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In our time this defeat would, as a matter of course, have turned out the Ministry, but in that day it had no such effect. They continued to hold office, and to command undiminished majorities on other questions. Still more singular was its effect, for it induced them to offer office to their triumphant opponent Walpole, who not only accepted a subordinate post amongst themthe Paymaster of the Forcesbut consented to support the very clauses regarding the Scottish peers which he had so firmly denounced, should they be inclined to bring forward the Bill a third time.In answer to some queries submitted to the Attorney-General, Mr. Joy, he stated that when the old Association was suppressed, the balance of Catholic rent in the treasury was 14,000. He showed how the existing Act had been evaded, and how useless it was to attempt to prevent the agitation by any coercive measure. They held "fourteen days' meetings," and it was amusing to read the notices convening those meetings, which always ran thus:"A fourteen days' meeting will be held, pursuant to Act of Parliament"as if the Act had enjoined and required such meetings. Then there were aggregate meetings, and other "separate meetings," which were manifestly a continuation of the Association. The same members attended, and the same routine was observed. They also held simultaneous parochial meetings, by which the people were gathered into a solid and perilous confederacy.

[See larger version]In the early part of the reign the English operas of Augustine Arne, "Artaxerxes" and "Love in a Village"the former principally a translation from Metastasiowere much admired. For the rest, there were numbers of lovers and professors of the art, both in sacred, operatic, and glee music. The Catch Club was formed in 1761, and zealously supported, as well as the Concerts of Ancient Music in 1776. Under the patronage of this society, and particularly of his Majesty, took place the celebrated Handel "Commemoration" in Westminster Abbey, in May and June of 1784. During the early part of the reign, too, appeared several distinguished works in this department. At the head of these stood the "Histories of Music," by Sir John Hawkins and Dr. Burney; Dibdin's "Musical Tour;" Dr. John Browne's "Dissertation on Poetry and Music;" the "Letters" of Jackson, of Exeter; and Mason's "Essays on Church Music." In the later portion of the reign there was much love of music, but little original composition, except for the stage, where Arnold, Shield, Storace, and Dibdin produced the most delightful compositions. Arnold's "Castle of Andalusia," "Inkle and Yarico," "The Surrender of Calais," and "The Mountaineers;" and Shield's "Rosina," "The Poor Soldier," "The Woodman," and "The Farmer," are universally admired. The sea songs of Charles Dibdin are as imperishable as the British navy, to which they have given a renown of its own. He wrote about one thousand four hundred songs, thirty dramatic pieces, "A Musical Tour," and a "History of the Stage," and was allowed, after all, to die in deep poverty, after charming the world for half a century. During the latter part of the reign music was in much esteem, and musical meetings in various parts of the countryin London, the opera, Ancient Concerts, and performances by foreign composers, such as Handel's "Messiah," Beethoven's "Mount of Olives," Mozart's opera of "Don Giovanni," etc.were flocked to, but little native genius appeared.

On the 1st of December Bonney, Joyce, Kyd, and Holcroft were brought up, but the evidence was precisely the same against them as against Tooke; they were discharged without trial. Holcroft would have made a speech condemnatory of these prosecutions, but was not allowed. As these gentlemen were removed from the bar, John Thelwall, the well-known elocutionist and political lecturer, was brought up. As the Government thought there were some other charges against him, the trial went on, and lasted four days, but with the same result; and as it was found that it was hopeless to expect verdicts of guilty from English juries for mere demands of Reform, the rest of the accused were discharged. To the honour of the nation, people of all parties appeared to rejoice at the independent conduct of the juries.[See larger version]But the Peace of Vienna was now concluded, and, on the 30th of October, Baron Lichtenthurm appeared in the camp of the Tyrolese, and delivered a letter to the leaders from the Archduke John, requesting them peaceably to disperse, and surrender the country to the Bavarians. This was a terrible blow to these brave men. They appeared prostrated by the news, and Hofer announced to Spechbacher, who was still fighting with the Bavarians, that peace was made with France, and that the Tyrol was forgotten! Hofer returned to his native vale of Passeyr, and still held out against the French, and the Italian mercenaries under Rusca, whom he defeated with great slaughter. But traitors were amongst them, who guided the French to their rear. Hofer escaped into the higher Alps, but thirty of the other leaders were taken and shot without mercy. Another traitor guided the French to Hofer's retreat in the high wintry Alps. He had been earnestly implored to quit the country, but he refused. As the French surrounded his hut, on the 17th of February, 1810, he came out calmly and submitted. He was carried to the fortress of Mantua, and Napoleon sent an order that he should be shot within four-and-twenty hours. He would not suffer himself to be blindfolded, nor would he kneel, but exclaimed"I stand before my Creator, and, standing, I will restore to Him the spirit He gave!" Thus died, on the 20th of February, 1810, the brave Hoferanother murdered man, another victim of the sanguinary vengeance of Buonaparte against whatever was patriotic and independent.

On the 3rd of December Parliament was dissolved, and the first elections under the Reform Bill promptly followed. Though they were anticipated not without alarm, everything went off peacefully, and it was discovered that the new House of Commons was composed of much the same materials as the old. The two most singular choices were those of Oldham which retained Cobbett, and of Pontefract which selected the ex-prizefighter Gully. But the state of parties was considerably changed. The old Tory party was practically extinct; the Moderates began to call themselves Conservatives; and Whig and Radical, bitterly as they disagreed on many points, proceeded to range themselves under the Liberal banner. The Radicals promptly proved their independence by proposing Mr. Littleton for the Speakership against the old Speaker, Mr. Manners Sutton, but the Whigs voted against them, and they were in a minority of 31 against 241. It was clear from the Royal Speech that the Session was to be devoted to Irish affairs, and the Cabinet was much divided over the measures in contemplation. These were a Coercion Bill, much favoured by Mr. Stanley, and a Church Temporalities Bill, the pet project of Lord Althorp. After many evenings had been wasted in bitter denunciations of the Irish Secretary by O'Connell and his following, Lord Althorp, on the 12th of February, 1833, introduced the Church Temporalities Bill, and three days afterwards Earl Grey introduced the Coercion Bill in the House of Lords. It had an easy course through that House, and was then brought forward by Althorp in the Commons. Speaking against his convictions, he made a singularly tame and ineffective defence of the measure. Then Stanley took the papers which he had given to his leader, mastered their details in a couple of hours, and in a magnificent speech completely turned the current of debate, and utterly silenced O'Connell. Before the end of March the Bill had passed through all its stages in the House of Commons.In the meantime the Chartists had made their preparations. The members of the National Convention met early in the morning at its hall in John Street, Fitzroy Square, and after this the members took their places in a great car, which had been prepared to convey them to the Common. It was so large that the whole Convention and all the reporters who attended it found easy accommodationMr. Feargus O'Connor and Mr. Ernest Jones sitting in the front rank. It was drawn by six fine horses. Another car drawn by four horses contained the monster petition, with its enormous rolls of signatures. Banners with Chartist mottoes and devices floated over these imposing vehicles. The Convention thus driven in state passed down Holborn, over Blackfriars Bridge, and on to the Common, attended by 1,700 Chartists, marching in procession. This was only one detachment; others had started from Finsbury Square, Russell Square, Clerkenwell Green, and Whitechapel. The largest body had mustered in the East, and passed over London Bridge, numbering about 6,000. They all arrived at the Common about ten o'clock, where considerable numbers had previously assembled; so the Common appeared covered with human beings. In all monster meetings there are the widest possible differences in the estimates of the numbers. In this case they were set down variously at 15,000, 20,000, 50,000, and even 150,000. Perhaps 30,000 was the real number present.[226]

The Ministry, as reconstructed, consisted of Lord North, First Lord of the Treasury; the Great Seal was in commission; Granby's places, the Ordnance and Commander of the Forces, were still unsupplied; so was the Duke of Manchester's old post of Lord of the Bed-Chamber. The Earl of Halifax became Lord Privy Seal; the Earl of Pembroke became a Lord of the Bed-Chamber; the Earl of Waldegrave, Master of the Horse to the queen; Sir Gilbert Elliot, Treasurer of the Navy; Charles James Fox became a junior Lord of the Admiralty; Admiral Holborne another; Mr. Welbore Ellis became one of the Vice-Treasurers of Ireland; and Thurlow was appointed Solicitor-General, in place of Dunning.In 1817 the number of power-looms in Lancashire was estimated at 2,000, of which only about 1,000 were then in employment, and the wages had fallen below the rate at which goods could be produced by machinery. To the power-loom, therefore, the hand-loom weavers gradually gave way. In 1832 there were 80,000 power-looms in Lancashire, employing persons of both sexes and of all ages from nine years upwards, at rates of wages varying from half-a-crown to ten shillings a week. In 1817 the estimated number of persons employed in the spinning of cotton in Great Britain was 110,763, and the quantity of yarn produced was under 100,000,000 lbs.; in 1853 the yarn spun was nearly 700,000,000 lbs. In 1838 the total number of cotton factories in Great Britain and Ireland was 1,815, of which there were in England and Wales, 1,599; in Scotland, 192; in Ireland, 24. The total number of persons employed in these factories was 206,000, of whom 145,934 were females.

[See larger version]AFTER THE PAINTING BY SIR DAVID WILKIE, R. A., IN THE ROYAL COLLECTION.Scarcely were the elections over when a strike took place amongst the working cotton-spinners in Manchester. Food was dear, and the rate of wages was not in any proportion to the dearness. The men who turned out paraded the streets, and, as is generally too much the spirit of strikes, endeavoured forcibly to compel the workmen of other factories to cease working too. The magistrates, on the 1st of September, issued a proclamation, that they were determined to resist such attempts, and to punish the offenders. Sir John Byng, the same who had favoured the endeavours of Oliver in Yorkshire, commanded the forces there, and every precaution was taken to secure the factories still in work. On the very next day the spinners were joined by a great mob from Stockport, and they endeavoured to break into Gray's mill, in Ancoat's Lane, and force the men to cease. But there was a party of soldiers placed within in expectation of the attack, and they fired on the assailants, and killed one man and wounded two others. The troops then dispersed the mob, which was said to have amounted to at least thirty thousand men. This ended the strike and[138] the rioting for the time. The coroner's jury pronounced the death of the man justifiable homicide, and Ministers congratulated themselves on the speedy end of the disturbance. But the elements of fresh ones were rife in the same districts. The country was by no means in the prosperous condition that they had represented it.


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PRISONERS OF WAR.During the absence of Major-General Smith Lord Lake maintained the bombardment of the fortress of Bhurtpore. As Holkar continued to hover near with a large body of cavalry, Lord Lake went in quest of him, and coming up with him, now again joined by Meer Khan and some bands of Pindarrees, he gave him a most crushing defeat on the 2nd of April, and drove him across the Chumbul river. On this, the Rajah of Bhurtpore consented to treat; and, on the 2nd of April, he agreed to surrender the fort of Deeg to the British till such time as they were satisfied of his fidelity; to renounce all connection with the enemies of Britain; to pay by instalments twenty lacs of Ferruckabad rupees; to surrender a portion of his territory, and deliver one of his sons as a hostage for the fulfilment of his engagements. This was settled on the 10th of April, and on the 21st Lord Lake went in quest of Scindiah and Holkar, who had united their forces. At his approach they retreated towards Ajmere. As the rainy season was approaching, Lord Lake returned, and quartered his troops at Agra, Muttra, and neighbouring towns. Lord Wellesley was now superseded in the government of India by Lord Cornwallis, who was averse from the system of extensive annexation which Lord Wellesley had pursued. But his own health was failing, and as he ascended the country in order to confer with Lord Lake on his future policy, he died at Ghazee-pure, near Benares, having returned to India only three months. Sir George Barlow assumed the direction of affairs till the appointment of a new Governor General; and as Lord Lake was of opinion that there could be no security till Holkar and Scindiah were driven over the Indus, it was resolved to carry out that object. Scindiah, however, came in and made peace, and Holkar went northward, boasting that he would cross the Indus, and then return with a new avalanche of Sikhs and Afghans, and sweep away the British forces. But the Sikhs, who wished both him and us away, refused all aid to Holkar, except to mediate for him. Even then he hung back, and made great difficulties about the conditions; but Lord Lake at last informed him that unless the treaty were signed by a certain day, he would cross the Sutlej and advance to attack him. This brought him to, and on the 7th of January, 1806, the treaty was duly signed by him. By it Holkar renounced all claims on Poonah and Bundelcund, and, indeed, on any territory on the northern bank of the Chumbul, as well as all claims on the British Government and its allies. On her part, Britain agreed to restore to him, eighteen months after the treaty, Chandore, Galnauh, and other forts and districts south of the Taptee and Godavery, provided he fulfilled his engagements, remained peaceful, and did not molest the territories of the Company and its allies. By the treaty with Scindiah, which was completed on the 23rd of November, that of Surjee Anjengaum, made by General Wellesley, was confirmed: to restore to him Gwalior and Gohud, with the right to resume them in case he violated the treaty. The river Chumbul was made his boundary. In exchange for certain jaghires, amounting to fifteen lacs of rupees annually, which had been granted to some of his officers by the former treaty, he received an annual pension of four lacs of rupees for himself, a jaghire, worth two lacs of rupees, for his wife, and another, worth one lac, for his daughter. As for his father-in-law, Surjee-Row-Gautkaa man most hostile to the British, and who was supposed to have stimulated both Scindiah and Holkar to their late warhe was bound, like Holkar, not to admit him again to his counsels or service. No interference was made with his conquests between the rivers Chumbul and Taptee, nor with his arrangements with his tributary chiefs in Mewar and Marwar; but, on the other hand, he was required not to take into his service any Europeans, without consent of the British. French officers, indeed, who had served under M. Perron, were found to have directed the defence of the hill forts in this campaign, greatly to our damage.

The measure, which was founded on the recommendations of the report, was advocated principally by Lord John Russell, Lord Melbourne, and Mr. C. Hobhouse. The plan was intended to provide for 183 corporations, extending to a population of at least 2,000,000. Many of these corporations governed large and important towns, of which they did not sufficiently represent the property, intelligence, and population. In Bedford the corporation composed only one in seventy of the people, and one-fortieth of the property. In Oxford there were only 1,400 electors, and seldom more than 500 voted at an election. In Norwich 315 of the electors were paupers. In Cambridge there were only 118 freemen, out of a population of 20,000; and while the annual rental was more than 25,000, the property of freemen amounted to little more than 2,000. These were only samples of the strange anomalies that everywhere prevailed. It was obvious to every one that corporations so constituted were altogether unfitted for the objects which they were originally designed to answer. On the contrary, they tended directly to frustrate those objects, and to render the proper government of towns impracticable. They engendered jealousy and distrust between the small governing power and the body of the people. A few persons carrying on the government for their own benefit were connected with a portion of the lower classes, whose votes they purchased and whose habits they demoralised. With such a monopoly the grossest abuses were inevitable. Charitable funds, often large in amount, which had been left for the benefit of the whole people, were either lavishly distributed among the venal dependents of the governing body, squandered on civic feasts, or spent in bribing the freemen in order to secure their votes. In short, the general if not the universal practice had been to use the powers of municipal corporations, not for the good government or benefit of the towns over which they presidednot in order that they might be well and quietly governed in the terms of the charters, but for the sole purpose of establishing an interest which might be useful in the election of members of Parliament.



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