during the negociations of last year they had instructed their representatives to oppose any peace which did not reserve to England all, or the greater part, of their conquests. This feeling was heightened by the successes of the last campaign, and while the whole glory of the war was assigned by them to Pitt, the very name of peace was considered as a sacrifice of the national honour. Encouraged by these feelings, Pitt organised a party in opposition to the cabinet, and he was aided in this by many of the Whigs, who, irritated by the removal of so many of their adherents from office, looked with jealousy upon the actions of the favourite minister, Bute. The premier, likewise, was very unpopular with the people, for although his views of peace coincided with their own, yet he lacked the genius which could alone command their admiration; and his cold, formal manners, and known lust of power, subjected him to their scorn and contempt.

Parliament met on the 25th of November, and the preliminaries of peace were then laid before both houses for their decision. In his opening speech, his majesty remarked upon this subject:—"It was impossible to execute what this nation has so gloriously performed in all parts of the world, without the loss of great numbers of men. When you consider this loss, whether on the principles of policy or humanity, you will see one of the many reasons which induced me to enter early into negociation, so as to make considerable progress in it before the fate of many operations was determined; and now, to hasten the conclusion of it, to prevent the necessity of making preparations for another campaign. As by this peace my territories are greatly augmented, and new sources opened for trades and manufactures, it is my earnest desire that you would consider of such methods, in the settlements of our new acquisitions, as shall most effectually tend to the security of those countries, and to the improvement of the commerce and navigation of Great Britain. I cannot mention our acquisitions without earnestly recommending to your care and attention my gallant subjects, by whose valour they were made. We could never have carried on this extensive war without the greatest union at home. You will find the same union peculiarly necessary in order to make the best use of the great advantages acquired by the peace, and to lay the foundation of that economy which we owe to ourselves and to our posterity, and which can alone relieve this nation from the heavy burdens brought on it by the necessities of this long and expensive war."

There were points in this pacific speech of his majesty which were perfectly unanswerable. Humanity, and the burdens of the country demanded that the sword should be sheathed, and the demand was eloquently seconded by the great advantages which England would secure by the peace. Notwithstanding, opposition was not disarmed, and a fierce war of words ensued. The motion for an address in the house of commons, approving of the terms of the treaty, was moved by Mr. Fox, Pitt's ancient rival, who still retained the lucrative place of paymaster of the forces. Pitt followed on the opposite side. He came to the house, suffering from gout and wrapped up in flannel; but, nevertheless, supported by two members, in an elaborate argument of more than three hours, he advanced every objection that could be urged against the negociations. The whole tenor of the treaty was denounced by him as unsound and impolitic, and as derogatory to the honour of England. He came, he said, at the hazard of his life to the house that day, to lift up his voice, his hand, and his arm against the preliminary articles of a treaty which obscured all the glories of the war, surrendered up the interests of the nation, and sacrificed the public faith by the abandonment of long-tried and faithful allies. Fox, supported by George Grenville, replied in a less eloquent; tone, but with more cogent arguments, and the ministers obtained a large majority. In the house of lords, Bute undertook the defence of the measure, and in his speech, the clauses of which fell from his lips like so many minute-guns, he detailed the rise and progress of the negociations at large, and set forth the advantages which England would derive from the treaty in the best manner his talents for oratory—which were very mean—would permit. He concluded his speech with declaring, that he desired no other epitaph to be inscribed on his tomb, than that he was the adviser of such a peace. He was opposed by Lord Temple, and supported by the Earl of Halifax; and notwithstanding all the arguments of the opposing peers, the address was carried by a large majority. The treaty was therefore signed, and commercial communications, which had been stopped during the war, were reopened with France.

Pitt had declared in his speech, that the desertion of the King of Prussia, England's most magnanimous ally, was insidious, base, and treacherous. A glance at the preliminaries will suffice to prove that Frederick's interests were not forgotten. Frederick, moreover, was now in a condition to defend himself. At this very time, in fact, he had induced all the princes and states in Germany to sign a declaration of neutrality, which led first to a truce between Austria and Prussia, then to a congress, and finally, in that congress, to a treaty of peace between Austria, Prussia, Saxony, and Poland. This treaty was not signed till the 15th of February, 1763, but its terms were agreed upon before the close of the present year. Frederick retained Silesia, and all the territories that belonged to him before the war, and the other powers were compelled to rest satisfied with their legitimate possessions, without the slightest reparation for the damages they had endured, and the sums they had spent, during this dream of their ambition. Thus ended this Seven Years' War—a war which had cost millions of lives, and in which a large portion of Europe was devastated, and carnage was earned into every quarter of the globe. England was a gainer by it, but her acquisitions cost so much blood, and treasures, that it may fairly be questioned whether her advantages were commensurate with the price she paid for them.





THE RESIGNATION OF BUTE.

Notwithstanding the large majority ministers had obtained in both houses of parliament on the subject of the newly-signed treaty, causes were at work which soon effected their overthrow. Pitt was resolutely bent on driving Bute from office; his stern opposition being ostensibly founded on an assertion that he had thrown away the best advantages in the treaty of peace. He was joined in his opposition by the old Duke of Newcastle, whose halls again became the resort of politicians. Meetings were held at his residence, in which nobles and commons alike concerted together the means of making the peace unpopular, and bringing Bute into still greater contempt with the public. Pens, dipped in gall, were set to work to demonstrate to the people that Martinique, Guadaloupe, St. Lucie, Pondicherry, and the Havannah ought to have been retained in the treaty of Fontainebleau; that compensation in money ought to have been obtained from both France and Spain; that, by demolishing the forts in Honduras, English subjects were deprived of the log-wood trade, and subjected to the jealous rage of the Spaniards; and that an opportunity of humbling the house of Bourbon had been completely thrown away. In maintaining these propositions, dark insinuations were thrown out, reflecting upon the characters of Bute, the king's mother, and the Duke of Bedford. They had all, it was said, touched French gold. Epigrams, scandals, and stories, also, concerning Bute and the princess dowager, rang from one end of the country to the other. And the conduct of the princess and Bute seemed to justify the scandal, although it does not appear to have rested on sure grounds. Thus they precluded, as much as possible, all access to the king, except to Bute's relatives connexions, and dependents; and when Bute visited the princess it was generally in the evening, and then in a sedan-chair belonging to a lady of the household of the princess, and with close-drawn curtains. His enemies did not fail to take advantage of his imprudent conduct, and they soon succeeded in making him the most unpopular man in the three kingdoms. This soon became manifest to the royal favourite; for addresses on occasion of this peace were refused by the counties of York and Surrey, and they came in slowly and ill-supported from other quarters. Bute, however, was too proud and unconciliating to make any attempt to set himself right in public opinion, and he suffered his enemies to work on, till his character became unredeemable, and his downfall was effected.

Still Bute might possibly have enjoyed his high station for some time longer had there not existed at this time a necessity for an increase of taxation, and for a loan of three millions and a half, to enable government to pay debts contracted during the war. This necessity could not be fairly imputed to Bute, but he was unfortunate in his plan of raising the loan, and in his choice of new taxes. Instead of throwing the loan open to competition, he disposed of the shares privately, and they immediately rose to eleven per cent, premium; whence he was charged with gratifying himself or his dependents with £350,000 at the public expense. His new tax was produced in the shape of ten shillings duty per hogshead on cider and perry, which was to be paid by the first purchaser, while an additional duty of eight pounds per ton was proposed to be laid on French wines, and half that sum on other wines. The tax on cider raised such a storm of opposition from the country members generally, without reference to party, that Bute was induced to alter both the sum and the mode of levying it—four shillings per hogshead was to be paid, and it was to be levied upon the grower, through the medium of the exciseman. This was not an unreasonable tax, for ale and porter were already taxed both directly and indirectly, and no argument could show that while a liquor produced from malt contributed to the public exigencies, a liquor produced from apples should be exempt. Englishmen, however, were always averse to the visits of the excisemen; and the city of London, the cities of Exeter and Worcester, and the counties of Devonshire and Herefordshire, the interests of which were concerned in the matter more nearly than the citizens of London, petitioned the commons, the lords, and the throne, against the bill. A general threat was made, that the apples should rot upon the ground rather than be made into a beverage subject to such a duty and such annoyances. In the house of commons, also, Pitt spoke long and eloquently against the bill; inveighing bitterly against the intrusion of officers into the private dwellings of Englishmen; quoting the well-known maxim that in England "every man's house is his castle." Stern opposition was, moreover, made in the house of lords; and, had Bute been wise, he would have bowed deferentially to the public feeling, and have adopted some other mode of raising the money less repugnant to the temper and disposition of the people. Bute, however, to use a figurative expression, proudly bared his head to the tempest which was playing around him. He was determined that the bill should pass, and he carried his point despite the fierce opposition of the whole country. The bill passed into a law, and although there were four different kinds of cider, varying in price from five to fifty shillings per hogshead, they were all taxed alike.

Yet Bute was not made of such stern material that he could defy the people with impunity. He had gained this victory over them, but he evidently felt that their voice was omnipotent, and that if he longer resisted it, he might possibly one day, and that soon, be doomed to suffer disgrace by defeat. Under these circumstances, almost as soon as the bill passed into a law, he surprised his friends and his enemies alike, by suddenly tendering his resignation. Opinions varied as to his motives for taking such a step. Some of his enemies said that he had retired from the rising storm of national indignation, and that Pitt had politically killed him; others that the king and queen, whose strict morality of conduct was well known, had at length taken umbrage at his intimacy with the queen dowager; while others asserted that he abandoned his post from a consciousness of guilt, and a dread of impeachment for certain acts not yet made known to the public. On the other hand, his friends asserted that his retirement arose from his hatred of the intrigues of a public life, and represented him as panting in the midst of the toils of his office for literary and rural retirement. His own reason, as expressed to a friend, was, that he found himself powerless in his own cabinet. "Single in a cabinet of my own forming," he observed, "no aid in the house of lords to support me, except two peers, [Denbigh and Pomfret]; both the secretaries of state silent, and the lord chief justice, whom I myself brought into office, voting for me, yet speaking against me; the ground I tread upon is so hollow, that I am afraid, not only of falling myself, but of involving my royal master in my ruin. It is time for me to retire." Bute retired as proudly as he had exercised his office, for he neither asked for pension nor sinecure, and his retirement was followed by that of Sir Francis Dashwood, chancellor of the exchequer, and of Fox, who were elevated to the peerage: the former as Baron le Despencer, and the latter as Baron Holland. Mr. George Grenville succeeded to the premiership, and also to the place which had been occupied by Dashwood, uniting in himself the offices of chancellor of the exchequer and first lord of the treasury. But Bute still acted behind the scenes. He pulled the strings, and Grenville and the rest of the cabinet answered his motions, as mechanically as though they had been so many puppets. Grenville, indeed, seems to have been chosen by the king and Bute, as a willing instrument for carrying their plans into ready execution.





THE CHARACTER AND IMPEACHMENT OF WILKES.

One of the most sturdy opponents of Bute and his administration had been the celebrated John Wilkes, member of parliament for Aylesbury, and a lieutenant-colonel in the Buckinghamshire militia. On first entering into office, Bute, by the advice of Bubb Doddington, had established a newspaper, styled "The Briton," the ostensible object of which was, to advocate the measures of Bute's administration. Many writers were employed to write for this paper; and while they exalted the premier, they did not fail to vilify his opponents. To oppose this organ of the ministers, another paper was set on foot, and conducted by Wilkes, under the the title of "The North Briton." Wilkes was a man of ruined fortune and of dissolute habits; but he was active, enterprising, and daring, and possessed a considerable fund of wit and repartee. In the beginning of this reign, he had solicited a lucrative post under government, but had been disappointed. His failure was attributed by him to the influence which Bute held over the monarch, and he began to vent his spleen against the minister and his coadjutors in scandalizing and calumniating their actions and private characters. Both in conversation and in the "North Briton," they were ever made the butts of his ready wit. He even reviled, stigmatized, and heaped curses upon Bute's country and countrymen. According to his showing, the river Tweed was the line of demarcation between all that was honourable and noble, and all that was dishonourable and servile—south of that river, honour, virtue, and patriotism flourished; north of it, malice, meanness, and slavery prevailed. Every Scotchman was painted by him as a hungry beggar, time-server, and traitor. Wilkes was, perhaps, not singular in his antipathies at this time against the Scotch, for wiser men than him exhibited them in their writings and in their conversation, arising in a great measure from the circumstance of the introduction of large numbers of them into the offices of government. But in this, Bute acted as any other man would have done under similar circumstances, as every one possesses by nature a predilection for their own country and countrymen. This conduct, therefore, of Wilkes was as unwise as it was unjust and impolitic. Still no danger would have occurred to himself from the display of such bitter feelings, had he confined his malevolence to the subjects of Great Britain. Grown bold by impunity, however, Wilkes at length pointed his pen at the royal family, and even at the monarch himself; and, by so doing, he raised a persecution against himself, which has rendered him a prominent object in the annals of his country. On the 19th of April his majesty prorogued parliament, and in the next number of the "North Briton," the celebrated 45th, Wilkes accused the monarch of uttering a direct falsehood in his speech on that occasion. Whether Grenville was more sensitive than his predecessor had shown himself, or whether Bute instigated him to take notice of this attack, in order to revenge himself upon Wilkes, is not clear, but it is certain that on the 26th a general warrant was issued from the secretary of state's office, signed and sealed by Lord Halifax, for the arrest of the authors, printers, and publishers of the seditious paper, and for the seizure of their papers. No names were specified in this warrant, and within three days, no less than forty-nine persons were taken upon mere suspicion. These were innocent, but on the 29th, Kearsley, the avowed publisher, and Balfe, the printer, were taken into custody, who confessed that Wilkes was the author of the paper. Accordingly, the crown lawyers having been consulted, the messengers were directed to seize Wilkes, and bring him forthwith before the secretary of state. It was in vain that the offender asserted that they were acting upon an illegal warrant: his papers were seized, and he was carried before Lord Halifax. At the request of Wilkes, his friend, Lord Temple, applied to the court of common pleas for a writ of habeas corpus, and the motion was granted; but before it could be prepared, he was committed to the Tower in close custody, and his friends, his counsel, and his solicitor were denied access to him. The confinement of Wilkes, however, was of short duration, for on the 3rd of May, a writ of habeas corpus was directed to the constable of the Tower, by which he was brought before the court in Westminster Hall. In that court he made a virulent speech against the existing administration, broadly asserting that there was a plot among its members for destroying the liberties of the nation, and that he was selected as their victim, because they could not corrupt him with their gold. The court took time to consider the matter, and on the 6th, Lord Chief Justice Pratt proceeded to deliver the joint opinion of the judges. This opinion was, that though the commitment of Wilkes and the general warrant were not in themselves illegal, as they were justified by numerous precedents, yet he was entitled to his discharge by virtue of his privilege as a member of parliament; that privilege being only forfeited by members who were guilty either of treason, felony, or a breach of the peace. Wilkes was therefore discharged, but the attorney-general immediately instituted a prosecution against him for the libel in question, and the king deprived him of his commission as colonel in the Buckinghamshire militia, and dismissed his friend Lord Temple from the lord-lieutenancy of Buckinghamshire, and struck his name out of the roll of privy councillors. The liberation of Wilkes was followed by a long inky war. Upon regaining the use of his pen, he wrote a letter to the secretaries of state, in which he complained of the treatment he had received, and accused them of holding in their hands, goods of which his house had been robbed by their messengers. This letter, to which government replied, was printed and distributed by thousands, and considerable numbers of the opposition in parliament rallied round the author of the "North Briton," while the populace began to hail him throughout the country, as the noblest patriot England had known since the days of Algernon Sidney and Hampden. Taking advantage of his popularity, when he found publishers averse to the hazard of publishing his works, he established a printing-press in his own house, where he struck off copies of the proceedings against him, which were sold at one guinea each; a blasphemous and obscene poem entitled, "An Essay on Woman," with annotations; and the forty-five first numbers of the "North Briton," with notes and emendations. His pen was seconded by hundreds of newspaper writers and pamphleteers who wrote on his behalf, and John Wilkes thereby became one of the most popular men in all England. Men, even of talents and probity, though they detested his immoralities, associated his name with the idea of liberty, and the proceedings against him were designated as the tyrannical efforts of arbitrary power.

GEORGE III. 1760-1765





CHANGES IN THE CABINET.

Mr. George Grenville had been first brought into notice by his connexion with Mr. Pitt. He was a man of integrity and of understanding, but he lacked the personal influence, and the abilities which could alone give stability to a political party. His proceedings against Wilkes, moreover, had brought his cabinet into public contempt, and in the month of August he was deprived of the best supporter of his administration, by the death of Lord Egremont. The loss of this nobleman brought his cabinet, indeed, to the verge of dissolution, and a coalition of parties was hence deemed desirable. To this end Bute waited, at his majesty's commands, on his stern rival, Pitt, to whom he stated the king's wish of employing political talent and integrity without respect of persons or parties. This was done without the knowledge of the members of the existing cabinet, and Pitt consented to wait upon his majesty at Buckingham House. He was received graciously, and in a conference which lasted three hours, he expatiated on the infirmities of the peace, and the disorders of the state; and the remedy he proposed to adopt, was the restoration of the Whigs to office; they only, he asserted, having the public confidence. This was on Saturday, the 27th of August, and at this time his majesty made no objection to his proposals, and he appointed a second interview on the following Monday. On Sunday, Pitt was closeted with the Duke of Newcastle, in arranging the new administration, in full confidence that the king was acquiescent. Pitt, however, did not find his majesty so pliant on the Monday, as he expected, and he was doomed to experience a complete disappointment of his views and hopes. The king wished to provide for Grenville, by allotting him the profitable place of paymaster of the forces, and to restore Lord Temple to favour, by placing him at the head of the treasury; but although both Grenville and Temple were Pitt's relatives, he would not consent. "The alliance of the great Whig interests which had supported the revolution government," he said, "was indispensable." The whole project, therefore, fell to the ground. His majesty broke up the conference by observing, "This will not do; my honour is concerned, and I must support it."

Negociation with Pitt having failed, overtures were made to the Duke of Bedford, who, it was thought, possessed sufficient influence—though he was little less unpopular than Bute himself—to support the tottering cabinet. His grace accepted the post of lord president of the council, Lord Sandwich was made secretary of state, and Lord Egmont was placed at the head of the admiralty. Grenville still retained his post, though the Duke of Bedford gave his name to the ministry.





MEETING OF PARLIAMENT, AND FURTHER PROCEEDINGS AGAINST WILKES.

Parliament met on the 15th of November, when his majesty exhorted both houses to cultivate the blessings of peace; to improve the commercial acquisitions of the country; to attend to the reduction of the debts contracted in the late war; to improve the navy; and to promote domestic union, and discourage the licentious spirit which prevailed, to the utter subversion of the true principles of liberty.

The allusion in his Majesty's speech to the licentious spirit prevalent at that time in England, had reference to Wilkes and his associates. Many men of fashion and dissipation had lived with him and upon him recently as boon companions and partners in debauchery. Together with him, they formed the Dilettanti Club in Palace Yard, and they also revived the Hell-Fire Club of the days of the Duke of Wharton, at Medmenham Abbey, Bucks, where they revelled in obscenity, and made everything that was moral or religious, a subject of their scorn and derision. Over the grand entrance of this abbey was inscribed, Fays ce que voudras, "Do what you like;" and the jokes of the members of the club consisted principally in wearing monkish dresses, and drinking wine out of a communion cup to a pagan divinity. For the entertainment of these men, some of whom were even more conspicuous in their profligacy than Wilkes himself, he took a house at the court end of the town, by which he incurred expenses his fortune could not support, and which they were not willing to discharge. They could feast at his table, and drink his claret; but his entertainments and his wit, which they equally enjoyed, must be set down to his own account. Nay, one of his companions, the new secretary of state, Lord Sandwich, one of the most notorious of the whole club, now suddenly turned round upon him, and accused him of leading a profligate and debauched life!

On the return of the commons to their own house, Grenville, aware of the intention of Wilkes to make a formal complaint respecting the breach of privilege, anticipated him by relating what had passed in the arrest and liberation of that member, and by laying the libel on the table. The house by a large majority-resolved, that the 45th No. of the "North Briton" was a false, scandalous, and seditious libel, and ordered that the said paper should be burned by the hands of the common hangman. In reply, Wilkes declared that the rights of all the members had been violated in his person, and he requested that the question of privilege should be at once taken into consideration. The house adjourned this question for one week, but on the same night, Lord Sandwich produced in the house of lords, a copy of the "Essay on Woman," and loudly exclaimed against the profaneness and indecency of this poetical production of Wilkes. His attack on Wilkes surprised most men who heard him, but he was followed by one who had a right to complain. Dr. Warburton, now Bishop of Gloucester, inveighed bitterly on the use which had been made of his name in the annotations, and commented in severe language on the outrageous infidelity of the production, declaring that when the author of it arrived in hell, he would not find one companion there among its "blackest fiends." A day was appointed for bringing John Wilkes to their lordship's bar, to answer to a charge of a breach of privilege; but in the meantime, an event occurred which rendered it impossible for him to appear. In the course of the debate in the lower house, Mr. Martin, member for Camelford, who had been secretary to the treasury during Bute's administration, and had been attacked in the "North Briton," stigmatized Wilkes as a "cowardly, malignant, and scandalous scoundrel." His words were twice repeated, as he looked across the house at the object of his attack, with rage flashing from his eyes. Wilkes seemed to hear with cool indifference, but on leaving the house, he addressed a note to Martin, and a meeting in Hyde Park was the consequence, in which the former was dangerously wounded. It was reported the next day that he was delirious, and crowds of people surrounded his house, hooting and shouting at his murderers: had he died, the populace would have considered him a martyr in the cause of liberty; but he recovered.

The question of privilege came on in the house of commons on the 23rd of November, and it lasted two whole days. Wilkes was defended by Pitt, who came to the house again enveloped in flannel, and this time supported by crutches. While Pitt defended him, however, he was careful to maintain his own character. He condemned the whole series of "North Britons," as illiberal, unmanly, and detestable; declaimed against all national reflections, as having a tendency to promote disloyal feelings and disunity: asserted that his majesty's complaint was well founded, just, and necessary; and declared that the author did not deserve to rank among the human species, as he was the blasphemer of his God, and the libeller of his sovereign. He was not connected with Wilkes, he said, nor had he any connexion with writers of his stamp. At the same time, he reprobated the facility with which parliament was surrendering its own privileges, carefully impressing on the house, that in so doing, he was simply delivering a constitutional opinion, and not vindicating the character of John Wilkes. The speech of Pitt was characterised by great eloquence and acuteness, but the measure was warmly defended by other members, and at the conclusion, a resolution was carried by a large majority, to the effect, "That the privilege of parliament does not extend to the case of writing and publishing seditious libels, nor ought to be allowed to obstruct the ordinary course of the laws in the speedy and effectual prosecution of so heinous and dangerous an offence." The concurrence of the lords was not obtained without considerable difficulty, and when it was obtained, a spirited protest was signed by seventeen peers, affirming it to be "incompatible with the dignity, gravity, and justice of the house, thus to explain away a parliamentary privilege of such magnitude and importance, founded in the wisdom of ages, declared with precision in their standing orders, repeatedly confirmed, and hitherto preserved inviolable by the spirit of their ancestors; called to it only by the other house on a particular occasion, and to serve a particular purpose, ex post facto, ex parte, et pendente lite, the courts below." On the 1st of December, a conference of both houses took place, when both lords and commons agreed in a loyal address to the king, expressive of their detestation of the libels against him; and Wilkes was ordered to attend at the bar of the commons in a week, should his health permit.

In the meantime—on the 3rd of the month—there was a terrible riot in London occasioned, by the burning of the "North Briton" in Cheapside. The execution of this sentence was entrusted to Alderman Harley, sheriff of London, and he assembled the city officers and the common hangman at the Royal Exchange, to put it into effect. The people, however, manifested a very different spirit from that of their representatives. So violent were they, that Harley was compelled to retreat to the Mansion House, where the lord mayor was sitting, surrounded by members of the common council, who were almost to a man the friends and admirers of Wilkes, and therefore not disposed to take part in the matter. The hangman was compelled to follow the sheriff. He had succeeded in partially burning the paper with a link, when cheered on by some gentlemen standing at the windows of houses near the spot, the mob rushed upon him, and rescued the fragments, carrying them in triumph to Temple Bar, where a fire was kindled and a large jack-boot was committed to the flames, in derision of the Earl of Bute. The city was restored to its usual tranquillity in about an hour and a half, the mob dispersing of their own accord; but the affair occupied the attention of parliament four days, during which time nothing else was done, except voting a pension of £80,000 as a dowry to the Princess Augusta, the king's sister, who was about to be married to the Duke of Brunswick. In the debate on the subject of the riot, it was fully manifested that the populace of London was generally in favour of Wilkes; but both houses concurred in voting that the rioters were disturbers of the public peace, dangerous to the liberties of the country, and obstructors of national justice. Thanks were also voted to the sheriffs, and an address was presented to his majesty, praying that measures might be taken to discover and punish the offenders.

By their proceedings against Wilkes ministers had surrounded themselves with a maze of perplexity. Actions were brought by the printers, and others arrested under the general warrant, to recover damages for false imprisonment, and a verdict was universally given in their favour. These actions were brought against the messengers: Wilkes had nobler game in view. He brought actions against the two secretaries of state, Lord Egremont and Lord Halifax, and against Robert Wood, Esq., late under-secretary. Egremont was now dead, Halifax stood upon his privilege and defied the court, till relieved by the sentence of outlawry that was passed upon Wilkes, but Wood was condemned to pay £1000 damages to the plaintiff. At this trial, the lord chief justice Pratt was bold enough to declare that general warrants were unconstitutional, illegal, and absolutely void, and to challenge a reference of this opinion to the twelve judges. This was not deemed expedient, and Pratt's judgment respecting the illegality of warrants was shortly afterwards confirmed by the court of king's bench. The boldness of Pratt secured for him great popularity. He was presented with the freedom of the cities of London and Dublin, and others; and in addition to this mark of respect, the corporation of London requested that he would sit for his picture, which was to be placed in Guildhall, as a memorial of their gratitude.

The popularity of Wilkes was at this time increased by an attempt made upon his life by one Alexander Dun, a Scotchman, who sought admission into the patriot's house, and who publicly declared that he and ten others were determined to cut him off. A new penknife was found in his pocket, and for this alleged attempt against the life of a member of parliament, Dun was carried before the commons, who voted him insane, and ordered his dismissal. The court of king's bench, however, committed Dun to prison for want of bail and securities, and looking upon facts only in a cursory light, the people believed that the government was determined to make away with the defender of their liberties. All this tended to render the cabinet so obnoxious, that Horace Walpole was apprehensive that there would have been some violent commotion.

When the day arrived for the attendance of Wilkes at the bar of the house of commons, two medical gentlemen, Dr. Brocklesby and Mr. Graves appeared, and made a declaration that he was unable, from the state of his health, to obey the summons. The house granted a week's delay, and the excuse being repeated, the grant was extended beyond the Christmas recess. At the same time it was ordered that a physician and surgeon of their own appointing should see Wilkes, and report their opinion on his case. These were refused admittance into his house; but to vindicate the character of his own medical attendants, and to have the laugh at the ministry, he called in two Scotch doctors, observing that as the house wished him to be watched, two Scotchmen would prove the most proper spies.

The Christmas recess arrived, and the Christmas festivities afforded a short truce to this war of politicians. Wilkes, who could not have been so ill as represented, went to Paris, where he obtained great admiration by his wit in the salons and soirées of that gay city. He was thus employed when the parliament met on the 19th of January, 1764. This was the day fixed for his appearance, but the speaker produced a letter from him, enclosing a certificate signed by a French physician and a French surgeon, testifying that he could not quit Paris without danger to his life. This certificate wanted the signature of a notary public to give it authenticity, and the house, therefore, resolved to proceed against Wilkes as though he were present. Witnesses and papers were examined, and it was resolved, that No. 45 of the "North Briton," which had been voted a seditious libel, contained expressions of unexampled insolence and contumely toward his majesty, the grossest aspersions upon both houses of parliament, and the most audacious defiance of the whole legislative authority. It was also denounced as having a manifest tendency to alienate the affections of the people from their king, to withdraw them from obedience to the laws, and to excite them to insurrection. On the next day it was further resolved, that Wilkes should be expelled the house, and a new writ was issued for the borough of Aylesbury; a measure which ultimately had the effect of rendering him a popular champion in the struggle between the house of commons and the electors of Middlesex, which defined the power of the representative body in relation to its constituency. Even now it greatly increased the popularity of Wilkes among the great body of the people. On every opportune occasion they loudly expressed their sentiments in his favour. The king and his ministers were compelled to hear whenever they appeared in public the grating and unwelcome exclamation of, "Wilkes and liberty!"

Although ministers had triumphed over Wilkes personally, by obtaining his expulsion from the house, yet they were doomed to suffer a check from a motion naturally arising out of his prosecution. On the 13th of February, it was moved by the opposition, that Wilkes' complaint of breach of privilege should be heard. On this subject they obtained a large majority; his complaint being thrown out, after a stormy debate which lasted three days and one whole night. This, however, was followed by a resolution moved by Sir William Meredith, in which they were not so successful, namely, "That a general warrant for apprehending and securing the authors, printers, and publishers of a seditious libel, together with their papers, is not warranted by law." An adjournment was proposed, but Pitt and others made speeches upon the subject, and when the house divided, ministers had only the small majority of fourteen upon the question of adjournment. This was virtually a defeat, and the illegality of general warrants was so effectually established by the numbers who voted on the side of the opposition, and by the sentiments of the orators, that henceforth the use of them was wholly discontinued. If, therefore, this prosecution of Wilkes was impolitic, it had at least the effect of settling a great constitutional principle; nor was it long before the measures taken against him effected other alterations in the constitution equally important.

Wilkes having entered an appearance in Westminster Hall, was at length tried and convicted on two indictments, for publishing the 45th Number of the North Briton, and the "Essay on Woman." He was afterwards outlawed for not appearing in court to receive his sentence, whence the suit he had instituted against Lord Halifax fell to the ground. The cause of Wilkes, however, being identified with that of the constitution, his popularity remained undiminished, and the spirit excited by the proceedings against him was still as rife with bitterness as ever.





PROPOSITION TO TAX THE AMERICAN COLONIES.

It was at this troubled season that George Grenville brought forward a motion for extracting a direct revenue from the colonies. The idea was not altogether new, for such a scheme had been hinted at during Sir Robert Walpole's administration. At this time it seems to have been revived, by the general complaint heard among the people of England, of the burden of taxation which they were called upon to bear. His majesty proposed such a step, as a just, as well as advantageous measure for relieving the country from the financial difficulties which had been occasioned by a war undertaken for the protection and security of the colonies themselves. Accordingly, a series of resolutions, respecting new duties to be laid on goods imported by the Americans, was brought into the House by Grenville on the 10th of March. These resolutions passed with little notice; General Conway, it is said, being the only member who protested against them; and they received the royal assent on the 5th of April. The minister, also, proposed raising a direct revenue from the colonies in the shape of a stamp-tax, but this was objected to by the opposition, and it was postponed to another session. Certain restrictions, however, were at the same time laid upon the profitable contraband trade carried on by the Americans with the Spanish colonies; a trade alike advantageous to England and the North American colonists, but of which the Spanish government was constantly and bitterly complaining to the court of Great Britain.





OPPOSITION OF THE AMERICANS.

It seems probable that ministers undertook this scheme of taxation, in order to gain popularity. It had that effect in some slight degree. The country gentlemen, in particular, were well pleased with the prospect of the non-increase on the diminution of the land-tax, and other sections of the community hoped eventually to have their burdens lightened by such a measure. In proroguing parliament the king expressed his hearty approbation of it, auguring the augmentation of the public revenues, a unity of the interests of his most distant possessions, and an increase of commerce, as its natural results. Like the Greek fisherman in Theocritus, all dreamed of gold; but in the course of a few months this pleasant dream was swept away by a strong wind across the Atlantic.

The inhabitants of New England received these "wise regulations" of the British parliament "like knives put to their throats." Perceiving that the claim made by their mother-country to tax the colonies for her own benefit, and at her own discretion, might possibly introduce a system of oppression, they boldly denied the authority of parliament to levy any direct tax on the colonies, and declared that it was a violation of their rights as colonists, possessing by charter the privilege of taxing themselves for their own support; and as British subjects, who ought not to be taxed without their legitimate representatives. The disaffection of the northern provinces extended to those of the south, and, as a strong measure of resistance, all engaged to abstain from the use of those luxuries which had hitherto been imported from Great Britain. They also made colonial taxation a subject of their petitions to king, lords, and commons, and thus firmly established the principle of resistance to such a measure. Their resistance was confirmed by an unwise measure of Grenville, who determined to intrust the execution of his prohibitory orders to military and naval officers, who were disposed to act with rigour. Government, also, had increased the salaries of judges, which gave rise to an opinion that it was desirous of diminishing their independence; and the governors had recently acted very arbitrarily, and when complaints were made no attention was paid to them, or if a reply was given, it was accompanied with rebuke. The colonists, moreover, were encouraged in their spirit of resistance by the emigration of numbers who had lately left England, and who being disaffected persons, diffused republican sentiments in all the provinces. The seeds of discontent were, in fact, sown far and wide before this new system of taxation was projected, and it had the effect of causing them to germinate and flourish.





WAR WITH THE NORTH AMERICAN INDIANS.

It unfortunately happened, that the news of colonial taxation arrived in America when the colonists were in no very pleasant humour. On quitting Canada, the French government still retained some slight connexion with the native Indians, and partly by their agents, and in part through encroachments made by the British on their hunting-grounds, they were incited to war. The tribes flew to arms, designing to make a simultaneous attack on all the English back-settlements in harvest-time, and though their secret was made known, and their intentions prevented in some places, yet the frontiers of Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Virginia were mercilessly ravaged by them, and the inhabitants in those parts utterly destroyed. The Indians also captured several forts in Canada, and massacred the garrisons; and their flying parties frequently intercepted and butchered the troops that were marching from place to place, and plundered and murdered the traders in the upper part of the country. Success made them more bold, and it seems probable, from the display of courage and of military talent which they manifested, that French officers were among them. They even resolved to advance on the principal force stationed at Fort Pitt, and they marched forward in full confidence of victory. In their route they defeated a detachment under Captain Dalzel, and killed that unfortunate officer, and the soldiers escaped with difficulty into Fort Detroit. Fort Pitt was now surrounded by them, but they soon abandoned it, in order to attack Colonel Bouquet, who was advancing with a strong corps under his command for its relief. Fearful struggles took place between Colonel Bouquet and the Indians, in which a great number was killed on both sides, but they were finally routed, and as their bravest chiefs had perished, it was supposed that their loss was irreparable. The Indians, however, in the other parts of the country were not discouraged, and they surrounded an escort, and slew about eighty officers and men near the falls of Niagara. Thus disheartened, General Amherst used the powerful influence of Sir William Johnstone, who was enabled to detach the Indians of the Six Nations from the confederacy, and to engage them on the side of the British, and after various skirmishes and surprises, the rest submitted on conditions, or retired into the depths of their native wilds and forests. In the treaty concluded with them all occasions of future quarrels were guarded against; the limits of their territories were accurately defined; their past offences forgiven; and they were re-admitted to the friendship of Great Britain: the Indians on their part solemnly engaging to commit no more acts of violence.

These occurrences had for the most part happened in the summer and autumn of the year 1763. But the recollection of them was, from their very nature, strongly impressed upon the minds of the colonists, when they heard of the system proposed for their taxation. Moreover, every one was armed for the defence of his home and property against the Indians, and being now freed from their terrors in that quarter, they were bold to think that they might be used against their mother-country, should the scheme of colonial taxation not be abandoned. Hence the colonists made a show of resistance by passing strong resolutions against the measure, which were transmitted to their agents in London, to be laid before government. The province of Pennsylvania appointed a new agent to London, in the person of the celebrated Benjamin Franklin, who was instructed to oppose the stamp-act to the very utmost, and indeed every other act that might be proposed to the British parliament to tax the Americans without their consent. A more efficient agent than Franklin could not have been chosen by the Pennsylvanians. Born in humble life, he had, nevertheless, raised himself by genius and steady perseverance, to be a man of property and science, a leading magistrate, a high functionary in their state, a powerful writer, a statesman, and a philosopher.





DOMESTIC OCCURRENCES.

The measures of the new administration were generally approved of in the house of commons, and on dismissing the parliament the king thanked the members of both houses for their wise and spirited exertions, and exhorted them all to employ the present season of tranquillity in perfecting the peace so happily commenced. There was occasion for this exhortation. The cider-tax occasioned many turbulent meetings, which frequently ended in riot, and a great scarcity of provisions caused an increase of robberies and crime to a large amount. These evils were augmented by the discharge of large bodies of soldiers and sailors, who either could not find employment, or from their previous occupation could not settle down into habits of industry. Moreover, country gentlemen and landed proprietors from all parts of the United Kingdom came to the metropolis, in order to gain posts under government, leaving their estates to be managed by stewards and bailiffs, the results of which were that they involved themselves in debt, and that they raised their rents for the purpose of relieving themselves. Discontent everywhere prevailed, and especially in Scotland and Ireland, and many thousands emigrated to the North American provinces, that they might be able to obtain a subsistence for their families, and at the same time preserve their religion and the customs of their fathers.

This year was marked by many maritime discoveries. A spirit of enterprize, fostered by the munificence of the king, was displayed, indeed, equal to that which distinguished the 15th and 16th centuries, and which produced advantages to the country of equal importance to those produced by the recent war. Byron, Wallis, Carteret, Cook, and Mulgrave, all set sail during this year, and in a few years discoveries were made which outrivalled all which had occurred since the expeditions of Columbus.

During this autumn Pitt broke his recently-formed league with the old Duke of Newcastle, telling him in a letter that he resolved henceforward to act for himself, to keep himself free from all stipulations, and to oppose or support measures in parliament upon his own responsibility. It is not clear why Pitt came to this resolution; but perhaps it may have arisen from his growing infirmity of body and temper, and of his overbearing pride. From his letter, in fact, it is made very manifest that his pride was offended, because the system of war which he had so long and eloquently defended was given up "by silence" in a full house. Hence it was, probably, that he was induced to stand single, and dare to appeal to his country solely upon the merits—real or supposed—of his principles. At all events, it seems certain that his resolution did not arise, as some have imagined, from dark and inexplicable intrigue, though it may wear that imposing aspect. But after all, as it has been well observed, it is next to impossible to understand the extraordinary alternations of alliance, neutrality, and opposition, between Pitt and the old Duke of Newcastle.

In the course of this year, the treaty of Fontainbleau was somewhat shaken by a French ship of the line having seized Turk's Island, in the West Indies, and making the English inhabitants prisoners. The Spaniards also annoyed and interrupted the English logwood-cutters at Honduras, and were supposed to have seized a ship in the Mediterranean. These occurrences happened during the recess of parliament, but before the houses met, both the court of France and Spain disavowed all hostile proceedings, and gave explanations to the English cabinet, which were deemed satisfactory. It was evident, however, that the Bourbon courts were not satisfied with the terms of the recent peace, and that their weakness alone prevented them from renewing the struggle: their chagrin and enmity were but ill-concealed under the mask of friendship, which defeat in the field of battle had compelled them to wear.



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CHAPTER II.

GEORGE III. 1765-1769


     The Meeting of Parliament..... Debates on Colonial
     Taxation..... Instability of the Cabinet..... Attempts to
     form a new Administration..... Opposition to the Stamp
     Duties in America..... Embarrassment of Ministers and
     Meeting of Parliament..... Sentiments of the Americans on
     the Declaratory  Act..... The Dissolution of the
     Rockingham  Cabinet..... Decline of Lord Chatham's
     Popularity..... Meeting of Parliament..... East India
     Question..... American Taxation..... Changes in the
     Ministry..... Proceedings in America..... Domestic Troubles
     and  Commotions..... The Return of Wilkes, &c......
     Resignation of Lord Chatham..... The Affairs of Wilkes.....
     Meeting of Parliament..... Debate on Wilkes, &c......
     Debates on America..... East India Affairs..... Prorogation
     of Parliament, &c...... Discontents in England and Ireland.

1765





THE MEETING OF PARLIAMENT.

Parliament assembled on the 10th of January, 1765. The leading topics of the king's speech referred to continental events, from which he augured the continuation of peace. In allusion to American taxation and American discontents, he recommended the carrying out of Grenville's measures, and the enforcing obedience in the colonies. He remarked:—"The experience I have had of your former conduct makes me rely on your wisdom and firmness, in promoting that obedience to the laws, and respect to the legislative authority of this kingdom, which is essentially necessary for the safety of the whole, and in establishing such regulations as may best connect and strengthen every part of my dominions for their mutual benefit and support." In this speech, also, his majesty announced the approaching marriage of his youngest sister, the Princess Caroline, with the Prince Royal of Denmark: a union which was ultimately attended with tragical consequences.

Early in this session complaints were made by the opposition that the court of Spain had not paid the Manilla ransom, which gave rise to an angry debate; the ministers warmly defending the conduct of the Spaniards in this particular. An attempt was also again made by the opposition to procure a resolution against the illegality of general warrants, but decision on this point was eluded, and the previous question carried. Another motion, to restrain the attorney-general in his power of filing informations ex officio, which was made by the opposition, was likewise negatived by a ministerial majority. But these were only so many preludes to a storm which took place on the subject of colonial taxation.





DEBATES ON COLONIAL TAXATION.

It has been seen that the measure of laying a duty on stamps had been postponed, in order to give the colonists time to propose any other mode of taxation in lieu of it more agreeable to their own feelings. The agents of America, however, all replied that they were instructed not only to oppose the stamp-tax, but every other bill which assumed as a principle the right of taxing the colonies. They urged in reply to the statement, that it was reasonable for America to contribute her proportion toward the general expenses of the empire; that, "America had never been backward in obeying the constitutional requisitions of the crown, and contributing liberally, in her own assemblies, towards the expenses of wars, in which, conjointly with England, she had been engaged; that in the course of the last memorable contest, her patriotism had been so conspicuous, that large sums had been repeatedly voted, as an indemnification to the colonists for exertions allowed to be far beyond their means and resources; and that the proper compensation to Britain for the expense of rearing and protecting her colonies was the monopoly of their trade, the absolute direction and regulation of which was universally acknowledged to be inherent in the British legislature."

In all ages of the world sovereign states have assumed to themselves the right of taxing their dependant colonies for the general good. A glance at ancient history, however, is sufficient to prove that there is danger in the expedient. By colonial taxation Athens involved herself in many dangerous wars, which proved highly prejudicial to her interests, and which reads a powerful lesson to modern states and kingdoms on this subject. The British king and British cabinet, however, had, like the Athenians, to learn a lesson from experience, and not from the pages of history. Conceiving that they had gone too far to recede, they were resolutely determined not to yield their claim of right. The memorials were not even allowed to be read in the house, for the British legislature, with few exceptions, considered the right which they questioned to be indisputable. Fifty-five resolutions of the committee of ways and means, relating to this branch of the revenue, were agreed to by the commons, and they were afterwards incorporated into an act for laying nearly the same stamp-duties on the American colonies as were payable at the time in England. The debate on this subject was generally languid, but on Townshend venturing to assert, that the Americans were "children planted by our care and nourished by our indulgence," Colonel Barre, who had served beyond the Atlantic, and knew both the country and people well, exclaimed vehemently, "They planted by your care! No! your oppression planted them in America—they fled from your tyranny to a then uncultivated and inhospitable wilderness, exposed to all the hardships to which human nature is liable. They nourished by your indulgence! No! they grew by your neglect of them; your care of them was displayed, as soon as you began to take care about them, in sending persons to rule them who were the deputies of deputies of ministers—men whose behaviour on many occasions has caused the blood of those sons of liberty to recoil within them—men who have been promoted to the highest seats of justice in that country, in order to escape being brought to the bar of justice in their own. I have been conversant with the Americans, and I know them to be loyal indeed, but a people jealous of their liberties, and who will vindicate them if ever they should be violated; and let my prediction of this day be remembered, that the same spirit of freedom which actuated that people at first will accompany them still." The prediction of Colonel Barre was treated as emanating from his loss of the regiment which he had commanded in America; and the bill passed both houses without any difficulty, and it received the royal assent by commission on the 22nd of March. It passed from a lack of knowledge of American affairs; from an indifference to the interests of the colonists; and from sheer cupidity. The profits which we had derived from commerce with the Americans, and which were the ostensible object proposed in planting the colonies, were not sufficient: if we could obtain it, we must share in their profits likewise. But this was a question which time only could solve; a riddle, which events must explain.





INSTABILITY OF THE CABINET.

Ministers seemed to have carried matters with a high hand in parliament during the previous debates, but there were nevertheless causes at work which tended to weaken and dissolve their administration. The Americans had already put their threats into execution concerning their abstinence from the use of British goods, and this created great alarm among shipowners, merchants, manufacturers, artizans, and labourers. The complaints of the two latter classes of the community were increased by a scarcity of bread, and the high price of provisions, which were ascribed to the maladministration of the ministers. These popular discontents, however, might have been disregarded, had not Grenville given offence to a royal personage, whose resentment would have ensured the downfall of even a much greater and more popular man than the prime minister.

About a week after he had given his assent to the American Stamp Act, it was reported that his majesty was seriously ill, and it would appear that his illness was a slight attack of that fearful malady which thrice afflicted him during his long reign, and incapacitated him for his kingly duties. This time his malady was transient; but, taking warning by it, he acquainted his ministers that he was anxious for a Regency Bill, and told them the particulars of his intention. The sketch of such a bill was drawn up by Fox, now Lord Holland, which left the regent to be named by the king, and which, among other members of the royal family, omitted the name of the queen. The queen's name was subsequently added, but no mention was made of the Princess-dowager of Wales. The king himself proposed that he should be invested with power, from time to time, by instruments under his sign manual, to appoint either the queen or any other person of the royal family, usually residing in Great Britain, to be guardian of his succession and regent of the kingdom, until his successor should have attained his eighteenth year. A bill to this effect was carried in the upper house, but in the commons a motion was made requiring the king to name those persons whom he would intrust with so important a charge. This motion was negatived, and a question was then raised as to the construction of the words "any other member of the royal family," and the answer given was, that they meant "the descendants of George the Second." This interpretation would have excluded the princess-dowager from all share in the public councils, and therefore an amendment was moved at the next reading to insert her name next to that of the queen. This amendment was carried by a large majority; but it was foreseen that the king would resent the insult put upon his mother in both houses, and would attempt to rid himself of Mr. Grenville and Lord Halifax, who had omitted to insert her name in the bill at the very outset of the proceedings.

On the 15th of May, the king went in person to give his assent to this bill. On that occasion a mob of silk-weavers and others, from Spitalfields, went to St. James's Palace with black flags and other symptoms of mourning and distress, to present a petition, complaining that they were reduced to a state of starvation by the importation of French silks. Both houses of parliament were surrounded by them, where they insulted various members, and even terrified the lords into an adjournment. In the evening they attacked Bedford-house, and began to pull down the walls, declaring that the duke had been bribed to make the treaty of Fontainbleau, and that it had brought poverty and all other curses into England. The riot act was read, and the mob dispersed, but the streets were crowded with soldiers for some days for fear of an outbreak. Reports were also spread of mutinies among the sailors at Portsmouth, insurrections among the Norwich weavers, and riots in Essex and Lancashire. The cabinet and country alike seemed to be fast going to pieces; whence his majesty, combined with the insult offered to his mother, resolved to make some attempt to form a new administration, hoping thereby to effect a change in the aspect of public affairs.





ATTEMPTS TO FORM A NEW ADMINISTRATION.

In a letter written to the Earl of Hertford, when the yells of the populace of London were ringing in his ears, Mr. Burke writes:—"The Regency Bill has shown such want of capacity in the ministers, such an inattention to the honour of the crown, if not such a design against it; such imposition and surprise upon the king, and such a misrepresentation of the disposition of parliament to the sovereign, that there is no doubt a fixed resolution to get rid of them all—unless perhaps of Grenville—but principally of the Duke of Bedford; so that you will have much more reason to be surprised to find the ministry standing by the end of next week, than to hear of their entire removal. Nothing but an intractable temper in your friend Pitt can prevent a most admirable and lasting system from being put together, and this crisis will show whether pride or patriotism be predominant in his character: for you may be assured he has it now in his power to come into the service of his country upon any plan of politics he may choose to dictate, with great and honourable terms to himself and to every friend he has in the world, and with such a strength of power as will be equal to everything but absolute despotism over the king and kingdom. A few days will show whether he will take this part, or that of continuing on his back at Hayes, talking fustian, excluded from all ministerial, and incapable of all parliamentary service: for his gout is worse than ever, but his pride may disable him more than his gout."

At the very time Burke wrote thus, negociations were in progress with Pitt. For when ministers went to the king on the 16th of May, to receive his commands for his speech at the end of the session, he had given them to understand that he would only have it prorogued, since he intended to make a change in the administration. In consequence of this determination, his majesty sent his uncle, the Duke of Cumberland, to Hayes, in Kent, to treat with Pitt. The final reply of Pitt to the offers is said to have been, "that he was ready to go to St. James's provided he might carry with him the constitution." A total change of men, measures, and counsels was involved in this reply; but the king had some "friends" whom he wished to retain in their official situations, and such a sweeping change could not be conceded. The Duke of Cumberland continued his endeavours to form a ministry for a day or two, but no one, possessing any merit, would undertake office when it was known that Pitt had refused, and the king was compelled to retain his old ministers. This was a mortifying circumstance in itself, but it was rendered doubly so by the insolent behaviour of some of the members of the cabinet. When he desired to know the conditions of their continuance in office, they peremptorily demanded a royal promise of never consulting the Earl of Bute; the instant dismissal of Mr. Mackenzie, his lordship's brother, from his high offices in Scotland; the deprivation of the paymastership of the forces, held by Lord Holland, which should be given to a member of the House of Commons; the nomination of Lord Granby to be head of the army; and the discretionary power of nominating to the government of Ireland whoever they pleased. The king expressed his anger and astonishment at these hard terms, and bade them return at ten o'clock at night for his answer. A partial compliance, however, was necessary, and before the appointed hour he sent them word by the lord chancellor that he would not bind himself by a promise never to consult Bute, though he acquiesced in the propriety of not letting him interfere in the councils of the state; that he consented to displace Mr. Mackenzie from his office, as well as Lord Holland; but that he absolutely refused the article about Lord Granby. Ministers now took time to consider, but they were too fond of office to retire without being actually compelled. On the following morning they gave up the point of Lord Granby, and contented themselves with the promise of not permitting Bute to interfere. They were, therefore, to continue in office; and Charles Townshend was made paymaster of the forces, while Lord Weymouth was appointed to the government in Ireland. But the king considered that he was dishonoured, and that he was held in thraldom by his ministers, whence he soon made fresh efforts to deliver himself. Again he negociated with Pitt, and again negociations with him fell to the ground. Pitt could not engage without Lord Temple, and Temple, when sent for, raised objections which rendered the whole scheme abortive. But the king was resolute in his determination to free himself from the chains by which his ministers had enthralled him. Early in July, he once more applied to his uncle, who undertook to treat with the Duke of Newcastle, whose parliamentary weight was nearly a counterpoise to Pitt's oratory and popularity. Newcastle joined Cumberland in addressing himself to the more moderate section of the opposition, and at length a new ministry was formed. The Marquis of Rockingham became head of the treasury; General Conway became one of the secretaries of state, and was intrusted with the House of Commons; the Duke of Grafton was the other secretary of state; Mr. Dowdeswell was the chancellor of the exchequer; the Earl of Hertford was made lord-lieutenant of Ireland, instead of Lord Weymouth; the president's chair, vacated by the Duke of Bedford, was given to Lord Winchelsea; and the Duke of Newcastle contented himself with the privy seal. The celebrated Edmund Burke was engaged as private secretary by Lord Rockingham, and now, for the first time, had a seat in parliament. There seemed a reasonable hope that this ministry would obtain strength and durability, but it wanted Pitt for its supporter; and it was weakened in October by the death of the Duke of Cumberland. This blow was more severely felt, because there was a want of union in the members of this cabinet from the first, and where there is no union there can be no real strength. Moreover, the Earl of Rockingham, though one of the most honest, honourable, and well-intentioned men in existence at that period, lacked the ability for collecting the scattered energies of party, and forming them into a system, whence it was soon found that his cabinet was unpopular; and, at no distant period of time, it was compelled to give place to another. In the whole course of its existence, indeed, it exhibited the lack of that vitality which could alone make it memorable and enduring.

GEORGE III 1765-1769.





OPPOSITION TO THE STAMP DUTIES IN AMERICA.

The fatal effects of Grenville's Stamp Act were soon made manifest—the storm which the anticipation of it had raised, grew into a perfect hurricane as soon as it was known in America that it was consummated. Throughout the whole country a disposition existed to resist to the death, rather than submit. The episcopalian and aristocratic colonists of Virginia, alike with the presbyterian and democratic colonists of New England, denounced the measure in the strongest language, and displayed strong feelings of dislike to it. Nay, the Assembly of Virginia, which hitherto had been pre-eminent in loyalty, was now the first to set an example of disobedience. The House of Assembly there was shaken by the eloquence of Patrick Henry, who took the lead in the debate. In a resolution which he brought forward against the Stamp Act, Henry exclaimed—"Cæsar had his Brutus; Charles I. his Oliver Cromwell; and George III."—the orator at this point was interrupted by a voice crying "treason!" and, pausing for a moment, he added, "and George III. may profit by that example. If that be treason, make the most of it." When tranquillity was restored, the assembly voted a series of resolutions, declaring that the first settlers in Virginia had brought with them all the privileges and immunities enjoyed by the people of England; that they possessed the exclusive right of taxing themselves in their own representative assemblies, which right had been constantly recognised by the king and parliament of Great Britain; and that every attempt to vest such a power in any other person or persons was illegal, unconstitutional, and unjust, and had a tendency to destroy both British and American independence. This had a great effect on the other colonies, and the house of representatives of Boston suggested that a congress should be held at New York, whither each province should send deputies to concert measures for averting the grievance of the Stamp Act. Nine out of thirteen of the colonies sent their delegates to this congress, and fourteen strong resolutions were passed condemnatory of the bill; and three petitions were concocted—one to the king, another to the lords, and a third to the commons. From the decorous manner adopted in its proceedings little alarm was excited, but by it an important point was gained to the Americans—a closer connexion was established by the meeting among the leading men of the various colonies; and thus a way was prepared for a more general and extensive combination should it be required by circumstances.

It was not in the assemblies alone that resistance to the Stamp Act was manifested. Ominous proceedings were adopted by the public. As soon as the news of it arrived in America, at Boston the colours of the shipping were hoisted half-mast high, and the bells were rung muffled; at New York the act was printed with a skull and cross bones, and hawked about the streets by the title of "England's Folly, and America's Ruin;" while at Philadelphia the people spiked the very guns on the ramparts. The public irritation daily increased, and when at length the stamps arrived, it was found impossible either to put them into circulation, or to preserve them from destruction. The distributors were even forced publicly to renounce, on oath, all concern with them; and riots broke out in Boston, and several other cities, at which the public authorities were compelled to connive. Law-agents generally resolved to forego the practice of their profession rather than use stamps, and all stamped mercantile or custom-house papers were seized as the ships came into port, and publicly committed to the flames. By the 1st of November, the time when the act came into operation, not a sheet of stamped paper was to be found; and, therefore, all business which could not be legally carried on without it, was brought to a stand—the courts of justice were closed, and the ports shut up.

These measures were followed by others far more injurious to the interests of Great Britain. Merchants entered into solemn engagements not to order any more goods from England; to recall the orders already given, if not fulfilled by the 1st of January, 1766; and not to dispose of any goods sent to them on commission after that date, unless the Stamp Act, and even the Sugar and Paper-money Acts were repealed. Measures were also taken to render the importation of British manufactures unnecessary. A society for the promotion of arts and commerce was instituted at New York, and markets opened for the sale of home-made goods, which soon poured into them from every quarter. Linens, woollens, paper-hangings, coarse kind of iron-ware, and various other articles of domestic life were approved by the society, and eagerly purchased by the public. People of the highest fashion even preferred wearing home-spun, or old clothes, rather than purchase articles which could conduce to the welfare of Britain; and lest the new manufactories should fail from want of materials, many entered into an engagement to abstain from the flesh of the lamb. All classes were animated by the spirit of resistance to their mother-country, and resolutions began to be circulated of stopping exports as well as imports, and of preventing the tobacco of Virginia and South Carolina from finding its way into the British markets. The flame even spread to the West Indian plantations; for in the islands of St. Christopher and Nevis, all stamps were committed to the flames, and the distributors compelled to resign office. Here was evidently work for the British Cabinet during the next session of parliament, and we proceed to show how they acted.





EMBARRASSMENT OF MINISTERS AND MEETING OF PARLIAMENT.

During the recess, ministers, who were divided in opinion and thwarted by the king, could do nothing. It would not appear, indeed, that the subject was considered of such vital importance as to demand instant attention and extraordinary exertions. Parliament met on the 17th of December, but it was only to be prorogued for the Christmas holidays, and the king merely mentioned in his speech, that something had occurred in America which would demand the attention of the legislature. In the meantime a meeting was held at Rockingham-house, for the purpose of arranging measures against the opening of the session, and particularly with respect to America. Yet no vigorous measures were resolved on, and all which they did decide upon was merely the terms in which the king's speech should be comprised when parliament reassembled.

A.D. 1766

Parliament reassembled on the 14th of January, when his majesty spoke more at length on the subject of the American colonies, and said that the papers were ordered to be laid before them. The subject was pointed out to the members as the principal object of their deliberation, and it was left to their wisdom, in full confidence the judgment and moderation of the two houses would conciliate the colonists without compromising the rights of the British legislature. Everything had been done, his majesty said, by the governors, and the commanders of the forces in America, for the suppression of riot and tumult, and the effectual support of lawful authority—they had failed, and the rest was left to them.

His majesty's speech was followed by the presentation of the petitions from America, and of numerous petitions from the great manufacturing towns of the kingdom, which set forth the present ruin of all classes, with the prospective derangement of the national finances; all which seemed to declare that the time was arrived when effectual measures should be taken for their redemption. Then succeeded the debate. It was opened in the commons by Mr. Nugent, who condemned the opposition made by the colonists, to what he deemed a reasonable and easy tax, yet expressed his willingness to abandon it, provided they would solicit its repeal as a boon, and acknowledge the right of the British legislature to impose it: with him "a peppercorn as an acknowledgment of a right was of more value than millions without such a concession." Burke followed; but nothing more is known of his first speech in parliament than that he astonished the house by the force and fancy of his eloquence, and that he gained by it the golden opinion of Pitt. That more experienced orator next spoke, and his sentiments were more to the purpose. After condemning the daring measures adopted by the late administration, and blaming the indecision and tardy efforts of their successors, against whom, as men, he had nothing to allege, as they were men of fair characters, and such as he rejoiced to see in his majesty's service, bowing with grace and dignity to them, he observed—"Pardon me, gentlemen, but confidence is a plant of slow growth in an aged bosom; youth is the season of credulity. By comparing events with each other, and reasoning from effects to causes, methinks I plainly discover an overruling influence. I have had the honour to serve the crown, and if I could have submitted to influence, I might have continued to serve, but I would not be responsible for others. I have no local attachments: it is indifferent to me whether a man was rocked in his cradle on this side, or the other side of the Tweed. I sought for merit wherever it was to be found. It is my boast that I was the first minister who looked for it, and found it in the mountains of the north. I called it forth, and drew into your service a hardy and intrepid race of men!—men who, when left to your jealousy, became a prey to the artifices of your enemies, and had gone nigh to overturn the state in the war before the last. These men, in the last war, were brought to combat on your side; they served with fidelity as they fought with valour, and conquered for you in every part of the world. Detested be the national reflections against them!—they are unjust, groundless, illiberal, unmanly. When I ceased to serve his majesty as a minister, it was not the country of the man by which I was moved; but the man of that country wanted wisdom, and held principles incompatible with freedom."

The great orator proceeded to observe, that when the resolution of taxing America was first taken he was ill in bed, and if he could have been brought to the floor of that house, he would have given his firm testimony against the measure. He then expressed a hope that the members of the British legislature would not consider it a point of honour, or themselves bound to persevere in carrying out what they had begun. His opinion was, that Great Britain had no right to lay a tax on the American colonies; but at the same time he uttered this seemingly contradictory opinion—that her authority over them was sovereign in all cases of legislation. He said—"The colonists are subjects of this kingdom, equally entitled with yourselves to all the natural advantages of mankind, and the peculiar privileges of Englishmen: equally bound by its laws, and equally participating in its free constitution. Taxation is no part of the legislative power. Taxes are the voluntary gift and grant of the commons alone. In legislation, the three estates of the realm are alike concerned; but the concurrence of the peers and the crown to a tax is only necessary to clothe it with the form of a law. The gift and grant is of the commons alone." Having shown in what way the great bulk of the land had passed into the hands of the commons, he remarked—"When, therefore, in this house, we give and grant, we give and grant what is our own. But in an American tax what do we do? We, your majesty's commons of Great Britain, give and grant to your majesty—what? our own property?—No; we give and grant the property of your majesty's commons of America! It is an absurdity in terms. The distinction between legislation and taxation is essentially necessary to liberty. The crown, the peers, are equally legislative powers with the commons. If taxation be a part of simple legislation, the crown and the peers have rights to taxation as well as yourselves—rights which they will claim, which they will exercise, whenever the principle can be supported by power." Pitt then proceeded to combat the arguments of those who asserted that America was represented in the British parliament. "I would fain know," said he, "by whom an American is represented here. Is he represented by any knight of the shire, in any county in this kingdom? Or will you tell him that he is represented by any representative of a borough—a borough which perhaps its own representatives never saw? This is what is called the rotten part of the constitution. It cannot last a century: if it does not drop, it must be amputated." Pitt concluded by reasserting, that the commons of America, represented in their assemblies, had ever been in possession of the constitutional right of granting their own money; and this kingdom had ever been in the possession of the rights of binding the colonies by her laws, and by her regulations and restrictions in trade, navigation, and manufactures, and in fact in everything, except taking money out of their pockets without their free and full consent.

The house was awed by Pitt's oratory, and, for some time, no one rose to reply. General Conway at length broke the silence by frankly declaring that his sentiments were generally conformable to those of Pitt; and by excusing ministers for their tardy notice of the subject, on the grounds that the first news of the troubles were vague and imperfect. In denying the continued ascendency of Bute, however, the general spoke with great warmth, utterly disclaiming it for himself, and, as far as he could discern, for all the members of the cabinet. Grenville, who followed, did not treat Pitt with such urbanity. He defended himself and his measures with great warmth and ability, and boldly declared that the seditious spirit of the colonies owed its birth to the factions in the house of commons, and that gentlemen were careless of the consequences of what they uttered, provided it answered the purposes of opposition. As he ceased speaking, several members rose together; but Pitt was among them, and a loud cry was made for him, so that the rest gave way, and left him to answer the attack. Taking no notice of the denial which Conway gave to his charge concerning Bute's holding paramount influence in the cabinet, which denial he could not with justice gainsay, he confined his remarks to Grenville's arguments and grave charge. Since, he said, that member had gone into the justice, policy, and expediency of the Stamp Act, he would follow him through the whole field, and combat all his arguments. He bitterly complained that Grenville should have designated the liberty of speech in that house as a crime; but declared that the imputation should not prevent him from uttering his sentiments upon the subject. He then proceeded thus:—"The gentleman tells us America is obstinate—America is almost in open rebellion. I rejoice that America has resisted. Three millions of people, so dead to all the feelings of liberty as voluntary to submit to be slaves, would have been fit instruments to make slaves of the rest." Pitt then said, that in all our wants of money, no minister, since the revolution, had ever thought of taxing the American colonies; that he had, when in office, refused to burn his fingers with an American Stamp Act; and he recapitulated his arguments to prove that legislation and taxation were two different things, and that while we had a right to regulate the trade of the colonists, we could not legally or justly impose taxes upon them. He then asserted, that the profits to Great Britain from the trade of the colonies were two millions a year, and that this was the sum which carried England triumphantly through the last war, and the price America paid us for protection. "And shall," he asked, "a miserable financier come with a boast, that he can fetch a peppercorn into the exchequer by the loss of millions to the nation?" He added—"I am convinced the whole commercial system of America may be altered to advantage: you have prohibited where you ought to have encouraged, and you have encouraged where you ought to have prohibited: improper restraints have been laid on the Continent in favour of the islands. Let the acts of parliament, in consequence of treaties, remain; but let not an English minister become a custom-house officer for Spain or for any foreign power. Much is wrong; much may be amended for the general good of the whole. The gentleman must not wonder that he was not contradicted, when, as a minister, he asserted the right of parliament to tax America. I know not how it is, but there is a modesty in this house which does not choose to contradict a minister—even your chair, sir, looks towards St. James's. I wish gentlemen would think better of this modesty; if they do not, perhaps the collective body may begin to abate of its respect for the representative. A great deal has been said without doors of the power, the strength of America—it is a topic that ought to be cautiously meddled with. In a good cause, on a sound bottom, the force of this country can crush America to atoms; but on this ground, on the Stamp Act, when so many here will think it a crying injustice, I am one who will lift up my hands against it;—in such a cause your success would be hazardous. America, if she fell, would fall like a strong man; she would embrace the pillars of the state, and pull down the constitution along with her." Pitt, then deprecating the conduct of those who judged the Americans with an eye of severity, said—"I acknowledge they have not acted in all things with prudence and temper; they have been wronged; they have been driven to madness by injustice. Will you punish them for the madness you have occasioned? Rather let prudence and temper come first from this side. I will undertake for America that she will follow the example. There are two lines in a ballad of Prior, on a man's behaviour to his wife, so applicable to you and your colonies, that I cannot help repeating them:—


     'Be to her faults a little blind;
      Be to her virtues very kind.'"

Pitt concluded by proposing that the Stamp Act should be repealed, absolutely, totally, and immediately; but at the same time he advised, that the repeal should be accompanied by the strongest declaration of the sovereign authority of this country over the colonies, in everything that relates to trade and manufactures—in fact, in everything except taking their money out of their pockets without their consent.

This speech of Mr. Pitt had a potent effect upon the administration and the country at large. Nearly all the ministers coincided in his views, and petitions, which poured into the house from all parts against the stamp act, and which had been imperiously rejected by the late cabinet, were received with all due deference. Burke made two speeches against it, which were commended by Pitt, and filled the town with wonder. So great was the change in public opinion upon the subject, that a bill was brought in by the ministers for the repeal of the act, which bill was passed by a great majority. It was accompanied by a declaratory bill, setting forth the supreme right, sovereignty, &c. of Great Britain over her colonies in all other matters of legislation, and reprobating the tumultuous proceedings of the colonists. The repeal act was sent up to the lords, where it encountered a violent opposition, but it passed toward the end of March, when it received the reluctant consent of the crown. Sixty-one peers entered a strong protest against its non-taxing principle, and it was observed that in both houses the members belonging to the royal household voted with the opposition: a strong proof of his majesty's feeling upon this subject.

It was asserted by some that ministers were "bullied" into the repeal of the stamp act by Pitt. This was manifestly unjust, both to the great orator and the ministers themselves. In this session they showed themselves equally ready to redress grievances at home as in America. Thus they proposed and carried a repeal of the obnoxious cider-tax, laying on a different duty, and the mode of collecting it; they passed an act for restraining the importation of foreign silks; and they abolished the old duties on houses and windows, and settled the rates with greater equity toward the middle and lower classes of society. They also appeased the general apprehension of a scarcity of bread, by orders to prevent the exportation of corn, and by enforcing the old laws against monopoly, forestalling, and regrating. Moreover, they passed a bill for opening free ports in the islands of Dominica and Jamaica; made several new and important regulations in the commercial system of the colonies; and took off some burdensome restrictions. Finally, they promoted the extension of trade in general by a commercial treaty with Russia, and they obtained from France a liquidation of those bills which had been left unsettled since the cession of Canada.

Still, though the legislative acts of this administration were of great importance to the country, and were calculated to insure popularity, its doom was sealed. By a large portion of the community, the members of which it was composed were considered as intruders, who kept Pitt out of office, and they had lost the confidence of the king by the repeal of the Stamp Act. The resentment of the king was also excited by their omitting to procure a supply of money for his younger brothers. Sensible of their weakness, the Duke of Grafton resigned office, and the seals which he resigned were given to the Duke of Richmond. When he resigned he declared that he had no fault to find with his colleague's, except that they wanted strength, and that his opinion was, Mr. Pitt alone could give vigour and solidity to any administration in the present state of affairs. Under him, his grace said, he was "willing to serve in any capacity, not merely as a general officer, but as a pioneer: under him he would take up a spade or a mattock." Such was the situation in which the ministers found themselves at the close of this session, which was prorogued early in June.





SENTIMENTS OF THE AMERICANS ON THE DECLARATORY ACT.

The manner in which the repeal of the Stamp Act was received in America seemed to justify the measure. Although accompanied with the Declaratory Act, it was welcomed by many persons among the higher classes, of honest and upright mind, with great satisfaction. Washington declared that those who were instrumental in procuring the repeal were entitled to the thanks of all well-wishers to Great Britain and her colonies. There were fierce republican spirits, however, in New England, who viewed the Declaratory Act in the same light which they had viewed the Stamp Act; and as soon as the first burst of joy had subsided, this was made the subject of their declamation, and a stimulus to popular excitement. Public writers were employed to prevent a return of harmony between Great Britain and her colonies, and though addresses of thanks were voted by the assemblies to the king, this was but an evanescent show of gratitude. The same temper was found especially to prevail in the assembly of Massachusets against the Declaratory Act, as had been displayed against the Stamp Act, and the spirit of resistance soon spread to the other colonies. The right of legislative authority assumed by Great Britain over her colonies was loudly questioned, and bills were passed in the assemblies independently of the British parliament, and in defiance of our declared sovereign legislative right. One breach was therefore healed by the repeal of the Stamp Act, but another was opened by the scarcely less obnoxious act with which it was accompanied. A tree of liberty had been planted, and there was a universal disposition to preserve its leaves and its fruits from the touch of kingly and sovereign power.





THE DISSOLUTION OF THE ROCKINGHAM CABINET.

The seeds of the dissolution of the ministry, as before shown, were thickly scattered, and it was easy to foresee that the event was at no great distance. Its fall, however, might have been retarded for a little space, had it not been for the intrigues of the chancellor, Henry Earl of Northington. In order to discredit the cabinet, that nobleman started numerous difficulties on some legal points that were submitted to his judgment, and set on foot several intrigues, which accelerated its downfall. The first token of his defection appeared in the strong dissatisfaction which he exhibited on account of the commercial treaty with Russia, and it was soon after made more fully manifest in a meeting of ministers on the subject of the government of Canada. There appears to have been no good ground for his opposition, but Northington panted for retirement, and longed to serve his ancient friend Pitt; whence it pleased him to denounce a report drawn up and submitted to the council on this subject as theoretical, visionary, and unworthy of practical statesmen. The meeting broke up without coming to any conclusion, and before another could be convened, Northington demanded an audience of the king; resigned under the pretence that the present ministry was unable to carry on the government; and recommended that his majesty should call Pitt into his councils. In consequence of this, Pitt received the personal commands of his majesty to form a new administration, offering him a carte blanche for its formation.

Hitherto Pitt had manifested great patriotism, having served his country, apparently, for the love of it alone. That he was ambitious, however, he now proved. In reply to his majesty's commands he spoke of his infirmities, and—although he was only fifty-eight years old—of his great age. Under these circumstances he proposed taking to himself not the premiership, with the direction of the house of commons, but the office of privy-seal, which implied his exaltation to the peerage. The king and the country alike stared with astonishment at this proposition, but his views were not thwarted, and he proceeded to form his own cabinet. Negociations failed with Lord Temple, the Marquess of Rockingham, Lord Gower, Mr. Dowdeswell, and Lord Scarborough. In the midst of them, however, Pitt received an autograph note from his majesty, announcing his creation as Earl of Chatham, and thus stimulated, he proceeded in his task. On the 2nd of August the members of the new cabinet were formally announced in the Gazette. Pitt, as Earl of Chatham, took the office of privy-seal; Lord Camden was made chancellor; the Earl of Shelburne was appointed one of the secretaries of state; General Conway continued in office as the other; the Duke of Grafton was made first lord of the treasury; Charles Townshend became chancellor of the exchequer; Sir Charles Saunders succeeded to the admiralty; and the Earl of Hillsborough was nominated first lord of trade. Several changes were also made in the subordinate places of the treasury and the admiralty boards, and the strange medley, which soon became more mixed and various, has been thus described by Burke:—"He [Lord Chatham] made an administration so chequered and speckled; he put together a piece of joinery so crossly indented and whimsically dovetailed; a cabinet so variously inlaid; such a piece of diversified mosaic; such a tesselated pavement without cement; here a bit of black stone, and there a bit of white; patriots and courtiers; king's friends and republicans; Whigs and Tories; treacherous friends and open enemies; that it was indeed a very curious show, but utterly unsafe to touch, and unsure to stand on. The colleagues whom he had assorted at the same boards stared at each other, and were obliged to ask, Sir, your name? Sir, you have the advantage of me. Mr. Such-a-one, I beg a thousand pardons. I venture to say it did so happen, that persons had a single office divided between them, who had never spoken to each other in their lives, until they found themselves, they knew not how, pigging together, heads and points, in the same truckle bed."





DECLINE OF LORD CHATHAM'S POPULARITY.

Lord Chesterfield characterised the exaltation of Pitt to an earldom as "a fall up stairs"—a fall which hurt him so much, that he would never be able to stand upright again. By his acceptance of a coronet, in truth, he greatly diminished his popularity. Burke undermined his influence in the city by two clever publications: in the first of these he gave an account of the late short administration, and in the second he gave a humorous and ironical reply to it, in which the disingenuous conduct of their successors was ably exposed. The wit of Chesterfield ably seconded the pen of Burke; and the Earl of Chatham soon found that though he was dignified by the king, he had shorn himself of all his honours in the sight of the people. The influence which the Earl of Bute was supposed to have had over him tended still more to blight his fair fame. He was taunted with being a willing agent of men whom he did not esteem, and his acceptance of a peerage was a never-failing source of invective. Moreover, in his negociations with his brother-in-law, Lord Temple, he had quarrelled with that nobleman, and all its disparaging circumstances were freely discussed to his lasting disadvantage.. A shower of pamphlets appealed against him, and the city of London, where his influence had recently reigned paramount, mortified him, by declining repeated proposals of presenting him with an address on his appointment. Men saw in him no longer the unblemished patriot, but looked upon him as a cringing slave to royalty for place and power. In their displeasure they may have judged too harshly, but it is certain, as Lord Chesterfield observed, that he was no longer Mr. Pitt in any respect, but only the Earl of Chatham. The charms of his eloquence were lost for ever, for when the people can place no confidence in their rulers, the finest oratory is but an empty sound.

It happened unfortunately for the Earl of Chatham's popularity, that owing to a deficiency in the harvest of last year great scarcity prevailed, and as distress existed on the continent. The people, always disposed to look upon the dark side of the picture, apprehended that the country would be involved in all the horrors of famine. The price of provisions greatly increased, and in consequence tumultuous riots occurred in various parts of the kingdom, in which many lives were lost. Some of the rioters were captured, and special commissions were sent into the country to try them, and, in many instances, they were brought to condign punishment. A proclamation was issued for enforcing the law against forestallers and regraters, but as the price of all articles rose, and the city of London made a representation to the throne respecting large orders for wheat which had been received from the continent, another was issued prohibiting its exportation. At the same time an embargo was laid by royal authority on all outward-bound vessels laden with corn.

It was not in England alone that the waning influence of the Earl of Chatham became manifest. One of his first diplomatic attempts was to establish a powerful northern confederacy, principally between England, Prussia, and Russia, in order to counterbalance the formidable alliance framed by the Bourbons in their family compact. The king of Prussia, however, was averse to the formation of any new and stricter connexions with England, as well on account of the usage he had met with during the late war, as of the unsettled state of the government of Great Britain since the peace. "Till he saw," he said, "more stability in our administration, he did not choose to draw his connexions with us closer," and the negociations was therefore dropped.





MEETING OF PARLIAMENT.

The session was opened on the 11th of November, and the principal topic of the king's speech was the scarcity of corn; and measures were recommended, if necessary, for allaying or remedying the evil. The address was opposed in both houses, and in the commons four amendments were moved, but the government in every instance had a majority. On the subject of the embargo, however, and the delay of assembling parliament when the country was in such critical circumstances, ministers had a harder battle to fight. It was thought right to pass a bill of indemnity in favour of those who had acted in obedience to the council with respect to the embargo, and when this bill was brought in by a member of the cabinet, a remark was made, that although it provided for the security of the inferior officers, who had acted under the proclamation, it passed over those who advised the measure. This gave rise to much altercation and debate, especially among the lords, where the Earl of Chatham, Lord Camden, and others, who had long been the advocates of popular rights, vindicated the present exercise of royal prerogative, not on the plea of necessity but of right: arguing that a dispensing power was inherent in the crown, which might be exerted during the recess of parliament, but which expired whenever parliament reassembled. Camden asserted that Junius Brutus would not have hesitated to entrust such a power even to a Nero, and that it was at most but "a forty day's tyranny." The Earl of Chatham was a more powerful advocate of the measure. He vindicated the issuing of the embargo by legal authority during the recess of parliament as an act of power justifiable on the ground of necessity, and he read a paragraph from Locke on Government, to show that his views were borne out by that great friend of liberty, that constitutional philosopher, and that liberal statesman. The sentiments of the ministers, however, were strongly opposed by Lords Temple, Lyttleton, and Mansfield, the latter of whom, though he had once been spell-bound by court influence, "rode the great horse Liberty with much applause." The Earl of Chatham replied, but the constitutional principles which his opposers laid down could not be answered with success, for although parliament passed the act of indemnity, yet the opposition lords so enlightened the public mind upon the subject, that the cry was instantly raised that the present ministers had sold their consciences to the court, and were in a league to extend the prerogative beyond the precedent of the worst periods in English history. The ferment was greatly increased by Mr. Beckford's declaring in the house of commons, that the crown had in all cases of necessity a power to dispense with laws: an assertion which retraction, explanation, and contradiction from the same lips, could not efface from the public mind. When the bill passed it was in an amended state: the amendment including the advisers, as well as the officers, who had acted under the orders of council in enforcing the embargo. But even this, which implied an acknowledgment of error, was not sufficient to satisfy the public mind, for the clamour still continued against the ministers. The Earl of Chatham was also embarrassed by other circumstances, and in order to strengthen his hands, he was compelled to forego his determination, and to overlook his declaration, that he would never again have any connexion with the old Duke of Newcastle. The duke had a party which would be important to so weak a cabinet, and in order to gratify him, Lord Edgecumbe was ungraciously dismissed from his office of treasurer of the household, to make room for Sir John Shelley, a near relation of his grace. But the remedy was as bad as the disease. Indignant at the treatment which their colleague had received, Lord Resborough, the Duke of Portland, the Earl of Scarborough, Lord Monson, Sir Charles Saunders, first lord of the admiralty, Admiral Keppel, and Sir William Meredith, all sent in their resignation, and they, with their adherents, ranged themselves on the side of the opposition. These numerous secessions compelled Chatham to negociate more explicitly, not only with Newcastle's party, but with that also which was headed by the Duke of Bedford. The place of first lord of the admiralty was offered to Lord Gower, who took a journey to Woburn, for the express purpose of consulting his grace upon the subject. But negociations with the Bedford party concluded with its total alienation from the administration, nor were those who accepted office thoroughly conciliated. These were Sir Edward Hawke, who was made first lord of the admiralty, and Sir Percy Brett and Mr. Jenkinson, who filled the other seats of the board; while Lords Hillsborough and Le Despenser were appointed joint postmasters. The ministry, as thus patched up, was more anomalous than ever, and Chatham aware of this, and seeing that his popularity was daily more and more declining, became a prey to grief, disappointment, and vexation. At times he sank into the lowest state of despondency, and left his incapable colleagues, to make their own arrangements and adopt their own measures. But they could not act efficiently without him. Burke says:—"Having put so much the larger part of his enemies and opposers into power, the confusion was such that his own principles could not possibly have any effect, or influence, in the conduct of others. If ever he fell into a fit of the gout, or if any other cause withdrew him from public cares, principles directly the contrary were sure to predominate. When he had executed his plan, he had not an inch of ground to stand upon. When he had accomplished his scheme of administration, he was no longer a minister. When his face was hid but for a moment, his whole system was on a wide sea without chart or compass." Yet Chatham, just before the recess, put a bold front upon his affairs in the house. He proclaimed a war against party cabals, and asserted that his great point was to destroy faction, and that he could face and dare the greatest and proudest connexions. But this was an Herculean task which neither Chatham nor any other minister has yet been able to accomplish. Faction is an hydra-headed monster, which no man can destroy, either by the charms of his eloquence or the terror of his countenance.

A.D. 1767

Chatham found that the warfare was an unequal one, and that he had not sufficient strength to withstand the power of his enemies. Hence, at the end of December, when all the appointments were made, he retired to his estate of Burton Pynset, which had been recently left him, where he took up his abode, doing nothing for the state, and yet taking the salary attached to his office. Parliament reassembled after the recess without him, his friends in the cabinet wondering at, and the king himself lamenting, his absence. Yet the ministers attempted to work without him. The chancellor of the exchequer proposed that the land-tax should be continued at four shillings in the pound, stating that the proceeds of such a tax would enable him to bring about the most brilliant operation of finance recorded in the annals of Great Britain. This was a new measure, for hitherto it had been the practice at the return of peace to take off any addition that had been made to the land-tax in time of war. Hence when Townshend proposed it in committee he was laughed at by the country members, who contended for its reduction to three, or even two, shillings in the pound. Townshend had nobody by him to second his assertions, or give him powerful support; and when Mr. Grenville moved that the land-tax should be reduced to three shillings, his motion was carried by a majority of eighteen. It was said that the country gentlemen in effecting this reduction, "had bribed themselves with a shilling in the pound of their own land-tax," but as this was the first money-bill in which any cabinet had been successfully opposed since the Revolution, it was rightly viewed as a symptom of weakness in the administration: yet Townshend retained his office.

GEORGE III. 1765-1769





EAST INDIA QUESTION.

The great question discussed in parliament during this session related to the East Indies. At this period the East India Company held "the gorgeous East in fee." The merchant princes of Leadenhall-street, who commenced their career with a strip of sea-coast on the outermost limits of Hindostan, had now acquired principalities and kingdoms, and had even made themselves masters of the vast inheritance of Aurungzebe. Fortunate as the Argonauts, they found and possessed themselves of the "golden fleece," which had been the object of their search. Enormous fortunes were made with a rapidity hitherto unknown, and they were gathered into the laps of even the most obscure adventurers. The fables of the ring and the lamp were more than realised, and the fountain from whence these riches ran appeared to flow from an inexhaustible source. Men had only to go and stand by its brink, and if avarice could be satisfied, they might soon return home with not only sufficient wealth to maintain them in opulence and splendour, but with some to spare for the poor and needy.

Such were the views which government seems to have taken of these merchant princes. Early in November a committee was appointed for investigating the nature of their charters, treaties, and grants, and for calculating the expenses which had been incurred on their account by government. In the course of this scrutiny two questions suggested themselves to the committee; namely, whether the company had any right to territorial acquisitions, and whether it was proper for them to enjoy a monopoly of trade. Some of the members argued that the company had a right, while on the other side some maintained that, from the costly protection afforded it, government had an equitable claim to the revenues of all territory acquired by conquest. It was the opinion of the cabinet, that the state did not possess its proper share of the company's profits, and the chancellor of the exchequer conceived that by either taking their territorial conquests into the hands of government, or making them pay largely for keeping that management in their ow a hands, the state would obtain that wealth of which it stood so much in need. Chatham's attention was drawn to this subject, but he merely advised that Beckford should make a motion for examining into the state of the East India Company, and remained still in the west of England. This motion was made, and the house resolved itself into a committee of inquiry, and called for papers. In the meantime the company suggested an amicable arrangement, and presented a series of demands, among which were—that the administration should prolong the charter to the year 1800, or to a further term, and to confirm to the company the sole and exclusive trade of the East Indies for three years at least after the expiration of the charter granted in the last reign; that it should agree to an alteration in the inland duty upon tea, with the view of preventing smuggling; that it should allow a drawback on the exportation of tea; that it should alter the duties on calicoes and muslins; that it should consent to some proper methods of recruiting the company's military forces, and for strengthening their cause in India; that it should prevent the commanders of the company's ships and others from conveying any kind of warlike stores clandestinely to the East Indies; that it should use its strong interposition with the court of France to obtain large sums of money which the company had expended for the maintenance and transport of French prisoners to Europe; and that it should use its strong interposition likewise with the court of Spain with respect to the Manilla ransom, that the company might obtain indemnification for the great expenses incurred by that expedition. The company laid before the house their charters, treaties with the native sovereigns, letters and correspondence, and the state of their revenues in Bengal, Bahar, and Orissa; but the whole affair was so complicated, that the ministers could not make themselves thoroughly masters of the subject. Not one would, in fact, undertake the management of the business. They shifted the proposals from one to another, and could not come to any determination what to accept or what to reject. At every stage of the business it was attended with violent debates. Townshend was strongly in favour of an amicable arrangement with the company, laying great stress on the quantum to be given for the prolongation of the term of their charter, while Company declared that the salvation of the country depended upon the proper adjustment of this nice affair. Still Chatham kept aloof from the business, and he either would not from illness, or could not from despondency, give his thoughts and directions in writing as to what steps to take and what further motion to make. In the end, therefore, after many divisions, a bill was framed, granting nearly all that was asked for by the company, and binding it to pay £400,000 per annum, in half-yearly payments, and to indemnify the exchequer, should any loss be sustained in consequence of lower-ing the inland duties on tea, and the allowance of the drawback on its exportation. But the term of this contract was limited to two years; commencing from the 1st of February of the current year; so that the company had a further interference with their territories and wealth in prospect: but till the expiration of that term, their territorial rights were fully admitted.

While this subject was under parliamentary discussion, the proprietors of East India stock demanded of the court, that, as the company had gained so much territory and so many new advantages, a larger dividend should be declared. In compliance with this demand the dividends were increased from ten to twelve and a half per cent., which step called for the interference of government. In order to check a proceeding which was considered calculated to renew the gambling stock and share jobbing of the memorable South Sea year, two bills were brought into the house by ministers; one for regulating the qualifications of voters in trading companies, and the other for restraining and limiting the making of dividends by the company; fixing them at ten per cent. This latter bill encountered a most violent opposition both by the company and in the house, particularly by the lords, but it was carried, and received the royal sanction.





AMERICAN TAXATION.

Soon after the reassembling of parliament Mr. Grenville, intent upon taxing America, had proposed saddling that country for the support of troops, &c, and the chancellor of the exchequer, in reply, pledged himself to the house to find a revenue in the colonies sufficient to meet the expenses. Accordingly, during the session, he introduced a bill to lay certain duties on glass, tea, paper, and painters' colours, imported from Great Britain into America. This bill was carried through both houses with the greatest facility, and another act passed with equal facility, which placed these duties, and all other customs and duties in the American colonies, under the management of the king's resident commissioners. These acts were followed by one more justifiable. The assembly of New York had refused to comply with the statute requiring a grant of additional rations to the troops stationed in that province; and the refractory disposition of the colonists made it manifest that their intention was to deny the jurisdiction of Great Britain altogether. It was evident that a spirit of infatuation had taken deep root in America, and it was easy to foresee that confusion and bloodshed would one day ensue. Under these circumstances, and with a view of checking the onward progress of the march of insubordination, an act was passed, prohibiting the governor, council, and assembly of New York from passing any legislative act, till satisfaction should be given as to the treatment of the commissioners and troops, and submission paid to the Mutiny Act. But no measure which the parliament of England could devise, whether coercive or conciliatory, could tame the fierce spirit which the Stamp Act had created, and the new scheme of duties on imports was calculated to confirm in hostility to Great Britain. The breach grew wider and wider, until at length it was past all remedy.





CHANGES IN THE MINISTRY.

Parliament was prorogued on the 2nd of July, with a speech from his majesty, in which he acknowledged annuities of £8000, which had been settled during this session on each of the king's brothers; namely, the Dukes of York, Gloucester, and Cumberland. During the recess, an event occurred which threatened to overthrow the tottering cabinet. This was the death of Charles Townshend, who suddenly expired on the 4th of September. But before his death, there were signs of a dissolution of the ministry, and Townshend was actually engaged in the projection of a new administration. Lord Northington and General Conway had both expressed a wish to resign, and the Duke of Grafton showed a greater disposition for pleasure than for business, whence negociations were opened by Townshend with the Rockingham party.

His death set these aside, but several changes soon afterwards took place among the great officers of state. The Earl of Chatham, afflicted with the gout, and indisposed to business, still remained idle; and the king therefore, authorized the Duke of Grafton to make the necessary changes in the cabinet. All that could be done, however, before the meeting of parliament, was to entrust the seals of the office of chancellor of the exchequer to Lord Mansfield, chief justice of the king's bench, and to empower him to renew negociations with the Duke of Bedford, in which the Duke of Grafton had been unsuccessful.

The ministry was in this unsettled state when the parliament met in November. The principal point recommended to its attention by his majesty was the high price of corn, with the consequent suffering of the poor. This subject was also impressed on parliament by strong petitions from all parts of the country; and an act was passed, extending the prohibition against exportation, and encouraging the importation of grain.

In the midst of these proceedings, Lord North was prevailed upon to accept the chancellorship of the exchequer; Mr. Thomas Townshend, cousin of the late Charles Townshend, succeeded him as joint paymaster of the forces; and his place, as one of the lords of the treasury, was given to Mr. Jenkinson. Soon after this, General Conway and Lord Northington insisted on resigning, and fresh overtures were made to the Duke of Bedford. That nobleman having been gained over, Earl Gower became president of the council in the place of Lord Northington, and Lord Weymouth secretary of state in lieu of Conway. At the same time the Earl of Hillsborough was appointed third secretary of state, which was a new office; and he was succeeded as joint paymaster with Lord North, by the Duke of Bedford's ally, Lord Sandwich. General Conway was appointed lieutenant-general of the ordnance; and the ministry, thus reconstructed, took the name of the Duke of Grafton's administration. As for the Earl of Chatham he was still a cipher, keeping aloof at Bath, or at Burton Pynsent, or at Hayes in Kent, where he would neither see nor speak to anybody. But he still retained the privy seal, and still retained the emoluments of office, and the king was afraid to deprive him of them.

A.D. 1768

Parliament, in this session, extended the act which restricted the East India Company's dividends to ten per cent.; but scarcely any other business was transacted beside the voting of supplies. The king prorogued parliament on the 10th of March, and on the 12th of that month it was dissolved by proclamation, it having nearly completed its legal term of seven years.





PROCEEDINGS IN AMERICA.

The new Revenue Act, which imposed duties on various articles of merchandise, excited great resentment in America. It was looked upon by the colonists, indeed, as a deceptive measure, having a similar object to that of the Stamp Act, and it had the effect of reviving a question, which the British parliament should have endeavoured to have consigned to utter oblivion. The Americans, animated by a spirit of resistance, would now no longer acknowledge that distinction between external and internal taxation, on which they had at first grounded their claim for relief. Their presses teemed with invectives against the British legislature, and it was confidently asserted that England was resolved to reduce the colonies to a state of abject slavery. The assembly of Massachusets Bay took the lead in opposing the government, and it soon engaged the other colonies to join in resisting the mother-country. A petition was likewise sent by that house to the king, and letters, signed by their speaker, to several of the British cabinet, containing statements of their rights and grievances, and soliciting relief.

A letter was also sent to Mr. De Berdt, their agent in London, instructing him to oppose the obnoxious measure on every ground of right and policy. This letter adverted to the appropriation of the revenue intended to be thus unconstitutionally raised—stating that it was to supply a support for governors and judges, and a standing army. On both these grounds, as well as its unconstitutional nature, the house opposed it, remarking, on the subject of the standing army, in the following terms, by way of remonstrance:—"As Englishmen and British subjects, we have an aversion to a standing army, which we reckon dangerous to our civil liberties; and considering the examples of ancient times, it seems a little surprising that a mother-state should trust large bodies of mercenary troops in her colonies, at so great a distance from her; lest, in process of time, when the spirits of the people shall be depressed by the military power, another Caesar should arise and usurp the authority of his master."

A circular letter was sent, in the name of the assembly of Massachusets Bay, to the other provincial assemblies, informing them of the measures already taken; and it was couched in such terms that it had the effect of lulling the suspicions of some whose opinions were not so violent, and of making many of them firm adherents to the cause of liberty. The conduct of this republican assembly excited strong indignation in the ministry. A letter was sent, by Lord Hillsborough, to the governor, expressing great displeasure against those who had endeavoured to revive the dissensions which had been so injurious to both countries, and directing him to dissolve the assembly if it should decline to rescind the vote which gave rise to the circular. This letter was laid before the house; but instead of rescinding the vote, it justified the spirit and language of the circular, and declared that, as it had been answered by several of the assemblies, the vote had been already executed, and could not therefore be rescinded. The conclusion of this uncompromising reply was as follows:—"We take this opportunity faithfully to represent to your excellency, that the new revenue acts and measures are not only disagreeable, but in every view are deemed an insupportable burden and grievance, with very few exceptions, by all the freeholders and other inhabitants of this jurisdiction: and we beg leave, once for all, to assure your excellency, that those of this opinion are no 'party or expiring faction;'—they have at all times been ready to devote their time and fortune to his majesty's service. Of loyalty, this majority could as reasonably boast as any who may happen to enjoy your excellency's smiles: their reputation, rank, and fortune, are at least equal to those who may have sometimes been considered as the only friends in good government; while some of the best blood in the colony, even in the two houses of assembly, lawfully convened and duly acting, have been openly charged with the unpardonable crime of oppugnation against the royal authority. We have now only to inform your excellency, that this house has voted not to rescind, as required, its resolution; and that, in a division on the question, there were ninety-two nays, and seventeen yeas. In all this we have been actuated by a conscientious, and finally, by a clear and determined sense of duty to God, to our king, our country, and our latest posterity; and we most ardently wish and humbly pray, that in your future conduct, your excellency may be influenced by the same privileges."

A letter to the same import was addressed, by the assembly, to Lord Hillsborough. But this was its last act. When the governor had received the above communication, he immediately dissolved it, and the province was left for the remainder of the year without a legislature. Opposition, however, was not checked by such a measure—rather it was carried on with more spirit than ever. Riots took place at Boston and Halifax, and arms and ammunition were provided, under the pretext of anticipated war with France A meeting of delegates, from all the towns of the province, was convened at Boston, which was attended by deputies from every one except Hatfield. This convention sent a communication to the governor, disclaiming all intention of performing any act of government; professing to have met, in dark and distressing times, to consult and advise measures for the peace and good order of his majesty's subjects in the province; and praying that he would call together the legislative assembly. The governor refused to receive any communication from the meeting, warned it of the irregularity of its proceedings, and assured it that his majesty was determined to maintain his entire sovereignty over the province. A deputation was then sent to the governor by the convention, but it was refused admission into his presence, and a committee of nine persons were appointed to consult on the best mode of promoting peace and good order in the province. This committee sent in its report, and the meeting drew up a petition to the king, which was transmitted to the agent in London, and it then broke up. This was on the 29th of September, and on the same day, two regiments and a detachment of artillery from Halifax inarched into Boston. These were soon after joined by two more regiments from Ireland, under General Gage; and thus awed, the province was restored to comparative tranquillity. But underneath this show of quiet there were heart-burnings, which nothing but the recognition of American independence could allay. Associations formed throughout the whole length and breadth of America, by the exertions of the assembly of Massachusets Bay, stirred up and kept alive the flame of discord, and occasion need but fan it, and it would kindle into a blaze; the lurid glare of which would be seen burning brightly, and raging furiously across the wide Atlantic. The proceedings in America were but as yet, in truth, the warnings of a terrible commotion—the first intimations of an irruption, more frightful in its nature, and more disastrous in its consequences, than the bursting forth of the fire-streaming bowels of Mounts Ætna and Vesuvius, or the devastations of an earthquake. For the storms of human passion, when they burst forth in war and bloodshed, are more desolating to the human family, than any outbreak of visible nature recorded in the many-paged annals of history.





DOMESTIC TROUBLES AND COMMOTIONS.

While America threatened some fearful catastrophe, Great Britain was scarcely less disturbed by internal troubles and commotions. Much as he desired the happiness of the people, the jewels set in his majesty's crown were intermixed with sharp, piercing thorns. This is plainly observable in the previous pages, wherein the difficulties which had beset his various administrations, and which chiefly arose from the discordant passions of their members, are historically narrated. Burke rightly observes:—"Our constitution stands on a nice equipoise, with steep precipices and deep waters on all sides of it: in removing it from a dangerous leaning toward one side, there may be a risk of oversetting it on the other. Every project or a material change in a government so complicated, combined, at the same time, with external circumstances still more complicated, is a matter full of difficulties." This is not the language of a casual observer of men and manners, but of a profound politician. It is borne out by his majesty's early experience. The scheme which he adopted soon after his accession of breaking the power of the Whig aristocracy, and of calling men of different parties to the service of the state, was not only surrounded with difficulties, but fraught with clanger. Men looked with favour on the long-established supremacy of these great families, and their influence and power were therefore not easily broken. Bute sought to dissolve the spell; but the hand of Bute was not that of a magician, and he signally failed in the attempt. Broken, but not subdued, the aristocracy formed new parties, and acted upon new principles, all calculated, when dictated by the spirit of opposition, to annoy the sovereign, and disarrange the machinery of the state. Cabinets, formed with nice art and care, were unable to withstand their opponents; whence their frequent disarrangements and dissolutions. The age became signalised by ministerial revolutions and cabinet abortions; and why? because the cabinets formed were not supported by public opinion. Parliament itself had lost much of its credit with the people by reason of its indecisive measures. It had forfeited their confidence, nor could the recall of Pitt to the helm of state restore it to their favour, or rescue the sovereign from the dilemma in which he had placed himself. Intractable at all times, from the opposition he had met with, and from ill health, he had become so imperious, that, like an old Roman consul, he would fain have yoked the people, the cabinet, and the monarch to his chariot-wheels. Moreover, since he had become an earl, he was a changed man. He no longer sided with, but against, the people; sheltering himself from their clamours in the stronghold of privilege. Hence it was, that when he coalesced with others, he found no support on which he could lean with safety, and by which he could assist the monarch. His staff was but a reed on which, if he leant, it pierced his hand. This Chatham felt; and though he clung tenaciously to office, from the fear of displaying his weakness and incapacity, he only acted, when he did act, behind the scenes. Ministerial exertions were also paralysed by another cause. A prevalent notion existed that there was a mysterious power about the court which worked to the detriment of the public good. This was a constant theme of invective among the opposition, and, it would seem, not without good reason. But there was another cause of obstruction to the measures formed by government. This was found in the democratical spirit, which now universally prevailed. Courted by the aristocracy, who had till very recently


     "Held them dangling at arm's length in scorn,"

and grown comparatively wealthy since relieved from the pressure of war, the population became restless, jealous, and insubordinate. The man whose fortune was only made, as it were, yesterday, deemed himself as great a man as the highest and noblest born aristocrat; while the man who had squandered away his patrimony, sought to restore himself from his fallen position in society, by assuming principles of patriotism which in his heart he despised. Moreover, the conduct of their rulers, which had been too frequently vacillating and manifestly corrupt, taught the great body of the people to look upon them with suspicion and distrust. Talk they as loud as they might of honesty of intention, of unimpeachable integrity, and of pure patriotism, the people nevertheless would not now believe them. Hence, political associations began to be formed; taverns were made so many parliament houses; and the people seemed as if they were resolved to take the government into their own hands.


     But oh! ye Muses, keep your votary's feet
     From tavern-haunts where politicians meet
     Where rector, doctor, and attorney pause,
     First on each parish, then each public cause:
     Indited roads and rates that still increase;
     The murmuring poor, who will not fast in peace:
     Election zeal and friendship since declined,
     A tax commuted, or a tithe in kind;
     The Dutch and German? kindling into strife;
     Hull port and poachers vile!—the serious ills of life.





THE RETURN OF WILKES, ETC.

Such was the state of society when writs were issued for a new election. Encouraged by it, John Wilkes once more stepped upon the stage, and offered himself as a candidate for the suffrages of the people. And, as it has been well said, Mephistopheles himself could not have chosen a better time for mischief. For, at this time, the populace had no idol in whom they could place their confidence, and they hailed his reappearance with delight. By their aid, indeed, he soon became enabled to insult his sovereign, and to trample on the legislature with impunity. Unprincipled as he was, he became the man of their choice, and their "champion bold" in the cause of what was called liberty.

Wilkes had made an attempt to return to England during the Rockingham ministry, but that party would not receive his overtures. Recently he had also sounded the Duke of Grafton, with whom he had formerly been on terms of intimacy; but his application for his mediation with the king was treated by that nobleman with neglect and disdain. Thus disappointed, and finding his situation at Paris, from his accumulated load of debt, disagreeable, he at length resolved to brave every danger. During the elections, he boldly presented himself at Guildhall, as a candidate to represent the metropolitan city in parliament. He was received with rapturous applause by the populace; but his present views were frustrated by some of the good citizens of London, who exerted all their influence to insure his defeat. Nothing daunted, however, Wilkes immediately offered himself for the county, and he was returned by the freeholders of Middlesex, by a very large majority. The mob, on this occasion, was in a transport of joy. The air rang with shouts of "Wilkes and Liberty!" and by way of exhibiting their exultation at their triumph, they demolished Bute's windows in the west, and the windows of the mansion-house, in the east of the city.

Having secured his election for Middlesex, and confident of the support of the people, Wilkes appeared, in the month of April, in the court of king's bench, and declared himself ready to submit to the laws of his country. Lord Mansfield, then on the bench, suggested that as he was not before the court by any legal process, no notice could be taken of his professed submission, and he was permitted to depart. On retiring, he was received with loud acclamations by the mob, and the general impression was, that Wilkes had conquered the government, and that the arm of the people was stronger than the arm of the law. Wilkes, likewise, may have flattered himself that he was secure from all further process; but, if so, he soon found himself deceived. Within a week, a writ of capias ut legatum was issued against him, and he was taken into custody. Sergeant Glynn, his counsel, pointed out several errors in the outlawry, and offered bail; but the judges decided that no bail could be taken, and he was at once committed to the king's bench prison. But the populace was resolved to reverse this decree. As he was proceeding over Westminster-bridge, they stopped the coach in which he was conveyed, took out the horses, and dragged him in triumph through the city, to a public-house in Spitalfields, where they retained him till nearly midnight. Wilkes, however, thought proper, when the people dispersed, to repair to the marshal of the king's bench, out of whose hands the mob had rescued him, and surrender himself. But as soon as it was known that the "patriot" was in prison, the mob showed signs of rescuing him again. Crowds collected around his prison-house, pulled down the outward fence, and made a bonfire with it on the spot. An order was sent to the horse-guards, and a body of soldiers were stationed near the prison, but this only tended to increase the popular excitement. Every day, for nearly a fortnight, the mob abused the soldiers, and the soldiers threatened the mob, so that the metropolis was one continued scene of riot and confusion; Wilkes adding fuel to the flames from within the doors of his prison.

Such was the public temper when parliament reassembled on the 10th of May. The people supposed that neither strong walls, nor stronger laws, could prevent Wilkes from taking his seat in the house of commons, as member for Middlesex; and they assembled in great numbers round the gates of his prison, in order to escort him to Westminster. But the gates remained bolted and barred, and Wilkes continued secure within. They waited patiently for awhile, but when doubts arose whether they should be permitted to see then-idol, their patience at first grew into uneasiness, until at length it gendered into a storm of furious disappointment and passion. Demands were made for his appearance, but they were unheeded and unanswered. Their violence grew with their clamour, and it was in vain that they were urged to depart in peace. Stones and brickbats were aimed at the heads of the magistrates who attempted to read the riot act, and the military by whom they were guarded. Self-defence compelled the order to fire, which was readily obeyed by the soldiers; the more so, because the companies selected for the service were nearly all Highlanders and Lowland Scots, whose strong national feelings had been wounded by Wilkes, in his North Briton. Four or five persons were killed, and many more wounded; and among those who perished was a youth of the name of Allen, who had taken no part in the riot. One of the soldiers gave chase to a young man who had been pelting them, and by mistake shot Allen in a cow-house, near St. George's-fields, while he was in the act of protesting his innocence. This occurrence tended to increase the popular rage. At the coroner's inquest, a verdict of wilful murder was brought in against the soldier who shot Allen, and two others were charged with aiding and abetting. Maclean—for that was the name of the soldier who shot Allen—was committed to prison, and warrants were issued against the others as accessories. At the same time, Mr. Gillam, one of the Surrey magistrates, who had given the order to fire, was indicted for murder. On the other hand, the parliament then sitting voted loyal addresses to his majesty on the occasion, with assurances that every measure, which was adopted for the maintenance of the authority of the laws, had their hearty concurrence; and Lord Barrington returned thanks to the officers and men employed in this service, and directed that the crown lawyers should defend the soldiers under prosecution. This had the effect of exasperating the populace still more. They saw that the soldiers would be acquitted—which was actually the case, and rewarded likewise—and the exploit was named by the unenviable denomination of "The Massacre of St. George's-fields." Exciting papers were stuck up in every part of the metropolis, and even on the very walls of St. James's-palace. The mansion-house was assailed so frequently that a constant guard of soldiers was necessary to defend it from demolition. The firm of civil authority appeared too weak to control the unbridled passions of the populace; and it was rendered still more impotent by other riots and disturbances which broke out unconnected with politics. Coalheavers, sailors, and watermen at this time complained of low wages, and of frauds practised upon them by their employers; and Stepney-fields likewise became a scene of combat which could only be quelled by the military.

On the 8th of June, Wilkes's case was again heard in the king's bench. His outlawry was reversed, because he had voluntarily surrendered: but he was sentenced, for the seditious sentiments contained in the 'North Briton', to be confined in prison ten calendar months, and to pay a fine of £500; and for publishing the 'Essay on Woman', to pay a similar fine, and to be imprisoned twelve calendar months, to commence at the expiration of the term of the former imprisonment. He was, also, to find security for his good behaviour for seven years—himself in the sum of £1000, and two sureties in £500 each. On the trial, facts were divulged very disgraceful to the temper of the people. In order to ensure impunity for their idol, anonymous letters had been sent to chief-justice Mansfield, threatening him, and insulting him by every species of insult and intimidation. His lordship spoke feelingly and wisely in delivering the judgment of the court on these unworthy and unmanly proceedings:—"The last event," said he, "which can happen to a man never comes too soon, if he falls in support of the law and liberty of his country; for liberty is synonymous with law and government: as for himself, the temper of his mind, and the colour and conduct of his life, had given him a suit of armour against these arrows."

The sentence passed against Wilkes tended only to increase his popularity. Though immured within the walls of a prison, he became now in the very zenith of his fame. Subscriptions were raised to pay off his debts; valuable presents were conferred on him; and his portrait met the eyes of the passers-by, over the doors of the public-houses, in every part of the kingdom. The popularity of Wilkes was, if possible, augmented by the issue of the trials of the magistrate and soldiers for the murder of Allen, and those who fell in "the massacre of St. George's-fields." They were all acquitted; and instead of being censured for a breach of discipline by the authorities, Maclean received from government the sum of thirty guineas for his sufferings on a false accusation. This was exceedingly impolitic; for it had the effect of further exasperating that huge-chafed monster, the populace, whose power is not to be provoked or despised with impunity.





RESIGNATION OF LORD CHATHAM.

A ministry so hetrogeneous in its composition as that which now administered the affairs of Great Britain could hardly be expected to act in union and with firmness at this critical season. The Earl of Chatham gave proof that he was not disposed to act with the opponents of Wilkes, by declaring to Sir William Beauchamp, who was contesting the election of Middlesex with Sergeant Glynn, and who applied to him for his assistance and countenance, that he constantly declined meddling in elections. His disinclination to act at all was, also, elicited by the Duke of Grafton, who sighed "after a life much more pleasing to his mind" than that of presiding over the government. Grafton urged the Countess of Chatham—for he dared not trouble his lordship—to state whether she thought her lord would resign. The countess, in reply, assured the noble duke that there was but little prospect of his ever being able to enter much into business; and intimated, that he was privy to, and highly disapproved of, an intention entertained of dismissing Lord Shelburne; adding, that he would never consent nor concur in such a removal, his services being of great importance to the administration. All the while the Earl of Chatham knew that it was Lord Shelburne's intention of resigning voluntarily, which he did immediately after, having for his successor, as secretary for the southern department, Lord Weymouth from the northern, in whose post the Earl of Rochford was placed. From this cause, and being also displeased with the conduct of his colleagues regarding America, Chatham at length resolved to tender his resignation. He wrote to the Duke of Grafton, informing him that his health would no longer permit him to be useful to his majesty, and begging that his grace would lay him at his majesty's feet, with his utmost duty and earnest request, that he would grant him his royal permission to resign the privy seal. It was in vain that the Duke of Grafton endeavoured to dissuade him from his purpose, on the grounds that his services were at this moment indispensable. His request was repeated in more positive terms, and a letter was sent also to the king to the same intent. His majesty now tried whether the refractory lord could not be brought to a proper sense of his duty. He wrote in reply:—"As you entered upon this employment in August, 1766, at my own requisition, I think I have a right to insist on your remaining in my service; for I with pleasure look forward to the time of your recovery, when I may I have your assistance in resisting the torrent of factions this country so much labours under. This thought is the more frequent in my mind, as the lord chancellor and the Duke of Grafton take every opportunity to declare warmly their desire of seeing that: therefore I again repeat it, you must not think of retiring, but of pursuing what may be most conducive to your health, and to my seeing you take a public share in my affairs." It is probable that the Earl of Chatham was not so sanguine as his majesty concerning his ability to resist "the torrent of factions," for he shrunk from his task in coward fear. In his reply, affliction, submission, gratitude, veneration, and despair was seen in almost every line, and he insisted upon adhering to his purpose. Accordingly, he sent the privy seal by Lord Camden, who delivered it into the king's hands, and who, to increase the monarch's embarrassments, wished to resign likewise. Overcome by his majesty's entreaties, however, Camden consented to remain in office.

The resignation of Chatham did not excite greater interest than the resignation of the meanest officer in the state. Even Thackeray, his admiring biographer, was obliged to make this confession:—"A greater contrast in the feelings of the cabinet and the nation upon the present resignation of Lord Chatham to those which were evinced upon his dismission from office in 1757, and upon his retirement in 1761, can scarcely be imagined. His dismission in 1757 excited one common cry of enthusiastic admiration towards himself, and of indignation towards his political opponents. The attention, not only of Great Britain, but of the whole of Europe, was attracted by his resignation in 1761; and although the voices of his countrymen were not so universally united in his favour as upon the former occasion, the event was considered as affecting the interests of nations in the four quarters of the globe. The resignation of Lord Chatham, in 1768, was, in fact, nothing more than the relinquishment of an appointment in which he had long ceased to exercise his authority, or to exert his abilities. It was expected by the ministry—it was little regarded by the people of Great Britain—it was almost unknown to the continent of Europe." So low had the Earl of Chatham descended from his giddy height of popularity—so little to be depended upon is the breath of the people.

On the contrary, the causes which led to the retirement of Lord Shelburne, had the effect of increasing the reputation of that ex-minister, and of endearing him to the public. The ancient republic of Genoa had long been endeavouring to reduce the Corsicans to her obedience, but was compelled to give up the contest in despair. She resigned her right of sovereignty—real or pretended—to Louis XV.; and the French fitted out an armament to take possession of Corsica by force of arms. The Corsicans maintained that they were not to be bought and sold like revolted subjects and rebels; and their chosen chief, General Paoli, represented the cruelty of the case to all Europe, addressing himself in a special manner to England. As islanders and freemen, the English warmly sympathised with them. The Earl of Chatham and Lord Shelburne, likewise, felt deeply interested in the cause of the Corsicans; and the latter authorised Lord Rochford, the ambassador at Paris, to address a spirited remonstrance to the French cabinet on the subject. These orders, however, were not supported by the rest of the administration; the French court took no notice of the remonstrance; and Lord Shelburne was compelled to resign. Corsica was therefore abandoned to France, who established her supremacy by shedding much blood. This naturally created feelings of respect for Lord Shelburne in the breasts of the English people; and, as naturally, the feelings of contempt for his cold, calculating, official colleagues.





THE AFFAIRS OF WILKES.

By this time Sergeant Glynn had been elected for the county of Middlesex. Glynn was the friend and companion of Wilkes, and it happened that some of the chairmen of his opponent killed a man of the name of Clarke in an affray. At this period, such events were by no means uncommon, but as Sir William Beauchamp was a ministerial candidate, the populace spread surmises abroad, and circulated accusations detrimental to his character. He was charged with being an employer of assassins, and two of his chairmen were tried at the Old Bailey for murder. They were acquitted, but this only tended to increase the popular excitement against the ministers. Wilkes still more inflamed it by his intemperate conduct. Lord Weymouth sent a letter to the bench of magistrates for the county of Surrey, expressing the warmest approbation of their conduct, and recommending them to quell all tumults on their first rising by the aid of the civil and military power. This letter, or a copy of it, having fallen into the hands of Wilkes, it was published by him, with an inflammatory preface, in which he called the affair in St. George's Fields "a horrid massacre, and the consequence of a hellish project deliberately planned." Irritated by his imprisonment, Wilkes, indeed, seems now to have set his fortune on the cast of a die, and the only way of playing the game successfully, seems to have been, considered by him, that of inflaming the passions of the people, already enraged beyond endurance, to the utmost. But the ministers resolved that he should not act with impunity, and this last act determined them upon taking effectual measures to overthrow his cause, finally and for ever. But the determination taken by them only aided the "patriot" in his ambitious projects, and tended to increase their own unpopularity.

GEORGE III. 1765-1769





MEETING OF PARLIAMENT.

Parliament, with the Duke of Grafton at its head, assembled on the 8th of November. In his speech his majesty alluded to the signs of commotion among the continental powers which now existed; to the state of our American colonies, especially to the proceedings at Boston, which he denounced in strong terms; and to the late abundant harvest, which he viewed with satisfaction, as having come opportunely to the relief of his poorer subjects. In the house of lords the address was agreed to unanimously, but the commons offered many objections, criticising the conduct of government with reference to America, Corsica, and its continental policy, whence it was not carried without much angry feeling.

The first question debated was that of corn. To prevent the recurrence of scarcity, a bill was prepared for enlarging the prohibition against exportation, and for preventing distillation from wheat. A more effectual mode of securing plenty would have been to have passed a bill for the better cultivation of the lands already in use, and for the enclosure of large tracts of land then uncultivated. But government had no extended views at this period, and, moreover, its attention was absorbed in the consideration of the one all-engrossing subject—civil discord.





DEBATE ON WILKES.

Before the session was a week old, Wilkes and the parliament were at open war. Determined upon keeping up the spirit of animosity among his admirers, the great agitator presented a petition to the house of commons, by means of Sir Joseph Mawbey, one of the members for Southwark, which recited all the proceedings of government against him, and claimed redress and liberty as a member of that house. A violent debate took place, and it was agreed that Wilkes should have liberty to attend the house to support his allegations, and that he should be allowed the assistance of counsel. He was to appear on the 2nd of December, but in the meantime a member moved for an Inquiry into the occurrences in St. George's Fields, and of the conduct of the military employed on that occasion. This motion was negatived, and when Burke, who acted as leader of the Rockingham party, renewed it, it shared the same fate: some observed because many members were afraid of investigating the subject too closely.

A.D. 1769

The house postponed the hearing of Wilkes and his counsel, and this postponement was several times repeated. They were unheard on the 23rd of January, when Mr. Martin, member for Gatton, moved, "That John Wilkes, Esq., although he is convicted of publishing a seditious libel, is entitled to privilege of parliament." An amendment was moved by Lord North to the effect, "That John Wilkes, Esq., although he is convicted of printing and publishing a malignant, seditious, and scandalous libel, and of printing and publishing three obscene and impious libels, and now stands committed to the king's-bench prison, by virtue of two several judgments in the court of king's-bench, for the said offences, is entitled, by privilege of parliament, to be discharged from his imprisonment for the said offences." After a fiery debate, the amendment was carried by a large majority; and Mr. Martin, feeling himself disgraced by its making him the patron of sedition, obscenity, and impiety, moved, "That, in entering in the votes of this day the proceedings of the house upon the said question, the original motion be stated, with the proceedings of the house in making the several amendments thereto." This was reasonable, but when put to the vote it was rejected.

By these proceedings the temper of the house towards Wilkes was fully manifested, and it seemed morally certain that when his petition was taken into consideration it would prove a failure. It was on the 27th of January that this debate fairly commenced. On that day Lord North moved that the petitioner's counsel should be confined to two specified points only; namely, to prove the allegations in his petition, which asserted that Lord Mansfield had altered the record of his indictment the day before his trial in Westminster-hall; and that Mr. Carteret Webb, solicitor to the treasury, had bribed one Curry, a man in Wilkes's employment, to purloin the copy of the "Essay on Woman," for which he was undergoing imprisonment. This motion was agreed to, though not without fierce opposition, and Wilkes appeared at the bar of the house on the 31st, to make good these allegations. He objected, that as a member he could not legally appear there without taking the oaths, but this was overruled, he then proceeded to support his allegations, but all he could substantiate was, that Lord Mansfield had made an alteration on the record, and as this was in accordance with ancient custom, and had been sanctioned by all the judges, the house agreed, without a division, that the petitioner had not made good the two allegations upon which he had been heard, and that his petition was frivolous.

The tables were now turned. Lord Weymouth made a complaint in the upper house, regarding a breach of privilege, in publishing his letter sent to the magistrates of Surrey, with an inflammatory preface. A conference between the two houses had been held, and Wilkes was charged with this misdemeanour before the bar of the commons. But at that bar Wilkes not only avowed himself the author of the publication, but claimed the thanks of his country for having exposed Weymouth's "bloody scroll." It was immediately resolved by the commons that he was guilty of a seditious libel, calculated "to inflame and stir up the minds of his majesty's subjects to sedition, and to a total subversion of all good order and legal government." This was on the 2nd of February, and on the following day Lord Barrington moved, "That John Wilkes, Esq., a member of this house, who hath at the bar of this house certified himself to be the author and publisher of what this house has resolved to be an insolent, scandalous, and seditious libel, and who has been convicted in the court of king's-bench of having printed and published a seditious libel, and three obscene and impious libels, and by the judgment of the said court has been sentenced to undergo twenty-two months imprisonment, and is now in execution under the said judgment, be expelled this house." A long and vehement debate followed this motion, Burke, Grenville, Beckford, and others taking the part of Wilkes, but the motion was carried by a large majority at midnight, and a new writ was issued for the election of another member for Middlesex.

Burke denominated the expulsion of Wilkes from the house as the fifth act of the tragi-comedy acted by his majesty's servants, for the benefit of the agitator, at the expense of the constitution. As for Wilkes himself, he was nothing daunted by it, for after indulging in many witticisms at the expense of his adversaries, he declared that he would stand again for Middlesex, and expressed his conviction that he should be returned. And the event answered his expectation. Liberty and Wilkes were now synonymous terms, and no ministerial candidate had a chance of obtaining the popular favour in preference to him. He was rechosen representative for Middlesex free of all expense to himself, but the house declared him incapable of being elected during the present parliament. The popularity of Wilkes, however, increased in proportion as the opposition to him in the house assumed a vindictive character. The agitator, in fact, only laughed at his adversaries, and said he would try again. Great efforts were made this time by the ministerial party to ensure his defeat, but it was to no purpose. Assisted by the public press, the mob, and many opulent merchants, who deemed him the champion of liberty, Wilkes was again triumphantly returned member for Middlesex: his opponent, Mr. Dingley, not being able to get himself named for fear of the mob's violence. But again the house of commons declared Wilkes's return null and void, and ordered a new writ.

The popular feeling was displayed on the occasion of this second election in a very unequivocal manner. The partisans of Dingley met at the King's-arms tavern, in Cornhill, for the purpose of proposing a loyal address to his majesty, in contradiction of certain instructions which had been prepared by the city. This was prevented by the Wilkites, who mingled among them, and who created such an uproar, that nothing could be agreed upon. At a second meeting, however, in another place, the Dingleyans were more successful; but on the 22nd of March, when they went to present the address, they were beset by a countless mob, shouting, "Wilkes and liberty—liberty and Wilkes for ever!" They were even pelted with dirt from the kennels, and assailed with every species of violence and insult. A hearse was dragged before them, covered with paintings, representing the death of Allen, in St. George's-fields, and the murder at Brentford by Sir William Proctor's chairmen. So violent was the conduct of the mob, that many of those who were going with the address made off through by-streets, or ran into houses for protection. Few remained when they arrived at the court of St. James's, and the mob attempted to pass through the gates with their ominous vehicle. This was resisted by the guard, and when the mob persevered, Lord Talbot rushed out and seized two of them, while the soldiers on duty captured fifteen more, and they were carried to prison.

In opposing the election of Wilkes, therefore, there was considerable danger. Hence, when the third writ was issued, Colonel Henry Lawes Luttrell, who was then sitting in the house as member for Bossiney, conceived that he, as a military man, might assist ministers in their dilemma by offering himself as a member for Middlesex. To this end he vacated his seat for Bossiney, and the house ordered the sheriffs to be in attendance with a large number of extra constables round the hustings at Brentford, for the preservation of peace. Encouraged by this care, and by the colonel's boldness, two other candidates appeared at the hustings, to solicit the suffrages of the people. But all the care of the government, and all the exertions of the candidates were vain. Wilkes was a third time re-elected, and illuminations throughout the whole city of London testified the triumph of the people. The house of commons, however, was firm in its opposition to the popular idol and the popular feeling. A motion was made, and carried by a large majority, to alter this return, and to insert the name of Luttrell in place of Wilkes. The freeholders of Middlesex, looking only at the poll-book, exclaimed against the iniquity of this measure, as Luttrell had not above a fourth part of the votes which were entered on behalf of Wilkes; and they presented a petition to the commons, begging them to rescind their motion. An animated discussion followed this petition, but Luttrell was confirmed in his seat by a still greater majority. The exertions of the people were, therefore, rendered null and void, but Wilkes was as great a favourite with them as ever. Ten days after, he was chosen alderman of the city of London; and he was represented everywhere as a meritorious patriot, who was suffering for the cause of the people. And it cannot be denied that the conduct of ministers towards Wilkes assumed rather the aspect of vindictive persecution than that of strict justice. It was this that gave to Wilkes the importance he had obtained in the sight of the populace—an importance which his merits and his talents could never have given him.





DEBATES ON AMERICA.

During this session, committees had been appointed by both houses to examine and report upon papers relative to American affairs, which were submitted to them by the crown. Measures of rigour were urged by majorities in both houses. The lords voted strong-resolutions relative to the unwarrantable and rebellious conduct of the legislature and people of Massachusets-bay, and recommended, in an address to the king, that the criminals should be brought over to England and tried by a special commission, according to a statute of the thirty-fifth of Henry the Eighth. It was moved in the commons that they should concur in this measure; and, after a long and spirited debate, in which many warning voices were lifted up against it, the motion was carried. This was on the 26th of January, and a few days after the subject was again brought before the house of commons, and the ministers were again warned of the danger of driving matters to extremities. Mr. Rose Fuller moved that the address should be recommitted, but no arguments which he, or any speaker that took part with him adduced, could alter the disposition of the house upon the subject, and his motion was negatived by a large majority. On the 14th of March, the subject of American affairs was resumed. This was occasioned by a petition, or remonstrance, from New York, which denied the right of parliament to tax the Americans in any way. Lord North proposed that such a paper should not be received. He was opposed by Mr. Grenville, Mr. Burke, and Colonel Barre; but the house had made up its mind to show no favour to the Americans, and Lord North's motion was carried. Colonel Barre reminded the house that he had predicted all that would happen on passing the Stamp Act, and he now boldly asserted, that if ministers persisted in their present course, the whole continent of North America would rise in arms, and these colonies perhaps be lost to England for ever. But the ministers were deaf to argument, remonstrance, and warning, and they still determined upon rigorous measures. Later in the season, Governor Pownall moved, in a long speech, that the revenue acts affecting America should be forthwith repealed. This was the only mode of preserving the allegiance of that country; but it was pleaded that the session was too far advanced to enter upon the subject—all important as it was—and its discussion was therefore deferred till the next meeting of parliament, and then it was too late.





EAST INDIA AFFAIRS.

During this session the charter of the East India Company was prolonged for the further term of five years, on conditions similar to those in the last agreement. The company was to continue to pay £400,000 per annum, and to continue to export British goods, at an average of equal value with those sent to India during the last five years. The company, however, was now allowed to increase its dividend to twelve and a half per cent., provided it did not in any one year put on more than one per cent. If any decrease of dividend was found to be necessary, then the sum payable to government was to be reduced proportionately, and if the dividend fell to six per cent., it was to cease altogether. This bargain had scarcely been renewed when intelligence arrived from Hindostan, that Hyder Ally had reduced the company, after an expensive war, to sue for a dishonourable peace, and India stock fell rapidly.





PROROGATION OF PARLIAMENT.

Early in this session it was announced in a message from the king, that, in consequence of a deficiency in some branches of the revenue appropriated to the civil list, debts had been contracted to the amount of £513,511, which his majesty trusted that house would enable him to discharge. The opposition demanded the production of papers to account for these arrears, which were promised by Lord North, if they would vote the money first. This proposition was warmly opposed, but, in the end, the house showed its loyalty by voting the money. On the 9th of May, the king went down to prorogue parliament. This was the day after the last vehement debate and division on the election of Wilkes; and as he was passing from the palace to the house of lords, he was grossly insulted by the populace. In his speech, his majesty exhorted the members, with more than ordinary earnestness, to exert themselves in their several counties to repress the efforts of the disaffected, and in maintaining public peace and good order.





DISCONTENTS IN ENGLAND AND IRELAND.

There was great occasion for his majesty's advice to the members of parliament, but they were powerless to effect that which he desired, and which was a "consummation devoutly to be wished" by every lover of good order. During this summer, discontent was more prevalent than at any preceding period of this reign. The disputes with the Americans, and the expulsion of Wilkes from his seat in parliament, had the effect of keeping the public mind in a state of constant excitement. This latter cause gave the greater umbrage to the people, because a man was sitting in his place who was supported only by a minority. This involved a constitutional right of great importance, and a question was mooted, whether expulsion constituted disqualification during the current parliament. The pen of Dr. Johnson was employed in proving the affirmative; his chief argument being, that the power of disqualification was necessary to the house of commons, for otherwise expulsion would not be a real, but a nominal punishment. Other pens were employed in proving the contrary; and among them was that of Junius, whose argument rested on the axiom that political expediency does not prove existing law, and who defied his opponents to produce any statute applicable to the subject. Junius also argued that, although the house of commons could expel, the concurrence of every branch of the legislature was necessary to incapacitate. Junius, whose extraordinary powers as a writer on politics have rarely, if ever, been surpassed, was the most bitter antagonist of the present government. The Middlesex election was eagerly embraced by him as an opportunity of advancing the great object he had in view—namely, that of the restoration of the Whig aristocracy to power. He dipped his pen in gall for this purpose, attacking the Duke of Grafton's administration with virulent invective and energetic eloquence, if haply he might effect its overthrow. He marred his fame, however, by an exhibition of personal resentment against individual members of the cabinet, and by putting forth foul calumnies from his secret hiding-place against the highest characters in the realm. Political writers may be bold in uttering truth, but when they use slander as one of their most powerful weapons, then they sink their characters as men, and forfeit their claim to be heard by society. But this was not the opinion in those days of turbulent excitement. Junius was heard and heeded by the mass, and though he did not break up the administration, which was the main object he had in view, his writings had the effect of confirming the people in their opposition to government. Faction was so prevalent that ministers sought to counteract it by procuring loyal addresses from various parts of the country. Only four counties, a few corporations, and the two universities responded to their call; while, on the other hand, numerous petitions of a contrary tendency, were got up without any difficulty. Discontent ruled dominant before the legislature reassembled, both in the city of London, and throughout the whole country. With a view of embarrassing government, Alderman Beckford was again elected to the mayoralty, although some ancient by-laws forbade the same person to be chosen twice within the space of seven years. This objection was urged, but overruled by precedents. Ministerial troubles grew on every side. Ireland, as well as England and America, was in a state of trouble and commotion. At this time it was overrun by Levellers, White-boys, Oak-boys, and Hearts-of-Steel—factions which were bound together by secret oaths and a mutual detestation of tithes. Nor was the Irish parliament less disorderly. In the month of October a bill was brought into the Irish house of commons for increasing the military establishment in that country, which was recommended by the lord-lieutenant, and although it was carried, it was not till after it had encountered a violent opposition. In the month of November, also, the Irish commons claimed the right of framing all money-bills, which hitherto had been sent over to them by the English cabinet. They rejected the one sent over this year, and although they voted a more liberal supply of their own freewill, the lord-lieutenant would not recognise the newly-claimed right. He called it a violation of the law, and an encroachment upon the king's prerogative. He entered his protest against it, and he then suddenly prorogued parliament before it had done any business. Thus his majesty was surrounded by troubles in almost every part of his dominions. England, Ireland, and America were all arrayed against him, and insubordination was the order of the day. What made his situation more critical was, that he had not a minister of sufficient ability to guide the helm of the state, so as to keep it clear from the rocks and the shoals by which it was surrounded.



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CHAPTER III.

GEORGE III. 1769—1771


     The Affairs of  America..... Meeting of  Parliament.....
     Dissolution of the Grafton Cabinet..... Debates on   the
     Middlesex   Election,  &c...... The Question of Controverted
     Elections..... Debates on America..... Release of
     Wilkes..... American Affairs..... Riots at Boston..... The
     Prorogation of Parliament..... Remonstrance of Beckford to
     the King..... Prosecution of Woodfall and Almon.....
     Disputes respecting  Falkland  Islands..... Affairs of
     America..... Meeting of Parliament..... Debate concerning
     the Falkland Islands..... Parliamentary Proceedings on the
     Law of Libel..... Quarrels between the Lords and
     Commons..... Convention with Spain...... Changes in the
     Ministry.





THE AFFAIRS OF AMERICA.

It has been seen how the Americans were affected by the Declaratory Bill, which accompanied the repeal of the Stamp Act. Had government been wise, their disaffection would have taught its members to have devised some conciliatory measures in order to prevent the threatened outbreak. The conduct of the government, however, was the very reverse from this. Instead of allaying the discontents of our colonists, ministers increased them by resolving to enforce what they called the Mutiny Act. This was carried hurriedly through the house at the close of the session; and though the consequences of such a course must have been as clear as daylight, yet ministers resolved to put it into execution. For the Mutiny Act was, more properly speaking, an act for quartering and better providing for the troops at the expense of the colonies. It gave power to the military to billet themselves on private houses, as was done in the war, and therefore was naturally offensive to the whole of the American population, whether friendly or adverse to the English government. It was calculated to make foes of friends, and to confirm those who were already foes, in their opposition to the mother country. The design of this measure, doubtless, was to overawe the colonists; but the spirit of freedom had taken too deep root in America thus to be overawed. Matters, in truth, grew worse and worse daily in that country. The minds of the Americans had been chafed to such a degree by their original grievances, and the measures which had been adopted to enforce their quiescence, that they became every day more and more disaffected toward the English government. How full fraught the country was with rebellion became manifest on the arrival of the newly-formed American board of commissioners, at Boston, to enforce the payment of the duties recently imposed upon them, and to put an end to smuggling. In the preamble to Charles Townshend's Act, the colonists read, that these duties were laid "for the better support of the government, and the administration of the colonies;" and in the bill itself they found a clause which seemed to empower the king, by sign manual, to establish a general civil list in every province in North America, with salaries, pensions, and everything that could be obnoxious to a free-thinking people. This was instantly declared to be unnecessary, unjust, and dangerous to the rights of Americans; while the establishment of a civil list in America, independent of the assemblies, was pronounced illegal. Measures were taken by the people of Boston for putting into effect the non-importation agreements, which had been before suggested; the press was employed to demonstrate the iniquity of the taxing acts; and the assembly of Massachusets addressed a circular letter to all the other colonies to invite them to combine in taking measures to defeat the obnoxious act. Every assembly, except that of New Hampshire, adopted the sentiments and the plan contained in the circular of the assembly of Massachusets, and passed votes of thanks to the authors of it. How effective it was in exciting opposition is manifest from the following circumstance. Bernard, the governor of Massachusets, was instructed to require the house of representatives to rescind the resolution which gave birth to the letter, and to declare the king's disapprobation of it. But instead of rescinding the resolution, it received the emphatic confirmation of the assembly. This reply was sent to the governor:—"If the votes of this house are to be controlled by the direction of a minister, we have left us but a vain semblance of liberty. We have now only to inform you that this house have voted not to rescind, and that, on a division on the question, there were ninety-two nays, and seventeen yeas."

The next day, Governor Bernard received positive instructions to dissolve the assembly of Massachusets. But it was in vain that the arm of power sought to quell the general disaffection: when employed it had only the effect of making the colonists more resolute in their opposition. Associations and committees were formed in most of the provinces, and smuggling was carried on in the broad face of day. Some months before, one Malcolm had fought with the custom-house officers, and had landed sixty pipes of Madeira at Boston without paying duty. In the month of June another cargo arrived at Boston, and when the excise-officer stepped on board he was seized and confined below, while the wine was sent on shore. The officer was afterwards liberated, and on the following morning the skipper of the sloop entered four or five pipes at the custom-house, declaring that this was the whole of his cargo. Aware of the falsehood of this statement, the commissioners ordered a comptroller to seize the sloop, and to fix the king's broad arrow upon her. This was the signal for a riot. A mob, headed by Malcolm, beat and nearly killed several of the revenue officers, and the commissioners themselves were compelled to seek safety in flight. The sloop was, however, seized; the excise being assisted by the captain of the Romney man-of-war, then lying at anchor off Boston. This was on a Friday, and the two following days were comparatively quiet, but on Monday an immense mob gathered in the streets at Boston, and placards were stuck up, calling upon the "sons of liberty" to meet on the following morning. At this meeting a committee was appointed to wait upon the governor, to inquire why the sloop had been seized? This committee pretended that it was an affront offered to the town of Boston to act thus arbitrarily, since the sloop might have been left in safety at the wharf. The committee affected likewise to disapprove of the riot, and some few of the ringleaders were sought for and found, under the pretence of bringing them to condign punishment. But the whole was a farce. Malcolm, the smuggler, and others of a similar stamp, sate upon the grand jury, and quashed all prosecution.

It was these proceedings which seem to have persuaded the ministers at home to revive the obsolete statute of Henry VIII. Before the news of these Boston riots, however, had arrived in England, ministers had resolved to employ force. In a secret and confidential letter, Lord Hillsborough had told General Gage that it was his majesty's pleasure he should send one regiment or more from Halifax to Boston, to be quartered in that town, in order to assist the civil magistrates and the revenue officers. This was on the 8th of June, and three days later Governor Bernard was informed by his lordship that his majesty had directed one regiment to be stationed at Boston, and had ordered a frigate, two sloops, and two armed cutters to repair to and remain in the harbour of that town for the above-mentioned purpose. It was not, however, till the month of September that the people of Boston became fully aware of the intention of government to send troops thither, and in the meantime they had been busy in organizing resistance to the Mutiny Act. In the month of August, the merchants and traders of Boston agreed upon a new subscription paper, to this effect:—"We will not send for or import from Great Britain, either upon our own account, or upon commission, this fall, any other goods than what are already ordered for the fall supply. We will not send for or import any kind of goods or merchandise from Great Britain, &c, from the lat of January, 1769, to the 1st of January, 1770; except salt, coals, fish-hooks and lines, hemp and duck, bar-lead and shot, wool-cards and card wire. We will not purchase of any factor or others any kind of goods imported from Great Britain, from January, 1769, to January, 1770. We will not import on our own account, or on commission, or purchase of any who shall import from any other colony in America, from January, 1769, to January, 1770, any tea, paper, glass, or any other goods commonly imported from Great Britain. We will not, from and after the 1st of January, 1769, import into this province any tea, paper, glass, or painters' colours, until the act imposing duties on those articles shall be absolutely repealed." This paper was generally subscribed by the merchants of Boston, and, soon after, the merchants of Connecticut, New York, and Salem entered into similar agreements.

In the month of September a committee waited upon Governor Bernard, praying him to convene a general assembly. Then it was that they were informed that a military force was coming; and that, consequently, another assembly could not be convened till the governor had received the commands of his majesty. The inhabitants of Boston now resolved, at the peril of their lives and fortunes, to take all legal and constitutional measures to defend the rights, liberties, privileges, and immunities granted in their royal charter. They also agreed, that a certain number of persons should be chosen to act for them as a committee in convention, and to consult and advise with such as might be sent from other towns in the province. Finally, they fixed a convention, to be held in Faneuil-hall, on the 22nd of September, and voted that all the inhabitants not provided with arms should be requested to obtain some forthwith, as there was an apprehension in the minds of many of an approaching war with France.

The convention met on the day appointed. It consisted of deputies from eight districts and ninety-six towns, and its chief business was to petition the governor, make sundry loyal professions, and express an aversion to tumults and standing armies. Its deliberations were cut short by the arrival of the troops, under Colonel Dalrymple, who anchored in Nantasket Roads, near Boston. The governor requested the town-council to provide quarters for these troops in Boston, but they refused; stating, that by act of parliament all troops were to be quartered in the barracks, and that it was illegal to bring them into the town. Colonel Dalrymple led his soldiers to the common on the outside of Boston, and the town-council was again requested to quarter them in the town, which they again refused. He had two regiments under his command, and one of these took possession of Faneuil-hall—the other lay out on the cold common all night. On the evening of the next day, however, the governor ordered the town or state-house to be opened to the other regiment; and the soldiers took possession of every part of it, except the great council-chamber. These proceedings excited deep resentment, and when the governor and Colonel Dalrymple required the council to provide barrack provisions, as regulated by the Mutiny Act, the request was flatly refused. Still the inhabitants of Boston repressed their vindictive feelings. Care was taken by them, however, to make known their injuries, and the insults to which they were subjected in every part of British America. The picture they drew was, doubtless, exaggerated; but that they had grievances there can be no question. At all events they found the sympathy they desired in the various states of America. The Philadelphians, the Georgians, the Rhode-Islanders, and, in short, all the other colonies and towns, with the single exception of Portsmouth, the sole sea-port of New Hampshire, now followed their example, as regards the non-importation of goods from Great Britain. The very females of America partook of the general spirit of resistance; for they entered into associations among themselves, proscribing the use of tea. Some there were among the merchants who showed a reluctance to comply with the terms of the agreement; but their houses were surrounded by organised mobs, and they were compelled to give up trade rather than risk the forfeiture of their property and lives by selling British goods.

Thus encouraged, the Bostonians became more bold in their opposition to government. The assembly being called together in May, 1769, a committee from the house of representatives remonstrated with the governor, complaining of an armament investing their city—of the military guard—of cannon pointed at the door of their state-house—and requesting him, as his majesty's representative, to order the removal of the ships and the troops. The answer they received was, that he had no authority over his majesty's ships, or over his troops, within the town of Boston. A few days after the house declared that the use of a military force in the execution of the laws was inconsistent with the spirit of the constitution, and that they would not transact any business while thus menaced by soldiers. In order to obviate this objection to business, the governor adjourned the assembly to Cambridge, a town separated from Boston by a narrow arm of the sea, but they were not more disposed for business at Cambridge than at Boston. The only vote passed by them was to this effect:—"That the establishment of a standing army in this colony in time of peace is an invasion of natural rights; that a standing army is not known as a part of the British constitution; that sending an armed force into the colony, under a pretence of assisting the civil authority, is highly dangerous to the people, unprecedented, and unconstitutional." When requested by the governor to make provision for the troops, after an indignant denunciation of the Mutiny Act, and observing, that of all the new regulations, not excepting the Stamp Act, this was the most unreasonable, they thus declared their resolution:—"Your excellency must excuse us in this express declaration—that as we cannot consistently with our honour and our interest, and much less with the duty we owe to our constituents, so we never will make provision for the purposes in your several messages mentioned." Finding the assembly thus refractory, the governor prorogued them, taking his leave in the following terms:—"To his majesty, therefore, and if he pleases, to his parliament, must be referred your invasion of the rights of the imperial sovereignty: you need not be apprehensive of any misrepresentations, as it is not in the power of your enemies, if you have any, to add to your publications—they are plain and explicit and need no comment. It is my duty, and I shall do it with regret, to transmit to the king true copies of your proceedings: and that his majesty may have an opportunity to signify his pleasure thereon before you meet again, I think it necessary to prorogue this general court immediately, to the usual time of the winter session."

Before governor Bernard prorogued the assembly, his majesty had requested his presence in England for the purpose of ascertaining the real state of the province; at the same time testifying his approbation of his conduct, and as a mark of his favour, creating him baronet. Sir Francis left the colony on the 1st of August, and at his departure, the powers of government devolved on lieutenant-governor Hutchinson, a native of the province; a man of great abilities, but influenced in his conduct by a grasping ambition, and an inordinate love of office and aggrandisement. On his return, Sir Francis had no very favourable report to make of his province. Notwithstanding every precaution had been adopted, smuggling was still carried on to a very great extent. The Bostonians had even adopted the practice of tarring and feathering all informers, or all who attempted to assist the government: a brutal operation, which was often attended with a violence that destroyed life. Nor was smuggling carried on in the province of Boston alone. Associations against British commerce were organized to such an extent, that the exports to America were found to fall short of those in the preceding year by £740,000, and the revenue derived from that country was reduced from £701,000 to £30,000. In this the Americans were aided by other countries, who sent them their manufactures in great abundance, so that the narrow views of ministers not only destroyed the resources of Great Britain, but tended to enrich its commercial and political rivals. This greatly alarmed the English merchants, and Lord Hillsborough thought proper to issue a circular letter to the colonies, stating that his majesty's ministers intended, during the next session, to take off the duties upon glass, paper, and painters' colours, they having been enacted contrary to the true principles of commerce. No mention, however, was made of the duty upon tea, and the Americans looked upon this omission as having been purposely and invidiously made, as a mark of the legislative supremacy of Great Britain. Nothing, moreover, was said about repealing the odious clauses in the Mutiny Act, and the colonists likewise complained that the circular spoke of commercial expediency, and not of the right which they claimed of imposing taxes upon the colonies by their own act alone In truth, if this circular was intended to conciliate the inhabitants of British America, it was a total failure. The universal mind was too much irritated to be soothed by such an impotent palliative.





MEETING OF PARLIAMENT.

A.D. 1770

Although America was almost in a state of open rebellion, and England itself, with Ireland, were rent with faction, yet the parliament did not assemble till the 9th of January. This delay naturally excited surprise, and this was still further heightened by the tenor of the king's speech. Taking no notice of the public discontents, though it feelingly lamented the general distress, it chiefly adverted to a general distemper which had broken out among the horned cattle, which the king gravely assured the lords and commons, he had, by the advice of his privy-council, endeavoured to check. And this was solemnly uttered when wits and scoffers abounded on every hand—when Junius had his pen in his hand full fraught with gall, and Wilkes was bandying about his bon-mots and sarcasms. "While the whole kingdom," says Junius, in a letter to the Duke of Grafton, "was agitated with anxious expectation upon one great point, you meanly evaded the question, and instead of the explicit firmness of a king, gave us nothing but the misery of a ruined grazier." Never was a speech from the throne more unfortunate, indeed, than this, for though it slightly adverted to the disturbances in America, yet the subject of the disease existing among horned cattle was its prominent feature. It was no wonder, therefore, that it became the jest of the whole nation. Newspapers, pamphlets, and periodicals teemed with biting sarcasm on this most extraordinary circumstance. The king's love of farming was bitterly descanted upon, and he was represented as attending to cows, stalls, dairies, and farms, while his people were misgoverned and discontented, and his empire, like a ship in a furious storm, in danger every minute of being dashed to pieces. In fine, to show the most profound contempt of such a speech from the mouth of the monarch, at such a season, the session was nicknamed "the horned cattle session."

Before the opening of parliament, one day the Earl of Chatham stalked into the drawing-room of St. James's, and after the levee had some private conversation with the king. What passed between them is unknown, but Horace Walpole says, that his reception was most flattering, and the king all condescension and goodness. It does not appear, however, that the interview satisfied Chatham, for it by no means tended to soften his opposition. When parliament met, indeed, he took his place in the house of lords, vigorous and more eloquent than ever, and the administration was doomed to feel his power, like that of a giant refreshed with wine.

The address, which was moved in the upper house by the Duke of Ancaster, and seconded by Lord Dun-more, was as general and unmeaning as the king's speech. Chatham rose to reply, and after glancing at his age and infirmities, he took a general review of measures since the year 1763. There never was a period, he asserted, when the serious attention of the house to public affairs was more imperatively demanded, and he boldly maintained that it was the duty of their lordships to lay the true state and condition of the country before his majesty. After indulging in a quiet sneer at the care the council had bestowed upon horned cattle, he remarked, that he was glad to hear that the king had reason to believe the peace of the country would be preserved, since peace could never be more desirable to a kingdom, than when it was torn to pieces by divisions and distractions, as England was at the passing hour. He then criticised the last treaty with France and Spain, asserting that England had not obtained what she had a right to expect from the success of our arms, and the feeble condition of our enemies. He also maintained, that having deserted our ally the King of Prussia, we had left ourselves without alliances on the continent, and, consequently, had been every moment on the verge of a new war, during a seven years' peace. This war, he said, might be unavoidable, and must be unfavourable to England, as the princes of the house of Bourbon, while we stood in an isolated position, had become closely united among themselves, and had formed the closest connexion with the powers of Europe. He, however, lamented still more the unhappy acts which had severed the affections of the American colonists from Great Britain; and the internal discontents of the country. To these he earnestly called the attention of their lordships, since their privileges, however transcendent and appropriate in themselves, stood in fact on the people as a basis. The rights of the highest and the meanest subject, he said, had the same foundation, the security of the law, which was common to all. He maintained that the liberty of the subject was invaded both at home and in the colonies, and that the people who were loud in their complaints, would not be pacified without a redress of their grievances. Liberty, he observed, was a plant that deserved to be cherished; that he loved the tree himself, and wished well to all its branches; that, like the vine in scripture, it had spread from east to west, had embraced whole nations with its branches, and sheltered them under its leaves. Concerning the discontents of the colonists, he conceived that they arose from the measures of government. These had driven them into excesses which could not be justified, but for which, he, for one, was inclined to make some allowance. As to their combinations, and their success in supplying themselves with goods, this, he said, had alarmed him for the commercial interests of the mother country, but he could not conceive in what sense they could be deemed illegal, or how the house by any declaration could remove the evil. Other remedies must be looked for, as the discontents of two millions of people could only be removed by a removal of their causes. Finally, on the subject of discontent in England, he attributed it to the proceedings of the house of commons in the matter of Mr. Wilkes, and he concluded by submitting the following amendment:—"That after the words, 'and which alone can render our deliberations respectable and effectual,' be inserted these words, 'and for these great and essential purposes, we will, with all convenient speed, take into our most serious consideration the causes of the discontents which prevail in so many parts of your majesty's dominions, and particularly the late proceedings of the house of commons, touching the incapacity of John Wilkes, Esq., expelled by that house, to be elected a member to serve in this present parliament, thereby refusing, by a resolution of one branch of the legislature only, to the subject his common right, and depriving the electors of Middlesex of their free choice of a representative."

This amendment was opposed by Lord Mansfield, he considering that it was a gross attack on the privileges of the commons, and calculated to create a quarrel between the two houses, or between the king and the commons. A question, he said, relating to the seat of a member, could only be determined by the house itself, whose judgment was final, and must be received as the law of the land. The arguments which he used in his speech to support his opinions were ably answered by Chatham. The noble lord began his reply by extolling common sense above subtilty and ingenious refinement. The constitution had been invaded, and he heard with astonishment that invasion defended on principle. He denied that the commons had a supreme jurisdiction, or that its decision must be received as the law of the land; for why, he pertinently asked, were the generous exertions of our ancestors made to secure and transmit to their posterity a known law and a certain rule of living, if, instead of the arbitrary power of a king, we must submit to that of a house of commons? Tyranny was detestable in any shape, but especially when exercised by a number of tyrants. But that, he triumphantly asserted, was not the fact or the constitution of England, and he pointed out where the law of parliament might be found by every honest man; namely, in Magna Charta, in the statute-book, and in the Bill of Rights. The first principle of the constitution is, he observed, that the subject shall not be governed by the will of any man or body of men, but by the whole legislature, and by certain laws to which he has given his assent: laws which were open to him to examine, and not beyond his ability to understand. He then denounced the late decision as destitute of every condition essential to its legality, and as being unsupported by reason, precedent, Magna Charta, or the Bill of Rights. Whether it be questioned by the legislature, he continued, will depend on the resolution of the house; but that it violates the constitution, no man who had listened to the debate could deny. He then expressed his confidence in the wisdom and constitutional authority of the house, and after praising the ancient nobility as founders of the constitution, and invoking the house to follow their brilliant example, he thus concluded:—"Those iron barons—for so I may call them when compared with the silken barons of modern days—were the guardians of the people; yet their virtues were never engaged in a question of such importance as the present. A breach has been made in the constitution—the battlements are dismantled—the citadel is open to the first invader—the walls totter—the constitution is not tenable. What remains, then, but for us to stand foremost in the breach, to repair, or to perish in it?"

The lord chancellor Camden had declared, upon his patron's resignation of the privy-seal, that Chatham should still be his polar star, and that he reluctantly consented "to hold on a little while longer with this crippled administration." The part which he took in this debate proved him to be sincere in his declarations. The house was astonished to hear, indeed, sentiments from his lips as strong as those delivered by Chatham. "I accepted," said he, "the great seal without conditions: I meant not therefore to be trammelled by his majesty—I beg pardon—by his ministers. But I have suffered myself to be so too long. For some time I have beheld with silent indignation the arbitrary measures of the minister. I have often drooped and hung down my head in council, and disapproved by my looks those steps which I knew my avowed opposition could not prevent. I will do so no longer, but will openly and boldly speak my sentiments." Lord Camden then agreed with his friend respecting the incapacitating vote of the commons, and accused the ministry, by implication, of having formed a conspiracy against the liberties of the country. By their violent and tyrannical conduct, he said, they had alienated the minds of the people from his majesty's government—he had almost said from his majesty's person—and that in consequence a spirit of discontent had spread itself into every nook of the kingdom, and was daily increasing, so that it was to be feared, that, if some methods were not devised to appease the clamours heard on every hand, the people might in despair become their own avengers, and take the redress of their grievances into their own hands. The address was negatived, and Lord Pomfret then moved an adjournment for some days; chiefly, as Lords Temple and Shelburne told the house in reply, for the purpose of removing the untractable chancellor, Camden, from his seat in the ministry. Lord Shelburne, however, expressed a conviction "that after the dismissal of the present worthy chancellor the seals would go a begging," and that "there would not be found in the kingdom a wretch so base and mean-spirited as to accept of them on the conditions on which they must be offered."

The address in the house of commons was moved by Sir George Osborne In opposition, Mr. Dowdeswell moved for the insertion into the address of words, intimating the necessity of inquiring into the causes of the prevailing discontents in every part of his majesty's dominions. The debate on this motion was most violent, and lasted many hours. Colonel Barré observed, "that a great part of the king's subjects were alienated from him; England was in opposition to its own representatives; in Ireland the parliament was prorogued because it had supported the true constitutional right of taxation; the colonies were in actual rebellion on account of taxes confessedly imposed, not for gain, but as a mere test of obedience; and, perhaps to crown the whole, France was on the eve of a war with us." The Marquis of Granby expressed his regret for having, in the preceding session, voted with ministers on the question of the disqualification of Mr. Wilkes, and wished the house would re-examine their resolution. General Conway opposed the amendment; and Lord North, Sir Fletcher Norton, and Charles James Fox took the same side of the question, and the amendment was rejected by a majority of 254 to 138. Another warm debate arose on the morrow, on the question of receiving the report of the address. Sir William Meredith said, that thanking the king for his approbation of their conduct would imply an approval of the vote respecting the Middlesex election. Sir George Sackville accused the house of betraying the rights of the people; and being threatened with the tower by General Conway, he was defended by Sergeant Glynn and Mr. Burke, the latter of whom dared ministers to punish Sir George, and told them that they were abhorred by the people. Thus supported, Sackville repeated the charge, and he was followed by Fox, who deprecated the licentious language introduced in the house. Burke replied, but there was no division.

GEORGE III. 1769—1771





DISSOLUTION OF THE GRAFTON CABINET.

Before the declarations made by Lord-chancellor Camden in the house of lords, his conduct had been so displeasing to his colleagues that he was not consulted in any of their measures, and he had not even a voice in the preparation of the king's speech. When, therefore, he stood openly forward as an opponent of the cabinet, it was not to be expected that the seals would be long left in his possession. The opposition knew this, and their only fear was that he would anticipate ministers by a spontaneous resignation, and thereby free the ministers from the odium which they would obtain from the public by his dismissal. Camden, however, seems to have had no thoughts of taking such a step, and the ministers had no alternative left but to remove him from office. Accordingly he was dismissed, and Lord Shelburne's prediction was literally verified—the great seals went a begging. The Honourable Charles Yorke, indeed, reluctantly accepted them, but before his patent of peerage could be completed, he committed suicide, and the government had to seek another chancellor. The seals were successively offered to Sir Eardley Wilmot and Lord Mansfield, who would not accept them, and nothing remained but to put them in commission, and to appoint a speaker in the house of lords in the interim. This latter office was accepted by Lord Mansfield, and some time after, Sir Sidney Stafford Smythe, one of the barons of the exchequer; the Honourable Henry Bathurst, one of the justices of the common pleas; and Sir Richard Aston, one of the justices of the king's bench, were appointed commissioners. But the embarrassment of government did not end here. While business was suspended in the house of lords by the want of a chancellor, it was also suspended in the commons by the illness of the speaker, Sir John Cust. Moreover, the removal of Lord Camden was followed by the resignation of his friend Mr. Dunning, the solicitor-general; of the Marquess of Granby, as master-general of the ordnance, and commander-in-chief of the forces; of Mr. James Grenville, who held the office of one of the vice-treasurers for Ireland; and of several noblemen who held offices in the household. The greatest blow to the existence of the ministry seems to have been the resignation of Granby—a blow which the king and the ministers in vain sought to avert. Urged by some of the leading members of the opposition, who as earnestly desired him to adopt this line of conduct, as the king and his ministers entreated him not to resign, he gave up everything except his regiment—the Blues. The ordnance was then offered to General Conway, who refused to accept any of "Lord Granby's spoils," and the fragment of the ministry still left in office had to brave the storm of opposition as they best could.

After the adjournment which had taken place during these changes, on the 22nd of January, the Marquess of Rockingham moved in the house of lords, that the house should, on the 24th, take into consideration the lamentable state of the nation. In reply, the Duke of Grafton remarked, that he did not intend to oppose this inquiry, and that he was ready at any time to enter into the question. The Earl of Chatham then rose, and in a long and eloquent speech, complained of a breach made in the constitution. There was a capital mischief fixed at home, which corrupted the very foundation of our political existence, and preyed upon the very vitals of the state. "The constitution," he exclaimed vehemently, "has been grossly violated—the constitution at this moment stands violated! Until that wound be healed, until the grievances be redressed, it is in vain to recommend union to parliament—in vain to promote concord among the people. If we mean seriously to unite the nation within itself, we must convince them that their complaints are regarded, that their injuries shall be redressed. On that foundation I would take the lead in recommending peace and harmony to the people. On any other I would never wish to see them united again. If the breach in the constitution be effectually repaired, the people will of themselves return to a state of tranquillity; if not, may discord prevail for ever! I know to what point this doctrine and this language will appear directed; but I feel the principles of an Englishman, and I utter them without apprehension or reserve. The crisis is indeed alarming—so much the more does it require a prudent relaxation on the part of government. If the king's servants will not permit a constitutional question to be decided on according to the forms, and on the principles of the constitution, it must then be decided in some other manner; and rather than it should be given up—rather than the nation should surrender their birthright to a despotic minister, I hope, my lords, old as I am, I shall see the question brought to issue, and fairly tried between the people and the government." The Earl of Chatham next offered some severe remarks on the surrender of Corsica, the augmentation of troops in Ireland, the arrears of the civil list, the waste of the public revenues, and the evils arising from the riches of Asia. "The importers of foreign gold," said he, "have forced their way into parliament by such a torrent of private corruption, as no private hereditary fortune could resist." He then offered several suggestions on the propriety of a reform in parliament—suggestions, he observed, not crude and undigested, but ripe and well-considered, as the subject had long occupied his attention. His scheme was, not that the rotten boroughs should be disfranchised, though he considered them as the rotten part of the constitution; nor that the unrepresented towns should be allowed members, though he admitted that in them great part of the strength and vigour of the constitution resided—but that each county should elect three members instead of two, he considering that the knights of the shires approached the nearest to the constitutional representation of the country, because they represent the soil. At the same time, he recommended that the city representatives should be augmented, and that in increasing the number of representatives for the English counties, the shires of Scotland should be allowed an equal privilege, in order to prevent any jealousy which might arise from an apparent violation of the union. In concluding his speech, he proclaimed his coalition with the Marquess of Rockingham, whom, on a previous occasion he had overthrown as an incapable statesman; justifying the union formed between them, on the grounds that it was formed for the good of the country; or, in his own words, "to save the state."

It must be admitted that the scheme of parliamentary reform divulged by the Earl of Chatham was by no means enlightened or impartial. In it no allowance was to be made for the growing importance of the commercial and manufacturing interests, the landed interests alone were consulted, and the country gentlemen, who had never been celebrated for liberal measures in their legislation, were to crowd the house of commons, and to decide upon the affairs of the nation. The Earl of Chatham himself, at a later period, seems to have doubted the efficacy of his plan of reform, for he admitted that the knights of the shires or the country members of the house of commons, "were not the most enlightened or spirited part of the house." All history, indeed, tends to prove that such a plan of reform would have proved abortive, so far as regards the liberty and well-being of the great body of the people, and the perfecting of the theory of the English constitution, so far as to make its political practice agree with its principles. There can be no question, indeed, but that all other interests would have been secondary to that of the agricultural in the consideration of a parliament thus constituted; whereas the aim of an enlightened legislature should be to secure the interests of every section of the community, whether agricultural, commercial, or manufacturing.

The Earl of Chatham signified his intention of supporting the Marquess of Rockingham on the 24th, when the great question mooted by him was to be discussed. On that day, however, it was announced that he was too ill to attend, and Rockingham also was distressed in mind by the melancholy suicide of the Honourable Charles Yorke. Under these circumstances, he moved the adjournment of the question to the 2nd of February, which was granted by the house; but before that time the Duke of Grafton, harassed by these commotions and scourged by the press, especially by the writings of Junius, had resigned his office, and the king had committed the charge of government to Lord North. At the same time, the state of the health of Sir John Cust, having induced him to resign the speaker's chair, Sir Fletcher Norton was elected his successor. The Earl of Halifax, moreover, was appointed privy seal in the room of Lord Bristol; Mr. Wellbore Ellis was selected to be a vice-treasurer in Ireland; Charles Fox was made a lord of the admiralty; and Mr. Thurlow was created solicitor-general instead of Mr. Dunning. There were a few minor substitutions and interchanges of offices, but these were the principal; and Lord North's ministry was, therefore, for the most part a continuation of that of the Duke of Grafton. The Marquess of Gran by's places of the ordnance and commander-in-chief were left vacant for the present, and the great seal was left in commission, with the commissioners already named.





DEBATES ON THE MIDDLESEX ELECTION, ETC.

Lord North, with whose administration commences a momentous era in the annals of Great Britain, was eldest son to the Earl of Guildford. In private life he was one of the most amiable and worthy of men, and he was a man of elegant acquirements. In public life, also, he was scarcely less honoured. Brought up amidst official duties, and aiming constantly at legislatorial distinction, he had acquired eminent skill in managing a debate, while his good humour and equanimity of temper secured to him a greater share of esteem and affection than was perhaps ever possessed by any other minister. Yet his estimable qualities and his political skill had not sufficient potency to disarm opposition. In the very outset of his administration, indeed, the opposition made him feel that he had not taken possession of a bed of roses; or, at least, roses without thorns. The principal object of the late debates in the house of lords was to procure a vote in favour of the Middlesex electors: with the same end in view, Mr. Dowdeswell now moved another resolution in the commons; namely, "That by the law of the land, and the law and usage of parliament, no person eligible of common right can be incapacitated by a resolution of the house, but by an express act of parliament only." This undeniable proposition placed ministers in a dilemma, for it was only a prelude to others, and if they agreed to it and rejected those that followed, they would seem to resist conclusions from premises they had themselves conceded; while if they rejected it, it would appear as if the house of commons was a capricious court; a court neither bound by law nor by the usages of parliament. The debate on the question was one of great violence; and in the course of it, Colonel Barre compared the state to a vessel in a storm which had parted with her mainmast (Grafton,) and was trying to sail under a jury-mast (North). The new premier acknowledged that the storm was great, but asserted that the ship was not compelled to hang out lights for pilots, as her own crew were capable of conducting her safely into port. And so it proved. North avoided the snare laid for him by moving as an amendment, "That the judgment of the house on the Middlesex election is conformable to law and the usage of parliament," which was eventually carried by a large majority.

On the 2nd of February, pursuant to notice, the Marquess of Rockingham made a similar motion to that of Mr. Dowdeswell in the house of lords. He moved, "That the house of commons, in the exercise of its judicature in matters of elections, is bound to judge according to the law of the land, and the known and established law and custom of parliament, which is part thereof" This was opposed by Lord Sandwich on the ground of improper interference with the lower house, which, if aggrieved, had the means of redress in its own power. Lord Sandwich was answered by Lord Chatham. In the course of his speech, Sandwich had alluded to the expulsion of Lionel, Earl of Middlesex, and the great Lord Bacon, "for certain crimes and misdemeanours," from which he argued that the peers now ought to take no more notice of the expulsion of Wilkes, than the commons then had taken notice of the expulsion pronounced by their lordships on the above-named noble offenders. To this point Chatham replied: "Neither of these cases bear any analogy to the present case. They affected only themselves: the rights of no constituent body were affected by them. It is not the person of Mr. Wilkes we complain of; as an individual he is personally out of the dispute. The cause of complaint, the great cause is, that the inherent rights and franchises of the people are in this case invaded, trampled upon, annihilated. Lord Bacon and Lord Middlesex represented no county or city: the rights of no freeholder, the franchises of no elector, were destroyed by their expulsion!" In his speech, Chatham declaimed with great severity against the gross dereliction of principle shown by the commons. They were, indeed, he said, the proper protectors of their own rights and privileges; but he lamented that they had, by their recent conduct, forgotten those privileges, and had added to the long list of venality from Esau to the present day. The vote of the commons which made Colonel Luttrell representative for Middlesex, he maintained, was a gross invasion of law and of the rights of election; a dangerous violation of the constitution; a treacherous surrender of privileges; and a corrupt sacrifice of honour. He added, that to gratify the resentment of certain individuals, the laws had been despised and destroyed, and that since the commons had slavishly obeyed the commands of his majesty's ministers, and proved themselves corrupt, it was necessary for their lordships to step forward and oppose themselves, on the one hand, to the justly incensed and intemperate rage of the people, and, on the other to the criminal and malignant conduct of his majesty's ministers: their lordships were the constitutional barrier between the extremes of liberty and prerogative. The house was excited, but the motion was negatived by a large majority. On the ministerial side, the Earl of March-mont then moved, "That any resolution of the lords directly or indirectly impeaching a judgment of the house of commons, in a matter where their jurisdiction is competent final, and conclusive, would be a violation of the constitutional right of the commons, tend-, ing to make a breach between the two houses of parliament, and leading to general confusion." In his speech, the Earl lost his temper and his discretion, imprudently hinting that if the opposition went one step further it would be necessary to call in the aid of Foreign assistance. He was called to order by the Duke of Richmond, and when he attempted to explain, he found himself unable, and Lord Mansfield was compelled to relieve him, by declaring as a lawyer and a statesman, that their lordships had no right to interfere in any determination of the commons. The Earl of Egmont pursued the same course, and declared that the people were guilty of treason in offering such petitions as they had recently offered to his majesty. The Earl of Chatham again rose, and after thanking Lord Egmont in an ironical strain for his lenity in allowing the petitioners to wear their heads, he defended the petitions as praiseworthy and constitutional, and re-asserted that the house of lords had a right to interfere, when either an invasion of the people's liberty was attempted, or an unconstitutional determination made. This was in reply to the statement of Lord Mansfield, and he then praised the abilities of that nobleman at the expense of his honour, honesty, and patriotism. Chatham next complained of the ministerial motion, and of the late hour—for it was midnight—at which it had been made. He proposed an adjournment for two days. "If," he exclaimed, "the constitution must be wounded, let it not receive its mortal stab at this dark hour, when honest men are asleep in their beds, and when only felons and assassins are seeking for prey." Ministers, however, seem to have acted upon the well-known adage, that "delays are dangerous." The adjournment was rejected, and at two o'clock in the morning Marchmont's motion was carried. Protests were entered against both decisions, the former being signed by forty-two, and the latter by forty peers.

Similar discussions led to similar results in the house of commons. On the 5th of February a debate was there entered upon, in which the opposition urged that the expulsion of Wilkes had been determined by ministers in council, and a motion was also made to bring in a bill to regulate and define the consequences of expulsion from the house; but the ministers in each instance were victorious. The exertions of the opposition, however, were warmly supported by a large majority of the liverymen of London, who busied themselves in getting up memorials and remonstrances, and hence they were nothing daunted by their repeated defeats. Ministers were, indeed, attacked upon other points of their policy besides the matter of Wilkes Thus, on the 2nd of March, Lord Craven, acting with the opposition, moved an address to the throne, beseeching his majesty forthwith to take proper steps for such an increase of seamen in the royal navy as should effectually preserve the honour and security of his; majesty's kingdom and colonies. This was made the medium of severe censures on the dismissal of able officers for their votes in parliament, and also on the entire management of the navy. Earl Chatham supported the motion, and condemned the conduct of ministers in this particular branch of the national service, as base and unworthy. In his speech he again adverted to his favourite topic; that of the secret influence which was at work near the throne. This influence he denounced as dangerous, base, unconstitutional, and wicked; and maintained that it had occasioned all the unhappiness of the nation, and created confusion in the government of the colonies. He then asserted that this invisible influence was still working for evil, for although the favourite (Bute) was gone to Turin, Mazarine absent was Mazarine still; and his influence by means of agents was potent as ever. Then, raising his voice, he exclaimed, "This country was sold at the late peace! We were sold by the court of Turin to the court of France!" Chatham then indirectly accused the king of insincerity and treachery to himself, personally, during the time that he was minister; asserting that after he had given his approbation to plans and measures one week, he would let them vanish into air the next, and that all his promises and assurances were broken through an in-invisible influence. The king was defended by the Duke of Grafton, who hinted that the intellect of Chatham was affected; but this only drew forth a repetition of the accusation in stronger language. "I rise," said he, "neither to deny nor retract, nor to explain away the words I have spoken. As for his majesty, I have always found him everything gracious and amiable in the closet; so amiably condescending as to promise, in every repeated audience, not only to forgive, but to supply the defects of health by his cheerful support, and by the ready assistance of all his immediate dependents. Instead of this, all the obstacles and difficulties which attended every great and public measure did not arise from those out of government: they were suggested, nourished, and supported by that secret influence I have mentioned, and by the industry of those very dependents; first by secret treachery, then by official influence, and afterwards in public councils. A long train of these practices has at length unwillingly convinced me that there is something behind the throne greater than the king himself."

It seems clear that when the Earl of Chatham made these assertions, the councils of the king were no longer biassed by the influence of the Earl of Bute; but, notwithstanding, the charges made all the impressions on the public mind which he could have desired. Some even declared that they knew the secret agents that went between the absent lord, the princess dowager and the king, and Mr. Dyson, Mr. Bradshaw, both placemen and members of parliament, and subsequently, Mr. Jenkinson (afterwards Baron Hawkesbury and Earl of Liverpool,) were expressly named as the principal of the parasites. The popular credulity on this subject appeared to receive confirmation from the conduct of the king towards the "good citizens" of London. Four days after this debate in the house of lords the common hall of the city took into consideration a memorial complaining that a petition which had been presented to his majesty by the citizens remained unanswered. This memorial, after the lord mayor Beckford had delivered an exciting harangue, was adopted by acclamation, and with three rounds of applause. At first the king refused to hear this memorial; but he at length consented, and it was carried up to St. James's on the 14th of March by the lord mayor, and more than two hundred common-councilmen, liverymen, and city officers. It was read to the king as he sat upon his throne, and perhaps the ears of royalty were never destined to hear stronger remonstrances than this memorial contained. It told him that secret and evil counsellors, combined with a corrupt parliament, robbed the people of their dearest rights, and that they had done a deed more ruinous in its consequences than the levying of ship-money by Charles I., or the dispensing power assumed by James IL, and which deed must vitiate all the further proceedings of the present parliament; it called God and man to witness that the citizens would not be thus cheated of their liberties; and that as they were gained by the stern virtues of their ancestors, so they should be preserved by themselves; and it concluded by praying that the king would dissolve the present parliament, and remove from him all evil counsellors. With a clouded brow the king in reply pronounced the contents of this memorial to be disrespectful to himself, injurious to his parliament, and irreconcilable to the principles of the constitution; and he asserted that he had ever made the law of the land the rule of his conduct, that he esteemed it his chief glory to rule over a free people, and that he had a right to expect from them a steady and affectionate support. The city deputation withdrew, amidst the manifest resentment of the courtiers, and the court instantly resolved to bring the memorial before the notice of parliament. This was done on the 19th of March, when it was moved by Sir Thomas Clavering, "That to deny the legality of the present parliament, and to assert that the proceedings thereof are not valid, is highly unwarrantable, and has a manifest tendency to disturb the peace of the kingdom, by withdrawing his majesty's subjects from then-obedience to the laws of the realm." This motion was warmly opposed, but it was carried by a large majority, and an address to the king was also agreed to in condemnation of the city memorial, both by the lords and the commons. It is said that the king graciously received this address, but that he thought the city magistrates ought to have been proceeded against by parliament for their conduct. On the other hand, the city and the people of Middlesex were offended by the conduct of the opposition, and the smallness of the minority that voted against the address, and they passed strong resolutions, expressing their discontent. The blame was chiefly imputed to the Rockingham party; and the Rev. Mr. Home—better known at a later date by the name of Home Tooke—who had begun to rule the democracy at the Mile-end and Brentford meetings, announced his intention of exposing that party; but this was prevented chiefly through the influence of the Earl of Chatham. Instead of this, indeed, the reverend orator employed his talents in getting up a strong petition and remonstrance to the king from the freeholders of Middlesex, and which was presented on the 31st of March; the Earl of Chatham having previously thanked him for his able exertions in the cause of freedom, and for abstaining from his proposed attack on the Rockingham party.





THE QUESTION OF CONTROVERTED ELECTIONS, ETC.

Ever since the famous Aylesbury case, in 1704, the house of commons had been sole judge of the qualification of electors, and of all other matters regarding the election of their own members. All controverted elections were tried before a committee of the whole house, the members not being bound to impartiality, either by oath, promise, or pledge. On the 2nd of April, Mr. George Grenville brought in a bill for regulating the trial of controverted elections, which provided that, in every case, the judicature should be transferred from the house to a sworn committee of fifteen members, whereof thirteen were to be chosen by the contesting claimants for the seat, out of a list of forty-five chosen by ballot by the whole house, and the other two named by the contesting parties themselves; one for each. The committee were to have full power to examine witnesses, papers, and records, and their oath bound them to a strict impartiality. This bill met with stern opposition from the ministers, and at one stage it was moved by Mr. Welbore Ellis, that it should be rejected, which was seconded by Mr. Charles Fox; but the bill was eloquently defended by Burke, and it passed into a law. It was carried up to the lords by Mr. Grenville on the 5th of April, where, as Lord Mansfield had expressed his approbation of it, and promised its support, no opposition was feared. It passed unanimously, and it seems to have had a very beneficial effect on the legislature.

Previously to the passing of this act, a bill was proposed by Mr. Dowdeswell to disqualify officers of the excise and customs from voting at elections The mover stated, that both classes were under the influence of the crown, and that the departments of the revenue were becoming so numerous as to render that influence incompatible with a free constitution. There was no attempt, however, to prove corruption, and the motion was rejected, as unfair in its attempt to deprive individuals of the rights of British subjects, on the mere presumption of venality. An act at the same time was passed for altering the law of privilege, so far as it extended to the effects and domestics of the members of either house. In the house of lords this bill was warmly supported by Lord Mansfield, and as warmly opposed by Lord Sandwich, who argued, that it was an encroachment upon the privileges of the peers. An inquiry into the accounts of the civil list, during the year 1769, was a popular subject in both houses about the same time. The expenses having greatly increased, it was inferred that the money was employed in the corruption of electors. Ministers opposed this inquiry, arguing, that as the civil list was solely the revenue of the crown, the crown had a right to expend it as it pleased; and that if an additional grant had been asked, then, and not till then, the expenditure might have been investigated, for the purpose of ascertaining the necessity of the grant, and how the money was spent. The motion was negatived, and other attempts to interfere with the management of the king's revenue met with a similar fate.

The debate in the house of lords on this question is rendered remarkable by the eloquent speech uttered by the Earl of Chatham. In the course of this speech he asserted that the minister who was bold enough to spend the money of the people before it was granted, though it might not be used for the purpose of corrupting their representatives, deserved death. Fie was reminded that he, too, when in office, had granted pensions, to which he replied, "It is true, and here is a list of them: you will find there the names of General Amherst, Sir Edward Hawke, and several others of the same nature—they were given as rewards for real services, and as encouragements to other gallant heroes. They were honourably earned in a different sort of campaign than those at Westminster; they were gained by actions full of danger to themselves, of glory and of benefit to this nation—not by corrupt votes of baseness and of destruction to their country. You will find no secret service there; and you will find that, when the warrior was recompensed, the member of parliament was left free. You will likewise find a pension of £1,500 a year to Lord Camden. I recommended his lordship to be chancellor; his public and private virtues were acknowledged by all; they made his station more precarious. I could not reasonably expect from him that he would quit the chief-justiceship of the common pleas, which he held for life, and put himself in the power of those who were not to be trusted, to be dismissed from the chancery perhaps the day after his appointment. The public has not been deceived by his conduct. My suspicions have been justified. His integrity has made him once more a poor and private man; he was dismissed for the opinion he gave in favour of the right of election in the people." Here the noble orator was interrupted by loud cries of "To the bar, to the bar," and Lord Marchmont moved that his words should be taken down. Chatham himself seconded this motion: "My words," he thundered forth in an indignant tone, "My words remain unretracted, unexplained, and reaffirmed. I desire to know whether I am condemned or acquitted, and whether I may still presume to hold up my head as high as the noble lord who moved to have my words taken down." Chatham paused for a reply, and none being given, he continued, "I will trust no sovereign in the world with the means of purchasing the liberties of the people. When I had the honour of being the confidential keeper of the king's intention, he assured me that he never intended to exceed the allowance which was made by parliament, and therefore, my lords, at a time when there are no marks of personal dissipation in the king—at a time when there are no marks of any considerable sums having been expended to procure the secrets of our enemies—that a request of an inquiry into the expenditure of the civil list should be refused, is to me most extraordinary. Does the King of England want to build a palace equal to his rank and dignity? Does he want to encourage the polite and useful arts? Does he mean to reward the hardy veteran who has defended his quarrel in many a rough campaign, whose salary does not equal that of some of your servants? Or does he mean, by drawing the purse-strings of his subjects, to spread corruption through the people, to procure a parliament, like a packed jury, ready to acquit his ministers at all adventures? I do not say, my lords, that corruption lies here, or that corruption lies there; but if any gentleman in England were to ask me whether I thought both houses of parliament were bribed, I should laugh in his face and say, 'Sir it is not so.'" Chatham concluded by saying that an inquiry into the state and expenditure of the civil list was proper, just, and expedient; and that a refusal of it would elicit ridicule and exhibit folly. Nevertheless the motion was negatived.





DEBATES ON AMERICA.

A petition was presented to parliament by the English merchants trading with America, representing that, in consequence of the duties and taxes, the discontents of the Americans, and their combinations to prevent the importation of goods from England, their trade had gone to ruin; and praying for the intervention of the legislature. In consequence of this, a bill was proposed by Lord North, to repeal all the American taxes and duties except tea. In proposing this repeal he censured the Revenue Act only as an inexpedient or unproductive impost, and not as an illegal or impolitic claim. The duty on tea, he said, was continued to maintain the right of taxing the Americans, and it could not be supposed that an impost of three pence per pound on an article from which one shilling was deducted when exported to America, would offend the colonists, unless they were determined upon a rebellion. Mr. Grenville, the parent of the Stamp Act, argued that he had at least acted systematically, and that in imposing the stamp duties he had reason to think that they would be paid. The succeeding ministry, he said, had repealed that act, but had re-affirmed the right of parliament to tax the colonies, by laying duties upon unwise and anti-commercial principles: duties which were far more odious to the colonies than his Stamp Act. His opinion was, therefore, that the ministers must now give up, or stand by the whole. A partial repeal, he added, will not do: the Americans would not rest satisfied with any thing short of the renunciation by parliament of the right to tax them in any way, either externally or internally. In this General Pownall coincided, and he proposed as an amendment, that the repeal should be extended to all articles, as the only way of quieting the colonies. This amendment was supported by General Conway, Colonel Barre, and Sir William Meredith, but it was rejected, and leave was given to bring in North's bill. A subsequent motion to repeal the duty on tea was also lost, and the act passed according to North's first proposal.





RELEASE OF WILKES.

On the 12th of April, the term of Wilkes's imprisonment having expired, he was set at liberty. He was no sooner freed from confinement than he recommenced his system of agitation. Everywhere he harangued on his sufferings, and declared that he was ready to die in the cause of liberty. He was considered a martyr by the populace, and in both houses he had his friends. On the 1st of May, the Earl of Chatham, after arranging his plan of attack with Temple, Rockingham, Shelburn, and others, stood up in the house of lords and presented a bill for reversing the adjudications of the house of commons, whereby John Wilkes, Esq. had been adjudged incapable of being elected a member to serve in this present parliament, and the freeholders of the county of Middlesex, had been deprived of one of their legal representatives. In descanting on this, Chatham declared that a violent outrage had been committed against everything dear and sacred to Englishmen. He then made some observations on the new state arithmetic by which Colonel Luttrel's 296 votes had been held to be a greater number than Wilkes's 1143! This, he said, was flying in the face of all law and freedom: a robbery of the liberty of freeholders; and making the birthrights of Englishmen a mere farce. He then represented Colonel Luttrell as sitting in the lap of John Wilkes, and the majority of the house as being turned into a state engine. He added, in conclusion, "I am afraid this measure originated too near the throne. I am sorry for it; but I hope his majesty will soon open his eyes, and see it in all its deformity." Lord Mansfield opposed the Earl of Chatham. He contended that the house had no right to interfere with the decisions of the commons; that those decisions were legal; that in consequence of previous votes and sentences, Wilkes was nobody in the eye of the law; and that, though the freeholders gave their votes, it was for the house of commons to judge as to the point of qualification. Lord Camden replied, that Lord Mansfield was delivering unconstitutional doctrines, and that Wilkes had been expelled in consequence of a secret influence which had said, "Mr. Wilkes shall not sit." He also asserted that the judgment of the commons on the Middlesex election was a worse wound in the constitution than any of those inflicted in the reign of Charles I., when the nation had no parliament; and he expressed a hope that if this bill should be rejected, the good sense and spirit of the people would persevere session after session, till the judgment of parliament should be revoked. The bill was rejected, and thirty-eight peers signed a protest.

When this bill was lost, the Earl of Chatham demanded that the house should be summoned on the 4th, as he had a motion to make of great importance relative to the king. On the day appointed, his lordship moved, "That the advice inducing his majesty to give the answer to the late address, remonstrance, and petition of the lord mayor, aldermen, and livery of London, was of a most dangerous tendency, inasmuch as thereby the exercise of the rights of the subject to petition the king for redress of grievances, to complain of violations of the freedom of election, to pray dissolution of parliament, and to point out malpractices in administration, to urge the removal of evil ministers, etc., had been indiscriminately checked with reprimand; and the afflicted citizens of London had heard from the throne itself, that the contents of their humble addresses could not but be considered by his majesty as disrespectful, injurious, etc." The noble lord said that an answer so harsh as this exceeded all precedent in the history of this country; that the very essence of the constitution not only permitted, but required petitioning; and that the Stuarts themselves never dared to prevent the practice. He then eulogized the lord mayor and the liverymen of London, and in conclusion, pronounced Colonel Luttrell as a mere nominee thrust in by the enemies of the law and constitution. The motion was negatived by a large majority.

GEORGE II. 1769-1771





AMERICAN AFFAIRS.

On the 1st of May, the opposition in the house of commons called for the correspondence of the American colonies, and subsequently Mr. Burke moved eight resolutions relating to the troubles in those colonies, and censuring the plan ministers were pursuing. The previous question was carried against the first of these resolutions, the second, third, and fourth were negatived, and the previous question was carried against the remainder. Similar resolutions were moved in the house of lords by the Duke of Richmond; but they were all negatived by a large majority. On the 14th, however, nothing daunted, the Earl of Chatham coupled the discontents of America with those in England and Ireland, and founded a motion on them for an address to dissolve the parliament. He moved, "That an humble address be presented to his majesty, most dutifully and earnestly beseeching him, that in the dangerous state wherein his kingdoms are involved, from the high dissatisfactions generally prevailing at home, and from the most alarming disorders which have unhappily manifested themselves in his American dominions, his majesty will, in his great wisdom and necessary care, to prevent more fatal mischiefs, be graciously pleased to take the recent and genuine sense of his people, by dissolving this present parliament, and calling, with all convenient dispatch, a new parliament." In his speech he declared that the house of commons had not the confidence of the people; and in speaking of the mode of reforming that assembly, he said, "Instead of depriving a county of its representatives, one or more members ought to be added to its representation, in order to counter-balance the weight of corrupt and venal boroughs." The house, however, would not listen to his arguments: a loud cry of "Question, question," was raised, and the motion was rudely negatived. But if Chatham was not listened to in parliament, he was venerated for his recent opposition to the measures of government by the people. On the same day, the common council of London carried a vote of thanks to him, for the zeal he had exhibited in support of their sacred privileges and the right of election; and also for his declaration that he would use his best endeavours to restore the house of commons to its purity, by shortening the duration of its term, and introducing a more equal representation.





RIOTS AT BOSTON.

While both houses of parliament were carrying on a wordy war, matters had assumed a more serious aspect in America. Committees had been appointed in nearly all the principal sea-ports of the colonies, to examine cargoes arriving from Great Britain, and to report to their constituents how far the act of association was carried into effect, or how far infringed Meetings of the association were regularly held at Faneuil Hall, Boston, and votes of censure were passed upon all who introduced or sold any of the prohibited goods. The names of such offenders were, indeed, regularly published in the newspapers, with comments appended to them, holding them up to the public as selfish slaves and traitors. A few, however, it would appear, were permitted to make a market, by selling the prohibited articles, which could only be purchased from their shops; and this becoming notorious, one Theophius Lillie, a tradesman at Boston, resolved to sell what was thus sold by others. In order to point him out as one whose shop was to be shunned, the mob placed a rude figure at his door, and a person named Richardson, either a friend or a servant of Lillies, attempted to remove the nuisance, and being defeated in his design by the mob, who pelted him with stones, he took up a loaded gun and fired upon his assailants from within doors. The shot killed a boy, who was forthwith recorded in the newspapers as the first martyr in the cause of liberty. He was, in truth, the first that was sacrificed, but the blow proceeded from the hand of a persecuted American, and not from the hand of an Englishman. It was not long, however, before the English were involved in quarrels with the Americans, which resulted in the loss of life. The boldness of the Bostonians seems daily to have increased after the above-mentioned incident. It was in vain that merchants implored even to keep the goods they had imported in store, as if bonded, until the duties in England should be repealed: they were compelled to send them back to those who had shipped them. At the same time, it was shrewdly suspected that several of the Bostonian leaders still imported and sold goods largely; or, at least, permitted goods to be imported in their vessels. The people of New York, indeed, taxed the Bostonians with unfair and selfish dealings, and renounced the non-importation agreement. This gave rise to mutual recrimination between these two states: the New Yorkers called the Bostonians pedlars, and the Bostonians said that the New Yorkers were no patriots. At the same time, the Bostonians were fierce in their hatred of the English government and its measures. If they acted with duplicity in the matter of trade, they were at least consistent in their denunciations against all connection with England. The soldiers quartered in Boston were subject to constant insults from them, and were continually interrupted in their duty. All classes conceived that as they had not been called in by the civil magistrates of the place, that their presence was illegal, and that every means employed to hasten their departure, or make their stay uncomfortable was laudable. Hence, no sentinel could stand in his place without being insulted; and it was too much to expect from human nature, that the soldiers should suffer continual insult without retorting upon theis adversaries. Some alleged that Colonel Dalrymple and his officers should have kept their men separate from the inhabitants; but this could not have been done, except by keeping them prisoners in their quarters, and by discontinuing the practice of mounting guard at the government offices. It was easy to foresee, therefore, that sooner or later disastrous consequences would ensue. And this was rendered more certain, because government had not sent a sufficient number of troops to keep the populace of Boston in awe. As soon as the arrival of troops at Boston was known at home, General Pownal had pointed out the error, stating that if they intended to govern the country by military force, they had not sent sufficient troops; and that if they did not intend this, they had sent too many. The people of Boston, he said, were set in array against the military; that though the sword was not drawn, it was ready to leap from the scabbard; and that though the word for action was not yet given, mischief was on tip-toe, and the slightest circumstance would set it on foot. These remarks were founded in truth. The Boston newspapers gave insertion to a fictitious narrative of a defeat of a body of soldiers by the people of New York, and to a series of fictions which represented the English troops as a set of poltroons who would quail before the sons of liberty. While these reflections were fresh in the minds of the soldiers, one of them was involved in a quarrel, and was beaten by several Bostonians, who were rope-makers belonging to the establishment of Mr. John Gray. Incensed at the ill-treatment he had received, twelve of his comrades returned with him to the spot and fell upon the rope-makers, and compelled them to take refuge in flight. This served as a prelude to a more serious conflict. Meetings were held by the mob, who decided upon attacking the soldiers, and driving them out of Boston. The day appointed for this was the 5th of March, and on the evening of that day parties from all quarters assembled, armed with sticks and clubs, and made an attack upon some of the troops in Dock-square. An officer appeared, who ordered the men to their bai—racks, and they with difficulty escaped thither. They were followed by the mob, who dared them to come out; and their rage increasing, the mob began to tear up the stalls of the market-place in Dock-square, and swore that they would attack the main-guard. Some peaceable citizens exerted themselves to allay their fury, and they had well nigh succeeded in persuading many of them to retire, when a tall man in a red cloak and white wig appeared among them, and incited them by a brief harangue to carry out their design. His discourse was followed by shouts of "To the main guard! To the main guard! We will destroy the soldiers!" The mob then separated into three divisions, each of which took separate roads. One of these divisions in their route passed by the Custom-house, and a boy pointing to the sentinel on duty there, asserted that he was the man who had knocked him down. A loud cry was instantly raised to kill him, and the sentinel loaded his gun by way of intimidating them. Nothing daunted, however, they first pelted him with every thing that came to hand, and then, seeing his reluctance to fire, closed upon him, and compelled him to retreat to the door of the Custom-house. He sought admittance, but those within were afraid of opening the door, and the sentinel then shouted for assistance to the main guard which was within hearing. A corporal and six privates were sent by Captain Preston to his rescue, while he followed at a short distance. Their guns were unloaded; but as they advanced, they found the mob increasing, and were pelted so pitilessly by them on every hand, and so grossly insulted by opprobrious language, that they loaded them and fixed on their bayonets. Still they were reluctant to fire; and when the mob pressed in upon them, they merely used their weapons to keep them off. At length a certain mulatto named Crispus Attucks, with others dressed like sailors, gave three cheers, hemmed in the soldiers, and struck at their muskets with clubs, exclaiming to those behind, "Come forward, they dare not fire; let us kill them, etc." Attucks aimed a blow at Captain Preston, who was begging the rioters to desist, and keeping his men quiet, and in doing so he not only hit the Captain on his arm, but struck down one of the men's muskets, and then seized his bayonet. Some persons behind Captain Preston now urged the soldiers to fire, and the private whose musket had been knocked out of his hand having recovered it, fired at the mulatto, who fell mortally wounded. The other soldiers now successively fired off their pieces, and three persons were killed, while others were wounded more or less dangerously. The mob retreated, but they re-collected in an adjoining street, with dreadful yells, and the drums beat to arms. It seemed as if a combat of the fiercest kind was about to take place; but certain persons who had been gliding about the mob, urging them on to acts of violence, now thought proper to persuade them to retire. The storm was hushed for that night; but early in the morning the mob again collected in large numbers. At the same time, the lieutenant-governor held a council, and the magistrates and chief citizens met in full assembly, and chose a committee. The committee soon waited upon the governor and council, and declared that nothing could restore peace to the town but the immediate removal of the troops. Colonel Dalrymple proposed that the 29th regiment, whose men had been engaged in the riot, should remove to Castle William, and that the 14th regiment should remain. This was reported to the assembly; but another deputation demanded the total and immediate removal of all the troops, as the only means of tranquillizing the town. The governor was told that he must not think the demand proceeded from a set of vagabonds, for that people of the best character were determined, that if the troops were not voluntarily removed, they should be expelled by force. A force of ten thousand men, it was stated, were at their beck, and these were determined to destroy the troops if not removed, albeit it might be called rebellion. The governor first flatly refused to accede to this demand; he then wavered in his determination, and finally he agreeded to divide the responsibility of removing them with Colonel Dalrymple and the members of the council, and the troops were ordered to march to Castle William. Thus successful the Bostonians grew more bold in their opposition to the English government. The newspapers represented the affair of the 5th of March as a deliberate murder on the part of the troops, and nothing was neglected to exasperate the public mind and perpetuate the memory of "the bloody and inhuman massacre." Yet when Captain Preston and his men were put upon their trials, American judges and a jury from among the citizens of Boston, were compelled to admit that they had acted only in self-defence. Their verdict was, that Captain Preston and six of the solders were not guilty, and that two, Montgomery, who shot Crispus Attucks, and Killroy, who was proved to have shot another man, were not guilty of murder but of manslaughter only. These two prayed the benefit of clergy, which was allowed, and each being burnt in the hand in open court, they were discharged like their comrades. In the course of the trial, Judge Lynde declared that the affair turned out to the disgrace of every person concerned against Captain Preston, and to the shame of the people of Boston in general.





THE PROROGATION OF PARLIAMENT.

News of the disturbances in Boston arrived before the close of this session; but hopes being entertained that the late bill would have the effect of conciliating the Americans, it was deemed proper to abstain from any investigation, lest it should relight the torch of discord. The session terminated on the 19th of May.





REMONSTRANCE OF BECKFORD TO THE KING.

The answer which the king had given to the good citizens of London at the presentation of their recent memorial had given them great umbrage, and on the 23rd of May, the lord mayor and some aldermen, with a numerous train, went again to St. James's with another petition, complaining of this answer. The address stated that it was, as well as the general acts of government, "against the clearest principles of the constitution, and the result of insidious attempts made by evil counsellors, to perplex, confound and shake the rights of the people." It concluded with a renewed demand for the dissolution of parliament, and the removal of the present ministers. The king replied that it was his duty to express dissatisfaction at their last address, and that his sentiments on the subject were still the same. It was anticipated that the deputation would not be very graciously received, and that the king would not retract his former sentiments. Hence a remonstrance had been prepared in the shape of a reply, and to the astonishment of the court, Beckford, instead of retiring with the usual etiquette from the royal presence, approached the throne, and thus addressed the king: "Most gracious sovereign, will your majesty be pleased so far to condescend, as to permit the mayor of your loyal city of London to declare in your royal presence, in behalf of his fellow-citizens, how much the bare apprehension of your majesty's displeasure would at all times affect their minds. The declaration of that displeasure has already filled them with inexpressible anxiety and with the deepest affliction. Permit me to assure your majesty, that your majesty has not in all your dominions any subjects more faithful, more dutiful, or more ready to sacrifice their lives and fortunes in the maintenance of the true honour and dignity of your crown. We do therefore, with the greatest humility and submission, most earnestly supplicate your majesty that you will not dismiss us from your presence, without expressing a more favourable opinion of your faithful citizens, and without some comfort, or at least some prospect of redress." Had the remonstrance stopped here, Beckford might have obtained the smiles of the king; but he continued: "Permit me, sire, to observe, that whoever has already dared, or shall hereafter endeavour by false insinuations and suggestions to alienate your majesty's affections from your loyal subjects in general, and from the city of London in particular, is an enemy to your majesty's person and family; a violator of the public peace, and a betrayer of our happy constitution, as it was established at the glorious Revolution." Beckford prayed for a reply, but none being given, the deputation withdrew. The king appears, indeed, to have been too angry to reply with courtesy, for he immediately issued orders, through the medium of the lord chamberlain, that lord mayors should in future confine themselves to delivering their papers, and not presume to make speeches. But if Beckford did not please the king, he gained great credit with the people for his conduct. The Earl of Chatham warmly applauded him for asserting the rights of the city with weight and spirit. On the other hand, the king increased his unpopularity by his conduct towards the deputation. The common council were so incensed, that they demurred about voting an address of congratulation on the birth of the Princess Elizabeth, which happened about this time. Wilkes in particular, who was made an alderman even while in the King's Bench, and who now wore the civic gown, opposed such an address, and when the good feelings of the citizens prevailed over their anger, and they voted an address, he did what he could to render it unpopular. The address, however, was presented in the usual form, and his majesty observed in reply, "that the city of London, entertaining such loyal sentiments, might always feel assured of his protection." A few days after this Beckford died, and the city voted that he should be honoured with a statue in Guildhall, and that the speech he had delivered to the king should be engraved on the pedestal. His death was considered a serious blow to the opposition, as no one could be found possessing the weight which he derived from his wealth and munificence, or who could supply his ardour and fearlessness.





PROSECUTION OF WOODFALL AND ALMON.

Almost every act which the government now committed tended only to excite the public clamour and indignation. During this summer it involved itself in new troubles, and exposed itself to fiercer attacks, by prosecuting the printers and publishers of Junius's Letters. In the month of June Woodfall was tried for printing in his newspaper, the "Public Advertiser," one of these letters, which was addressed to his majesty, and was considered a scandalous libel; and Almon was tried for selling a re-publication of it in the "London Museum." Almon was found guilty of publishing, and was sentenced to pay a fine of ten marks, and find security for his good behaviour for two years. Wood-fall was found "guilty of printing and publishing only" and in his case, the defendant moved to stay the entering of judgment on the verdict, while the attorney-general moved for a rule on the defendant, to show cause why the verdict should not be entered according to the legal import of the words. The attorney-general's motion was attended to first; and when the matter came to be argued in the court of King's Bench, Lord Mansfield, before whom both cases had been tried, went regularly through the whole evidence, as well as his own charge to the jury. After recapitulating the defence on the trial, his lordship remarked: "I directed the jury, that if they believed the innuendoes, as to persons and things, to have been properly filled up in the information, and to be the true meaning of the paper, and if they gave credit to the witnesses, they must find the defendant guilty. If the jury were obliged to determine whether the paper was in law a libel or not, or to judge whether it was criminal, or to what degree; or if they were to require proofs of a criminal intention—then this direction was wrong. I told them, as I have always told them before, that whether a libel or not, was a mere question of law arising out of the record, and that all the epithets inserted in the information were formal inferences of law. A general verdict of the jury finds only what the law implies from the fact, for that is scarcely possible to be produced: the law implies from the act of publication, a criminal intent." After some further remarks of minor importance his lordship continued: "The motion of the attorney-general divides itself into two parts; first, to fill up the finding of the jury with the usual words of reference, so as to connect the verdict with the information: the omission of these words, we are of opinion, is a technical mistake of the clerk, and may be now supplied. The second head of the argument is to omit the word 'only' in the entry of the verdict: this we are all of opinion cannot be done. The word 'only' must stand in the verdict; if this word was omitted, the verdict would then be, 'guilty of printing and publishing,' which is a general verdict of guilty; for there is no other charge in the information but printing and publishing, and that alone the jury had to inquire. We are all of opinion, that my direction to the jury is right and according to law; the positions contained in it never were doubted; it never has been, nor is it now complained of in this court. There clearly can be no judgment of acquittal, because the fact found by the jury is the only question they had to try; the single doubt that remains, is concerning the meaning of the word 'only.'" The court considering that the word "only" had been used in an ambiguous sense, ordered Woodfall a new trial on that ground; but when it came on, the attorney-general remarked that he had not the original newspaper by which he could prove the publication Thus terminated the second trial: the want of this was fatal to the cause.





DISPUTES RESPECTING FALKLAND ISLANDS.

During the summer and autumn of the present year the attention of government was absorbed by a subject, which at one time threatened a new war with France and Spain—this was the affair of the Falkland Islands.

The Falkland Islands are situate in the Southern Atlantic Ocean, off the extremity of the South American continent, and the eastern entrance to the Straits of Magellan. They consist of two larger islands called East and West Falkland, and a great number of isles and islets. By right, they certainly belonged to England. The discovery of them was made by Captain Hawkins in the reign of Elizabeth, who called them "Hawkins' Maiden Islands," and they were afterwards visited by Strong in 1689, who gave them their present name. Subsequently they were visited by the French, who in 1764 formed a settlement at Berkeley Sound, an excellent harbour on West Falkland. In the next year, Commodore Byron formed a counter settlement at Port Egmont on East Falkland. The Spaniards, who had neglected these islands and their resources, now took the alarm, and demanded their evacuation both from France and England, as territories belonging to them both by right of papal bulls, and degrees of latitude and longitude. The French abandoned their settlement, but the English refused to accede to the demand. Spain, dreading the power of England, was for the time compelled to give up the claim; but at length, in 1769, the domestic distractions of Great Britain, her ready acquiescence in the transfer of Corsica to France, and the encouragement of the French minister Choiseul, emboldened the Spanish court to revive its pretensions to these islands. An armament, consisting of several ships of war, provided with apparatus for a siege, sailed from Buenos Ayres, and in the month of June suddenly appeared off Port Egmont. The British commandant, Captain Farmer, knowing that the place could not sustain a siege, after a few shots, submitted to terms of capitulation. Contrary to all the rules of war, however, the Spanish commodore, in order to prevent the intelligence from arriving in England on an early day, or from being first related by English lips, enjoined Captain Farmer not to sail without his permission, and to ensure compliance, he even unshipped the rudder of his vessel, and kept it on shore for three weeks. This was an insult to the British flag not to be endured. As soon as the proceedings were known in England, all ranks were inflamed with resentment, and eagerly desired that the national honour, thus grossly violated should be avenged. Lord North prepared for the worst, by putting ships in commission ready for war. It was thought expedient, however, to avert war, if possible, by negociations, and Spain was ultimately induced to disavow the enterprise of the governor of Buenos Ayres, and to restore the island. At the same time it was either stipulated or understood, that the settlement should at a future period be abandoned by the English: an arrangement which, as will be seen, formed a subject of complaint in parliament against the ministry.





AFFAIRS OF AMERICA.

When the news arrived of the repeal of the taxes by the British parliament, the people of Boston were by no means thankful for that act. The retention of the duty on tea, it was said, did away with all its merits, as it proved the unalterable resolution of asserting the disputed right. As, however, they could not hope to keep up the whole of the non-importation agreement, it was resolved, in a meeting of merchants, to import every thing but tea. This resolve was also entered into by the Philadelphian merchants, and great efforts were made by the leaders of the movement, to induce the people to adhere strictly to this agreement, until the tea duty should be repealed. But most of the provinces were not desirous of persevering in the quarrel, and consequently renewed their commercial intercourse with the mother country: orders came over to England, indeed, to such an extent, that our exports to the colonies in this and the following year exceeded in amount what they had ever been before. Still the progress of a revolution was not impeded. There were many zealots in America, who could not rest satisfied while a connexion subsisted between England and her colonies, and who were still busied in sowing the seeds of discontent. Some such zealots existed in every colony, but it was in New England and in Virginia that that they were chiefly to be found. In the great southern province they were headed by Patrick Henry and Thomas Jefferson, and by their means the popular party in Virginia were led to deplore the massacre at Boston, and to uphold that city as a new Sparta and the seat of liberty. The assembly of Virginia, in a petition or remonstrance to his majesty, ventured to express their strong dissatisfaction at Lord North's imperfect Repeal Act, and their deep affliction at seeing that the pretension of the mother country to the right of taxing the colonies was persevered in by the retention of duty upon tea. They also criticised the conduct of Lord Bottetourt, their governor, and represented that no alliance was to be placed upon the good-will or moderation of those who managed the affairs of the mother country. All the houses of assembly, now re-opened, were, in truth, scarcely less difficult to manage than they had been the year before, and in almost every instance they were prorogued by the governors. In the assembly of Massachusets, especially, there were great commotions, arising partly from communications received from England, which represented that the state and conduct of the colony was likely to be submitted to the consideration of parliament in the present session, and partly from the dismissal of the provincial forces from Castle William, and the establishment of the royal troops in that fortress. It was suspected that measures were in train to reduce the province to a state of utter dependence on Great Britain, and they proceeded to prepare instructions for their agent in London, in order to prevent the blow. But before they proceeded to business the house made another attempt to obtain a removal of the seat of government to Boston; and having failed in this, they made a strong protest against their conduct being drawn into a precedent. Soon after this Mr. Hutchinson was appointed governor of the province; but the subject of the assembly's removal afforded matter of dispute in the remonstrances of the house at the opening of every session.





MEETING OF PARLIAMENT.

The king opened parliament on the 13th of November. The prominent part of his speech related to the Falkland Islands, a question that was still in abeyance. His majesty informed the lords and commons, that by an act of the governor of Buenos Ayres, in seizing one of his possessions by force, the honour of the crown and the rights of the people were deeply affected; and he called on them for advice and assistance. The addresses of both houses approved of the steps taken by his majesty, and assured him of their effectual support: to this end, supplies for the augmentation of the army and navy were cheerfully voted,—and in order to defray any extraordinary expenses, the land-tax was increased from three to four shillings in the pound.





DEBATE CONCERNING THE FALKLAND ISLANDS.

In the debate on the address, Lord North had said, that as the Spanish ambassador had thrown the responsibility upon the Governor of Buenos Ayres, it was proper that his Spanish majesty should be allowed time to disavow these proceedings. He had also endeavoured to show that the Falkland Islands were of little value to anybody, and not of sufficient importance to justify a war if it could be avoided. These sentiments ill accorded with the views of some in the lower house, in which they were uttered, and several, as Dowdeswell, Barré, Burke, Sir William Meredith, and Sir Charles Saunders, blamed the minister for putting forward the Governor of Buenos Ayres, instead of complaining of his master, the King of Spain; who must, they contended, have previously authorised his expedition against Port Egmont. Similar opinions appear to have been entertained in the house of lords, although the address passed there without any show of dissatisfaction. On the 20th of November, however, the Duke of Richmond gave notice that he would make a motion on the 22nd, on which day, therefore, the house was summoned. That day arrived, Richmond moved for an address, praying that the king would order that all papers received by the ministry between the 12th of September, 1769, and the 12th of September, 1770, touching hostilities commenced, or designed to be commenced, by the crown of Spain, or any of his officers, should be laid before parliament. In urging this demand, the duke said, that the affairs of the Falkland Islands was only one among many acts of aggression, and he asserted that while we were in want of seamen, three thousand, captured in trading ships by the Guarda-Costas, under pretence of smuggling, were rotting in Spanish prisons, or pining away in hopeless slavery in South America. The motion was opposed by Lords Weymouth and Hillsborough, who contended that the production of the papers called for, would embarrass a negociations now in good train that the Spanish government was entitled to respect and delicate management; and that the ministers were not wanting either in vigilance or vigour. The Duke of Richmond was supported by the Earl of Chatham, who, in a long and eloquent speech, showed the necessity of firmness on the part of the British cabinet;—accused the Spaniards of want of faith, and of being as mean and crafty as they are proud and insolent; and predicted that if ministers patched up an accommodation for the present, they would still have a Spanish war in six months. He concluded by charging the ministers with having destroyed all content and unanimity at home by a series of oppressive and unconstitutional measures; and with having delivered up the nation, defenceless, to a foreign enemy. He added this warning:—"Let me warn them of their danger. If they are forced into a war, they stand it at the hazard of their heads; if, by an ignominious compromise, they should stain the honour of the crown, or sacrifice the rights of the people, let them look to the consequences, and consider whether they will be able to walk the streets in safety."—The Duke of Manchester, the Marquess of Rockingham, the Earl of Shelburne, and Lord Lyttleton also supported the Duke of Richmond's motion, but it was nevertheless negatived by a large majority. On the same day, also, a similar motion was made and negatived in the house of commons; moreover, a few days later the Earl of Chatham moved that Captain Hunt, who had driven off a Spanish schooner from Port Egmont, before the armament arrived, should be ordered to attend the house; and when this was negatived, he moved an address to his majesty, praying that the house might be acquainted at what time reparation was first demanded from Spain, which likewise received a negation.





PARLIAMENTARY PROCEEDINGS OF THE LAW OF LIBEL.

The sentiments promulgated by Lord Mansfield on the law of libel, in the case of Woodfall, had created much discussion among the legal profession, and had met with much obloquy among the people. They were represented as an attempt to infringe the rights and powers of juries, and to reduce their verdicts to a mere echo of the opinions of judges, inasmuch as they were merely to inquire into the fact of printing and publishing, and not allowed to judge whether the matter in question was a libel or not On the 28th of November, Lord Chatham denounced this mode of directing juries from the bench, but Lord Mansfield justified it, and laid it down as an axiom, "that a libel, or not a libel, was a matter of law to be decided by the bench, and the question to be left to the jury was only the fact of printing and publishing." Mansfield demanded a call of the house for the 10th of December, and when that day arrived, he laid on the table a paper, drawn up with great care and precision, containing the unanimous opinion of the court of king's bench in Woodfall's case, in order that their lordships might, read or copy it as they pleased. Lord Camden inquired whether this paper was intended to be entered on the journals, and submitted to debate. Mansfield replied it was merely intended for the information of members, and he then suddenly moved an adjournment and quitted the house. On the next day, Camden considering the paper as a challenge to himself, endeavoured to provoke a discussion, by addressing six queries to the chief-justice, but Lord Mansfield declared that he would not answer interrogations, and the matter dropped.

In the house of commons, the power of filing ex-officio informations by the attorney-general in cases like Almon's, elicited the praises of Burke, on Junius as a writer, in these terms:—"How comes this Junius to have broken through the cobwebs of the law, and to have ranged uncontrolled, unpunished through the land? The myrmidons of the court have been long, and are still, pursuing him in vain. They will not spend their time upon me, or upon you, when the mighty boar of the forest, that has broke through all their toils, is before them. But what will all their efforts avail? No sooner has he wounded one than he strikes down another dead at his feet. For my own part, when I saw his attack upon the king, I own my blood ran cold. Not that he has not asserted many bold truths: yes, sir, there are in that composition many bold truths, by which a wise prince might profit. It was the rancour and venom with which I was struck. But while I expected from this daring flight his final ruin and fall, behold him rising still higher, and coming down souse upon both houses of parliament;—not content with carrying away our royal eagle in his pounces, and dashing him against a rock, he has laid you prostrate, and kings, lords, and commons, thus become but the sport of his fury." Soon after this Sergeant Glynn moved for a committee to inquire "into the constitutional power and duty of juries." His motion was opposed by Fox, and supported by Dunning, Wedderbume, Burke, and others. Fox opposed it because it was said that "the people complained of the perversion of law," and he laid himself open to the following severe remarks from the lips of Burke:—"That there should be found, he said, gentlemen who would annihilate the people, and acknowledge no other voice than that of this house, is to me, not at all surprising, because the conduct of the most violent sticklers for this doctrine has not deserved much applause or favour from them; but that they should have renounced reason and common sense so far as to maintain that the majority of this assembly is the only organ by which their sentiments can be expressed, is, to me, truly surprising. For where, in the name of wonder, should the house acquire the necessary knowledge or intelligence? Is it by turning these musty old volumes, or by rummaging these gaudy boxes which lie on your table? No! they contain none of these mysteries. How then are they to be explored? Is there any virtue or inspiration in these benches or cushions, by which they are to be communicated, or does the echo of these walls whisper the secret in your ears? No! but the echo of every other wall, the murmur of every stream, aye! the hoots and hisses of every street in the nation, ring it in your ears, and deafen you with their din. The people have a voice of their own, and it must, it will be, sooner or later heard: and I, as in duty bound, will always exert every nerve and every power of which I am master, to hasten the completion of so desirable an event." The motion was negatived.





QUARRELS BETWEEN THE LORDS AND COMMONS.

Ministers were still pressed by the opposition concerning the lingering negociations with Spain, and the incompleteness of their preparations for war. In the house of lords, the Duke of Manchester descanted in strong terms on the defenceless condition of Gibraltar, Minorca, and Jamaica. In the midst of his harangue Lord Gower desired that the house might be cleared of all persons except those who had a right to sit there. When motions like this, he said, were brought on by surprise, no one should be allowed to hear the debate except peers, inasmuch as in a crowded house, emissaries from the court of Spain and other powers might be present. He added that there was another reason why the house should be cleared. Persons, he said, had been admitted who took note of what was said, for he had in his pocket a paper which contained a speech recently made by a noble lord! This, he asserted, was contrary to a standing order, which standing order, No. 112, was produced and read. The Duke of Richmond and the Earl of Chatham warmly opposed such a step, but their voices were drowned by shouts of "Clear the house! Clear the house!" The Earl of Chatham, with eighteen peers, indignantly left the house, and the party who remained then insisted that all the members of the house of commons present should be turned out sans cérémonie! These members represented that they were there in the discharge of their duty, for that they were there attending with a bill. The bill was demanded, and they had no sooner delivered it, than they were hooted out of the house. A strong protest was made against these proceedings by members of both houses;—and on the same day, Mr. George Onslow moved in the lower house that it should be cleared—"peers and all." This motion was made merely from pique at the treatment of the commons by the lords, and not with a view of encouraging the notion that debates ought to be open, reported, and published. A better motion was made by Mr. Dunning, who moved for a committee "to inspect the journals of the house of lords of that day, as to what proceedings and resolutions were therein, with relation to the not permitting any persons to be present in any part of the said house during the sitting thereof." This motion was negatived; but no vote passed either in the house of lords or that of the commons could remove the stain which the ministers had brought upon their characters by these tumultuous proceedings, or allay the desire which the people entertained for the publication of parliamentary debates; and the opposition did what they could to render their conduct more odious than it really was The Earl of Chatham recommended that search should be made by the commons in the journals, and that a conference should be demanded with the lords. Acting upon this advice, Lord George Germaine moved in the house of commons for such a conference, but though he was ably supported by Lord George Cavendish, Burke, Dunning, and Barré, all of whom dealt in humour as well as argument, the motion was negatived. Lord Germaine then moved that the speaker should write to such eldest sons and heirs apparent of peers, king's sergeants, and masters in chancery, as were members, and to the attorney and solicitor-general, and request them to be in their places every day at two o'clock, to assist in carrying bills to the house of lords; but the only result of this motion was a duel between the mover and Governor Johnstone, in Hyde-park, in consequence of some remarks which the latter had made in the course of the debate.





CONVENTION WITH SPAIN.

As the sincerity of the Spanish government was doubted by the ministry before Christmas, it was deemed advisable to adjourn parliament to the latter end of January, in order to afford time for the development of circumstances, and to enable the cabinet to decide upon peace or war. Ministers seem, indeed, to have learned of late that the plan of paying deference to the Spanish court was not founded in wisdom, and they changed their policy. On the 21st of December a messenger was despatched to Spain to recall our ambassador, and to intimate to the English merchants and commanders of ships, that it would probably be expedient for them to leave that country. This conduct alarmed the Spanish court, but it is probable that the King of Spain would have decided upon war, had not his views been disappointed in another quarter. He had invited the King of France to co-operate with him, and the Duc de Choiseul, his minister, was favourable to the cause of Spain, but during the month of December Choiseul was disgraced and exiled, through the influence of Madame du Barry, the king's mistress, and he was succeeded by the Duke d'Aiguillon, who advocated peace. This had the effect of bringing the negociations to a close: Louis XV. wrote to the Spanish monarch with his own hand, that he would not have war, and instructions were immediately sent to London to Prince Masserano, the Spanish envoy, to accept the propositions offered by the British Cabinet.





CHANGES IN THE MINISTRY.

During the Christmas recess, ministers were employed in gaining converts from the ranks of the opposition, and in making arrangements to complete and strengthen the administration. Lord Weymouth having resigned the seals of secretary of state, they were given to Lord Sandwich, who was succeeded in his office of postmaster-general by the Honourable H. F. Thynne. Mr. Wedderburne, the pet of Chatham and the city, abandoned his friends, and became solicitor-general to the queen; while Thurlow was made attorney-general in the place of Mr. de Grey, who was created chief-justice of the common pleas. A chancellor was now also found in the person of the Hon. Henry Bathurst, who took the title of Baron Apsley. Lord Sandwich held the seals of secretary of state but for a few days. Having expressed a wish to be transferred to the admiralty, he was placed at the head of that board, instead of Sir Edward Hawke, and Lord Halifax succeeded him as secretary of state, giving up the privy seal to the Earl of Suffolk; Lord Rochford was removed to the southern department. Mr. Grenville had recently paid the great debt of nature, or he would have probably again come into office, but several of his friends were introduced into the ministry, by which it gained a considerable accession of talent.



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CHAPTER IV.

GEORGE III. 1771-1773


     Re-opening of Parliament..... Proceedings against
     Shoreham..... Resolutions respecting the Publication of
     Debates..... Committal of the Lord Mayor and Alderman Oliver
     to the Tower..... Contest between the City  and
     Legislature..... The question of the Middlesex Election.....
     The question of the Dissolution of Parliament..... The
     Session closed..... Release of the Lord Mayor and Alderman
     Oliver..... Education of the Prince of Wales..... City
     Petition to the King..... Disputes in the City..... Meeting
     of Parliament..... Debates on Subscription to the Thirty-
     nine Articles..... ecclesiastical Nullum Tempus Bill.....
     The case of Dr.  Nowell..... Test and Corporation Acts.....
     The Royal Marriage Act..... East India Affairs..... The
     Session closed..... Fate of the Queen of Denmark..... Death
     of the Princess Dowager of Wales..... Revolution in
     Sweden..... Partition of Poland..... Investigation of the
     Middlesex Election..... Changes in the Ministry..... The
     Meeting of Parliament..... East India Affairs.

A.D. 1771





RE-OPENING OF PARLIAMENT.

When the commons assembled on the 22nd of January, Lord North announced the happy termination of the dispute with Spain, and the intention of government to lay the convention which had just been signed before parliament. Lord Rochford imparted similar information to the lords: in both houses the question gave rise to warm discussion. In the lords the Duke of Manchester moved for all the information received by government touching the designs of Spain upon Falkland Island, and for all the papers passed during the negociations. Rochford moved an amendment, limiting the inquiry to the subject of Falkland Island, and Lord Sandwich moved another amendment, which the Duke of Richmond said would so narrow the motion as to deprive the house of all necessary information. These amendments were withdrawn, and the original motion of the Duke of Manchester agreed to; but even this did not satisfy the opposition. The Duke of Richmond next moved, in order to recommend this ignominious affair to further censure, that all the memorials or other papers which had passed between his majesty's ministers and the ministers of the King of France, relating to the seizure of Falkland Island by the Spaniards, should be laid before the house. Rochford said that he knew of no such papers, which assertion was questioned by the Earl of Chatham, inasmuch as the interference of France in the matter was a fact that could not be denied. The house, he said, ought never to take the word of a minister, and that the refusal of this motion showed that some transaction with France had passed, though perhaps not papers or memorials. The motion was negatived; but the question gave rise to still further discussion in both houses, of which little is known; as on the great field-day in the lords, all strangers were rigidly excluded. The Earl of Chatham moved on that day, that the following two questions should be referred to the judges:—1. Whether, in law, the imperial crown of the realm can hold any territories or possessions otherwise than in sovereignty? 2. Whether the declaration or instrument for restitution of Port Egmont, to be made by the Catholic king to his majesty, under a reservation of a disputed right of sovereignty, expressed in the very declaration or instrument stipulating such restitution, can be accepted or carried into execution, without derogating from the maxim of law touching the inherent and essential dignity of the crown of Great Britain? This motion was negatived; and subsequently the Duke of Newcastle moved for an address to the king, in approbation of the convention, and of the wise and moderate measures which had been employed to procure it; which was carried by a large majority. So far as parliament was concerned, the question of Falkland Island was, by this motion, set at rest; but out of doors it long continued to be a matter of dispute. One party maintained that the possession of Port Egmont was of the utmost importance to England, and that by the secret article, which it was said existed in the convention, implying that after all we were to give it up, the national honour had been meanly sacrificed. The caustic Junius and other writers took this side of the question. Another party, however, at the head of whom Dr. Johnson may be reckoned, endeavoured to demonstrate that the whole group was worth little or nothing, and that it would have been absurd to go to war about them. Both parties adopted exaggerated language to prove their propositions; but whether they were of any real value or not, it behoved England, according to state maxims, to resent the conduct of Spain, in treacherously falling upon her colony at Port Egmont in times of peace. No argument, indeed, could justify such an invasion of the dignity of England's crown and the rights of her subjects. But one thing seems certain arose from this affair; namely, that if the interests of the country were sacrificed by this convention, private individuals, at least, reaped great advantage therefrom. The sudden signing of it, when war was well nigh pronounced by the prime minister, gave rise to stockjobbing, and in the course of a few days large fortunes were made in Change-alley. This formed one of the most weighty charges brought by the opposition against ministers in the course of the debate. Colonel Barré, indeed, directly accused them of being implicated in these unworthy transactions. "A Frenchman," said he, "being in your secrets, has made nearly half a million of money by jobbing in your funds; and some of the highest among yourselves have been deeply concerned in the same scandalous traffic." In the course of the session this led to a bill for the more effectual prevention of stock-jobbing; but though it passed the commons, it does not appear to have obtained the notice of the lords.





PROCEEDINGS AGAINST SHOREHAM.

In consequence of a petition lodged against one Hugh Roberts, the returning officer of Shoreham, the public were at this time startled by strange disclosures of corruption in the elections for that borough. A select committee was appointed, according to Grenville's act, to determine a contested election, in which a candidate who had only thirty-seven votes had been declared duly elected, to the prejudice of a rival who had more than double that number. It appeared from the inquiry that the majority of the freeholders of this insignificant borough had formed themselves into an association, called "The Christian Club," for the ostensible purpose of promoting the cause of piety and charity. This, however, only served as a cloak for venality and corruption. These associated "Christians," sometimes performed a charitable act, in order to accredit their professions, but the bulk of the money which they received from their representatives found its way into their own pockets;—and this was no trifling sum. The borough was offered at elections to the highest bidder, and he who offered most was successful. In order to escape detection, the members of this club were bound to secrecy by solemn oaths, and by bonds with large penalties attached to them; and negociations with candidates were carried on by means of a select committee, who, under pretence of scruples of conscience, never voted themselves, but having sold the borough and received the money, directed the suffrages of the rest, and afterwards shared in the booty. Their hypocrisy, however, was brought to light by one in their own camp. At this election five candidates had offered themselves, and the secret committee were sent to treat with the bidders. The best offers were made by General Smith and Mr. Rumbold: the former offering £3000 in cash, and to build six hundred tons of shipping at Shoreham; and the latter offering £35 a man to all the freemen. The secret committee preferred Rumbold, but Roberts, the returning officer, preferred the General, and knowing that a large sum of money had been distributed among eighty-one of the majority, he considered them disqualified, and omitted them in his return. This formed the subject of the petition, and the facts being proved, a bill was brought in and carried, by which eighty-one freemen of Shoreham were disfranchised; and the Shoreham franchise was extended to all the freeholders of the neighbouring district, called the Rape of Bramber, who occupied tenements of the annual value of forty shillings. At the same time Roberts was reprimanded at the bar of the house by the speaker, for his assumption of illegal authority.





RESOLUTIONS RESPECTING THE PUBLICATION OF DEBATES.

Up to this period it had been held that to publish the debates of either house of parliament was a breach of privilege. The editors of periodicals had, indeed, endeavoured to evade the prohibition by publishing mutilated and occasionally invented speeches of honourable and noble lords, under fictitious names; but the people did not even obtain this doubtful information till after the discussion was over, and the matter in debate settled. The public, however, were now becoming more enlightened, and withal more curious, and these garbled and stale speeches did not satisfy them;—they longed for a full reporting newspaper, and the printers were encouraged by the general feeling to venture upon giving the proceedings in parliament from week to week, or from day to day, as they occurred. They were the more induced to take this step because the extent of the power of parliament to enforce this question of privilege had never been accurately defined. The letters of Junius, also, had a great effect in confirming them in their resolution: accordingly, during the Middlesex elections and the debates on the affairs of the Falkland Islands, the public were gratified with certain and immediate intelligence of what their representatives were doing. But this was not likely to be allowed by parliament without a struggle. The members of both houses had been strenuous in their endeavours to shut their doors in the face of the nation—to choke all attempts at publicity, and to seclude themselves as rigorously as a jury, and therefore the proprietors of these newly established papers, must have expected, sooner or later, to be disturbed in their occupations. On the 5th of February their anticipations were realized. Colonel George Onslow, now one of the lords of the treasury, denounced the insolence and wickedness of these proceedings, as tending to the destruction of all things to be venerated in our constitution; and, on the 26th of the same month, he moved:—"That it is an indignity to, and a breach of privilege of this house, for any person to presume to give in written or printed newspapers any account or minutes of debate, or other proceedings of this house, or any part thereof; and that upon discovery of the authors, printers, or publishers of any such written or printed newspaper, this house will proceed against the offenders with the utmost severity." The motion was opposed by Alderman Trecothick, who wished every man to hear what passed in the house; and by Burke, who in the course of his speech declared, that so long as an interest existed out of doors to examine the proceedings of parliament, so long would men be found to do what these printers had already done. It was also argued that the privilege enjoyed by constituents of knowing what is said and done by their representatives, is founded on the true principles of the constitution, and that falsehood and misrepresentation ought to be punished in a different manner from that proposed, inasmuch as it went to make the house of commons a secret tribunal. Onslow's motion, however, was carried, and two of the printers, Thompson and Wheble, were ordered to attend at the bar of the house. This order was not noticed, and the sergeant-at-arms was directed to take them into custody: they were not to be found; and another printer, Evans, who was ordered on the 1st of March to attend the house, treated the order with the same contempt. Colonel Onslow then moved for an address to the king, to issue a proclamation, offering a reward of fifty pounds for their apprehension, which was agreed to; and subsequently he denounced six more printers as guilty of the same enormities. Wheble was at length taken by another printer, and carried before Alderman Wilkes, who discharged him from custody, and made him enter into his own recognisance to prosecute the man who captured him at the Old Bailey sessions for false imprisonment or an illegal arrest. On the same day Thompson was also carried before Alderman Oliver, who followed the example of Wilkes, and discharged him. Four printers, out of the six last denounced by Onslow, attended at the bar of the house; a fifth [Woodfall] was already in custody in Newgate, by order of the house of lords, and the sixth, named Millar, refused to obey the summons. A messenger was sent to apprehend him, but Millar had a constable in readiness, and he gave the messenger into custody, and he was carried to Guildhall to answer for the assault. Wilkes, the sitting alderman, said he had finished the business of the day, and would not enter upon the case, and the messenger was then conveyed to the mansion-house. The lord mayor being indisposed, he was kept there for three hours, but in the evening, being attended by Wilkes and Oliver, he admitted the parties: the deputy sergeant-at-arms being also present. The printer having stated his complaint, the messenger was asked by what authority he had presumed to commit the assault? He produced his warrant, and the sergeant-at-arms then intimated that he was there by the speaker's order, not only to release the messenger, but to take Millar into custody. The magistrates, however, represented that by the city charters no caption could be made, east of Temple-bar, without the authority of the lord mayor; and while they released Millar, they would have committed the messenger to prison, had not bail been given for his appearance to answer for the alleged assault.





COMMITTAL OF THE LORD MAYOR AND ALDERMAN OLIVER TO THE TOWER.

The above transactions were reported to the commons by the sergeant-at-arms, and orders were issued for the lord mayor to attend in his place, and his clerk to bring up the mansion-house minute-book, in which the proceedings had been entered. Alderman Oliver was likewise ordered to attend in his place, while Wilkes was directed to appear at the bar of the house. The two members obeyed the summons, and boldly justified their conduct; but though they were ably supported by many members in the house, and though the public emphatically displayed their approbation of their conduct, they were committed to the Tower. As for Wilkes he defied the government, refusing to attend unless in his seat as member for Middlesex. Three several times he was summoned to attend, but he would not listen to it under any other conditions, and nothing remained but compulsion, which the ministers were afraid of using. His majesty, indeed, is expressly said to have asserted, that he would have nothing to do with him, and he was left to act with impunity. This confessed weakness brought the cabinet into utter contempt, for though ministers resorted to the trick of adjournment with regard to his non-appearance, all men saw that it was fear alone which prevented them from taking him into custody. And that they had reason to fear there can be no question, for had any attempt been made to compel his appearance, it would have revived all the uproar of the election questions, and brought him forward with tenfold powers of mischief, as the champion of the mob: and, even as it was, ministers had brought themselves, by the proceedings against the printers, into no very enviable position. Riots and tumults in the avenues of the house were the order of the day, and the life of Lord North was on one occasion brought into imminent danger. On the day that the lord mayor was committed, indeed, the tumult was so violent that the house was obliged to stop business for some hours, and it was in vain that magistrates and constables endeavoured to restore peace: it was only through the speeches of some of the more popular members, who left the house on purpose to address them, that the minds of the chafed multitude became tranquil. It was thought that Lord North would now resign, and a report had been made to that effect, but he declared that though he wished for retirement, he entertained no such design; that nothing but the king or the mob, who were near destroying him, could remove him; and that he was determined to weather out the storm. He ungraciously charged the minority with hiring the mob to destroy him; upon which Burke's brother, William, indignantly exclaimed, —"It is a falsehood, a most egregious falsehood; the minority are to a man persons of honour, who scorn such a resource. Such a charge could only emanate from a man hackneyed in indirect measures."





CONTEST BETWEEN THE CITY AND LEGISLATURE.

Another occasion of contest between the city and legislature arose from the introduction of a bill for enclosing and embanking a part of the river Thames, adjoining to Durham-yard. The city considering that their rights were about to be invaded were heard by counsel. They produced a grant by Henry VII. of all the soil and bed of the river, from Staines bridge to a spot near the Medway, and likewise a lease granted by them of a nook of the river near Vauxhall, for which they had received rent upwards of sixty years. On the part of the legislature, a charter of Charles II. was produced, in which he had reserved the bed of the river, by the acceptation of which, it was argued, that the city had forfeited that granted by Henry VII. It was also contended that the charter of Henry only extended to that part of the river which was within the city, and the lease at Vauxhall was, therefore, an encroachment. These arguments prevailed, the bill was passed, and a pile of buildings, called the Adelphi, was erected on the site, and disposed of by lottery. The disposal of them in this manner was to eke out the ways and means, and this mode of procuring money called forth the indignant denunciations of Mr. Burke and Colonel Barré, who stigmatized it as an iniquitous project to bribe the servants of the public; a use to which lotteries had been previously applied.





THE QUESTION OF THE MIDDLESEX ELECTION.

The question of the Middlesex election was again brought forward in the lords on the 30th of April, when; the Duke of Richmond moved for expunging the resolution adopted on the subject. The Earl of Chatham delivered a long speech on that occasion, which was forthwith published in the Public Advertiser. The orator appears to have been unanswered, but the motion was negatived.





THE QUESTION OF THE DISSOLUTION OF PARLIAMENT.

On the 1st of May, the Earl of Chatham moved for an address to the king to dissolve the present parliament at the end of the session, and to call a new one with all convenient dispatch. The speech, which he delivered in making this motion first drew a sad contrast between the state of the country at the time it was uttered, and the condition it was in only a few years before. He then descanted on the treaty of Fontainbleau; the late convention with Spain; the occurrences in St. George's Fields, which he called "murders;" on the affairs of America; and on the immense private debt contracted by the crown. "All these circumstances," he observed, "have justly alarmed the nation, and made them attentive to the operations of parliament. Hence the publication of the parliamentary debates. And where is the injury, if the members act upon honest principles? For a public assembly to be afraid of having their deliberations published is monstrous, and speaks for itself. No mortal can construe such a procedure to their advantage; and the practice of locking the doors is sufficient to open the eyes of the blind;—they must see that all is not well within. Not satisfied, however, with shutting the doors, the commons would overturn the liberty of the press. The printers had spirit and resisted. The irritated commons exalted their privilege above the laws of the land, and their servants acted illegally in the execution of their illegal orders. The magistrates of London undertook the cause of the printers, and the protection of the laws and of the city's franchises. The commons still proceeded with the same outrageous violence;—they called upon the magistrates to justify their conduct, and would not suffer them to be heard by counsel. These men, who had allowed the prostituted electors of Shoreham counsel to defend a bargain to sell their borough by auction, would not grant the same indulgence to the lord mayor of London, pleading for the laws of England, and the conscientious discharge of his duty. Accordingly they committed him to the tower for not violating his oath. The most sacred obligation of morality and religion they voted criminal, when it happened to stand in competition with their assumed privileges. Their next step was the act of a mob, and not of a parliament; I mean the expunging of the recognisance entered at Guildhall. We have heard of such violence committed by the French King; and it seems much better calculated for the latitude of Paris than of London. The people of this kingdom will never submit to such barefaced tyranny. They must see that it is time to rouse, when their own creatures dare to assume a power of stopping prosecutions by their vote, and consequently of resolving the law of the land into their will and pleasure. The imprudence, and indeed the absolute madness of these measures, demonstrates not the result of that assembly's calm, unbiassed deliberations, but the dictates of weak uninformed ministers, influenced by those who mislead their sovereign." Chatham then told the ministers that it was through their misconduct that Wilkes had become a person of consequence in the state, and twitted them with acknowledging him to be their lord and master, since while they had punished the chief magistrate of the city, they were compelled to allow him to act with impunity. On all these grounds, he said, it was that he moved for an address to the throne for the dissolution of parliament; a step which he considered might have the effect of restoring good humour and tranquillity on the one hand, and good government on the other. At the same time he expressed his doubts whether this would prove any thing more than a temporary and partial remedy, as the influence of the crown had become so enormous, that some stronger bulwark ought to be erected for the defence of the constitution. He concluded by stating that the act for septennial parliaments must be repealed, and by proclaiming himself a convert to triennial parliaments. The motion was negatived by seventy-two against twenty-three. In the house of commons, Alderman Sawbridge made a direct motion for shortening the duration of parliaments; a motion which, in spite of the large majorities against him, he renewed every session till his death. Out or doors, at this time, the question was very popular; the Rev. John Home, and Junius advocating it as the surest road to political perfection, and as the only means of preserving the substantial freedom of the constitution. It is probable, however, that Chatham only advocated this measure for the purpose of alarming ministers and increasing his popularity, for his views of parliamentary reform were never definite: he never had a fixed and settled purpose in the matter.





THE SESSION CLOSED.

This session ended on the eighth of May. In his speech from the throne, the king congratulated the houses on those exertions which had averted a war, and which enabled him to hope for the blessings of peace. He alluded to disturbances and groundless suspicions at home, and exhorted the members of both houses to use their best endeavours to repress them. It is manifest that ministers had lost much reputation during the session, but it seems clear that they were never firmer in their seats than they were at its close. The defection of Mr. Grenville's party added greatly to their strength, while it as greatly weakened the efforts of the opposition. In June the death of Lord Halifax made a vacancy in the cabinet, which was occupied by the Earl of Suffolk, while his place of lord privy seal was taken by the Duke of Grafton, whose restoration caused a great stir in the political world, and called forth the atrabilious rancour of Junius, who had prided himself on having driven the noble duke from office.





RELEASE OF THE LORD MAYOR AND ALDERMAN OLIVER.

All honour was paid to these captives during their confinement in the Tower. They were visited by nobles and members of the house of commons; the sheriffs waited upon them to express their disapprobation of all the proceedings against them; and at a meeting of the common-council the day after their commitment, a vote of thanks was passed to such members of the house of commons as had given them their support. The common-council also agreed to pay any law expenses that might occur, and to defray all the expenses of their tables while in confinement. On the 5th of March, they were brought by habeas corpus from the Tower, to Lord Chief-Justice de Gray's chambers, attended by a host of friends; but after hearing Sergeant Glynn and Mr Lee, he said that he could neither bail nor discharge them. They were then taken to Lord Mansfield's chambers, who expressed the same sentiments; stating that he could neither take bail nor discharge them while parliament was sitting. They were, therefore, carried back to the Tower, where they remained till the day the session closed, when they regained their liberty. In the mean time the printers remained unscathed. They had, indeed, obtained advantages almost equal to a victory, and there was little more to fear from the publication of the speeches of members of parliament. In the course of the debate Mr. Welbore Ellis moved that a secret committee of twenty-one members should be chosen by ballot, "to examine into the several facts and circumstances relative to the late obstructions to the executions of the order of the house, and to consider what further proceedings may be requisite to enforce a due obedience thereto." This was agreed to, and on the 30th of April the secret committee produced their report. The document consisted of a tedious deduction of facts and cases, which concluded with a recommendation to the house to consider whether it might not yet be expedient that Millar should be taken into custody by the sergeant-at-arms. Roars of laughter followed this impotent conclusion, and Burke increased the merriment of the house, by observing that the secret committee might be compared to an assembly of mice, who came to a resolution that their old enemy the cat should be tied up, to prevent her doing any further mischief, but forgot to say how this was to be effected. Nothing, therefore, was done, and from that period the parliamentary debates have been published without any disguise or obstruction: a practice which is considered to be essential to the effective working of the representative system, and one of the best safeguards of the constitution, inasmuch as it brings the opinions and acts of representatives under the notice of the lynx-eyed public, who regard their rights and liberties with too severe a jealousy to admit of their being invaded with impunity.





EDUCATION OF THE PRINCE OF WALES.

Before the rising of parliament there was much speculation afloat concerning the appointment of a governor and preceptors for the king's eldest son, Prince George. It was said that the king was at length "convinced of the error of his ways;" that is, he had become suspicious of the Tories, and was inclined to favour the Whigs. When the appointments were made, however, there was no display of any decided Whig tendency at court. The Earl of Holderness was made the young prince's governor, and Lord Mansfield's friend, Dr. Markham, Bishop of Chester, and the Rev. Cyril Jackson, were appointed preceptor and sub-preceptor. The plan of private education was severely censured at the time, as too narrow for the future sovereign of a free country: and it was argued that an education at one of the public schools would have proved more beneficial to the mind of the royal pupil, and to his future subjects. Lord Holderness, after a few years, resigned his trust, complaining that a secret and dangerous influence existed which was injurious to his authority. He was succeeded by Lord Bruce, who retained his office only a few days, and the next governor was the Duke of Montague, with Hurd, afterwards Bishop of Worcester, and the Rev. Mr. Arnold, as preceptor and sub-preceptor. During his education, common report spoke highly of the prince's quickness of apprehension, retentive memory, and general aptitude for acquiring the elegances of literature.





CITY PETITION TO THE KING.

During the recess, inflamed by the imprisonment of the lord mayor, the harangues of Wilkes, and other circumstances, the city drew up another strong petition and remonstrance. This petition, which was presented by order of the lord chamberlain, without the procession of liverymen, complained of the abitrary, illegal, and wicked proceedings of the house of commons in imprisoning the city magistrates and members, and in passing the Durham-yard Act: it concluded by praying the king to dissolve parliament, and to dismiss his present despotic ministers from his councils for ever His majesty replied, that he was always willing to lend an ear to well-founded complaints, and expressed his concern at seeing the citizens of London so misled and deluded as to renew a request with which he had already declared he would not comply.





DISPUTES IN THE CITY.

At this time, Wilkes, not satisfied with the alderman's gown, aspired to be sheriff. In this he was supported by Farringdon ward, and by other parts of the city, and the court taking alarm at the circumstance made use of all its influence to prevent his election. Their efforts were encouraged by dissensions among the city patriots, and by reports that Wilkes had offended, the lord mayor and several of the aldermen, and had involved himself in a quarrel with the Rev. John Home, one of the principal leaders of the people. Aldermen Plumbe and Kirkman, were opposed by the government party to Wilkes and Alderman Bull, and every thing was done to secure their election. An awkward mistake, however, frustrated all their endeavours. A letter was written by the celebrated ministerial manager, Mr. John Robinson, to Mr. Benjamin Smith of Cannon-street, informing him that Mr. Harley was to meet his ward in the course of the day, to urge them to support Plumbe and Kirkman, and entreating him to second the efforts of government by active exertions. This letter was sent by a messenger, but by a mistake he carried it to Mr. B. Smith, of Budge-row, who was friendly to the cause of Wilkes, and he instantly published it, together with an affidavit as to its authenticity: this had such an effect on the poll, that Wilkes and Bull were elected. Alderman Oliver had been induced to offer himself, and he was supported by the Rev. John Home. This led to a correspondence between the Rev. orator and Junius, in the course of which the frailties of Wilkes were laid before the public eye in all their deformity. Home accused him of having commissioned Sir Thomas Walpole to procure a pension of £1000 upon the Irish establishment; of having accepted a clandestine pension from the Rockingham administration; of not having commenced patriot until his wife's fortune was consumed; and of various other delinquencies committed both in England and France, which were very derogatory to his moral character. These accusations, however, came too late, and were, moreover, made in too bad a spirit to have any immediate effect on his popularity:—this he had now the means in his hands of increasing, and he turned his power to good account in this particular. Together with his colleague, he declared that as long as they were sheriffs, the military, which had been the custom, should not be allowed to attend the execution of criminals; and they gratified the people at the beginning of the session, by throwing open the doors and galleries of the Old Bailey, and forbidding the doorkeepers to receive money.

A.D. 1772





MEETING OF PARLIAMENT.

Parliament, contrary to usual custom did not meet till after the Christmas holidays. It met on the 21st of January, when the king opened it with a speech which afforded no subject for debate. Addresses were passed in both houses without a division. On the same day Sir John Mawbey obtained leave to bring in a bill for preventing "clandestine outlawries," of which nothing more is known. On the next day Alderman Sawbridge gave notice of moving for leave during the session to bring in a bill for shortening the duration of parliaments; and on the day following there was a debate about the prevailing scarcity, and the necessity of continuing the prohibition against the exportation of corn. Sir William Meredith moved on the same day, that no bill or clause of any bill should be permitted to pass the house, whereby capital punishments were decreed, unless the same should previously be referred to a committee of the whole house: a motion which passed unanimously, and was made a standing order. The first debate of consequence in the house took place on the 29th of January, when Mr. Buller informed the house, in a committee of supply, that his majesty expected they would vote a considerable augmentation to our naval force, as additional ships were required in the Levant, where Russia was carrying on a maritime war against Turkey; in the East Indies, where France began to manifest hostility; and in Jamaica and the West Indies. He moved that 25,000 men including 6664 marines should be maintained, and the motion was seconded by Captain Harvey. The augmentation was opposed by several members as too small if war was expected, and too large to be kept up in peace, and hints were thrown out by the opposition that ministers or the lords of the admiralty, either wanted more patronage at their disposal, or that something was concealed that made this great armament necessary. Mr. Buller's motion, however, was carried without a division.





DEBATES ON SUBSCRIPTION TO THE THIRTY-NINE ARTICLES.

The important subject of subscription to the thirty-nine articles of religion had long been discussed at public meetings, in the newspapers, and in pamphlets and other works, and during this session, on the 6th of February, a petition from about 240 of the clergy and many professors of civil law and physic, was presented to parliament, praying relief from subscription to these articles The document was thus worded:—"Your petitioners apprehend themselves to have certain rights and privileges which they hold of God alone, and of this kind is the exercise of their own reason and judgment. They conceive they are also warranted by those original principles of reformation from popery on which the church of England is constituted, to judge, in searching the scriptures, each man for himself, what may or may not be proved thereby. They find themselves, however, in a great measure precluded the enjoyment of this invaluable privilege, by the laws relative to subscription, whereby your petitioners are required to acknowledge certain articles and confessions of faith and doctrine, drawn up by fallible men, to be all and every one of them agreeable to the said scriptures. Your petitioners therefore pray that they may be relieved from such an imposition upon their judgment, and be restored to their undoubted right as Protestants, of interpreting scripture for themselves, without being bound by any human explanations thereof—holy scripture alone being acknowledged certain and sufficient for salvation." This petition was presented by Sir William Meredith, who said that he considered it as meriting the most serious attention of the house, as the grievance which affects the minds and consciences of men was more burtdensome than that which affects their property. It was inconsistent, he observed; with the liberality of the present age to oblige men to subscribe to the truth of articles which they could not believe; and he urged that such injunctions tended to establish, under religious authority, habits of prevarication and irreligion; were productive of great licentiousness in the church; and operated to the destruction of Christian charity. He affirmed that the removal of these shackles would give a strength to the established church which nothing could shake, and that no danger could arise from such a reformation while the hierarchy existed. He concluded with remarking that the oaths of allegiance and supremacy were quite enough for the security of the church and state.

The champion of the church on this occasion was Sir Robert Newdigate, member for the University of Oxford. Sir Robert considered the petition as praying to overturn the church of England, which he argued was only to be found in the thirty-nine articles and the Book of Common Prayer. He accused those clergymen who had signed it with possessing accomodating consciences; such consciences as had subverted the church in the last century. As for the house of commons, he maintained that it had no power to dispense with oaths, or to relieve those who had subscribed. Nay, it could not, he said, even receive the petition, since to comply with it would be a breach of the articles of union between England and Scotland, and since the king is bound by oath never to admit any alteration either in the liturgy or the articles. Mr. Hans Stanley, Mr. Fitzmorris, and Mr. Jenkinson were all of opinion that the house ought to show no countenance to such a petition, and other members were either facetious at the expense of the tender consciences of the dissenters, or furious against every section of that body. Mr. Charles Fox spoke for the church as by law established, and said that he considered that all the laws and statutes by which it had been guarded were very necessary for its preservation: at the same time he deprecated the practice of exacting subscription to the articles from mere boys. Soame Jenyns said that at Cambridge no subscription was required except upon taking a degree, when the parties might be supposed to have arrived at an age when they might think for themselves. Other members opposed the petition, on the ground that it would give a mortal wound to the church, and through the church to the state, since they were so closely united that if one perished the other must share its fate. It was also argued that the church had long been and was still in danger; that the parliament could not grant relief to the petitioners, it having no power to release from oaths once taken; and that even the king could not afford relief, he being bound by oath to preserve the church as by law established. Burke, who opposed the opposition, took a more comprehensive and enlightened view of the subject than most of the preceding speakers. He remarked, "If the dissenters, as an honourable gentleman has described them, have formerly risen from a 'whining, canting, snarling generation,' to be a body dreadful and ruinous to our establishments, let him call to mind the follies, the violences, the outrages, and persecutions that conjured up, very blamably, but very naturally, that same spirit ol retaliation. Let him recollect, along with the injuries, the services which dissenters have done to our church and to our state. If they have once destroyed, more than once they have saved them." Burke next observed that the church of England might alter her laws without changing her identity. He said that she professed no infallibility, and had always exercised the right of reforming her doctrine, discipline, and ceremonies, instancing as examples the change which she had made in the liturgy in the reign of Edward VI. and the reduction of her articles from forty-two to thirty-nine. The act of union, he maintained, had not rendered any further change possible. At the same time he contended that there was no great occasion for the change sought by the petitioners. "I will not enter," he said, "into the abstract merits of our articles and liturgy; perhaps there are some things in them which one would wish had not been there; and they are not without the marks and character of human frailty. But," he added, "it is not human frailty and imperfection, or even a considerable degree of them, that becomes a ground for alteration; for by no alteration will you get rid of those errors, however you may vary them." He then adverted to the inexpediency of these alterations, and the temper of the times. "If," said he, "you make this a season of religious alterations, depend upon it you will soon find it a season of religious tumults and wars.... These gentlemen complain of hardships. No considerable number shows discontent; but in order to give satisfaction to any considerable number of men, who come in so decent and constitutional a mode before us, let us examine a little what that hardship is. They want to be preferred clergymen of the church of England as by law established, but their consciences will not suffer them to conform to the doctrines and practices of that church; that is, they want to be teachers in a church to which they do not belong; it is an odd sort of hardship. They want to receive the emoluments appropriated for teaching one set of doctrines, whilst they are teaching another. A church in any legal sense is only a certain system of religious doctrines and practices, fixed and ascertained by some law; by the difference of which laws different churches, as different commonwealths, are made in various parts of the world; and the establishment is a tax laid by the same sovereign authority for payment of those who so teach and practise, For no legislature was ever so absurd as to tax its people to support men, but by some prescribed rule." Burke then warned the house against making a new door into the church for such gentlemen, as ten times their number might be driven out of it, and as it would be inexpedient to displease the clergy of England as a body, for the chance of obliging a few who were, or wanted to be, beneficed clergymen, and who probably were not agreed among themselves as to what required alteration. He concluded by showing, from the different opinions of churches on the canon of scripture itself, that men are as little likely to be unanimous on that point as on any other. He remarked, "The Bible is a vast collection of different treatises: a man who holds the divine authority of one may consider the other as merely human. What is his canon? The Jewish? St. Jerome's? that of the thirty-nine articles? Luther's? There are some who reject the Canticles; others six of the Epistles; the Apocalypse has even been suspected as heretical, and was doubted of for many ages, and by many great men. As these narrow the canon, others have enlarged it, by admitting St. Barnabas's Epistles, the Apostolic Constitutions, to say nothing of many other Gospels. Therefore to ascertain scripture you must have one article more; and you must define what that scripture is which you mean to teach. There are, I believe, very few who, when scripture is to be ascertained, do not see the absolute necessity of knowing what general doctrine a man draws from it, before he is sent down authorised by the state to teach it as pure doctrine, and receive a tenth of the produce of our lands. The scripture is not one summary of doctrine regularly digested, in which a man cannot mistake his way; it is a most venerable but multivarious collection of the records of divine economy; a collection of an infinite variety of cosmogony, theology, history, prophecy, psalmody, morality, apologue, allegory, legislation, ethics, carried through different books by different authors at different ages, for different ends and purposes. It is necessary to sort out what is intended for example, what only as narrative, what to be understood literally, what figuratively—where one precept is to be controlled and modified by another—what is used directly and what only as an argument ad hominem—what is temporary and what of perpetual obligation—what appropriated to our state, and to one set of men, and what the general duty of all Christians. If we do not get some security for this, we not only permit, but we actually pay for, all the dangerous fanaticism which can be produced to corrupt our people and to derange the public worship of the country." Lord North said that he hoped to have seen nothing in the petition to prevent him from recommending that it should be laid on the table. He, however, saw that it was repugnant to the act of union, and that if such indulgences were allowed, there would then be nothing to exclude a man from the church of England but popery. Any innovations in the forms prescribed, he added, would occasion such contentions in the nation, that neither poppy nor mandragora could restore it to its former repose. Mr. Dunning replied, and he argued that every good subject ought to be entitled to a chance of obtaining posts of profit and honour. It was by no means a principle of sound policy, he said, to narrow the means of access to emoluments. As to the quiet of the nation being disturbed by innovation, he could not see such could be the result from granting the prayer of the petition. He added, if the repose of the nation partook at all of the torpid state of insensibility which Lord North's mandragora had diffused through the house, the sooner it was broken the better; it was an alarming symptom, which, instead of betokening health, was the forerunner of destruction. The house divided at midnight, when the petition was rejected by a large majority.

GEORGE III. 1771-1773





ECCLESIASTICAL NULLUM TEMPUS BILL.

Another debate in which the clergy were concerned arose from a motion made by Mr. Henry Seymour, for leave to bring in a bill for securing estates against dormant claims of the church. It was argued that as the nullum tempus of the crown had been conceded in favour of the people, no reason existed why some limitation in this respect should not be set to ecclesiastical power. On the other hand it was contended that the power of reviving claims was necessary to protect the church from encroachments; and that while in the case of the crown it was an instrument in the hands of the strong to oppress the weak, in that of the church, it was a defence of the weak against the strong. The motion was rejected by 141 to 117.





THE CASE OF DR. NOWELL.

On the anniversary of the execution of King Charles, the 30th of January, Dr. Nowell preached a sermon before the house of commons. The speaker and four members only were present, and a motion of thanks and for printing the sermon was carried as a matter of course. When the sermon was printed, however, it was found to savour of the doctrines of passive obedience and the divine right of kings, and to contain principles in direct opposition to those which had placed the reigning family on the throne. This brought down a storm on the head of the preacher. Mr. Thomas Townshend moved that the sermon should be burned by the common hangman; and another member moved that all future sermons should be printed before the preachers received the thanks of the house. These motions were not carried, but on the motion of the Honourable Boyle Walsingham, it was voted that the thanks of the house to Dr. Nowell should be erased. In the course of the debate severe strictures were made upon the character of Charles I., and of that part of the liturgy which describes him as a blessed martyr; and this seems to have encouraged Mr. Montague soon afterwards to make a motion to repeal the act for observing the 30th of January as a holiday, or a day of prayer and fasting. Mr. Montague attacked the appointed form of prayer as blasphemous, inasmuch as it contains a parallel between Charles I. and our Saviour. But the motion was negatived by a majority of an 125 to 97.





TEST AND CORPORATION ACTS.

During the debates on the anti-subscription petition, many members on both sides of the house had acknowledged, that though it was just and reasonable to require subscription from persons entering the established church, it was nevertheless hard to demand it from dissenters and schoolmasters. Later in the season Sir Henry Houghton made a motion to relieve these from subscription, and from the operation of penal laws: in other words, for the repeal of the Test and Corporation Acts. This was strongly opposed by the high church party, who argued that such an exemption would open a road to heresy and infidelity, encourage schism, and tend to the overthrow of the church of England. The bill, however, was carried in the house of commons by a large majority; but it was thrown out in the lords, where it encountered the most violent opposition of the bench of bishops and the ministry.





THE ROYAL MARRIAGE ACT.

In the year 1771, the Duke of Cumberland had contracted a private marriage with Mrs. Horton, widow of Christopher Horton, Esq., a daughter of Lord Irnham, and sister of Colonel Luttrell. It was also generally believed, that his majesty's other brother, the Duke of Gloucester, had married the widow of the Earl of Waldegrave. This gave offence to their majesties, who prided themselves on the antiquity of the House of Brunswick, on the family of Guelph, and the "antique blood" of Este, from which they were equally descended. The blood of princes, they thought, would be contaminated by any admixture with less precious blood, and especially with that which could not substantiate its claim to pure nobility. Such blood, they imagined, could not be found in all England, but the families out of which the royal dukes had chosen their wives were especially deficient in aristocratic pretensions; the Luttrells being an undistinguished stock of Irish Protestants, and the Countess Dowager Waldegrave, the natural daughter of Sir Edward Walpole. Under these circumstances, the royal dukes were forbidden the court, and his majesty sent a message to both houses of parliament, importing that he thought it would be wise and expedient to render effectual, by some new provision, the right of the sovereign to approve all marriages in the royal family. In consequence of this message, a bill was brought into the house of lords, by which it was declared that no member of the royal family, being under twenty-five years of age, should marry without the king's consent; and that after attaining that age, they were at liberty, if the king refused his consent, to apply to the privy council, by announcing the name of the person they wished to espouse, and if, within a year, neither house of parliament should address the king against it, then the marriage might be legally solemnised. The bill further declared that all persons assisting in, or knowing of any intention in any member of the royal family to marry without fulfilling these ceremonies, and not disclosing it, incurred the penalties of a premunire. The bill encountered a violent opposition in the house of lords, but it was carried by a large majority, and then sent down to the commons. In the commons it was opposed with still greater violence: it being denounced by Burke and various speakers as cruel and oppressive, and as being calculated to extend the dangerous power of ministers and the limits of prerogative. The bill was, however, carried by a majority of forty members. In the house of lords, nineteen peers entered a long protest, declaring that if the bill passed into a law, it would, nevertheless, be void. The excitement out of doors on the subject was scarcely less violent than that within the house. It was said there, that the bill should be entitled "an act for encouraging fornication and adultery in the descendants of George, II." As for the Duke of Gloucester, in the course of the spring, he openly avowed his marriage with the widow of the late Earl of Waldegrave, and both brothers abstained from going to court for ten years, and lived as strangers to his majesty.





EAST INDIA AFFAIRS.

During the month of February, Lord North had called the attention of the house to the affairs of the East India Company, which were every day increasing in importance, and involving greater interests. In March, Mr. Sullivan, deputy chairman of the company, moved for leave to bring in a bill for the better regulation of its officers and concerns in India. The bill was brought in and read a second time, but it was then laid aside. In the course of the debates upon it—many charges and defences passed between certain members of the house and others that had acquired vast fortunes in India, and these accusations led to a secret committee of inquiry, which forthwith commenced its task: a task that was not completed during this session.





THE SESSION CLOSED.

This session closed on the 10th of June, when the king expressed his satisfaction at the temper and moderation displayed by the members during their sitting, and thanked them for the additional security which they had provided for the honour and welfare of his family: thanks which chiefly referred to the royal marriage act. The supplies voted for this year were £7,860,250; and the national debt amounted to £127,500,000. In the course of the session, it may be remarked, that the ancient and barbarous custom of peine forte et dure, by which felons refusing to plead, were stretched on their backs and pressed to death by heavy weights, was abolished by an act, which declared that all who acted thus contumaciously were to be adjudged guilty of the crimes laid to their charge. At the close of the session Lord North seemed firmly seated in office, and this conviction brought over many waverers, and time-servers to his side. Nevertheless, he was soon after doomed to lose the support of one of the best of his debaters, in the person of Charles Fox, who was suddenly converted to Whig principles, and who consequently resigned the admiralty.





FATE OF THE QUEEN OF DENMARK.

Carolina Matilda, the king's youngest sister, was married in her sixteenth year to Christian VII., king of Denmark. This monarch was addicted to licentious and degrading pleasures, and was a prince of weak intellect, irritable and capricious, open to flattery, and easily deceived by the crafty. Soon after his marriage he visited England, France, and Germany, where he might, if he had possessed intellect, have obtained such knowledge as would have made him a better man. He returned, however, to his dominions the same character as when he left it—vicious in his private life, and despotic in his rule. During his travels he had been accompanied by a physician named Struensee, and this man had acquired such an absolute ascendency over his mind, that he obtained the supreme direction of affairs, with a title of nobility. Struensee was endowed with considerable abilities, and was possessed of a handsome person and engaging manners. He appears to have ingratiated himself as much in the favour of the queen, as of the king, being allowed to converse with her in very familiar terms. Apart from this, however, there appears to have been no connection between the queen and the favourite. But Matilda was watched by unfriendly eyes. Juliana Maria, the queen-dowager, had from her first arrival taken a dislike to her, and this aversion was increased when she saw that Matilda, Struensee, and Brandt, a young nobleman, exercised complete authority over the imbecile monarch, and directed the affairs of government at their pleasure. The queen-dowager had numerous and powerful friends, and these were likewise incensed at seeing Struensee at the head of the government, and a strong party was formed against him; Juliana Maria being at the head of the faction. The queen, also, was an object of their malice from her supposed influence over the king, and her encouragement of a man who thus lorded it over the old nobility. By their intrigues they soon obtained an order from the king for her removal from Copenhagen, and for the apprehension of Struensee and Brandt: it being represented that they had plotted together and were about to depose him. It was on the night of the 16th of January that the faction put their conspiracy into execution. Struensee and Brandt were suddenly seized, cast into prison, and after undergoing the greatest indignities, were beheaded. At an early hour, also, the queen, who had just retired to rest from a masked ball, received a written order to remove instantly from Copenhagen. It was in vain that Matilda sought to see her husband: she was dragged half naked into a carriage, and driven to Cronborg castle, where she was immured with an English lady of her suite, and her infant daughter, the princess Louisa, whom she was then suckling. A project was set on foot to try her on a capital charge of adultery, for the purpose of rendering her offspring illegitimate, in order that Prince Frederic, son of the queen-dowager, might become presumptive heir to the throne. A secret commission had, indeed, found her guilty, and had pronounced a divorce, as a preparatory step to her trial on a capital charge. Matilda, however, was the sister of one of the greatest sovereigns of Europe, whose arm was to be dreaded, and the Danish court was compelled to agree that she should quit the kingdom, and live under the protection of his majesty of England. An English squadron repaired to Cronborg to receive her, but she was not allowed the consolation of bringing her infant daughter away with her. She was conveyed to the vessel in an agony of despair, and she sat on the deck with her eyes fixed on the walls of the castle where she had left her only earthly solace, till the darkness of night concealed them from her view. She was conveyed to the castle of Zell, in Hanover, where a cheap little court was provided for her; the expenses being paid out of the Hanoverian revenue, or out of the English privy purse. But her days of light-heartedness were over: her heart was stricken with grief which weighed her down. Portraits of her infant-son and daughter were procured, and these she hung in her chamber, where she would frequently talk to them, as though the images had been the originals—the shadows, the substance. She did not, however, long survive her misfortunes. She died at the age of twenty-four in the month of May 1775; less than three years after her release from Cronborg. Yet after all the machinations of the queen-dowager of Denmark, the son of the ill-fated queen afterwards ascended the throne: being first associated with his father Christian VII. as a sort of joint monarch. This, at least, proves that the king himself was convinced of the innocence of his unhappy consort.





DEATH OF THE PRINCESS DOWAGER OF WALES.

Before her daughter was hurled from the throne of Denmark, her mother, the Princess-dowager of Wales, was no more. She died suddenly on the 8th of February, in the fifty-fourth year of her age. Although she had endured much popular clamour, the accusations of her enemies were never satisfactorily substantiated. At all events she appears to have possessed many good qualities. It tends greatly to her honour that she gradually liquidated her husband's debts out of her own private income.





REVOLUTION IN SWEDEN.

In the beginning of this year a sudden revolution took place at Stockholm. About half a century before, the nobility of Sweden had limited the prerogative of the crown, and had erected themselves into an absolute and oppressive oligarchy. Since then the country had been split into two factions, which were called the Hats and Caps. Encouraged by this division, as well as by the venality of the aristocratical senate, Gustavus III. resolved to erect the old monarchical despotism. His plans were matured with extreme secrecy and precaution. The mass of the army was gained over to his cause; the affections of the brave people of Dalecarlia, who had established the dynasty of Gustavus Vasa, were secured; and the services of the citizens and burgher-guard of the capital were enlisted. All were ready, and the king, having assembled the troops within the walls of Stockholm, under the pretext of providing against an insurrection, then threw off the mask. He harangued the troops; telling them that he was about to save the nation from degradation and misery, to put an end to the insolence and venality of the nobles, and to restore the crown to its ancient splendour. The soldiers applauded; the senators were made prisoners; the obnoxious members of the secret committee of the states fled for their lives; the army, colleges, and citizens took the oath of allegiance in the absolute form; and the revolution was achieved. It was achieved gloriously; for not one drop of blood was shed. The states of the kingdom underwent no change—the council only was overturned, and the factions of the aristocracy, led on by family interests and supported by foreign influence, repressed.





PARTITION OF POLAND.

Sweden was more fortunate than Poland. At this time that country presented a melancholy aspect. It was torn by civil wars, harassed by religious discord, and wasted by the famine and the plague. But these were only the accessories to still greater misfortunes. Crippled by them, Poland had no power of resisting the spoilers who were now casting their eyes upon her as their prey. These spoilers were the rulers of Russia, Prussia, and Austria, whose armies entered the country under false pretences, in order to appropriate the fairest portion to themselves. And what made the condition of that unhappy country the more deplorable was, that she had not a single friend who could lend a willing ear to her call for aid. Turkey was at this period almost prostrate at the feet of Russia; Sweden and Denmark were engaged in revolutions of their own; Choiseul no longer directed the affairs of France, or was able to advocate war; and England was embarrassed by domestic commotions and the violent remonstrances of her rebellious colonies. It was in vain that the King of Poland published refutations to the claims of the co-partitioners, and in vain that they made an appeal to all the states that had ever guaranteed the integrity of the country. Before the spirit of Europe could be roused, violent hands were laid upon the kingdom, and the work was done. The three powers, indeed, proceeded to the dismemberment of Poland, with no other check or impediment than such as arose from their own clashing interests, where each one strove to obtain as much as they could. But the agreement was made marvellously quick. The treaty of partition was signed between the spoliators on the 2nd of August, in 1772, and it was followed in the month of September by declarations, manifestoes, and specifications of the territories which each of he powers was to possess Austria and Prussia claimed their portions as their rights; Russia represented that she was entitled to hers for expenses incurred in keeping Poland in order. All the powers agreed that it was to put an end to anarchy, and the frequent troubles of Poland, that induced them to take this step; and they asserted that it was their intention of placing the ancient constitution of Poland and the national liberties upon a sure foundation. But their assertions ill agreed with their actions: all the world knew their motives, and that it was self alone which made them take such deep interest in the affairs of Poland. Nay, their very manifestoes declared their real designs. Cities, towns, provinces, rivers, and Mountains were to be taken from her, and placed under their own fostering care. But then it was stated by them, this was only done out of mercy to the nation. Having limited their kingdom thus, they promised that they would discharge the Poles from all other debts, dues, and demands, and for ever respect the integrity of the remnant of their dominions. Thus preaching peace, though war was in their hearts, the three powers invited the Poles of all ranks and orders to put up their swords, and to banish the spirit of discord and delusion, in order that a diet legally assembled might co-operate with their imperial majesties and the King of Prussia in re-establishing tranquillity, and at the same time ratify, by public acts, the titles, pretensions, and claims of the three powers; and the partition agreed upon and effected. The diet met, and although for a long time they opposed the dismemberment of the country, yet they were overcome by large presents and larger promises. The king was more firm, but he was menaced with deposition, his family with ruin, and his capital with pillage, and he signed the fatal instrument. The territory taken and divided among them was almost the third part of Poland, and it comprised some of the richest provinces in the kingdom. Thus to Russia was assigned the greater part of Lithuania, with all the vast country between the livers Dwina and Dneister; to Prussia the whole of Pomeralia, part of Great Poland, the bishopric of Warmia, and the palatinates of Marienberg and Culm, with the complete command of the lower part of the Vistula; and to Austria the country along the left bank of the Vistula, from Vielicza down to the confluence of the river Viroz, the whole of the country called Red Russia, the palatinate of Belz, and a portion of the province of Volhynia. But even this did not satisfy the spoliators. The treaty was scarcely signed when Frederick extended the limits of his acquisitions in the neighbourhood of Thorn, and to the east of the Devenza, while Austria seized on Casimir, part of the palatinate of Lublin, and some lands lying on the right bank of the Bog. Were not these three powers actuated by a spirit of revenge and envy, as well as by a spirit of cupidity, in this spoliation of Poland? Prussia was formerly in a state of vassalage to that country; Russia once saw its capital and throne possessed by Poles; and Austria was indebted to a sovereign of this country for the preservation of its metropolis, if not for its very existence. Stanislaus could scarcely be persuaded that this dismemberment was intended to be perpetual; and when he was convinced of it, he addressed prayers and protests to France, Spain, and England, and to all the powers of Europe. These prayers and protests were useless; and yet it was the wisdom of the powers to vindicate his cause. Professor Heeren remarks:—"What were the consequences to Poland, in comparison with those which threatened the political system of Europe? The potentates themselves had begun its subversion. Politicians flatter ed themselves, indeed, and so did Frederick, that the balance of power would be upheld in the north by the nearly equal division; so fearfully had the error taken root, that this balance is to be sought in the material power of the state, and not in preserving the maxims of international law. What dismemberment could be illegal if this should be regarded as lawful? and what state could be more interested in maintaining the law of nations than Prussia—a state which was established by conquests piecemeal, and brought together by compacts and treaties of peace?" The dismemberment of Poland was in truth an outrage committed upon the law of nations. And this outrage was rendered tenfold more iniquitous by the new constitution imposed upon Poland. This constitution excluded all reform; perpetuated the elective monarchy with the liberum veto, the exorbitant privileges of the nobles, and every other inherent defect; and contracted the regal power, by appointing a co-operative council, and depriving the sovereign of more than half his patronage. The delegates who had been appointed to adjust the claims of the partitioning powers, and to settle this new constitution, long resisted these regulations, but their consent was finally extorted by threats, and a general diet was assembled which formally confirmed their acts. All things, therefore, were put into a proper train for future spoliation; nor did a long time elapse before another opportunity occurred of making inroads into the law of nations, and dissolving those ties which connect governing powers among themselves. The ambassadors of the three powers, indeed, continued to dictate to the council in which the executive power was vested, as they had done to the diet, and the king was only king in name. Some there were in the nation who dared to resist the spoliators, but they were soon compelled to leave the country with no fortune but their swords. Some of these afterwards fought under George Washington, in America, when the English colonies raised the standard of independence.





INVESTIGATION OF THE MIDDLESEX ELECTION.

During this year the dispute concerning the Middlesex election was revived in a new mode of investigation. An action was brought by Mr. Alderman Townshend against the collector of the land-tax for distraint in default of payment, which was refused, on the plea that Middlesex was not represented in parliament. Sergeant Glynn was retained for the plaintiff, and Mr. Wallace was employed for the defendant—the former of whom argued, that the county was not represented, and the latter of whom contented himself with producing the act of parliament under which the collector had acted. Lord Mansfield, in his charge to the jury, said, that the sole question for them to consider was, whether at the present time there was any legislative power in the county or not—if they thought there was, they must find for the defendant. The jury thought there was, and gave a verdict accordingly.





CHANGES IN THE MINISTRY.

During the month of August several changes occurred in the ministry which had a tendency to strengthen the administration. Lord Hillsborough resigned his post of secretary for the colonies and first lord of trade; the Earl of Harcourt succeeded Lord Townshend in Ireland, the latter being appointed master-general of the ordnance; General Conway obtained the government of Jersey, and was succeeded as lieutenant-general of the ordnance by Sir Jeffery Amherst; and Lord Stormont was sent as ambassador to Paris. Moreover, later in the year, Charles Fox, whose services were of value to the ministers, and who was in want of ministerial pay, again changed sides, and was made a lord of the treasury; while Mr. Jenkinson was created vice-treasurer of Ireland.





THE MEETING OF PARLIAMENT.

Parliament reassembled on the 26th of November. The speech of his majesty contained no topic of importance, and the addresses of both houses did little more than echo the speech. It was expected that some allusion would have been made in it to the partition of Poland, but not a word was said about that flagrant act, and the members who spoke on the addresses were equally silent upon the subject. Mr. Burke appears to have felt deeply concerning it, but he reserved his eloquence for a future period.





EAST INDIA AFFAIRS.

On the first clay of the session hostile language was uttered by the retainers of government in the commons against the East India Company, and Lord North moved for a secret committee of thirteen to examine certain points, independently of the committee appointed last session, which was carried. In the course of seven days a report was made by this secret committee, recommending a bill to prevent the company from sending out certain supervisors whom it had selected to settle matters in India. It was at once seen that such a bill was only a preparatory measure for the interference of government in the administration of India, and therefore it excited the warmest opposition of many members. Several of the directors, sitting in parliament, declared that the report was hurried, irregular, and unconstitutional; and Burke, who was a holder of East India stock, maintained that the proposed bill would be a violation of the company's charter, and the law of the land. "If," said he, "we suffer this bill to pass we shall become the East India Company; the treasury bench will be the buyers, and on this side we shall be the sellers. The senate will become an auction-room, and the speaker an auctioneer." The recommendation of the secret committee was, notwithstanding, adopted, and the bill was introduced.

During the progress of this bill, the East India directors petitioned against it, representing it as subversive of those rights and privileges which they held under their charter, which were purchased by their predecessors for a valuable consideration, and were confirmed to them by acts of parliament. The petition also complained of an erroneous calculation of expenses made by the committee, and stated that those of the commission would be defrayed by savings meditated, to the great benefit of the creditors. The petitioners, moreover, suggested that injurious consequences would arise from their being prohibited to transact their own affairs, in the want of means to fulfil their engagements with the public; claimed the benefit of the law; appealed to the faith of the nation for their chartered rights; and prayed to be heard by counsel. This latter prayer was granted, and it appeared from evidence that government had received nearly £2,000,000 annually from the company, while the company had received little more than six per cent, on their capital. The evidence given at the bar also served to establish the great delinquency of the company's servants, and the need that existed of their being subject to supervision. At the same time it did not show that the company of itself was competent to redress these abuses, and the question was, whether the incompetency of the company warranted the interposition of parliament. Ministers acknowledged it to be a stretch of authority, but they justified it on the plea of cogent necessity—a necessity which took precedence of all other law. The company's battle was fought in the commons by Burke, whose speech on this occasion attracted great attention. After observing that parliament took the state of the company's trade into consideration, in 1767 for the maintenance of the public faith and public credit; for the increase of its commerce and revenues, and for the security of its stockholders—a bargain with which the eyes of the house were dazzled—he thus descanted on the distress of the company and the iniquity of the bill:—"The distress of the company," said he, "arises from the improvidence of administration and the short-sightedness of parliament, in not forming for it a system of government suitable to its form and constitution. Or am I mistaken? Were the directors left without any effectual control over delinquent servants? Was the collection of the revenue left without any check? Was the tyranny of a double government, like our double cabinet, tolerated with a view of seeing the concerns of the company become an absolute chaos of disorder, and of giving to government a handle for seizing the territorial revenue? I know that this was the original scheme of administration, and I violently suspect that it never has been relinquished. If the ministry have no sinister view, if they do not mean by this unconstitutional step to extend the influence of the crown, they will now speak out, and explicitly declare their intentions: their silence may be justly construed into a confession of such a design, and they will thenceforth be considered as the determined enemies of the liberty of their country. God knows, that the places and pensions, and expectancies, furnished by the British establishment, are too powerful for the small remains of patriotism and public spirit that remain in our island. What then will become of us, if Bengal, if the Ganges, pour in a new tide of corruption? Should the evil genius of British liberty so ordain it, I fear this house will be so far from removing the corruption of the East, that it will be corrupted by it: I dread more from the infection of that place than I hope from the virtue of this house. Was it not the sudden plunder of the East that gave the final blow to the freedom of Borne? What reason have we to expect a better fate? I conjure you, by everything which man ought to hold sacred—I conjure you by the spirits of your forefathers, who so nobly fought and bled for the cause for which I now plead—I conjure you by what includes everything, by your country, not to yield to the temptations which the East, in the hands of the crown, holds out: not to sink into the gulf of corruption, and to drag after you your posterity and your country. I obtest heaven and earth, that in all places, and at all times, I have hitherto shoved by the gilded hand of corruption, and endeavoured to stem the torrent which threatens to overwhelm this land. On the whole, the bill is dangerous in itself, as being the first step towards the total invasion of the company's territories in Bengal; and should we admit the motives which lead to it to be good, yet such a step is dangerous as a precedent. I do not, however, deny that the house has power to pass it, but you have not the right. There is a perpetual confusion in gentlemen's ideas from inattention to this material distinction, from which, properly considered, it will appear that this bill is contrary to the eternal laws of right and wrong—laws that ought to bind all men, and, above all men, legislative assemblies." Notwithstanding Burke's eloquence, the bill was carried in the commons by an overwhelming majority, and it was also carried through the lords with little or no opposition. The two houses then adjourned for the Christmas recess.



chap05 (408K)



CHAPTER V.

GEORGE III. 1773-1775


     The Caribbs of St. Vincents..... Petition of Naval
     Officers..... Subscription to the Thirty-nine Articles.....
     Debates on  East  India   Measures..... The Session
     closed..... Proceedings in the City..... Continental
     Politics-Irish Affairs..... Disputes with the American
     Colonies..... Meeting of Parliament..... Early Measures in
     this Session..... The Bostonian Petition..... Parliamentary
     Proceedings against America..... Bill for the Administration
     of Canada..... Prorogation of Parliament..... Proceedings at
     Boston..... General Election..... Meeting of the New
     Parliament.

A.D. 1773





THE CARIBBS OF ST. VINCENTS.

Before the Christmas holidays, Alderman Trecothick mentioned in the house that the island of St. Vincent had been made a scene of iniquity and cruelty: our troops having committed against the Caribbs, a defenceless and innocent people, the most shocking barbarities. Other members spoke on the same subject, and said that the troops had been barbarously made to suffer even more evils than those they inflicted on the Indians. Papers were produced which seemed to prove that proper care had been taken of the troops, but on the re-assembling of parliament, a further inquiry was set on foot upon the subject. It appears that the Caribbs, who were in possession of the most fertile parts of the island, had not been mentioned when it was ceded to Great Britain; and that the British settlers wished them to exchange their districts for tracts which were said to be more appropriate to their occupations of hunting and fishing. This proposal was received by the Caribbs with indignation. They replied that they had held their lands independent of the King of France, and would still hold them independent of the King of England. The planters then submitted a plan to government for transporting this brave people to Africa, which plan met with approbation. The Caribbs, however, were passionately attached to their native plains, and hence determined on resistance. Two regiments were then dispatched from North America, to join others in the island, for the purpose of reducing them to subjection. Several skirmishes took place, but the rainy season and sickness, added to the difficulties of the country, prevented our troops from completing their subjugation. Such was the state of the island when Parliament met, and the account of these hostilities, in which detestable cruelties had been committed on both sides, was made the subject of animadversion. Motions concerning the cause of the war and the state of our troops were made by the opposition, but ministers negatived them with their usual majorities; and before the discussions were over, intelligence arrived, that the Caribbs had acknowledged themselves subject to the British crown, retaining their ancient customs in their intercourse with each other, and ceding certain districts to the British settlers. This put an end to all further debates on the question.





PETITION OF NAVAL OFFICERS.

On the 9th of February, a petition was presented by Lord Howe, from the captains of the navy, praying for a trifling increase of their half-pay. This was opposed by Lord North, who stated that the present state of the public finances put it out of his power to be liberal, and that by granting this petition a door would be open to similar claims. It was, however, so warmly defended by Lord Howe, and other members—some of whom ridiculed the idea that the finances of this great and opulent country were in so wretched a state as not to be able to afford the pittance of £6000 a year, for the relief of men to whom her power and glory were so much indebted—that the prayer of the petition was granted. A motion was carried by which the half-pay of naval officers was increased by the addition of two shillings a day.





SUBSCRIPTION TO THE THIRTY-NINE ARTICLES.

This subject again occupied the attention of parliament in this session. A bill, more generally conceived than the last, was brought into the commons for the relief of Protestant Dissenters. Upon this occasion the Wesleyan methodists, now a numerous and powerful body, made common cause with the church, and denounced any change or innovation in the Act of Toleration, as dangerous. Petitions were sent up to parliament by them against the relief prayed for by the dissenting body, although they were, in point of fact, themselves dissenters. Burke supported the bill, and his eloquence and powerful reasoning had a great effect upon the house. But his exertions this time were scarcely needed, for Lord North himself, and other ministers gave the bill their warmest support, and it passed the commons by large majorities. In the house of lords, it was strongly opposed, and rejected by a majority of 102 against 29. In the debate upon it, the bill was defended by the Earl of Chatham, who in his speech did not even spare the right reverend bench. In the debate, Dr. Drummond, Archbishop of York, had called the dissenting ministers "men of close ambition." In reply to this, Chatham observed:—"Whoever brought such a charge against them defamed them. The dissenting ministers are represented as men of close ambition. They are so in some respects. Their ambition is to keep close to the college of fishermen, not of cardinals; and to the doctrine of the inspired apostles, not to the decrees of interested and aspiring bishops. They contend for a spiritual creed and a spiritual worship: we have a Calvinistic creed, a Popish liturgy, and an Arminian clergy." At a later period of the session a motion was made in the commons by Sir William Meredith, for abolishing the subscription to the thirty-nine articles at the time of matriculation, but this was rejected.





DEBATES ON EAST INDIA MEASURES.

During the recess, the East India directors reduced their dividend to six per cent. This palliative, however, was of no avail, and they were obliged to pass a vote for applying to government for the loan of one million and a half to relieve them from their pecuniary difficulties. A petition to this effect was presented to parliament, and Lord North, after exculpating government from various insinuations regarding the annual payment of the company, moved a series of resolutions, tending to establish the grant of a loan as a matter of necessary policy, but not as a claim of right or justice. He proposed that £1,400,000 should be advanced, and that their dividends should be restricted to six per cent, till the whole was repaid, and afterwards to seven per cent, until their bond debt was reduced to £1,500,000. This passed without a division. At the same time, Lord North suggested some regulations as proper to prevent the recurrence of similar embarrassments, and to reform all abuses in the government of India. On a future day he moved that the company should be permitted to export tea to America free of all duty, which was accepted by the company as a great boon: they having at that time seventeen millions of pounds of tea in their warehouses in England. Finally, he proposed his grand plan for the regulation of their affairs, as well in India as in Europe. This plan provided that six directors should be elected annually, none holding their seats more than four years; that the stock for the qualification of an elector should be raised from five hundred to one thousand pounds, and possessed twelve months previous to an election; and that in lieu of the mayor's court at Calcutta, a new tribunal should be established, consisting of a chief justice and three puisne judges appointed by the crown, a superiority being also given to Bengal over all the other presidencies. These latter resolutions occasioned warm debates, and met with vehement opposition, but they were all eventually carried, and a bill framed on them passed through both houses with overwhelming majorities. From this time the affairs of India are generally regarded as being lodged securely in the hands of government.





THE SESSION CLOSED.

During this session, ministers seem to have carried their motions and plans with great facility. The opposition for the most part was tame and spiritless, whence Burke calls it,—"a tedious session." On one occasion, however, the harmony which prevailed in the cabinet, and between the two houses, was momentarily interrupted. The lords having taken upon themselves to make some amendments in a money bill, sent it again down to the commons, and they resenting this as an infringement of their rights, tossed it over the table, and kicked it out of the house as though it had been a foot-ball. This matter, however, was soon forgotten; and when his majesty put an end to the session, he expressed his satisfaction at the harmony which had subsisted during their deliberations, as well as at the zeal, assiduity, and perseverance which had been displayed. In his speech he regretted the continuance of the war between the Porte and Russia; declared he had a close friendship both with the czarina and sultan, but no engagements with either; applauded the relief and support given to the East India Company; and stated that the national debt had been somewhat reduced. But not one word was said about the fate of Poland.





PROCEEDINGS IN THE CITY.

During the month of May the Duke of Gloucester's wife was delivered of a daughter, and on this occasion, Wilkes moved at a court of common-council, that an humble address of congratulation should be presented to his majesty on the safe delivery, and the birth of a princess. This motion was supported by Sir Watkin Lewes, but other aldermen opposed it, not only on the ground that the king had never acknowledged the lady for his sister, but because it was unusual for the city to address the king, except for the issue of his immediate heir. Earlier in the year, indeed, the queen had been delivered of another son, Augustus Frederic, the late duke of Sussex, and no mention had then been made of an address, and therefore to have presented one on this occasion, would have been invidious, if not indelicate. This motion, therefore, proved abortive. Wilkes, however, with his friend Oliver, succeeded in obtaining from the court of alderman a resolution "that a frequent appeal to the people by short parliaments was their undoubted right, as well as the only means of obtaining a real representation;" and the livery not only passed a similar resolution, but proposed it as a test for the city candidates at a future election. Another strong petition and remonstrance on the old grievances, the Middlesex election, the imprisonment of the lord mayor, etc., and praying for a dissolution of parliament, and a change of ministers, was got up in the city and presented to the king, by the lord mayor, Sergeant Glynn, Alderman Bull, and others of the city officers, on the 26th of March. Before the citizens were introduced to his majesty, they were given to understand that they would not be allowed the honour of kissing his hand, and when it was presented, the king sternly told them, that their petition was so void of foundation, and conceived in such disrespectful terms, that he felt convinced the petitioners did not seriously imagine that its prayer could be complied with.





CONTINENTAL POLITICS.

While the cabinets of Petersburg, Vienna, and Berlin were occupied in dismembering Poland, and aggrandizing their dominions at the expense of that ill-fated country, France was making preparations to send a powerful fleet into the Baltic. This was evidently the forerunner of some ulterior design, although D'Aigullon, the prime minister of France, endeavoured to keep those designs from the public view. He was, however, unable to elude the vigilance, or to baffle the penetration of the British cabinet. After expatiating on the ambition of Russia, as well as the ties of honour and interest by which France was bound to assist Sweden, D'Aigullon was informed by Lord Stormont, the British ambassador, that, if France sent her ships into the Baltic, they would be followed by a British fleet. The presence of two fleets, he said, would have no more effect than a neutrality, and that, however the British cabinet might desire peace between England and France, it was impossible to foresee the consequences that might arise from accidental collision. This had some effect, for the squadron at Brest was countermanded; but soon after the French minister, in hopes of eluding observation, gave orders for the equipment of an armament at Toulon, under pretence of exercising the sailors of France in naval tactics. Discovering this, the British cabinet made vigorous demonstrations of resistance. The English ambassador was directed to declare that the objections made against a fleet of France occupying the Baltic, applied equally to the Mediterranean, and a memorial was presented to the French minister, accompanied by a demand that it should be laid before the king, and council. This was sufficient: the armament was countermanded and the sailors discharged.





IRISH AFFAIRS.

The spirit of disaffection was still rife in Ireland. The Earl of Harcourt having been appointed to the government, was at first received with great joy, but he soon found that his popularity was not sufficient to ensure obedience to the dictates of the British cabinet, or to repress the overflowings of human passion. The White Boys, and the Hearts of Steel, still exhibited a turbulent spirit, which nothing could allay or soothe. Nor was it among the populace alone that ill-feeling was displayed. When the Irish parliament met, the spirit of liberty was discerned in that assembly likewise. The speaker of the house of commons, in a speech to his excellency before the lords, expressed the inability of the country to endure any additional taxation, by reason of those commercial restrictions, which, he said, had fettered all its energies. The claim of commercial freedom was, indeed, warmly repeated in the official addresses of the speaker during the continuance of the government of this viceroy, and a spirit of jealousy also appeared in a refusal to admit foreign mercenaries, when the British troops were withdrawn to America, although the English government offered to defray all the expenses. A relaxation of the penal code, however, by which the condition of the Roman Catholics was improved, had the effect of lowering the angry feelings of the nation, and on the whole the government of the Earl of Harcourt is looked upon as having produced beneficial results to the country. Dr. Miller says, "The government of Lord Townshend had termininated the oligarchical administration: that of Lord Harcourt unfolded those germs of political energy, which were soon to expand themselves into national prosperity and importance."





DISPUTES WITH THE AMERICAN COLONIES.

The storm which had long been gathering in the horizon, was now gathering thick over our American colonies, and threatened ere long to pour out its fury throughout the whole length and breadth of the conn-try. It was now increased by the attempt of Lord North at taking the payment of the colonial judges and governors out of the hands of the houses of assembly. This the Americans declared was an attempt of the British government to impose its own arbitrary instruments upon them; to destroy the very essence of their charters and liberties, by making the judges and governors wholly independent of the people, and dependent on the crown. Resistance was therefore resolved upon. A series of protests were issued from the assembly of Boston, and the example was followed by all the assemblies throughout the colonies. For the purpose of making the opposition more effectual, a corresponding committee was established, with branches and ramifications, which reached nearly to every town and village throughout the colonies, and the effect of this great lever of the revolution was soon seen in a general combination of measures, a unanimity of language, and a general persecution of all those who were in favour of the British government. The movement, which had hitherto been slow in its progress, now took rapid strides, the celerity of which nothing could impede. The assembly of Boston, always in the van, next got up a manifesto, which treated the authority of the British parliament with contempt. This manifesto declared that the British parliament had no right to legislate for the colonies in any matter whatever; denounced the declaratory act recommended by Chatham, and passed in 1768, as an unjust assumption of a legislative power, without the consent of the colonists; and charged the British ministry with a design to complete a system of slavery begun in the house of commons. Copies of this manifesto were dispersed throughout the province of Massachusets, urging the people not to dose any longer, or to sit supinely, whilst the hand of oppression was plucking the choicest fruits from the tree of liberty. The people, however, seem to have considered it as too violent, for it was not responded to as the Bostonians expected it would have been, and they were compelled somewhat to retrace their steps, They apologized to the British government for having gone thus far, throwing the whole blame on their new governor, Mr. Hutchinson, who, they said, had provoked them to act thus by his intemperate conduct. At the same time they stated that they were faithful subjects of his majesty, and that they conceived themselves happy in their connexion with Great Britain! At this critical moment, however, when the minds of the people of New England wavered, and when the southern and middle countries were comparatively peaceable, communications were received from England, which set the whole country in commotion.

During the course of the disputes, certain letters had been written by Mr. Hutchinson, Mr. Oliver, lieutenant-governor., and others, to the home government, reflecting strongly on the character of the colonial opposition, and recommending the adoption of coercive measures, and a material change in the system of the government of the colonies. These letters were strictly confidential, but they were purloined from the office in which they were deposited by some person favourable to American interests, and placed in the hands of Dr. Franklin, agent for the province of Massachusets. Franklin thought proper to transmit these letters to a friend in that province, with a strict injunction against their being printed, as he had given a promise to the friend who had furnished him with them to that effect. Their contents, however, soon became known, and the legislative assembly obliged Franklin's correspondent to produce them, and having resolved that the tendency of them was to overthrow the constitution and to introduce arbitrary power into the province, the house of assembly drew up a petition to the king, charging the governor with betraying his trust, and slandering the people under his government; declaring him an enemy to the colony; and praying for the instant dismissal of both Hutchinson and Oliver, the governor and deputy-governor of the province. Copies of this petition, and also of the letters which gave rise to it, were soon scattered over all the continent, from the Lawrence to the Mississippi, and from the shores of the Atlantic to the regions of the far west; and their effects soon became manifest. Long before this, in 1772, the people of Rhode Island had insulted the British flag by boarding, capturing, and burning a British ship of war, and though government had offered a large reward with pardon, if claimed by an accomplice, for the discovery and apprehension of any persons engaged in the outrage, all the offenders had escaped with impunity. Opposition to the British government, now that the letters transmitted by Franklin had inflamed the public mind, grew more bold. In the midst of the discontent two ships arrived at Boston with the cargoes of tea which Lord North had allowed the East India Company to export duty free. Anterior to their arrival, meetings had been held and mobs raised, to terrify the consignees into an engagement not to receive the tea, and when they arrived, another meeting of the inhabitants of Boston and all the neighbouring towns was called to prevent its being landed. At this meeting a resolution was passed, asserting among other things that the tea ships were sent for the purpose of enslaving and poisoning all free-born Americans, and that the tea which came charged with a duty to be paid in America should not be landed, but be sent back in the same bottoms. The consignees offered to store the teas till they could receive further instructions; but this moderate offer was rejected with disdain, and a strong body of Bostonians armed with muskets, rifles, swords, and cutlasses, were sent down to Griffin's wharf to watch the ships, in order to prevent a single leaf from being put on shore. This was on the 30th of November, and on the 14th of December, two other ships freighted by the East India Company having arrived, another crowded meeting was held at the Old South Meeting-house, whence orders were sent to the captains of the tea vessels to return without delay. The answer received was, that the collector could not give any clearance until the vessels had discharged their cargoes, and, indeed, if the captains had been disposed to return, they could not have complied with the demand, as the governor had ordered that they should not be allowed to pass the forts without a permit signed by himself, and Admiral Montague had sent two ships of war to guard all the passages out of the harbour. The meeting waited for the reply, and when it arrived, a question was put whether those assembled would abide by their former resolutions respecting the tea, which was carried unanimously. A message was then sent to desire the governor to give the ships a permit to depart, and he replied that he could not consistently with his duty to the king give any pass unless the vessels were properly qualified from the custom-house. The meeting was about to consider this reply, when a a person disguised like an Indian, began uttering the war-whoop in tones so natural that he might have been taken for a real savage. His yell was succeeded by the cry of "A mob, a mob!" and some, more cautious than the rest, moved that the meeting should be dissolved. This was done, and many of the people ran at once from the old meeting-house to Griffin's wharf, where they were met by a number of men disguised as Mohawk Indians, and by a still greater number of skippers, sailors, boatmen, and men of colour. In overwhelming force these boarded the ships, split open the tea-chests, and having emptied their contents into the sea, returned, without being discovered, to their homes. The moment of excitement was followed by trembling anxiety. The Bostonians now began to tremble for their charter, their property, and their trade; and, as before, some attempted to throw all the blame upon the conduct of their governor. As for the governor himself, he represented to the ministry at home, that it was out of his power to prevent the destruction of the tea, without yielding to unreasonable demands, and thereby rendering the authority of government null and void. It is to be regretted that the assembly took part with the mob, and thereby accelerated the fearful consummation of their violent proceedings. As if animated by the popular proceedings they renewed their personal contests with the governor, and even proceeded so far as to vote articles of impeachment against the chief justice, Peter Oliver, for a design of introducing a partial, arbitrary, and corrupt administration of the laws, he having declined to receive the annual grant of the assembly, and accepted a stipend from his majesty. The message conveying this resolution was indignantly rejected by the governor, who disclaimed all power of determining on such cases, and as the house persevered in attempting to force it on him under a different form, he dissolved the assembly.

A.D. 1774





MEETING OF PARLIAMENT.

Parliament met on the 13th of January. At that time little was known of the disturbances in America, and the king's speech represented the state of foreign affairs to be in such a quiescent state, that the legislature would have ample time to attend to the improvement of our domestic concerns, and to the prosecution of measures immediately connected with the revenue and commerce of the kingdom. The deteriorated state of the gold coin was especially mentioned as an object requiring attention. The addresses were voted in both houses with little or no debate.





EARLY MEASURES IN THIS SESSION.

In the early part of this session public attention was excited by the proceedings of the house of commons, respecting a libel on their speaker, which had been published in the Public Advertiser. The house issued an order for Woodfall the printer to attend at the bar, which was obeyed without hesitation, and being interrogated as to the author, he gave the name of the Rev. John Home. Woodfall was then ordered into the custody of the sergeant-at-arms, and Home was then brought before the house. Home inquired whether Woodfall's declaration was to be taken as evidence, or as the charge against him, and being told that it constituted the charge, he pleaded "Not guilty," as in an ordinary court. The house was embarrassed; Wood-fall was again called in and confronted with Home, but as he was implicated in the guilt of the publication, his evidence was not sufficient to warrant conviction. Three of Woodfall's printers were next brought before the house; but they failed in proving the accusation, and Home was set at liberty.

The first parliamentary struggle in this session, took place on the ministerial motion for 20,000 seamen, as in the preceding year. The opposition argued that it was absurd to talk of peace and yet keep up such an establishment, and they called upon ministers to state how they had disposed of the supplies voted in the last meeting of parliament for the navy. This motion, however, was carried without a division. On the part of the opposition two motions were made and negatived: the first being that of Alderman Sawbridge for shortening the duration of parliament, and the second, that of Sir George Saville, concerning the Middlesex election, and the infringement of the rights of electors. Ministers, however, were not so successful in their opposition to a motion made by Sir Edward Stanley, to bring in a bill for rendering Grenville's Controverted Election Act perpetual. Experience seems to have proved its utility, and though Lord North appeared at the head of the opposition, many of his friends forsook him on this occasion, and the bill was passed by a large majority, and received the royal assent before the end of the session. From this period disputed elections have been tried with the same scrupulousness and solemnity as any other titles: while previous to it, as Dr. Johnson observed, "the nation was insulted with a mock election, and the parliament was filled with spurious representatives."





THE BOSTONIAN PETITION.

It has been seen that the assembly of Boston had voted a petition to the king for the removal of their governor and deputy governor. This petition, together with attested copies of the letters, were transmitted to Dr. Franklin, the agent for the colony, or house of representatives of Massachusets. These were delivered by Franklin to Lord Dartmouth, who presented them to the king, and his majesty signified his pleasure that they should be laid before the privy council.

In the mean time the affair had been the cause of bloodshed. Mr. Whately, secretary to the treasury, to whom the letters had been originally addressed, had recently died, and a sharp correspondence took place between his brother, a banker in Lombard-street, and Mr. John Temple, lieutenant-governor of New Hampshire: the former wishing to avoid the charge of giving up the documents, and the latter that of purloining them. The dispute ran so high that a duel was the consequence, in which Mr. Whately was dangerously wounded. The event caused great excitement, and Dr. Franklin wrote and published a letter in the Public Advertiser, in which he declared that neither Mr. Whately nor Mr. Temple had any thing to do with the letters, and that both of them were totally ignorant of the transaction. His words are:—"I think it incumbent on me to declare, for the prevention of further mischief, that I alone am the person who obtained and transmitted to Boston the letters in question. Mr. Whately could not communicate them, because they were never in his possession; and for the same reason, they could not have been taken from him by Mr. Temple. They were not of the nature of private letters between friends; they were written by public officers to persons in public stations, on public affairs, and intended to procure public measures; they were, therefore, handed to other public persons, who might be influenced by them to produce those measures; their tendency was to incense the mother country against her colonies, and by the steps recommended to widen the breach, which they effected. The chief caution expressed with regard to privacy was, to keep their contents from the colony agents, who, the writers apprehended, might return them, or copies of them, to America. That apprehension was, it seems, well founded; for the first agent who laid his hands on them thought it his duty to transmit them to his constituents."

It was on the 29th of January that the subject of the Bostonian petition was brought before the privy council. On that day, Franklin, with Mr. Dunning as council, attended to support the petition, and Mr. Wedderburne, the solicitor-general, attended as counsel for the governor. The counsel for the Assembly of Boston was first heard, and he endeavoured to substantiate their complaints, by exhibiting the letters which had been published, and drawing an inference from them, that the writers were unworthy of confidence, either from the government or the province of Massachusets. He called for the instant dismissal of an officer so hostile to the rights and liberties of his countrymen. He argued that the man who declared that "there must be an abridgment of English liberty in the colonies," was justly charged with making wicked and injurious representations, designed to influence the ministry and the nation, and to excite jealousies in the breast of the king against his faithful subjects.

Mr. Dunning was replied to by Mr. Wedderburne, whose naturally sharp tongue was on this occasion rendered still sharper by his friendship for Mr. Whately who was lying between life and death. After reviewing the arguments of the opposite counsel, Wedderburne directed himself to an inculpation of the assembly and people of Massachusets; in the course of which he attacked Dr. Franklin in a strain of bitter invective, on the ground of having violated private confidence in the disclosure of the letters. He observed, "These could not have come to Dr. Franklin by fair means; the writers did not give them to him, nor yet did the deceased correspondent, who from our intimacy, would otherwise have told me of it. Nothing then will acquit Dr. Franklin of the charge of obtaining them by fraudulent or corrupt means, for the most malignant of purposes, unless he stole them from the person who stole them.... I hope, my lords, you will mark and brand the man for the honour of this country, of Europe, and of mankind. Private correspondence has hitherto been held sacred in times of the greatest party rage, not only in politics, but religion;—he has forfeited all the respect of societies and of men. Into what companies will he hereafter go with an unembarrassed face, or the honest intrepidity of virtue? Men will watch him with a jealous eye; they will hide their papers from him, and lock up their escrutoires; he will henceforth esteem it a libel to be called a man of letters; homo trium literarum! He not only took away the letters from one brother, but kept himself concealed till he nearly occasioned the murder of the other. It is impossible to read his account, expressive of the coolest and most deliberate malice, without horror." Wedderburne concluded with this indignant burst of feeling:—"Amidst tranquil events, here is a man who, with the utmost insensibility of remorse, stands up and avows himself the author of all. I can compare him only to Zanga, in Dr. Young''s Revenge:—

'Know, then, 'twas I. I forged the letter—I disposed the picture—I hated—I despised—and I destroy'

I ask, my lords, whether the revengeful temper attributed to the bloody African, is not surpassed by the coolness and apathy of the wily American?"

It is said that during this celebrated invective the members of the council laughed with exultation; none preserving a decent gravity, except Lord North. On the other hand, Franklin is said to have heard it all with composure, standing erect in one corner of the room, and not suffering the slightest alteration of his countenance to be visible. The words of Wedderburne, however, coupled with the derisive and exulting laugh of the council, sank deep into the soul of Franklin. He appeared in a full dress of spotted Manchester velvet, and it is said that, when he returned to his lodgings he took off this dress, and vowed he would never wear it again until he should sign the degradation of England and the independence of America. After proceedings against him tended to perpetuate that feeling. Hitherto he had been allowed to retain the profitable place of post-master general for America, but three days after the meeting of the council, he was dismissed by letter from that office. The report of the council also, on the subject of the petition, tended to confirm him in feelings of hostility toward the British government. It stated "that the petition was founded on resolutions which were formed on false and erroneous allegations: that it was groundless, vexatious, scandalous, and calculated only for the seditious purpose of keeping up a spirit of clamour and discontent in the province: that nothing had appeared to impeach in any degree the honour, integrity, and conduct of the governor or deputy-governor; and that their lordships were humbly of opinion that the said petition ought to be dismissed." Moreover, the sympathy which Franklin met with from some of the leading members of the opposition, tended still further to embitter the passions which had been roused in the mind of the philosopher. That boastful patriot himself—the great Earl of Chatham—hastened to express his sympathy with Franklin, and his detestation of the treatment he had received from Wedderburne and the government. It is due to the character of Chatham, however, to say that had he been aware of Franklin's extreme intentions, he would, instead of affording him his sympathy, have joined with Wedderburne in holding him up to public contempt. That great orator, indeed, at all times, whether in office or out of office, whether in favour of the measures of government or banding against them, invariably held that the dependence of the colonies was absolutely and vitally essential, not merely to the honour and greatness and wealth of the mother country, but also to her safety and existence. He had, in truth, asserted that the moment America should be free, wholly independent of, and separated from Great Britain, the sun of England would set for ever. It cannot be, therefore, supposed for one moment, that he would willingly and knowingly have aided in lopping this fair and fruitful branch from the parent tree. In point of fact, Franklin endeavoured, to conceal his extreme views from the public eye; for while in private life, and to bosom friends, he stated his unalterable resolution of procuring the independence of America, he was openly professing to his best advocates, the leaders of the opposition in both houses of parliament, that the wish dearest to his heart—in common with the hearts of all honest Americans—was a continuance of the connexion with his dear old mother country!

GEORGE III. 1773-1775





PARLIAMENTARY PROCEEDINGS AGAINST AMERICA.

At length intelligence arrived in England concerning the alarming transactions in America. The news excited strong national resentment, so that when the subject was brought before parliament, ministers had not to encounter any formidable opposition to the measures they proposed in order to meet the case. It was on the 7th of March that Lord North introduced this subject to the house. On that day he delivered a message to the members from the king, in which a design was intimated of correcting and preventing such disorders, and submitted a vast mass of documents from the governor of Boston, and other persons in authority for their inspection. In reply to this message, a motion was made for an address to the throne, to return thanks for it, and the gracious communication of the papers, with an assurance that they would not fail to exert every means in their power of effectually providing for objects so important to the general welfare as maintaining the due execution of the laws, and securing the just dependence of the colonies upon the crown and parliament of Great Britain. Some few opposed this address, although they admitted that the conduct of the Bostonians and Rhode Islanders was exasperating in the highest degree; but the motion was nevertheless carried without a division. Following up this address, on the 14th of March, Lord North moved for leave to bring in a bill "for the immediate removal of all officers concerned in the collection and management of his majesty's duties and customs from the town of Boston; and to discontinue the landing and discharging, lading and shipping, of goods, wares, and merchandize at the said town of Boston, or within the harbour thereof." This bill encountered scarcely more opposition than the address had met with. On its first introduction it was received with general applause, and it was pushed on with such vigour that it passed through both houses within fourteen days, and on the 31st of March it received the royal assent: the trade of Boston was annihilated.

While the Boston Port Bill was before the lords, North, in a committee of the whole house, brought in a bill "for better regulating the government of Massachusets Bay." The object of this bill was to alter the constitution of that province as it stood upon the charter of William III.; to do away with the popular elections, which decided everything in that colony; to take the executive power out of the hands of the democratic party; and to vest the nomination of the members of the council, of the judges, and of magistrates, including sheriffs, in the crown, and in the king's governor. In support of this bill, Lord North said, that the province of Massachusets Bay had been turbulent beyond all bearing, and had set an ill example to all the colonies; that an executive power was required in that province, inasmuch as the force of the civil power consisted solely in the posse comitatus: that is, in the very people by whom the tumults were excited. He asked if the democratic party exhibits a contempt for the laws, how any governor was to enforce them, if he had not the power either of appointing or removing magistrates? He could now, he said, give no order without the assent of seven members of the popularly elected council; and he urged that it was in vain laws and regulations were made in England, when there were none found to execute them in America. In conclusion, he expressed a hope that the present bill would create an executive power, and give strength and spirit to the civil magistracy; and professed himself open to discussion and a change of opinion, if his views were proved to be erroneous.

This bill encountered more opposition than that of the Boston Port Bill, and it was considerably altered in committee. As it stood when presented anew, after the Easter recess, the council of Massachusets Bay was placed on the same footing as the councils of other colonies: the nomination was vested in the crown., and they were to have no negative voice, or power to appoint, as hitherto, the judicial officers of the province. Moreover, the mode of choosing juries was altered, and the continual assemblies and town-meetings held in Boston were not to be convened without the consent of the governor, unless for the annual election of certain officers. The bill, as altered, however, encountered much opposition. In support of it Mr. Welbore Ellis asserted that it was the duty of the legislature to alter or take away charters, if they were abused, or found deficient; and he was supported in these views by Mr. Charles Jenkinson and Mr. Dyson, who argued that in this case the house proceeded, not in its judicial, but in its legislative capacity, regulating and supplying deficiencies in charters granted by the crown. The opposition took a different view of the measure, denouncing it as arbitrary and likely to lead to permanent evils. Thus General Conway could see nothing but increased exasperation, misfortune, and ruin from the adoption of such measures; and he, with other members, asked for more time, and demanded that the province should be heard before an act was passed which would deprive its people of their chartered rights. The opposition, also, argued, that the Bostonians and their neighbours had flourished for nearly fourscore years under their democratic charter, and that, therefore, they ought not now to be deprived of it. Some even asked what crime and errors the New Englanders had really been guilty of, as though they had never heard of the outrages which had been committed. In reply to this latter question, Lord North said, with more than his usual warmth, "I will tell you what the Americans have done: they have tarred and feathered the officers and subjects of Great Britain; they have plundered our merchants, burnt our ships, denied all obedience to our laws and authority! Our conduct has been clement and forbearing, but now it is incumbent to take a different course. Whatever may be the consequence, we must risk something, or all is over." To adopt such a measure as this, however, was clearly risking too much. Governor Pownall, who said that he spoke for the last time on the subject, warned ministers of the more than probable consequences of it, in these terms:—"The measure which you are pursuing will be resisted, not by force or the effect of arms, but by a regular united system. I told this house, four years ago, that the people of America would resist the tax then permitted to remain on them—that they would not oppose power to power, But would become implacable. Have they not been so from that time to this very hour? I tell you again, that they will resist the measures now pursued in a more vigorous way. Committees of correspondence in the different provinces are in constant communication: they do not trust in the conveyance of the post-office; they have set up a constitutional courier, which will quickly grow up to the superseding of your post-office. As soon as intelligence of these affairs reaches them, they will judge it necessary to communicate with each other: it will be found inconvenient and ineffectual to do so by letters. They must confer; they will hold a conference; and to what these committees, thus met in congress, will grow up, I will not say. Should recourse be had to arms, you will hear of other officers than those appointed by your governor Then, as in the late civil wars of this country, it will be of little consequence to dispute who were the aggressors." Sir Richard Sutton spoke in a similar strain; asserting, that though it was not confessed, the Americans were aiming at total independence, and would never again submit quietly to English laws and regulations of trade.

This debate took place on the second reading of the bill. The third reading occurred on the 2nd of May, when Sir William Meredith insisted that the parliament of Great Britain had an indisputable right to lay duties upon the Americans, and to tax them externally. Mr. Thomas Townshend, also, though equally warm as Sir William Meredith in opposition to ministers on general points, gave this measure his decided support. Though averse to meddling with charters, he said, the evils of town-meetings justified interference, and that the institution of juries was properly altered according to the forms of the mother country. Thurlow, the attorney-general, and Lord North spoke in favour of the bill, likewise, on this occasion, the latter expressing a hope that good consequences might arise from its adoption. It was opposed by Mr. Burke, Mr. Charles Fox, and Colonel Barré, the latter of whom reprobated the violence of both houses. "In the lords," said he, "the phrase is, 'We have passed the Rubicon!'—in the commons, 'Delenda est Carthago!'" But opposition was of no avail. The bill was carried by an overwhelming majority in the lower house; and when it was taken into the upper house, though it was severely criticised, opposed, and denounced by a few lords, most of the peers were in its favour, and it passed into a law.

In order to qualify the severity of the bill for regulating the government of Massachusets, Mr. Rose Fuller, on the 19th of April, moved that the house should, that day se'nnight, resolve itself into a committee for taking into consideration the question of a total repeal of the tea duty. This was opposed by Lord North, who contended that no acts of lenity ought to attend their restrictive measures. He argued, that to repeal at this time would show such wavering and inconsistent policy as would defeat the good effects of that vigorous system which had been too long delayed, and which was now adopted. The expediency of the repeal, however, was ably advocated by Mr. Burke. He contended, that from the period of the repeal of the Stamp Act, the practical right of taxing America ought to have been for ever banished from the minds of all statesmen; and he severely exposed the absurdity of continuing a tax merely for the sake of a preamble to an act of parliament, when five-sixths of the revenue intended to be raised by it had been abandoned. Burke then gave a concise detail of our ministerial and political transactions with America; after which he recommended the repeal of this impost as a measure of policy, and advised the house, if they found any ill effects arising from this concession, then at once to stop short, and to oppose the ancient policy and practice of the empire to innovations on both sides. This, he said, would enable them to stand on great, manly, and sure grounds. As for the distinctions of rights he deprecated all reasonings about them. "Leave the Americans," he observed, "as they anciently stood; and these distinctions, born of our unhappy contest, will die with it. Be content to bind America by laws of trade. You have always done so; and let this be your reason for continuing to do it. Do not burden them with taxes; for you were not used to do so from the beginning. These are arguments for states and kingdoms: leave the rest to the schools where alone they can be discussed with safety." The rejection of this advice, he said, would be followed by resistance on the part of the colonies; for if the sovereignty of England and the freedom of America could not be reconciled, the Americans would be sure to cast off sovereignty: no man would be argued into slavery. The opinions which Burke uttered on this occasion were at variance with those expressed on the passing of the Declaratory Act, and with the act itself. He attempted to reconcile them, however, by the nice distinction of a double power in parliament. He remarked:—"The parliament of Great Britain sits at the head of her extensive empire in two capacities—one as the local legislature of this island, with the executive power as her instrument of action; the other and nobler capacity is what I call her imperial character, by which she guides and controls all the inferior and provincial legislatures." In this, he maintained, her power was boundless; and having entered at large on its utility, and the manner in which it had been exercised, he thus concluded:—"It is agreed that a revenue is not to be had from America: if, then, we lose the profit, let us at least get rid of the odium." No arguments, however powerful, were of avail—the motion was negatived.

A third measure of restriction introduced into the commons by ministers was "A Bill for the impartial Administration of Justice in the Cases of Persons questioned for any Acts done by them in the Execution of the Laws, as for the Suppression of Riots and Tumults in the Province of Massachusets Bay, in New England." By this bill the governor, if he found that a person indicted for murder, or any other capital offence, incurred in suppressing such tumults, was not likely to obtain an impartial trial, might send the person so indicted to another colony or to Great Britain, to be fairly tried there. This bill was to be limited to four years, and in support of it Lord North argued, that it was absolutely necessary to give effect to the other coercive measures; that it was in vain to appoint a magistracy that would act if none could be found bold enough to act with them and execute their orders; that these orders would probably be resisted by force; and this force would necessitate force on the side of government, and probably occasion the shedding of blood. He asked, what officers would risk this event if the rioters themselves, or their abettors, were afterwards to sit as their judges? And he alleged, that a precedent was to be found in our own laws, in the case of smuggling, it being customary to remove the trial of smugglers to another county: the Scotch rebels were also, he said, in 1745, tried in England. North next urged, that particular privileges ought to give way on some occasions, and that when the public safety of our own country was endangered even the Habeas Corpus had been suspended. The bill, he remarked, was not meant to screen guilt, but to protect innocence. The Americans, he said, must be taught that we will no longer sit quietly under their insults; and that, being roused, our measures, though free from cruelty and revenge, would be as efficacious as they were necessary. This was the last act, he stated, that he had to propose in order to perfect his plan, and that the rest would depend on the vigilance of his majesty's servants employed in America. In conclusion, he mentioned that four regiments, usually stationed in different parts of North America, had all been ordered to Boston; and that General Gage was appointed governor and commander-in-chief.

This measure was opposed with greater vehemence and better arguments than those which had preceded it. Colonel Barré, who had given a partial support to the Boston Port Bill, denounced it as unprecedented, unwarranted, and as fraught with misery and oppression to America, and with danger to this country. It stigmatised a whole people, he remarked, as persecutors of innocence, and as men incapable of doing justice, whereas the very reverse was the fact. As a proof of the impartiality of Bostonian courts and juries, he instanced the acquittal of Captain Preston and the soldiers who had killed some persons in a riot; and he denied that the instances of trials for smuggling and for treason, adduced by Lord North, were at all applicable to the present case. He asked, what reliance the Americans could have on the impartiality of juries in other provinces, or in England, and dwelt with great force on the danger of screening the soldiery, whose passions were already inflamed against the people of Massachusets Bay. "A soldier," he observed, "feels himself so much above the rest of mankind, that the strict hand of the civil power is necessary to check and restrain the haughtiness of disposition which such superiority inspires. What constant care is taken in this country to remind the military that they are under the restraint of civil power! In America their superiority is felt still more. Remove the check of the law, as this bill proposes, and what insolence, what outrage, may you not expect! Every passion that is pernicious to society will be let loose on a people unaccustomed to licentiousness and intemperance. The colonists, who have been long complaining of oppression, will see in the soldiery those who are to enforce it on them; while the military, strongly prepossessed against the people as rebellious, unawed by the civil power, and actuated by that arbitrary spirit which prevails in the best troops, will commit violences that might rouse the tamest people to resistance, and which the vigilance of their officers cannot effectually restrain. The inevitable consequences will be open rebellion, which you profess by this act to obviate. I have been bred a soldier; I have served long; I respect the profession, and live in the strictest habits of friendship with many officers; but no country gentleman in this house looks on the army with a more jealous eye, or would more strenuously resist the setting them above the control of civil power. No man is to be trusted in such a situation. It is not the fault of the soldier, but the vice of human nature, which, unbridled by law, becomes insolent and licentious, wantonly violating the peace of society, and trampling upon the rights of human kind." In conclusion, Barré warned ministers of the results of their restrictive measures; entreating them, likewise, not to urge them on to rebellion. In the course of his speech Lord North had said that he had had the advantage of being aided by the ablest lawyers; and when Colonel Barré had concluded his harangue Mr. Wedderburne, the solicitor-general, arose, and explained and defended the principles of the bill, which, he observed, was limited as to time, and intended solely to procure a fair trial for the imputed offences of all who might be concerned or engaged to act under government.

The motion for leave to bring in this bill was passed without a division, and it was introduced on the 21st of April, on which occasion another stormy debate occurred. Alderman Sawbridge contended, that it was a ridiculous and cruel measure—a measure designed to enslave the Americans, by a minister who would, if opportunity was afforded him, enslave England. He added:—"But I sincerely hope the Americans will not admit of the execution of any of those destructive bills, but nobly refuse them all. If they do not, they are the most abject slaves upon the face of the earth, and nothing which the minister can do is base enough for them." Lord North, in reply, calmly disclaimed any intention of enslaving America, and declared that the assertion was about as true as another report, circulated in some quarters, which stated that the colonists had seen their error, and were willing to make reparation to the East India Company for the tea they had destroyed. Instead of making reparation, he added, letters had been recently received which conveyed intelligence of renewed acts of violence. In the course of the debate one member uttered these remarkable words:—"I will now take my leave of the whole plan: you will commence your ruin from this day. I am sorry to say, that not only the house has fallen into this error, but the people approve of the measure. The people, I am sorry to say it, are misled. But a short time will prove the evil tendency of this bill. If ever there was a nation running headlong to its ruin it is this." The people were, in fact, as violently excited against the Americans, and the Bostonians in particular, as the ministers themselves, which doubtless had the effect of encouraging them in their measures. As a dissolution of parliament was near at hand, this may have caused the absence of many members; for it is a remarkable circumstance, that during the debates on these momentous questions there never was a full house. On the third reading, indeed, only one hundred and fifty-one members were present—one hundred and twenty-seven out of which number voted for the measure.

In the house of lords the bill was opposed in the same manner, and to a similar degree as in the commons. One of the most striking arguments against the measure was uttered by the Marquess of Rockingham. After reviewing ministerial transactions relative to America, since the repeal of the Stamp Act, and denouncing the tea duty as an uncommercial and unproductive claim, retained only as a bone of contention, he remarked:—"If officers were men of honour and sensibility, their situation would be worse under the protection of such a law than without it, as no acquittal could be honourable where the prosecutor had not the usual means of securing a fair trial." The bill, however, passed by a large majority—eight peers signing a strong protest against it, in which it was designated as "a virtual indemnity for murder."

During these debates the Earl of Chatham had been absent from indisposition. An opportunity, however, was afforded him of uttering his sentiments concerning the measure adopted towards America, on the 27th of May, in a discussion on a bill "for the quartering and better regulating the troops in the colonies." He had long been complaining of the gout and other infirmities; but on this night, which was the third reading of the bill, he made a very long speech. He commenced by asserting, that the whole history of the Americans, their descent, and the character and disposition which they inherited from their English ancestors, all forbade the thought that they would ever submit to slavish and tyrannical principles; for as was the mother, so were her offspring. He admitted that the conduct of the Americans, and especially the Bostonians, was unwarrantable; but he denied that the means adopted to bring them back to a sense of their duty were either wise or just. Against the blocking up the harbour of Boston he inveighed most bitterly, assuming in the face of all fact, that it was "some guilty profligates" who had been concerned in destroying our goods, and not the main body of the people. He assumed, also, what was notoriously untrue, that the colonies had no thought of prosecuting the quarrel; asserting, that their gratitude was full to overflowing for the repeal of the Stamp Act, and that it was the tea tax alone which had goaded them on to insubordination and rebellion. Forgetting, moreover, that his own Declaratory Act had inflamed the passions of the colonists after the repeal of the Stamp Act, he charged ministers with having purposely irritated them into their late outrages. Finally, although it is clear that Chatham, as a minister, would never have granted the objects which the American leaders required of the government, he recommended the substitution of kindness for severity. He remarked:—"Proceed like a kind and affectionate parent towards a child whom he tenderly loves; and, instead of these harsh and severe proceedings, pass an amnesty on all their youthful errors; clasp them once more in your fond and affectionate arms, and I will venture to affirm that you will find them children worthy of their sire. But should their turbulence exist after your proffered terms of forgiveness, I, my lords, will be among the foremost to move for such measures as will effectually prevent a relapse, and make them feel what it is to provoke a fond and forgiving parent." It is manifest, however, that the children had already resolved to run all risks in discarding allegiance to their parent, and that they could never be bound to their duty by the law of kindness. So the majority of the peers whom Chatham addressed seemed to think, for the bill he was opposing passed.





BILL FOR THE ADMINISTRATION OF CANADA.

Towards the close of this session a bill was brought into the house of lords, "for making more effectual provision for the government of the province of Quebec, in North America." The main objects of this bill was to ascertain the limits of that province; to form a legislative council for all its affairs, except taxation, which council should be appointed and be removable by the crown, and in which his majesty's Canadian Roman Catholic subjects should have a place; to establish the old French laws, to which the Canadians had been accustomed, including trial without jury, in all civil cases, and the English laws with trial by jury in all criminal cases; and to secure to the Roman Catholics those rights which the articles of capitulation had allowed—that is, the legal enjoyments of their lands and of their tithes, in their own community, or from all who professed their doctrines. This bill passed through the lords without difficulty; but in the commons it met with a storm of opposition. On the second reading, which took place on the 20th of May, Mr. Thomas Townshend, junior, asked why the affairs of Canada had been so long postponed, and why the country, from the time of its conquest, had been left a prey to anarchy and confusion? The bill proposed to enlarge the boundaries of the province, so as to comprehend the whole country lying between New England, New York, and Pennsylvania, to the Ohio and eastern bank of the Mississippi; and northward, to the southern boundary of the territory granted to the merchant adventurers of England trading to Hudson's Bay. Of this Townshend complained, and he said that it was the general opinion, that ministers intended to make all this vast tract of country an essentially French colony, as the population was almost entirely French, and the religion, laws, &c, that of France—the only exception being that they had at their head a subject of Great Britain as their governor. This, he opined, would one day cause a revolution, and would tend to re-establish the dominion of France in that country. As for the legislative council he deemed it as proposed the very worst kind of government ministers could have invented. He remarked:—"If it is not the proper time to give to Canada an assembly like those which exist in our other American colonies, it is better to let the governor be absolute—better to let him be without a council. He will then be responsible. But what have we here? Seventeen or eighteen gentlemen, who may be removed or suspended by the governor; so that, if an act of oppression should come from the crown, these may be a screen for the governor to excuse and justify him." Townshend next condemned the countenance given by the bill to the church of Rome, and then put a series of stringent questions to the ministers concerning the administration of the French laws in Canada. Were they, he asked, to be administered by Canadians or French lawyers? and were English gentlemen who had bought estates in that country to be subject to them? It would be better, he conceived, to show the French Canadians, by degrees, the advantages of English law, and to gradually mix it with their own. In reply, Lord North excused the delay which had occurred in bringing this measure forward, on the ground that he had been seeking the fullest information before he legislated. He did not pretend that the bill was perfect, but he considered that it was the best that could have been devised, both for Great Britain and the colony, under all circumstances. North then justified the enlargement of the limits of the colony, and the concessions which the bill made to the Roman Catholics. He observed:—"The honourable gentleman dislikes the omitting the assembly; but the assembly cannot be granted, seeing that it must be composed of Canadian Roman Catholic subjects, for otherwise it would be oppressive. On the other hand, as the bulk of the inhabitants are Roman Catholics, to subject them to an assembly, composed of a few British Protestant subjects would be a great hardship. Being, therefore, under the necessity of not appointing an assembly, this is the only legislature you can give the Canadians, and it is the one under which they live at present. The governor and council really have been the legislature ever since our conquest, only now it is put under some regulation." As regarded the question of law, he reminded the house, that the most material part, that of the criminal law, was to be English, and that if the French civil law should be found incompatible with the wishes of the colony, the governor and council would have power to alter it. Returning to the question of religion, North remarked, that the free exercise of it was confirmed to the Canadians by treaty, and that the laws of Great Britain permitted the full and free exercise of any religion different from that of the Church of England, in any and all of the colonies. It was another question, he added, whether it is convenient to continue or abolish the bishop's jurisdiction; though, at the same time, he asserted, no bishop could be there under papal authority, as such is expressly forbidden in the act of supremacy. North concluded by asserting, that there was no intention of substituting French lawyers and judges for the English who now administered the laws in that country. Townshend rejoined; complaining bitterly of carrying the system of French law into those parts of the country where it had not previously existed, and where there were some thousands of British subjects. Having, at the end of the war, promised the Canadians English law, he conceived that injustice would be done them by giving them that of France. Mr. Townshend was followed by Mr. Dunning, who called the measure one of the most extensive, as well as the most pernicious, ever offered to parliament. He particularly inveighed against the concessions made to the Roman Catholics, though he admitted that the free exercise of their religion was promised to the Canadians by the treaty of peace. This bill, however, he contended, gave them more than this: it established the Roman Catholic faith, whereas Protestantism was merely tolerated, and its clergy left for a maintenance to the discretion of the crown. He observed:—"Different gentlemen may entertain different opinions: my opinion of toleration is, that nothing can be more impolitic than to give establishment to that religion which is not the religion of our own country. Among the circumstances that unite countries, or divide countries, a difference in religion has ever been thought to be the principal and leading one. The Catholic religion unites France, but divides England. Without going further into the subject, it suffices me to say, that the religion of England seems to be preferable to the religion of France, if your object is to make this an English colony. When one sees that the Roman Catholic religion is established by law, and that the same law does not establish the Protestant religion, the people are, of course, at liberty to choose which they like. Are we, then, to establish the Roman Catholic religion, and tolerate the Protestant religion?" Mr. Dunning next insisted, that the civil law, as well as the criminal law of England, should be preserved, and that the institution of juries, however unpalatable it might prove to the Canadians, ought not to be dispensed with. He concluded by showing the unfitness of this political state to the habits and character of English settlers, and that there was an insurmountable difficulty in reconciling the feelings and habits of the small minority with the great French majority. The bill was next defended warmly in all its points by Attorney-general Thurlow. The definitive treaty of peace, he said, was made in favour of property in Canada; in favour of the Catholic religion, and in favour of the several religious orders, under which obligations it was that the crown of this country was called upon to frame a constitution for the colony. As for the importing and enforcing English laws in a country already settled, and habitually governed by other laws, he considered that it would be an act of the most absurd and cruel tyranny ever practised by a conquering nation over a conquered country—an act which would be unprecedented in the world's history. He thought it would be equally monstrous to strip the Roman Catholic clergy of their rights and dues, and to set up an Anglican establishment where the followers of our church were but few in number. To assimilate the constitution of the province to that of England he deemed neither practicable nor desirable, and asserted, that the constitution now proposed was on the side of liberality, and the best that could be given under existing circumstances. He concluded thus:—"If any English resort to that country, they do not carry with them the laws that are to prevail the moment they get there. It would be just as wise to say, if an Englishman goes to Guernsey, the laws of the city of London are carried over with him. To take the laws as they stand in Canada has been allowed—to act according to those laws, and to be bound by their coercion, is a natural consequence. In this view I think the bill has done nothing obnoxious. I have no speculative opinions. I would have consulted the French customs to a much greater extent, if it had been for me to have framed the law." Colonel Barré, Lord John Cavendish, and Sergeant Glynn next warmly opposed the bill, and they were followed by the Solicitor-general, Wedderburne, who defended it with greater ability and more knowledge of history than had been displayed by any of the preceding speakers. Sergeant Glynn had asserted, that in conquering the Irish and Welsh our laws had been imposed upon them; but Wedderburne clearly showed that this was only effected in the lapse of ages; English laws not being introduced into Ireland till the time of James I., and in Wales till the time of Henry VIII. He argued, that it was the custom of all conquering states to leave the conquered countries in the possession of their own laws. He remarked:—"Not only are there instances of great states not considering themselves warranted, by right of conquest, in forcing their laws upon the conquered, but even countries that have scarcely any trace of public laws and general systems, have had that good policy with regard to the countries they have made themselves masters of. The very Mussulman, the Ottoman, the Turks—the worst of all conquerors—in the countries they subdued left the people in possession of their municipal laws. This is the case in Wallachia; this is the case in Moldavia; this is the case with all the great settlements in which the Turks have pushed their arms." Wedderburne next showed the difference existing in the law of succession in England and Canada, and argued, that it would be hard upon all younger sons in that province to establish the right of primogeniture on a sudden. He concluded by representing the people of Canada as having, for several years past, been annually calling upon government to let them know what really was to be the law of the province. Charles Fox argued, that as the bill allowed the clergy of the Church of Rome their dues and rights, which dues he understood to mean the receiving of tithes, which were a tax upon the Canadians, it was to all intents and purposes a money bill. This objection he conceived fatal to the bill, inasmuch as the commons never permitted bills of that nature to originate in the lords. Dunning now took up the same line of argument, and as Lord North denied the conclusion to which these members had suddenly come, the speaker was appealed to for his opinion. The speaker replied, that he had seen bills that had originated in the lords that, he thought, ought not to have been brought into the lower house, but that he never presumed to judge upon them himself, and in this in stance it would be very unbecoming in him to do so, therefore' he would leave it for the house to determine as was thought right. The second reading was carried by a majority of one hundred and five, against twenty-nine; and on the 31st of May, when the house went into committee on the bill, several amendments were negatived, with equally large majorities. On this occasion petitions were presented against the measure from Thomas Penn, on behalf of himself and of John Penn, Esq., true and absolute proprietors of Pennsylvania, and the counties of Newcastle, Kent, and Sussex, in Delaware, praying that the territory granted by King Charles II. to their father and grandfather might not be encroached upon by any extension of the frontiers of Canada. Ministers denied that it was ever intended to entrench upon other colonies, and the petition was ordered to lie upon the table; leave, also, being given to the petitioners to be heard by counsel if they thought proper. At the same time a petition was presented from merchants of the city of London, trading to the province of Quebec, praying for the preservation or establishment of the English civil law, in all matters of controversy relative to property and civil rights, with trial by jury, &c. This petition was ordered to be referred to the committee on the bill, and the petitioners were also ordered to be heard by themselves or counsel. Counsel were heard, and witnesses examined, which occupied the attention of the house for more than a week; but on the 13th of June the bill passed the commons as it originally stood—a few boundary amendments, made in committee, alone excepted. The bill thus passed was sent back to the lords for their concurrence in the amendments, on which occasion Chatham rose to reprobate the whole spirit of the bill. It tended, he said, to establish the worst of despotisms, and denounced it as a most cruel, oppressive, and odious measure—a measure which destroyed the very roots of justice and good principle. He called the bill "a child of inordinate power," and asked, if any on the bench of bishops would hold it out for baptism? He invoked the bishops to resist a law which would spread the Roman Catholic tenets over so vast a continent, and asserted, that parliament had no more right to alter the oath of supremacy than to repeal the great charter, or the bill of rights. The dangerous innovations of the bill, he declared, were at utter variance with all the safeguards and barriers against the return of popery and of popish influence, so wisely provided against by all oaths and offices of trust, from the constable up to the members of both houses, and even to the sovereign in his coronation oath. Chatham concluded by expressing his fears that such a measure might shake the confidence of his majesty's Protestant subjects in England and Ireland, and totally alienate the hearts of all his American subjects. The bill, however, passed by twenty-six to seven, and received the royal assent on the 22nd of June; the corporation of London having ineffectually petitioned the king to refuse it.





PROROGATION OF PARLIAMENT.

On the same day that his majesty gave his assent to the above-mentioned bill, he prorogued parliament. In his speech he expressed his approval of that bill, conceiving it likely to produce the best effect in quieting the minds, and promoting the happiness of the Canadians. His majesty also applauded the temper and firmness, and general concurrence of parliament in the measures they had adopted with reference to Massachusets Bay; at the same time assuring them that nothing depending on him should be wanting to render those measures effectual. At the close of this session, Lord North, notwithstanding his many embarrassments, appeared to be more firmly seated in office than ever. Even Chatham himself was obliged to confess his success, efficiency, and the solidity of his position; asserting that no minister in any age ever held a better tenure. It was necessary that North should be well supported, for he had difficulties before him which would soon have compelled him to resign, and to seek solace in the shades of retirement, had not the voice of parliament been with him.





PROCEEDINGS AT BOSTON.

During the deliberations of the British parliament, the Bostonians and people of Massachusets Bay had continued their outrages. The assembly and populace alike showed their utter aversion to the British government in language and actions which could not be misunderstood. The mob destroyed every cargo of tea that arrived in the port, and the assembly showed its hostility by petitioning for the removal of the chief-justice, Peter Oliver, Esq., because he had taken his majesty's grant. The house further resolved to impeach the chief-justice in their own name, and in the name of all the inhabitants of the province; and when the governor denounced their proceedings as unconstitutional, they drew up articles according to this resolution, charging him with high crimes and misdemeanors. The governor, however, refused to take any step in the matter, and this only tended to exasperate them still more. At this moment, indeed, some of the leaders, at the head of whom was Mr. Samuel Adams, were publicly proclaiming that America must and should become independent of Great Britain. Their sentiments were also made known by their unbounded admiration of Benjamin Franklin. His name was mentioned everywhere with enthusiasm, and before their dissolution the assembly resolved to continue him their agent in England, although the governor refused to ratify the appointment, or to sanction their act for paying him his salary.

Among the ministerial arrangements was the substitution of General Gage in the room of Hutchinson as governor. General Gage landed on the wharf on the 13th of May, with part of his family and suite, and was warmly welcomed by the council, magistrates, and others, and afterwards entertained at a public dinner. On the other hand, the mob spent their impotent rage on Hutchinson by burning him in effigy. The reception which Gage met with on landing seemed to augur well for his administration, and his prospect seemed the more cheering because he was united to an American lady, and from long residence in the colony, had made many friends. But there was a strong under-current at work which threatened to sweep away all the authority which any governor might possess however popular he might be as a man. And this was made more impetuous at this time by the intelligence which arrived concerning the Boston Port Bill. This intelligence was received a few days before General Gage arrived, and although the Bostonians gave him a hearty welcome, they soon displayed what feelings they possessed upon the subject. On the very next day after they had given him this welcome, a numerous town meeting took the bill into consideration, and resolved, "That it is the opinion of this town, that, if the other colonies come into a joint resolution to stop all importation from, and exportation to Great Britain, and every part of the West Indies, till the act be repealed, the same will prove the salvation of North America and her liberties; and that the impolicy, injustice, inhumanity, and cruelty of the act exceed all our powers of expression: we, therefore, leave it to the just censure of others, and appeal to God and the world." In order to spread disaffection, the act was printed and widely circulated throughout the colonies. Nor were the presses of Boston alone engaged in this work. Other colonies had thousands of copies struck off, and in some the copy of the act was accompanied with comments, and with a black border, while the vendors cried it about under the title of "A barbarous, cruel, bloody, and inhuman murder." In some places it was burned with great solemnity; in others, as at Philadelphia, subscriptions were set on foot for the relief of those Bostonians who should be deprived of the means of subsistence by the operations of the act; while in Virginia the assembly which was then sitting, adopted a proposal that the first day of June, on which the Post Bill was to commence, should be a day of fasting, humiliation, and prayer, to implore heaven to avert the evils of civil war, to inspire the Americans with firmness in support of their rights, and to turn the hearts of king and parliament to moderation and justice. For this vote, Lord Dunmore, the governor of the province of Virginia, dissolved the assembly, and the members then repaired to a tavern, where they agreed to articles of association, in which they pronounced the Boston Port Bill to be the result of a system having for its object the reduction of the inhabitants of British America to slavery. At this meeting it was declared that tea ought not to be used by any well-wisher to constitutional liberty; and that from the course pursued by the East India Company in favour of arbitrary taxation, the people ought not to purchase any of their commodities, except saltpetre and spices, until their grievances should be redressed. It was also declared that an attack on one colony was an attack upon all, and that it should be resisted by their united councils. Acting upon this opinion, which was by no means logical, they recommended to the committee of correspondence to communicate with all the other committees, "on the expediency of appointing deputies from the several colonies of British America, to meet in general congress, at such place, annually, as should be thought most convenient, to deliberate on the measures required by their common interests." Finally, this meeting of the dissolved assembly of Virginia, agreed that the members who should be elected under the new writs then issuing, should meet in convention at Williamsburgh, on the first of August, for the purpose of appointing delegates to sit in congress. This was a monster stride in the march of revolution, and it was easy to foresee its ultimate and awful consequences.

The first of June was not only observed as a day of fasting and humiliation in Virginia, but also at Philadelphia, Boston, and other places. Shops were closed, and the church-bells tolled dolefully; but whether prayer was offered in sincerity and truth, and in calm devotion, demands a doubt; for when men's passions are inflamed, there can be no fitness for acts of piety. In the mean time the assembly of Massachusets Bay met at Boston, on the 25th of May, for the last time. On that day, General Gage laid before them some common business of the province, and then announced the painful necessity he was under of removing them and all public offices to Salem, by the first of June, in conformity with the recent acts of parliament. He adjourned them to the 7th of June, then to meet at Salem, and on that day they re-assembled at the place appointed, and named a committee to consider and report the state of the province. Some of the committee named were for pursuing mild and conciliatory measures, and seeing this, Mr. Samuel Adams conferred with Mr. Warren on the necessity of obtaining a better display of spirit. Warren engaged to keep the committee in play, while Adams should be secretly engaged in winning over members to their party. In a few days Adams succeeded in gaining over and concerting measures with more than thirty members, and it was then resolved to proceed at once to business. On the 17th of May they ordered the doors to be locked, and that no one should be permitted to go in or out. They hoped by this plan to keep all friends of government from giving any information concerning their councils, and to finish their business before the governor could interfere with a prorogation or dissolution. One member favourable to government, however, contrived to get out, and to give information of what was doing within. The governor sent his secretary to dissolve them, but he was refused admittance, and he read the proclamation of dissolution upon the stairs leading to the chamber in the hearing of several members, who, like himself, could not obtain admittance. By this time, however, the committee had done all they wanted to do: they had appointed a committee to meet other provincial committees on the 1st of September, at Philadelphia; had voted £500 for its use; had chosen a treasurer; and having no money in hand, had recommended the towns and districts of the province to raise the sum by equitable proportions, according to the last provincial tax. This was a gross insult to the governor, and the committee exulted in having had the opportunity of offering it. Their feelings of triumph, however, do no honour to human nature, since that triumph, such as it was, was obtained by the paltry artifice of obtaining possession of the house to the exclusion of all such members as would have voted against the measure they had proposed and carried.

On the 1st of June, exactly as the clock struck twelve, the custom-house of Boston was shut up, and all lawful business ceased in its port. Its trade was nominally transferred to Salem; but the spirit of rivalry which formerly distinguished American merchants seemed now to be wholly lost in sympathy. No one discovered the slightest inclination to profit by the distress of the refractory town of Boston. The merchants and freeholders of Salem, indeed, presented an address to General Gage, censuring the measures that had been adopted, commiserating the people of Boston, and declining to derive any advantage offered them by the Boston Port Bill. Nature, they said, by the formation of their harbour, forbade their becoming rivals with that convenient mart, and were it otherwise they must be dead to every idea of justice, and lost to all feelings of humanity, if they could indulge one thought of acquiring wealth, and building up their fortunes upon the ruin of their suffering neighbours. These certainly were sentiments honourable to humanity, but unfortunately they were coupled with others of a different character. The petitioners repeated the old saying, which was now become notoriously false, that they still ardently wished to preserve their connexion with the British empire: and yet the people of Salem falsified their assertion on the very next day after it was made, by joining a general association, which by this time had been got up by many of the committees of correspondence, and which was called "a solemn league and covenant," after the famous bond of their Puritan forefathers. The nature of this league may be seen from the document which all its members signed. It declared that the compact had been entered into as the only means of avoiding the horrors of slavery, or the carnage and desolation of civil war; that those who subscribed to it covenanted in the presence of God to suspend all commercial intercourse with Great Britain till the Boston Port Bill should be restored; and that they would have no dealings with persons who would not sign it, or should afterwards violate it, but would publish their names as enemies to their country, and as men excommunicated or cut off from all social intercourse. This league spread rapidly through all the states; thousands joined it of their own free will, and others were impelled to subscribe to it through fear. In most places, indeed, it was conceived more dangerous to oppose the popular will, than to risk a war with Great Britain. And it was in vain that the governor sought to stem the onward progress of the tide of revolution. He issued a proclamation, forbidding such unlawful and traitorous combinations, and warned the people against countenancing them; but his orders were disregarded, and his very power questioned. In Boston all became sullen and threatening, and General Gage at length deemed it advisable to take means more efficacious than proclamations in repressing tumult. A detachment of artillery, with some regiments of infantry were ordered to encamp near Boston, and these were soon reinforced by fresh troops from Great Britain and Ireland. But it was soon found that the troops could not be depended upon:—bought by gills of ardent spirits and promises of reward, many, and especially the raw recruits, deserted their ranks; and General Gage next placed a guard on the Isthmus, called Boston-neck, which joins the peninsula whereon the town is built to the main land. This movement, like all the other movements made by the officers of government, was misrepresented, and hastened on the crisis. A cry was raised and a report spread that the governor intended to cut off all communications, and compel the town to submit to terms. The exciting cry produced the effect that was wished far and near. Even those provinces which had hitherto been slow to join the Bostonians in their hostility towards government, now earnestly exhorted them to brave their supposed doom, as the eye of all America was upon them; and the hands of all the Americans ready to be stretched forth for their deliverance.

In conformity to the bill for regulating the government of Massachusets Bay, General Gage reorganised the Massachusets council. Commissions arrived in August for the new council, and thirty-six were appointed, but twelve out of that number refused to accept office; and even those who did accept office, were soon glad, for the most part, to throw up their commissions, from the odium which they had incurred and the threats by which they were intimidated. General Gage, however, issued writs for convening an assembly in October. But order and law were now out of the question in Boston. The juries would not serve under the new judges, and the very officers refused, from disaffection or fear, to summon them. The colonists had now, in fact, begun to arm, to collect warlike stores, and to train the youth to military exercises. Nothing was to be seen or heard of except the purchasing of arms and ammunition, the casting of balls, and the making of all those preparations which testified immediate and determined resistance. Under these circumstances, General Gage fortified Boston-neck, and seized and removed to head-quarters all the gunpowder and military stores that were deposited at Charlestown, Cambridge, and other places within his province. The people now rose in arms, and threatened to attack the troops. Several thousands marched from all quarters for this purpose, and though they did not come to blows, they threw every possible obstruction in the way of those employed in constructing the works on Boston-neck, burning the materials by night, sinking the boats laden with bricks, and overturning the trucks laden with timber. The governor saw clearly that scenes of bloodshed were at hand, and though thus braved, he mercifully forbore to commence them.

In the mean time the committees of correspondence in order to fan the flames of sedition into one universal conflagration, had been spreading abroad rumours of massacres, and of attacks on Boston both by land and sea. It was in this state of affairs that a meeting of delegates from all the neighbouring towns was called, and which was held, in spite of the governor's proclamation. This meeting passed resolutions more decidedly hostile to the British government than any previously promulgated. They called the late acts of parliament gross infractions of civil and religious liberty, and wicked attempts to establish despotism, which ought to be resisted; they resolved to indemnify all officers who should refuse to execute any process issued by the judges appointed by the crown; they declared every member of the new council an enemy to his country; they condemned the plan of fortifying Boston-neck; they denounced the late act establishing the Roman Catholic religion in Canada, as dangerous alike to the Protestant religion, and to the rights and liberties of all America; they recommended a total suspension of commercial intercourse with Great Britain, the encouragement of domestic manufactures, the appointment of a provincial congress, and the exercise of the people in arms; they advised collectors of taxes to retain the money in their own hands until the civil government of the province should be placed on a constitutional basis, or a provincial congress should direct its application; and while they exhorted the people to abstain from riots, they expressed their determination to resist the measures of government to the utmost. Their resolutions concluded thus:—"Should our enemies by any sudden manoeuvre, render it necessary for us to ask aid of our brethren in the country, some one of the committee of correspondence, or a select man from the town where hostilities shall commence or be expected, or from the town adjoining, shall despatch couriers with written messages to the select men, or committees of correspondence in the vicinity, who shall send others to committees more remote, until sufficient assistance be obtained: the expense of couriers to be defrayed by the county, until otherwise ordered by the provincial assembly." The meeting also drew up a petition of remonstrance to the governor, respecting the fortification of Boston-neck, in which they plainly stated that although they had no inclination to commence hostilities, they were resolved, notwithstanding, to resist the late acts of the British parliament at all hazards. Gage replied, that it was his duty to preserve the peace, and to erect such works as should protect his soldiers from surprise: at the same time he assured them that his artillery should not be employed unless hostile proceedings on their part rendered it necessary.

By this time the people of Virginia had taken one of the front ranks in the march of revolution and independence. On the 1st of August, Jefferson and other members of the convention met as appointed, to agree as to instructions for the delegates to be sent to the approaching congress. Jefferson had drawn up a violent paper, but falling sick, it was presented by Peyton Randolph. The sum and substance of this paper was, in fact, that the Virginians should claim an absolute independence and sovereignty. The leap, however, which Jefferson proposed to take was far too long for the mass of his fellow-citizens as yet to take; but the document was deemed worthy of being printed, and it was published under the title of "A summary View of the Rights of British America." The members of this convention, however, took a leap which did not fall far short of that which Jefferson proposed. The instructions they prepared, at least, made it manifest unto all men, that, although they professed loyalty to the sovereign, their aim was to undermine his throne; or, in other words, to obtain independence. They averred their allegiance to King George, declared that they sincerely approved of a constitutional connexion with their mother country, and even professed a willingness to submit to reasonable regulations and restrictions on their commerce—but this was only a preamble to sentiments teeming with rebellion and hostility to the king whom they professed to obey, and the country with which they asserted they still wished to be connected. In this section of their instructions the Virginians instructed their deputies at congress to cooperate cordially with Massachusets Bay and the other colonies; declared that the proclamation issued by General Gage was alarming, and illegal, and such as would justify resistance and reprisals if attempted to be carried into effect; agreed to send speedy and liberal relief to the Bostonians, and to abide by such alterations in their present articles as congress might recommend and the delegates of Virginia assent to; and bound themselves not to export any tobacco after the 10th of August, and in lieu of its cultivation to encourage manufactures; to deal with no merchants who raised the price of articles during the present crisis, and to require the county committees to publish the name of those who would not conform to their regulations. The convention finished by choosing the delegates who were to represent them in congress.

This congress met, as appointed, at Philadelphia, on the 4th of September. On their meeting, all the provinces from Massachusets to South Carolina, with the single exception of North Carolina, were found to be represented, and even delegates from that province arrived on a later day. The delegates met on the following day at Carpenters'-hall, chose Payton Randolph president, and organised themselves into a deliberate assembly. At the commencement, although there were several delegates from some of the provinces, it was agreed that each state should have only one distinct vote. They then proceeded to business. At first they agreed upon a declaration of rights to which they were entitled, they said, by the laws of nature, the principles of the British constitution, and their several charters. Their next step was to concoct a non-importation, non-consumption, and non-exportation association, which was not to be infringed by any American citizen. This was followed by a series of solemn addresses; one to the king, expressing loyalty and affection; one to the people of Great Britain, showing how barbarously and tyrannically they had been treated by a corrupt administration, etc.; and one to the French people of Quebec, inviting them to make common cause with them, and urging them to take up arms against the English, who had only recently conquered Canada. Their province was only wanting, they said, to complete the bright and strong chain of union! The congress also sent letters to the colonists of Georgia, East and West Florida, Nova Scotia, and Newfoundland, exhorting them to shake off their dependence on their mother country, and to join them in their contest. They also sent a remonstrance to General Gage, against his military proceedings, which bore, they said, a hostile appearance unwarranted by the tyrannical acts of parliament: forgetting that it was the conduct of the Bostonians alone which induced him to take these steps. Finally, the congress resolved that if any attempts were made to seize any American, in order to transport him beyond sea for trial of offences committed in America, resistance and reprisals should be made: then, having agreed that another general congress should be held on the 10th of May next, they dissolved themselves; i. e. on the 28th of October.

It has been seen that General Gage had issued writs calling the assembly to meet at Salem on the 5th of October. Before that day arrived, he thought it expedient to countermand the writs by proclamation, and to discharge such members as were already returned. This proclamation, however, was not heeded. Ninety members met on the day appointed, and though the governor was not there to open the session, or any one deputed by him to administer the oaths, they appointed a committee to consider the proclamation, and resolved themselves, with others who might afterwards join them, into a provincial congress. Having chosen Mr. John Hancock, the owner of the Liberty sloop, and a great merchant in the contraband line, to be their president, they adjourned to the town of Concord, about twenty-live miles distant from Boston Here their first business was to appoint a committee to wait upon Governor Gage with a remonstrance, in which they vindicated their meeting by a reference to the distracted state of the province, and called upon him, for the honour of the king and the public peace, to desist from the construction of fortifications against the town of Boston. The governor indignantly replied, "That the lives, liberty, and property of none but avowed enemies could be endangered by the troops of Great Britain, who had shown no disposition for hostilities, though they might be expected to feel resentment at the exertions employed to deprive them even of the necessaries of life." He also reminded this self-constituted provincial congress that while they affected to complain of alterations made in their charter by acts of parliament, their very meeting was in direct violation of their own constitution; and, finally, he exhorted them to desist from all illegal proceedings. The governor's exhortation was, however, unheeded. On receiving his reply, they adjourned to Cambridge, where they appointed a committee to draw up a plan for the military defence of the province. They likewise settled all matters relating to the militia; arranged means for the collection of arms; provided for the receipt of taxes; appointed committees for these different purposes; named Jedediah Pribble and Artemas Ward, who had seen some service in the war with the French and Canadians, to be their generals; and even deliberated upon the precise period for opposing or attacking the king's troops. Emissaries were also sent by them to Rhode Island, New Hampshire, and Connecticut, to request them to prepare their respective quotas, so as to make up an army of 20,000 men, and a committee was appointed to correspond with the Protestants of Canada, and especially those of the Presbyterian persuasion. Finally, they addressed a circular letter to all the dissenting ministers in New England, exhorting them to assist in averting the slavery with which the country was threatened, and appointed a day of public thanksgiving for the happy union which existed throughout the colonies. Having done all this, early in December the provincial congress of Massachusets prorogued themselves, appointing a new meeting in the ensuing month of February.

This conduct naturally excited the indignation of the governor, and he issued a proclamation forbidding the people to pay any obedience to these seditious resolutions. But proclamations now sounded in the ears of the people of Massachuset's Bay as idle words, and the resolutions were strictly obeyed. The same disregard to the mandates of government was also shown in other colonies. The king had issued a proclamation strictly prohibiting the exportation of warlike stores to America; and as soon as this became known in the colonies, the people of Rhode Island seized upon forty pieces of cannon belonging to the crown, which had been mounted on batteries for the defence of the harbour, and carried them off, while those of New Hampshire surprised a small fort, called "William and Mary," and carried off the ordnance, gunpowder, and other military stores. Mills, moreover, were erected for making gunpowder, and manufactories for making arms. Every thing, in fact, indicated that a fierce and bitter struggle was about to commence between America and the mother country. The train was laid, and the application of the match only was wanting to effect a fearful conflagration.

GEORGE III. 1773-1775





GENERAL ELECTION.

In the month of September, although parliament had more than a year to complete its septennial term, it was dissolved by proclamation, and writs issued for a new one. This step was taken, it would appear, chiefly that the sense of the nation might be known more fully concerning the affairs of America. This was found to be decidedly hostile to the late proceedings of the Americans. Loyalty, indeed, had increased at home in proportion as it had decreased in the colonies. All classes united in the opinion that the king, parliament, and country had been grossly insulted by the Americans, and that they deserved chastisement. Hence the general election, which took place in October, resulted greatly in favour of ministers. Some few places, it is true, proposed tests to the candidates, including pledges to stop hostilities with America, but the great majority were in favour of coercive measures if the Americans did not lay down their arms of rebellion. In this election Wilkes and Glynn were elected for Middlesex, so that this popular idol once more found a seat in parliament. He took his seat more proudly than ever, for he was this year also elected lord mayor of London: a high dignity for a man whose chief merits were those of agitation.





MEETING OF THE NEW PARLIAMENT.

The new parliament met on the 29th of November when the king signified his pleasure that the commons should elect a speaker to be presented on the next day for his approbation. Sir Fletcher Norton was unanimously re-elected, and on the following day his majesty opened the session with a speech in the usual form. The leading topic in this speech was the rebellious spirit displayed in America. His Majesty remarked: "It gives me much concern that I am obliged at the opening of this parliament, to inform you that a most daring spirit of resistance and disobedience to the law still unhappily prevails in the province of Massachusets Bay, and has, in divers parts of it, broke forth in fresh violences of a very criminal nature. These proceedings have been countenanced and encouraged in others of my colonies, and unwarrantable attempts have been made to obstruct the commerce of this country by unlawful combinations. I have taken such measures and given such orders as I judged most proper and effectual for carrying into execution the laws which were passed in the last session of the late parliament, for the protection and security of the commerce of my subjects, and for the restoring and preserving peace, order, and good government in the province of Massachusets Bay; and you may depend upon my firm and steadfast resolution to withstand every attempt to weaken or impair the supreme authority of this legislature over all the dominions of my crown: the maintenance of which I consider as essential to the dignity, the safety, and the welfare of the British empire; assuring myself that, while I act upon these principles, I shall never fail to receive your assistance and support." In conclusion, his majesty recommended both houses to proceed with temper and unanimity in their resolutions, in order that his subjects in every part of his dominions might be taught by their example to preserve a due reverence for the laws, and a just sense of the blessings of the British constitution.

In the debate on the address in the commons, an amendment was proposed on the part of the opposition, to the effect that his majesty would be pleased to communicate the whole intelligence received from America, and to lay all letters, orders, and instructions relating to the late transactions before parliament. This was opposed by Lord North, who argued that it was not a proper time for entering into a discussion on the subject, since matters were in a state of suspense, He said that a reconcilliation was highly desirable, but as no terms of concession had been made by the Americans, it could not be expected that England would offer terms of submission. On the opposition benches the conduct of the late parliament in passing the American acts was severely censured, and the prime-minister was taunted with the failure of those acts from which he had augured such great and beneficial effects. The amendment, however, was negatived by a majority of 264 against 73, and the original address carried. Opposition shared the same fate in the lords. The Duke of Richmond moved an amendment similar to that in the commons, and a hot debate took place in consequence, but it was lost by a majority of 63 against 13. Nine of the minority entered a strong protest against the address—the first ever made upon an address—which concluded with these words: "Whatever may be the mischievous designs or the inconsiderate temerity, which leads others to this desperate course, we wish to be known as persons who have ever disapproved of measures so pernicious in their past effects and their future tendency; and who are not in haste, without inquiry or information, to commit ourselves in declarations which may precipitate our country into all the calamities of a civil war."

It might have been expected that ministers, having apparently made up their minds to pursue coercive measures, would have prepared to meet the alternative of war with an efficient force. Ministers, however, seem to have been as impotent in execution as they were magnanimous in resolve. Instead of increasing the forces, they left the estimates to be entirely formed upon a peace establishment: continuing the army as it was and actually reducing the navy by 4000 men; leaving only 16,000 for the service of the ensuing year. The country felt a difficulty in reconciling this conduct of the ministers with the speech from the throne, and vehement debates took place in both houses on the subject. Lord Sandwich, however, asserted that our navy establishment, small as it was, would be sufficient to reduce the colonies to obedience, as the power, courage, and discipline of the Americans were by no means so formidable as had been represented, and as was generally supposed. Their very numbers, he said, would only add to the facility of their defeat when brought into action. Beyond this, the commons did little more before the Christmas recess than receive petitions which had been got up by Franklin and his agents in the North, and counter petitions which were concocted through the agency of Adam Smith, Dr. Roebuck, and others who seem to have been set to work by ministers, although they pretended some surprise when they were presented. In the house of lords, in the meantime, one important resolution had passed on the motion of the Duke of Manchester. This was to admit not only the members of the house of commons, but also other strangers, to hear the debates of the upper house. This put an end to a bitter contention which had existed between the lords and commons for four years.



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CHAPTER VI.

GEORGE III. 1775-1776


     Debates on America..... Pacific Measure of Lord North.....
     Burke's Plan of Conciliation..... Close of the Session.....
     Petition of the City of London..... Departure of
     Franklin..... Proceedings of the  Americans..... Expedition
     to seize Stores at Salem..... Affair at Lexington, etc......
     Meeting of the Assemblies and General Congress..... Battle
     of Bunker's Hill..... General Washington..... Expedition
     against Ticonderoga and Crown Point, etc,..... Expedition
     against Canada..... Disposition and Revolt of the
     Virginians..... Conduct of Congress towards New York,
     etc...... Proceedings in England..... Prosecution and Trial
     of Home Tooke, etc...... Meeting-of Parliament..... Changes
     in the  Ministry..... The Militia Bill..... The Navy and
     Land  Estimates..... Petition of Nova Scotia..... Petition
     of Congress..... Motions of the Duke of Grafton..... The
     Land-tax increased..... Burke's  Second Conciliatory
     Motion..... Lord   North's Prohibitory bill.

A.D. 1775





DEBATES ON AMERICA.

During the Christmas recess, ministers had received more alarming intelligence from America, coming down to the seizure of Fort William and Mary by the people of New Hampshire, as previously recorded. When parliament again met, therefore, which was on the 20th of January, the affairs of America became the prominent subject of discussion. Before that day it had been concerted between the Earl of Chatham and his friends that he should make one of his grand displays on the subject in the house of lords. After the minister had laid some important documents respecting the state of the colonies before the house, Chatham accordingly rose. He commenced by condemning all that the ministers had done, and by reproving them for their tardiness in communicating the American papers. He then congratulated their lordships upon the fact that the business was at last entered upon, by the noble lords laying these papers before them, and expressing a supposition that their contents were well known, he next made this motion: "That an humble address be presented to his majesty, to desire and beseech that, in order to open the way towards a happy settlement of the dangerous troubles in America, by beginning to allay ferments and soften animosities there; and, above all, for preventing, in the mean time, any sudden and fatal catastrophe at Boston, now suffering under the daily irritation of an army before their eyes, posted in their town; it may graciously please his majesty that immediate orders be dispatched to General Gage, for removing his majesty's forces from the town of Boston, as soon as the rigour of the season and other circumstances indispensable to the safety and accommodation of the said troops may render the same practicable." In continuation, Chatham proceeded to discuss the whole question: a question which, he said, demanded instant attention, as an hour lost might produce years of calamity. He remarked: "I will not desert for a single moment the conduct of this weighty business; unless nailed to my bed by extremity of sickness, I will give it my unremitted attention. I will knock at the door of this sleeping and confounded ministry, and will rouse them to a sense of their impending danger. When I state the importance of the colonies, and the magnitude of the danger hanging over this country from the present plan of mis-administration practised against them, I desire not to be understood to argue for a reciprocity of indulgence between England and America. I contend not for indulgence but justice to America; and I shall ever contend, that the Americans justly owe obedience to us in a limited degree; they owe obedience to our ordinances of trade and navigation. But let the line be skilfully drawn between the objects of those ordinances and their private internal property; let the sacredness of their property remain inviolate; let it be taxed only by their own consent, given in their provincial assemblies, else it will cease to be property. As to the metaphysical refinements, attempting to show that the Americans are equally free from obedience and commercial restraints as from taxation of revenue, being unrepresented here, I pronounce them futile, frivolous, and groundless. Resistance to your acts was necessary as it was just; and your vain declaration of the omnipotence of parliament, and your imperious doctrines of the necessity of submission, will be found equally impotent to convince or enslave your fellow-subjects in America, who feel that tyranny, whether ambitioned by an individual part, of the legislature or by the bodies who compose it, is equally intolerable to British subjects." Chatham next drew a startling yet not unfaithful picture of the army of General Gage, which he represented as placed in a dangerous position, as being penned up and pining in inglorious inactivity, and as being alike an army of impotence and contempt, as well as of irritation and vexation. He then proceeded to declare that activity would be even worse than this inglorious inactivity, and that the first drop of blood shed in this civil and unnatural war would produce an incurable wound. Chatham next, by a strange infatuation, extolled the congress of Philadelphia for its decency, firmness, and wisdom, and even maintained that it was more wise than the assemblies of ancient Greece! He remarked:—"I must declare and avow, that in all my reading—and it has been my favourite study, and I have read Thucydides, and have studied and admired the master-states of the world—for solidity of reasoning, force of sagacity, and wisdom of conclusion, under such a complication of difficult circumstances, no nation or body of men can stand in preference to the general congress at Philadelphia!" If Chatham did not take this view of the proceedings of the congress of Philadelphia out of sheer opposition to the existing administration, which it was his pleasure always to gall and oppose, then he must have been miserably blinded by the half-speaking papers, which no man in his senses could misinterpret, and which that congress had issued. Having passed this strange eulogium on that body, Chatham next called upon ministers to retract now that they might do it with a good grace, and asserted that they had derived their information from wrong sources, from selfish merchants, packers, and factors, and such servile classes of Americans, whose strength and stamina were not worthy to be compared with the cultivators of the land, in whose simplicity of life was to be found the simpleness of virtue, and the integrity of courage and freedom. He continued: "These true genuine sons of the earth are invincible. They surround and hem in the mercantile bodies, and if it were proposed to desert the cause of liberty, they would virtuously exclaim, 'If trade and slavery are companions, we quit trade; let trade and slavery seek other shores; they are not for us!' This resistance to your arbitrary taxation might have been foreseen: it was obvious from the nature of things and of mankind; but above all, from the Whiggish spirit flourishing in that country. The spirit which now resists your taxation in America, is the same which formerly opposed loans, benevolences, and ship-money in England: the same spirit which called all England on its legs, and by the Bill of Rights vindicated the constitution; the same principle which established the great fundamental and essential maxim of our liberties, that no subject of England shall be taxed but by his own consent. This glorious spirit of whiggism animates three millions in America, who prefer poverty with liberty, to gilded chains and sordid affluence, and who will die in defence of their rights as men—as freemen." Chatham enlarged greatly upon this glorious spirit of Whiggism displayed on both sides of the Atlantic, asserting that it would finally compel the ministers not only to abandon their present measures and principles, however many noses they might count on a division, but to hide their heads in shame. He continued: "They cannot my lords, they cannot stir a step; they have not a move left; they are check-mated. It is not repealing this or that act of parliament—it is not repealing a piece of parchment—that can restore America to our bosom; you must repeal her fears and her resentments, and you may then hope for her love and gratitude. But now, insulted by an armed force at Boston, irritated by a hostile array before her eyes, her concessions, if they could be forced, would be suspicious and insecure; they will be irato animo, not sound honourable factions of freemen, but dictates of fear and extortions of force. It is, however, more than evident, you cannot force them, principled and united as they are, to your unworthy terms of submission. It is impossible." Having been pathetic on General Gage in one part of his speech, Chatham now was witty upon him, comparing him with the great General Condé, who upon being asked why he did not capture his adversary Turenne, replied, that he was afraid Turenne would take him. Chatham then contended that nothing was left but to withdraw the troops from Boston, and to repeal all the acts of parliament. This, he imagined, might satisfy the Americans, and have the effect of binding them to an acknowledgment of our sovereignty, and our rights to regulate their navigation and commerce. Concessions, he said, must be made at some time or other, and they had better be made now, when they might do it as became their dignity. He concluded his speech thus:—"Every danger impends to deter you from perseverance in the present ruinous measures. Foreign war is hanging over your heads by a slight and brittle thread. France and Spain are watching your conduct, and waiting for the maturity of your errors. If ministers thus persevere in misadvising and misleading the king, I will not say they can alienate the affections of his subjects from the crown; but I will affirm, that they make the crown not worth his wearing; I will not say the king is betrayed, but I will pronounce the kingdom undone." Chatham's motion was supported by the Duke of Richmond, the Marquess of Rockingham, the Earl of Shelburne, and Lord Camden, who were, however, not fully agreed as to the propriety of recalling the troops, and who seem to have considered that proper concessions had not been made by the people of Boston, and that concessions made on the part of the British government on previous occasions had been misinterpreted in America, and had told to our disadvantage. On the other hand, the motion was opposed by the Earls of Suffolk, Rochford, and Gower, Viscounts Weymouth and Townshend, and Lord Lyttleton, who defended the recent acts of parliament, vindicated the legislative supremacy of parliament, and controverted the eulogy passed on the American congress, maintaining rightly that its acts and resolutions savoured strongly of a rebellious spirit. In the course of their arguments it was said that all conciliating means had proved ineffectual, or had only tended to increase the disorders; that if we gave way now from notions of present advantages in trade and commerce, such a yielding would defeat its own object, as the Navigation Act, and all other acts regulating trade, would inevitably fall victims to the interested and ambitious views of the colonists. This was a cogent argument, and Chatham rose to reply to it. He remarked, "If the noble lord should prove correct in suggesting that the views of the Americans are ultimately directed to abrogate the Act of Navigation and the other regulating acts, so wisely calculated to promote a reciprocity of interests, and to advance the grandeur and prosperity of the whole empire, no person present, however zealous, would be readier than myself to resist and crush their endeavours; but to arrive at any certain knowledge of the real sentiments of the Americans, it would first be proper to do them justice—to treat them like subjects before we condemn them as aliens and traitors." Chatham then went over some of his previous arguments, especially contending that the right of taxing-was not included in legislation, and that sovereignty and supremacy did not imply that we could touch the money of the Americans, except by measures of trade and commerce. The motion was negatived by a majority of 68 against 18.

In submitting this motion to the house, the Earl of Chatham said that he had prepared a plan for healing all differences between England and America! This plan he afterwards submitted to Franklin, with whom he had recently much communication, and on Wednesday, the 1st of February, he submitted it to the house. He called it "A Provisional Bill for settling the Troubles in America, and for asserting the supreme legislative Authority and superintending Power of Great Britain over the Colonies." In the speech made on this occasion, lie said, he offered this bill as a basis of measures for averting the dangers which threatened the British empire, and expressed a hope that it would obtain the approbation of both sides of the house. In stating the urgent necessity of such a measure, he represented England and America as drawn up in martial array, waiting for the signal to engage in a contest, in which it was little matter for whom victory declared, as the ruin of both parties was certain. He stood forth, he said, from a principle of duty and affection, to act as a mediator. In doing so, he represented that he would hold the scales of justice even-handed. He remarked, "No regard for popularity, no predilection for his country, not the high esteem he entertained for America on the one hand, nor the unalterable steady regard he entertained for the dignity of Great Britain on the other, should at all influence his conduct; for though he loved the Americans as men prizing and setting the just value on that inestimable blessing, liberty, yet if he could once bring himself to believe that they entertained the most distant intentions of throwing off the legislative supremacy and great constitutional superintending power and control of the British legislature, he should be the very person himself who would be the first and most zealous mover for securing and enforcing that power by every possible exertion this country was capable of making." Chatham concluded by entreating the house to revise and correct the bill, and to reduce it to that form which was suited to the dignity and importance of the subject; and by declaring that he was actuated by no narrow principle or personal consideration, for though his bill might be looked upon as one of concession, it was likewise one of assertion. The bill which Chatham proposed was briefly to the following effect: That the parliament of Great Britain had full power to bind America in all matters touching the weal of the whole dominion of the crown of Great Britain, and especially in making laws for the regulation of navigation and trade throughout the complicated system of British commerce, etc.; that it should be declared that no military force could ever be lawfully employed to destroy the best rights of the people, while at the same time the authority of sending troops to the colonies of the British dominions should be maintained, independent of the voice of the provincial assemblies in the colonies; that no taxes for his majesty's revenue should be levied in America without consent of the provincial assemblies; that the congress of Philadelphia should be legalized and empowered to meet again on the 9th of May ensuing, for the purpose of making due recognition of the supreme legislative authority and superintending power over the colonies, and of voting a free grant to the crown of a certain perpetual revenue, etc.; that the prayer of the petition of congress should then be granted, and that the powers of admiralty and vice-admiralty courts in America should be confined to their ancient limits, and the trial by jury in civil cases should be restored wherever they had been abolished, etc.; that all the recent acts of parliament which had been the cause of the agitation in America should be forthwith suspended; and that, in order to secure due and impartial administration in the colonies, his majesty's judges in the courts of law, who were appointed in America by the crown with salaries, should hold their offices and salaries in the same manner as his majesty's judges in England; quamdiu se benè gesserint. The bill which Chatham introduced concluded thus: "And it is here by further declared that the colonies in America are justly entitled to the privileges, franchises, and immunities granted by their several charters or constitutions; and that the said charters or constitutions ought not to be invaded or resumed, unless for misuser, or some legal ground of forfeiture. So shall a true reconcilement avert impending calamities, and this most solemn national accord between Great Britain and her colonies stand an everlasting monument clemency and magnanimity in the benignant father of his people; of wisdom and moderation in this great nation, famed for humanity as for valour; and of fidelity and grateful affection from brave and loyal colonies to their parent kingdom, which will ever protect and cherish them."

There is full evidence that Chatham, in bringing such a bill as this before the house—a bill which was rather theoretical than practical—did not expect that it would be adopted. In a consultation over the bill between himself and Franklin, after certain suggestions made by the philosopher, none of which were adopted, he said that there was not time to make alterations and another fair copy; that neither of them expected it would be adopted; and that it might be afterwards amended. On the part of Franklin, no desire seems to have existed in his mind for its adoption. What he chiefly wanted, was another brilliant speech from the veteran statesman, that government might be further embarrassed, and the resistance of the colonies further stimulated. This appears to have escaped the penetration of Chatham. Sincere himself in the matter, he thought Franklin also sincere: otherwise there can be no doubt that he would have spurned him from his door. Franklin, in truth, took care to throw dust in the eye of Chatham. At a previous interview, he assured him that he had never heard any person, drunk or sober, express a wish for the disseveration of the two countries, or hint that such a thing would be advantageous to America. This he expressly states in a letter to his son, so that he stands condemned by his own hand-writing of the most gross duplicity for ulterior purposes. It is pitiable to see a mind so highly gifted as was that of Franklin stoop so low in a matter of such momentous consequences The eyes of all America were turned towards him as their champion in England, and had he been so inclined there is little doubt but he could have procured great and lasting benefits to his country without the shedding one drop of precious blood. But his single aim was the dismemberment of the empire.

At the conclusion of Chatham's speech, the Earl of Dartmouth, secretary of state for America, moved that the bill should lie on the table, till the papers referred to the house by his majesty should have been taken into consideration. On the other hand, the Earl of Sandwich moved that the bill should be at once rejected with the contempt it deserved. He could not, he said, believe it was the production of a British peer. It appeared to him the work of an American, and seeing Franklin leaning on the bar of the house, he pointed him out as its author, and as one of the bitterest and most mischievous enemies this country had ever known. To make any concession at this moment, he said, would be an abandonment of the whole cause of government, since the one grand aim of the Americans was absolute independence. At this very time, he asserted they were courting the trade of other nations, and he stated that he had letters in his pocket to prove that ships were being-laden at some European ports with East India produce and European commodities for America. Lord Sandwich was supported by Earls Gower and Hillsborough, and the Duke of Grafton, the latter of whom denounced the way in which the bill had been hurried into the house, as irregular and unparliamentary. The bill was supported by the Duke of Richmond, the Earl of Shelburne, and Lord Camden, who analysed the laws proposed to be repealed with great severity, and pointed out the evils of foreign interference, and the danger of famine at home, from the discontinuance of supplies from America. Another party in the house, consisting of the Duke of Manchester, Earl Temple, and Lord Lyttleton, were for taking a more moderate course, that is, not to reject the bill thus summarily, on consideration of the exalted character of its proposer. An angry debate followed, in the course of which one noble lord mentioned with applause the candid proposal of a member of the administration for the bill to lie on the table. But this had the contrary effect to that which the noble lord intended. Lord Dartmouth instantly rose and said that he had altered his opinion, and that he could not accept praise offered to him for candour of which he was now ashamed. The Earl of Chatham rose to defend both himself and his bill from the numerous attacks which had been made in the course of the debate. He commenced by avowing that the bill was the offspring of his own creation, though he had sought the advice of Franklin. He then attacked his quondam colleague in office, the Duke of Grafton, with severity, and inveighed against the whole administration in the most bitter terms. He remarked:—"The noble duke is extremely angry with me that I did not previously consult him on the bringing in of the present bill. I would ask the noble lord, does he consult me? or do I desire to be previously told of any motion he thinks fit to propose to this house? His grace seems to be much offended at the manner this bill has been hurried. I am certain he could not be serious, if he gave himself a minute to consider how the case really stands. Here we are told that America is in a state of rebellion, and we are now got to the 1st of February, and no one step is taken to crush this rebellion: yet such being the case I am charged with hurrying matters; but whether my conduct may be more justly charged with hurrying this business into, or his grace with hurrying it out of the house, I believe requires no great depth of penetration to discover. As to the other general objections, I presume it will be recollected that the last day I submitted the proposition about withdrawing the troops, I then gave notice that I would present in a few days a plan of general reconciliation. Eleven days have since elapsed and nothing has been offered by the king's servants. Under such circumstances of emergency on one side, when, perhaps, a single day may determine the fate of this great empire, and such a shameful negligence, total inaction, and want of ability on the other, what was to be done? No other alternative, in my opinion, remained, but either to abandon the interests of my country, and relinquish my duty, or to propose some plan, when ministers by their inaction and silence owned themselves incapable of proposing any. But even now let them speak out and tell me that they have a plan to lay before us, and I will give them an example of candour they are by no means deserving, by instantly withdrawing the present bill. The indecent attempt to stifle this measure in embryo may promise consequences the very reverse of what I am certain will be the case. The friends of the present motion may flatter themselves that the contents of the bill will sink into silence and be forgotten; but I believe they will find the contrary. This bill, though rejected here, will make its way to the public, to the nation, to the remotest wilds of America: it will in such a course undergo a deal of cool observation and investigation, and whatever its merits or demerits may be, it will rise or fall by them alone; it will, I trust, remain a monument of my poor endeavours to serve my country, and however faulty or defective, will at least manifest how zealous I have been to avert the impending storms which seem ready to burst on it, and for ever overwhelm it in ruin. Yet, when I consider the whole case as it lies before me, I am not much astonished, I am not much surprised, that men who hate liberty should detest those who prize it, or that those who want virtue themselves should endeavour to persecute those who possess it. Were I disposed to pursue this theme to the extent that truth would fully bear me out in, I could demonstrate that the whole of your political conduct has been one continued series of weakness, temerity, despotism, ignorance, futility, negligence, and the most notorious servility, incapacity, and corruption. On reconsideration I must allow you one merit, a strict attention to your own interests—in that view you appear sound statesmen and able politicians. You well know that if the present measure should prevail, that you must instantly relinquish your places. I doubt much whether you will be able to keep them on any terms; but sure I am such are your well-known characters and abilities, that any plan of reconciliation, however moderate, wise, and feasible, must fail in your hands. Such, then, being your precarious situation, who could wonder that you should put a negative on any measure which must annihilate your power, deprive you of your emoluments, and at once reduce you to that state of insignificance for which God and nature designed you." Earls Gower and Hillsborough reprobated this severe language of Chatham, as calculated to inflame the public mind both here and in the colonies, and questioned if the noble lord would not, on some future day, if his age permitted, give another of the many proofs of his versatility, by acting with the ministers he condemned, and patronising the measures he now censured. Upon a division, the bill was rejected by a majority of sixty-one against thirty-two. Its rejection proved a fine theme out of doors for those adverse to the ministry. A vote of thanks was passed by the corporation of the city of London to Chatham, for his humane design; and Franklin enlarged upon the folly and madness of the ministers in rejecting it, although he had not expressed his approbation of it even to Chatham himself. He obtained, however, by its introduction what he most wanted—namely, a subject by means of which he could widen the breach between America and the "dear old mother country."

In the meantime debates had taken place in the commons upon various petitions presented to the house, and especially upon one presented from Franklin, Bolland, and Lee, who prayed to be examined at the bar in support of the demands made by the general congress at Philadelphia. A motion, that this petition should be brought up, was negatived, on the ground that it would have the appearance of sanctioning the proceedings of the congress.

On the 2nd of February, Lord North, in the commons, in a committee of the whole house, moved for an address of thanks to the king for the communication of the papers. In introducing this motion Lord North intimated that a large military force was to be sent to America, and that the foreign commerce of New England and their fishing on the banks of Newfoundland were to be effectually stopped, until they should return to their duty. Fox moved an amendment, censuring ministers for having rather inflamed than healed differences, and praying for their removal. In doing so he descanted largely on the injustice of the motion for an address; predicting defeat in America and ruin at home. The amendment was negatived by a large majority, and, on a second division, the motion for an address was carried. It was reported on the 6th of February, when there was another warm debate, in which Wilkes, whose conduct on this subject was steady and consistent, took part. He remarked:—"Who can tell whether, in consequence of this day's violent and mad address, the scabbard may not be thrown away by the Americans, as well as by us; and should success attend them, whether, in a few years, they may not celebrate the glorious era of the revolution of 1775, as we do that of 1608? Success crowned the generous efforts of our forefathers for freedom, else they had died on the scaffold as traitors and rebels; and the period of our history which does us most honour would have been deemed a rebellion against lawful authority—not a resistance sanctioned by all the laws of God and man, and the expulsion of a tyrant." There is much truth in these observations; but in reply it was observed, that the present crisis had been produced as much by a zeal for their cause and a seditious spirit at home, as by the restless spirit of the colonists themselves; and that, while the proceedings of the Americans evidently tended to independence, and a future age might perhaps see them successful, it was the duty of all to unite in preventing the evil day from arriving at that period, and affixing an indelible stain on that age. At the commencement of this debate Lord John Cavendish had moved, that the address should be recommitted, but it was in the end negatived by two hundred and eighty-eight to one hundred and five.

A conference between the two houses on the address was held on the 7th of February, after which Lord Dartmouth moved, that the lords should concur in it; and on this motion the previous question was demanded. Another warm debate ensued. Lord Mansfield first rose, and, in a long and argumentative speech, he combated the arguments of those who maintained that the Americans were merely contending for exemption from taxation. He next minutely analysed the declarations of congress, and the acts of parliament of which they complained; in the course of which he insisted, that to annul any laws, except the acts of taxation, would be a renunciation of sovereignty. As a lawyer, he declared, from the documents before the house, that the Americans were already in a state of rebellion; and he condemned the taxes imposed in the year 1767, as the origin of the ferment in the colonies, and as tending to injure British commerce, inasmuch as they had furnished the colonists with a temptation to smuggle. On the other hand, Lord Camden, as a lawyer, denied that the Americans were in a state of rebellion, and drew sundry nice distinctions between actual treason and constructive treason. He also disclaimed all participation in the law for taxing America, as he had not been consulted on the subject. The Duke of Grafton complained of both these lords, and accused Camden of meanness and shuffling, in endeavouring to screen himself by accusing others; reminding him, that at the time the act was passed, he was lord-chancellor, and had signified the royal approbation of the act in his official capacity. Lord Lyttleton seconded the blow given to the ex-chancellor by his quondam colleague; but Lord Shelburne acquitted both Camden and the Duke of Grafton of approving the cabinet scheme for taxing America, and expressed a hope that public retribution would soon fall upon the author of the present despotic measures. The Duke of Richmond endeavoured to show that Lord Mansfield was its foster-parent; and a scene of mutual recrimination took place between them, in which other noble lords took an active part. Each one strove to lay the blame upon the shoulders of their opponents—all feeling that a blunder had been committed, which was likely to lead to the most disastrous consequences. This stormy altercation, however, terminated by the house agreeing to the address of the commons by a majority of nearly four to one. The king's reply to the address was accompanied by a message to the commons, recommending an augmentation to the forces by sea and land; and, in consequence of this message, 2000 additional seamen and 4,400 soldiers were voted—an increase altogether inadequate to meet the contingency; especially as France was at this moment increasing her fleets, and getting many line-of-battle ships ready for sea, which many members justly looked upon with suspicion.

In pursuance of his plan, on the 10th of February, Lord North moved for leave to bring in his bill for cutting off the commerce of New England and their profitable fishery—excepting such persons as should procure from their governors certificates of good and loyal conduct, and who should subscribe a test, acknowledging the supremacy of the British Parliament. This bill was warmly opposed in both houses, on the grounds of confounding the innocent with the guilty—of destroying a trade which perhaps could never be recovered—and of cruelly starving whole provinces, and thus irritating the Americans to withhold debts due to the British merchants. In support of the bill it was argued, that as the Americans had resolved not to trade with England, it was but fair to prevent their trading with other countries; that as they had entered into associations to ruin British merchants, impoverish British manufacturers, and starve our West India islands, it was a justifiable act of retaliation to return their mischiefs upon their own heads; and that, if any foreign power had only offered a tithe part of the insults and injuries we had received from our colonists, the whole nation would have been aroused to advocate revenge, and the minister who would not have responded to the demand would have been inevitably ruined. The charge of cruelty was denied, and the bill asserted to be one of humanity and mercy as well as of coercion. The colonists had incurred the penalties of rebellion, and had, therefore, rendered themselves liable to military execution; but instead of proceeding to such extremities, government only proposed to bring them back to a sense of duty, by a restriction on their trade—that is, they were to be kept without food instead of undergoing corporeal punishment. It was stated, moreover, that they had too long imposed upon us with their threats of depriving us of their trade, hoping thereby to bend the legislature to a compliance with all their demands, until they had completed their plans for asserting their independence. As for American courage and resources, they were considered by the ministers and their supporters in both houses to be unequal to the task of contending with those of England. It was even wished by Lord Sandwich that the Americans could produce four times the number of forces it was stated they could bring into the field; he contending, that the greater the numbers the easier would be the conquest. He even gravely predicted, that if they did not run away, they would starve themselves into compliance with the measures of government, Taking these views of the matter, which were manifestly erroneous, the bill was sanctioned by large majorities. Another bill also passed very soon after it, laying similar restraints on the colonies of New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, and South Carolina, for the hostilities they had exhibited in their sympathy with the people of New England.





PACIFIC MEASURE OF LORD NORTH.

Having adopted such measures as the above, it could hardly be expected that Lord North would lower his tone. Yet, to the surprise of all parties, and even of many of his own adherents, Lord North, in a committee of the whole house, moved the following resolution:—"That when the governor, council, and assembly, or general court of any of his majesty's provinces or colonies, shall propose to make provision for contributing their proportion to the common defence, such proportion to be raised under the authority of the general court, or general assembly of such province or colony, and disposable by parliament; and shall engage to make provision also for the support of the civil government and administration of justice in such province or colony, it will be proper, if such proposal shall be approved by his majesty in parliament, and for so long as such provision shall be made accordingly, to forbear, in respect of such province or colony, to levy any duties, tax, or assessment, or to impose any further duty, tax, or assessment, except only such duties as it may be expedient to impose for the regulation of commerce—the net produce of which duties last mentioned shall be carried to the account of such province, colony, or plantation exclusively." Lord North endeavoured to show that this resolution arose out of the following passage in the address:—"And whenever any of the colonies shall make a proper application to us, we shall be ready to afford them every just and reasonable indulgence." The terms of the resolution, he said, being such as in the hour of victory would be good and just, would afford a test as to the pretensions of the Americans. If their ostensible causes of opposition were real, he conceived that they must agree with such proposals, and that, if they did not agree with them, then it would be proved that they had other views and were actuated by other motives than those which they professed. He added:—"To offer terms of peace is wise and humane; if the colonists reject them, their blood must be on their own heads." Burke, in his Annual Register, says, that the court party, who always loved a strong government in whatever hands it might be lodged, and accordingly had upon principle ever opposed any relaxation in favour of the colonies, heard these proposals with horror, and considered themselves abandoned and betrayed. Be that as it may, it is certain that opposition to the minister's motion commenced on the treasury benches. The party, called "the King's Friends," at the head of whom were Mr. Welbore Ellis and Mr. Rigby, contended that Lord North's propositions were in direct opposition to every principle and idea of the address; that the scheme was at variance with all the preceding acts and declarations of parliament, and designed to pay court to the opposition; and that they went to acknowledge that there was, in reality, something unjust and grievous in the idea of taxing the Americans by parliament. In fact, they denounced the whole matter as a shameful prevarication and a mean departure from principle, and boldly asserted that they would make no concessions to rebels with arms in their hands, or give their consent to any measure for a settlement with the Americans, in which an express and definitive acknowledgment of the supremacy of the British parliament was not a preliminary article. Mr. Ackland went so far, indeed, as to move that the chairman should leave the chair, or, in other words, that the committee should be dissolved and the house resumed without the resolutions being put to the vote. Lord North had never been in such a dilemma before, and it seems probable that he would have yielded to the storm he had unconsciously raised, had not Sir Gilbert Elliot and Mr. Wedderburne rose to his rescue. Sir Gilbert Elliot remarked, that the address contained two correspondent lines of conduct—the one tending to repress rebellion, for which measures of restriction had been resorted to, the other offering indulgence to those who would return to their duty. In the address this was necessarily intimated in general and vague terms; but was so far from being contradictory to it, that without it, the plan adopted at the beginning of the session would be defective and unjust. When Wedderburne rose, he declared that nothing was further from the intention of Lord North than a dereliction of the rights of parliament, or a yielding to the insolence of the Americans. What he really proposed was, to enforce the one and repress the other. For himself, he contended, that indulgence should be offered to such of the colonists as would return to their duty, but the contumacious should be proceeded against with an increased army and navy, with gallant officers, who were going to America to enforce the spirited proposition. He added:—"We have at length put the dispute upon its proper footing—revenue or no revenue." The resolution being thus reconciled with the address, and Lord North having stated that the measure was designed to separate the grain from the chaff, and to disunite the colonies, the "king's friends" were satisfied. This healing of the breach on the treasury benches, however, had the effect of widening it on the side of the opposition, who had been exulting in the strife. Fox rejoiced in the retrograde movement of the minister; but doubted the sincerity of the motion made, and predicted, that the Americans would reject them with disdain. He was followed by Colonel Barré, who indulged in bitter sarcasm upon Lord North's recent embarrassment and danger from his friends, and said, that his motion was founded upon the pitiful and abominable maxim, divide et impera. It was to divide the Americans, and dissolve their generous union in defence of their rights and liberties; but, he added, "The Americans are not such gudgeons as to be caught with so foolish a bait." Lord North had by this time recovered his fortitude and he defended himself with great spirit from the attacks which had been made upon him, and justified his motion, on the ground that it would have the effect of sifting the reasonable from the unreasonable—of distinguishing those who acted upon principle, from those who wished to profit by the general confusion and ruin—of dividing the good from the bad, and of giving aid and support to the friends of peace and good government. Burke next attacked the minister. He declared, that the measure was mean without being conciliatory, and that it was a more oppressive mode of taxation than any that had yet been adopted. It was proposed, he said, that the colonies were to be held in durance by troops and fleets, until, singly and separately, they should offer to contribute to a service they could not know, and in a proportion they could not guess, since ministers had not even ventured to hint at the extent of their expectations. This conduct he compared to that of Nebuchadnezzar, who, when he had forgotten his dream, ordered his wise men to relate what he had dreamt, and likewise to give him its interpretation. He added, that every benefit, natural and political, must be acquired in the order of things and in its proper season, and that revenue from a free people must be the consequence, not the condition, of peace. Dunning next followed, showering more sarcasms and more odious comparisons on the head of Lord North than any of the preceding speakers; but in the end the resolution was adopted by a majority of two hundred and seventy-four against eighteen.

GEORGE III. 1775-1776





BURKE'S PLAN OF CONCILIATION.

The present occasion was deemed by the opposition a favourable one for putting forth a plan of conciliation, the terms of which might, by comparison, reflect censure on that of Lord North. This task was committed to Burke, and on the 22nd of March he brought forward a plan comprised in thirteen resolutions. These resolutions went to repeal many acts of parliament, and to reform many regulations, but the foundation on which the whole rested, was the mode of raising a revenue from the colonists through grants and aids by resolutions in their general assemblies. In the opening of an eloquent speech uttered upon this occasion, Burke took a comprehensive view of the state of Britain as connected with America, and then stated the nature of his proposition. He remarked:—"The proposition is peace. Not peace through the medium of war; not peace to be hunted through the labyrinth of intricate and endless negociations; not peace to arise out of universal discord, fermented from principle in all parts of the empire; not peace to depend on the periodical determination of perplexing questions, or the precise marking the shadowy boundaries of a complex government. It is simple peace; sought in its natural course and in its ordinary haunts. It is peace sought in the spirit of peace; and laid in principles purely pacific. I propose, by removing the ground of the difference, and by restoring the former unsuspecting confidence of the colonies in the mother country, to give permanent satisfaction to your people; and, far from a scheme of ruling by discord, to reconcile them to each other in the same act, and by the bond of the very same interest, which reconciles them to British government." His plan of conciliation, he declared, was founded on the sure and solid basis of experience, and he asserted that neither the chimeras of imagination, nor abstract ideas of right, nor mere general theories of government, ought to receive any attention. He then entered into a copious display and elucidation of his subject. He dwelt on the spirit of freedom existing in America, asserting that their extreme notions of liberty arose from the peculiar religious spirit which existed in the colonies, which he termed a refinement on the principles of resistance, and which was carried with them on their first emigration from England. Law, also, he said, had fostered this high spirit of liberty, since the study of it was more universal in America than in any other country in the world, and since that study made them acute, inquisitive, dexterous, prompt in attack, ready in defence, and full of resources. Burke next dwelt on the enlarged population of America, and the increased importance of her commerce, both in exports and imports, and animated by this view of their great and growing prosperity, he exclaimed in a lofty tone of eloquence:—"While we follow them into the north amongst mountains of ice, while we behold them penetrating the deepest recesses of Hudson's Bay, while we are looking for them beneath the Arctic circle, thay have pervaded the antipodes, and engaged under the frozen serpent of the south: nor is the equinoctial heat more discouraging to them, than the accumulated winter of the poles; while some of them strike the harpoon on the coast of Africa, others pursue their gigantic toils on the shores of the Brazils. There is no climate that is not a witness of their labours. When I contemplate these things; when I know they owe little or nothing to any care of ours, but that they have arrived at this perfection through a wise and salutary neglect; I feel the pride of power and the presumption of wisdom die away within me; and I pardon everything to their spirit of liberty." The love of freedom, Burke contended, was the predominant feature in the cause of the Americans, and he pointed out two other causes which tended to increase its growth beyond those above-mentioned. One of these causes may seem parodoxical: it was that black slavery prevailed in the colonies! The possession of slaves, he said, was more than a counterpoise to the prevalence of the established church in some of the provinces, and he established his argument thus:—"I can perceive, by their manner, that some gentlemen object to the latitude of my description, because in the southern colonies the church of England forms a large body, and has a regular establishment. It is certainly true. There is, however, a circumstance attending these southern colonies, which, in my opinion, fully counterbalances this difference, and makes the spirit of liberty still more high and haughty than in those to the northward. It is that in Virginia, and the Carolinas they have a vast multitude of slaves! Where this is the case, in any part of the world, those who are free, are by far the most proud and jealous of their freedom. Not seeing there that freedom, as in countries where it is a common blessing, and as broad and general as the air, may be united with much abject toil, with great misery, with all the exterior of servitude, liberty looks amongst them like something that is more noble and liberal. I do not mean to commend the superior morality of this sentiment, which has at least as much pride as virtue in it; but I cannot alter the nature of man. The fact is so; and these people of the southern colonies are much, more strongly, and with a higher and more stubborn, spirit, attached to liberty than those to the northward." Burke's reasoning was unhappily sound. All the great nations of antiquity who fought with blood-stained swords, and with indomitable ardour for their own liberties, were great slave owners; eating the bread which was grown by the sweat of other men's brows. This fact, however, redounds to the everlasting shame of the Americans, and the black stain on their annals is not yet wiped out: nay, it grows blacker and blacker as the period of their history rolls onward. Slavery is the plague-spot of that boasted land of liberty! The last cause of their thirst for freedom mentioned by Burke, was their distance from the seat of government. He remarked:—"Three thousand miles of ocean lie between you and your subjects! This is a powerful principle in the natural constitution of things for weakening government, which no contrivance can prevent. Seas roll, and months pass, between the order and the execution; and the want of a speedy explanation of a single point is enough to defeat a whole system. You have, indeed, winged ministers of vengeance, who carry your bolts to the remotest verges of the sea. But there a power stops, that limits the arrogance of raging passions, and says, 'Hitherto shalt thou go, and no further.' Who are you, that should fret, and rage, and bite the chains of nature? Nothing worse happens to you than to all nations possessing extensive empire; and it happens in all the forms into which empire can be thrown. In large bodies the circulation of power must be less vigorous at the extremities. Nature has said it. The Turk cannot govern Egypt, as he governs Thrace; nor has he the same dominion in Crimea and Algiers, which he has at Brusa and Smyrna. Despotism itself is obliged to truck and huckster. The sultan gets such obedience as he can. He governs with a loose reign, that he may govern at all; and the whole of the force and vigour of his authority in his centre is derived from a prudent relaxation in all his borders. Spain in her provinces submits to this immutable condition, the eternal law of extensive and detached empire." Still Burke did not conceive the idea of proclaiming the independence of America. On the contrary, like Chatham, he contended for the general supremacy of parliament, and the rights of the crown, expressing at the same time his conviction that we had arrived at the decisive moment of preserving or of losing both our trade and empire. How to preserve it was the question, and he proposed that it should be done by concession and conciliation,—and not by force. The plan he proposed, therefore, to obtain this consummation was, to allow all the claims the Americans had set forth in their petitions and declarations, and by undoing all that the parliament had done respecting America, since the year 1765. His resolutions were briefly these:—That the colonies not being represented in parliament, could in no way be taxed by parliament; that the said colonies had been made liable to several subsidies, payments, rates and taxes, given and granted by parliament, etc.; that from the distance of the colonies, with other circumstances, no means had ever been devised for procuring for them a representation in parliament; that the colonies had each a general assembly that ought to tax and assess them; that these assemblies had often spontaneously granted the crown subsidies, etc.; that experience had shown that such grants made by the assemblies were more beneficial and conducive to the public service, than the mode of giving and granting aids and subsidies in parliament to be paid in the colonies: that the act for granting certain duties in the colonies, for allowing a drawback upon the exportation from this kingdom of coffee and cocoa-nuts of the produce of the said colonies, etc. should be repealed; that the bill for altering the course of trials in Massachusets Bay should be repealed; that the Boston Port Bill should be repealed; that the bill for altering the constitution of Massachusets Bay should be repealed; that the act of King Henry VIII., in regard to the trial of treasons committed out of the king's dominions, should be amended; that the new regulations for appointing and paying the judges should be altered so as to meet the views of the colonists; and that the American courts of admiralty or vice-admiralty should be regulated in such, a manner as to make them more commodious to those who sued or were sued in them, and to provide for the more decent maintenance of the judges presiding in those courts. These propositions were vigorously combated by the ministers, and rejected by the house; and five days afterwards a scheme closely resembling Lord Chatham's, proposed by Mr. Hartley, shared the same fate. Burke appealed to the public by printing his speech, but though it was read and admired, it was soon forgotten. On the other hand a defence of American taxation, published by his friend Dr. Johnson, in which he defended colonial subordination on the principles of the law of nations, and maintained that the colonists, by their situation, became possessed of such advantages as were more than equivalent to their right of voting for representatives in parliament, etc., had a great effect on the public mind, which was pre-disposed to admit his arguments. The voice of the nation was, in fact, in favour of the measures pursued by Lord North and his coadjutors in the ministry.





CLOSE OF THE SESSION.

Towards the close of the session Lord North moved an additional clause in the second restraining bill, to include in it the counties of Newcastle, Kent, and Sussex, on Delaware, which was carried without a division. Burke, as agent for the colony of New York, presented a remonstrance from the general assembly of that province, but though Lord North admitted that the people of that colony had hitherto been peaceably inclined, he opposed the bringing up of the paper, upon the ground that parliament could not hear anything which called in question its right to legislate for the colonies, and it was refused. In both houses attempts were made to procure a repeal of the act for settling the government of Canada, but without effect. The remainder of the session was occupied in considering the annual motion of Alderman Sawbridge for shortening the duration of parliaments; in appointing a committee on the motion of Mr. Gilbert, to consider the poor laws; in voting the purchase of Buckingham-house for the queen, in lieu of Somerset-house, which was converted into public offices; and in settling financial measures. His majesty prorogued parliament on the 26th of May, after expressing his satisfaction at the course which had been pursued, and auguring the happiest results from the measures which had been adopted.





PETITION OF THE CITY OF LONDON.

At this period, the livery of London attempted to turn the royal counsels respecting America, by an address containing a remonstrance, in which the citizens of London declared their abhorrence of the measures which had been pursued for the oppression of their fellow-subjects in the colonies, and which they affirmed were carried into execution by the same fatal corruption which had enabled his majesty's ministers to wound the peace and violate the constitution of this country. The petitioners prayed his majesty, therefore, to dismiss his advisers on the instant, as the first step towards a redress of grievances which alarmed and afflicted his people. This petition was presented by Mr. Wilkes, as lord mayor; a circumstance which doubtless embittered his majesty's feelings in reply. This reply was explicit and emphatic. His majesty remarked:—"It is with the utmost astonishment that I find any of my subjects capable of encouraging the rebellious disposition which unhappily exists in some of my colonies in North America. Having entire confidence in my parliament, the great council of the nation, I will steadily pursue those measures which they have recommended, for the support of the constitutional rights of Great Britain, and the protection of the commercial interests of my kingdom." Wilkes was prevented from making a reply by a hint from the lord in waiting, and the king directed a notice to be issued a few days after, that the king would not receive any address from the city except in its corporate capacity. This address had, indeed, been got up by a minority of the livery: the majority were in favour of the measures adopted.





DEPARTURE OF FRANKLIN.

During the month of April, while parliament was deliberating on the course to be pursued in the colonies, Dr. Franklin suddenly left England. Before he left he put in his protest against the measures adopted by the ministry and the British parliament, into the hands of Lord Dartmouth. On the evening before his departure, he had, also, a long interview with Burke, in which he expressed regret for the calamities which he anticipated as the consequence of ministerial resolutions, and again professed his attachment to the mother country, under whose rule America had enjoyed so many happy days. Yet there can be no question but that Franklin's principal motive for leaving England was to widen the breach which existed between her and the colonies, and to aid them in the struggle for independence.





PROCEEDINGS OF THE AMERICANS.

In the mean time military preparations had been continued in America. Inflamed by publications and harangues on every side, the Americans had been active in preparing for the approaching contest. No thought of concession or conciliation was entertained: provincial and private meetings all breathed the language of defiance to the mother country, and threatened resistance to taxation, external or internal, as well as to every other act of coercion. A great impetus was given to the popular movement by the resolutions of congress. A few assemblies there were, indeed, as that of New York, who at first refused to admit these resolutions, but they were soon induced to join the confederation. Every province prepared its levies and its cannon and its military stores for the deadly strife. And at length that strife commenced. While the houses of parliament in England were yet echoing with the oratory of its empassioned members, the hillsides of America were reverberating with peals of musketry. The banner of revolt was first unfolded in the province where the spirit of resistance first showed itself—that of Massachusets Bay. The aversion which General Gage had shown to the adoption of violent measures and the forbearance of the troops had rather tended to increase than to allay hostile feelings in that province, and at length the proceedings of the people became so alarming, that the general was compelled to adopt measures to put it out of their power to effect mischief.





EXPEDITION TO SEIZE STORES AT SALEM.

Having received intelligence that a depôt of arms had been collected at Salem, on the 26th of February, General Gage ordered a small detachment of troops thither for the purpose of securing it. It was on the Sabbath when this order was given, and the detachment proceeded by water to Marble Head, whence they marched to Salem. Before they could arrive at the town, however, the artillery was removed into the country. On discovering this, the field-officer in command of the detachment, hoping to overtake it, marched on, up the country, till he was stopped by a river. There was a drawbridge over this river, but upon his approach it was hauled up by a number of people on the opposite bank. The officer desired them to let this bridge down, which was refused, and perceiving a boat in the river he was about to make use of it for transporting his troops across the river. Seeing this, some country people who were nearer to it, jumped into the boat, and began to cut holes in her bottom with axes. A scuffle ensued between them and some soldiers, which would have ended in loss of life, had not a clergyman judiciously interposed to prevent such a catastrophe. By his interference the Americans were induced to let down the drawbridge, and the officer and his men then passed over. The day, however, was now far spent, and the artillery had been carried too great a distance for him to overtake it, and the officer deemed it expedient to march his men back to Marble Head, whence they re-embarked for Boston-neck. They were not molested on their retreat, but the country people considered this as a triumph and victory over them, and it materially assisted in raising the courage of the colonists.





AFFAIR AT LEXINGTON, ETC.

The next attempt to seize the military stores of the Americans, was attended with more serious consequences. Having heard that a quantity was deposited at the town of Concord, about eighteen miles from Boston, in the night between the 18th and 19th of April, General Gage detached the grenadiers and light infantry under Lieutenant-Colonel Smith and Major Pitcairn, to seize them. The detachment was embarked in boats and conveyed up Charles River to Phipp's Farm, where they landed, and proceeded in silence and haste towards Concord. But although this was done in the dead of the night, the New Englanders were not asleep. The detachment had not marched many miles when their ears were saluted with the firing of guns and the ringing of bells, the signals for alarm. When they arrived at Lexington they perceived the militia drawn up on a green on the high road, and Major Pitcairn riding up commanded them as rebels to lay down their arms and disperse. The latter part of this order was obeyed, but as the Americans were retiring several guns were fired upon the king's troops from behind a wall, and from some adjoining houses. One man was wounded, and Major Pitcairn's horse was shot in two places. Orders were now given to fire, and eight men were killed and many others wounded. By this time the grenadiers had joined the light infantry, and both proceeded together towards Concord. As they drew near a large body of American militia was seen drawn up under arms on a gentle eminence, and the light infantry was sent to disperse them. In this they succeeded, and they kept them in check until the grenadiers had accomplished the object of their expedition. After this they commenced their march back to Boston; but their backs were scarcely turned when a loud shout was heard that the "lobsters" were afraid of them. The militia had, by this time, been reinforced from the country behind, and militia-men, minute-men, and volunteers of every description, were pouring in from all quarters, to post themselves behind trees and walls, and in houses, near which the troops were to pass. Presently the work of slaughter commenced: an incessant though irregular fire began in front and on both flanks, and the main body of the militia fired upon them from the rear. And what made the attack more discouraging was, that the most destructive fire proceeded from men whom they could not reach, and whose presence was only known by the smoke and effects of their rifles. This continued through all their route back to Lexington, and had not General Gage had the forethought of sending a second detachment to sustain the first, there can be but little doubt that the whole body would have been annihilated. This second detachment met the first at Lexington, and Lord Percy, who was at the head of it, having formed his troops into a hollow square, enclosed the pursued—who were driven before the Americans like a flock of sheep, and gave them time for rest. When they were somewhat refreshed, Lord Percy slowly moved the whole body towards Boston. But even now they were not wholly freed from danger. The militia, who had been treading on their rear, were no longer seen, but every house, every wall, and every tree the troops had to pass, sent forth upon them bullets and rifle shots; the Americans taking care not to expose their own persons to danger. When they reached Boston they had left behind them sixty killed, and forty-nine missing, in addition to which they had one hundred and thirty-six wounded. The provincials had about fifty killed, and thirty-eight wounded; but their loss was more than compensated by the encouragement which this affair tended to give the Americans in general. Elated with the result, they termed it "the glorious victory of Lexington;" and they talked of nothing less than driving the king's troops from Boston, and restoring the liberty and trade of that town. Instead of an immediate assault, however, they formed themselves into a blockade. Twenty thousand men, under the command of Colonels Ward, Pribble, Heath, Prescot, and Thomas, officers who had served in the provincial regiments during the last war, put themselves in cantonment, and formed a line nearly twenty miles in extent, with their left leaning on the river Mystic, and their right on the town of Roxburghe, thus enclosing Boston in the centre. Their headquarters were fixed at Cambridge, and they were soon joined by a strong detachment of troops from Connecticut, under the command of General Putnam, who, as soon as he heard of the battle of Lexington, like another Cincinnatus, left his plough in the middle of the field, in order to fight the battles of his country. Putnam took up such a position with his detachment as to be able to support any part of the line that might be attacked; but General Gage remained perfectly inactive, neither attacking this line, which he might probably have done with effect, as it was without any military consistency, nor erecting any outworks to prevent any sudden advance upon Boston-neck.





MEETING OF THE ASSEMBLIES AND OF GENERAL CONGRESS.

While the Americans were thus in hostile array, the provincial congress of Massachusets adjourned from Concord to Water Town, about ten miles from Boston. It was resolved by this congress that an army of 30,000 men should be raised and established, whereof 13,600 should be of the province of Massachusets Bay. It was further resolved that a letter and delegates should be sent to the several colonies of Hampshire, Connecticut, and Rhode Island, for further assistance and co-operation. Despatches were also sent to Franklin, in England, containing an account of the Lexington battle, and enclosing an address to the people of Great Britain, complaining of the conduct of the troops, professing great loyalty, but appealing to Heaven for the justice of their cause, and declaring their determination to die rather than sacrifice their liberty. At the same time the provincial congress made great exertions to clothe and pay the besieging army, voting a large sum in paper currency, for the redemption of which the faith of the whole province was pledged. They also formally declared that General Gage, by the late transactions, had utterly disqualified himself from acting as governor, or in any other capacity, and that no obedience was due to him, but that he ought to be considered an inveterate enemy. A similar spirit was exhibited in other provinces. At New York military associations were formed, and a provincial congress called; in Jersey the populace took possession of the treasury; and in Philadelphia, the very Quakers renounced their principles of peace, and took up arms as volunteers, under the pretence of self-defence. It was in this state of affairs that Lord North's conciliatory propositions arrived. These were read first in the assembly of Pennsylvania by governor Penn, who expressed an anxious wish that all due consideration should be given them, and that, if possible, they might become instruments of restoring tranquillity to the country. It was determined by the assembly of Pennsylvania, however, that the union of the colonies to which they were pledged should not be deserted. Similar results followed the reading of them in other provincial assemblies, and all concurred in referring them to the general congress, which was in itself a rejection, since its legality would never be acknowledged by the British parliament.

The general congress met on the 10th of May. Its first acts were to frame resolutions for organising an army, and the emission of a paper currency, guaranteed by the united colonies; to stop all exportation of provisions to the British fisheries, and to every colony or island subject to the British government; to resolve, that by violation of their charter, the people of Massachusets Bay were absolved from allegiance to the crown, and might lawfully establish a new government; and to prohibit the negociations of bills of exchange or any orders issued by the officers of army and navy-agents, or contractors. They also established a general post-office under the superintendence of Dr. Franklin, who arrived soon after the meeting of congress, and who greatly helped forward the march of revolution. The congress, though still delaying their proclamation of absolute independence, pursued a course after the arrival of Franklin which no longer left their intentions doubtful to any man, by forming the plan of a confederation and perpetual union, the chief articles of which fully showed that such was their aim. After drawing up this plan the congress attended to the army, and they fixed upon Colonel George Washington to be their commander-in-chief. A committee was next appointed to prepare a declaration of the causes that induced them to take up arms against their mother country. After the adoption of this declaration, in which it was said "that they had counted the cost of the contest, and found nothing so dreadful as slavery," Jefferson was placed on a committee with Dr. Franklin and others, to consider and report on Lord North's pacificatory resolutions, which was denounced in the same spirit as it had been scouted previously by the provincial assemblies. Two days after this, and in the month of July, congress prepared a second address to the people of Great Britain, in which they vindicated themselves from the charge of aiming at independence—professed their willingness to submit to the acts of trade and navigation passed before 1763—recapitulated their reasons for rejecting Lord North's proposals, and intimated the hazard the people of England would run of losing their own liberty if America should be overcome. Yet though this address breathed defiance to government, on the very same day another petition was drawn up to the king, which was more moderate than that of the preceding year, and even approached him in a supplicating tone. Addresses were also got up to the inhabitants of Canada, Jamaica, and Ireland, and finally to the lord mayor and livery of the city of London. It is difficult to reconcile the sentiments contained in these declarations, petitions, and addresses. While some passages breathed the spirit of bold and uncompromising defiance, others expressed loyalty of the most ardent nature to his majesty, and unalterable attachment to the mother country. The spirit by which congress was actuated is, however, clearly defined by their proceedings, and by the character of the men who composed it. There was one gentle Dickinson among the number, who still hoped for a reconciliation with Great Britain, but the majority of its members were akin in spirit to the fiery Jefferson, whose turbulency often showed itself during their deliberations. There was, however, no room to doubt as to the determination of the Americans to assert their independence, for, while this congress was sitting, events had occurred which proclaimed that determination to all the world in language which could not be misunderstood. Blood had again stained the soil of America.

3-079-bunker-hill.jpg Battle of Bunker's Hill





BATTLE OF BUNKER'S HILL.

Towards the end of May 10,000 fresh troops arrived from Britain, under the command of Generals Howe, Burgoyne, and Clinton. As the gauntlet had been thrown down by America, and war had been resolved upon by the English, it might have been expected that active operations would have been commenced forthwith. Such was not the case. An English soldier remarked:—"We were kept on the Neck twisting our tails and powdering our heads, while the Yankees were gathering in our front and in our flanks like clouds." It seems to be generally acknowledged that this inactivity was fatal to the cause of the British arms in America, and that if General Gage had employed the troops, so soon as he received such valuable reinforcements, he might have scattered the militiamen and raw troops which hemmed him in, like chaff before the wind. Instead of that, time was given them to increase their force,—to perfect themselves in military evolutions,—to give consistency to their loose lines, and to render the blockade more effective. At length, however, this dreamy inactivity was broken. On the 8th of June, grown bold by impunity, the provincial congress of Massachusets Bay resolved that the compact between the crown of Great Britain and that colony was dissolved by the violation of their charter; and they recommended the people to establish a new and independent government. Four days after this General Gage, still hoping to restore tranquillity without proceeding to extremities, issued a proclamation, offering a full pardon in the king's name to all who would forthwith lay down their arms, excepting only Samuel Adams and John Hancock, whose offences were described as "being too flagitious to admit of any other consideration than that of condign punishment." The proclamation declared that all those who should not accept the proffered mercy, or who should protect, assist, supply, conceal, or correspond with such, were to be treated as rebels and traitors. It also imported that as a stop was put to the due course of justice, martial law should be established till tranquillity was restored. This proclamation was considered by the Americans a prelude to hostilities, and preparations were made by them for a final contest with their mother country. And strange to relate they were still allowed to act on the offensive. On the night of the 16th of June a strong detachment of the blockading army passed unchallenged and unobserved over Charles-town-neck, and occupied Bunker's Hill, which was situate at the entrance of the peninsula on which that town stood, and overlooked every part of Boston. In the morning General Gage saw this important and formidable height, which he had entertained some thoughts of occupying himself, covered with works which seemed to have risen as it were by magic, and with troops that were beginning to fire on Boston-neck and the shipping. The general now awoke from his slumbers. A battery of six guns was opened upon the Americans from Copp's-hill in Boston, and about the hour of noon a detachment from the English army was carried across Charles River, which is about the breadth of the Thames in London, and landed upon the peninsula of Charlestown. This detachment was under the command of General Howe and Brigadier Pigott, who had orders, at all risks, to drive the provincials from their works, and to occupy the hill. The troops marched slowly, formed in two lines, but, on approaching Bunker's Hill, Howe perceived that the works were of more importance than had been imagined, and that fresh columns of Americans were arriving every minute, and he therefore halted, and sent to Gage for a reinforcement. New troops were sent, and the whole, amounting to more than two thousand men, proceeded to the attack. In doing so Howe seems to have adopted the very worst mode which could have ben devised for attacking the provincials. Instead of leading the troops in the rear of the intrenchment, where there was no cannon to bear upon them, he led them up the hill right in front, where the American artillery was placed full in their faces. This was a most disastrous step. The troops were formed in two lines, with the light infantry on the right wing, led by Howe, and the grenadiers on the left, led by Pigott. In their front were a few small field-pieces and howitzers, which began to fire at intervals, during which the troops halted. In advancing the left wing was fired on from some houses in Charlestown, and in the conflict which ensued that town was set on fire and was soon burnt to the ground. The whole detachment now moved up the hill, and the Americans, secure behind their entrenchments reserved their fire till the British troops were almost close to the muzzle of their guns. They then opened a terrible discharge of cannon and musketry, and their volleys were so rapid and skilfully directed that the British troops recoiled, and many fled to the boats which had conveyed them, over the river. At this moment General Clinton crossed Charles River with a number of resolute officers, and having succeeded in rallying the fugitives he made them re-ascend the hill, and join in a general charge made on the Americans, with fixed bayonets. This time they succeeded. The provincials were driven from their works, and they ran for their lives down the hill in their rear. The troops took possession of Bunker's Hill, but it was purchased at a great cost: 1050, including eighty-nine commissioned officers, being either killed or wounded, while the Americans scarcely suffered a third part of that loss.

GEORGE III. 1775-1776





GENERAL WASHINGTON.

General Washington was great-grandson to John Washington, a gentleman of respectable family, who had emigrated from England about the middle of the preceding century, and had settled at Potomac, in Westmoreland county, in the colony of Virginia. At this place the general was born, and after receiving a plain education, he learned something of the business of land-surveying, and was in the eighteenth year of his age appointed surveyor of the western part of the territory of Virginia, by Lord Fairfax, the proprietor of that country. After this, however, he embraced the profession of arms, and distinguished himself in the Canadian war, and especially on the day of Braddock's defeat, when, at the head of the provincial militia, he covered the retreat of the British troops, and saved them from destruction. Subsequently, when the French were driven from Canada and the war was over, Washington quitted the army, and began his political life as a member of the general assembly, to which honour his valour had been the chief instrument of raising him. Shortly after his retirement he married a young lady, who brought him a large fortune, and for sixteen years his attention was principally divided between the management of his estates and his duties as a member of the provincial legislature. When the quarrel first commenced between America and the mother country he took no decided part, and when it became serious, he was one of those who still hoped to preserve the ties of allegiance which bound the colonies to the parent state unbroken. When the rupture became inevitable, however—when the sword had been drawn and blood had been shed, Washington stood forward as the champion of independence. Perhaps he was the more induced to take this step from an innate love of rank and power. He had joined the first congress at Philadelphia, and his high character and the conspicuous part he had borne in the Canadian war, caused him then to be appointed on all committees where military knowledge was requisite. Doubtless he foresaw that should matters be brought to extremities he would be called upon to take a prominent part in the strife. And in this view he was not mistaken. As before related, at the second general congress, when it was necessary to select a commander, he was unanimously chosen by his colleagues to the high office. It is said that he accepted the command with great diffidence, and it is certain that he did so in the spirit of a true patriot, for he declined all compensation beyond his actual expenses.

The choice which congress made of a commander was favourable to the cause of American independence. At this time Washington was in the prime and vigour of life, and his fame and deportment were such that he could command reverence even from the most fanatical part of the American troops, who were disposed to own no other leader except "the Lord of Hosts." His bravery was proverbial, and his after operations sustained his fame. It was immediately after the battle of Bunker's Hill that he was appointed commander-in-chief, and when he arrived at head-quarters in Cambridge, he found the blockading army considerably discouraged by the defeat sustained, and otherwise in no very satisfactory condition. Much had been done, but still more remained to be done. Complaining of his numerous deficiences, he thus wrote to congress:—"We have no store of ammunition, no tools for intrenching, no engineers to direct the construction of military works; we have no money, and want clothing: there is a total laxity of discipline; and the majority is not to be depended on in another action." If the English had, at this time, made a general assault, the Americans must inevitably have been driven from all their positions, and the war would soon have been over. After the battle of Bunker's Hill, however, the same listless inactivity prevailed as before, as though the capture of that hill was a full and final triumph. Thus favoured, Washington set about remedying his defects in good earnest. During the summer and autumn, he was occupied in organising his troops, collecting his military stores, and concentrating his forces. Perceiving that it would be madness to attempt an assault on the positions of the British troops, as some advised, he directed the formation of entrenchments and works to defend his own from attack. In order to give consistency to his lines he contracted them: the centre, including the reserve, and under his own command, being at Cambridge; the right wing, commanded by General Ward, resting on Roxburghe; and the left, under General Lee, near the Mystic river. The British troops were thus completely blockaded by land, and cruisers being fitted out by congress for the purpose of intercepting military stores and supplies destined for the British forces, considerable distress soon began to prevail among them; yet nothing was done to rescue them from their perilous situation. During the rest of the year the bands played "God save the King," and the Americans, as if in the spirit of mockery, responded to the national anthem, by playing "Yankee Doodle." In the midst of this inactivity, on the 10th of October, General Gage was recalled, and the command of the British troops devolved on General Howe.

GEORGE III. 1775—1776.

ENLARGE

3-081-ticonderoga.jpg Ticonderoga





EXPEDITIONS AGAINST TICONDEROGA AND CROWN POINT, ETC.

Early in this year a party of Connecticut gentlemen, having procured a loan of money, concocted a scheme for surprising the important post of Ticonderoga, which was situate on a promontory near the junction of lakes George and Champlain, and the key of communication between New York and Canada. A few men were raised, which chiefly consisted of a hardy race called Green Mountain Boys, and Ethan Allen, a Presbyterian volunteer, was placed at their head. This force was unexpectedly joined by Colonel Arnold, who after the battle of Lexington had received a commission for the same purpose from the provincial congress of Massachusets Bay. Arnold agreed to act under Allen, and they proceeded together towards Ticonderoga. Captain Le Place, who commanded at this fort, was a friend of Ethan Allens, and taking advantage of this circumstance, Allen left his men in a wood hard by, and went to the captain, and induced him to lend twenty of his soldiers for the pretended purpose of assisting him in transporting some goods across the lake. Allen having obtained his request, next made the soldiers drunk, and then on the approach of night he drew his people from the woods, and hastened to the fort. There were yet about forty soldiers with the captain, but expecting no mischief there was not a single sentry on duty, and the followers of Allen rushed into the place undetected, and bade the soldiers lay down their arms. The captain asked by what authority they required him to surrender the king's fort, to which Ethan Allen replied, like a Puritan of old times, "I demand it in the name of the Great Jehovah, and of the congress." There was no alternative, and the captain responded to the demand: the place was captured with all its store of ammunition and provisions. Ethan Allen next turned his attention to the fort of Crown Point, which was reduced without any difficulty, as there were neither found guard nor garrison therein. Allen also surprised Skenesborough, a place occupied by Major Skene, with his son and a few negroes, who were all made prisoners. Intelligence of these events soon reached, congress; but though they rejoiced at the spirit of enterprise displayed by Allen and his men, they still feared that they might be charged with aggression at a time when they were expressing a desire of accommodation; and under these circumstances they recommended the committees of New York and Albany to remove the stores to the south of Lake George, in order that they might be restored when the breach was healed between Great Britain and her colonies.





EXPEDITION AGAINST CANADA.

On the return of Allen from this enterprise, Colonel Arnold consented to remain in garrison. Arnold, however, was not of a temperament to remain inactive. Seeing a small sloop of war lying at anchor, at St. John's, at the north end of Lake Champlain, and feeling the importance of the possession of this vessel, which was the only armed vessel the English government then had in that water, he armed a little schooner, put some of the guns he had captured upon large flat-bottomed boats, embarked his men, and surprised and captured the sloop. Having begun his career with such success, Arnold projected more extensive operations. In the month of June he urged on congress the advantages of an expedition to Canada, and offered with 2000 men to reduce the whole province. His recommendations were adopted: 3000 men were sent, under the command of General Schuyler and Montgomery, to Crown Point and Lake Champlain.

This force embarked in flat-bottomed boats to cross the lake and descend the river Sorel, but when they landed they were attacked by a strong body of Indians, who obliged them to steer their way back and return to the Isle Aux Noix. Here Schuyler fell sick, and the command then devolved on Montgomery, a man full of courage and enterprise, and whom the Americans compare to Wolfe.

On the arrival of this invading force, General Carleton, governor of Canada, had only two regiments of about four hundred men each, at his disposal. These he ordered to Fort St. John, about twelve miles in advance of Montreal, where they were augmented by a few officers sent by General Gage. These officers arrived in July, and about the same time Colonel Johnstone arrived at the same place with seven hundred Indians of the Five Nations, all skilful in the use of the musket as well as the tomahawk. These Indians were ancient enemies to the frontier Americans, and they proposed an immediate attack on Ticonderoga and Crown Point. Carleton, however, thought proper not only to reject their offer, but to refuse their services in any shape. This was a sad oversight. Foregoing their enmity to the Americans, these seven hundred Indian warriors joined Montgomery, and he immediately resolved to lay siege to Fort St. John, the only place that covered Montreal. At the same time, Ethan Allen, who had now returned to the scene of action, conceived that he could take Montreal by a coup de main in an easier direction. He attempted this with a hundred and fifty men in the dead of the night, but the adventurous Presbyterian was not only defeated, but captured, and put in irons as a felon and a traitor. In the mean time Montgomery had detached three hundred men with two six-pounders to reduce Fort Chamblée, situate on the tributary river Sorel, about five miles above Fort St. John. His principal object in advancing against this fort was to obtain sufficient ammunition wherewith to reduce that of St. John, and he succeeded to his utmost wishes. The fort was reduced, and Montgomery found plenty of ball, powder, cartridges, and arms in it, and he then pressed the siege of St. John's with great vigour. The garrison offered a brave resistance, but it was all in vain: the fort was surrendered, and Montgomery dashed across the river and entered Montreal without opposition. As this town carried on an extensive trade, the American troops obtained a good supply of proper clothing, after which their commander, having secured the goodwill of the inhabitants by his liberal treatment of them, resolved to advance upon Quebec, the capital of the province. He carried out his resolution, although his volunteers, anxious to get back to their fire-sides, quitted his ranks by hundreds, and he had to leave a garrison in Montreal, so that when he put his men in marching order his force did not exceed four hundred men. But Montgomery hoped to meet Arnold under the walls of Quebec, and nothing daunted by the desertion of his soldiers, and the smallness of his force, he began to descend the St. Lawrence.

In the meantime Arnold had been entrusted with the execution of a daring plan of his own forming. At the head of 1200 men, consisting chiefly of New Englanders, he traversed the inhospitable deserts of the northern states into Canada; deserts which had never previously been trodden by the foot of a white man. Owing to the obstacles he encountered in his dreary journey, he did not reach the first Canadian settlements on the river Chaudière, which flows into the St. Lawrence, until the 3rd of November. On arriving there his troops were famished, having been long subjected to hunger, and reduced even to the necessity of eating the leather of their shoes. The first step of Arnold was, therefore, to divide them into separate companies, each of which ran off as fast as it could to obtain food, shelter, and rest in the vicinity of the mouth of the Chaudière. Arnold himself rested for two or three days at a small village, in order to circulate the manifestoes he had brought with him, and to allow his rear and stragglers to arrive. Having rested a few days, on the 9th of November Arnold reached Point Levi, on the right bank of the St. Lawrence, and immediately opposite to the town of Quebec. It has been conjectured that if he could have crossed the river at once, Quebec would have been captured. The wind, however, was so strong at the time of his approach, that he could not venture, and this gave time to Colonel Maclean and his Highlanders, who had been falling back from Fort Chamblée, taken by Montgomery, to get into the menaced city. On the 14th, the wind having, abated, Arnold crossed the St. Lawrence and landed in safety. On reaching Quebec he formed his men on the Heights of Abraham. But they were ill provided for maintaining a siege, having no artillery, and therefore Arnold proposed nothing more than to cut off supplies from the garrison till the arrival of Montgomery. For this purpose he descended from the Heights of Abraham and retired to Point Aux Trembles, twenty miles above Quebec. At this place he was very near taking General Carleton and his staff prisoners, for they had only quitted that place a few hours before his arrival. Carleton, however, escaped, and arrived in safety at Quebec, where he instantly set about making every preparation for its defence. Soon after the two American corps joined, and they marched together to lay immediate seige to Quebec. Montgomery had brought a little artillery with him, and about the 20th of December they opened a six-gun battery within seven hundred yards of the walls. Their artillery, however, was too light to effect a breach, and they were all, moreover, soon dismounted by the town-guns, fired by some seamen under the direction of Colonel Maclean. The American commanders now removed their guns to a safer distance, still continuing their ineffectual fire, with the hope of amusing the garrison, and concealing their design of making an assault in another direction. They now, in fact, were contemplating a desperate enterprise, and one to which it was a long time before they could obtain the consent of the officers and men. It was not, indeed, till the New Eng-landers were promised the privilege of plundering the town, that they would accede to the wishes of their commanders. But this golden bait was swallowed, and the men promised to do all that was wished. Accordingly, on the last day of this year, between four and five o'clock in the morning, and in the midst of a violent storm of wind and snow, it was determined to storm the place. The force was divided into four small columns for this purpose: two of which, under Majors Livingston and Brown, were to make feigned attacks upon the upper town, while the other two, led by Montgomery and Arnold, were to make real attacks on opposite sides of the lower town, where all the wealth of Quebec was deposited. Montgomery had succeeded in passing the first barrier, that of the block-house, and had reached the Pot-ash battery, which he was on the point of attacking, when he was shot dead, with Captain Macpherson, his aide-de-camp, and several other officers, with a well-charged gun from that battery. The rest of the column which he led instantly fell back, and in the mean time Arnold himself had been severely wounded. He was passing through the narrow street of the Faubourg St. Roque towards the Saut de Matelot, where there was a strong barrier with a battery of two twelve-pounders, one of which on his approach was fired, and shattered his leg in so fearful a manner that he was carried off the field to the rear in anguish. One Morgan now led the column, and he rushed forward and took this battery, and then pushed rapidly to another about forty paces distant. But here he was foiled. Guns loaded with-grape shot met him and his men in the teeth, while a fire of musketry was opened on both their flanks, so that they were compelled to retreat into some stone houses in the suburb of St. Roque. The attempt signally failed. In the end Morgan and his followers, to the number of 340 men, surrendered themselves prisoners of war, and nearly one hundred were slain. The rest still continued to blockade the city, encamping in the best manner they could behind the Heights of Abraham, and being still commanded by Arnold. They maintained their position for four long wintry months, and reduced the city to great distress, but they were finally compelled to give up the enterprise.





DISPOSITION AND REVOLT OF THE VIRGINIANS.

In the great southern state of Virginia Lord Dunmore, the governor, made a bold stand in support of the authority of the mother country. Knowing that it was about to be used against him, he seized all the gunpowder in the magazine at Williamsburgh, and put it on board a schooner then lying in James's River. This, however, involved him in a quarrel with the corporation of that town, who demanded the powder back again. This was refused, and Patrick Henry, the orator, encouraged by the news of the victory at Lexington, excited some young Virginians to fly to arms, and placing himself at the head of them, set out on his march to recover the powder by force. He was prevented from making the attempt by some of the delegates to the general congress, who advised him to be satisfied with a sum of money offered in lieu of it by the king's receiver-general. A few days after, however, Lord Dunmore was compelled to deliver up all the arms and powder that had been left on shore, and to take refuge with his family in the Fowey man-of-war then lying at York. At the same time, government-house was fortified and surrounded with artillery. A series of irritating messages and letters then passed between his lordship and the burgesses; the former declaring that his life was not safe among them, and the latter asserting that he had nothing to fear. Lord Dunmore, however, felt that he had cause for fear, and he resolved to defy the provincials. Having divested himself of all authority, he collected a small naval force, and carried on a sort of predatory warfare against the province. Previous to his taking refuge in the Fowey man-of-war he had stung the Virginians to the quick, by declaring that since they were so eager to abolish a fancied slavery, in a dependence on Great Britain, he would one day try how they liked an abolition of real slavery, by giving freedom to all their negroes and indentured servants, who were little better than white slaves. This plan he endeavoured also to put into operation. Having established his head-quarters at Norfolk, he proclaimed freedom to all slaves who would repair to his standard, and fight for the king. Most of the negroes who had the opportunity of escaping from their masters repaired to his standard; and if he could have opened a road to the slaves in the interior of the province, his measures would doubtless have been fatal to the planters. The Virginians, however, were on the alert, and they sent a force against him which compelled him to retire on-board again for safety. The Virginians then took possession of the town of Norfolk, but Lord Dunmore, incensed at their conduct, set fire to the wharfs, and the flames spreading, the whole town was soon reduced to ashes, and property was consumed to the value of £300,000. This was an unfortunate occurrence, for it totally alienated the Virginians from the British government. Lord Dunmore lingered in the river, or on the coast, till the following summer, when, unable any longer to obtain provisions, he joined the English army under Lord Howe. The cause for his lingering thus long in the river appears to have been the hope he entertained of being able to restore the affairs of government in the province. He had some reasons for entertaining such a hope, for there were many Virginians averse to the revolution or to its leaders, and who anxiously desired that the cause of government might prevail. This was clearly manifested at his departure for the main army at Boston-neck, for many prepared to follow him by land, convinced that there was no safety for men who entertained notions of loyalty. The houses, indeed, of all those who wished to preserve their connection with England, on whatever principles their wish might be grounded, were burnt to the ground, while their estates were destroyed and their lives kept in constant danger.





CONDUCT OF CONGRESS TOWARDS NEW YORK, ETC.

Although the province of New York had sent delegates to congress, and had been among the very first to attack the British settlements in Canada, yet great uneasiness was felt with respect to that colony. It was well known that many zealous loyalists lived in the province, and it was also defenceless and open to the king's troops by sea. Under these circumstances congress appointed a Committee of Safety, consisting of some of the most determined of the revolutionists, who were appointed to take especial charge of this province. General Wooster was also directed to march into New York, with some regiments of Connecticut men, With the double object of keeping down the royalists, and preventing, if possible, the landing of any British troops. The presence of the Connecticut men, who quartered themselves near Haerlem, five miles from New York, did more harm, however, to the cause of the revolution than it did good, for it led to some severe quarrels between them and the New Yorkers, as well as provoked the naval force in the neighbouring waters. Congress, in fact, had much difficulty in preserving their cause in New York. On one occasion they even issued an order that all such arms as were fit for the use of the troops raised in the colony of New York, and which should be found in the hands or custody of any person who had not signed the general association, should be seized for the use of the said troops. At a later period, congress even went a step further than this; for they intimated to the members of the revolutionary government, that they were to arrest and secure every person in their respective colonies, whose going at large might, in their opinion, endanger the safety of the colony or the liberties of America. Warned in time, Tryon, the governor of New York, whom congress before had talked of seizing, retired on board the Halifax packet, still communicating, however, with the royalists on shore. In other colonies there was still less difficulty in sweeping away the king's governors. In North Carolina, Governor Martin, after seeing his proclamation burnt by the common hangman, sought shelter on board a ship-of-war that was lying off Cape Fear: in South Carolina, Lord William Campbell, after vainly seeking to rally the royalists, was obliged to follow his example; and though in many of the other colonies the governors were not compelled to flee for their lives, yet their authority was eventually superseded, and they were compelled to bow to the storm by retiring from their seats of government. One common spirit pervaded the United Provinces of America, though it was more rampant in some colonies than others. The grand focus of rebellion was still at Massachusets Bay, where, towards the close of the year, in the course of predatory hostility, the town of Falmouth was cannonaded and totally destroyed, in revenge for some offence relative to supplies, and on the refusal of its inhabitants to deliver up its arms. In return for this injury congress passed an act, in November, granting letters of marque and reprisal, and establishing courts of admiralty for the trial and condemnation of British ships. Congress also determined to meet the force of Britain on her own element, and issued orders for building a fleet of thirteen ships. The garrison of Boston was supplied with provisions from England, a proportion of which was intercepted by the American cruizers and the troops suffered greatly, likewise, from the inclemency of the season. The inhabitants, also, shared in their calamities, and their sufferings were greatly increased by several edicts, issued by General Howe. Such was the state of America at the close of this eventful year.





PROCEEDINGS IN ENGLAND.

While America was in arms, England was in a state of agitation. It has been seen that soon after Wilkes had presented the violent address and remonstrance of the livery to the king, that his majesty informed him that he would receive no more petitions of the lord mayor and aldermen but in their corporate capacity. Wilkes converted this into a fresh wrong; and at the very next meeting of the common-hall another address, still more violent in its tone, was approved. The king resolved that he would not receive this petition sitting on the throne, and when this was reported to the livery they resolved that it was a direct denial of their rights; that the remonstrance should be printed in the newspapers; and that the city members should be instructed to move for an impeachment of the evil counsellors who had planted Popery in America, and were the advisers of a measure so dangerous to both the king and his people, as that of refusing to hear petitions. This latter resolution, however, was not founded in truth—the king had simply said that he would not receive it sitting on the throne, and the livery had resolved not to present it under any other circumstances. After all, the common-council thought proper to agree to a more moderate remonstrance, which his majesty received, and to which he replied, that, while the constitutional authority of this kingdom was openly resisted by a portion of his American subjects, he owed it to the rest of his people to continue to enforce those measures by which alone their rights and interests could be asserted and maintained. Irritated by these and other proceedings, government, on the 23rd of August, issued a proclamation for suppressing rebellion, preventing seditious correspondence, etc. Wilkes, as lord mayor, received orders to have this proclamation read in the usual manner at the Royal Exchange. This order was obeyed; but the patriot at the same time contrived to hold it up to the public contempt by causing it to be read by one of the city officers, attended only by the common-crier, contrary to the common rules of decency and to all precedent. Soon after this the petition of congress was laid before the king by Richard Penn and Arthur Lee, to whom the task of presenting it had been deputed. It was well known to all the world that the Americans had lifted up the standard of revolt, and were assembled in hostile array against his majesty's forces. This petition, therefore, though it contained some loyal expressions, did not express the real sense of the body it proceeded from—the words of their mouths might be smoother than butter, but war was manifestly in their hearts. Hence his majesty very justly considered the whole thing to be an insulting mockery, and as congress likewise had neither been recognised by himself nor his parliament, he resolved to give it no answer. But it was the fate of the king, at this time, to have all his actions and words misinterpreted. Although no man in his senses, whether Whig or Tory, could have been so blind as not to see he was perfectly justified in adopting this resolution, since his troops in America had been slaughtered both at Lexington and Bunker's Hill, yet it was interpreted into harshness and obstinacy. A loud outcry was raised against it by a portion of the nation, including more especially the Whig portion of the city of London. An address, containing 1171 signatures, and purporting to emanate from "the gentlemen, merchants, and traders of London," was got up, which reiterated the sentiments contained in the city of London petitions, and predicting the most lasting and deadly consequences from the quarrel between England and America. Three days after this, however, a counter-address was presented to his majesty from another section of the merchants and traders of London, which was followed by others of a similar class from all parts of the United Kingdom. In fact, the great body of the nation was still on the side of the king and the government. Intelligence of the determined hostility of the colonists had the effect even of converting foes into friends. In the course of the autumn, the very liverymen of London, to the number of 1029, signed an ultra-loyal address, which contained stronger language than the counter petition of the merchants and traders of that great city, or of any other address presented on the same side of the question. It said:—"A malignant spirit of resistance to law and government has gone forth amongst the Americans, which we firmly believe has been excited and encouraged by selfish men, who hope to derive private emoluments from public calamities—from the councils, the persuasions, the influence of such men, may God protect your majesty! The interest, the honour, the sovereignty of your kingdom of Great Britain, are now at stake—as the guardian of those, we trust you will ever assist and preserve them." The petitioners pledged themselves to use all their exertions in support of the laws and government, and finally implored his majesty's clemency towards all those of the colonists who might return to their duty. There can be no doubt that ministers were active in procuring such addresses as these; but at the same time it is equally certain that the sentiments they contained proceeded from the hearts of the people. The outrages committed at Lexington and Bunker's Hill had, in truth, exasperated the people at large, and this exasperation was increased tenfold when, at a later period, news arrived of the invasion of Canada. They saw that it was a rude attempt to pluck a jewel from the British crown, and it excited feelings of resentment in their breasts deep and lasting. Not a few Englishmen who maintained that the Americans were justified in taking up arms to assert their own rights were converted by this step adopted by congress. In a word, the cause of the mother country was generally considered just, and was, therefore, popular.





PROSECUTION AND TRIAL OF HORNE TOOKE, ETC.

Government was so well supported by public opinion, that wonder is excited at the serious notice which it took of some attempts made by a few factious demagogues of creating popular commotion, and of raising themselves into an unenviable celebrity. Among this class John Horne Tooke stood pre-eminently forward. Horne Tooke was first the supporter, and then the rival of John Wilkes, but he had now completely succeeded him in the favour of a certain dubious class of patriots. This was the natural consequence of tilings. John Wilkes having been raised to the dignity of lord mayor, and having regained his seat in parliament, although he was still in some degree a thorn in the sides of ministers, had become more circumspect than heretofore. He no longer harangued at the public meetings of the populace, and was hence looked upon as a renegade, and Horne Tooke stepped into his place. The supplanter proved as bold as the man he had supplanted—stern "patriot" as Wilkes had been. This was seen in the midst of the agitation into which England was thrown by the events which had happened in America. At a meeting of the "Society for Constitutional Information," which had been formed in the metropolis from the wreck of the "Bill of Rights Club," Tooke moved, "that a subscription be raised for the relief of the widows, orphans, and aged parents of their American fellow-subjects, who, preferring death to slavery, were, for this reason only, murdered by the king's troops at Lexington and Concord, on the 19th of April, 1775." No mention was made of the widows and orphans of the British troops, which had been mown down by the rifles of the Americans from their hiding-places. That was altogether another question: they might or might not be supported by government, since it was clearly evident, from Horne Tooke's motion, that they had no business to obey the orders of their superiors. Horne Tooke's humane motion as it stood, therefore, was adopted—a vote of £100 was carried, and ordered to be transmitted to Dr. Franklin. The members, however, generally comprehended the peril of the case, and hesitated to sign the order. But Horne Tooke was as bold as he was humane, and he took all the responsibility on his own shoulders by affixing his name to it. The whole affair was clearly too ridiculous for the notice of government; but he was nevertheless prosecuted, sentenced to pay £200, to be imprisoned one year, and to find securities for good behaviour during three more. This was just the thing the patriot wanted. He had an opportunity of making a sarcastic speech, and his hopes were elated by the prospect of enjoying a still larger share of the popular favour. Probably he felt certain that he should one day carry the city mace, like his ancient friend John Wilkes. The best way to crush a demagogue is to let him pass unnoticed. Notwithstanding, the offence of Tooke was a direct challenge to government, and if it had refused to notice such an insult, its authority might have been despised by the section he headed, and therefore greatly diminished. Government, however, laid itself open to animadversion, by committing Mr. Sayre, an American merchant, to the Tower, on a charge of high-treason. It was declared on oath, by Mr. Richardson, an adjutant in the Guards, that Mr. Sayre had told him he intended to seize the king at noon-day, in his way to the house when it again met, to carry him out of the kingdom, occupy the Tower, and overturn the government. This would have been clearly the labour of "another Hercules," and the information should have been treated with a sneer of contempt; but Lord Rochford seems to have considered that the enterprise of this most magnanimous American was not impracticable, and he therefore committed him to the Tower. But whether Mr. Sayer proved the adjutant's statement to be false, or whether the king conceived that he was in no danger, does not appear, but certain it is that the American was set at liberty, after five days' incarceration, and Lord Rochford had to pay him £1000 damages, on a suit for illegal imprisonment.





MEETING OF PARLIAMENT.

Parliament met this year on the 26th of October. The speech from the throne, on this occasion, was unusually long and energetic, and, as might be expected, its chief topic was the revolt of the colonies. His majesty remarked:—"Those who have too long successfully laboured to inflame my people in America by gross misrepresentation, and to infuse into their minds a system of opinions repugnant to the true constitution of the colonies, and to their subordinate relation to Great Britain, now openly avow their revolt, hostility, and rebellion. They have raised troops, and are collecting a naval force; they have seized the public revenue, and assumed to themselves legislative, executive, and judicial powers, which they already exercise in a most arbitrary manner, over the persons and properties of their fellow-subjects; and although many of these unhappy people may still retain their loyalty, and may be too wise not to see the fatal consequences of this usurpation, and may wish to resist it; yet the torrent of violence has been strong enough to compel their acquiescence, till a sufficient force shall appear to support them. The authors and promoters of this desperate conspiracy have, in the conduct of it, derived great advantage from the difference of our intention and theirs. They only meant to amuse, by vague expressions of attachment to the parent state, and the strongest protestations of loyalty to me, whilst they were preparing for a general revolt. On our part, though it was declared in your last session that a rebellion existed within the province of Massachusets Bay, yet even that province we wished to reclaim, rather than subdue. The resolutions of parliament breathed a spirit of moderation and forbearance; conciliatory propositions accompanied the measures to enforce authority; and the coercive acts were adapted to cases of criminal combination among subjects not then in arms. I have acted with the same temper—anxious to prevent, if it had been possible, the effusion of the blood of my subjects, and the calamities which are inseparable from a state of war; still hoping that my people in America would have discerned the traitorous views of their leaders, and have been convinced, that to be a subject of Great Britain, with all its consequences, is to be the freest member of any civil society in the known world. The rebellious war now levied is become more general, and is manifestly carried on for the purpose of establishing an independent empire. I need not dwell upon the fatal effects of the success of such a plan. The object is too important—the spirit of the British nation too high—the resources with which God hath blessed her too numerous—to give up so many colonies, which she has planted with great industry, nursed with great tenderness, encouraged with many commercial advantages, and protected and defended at such expense of blood and treasure." His majesty continued, that it was now necessary to put a stop to these disorders, and that, for this purpose, he had greatly increased his naval establishment, and augmented his land-forces. He had sent, he said, Hanoverian troops to Gibraltar and Port Mahon, to replace such British regiments as should be drawn from those garrisons for service in America; and he had received friendly offers of foreign assistance. His majesty also professed his readiness to forgive the colonists when they became sensible of their error; for which purpose, to prevent inconvenience, he would give, he said, a discretionary power to commissioners to grant general pardons, who might, he thought, be likewise entrusted with authority to restore the free exercise of its trade and commerce to any colony on making its submission. He concluded by informing both houses, that he saw no probability of any impediment to his measures from the hostility of foreign powers, since they had expressed their friendly assurances.

The address proposed by ministers was, as usual, a mere echo of the speech, and an amendment was proposed in the commons, by Lord John Cavendish, recommending that the whole should be expunged except the pro forma introductory paragraph, and that the following should be substituted,—"That they beheld with the utmost concern the disorders and discontents in the colonies rather increased than diminished by the means that had been used to suppress and allay them; a circumstance alone sufficient to give them just reason to fear that those means were not originally well considered, or properly adapted to their ends. That they were satisfied by experience that the misfortune had, in a great measure, arisen from the want of full and perfect information of the true state and condition of the colonies being laid before parliament; by reason of which, measures injurious and inefficacious had been carried into execution, from whence no salutary end could have been reasonably expected; tending to tarnish the lustre of the British arms, to bring discredit on the wisdom of his majesty's councils, and to nourish, without hope of end, a most unhappy civil war. That, deeply impressed with the melancholy state of public concerns, they would, in the fullest information they could obtain, and with the most mature deliberation they could employ, review the whole of the late proceedings, that they might be enabled to discover, as they would be most willing to apply, the most effectual means of restoring order to the distracted affairs of the British empire, confidence to his majesty's government, obedience, by a prudent and temperate use of its powers, to the authority of parliament, and satisfaction and happiness to all his people. That by these means they trusted to avoid any occasion of having recourse to the alarming and dangerous expedient of calling in foreign forces to the support of his majesty's authority within his own dominions, and the still more dreadful calamity of shedding British blood by British arms." An acrimonious debate followed this proposal, in which the opposition vehemently arraigned the principle and conduct of the contest; assumed the facts contained in the speech to be untrue; condemned the confiding such important fortresses as Port Mahon and Gibraltar to foreigners; and exposed the idea of conquest to ridicule. In reply, Lord North urged the necessity of regaining the colonies, and exposed the extravagant pretensions of the colonial assemblies, as well as of the general congress, and the encroachments on all the rights of the parent state. He also defended the conduct of ministers, maintaining that they had tried conciliation, but that the attempt had signally failed: lenity on the part of government and parliament being construed by the Americans into weakness and fear. Parliament had, he said, during the last session obviated the objections made to the right of taxing their colonies by permitting the Americans to tax themselves in their own assemblies; and yet not one assembly would offer a single shilling towards the common exigencies of the state. He observed, that to repeal every act passed relating to the colonies, since the year 1703, would indeed terminate the dispute, as from that moment America would be raised to independence: at the same time he vindicated those acts from the charge of being either ungenerous or unjust. The amendment was rejected by a majority of two hundred and seventy-eight against one hundred and eight, and the original question was then carried without a division.

A similar amendment was moved in the house of lords by the Marquess of Rockingham, and a debate equally warm ensued. Lord Gower frankly avowed that he with his brethren in office had been misled in their conduct with respect to American affairs. New York, he observed, had been forced into hostile measures by the insurgents of Connecticut, and he predicted that if the friends of government were well supported by a force from England, the colonies would be brought to a sense of their duty without the shedding of more blood. The Earl of Shelburne termed this prediction rash, and advanced it as an incontrovertible fact, "that the commerce of America was the vital stream of this empire." At the same time, while he considered that the independence of the colonies would be the result of the contest, he confessed that this result would be the ruin of Great Britain. The house was next startled with the declarations made by the Duke of Grafton, now lord privy seal. His grace boldly condemned all the proceedings with regard to America during the last twelve months, asserting that he had been deceived and misled upon the whole subject, and that ministers had induced him to lend his countenance to those measures, by withholding information and misrepresenting facts. Grafton also declared that nothing less than a total repeal of all the American acts which had passed since the year 1763, could now restore peace and happiness, or prevent the most fatal consequences to this country: consequences, he said, which he could not think of without the utmost degree of grief and horror. He concluded by declaring that in his present ill state of health, nothing could have induced him to have left his house, but a conviction of his being right,—a knowledge of the dangerous state of the country, and a sense of what he owed to it, as well as to his conscience. The Bishop of Peterborough, who had spoken and voted for coercive measures in previous sessions, acknowledged a similar change in his sentiments to those of the Duke of Grafton, and imputed his previous views to misinformation, and deception on the part of the ministers. This defection, however, did not produce much effect in the house. Ministers descanted powerfully on the great question at issue,—using similar arguments to those which had been employed in the commons, and in the end the Marquess of Rockingham's amendment was rejected by a majority of sixty-nine to twenty-nine, while the original address was carried by seventy-six to thirty-three, including proxies. A protest was signed by nineteen peers.

On the report of the address in the commons, the opposition took occasion to go over nearly the whole of the ground again. The main stand which they took, however, in this debate, was the measure of entrusting Gibraltar and Minorca, the keys of the Mediterranean, to Hanoverian troops. This they maintained was repugnant to the Bill of Rights, and an alarming precedent of foreigners introduced, and armies raised by a British monarch without the consent of parliament. It was, in fact, loudly denounced as illegal, and in the highest degree unconstitutional. In answering this objection, Lord Thurlow reminded the house that the clause in the Bill of Rights embraced no part of the king's dominions beyond the limits of Great Britain; that it did not extend to the colonies; and that not a man had been brought, or was to be brought into the kingdom without the consent of parliament. Wedderburne urged similar arguments, and he, with others, represented the urgent necessity of the case, and the danger of delay. A precedent was also quoted for bringing troops into England at a critical period, inasmuch as Dutch troops had been brought over from Holland by George II. in 1745, during the rebellion in Scotland. In the midst of the storm by which he was assailed, Lord North acknowledged himself the adviser of this measure, and treated the opposition with much levity,—but he was obliged to yield to the representations of some of his friends, and to state in conclusion, that though he still considered he was right, yet as other gentlemen, for whom he had ever had the greatest deference, seemed to be of another opinion, he had no objection, notwithstanding any votes now given, that the question should be brought again, in a regular and parliamentary manner, before the house, when he would abide by their determination; and if the measure was found unconstitutional, he would rest a defence on the ground of necessity alone, and receive, as was usual in such cases, the protection of an act of indemnity. This was good parliamentary generalship. Many who would have voted against him, now veered round to his side, and upon a division, the address was passed as reported by a majority of one hundred and seventy-six against seventy-two.

On the 1st of November a similar conflict occurred in the house of lords. The Duke of Manchester moved in that house, "That bringing into any part of the dominion of Great Britain the electoral troops of his majesty, or any other foreign troops, without the previous consent of parliament is dangerous and unconstitutional." This motion was supported by arguments that the clause in the Bill of Rights ought to extend to the colonies; that the Hanoverian troops would not be under the control of our military law, etc.; that it was not by any means advisable to put them in possession of Gibraltar and Minorca; and that the king had no right to maintain even in a colony, or conquest, or in any part of the British dominions, any other troops than were consented to by parliament. To these arguments it was replied, that the clause in the Bill of Rights specified "within the kingdom," and also "in time of peace;" that the foreign troops were not "within the kingdom," and that it was a time of war, and not of peace: that the expression, "within the kingdom," did not include our colonies; and that should that latitude be given the expression, the rebellious state of America would justify the employment of British troops even upon the principles of the Bill of Rights. It was also argued that the king had at all times during actual war or rebellion, been competent to raise and keep up an army; that in such a case the Bill of Rights had made no distinction between an army of natives and an army of foreigners; that foreigners, since the revolution of 1688, had not only been hired, but even brought into the kingdom; and that there was an existing and paramount necessity at this time for the employment of such troops. Ministers prevailed: the previous question was moved and carried by a majority of 75 against 32. Two days after, a similar resolution was made in the commons by Sir James Lowther, and was there disposed of in a similar manner. About the same time the Bill of Indemnity passed the lower house, but in the upper house it was rejected, on the grounds that it was alike unnecessary and dishonourable to the administration.





CHANGES IN THE MINISTRY.

During the debate which followed the motion of the Duke of Manchester in the house of lords, the Duke of Grafton had denounced the introduction of foreign troops into Gibraltar and Minorca, as inconsistent with the tenor of Magna Charta. This, coupled with his former declarations as to the conduct and the measures of his colleagues, had the effect of obtaining his dismissal from office. The privy seal, which his grace had held, was given to the Earl of Dartmouth, and, to the surprise of all men, Lord George Sackville, who had been subjected by the sentence of a court-martial to much obloquy, and had recently taken a decided part in all the coercive measures, was made secretary for the American department. At the same time the Earl of Rochford retired, and was succeeded as secretary for the southern department by Lord Weymouth. But what created most astonishment was, that the young and profligate Lord Lyttleton, who had distinguished himself by the severity of his attacks upon the administration at the opening of this session, and who had been connected with Chatham and Temple, was called to the privy-council, and appointed to the sinecure office of chief-justice in eyre beyond Trent. Thus "bought," he agreed to defend the very measures he had so energetically attacked.





THE MILITIA BILL.

In conformity with a passage in the speech from the throne, Lord North, on the 30th of October, brought in a bill for enabling the king to assemble the militia in cases of actual rebellion. On the second reading, this bill was warmly opposed, on the supposition that it gave the monarch such prodigious additional power, as to render him totally independent of the people. It was said to be, in fact, "empowering the crown to draw the militia out whenever it thought fit, as a pretence could never be wanted for the purpose, while there was a black Caribb remaining in St. Vincent's, a runaway negro in the mountains of Jamaica, or a Hindoo rajah left on the coast of Coromandel." In the end, however, the second reading of the Militia Bill was carried by the large majority of two hundred and fifty-nine against fifty. On the third reading several amendments were moved, but were all rejected, and it was finally carried with a rider, proposed by Sir George Saville, limiting the duration of the bill to seven years. In the month of December a bill was brought into the house of commons by Lord Mountstuart for establishing a militia in Scotland; but the house was so thin at the time, that it was scarcely discussed. The bill was reproduced in the course of the session, and was eagerly patronized by the Scotch members; but it met with a strong opposition from the English country gentlemen, and was finally rejected by a majority of one hundred and twelve against ninety-five. By its opposers the bill was considered both as unnecessary, and as a dangerous innovation; but the opposition, it would appear, chiefly arose from national prejudices: Scotsmen might, it was said, as they were subservient to ministers, if they obtained a militia, employ it against the liberties and constitution of England. Lord North supported the bill; but he found himself in the unusual predicament of voting in the minority.

GEORGE III. 1775-1776





THE NAVY AND LAND ESTIMATES.

The number of forces to be employed by sea and land in the ensuing year indicated great designs: 28,000 seamen, and 50,000 men for the land-service being voted. Yet great as this force was, it was not considered sufficient for the emergency even by the opposition, who said that the establishment was far too great for peace, and far too small for such a war as ministers were embarking in. This, indeed, was the opinion of Lord Barrington, secretary at war, who used his utmost endeavours, both with the ministers and the king, to obtain a force commensurate with the undertaking. He in particular urged the necessity of reducing America by means of a powerful fleet, stating it as his opinion that its reduction could never be accomplished by the army, which was the staff on which ministers rested. But it was in vain that Lord Barrington warned and advised his colleagues in office, and counselled the king. It was held, that at present the naval force must be accompanied with an army, and the estimates of ministers were made and carried accordingly. The sentiments of Lord Barrington on this subject are fully shown in a letter which he wrote at an earlier date to the Earl of Dartmouth, then secretary for America. In this letter he remarked:—"First, I doubt whether all the troops in North America, though probably sufficient for a pitched battle with the strength of the province, are enow to subdue it, being of great extent and full of men accustomed to firearms. If the Massachusets—with whom the inhabitants of Connecticut and Rhode Island are said to have made common cause—were conquered they must be kept under by large armies and fortresses, the expense of which would be ruinous and endless. Second, because the most successful conquest that can be imagined must produce the horrors and bloodshed of civil war. Third, because a conquest by land is unnecessary, when the country can be reduced, first, by distress, and then to obedience, by our marines totally interrupting all commerce and fishery, and even seizing all the ships in the ports, with very little expense and bloodshed. To this might be added the punishment of the factious chiefs by impeachment or bill, if their persons can be secured; but till then any judicial proceedings would provoke, not hurt, and confer the palm of martyrdom without the pain of it, which is the perfection of fanatical beatitude. In respect to the other colonies south of New England, a strict execution of the Act of Navigation, and other restrictive laws, would probably be sufficient at present; and a small addition of frigates and sloops would so execute those laws as to prevent all commerce with foreign states. Those colonies should also be left to deal with the Indians, the mother country withdrawing the establishments made since the beginning of the late war for the management of the Indian affairs, and kept up till this day at a great expense. Though we must depend on our smaller ships for the active part of this plan, I think a squadron of ships of the line should be stationed in North America, both to prevent the intervention of foreign powers, and any attempt of the colonies to attack our smaller vessels by sea." Lord Barrington next advised the removal of the troops from Boston to Canada, Nova Scotia, and East Florida, till they could be successfully employed, and then continued: "If these ideas are well-founded, the colonies will in a few months feel their distress; their spirits, not animated by any little successes on their part, or violence of persecution on ours, will sink; they will be consequently inclined to treat, probably to submit to a certain degree; and in my humble opinion, the whole is then over, for then, with dignity, we may make them concessions." Had this system of blockade been adopted, there can be little doubt but America would have been preserved to England, for the Americans had then no fleet or any formidable fortifications on their coast. The advice, however, was rejected, and Lord Barrington was only prevented resigning office by the express desire of the king. But though Lord Barrington not only did not concur in the plans pursued by ministers, but sought to set them aside, yet as secretary of war, he obtained the chief odium of their failure. The principal blame, however, seems to be attached to the king: the plans were in reality his own, and he imposed them upon Lord North and the administration.





PETITION OF NOVA SCOTIA.

At the opening of this session, a petition was presented to both houses from Nova Scotia, which proposed to grant to his majesty in perpetuity a duty of poundage, ad valorem, on all commodities imported into the colony, not being the produce of the British dominions in Europe or America, bay-salt only excepted, by which means the amount of the revenue would keep pace with the wealth of the province. Ministers conceived that this loyal petition would serve as an example to the other colonies, and therefore gave it their support. They suggested a duty of eight per cent.; but objections were drawn from the unproductiveness compared with the old duties, and the small chance of other colonies following the example of a district which had always occasioned an expense to government, and ministers themselves finally abandoned it: nothing was heard of the petition after it went into committee.





PETITION OF CONGRESS.

On the 7th of November, a copy of the petition of congress alluded to in the king's speech was laid before the lords. On its presentation, the Duke of Richmond seeing Mr. Penn below the bar, moved for his being examined before they entered upon the discussion of the petition. This was rejected by a majority of fifty-six against twenty-two, and the noble mover then made another motion, that Mr. Penn should be examined on the next day, which, after a long debate was conceded. The examination was conducted by the Duke himself, and the opinions elicited from it were, that the members of congress were men of character and intelligence; that the people considered themselves able to resist the arms of Great Britain employed to enforce the obnoxious acts; that the war was begun in defence of their liberties, and not with any desire of obtaining independence; that unless conciliatory measures were immediately pursued, it was probable connexions with foreign powers would be formed, which they would not be easily induced to renounce; and that they were dissatisfied with the reception of their petitions, though inclined to acknowledge the authority of Great Britain in all matters, except taxation. Penn was an honest man, and doubtless sincere in his sentiments, but he had certainly been deceived, like many others, and even some members of the congress itself. On this evidence, however, the Duke of Richmond moved that this petition, hollow as it must have appeared to men of deep reflection, was sufficient ground for a conciliation of the differences existing between America and the mother country. He was supported by Lords Shelburne and Sandwich, but the refusal to answer the petition was defended by Lords Dartmouth and Lyttleton, and the motion was negatived by a majority of eighty-six against thirty-three. On the side of government the Americans were denounced by Lord Lyttleton as audacious rebels; their sentiments as insiduous and traitorous; and their expressions of loyalty, false and hollow. On the other hand, opposition justified their conduct, and patted them on the back by assurances, that their native courage and the nature of their country rendered them an invincible people. Indeed, it cannot be doubted, that the views taken by the opposition in the British parliament, and the sentiments which they uttered on every favourable occasion, had the effect of confirming the colonists in their opposition to government, and stimulating them to increased exertions in order to gain a free, full, and final triumph.





MOTIONS OF THE DUKE OF GRAFTON.

On the 15th of November the Duke of Grafton moved the following resolutions: "That ministers should lay before the house an account of the number of forces serving in America, with their several stations, etc., previous to the commencement of hostilities; that they should lay before the house the exact state of the army now in America; that they should produce all the plans that had been adopted for providing winter-quarters for those troops; that they should also produce an estimate of the forces now in Great Britain and Ireland; and that they should, finally, lay before the house an estimate of the military force necessary to be sent against America, with a precise account of the number of artillery, etc." In opposing these motions, ministers argued that nothing would better please the Americans than a full disclosure of our measures and resources, and that such a disclosure would be contrary to every rule of office, as well as to every maxim of war and common sense. The debate wandered to the original causes of the dispute, and the real object and intention of congress; and after these grounds were again gone over—the opposition warmly contending that the Americans were not aiming at independence, and ministers as warmly contending, and indeed fully demonstrating that they were—the Duke of Grafton's resolutions were negatived without a division. The chief speakers on the side of ministers were the new convert, Lord Lyttleton, who contended that everything proved the assertion; and Lord Mansfield, whose speech carried conviction to many minds which had before been perplexed with doubt upon the subject. Mansfield adduced historical facts to prove that the people of New England had been aiming at independence, almost from her earliest infancy; and he maintained that Great Britain could not concede any one claim which was demanded without relinquishing all, and admitting disseveration and independence. He concluded by warning the house that measures of conciliation would only furnish grounds for new claims, or produce terms of pretended obedience and submission.





THE LAND TAX INCREASED.

On the 13th of November Lord North moved in the commons that the land-tax should be raised to four shillings in the pound. An amendment was moved by the opposition that it should be three shillings instead of four; but this was negatived by a large majority, and the original motion was carried. War with America had been warmly advocated by the country gentlemen, and some of the opposition sarcastically congratulated them upon this enviable first-fruits of their coercive measures; while others attempted to gall them by declaring that it would prove a perpetual mortgage on their estates. To say the least of it, it was an ungracious return made by Lord North for their support, and it seems to have had the effect of considerably cooling their fiery ardour for war.





BURKE'S SECOND CONCILIATORY MOTION.

On the 16th of November, Burke again proposed measures of conciliation. After presenting a petition against the prosecution of the war, he moved "for leave to bring in a bill for composing the present; troubles, and quieting the minds of his majesty's subjects in America." This bill was formed on the model of the statute of Edward I., de tallagio non concedendo. He proposed in it the total renunciation of taxation; the repeal of all obnoxious laws and acts of parliament passed since the year 1706; a full amnesty for all offences; and a recognition of congress, in order to a final adjustment of the existing quarrel. In his speech, which occupied more than three hours, Burke did not conceal that his motion would involve a dissolution of the cabinet, and he justified this on the ground that ministers had brought the country to the very verge of ruin. He urged that delay was dangerous; that if the quarrel was continued the Bourbons would take it up; that this country was incapable of coping with America if thus seconded; and that America could be retained by her good inclinations alone. He observed, also, that three plans seemed to be afloat with regard, to America: the first, simple war with a view to complete conquest; the second, that of ministers, force mixed with negociations; and the third, peace grounded on concession. It was in the spirit of the last, he said, with which he made his motion. Burke's principal opponent was Governor Pownall, who exposed many fallacies in his reasoning. Pownall denied that any renunciation, repeal, or amnesty would have any other effect than that of increasing the pride and resistance of the Americans. He also maintained that if repeal had any effect at all it must be extended as far back as to 1672, and asserted that the Americans themselves demanded a repeal up to 1763, of which Burke's bill fell three years short. He remarked:—"They complain of the admiralty jurisdiction: now that is as old as the act of navigation. To my argument it is nothing how far this is right or wrong, grievous or otherwise; but the Americans complain of it; and, if the bill which is to afford redress and concede to their complaints must be effectual in order to gain their confidence, this bill does not go far enough." The house, however, was of opinion that it went too far, for after all the best orators of opposition had contended for its principles, with vehement eloquence, it was rejected by a majority of two hundred and ten, against one hundred and five. But this was a nearer division than had taken place for a long time on these questions, and which was doubtless the effect of the recent increase of the land tax: there is much sympathy between men's pockets and their opinions.





LORD NORTH'S PROHIBITORY BILL.

On the 20th of November, Lord North proposed a measure for the prohibition of all commercial intercourse with America. This bill authorized the commanders of his majesty's navy to make prize of all American ships and goods, whether on the high-seas or in harbour; and a clause was inserted, which rendered every American taken in them liable to serve as a common sailor in our ships of war, and to be considered as a volunteer. As this prohibitory bill comprehended every species of commerce along the coast of the con-federated states, all former acts, including the Boston Port Bill, were to be considered as repealed by it. A clause, however, provided for pardon to all revolters on their return to obedience, and commissioners were to be appointed to give effect to its terms, as well as to inquire into any real grievances of which the colonists might have to complain.

Lord North, in introducing this measure vindicated his own ministerial conduct. The dispute about taxation, he said, was not commenced by him, but by his predecessors in office; and, he asserted, that as he found the country and parliament determined not to surrender the right, he had embraced their cause. He added, that if the colonies, by appealing to arms, chose to make war the medium, he must pursue that medium, although he would constantly keep peace in view as the true point to be obtained. The minds of the opposition were inflamed by the bill and these declarations of the warlike minister. Fox especially declaimed against the bill, asserting that it tended to destroy all trade with America, and that it would cut off all hopes of future accommodation. In the course of his speech he accused the ministers of wishing to ruin our manufacturers in order that they might enlist in the army; and he concluded by moving as an amendment, that the whole body and title of the bill should be omitted, excepting only the portion which repealed the Boston Port Bill, and the restraining acts. The debate now grew hotter than before. It was argued that such a proposition would be a formal abdication of our government of the colonies, and might, with such omissions, be termed a bill for effectually carrying into execution the decrees of congress, by completing the union of Americans between themselves, and exciting them to make foreign alliances. The question being put, therefore, the amendment was rejected by one hundred and ninety-two to sixty-four. In the course of this debate, Lord Howe, who was soon to sail with the fleet for America, remarked feelingly that no struggle was so painful as that between his duty as an officer and as a man: if left to his own choice, he said, he would decline serving, but if commanded, he would perform his duty. To this General Conway replied, that a war with our fellow-subjects in America differed widely from, a war with a foreign nation; and that before an officer drew his sword against his fellow-subjects, he should first be convinced that the cause was just. Thurlow combated this notion with indignation, asserting that if such a doctrine was established, it must tend to a dissolution of government. In the course of the progress of this bill petitions from the West India merchants were presented, and council heard against it. It was also opposed in all its stages, and several amendments were moved in committee, but it finally passed as it was originally framed, by a majority of one hundred and twelve against sixteen only.

The debate on this bill in the house of lords was equally warm as that in the commons. In the face of all matter of fact, the opposition contended that the Americans were not in a state of rebellion: they had, it was conceded, taken up arms, but they were driven to it by violence, injustice, and oppression. Lord Lyttleton and Denbigh denounced these sentiments as an immoderate licence of language, and the latter peer asserted broadly, that those who defended rebellion were little better than rebels themselves, there being no wide difference between traitors and those who openly or covertly aided them! During the progress of the bill several amendments were proposed, but always ineffectually; and a petition was presented by the merchants of Bristol, praying that its operation might be suspended: the bill, however, was read a third time on the 21st of December, and was passed without a division. On the third reading it was defended, together with the whole conduct of government towards the Americans, by Lord Mansfield. Previous to this, intelligence had been received of the march of the two American armies to our Canadian frontiers, so that his lordship could now make a bolder stand against the arguments of the opposition. He remarked:—"We are now in such a situation, that we must either fight or be pursued;" and he illustrated his position by an anecdote related of a Swedish general, under Gustavus Adolphus, who, pointing to an advancing enemy, observed to his troops:—"My lads, you see those men; if you don't kill them they will kill you." His lordship then continued:—"If we do not get the better of America, America will get the better of us. They have begun to raise a navy; trade, if left free to them, will beget opulence, and enable them to hire ships from foreign powers. It is said, the present war is only defensive on the part of America. Is the attack on Canada a defensive war? Is their prohibiting all trade and commerce with every part of the British dominions, and starving our sugar-islands, acting on the defensive? No; though these people never offended us, we will distress them, say they, because that will be distressing Great Britain. Are we, in the midst of all outrages of hostility, of seizing our ships, entering our provinces at the head of numerous armies, and seizing our forts, to stand idle, because we are told this is an unjust war, and wait till the Americans have brought their arms to our very doors? The justice of the cause must give way to our present situation; and the consequences which must ensue, should we now recede, would, nay must, be infinitely worse than any we have to dread, by pursuing the present plan, or agreeing at once to a final separation." This speech of Lord Mansfield obtained a ready response in the house by the almost universal approval of the peers assembled.



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CHAPTER VII.

GEORGE III. 1776-1777


     Affairs of Ireland..... Debates on America, &c......
     Prorogation of Parliament..... Sentiments of Foreign Powers,
     &c...... Evacuation of Boston by the British..... Mission of
     Indian Chiefs..... Affairs of Canada..... Unsuccessful
     Attack on Sullivan's Island..... Affairs in Virginia.....
     Declaration of Independence by Congress..... Expedition
     against New York..... Defeat of the Americans on Long
     Island..... Conference on Staten Island..... Capture of New
     York..... Capture of Fort Washington..... Capture of Fort
     Lee, and Retreat of Washington..... Expedition against Rhode
     Island..... Successes of General Carleton..... Measures of
     Congress..... Defection of the Colonists, &c...... Meeting
     of Parliament..... Debates on America..... Attempt to fire
     His Majesty's Dock-yard at Portsmouth.





AFFAIRS OF IRELAND.

After the Christinas recess, the first important measure of parliament related to Ireland. Addresses from America had been sent to the people of that country, and they soon produced their intended effects among them; especially among the people of Dublin, and the Protestant dissenters. This was first seen in the acts of the sheriffs and common-council of that city. After voting thanks to Lord Howard, on his resignation, and to those peers who had supported the constitution, and, in opposition to a weak and wicked administration, protested against the American restraining acts in imitation of the city of London, they sent over a strong petition and remonstrance to the king. This was opposed by the lord mayor and aldermen, and the common-council then resolved that whoever refused to consent to a dutiful petition, tending to undeceive the king, and by which the effusion of one drop of blood of the subjects of Great Britain might be prevented, was an enemy to the constitution. The Irish parliament was not behindhand with the common-council in exhibiting sympathy for the cause of the Americans. Soon after it assembled, which was on the 10th of October, the members rejected a money-bill transmitted from England, upon the plea that it had been altered in council. On the 23rd of November, still more unequivocal symptoms of a refractory spirit appeared in the Irish parliament. Lord Harcourt, the lord-lieutenant, having proposed to the commons to send out of the kingdom 4000 men, for the American service, and accept in their stead an equal number of foreign Protestant troops, to be maintained at the expense of the British crown, they reluctantly conceded to the first proposition, and absolutely refused to admit the foreign substitutes.

These embarrassing matters were brought before the English parliament. On the 15th of February, Mr Thomas Townshend moved for a committee of inquiry, on the allegation that the lord-lieutenant had made an offer of the public money without consulting the British house of commons, and had thereby been guilty of a breach of privilege. Ministers were in a dilemma. Taken by surprise no two of them agreed in their modes of defence, or took the same ground in warding off the attack. Thus while one asserted that the Irish speaker had misunderstood the viceroy's message, which only meant that his majesty would pay the 4000 foreigners, another contended that when the Irish establishment was increased, the king had engaged to pay 12,000 troops in that country, except in case of invasion or rebellion in England, and that the present demand not being within these exceptions, his majesty should, therefore, be absolved from his promise. But whatever ground ministers took it was clear that they or the viceroy of Ireland had been at fault, and had not Lord Harcourt been popular both with "the king's friends" and the opposition, it is probable that he would have been censured by the house. The motion was, however, quashed by a large majority, and another motion on the same subject was equally unavailing.





DEBATES ON AMERICA, ETC.

On the 20th of February, Mr. Fox made a motion for a committee to inquire into the causes of the ill-success of our arms in North America, and the defection of the Canadians. In a speech of considerable power, Fox maintained that the ultimate design of government was to overthrow the constitution. He chiefly confined himself to an inquiry whether the proceedings of ministers had produced the desired effects. To this end he pursued a detail of ministerial operations beginning with the Boston Port Bill, in the course of which he endeavoured to show that folly existed in the cabinet, and that their plans were conceived in ignorance and executed in imbecility. At the same time he inveighed against the disgraceful servility of parliament, and concluded by remarking that none would object to inquiry but those who were culpable themselves. Unable to resist his reasoning, ministers attempted to elude it, but their arguments rather weakened than strengthened their cause. Lord North, indeed, candidly admitted that some of his plans had miscarried; arguing, in extenuation of their failure, that it was impossible to foresee every event. He concluded by saying that he was ready to resign, whenever the house should withdraw its confidence. There was no danger, however, of this extremity; for, though excited by the speech of the mover, several friends of government joined in calling for an inquiry, the motion was negatived by a majority of two hundred and forty against one hundred and four.

On the 29th of February, copies of treaties lately-entered into with the Landgrave of Hesse-Cassel, the Duke of Brunswick, and the Hereditary Prince of Hesse Darmstadt, for the hire of troops, to the amount of about 17,000 men, for the American service, were laid before the house of commons. Lord North moved to refer these compacts to a committee; on doing which he dilated on the fairness of the terms, and dwelt on the advantages of employing foreign troops. By the opposition, however, Great Britain was represented as disgraced in the sight of all Europe, by applying to the petty states of Germany for succours against her own subjects. They complained also, that the troops had been obtained at an immoderately high price; £7 10s. levy-money being paid for every man. The princes, likewise, it was said, who let them out like slaves, or beasts of draught, were to be subsidised besides; the Landgrave of Hesse-Cassel, who furnished 13,000 men, being guaranteed £10,281 per annum, and the Hereditary Prince of Hesse, who furnished 688 men, £6000 annually. Moreover, it was objected that the King of England had ensured the dominions of these princes against foreign attacks, while their troops were employed in America. Finally, the opposition argued that it was injudicious and dangerous to hire men who had nothing to do with the quarrel in question. Lord Irnham, in opposing ministers, made a good use of the weapons of ridicule. He remarked:—"I shall say little as to the feelings of those princes who can sell their subjects for such purposes. We have read of the humourist Sancho's wish,—'that, if he were a prince, all his subjects should be blackamoors, as he could, by the sale of them, easily turn them into ready money;' but that wish, however it may appear ridiculous and unbecoming a sovereign, is much more innocent than a prince's availing himself of his vassals for the purpose of sacrificing them in such destructive war, where he has the additional crime of making them destroy much better and nobler beings than themselves." Other members maintained that these German soldiers, on arriving in America, would be induced to accept lands from the colonists, join the banner of independence, and fight against the monarch who purchased their services. But argument was of no avail: the question for referring the treaties to a committee was carried by two hundred and forty-two to eighty-eight, and subsequently for agreeing to the report by one hundred and twenty to forty-eight. One amendment was carried on the motion of Colonel Barrè, namely, for an address to his majesty to equip the German troops with British manufactures.

In the house of lords the whole strength of the opposition was arrayed against the treaties. The Duke of Richmond moved an address not only to countermand all foreign troops, but to forego hostilities. His grace observed, in his speech, that ever since the year 1702, the German princes had been rising in their demands; that the present bargain was harder than any former one; and that the cost of the mercenaries engaged would not be less than one million and a half annually. He then animadverted on the large proportion of officers employed, and pointed out the danger of keeping so many foreigners under their own generals. He took occasion, also, to speak again of the unseen, overruling influence which had for so many years pervaded all our councils, though it was manifest to all that this influence proceeded from the king himself. After a long and animated speech, the Duke of Richmond was followed by other noble lords who enforced his sentiments. It was stated that neither Marlborough's campaign of 1704, which saved the German empire, nor the campaign by which the Earl of Chatham had obtained Canada, had cost so much money as that of Boston during the last year. It was also urged that the nation was incapable of bearing new taxes or of supporting the war in America; and that, if to the American war were added a rupture with France and Spain, and the whole house of Bourbon, the ruin of England was inevitable. The population of America was likewise pompously displayed, and the termination of all connexion between England and her colonies predicted. On their part ministers supported their measures by tracing the history of the colonies, and exhibiting their uniform disposition to factious resistance. Lord Temple, who had again differed with his brother-in-law the Earl of Chatham, strongly reprobated the intemperance of the opposition. He remarked:—"The next easterly wind will convey to America every expression used in this debate; and I would not that the nakedness and weakness of my country should stand confirmed by the sanction and authority of such testimony. It is time to act, and not to talk; for the die is cast, the sword is drawn, and the scabbard thrown away. Past experience certainly will not justify confidence in ministers; but I would not, by declaring our utter inability to reduce the colonists, furnish a golden bridge for an ignominious, ruinous, and disgraceful peace. I have heard the war called unjust: but who in this house have a right to call it so? Not those who voted for the Declaratory Act: those only who denied our right of taxation; and how very few were they! I cannot approve of recalling troops, and publishing the terms to which you will yield, until there is reasonable assurance of their not being rejected. When the happy moment for conciliation shall arrive, I hope ministers will seize it: I wish them success: at least at such a crisis I will not hang on the wheels of government, rendering that which already is but too difficult more impracticable." Upon a division, the Duke of Richmond's motion was negatived by one hundred to thirty-two; but the proposed address was entered on the journals, with the names of ten peers protesting against its rejection.

Despite this "vast and invincible majority," as it was called by Burke, on the 14th of March the Duke of Grafton moved for an address beseeching his majesty that a proclamation might be issued, declaring that if the revolted colonies, within a reasonable time, before or after the arrival of the troops in America, should present a petition to the commander-in-chief, or to the commissioners appointed under the late act, setting forth what they considered to be their just rights and real grievances, hostilities should be suspended, and the said petition be referred to parliament for consideration. In making this motion, the Duke of Grafton asserted that both France and Spain were arming, and that two French gentlemen had already been to America, and had had conferences with Washington and with congress. These assertions, however, were treated by ministers as chimerical, and Lord Weymouth, secretary for foreign affairs, assured the house that there never was a time when Great Britain had less to fear from foreign powers, and that every courier brought assurances of the pacific intentions and friendly feelings from all the courts of Europe. After a long debate, in which old arguments were reiterated on both sides of the house, the duke's motion was negatived, by a majority of ninety-one against thirty-one. About a fortnight after this Mr. Hartley presented the form of another address in the commons, which was conceived in a better spirit, but it shared the same fate as that of the Duke of Grafton. On the 10th of May Mr. Sawbridge, who had succeeded Wilkes as lord mayor, made a similar motion, for placing the Americans in the same situation as the Irish.

During the debates on this motion, Mr. Temple Luttrel, a younger brother of the colonel, uttered very violent language; declaring that the king's speech was a sanguinary parole, and the ministry an infernal administration: quoting the well-known observation of the philosopher Thaïes; "that of all wild beasts, the worst was a tyrant, and of all tame ones, a flatterer." The motion was negatived, as was also a motion subsequently made by General Conway, for inspecting the powers vested in his majesty's commissioners proceeding to America.





PROROGATION OF PARLIAMENT.

On the 23rd of May, at the moment when his majesty was expected in the house of lords to prorogue parliament, Mr. Hartley moved in the commons, an address, praying that parliament might not be prorogued, but continue sitting by adjournments during the summer, in order that they might be ready to receive information concerning the proceedings in America, and to provide for contingencies. This motion was, however, negatived without a division, and soon after the commons were summoned to the upper house for the purpose of prorogation. In his speech the king said that no alteration had taken place, or was likely to take place, in his relations with foreign courts. He represented the country as engaged in a great national cause, attended with great difficulty and with much expense. As, however, the essential rights and interests of the empire were deeply concerned in the issue of it, and could have no safety or security but in that constitutional subordination for which they were contending, he felt convinced, he said, that no price would be considered too high in order to obtain the wished-for objects. He still hoped his rebellious subjects might be awakened to a sense of their errors, and make a voluntary submission; but if not, he trusted to effect this object by a full exertion of the forces with which he had been entrusted by parliament.





SENTIMENTS OF FOREIGN POWERS, ETC.

Notwithstanding the declarations of the secretary of state for foreign affairs, and likewise of his majesty, that there was nothing to fear from foreign powers, it is evident that at this very period there was much to fear from those quarters. France and Spain both smarted under the disgrace of the late wars, and burned for revenge, whence there was every reason to apprehend that the armaments they were preparing, under various pretences, would ultimately be employed against England. Then again, Frederic of Prussia entertained strong feelings of resentment against us, for the manner in which he had been treated during the late war, and the Czarina of Russia had absolutely refused her promised aid. Moreover the naval superiority of Great Britain had excited the envy of almost every other state; and they longed to see it diminished. It does not appear, indeed, that any foreign potentate looked with an approving or an unjaundiced eye upon the part taken by Britain, except the Emperor of Austria, and as this part was in strict accordance with the monarchical principles of the Austrian court, his aid might fairly be expected. These well-known sentiments of foreign powers had doubtless the effect of stimulating the Americans in their factious opposition to their mother country, and England ought to have been warned by them. But England itself was like a divided house upon this subject. The Americans in fact were more encouraged by the people of England in their rebellion than by the hostile sentiments of foreign powers. Recent pages fully prove that they had their advocates in parliament,—men who not only justified their proceedings, but likewise exhibited to them in their speeches "the nakedness of the land," in strange, unjustifiable, and hyperbolical language. Like the false spies among the Hebrews, they spread an evil report of their country's resources, and hence held it forth to the contempt of the colonists. In this they were also aided by the political writers of the day. The press teemed with publications in favour of the colonists, and every breeze wafted them across the mighty waters to add fuel to the flames. One of the most conspicuous of these writers was Dr. Price, whose work entitled, "Observations on the Nature of Civil Liberty, &c.;" sought to depreciate the British government, and extolled the spirit which gave rise to the American revolution. Powerful pens, as that of Dr. Johnson, were, it is true, employed on the other side of the question,—but sentiments in accordance with the feelings of an individual or a whole people will ever maintain a preponderating influence. Moreover, it must be confessed that those writers who took the part of government often wrote in an illiberal and unenlightened spirit, so that their emanations had an equally powerful effect in confirming the Americans in their views and designs, as those which proceeded from the pens of their advocates. From every party, in truth, and on every hand, the colonists received encouragement in their hostility to the British crown.





EVACUATION OF BOSTON BY THE BRITISH.

While the British parliament was indulging in oratorical debate, and political writers were dipping their pens in gall, the Americans had been actively engaged with the sword. During the winter, both the British army in Boston, and the blockading army of the Americans, by which that town was surrounded, had undergone many miseries. Washington, however, was active in keeping up the flagging spirits of his troops, and they were further revived by the constant arrival of provision-waggons, ammunition, artillery, and reinforcements. At length Washington was induced to commence offensive operations. Ploughed Hill, Cobble Hill, and Lechemeres Point were successively occupied during the month of December, and the approaches of the American troops were carried within half-a-mile of the British works on Bunker's Hill. Congress recommended an immediate assault upon Boston; but Washington asked for more time, to complete his approaches and make his preparations. This was allowed him, and in the month of January a council of war was held in the camp—some of the members of congress being present—when it was resolved, that the British troops should be attacked before any reinforcements should arrive. At the same time it was resolved that thirteen regiments of militia should be required from Massachusets and the neighbouring colonies, that the attempt might be made with good prospect of success. These regiments were supplied early in February, but Washington was compelled to forego an immediate attack from the state of the weather. It was then exceedingly mild, and he wanted ice to enable him to pass the river. But this was not long wanting. About the middle of February the cold became intense, and the ice was sufficiently strong to bear the troops. Still the attack was delayed. Another council of war was held, and it was unanimously' resolved, that the attempt was too hazardous. Soon after, however, Washington received intelligence that a part of the British troops in the town was expected at New York, and from various appearances among them he conceived that there was an intention of evacuating Boston. He now resolved to commence the attack. On the 2nd of March he began a heavy bombardment and cannonade on the town and on the British lines, which was continued for two days. On the night of the 4th of March Washington took a more decisive step. The heights of Dorchester commanded the shipping in the harbour and nearly the whole town, and yet Lord Howe had taken no more care to occupy this hill than General Gage had taken to occupy Bunker's Hill. In the midst of the roar of artillery, therefore, Washington dispatched General Thomas, with 2000 troops and 300 labourers, to take possession of the heights of Dorchester; and at the break of day the British beheld the hill occupied and strongly fortified. They had scarcely recovered from their surprise when Thomas began to cannonade the town and the ships of war, his labourers still working with ardour, in order to render his position still more formidable. General Howe saw that he must either dislodge Thomas, or evacuate Boston, and he sent Lord Percy with 3000 men to effect his dislodgement. Percy embarked in transports, and fell down to the castle in order to proceed up the river to a low strip of land at the foot of Dorchester Hill; but a storm arose, and he was compelled to return to the harbour. It was providential for the British troops that this storm arose; for the heights of Dorchester are almost perpendicular, and the force was hence insufficient to accomplish the enterprise. And the task was soon rendered more difficult. While Washington still kept up a terrible fire, more men were sent to the heights; and Thomas, on the advice of Colonel Mifflin, chained together a number of hogsheads filled with sand and stones, which were to be rolled down the hill, should General Howe renew the attempt, upon his advancing columns. The British commander, however, became sensible of the madness of such an attempt, and resolved to evacuate the town. An intimation was sent to Washington that Boston would be spared from the flames if the troops were suffered to embark without molestation. This notice determined Washington to refrain from hostilities, and in ten days, on the 17th of March, the British troops quitted the cradle of the revolution, and set sail for Halifax, in Nova Scotia. Before they departed the British troops destroyed Castle William, but they left their barracks uninjured, with a large quantity of cannon and ammunition, of which Washington was in want. This was a great blunder; for if they could not have been carried away they should have been destroyed. And this was not the only blunder committed. In sailing away, Howe left no cruizer in Boston Bay to warn the ships expected from England that the place was not in our possession; and a few days after, when Washington had taken up his quarters in the town, several of our store-ships sailed into the harbour, and fell into the hands of the Americans, before they discovered that Boston was lost to King George. Howe's negligence was even still more disastrous in its consequences than this; for Lieutenant-colonel Archibald Campbell sailed into the harbour with seven hundred fresh troops from England, and he was taken, and became the subject for severe and brutal retaliation. The loyalists who remained in Boston became also the objects of vengeance; they were tried as the betrayers of their country, and their effects were confiscated, while the very estates of the emigrants were seized, and passed into the hands of the victors. It was a proud triumph for the Americans. Congress, elated by it, passed a vote of thanks to Washington and his army for their acquisition of Boston, and directed a gold medal to be struck in commemoration of the event.

GEORGE III. 1776-1777





MISSION OF INDIAN CHIEFS.

Untutored as the savage is, many a lesson may be gathered from his lips and his conduct. Before Boston was evacuated by the British troops, the Oneidas and some other Indian tribes had sent to the provincial assembly a deputation of their chiefs, on a mission which displayed much practical humanity and good feeling. The purport of this mission is disclosed in the address of these chiefs to the assembly. It reads thus:—"Brothers, we have heard of the unhappy differences and great contention between you and Old England. We wonder greatly and are troubled in our minds. Brothers, possess your minds in peace respecting us Indians. We cannot intermeddle in this dispute between brethren: the quarrel seems to us so unnatural; and we bear an equal affection to both. Should the great king apply to us for aid we shall deny him: if the colonies apply we shall refuse. We Indians cannot find or recollect, in the traditions of our ancestors, a case similar to this. Brothers, if it were an alien that had struck you we should look into the matter. We hope, through the wise government and good pleasure of the Great Spirit, your distresses may be soon removed, and the dark clouds dispersed. Brothers, as we have declared for peace, we desire you will not apply to our Indian brethren for assistance. Let us Indians be all of one mind, and you white people settle the disputes between yourselves." But notwithstanding this wise policy of these Indian chiefs, many of the savage tribes bordering on the great lakes and rivers were induced by British agents to wield the tomahawk in behalf of "the great king," and committed ravages which brought a stain upon the fair fame of Great Britain.





AFFAIRS OF CANADA.

At the close of the session of the British parliament good news had arrived from Canada. Congress had voted nine regiments for service in that colony, and General Schuyler was ordered to prepare a number of batteaux to transport these troops down the lakes and the Sorel to the scene of action. At this juncture news arrived of the death of Montgomery, and the critical situation of Arnold. This news urged congress to renewed exertions. They did all they could to hasten their reinforcements, and called upon the provincial conventions to collect all the money they could for the use of the army in Canada. Men and specie were, however, not easily procured; and, moreover, had the troops been ready on the instant, they could not have marched during the winter, as the ground was covered with snow, and the lakes all frozen over. On the opening of spring, however, by the 1st of April, the force in Canada was raised to 1,800 men. But coined money was not forthcoming for their use, and Arnold issued a proclamation, making the paper-money of congress current, under promise of redeeming it with specie in four months, and threatening all who refused this paper in exchange for their commodities or labour with destruction. The French Canadians had no faith in the paper-money, or in the promises of Arnold, and the troops, therefore, were under the necessity of helping themselves to what they wanted. This was fatal to the American cause in Canada. The Canadians were told that the troops were come to liberate them from tyranny and oppression, but they concluded that they had only come to plunder them. Added to this, the New Englanders laughed at the Catholic church ceremonies, and insulted some of the priests, whence they insured universal hatred and vengeance. The situation of Arnold was a critical one, and it was rendered more so by the appearance of the small-pox among his troops, which greatly thinned his ranks. Still Arnold resolved to persevere. He again set up his battery before the walls of Quebec, hoping to take it before it should be relieved by reinforcements from England. Before, however, he could make any impression, General Wooster arrived as his superior in command; and, taking offence, he retired to Montreal, there to assume a separate command. Many of the Americans also left the army and returned home, under the pretence that the period of their engagement was expired. General Thomas arrived on the 1st of May, and the force then amounted to 2000 men. Had these troops been effective, and had the magazines been well stored, Thomas might have had some chance of success, but such was not the case; and to complete his dilemma, the river St. Lawrence began to open below, and intelligence arrived that English ships of war were daily expected. Thomas therefore resolved to make a precipitate retreat, and he began to remove the sick to the Three Rivers, and to embark his artillery and stores in boats and canoes. Before these operations were completed, however, three English ships which had forced their way through the ice arrived before Quebec, and these vessels instantly threw on shore two companies of the 29th regiment, with some marines and sailors. Struck with consternation, the Americans began to fly in all directions, and General Carleton then sallied out in pursuit of them. Notwithstanding, the enemy retreated so precipitately that Carleton could do nothing more than capture their artillery and stores, about a hundred fugitives, and nearly all their sick, who had been left behind. Many, however, were afterwards found concealed and starving in the woods; and Carleton, as humane as he was brave, treated the whole of the prisoners with great humanity. The rest of the troops crossed the St. Lawrence, and formed at the forts of Chamblée and St. John, on the Sorel, where General Thomas died of the small-pox.

Thus successful, General Carleton dispatched Captain Forster to a strong fort, called the Cedars, situate thirty miles west of Montreal, and which was garrisoned by four hundred Americans. This fort surrendered, on condition that the garrison should be preserved from the ferocity of the Indians. In the attack on this fort one Indian, on the side of the English, was slain, and this excited the passions of the red men to revenge. On the day after the surrender of the Cedars Forster heard that a party of the enemy were marching from another point to secure the fort, and he ordered one hundred Indians to place themselves in ambush on both sides of the road in a wood through which the enemy must pass. This stratagem was completely successful. All the Americans were captured, and when the Indians had brought them to the front of the fort they prepared to put them to death, in atonement for the blood of their tribe which had been shed. This was an ancient custom, and it was with difficulty that Captain Forster induced them to dispense with it: it was only effected by conciliating them with presents. From the Cedars, Forster proceeded to Vaudreuil, about six miles northward. Arnold made an attempt to dislodge him, but was obliged to retreat, and return to St. Anne's, on the island of Montreal. Being encumbered with prisoners, Forster judged it expedient to release them; Arnold promising to return an equal number of royal troops within two months. This compact, however, was shamefully violated by congress, under pretence that Forster had treated the prisoners taken at the Cedars in a barbarous manner—a pretence which was utterly unfounded. In the meantime General Carleton being reinforced by more troops from England, repaired to Three Rivers, about midway between Quebec and Montreal. Imagining that Carleton had only sent a detachment, General Sullivan, who had succeeded to the command of the troops on the death of Thomas, ordered General Thomson and Colonel St. Clair to cross the St. Lawrence, and to make a night attack on the forces of the English. These two officers did not arrive at Three Rivers till the day dawned, and as soon as they were seen the alarm was given all along the bank, and a fire was opened upon them from some ships. They landed from their boats, and in their confusion ran into a broad morass, where they were attacked in front by General Fraser, and in their rear by General Nesbit; while Major Grant took possession of a bridge, which rendered their escape over the river Des Loups impracticable. Many were killed and wounded, and General Thompson, with Colonel Irvine, and about two hundred men, were taken prisoners. The rest fell back in disorder across a bog into a wood on their left, and on the next day crossed the bridge which Major Grant had occupied, and which was by some mistake now left unguarded, whence they reached their boats, and escaped to their main body at Sorel. General Carleton embarked the mass of his forces and pursued them by water; but when he arrived at Sorel he found that place evacuated, and the batteries dismantled. General Burgoyne, who had arrived with the last reinforcements from England, was charged with the pursuit of Sullivan, while Carleton himself recrossed the St. Lawrence to look after Arnold. That officer, however, glad to make his escape from Canada, embarked his men, crossed over the river at Long Isle, and joined Sullivan at Fort St. John, on the Sorel. The two American generals did not deem themselves safe at this fort, and they therefore set fire to it, as well as that of Chamblée, and continued their retreat up the river. They were followed by Burgoyne; but when that general reached the head of the Sorel, and saw the lake beyond it well supplied with armed vessels, he desisted from the pursuit, and rejoined General Carleton. By these events, Canada was entirely freed from the American arms; and General Carleton commenced preparations for the recovery of Ticonderoga, and the dominion of the lakes Champlain and St. George, now held by the enemy. The American generals, Sullivan and Arnold, threw themselves upon the isle Aux Noix, where they were secure from the enemy, but where many of their men perished of fever.





UNSUCCESSFUL ATTACK ON SULLIVAN'S ISLAND.

While success attended the British arms in Canada, an expedition sent against the southern states totally failed. Governor Martin had been strenuously exerting himself to recover his lost province of North Carolina, by means of a body of Highlanders, who had recently emigrated to America, and another body of resolute men, called "Regulators," who lived principally by the chase. These two bodies were commanded by Colonels Mac Donald and Mac Leod. They were embodied at Cross Creek, but having attempted to open their way to Wilmington, where they expected some regular troops were to be landed, they were circumvented by a superior insurgent force, and beaten. Mac Leod, with most of his Highland followers, were slain, and Mac Donald, with some of the "Regulators," were taken prisoners; while the rest fled, and returned to their old hunter life in the back country. The attempt which was made by Governor Martin, indeed, seems altogether to have been premature; but he appears to have been induced to make it from the delay of the arrival of General Clinton and his troops, who were destined for this service. No second attempt could be made to erect the royal standard in the Caro-linas, till Clinton arrived from England, and then it was found to be too late. He reached Cape Fear in the month of May, and immediately took the command of some troops which had previously been conveyed to those coasts by Sir Robert Parker. The general's instructions were to endeavour, by proclamations and other means, to induce the Carolinas to return to their allegiance; to gain information as to the temper and disposition of those provinces; and if he found the royalists sufficiently numerous to take up arms, to leave a part of his forces with them, and then to repair to New York to meet the commander-in-chief, General Howe. Clinton found no encouragement, and met with no signs of co-operation; and he, together with Parker, tired of doing nothing, resolved to go beyond their commission, by capturing or destroying Charleston, the capital of South Carolina, the trade of which town supplied the two colonies with the nerve of war. To this end they sailed from Cape Fear on the 4th of June, and arriving off Charleston they took possession of Long Island, where there were many royalists, but who had previously been disarmed. Near Charleston, however, and covering-its harbour, was another island, called Sullivan's Island, in which there were armed insurgents and formidable batteries. There was a projecting point of land, also, called Hadrell's Point, which almost touched this island, and on which General Lee, an Englishman, and rival of Washington, in the American service, was posted with a large force of regular troops and militiamen, and some artillery. Notwithstanding these formidable appearances, however, Clinton persevered in his design of taking this island. He constructed two batteries on Long Island, answering to those of the enemy, and to co-operate with the floating-batteries destined to cover the landing of the troops. The event was most disastrous. On the 28th of June the fleet, under Parker, anchored in front of the American fort, and opened a tremendous fire upon it; while Clinton seconded the efforts of the admiral by firing from the batteries on Long Island. In the midst of the roar of cannon the troops embarked in the rear of some floating batteries in boats and some small craft; but they had scarcely left the beach when they were ordered to return to their encampment on Long Island. Meanwhile the ships continued their firing upon the fort, which was responded to with equal vigour by the Americans. The roar of cannon ceased not till long after night-fall, and then the British fleet exhibited a sad and desolating spectacle; for while the fire of the ships made but comparatively little impression upon the fort, the fire from the fort did fearful execution upon the fleet. The following description of this day of carnage is from the pen of Burke. He says:—"Whilst the continued thunder from the ships seemed sufficient to shake the firmness of the bravest enemy, and daunt the courage of the most veteran soldier, the return made by the fort could not fail of calling for the respect as well as of highly incommoding the British seamen. In the midst of that dreadful roar of artillery, they stuck with the greatest constancy and firmness to their guns; fired deliberately and slowly, and took a cool and effective aim. The ships suffered accordingly: they were torn to pieces, and the slaughter was dreadful. Never did British valour shine more conspicuous, nor never did our marine, in an engagement of the same nature with any foreign enemy, experience as rude an encounter. The springs of the Bristol's cable being cut by the shot, she lay for some time exposed in such a manner as to be most dreadfully raked. The brave Captain Morris, after receiving a number of wounds, which would have sufficiently justified a gallant man in retiring from his station, still, with a noble obstinacy, disdained to quit his duty, until his arm, being at length shot off, he was carried away in a condition which did not afford a possibility of recovery. It is said, that the quarter-deck of the Bristol was at one time cleared of every person but the commodore, who stood alone, a spectacle of intrepidity and firmness, which has seldom been equalled, never exceeded." When the firing ceased the Bristol and Experiment, ships of fifty guns each, were left almost wrecks upon the water, but the frigates had not suffered so severely. It was expected by the Americans that most of them would be unable to pass the bar; but, with the exception of the Actæon frigate, which got aground at the commencement of the action, all dropped down with the tide beyond the reach of the guns in the fort. It is clear that Admiral Parker did all that could have been done to effect his object, but skill and valour were of no avail. The fortress was built of palmetto-wood, and therefore it was little damaged; the shot which struck it being buried in its soft materials. Then again, the bombs that were thrown into the fort were instantly swallowed up in a morass that was constructed in the middle, and therefore failed in their design. While the English ships, indeed, were swept of their men, the loss of the garrison did not exceed ten men killed and about twenty wounded. The Americans themselves accounted for their victory by the strength of the fort; the care they had taken to secure its approaches; the courage and skill displayed by Colonel Moultrie, who commanded in the fort; and the presence of Lee on the projecting point opposite the island. On the other hand, the English attributed their defeat to the non-co-operation of the army, which appears to have been declined by Parker, he having full confidence in the powers of the fleet. But whatever may have been the cause of the result, it is certain that by the repluse of this armament the southern states obtained a long respite from the horrors of war, and that it had the effect of raising the depressed spirits of the colonists: by it the spell which had long attached itself to the British navy was broken. After the disaster General Clinton set sail in the Solby frigate with his troops to join General Howe, but the rest of the ships remained at Long Island to refit.





AFFAIRS IN VIRGINIA.

During these events Lord Dunmore had been making a last effort to retrieve the king's affairs in Virginia. With the consent of General Howe he sent Mr. Connelly, a native of Pennsylvania, to induce the people in the back and inland parts of the colony, together with several of the Indian tribes, to take up arms for government. Connelly had already reached the back-settlements, but soon after his arrival he was recognized by a tradesman to whom he was known, who denounced him to one of the nearest revolutionary committees. Connelly was seized with all his papers, and sent to Philadelphia, where he was put in irons and treated with the utmost severity. The scheme of Lord Dunmore was developed by his papers, and the whole was in consequence frustrated.





DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE BY CONGRESS.

It required no prophetic eye to foresee that at no very distant period, notwithstanding the sentiments of loyalty expressed in their papers by congress, they would, nevertheless, take one vast stride in the march of revolution and proclaim their independence. As early as the 15th of May the congress, in their sitting at Philadelphia, resolved:—"That it should be recommended to all the various assemblies and conventions in the United States of America, where no form of government adequate to the exigencies of affairs had yet been adopted, to establish such a constitution as should be most conducive to the public welfare and security." This resolution was published in the newspapers, with a preamble, stating that as the king and parliament of Great Britain had excluded the inhabitants of the colonies from the protection of their mother country, it behoved them to abolish the power and constitution which had been derived from thence. By this measure of congress the mask was at length thrown off, and many Americans now stepped forward to claim the honour of having been the originator of the grand idea. The glory is, however, generally attributed by Americans to Benjamin Franklin;—the man who, while in England, strove with all his might, and in the depth of guile, to make the Earl of Chatham, and all the great orators of opposition, believe that the wish was furthest from his thought;—that he earnestly desired to preserve the connexion of the colonies with his "dear old mother country." While at the same time, however, that American writers attribute the origin of the grand idea to Benjamin Franklin, they admit that it was the pen of an English writer that rendered the most effective service in this particular—a pen that was wielded by the infidel, Thomas Paine! Originally a Quaker and stay-maker in Norfolk, Paine first made himself known as a political writer by the publication of a pamphlet. This pamphlet recommended him to the notice of Franklin, who advised the poor author to try his fortune in America, now affording a wide field for the talents of adventurers. Paine accordingly settled at Philadelphia in 1774, where he became first a contributor to newspapers and periodicals, and then editor of the "Philadelphia Magazine." By this time the public mind had been prepared by various productions issued from the press, to entertain thoughts of independence. Paine turned his wit to this subject, and in 1776 he brought out his famous pamphlet, called "Common Sense," which contained bolder sentiments than any written by all the other various pamphleteers. His production met with unparalleled success. Copies were distributed throughout the colonies, and "Common Sense" became literally the study of the whole American world. It was even read, admired, and eulogised in England by men of sense and talent: Burke calls it "that celebrated pamphlet which prepared the minds of the people for independence." Its chief merit, however, seems to have consisted in rough, sarcastic wit, which was well calculated to flatter the prejudices as well as to inflame the resentment of the American people. The effects it produced were wonderful. Multitudes were brought over by it to the cause of independence, who but a few months before would have regarded the proposition with abhorrence. As for the writer he at once gained by it the topmost pinnacle of the temple of popularity. The legislature of Pennsylvania voted him £500; the university of the same province conferred on him the degree of Master of Arts; he was elected member of the American Philosophical Society, founded by Franklin; and he was subsequently made clerk to the committee of foreign affairs, while he was consulted by all members of government and congress as an oracle.

The recommendation of congress to the various assemblies and conventions in the United States of America met with all due attention, and many prepared for the organization of a new government. Thus the convention of New York appointed a committee to take the resolution into consideration, and on the 27th of May this committee presented a report, replete with democratic principle, and going the whole length which the recommendation involved. The men of the hot south, however, the Virginians, went to work in a less round-about manner than those of the other states. The convention of that colony, which met at Williamsburg on the 6th of May, instructed their delegates at congress to propose to that body an immediate declaration of independence. Accordingly, on the 7th of June, Richard Henry Lee, one of their delegates, moved that the congress should forthwith declare:—"That these united colonies are, and of right ought to be, free and independent states; that they are absolved from all allegiance to the British crown, and that all political connexion between them and the state of Great Britain is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that measures should immediately be taken for procuring the assistance of foreign powers, and a confederation be formed for binding the colonies more closely together." Vehement debates followed this proposition, its principal supporter being John Adams, and its chief opposer John Dickenson. On the question being put, six delegates voted in the affirmative, and an equal number in the negative; the delegates from Pennsylvania being equally divided. The debate, therefore, was resumed on the following day, when Dickenson relinquished his opposition, and by his vote decided the contest. Congress now assumed the title of "Representatives of the United States of America," and on the 4th of July they published a definite declaration, or act of independence. This declaration was drawn up by Jefferson, and slightly altered first by Franklin and Adams, and afterwards by the whole committee to whom it was submitted. As passed by congress it commenced with asserting that all men were originally equal, and that all people have an unalienable right to choose their own government. It then set forth that the history of the present King of Great Britain had been a history of injuries and usurpations, having for their direct object the establishment of an absolute tyranny over America. The sins of the monarch—for it was against the king himself that congress chiefly aimed their blows—were set forth in eighteen separate clauses, and it must be confessed that if the monarch was so great a sinner as he was represented to be in these clauses, then the summing up of the act of independence was justifiable. This summing up declared,—"That a prince marked by every act which may define a tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people: consequently, congress, in the name and by the authority of the good people of America, had solemnly published and declared that the colonies were free and independent states, absolved from allegiance to the British crown; that all political connexion between them and Great Britain was broken; and they, as free and independent states, had full power to levy war, conclude peace, contract alliances, and establish commerce." But though the people of England were not calumniated by congress in such bold and unwarrantable language as their monarch, they nevertheless were condemned by the act of independence. A clause in it with reference to the British people, reads thus:—"Nor have we been wanting in attentions to our British brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts made by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of an emigration and settlement here; we have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity; and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow those usurpations which interrupted our connexion and correspondence. But they have been deaf to the voice of justice and consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity which pronounces our separation, and hold them as we hold the rest of mankind, enemies in war, in peace, friends. We, therefore, the representatives of the United States of America, in general congress assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentional do, in the name and by the authority of the good people of these colonies, solemnly publish and declare, that these united colonies are, and of right ought to be, free and independent states; that they are absolved from all allegiance to the British crown, and that all political connexion between them and the state of Great Britain is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as free and independent states, they have full power to levy war, conclude peace, contract alliances, establish commerce, and to do all other acts and things which independent states may of right do. And for the support of this declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes, and our sacred honour."

This declaration went forth to the world as the unanimous act of congress and of the whole American people. Nevertheless, several delegates, among whom was Mr. Dickenson, refused to sign the paper, and it is well known that there were many among the American people, and men of great influence and talent, who dissented from the act. Washington himself conceived that congress was going too far, although he still continued at the head of their army to fight their battles. But there was now no alternative but to fight or be considered a renegade. The great body of the nation was in favour of the measure of congress, and were prepared to stand by its consequences. And in this they were encouraged by the inherent power which they possessed; by the physical advantages which their country presented; and by the difficulties which Great Britain, split into factions, and with a divided parliament, must encounter in carrying on a war in such a far distant country. The Americans also appear to have been encouraged, even at this early stage of their rebellion, by foreign powers. It is an indisputable fact, indeed, that their sole reliance was not upon "native swords and native ranks." Secret agents had been sent to America from powers clandestinely inimical to the British nation; and American agents had been sent secretly to the courts of Paris, Madrid, Naples, the Hague, and St. Petersburgh. The Americans, moreover, drew encouragement from the hope that there might be a rebellion in Ireland, if not in England itself. To ensure such a consummation in Ireland, they even sent addresses to the Irish people which were well calculated to lead to it. How artfully these addresses were worded may be seen from the following extract of one, in which the Americans expressed their regret that they had been compelled to include Ireland with Great Britain in their non-importation agreements. It states:—"Your parliament had done us no wrong. You had ever been friendly to the rights of mankind, and we acknowledge with pleasure and gratitude that your nation has produced patriots who have nobly distinguished themselves in the cause of humanity and America. On the other hand we were not ignorant that the labour and manufactures of Ireland, like those of the silkworm, were of little moment to herself, but served only to give luxury to those who neither toil nor spin. We perceived that if we continued our commerce with you, our agreement not to import from Britain must be fruitless. Compelled to behold thousands of our countrymen imprisoned; and men, women, and children in promiscuous and unmerited misery—when we found all faith at an end, and sacred treaties turned into tricks of state—when we perceived our friends and kinsmen massacred, our habitations plundered, our houses in flames, and their once happy inhabitants fed only by the hand of charity—who can blame us for endeavouring to restrain the progress of the desolation? Who can censure us for repelling the barbarous band? Who in such circumstances would not obey the great, the universal, the divine law of self-preservation? Though vilified as wanting spirit, we are determined to behave like men; though insulted and abused, we wish for reconciliation; though defamed as seditious, we are ready to obey the laws: and though charged with rebellion, we will cheerfully bleed in defence of our sovereign in a righteous cause. What more can we say? What more can we offer? We know that you are not without your grievances. We sympathize with you in your distress, and are pleased to find that the design of subjugating us has persuaded the administration to dispense to Ireland some vagrant rays of ministerial sunshine. Even the tender mercies of government have long been cruel towards you. In the fat pastures of Ireland many hungry parricides have fed and grown strong to labour in her destruction. We hope the patient abiding of the meek may not always be forgotten." The Americans could scarcely have spoken plainer than this, and the Irish people could not fail rightly to interpret their language as an incitement to join in that sin which the sacred penman has likened to the sin of witchcraft—rebellion.

GEORGE III. 1776-1777





EXPEDITION AGAINST NEW YORK.

It has been seen that when General Howe evacuated Boston he set sail for Halifax. He remained at Halifax till the 11th of June, when he sailed for New York, and arrived near the end of the month offf Sandy Hook. He expected to meet his brother, Lord Howe, with the main body of the fleet and the new army, together with Sir Peter Parker with his squadron, and General Clinton with his troops. These parties, however, were still far away, and he therefore landed at Staten Island, where he was joined by Mr. Tryon, the expelled governor of New York, and a body of loyalists who had taken refuge with him in an armed vessel. Shortly after he was joined by his brother, Admiral Lord Howe, and subsequently by Sir Peter Parker and his squadron, when their united forces amounted to nearly 30,000 men, British and foreign.

Anterior to this, and as early as the month of April, General Washington had left Boston for New York, and at this moment his army were throwing up strong entrenchments at that city and on Long Island, to close the river Hudson against the English fleet. The main body of his forces were with Washington at New York; General Sullivan, with a strong force, was at the western extremity of Long Island, just opposite the city; while the rest of the forces mainly occupied different posts on York Island. The total number of Washington's army appears to have exceeded 30,000; but sickness prevailed in his camp to such an extent that at one time nearly a fourth part of his forces were unfit for action. Added to this embarrassment, many of the inhabitants were disaffected to the American cause, and even a part of his own guards entered into a conspiracy to seize his person, and deliver him to the enemy. This conspiracy, however, was discovered, and several engaged in it were executed, and Washington, thus relieved from danger, earnestly pressed forward the defences of the city. He had with him a large train of artillery and an abundant supply of military stores.

Before proceeding to extremities, Lord Howe sent ashore by a flag, circular letters, acquainting the Americans with his powers, both civil and military, and enclosing a declaration granting pardons to all such as were willing to return to their duty; promising that any colony, town, post, or place that submitted instantly should be exempted from the provisions of the acts of parliament prohibiting their trade, etc.; and giving assurances that the meritorious services of all persons who should aid and assist in restoring tranquillity would be duly rewarded. Washington forwarded these papers to congress, by whom they were published in the newspapers, with a comment calculated to destroy their effects. At the same time Lord Howe opened a direct communication with Washington; but that general taking offence at the letter being simply directed to "George Washington, Esq.," raised a cavil on that ground, to prevent a conference which would have been embarrassing to him at so critical a period. It was in vain that Adjutant-general Paterson, the bearer of the letter, protested that no disrespect was intended, and that Lord Howe and his brother, the general, could not depart from the rules laid down for them: Washington rejected the letter, and refused to let it lie on his table, which refusal was highly approved of by congress. As a last resource, the British admiral entered into a correspondence on the subject with Dr. Franklin, with whom he had been on intimate terms in England; but the first letter which his lordship received from that philosopher convinced him of the inutility of any further efforts at negociation, and he prepared for the decision of the sword.

GEORGE III. 1776-1777





DEFEAT OF THE AMERICANS ON LONG ISLAND.

Having at length been joined by Clinton and by nearly all the forces he expected, General Howe, on the morning of the 22nd of August, commenced operations. He first threw forward a division of 4000 men under Clinton, who landed in Gravesend Bay, Long Island, without opposition; their disembarkation being covered by three frigates and two bombs. This division was soon followed by the rest of the British army and the artillery; and upon their landing, Sullivan's advanced guard set fire to all the houses and granaries and fled to the woody heights, through which the English must pass. Washington had previously reinforced the army of Sullivan, and calculating that Long Island must be held, he threw over more reinforcements from New York, until the mass of his army was concentrated on that spot. By his direction, the Americans to the number of 15,000 were posted on a peninsula towards that end of the island which faces the city of New York, and is not more than a mile from it. They were commanded by Generals Sullivan, Putnam, and Lord Stirling, and their object was to occupy these heights, and to defend the defiles which led through the hills against the English. A severe contest ensued; but the British right, under Sir Henry Clinton, having outflanked the left of the enemy, while the Hessians, under General De Heister, vigorously attacked the centre, the Americans were routed. Lord Stirling, who commanded the right wing, finding that the English had penetrated to the rear, gave orders for a retreat, and to secure it, boldly attacked the division under Lord Cornwallis; but being assailed in his course by General Grant, he was repulsed and taken prisoner. The dispersed troops fled to the fortified lines and camp at Brooklyn; but they left 2000 slain on the field, or drowned in a morass into which they were driven at Gowan's Cove; and about half that number, with Generals Sullivan and Udell, with ten other field-officers were taken prisoners. The loss of the British was comparatively trifling: seventy were slain and about 200 wounded. The ardour of the British troops was such that they followed the fugitives almost to the foot of their works, and they were with difficulty prevented from making an assault on their lines. Had they been permitted it seems clear that they might have easily carried them; but General Howe, conceiving that the lines must become his by regular approaches without much sacrifice of life, he ordered them back to a hollow out of the reach of the fire of the enemy. By this order the troops which had fled were saved. Washington, who had passed over from New York during the battle, in the midst of his extreme anguish at the fate of so many of his troops and the critical situation of the remainder, suddenly saw a gleam of hope bursting through the surrounding gloom. On that night the British army encamped in front of the American lines, and on the following morning the British general commenced his regular approaches; breaking ground about six hundred yards from one of the redoubts. But while the troops were digging their trenches on one side, Washington was smuggling his forces out on the other, and ferrying them over East River to the city of New York. His masterly retreat was effected by night in such order, secrecy, and silence that the English were not aware of it till the rising sun showed them that the enemy was out of the reach of danger: But for this the half of Washington's army which he had exposed on Long Island would have been lost, and the war might have been virtually ended. But even after his escape Washington found himself in no very enviable position. A superior and victorious force was in front of him, while all around him the country was hostile to his cause. The success of the British arms indeed, caused the anti-revolutionists to lift up their heads on every hand, and in great numbers.





CONFERENCE ON STATEN ISLAND.

Almost immediately after the victory on Long Island, Lord Howe made another attempt to open a negociation. General Sullivan was despatched by him on parole with a verbal message to congress, importing that though he could not at present treat with them as an authorized body, he was desirous of conferring with them as private gentlemen at any place they would appoint. He had, he said, in conjunction with General Howe, full powers to compromise the dispute between Great Britain and America on terms mutually honourable and advantageous—that he wished a compact to be made when as yet no decisive blow was struck and neither party could allege being compelled to enter into an agreement—that in case congress were disposed to treat, many things yet unasked might be granted them—and that, if upon the conference there should arise good ground for an accommodation, this might lead to an acknowledgment of its authority, as otherwise the compact could not be settled. Congress was embarrassed by this message. They felt that the admiral could have no offers to make which they could accept; and yet if they declined the conference the people might entertain a different opinion, and they might incur their vengeance if they refused to hear the message. Under these circumstances, while in their reply to Lord Howe they remarked that they could not, as the representatives of the free and independent States of America, send any of their members to confer with his lordship in their private characters, they would nevertheless send a committee of their body to know whether he had any authority to treat with persons authorised by congress, and to hear such propositions as he might have to make. The members appointed for this conference were Franklin, Adams, and Routledge; three of the bitterest enemies of Great Britain. This trio waited upon his lordship in Staten Island, on the 11th of September, and they were received with true English politeness and urbanity. His lordship commenced the conference by stating that though he could not treat with them as a committee of congress, yet as his powers enabled him to confer and consult with any private gentlemen of influence in the colonies, he would be glad, if they thought proper, to confer with them in such a character. As their business was only to hear what his lordship had to say, the trio replied, that he might consider them in what character he pleased, while they would only consider themselves in the character given them by congress. The admiral then said that he and his brother, as commissioners, had delegated power to grant pardons for the past, and that every favour might be expected from the British crown if the colonists would return to their allegiance. He also remarked that the king, ministry, and parliament were disposed to make government easy to them, and that the obnoxious acts would be revised in order to put an end to their grievances. These offers and assurances, however, were despised. The committee replied that if he had nothing else to propose he had come too late: the petitions of congress had been despised, independence was now proclaimed, and the new government formed. Lord Howe then simply expressed his regret at the evils which must be let loose upon the land, and the trio returned to Philadelphia.





CAPTURE OF NEW YORK, ETC.

After the victory on Long Island, and while the conference was going forward on Staten Island, General Howe was engaged in slowly enclosing Washington on all sides. Apprehensive of the consequences, therefore, the American general resolved to evacuate the city of New York, and retire on Kingsbridge, where some strong works had been erected. The British army had already effected a landing on New York Island without any loss or difficulty, and Washington retired so precipitately that he had not sufficient time to carry off all his artillery and stores. By his retreat General Howe not only took possession of New York, but also the best part of the island. He had scarcely, however, taken possession of New York when a dreadful fire broke out in several quarters of the town. Washington had previously proposed to congress that the city should be burned, rather than left in the hands of the English, which proposal had been negatived, but notwithstanding incendiaries were employed to execute the design. On the night of the 20th, therefore, when most of the citizens and troops were buried in sleep, these desperadoes began their work, and, despite the exertions of the soldiers and the citizens, nearly a third part of the city was consumed to ashes. A few incendiaries fell a sacrifice to the rage of the soldiers, and many individuals were arrested on suspicion, but no clue was found to unravel the mystery, though no doubt can exist that the fearful deed was committed by order of the American general. The act has been applauded as one emanating from stern patriotism and self-devotion, but it appears rather to have proceeded from sheer recklessness and bitter hatred to the English. The New Englanders were not destroying their own houses and property, but the houses and property of another people, and a rival colony, regardless of all the fearful consequences resulting from the act.

On the retirement of Washington to Kingsbridge, the British troops were put on board the vessels again, with a view of landing at West Chester, gaining the rear of the enemy's encampment, and enclosing him on all sides within his fortresses. Washington perceived the necessity of counteracting this project, and, immediately decamping with his whole force, he took up a strong position, and occupied lines and works which ran right across York Island; the strongest being at Kingsbridge and Fort Washington. General Howe, with the main body of his army, marched up York Island, and encamped in face of Washington's lines, his lines also extending quite across the island, and being covered on either flank by the British ships. While thus situate, on the 16th of September, there was some skirmishing in the plain that lay between the two camps, in which the Americans lost Colonel Knowlton and Major Leitch, two of their best officers. The ill-success of the American general, by this time, seems to have had a great effect upon the disposition of his troops. Desertions were frequent, and as the time was approaching when the period of service for which most of the Americans had engaged would expire, Washington conceived that he should soon be left without an army. He saw plainly that the boasts of the sons of liberty, about flying to arms and fighting for their country without pay or reward, were not to be depended upon; and he wrote to congress, urging them to offer the troops good pay, in order that they might be induced to remain in the camp to fight their battles. Congress voted, in accordance with his recommendation, a bounty of twenty dollars per man, and small portions of land to every officer and soldier who should serve during the whole war. This, however, was not deemed sufficient, and Washington again wrote to congress, asserting, not only that if the offer were not raised, both officers and soldiers would leave the service, but that they would universally, as many were already doing, join the royal army. Congress again acceded to his wishes: they voted an increase of pay and bounty-money, and offered other advantages, immediate or prospective, which made it more profitable for them to remain in the American service, than to join Lord Howe. By this means Washington's troops were kept together, and General Howe was therefore, compelled to exert himself for victory. Having thrown up intrenchments to defend his own lines, and the approaches to New York, on the 12th of October he embarked a considerable part of the royal army, and landed them at Frog's-neck, about nine miles in the rear of Washington's positions. Some of the ships of war went still higher up the North River, so as to cut off any retreat to the Jerseys. The only road open to escape, indeed, was one leading to the New England provinces, and this, it is thought, might have been secured. Washington now contemplated deciding the fate of America by a pitched battle, and had it not been for the remonstrances of General Lee, the deserter, who had come up from Sullivan Island and the Carolinas, he would thus have acted. A council of war was called, and it was decided that they must decamp immediately, and get towards the open country, called the White Plains. In their retreat there was some skirmishing, in which the British troops were victorious; but on the 22nd of October, Washington succeeded in gaining the edge of the White Plains, where he put the main body of his army in a long line of entrenched camps, extending from twelve to thirteen miles on different heights, and having the deep river Brunx in his front. In this position he was attacked by the royal army on the 28th of October: the troops being divided into two columns; the left, led by Howe, and the right by Clinton. As they advanced towards the White Plains Clinton's column fell in with several bodies of the enemy, and drove them back in great confusion to their lines. It was observed, as the troops approached the American lines, that they were strongest on the flanks, and weakest in the centre. Had an assault been made on the centre, the absolute destruction of the American army would have been inevitable; but General Howe, neglecting that point, ordered a strong detachment of the left wing, under General Mac Dougal, to attack an eminence on which 4000 men were advantageously posted, probably for the purpose of covering a retreat, if necessary. This detachment succeeded in their enterprise; but it then became necessary to preserve the hill which the troops had gallantly taken possession of, and, in so doing, the left and right wing of our army were, in a great measure, severed from one another, so that they could not attack the main position of the Americans. That night the British troops slept on their arms, and the next day they encamped, with the left wing on one side of the Brunx, and the right on the other. On the 30th, having received some reinforcements, Howe made a disposition to attack the enemy's lines on the following morning; but during the night it rained in torrents, and the faces of the hills became, in consequence, so slippery, that the attack was postponed till the morrow. In the meantime, however, his intention was betrayed by a deserter, and before the break of day Washington evacuated the lines, set fire, in his retreat, to all the houses on White Plains, crossed the Croton River to North Castle, and took up a strong position, with the Croton stretching along his front, and having his rear well defended by woods and heights.





CAPTURE OF FORT WASHINGTON.

Perceiving from the nature of the country that he could not force the American commander to join battle, General Howe now made a retrograde movement. Washington had left considerable forces at Fort Washington and King's Bridge, in the hope that those positions might be secured, even though he retreated or were beaten. The force in Fort Washington, and in the extensive entrenchments round it, consisted of 3000 men, under the command of the gallant Colonel Macgaw. This post was important to the royal army, as it secured an intercourse with the Jersey shore, and as in the hands of the enemy it seriously obstructed the navigation of the North River. General Howe, therefore, resolved to take it, and on the 15th of November, the garrison was summoned to surrender, on pain of being put to death by the sword. This summons was unheeded, and on the following morning it was carried by a furious assault; and all the garrison who were not slain, were taken prisoners. On the side of the British, also, there was a great loss; eight hundred being either killed or wounded.





CAPTURE OF FORT LEE, AND RETREAT OF WASHINGTON.

Immediately after this success, Lord Cornwallis crossed the North River, and drove the Americans from Fort Lee, which was nearly opposite Fort Washington, and took all their artillery, provision, and stores. This advance induced the American general to quit his post on the Croton, and fall back upon the river Delaware. Cornwallis penetrated to the remotest parts of East and West Jersey, and on the 24th of November, having received some reinforcements, he marched for Brunswick. He was now within two or three marches of the Americans, who fled before him in dismay; but when he arrived at Brunswick he was ordered to halt. He did not receive orders to advance till the 16th of December, and then it was too late for him to overtake the enemy. When he arrived at Princetown in the afternoon of that day, the last of the Americans had cleared out, and on pursuing them the next morning he reached Trenton only in time to see Washington's last boats crossing the river. At that time the forces of the American general scarcely amounted to 3000 men, for numbers of them had deserted, and those that remained were chiefly unsteady militia. Beyond the Delaware, indeed, Washington's force lost all appearance of an army; and the men still continued to desert, though often brought back forcibly to the camp. Lord Cornwallis now desisted from the pursuit, and put his division into winter-quarters, between the Delaware and the Hakensack.





EXPEDITION AGAINST RHODE ISLAND.

While Cornwallis had been advancing through the Jerseys, General Clinton had been sent, together with the squadron of Sir Peter Parker, to Rhode Island, where an American squadron had been collected under Commodore Hopkins. This island was taken without any difficulty, and Hopkins retired up Providence River, where he remained inactive and useless. The people of Rhode Island, however, were enthusiastic revolutionists, and it required a considerable force to keep them in awe; whence, during three years, a great body of men were left in perfect idleness.





SUCCESSES OF GENERAL CARLETON.

It has been seen that the American army which had been driven from Canada, took refuge on the Isle Aux Noix, and that General Carleton was preparing to follow up his successes. It required vessels to cope with the American flotilla, and to command the lakes St. George and Champlain, near which the Isle Aux Noix was situate, and of these the general was in want. The frame-work of vessels was, indeed, sent for from England, but it required time before they could arrive, and still further time to put them together. Still Carle-ton did not remain idle. In the emergency he sent detachments from the king's ships stationed at Quebec, with volunteers from the transports, and a corps of artillery, to fell timber, and to occupy a favourable post on the Lake Champlain. The keel and floor-timbers, also, of the "Inflexible," a ship of three hundred tons, which had been laid down at Quebec, were taken to pieces, carried over to St. John's, and laid down again at a corner of the lake, where a little dock-yard was improvised. Moreover, thirty long-boats, many large batteaux, and a gondola of thirty tons were carried up to the spot, partly by land, and partly by being dragged up the shoals and rapids of the river Sorel. In a few weeks, indeed, General Carleton had a naval force—such as it was—to sweep the Lakes Champlain and St. George from end to end. But before these preparations were completed, the Americans had quitted the Isle Aux Noix, and had traversed the lake for Crown Point. Congress had voted that General Gates should take the command of these troops, and that Arnold, the hero of the Canada expedition, should command the squadron of fifteen vessels which were on the lake. When his preparations were completed, Carleton lost no time in seeking this squadron, and on the 11th of October he discovered it in a strong line across the passage between Isle Vallicour and the western shore of the lake. A warm but indecisive action ensued, which lasted till night-fall; but Arnold in the course of the night, though well watched, escaped from the passage, and attempted to make Fort Ticonderago. On the following morning his squadron was out of sight, but before noon the British flotilla got up with it again, and brought it to action a few leagues below Crown-Point. After a running fight of two hours, Arnold's headmost vessels succeeded in reaching Crown-Point, and the narrow part of the lake beyond that fort; but the "Washington" and "Jersey" were taken, and all the rest were run on shore, and there burnt by their crews. Crown-Point was immediately abandoned by the provincials, who ran for their lives to Ticonderoga. This fort was deemed too strong to be successfully attacked, at so advanced a season of the year, and Carleton, having strengthened the British fleet so as to ensure the command of Lake Champlain, evacuated Crown-Point of which he had taken possession, and returned to Quebec, where he exerted himself during the winter in making preparation for the next campaign. At the same time General Burgoyne returned to England.





MEASURES OF CONGRESS.

Although the confidence of many members of congress, that the contest would soon be over, was shaken, yet as a body they remained firm and hopeful. At the same time, on the advance of Lord Cornwallis through the Jerseys, they fled for safety from Philadelphia to Baltimore, in Maryland. On reassembling here, however, they betrayed no despondency or any lack of spirit. The hope of obtaining their grand object,—independence and separation from Great Britain,—seemed to sustain them in the midst of all their reverses. They now materially enlarged the powers of Washington. They authorised him to raise sixteen additional regiments; furnished him with all the money they could, and promised him a great deal more; and finally conferred upon him, for six months, a sort of dictatorship. They further voted a loan of 8,000,000 of dollars; they made more paper-money; they threatened all who would not receive it in payment for goods or labour; and they adopted all possible means, by force, intimidation, and enticement, to get money into the treasury, and to inspire courage into the hearts of the people. As for their committee of correspondence, they laboured ardently to induce France and Spain openly to espouse their quarrel, and to threaten England with an invasion, while the flower of its troops were engaged in America. It was proposed in congress that their commissioners at Versailles should be authorised to transfer to France the same monopoly of their trade which had been possessed by Great Britain. This, however, was relinquished as a measure which would strike a mortal blow at some of their leading arguments in favour of independence. It was next proposed that France should be offered a limited monopoly, and, this failing, it was suggested that France might be gained over by the offer of an alliance offensive and defensive. The more prudent among them represented that if France would venture into the war at all, it would not be by any treaty, or compact, or promises of congress, but out of her old rivalry and hatred of England. All the assurances she would want, they said, was an expression of their determination never again to submit to the mother country, but to persist in their present course, though all the world should be merely lookers-on. Resolutions were printed to this effect, and sent all over the union, and then to the principal courts of Europe, with agents appointed to impress upon those courts the sincerity of this declaration, and to solicit their friendship for the United States. The agents chosen for this mission were Dr. Franklin, Silas Deane, and Mr. Arthur Lee, and what success attended their negotiations will soon be seen. Though appealing to the worst passions, and the most selfish feelings of foreign courts and cabinets, they were, nevertheless, not only listened to with complacency, but obtained present aid covertly, and had hopes held out to them of aid openly hereafter.





DEFECTION OF THE COLONISTS, ETC.

Towards the close of this year, clear proofs were given that the Americans were not wholly unanimous in the cause of independence. The inhabitants of the city and island of New York, and of Long Island, and various other places, presented petitions to Lord Howe, declaring that they acknowledged the supremacy of Great Britain, and praying to be received into the king's peace and protection. On the removal of congress from Philadelphia to Baltimore, the majority of the Philadelphians also began openly to declare for the royal cause. Washington detached troops to that city to quell the anti-revolutionary spirit, but this did not prevent many of its leading men from going over to, and corresponding with the commissioners. Moreover, most of the towns of the Jerseys sent deputations to the king's commissioners, and expressed their anxiety for a renewed allegiance to the British Crown. Possibly this may in part be attributed to the success of the royal arms, but it is evident that the feelings generally arose from genuine patriotism. Self-preservation may, also, in part, have dictated this line of policy, for in one particular the advice of Lord Barrington had been followed with respect to the Indians, and it had produced its natural consequences. Our establishments for the management of affairs with these tribes were withdrawn, and then the red men were left to act as they pleased; and they had a long account to settle with the Americans. From the earliest period of their emigration the colonists had laid it down as a principle that the red men were to be treated like beasts of prey, and they still hunted them down on every opportune occasion. Hence, as the Indians were accurate accountants in matters of blood, and held it as a sacred part of their religion, that they were bound to avenge the death of their kindred; no sooner were our agents withdrawn, than the Creek and Cherokee Indians resolved to ravage the back territories of Virginia and the Carolinas, and to carry, if possible, both fire and the spear into the heart of these colonies. They were repulsed by the militia of the colonies, but not before they had taken a terrible revenge for long-endured wrongs; and the day might not be far distant when they would return with other tribes to extend their devastations throughout America.





MEETING OF PARLIAMENT.

The British parliament assembled on the 31st of October. In his opening speech the king declared that nothing would have given him so much pleasure as to be able to state that the troubles in America were terminated, and that the colonists had returned to their duty. He continued:—"But so daring and desperate is the spirit of their leaders, whose object has always been dominion and power, that they have now openly renounced allegiance to the crown, and all political connexion with this country; they have rejected, with circumstances of indignity and insult, the means of conciliation held out under the authority of our commission; and have presumed to set up their rebellious confederacies for independent states. If their treason be suffered to take root much mischief must grow from it to the safety of my loyal colonies, to the commerce of my kingdom, and, indeed, to the present system of all Europe. One great advantage, however, will be derived from the object of the rebels being openly avowed and clearly understood;—we shall have unanimity at home, founded in the general conviction of the justice and necessity of our measures." His majesty said that he was happy to inform them that Canada was recovered, and that the success in the province of New York had been such as to give the strongest hopes of the most decisive consequences. He then recapitulated, as usual, the pacific assurances of European powers, although he must himself have had some doubts at this time of the sincerity of their professions. It is manifest, indeed, that signs of a rupture had become evident to the British cabinet, for his majesty added to this part of his speech,—"That he indulged the hope that all misunderstanding might be removed, and Europe continue to enjoy the inestimable blessing of peace." He also recommended that England should be put in a respectable state of defence, and urged upon his "faithful commons," the necessity of granting ample supplies for the maintenance of the honour of his crown, and the vindication of the just rights of parliament. He concluded thus:—"In this arduous contest I can have no other object but to promote the true interests of all my subjects. No people ever enjoyed more happiness, or lived under a milder government than those now revolted in the provinces: the improvements in every art of which they boast declare it: their numbers, their wealth, their strength by sea and land, which they think sufficient to enable them to make head against the whole power of the mother country, are irrefragable proofs of it. My desire is to restore them to the blessings of law and liberty, equally enjoyed by every British subject, which they have fatally and desperately exchanged for all the calamities of war, and the arbitrary tyranny of their chiefs."

GEORGE III. 1776-1777





DEBATES ON AMERICA.

Addresses which were, as usual, echoes of the speech, were brought forward in both houses, and they elicited violent debates. In the commons Lord John Cavendish moved an amendment of greater length than even the proposed address. This amendment was seconded by the Marquess of Granby, and in it, and the debates that ensued, it was affirmed that the disaffection and revolt of the colonists could not have taken place, if there had not been great faults committed against them. The faults pointed out were, chiefly, the rejection of petitions and complaints; the improper instructions given to commissioners for the purpose of reconciliation; the endeavours made to break down the spirit and independence of the colonists, by the many acts of parliament passed during the recent sessions; and the project of extirpating the Americans by the sword. All these errors were imputed by the opposition to the want of information, and the too great confidence in ministers, who though in duty bound to ascertain the temper and disposition of the Americans, had totally failed for want of that knowledge. An appeal to the sword was denounced as a most dangerous precedent, and by a strange perversity of mind the leaders of the American revolution were described and especially by Wilkes, as men averse to a change of government, and as being only driven to extremities by an accumulation of neglect, insult and injury, and by two years of a savage, piratical, and unjust war, carried on against them by the English people. Wilkes also, with others on the same side, took umbrage at the word "treason," as applicable to the Americans, asserting that what ministers called "treason," the Americans denominated "a just resistance and glorious revolution." As for the pacific declarations of foreign powers, and especially the Bourbons, all reliance on them was exposed with sarcasm and ridicule. Colonel Barré, indeed, declared that a war of the most serious nature with France and Spain was impending over the country. The whole of his majesty's speech was, in truth, denounced as false, insidious, hypocritical, and deceptive;—as holding out law and liberty, indeed, but holding it out at the point of the sword.

The speech and address were defended by Lord North and Lord George Germaine. Lord North denied the charge which had been alleged against him of withholding information; declared that he had always communicated to the house as much as he could divulge with safety; and indignantly repelled the charge of hypocrisy advanced against that part of the king's speech which stated his desire to restore law and liberty to the colonists. In his own peculiar quiet way, Lord North hinted to the opposition, that if they were members of the new American legislature, they could not have ventured to make so free with the president and majority of congress, as they were now doing with their sovereign, his ministers, and the majority of the English parliament. In the defence, Lord George Germaine remarked that we had been anxious for reconciliation upon mild and fair terms, and that these terms had been rejected with scorn by the American leaders. According to their own statements, he said, of the propositions made by Lord Howe, and the conference that had taken place on Staten Island, his lordship was as eager for the restoration of peace, as Franklin, Washington, and the other leaders were for the continuance of hostilities. He then turned to the statements made by foreign powers, concerning their friendship for England. These statements of the princes of the House of Bourbon must be taken as proofs of their pacific intentions, but if they proved false, and should incur the folly and the guilt of assisting a rebellion, Great Britain was prepared to meet them in the field. He pertinently asked:—"Will the Bourbons, blind to their own interests, wish the spirit of independence to cross the Atlantic? Can they be exempt from fear, lest their own colonists should catch fire at the doctrine of the unlimited rights of mankind, and prefer them to slavery and digging of gold? And will not great danger arise from the vicinity of powerful states freed from European control?" Finally, it was urged in defence of the speech and address, that the only question which called for debate, was simple in its nature it was, only, whether we chose to resign all the benefits we derived from our colonies, and which had been purchased by our best blood and treasures, and by truckling to the defiance and insult hurled at us by the Americans, cut off those sources of power and opulence, and submit to a degradation from the rank we held in the political system of Europe; or, whether we should, by the full exertion of our power, preserve those advantages, assert our ancient supremacy, restore the authority of the British Parliament, and bring back our ungrateful subjects to a sense of their duty. A division on the amendment answered these questions; it was negatived by a majority of two hundred and forty-two against eighty-seven, and the original address was therefore carried.

In the upper house, an amendment was moved by the Marquess of Rockingham, similar to that of Lord John Cavendish, and was followed by debates of equal violence. By the Earl of Shelburne the speech was denounced as a tissue of sophisms, and as a composition of unqualified absurdity, treachery, cruelty, hypocrisy, and deceit. He attempted to show, indeed, that all its paragraphs were false, differing only in this—that some of the falsehoods were fallacious, some specious, and some notorious. The Duke of Richmond maintained that America was lost for ever, and he thought that we had better sit down quiet and contented at the loss, consoling ourselves with the reflection that it had been no fault of our own, but, solely that of an unjust and imbecile administration. But even Lord Shelburne did not concur in this opinion: he never meant, he said, this country to give up its right of commercial control over America, which was the essential bond of connexion between the two countries; and he declared that as the national debt was truly and equitably the debt of every individual in the empire, whether at home, or in Asia, or America, the Americans ought in some way, to contribute to its discharge. Lord Sandwich, the first lord of the Admiralty, more warmly opposed the doctrine of quiescence propounded by the Duke of Richmond. It was, he said, derogatory to the honour and destructive to the interests of England; and he declared that he would hazard every drop of blood, and his last shilling, rather than see his country set at defiance, bullied, and dictated to, by her undutiful and ungrateful children; her disobedient and rebellious subjects. The amendment was negatived by a majority of ninety-one against twenty-six. Fourteen peers had it entered on the journals, at full length, as a protest signed by themselves.

On the 16th of November, Lord John Cavendish produced a copy of the proclamation issued by Lord Howe and his brother, as commissioners, and proposed that, in conformity to its tenor, the house should resolve itself into a committee for revising the acts by which the colonists felt themselves aggrieved. This proposition was seconded by Burke, and many of the opposition harangued in its favour. Ministers, however, opposed such a step, on the ground that this inquiry into grievances had been proffered only to those who should return to their duty, and hence a disavowal of independence, and an acknowledgment of British supremacy were requisite, before any measures of reconciliation could be adopted by Great Britain. On a division the motion was lost by a majority of one hundred and nine against forty-seven.

After the rejection of the proposition of Lord John Cavendish, many members of opposition, especially those of the Rockingham party, seceded from the business of parliament, alleging that it was useless to discuss or oppose ministerial measures. This conduct, however, was blamed by the majority of the opposition, who contended that no member of parliament could, consistently with his duty, desert the interests of his country, merely because he felt that his party would be outvoted. It was agreed that no one could infer from thence that his attendance would be useless, and that a respectable minority, though not able to carry measures of its own, might, nevertheless, modify injurious laws and counsels, by exposing their pernicious tendency. Some who held these opinions made efforts to bring the great orator, Chatham, to the charge again; but his gout prevented him from coming to the house, and little could be elicited from him beyond a declaration that his sentiments with regard to America were the same which he had always professed, and which stood fully explained in his Provisional Act. At the same time he expressed his fears that, in a few years, France would set her foot on English ground. Thus, cleared of its members, the house of commons voted the army and navy estimates without any display of violent opposition. The number of seamen voted was 45,000, and £3,205,505 were voted for the expenses of the navy; exclusive of £4000 for the support of Greenwich Hospital, and £500,000 to go towards the discharge of the debts of the navy. The army estimates voted, were about £3,000,000 exclusive of extras, and some new contracts with German princes, for more German troops to serve in America. These supplies being granted, on the 13th of December, both houses adjourned for the Christmas recess.





ATTEMPT TO FIRE HIS MAJESTY'S DOCKYARD AT PORTSMOUTH.

During the recess of parliament, the public mind was agitated by acts of incendiarism, which seemed at one time to denote that a conspiracy had been entered into for the destruction of both our shipping and our arsenals. In 1764, Choiseul, the French minister, had concocted a plan for such a fearful catastrophe, but having divulged it to Grimaldi, then prime minister of Spain, through him it was discovered to Lord Rochford, our ambassador at Madrid, and the scheme therefore failed. Ministers might have taken warning from this circumstance, and have had the dock-yards and arsenals watched with sufficient vigilance, as to prevent so disastrous an event from ever taking place. By this time, however, they had returned to their old confidence, and on the 7th of December, a fire broke out in the dock-yard at Portsmouth, which threatened its total destruction. It was got under by great exertions, and it passed at first for an accident, but on the 15th of January, one of the under-clerks of the dock-yard having occasion to move some hemp in the hemp-room, discovered a machine and combustible materials, which had evidently been placed there by the hands of an incendiary. Some weeks before, a sullen, silent man, a painter by trade, and who was known by the name of John the Painter, had been seen loitering about the yard, and he was now suspected to be the delinquent. Suspicion fastened still stronger upon him because he was known to have recently come from America, and a cry of alarm instantly spread through the country that American incendiaries had arrived in England, and would spread fire and destruction on every hand. It was necessary that John the Painter should be taken, and soon after he was identified at Odiam in Hampshire, where he had been apprehended for a burglary. John was brought up to London for examination, but he was so taciturn, and so wise in keeping his own counsels, that neither the privy-council, nor the lords of the admiralty, nor other officers who interrogated him, could elicit anything from him that would tend to his crimination. What authority, however, failed to perform, that craft brought about. On the suggestion of Earl Temple, another painter, who had been also in America, was put into the same ward with John, in order to circumvent and entrap him. Fellow-feeling caused the taciturn prisoner to open his mouth. His brother painter pretended to sympathise in his misfortunes, descanted largely on his travels in America, and professed principles similar to his own. The travelled painter did all this with such address, that he finally gathered from John that his real name was Aitken; that he had entered into many regiments from which he had deserted so soon as he had received the bounty-money; that he had traversed England through nearly all its parts, sometimes robbing on the highway, and sometimes filching and stealing in towns while he worked at his trade: that he went to America, where he commenced politician and reformer of abuses, and where he conceived the notion of serving the cause of liberty by burning our shipping and our principal trading cities and towns; that he then left America for France, where he had several interviews with Silas Deane, the agent of congress; that Silas Deane encouraged his project, by giving him money and promising him rewards commensurate with the service he should render the American cause; that he then procured a French passport and came over to Canterbury; and that on leaving Canterbury he proceeded to Portsmouth, where he began to compound and prepare his combustibles, after which he went into the dock-yard and made the attempt of which he was suspected. The manner in which this evidence was derived was certainly contrary to the spirit of the English law, and repugnant to the feeling and practice of the present day, but on this evidence vouched by the travelled painter, John the Painter was condemned and executed. There was no doubt left on any mind either as to the culprit's guilt, or to his connexion with Silas Deane; but before his death he is said to have confessed to some naval officers, that most of what his accuser had testified against him, was true—that he had, indeed, applied to Deane, who had promised him a reward of great price when his work should be done. Nothing transpired which would inculpate Choiseul the French minister, but as he was still in office, and as his animus was well-known, he was thought to have been concerned in this plot likewise. But it failed; and the circumstance had the effect of still further exciting the enmity of the English people towards the Americans.





CHAPTER VIII.

GEORGE III. 1777-1778


     Letters of Marque granted..... Bill for Detaining Persons in
     Prison charged with High-treason..... Miscellaneous
     Debates..... Spirited Address of the Speaker to the
     King..... Lord Chatham's   Motion  for   Concessions  to
     America..... Parliament Prorogued..... Successes of
     Washington..... British Expedition up the Hudson River.....
     American Expedition to Long Island..... Capture of General
     Prescot, &c...... Battle of the Brandywine, &c..... Capture
     of Philadelphia..... Opening of the Delaware..... Close of
     Howe's Campaign..... Expedition and Capture of Burgoyne.....
     Clinton's Expedition   up   the Hudson..... Meeting of
     Parliament..... Debates on America..... Duke of Richmond's
     Motion for Inquiring into the State of the Nation..... Fox's
     Motion for Inquiring into the State of the Nation..... Army
     and Navy Estimates..... Intelligence of Burgoyne's
     Defeat..... Royal Assent to Several Bills..... Parliament
     Adjourned.

A.D. 1777





LETTERS OF MARQUE GRANTED.

On the meeting of parliament, after the recess, a bill was brought into the commons for enabling the admiralty to grant letters of marque and reprisal to privateers against vessels belonging to the revolted colonies, which were now doing much mischief, not only among our West India Islands, but also in the narrow seas of Europe. This bill passed the commons without a debate, and it went through the lords without any amendment, except that the words "letters of permission" were substituted for "letters of marque."





BILL FOR DETAINING PERSONS IN PRISON CHARGED WITH HIGH-TREASON.

On the 6th of February Lord North introduced a bill "For enabling His Majesty to detain and secure Persons charged with, or suspected of, the Crime of High-treason, committed in North America or on the High-seas, or the Crime of Piracy." The bill provided, that all persons charged with or suspected of treason, committed in any of the colonies, or on the high-seas, or of piracy, should be liable to be committed to any place of confinement named by the king, under his sign-manual, within any part of his dominions, without bail or mainprize, and there detained, without trial, during the continuance of the act, unless his majesty's privy-council granted an order for admitting any such prisoners to bail or to trial. This bill encountered a strong opposition. On the second reading Mr. Dunning declared that it struck directly at that great pillar of British liberty, the Habeas Corpus Act, and that it was disgraceful that it should be brought in without notice, and when the house was so thinly attended. He moved, that the bill should be printed, which was granted, and the second reading was therefore postponed. The alarm it excited brought back several of the seceders, and the debate became more animated. It was urged by the opposition that the bill would tend to create spies, informers, and false accusers; that it would furnish means of gratification, emolument, and safety to the most profligate of mankind; and that it would enable any revengeful minister or mercenary villain to satiate his revenge or replenish his purse at the expense of the virtuous. Charles Fox used some cogent arguments against the measure. He remarked:—"Who knows but ministers, in the fulness of their malice, may take into their heads that I have served on Long Island under General Washington? What would it avail me, in such an event, to plead an alibi—to assure my old friends that I was, during the whole of the campaign, in England—that I was never in America, or any other sea but between Dover and Calais, and that all my acts of piracy were committed on the mute creation? All this may be true, says a minister or a minister's understrapper, but you are for the present suspected, and that is sufficient. I know that you are fond of Scotland:—this is not the time for proofs; you may be, and very probably are innocent, but this bill cares not whether you are guilty or innocent: I will send you, under the sign-manual, to study the Erse language in the isle of Bute; and as soon as the operation of the bill is over, you will be at liberty to return, or go whither you please. You may then call upon your accusers, to prove their charges of treason in America, or of piracy on the high-seas; but they will laugh in your face, and tell you they never charged, they only suspected; and the act of parliament will serve as a complete plea in bar. It will answer a double end—it will be at once your redress and our justification." In reply, Lord Thurlow ridiculed the idea that the bill was framed to reach disaffected persons within this realm; though, he added sarcastically, for his own part, if it did operate in this direction, he should scarcely consider it a fault. The commitment of the bill was carried by a majority of one hundred and ninety-five against forty-three; but as it was discovered that some of the clauses were opened to serious objections, several amendments were made in committee, one of which, moved by Sir Grey Cooper, secretary to the treasury, defined the places and the extent of the offence, subjecting persons to the operation of the act. This, however, by no means satisfied either the opposition or the country at large. A petition was presented from the city of London, praying that the bill might not pass, or if it did, that it might not extend to persons resident in Great Britain. A clause to this effect was adopted, principally by the efforts of Mr. Dunning, and another was also carried, which exempted certain minor acts of piracy from the operation of the bill. Thus amended, the bill passed both houses; and the opposition felicitated themselves, that, notwithstanding their numerical weakness, they had compelled ministers to accept their corrections of so reprehensible and dangerous a measure.





MISCELLANEOUS DEBATES.

A series of debates arose on abuses in the commissariat, in the chartering of transports, and in the contracts for supplying the troops in America with provisions, rum, &c. These abuses existed to an enormous extent, and they were laid at the doors of many members of the house of commons, who invariably voted with the treasury-bench. These members had been allowed to get profitable contracts, and they contrived to render them still more profitable, by supplying unwholesome provisions to the troops, and which was, therefore, deservedly condemned. Another violent debate took place on account of a new demand made by the Landgrave of Hesse for more money; and Lord North's situation was rendered still more embarrassing by the necessity he was under of asking the faithful commons for an increase to the civil list, amounting to upwards of £600,000, in order to discharge a second debt incurred by his majesty. Violent debates followed these demands, but both the Landgrave of Hesse and his majesty were gratified eventually with having their desires granted. The sum of £618,340 was granted, to enable his majesty to pay his debts, and the further sum of £100,000 was voted in addition to the sum already fixed of £800,000 per annum, for the better support of his majesty's household. The latter grant was warmly opposed in the house of lords by the Marquess of Rockingham and the Duke of Grafton, who endeavoured to enforce the necessity of economy, and to show that the sum which his majesty already received was sufficiently ample to sustain his dignity. They also argued, that this increase would furnish him with the means of obtaining corrupt influence, and an unbounded power and control over parliament. The opposition, however, were defeated by the usual large majority, and the amendment which the Marquess of Rockingham moved was entered as a protest on the journals, which was signed by fourteen peers.





SPIRITED ADDRESS OF THE SPEAKER TO THE KING.

In presenting this extraordinary grant to his majesty for the royal assent, Sir Fletcher Norton remarked:—"In a time of public distress, full of difficulty and danger, their constituents labouring under difficulties almost too heavy to be borne, your faithful commons, postponing all other business, have not only granted to your majesty a large present supply, but also a very great additional revenue—great beyond example—great beyond your majesty's highest expense; but all this, sire, they have done in a well-grounded confidence that you apply wisely what they have granted liberally; and feeling that, under the direction of your majesty's wisdom, the affluence and grandeur of the sovereign will reflect dignity and honour on his people." It is said by some that this freedom of speech was unwelcome to the royal ears, and it is certain that his courtiers were highly indignant; and yet Lord North allowed the usual vote to pass, returning the thanks of the house to the speaker, and requesting him to allow his speech to be printed. Notwithstanding, his spirited conduct did not pass by unnoticed. In the course of a debate on an address to his majesty moved by Sir James Lowther, praying for an increase of income to the king's two brothers, which was negatived, the recent conduct of the speaker was violently arraigned by Mr. Rigby, In reply, Sir Fletcher Norton appealed to the vote of thanks which he had received, as a proof that the sentiments he had expressed were the sentiments of the house. The court party, however, retorted, and Lord North, uneasy at the altercation, wished that the subject might be dropped. But the opposition now stepped in to keep up the ball. Charles Fox declared, that a serious and direct charge having been made, the question was now at issue—either the speaker had misrepresented the house, or he had not, and the question must be decided by the house. Fox accordingly moved:—"That the speaker of this house, in his speech to his majesty at the bar of the house of peers, on Wednesday last, and which was desired by this house, nem. con., to be printed, did express, with just and proper energy, the zeal of this house for the support of the honour and dignity of the crown, in circumstances of great public charge." The speaker now declared, "that he would sit no longer in that chair than while he was supported in the free exercise of his duty: he had discharged what he conceived that duty required of him, intending only to express the sense of the house; and from the vote of approbation with which he had been honoured, he had reason to believe that he was not chargeable with any misrepresentation." Lord North, perplexed at the dilemma to which the heat of the courtiers had brought him, besought the speaker to rest quiet, and the mover and supporters of the question to let it drop; asserting, that no censure had been intended, and that though the speaker might have made some mistake, it could only be attributed to the hurry of an extempore address, and not to his judgment. The withdrawal of the motion was refused, and then, still hoping to evade a division, ministers moved an adjournment.

Opposition, however, maintained, that if the motion were not carried, the speaker could not safely remain in the chair for another moment; that he would, on all future occasions, be liable to disgrace whenever he fulfilled his duty; that the dignity of the house would be at an end if the chair should be degraded; and that the step which the court-faction had taken was an attempt to render the representatives of the people despicable in the eyes of their constituents. Ministers and the court faction were compelled to bow before the storm. The motion for an adjournment was withdrawn. Mr. Rigby made some concession, by declaring that he meant no reflection on the character of the speaker, and that he merely meant to express his own private opinion, according to the privilege possessed by every member; and then Fox's motion was put and carried unanimously.





LORD CHATHAM'S MOTION FOR CONCESSIONS TO AMERICA.

Towards the close of the session there was a grand debate in the house of lords on the affairs of America. After a long absence, the Earl of Chatham moved for an address, advising his majesty to take speedy measures for terminating the war with America, by the removal of their grievances. The lords were summoned for the purpose of deliberating on this motion, and it was introduced on the 30th of May. Chatham commenced his speech by declaring the mother country unequal to the contest. He remarked:—"My lords, this is a flying moment; perhaps but six weeks are left to arrest the dangers that surround us. The gathering storm may break; it has already opened, and in part burst. It is difficult, after all that has passed, to shake hands with the defiers of the king—defiers of the parliament—defiers of the people. I am a defier of nobody; but if an end is not put to this war, there is an end to this country! I do not trust my judgment in my present state of health; this is the judgment of my better days—the result of forty years' attention to America. The Americans are rebels; but for what? Surely not for defending their unquestionable rights. But their excesses have been great! I do not mean to pronounce their panegyric, but must observe, in extenuation, the erroneous and infatuated counsels which have prevailed here. The door to mercy and justice has been shut against them; but they may still be taken up upon the grounds of their former submissions and petitions. I state to you the importance of America: it is a double market—a market of consumption, and a market of supply. This double market for millions, with all its naval stores, you are giving to your hereditary rival. America has carried you through four wars; and will now carry you to your death, if you do not take things in time. In the sportsman's phrase, when you have found yourselves at fault, you must try back. You have ransacked every corner of Lower Saxony; but 40,000 German boors never can conquer ten times the number of British freemen. You may ravage—you cannot conquer; it is impossible: you cannot conquer the Americans. You talk of your numerous friends to annihilate the congress, and of your powerful forces to disperse their army: I might as well talk of driving them before me with my crutch! But what would you conquer—the map of America? I am ready to meet any general officer on the subject, What will you do out of the protection of your fleet? In the winter, if together, they are starved—if dispersed, they are taken off in detail. I am experienced in spring hopes and vernal promises: I know what ministers throw out; but at last will come your equinoctial disappointment. You have got nothing in America but stations. You have been three years teaching them the art of war—they are apt scholars; and I will venture to tell your lordships that the American gentry will make officers enough fit to command the troops of all the European powers.

"What you have sent there are too many to make peace—too few to make war. If you conquer them, what then? You cannot make them respect you; you cannot make them wear your cloth; you will plant an invincible hatred in their breasts against you. Coming from the stock they do, they can never respect you. If ministers are founded in saying there is no sort of treaty with France, there is still a moment left; the point of honour is still safe. France must be as self-destroying as England to make a treaty, while you are giving her America at the expense of twelve millions a year: the intercourse has produced everything to France; and England, Old England, must pay for all. I have, at different times, made different propositions, adapted to the circumstances in which they were offered. The plan contained in the former bill is now impracticable: the present will tell you where you are, and what you have now to depend upon. It may produce a respectable division in America, and unanimity at home: it will give America an option; she has yet had no option. You have said, 'Lay down your arms,' and she has given you the Spartan answer, 'Come, take.'" Lord Chatham here read his motion, which he afterwards said, if earned, would prove the herald of peace, and would open the way for treaty. In conclusion, he again urged the necessity of making peace with America before France should espouse the quarrel on behalf of the Americans. He observed, that the French court was too wise to lose the opportunity of separating America from Great Britain; that whenever that court, with that of Spain likewise, should enter into a treaty with America, we must declare war against them; and that he should be among the first to advise such a declaration, even though we had only five ships of the line in our ports. The Earl of Chatham was answered by Lords Gower, Mansfield, Lyttleton, and Weymouth, and by the Archbishop of York, who all maintained that the original aim of America was independence, and that concessions on our part now would be useless, ridiculous, degrading, and an acknowledgment of weakness, that would draw down upon England the contempt of her friends and the attacks of her foes. The motion was supported by the Dukes of Grafton and Manchester, Lords Camden and Shelburne, and the Bishop of Peterborough, who reiterated the arguments of the noble mover in its favour. In the course of the debates Lord Weymouth had expressed some doubt as to Chatham's real meaning, and later in the evening he thus explained it:—"I will tell your lordships very fairly what I wish for: I wish for a repeal of every oppressive act which your lordships have passed since 1673. I would put our American brethren on the same footing they stood at that period; and I should expect that, being left at liberty to tax themselves, they would in return contribute to our common burdens, according to their means and abilities. I will move your lordships for a bill of repeal, as the only means left to arrest that approaching destruction which threatens to overwhelm us. I shall no doubt hear it objected, Why should we submit or concede? Has America done anything on her part to induce us to agree to so large a ground of concession? But I will tell you, my lords, why I think you should concede—you have been the aggressors from the beginning; you have burned their towns, plundered their country, confiscated their property, and imprisoned their persons!" A murmur was heard through the house, that the Earl of Chatham was doing his best to encourage the Americans, and to discourage the people of England; and it must be confessed that the whole tenor of his speech was likely to produce such an untoward effect. Moreover, the sentiments which his speech contained were otherwise not founded in wisdom. Thus the belief which he expressed, that the Americans would, if left to tax themselves in their assemblies, contribute to our common burdens, according to their means and abilities was a fallacy which had been disproved by matters of fact; for, when in a previous year, and in the course of the quarrel, this had been proposed to them, not one assembly would contribute a single shilling. All advances toward concession, indeed, were met by a louder appeal to arms; and there was at this time no alteration in their sentiments which could justify a hope that, even if a repeal of all the taxes were guaranteed to them, they would now lay down their arms, or cease the long and loud cry for independence. It was certainly now too late to offer any concession, and so the majority of the peers seems to have considered; for, on a division, the bill was lost by a majority of ninety-nine against twenty-eight.

GEORGE III. 1777-1778





PARLIAMENT PROROGUED.

During this session the other debates which took place related almost exclusively to East Indian affairs. These will be noticed hereafter in a continuous narrative. At the close of the session, the speaker, in presenting the bills relating to the supplies, again stated to his majesty the hope of the house that speedy means would be discovered to terminate the war, which otherwise might be attended with ruinous consequences to the prosperity, and perhaps dangerous to the safety, of the country. His majesty himself seems to have entertained a hope that the war would soon be ended; for on the 6th of June, when he prorogued parliament, after thanking the commons for the zeal and public spirit they had displayed in granting large and extraordinary supplies,—the whole amounted to £12,895,543,—he said, that he trusted Divine Providence would so bless the efforts of his forces that the war might be ended in the present campaign; that the constitutional obedience to the laws, which is due from all the subjects of a free state, would be speedily re-established.





SUCCESSES OF WASHINGTON.

Long before parliament was prorogued events had transpired which, if known, would have almost precluded the hope that the war in America would soon be successfully terminated. Notwithstanding his reverses, encouraged by congress, Washington exerted himself to raise a standing army. He met with great difficulties; and as the militia could not be stimulated to exertion, he had reason to fear that in a short time he should be left without any forces. In this emergency, Washington decided that something must be done to raise the drooping spirits of his followers. Circumstances favoured his decision. After the detachment which Lord Cornwallis had led through the Jerseys was put into winter-quarters, many of the officers had obtained leave of absence, and had repaired to New York, to enjoy themselves at head-quarters. The men who were left behind, also seem to have indulged themselves in Christmas festivities; being the more induced to lead a jovial life from their recent victories, and from the supposition that Washington's army was completely disorganized. In all their cantonments, which were straggling and far apart, a careless confidence prevailed, and it happened unfortunately, likewise, that one of the most critical points was entrusted to a body of Hessians, and unprovided with any defence. But while they were slumbering in fancied security, Washington was marking them for his prey. He had spies everywhere, and having ascertained the situation of our forces, he resolved to try the effect of a sudden attack, which might induce his enemy to fall back from the Delaware. Accordingly, on the 24th of December, he collected his forces on the opposite banks of the river, and on the next day he made his preparations for crossing it at nightfall. Difficulties which he had to surmount prevented him from gaining the left bank before three o'clock in the morning; but by that time his troops were collected a little above Trenton, where the Hessians were posted under the command of Colonel Rhalle. At the same time Generals Irving and Cadwallader were ordered to cross the river lower down, in order to cut off the retreat of the Hessians. These generals, however, could not get their artillery across the river, and they returned, leaving Washington with his division, which consisted of 2,500 of his best men, to perform his enterprise alone. It was four o'clock before he could get his troops into motion, and then he had to march eight or nine miles before he could reach Trenton, where the Hessians lay. But these mercenaries were buried in sleep and Christmas drink; and though it was daylight before the Americans arrived, they permitted themselves to be almost surrounded before they prepared for resistance. The event was disastrous. Colonel Rhalle assembled all that he could of his three regiments, and bravely charged Washington's main body; but at the very commencement of the attack he was mortally wounded by an American rifle, and the Hessians being encompassed on all sides with muskets and artillery, to the number of nearly a thousand, laid down their arms and surrendered. A troop of British light-horse, and about five hundred infantry, who were stationed at the lower end of Trenton, towards the bridge, escaped to Borden town; but Washington recrossed the Delaware in triumph, with his prisoners, six field-pieces, and a quantity of military stores.

This expedition had a surprising effect on the Americans. Hitherto the Hessians had been looked upon as invincible; but to show that this was a mere fiction Washington dispatched the prisoners to Philadelphia, and caused them to be paraded through the town. His troops were now soon augmented, and those whose time was expired agreed to remain a little longer, upon receiving a bounty of ten dollars per man. This success of Washington, however, made him rash. In a few days, the Delaware being frozen over, and the ice strong enough to bear his army and the artillery, he resolved to recover the Jerseys. On the last day of the year, 1776 therefore, he again crossed the Delaware, and took post at Trenton, where he had captured the Hessians. His reappearance alarmed the British general, and Lord Cornwallis, who had reached New York on his road to England, was ordered back to take the command in the Jerseys. Having effected a junction with Generals Grant and Leslie, at Prince-town, on the 2nd of January, Lord Cornwallis descended from thence, drove the enemy's posts before him, and by four o'clock in the afternoon reached Trenton. A severe cannonade commenced, and Washington retired across the Assumpinck, a creek which runs through the town. He was followed by Cornwallis; but the British, finding the fords of the creek guarded by artillery, desisted from the attempt to pass over the fords, and night coming on, both armies kindled their fires, and spread their blankets whereon to rest. Cornwallis hoped to bring on a general engagement in the morning: but Washington, aware of this, and being prevented from recrossing the Delaware by a rapid and temporary thaw, he resolved to strike across the country, and get into the rear of Prince-town, where no considerable British force had been left, At two o'clock in the morning the Americans stole silently away; having first renewed their bivouac-fires, and left their advanced pickets and several small parties to guard for a time the fords of Assumpinck Creek. On his march, about sun-rise, Washington fell in with two British regiments under Colonel Maw-hood, in full march from Princetown, to join the forces at Trenton. At first, the morning being foggy, Maw-hood mistook the Americans for Hessians; but soon discovering his error, he opened a heavy charge of artillery upon them, which threw their van into disorder. One of the regiments now rushed forward with fixed bayonets, and drove the Americans back to a ravine, which separated them from the rear; and in this attack General Mercer who was attempting to rally the rabble rout, was mortally wounded. Washington came up with the rear, and succeeded in getting his main body into order and passing the ravine, but in so doing he lost five more of his best officers, and was himself beset with danger. After several efforts, he succeeded in severing the two regiments under Mawhood, which success opened his way to Prince-town. At the same time, part of the British force which he had encountered marched forward for Trenton, and part retreated towards New Brunswick. Washington entered Princetown, but as Lord Corn-wallis had discovered his retreat, and was now in his rear, he left that town, and reached and crossed Millstone River; breaking down the bridge to prevent his being pursued. Cornwallis marched to New Brunswick, where he lay for many days, during which time Washington overran the greater part of East and West Jersey; made himself master of the coast opposite to Staten Island, by occupying Newark, Elizabeth Town, and Woodbridge; and fixed his headquarters at Morris Town, a place situated among hills and difficult of access, with a fine country in its rear, abounding in supplies. By these events the whole of the Jerseys were for a time lost to England: and it was not only the success of Washington's arms which led to this consummation. The inhabitants of the Jerseys had been harassed and plundered by the British, and more especially by the Hessian troops, whence, no sooner had Washington, who restrained the troops under him from committing acts of violence, issued a proclamation, absolving all those who had taken the oath of allegiance tendered by the king's commissioners, and promising them friendship and protection on condition of taking another oath prescribed by congress, than the majority of them declared in his favour; and while not a few joined his army, others rendered him service by pretending still to be royalists, and acting as his spies in the English cantonments, and even in New York itself. Yet all the while Washington was thus acting—while he was issuing proclamations, recruiting his forces, strengthening his positions, erecting forts, mills, and magazines, reconciling the people of the country to the dominion of congress, and even cutting off the supplies of the British advanced posts at Brunswick and Amboy, the British commander was only a few miles distant, with a far superior force, and with a good fleet at command. True, it was winter; but it must be recollected that all the successes which had attended the arms of Washington were the results of a winter campaign. Still something was done by General Howe during this season of repose. Several thousand provincial troops, native Americans, and ardent royalists were enrolled and trained, and placed under the command of Governor Tryon, who was honoured with the rank of major-general of the provincials. And the good faith of these troops might be calculated upon, for the greater part had been losers by the revolution, not only of property, but of the consideration which they had held in the colonies; and they hoped, therefore, to regain all that they had lost. Moreover, during the winter, an intercourse was kept up with the royalists in other parts of the continent; and both Washington and congress were frequently alarmed by rumours of movements and insurrections in various colonies. Congress, however, by means of the committees of safety, did what they could to remove all persons of influence and "desperate character" into some remote place, where they could effect no harm to the republican cause.





BRITISH EXPEDITION UP THE HUDSON RIVER.

In the course of the spring General Howe was assured that Washington's main position, now among the Jersey hills, and called the Manor of Courland, was converted into a kind of citadel, and that the port to which his supplies were chiefly carried was Peekshill, about fifty mites up the Hudson River. Acting upon this information he sent a detachment of five hundred men, under the command of Colonel Bird, in a couple of transports, to drive the Americans away from Peekshill, and to capture their stores. As Bird approached the Americans fled from their position, but before they retreated they set fire to their store-houses, so that no booty was obtained. Shortly after this exploit Howe sent 2000 men, under the command of Governor Tryon, General Agnew, and Sir William Erskine, to seize a large quantity of stores which had been collected for Washington's army at Danbury, on the borders of Connecticut. This detachment sailed up the east river in transports, and having landed at Camp's Point, the troops marched to Danbury. On their approach, the Americans fled precipitately, and they entered the town, where they found a large quantity of stores; but having no carriages to carry them away, they were burned, together with the town of Danbury. Having completed their work of destruction, the detachment began to inarch back to their shipping; but while they had been thus employed the Connecticut men had been running in from all quarters, and had collected under the American generals, Wooster, Silliman, and Arnold. The latter general was posted at the little town of Bridgefield, and as there was no road but through the town, it was necessary to force his entrenchments. This was effected after a short but terrible conflict; and as it was now near night, and the British troops were fatigued, they formed themselves into an oblong square, and lay upon their arms till morning. In the morning, when they recommenced their march, they encountered fresh dangers. General Wooster had brought some field-artillery, and had placed it at the end of a bridge, over which he thought the British must of necessity pass; and when they arrived at the bridge they found him with his artillery and two strong columns drawn up on the bank of the river. Their guide, however, led them to a ford, three miles above the bridge, and there they crossed without opposition. But from this ford, nearly all the way to Camp's Point, they were harassed in flank and rear by the American troops, who seemed resolved to cut them off. They paid dearly for their temerity. Just before the royal troops reached Camp's Point Sir William Erskine, placing himself at the head of four hundred men, charged the two American columns, broke them, drove them back across the country, and General Wooster, with several field officers and a great many men, were left dead upon the field. The loss of the British, also, in killed and wounded, amounted to about two hundred—the rest re-embarked and returned to New York.





AMERICAN EXPEDITION TO LONG ISLAND.

On both sides the contest at this time assumed the features of a predatory warfare. Having learned that the British had collected a large quantity of stores on Long Island, at a place called Sagg's Harbour, the Americans resolved to destroy them by a night attack. This expedition was undertaken by Colonel Meigs, a Connecticut man, and he crossed the sound in whale-boats, reached the harbour before break of day, and though he met with some resistance, he succeeded in setting fire to the store-houses and to some of the shipping, and also in taking about ninety prisoners, with whom he returned triumphant to Connecticut.





CAPTURE OF GENERAL PRESCOT, ETC.

During the winter of the preceding year, while Washington was retreating before Lord Cornwallis Colonel Harcourt, who commanded our light-horse, took prisoner Charles Lee, who had deserted from the British service, in which he held the rank of colonel, and had gone over to the Americans, who conferred on him the rank of major-general. Lee was attempting to join Washington's force with 3000 men, when he was captured, and his loss seems to have been considered a severe blow to the cause of the Americans. Washington, indeed, proposed giving six Hessian field-officers in exchange for him; which was refused, on the ground that Lee was a deserter from the king's service, and therefore could not be considered as a prisoner of war, or be exchanged by cartel. Congress then took up the business, and directed that Washington should inform General Howe that five Hessian field-officers and Lieutenant-colonel Archibald Campbell, who had been captured at Boston after Howe had evacuated that city, should be thrown into confinement, and subjected to the same treatment which Lee should receive. This would have been no great hardship; for Lee was merely confined to a commodious house, and had every accommodation; but shutting their eyes to this well-known fact, congress threw Campbell into the common gaol of Concord, and decorated his loathsome dungeon with the ornaments of the gallows or gibbet. Washington himself represented the iniquity of such a proceeding, but to no purpose: the chagrin felt at the capture and retention of Lee forbade the exercise of a manly and liberal feeling. Congress had soon an opportunity of exhibiting their chagrin in a still stronger light. General Prescot, commanding-officer on Rhode Island, had imprudently fixed his headquarters near the western shore, at a considerable distance from his troops. This was known to Colonel Barton, an American officer, and he, with several other militia officers and volunteers, chiefly Rhode Islanders, crossed over by night from Warwick-neck to Rhode Island, and took General Prescot in his bed, hurried him to their boats, and sailed away to the main land. It was announced that Prescot should be hanged if Lee were shot; and they treated him in the interval with great severity, in order to make General Howe consent to an exchange, to which he finally agreed.

GEORGE III. 1777-1778





BATTLE OF THE BRANDYWINE, ETC.

At length, in the month of June, General Howe took the field. At this time Washington, who had been greatly reinforced, had taken up a strong position at Middle Brook, having entrenchments and formidable batteries in his front. It was the object of Howe to tempt the American general to quit this position; and having failed in various expedients, on the 19th of June he ordered his main body to retire to Amboy. This succeeded. Washington abandoned what had cost him so much trouble to create, and advanced to Quibble Town. The mass of the British troops now moved back by different routes, in order to get on the American general's flank and rear, and by intervening between him and the hills, to force him to a conflict on open ground. Lord Cornwallis led the van, and he had not marched far before he fell in with Washington's advanced body, who were advantageously posted, and well provided with artillery. The British troops, however, attacked them with such impetuosity that the Americans fled, and were pursued as far as Westfield, leaving behind them some of their cannon, and two hundred men in killed and wounded. But by this time Washington had seen his error, and he quickly remedied it by regaining his station on the hills, and securing those passes which were the main object of Cornwallis's expedition. General Howe now altered his whole plan of operation. He called in all his detachments, concentrated his army at Amboy, and then passed over to Staten Island, leaving Washington in possession of the Jerseys. His men wondered what he meant to do; but they soon learned that his object was to take Philadelphia. To this end he set sail with his army on the 23rd of July, and on the 30th he rounded the coast to the capes of Delaware. His intention was to have sailed up the Delaware to Philadelphia; but discovering that the Americans had raised prodigious impediments on that river, he sailed to Chesapeake Bay, where he landed about the middle of August. By this time his men had become worn out by the long confinement on ship-board, and the horses had become almost useless; so that it was necessary for them to have rest before they proceeded on their enterprise. The van was put in motion on the 2nd of September, and on the day following, his advanced body fell in with some detachments of the enemy, scattered them, and took up their position, which was on Iron Hill, and which commanded a view of the Delaware river. It was now discovered that Washington had left the Jerseys and was in the field to oppose the advance of the British troops. He had taken possession of some heights on the eastern side of the river Brandywine, which falls into the Delaware below Philadelphia, with an intention of disputing the passage. Howe must necessarily cross this river in order to obtain the great object of the campaign, and he resolved to force his way over. The position of the enemy was formidable; but, notwithstanding, on the 11th of September, the attempt was made, and that successfully. General Knyphausen advanced with the second division of the army to Chad's Ford, as a feint; and while the Americans were defending that point, Lord Cornwallis had marched a few miles round, crossed the forks of the Brandywine, and came upon Washington's flank. On discovering this the Americans fell into great confusion, and Knyphausen then rushed with his division across Chad's Ford, and drove them from their batteries and entrenchments at the point of the bayonet. Later in the day the British forces attacked the Americans, under General Sullivan, who were strongly posted on the heights above Birmingham church, and drove them from thence in great confusion. In the whole they lost three hundred killed, about six hundred wounded, and four hundred who were taken prisoners, besides several pieces of artillery; but Washington kept his corps together, and retired with his cannon and baggage to Chester, where he passed the night without molestation. On the following morning he marched by Derby to Philadelphia, where he collected his scattered troops, in order to defend the city.





CAPTURE OF PHILADELPHIA.

General Howe advanced towards, Philadelphia with caution. This was necessary, for the enemy hovered about him and threatened an attack. Washington, indeed, had not yet relinquished all hope of impeding the enemy's progress, and he made an attempt to repeat the stratagem which had been so successfully executed by Lord Cornwallis. When Howe put his army in motion he marched towards Chester, and took possession of Wilmington, where he lodged his sick and wounded. He was now about a day's march from Philadelphia; but there was the river Schuylkill intervening between him and that city, and on the bank of that river General Armstrong was posted to dispute the passage. At the same time Washington had struck away to the left of the British, by the Lancaster road, in the hope of getting on Howe's flank. Both Philadelphia and the inhabitants around, however, were friendly to the cause of Howe; and having gained timely information from some country-people, he extended his line, and presented such a front on the Lancaster-road that Washington was defeated in his design. A heavy fall of rain, also, had the effect of keeping the combatants asunder, for the ammunition on both sides was thereby rendered useless. Washington fell back to Warwick Furnace, on the south branch of the French Creek; and from thence he detached General Wayne, with 1,500 men, to cross a rough country and get, if possible, into the rear of the enemy. But here again he was foiled. Wayne's movement was discovered, and Major-general Gray, who was sent against him, attacked him suddenly by night in his bivouac, slew three hundred men, took one hundred prisoners, and captured all the baggage of those who fled. Washington now gave up his intention of defending the line of the Schuylkill and covering Philadelphia, and he retreated so as to leave the road open. Three days after, the British army passed that river, and took possession of German Town. By this time congress had fled from Philadelphia; and on the 26th of October, Lord Cornwallis, at the head of a strong detachment, took undisputed possession of the city. Congress had threatened to set fire to the place rather than let it fall into the hands of the British: but they abandoned this design, and no incendiaries were left, as at New York. Some loyal Quakers, and other royalists, had been put under arrest on Howe's approach, and about twenty of them had been sent close prisoners to Staunton, in Virginia; but the majority of the people remained at Philadelphia, and were well affected to the cause of the mother country.





OPENING OF THE DELAWARE.

By the capture of Philadelphia a communication was facilitated between the northern and south provinces, and nothing was required for an active co-operation between the army and the navy, but the opening of the Delaware. There was a great difficulty, however, in effecting this object. Franklin was now gone to Paris in his diplomatic capacity, but before he went he had caused some tremendous works to be erected on that river. Three rows of chevaux-de-frise, composed of immense beams of timber, were sunk across its bed, a little below the confluence of the Schuylkill, and the lower line of the chevaux-de-frise was protected by some works erected on the Jersey shore, at Billing's Port, while the upper line was defended by a battery, mounting heavy cannon, and situated on a flat, marshy land, near the Pennsylvanian bank of the liver. On the opposite bank, also, there was a formidable redoubt and intrenchments, with floating batteries, armed galleys under cover, rafts, with guns upon them, and a great many fire-ships. Moreover, higher up the river, the Americans had two frigates, and several gondolas or gun-boats; while, lower down, there were various works to obstruct the navigation. At this time Lord Howe arrived with his fleet, and soon after commenced operations. Three batteries were erected on the Philadelphia side of the river, and Colonel Stirling was thrown across the river to the Jersey shore to sweep the works at Billing's Port, which commanded the first line of chevaux-de-frise. The Americans fled at his approach, and Captain Hammond then sailed up the Delaware, broke the chevaux-de-frise, and made a gap wide enough to admit the largest of our ships of war. Two other rows of chevaux-de-frise, however, remained, with the forts on the bank of the river and the marshy island. Against these the British now directed their operations; but while they were making preparations, Washington, who had withdrawn to Skippack Creek, about sixteen miles from Philadelphia, and who had been reinforced by 2,500 men, resolved to attempt a surprise. Favoured by a thick fog, on the 3rd of October, he quitted his encampment, and by dawn of day arrived at German Town, where a body of the British troops were posted. Taken by surprise, these troops retreated; but Colonel Musgrave, by whom they were commanded, threw himself into a large stone house with five companies, and kept up such an incessant fire upon the assailants that their progress was impeded, till the troops rallied and got under arms and into line. Musgrave was summoned to surrender, but he defied the enemy; and General Grey with Brigadier Agnew coming up to his relief, the Americans were beaten out of the village, and Washington was compelled to retreat to Skippack Creek, leaving behind him eight hundred killed and wounded, and about four hundred prisoners. The opening of the navigation of the Delaware was now eagerly pursued. An attempt was made by the Hessians to storm the American redoubt and intrenchment at Red Bank, on the opposite side of the river; but after carrying the outer-works they were repulsed, and their commander, Count Dunnop, with four hundred of his men, were slain. At the same time two sloops-of-war, the Augusta and Merlin, which were sent to aid in the assault, ran aground while they endeavoured to avoid the chevaux-de-frise and were burnt. Preparations, however, being made for attacking the fort on the marshy island, which was the chief defense of the river, an attack was made, and a breach was soon effected in the works, which ensured its capture. Two days after this Lord Cornwallis proceeded against the redoubt on Red Bank, and this was also captured. Franklin's ingenious mechanism was then destroyed, and a full and free communication was established along the whole course of the Delaware.





CLOSE OF HOWE'S CAMPAIGN.

It was towards the end of November that the river Delaware was opened. By this time General Howe seems to have considered that his work was done for the year. His supineness, and the slow movements of his army, seem at all times to have been favourable to the cause of the enemy; for though he was generally partially successful when he did act, yet he always gave Washington sufficient time to rectify his many blunders and to repair his losses. But though Howe thought of repose, Washington had no intention of letting him enjoy himself. Having received a reinforcement of 4000 men from the army of the North—which, as will be seen, had rendered important service to the American cause—he quitted Skippack Creek, and took post at White Marsh, only fourteen miles from Philadelphia. Howe felt called upon to make fresh exertions, for the proximity of the American forces shut him out from a fertile source of supplies. Accordingly he quitted Philadelphia, and took post on Chesnut Hill, in front of Washington's right wing. Here he remained for two days, with his troops drawn out in line of battle, hoping to tempt Washington to come to a general engagement. Nothing occurred, however, but a slight skirmish, in which the American militia ran like a rabble before some light-infantry; and Howe then removed to Edge Hill, about a mile from Washington's left wing. Here a decided advantage was gained by Lord Cornwallis, who drove a strong body of the American troops from the crest of that hill, and a favourable opportunity was afforded, from the dismay which their retreat occasioned, for attacking the main body with success. But Howe was still cautious, and seeing that Washington was not disposed to quit his camp, he returned to Philadelphia, there to spend the winter. But Washington was determined to keep the field, despite the winter's cold, which had now set in, and he selected a strong piece of ground, thickly covered with wood, at Valley Forge, on the west side of the Schuykill, and about twenty-five miles from Philadelphia. This position was chosen in order to keep Howe in check, and Philadelphia in great discomfort, and he was allowed to take possession of it without any molestation. The way in which Washington executed his plan does honour to his perseverance. He had but few tents, and, even if there had been an abundance, mere canvass would not have protected his men from the rigour of an American winter. Under these circumstances he imitated the backwoodsman's practice of hutting. Trees were felled, and log-huts wore erected, the interstices of which were filled up with earth, moss, and a rude kind of mortar, in order to render them warm and comfortable. Around them, for defence, two redoubts were erected and an intrenchment, drawn with a ditch six feet wide and three or four feet deep. His left was covered by the Schuylkill, and his rear, for the most part, by an abrupt precipice; but his right was somewhat accessible, and the centre of his front was weak, notwithstanding his intrenchments. There was, however, no cause for fear: Howe was in snug winter-quarters, and had no disposition to move till the flowers of the earth reappeared, and his men might be animated by the cheerfulness of the spring. He seemed to forget that there was such a place as Valley Forge, and such a resolute commander on that spot. For resolute indeed must have been the man who could thus defy the winter's cold, and resolute also must have been his troops to submit to the hardships which they had to encounter on Valley Forge. Hundreds of them, it is said, had not a blanket to cover them in the night season, while the winds blew, and the storm beat, and the snows drifted over and around their huts. There they lay, naked and shivering on the bare ground, none murmuring at their lot. Those that lived endured their miseries patiently; those that died expired with silent resignation. And hunger was added to their lingering tortures; for congress failed to procure them needful supplies. Of this Washington bitterly complained; but as the evil could not be obviated without creating distress in other quarters, no effectual assistance could be rendered. The chief thing which congress did to afford the troops relief was to authorise Washington to seize all provisions which he could within seventy miles of Valley Forge; and such was his extremity, that he was compelled, at least on one occasion, to avail himself of this authority, though repugnant to his feelings. But this only afforded a temporary relief, and the army was, towards the close of the winter, on the very verge of total starvation. Washington stated to congress at this period, that there was not a single head of cattle in the camp; that he had only twenty-five barrels of flour; and that there were 3000 men unfit for duty, being bare-footed and naked, besides numbers who were confined by sickness in the hospitals and farmhouses. But even then congress was slow in affording relief, and enabling the army to make preparations for the ensuing campaign. Yet, sustained by hope, Washington and his army preserved their fortitude, and resolved to try once more their fortune on the field of battle.

ENLARGE

109.jpg General Burgoyne Addressing the Indians





EXPEDITION AND CAPTURE OF BURGOYNE.

Perhaps one cause which sustained the spirits of Washington and his troops in Valley Forge may be found in the success which had attended the American arms in the North. A plan had been formed by the British government to send an army by the Canadian Lakes to Hudson's River, for the purpose of cutting off all communication between the northern and the southern colonies. For parliamentary reasons ministers thought proper to take the command from General Carleton, who had re-established our supremacy on these lakes, and to confer it on General Burgoyne. The plans which Burgoyne had to follow in his expedition were minutely and absolutely laid down by the ministry, they having concocted them from inaccurate maps and uncertain and contradictory reports. Nothing, however, was wanting to promote the success of the undertaking. Burgoyne's force amounted to 7,200 men, rank and file, exclusive of the corps of artillery, and vast quantities of warlike stores were furnished for the use of those Canadians who might enter the British service. French Canadians, to the number of two or three thousand, joined Burgoyne; and as that general had been authorised to accept the services of the fierce Indians, several of those tribes willingly took up the hatchet against the Americans. The first thing Burgoyne was to do, was to take Ticonderago; and his preparations being made, he set out from Fort St, John, on the Sorel, on the 16th of June, for that purpose. Having detached Colonel St. Leger, with about eight hundred men, to make a diversion on the side of the Mohawk River. Burgoyne, preceded by the shipping, began his course, having columns of Indians on his right and left flank. At Crown Point there were a considerable number of Americans, but they retired at the approach of the flotilla, and the troops were safely landed. Here Burgoyne treated the Indians with a war-feast, in order to whet their appetites for slaughter; though, at the same time, he exhorted them to relinquish their old habits, and to fight like civilized men. But he might as well have attempted to change their natural colour by washing them with soap and water; and, moreover, the effects of his precepts must have been set aside by the tenor of a proclamation, which he issued immediately after, and which threatened such of the insurgents as should continue in their obstinacy with destruction. This proclamation was unheeded, and in a few days, after erecting some magazines and slight defences at Crown Point, Burgoyne proceeded to Ticonderago. The Americans had greatly strengthened their works at this fort; but as they had not troops sufficient to man them, General St. Clair, who held the command there, evacuated it, and putting their baggage and provisions on board of batteaux, the Americans fled to Skenesborough. The batteaux sailed along the South River, and being pursued by a brigade of gun-boats, it was overtaken and captured, or destroyed near the falls of Skenesborough. General Burgoyne followed with one part of his army, in other gun-boats and two small frigates, while Generals Frazer and Reidesel marched after St. Clair by land. Skenesborough was captured with as much ease as Ticonderago; the Americans who had occupied the place retiring hastily to Fort Anne, and St. Clair marching with headlong haste to Castletown. The rear of the retreating army was overtaken by General Frazer, and Colonel Francis, with many officers, and two hundred men were slain, while a similar number were taken prisoners, and about five hundred wounded crawled away to perish in the woods, vainly hoping to escape to the inhabited country. St. Clair continued his route from Castletown, and after a fatiguing march arrived at Fort Edward, on the Hudson, where General Schuyler, the American commander-in-chief, was stationed with about 4,400 men under his command. And here the reverses of the British arms commenced. Being joined by St. Clair, and by Colonel Long, who was compelled to evacuate Fort Anne, General Schuyler commenced a series of active operations to baffle the advancing enemy. He broke up the roads and the bridges; blocked up creeks and rivers; swept the country bare of live-stock and all kinds of provisions; called up the militia and backwoodsmen of New England and New York; and having succeeded in collecting a numerous though motley force, he issued a proclamation in the name of the congress of the United States, threatening death and destruction to all who should send any deputation or afford any aid to the enemy. It would have been prudent in Burgoyne had he taken a different course to that which was laid down in his instructions, but he resolved to persevere in that course. Having sent General Philips with a strong detachment to proceed by Lake George with the artillery, provisions, and baggage, he struck across the country, with the mass of his force, towards Fort Edward. His progress was but slow, for his troops had to remove the impediments which Schuyler had caused to be thrown in his way; and, added to this, their inarch was rendered fatiguing by the sultry heat of the weather. Nevertheless, by the 30th of July, they reached the river Hudson, near Fort Edward, and Schuyler retired across the river at their approach. Burgoyne waited in the neighbourhood of Fort Edward for the arrival of General Philips with the artillery, provisions, and stores, and for the junction of Colonel St. Léger, who had from the first proceeded on a different line of march, and who was now descending from Oswego, the Onedia Lake, and Wood Creek, by the Mohawk River, which falls into the Hudson. St. Leger stopped at the upper end of Mohawk to lay siege to Stanwix Fort, and upon receiving this information General Burgoyne thought it his duty to support him. As a preparatory measure he detached Colonel Baum to surprise Bennington, a place between the forks of the Ilosick River, about twenty-four miles eastward of the Hudson, and where the American stores were deposited. The troops employed by Burgoyne for this enterprise were Germans, always slow in their motions, and before they reached Bennington their design had become known, and the Americans were ready to receive them. Baum had only six hundred men with him, and he applied to Burgoyne for reinforcements; and another detachment of German soldiers, consisting of five hundred men, under Lieutenant-colonel Breyman, were sent to his assistance. Breyman, however, was as slow in his movements as Baum had been, and, before he could arrive, the first detachment of Germans were completely surrounded by a body of more than 1,500 Americans. Colonel Baum sustained the attack with great bravery; but he was at length slain by a rifle-shot, and then the Germans retreated into some woods in the direction of Fort Edward. It was at this critical moment that Breyman came up, and having succeeded in putting the fugitives of Baum's detachment into some order, he fought his way back to Burgoyne's encampment. Instead of taking Bennington and the military stores, Burgoyne lost five hundred men in killed and wounded in this expedition. in the meantime St. Leger was prosecuting the siege of Stanwix Fort. As he lay before this fort, he discovered that General Harkimer was advancing to its relief with 1000 men under his command. He had with him several tribes of savages, and St. Leger detached these, with a party of regulars under Sir John Johnson, into the woods to lie in ambush. Harkimer fell into the snare, and nearly four hundred of his men were either killed or wounded, while the rest fled back to the Hudson. Still Fort Stanwix held out, and the savages, growing weary of the siege, and being falsely informed by some Americans that Burgoyne's army had been cut to pieces, insisted upon retiring. Many deserted, and St. Leger, hearing that Arnold was approaching with 2000 men, and ten pieces of artillery, he was compelled to raise the siege and to retreat. These defeats, and the failure of St. Leger, contributed greatly to the ruin of Burgoyne's expedition. It has been seen, that on the arrival of that general near Fort Edward, the Americans under Schuyler had retreated across the Hudson. They had taken up their position at Saratoga, lower down the river, and soon after, General Gates, an Englishman by birth and education, took the chief command, and he was subsequently joined by General Arnold. On his arrival, Gates removed the troops to an island near the confluence of the Mohawk with the Hudson, about eight miles below Albany, and called "Still Water." Here he had a strong star-redoubt and other defences; and against him, as he lay in this position, Burgoyne having passed the Hudson by a bridge of boats, led his forces. About the middle of September Burgoyne encamped on the heights of Saratoga, in the face of the enemy. The mass of the British army formed, on the 19th, close in front of the American left; the right wing being commanded by Burgoyne, the left by Generals Philip and Reidesel, and the front and flanks being covered by Indians and Canadians. Without waiting to be attacked, General Gates threw out 5000 men to attempt turning the right of the British forces, and to attack General Burgoyne in his rear. In making this attempt, however, he lost between five hundred and six hundred men in killed and wounded, besides several officers; and at night he deemed it prudent to collect all his forces into and round the star-redoubt. The attack on the British right had been made by General Arnold, and Burgoyne's loss was scarcely inferior to that of his enemy. That night the British army lay on their arms in the field of battle; but as the day dawned, they began to erect works within cannon-shot of the enemy, with strong redoubts on their right. The two armies lay in sight of each other, from the 20th of September till the 7th of October, during which time Burgoyne's troops had nearly consumed all their provisions. Burgoyne's situation was a critical one, and no time was lost in giving General Howe information of it, in the hope that he would either co-operate or cause a diversion to be made in his favour. Howe had just taken Philadelphia, and being wholly occupied with Washington, and in destroying the forts and strong works on the Delaware, could not spare a thought on the matter. Sir Henry Clinton, however, who had the command of the troops left at New York, informed Burgoyne that he would, on his own responsibility, attempt a diversion, by attacking Forts Montgomery and Clinton, on the lower part of the Hudson. Burgoyne agreed to remain in his position, therefore, till the 12th of October: but his Indian followers, in the meantime, disappointed in their hopes of plunder, annoyed at his endeavours to check their ferocity, and wishing to return, as their hunting-season had commenced, began to desert from him in great numbers. Still Burgoyne, hoping that Clinton's diversion would effect his deliverance from clanger, would not think of retreating. On the other hand, the Americans were greatly favoured by this delay. Every day reinforcements arrived from the southern and northern provinces, while stores and provisions poured into their camp in great abundance. General Gates, indeed, having been joined by General Lincoln with 2000 men, at the suggestion of Arnold, now adopted a scheme likely to reduce Burgoyne to the stern necessity of an unconditional surrender. A considerable body of New England militia, who had assembled in the rear of Burgoyne's forces, were sent to surprise Ticonderago, Mount Independence, and Fort George, and to cut Burgoyne off from all supplies, and even from a retreat to Canada. Colonel Brown, to whom this enterprise was entrusted, failed in his main designs; but he destroyed some vessels which were bringing provisions to Burgoyne, and then returned to his former station in the rear of the enemy. Other American forces also collected between the British army and the Lakes. Burgoyne's difficulties increased daily. The red-men, who had hitherto remained with him, now deserted, while the Canadians and loyal Americans in his army lost all courage. But what was worse than all, his provisions began to fail, while his horses were perishing for want of forage. No tidings were yet heard of Clinton's diversion; and rendered desperate by his situation, Burgoyne resolved to attempt dislodging Gates from his position. Accordingly, he advanced forward with 1,500 men and a considerable body of artillery; but this detachment had scarcely formed within half a mile of the American intrenchments when they were attacked by a superior force, under Arnold, and driven back to their camp, with the loss of six pieces of cannon. From being assailed, the Americans now became the assailants. A furious assault was made on the British lines; and though it was repulsed on the English side of the camp, and Arnold was wounded, yet the intrenchments on the German side of the camp were carried, and two hundred prisoners, with a large supply of ammunition, were captured. Night closed on the scene of carnage, and Lieutenant-colonel Brooks, who had defeated the Germans, kept the ground he had won within the line of the British intrenchments. In the engagement, General Frazer and Colonel Breyman were mortally wounded; and on the following morning Burgoyne, disheartened by this loss, removed his whole army, with their artillery and baggage, to some heights above the bank of the Hudson, extending his right up that river. In doing so, he left his wounded to the humanity of General Gates and his army—a confidence which was not misplaced.

In his new position Burgoyne repeatedly offered battle to the enemy, but without effect. The design of Gates was to obtain an easier victory by turning the right of the British army and enclosing them on all sides; and seeing this, Burgoyne quitted his position and fell back to Saratoga, where he found the passes towards the Canadian frontiers all pre-occupied by the Americans, while the further banks of the river were lined with troops, which, together with numerous batteaux, commanded the navigation. No means of escape seemed left but by a rapid night-march to Fort Edward; but before preparations were made for this it was discovered that the fords at that place were occupied, and that the high grounds between that fort and Fort George were everywhere secured. Bur-goyne's situation was now desperate. The 13th of October had arrived, and no tidings were heard of Clinton's diversion. Thus unsupported, deserted by his Indian allies, worn down by a series of incessant exertions, greatly reduced through repeated battles, and invested by an army three times their number, and which was hourly increasing, the British officers at length thought of capitulation. There was no alternative, for their provisions were nearly spent; and though the enemy declined battle, yet rifle and grape-shot were continually pouring into the British camp. All hope of relief or of extrication from danger fled; and a council-of-war being called, which comprehended field-officers and captains, it was unanimously resolved to capitulate, if it could be done on honourable terms. This was a bitter step to take, but no other could be taken, and this message was therefore sent by Major Kingston to General Gates:—"After having fought you twice, Lieutenant-general Burgoyne has waited some days in his present position, determined to try a third conflict against any force you could bring against him. He is apprised of the superiority of your numbers, and the disposition of your troops to impede his supplies, and render his retreat a scene of carnage on both sides. In this situation, he is impelled by humanity, and thinks himself justified, by established principles and precedents of state and war, to spare the lives of brave men upon honourable terms. Should Major-general Gates be inclined to treat upon that idea, General Burgoyne would propose a cessation of arms during the time necessary to communicate the preliminary terms, by which, in any extremity, he and his army mean to abide." In reply, Gates demanded that the British troops should ground their arms, and surrender themselves prisoners-of-war. To this Burgoyne answered:—"This article is inadmissible in every extremity: sooner than the army will consent to ground their aims in their encampment, they will rush on the enemy, with a determination to take no quarter." In the end, after much negotiation, a convention was settled, which imported, that Burgoyne's troops were to march out of the camp, with all the honours of war, to the verge of the Hudson River, where their arms and artillery were to be left; that a free passage should be granted the troops to Great Britain, on condition of their not serving again in America; that if any cartel should take place by which Burgoyne's army, or any part of it, should be exchanged, the foregoing article should be void, so far as that exchange extended; that care should be taken for the subsistence of the British troops till they should be embarked; that all officers should deliver up their carriages, bat-horses, &c, but that their baggage should be free from molestation; that the officers should not be separated from the men, and should be quartered according to their rank; that all the troops, of whatever country they might be, should be included in the above articles; that all Canadians, and persons belonging to the Canadian establishment, should be permitted to return to Canada, should be conducted to the first British post on Lake George, should be treated in all respects like the rest of the army, and should be bound by the same condition of not serving during the present contest; that passports should be granted for three officers to carry despatches to Sir Guy Carleton, in Canada, and to the government of Great Britain by way of New York; that all officers, during their stay at Boston, should be admitted to parole, and to wear their side-arms; that the army might send to Canada for their clothing and other baggage; and that these articles should be signed and exchanged on the following morning, and the troops should march out of their intrenchments in the afternoon. These were more favourable terms than Burgoyne and his troops had a right to expect; and they appear to have been granted for a twofold reason—first, because Gates was fearful of provoking the despair of well-disciplined troops; and secondly, because he almost heard the roar of Clinton's artillery lower down the Hudson. The convention was signed at the appointed time, and on the afternoon of the 17th of October the troops marched out of their encampment down to the edge of the river, where they deposited their arms. The delicacy with which this business was conducted reflected great credit on Gates. It is said, that he not only kept away from the spot himself, but that he would not suffer his own people to be present, that they might not exhibit the feelings of exultation over a fallen enemy. Nor did his urbanity end here. Burgoyne was received by him with great kindness, and every circumstance which could appear like a triumph in the lines of the Americans was withheld. As for the half-famished British troops, they now partook liberally of the plenty that reigned within the American camp, while the principal officers were often entertained at General Gates's own quarters, Among the fruits of his victory were about forty pieces of artillery, 4,600 muskets, and a quantity of powder and ball. After the convention was signed, General Gates moved forward to stop the devastations committed by the British on the North River, but they had already retreated. About the same time, also, the troops which had been left at Ticonderago destroyed their cannon, and retreated to Canada. After being several months agitated by the tumults of war, the whole country was restored to complete tranquillity. The British army, shorn of their honours, went to Boston, while several thousands of the victorious Americans, as before recorded, joined the ranks of Washington.





CLINTON'S EXPEDITION UP THE HUDSON.

General Clinton was prevented from making his promised diversion in favour of Burgoyne by the non-arrival of some troops which he expected from Europe, and by the vicinity of General Putnam, who hovered in the neighbourhood of New York, until the 6th of October, ten days before the capitulation was signed. At that time, having received the expected reinforcements, he began a series of attacks, which, if they had been made only a few days earlier, would have rescued Burgoyne's army from its perilous situation. He embarked about 3000 men on board of craft of all kinds, convoyed by Commander Hotham, and proceeded up the Hudson to Verplank's Point, about forty miles above New York. Clinton effected a landing without opposition, and General Putnam, conceiving that it was his intention to push through the islands on that side of the river, in order to join Burgoyne, collected about 2000 men, and hastened with them towards Verplank's Point to obstruct his march. Leaving a third portion of his troops, however, on that spot, Clinton passed over with the rest to Stony Point, on the western shore, where, in two simultaneous attacks, he carried Forts Montgomery and Clinton. This success obliged the Americans to burn their navy, consisting of five ships, which were lying in that part of the river, and which were defended by a chevaux-de-frise, and by an immense boom, stretching from Fort Montgomery, to an opposite point, called St. Anthony's Nose. A few miles higher up the river was another strong place, called Fort Constitution, and this was destroyed by the garrison, who fled as soon as they learned the fate of Forts Montgomery and Clinton. About the same time, a detachment of American loyalists, under Governor Tryon, destroyed a new settlement, called Continental Village, and in which were barracks and military stores. Having removed the boom, Sir James Wallace also, with a squadron of small frigates, ascended up the river, and burned many American vessels. Clinton was everywhere victorious; and on the 13th of October, the very day on which Burgoyne made his first overture for capitulation, General Vaughan landed a detachment at Esopus Creek, which was not more than thirty miles from Burgoyne's encampment at Saratoga. Vaughan carried fire and destruction before him: he reduced two batteries, and a row-galley, stationed at the mouth of Esopus Creek; and then ascending the creek about five miles, he destroyed the town of Esopus, together with a vast quantity of stores and provisions, collected for the use of General Gates's forces. Clinton, however, was still upwards of one hundred miles from Esopus Creek, and he was beset by General Putnam's forces, which had increased from 2000 to 6000 men. He was in this situation when Burgoyne capitulated, and then Gates was enabled to detach more troops to the aid of Putnam. The English general therefore recalled Vaughan; destroyed all the forts he had taken; re-embarked his men, and returned to New York. The main design of his diversion had failed, and it chiefly served to prove, that had Howe co-operated with Burgoyne, and have sailed up the Hudson during the summer months, the campaign in this quarter, instead of being disastrous, would have enhanced the glory of the British arms.





MEETING OF PARLIAMENT.

The British parliament assembled on the 18th of November. The all-engrossing topic of the king's speech was the war with America. In it he declared the necessity of continuing the war; and hinted, that there was a probability that the land-forces must not only be kept up to their full establishment, but even augmented by new contracts. Of the disposition of foreign powers, his majesty now spoke in a doubtful manner. They had given friendly assurances, he said, but as the armaments of France and Spain continued, he thought it necessary that his own naval force should be augmented. He had neither lost any of his firmness, nor abated any of his hope, as to the issue of this contest. He would always guard, he said, the honour of the British crown faithfully; and he hoped that the Americans would yet return to their allegiance; that the remembrance of their former happiness, and the sense of their present misery, under the tyranny of their leaders, would rekindle their loyalty and attachment to their mother country; and that they would enable him, with the concurrence of parliament, to accomplish peace, order, and confidence in the colonies.

GEORGE III. 1777-1778





DEBATES ON AMERICA.

The usual addresses were moved on the king's speech—addresses which were replete with panegyric on its wisdom, and likewise the wisdom of ministers. They were doomed, however, to meet with stern opposition. In the lower house, the Marquess of Granby, after lamenting the disastrous effects of the war, and expressing a desire of having the happiness to lay the ground-work of a reconciliation, moved an amendment, to the effect, that his majesty should be