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    Much inconvenience and misery were caused during the year by the trades unions and their strikes. In several places the workmen combined in order to enforce a rise of wages, and a more equitable distribution of the profits derived from their labour. The striking commenced on the 8th of March, when the men employed by the London gas companies demanded that their wages should be increased from twenty-eight shillings to thirty-five shillings a week, with two pots of porter daily for each man. On the refusal of this demand they all stopped working; but before much inconvenience could be experienced their places were supplied by workmen from the country. On the 17th of March an event occurred which caused general and violent excitement among the working classes. At the Dorchester Assizes six agricultural labourers were tried and convicted for being members of an illegal society, and administering illegal oaths, the persons initiated being admitted blindfold into a room where there was the picture of a skeleton and a skull. They were sentenced to transportation for seven years. Their case excited the greatest sympathy among the working population throughout the kingdom. In London, Birmingham, and several other large manufacturing towns immense meetings were held to petition the king in favour of the convicts. In the midst of this excitement the manufacturers of Leeds declared their determination not to employ any persons in their factories who were members of trades unions. The consequence was that in that town three thousand workmen struck in one day. On the 15th of April there was a riot at Oldham, where, in consequence of the[369] arrest of two members of a trade union, a factory was nearly destroyed, and one person killed, the mob having been dispersed by a troop of lancers. Several of the rioters were arrested and sentenced to terms of imprisonment varying from six to eighteen months. On the 21st of April a meeting of the trades unions took place at Copenhagen Fields, to adopt a petition to the Home Secretary praying for a remission of the sentence on the Dorchester convicts. They marched to the Home Office through the leading thoroughfares, numbering about 25,000, in order to back up their deputation, which, however, Lord Melbourne refused to receive, though he intimated to them that their petition should be laid before the king if presented in a proper manner. The multitude then went in procession to Kennington Common. On the 28th 13,000 London journeymen tailors struck for higher wages. The masters, instead of yielding, resolved not to employ any persons connected with trades unions, and after a few weeks the men submitted and returned to their work.Charles, on his part, had determined to occupy Corriarrick. For that purpose he had made a forced march, disencumbered himself of all possible encumbrances by burning his own baggage, and encouraging his followers to do the same. On the morning of the 27th he stood on the north side of Corriarrick, and, as he put on his brogues, he is said to have exclaimed, with exultation, "Before these are unloosed, I shall be up with Mr. Cope." To his great astonishment, however, when he reached the summit all was one wild solitudenot a man was visible. At length they discerned some soldiers ascending, whom they set down for part of Lord Loudon's regiment, forming the English vanguard. They turned out to be only some deserters, who informed them of the change in Cope's route.

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    The chief speakers on the other side were Sir Robert Inglis, Mr. Bankes, and Mr. Sadler. They contended that the evils on which the Home Secretary had dweltthe disturbed state of Ireland, the difficulty of governing the empire with a divided Cabinet, the impossibility of getting on with a House of Commons which left the Administration in a minoritywould not be removed or prevented by Emancipation. Ever since the first relaxation of the penal code, concession but added fuel to the fire of agitation. What, then, was to be expected from throwing open the portals of the legislature to the Catholic body? What but thisthat the advanced work thus gained would become the salient angle from which the fire would be directed on the body of the fortress; and the work of agitation, having its leaders in both Houses of Parliament, would be carried on with increased vigour, for the purpose of overthrowing the Protestant Establishment, the severance of the union, and the dismemberment of the empire? The manner of the concession would encourage the policy of aggression. It was not, they asserted, produced by the gradual and quiet growth of public opinion. "It was the victory of force, driving former enemies into desertion by intimidation. It openly told the Catholic agitators that they were too strong for the Government of Great Britain; that whatever they asked would be conceded, even to the giving up of the Constitution, provided only it was asked with sufficient clamour and violence. The solid ground of right had been abandoned for the selfish and tortuous path of expediencyexpediency, the pretext for so many crimes. In France expediency destroyed the churchexpediency murdered the king."

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    Sir John Stuart did not long remain idle at Palermo. At the suggestion of Lord Collingwood, he sent out an expedition to seize on a number of the Ionian Isles, which had been taken possession of by the French, who were calculating on further conquests in that directionnamely, in continental Greece itself. The Warrior, commanded by Captain Spranger, attended by other vessels, carried over one thousand six hundred troops, under command of Brigadier-General Oswald. The troops were half of them British, and half Corsicans, Sicilians, Calabrians, and other foreigners in British pay. They carried with them Signor Foresti and an Ionian Greek as interpreters and agents with their countrymen, many of whom, they were aware, had an indignant hatred of the French domination. They arrived off Cephalonia on the 28th of September, and on the 1st of October, being joined by their transports and gunboats, they anchored in the bay of Zante, and the following morning commenced a landing, under the cover of a brisk fire from some of the ships and gunboats. The land-batteries were soon silenced, and before night the French commander had not only surrendered the castle, but the islands of Zante, Cephalonia, Ithaca, and Cerigo. Two of the seven islands remained for the time in the hands of the FrenchSanta Maura and Corfu. But Santa Maura, after a sharp contest, was carried, in the following April, by General Oswald, most brilliantly supported by Lieutenant-Colonel Hudson Lowe, Major Church, and other officers. General Camus, the French commandant, surrendered with his garrison of one thousand men. There remained only Corfu, but this, the most important island of the group, would have required a much stronger force to reduce it; and as it was completely useless to the French, being cut off from all communication with France by our ships, it remained under France till 1814, when, at the Congress of Paris, it was made over by Louis XVIII., and the whole seven islands were declared a republic, under the protection of Great Britain. Such was the origin of our connection with the Ionian Islands, where we maintained a Commissioner and a body of troops, much to the discontent of a party in the islands, who desired to join the kingdom of Greece.

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    Lord Belvidere " " 45,000

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    The history of the Peninsular War was written very ably and faithfully by a soldier who bore a distinguished part in itGeneral Sir W. F. P. Napier, one of three brothers, all eminently distinguished for their talents and achievements. About the time when this work was concluded appeared further illustrations of the war, in the "Despatches of Field-Marshal the Duke of Wellington," which were edited by Colonel Gurwood, and which are very valuable. Of these despatches it was justly remarked in the Edinburgh Review that no man ever before had the gratification of himself witnessing the formation of such a monument to his glory.

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    Who would be free, themselves must strike the blow?"

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    In pursuance of this plan of the campaign, Prideaux and Johnson arrived before the fort of Niagara in the middle of July, which they found very strong, and garrisoned by six hundred men. Prideaux was soon killed by the bursting of a shell, but Johnson continued the siege with great ability, having to invest the fort on one hand, whilst he was menaced on the other by a mixed body of French and Indians, one thousand seven hundred in number, who came to relieve the fort. The attack upon him commenced with a terrible war-whoop of the Indians, which, mingling with the roar of the great cataract near, made the most horrible din imaginable. But this did not disconcert the English and their savage allies, who received them with such steady courage, that in less than an hour they were put to the rout in sight of their own garrison, and pursued for five miles with dreadful slaughter. The garrison thereupon capitulated, remaining prisoners of war. There, however, Sir William Johnson's career stopped. From various causes, not foreseen, he was not able to advance beyond the Ontario to unite with Amherst. That general had fully succeeded in taking Ticonderoga and Crown Point, but he found the French so strongly posted on an island at the upper end of Lake Champlain, that he was compelled to stop and build[134] boats to enable his army to reach and dislodge them; and it was not till October that he was ready to proceed, when he was driven back repeatedly by tempests, and compelled to go into winter quarters.

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