George Grenville succeeded to both Bute and Dashwood, becoming first Lord of the Treasury and Chancellor of the Exchequer, and the king announced that he had intrusted the direction of affairs to him, and the Lords Egremont and Halifax, the Secretaries of State, whence they soon acquired the name of "The Triumvirate." The Duke of Bedford quitted his post as ambassador at Paris, and was succeeded by the Earl of Hertford. The Earl of Sandwich became head of the Admiralty, and the Earl of Shelburne head of the Board of Trade. Old Marshal Ligonier was removed from the post of Master of the Ordnance to make way for the Marquis of Granby, but received a peerage. These changes being completed, the king closed the Session of Parliament on the 19th of April, with a speech, in which he declared the peace honourable to his Crown, and beneficial to his people.The Council now recalled the English troops from Rohilcund; and Bristow demanded, in the name of the Council, from Asaph-ul-Dowlah, the young Nabob, a full payment of all arrears; and announced that, Sujah Dowlah being dead, the treaty with him was at an end. Under pressure of these demands, Bristow, by instructions from the new regnant members of the Council, compelled the young Nabob to enter into a fresh treaty with them; and in this treaty they introduced a clause to the full as infamous as anything which Hastings had done. In return for renewing the possession of the provinces of Corah and Allahabad, they compelled him to cede to them the territory of Cheyte Sing, the Rajah of Benares, though this did not at all belong to the Nabob of Oude, and was, moreover, guaranteed to Cheyte Sing by Hastings, in solemn treaty. The revenue of Cheyte Sing, thus lawlessly taken possession of, amounted to twenty-two millions of rupees; and the Nabob of Oude was also, on his own account, bound to discharge all his father's debts and engagements to the Company, and to raise greatly the pay to the Company's brigade. Hastings utterly refused to sanction these proceedings; but the Directors at home, who cared not how or whence money came, warmly approved of the transactions.
To this communication Sir Robert Peel returned the following reply:—"Sir Robert Peel presents his humble duty to your Majesty, and has had the honour of receiving your Majesty's note this morning. Sir Robert Peel trusts that your Majesty will permit him to state to your Majesty his impression with respect to the circumstances which have led to the termination of his attempts to form an Administration for the conduct of your Majesty's service. In the interview with which you honoured Sir Robert Peel yesterday morning, after he had submitted to your Majesty the names of those he proposed to recommend to your Majesty for the principal executive appointments, he mentioned to your Majesty his earnest wish to be enabled, by your Majesty's sanction, so to constitute your Majesty's Household that your Majesty's confidential servants might have the advantage of a public demonstration of your Majesty's full support and confidence, and at the same time, so far as possible, consistent with such demonstration, each individual appointment in the Household should be entirely acceptable to your Majesty's personal feelings. On your Majesty's expressing a desire that the Earl of Liverpool should hold an office in the Household, Sir Robert Peel immediately requested your Majesty's permission at once to confer on Lord Liverpool the office of Lord Steward, or any other office which he might prefer. Sir Robert Peel then observed that he should have every wish to apply a similar principle to the chief appointments which are filled by the Ladies of your Majesty's Household; upon which your Majesty was pleased to remark, that you must retain the whole of these appointments, and that it was your Majesty's pleasure that the whole should continue as at present, without any change. The Duke of Wellington, in the interview to which your Majesty subsequently admitted him, understood also that this was your Majesty's determination, and concurred with Sir Robert Peel in opinion that, considering the great difficulties of the present crisis, and the expediency of making every effort, in the first instance, to conduct the public business of the country with the aid of the present Parliament, it was essential to the success of the mission with which your Majesty had honoured Sir Robert Peel that he should have such public proof of your Majesty's entire support and confidence, as would be afforded by the permission to make some changes in your Majesty's Household, which your Majesty resolved on maintaining entirely without change. Having had the opportunity, through your Majesty's gracious consideration, of reflecting upon this point, he humbly submits to your Majesty that he is reluctantly compelled, by a sense of public duty, and of the interests of your Majesty's service, to adhere to the opinion which he ventured to express to your Majesty." Subsequent explanations proved that the gaucherie of Sir Robert Peel was chiefly responsible for the crisis. He was right in principle, but he was wrong in the abrupt manner in which he appeared to force the change of the Ladies upon the Queen. The Duke, with his usual shrewdness, had foreseen that the accession of a female Sovereign would place the Conservatives at a disadvantage, because, said he, "Peel has no manners, and I have no small talk."given out. Total
The English Roman Catholics produced an historian—Dr. Lingard—who, for the correctness and strength of his diction, as well as the extent of his learning, ranks among the first names in this department of literature. He was a man of great force of mind, remarkable acuteness in testing historical evidence, and considerable powers of description. Being a priest, it was not to be expected that he would be impartial in his treatment of the events and characters of the Reformation, and the subsequent conflicts between the Churches of England and Rome. Of his own Church he was a zealous defender and a skilful apologist; but where that bias did not interfere, his judgments were generally sound. He died in 1851.At the opening of 1841 the country might be said to be free from all excitement on the subject of politics. There was no great question at issue, no struggle between rival parties seemed impending. Many of the principal topics which in former years had agitated the public mind had been settled or laid to rest. The Chartist riots seemed to have abated the desire of the leading Reformers to extend the suffrage to the working classes. Still the Government was lamentably weak, and only existed on sufferance. Nor did the conduct of affairs in the House of Commons tend to strengthen their position. The reintroduction by Lord Stanley of his Bill to regulate the registration of voters in Ireland led to much angry discussion with damaging results to the Government, who had already suffered grievous defeats in attempting to arrest the progress of the measure during the previous Session. Two days later Lord Morpeth brought in a Government Bill for the same object. The main features of the plan were to abolish certificates; to make the register conclusive of the right to vote, except where disqualification afterwards appeared; to establish an annual revision of the registers, and to give a right of appeal equally to the claimant and the objector. The main point of difference between this and Lord Stanley's Bill consisted in the tribunal to which the appeal was to be made. The Government proposed for this purpose the creation of a new court, consisting of three barristers of a certain standing. An additional feature of the Government Bill was a proposal to settle the question of the basis of the franchise by fixing upon the Poor Law valuation as the standard; and the Bill proposed to enact that every occupier of a tenement under a holding of not less than fourteen years, of the annual value of ￡5, should have the right of voting previously enjoyed by persons who had a beneficial interest of ￡10. The Conservatives complained of the unfairness of thus introducing by surprise a fundamental alteration in the elective franchise of Ireland, founded upon principles unknown both in England and Scotland. It was represented as a new Reform Bill for Ireland, tacked on as a postscript to a Bill for amending the registration. The ￡5 franchise, it was argued, would in effect be little short of the introduction of universal suffrage. The House divided on the respective merits of the rival Bills, when the Government measure was carried by a majority of five. The result was hailed with cheers from both sides of the House, the Opposition regarding the victory as little better than a defeat. Lord John Russell at first announced that he would proceed immediately with the measure, but he afterwards moved its postponement till the 23rd of April. During the interval Lord Morpeth announced the conversion of the Ministry to the principle of an ￡8 rating. When the question was introduced again, on the 26th of April, it gave rise to a party debate. While the House was in committee on Lord Morpeth's Bill, Lord Howick proposed an amendment to the effect that the tenant, in order to entitle him to the franchise, should have a beneficial interest in his holding of ￡5 a year over and above the rent. Lord Morpeth proposed as a qualification for the franchise a lease of fourteen years, and a low rating of ￡8. Lord Howick proposed that the yearly tenant should be entitled to vote as well as the leaseholder if he had an annual interest of ￡5 in it; but Lord Morpeth contended, and showed from statistics, that this principle would disfranchise more than three-fourths of the ￡10 tenant voters in several of the counties. In short, it would have the effect of almost entirely disfranchising the existing occupying constituency of Ireland. On a division, Lord Howick's amendment was carried by 291 to 270. Finally the Bill was reduced to such a jumble of contradictory amendments that it was impossible to proceed with it. Thus ended the great struggle of the Session. Much time had been wasted in party debates and fruitless discussions, and the proposal to give the Irish people the benefit of the Reform Act by putting its perishing constituencies on a proper basis, simple as it may seem, utterly failed. Lord Stanley also abandoned his measure, and there the matter ended. The whole of the proceedings plainly indicated that the doom of Lord Melbourne's feeble Cabinet was at hand.
Before the termination of the reign there were active preparations for putting steam-engines on all iron railroads. So early as 1758, Watt, who afterwards did so much in the construction of steam-engines, had an idea that locomotive engines might be put on such roads. In 1770 such an engine was actually made and worked by John Theophilus Cugnot, in Paris, but he had not discovered sufficient means of controlling it. In 1802 Messrs. Trevethick and Vivian exhibited such an engine running along the streets in London. In 1805 the same gentlemen again exhibited one of their engines working on a tram-road at Merthyr Tydvil, drawing ten tons of iron at the rate of five miles an hour; and in 1811 Mr. Blenkinsop was running an engine on the Middleton Colliery, near Leeds, drawing a hundred tons on a dead level at the rate of three and a half miles an hour, and going at the rate of ten miles when only lightly loaded. Blenkinsop had made the wheels of his engines to act by cogs on indented rails; for there was a strong persuasion at that period that the friction of plain wheels on plain rails would not be sufficient to enable the engine to progress with its load. The folly of this idea had already been shown on all the colliery lines in the kingdom, and by the engine of Trevethick and Vivian at Merthyr. The fallacy, however, long prevailed. But during this time Thomas Gray was labouring to convince the public of the immense advantages to be derived from steam trains on railways. In five editions of his work, and by numerous memorials to Ministers, Parliament, lord mayors, etc., he showed that railroads must supersede coaches for passengers, and waggons and canals for goods. He was the first projector of a general system of railroads, laid down maps for comprehensive general lines for both England and Ireland, invented turn-tables, and very accurately calculated the cost of constructing lines. For these services he was termed a madman, and the Edinburgh Review recommended that he should be secured in a strait jacket. In his "Life of George Stephenson" Dr. Smiles takes exception to the statement that Thomas Gray was the originator of railways, and transfers that term to Stephenson. Let us be correct; Gray was the projector, Stephenson the constructor of railways. But it is not to be supposed that Gray had sold five editions of his work without Stephenson, and perhaps every engineer, having read and profited by it. Yet, so little had Stephenson any idea of the real scope and capacity of railways, that it was not till five years after the running of his engines on such lines, by Dr. Smiles's own showing, that he ever imagined such a thing as their becoming the general medium of human transit. He tells us Mr. Edward Pease suggested to him to put an old long coach on the Darlington and Stockton line, attached to the luggage trucks, and see if people might not wish to travel by it. Gray had demonstrated all this long before. He stood in the place of the architect, Stephenson only of the builder who carries out the architect's design. Seven years only after the death of George III. the railway line between Manchester and Liverpool was commenced, and from its successful opening, on the 15th of September, 1830, dates the amazing development of the present railway system.On the 6th of May Lord Pelham communicated to the Lords, and Mr. Addington to the Commons, another message from his Majesty, informing them that he had ordered Lord Whitworth, our Ambassador, to quit Paris immediately, unless he saw a prospect of closing the negotiations with the First Consul within a certain date; and that M. Andreossi, the French Ambassador, had applied for his passport, in order to quit London when Lord Whitworth should quit Paris. In consequence of the uncertainty of the result there was an adjournment, and then a second; but on the 16th of May all suspense was terminated by the announcement of Ministers that Lord Whitworth had quitted Paris, and M. Andreossi London. The papers which had passed between this Government and France, in the late negotiations, were ordered to be produced, and an Order in Council was issued, directing reprisals to be granted against the ships, goods, and subjects of the French Republic, and also for an embargo not only on all French ships in British ports, but on all Dutch vessels, and vessels of any Power under the military rule of France. Britain was once more at war. On the 17th of June the king announced, by message, that, in consequence of the Batavian Republic refusing to order the French troops to quit Holland—which, indeed, would have paid no attention to such orders—he had recalled his Ambassador from the Hague and had issued letters of marque and reprisals against that Republic. Thus, we were also at war with Holland. At the same time a demand was made for a grant of sixty thousand pounds, and a pension of sixteen thousand pounds per annum to the Prince of Orange, the ex-Stadtholder, on the plea that he was an exile and destitute; and the grant was voted. Parliament was now daily occupied in passing fresh measures for the defence of the country. It was voted, on the 20th of June, that a reserve army of fifty thousand should be raised by ballot, like the militia; and, indeed, it was no other than the extension of the militia: for during the war this division was to serve only in Great Britain, Ireland, and the Channel Islands. On the 18th of July it was proposed to pass a Bill enabling his Majesty to raise a levy en masse in case of invasion. Pitt strongly supported it, and proposed fresh fortifications on the coasts.Wurmser advanced down the valley of Trent with fifty thousand men, whose number was increased, by the remains of the army of Beaulieu, to sixty thousand. With such a force well conducted, the Austrians might have worsted Buonaparte, whose troops were not more than forty-five thousand, and already greatly harassed by rapid marches. But there was no comparison between the genius of the commanders. The conduct of the Austrians was a series of fatal blunders. Had the Archduke Charles been there it might have been different; but the first thing which Wurmser did was to weaken himself by dividing his forces, and sending one detachment under Quasdanowich along the western shore of the Lake of Garda, and marching along the eastern bank himself with the other. The quick eye of Buonaparte instantly saw his advantage; neither of the divisions was now equal to his own, and he beat them both in detail. He raised the blockade of Mantua, defeated Quasdanowich at Lonato, chased him back into the mountains, and then engaged and routed him twice near Castiglione, on the 3rd and 5th of August. Wurmser had to make a hasty retreat into the mountains, leaving behind his artillery and many thousand men slain. Buonaparte pursued him into the very gorges of the Tyrol, and inflicted fresh losses upon him. The sturdy but not very bright old Austrian, however, made a detour in the hills, and again issued on the plains from the valley of the Brenta. With remarkable address and agility for him, he made his way to Mantua, and threw himself into the fortress with the wretched remains of his army, about eighteen thousand men.
[See larger version]Whilst things were in this position, Parliament met on the 13th of November. The great question on which the fate of the Ministry depended was that of the subsidies to Hesse and Russia. It was something new to see not merely an ordinary opposition, but the Chancellor of the Exchequer and the Paymaster of the Forces—Legge and Pitt—ranging themselves against the king and their colleagues on this question. In the House of Lords the Address in reply to the royal speech, which implied approbation of these subsidies, was supported by Newcastle, Hardwicke, and the Duke of Bedford, who hitherto, since quitting office, had opposed everything, and was opposed by Lords Temple and Halifax. But the great struggle was in the Commons. The debate began at two in the afternoon, and continued till five the next morning—the longest hitherto recorded, except the one on the Westminster election in 1741. On this occasion William Gerard Hamilton made his first and almost last speech, which acquired him promotion in the Government of Ireland, and the cognomen of "Single-speech Hamilton." Murray spoke splendidly in defence of the subsidies; but Pitt, rising at one o'clock in the morning, after sitting eleven hours in that heated atmosphere, burst out upon the whole system of German subsidies with a tempest of eloquence which held the House in astonished awe. He denounced the whole practice of feeing the little German potentates as monstrous, useless, absurd, and desperate: an eternal drain on England for no single atom of benefit. He compared the union of Newcastle and Fox to the union of the Rh?ne and Sa?ne—a boisterous and impetuous torrent, with a shallow, languid, and muddy stream. But though Pitt's eloquence dismayed and confounded Ministers, it could not prevent their majority. The Address was carried by three hundred and eleven votes against one hundred and five; and it was now clear that Pitt must quit the Cabinet. In fact, in a very few days, not only he, but Legge and George Grenville, were summarily dismissed, and James Grenville, the other brother, resigned his seat at the Board of Trade.
Sir Mark Isambard Brunel, a hero of mechanical science, made a great step in advance by the invention of self-acting machinery to supersede the work of artisans, by which a new epoch was created in art. The greatest effort of Brunel was the Thames Tunnel, a structure of perfect firmness and solidity laid on a quicksand, and forced through a quaking mass of mud, which will endure like the cloac? of regal Rome, when the palace and the cathedral have crumbled to dust. He was enabled to accomplish this prodigious work by means of "the shield"—a movable vertical frame of cast iron, provided with thirty-six cells, in each of which a man was placed with a pick to excavate the area, this frame or shield being moved bodily forward by powerful screws, while the bricklayers brought up the arched masonry behind, which was then beyond the power of injury. The works, however, were several times "drowned" during their progress by the irruptions of the Thames, but every fresh difficulty was met successfully by the heroic engineer. The tunnel was commenced on the 2nd of March, 1825, and finished on the 25th of March, 1843. Brunel survived the completion of this, his greatest work, above six years, dying on the 12th of December, 1849.News now came that the Brest fleet was putting to sea. On the 7th of May Lord Bridport went on board and ordered anchor to be weighed. Not a man stirred; nor was it likely. No sooner had Lord Bridport told them what was not true, that their demands were acceded to, than, in the House of Lords and the House of Commons, Ministers had spoken of the subject in very ambiguous terms, and the Board of Admiralty had only ended the ambiguity by issuing an order on the 1st of May, commanding, in consequence of "the disposition lately shown by the seamen of several of his Majesty's ships," that the arms and ammunition of the marines should be kept in readiness for use in harbour, as well as at sea; and that on the first appearance of mutiny the most vigorous measures should be taken to quell it. This was ordering the officers of marines to fire on the sailors who should refuse to be thus shamefully juggled out of their promised rights by the Government. On board the London, Vice-Admiral Colpoys pushed the matter so far that his men resisted orders; and as one was unlashing a gun, Simpson, the first-lieutenant, told him that if he did not desist he would shoot him. The man went on unlashing, and Simpson shot him dead! On this, the sailors, in a rage, disarmed the officers and proceeded to hang Simpson at the yard-arm. Colpoys then begged for the lieutenant's life, assuring them that the order was his own, and that Simpson had only done his duty in obeying it. The chaplain and surgeon joined in the entreaty; and the men, far more merciful and reasonable than their commanders, complied. They ordered, however, Colpoys and all the officers to their respective cabins, and put the marines, without arms, below deck. Similar scenes took place on the other ships, and the fleet remained in the hands of the sailors from the 7th to the 11th of May, when Lord Howe arrived with an Act of Parliament, granting all their demands. Howe, who was old and infirm, persuaded them to prepare a petition for a full pardon. They, however, accompanied this petition by an assurance that they would not serve again under the tyrannical officers whom they had put on shore; and this was conceded. Admiral Colpoys was included in this list of officers proscribed by their oppressed men, along with four captains, twenty-nine lieutenants, seventeen masters' mates, twenty-five midshipmen, five captains of marines, three lieutenants, four surgeons, and thirteen petty officers of marines. The whole being arranged on the 15th of May, the red flag was struck; and the deputies waited on Lord Howe to express their obligations to him for his kind services on behalf of the oppressed seamen. His lordship gave them luncheon, and then was escorted by them, along with Lady Howe, on board the fleet. On their return, they carried Lord Howe on their shoulders to the Governor's House. Sir Roger Curtis's squadron had just come in from a cruise, and on learning what had passed, declared themselves ready to support the rest of the fleet; but the news which Howe had brought at once satisfied them, and all eagerly prepared to set sail, and demonstrate their loyal zeal by an encounter with the Brest fleet.
Colombian 19 0 0 82 0 0A commission was then moved for, under the Great Seal, by Lord Camden, and in this commission were included the names of the Prince of Wales, the Dukes of York, Gloucester, and Cumberland. These royal personages, however, declined to be named in it. With these remarkable omissions, Camden's motion was passed, and the result was communicated to the Commons, on which Pitt, on the 2nd of February, moved for the concurrence of that House. This again brought up the question of the prince's right. Lord North, who, though now blind, had mixed in these debates with his usual moderation, and with a great display of good sense, based on official experience, expressed his pleasure that the prince had condescended to accept the regency, notwithstanding its limitations. This prudence, he observed, had given the country an agreeable surprise, considering the temptations to stand upon his right, which must have produced inconceivable embarrassments. Pitt could not resist the impulse to arise and again deny the right, and observe that he believed those who had advocated that right were now really ashamed of it. This immediately called up Burke, for Fox was ill, and away at Bath, and he exclaimed, "I assert that the Prince of Wales's right is clear as the sun, and that it is the duty of the House to appoint him regent, with the full powers of sovereignty." He asserted with equal warmth, that Ministers were about to purloin the Great Seal, and commit an act of forgery. A stormy debate followed, in which Burke's violence was met with moderation and dignity.
The great meeting had been intended to take place on the 9th of August; and on the 31st of July an advertisement appeared in the Manchester Observer calling on the inhabitants to meet on the 9th in the area near St. Peter's Church for the purpose of electing a representative to Parliament, as well as for adopting Major Cartwright's plan of Parliamentary Reform. This immediately drew from the magistrates a notice that such a meeting would be illegal, and that those who attended it would do so at their peril. The working men on this announced that the meeting would not take place, and a requisition was presented to the borough-reeve and constables, requesting leave to hold such a meeting. It was refused; and on its refusal the people proceeded with their original design, only appointing the 16th as the day of meeting, with Hunt in the chair.Great attention during this reign was devoted to the manufacturing of clocks and watches. To such eminence had the English manufacture of watches arrived, that in 1799 it was calculated that the value of watches and marine chronometers alone manufactured in and around London amounted to a million of money yearly. In 1762 John Harrison claimed the reward offered by Act of Parliament for a chronometer which would ascertain the longitude within sixty, forty, or thirty miles. For the least accurate of these the reward was ten thousand pounds, for the next more accurate fifteen thousand pounds, and for the best twenty thousand pounds. Harrison produced a chronometer which, after two voyages to the West Indies, entitled him to the highest prize, but a fresh Act of Parliament was passed, refusing him more than two thousand five hundred pounds until he had made known the principle of his invention, and assigned his chronometer for the public use. Even when these new terms were complied with he was only to receive ten thousand pounds, and the remainder on the correctness of the chronometer having been sufficiently tested. Harrison very justly complained of these new stipulations, and of the delays thus interposed; but in 1767, nine years before his decease, he obtained the full amount of the premium. In 1774 a premium of five thousand pounds was offered by Act of Parliament for a chronometer that should ascertain the longitude within one degree of a great circle, or sixty geographical miles; seven thousand five hundred pounds for one that would ascertain the longitude within two-thirds of that distance; and ten thousand pounds for one that would ascertain it within half a degree. This called out the efforts of various competitors—Harrison, Meadge, Kendal, Coombe, and numbers of others. In 1777 Meadge produced two, which were submitted to the test of the Astronomer-Royal, Dr. Maskelyne, and pronounced unfavourably upon; but Meadge petitioned Parliament against this decision, and, on the report of a committee on his chronometers, he was awarded a premium of two thousand five hundred pounds.
Sir Walter Scott was the master of the ceremonies on this memorable occasion. He was now in the height of his popularity as the "Great Unknown." His romances had revived or created the spirit of chivalry, and ministered to the intense nationality of the Scottish people in general, and the Highland clans in particular. In arranging the programme Sir Walter had as many parts to play as ever tasked the Protean genius of his friend Mathews. The bewildered local magistrates threw themselves on him for advice and direction. He had to arrange everything, from the ordering of a procession to the cut of a button and the embroidering of a cross. Provosts, bailies, and deacon-conveners of trades were followed, in hurried succession, by swelling chieftains wrangling about the relative positions their clans had occupied on the field of Bannockburn, which they considered as constituting the authentic precedent for determining their respective places in the procession from the pier of Leith to the Canongate.
There was besides a tax called Church Cess, levied by Protestants in vestry meetings upon Roman Catholics for cleaning the church, ringing the bell, washing the minister's surplice, purchasing bread and wine for the communion, and paying the salary of the parish clerk. This tax was felt to be a direct and flagrant violation of the rights of conscience, and of the principles of the British Constitution; and against it there was a determined opposition, which manifested itself in tumultuous and violent assemblages at the parish churches all over the country on Easter Monday, when the rector or his curate, as chairman of the meeting, came into angry collision with flocks who disowned him, and denounced him as a tyrant, a persecutor, and a robber.详情
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