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In Germany, Prince Ferdinand of Brunswick, after driving the French out of Hanover, had followed them across the Rhine this spring, and on the 23rd of June defeated them at Crefeld, with a slaughter of six thousand men. He then took Düsseldorf; but the French court recalling the incapable Clermont, and sending Marshal De Contades with fresh forces against him, and Prince Soubise defeating the Hessians, he was obliged to fall back into Westphalia, where he was joined by the Duke of Marlborough and Lord George Sackville with the English auxiliaries, but too late to effect anything further. Shortly afterwards the Duke of Marlborough died suddenly, under strong suspicions of having been poisoned.On the 28th of October General Hill surprised a French force, under General Drouet, near Estremadura, and completely routed it, taking all the baggage, artillery, ammunition, and stores, with one thousand five hundred prisoners. By this[19] action the whole of that part of Estremadura except Badajoz was cleared of the French. This done, General Hill went into cantonments, and the British army received no further disturbance during the remainder of the year. Thus Wellington had completely maintained the defence of Portugal, and driven back the French from its frontiers. Wherever he had crossed the French in Spain, he had severely beaten them too.By the Acts 6 and 7 William IV., c. 71, a Board of Commissioners, called the "Tithe Commissioners of England and Wales," was appointed, the object of which was to convert the tithes into a rent-charge, payable in money, but varying in amount according to the average price of corn for seven preceding years. The amount of the tithes was to be calculated on an average of the seven years preceding Christmas, 1835; and the quantity of grain thus ascertained was to remain for ever as the annual charge upon the parish. The annual money value was ascertained from the returns of the Comptroller of Corn, who published annually, in January, the average price of an Imperial bushel of wheat, barley, and oats, computed from the weekly averages of the corn returns during the seven preceding years. The Commissioners reported in 1851 that voluntary commutations had been commenced in 9,634 tithe districts; 7,070 agreements had been received, of which 6,778 had been confirmed; and 5,529 drafts of compulsory awards had been received, of which 5,260 had been confirmed. Thus in 12,038 tithe districts the rent charges had been finally established by confirmed agreements or confirmed awards.

[See larger version]In the report drawn up by Mr. Wyse, the chairman of the select Committee of the House of Commons appointed to inquire into the Foundation Schools in Ireland, in 1837, an interesting history is given of the origin, progress, and working of those obnoxious schools, and of other educational societies which followed. The Incorporated Society for Promoting English Protestant Schools in Ireland was established by Royal Charter in 1733, the avowed object being the education of the poor in the principles of the Established Church. It is sufficient to remark that the annual grants which were made to the schools in connection with it (well known as the Charter Schools) were, in consequence of the report of the Commissioners of 1824, gradually reduced, and finally withdrawn. In 1824 there were of those schools 32; the number of children in them amounted to 2,255. The grant for 1825 was £21,615. The grant was gradually reduced to £5,750 in 1832, when it was finally withdrawn. During nineteen years this system cost the country £1,612,138, of which £1,027,715 consisted of Parliamentary grants. The total number of children apprenticed from the beginning till the end of 1824 was only 12,745; and of these but a small number received the portion of £5 each, allotted to those who served out their apprenticeship, and married Protestants. The Association for Discountenancing Vice was incorporated in 1800. It required that the masters and mistresses in its schools should be of the Established Church; that the Scriptures should[358] be read by all who had attained sufficient proficiency; and that no catechism be taught except that of the Established Church. The schools of the Association amounted in 1824 to 226, and the number of children to 12,769; of whom it was stated that 7,803 were Protestants, and 4,804 were Roman Catholics; but the Rev. William Lee, who had inspected 104 of these schools in 1819 and 1820, stated before the Commissioners of 1824 that he had found the catechism of the Church of Rome in many of them. The Society for Promoting the Education of the Poor was founded on the 2nd of December, 1811, and was managed by a committee of various religious persuasions. The principles which they had prescribed to themselves for their conduct were, to promote the establishment and assist in the support of schools in which the appointment of governors and teachers, and the admission of scholars, should be uninfluenced by religious distinctions, and in which the Bible or Testament, without note or comment, should be read by all the scholars who had attained a suitable proficiency in reading, excluding catechisms and books of religious controversy; at the same time it was to be distinctly understood that the Bible or Testament should not be used as a school book from which children should be taught to spell or read. A grant was accordingly made to the society of £6,980, Irish currency, in the Session of 1814-15. The system of this society was manifestly the same as that which was formerly called the Lancastrian system in England, and which, although adopted by the great body of the Protestant Dissenters there, was so much opposed by the bishops and clergy of the Established Church in general, that they completely prevented its application to schools for children of their communion. The Roman Catholic prelates and clergy set themselves with equal resolution against it in Ireland and with equal success. It was accordingly found in 1824, that of 400,348 children whose parents paid for their education in the general schools of the country, and whose religion was ascertained, there were 81,060 Protestants, and 319,288 Roman Catholics; while of 56,201 children educated under the Kildare Place Society—although theirs were schools for the poor, and the Roman Catholics bear a much greater proportion to Protestants in the poorer classes than in the higher—there were 26,237 Protestants, and only 29,964 Roman Catholics.At the period at which we have now arrived France was in a state of the wildest and most awful convulsion. A revolution had broken out, more terrible and furious than had ever yet appeared in the history of nations. The French people, so long trodden down by their princes, their aristocracy, and their clergy, and reduced to a condition of wretchedness and of ignorant brutality, almost unparalleled, seizing the opportunity of the distresses of the impoverished Government, and encouraged by a new race of philosophers who preached up the equality of the human race, had broken through their ancient subserviency, and were pulling down all the old constituted powers, ranks, and distinctions, with a rapidity which electrified the whole world.

At this moment the horse which George II. was riding, taking fright at the noise made by the French in their advance, became unmanageable, and plunged forward furiously, nearly carrying the king into the midst of the French lines. Being, however, stopped just in time, the king dismounted, and placing himself at the head of the British and Hanoverian infantry on the right, he flourished his sword and said, "Now, boys! now for the honour of England! Fire, and behave bravely, and the French will soon run!"

Another expedition was that of Colonel Sebastiani, a Corsican, who was despatched to Egypt, Syria, and other countries of the Levant. Sebastiani reported to Buonaparte that the British were so detested in Egypt that six thousand men would suffice to re-take it; that Buonaparte's name was so venerated that it had procured him the utmost honour everywhere, and especially with Djezzar Pacha, Viceroy of Egypt. He asserted[486] that General Stuart, the British envoy, had endeavoured to excite the Turks to assassinate him. He harangued the natives in the Ionian Isles, and assured them of the protection of Buonaparte, and besides many calumnies against the British officers, he told Napoleon that so hateful was the British rule that both Greeks and Venetians in those islands were ready to rise against them at the first word from France. On the appearance of this base report, our ambassador at Paris made a strong remonstrance; but Napoleon only replied by complaining of the late account of the campaign in Egypt by Sir Robert Wilson, in which he had detailed the butchery of the Turks and Arnauts at Jaffa, and Napoleon's command to poison his own wounded on the retreat from Acre. Through M. Otto, the French envoy in London, Napoleon demanded that statements injurious to his character made by the British press should be stopped by Government, that all French emigrants should be expelled from England, that Georges Cadoudal should be transported to Canada, and such princes of the House of Bourbon as remained there should be advised to repair to Warsaw, where the head of their house now resided. To these peremptory demands the British Government, through Lord Hawkesbury, replied that his Britannic Majesty did not possess the absolute power necessary for these acts, and that whilst the statements charging upon a British Ambassador instigations to murder were published in the Moniteur, the official organ of the French Government, the statements by the British press were protected by the freedom of that press guaranteed in Great Britain, which the king was not disposed to invade, but from which any man, British or foreign, might claim redress by an action at law. To show the First Consul how this might be done, the British Government commenced an action against M. Peltier, a French emigrant, for a libel on Napoleon in a newspaper published by him in London, called the Ambigu. Peltier was found guilty; but this by no means answered Buonaparte's object. He wanted the accounts of his darkest actions suppressed by a power above the law, not thus made more public by the action of the law. As Sir Walter Scott has observed, he wanted darkness, and the British Government gave him light.Astounded by these repeated defections, Louis tried to gather some notion of the state of other bodies and troops about him. He attended a sitting of the Chamber of Deputies, and was received with acclamation; he reviewed twenty-five thousand of the National Guard, and there was the same display of loyalty; he inspected six thousand troops of the line, but there the reception was not encouraging. He finally summoned a council at the Tuileries, and there the generals declared frankly that he had no real means of resisting Buonaparte. This was on the 18th of March, and Louis felt that it was time for him to be making his retreat. At one o'clock in the morning of the 20th he was on his way towards Lille, escorted by a body of Household Troops. It was time, for that very day Buonaparte reached the camp of Mélun, where Macdonald had drawn up the troops to attack him; but Buonaparte threw himself amongst them, attended only by a slight escort of horse, and the soldiers all went over to him with a shout. Macdonald rode back to Paris, and, following the king, assumed the command of the Guard accompanying him. Louis hoped that the troops at Lille, under Mortier, would stand by him; but Mortier assured him of the contrary, and so, taking leave of Macdonald on the frontiers, Louis pursued his way to Ostend and thence to Ghent, where he established his Court. The Household Troops who had accompanied him were disbanded on the frontiers, and in attempting to regain their homes by different routes, most of them were killed, or plundered and abused.The noble marquis was regarded by Mr. Peel with the most sincere respect and esteem, which were cordially reciprocated. In a letter dated January 30th, 1828, Lord Wellesley wrote to him thus:—"Your most acceptable letter of the 29th instant enables me to offer to you now those assurances of gratitude, respect, and esteem which, to my sincere concern, have been so long delayed. Although these sentiments have not before reached you in the manner which would have been most suitable to the subject, I trust that you have not been unacquainted with the real impressions which your kindness and high character have fixed in my mind, and which it is always a matter of the most genuine satisfaction to me to declare. I am very anxious to communicate with you in the same unreserved confidence so long subsisting between us on the state of Ireland."

CHAPTER VIII. REIGN OF WILLIAM IV.

The first Reform Parliament was dissolved by proclamation on the 30th of December, after an existence of only one year and eleven months. This proceeding was regarded by the Reformers as a sort of political sacrilege; a manifest flying in the face of the people; a clear declaration of an intention to destroy popular rights. But the care bestowed on the registries told strongly in favour of the Conservatives at the English elections. The exertions they made to secure a majority were immense. It was believed at the time that the Carlton Club had expended nearly a million sterling in securing the success of their candidates in every possible way in which money could be made available. In the counties and boroughs the Whigs and Radicals lost about 100 seats, but after all the Conservatives could muster only 302 members; against 356. The contests were unusually numerous and severe, but the Reform Act machinery worked so well that the elections were for the most part conducted in a very orderly manner. In many places the closeness of the poll was remarkable. It was a neck and neck race between the rival candidates. In the metropolitan boroughs the Ministerialists were everywhere defeated. Not one of the sixteen seats in this vast centre of influence could the Government, with all its lavish expenditure, obtain. In some of the provincial towns, however—Bristol, Exeter, Newcastle, Hull, York, Leeds, Halifax, and Warrington—a Tory supplanted a Whig. At Liverpool the contest was intensely exciting. During the last hour of polling were seen in every direction vans, gigs, and flies in rapid motion, and the price of a vote rose from £15 to £25. The result was the return of Lord Sandon, a moderate Tory; Sir Howard Douglas, the other Conservative candidate, being defeated by Mr. Ewart. In Lancashire and Hampshire both the Liberal candidates were defeated. Manchester, Birmingham, Bolton, Sheffield, Preston, and most of the manufacturing towns, returned Liberals. On the whole, the Government had a small majority of the five hundred English members. In Scotland, however, the Reform Act had wrought a complete revolution, and the mass of the electors so long excluded from political power used the privileges they had obtained with great zeal in favour of the party to which they were indebted for their enfranchisement. The whole of the burghs, twenty in number, returned Liberal members. Five of the counties were gained by the Tories and three by the Whigs, where respectively they had formerly failed. Glasgow, whose voice had been neutralised by returning one representative of each party, now returned two Liberals. Serious disturbances took place at Jedburgh when Lord John Scott, the Tory candidate, made his appearance. At Hawick, in the same county, the rioting was still worse. The persons who came to vote for him were spit upon, pelted with stones, and severely struck. In some cases they were thrown into the stream that runs through the town, and subjected to the most shocking indignities, which the judges who afterwards tried the cases declared to be "worse than death itself."Cope had landed his force at Dunbar on the very day that the prince entered Edinburgh. His disembarkation was not completed till the 18th. Lord Loudon had joined him at Inverness with two hundred men, and now he met the runaway dragoons, six hundred in number, so that his whole force amounted to two thousand two hundred men—some few hundreds less than the Highlanders. Sir John took the level road towards Edinburgh, marching out of Dunbar on the 19th of September. Next day Lord Loudon, who acted as adjutant-general, rode forward with a reconnoitring party, and soon came back at a smart trot to announce that the rebels were not approaching by the road and the open country to the west, but along the heights to the south. Sir John, therefore, altered his route, and pushed on to Prestonpans, where he formed his army in battle array. He placed his foot in the centre, with a regiment of dragoons and three pieces of artillery on each wing. His right was covered by Colonel Gardiner's park wall and the village of Preston; his left extended towards Seaton House, and in his rear lay the sea, with the villages of Prestonpans and Cockenzie. Between him and the Highlanders was a deep morass.

The Revolution of 1688, which overthrew absolutism in the State, overthrew it also in the Church. The political principles of William of Orange, and the Whigs who brought him in, were not more opposed to the absolutism of the Stuarts than the ecclesiastical principles of the new king and queen, and the prelates whom they introduced into the Church, were to the high-churchism of Laud, Sancroft, Atterbury, and their section of the Establishment. When Parliament, on the accession of William and Mary, presented the Oath of Allegiance to the Lords and Commons, eight of the bishops, including Sancroft, Archbishop of Canterbury, refused it; and of these, five were of the number of the seven who had refused to sign James II.'s Declaration of Indulgence, and thus gave the immediate occasion to the outbreak ending in the Revolution. Thus a fresh faction was produced in the Establishment, that of the Non-jurors, who were,[142] after much delay and patience, finally excluded from their livings. As the existing law could not touch the non-juring bishops so long as they absented themselves from Parliament, where the oath had to be put to them, a new Act was passed, providing that all who did not take the new oaths before the 1st of August, 1689, should be suspended six months, and at the end of that time, in case of non-compliance, should be ejected from their sees. Still the Act was not rigorously complied with; they were indulged for a year longer, when, continuing obstinate, they were, on the 1st of February, 1691, excluded from their sees. Two of the eight had escaped this sentence by dying in the interim—namely, the Bishops of Worcester and Chichester. The remaining six who were expelled were Sancroft, the Primate, Ken of Bath and Wells, Turner of Ely, Frampton of Gloucester, Lloyd of Norwich, and White of Peterborough. In the room of these were appointed prelates of Whig principles, the celebrated Dr. Tillotson being made Primate. Other vacancies had recently or did soon fall out; so that, within three years of his accession, William had put in sixteen new bishops, and the whole body was thus favourable to his succession, and, more or less, to the new views of Church administration.During this period—from 1769 to 1772—Warren Hastings had been second in the Council[322] at Madras; but in the latter year he was promoted to the head of the Council in Bengal. During this period, too, the British had been brought into hostilities with the Rajah of Tanjore. The history of these proceedings is amongst the very blackest of the innumerable black proceedings of the East India Company. The Rajah of Tanjore was in alliance with the Company. In 1762 they had guaranteed to him the security of his throne; but now their great ally, Mohammed Ali, the Nabob of the Carnatic, called to the English for help against the Rajah. The conduct of honourable men would have been to offer themselves as mediators, and so settle the business; but not by such means was the whole of India to be won from the native princes. The Rajah of the Carnatic offered to purchase the territory of Tanjore from the British for a large sum. The latter, however, had guaranteed the defence of these territories to the Rajah of Tanjore by express treaty. No matter, they closed the bargain with the Rajah of the Carnatic; they agreed to seize Tanjore, and make it over to Mohammed Ali. An army assembled at Trichinopoly on the 12th of September, 1771, invaded Tanjore, seized the Rajah and his family, and invested the whole of Tanjore in the name of the Nabob of the Carnatic.

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AGRICULTURAL LABOURERS AT THE PERIOD OF THE FIRST REFORM PARLIAMENT.On the evening of the very day that Louis[91] quitted Paris Buonaparte arrived in it. He had slept on the night of the 19th at Fontainebleau, where, in the preceding April, he had signed his abdication. No sooner had the king departed than the Buonapartists, who were all ready for that event, came forth from their hiding-places. Lavalette resumed his position at the post-office, and thus managed to intercept the proclamations of Louis, and to circulate those of Buonaparte. Exelmans took down the white flag from the Tuileries and hoisted the tricolour, and a host of the adherents of the old Imperial Government, hurrying from all quarters, thronged the avenues to the palace, and filled the court of the Carrousel. There were ex-Ministers of Buonaparte, ex-councillors, ex-chamberlains, in imperial costume—in short, every species of officers and courtiers, down to cooks, and butlers, and valets, all crushing forward to re-occupy their places.

The slowness with which the Government became aware of these proceedings is something astonishing in these days of telegraphs and railroads. Though Charles sailed on the 2nd of July, it was not till the 30th of the same month that Lord Tweeddale, the Scottish Secretary of State in London, was informed even that he had left Nantes. Sir John Cope was the commander of the forces in Scotland, and he immediately gave orders for drawing[94] together such troops as he had to Stirling. These were extraordinarily few. There were two regiments of dragoons, Gardiner's and Hamilton's, but both recent in the service; and the whole force at his disposal, exclusive of garrisons, did not amount to three thousand men. Cope was eager enough to march into the Highlands, even with such forces as he had, and crush the insurrection at once. He proposed this apparently active and judicious scheme to the Lords Justices in England, George II. himself being at Hanover, and they warmly approved of it, and issued their positive orders for its execution. It was, in truth, however, the most fatal scheme which could be conceived. The spirit of rebellion was fermenting in every glen and on every hill, and to march regular troops into these rugged fastnesses was only to have them shot down by invisible marksmen on all hands, and reduced to the extremity of the two companies already captured. The plan was to have secured all the passes into the Lowlands, to have drawn his forces to the foot of the mountains wherever a descent could be made, and blockade the rebels in their own hills till they should be reduced by gradual approaches and overwhelming numbers. Famine, indeed, would soon have tamed any large body of men in those sterile regions.

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