On the 20th of January a Bill was introduced to the House of Lords for the naturalisation of the Prince. By this Act, which passed the next day through the House of Commons, the Prince was declared already exempt, by an Act passed in the sixth year of George IV., from the obligations that had previously bound all persons to receive the Lord's Supper within one month before exhibition of a Bill for their naturalisation. And the Bill was permitted to be read the second time without his having taken the oaths of Supremacy and Allegiance, as required by an Act passed in the first year of George I. But on the second reading in the House of Lords the Duke of Wellington objected that it was not merely a Bill for naturalising the Prince, but that it also contained a clause which would enable him, "during the term of his natural life, to take precedence in rank after her Majesty in Parliament, and elsewhere as her Majesty might think fit and proper," any law, statute, or custom to the contrary notwithstanding. The Duke of Wellington stated that as the title of the Bill said nothing about precedence, the House had not received due notice of its contents; he therefore moved the adjournment of the debate. Lord Melbourne remarked that the omission was purely accidental and, in his opinion, of no importance; at the same time he admitted that this Bill did differ in form from other similar Bills, as it gave the Queen power to bestow on Prince Albert a higher rank than was assigned to Prince George of Denmark, or to Prince Leopold. But the reason for the difference was to be found in the relative situation of the parties. Lord Brougham, however, pointed out a practical difficulty that might possibly arise. According to the proposed arrangement, if the Queen should die before there was any issue from the marriage, the King of Hanover would reign in this country, and his son would be Prince of Wales. Prince Albert would thus be placed in the anomalous position of a foreign naturalised Prince, the husband of a deceased Queen, with a higher rank than the Prince of Wales. Lord Londonderry decidedly objected to giving a foreign Prince precedence over the Blood Royal. In consequence of this difference of opinion the debate was adjourned till the following week, when the Lord Chancellor stated that he would propose that power should be given to the Crown to allow the Prince to take precedence next after any Heir Apparent to the Throne. Subsequently, however, Lord Melbourne expressed himself so anxious that it should pass with all possible expedition, that he would leave out everything about precedence, and make it a simple Naturalisation Bill, in which shape it immediately passed.
CAPT. THOMAS DRUMMOND, UNDER-SECRETARY FOR IRELAND.
With the reign of George III. began the real era of civil engineering. With respect to our highways there had been various Parliamentary enactments since the Revolution of 1688; but still, at the commencement of George III.'s reign, the condition of the greater part of our public roads was so dreadful as now to be almost incredible. Acts of Parliament continued to be passed for their amendment, but what was their general state we learn from the invaluable "Tours" of Arthur Young. He describes one leading from Billericay to Tilbury, in Essex, as so narrow that a mouse could not pass by any carriage, and so deep in mud that chalk-waggons were continually sticking fast in them, till so many were in that predicament that the waggoners put twenty or thirty of their horses together to pull them out. He describes the same state of things in almost every part of the country—in Norfolk, Suffolk, Wiltshire, and Lancashire. Some of them had ruts four feet deep by measure, and into these ruts huge stones were dropped to enable waggons to pass at all; and these, in their turn, broke their axles by the horrible jolting, so that within eighteen miles he saw three waggons lying in this condition. Notwithstanding, from 1785 to 1800 no fewer than six hundred and forty-three Acts of Parliament regarding roads were passed. But scarcely a penny of the money collected at the toll-bars went to the repair of the roads, but only to pay the interest of the debt on their original construction. Whatever was raised was divided amongst the members of the body known as the trustees for the original fund; and though many Acts of Parliament limited this interest, means were found for evading the restriction.From Cuddalore, Tippoo and Bussy, the French general, turned their forces against Wandewash; but they were met by Coote, though he was now sinking and failing fast. They retreated, and he attempted to make himself master of the strong fort of Arnee, where much of the booty of Hyder was deposited; but Hyder made show of fighting him whilst Tippoo carried off all the property. Tippoo was obliged to march thence towards Calicut, where the Hindoo chiefs, his tributaries, were joining the British under Colonel Mackenzie. Hyder at this moment was confounded by the news of the peace made by Hastings with the Mahrattas, and expected that those marauders would speedily fall on Mysore. His health was fast declining, and yet he dared not introduce his allies, the French, into his own territory, lest he should not so readily get them out again. Besides his suspicions of the French, he had constant fears of assassination. Hyder died in December, 1782.
The rapid growth of the commerce of the American colonies excited an intense jealousy in our West Indian Islands, which claimed a monopoly of supply of sugar, rum, molasses, and other articles to all the British possessions. The Americans trading with the French, Dutch, Spaniards, etc., took these articles in return; but the West Indian proprietors prevailed upon the British Government, in 1733, to impose a duty on the import of any produce of foreign plantations into the American colonies, besides granting a drawback on the re-exportation of West Indian sugar from Great Britain. This was one of the first pieces of legislation of which the American colonies had a just right to complain. At this period our West Indies produced about 85,000 hogsheads of sugar, or 1,200,000 cwts. About three hundred sail were employed in the trade with these islands, and some 4,500 sailors; the value of British manufactures exported thither being nearly ￡240,000 annually, but our imports from Jamaica alone averaged at that time ￡539,492. Besides rum, sugar, and molasses, we received from the West Indies cotton, indigo, ginger, pimento, cocoa, coffee, etc.
To assist the Governor-General, the British Government had sent out Sir Eyre Coote in 1780 to the scene of his former fame, not only as Commander of the Forces in place of Clavering, but also as member of Council. Coote usually supported Hastings in the Council, but he greatly embarrassed him by the insatiable spirit of avarice which had grown upon him with years; and in making arrangements with the Nabob of Oude and others to supply the means of accommodation to the old commander, Hastings largely augmented the grounds of his future persecutions. The war with the Mahrattas and the announcement of the speedy arrival of a French armament on the coast of Coromandel induced the Company's old enemy, Hyder Ali, to think it a good opportunity to recover some of his territory from the Company. He saw that the present opportunity was most favourable for taking a signal revenge on the English. For years he had concerted with the French a grand plan for the destruction of the British power; and even whilst he remained quiet, he was preparing with all his energies for its accomplishment. He had squeezed his treasurers and collectors to the utmost for the accumulation of money, and mustered an army of nearly ninety thousand men, including twenty-eight thousand cavalry and two thousand artillery and rocketmen, besides four hundred engineers, chiefly French. Hyder suddenly poured down from his hills with this host into the plains of Madras. To the last moment the authorities there appear to have been wholly unconscious of their danger. Besides this, the army in the presidency did not exceed six thousand men, and these were principally sepoys. This force, too, was spread over a vast region, part at Pondicherry, part at Arcot, part in Madras, but everywhere scattered into cantonments widely distant from each other, and in forts capable of very little defence. As for the forces of their ally, the Nabob of Arcot, they ran at the first issue of Hyder's army through the ghauts. On came the army of Hyder like a wild hurricane. Porto Novo on the coast, and Conjeveram near Trichinopoli, were taken; and Hyder advanced laying all waste with fire and sword, till he could be seen—a dreadful apparition—with his host from Mount St. Thomas, his progress marked by the flames and smoke of burning villages.Buonaparte, in his bulletin of June 21st, found a reason for this utter defeat in a panic fear that suddenly seized the army, through some evil-disposed person raising the cry of "Sauve qui peut!" But Ney denied, in his letter to the Duke of Otranto, that any such cry was raised. Another statement made very confidently in Paris was, that the Old Guard, being summoned to surrender, replied, "The Guard dies, but never surrenders!"—a circumstance which never took place, though the Guards fought with the utmost bravery.
THE PORTEOUS MOB. (See p. 67.) [After the Painting by James Drummond, R.S.A.]
[See larger version][See larger version]The Viennese repeatedly sent petitions and deputations imploring him in vain to return; and it was not till the 8th of August that he consented to quit the safe asylum he had chosen. Personally he had nothing to apprehend. He was amiable and kind, and wanted both the ability and energy to make himself feared. It was not at Vienna alone, or in the Austrian province, that the imperial power was paralysed. Every limb of the vast empire quivered in the throes of revolution. Two days after the outbreak in Vienna a great meeting, convoked anonymously, was held at Prague, the capital of Bohemia, which passed resolutions demanding constitutional government; perfect equality in the two races—German and Czech; the union of Bohemia, Moravia, and Silesia, with a common Diet to meet alternately at Prague and Brünn; that judicial proceedings should be public; that there should be a separate and responsible government at Prague, with security for personal liberty; free press, and religious equality. A deputation was sent with these demands to Vienna. They were all granted; Bohemia was recognised as having a distinct nationality; the Prince Francis Joseph, afterwards Emperor of Austria, having been appointed Viceroy. Even so Slav ambition was unsatisfied, and Prague had to be bombarded by the Austrian troops.
Great meetings were held in various towns and counties to condemn the whole proceedings, and addresses were sent up and presented to the Prince Regent which were, in fact, censures of his own conduct, and were not, therefore, received in a becoming manner. To one from the Common Council of London he replied that he received it with regret, and that those who drew it up knew little or nothing of the circumstances which preceded or attended the Manchester meeting. The fact was, that they knew these a great deal better than he did. Similar addresses were sent up from Westminster, York, Norwich, Bristol, Liverpool, Birmingham, Leeds, Sheffield, and many other towns. A meeting of the county of York was calculated at twenty thousand persons, and amongst them was the Earl Fitzwilliam, Lord-Lieutenant of the West Riding, who had also signed the requisition to the high-sheriff. For this conduct he was summarily dismissed from his lord-lieutenancy. Scarcely less offence was given by the Duke of Hamilton, Lord-Lieutenant of the county of Lanark, who sent a subscription of fifty pounds to the committee for the relief of the Manchester sufferers, expressing, at the same time, his severe censure of the outrage committed on the 16th of August. Of course, the Ministerial party in town and country did all in their power to counteract this strong and general expression of disapprobation. In Scotland and the North of England the squirearchy got up associations for raising troops of yeomanry, as in direct approval of the savage conduct of the Manchester Yeomanry. In the immediate neighbourhood of the scene of outrage the conflict of opinion between the two parties ran high. Numbers of the Manchester Yeomanry were indicted for cutting and maiming in St. Peter's Field, with intent to kill; but these bills were thrown out by the grand jury at the Lancaster assizes. An inquest at Oldham, on the body of one of the men killed, was also the scene of a fierce and regular conflict for nine days, that was put an end to by an order from the Court of King's Bench. But even men who were accustomed to support Ministers generally were startled by their conduct on this occasion. Mr. Ward, afterwards Lord Dudley and Ward, in one of his letters written from Paris at the time, but not published till a later date, says:—"What do reasonable people think of the Manchester business? I am inclined to suspect that the magistrates were in too great a hurry, and that their loyal zeal, and the nova gloria in armis tempted the yeomanry to too liberal a use of the sabre—in short, that their conduct has given some colour of reason to the complaints and anger of the Jacobins. The approbation of Government was probably given as the supposed price of support from the Tories in that part of the country."
Clive, a young clerk of the Company's, at Madras, had deserted his desk, taken a commission, and, as early as 1748, had distinguished himself by baffling the French commanders Dupleix and Bussy, at Pondicherry. In 1751 he had taken Arcot from Chunda Sahib, the Viceroy of the Carnatic, and, aided by the Mahrattas, defeated Rajah Sahib, the son of Chunda, in a splendid victory at Arnee. In 1752 he raised the siege of Trichinopoly, where the Nabob of Arcot was besieged by the French. In 1755, landing at Bombay from England, he, with Admiral Watson, made an expedition to Gheriah, the stronghold of the celebrated pirate Angria, demolished it, and seized the spoils, valued at one hundred and twenty thousand pounds. In 1757 he took Calcutta from the Nabob Surajah Dowlah, the ally of the French, who had captured it, and shut up the English prisoners in the memorable Black Hole, where, in one night (June 20, 1756), out of one hundred and forty-six persons, one hundred and twenty-three perished. Clive also captured the city of Hooghly, defeated Dowlah, and compelled him to cede the town and vicinity. He then drove the French from their factory of Chandernagore; marched forward on Moorshedabad, defeated Surajah Dowlah in a battle extraordinary for the rout of an immense army by a mere handful of men, at Plassey (1757); deposed him, and seated on his throne Meer Jaffier. From this day dates British supremacy in India.On the 1st of February, 1831, the Birmingham Political union held its anniversary. It had been established some years, first to denounce the circulation of a metallic currency, and then for the purpose of agitating for Reform, organised somewhat on the principle of the Irish Catholic Association, and exerting a mighty influence on public opinion in the northern counties. Mr. Attwood stated that at this time it had on its books 9,000 members, paying from 4s. to ￡2 2s. a year each. Other unions of a similar kind were established in many cities and towns throughout the kingdom.
After violent debates on the subject of Catholic emancipation, but with the usual negative result, Parliament was prorogued on the 24th of July. Ministers proceeded to prosecute the war in the Peninsula with increased vigour. Lord Wellington needed all the support they could give him. Notwithstanding his success and the millions of money that Great Britain was sending to Portugal, the Portuguese Government continued to annoy him, and showed itself as ignorant, as meddling and as unthankful as the Spaniards had done. Though he and his army were the sole defence of the country, which would at once have been overrun by the French were he not there, and though he was fighting their battles and defending their persons at the expense of England, they appeared to have not the slightest sense of these obligations, but continued to pester him on every possible occasion. They endeavoured to compel him to maintain the Portuguese army, too, by themselves neglecting to furnish it with pay and provisions. They demanded to have the expenditure of the very money remitted for the needs of the British forces. They raised a vast clamour because the soldiers cut down timber for firewood. To all these disgraceful annoyances Lord Wellington replied with a wonderful command of temper, but with firmness and plain-spokenness. His dispatches abound with complaints of the scurvy treatment of the Portuguese authorities. The aspect of things in Spain was worse. There the Spaniards continued to lose every force that they raised, but nevertheless to criticise all the movements of Wellington as if they knew, or had shown, that they understood the management of campaigns better than he did. In fact, if the interests of Spain and Portugal alone had been concerned, the best thing would have been to have quietly withdrawn, and have left the French to trample on them, as a proper punishment for their stupid and ignorant pride. But the attention which Wellington compelled Buonaparte to give to the Peninsula, and the constant drain which this war was to him of men and money, were enabling Russia, and Sweden, and the north of Germany to prepare for another and decisive struggle with the oppressor.The best excuse for George II.'s apparent sluggishness was, that the French were now so closely pressed by concentrating armies. Prince Charles of Lorraine and the Austrians were pressing De Broglie so hotly that he was glad to escape over the Rhine near Mannheim; and Noailles, thus finding himself between two hostile armies, followed his example, crossed over the Rhine to Worms, where, uniting with Broglie, they retreated to their own frontier at Lauter, and thus the Empire was cleared of them. The Emperor Charles now suffered the fate which he may be said to have richly deserved. He was immediately compelled to solicit for peace from Austria through the mediation of George of England and Prince William of Hesse. But Maria Theresa, now helped out of all her difficulties by English money and English soldiers, was not inclined to listen to any moderate terms, even when proposed by her benefactor, the King of England. The Emperor was down, and she proposed nothing less than that he should permanently cede Bavaria to her, or give up the Imperial crown to her husband. Such terms were not to be listened to; but the fallen Emperor finally did conclude a treaty of neutrality with the Queen of Hungary, by which he consented that Bavaria should remain in her hands till the conclusion of a peace. This peace the King of England and William of Hesse did their best to accomplish; and Carteret, who was agent for King George, had consented that on this peace England should grant a subsidy of three hundred thousand crowns to the Emperor. No sooner, however, did the English Ministers receive the preliminaries of this contract, than they very properly struck out this subsidy, and the whole treaty fell to the ground.详情
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