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    Whilst this Bill was passing the Lords, on the 28th of March Lord Gower brought a fresh one into the Commons, which had no less object than the repeal of the Charter of Massachusetts. It was entitled, "A Bill for the Better Regulating Government in the Province of Massachusetts Bay." It went to remove the nomination of the members of the Council, of the judges and magistrates, etc., from the popular constituencies to the Crown. Lord North observed that the Charter of William III. had conferred these privileges on Massachusetts as exceptional to all other colonies, and that the consequence was that the Governor had no power whatever. Strong opposition was made to this proposed Bill by Dowdeswell, Sir George Savile, Burke, Barr, Governor Pownall, General Conway, and Charles Fox, who was now in opposition. The Bill passed the Commons by a majority of two hundred and thirty-nine against sixty-four; and it passed the Lords by a majority of ninety-two against twenty. But even now another Bill passed the House of Commonsa Bill for removing to another colony for trial any inhabitant of Massachusetts Bay, who was indicted for any murder or other capital offence which the Governor might deem to be perpetrated in the attempt to put down tumults and riots. This measure was still more vehemently opposed than the rest.The Greeks had been struggling to emancipate themselves from the tyrannical dominion of the Turks, aided in their war of independence only by the voluntary contributions and personal services of enthusiastic friends of freedom, like Lord Byron. At length, however, the sanguinary nature of the contest, and the injury to commerce by piracy, induced the Great Powers of Europe to interfere in order to put an end to the war. Accordingly, on the 6th of July, 1827, a treaty was signed in London by the Ministers of Great Britain, France, and Russia, for the pacification of Greece. In pursuance of this treaty, a joint expedition, consisting of British, French, and Russian ships, entered the Bay of Navarino on the 20th of October, with the object of compelling the Sultan to concede an armistice, in order that there might be time for effecting an arrangement. The Sultan, Mahmoud, having declined the mediation of the combined Powers, and Ibrahim Pasha having received a large reinforcement of troops from Egypt, he was ordered to put down the insurrection at every cost by land and sea. He had accordingly recommenced the war with fanatical fury. All Greeks found in arms were to be put to the sword, and the Morea was to be laid waste. The combined fleet of the Allies had received orders to demand an armistice, and if this were refused by the Turkish admiral, they were to intercept the Turkish supplies, but not to commit hostilities. When the Turkish fleet met the Allies, the futility of these instructions became evident. They found it ranged at the bottom of the bay, in the form of a crescent. Instead of parleying, the Turks began to fire, and the battle commenced apparently without plan on either side. It soon became general. Admiral Codrington, in the Asia, opened a broadside upon the Egyptian admiral, and soon reduced his ship to a wreck; others in rapid succession shared the same fate. The conflict lasted with great fury for four hours. When the smoke cleared off, the enemy had disappeared, and the bay was strewn with the fragments of their ships. Among the Allies, the loss of the British was greatest, though not largeonly 75 men killed[263] and 197 wounded. The catastrophe produced immense excitement at Constantinople, and had the Janissaries (those fierce and bigoted defenders of Mohammedanism whom the Sultan had so recently extirpated) been still in existence, it would have fared ill with Christians in that part of the world. The Sultan demanded satisfaction, which would not be granted, and the European ambassadors left Constantinople. The battle of Navarino occurred at the time when the Duke of Wellington assumed the reins of office, our ambassador having then returned from Constantinople.The nobles rose in a body and quitted the Assembly; but Gustavus continued his speech to the three remaining Orders. He declared it necessary, for the salvation of the country, for him to assume almost despotic powers, and he called on the three Estates to support him in punishing the traitorous nobles, promising to secure the liberties of the country as soon as this was accomplished. Not only the three Orders, but the public at large zealously supported him. Stockholm was in a state of high excitement. Gustavus surrounded the houses of the chief nobility with his brave Dalecarlians; secured twenty-five of the principal nobles, including the Counts Brah, Fersen, Horne, and others, who were consigned to the castle. He had already arrested nine of the leaders of the insurrection in the army in Finland, and these officers were[353] now also confined in the castle; others had escaped and fled to their patroness in St. Petersburg. To intimidate the king, nearly all the officers of the army, the fleet, and the civil department threw up their commissions and appointments, believing that they should thus completely paralyse his proceedings. But Gustavus remained undaunted. He filled up the vacancies, as well as he could, from the other Orders of the State; he brought the nobles and officers to trial, and numbers of them were condemned to capital punishment, for treason and abandonment of their sworn duties. Some few examples were made; the rest, after a short confinement, were liberated, and they hastened to their estates in the country. But it was found there, as everywhere else, that rank confers no monopoly of talent. The three other Orders warmly supported Gustavus, and he remodelled the Diet, excluding from it almost all the most powerful nobles, and giving greater preponderance to the other three Orders. In return for this, these Orders sanctioned an act called the Act of Safety, which conferred on the king the same power which is attached to the British Crown, namely, that of making peace or war. They granted him liberal supplies, and he quickly raised an army of fifty thousand men. As he considered the reduction of the restless and lawless power of Russia was equally essential to Britain, Holland, and Prussia, as to Sweden, Gustavus called on them to second his efforts. But Pitt would do nothing more than guarantee the neutrality of Denmark; and even this guarantee he permitted to become nugatory, by allowing the Danish fleet to give protection to the Russian fleet in the Baltic. A second Russian squadron, commanded by Dessein, a French admiral, descended from Archangel, entered the Baltic, menaced Gothenburg, and by the aid of the Danish ships was enabled to join the other Russian fleet at Cronstadt.[333]This signal and unexpected defeat seemed to rouse the Government to a fresh effort for victory over the triumphant bookseller. The Lord Chief Justice Ellenborough, who was not accustomed to let juries and the accused off so easily, rose from his sick bed, where he was fast drifting towards the close of his career. The defendant was called into court the next morning, the 19th of December. There sat Ellenborough, with a severe and determined air. Abbott sat by his side. Hone this time was charged with having published an impious and profane libel, called "The Litany, or General Supplication." The Attorney-General again asserted that, whatever might be the intention of the defendant, the publication had the effect of bringing into contempt the service of the Church. Hone opened his books to recommence the reading of parallel productions of a former day, or by persons high in esteem in the Church, but this was precisely what the invalid Lord Chief Justice had left his bed to prevent. The judge told him all that was beside the mark, but Hone would not allow that it was so, opened his books, and read on in spite of all attempts to stop him. Never had Ellenborough, not even in his strongest and best days, been so stoutly encountered; scarcely ever had such a scene been witnessed in the memory of man. The spectators showed an intense interest in the combat, for such it was, and it was evident that the general sympathy went with the accused, who put forth such extraordinary and unlooked-for power. The exhausted Chief Justice was compelled to give way, and Hone went on reading one parody after another, and dwelt especially on the parodies of the Litany which the Cavaliers wrote to ridicule the Puritan Roundheads. When he had done, the Lord Chief Justice addressed the jury in a strain of strong direction to find a verdict for the Crown. He said "he would deliver the jury his solemn opinion, as he was required by the Act of Parliament to do; and under the authority of that Act, and still more in obedience to his conscience and his God, he pronounced this to be a most impious and profane libel. Believing and hoping that they, the jury, were Christians, he had no doubt but they would be of the same opinion." This time the solemn and severe energy of the Lord Chief Justice seemed to have made an impression on part of the jury, for they took an hour and a half to determine their verdict, but they again returned one of Not Guilty.
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    The Home Secretary once more submitted his views to the Duke, in a memorandum dated January 12th, that was written with a view to being submitted to the king, in which he put the inevitable alternative of a Cabinet united in the determination to carry Catholic Emancipation, or a Cabinet constructed on exclusively Protestant principles; and he came to the conclusion that no Cabinet so constructed could possibly carry on the general administration of the country. The state of the House of Commons appeared to him to be an insuperable obstacle to the successful issue of that experiment. Since the year 1807 there had been five Parliaments, and in the course of each of these, with one exception, the House of Commons had come to a decision in favour of the consideration of the Catholic question. The present Parliament had decided in the same manner. A dissolution, were it practicable, would not result in an election more favourable to the Protestant interest, if an exclusively Protestant Government were formed. Even should there be an increase of anti-Catholic members in England, it would not compensate for the increased excitement in Ireland, and the violent and vexatious opposition that would be given by fifty or sixty Irish members, returned by the Catholic Association and the priests. Then there would be the difficulty about preserving the peace in Ireland. During the last autumn, out of the regular infantry force in the United Kingdom, amounting to about 30,000 men, 25,000 men were stationed either in Ireland or on the west coast of England, with a view to the maintenance of tranquillity in Ireland, Great Britain being then at peace with all the world. What would be the consequence should England be involved in a war with some foreign Power? Various other considerations were urged, upon which Mr. Peel founded his advice to the king, which wasthat he should not grant the Catholic claims, or any part of them, precipitately and unadvisedly, but that he should, in the first instance, remove the barrier which prevented the consideration of the Catholic question by the Cabinet, and permit his confidential servants to consider it in all its relations, on the same principles on which they considered any other question of public policy, in the hope that some plan of adjustment could be proposed, on the authority and responsibility of a Government likely to command the assent of Parliament and to unite in its support a powerful weight of Protestant opinion, from a conviction that it was a settlement equitable towards Roman Catholics and safe as it concerned the Protestant Establishment.

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    Marriage is one of the fundamental principles of the social system. The law of marriage, therefore, ought to be plain and simple, intelligible to all, and guarded in every possible way against fraud and abuse. Yet the marriage laws of the United Kingdom were long in the most confused, unintelligible, and unsettled state, leading often to ruinous and almost endless litigation. A new Marriage Act was passed in the Session now under review, which, like many Acts of the kind, originated in personal interests affecting the aristocracy. It was said to have mainly arisen out of the marriage of the Marquis of Donegal with Miss May, who was the daughter of a gentleman celebrated for assisting persons of fashion with loans of money. The brother of the marquis sought to set this marriage aside, and to render the children illegitimate, in order that he might himself, should the marquis die without lawful issue, be heir to his title and estates. In law the marriage was invalid; but it was now protected by a retrospective clause in the new Act. By the Marriage Act of 1754 all marriages of minors certified without the assent of certain specified persons were declared null. A Bill was passed by the Commons giving validity to marriages which, according to the existing law, were null, and providing that the marriages of minors, celebrated without due notice, should not be void, but merely voidable, and liable to be annulled only during the minority[226] of the parties, and at the suit of the parents or guardians.
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