Almost immediately on the meeting of the House of Commons, Welbore Ellis demanded whether a return had been made for Westminster, and being answered in the negative, moved that Mr. Corbett, the high bailiff, with his assessor, should attend the House; and the next day, February 2nd, Colonel Fitzpatrick presented a petition from the electors of Westminster, complaining that they were not legally and duly represented. In fact, the scrutiny had now been going on for eight months, and as not even two of the seven parishes of Westminster were yet scrutinised, it was calculated that, at this rate, the whole process would require three years, and the city would, therefore, remain as long unrepresented. The high bailiff stated that the examinations, cross-examinations, and arguments of counsel were so long, that he saw no prospect of a speedy conclusion; and Mr. Murphy, his assessor, gave evidence that each vote was tried with as much form and prolixity as any cause in Westminster Hall; that counsel—and this applied to both sides—claimed a right to make five speeches on one vote; and that propositions had been put in on the part of Sir Cecil Wray to shorten the proceedings, but objected to on the part of Mr. Fox.It is only too true, however, that many of the Hampden Clubs entertained very seditious ideas, and designs of seizing on the property of the leading individuals of their respective vicinities. Still more questionable were the doctrines of the Spenceans, or Spencean Philanthropists, a society of whom was established in London this year, and whose chief leaders were Spence, a Yorkshire schoolmaster, one Preston, a workman, Watson the elder, a surgeon, Watson the younger, his son, and Castles, who afterwards turned informer against them. Mr. "Orator" Hunt patronised them. They sought a common property in all land, and the destruction of all machinery. These people, with Hunt and Watson at their head, on the 2nd of December, met in Spa Fields. The Spenceans had arms concealed in a waggon, and a flag displayed declaring that the soldiers were their friends. The crowd was immense, and soon there was a cry to go and summon the Tower. Mr. Hunt and his party appear to have excused themselves from taking part in this mad movement. The mob reached the Tower, and a man, supposed to be Preston, summoned the sentinels to surrender, at which they only laughed. The mob then followed young Watson into the City, and ransacked the shop of Mr. Beckwith, a gunsmith, on Snow Hill, of its firearms. A gentleman in the shop remonstrated, and young Watson fired at him and severely wounded him. Young Watson then made his escape, but his father was secured and imprisoned; and the Lord Mayor and Sir James Shaw dispersed the mob on Cornhill, and took one of their flags and several prisoners. Watson the elder was afterwards tried and acquitted; but a sailor who was concerned in the plunder of the gunsmith's shop was hanged. A week after this riot the Corporation of London presented an Address to the Throne, setting forth the urgent necessity for Parliamentary reform.Sir Robert Peel hoped that by earnestly promoting practical reforms, and improving the institutions of the country in the spirit of his manifesto, he would gradually conciliate a number of members of independent position and moderate views, so that he might be able to secure a working majority. He therefore did not resign when defeated in the first trial of strength on the election of a Speaker; and the same consideration induced him to hold his ground when he was defeated on the amendment to the Address. The House of Commons met for the despatch of business on the 24th of February. The Speech from the Throne, after lamenting the destruction of the Houses of Parliament, congratulated the country on the prevalent commercial prosperity, which, however, was accompanied by a general depression of the agricultural interest. The king, therefore, recommended to the consideration of Parliament whether it might not be in their power, after providing for the exigencies of the public service, and consistently with the steadfast maintenance of the public credit, to devise a method for mitigating the pressure of those local charges which bore heavily on the owners and occupiers of land, and for distributing the burden of them more equally over other descriptions of property. When the Address was moved, an amendment was proposed by Lord Morpeth, which was designed to strike at the very existence of the new Ministry. It was not a direct censure upon their policy, or a formal declaration of want of confidence; but it affirmed a policy materially differing from that which had been announced by Sir Robert Peel. It expressed a hope that municipal corporations would be placed under vigilant popular control; that the undoubted grievances of the Dissenters would be considered; that abuses in the Church of England and Ireland would be removed; and it lamented the dissolution of Parliament as an unnecessary measure, by which the progress of these and other reforms had been interrupted and endangered. This hostile motion gave rise to a debate of intense earnestness, which lasted four nights. It was not easy to predict, during the course of the conflict, which side would be victorious. Even the whippers-in were doubtful of the issue; but the contest ended in the triumph of the Liberals, who had a majority of seven, the numbers being 309 to 302. Of the English members, the Government had a majority of 32; and of the English and Scottish together, of 16; but in Ireland Sir Robert Peel's supporters were only 36, while the Liberals mustered 59.
Lord Goderich acted with great humility. In a letter to the Duke of Buckingham, shortly after his resignation, he expressed his willingness to serve under the Duke of Wellington, though it might certainly be a matter of doubt with him how far, in existing circumstances, he could with credit accept office. But as the Government was to rest upon a broad basis, and was not to oppose the principles he had always advocated, he was ready to consider favourably any offer that might be made to him. The task which Wellington had undertaken was a most difficult one, considering the nature of the questions that agitated the public mind, and the course which he had adopted in reference to them. The new Government was announced on the 25th of January. It retained several members of the Goderich Ministry—namely, Lord Dudley, Mr. Huskisson, and Mr. Herries. The Duke of Wellington was Premier, Mr. Goulburn Chancellor of the Exchequer, Lord Aberdeen Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, and Lord Ellenborough Privy Seal. Mr. Canning's widow was created a viscountess, with a grant of ￡6,000 a year, to be enjoyed after her death by her eldest son, and, in case of his death, by her second son. The former was in the navy, and perished accidentally soon after his father's death. The second son, to whom the family honours descended, was the Governor-General of India during the most memorable crisis in the history of that empire. The grant was opposed by Lord Althorp, Mr. Hume, and Mr. Banks, but was carried by a majority of 161 to 54.
The news of the invasion brought George from Hanover. He arrived in London on the last day of August, by which time the Young Pretender had already been entertained by Lord Tullibardine at Blair Castle; but he seemed to feel no great alarm. He thought the forces of Cope were sufficient to compete with the insurgents, and Lord Granville and his party did their best to confirm him in this opinion. On the 20th of September three battalions of the expected Dutch forces landed, and received orders to march north. But what contributed more than anything to the security of the kingdom was the activity of the fleet. The seamen all round the coasts showed as much spirit and life as the soldiers had shown cowardice. Privateers as well as men-of-war vied with one another in performing feats of bravery. A small ship off Bristol took a large Spanish ship, bound for Scotland, with arms and money. Another small ship took the Soleil, from Dunkirk, carrying twenty French officers and sixty men, to Montrose; and a small squadron of privateers, which volunteered to serve under a brave naval captain, took a vast number of French vessels, and drove still more upon their own shores. Charles's younger brother, Henry, was waiting to bring over the Irish regiments to his aid, but Louis would not hazard their appearance at sea in the face of such a dangerous fleet. Charles made an attempt to corrupt Captain Beavor, of the Fox man-of-war, by offering him splendid rewards in case of his success, but the gallant officer sent him word that he only treated with principals, and that, if he would come on board, he would talk with him.An attempt was again made on the part of Grey and Grenville to form a Ministry, but without effect. Overtures were then made to Lord Wellesley and Canning, who declined to join the Cabinet, alleging differences of opinion on the Catholic claims and on the scale for carrying on the war in the Peninsula. In the House of Commons, on the 21st of May, Mr. Stuart Wortley, afterwards Lord Wharncliffe, moved and carried a resolution for an address to the Regent, praying him to endeavour to form a Coalition Ministry. During a whole week such endeavours were made, and various audiences had by Lords Moira, Wellesley, Eldon, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, etc., and Moira was authorised to make proposals to Wellesley and Canning, to Grey and Grenville. But all these negotiations fell through. Grey and Grenville refused to come in unless they could have the rearrangement of the Royal Household. This demand was yielded by the Regent, but Sheridan, who hated them, did not deliver the message, and so the attempt failed. But at the same time, apart altogether from this matter, they could not have pursued any effectual policy. It was therefore much better that they should not come in at all.
Lord North—He forms a Ministry—Chatham declaims against Secret Influence—Grenville's Election Committee—Lord North's Conciliatory Measures—Determination of the Bostonians—The Boston Massacre—Trial of the Soldiers—Apparent Success of North's Measures—Affair of the Falkland Islands—Promptitude of the Ministry—The Quarrel composed—Trials of Woodfall and Almon—The Right of Parliamentary Reporting—Strengthening of the Ministry—Quarrels in the City—The Royal Marriage Act—Fate of the Queen of Denmark—Anarchical Condition of Poland—Interference of Russia—Deposition of Poniatowski—Frederick's Scheme of Partition—It is ratified—Inquiry into Indian Affairs—Lord North's Tea Bill—Lord Dartmouth and Hutchinson—The Hutchinson Letters—Dishonourable Conduct of Franklin—Establishment of Corresponding Committees—Burning of the Gaspee—Destruction of the Tea—Franklin avows the Publication of the Letters—Wedderburn's Speech—The Boston Port Bill—The Massachusetts Government Bill—The Coils of Coercion—Virginia joins Massachusetts—Gage Dissolves the Boston Assembly—He fortifies Boston Neck—The General Congress—A Declaration of Rights—The Assembly at Concord—They enrol Militia—Seizure of Ammunition and Arms—Meeting of Parliament—Chatham's conciliatory Speech—His Bill for the Pacification of the Colonies—Its Fate—Lord North's Proposal—Burke's Resolutions—Prorogation of Parliament—Beginning of the War.
CHARLES PELHAM VILLIERS.
Mr. Jemison, as commissioner for distributing a million and a half of this compensation money! 1,200At the Church of St. Anne, Shandon, under a kind of shed attached to a guard-house, lay huddled up in their filthy fetid rags about forty human creatures—men, women, children, and infants of the tenderest age—starving and fever-stricken, most of them in a dying state, some dead, and all gaunt, yellow, hideous from the combined effects of famine and disease. Under this open shed they had remained during the night, and until that hour—about ten in the morning—when the funeral procession was passing by, and their indescribable misery was beheld by the leading citizens of Cork, including the mayor, and several members of the board of guardians. The odour which proceeded from that huddled-up heap of human beings was of itself enough to generate a plague.The affairs of England, menaced by invasion, were during this time compelling George to draw part of his forces homeward; it was, consequently, only the approach of winter which saved the towns of Flanders from the French. At the same time, the wily Prussian was in arms again, trusting to seize yet more of the Austrian territories, whilst the powerful ally of Maria Theresa was at once pressed by the fault of the Dutch and Austrians in Flanders, and at home by the Pretender. George, who, in spite of all remonstrances, had persisted, notwithstanding the domestic danger, in paying his annual visit to Hanover, was earnestly engaged, through Lord Harrington, in endeavouring to accomplish a peace between Prussia and Austria. Neither Frederick nor Maria Theresa, however, was in any haste to conclude peace. Frederick hoped to profit by the engagement of England with the French, and Maria Theresa held out, with some vague hopes of regaining Silesia through the money of England. But Frederick, on the 3rd of June, gained a decided victory over Prince Charles of Lorraine, throwing himself between the Austrians and the Saxons, whom the English subsidy had brought to their aid. In this battle of Hohen Friedberg the Austrians lost nine thousand men in killed and wounded, and had as many made prisoners. Prince Charles retreated into Bohemia, and was soon followed by Frederick, who fixed his camp at Chlum. Whilst another battle was impending, Maria Theresa, still undaunted, accompanied her husband to the Diet at Frankfort, where she had the satisfaction of seeing him elected Emperor of Germany on the 13th of September. The same month, however, her troops were again defeated by Frederick at Sohr, near the sources of the Elbe. The King of Prussia now offered to make peace, and Maria Theresa rejected his overtures; but another victory over her combined army of Austrians and Saxons, which put Frederick in possession of Dresden, brought her to reason. A peace was concluded at Dresden on Christmas Day, by which Silesia was confirmed to Prussia, and Frederick, on his part, acknowledged the recent election of the Emperor Francis. King George had also entered into a secret treaty with Prussia; and Frederick, sending his army into winter quarters in Silesia, returned to Berlin, thence to ponder fresh schemes of aggrandisement.
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Napoleon's Designs on Spain—The Continental System—Treaty of Fontainebleau—Junot marches on Portugal—Flight of the Royal Family—The Milan Decree—The Pope imprisoned in the Quirinal—Imbecility of the Spanish Government—Quarrels of the Spanish Royal Family—Occupation of the Spanish Fortresses—The King's Preparations for Flight—Rests at Madrid—Abdication of Charles IV.—Murat occupies Madrid—The Meeting at Bayonne—Joseph becomes King of Spain—Insurrection in Spain—The Junta communicates with England—Ferocity of the War—Operations of Bessières, Duchesne, and Moncey—Dupont surrenders to Casta?os—Joseph evacuates Madrid—Siege of Saragossa—Napoleon's Designs on Portugal—Insurrection throughout the Country—Sir A. Wellesley touches at Corunna—He lands at Figueras—Battle of Roli?a—Wellesley is superseded by Burrard—Battle of Vimiera—Arrival of Dalrymple—Convention of Cintra—Inquiry into the Convention—Occupation of Lisbon—Napoleon's Preparations against Spain—Wellesley is passed over in favour of Moore—Moore's Advance—Difficulties of the March—Incompetency of Hookham Frere—Napoleon's Position in Europe—The Meeting at Erfurth—Napoleon at Vittoria—Destruction of the Spanish Armies—Napoleon enters Madrid—Moore is at last undeceived—The Retreat—Napoleon leaves Spain—Moore retires before Soult—Arrival at Corunna—The Battle—Death of Sir John Moore—The Ministry determine to continue the War—Scandal of the Duke of York—His Resignation—Charges against Lord Castlereagh—Wellesley arrives in Portugal—He drives Soult from Portugal into Spain—His Junction with Cuesta—Position of the French Armies—Folly of Cuesta—Battle of Talavera—State of the Commissariat—Wellesley's Retreat—French Victories—The Lines of Torres Vedras—The Walcheren Expedition—Flushing taken—The Troops die from Malaria—Disastrous Termination of the Expedition—Sir John Stuart in Italy and the Ionian Islands—War between Russia and Turkey—Collingwood's last Exploits—Attempt of Gambier and Cochrane on La Rochelle.The Emperor Francis did not attempt to defend his capital—that capital which had twice repelled all the efforts of the Turks—but fled into Moravia, to join his Russian ally, the Czar Alexander, who was there at the head of his army. On the 7th of November Francis took his departure, and on the 13th of November Napoleon entered Vienna without any opposition. Whilst Napoleon remained there he continued to receive the most cheering accounts of the success of his arms in Italy against the Austrians. There, Massena, on hearing of the capitulation of Ulm, made a general attack on the army of the Archduke Charles, near Caldiero. The French were victorious, and were soon joined by General St. Cyr, from Naples, with twenty-five thousand men. At the moment of this defeat, the Archduke received the news of the fall of Ulm, and the march of the French on Vienna. He determined, therefore, to leave Italy to its fate. He commenced his retreat in the night of November 1st, and resolved to make for Hungary.
The Emperor of Germany was delighted at the Spanish offer. He had always felt himself aggrieved by the conditions of the Quadruple Alliance. He was afraid of France, and hated George of England for his German policy. He had, moreover, embroiled himself with both England and Holland, by establishing at Ostend an East India Company, which was declared to be in violation of the Treaty of Westphalia, and was, at all events, regarded with particular jealousy by both England and Holland. This being the case, Ripperda, the envoy of Spain, a Dutch adventurer, who had been the tool of Alberoni, completed with ease a treaty with the Emperor at Vienna, which was signed on the 30th of April, 1725.[See larger version]
The direct consequence was that he was immediately nominated again by the freeholders of Middlesex. Mr. Dingley, a mercantile speculator of London, offered himself as the Government candidate, but withdrew in a fright, and Wilkes was returned, without opposition, on the 16th of February, only thirteen days after his expulsion. The next day Lord Strange moved in the Commons, that John Wilkes, after having been expelled, was incapable of serving again in the present Parliament, and the case of Sir Robert Walpole was quoted in justification. Wilkes was a second time declared incapable of sitting, the election was declared void, and the public indignation rose higher than ever. The freeholders of Middlesex instantly met at the "London" Tavern, and subscribed on the spot two thousand pounds towards defraying the expenses of Wilkes's election. They then formed themselves into a "Society for Supporting the Bill of Rights," and a third time proposed Wilkes as their candidate. He was immediately returned for Middlesex, Dingley not finding any one who dared to nominate him. The next day, the 17th of March, the Commons again voted the election void.The Emperor Joseph of Austria had returned from the campaign of 1788 against Turkey greatly chagrined, and with fast-failing health. Had he been wise, he would have accepted the overtures for peace made to him by the Sultan, and have spent the few remaining days of his existence in tranquillity. But his ambitious and persuasive ally, Catherine, prevailed upon him to make another effort. He mustered fresh troops. A hundred and fifty thousand men were marched against the Turkish frontier, early in the year of 1789, in different divisions. It was a circumstance very much in their favour that the able Sultan, Abdul Hamid, died suddenly in April, and was succeeded by his nephew, Selim, a young, rash, and unprincipled man. The acts of Selim, in murdering and dismissing his father's best ministers and commanders, and the unruly condition of the janissaries, rendered Turkey especially open to the attacks of its enemies. Marshal Laudohn, supporting his earlier fame, took the fortress of Gradiska, and stormed Belgrade. But this was not accomplished till the 8th of October, and an attempt was then made to reduce Orsova, but this failed. Coburg and Suvaroff having joined, won a great victory over the new Vizier, Martinitzi, in Wallachia, on the 22nd of September, and the remains of the Turkish army retired to the pass of Shumla, on the Balkan mountains. Potemkin, on his part, had greatly increased his forces after the reduction of Oczakoff, and after a desperate resistance took Bender, famous as the abode of Charles XII. of Sweden, after the battle of Pultawa. Before winter, the Russians had made decided progress in their inroads into the Turkish dominions on the Black Sea. They had gained possession of Akerman, at the mouth of the Dniester; of Keglia Nova, on the northern banks of the Danube, and of other places on the Black Sea. They had also extended their frontier to the left bank of the Danube, and they had actually reduced every important place between the Bug and Dniester and that river. Had Catherine had a sufficient fleet in the Black Sea, Constantinople might have trembled for its safety.But they were not then in the position of a beleaguered garrison. Before relief came, they had won a victory that covered them with glory. The troops had been in the highest pluck, and never seemed so happy as when they could encounter any portion of the enemy. In this state of feeling an idea began to take possession of the officers that they were able to capture Mahomed Akbar's camp. A false report had come to the Sirdar, that General Pollock had been beaten back with great slaughter in the Khyber Pass; and in honour of this event his guns fired a royal salute. A rumour also reached the garrison that there had been a revolution at Cabul, and that the enemy was obliged to break up his camp and hasten back to the capital. Whether either or both these reports should prove true, the time seemed to have come for General Sale to strike a blow. A council of war was held; the general would have shrunk from the responsibility of an attack upon the camp; but he was dissuaded by Havelock. Akbar Khan, at the head of 6,000 men, was aware of their approach and ready to receive them. On issuing from the gate, General Sale had ordered Colonel Dennie forward, to attack a small fort, from which the enemy had often molested the garrison. The colonel, at the head of the brave 13th, rushed to the fort; but having entered the outer wall, they found themselves exposed to a murderous fire from the defences of the inner keep. There Colonel Dennie received a mortal wound, a ball passing through his sword-belt. Sale now gave orders for a general attack on the enemy's camp, and in his despatch he thus describes the result:—"The artillery advanced at a gallop, and directed a heavy fire upon the Afghan centre, whilst two of the columns of infantry penetrated the line near the same point, and the third forced back its left from its support on the river, into the stream of which some of his horse and foot were driven. The Afghans made repeated attempts to check our advance by a smart fire of musketry, by throwing forward heavy bodies of horse, which twice threatened the detachments of foot under Captain Havelock, and by opening upon us three guns from a battery screened by a garden wall, and said to have been served under the personal superintendence of the Sirdar. But in a short time they were dislodged from every point of their position, their cannon taken, and their camp involved in a general conflagration. The battle was over, and the enemy in full retreat, by about seven a.m. We have made ourselves masters of two cavalry standards, re-captured four guns lost by the Cabul and Gundamuk forces—the restoration of which to our Government is matter of much honest exultation among the troops—seized and destroyed a great quantity of material and ordnance stores, and burnt the whole of the enemy's tents. In short, the defeat of Mahomed Akbar, in open field, by the troops whom he had boasted of blockading, has been complete and signal. The field of battle was strewed with the bodies of men and horses, and the richness of the trappings of some of the latter seemed to attest that persons of distinction were among the fallen. The loss on our side was remarkably small—seven privates killed, and three officers and fifty men wounded."详情
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