THE STANDARD OF PRINCE CHARLIE'S BODYGUARD, TAKEN AT CULLODEN. (In the possession of Sir Archibald Lamb at Beauport, Sussex.)[See larger version]
Mar had left London on the 2nd of August to raise the Highlands. In order to blind the agents of Government he ordered a royal levée on the 1st, and on the following night got on board a collier bound for Newcastle, attended by Major-General Hamilton and Colonel Hay. From Newcastle they got to the coast of Fife in another vessel. On the 6th of September he raised the standard of the Chevalier at Kirkmichael, a village of Braemar. He was then attended by only sixty men, and the Highland chiefs, extremely alive to omens, were startled by the gilt ball falling from the summit of the pole as it was planted in the ground. The standard was consecrated by prayers, and he was in a few days joined by about five hundred of his own vassals. The gentlemen who came on horseback, only about twenty at first, soon became several hundreds, and were named the Royal Squadron. The white cockade was assumed as the badge of the insurgent army, and clan after clan came in; first the Mackintoshes, five hundred in number, who seized on Inverness. James was proclaimed by Panmure at Brechin, by the Earl Marshal at Aberdeen, by Lord Huntly at Gordon, and by Graham, the brother of Claverhouse, at Dundee. Colonel Hay, brother of the Earl of Kinnaird, seized Perth, and in a very short time the country north of the Tay was in the hands of the insurgents.The Empress Maria Theresa, never reconciling herself to the seizure of Silesia by Frederick, and not finding England disposed to renew a war for the object of recovering it, applied to her old enemy, France. It required some ability to accomplish this object of detaching France from its ancient policy of hostility to Austria, pursued ever since the days of Henry IV., and in severing the alliance with Prussia; but her Minister, Kaunitz, who had been her ambassador in Paris, contrived to effect it. The temptation was thrown out of the surrender of Belgic provinces to augment France, in return for assistance in recovering German possessions from Prussia. To add fresh stimulus to this change, the vengeance of offended woman was brought into play. Madame Pompadour, Louis XV.'s all-powerful mistress, had sent flattering compliments to Frederick by Voltaire; but the Prussian king only repaid them with sneers. On the other hand, the virtuous Maria Theresa did not blush to write, with her own hand, the most flattering epistles to the Pompadour. By these means, the thirst of revenge raised in the heart of the French mistress worked successfully the breach with Prussia and the alliance with Austria. The same stimulus was tried, and with equal effect, on the Czarina Elizabeth, on whose amorous licence the cynical Prussian monarch had been equally jocose. Kaunitz knew how to make the sting of these ungallant sallies felt at both Paris and St. Petersburg, and the winter of 1755-6 saw the Russian alliance with Prussia and England renounced, the English subsidy, with far more than German probity, renounced too, and Russia pledged to support Austria and France. The Elector of Saxony, Augustus, King of Poland, who amused himself with low pot-house companions and tame bears, and left his affairs to his minister, Count Brühl, was also induced, by the promise of Prussian territory, to join the league; and even Sweden, whose queen, Ulrica, was sister to Frederick, was drawn over to take side against him, in the hope of recovering its ancient province of Pomerania. This confederation of ninety millions of people, leagued against five millions, was pronounced by Pitt "one of the most powerful and malignant ones that ever yet threatened the independence of mankind."
At the very moment that these negotiations on the part of Britain were going on, Buonaparte, who had been appointed to the command of the army of Italy, was achieving there victory after victory. Genoa had shut her ports against our ships, Naples had concluded peace with France, Spain had been induced to proclaim war against us, and Hoche had sailed for Ireland with twenty-five thousand troops. On the 19th of December Lord Malmesbury received a message to quit Paris within forty-eight hours, with the additional assurance, that whenever Great Britain was prepared to accept the terms of France, an ordinary courier would answer the same purpose as well as a lord. The blame of continuing the war thus lay entirely with the French.The king's speech, at the opening of this Session, recommended a consideration of the trade and general condition of Ireland; and indeed it was time, for the concessions which had been made by the Rockingham Ministry had only created a momentary tranquillity. The Volunteers retaining their arms in their hands after the close of the American war, were evidently bent on imitating the proceedings of the Americans, and the direction of the movement passed from Grattan to Flood. In September, 1785, delegates from all the Volunteer corps in Ireland met at Dungannon, representing one hundred thousand men, who passed resolutions declaring their independence of the legislature of Great Britain. The delegates at Dungannon claimed the right to reform the national Parliament, and appointed a Convention to meet in Dublin in the month of November, consisting of delegates from the whole Volunteer army in Ireland. Accordingly, on the 10th of November, the great Convention met in Dublin, and held their meetings in the Royal Exchange. They demanded a thorough remodelling of the Irish Constitution. They declared that as matters stood the Irish House of Commons was wholly independent of the people; that its term of duration was equally unconstitutional; and they passed zealous votes of thanks to their friends in England. These friends were the ultra-Reformers of England, who had freely tendered the Irish Reformers their advice and sympathy. The Irish people were ready to hail the delegates as their true Parliament, and the regular Parliament as pretenders. Within Parliament House itself the most violent contentions were exhibited between the partisans of the Volunteer Parliament and the more orthodox reformers. Henry Flood was the prominent advocate of the extreme movement, and Grattan, who regarded this agitation as certain to end only in fresh coercion, instead of augmented liberty for Ireland, vehemently opposed it.
The Ministers, instead of making rational concessions to the demands of the people for Reform, proceeded without delay to fresh aggressions on their liberties. Not contented with the existing suspension of the Habeas Corpus Act, and with introducing into the Lords a Bill for the protection of the king's person and Government, they passed a law prohibiting all political meetings, and another to extend the law of treason; they recommenced arrests and prosecutions, and sent out shoals of spies and informers, so that all the safeguards of public liberty were completely annihilated. These despotic measures did not pass without energetic opposition and a good deal of violent language from Fox; but all remonstrance was useless against Pitt's majority. Still the alarm of the Government was not allayed. On the 8th of December the king sent a message to both Houses, reiterating his assurance of an earnest desire to negotiate peace with France. The Opposition very properly pointed out that, so far as France was concerned, victorious in its armies, and as anti-monarchical in its government as ever, there were less hopes of any consent on its part to peace than when the Opposition had so repeatedly urged the same measure. In this unsatisfactory state closed the year 1795.LORD ELDON. (After the Portrait by Sir Thomas Lawrence.)
These enactments, unaccompanied by any others the object of which was to relieve the distress of the people, only tended still more to exasperate the feelings of the working classes. In fact, nothing had been so obvious as the effect of the proceedings of Government of late in disturbing that peace which they professed themselves so desirous to preserve. They, in truth, were the real agitators. The passing of the Six Acts only made the popular resentment the deeper, and whilst this tended to render the more prudent Reformers cautious, it stimulated the lowest and most unprincipled of them to actual and deadly conspiracy. The general conspiracy believed in by Ministers never existed, but a conspiracy was actually on foot in London, which again was found to have been, if not originally excited, yet actively stimulated, by the agents of Government. The details of this transaction, and of the concluding scene of the Manchester outrage, namely, the trial of Hunt and his associates, necessarily lead us about two months beyond the death of George III., which took place on the 29th of January, 1820. In November, 1819, whilst Government were framing their Six Acts, the more completely to coerce the people, they were again sending amongst them incendiaries to urge them to an open breach of the laws in order to furnish justifications for their despotic policy. The leading miscreant of this class was a man named Edwards, who kept a small shop at Eton for the sale of plaster casts. Some of the emissaries appeared at Middleton, the place of Bamford's abode, but he was in prison awaiting his trial with Hunt and the rest, and the people tempted were too cautious to listen to these agents of Government. But in London these agents found more combustible materials, and succeeded in leading into the snare some who had been long ready for any folly or crime. Chief amongst these was Thistlewood, who had been a lieutenant in the army, a man who had, or conceived that he had, suffered injustice at the hands of Ministers, and who had wrought up his temper to the perpetration of some desperate deed. Bamford when in London, in 1816, had found Thistlewood mixed up with the Spenceans, and to be met with any day at their places of resort—the "Cock," in Grafton Street, the "Mulberry Tree," in Moorfields, the "Nag's Head," Carnaby Market, No. 8, Lumber Street, Borough, and a public-house in Spa Fields, called "Merlin's Cave." At these places they might be found, amidst clouds of tobacco-smoke and the fumes of beer, discussing remedies for the miserable condition of the people. At the latter place Thistlewood was often to be found with the Watsons, Preston, and Castles, who was employed to betray them. From this spot they issued for their mad attempt on the Tower on the 2nd of December of that year. Thistlewood was one of those seized on that occasion, but was acquitted on his trial. Not warned by this, he no sooner got abroad than he sent a challenge to Lord Sidmouth, for which he was arrested, and sentenced to a year's imprisonment. He issued from gaol still more embittered against Sidmouth and his colleagues, and resolved on striking some mortal blow at them. He did not lack comrades of a like fiery and abandoned stamp, and they determined on a scheme for cutting off the whole Cabinet together. The detestable deed was to be perpetrated in the autumn of 1819, a time when the public mind, especially that of the working classes, was so embittered against the Government. They did not, however, succeed in their intentions, and it was at this crisis of unwilling delay that the man Edwards became privy to their plans. In November he carried the important, and, as he hoped, to him profitable secret to Sir Herbert Taylor, who was attached to the establishment of the king at Windsor, and by him he was introduced to Lord Sidmouth. This minister and his colleagues, with that fondness for the employment of spies, and for fomenting sedition instead of nipping it in the bud, immediately engaged Edwards, on good pay, to lead forward the conspirators into overt action. It was not enough for them that, by adding another witness or two to Edwards, they would be able to produce the most complete proof of the treason of these men—they rather luxuriated in the nursing of this plot, and thus ripening it into something bloody and horrible; and in this they succeeded.The Marquis Wellesley was sent over to Ireland by Lord Liverpool in order to govern Ireland upon this principle; and he might have succeeded better if he had not been checked by Mr. Goulburn, the Chief Secretary, distinguished by his hostility to Catholic Emancipation, who was appointed "viceroy over him." In a letter which the Marquis wrote to the Duke of Buckingham (June 14th, 1824) he refers to some of the difficulties with which he had to contend in carrying out an impartial policy between the extreme parties, which were then very violent. His labours, however, in enforcing respect for the law and effecting improvements were not altogether in vain. "The situation of Ireland," he writes, "although very unsatisfactory, is certainly much improved, and foundations of greater improvement have been firmly laid. The committees of Parliament have done much good; and, if vigorously and fairly pursued, may effect a permanent settlement of this distracted country. The present violent collision of the two ultra parties, or rather factions, Orange and Papist, is a crisis of the disorder which was necessary to their mutual dissolution, an event which I think is fast approaching, and which must be the preliminary of any settlement of peace."Such being the state of our relations with America, Sir Robert Peel's Government determined to send to Washington a special ambassador who should be clothed with full powers to effect an amicable adjustment of all the causes of dispute. The gentleman selected for this purpose was Lord Ashburton. A more judicious selection could not possibly have been made. Mr. Alexander Baring, who had been raised to the peerage in 1835, having been previously President of the Board of Trade and Master of the Mint, was known throughout the world as one of our merchant princes, and was the husband of an American lady, the daughter of Mr. William Bingham, of Philadelphia, a senator of the United States. The hopes which his mission excited were not disappointed. He sailed from England in February, 1842, and after a tedious and stormy passage, arrived at New York on the 1st of April. He immediately entered upon negotiations with Mr. Webster. They continued till the month of August, when a treaty was agreed upon and signed at Washington by the two plenipotentiaries, the mutual exchange of ratifications to take place in London within six months of that date. By that treaty the line of the north-eastern boundary was settled, concession on the St. John being purchased by the surrender of a strip of land to the States of New York and Vermont. It was stipulated that Great Britain and America should each maintain a sufficient squadron or naval force, carrying not less than eighty guns, for the purpose of enforcing, separately and respectively, the laws, rights, and obligations of each of the two countries for the suppression of the slave trade, and should use their joint influence for suppressing the slave markets. It also provided for the mutual delivery to justice of all persons charged with murder, or assault with intent to murder, or with piracy, robbery, forgery, and arson committed within the jurisdiction of either country, should they be found within the territories of the other; but the evidence of criminality should be sufficient to warrant the committal for trial of the fugitive according to the laws of the country in which he was apprehended. This was a distinct withdrawal of Lord Palmerston's pretensions with regard to the McLeod affair. The mission was thus eminently successful, but Lord Palmerston was of another opinion, and declaimed in the House of Commons against the "Ashburton surrender." But the Commons were unprepared to condemn the work, and the debate ended in a count-out. The House of Lords, on the motion of Brougham, passed a vote of thanks to Lord Ashburton.
Notwithstanding these apprehensions, the reception actually given to Lord Anglesey was not at all so disgraceful to the country as he was led to anticipate. Mr. O'Connell kept out of the way; but a numerous assemblage of the most respectable citizens greeted his arrival at Kingstown, and escorted him to Dublin Castle, Lord Cloncurry and Lord Howth riding at the head of the procession. The populace confined the expression of their feeling to a few groans for "Dirty Doherty," whose promotion to the chief seat of the Court of Common Pleas was the alleged offence of Lord Anglesey. He was scarcely a week in Ireland, however, when O'Connell opened the Repeal campaign. A meeting of the trades of Dublin had been arranged for the 27th of December, to march in procession from Phibsborough to his residence in Merrion Square, to present him with an address of thanks for his advocacy of a domestic legislature. Sworn informations having been laid before the Lord-Lieutenant to the effect that serious disturbances were apprehended from this procession, he issued a proclamation on Christmas Day, forbidding it under the Act for the suppression of dangerous associations or assemblies. Mr. O'Connell therefore issued a notice, counter-manding the meeting. On the 4th of January Mr. O'Connell sent a deputation to Lord Cloncurry, to ask him to preside over a Repeal meeting, which he declined. "Those who knew Mr. O'Connell," writes his lordship, "who recollect what a creature of impulse he was, how impatiently he bore with any difference from his opinions, and what a storm was the first burst of his wrath, will not wonder at what followed. Three very long letters were immediately issued, especially devoted to the business of vituperating me, but with ample digressions maledictory of Lord Anglesey." In a few days, he adds, the fever was brought to a crisis by the arrest of Mr. O'Connell and his agitation staff, "after a brisk pursuit through a labyrinth of ingenious devices, whereby he sought to evade the law, in the course of which it was found necessary to discharge five or six proclamations against him. To-day, Mr. O'Connell's audience and claqueurs were termed 'The Society of the Friends of Ireland of all Religious Persuasions.' To-morrow they were 'The General Association of Ireland for the Prevention of Unlawful Meetings,' and for the protection and exercise of the sacred right of petitioning for the redress of grievances. Then, again, they were a nameless body of persons, in the habit of meeting weekly at a place called Home's Hotel; and as the hunt continued, they successively escaped from each daily proclamation under the changing appellations of 'The Irish Society for Legal and Legislative Relief'; or 'The Anti-union Association'; 'The Association of Irish Volunteers for the Repeal of the union'; 'The Subscribers to the Parliamentary Intelligence Office, Stephen Street'; until they were fairly run down at a breakfast party at Hayes Hotel."
THE CORONATION OF QUEEN VICTORIA. (After the Picture by Sir George Hayter.)[See larger version]A few sketches of the state of the population given by the agents of the Relief Committee of the Society of Friends, who exerted themselves nobly in relieving the distress, may help to give us a more vivid impression of the horrors of the famine. At Boyle they found numbers that had eaten nothing but cabbages or turnips for weeks. The children were in a condition of starvation, ravenous with hunger. At Carrick-on-Shannon a most painful and heartrending scene presented itself: poor wretches in the last stage of famine, imploring to be received into the house; women that had six or seven children begging that even two or three of them might be taken in, as their husbands were earning but eightpence a day. Famine was written in their faces. On bread being given to some of these poor creatures, many of them devoured it with ravenous voracity. But the mothers restrained themselves, and carried home portions to their children. The famine produced a peculiar effect on the appearance of the young. Their faces looked wan and haggard, seeming like old men and women, with an extraordinary sharpness of expression; they had lost all their natural sprightliness, making no attempt to play. In the crowded workhouses their bedding consisted of dirty straw, in which they were laid in rows on the floor, even as many as six persons being crowded under one rug—the living and the dying stretched side by side beneath the same miserable covering. The town of Westport was in itself a strange and fearful sight, like what we read of in beleaguered cities; its streets crowded with gaunt wanderers, sauntering to and fro with hopeless air and hunger-struck appearance; a mob of starved, almost naked women around the poor-house, clamouring for soup-tickets.
[See larger version]SIR DAVID BAIRD.详情
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