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    The most distinguished dramatic writers of the time were Sheridan Knowles, Sir Edward Bulwer Lytton, Mr. Justice Talfourd, and Miss Mitford. Mr. Knowles's first drama, Caius Gracchus, appeared in 1815, and was followed by more successful efforts, namely, The Wife, a Tale of Mantua, The Hunchback, Virginius, The Blind Beggar of Bethnal Green, William Tell, The Love Chase, Old Maids, and The Daughter. Ultimately, however, he became disgusted with the stage from religious scruples, and taking a fancy to polemics, he published two attacks upon Romanism, entitled, "The Rock of Rome" and "The Idol demolished by its own Priest." He ended his career as a preacher in connection with the Baptist denomination, and died in 1862, having enjoyed a literary pension of 200 a year since 1849.Parliament was opened by commission on the 5th of February, 1829. The state of Ireland was the chief topic of the Royal Speech. The existence of the Catholic Association was referred to as inimical to the public peace; and its suppression was recommended, as a necessary preliminary to the consideration of the disabilities affecting the Roman Catholics. This part of the Speech excited much interest, as preluding the great contest of the Session. On the 4th Mr. Peel had written to the Vice-Chancellor of Oxford, resigning his seat for the University, which he had won from Canning on the strength of his anti-Catholic principles. He need not have resigned, but he acted the more honourable part. Having offered himself for re-election, he was opposed by Sir Robert Inglis, who, after a contest which lasted three days, during which 1,364 votes were polled, was elected by a majority of 146. As one of the most numerous convocations ever held in Oxford had, in the previous year, by a majority of three to one, voted against concession to the Roman Catholics, it was a matter of surprise that the Home Secretary was not defeated by a larger majority. He secured a seat with some difficulty at Westbury. On the 10th, Mr. Peel, while still member for Oxford, introduced the first of the three measures intended for the pacification of Irelanda Bill for the suppression of the Catholic Association. As it was known to be an essential condition of granting Emancipation, there was little opposition to it either in Parliament or in Ireland. By it the Lord-Lieutenant was empowered to disperse the meetings of any association he thought dangerous to the public peace. The Bill quickly passed both Houses, and in a few days received the Royal Assent. Anticipating the action of the executive, the Association, on the 12th of February, dissolved itself, with the unanimous concurrence of the bishops, Mr. Sheil stating at the meeting that he was authorised to throw twenty-two mitres into the scale.WEDDING IN THE FLEET. (From a Print of the Eighteenth Century.)
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    • There were other transactions besides those of the American campaign, during the year, which demand notice. Rodney co-operated with a body of troops under General Vaughan in an attempt to recover the island of St. Vincent, which the French had taken in the previous year, but they were not successful. They then turned their attack on the island of St. Eustatia, belonging to the Dutch, and the governor not having heard the news of the war, they met with no resistance. The capture was a most valuable one; the whole island seemed one great store of Dutch and American products and goods. There were one hundred and fifty merchant vessels in the harbour all secured, besides six ships of war and a fleet of thirty Dutch West Indiamen, which had just left, but which were sent after and brought back. The value of the whole prize was estimated at three millions eight hundred thousand pounds. A large quantity of the merchandise belonged to Englishmen, who were engaged thus in supplying the Americans through this channel. Rodney confiscated the whole of it. In vain did the owners demand, through the Assembly of St. Kitt's, the restoration of those goods; Rodney would not listen to them. Besides St. Eustatia, the small neighbouring islands of St. Martin and Saba, and the Dutch settlements on the rivers of Demerara and Essequibo, in Guiana, were taken with their ships and property. The Dutch trade in these parts received a mortal blow. On the other hand, the French, under the Marquis de Bouill, captured the island of Tobago.
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