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Grattan determined to call these Acts in question in the Irish Parliament, and at least abolish them there. This alarmed even Burke, who, writing to Ireland, said, "Will no one stop that madman, Grattan?" But Grattan, on the 19th of April, 1780, submitted to the Irish House of Commons a resolution asserting the perfect legislative independence of Ireland. He did not carry his motion then, but his speechin his own opinion, the finest he ever madehad a wonderful effect on the Irish public. Other matters connected with sugar duties, and an Irish Mutiny Bill, in which Grattan took the lead, fanned the popular flame, and the Volunteer body at the same time continued to assume such rapidly growing activity that it was deemed necessary by Government to send over the Earl of Carlisle to supersede the Earl of Buckinghamshire, and to give him an able secretary in Mr. Eden. But this did not prevent the Irish Volunteers from meeting at Dungannon on the 15th of February, 1782. There were two hundred and forty-two delegates, with their general-in-chief, Lord Charlemont, at their head, and they unanimously passed a resolution prepared by Grattan, "That a claim of any body of men other than the King, Lords, and Commons of Ireland, to bind this kingdom, is unconstitutional, illegal, and a grievance." On the 22nd, Grattan moved a similar resolution in the Irish House of Commons, which was only got rid of by the Attorney-General asking for some time to consider it. Two days only before Grattan had made his motion on Irish rights, that is, on the 20th of February, he seconded a Bill for further relief of Roman Catholics in Ireland, introduced by Mr. Gardiner. The Bill was passed, and wonderfully increased the influence of Grattan by adding the grateful support of all the Catholics. Such was the tone of Ireland, and such the transcendent influence of Grattan there, when the new Whig Ministry assumed office.

Sir Robert Peel was sent for by the Queen. No difficulties were now raised about the Ladies of the Court, since the difficulty had been settled through the diplomacy of the Prince Consort and his well-intentioned, though pedantic, adviser, Baron Stockmar. In due time the following Administration was formed:First Lord of the Treasury, Sir Robert Peel; Lord Chancellor, Lord Lyndhurst; Chancellor of the Exchequer, Right Hon. H. Goulburn; President of the Council, Lord Wharncliffe; Privy Seal, Duke of Buckingham; Home Secretary, Sir J. Graham; Foreign Secretary, Earl of Aberdeen; Colonial Secretary, Lord Stanley; President of the Board of Control, Lord Ellenborough; President of the Board of Trade, Earl of Ripon; Secretary at War, Sir H. Hardinge; Treasurer of the Navy and Paymaster of the Forces, Sir E. Knatchbull. The Duke of Wellington was in the Cabinet without office. It was thus composed of thirteen members, but of these Wellington, Lyndhurst, Aberdeen, Stanley, and Graham were the only people of importance. Before the prorogation of Parliament on the 7th of October the Poor Law was continued until the end of the following July, and the financial deficit of 2,500,000 was provided for by the creation of 5,000,000 of new stock, half of which was devoted to the funding of Exchequer Bills.

During the recess of Parliament there was an active contest between the new French opinions and the old constitutional ones. One called forth and provoked the other. Clubs and societies for Reform were more after the model of the wholesale proceedings of France than the old and sober ones of England. The Society of the Friends of the People was compelled to disclaim all connection with the Society for Constitutional Information in London, which was in open correspondence with[394] the Jacobins of Paris. It was forced to disown societies in the country of the same stamp, and especially to check a branch of the Society for Constitutional Information in Sheffield, which, in May of the present year, called on the Society of the Friends of the People to establish a Convention in London. To allow of no mistake as to their principles, the Society of the Friends of the People held a great meeting on the 5th of May, in which they announced that they had no other object but to obtain Parliamentary Reform by strictly legal and constitutional means, and that after this end had been secured they should dissolve themselves. Yet, notwithstanding this, there were those in the Society who deemed that they were in connection with persons and associations whose views went farther than their own, and, on this ground, on the 9th of June, Mr. Baker, who had been the chairman at the late meeting at the Freemasons' Tavern, Lord John Russell, who had been deputy-chairman, Dudley North, Mr. Curwen, and Mr. Courtney, withdrew from it. Having put Prussia under his feet, Buonaparte proceeded to settle the fate of her allies, Saxony and Hesse-Cassel. Saxony, which had been forced into hostilities against France by Prussia, was at once admitted by Buonaparte to his alliance. He raised the prince to the dignity of king, and introduced him as a member of the Confederacy of the Rhine. The small states of Saxe-Weimar and Saxe-Gotha were admitted to his alliance on the same terms of vassalage; but Hesse-Cassel was wanted to make part of the new kingdom of Westphalia, and, though it had not taken up arms at all, Buonaparte declared that it had been secretly hostile to France, and that the house of Hesse-Cassel had ceased to reign. Louis Buonaparte had seized it, made it over to the keeping of General Mortier, and then marched back to Holland. Mortier then proceeded to re-occupy Hanover, which he did in the middle of November, and then marched to Hamburg. He was in hopes of seizing a large quantity of British goods, as he had done at Leipzic, but in this he was disappointed, for the Hamburg merchants, being warned by the fate of Leipzic, had made haste, disposed of all their British articles, and ordered no fresh ones. Buonaparte, in his vexation, ordered Mortier to seize the money in the banks; but Bourrienne wrote to him, showing him the folly of such a step, and he refrained.

On the 8th of April the dissolution of the Peel Administration took place, and on the 18th Lord Melbourne announced the completion of his arrangements. On that occasion Lord Alvanley asked the Premier if he had secured the assistance of Mr. O'Connell and his friends, and if so, upon what terms. Lord Melbourne answered that he did not coincide in opinion with Mr. O'Connell; that he had taken no means to secure his support; that he gave the most decided negative to Lord Alvanley's question; adding, "And if he has been told anything to the contrary, he has been told what is false, and without foundation." In the House of Commons, a few days after, Colonel Sibthorpe spoke of O'Connell as the prompter and adviser of the new Ministry, and said: "I do not like the countenances of the honourable gentlemen opposite, for I believe them to be the index of their minds, and I will oppose them on every point, from the conviction that they could not bring forward anything that would tend to benefit the country. I earnestly hope that we shall have a safe and speedy riddance from such a band." This escapade roused the ire of O'Connell, who instantly rose and said that he thought the gallant colonel's countenance was, at all events, as remarkable as any upon the Ministerial benches. He would not abate him a single hair in point of good-humour. "Elsewhere," he said, "these things may be treated in a different style. There is no creaturenot even a half-maniac or a half-idiotthat may not take upon himself to use that language there which he would know better than to make use of elsewhere; and the bloated buffoon ought to learn the distinction between independent men and those whose votes are not worth purchasing, even if they were in the market." [See larger version]

The campaign in Flanders commenced with the highest expectation on the part of England. Cumberland had now obtained the great object of his ambitionthe command of the Allied army; and the conqueror of Culloden was confidently expected to show himself the conqueror of Marshal Saxe and of France. But Cumberland, who was no match for Marshal Saxe, found the Dutch and Austrians, as usual, vastly deficient in their stipulated quotas. The French, hoping to intimidate the sluggish and wavering Dutch, threatened to send twenty thousand men into Dutch Flanders, if the States did not choose to negotiate for a separate peace. The menace, however, had the effect of rousing Holland to some degree of action. When the vanguard of Saxe's army, under Count L?wendahl, burst into Dutch Flanders, and reduced the frontier forts of Sluys, Sas-van-Ghent, and Hulst, the Dutch rose against their dastardly governors, and once more placed a prince of the House of Nassau in the Stadtholdership. William of Nassau, who had married Anne, daughter of George II. of England, was, unfortunately, not only nominated Stadtholder, but Captain-General and Lord High Admiral; and, being equally desirous of martial glory with his brother-in-law, the Duke of Cumberland, he headed the Dutch army, and immediately began to contend with Cumberland for dictation as to the movements of the army. In these disastrous circumstances, the Allies came to blows with the French at the village of Laufeldt, before Maestricht. The Dutch in the centre gave way and fled; the Austrians on the right, under Marshal Batthyani, would not advance out of their fortified position; the brunt of the whole onset, therefore, fell upon the English. Cumberland found himself engaged with the whole French army, directed by the masterly mind of Saxe, and animated by the presence of Louis himself. The dispositions of Cumberland were bad, but the bravery of the British troops was never more remarkable. Though it was impossible for them to prevail against such overwhelming numbers, they did not retreat before they had, according to Saxe's own acknowledgment, killed or wounded nine thousand of the French. In January of 1745 died Charles VII., King of Bavaria and Emperor of Germany. His life had been rendered miserable, and his kingdom made the prey of war, by his unpatriotic mania of supporting the French in their attacks on Germany. His son and successor showed himself a wiser and a better man. He at once renounced all claims to the Austrian succession, and to the Imperial crown. He agreed to vote for the Prince of Tuscany, Maria Theresa's husband, at the next Diet, and never to support the French or the Prussian arms. On these terms a treaty was concluded between Austria and Bavaria at Füssen, and Austria therefore restored to him his rightful inheritance of Bavaria.

With the reign of George III. commenced a series of improvements in the manufacture of iron, which have led not only to a tenfold production of that most useful of metals, but to changes in its quality which before were inconceivable. Towards the end of the reign of George II. the destruction of the forests in smelting iron-ore was so great as to threaten their extinction, and with it the manufacture of iron in Britain. Many manufacturers had already transferred their businesses to Russia, where wood was abundant and cheap. It was then found that coke made from coal was a tolerable substitute for charcoal, and, in 1760, the very first year of the reign of George III., the proprietors of the Carron Works in Scotland began the use of pit-coal. Through the scientific aid of Smeaton and Watt, they applied water-, and afterwards steam-power, to increase the blast of their furnaces to make it steady and continuous, instead of intermitting as from bellows; and they increased the height of their chimneys. By these means, Dr. John Roebuck, the founder of these works, became the first to produce pig iron by the use of coal. This gave great fame to the Carron Works, and they received large orders from Government for cannon and cannon-balls. It was some time, however, before enough iron could be produced to meet the increasing demand for railroads, iron bridges, etc.; and so late as 1781 fifty thousand tons were imported annually from Russia and Sweden.

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The first business in the House of Commons was the re-election of Mr. Shaw Lefevre as Speaker. On the 24th of August the Address was moved by Mr. Mark Philips, and seconded by Mr. John Dundas. Mr. Wortley then moved an amendment similar to the one which had been carried in the House of Lords, in which he went over all the charges against the Government. His motion was seconded by Lord Bruce, and supported by Mr. Disraeli. The debate lasted several nights. Sir Robert Peel delivered a long and very able speech, in which he reviewed the whole policy of the Government. He was answered by Lord John Russell, whose speech closed the debate. The division gave to Sir Robert Peel a majority for which no one seemed prepared. The numbers werefor the Ministerial Address, 269; for the amendment, 360; majority against the Government, 91. On the 30th the resignation of Ministers was announced.

HELIGOLAND.

Sir John Malcolm and Captain Grant pursued the fugitives along the banks of the Seepra, killing numbers, and seizing immense booty, including elephants and numerous camels. He left them no time to reassemble, but advanced rapidly on the capital of Holkar, joined by reinforcements from the Bombay army under Major-General Sir William Keir. Alarmed at this vigorous action, the Holkar Mahrattas hastily concluded peace, gave up all their forts, and placed their territories under British protection. Some Pathan chiefs attempted to resist, trusting to the defences of Rampoora; but General Brown soon stormed that place, and the whole country of the Holkar Mahrattas was reduced to obedience. No respite was granted to the Pindarrees. Cheetoo was followed from place to place by the Gujerat army under Sir William Keir, and sought refuge in vain amongst the hills and jungles of Malwa and along the Nerbudda. At length, in January, 1818, Cheetoo's last camp was surprised and cut to pieces. After seeking refuge amongst various tribes, Cheetoo was ultimately found in the jungle near the fort of Aseerghur, torn to pieces by a tiger, his horse grazing not far off, safe, and a bag on his saddle containing his remaining jewels and two hundred and fifty rupees. And thus ended the existence of the long formidable hosts of the Pindarrees.

Monster meetings, not unaccompanied by disturbance, were held in various places, the most serious of which occurred at Birmingham. The inhabitants of this town had been kept in a state of almost incessant alarm by the proceedings of disorderly persons calling themselves Chartists. Representations to this effect having been sent to the Home Office, sixty picked men of the metropolitan force were sent down to aid the civil authorities in the preservation of peace. They arrived at Birmingham by the railway on Thursday, July 4th, and speedily mustering, they marched two abreast into the Bull Ring, where about 2,000 Chartists were assembled, at nine o'clock in the evening. They endeavoured, at first, to induce the meeting quietly to disperse, but failed in the attempt. They then seized the flags with which Lord Nelson's monument in the centre of the square was decorated, and among which was one that bore a death's head; but the Chartists, who had at first been disconcerted, recaptured them, after a desperate struggle, and broke their staves into pieces, to be used as clubs. A conflict immediately ensued, in which the police, who were armed only with batons, were seriously injured; and the Chartists were retiring in triumph when the 4th Dragoons charged them, by concert, through all the streets leading to the Bull Ring, and they fled in every direction. Further riots ensued, and on the 15th an organised mob attacked the houses in the High Street and Spiral Street. They broke into the warehouses, flinging their contents into the streets. A large pile of bedding was set on fire in the Bull Ring. Windows and shop-fittings were remorselessly demolished by the infuriated multitude. A few minutes past nine o'clock the cry of "Fire!" was raised. Scarcely had the words been uttered when the rioters carried immense heaps of burning materials from the streets, forcing them into the houses of Mr. Bourne and Mr. Legatt. Within a quarter of an hour the flames burst out with awful violence from both houses, amidst the exulting shouts of the rioters. While this work of destruction was going on they had the streets to themselves. The general cry among the inhabitants was, "Where are the military? Where are the magistrates?" At length, about ten o'clock, sixty of the metropolitan[457] police, with a posse of special constables, made their appearance, and rushed upon the rioters sword in hand, causing them to fly in all directions. The dragoons, under the command of Colonel Chatterton, were now discerned galloping down Moore Street, and another squadron at the same moment down High Street, and in five minutes about 300 of the Rifle Brigade marched to the Bull Ring. The inhabitants, feeling like people sore pressed by a long siege, clapped their hands with joy at the approach of their deliverers. The fire engines also came under escort, having been driven away before, and set about arresting the conflagration. In the meantime the cavalry were scouring and clearing the streets and suburbs, and the police were busily engaged bringing in prisoners. About midnight the roofs of the two houses fell in, and about one o'clock the fire was got under. Next day the shops were nearly all closed, the middle classes full of suspicion, and the populace vowing vengeance against the police and the soldiers. A piece of artillery placed at the head of High Street contributed materially to prevent further disturbance. About twenty prisoners were made, and the evidence produced before the magistrates showed the determined purpose of the rioters. When these outrages were the subject of discussion in the House of Lords, the Duke of Wellington said, "That he had seen as much of war as most men; but he had never seen a town carried by assault subjected to such violence as Birmingham had been during an hour by its own inhabitants."

The Marquis of Lansdowne, the President of the Council in the Whig Ministry which had replaced that of Sir Robert Peel, in a speech delivered in the House of Lords on the 25th of January, 1847, gave an estimate, as accurate as the best calculation could make it, of the loss in money value that had been occasioned by the failure of the crops in Ireland. "Taking a valuation of 10 per acre for potatoes, and 3 10s. for oats, the deficiency on the potato crop alone amounted to 11,350,000, while on the crop of oats it amounted to 4,660,000, or to a total value of 16,010,000 for the whole of a country which, if it could not be said to be the poorest, was certainty not one of the richest in the world. In[543] weight the loss was 9,000,000 or 10,000,000 tons of potatoes. The whole loss had been equivalent to the absolute destruction of 1,500,000 arable acres." On the same day, Lord John Russell, who had succeeded Peel as Prime Minister, gave a statement of what the Government had done during the recess for the relief of the Irish population, in pursuance of Acts passed in the previous Session. He stated that an immense staff of servants had been employed by the Board of Public Worksupwards of 11,000 personsgiving employment to half a million of labourers, representing 2,000,000 of souls; the expense for the month of January being estimated at from 700,000 to 800,000.