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Title: A History of the Four Georges and of William IV, Volume IV (of 4)
Author: McCarthy, Justin, 1830-1912, McCarthy, Justin H. (Justin Huntly), 1860-1936
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "A History of the Four Georges and of William IV, Volume IV (of 4)" ***

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Transcriber's note:

   Page numbers in this book are indicated by numbers enclosed in
   curly braces, e.g. {99}.  They have been located where page
   breaks occurred in the original book.  For its Index, a page
   number has been placed only at the start of that section.

   In the original volumes in this set, each even-numbered page
   had a header consisting of the page number, the volume title,
   and the chapter number.  The odd-numbered page header consisted
   of the year with which the page deals, a subject phrase, and
   the page number.  In this set of e-books, the odd-page year
   and subject phrase have been converted to sidenotes, usually
   positioned between the first two paragraphs of the even-odd
   page pair.  If such positioning was not possible for a given
   sidenote, it was positioned where it seemed most logical.

   In the original book set, consisting of four volumes, the
   master index was in Volume 4.  In this set of e-books, the
   index has been duplicated into each of the other volumes, with
   its first page re-numbered as necessary, and an Index item
   added to each volume's Table of Contents.







In Four Volumes


Harper & Brothers Publishers
New York and London

Copyright, 1901, by Harper & Brothers.
All rights reserved.


CHAPTER                                                    PAGE

   LXIII. "OPENS AMID ILL OMENS"   . . . . . . . . . . . .    1
     LXV. GEORGE CANNING . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   31
    LXVI. THE CLOSE OF CANNING'S CAREER  . . . . . . . . .   46
   LXVII. "THE CHAINS OF THE CATHOLIC" . . . . . . . . . .   65
  LXVIII. THE LAST OF THE GEORGES  . . . . . . . . . . . .   80
    LXIX. KING WILLIAM THE FOURTH  . . . . . . . . . . . .   96
     LXX. LE ROI D'YVETOT  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  114
    LXXI. REFORM . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  122
   LXXII. THE GREAT DEBATE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  144
  LXXIII. THE TRIUMPH OF REFORM  . . . . . . . . . . . . .  159
   LXXIV. THE EMANCIPATION OF LABOUR . . . . . . . . . . .  188
    LXXV. THE STATE CHURCH IN IRELAND  . . . . . . . . . .  205
   LXXVI. "ONLY A PAUPER"  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  221
  LXXVII. PEEL'S FORLORN HOPE  . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  233
 LXXVIII. STILL THE REIGN OF REFORM  . . . . . . . . . . .  261
          INDEX  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  295





The closest student of history would find it hard indeed to turn to the
account of any other royal reign which opened under conditions so
peculiar and so unpropitious as those which accompanied the succession
of George the Fourth to the English throne.  Even in the pages of
Gibbon one might look in vain for the story of a reign thus singularly
darkened in its earliest chapters.  George the Fourth had hardly gone
through the State ceremonials which asserted his royal position when he
was seized by a sudden illness so severe that, for a while, the nerves
of the country were strained by the alarm which seemed to tell that a
grave would have to be dug for the new King before the body of the late
sovereign had grown quite cold in the royal vault.  It would be idle,
at this time of day, to affect any serious belief that the grief of the
British people at this sudden taking off, had it come to pass, would
have exceeded any possibility of consolation.  George the Fourth was an
elderly personage when he came to the throne, he had been known to his
subjects as a deputy King for many years, his mode of living had long
been a familiar subject of scandal among all classes of his people, and
no one could have supposed that the prosperity of the country {2}
depended to any measurable extent on the continuance of his life.

[Sidenote: 1820--Lord Liverpool's Administration]

George, however, recovered.  His illness proved therefore to be only
one among the unpropitious conditions which accompanied the dawn of his
reign.  Almost the next thing that was heard of him by the outer world
was that he had inaugurated his work of government by calling on his
ministers to assist him in obtaining a divorce from his wife.  Not
often, it must be admitted, has a sovereign just succeeding to a throne
thus celebrated his attainment of regal rank.  Then, again, the
beginning of George the Fourth's reign was immediately followed by the
explosion of a conspiracy belonging to an order uncommon indeed in the
England of those days, almost wholly unknown to the England of our own
time, and resembling in its principal characteristics some of the
Nihilist or Anarchist enterprises common even still in certain parts of
the European continent.  Thus opened the first chapter of the reign of
King George the Fourth.  We shall have to go more fully into details,
and we only print these few lines as what used to be called in former
days the argument of our first chapters.

George was too unwell to stand by his father's bedside when the poor
old King was passing, at last, out of that life which had so long been
one of utter darkness to him.  George, the son, had taken cold in his
beloved pavilion at Brighton, and the cold soon developed into an
illness so serious that for some days it was believed the now King was
destined to succeed his father in the grave almost as soon as he had
succeeded him in the sovereignty.  George's life of excesses had not,
however, completely worn out the fine constitution with which nature
had originally endowed him, and despite the kind of medical treatment
favored at that time, the old familiar panacea, which consisted mainly
in incessant bleeding, the King recovered.  He was soon able to receive
the official addresses of loyalty, to despatch to Louis the Eighteenth
and other European sovereigns his formal announcement of the fact that
he had succeeded to the throne, his formal expressions of grief at {3}
the loss of his beloved father, and his formal assurances of his
resolve to do all he could to maintain harmonious relations with the
rulers of foreign States.  He retained the ministers whom he had found
in office, and who were, of course, his own ministers.  Lord Liverpool
was Prime Minister, Lord Eldon was Lord Chancellor, Lord Palmerston was
one of the younger members of the administration.

The times were troublous.  Lord Liverpool's long tenure of office had
been marked, so far as foreign affairs were concerned, by a resolute
hostility to every policy and all movements which tended in a
revolutionary direction, and to Lord Liverpool and his closest
colleagues the whole principle of popular liberty was merely the
principle of revolution.  In home affairs Lord Liverpool had always
identified himself with systems of political repression, systems which
were established on the theory that whenever there was any talk of
popular grievance the only wise and just course was to put in prison
the men from whose mouths such talk came forth.  On financial questions
Lord Liverpool appears to have entertained some enlightened views,
views that were certainly in advance of the political economy professed
by most of his colleagues, but where distinctly political controversy
came up he may be taken as a fair illustration of the old-fashioned
Tory statesmanship.  Eldon, the Lord Chancellor, had a great deal of
shrewdness in his mental constitution, a shrewdness which very often
took the form of selfishness; and although he exhibited himself for the
most part as a genuine Tory, one is inclined to doubt whether he did
not now and then indulge in a secret chuckle at the expense of those
among his colleagues who really believed that the principles of
old-fashioned Toryism were the only sound principles of government.

The first business of State into which the new sovereign threw his
whole heart and soul was the endeavor to solemnize the opening of his
reign by obtaining a divorce from his wife.  He went to work at once
with the set purpose of inducing his ministers to lend him their aid in
the {4} attainment of this great object.  Lord Eldon was more
especially in his confidence, and with him George had many private
interviews and much exchange of letters on the subject which then
engrossed his attention.  He accomplished his object so far that it was
arranged to leave the name of his wife out of the Royal Liturgy.  But
even to set on foot the formal proceedings for a divorce proved a much
more difficult piece of business.  Pliant as the ministers were,
inclined to be abject as some of them were in their anxiety to please
their royal master, yet the men with whom George especially consulted
could not shrink from impressing on his notice some of the obstacles
which stood in the way of his obtaining his heart's desire.  One of the
main difficulties consisted in the fact that a great part of the
evidence given against George's unhappy consort during the former
investigations had been given by a class of witnesses upon whose
statement it would be impossible for any regularly constituted court of
law to place much reliance.  Again and again in the correspondence
which passed between the King and some of his ministers this weakness
of his case is pointed out, and it is somewhat curious to find so
complete a recognition of it by his advisers when we bear in mind what
they had sanctioned before and were to sanction later on.

[Sidenote: 1820--Queen Caroline]

The Queen herself was on the Continent, and was threatening her
immediate return to her husband's country unless some settlement was
made with her which should secure her ample means of living and allow
her to be formally recognized abroad as the wife of King George.  Henry
Brougham was acting as the Queen's principal adviser at home, and was
doing his best to bring about some sort of compromise which might
result in the Queen's accepting a quiet and informal separation on fair
and reasonable terms.  George, however, was not inclined to listen to
conditions of compromise.  He wanted to get rid of his Queen once for
all, to be publicly and completely divorced from her, to be free from
even a nominal association with her; and he was not inclined to accept
any terms which merely secured him against the chance of her {5} ever
again appearing within his sight.  Brougham was disposed, and even
determined, to do all he could for the unhappy Caroline, although now
and then in one of his characteristic bursts of ill-temper he used to
rail against the trouble she gave him by her impatient desire to rush
back to England and make her appeal to public opinion there.  There was
a great deal of negotiation between the advisers on both sides, and the
final offer made on the part of the King was that the Queen should have
an allowance of 52,000 pounds a year--not, one would have thought, a
very illiberal allowance for the daughter of a small German prince--and
that she should be allowed to retain her titles, and should be
authorized to use them at foreign courts, but that her name was not to
appear in the Liturgy, and that she was not to appear officially in
England as the wife of the sovereign.  These terms were offered much
against the will of the King himself, who still yearned for the
divorce, the whole divorce, and nothing but the divorce.  George
yielded, however, to the urgent advice of his ministers, with the
strong hope and belief still in his own heart that Caroline would not
accept the conditions, and would insist upon presenting herself in
England and asserting her position as Queen.

The Queen, meanwhile, had left Rome, where she had been staying for
some time and where she complained of the want of deference shown to
her by the Papal authorities.  She was hurrying back to England, and
had written to Brougham requesting him to meet her at Saint Omer, and
there accordingly Brougham met her.  Whether he was very urgent in his
advice to her to accept the terms it is not easy to know; but, at all
events, it is quite certain that she refused point-blank to make any
concessions, that she left Brougham with positive abruptness, and
hastened on her way to England.  Among her most confidential advisers
was Alderman Wood, the head of a great firm in the City of London, a
leading man in the corporation of the City, and a member of the House
of Commons.  Many eminent Englishmen--among whom were Wilberforce,
Canning, and Denman, afterwards Lord Chief Justice--were {6} were warm
supporters of her cause, for the good reason that they sincerely
believed her to be innocent of the more serious charges against her and
deeply wronged by the conduct of the King.  Even her most resolute
enemies had to admit that whether her conduct in thus rushing back to
England and forcing herself on public notice were wise or unwise, from
the worldly point of view, it certainly seemed at least like the
conduct of a woman proudly conscious of her own innocence, and
determined to accept no compromise which might put her in the position
of a pardoned sinner.  The nearer she came to England the more cordial
were the expressions of sympathy she received, and from the moment she
landed on English shores her way to London became like a triumphal

[Sidenote: 1820--The King's divorce proceedings]

In the mean time the King and his ministers had come to an agreement
which was exactly what the King had struggled for from the first, an
agreement that steps should be taken in the ordinary way, according to
the legal conditions then existing, for the purpose of obtaining a
divorce.  The course to be adopted was to bring in a Divorce Bill, and
endeavor to have it passed through both Houses of Parliament.  The
proceedings were to open in the House of Lords, and the Queen's leading
defenders--for her cause was of course to be defended by counsel as in
an ordinary court of law--were Brougham and Denman.  The Queen's
arrival in London was a signal for the most tumultuous demonstrations
of popular devotion and favor towards her, and popular anger, and even
fury, against all who were supposed to be her enemies.  The house in
which she took up her abode was constantly surrounded by vast throngs
of her sympathizers, and she used to have to make her appearance at the
windows at frequent intervals and bow her acknowledgments to the crowds
below.  Sometimes the zeal of her admirers found a different way of
expressing itself, and the window-panes of many houses were broken
because the residents were known to be on the side of the King and not
of the Queen.  Conspicuous public men who were known, or were believed,
to have taken part against her were mobbed in the streets, and even the
Duke {7} of Wellington himself was more than once the object of a
hostile demonstration.  So widely spread, so deeply penetrating was the
feeling in favor of the Queen that it was said to have found its way
even into the ranks of the army, and it was believed that some soldiers
of regiments quartered in London itself were to be found carousing to
the health of Queen Caroline.  A crowd of Italian witnesses had been
brought over to bear evidence against the Queen, and these foreign
invaders, nearly all of humble rank, had to be sheltered in buildings
specially erected for their protection in the near neighborhood of
Westminster Hall, and had to be immured and guarded as if they were
malefactors awaiting trial and likely to escape, in order that they
might be safe from the outbreaks of popular indignation.

It told heavily for the case of the Queen, in the minds of all
reasonable and impartial people, that while the King's foreign
witnesses were drawn for the most part from a class of persons who
might be supposed easily open to subornation and corruption, a great
number of distinguished men and women came from various parts of Europe
in which the Queen had resided to give evidence in her favor, and to
speak highly of her character and her conduct.  The manner in which the
proceedings against the Queen were pressed on by the Ministry had one
immediate result to their disadvantage by depriving them of the
services of George Canning, then one of the most rising of European
statesmen.  Canning was strongly impressed with a belief in the Queen's
innocence and he could not consent to become one of her formal public
accusers, which he must have done were he to remain a member of the
administration.  Canning, therefore, after a time, gave up his place as
a member of the Government, and he left the work of the prosecution, as
it may be called, to be carried on by men less chivalrous and less
scrupulous.  It is not necessary to go at any length into the story of
the proceedings before the House of Lords.  These proceedings would
have been made memorable, if there were nothing else to make them so,
by the speeches which Brougham and {8} Denman delivered in defence of
the Queen.  Never perhaps in the course of history have the ears of a
monarch's advisers been made to tingle by such sentences of magnificent
and scathing denunciation poured out in arraignment of the monarch's
personal conduct.  Denman, indeed, incurred the implacable hostility of
George because, in the course of his speech, he introduced a famous
citation from Roman history which, although intended to tell heavily
against the King, was mistakenly believed by some of the King's friends
to convey a much darker and deeper imputation on the sovereign than
that which was really in Denman's mind.

[Sidenote: 1821--Queen Caroline and the King's coronation]

The case may be briefly said to have broken down.  In the House of
Lords, where the friends of the sovereign were most powerful, there was
only a majority of nine for the third reading of the Bill of Divorce,
and the Bill if persevered in would yet have to encounter the House of
Commons.  The Government, therefore, made up their minds to abandon the
proceedings, and thereupon the friends of the Queen exulted
tumultuously over the victory they had won.  But the struggle was not
by any means at an end.  The royal coronation had yet to come, and the
King was anxious that the ceremonial should be got through at as early
a date as possible.  The Queen announced her determination to present
herself on the Day of Coronation and claim her right to be crowned as
Queen Consort of George the Fourth.  Then the advisers on both sides
went to work anew with the vain hope of bringing about something like a
compromise which might save the sovereign, the Court, and the country
from scandalous and tumultuous scenes.  Again the Queen was offered the
allowance which had been tendered to her before, on the old conditions
that she would behave quietly and keep herself out of sight.  Again she
insisted that her name must be included in the Royal Liturgy, and again
the King announced his resolve to make no such concession.  Then the
Queen once more made it known that her resolve was final, and that she
would present herself at Westminster Abbey on the Coronation Day.
George had been advised {9} that all historical precedents warranted
him in maintaining that the King had an absolute right to direct the
forms of the ceremonial to be used on such an occasion, and he declared
that he would not allow the Queen to take any part in the solemnity or
even to be present during its performance.  The Queen wrote letters to
the King which she sent to him through his Prime Minister, Lord
Liverpool.  George sent back the letters unopened to Lord Liverpool,
with the announcement that the King would read no letter addressed to
him by the Queen, and would only communicate with her through the
ordinary official medium of one of his ministers.

The letters thus written on both sides have long since been published,
and the perusal of them will probably impress most readers with the
idea of a certain sincerity on the part of both the principal writers,
the King and Queen.  Let us speak as harshly and as justly as we may of
the King's general conduct, of his mode of living, and of the manner in
which he had always treated the Queen, we shall find it hard not to
believe that there was in the depth of George's mind a fixed conviction
that he had real cause of complaint against his unhappy wife.  Let us,
on the other hand, give the fullest recognition to the fact that
although the scandalous levities in the conduct of the Queen abroad
told heavily against her, we are none the less compelled to admit that
her letters to the King, and her demand to be included in the
Coronation ceremonies, seemed to be part of the conduct of a woman who
will not and cannot admit that she has done anything to forfeit her
place at her husband's side.

The whole story seems now so preposterously out of keeping with all the
associations of a modern Court that it startles our sense of historical
credibility when we find by the actual dates that men and women are
still living who might have been carried by their nurses to see the
crowds round Westminster Abbey on the Coronation Day of King George the
Fourth.  The Coronation took place on July 19, 1821, and the whole
ceremony was got up in the most costly, the most gorgeous, and, as it
would seem now {10} to a calm and critical reader of history, in the
most theatrical style.  The poor Queen did, indeed, make an attempt to
take the place which she claimed in the performances at Westminster
Abbey.  "It was natural," says Miss Martineau, "that one so long an
outcast and at length borne back into social life by the sympathies of
a nation should expect too much from these sympathies and fail to stop
at the right point in her demands."  Miss Martineau adds, however, and
her words will carry with them the feelings of every reader now, "It
would have been well if the Queen had retired into silence after the
grant of her annuity and the final refusal to insert her name in the
Liturgy."  The Queen, of course, failed to obtain an entrance to
Westminster Abbey.  It had been arranged by orders of the King that no
one was to be allowed admission, even to look on at the ceremonial,
without a ticket officially issued and properly accredited with the
name of the bearer.  The Queen, therefore, was allowed to pass through
the crowded streets, but when she came to the doors of the Abbey the
soldiers on guard asked for her ticket of admission, and of course she
had none to present.  Some of the friends who accompanied her
indignantly asked the soldiers whether they did not recognize their
Queen, the Queen of England; but the officers in command replied that
their orders were strict, and the unhappy Caroline Amelia was literally
turned away from the Abbey door.  The King had accomplished his object.

[Sidenote: 1821--Death of Queen Caroline]

The poor woman's story comes to an end very soon.  On August 2, only a
few days after the Coronation, it was made known to the public that the
Queen was seriously ill.  She was suffering, it appears, from internal
inflammation, and the anxieties, the excitements, the heart burnings,
the various agonies of emotion she had lately been undergoing must have
left her poorly prepared.  On August 7 her condition became so alarming
to those around her that it was thought right to warn her of her
danger.  She quietly said that she had no wish to live, that she hoped
not to suffer much bodily pain in dying, but that she could leave life
without the least regret.  She {11} died that day, having lived more
than fifty-two years.  It was her singular fate, however, that even in
her death, which otherwise must have brought so much relief, she became
a new source of trouble to her royal husband.  George had made up his
mind to pay a visit after his coronation to his subjects in Ireland, to
"the long cherished isle which he loved," as Byron says, "like his
bride."  He had got as far as Holyhead on his way when the news reached
him of the Queen's illness, and he thought that it would be hardly
becoming for him to make his first public appearance in Ireland at such
a moment, and to run the risk, perhaps, of having his royal entrance
into Dublin accompanied by the news that his Queen had just died.
Then, when the news of her death did actually reach him, it was still
necessary to make some little delay--joy bells and funeral bells do not
ring well together--and thus George, even as a widower, found his wife
still a little in the way.  The remains of Caroline Amelia were carried
back to her native Brunswick, and there ended her melancholy story.  It
is impossible not to regard this unhappy woman as the victim, in great
measure, of the customs which so often compel princes and princesses to
leave reciprocal love out of the conditions of marriage.  "The birds
which live in the air," says Webster's immortal "Duchess of Malfi,"

  On the wild benefit of nature, live
  Happier than we, for they can choose their mates.

Other women, indeed, might have struggled far better against the
adverse conditions of an unsuitable marriage and have borne themselves
far better amid its worst trials than the clever, impulsive,
light-hearted, light-headed Caroline Amelia was able to do.  There
seems no reason to doubt that she had a good heart, a loving nature,
and the wish to lead a pure and honorable life.  But she was too often
thoughtless, careless, wilful, and headstrong, and, like many others
who might have done well under fair conditions, she allowed the worst
qualities of her nature to take the command just at the very moment
when there {12} was most need for the exercise of all that was best in
her.  Even with regard to George himself, it seems only fair and
reasonable to assume that he, too, might have done better if his
marriage had not been merely an arrangement of State.  Perhaps the
whole history of State marriages contains no chapter at once more
fantastic and more tragic than that which closed with the death of
Caroline Amelia, wife of George the Fourth.

[Sidenote: Death of Napoleon Bonaparte]

While the joy-bells of London were already chiming for the coronation
of George the Fourth, the most powerful enemy George's country had ever
had was passing quietly away in St. Helena.  On May 5, 1821, the
Emperor Napoleon died in his island exile.  No words could exaggerate
the sensation produced through the whole world by the close of this
marvellous career.  He was unquestionably one of the greatest figures
in history.  As a conquering soldier he has no rival in the modern
world, and indeed all the history we know of, ancient or modern, can
give but very few names which may bear comparison with his.  Unlike
Caesar and Alexander, he had made his way from the humble obscurity of
common life, and, unlike Caesar, he did not seem to have had in him the
intellectual greatness which must have made him, under any conditions,
a master of men and of hemispheres.  So far as mere dramatic effect is
concerned, he was less fortunate than Caesar in his disappearance from
the world's stage.  Napoleon was doomed to pine and wither away on a
lonely island in the South Atlantic for years and years, and there was
something like an anticlimax in the closing scenes of that marvellous
life-drama.  It is pitiful and saddening now to read of the trumpery
annoyances and humiliations to which his days of exile were subjected,
and to read, too, of the unceasing complaints with which he resented
what he regarded as the insults offered to him by his jailers.  There
was, indeed, much that was ignoble in the manner of his treatment by
those who had him in charge, in the paltry indignities which he had to
endure, and which he could not endure in the patient dignity of
silence.  The mere refusal to allow to him his title of Emperor, and to
insist {13} that he should only be addressed as General Bonaparte, was
as illogical as it was ungenerous; for if revolutionary France had not
the right to make him an Emperor, she certainly could not have had the
right to make him a General.  Every movement he made and every movement
made by any of his friends on the island was watched as jealously and
as closely as if he had been some vulgar Jack Sheppard plotting with
his pals for an escape through the windows or the cellars of his prison.

One cannot but regret that Napoleon could not have folded himself in
the majestic mantle of his dignity and his fame, could not even, if it
were needed, have eaten out his own heart in silence, and left his
captors to work their worst upon him without giving them the
satisfaction of extorting a word of querulous remonstrance.  His
captors, no doubt, were perpetually haunted by the dread that he might
somehow contrive to make his escape, and that if he once got away from
St. Helena the whole struggle might have to begin all over again.  No
doubt, too, his captors would have said, speaking in the spirit of the
times, that Napoleon was not to be trusted like an honorable prisoner
on parole, and that there was no way of securing the peace of the world
but by holding him under close and constant guard.  The whole story of
those years of captivity is profoundly sad, and is one which may
probably be read with less pain even by Frenchmen than by high-minded
Englishmen.  There has lately been given to the world in the pages of
an American magazine, _The Century_, a continuation of the record once
made by Dr. Barry E. O'Meara of his conversations with Napoleon during
Napoleon's exile in St. Helena.  Dr. O'Meara was a surgeon in the
English navy, and was serving in the _Bellerophon_ when Napoleon came
on board.  He was allowed to take care of Napoleon by the British
Government, and, as he was an Irishman, he felt a certain sympathy with
Napoleon and came to be treated by the fallen Emperor as a friend.  He
published a volume called "A Voice from St. Helena," in which he gave a
detailed account of his talks with the great Emperor.  The book was
much read {14} at the time of its publication, and created a deep
interest wherever it was read.  From this work O'Meara left out many of
the memoranda he had written down, probably because he thought they
might give offence needlessly to living persons; but the withheld
memoranda were all carefully preserved and passed into the hands of
some of his descendants in New Jersey, and have after this long lapse
of time been published at last.  They tell us with painful accuracy of
the petty annoyances constantly inflicted upon Napoleon, and of the
impatience and fretfulness with which, day after day, he resented them
and complained of them.  We seem to live with the great dethroned
Emperor in his hours of homeliest complainings, when every little
grievance that burns in his heart finds repeated expression on his
lips.  Few chapters in the history of fallen greatness can be more
touching than these pages.

Not all that Napoleon said about England, however, was mere complaint
and disparagement.  The world of London may be interested in learning
from these reminiscences how Napoleon told Dr. Barry O'Meara that if
he, Napoleon, had had any authority over the English Metropolis, he
would have long ago taken measures for constructing an embankment on
both sides of the Thames as it passed between Middlesex and Surrey.  If
Dr. O'Meara had embodied this suggestion in his public volume, Napoleon
might unconsciously have become the projector of the Thames Embankment.
_Fas est ab hoste_--the proverb is somewhat musty.




[Sidenote: 1820--The Cato Street conspiracy]

The plot which has been already mentioned as one of the unpropitious
events that marked the opening of George the Fourth's reign was the
famous Cato Street conspiracy.  The conspiracy was nothing less than a
plot for the assassination, all at once, of the whole of his Majesty's
ministers.  The principal conspirator was a man named Thistlewood, a
compound of half-crazy fanaticism and desperate villany--a creature who
believed that he had private vengeance to satisfy, and who had, at the
same time, persuaded himself that no good could come to the people of
England until an example had been made of the King's official advisers
by the avenging hand of the lover of liberty.  The novelty as well as
the audacity of the plot created a perfect consternation all through
England, and it became, for a while, the sincere conviction of a vast
number of reasonable Englishmen that the whole political and social
system of the kingdom was undermined by such plots, and that only the
most strenuous exertions made by the champions of law and order could
protect the realm from an outbreak of horrors far transcending any of
those that had convulsed France during the worst days of the
Revolution.  It was soon made clear enough that Thistlewood's plot was
a conspiracy which included only a very small number of men, and it has
never been quite certain whether it was not originally put in motion by
the machination of some of the paid spies and informers whom it was
believed, at that time, to be the duty of the Ministry to keep in its
service for the detection and the frustration of revolutionary
conspiracy.  It was the common practice of spies and informers, in
those days, to go {16} about secretly in quarters where revolutionary
conspiracy was believed to be in existence, to represent themselves to
some of the suspected plotters as fellow-revolutionists and
brother-conspirators, and thus to get into their confidence, and even
to suggest to them some new form of conspiracy, in order that their
willingness to accept the suggestion might mark them out as proper
subjects for a Government prosecution and obtain for the informers the
credit of the detection.

[Sidenote: 1820--Origin of the conspiracy]

Thistlewood had been engaged in popular agitation for some sort of
reconstitution of political society, and he had been once put on his
trial for some alleged offence arising out of such an agitation.  More
lucky than many other of his contemporaries under similar conditions,
he was brought before a jury who found him not guilty of the charge
made against him.  Now, if Thistlewood had been a sane member of even
an Anarchist organization, he might have been softened in his feelings
towards the existing order of things by finding that a jury had
actually recognized the possibility of his being formally charged with
an offence against the Crown and yet not being guilty.  But Thistlewood
regarded the bare fact that a charge had been made against him as a
crime calling out for vengeance, and in his frenzy he got the idea into
his head that Lord Sidmouth, the Home Secretary, was the person on whom
he was bound to take revenge.  Accordingly, the unfortunate creature
actually sent a challenge to Lord Sidmouth, inviting and defying him to
mortal combat.  Perhaps Lord Sidmouth would have acted wisely if he had
taken no notice whatever of this preposterous challenge, but, at the
same time, it is only fair to remember that Lord Sidmouth might think
it dangerous to the public peace to allow a person to go unrebuked who
had sent a challenge to a Minister of the Crown.  Criminal proceedings
were, therefore, taken against Thistlewood, and, instead of being
committed to the protection of a lunatic asylum, the author of the
challenge was sentenced to a year's imprisonment.  When his prison time
was over, Thistlewood came out a man inflamed with a desire for
vengeance on all the ruling classes {17} in general, and on Ministers
of the Crown in particular.  Like the murderer in "Macbeth," he thought
himself one whom the vile blows and buffets of the world had so
incensed that he was reckless what he did to spite the world.  He soon
got around him a small gang of agitators as ignorant and almost as
crazy as himself, and he initiated them into a grand scheme for dealing
a death-blow to all the ministers at once, and then seizing on the
Bank, Mansion House, and Tower of London, and from these strongholds
proclaiming the existence of a provisional government.

Now the whole notion of such a plot as this, and any possible success
coming out of it, may seem, at first sight, too crazy to be accepted by
any set of men, however ignorant or however wicked, who were not
downright lunatics.  But it is certain that Thistlewood did find a
small number of men who were not actually lunatics, and who yet were
ready to join with him and to risk their lives in his enterprise.  The
first act in the plot was to be the assassination of the King's
ministers.  One of the professional spies in the employment of the
authorities, a man named Edwards, was already in communication with
Thistlewood and his friends.  The plot had been for a considerable time
in preparation, and it was put off for a while because of the death of
George the Third, and the hopes entertained by the conspirators that
the new King might go back to the political principles of his earlier
years, discard Lord Liverpool, Lord Sidmouth, and his other Tory
advisers, and thus render it unnecessary for patriotic men to put them
to death in order to save the country.

When, however, it became apparent that George the Fourth was to keep
around him the ministers who had served him when he was Prince Regent,
it was determined that the work must go on.  Edwards, the spy, was able
to make it known to Thistlewood that there was to be a dinner of the
members of the Cabinet on February 23, 1820, and the opportunity was
thought to be placed by a kindly fate in the hands of the conspirators.
Meanwhile the minister at whose house the dinner was to take place,
Lord {18} Harrowby, was kept fully informed of all that was going on,
and he wisely resolved to take no public notice of the scheme until the
day for the dinner should arrive, when the instruments of the wholesale
murder-plot could be suddenly arrested at the moment of their attempt
to carry out their design.  Thistlewood and most of his companions had
their headquarters in the garrets of a house in Cato Street, Edgware
Road, and there it was arranged among them that they should remain
until one or two of their accomplices, who were kept at watch for the
purpose, should come to them and report that the doomed dinner-guests
had assembled.  Then the conspirators were to repair to the
neighborhood of Lord Harrowby's house in Grosvenor Square.  One of the
outpost men was to knock at Lord Harrowby's door, and the moment the
door was opened all the gang were to rush in and put the ministers to
death.  Lord Harrowby took good care not to have any guests that
evening, but the outpost men of the conspiracy were deceived by the
fact that a dinner-party was actually going on at the house of the
Archbishop of York next door, and when they saw carriages arriving
there they felt sure this was the dinner-party for which they were
waiting.  They waited there until the last of the guests appeared to
have arrived, and then set out to give notice to Thistlewood and his
companions.  Before the outpost men had got back to Cato Street the
police were already there, and an attempt was made to arrest the whole
of the conspirators.  A scuffle took place, in which Thistlewood
stabbed one of the policemen to the heart.  The constituted authorities
had contrived to make almost as much of a bungle as the conspirators
had done; the military force did not arrive in time, and Thistlewood
and some of his accomplices succeeded, for the moment, in making their
escape.  It was only for the moment.  Thistlewood was arrested next
day.  There was nothing heroic or dramatic about the manner of his
capture.  He had sought refuge at the house of a friend in Moorfields,
and he was comfortably asleep in bed when the house was surrounded and
he was made prisoner.  He was put on trial soon after, and, {19} with
four of his accomplices, was sentenced to death, and on May 1 the five
were executed.

[Sidenote: 1820--The government and the conspiracy]

The evidence at the trial made it clear to any reasonable mind that the
plot was confined altogether to the small knot of ignorant desperadoes
who held their councils in Cato Street, and to the informer Edwards,
who had been in communication with them.  The public were never allowed
to know what had become of this man Edwards.  Had he been pensioned by
the Government and been allowed to pass into honorable and comfortable
retirement, or was he to be arrested and put on his trial like other
conspirators?  Several attempts were made to get at the truth by means
of questions to the ministers in the House of Commons, but no
satisfactory reply could be extracted or extorted.  Indeed, it seemed
quite probable that the general feeling among the ruling classes at the
time would have been that the Government had done a very good thing by
employing a man to help in working up murderous conspiracies in order
that such conspiracies should be frightened out of existence, and that
it was quite right to protect and reward the emissaries who had
rendered such faithful service.  For a time there was a widespread and
sincere belief that the Cato Street conspiracy was only one in a vast
network of conspiracies from which nothing but the severest measures of
repression could save England.  The King himself in his royal message
to Parliament was careful to make use of the Cato Street conspiracy as
another and a crowning evidence of the necessity which existed for the
wholesale application of the criminal law in order to save the State
from the triumph of anarchy.  A season of absolute panic set in and the
most trivial political disturbance arising in any part of the country
was magnified into another attempt of the emissaries of revolution to
upset the Throne, pull down the Church, and turn the State into the
republic of a rabble.

It is quite clear now to all readers of history that such attempts as
those planned by the Cato Street conspirators can only exist at a time
when stern and savage restrictions are set upon all efforts to obtain a
free public hearing for {20} the discussion of political and social
grievances.  Where political wrongs can be arraigned in the open day,
there is no occasion for the work of the midnight conspirator.  Already
in England public men were coming forward who were filled with the
noble and patriotic desire to give the philosophy of history some share
in the guidance of political life.  Popular education had been totally
neglected in England, and, indeed, the too common impression among the
ruling classes was that the lower orders of the people could never be
kept in due obedience to their superiors if they were permitted to make
themselves unfit for their station by learning how to read and write.
Even the criminal laws themselves bore terrible testimony to the
prevailing ideas, by the fact that property was proclaimed as sacred a
possession as life itself.

[Sidenote: 1820--Offences that entailed the death penalty]

In the early days of George the Fourth's reign Sir James Mackintosh,
the famous historian, philosopher, and philanthropist, brought into the
House of Commons a measure for abolishing the punishment of death in
cases of the stealing of property to the value of five shillings, and
he succeeded in carrying his measure through Parliament.  Up to that
time men and women had been executed, year after year, for stealing
from a shop any goods of the value of five shillings, were the goods
but a few loaves of high-priced bread carried off for the purpose of
relieving the sufferings of a hungry family.  Sir James Mackintosh's
measure aimed at the abolition of the death penalty in a large number
of other minor offences, but he only succeeded in robbing the gallows
of its victims in two other classes of small offences as well as that
which has just been mentioned.

At this time of day one reads with amazement the arguments which men
like Lord Chancellor Eldon directed against the humane measures
introduced by Sir James Mackintosh.  Parliament and the country were
solemnly warned that if such relaxation of the death punishment were
sanctioned by law, the smaller class of tradesmen would have to give up
their shops and their business altogether, because it would be utterly
impossible for them {21} to keep any goods in their windows or on their
shelves if the punishment of death were not maintained for the theft of
a shawl or a snuff-box.  At the same time it was well known to
everybody who had eyes to see or ears to hear that numbers of
shoplifters escaped punishment altogether because humane juries
refused, even on the plainest evidence, to find a verdict of guilty
where such a verdict would send the prisoner from the dock to the
gallows.  Many a jury, too, when it was impossible to doubt that a
theft had been committed, acted on the ingenious plan of declaring in
their verdict that the articles stolen, whatever their obvious market
worth, were under the value of five shillings, thereby saving the
offender from the doom of death.  Thus the repressive power of the law
was necessarily diminished by the uncertainty which common humanity put
in the way of its regular enforcement, and that very barbarity of
punishment which was intended to keep men back from crime by its mere
terrors gave to the criminal only another chance of escape.

Sir James Mackintosh had brought in his measures as successor, in that
line of philanthropic reform, to the lamented Sir Samuel Romilly, whose
melancholy death, already referred to, had created a profound sensation
throughout England and abroad towards the close of the late reign.
About the time when Mackintosh was thus making his partly successful
attempt to put some check on the application of the death penalty,
Henry Brougham was arousing the attention of Parliament and the country
to the lamentable and disgraceful absence of anything like a system of
national education.  On June 28, 1820, Brougham brought forward the
first definite proposal submitted to the House of Commons for a scheme
of national education designed to apply to England and Wales.  A
parliamentary committee had been sitting for some time to make
inquiries and receive evidence as to the state of education in the
poorer districts of the land.  This, too, was owing almost altogether
to the energy and the efforts of Brougham, but the inquiries of the
committee were resulting in nothing very practical, and Brougham
therefore {22} went a step further than he had previously gone and
brought forward his definite scheme for national education.  It is
hardly necessary to say that he did not succeed in carrying his
measure, and that generations had yet to pass away before any real and
comprehensive effort wag made by the State to establish such a system
of popular education in these countries as had been known to Prussia
and other European nations almost for time out of mind.  But Brougham
had at least started the question, and he never ceased to keep it
moving during his long life.  Other reformers, too, as well as
Mackintosh and Brougham, were making their voices heard above, or at
all events through, the din and clamor of the controversy between the
friends of the King and the champions of the Queen.  Lord John Russell
may be said to have then begun his noble career as reformer of the
system of parliamentary representation, and Mr. Lambton, afterwards to
be better known as Lord Durham, made more than one bold effort in the
same direction.

[Sidenote: 1821--George the Fourth visits Ireland]

Russell and Lambton were both unsuccessful just then.  The time had not
yet come when the question of parliamentary reform was to break up
ministries, set the country aflame with agitation, and put a
thick-witted Sovereign to the necessity of choosing between submission
to the popular demand or facing the risk of revolution.  But it might
have been clear to reflective men that the days of unconditional
loyalty to the will of a monarch had nearly run their course in
England, and that the demand for a reform in the criminal law, a
relaxation of the repression of free speech, the establishment of some
system of popular education, and the adoption of a really
representative principle in the construction of Parliament was destined
before long to prove irresistible.  The case of the reformers was
emphasized by the widespread agricultural distress from which the
country had long been suffering.  The inevitable reaction had set in,
too, after the spasmodic inflation of trade and commerce which had
accompanied the long period of war.  Even if the governing system of
England had been as wise and humane as it was {23} unenlightened and
harsh, the condition of the country would, of itself, have favored
almost any demand for reform.  As the Government system actually was,
only a national prosperity of universal and impossible sleekness could
have kept the people of England much longer indifferent to the
necessity for reform in almost every department of the political and
social system.

Meanwhile the new King was paying his round of State visits to Ireland,
to Hanover, and to Scotland.  We have seen already how the royal
progress to Ireland was delayed by the inconvenient occurrence of the
Queen's death.  George soon, however, felt it proper to put away all
affectation of grief, and to pay his visit to Ireland.  Great hopes
were entertained there for the beneficent results of the royal visit.
George had been during his earlier days in political sympathy as well
as boon companionship with Fox and with Sheridan.  Fox had always shown
himself a true friend to Ireland.  The Irish national poet, Thomas
Moore, had, in one of his songs, described the Banshee as wailing over
the grave of him "on whose burning tongue truth, peace, and freedom
hung."  It was fondly believed in Ireland that the King was returning
to the sympathies of his earlier days, and that his coming to the
island must bring blessings with it.  Daniel O'Connell, the orator and
tribune of the Irish people, appears to have been thoroughly impressed
with the same hopes and the same conviction, and he brought on himself
some satirical lines from Byron in scorn of his credulity and his
confidence.  We shall soon have occasion to see what return O'Connell
got for his loyalty and his devotion.

The last of the great Irish patriots of the past age, Henry Grattan,
had been buried in Westminster Abbey the year before George's visit to
Ireland.  It was well that so pure-minded and austere a lover of his
country should have been spared the necessity of taking any part in the
ceremonials of welcome which attended the arrival of the new Sovereign
in Ireland.  George undoubtedly received what seemed to be a thoroughly
national welcome, for it was fully believed all through the country
that his visit was {24} to open a new era of peace, prosperity, and
well-merited loyalty to Ireland.  King George threw himself thoroughly
into the spirit of the occasion.  He acted his part with admirable
effect.  He was sympathetic, he was convivial, he was pathetic, he was
boisterous, exactly as the theatrical effect of the moment seemed to
call for the display of this or that emotion.  In truth, the character
of George the Fourth never can be thoroughly understood unless we are
able to see how much of the artistic, in a certain sense, there was in
his temperament.  He had that peculiar gift which has lately come to be
called "artistic"--sincerely by some critics, satirically by
others--the gift which enables a man to throw his whole soul and spirit
into any part which the occasion calls on him to act.  George was
almost always playing a part, but it was his artistic temperament which
enabled him to believe that he actually felt at the moment the very
emotions which he tried to express.  The favorite dramatic type of the
conscious hypocrite and the deliberate self-recognized deceiver is much
less common in real life than it was believed to be at one period of
our literary history.  We may take it for granted that George fully
believed himself to be acting with perfect sincerity on most of the
occasions in his life when he had to utter eloquent sentiments
appropriate to the scene and the hour, or to fling himself into the
different humors of those whom, at different times, he was anxious to

[Sidenote: 1821--The King's reception in Ireland]

During his public performances--for thus they may properly be
called--in Ireland, George was sometimes grave, sometimes gay; shed
tears in some places, indulged in touches of buffoonery in others; and
wherever he went seemed to be giving to those around him only the most
sincere outpouring of his own humor and of his own heart.  He appears
thoroughly to have enjoyed his popularity, and to have regarded
himself, for the hour, as the justly idolized hero of the land which he
had come to redeem and to bless.  The harbor where he first landed in
Ireland, which was called Dunleary then, has been called Kingstown ever
since, for its name was changed in honor of the monarch's {25} visit to
his Irish subjects.  The tourist who has just arrived at Kingstown by
the steamer from Holyhead, and who takes his seat in the train for
Dublin, may see from the window of the railway carriage an obelisk, not
very imposing either in its height or in its sculptured form, which
seems a little out of place amid the ordinary accessories of a railway
and steamboat station.  This is the monument which the grateful
authorities of the Irish capital erected to commemorate the spot on
which George the Fourth had set his august feet when he landed on the
shores of Ireland.  Except for the obelisk and the change of name there
was not much done to keep the memory of the King green in the
recollections of the Irish people.

On August 12 George landed at Dunleary, where anxious and enthusiastic
crowds had long been waiting to welcome him.  He was received with
universal cries of "The King!  God bless him!" to which he replied by
waving the foraging-cap which he had been wearing, and crying out, "God
bless you all; I thank you from my heart."  Then he got into his
carriage, and with a cavalcade of his attendants and a concourse of
admiring followers he drove to the Viceregal Lodge in Phoenix Park,
some eight or nine miles' distance.  When he arrived at the Lodge he
alighted from the carriage and proclaimed to the crowd, "In addressing
you I conceive that I am addressing the nobility, gentry, and yeomen of
Ireland.  This is one of the happiest moments of my life.  I feel
pleased being the first of my family that set foot on Irish ground.
Early in my life I loved Ireland, and I rejoice at being among my
beloved Irish friends.  I always considered them such, and this day
proves to me I am beloved by them."  Then he went on to say that
"circumstances of a delicate nature," to which it was needless to
advert, had prevented him from visiting them earlier.  Rank, station,
and honor were nothing to him, but "to feel that I live in the hearts
of my Irish subjects is to me the most exalted happiness."  He wound up
with the touching words, "I assure you, my dear friends, I have an
Irish heart, and will this night give a proof of my affection towards
you, as I am sure you will towards {26} me, by drinking your health in
a bumper of whiskey punch."

[Sidenote: 1821--The King and the Primacy of all Ireland]

This speech may be taken as the keynote of George's behavior throughout
the entire visit.  On the 17th of the month he made his grand state
entrance into Dublin in an open carriage drawn by eight horses, and he
wore in his hat an enormous bunch of shamrocks, to which, by repeated
gestures, he kept incessantly calling the attention of the crowd.  More
than once as he gazed upon his admiring followers he was observed to
shed tears.  Afterwards he attended reviews, showed himself at the
theatre, was present at a great ball at the Mansion House, received an
entertainment at Trinity College, and visited the residences of some of
the Irish nobility.  He talked to everybody, and sometimes in his
conversation showed much of the good sense and shrewdness which really
belonged to him, but in his demeanor towards the general multitude he
always enacted the part of an enthusiastic Sovereign whose enthusiasm
sometimes showed itself in the form of what might have been called, if
he were not a Sovereign, outrageous mountebankcry.  On Monday,
September 3, he quitted the shores of Ireland.  Just before his
departure he received a deputation headed by Daniel O'Connell, who fell
upon his knees, and in that attitude of loyal devotion presented his
Majesty with a laurel crown.  The King was particularly gracious to
O'Connell, shook him warmly by the hand, and accepted gratefully the
gift offered to him, and, for the time, O'Connell divided the applause
of the crowd with the monarch.  There was a renewed interchange of good
wishes and blessings, and then the King got into his barge to be
conveyed to the steamer, and several loyal Irishmen, in their
enthusiasm, rushing to see the last of him, tumbled into the sea, and
with some difficulty rescued themselves, or were rescued, from drowning.

This may be said to have ended the royal visit so far as history is
concerned, for, although the King's return to England was delayed for
several days by contrary winds, he had nothing more to do with his
Irish subjects.  Byron {27} wrote some satirical verses, which he
prefaced with the words of Curran, the great Irish advocate and orator,
describing Ireland like "a bastinadoed elephant kneeling to receive the
paltry rider," and in which he made mockery of O'Connell's loyalty,
paid a just and generous tribute to Grattan, and proclaimed sincerely
his own love for Ireland and his thorough appreciation of her national
cause.  Then the royal visit was over, and the Irish people were soon
to learn the value of the King's profession of sympathy with the wishes
and the wants of his devoted Irish subjects.  A curious illustration of
the sincerity of these royal sentiments may be found in a letter
written by the King not very long after to his Prime Minister, Lord
Liverpool, and marked "Most secret and confidential."  The letter had
reference to the appointment of a new occupant to the exalted office of
Primate of All Ireland, and the King says, "I do not like, I cannot
reconcile myself to have the Primacy of Ireland filled by an Irishman."
The King, when writing this letter, appears to have been in one of his
deeply religious moods.  "I am too far advanced in life," he says, "not
to give subjects of this description the most serious and attentive
consideration.  It is, alas! but too true that policy is too often
obliged to interfere with our best intentions, but I do think where the
head of the Church is concerned, especially at such a moment, we ought
alone to be influenced by religious duty.  Do not be surprised at this
scrupulous language, for I am quite sincere."  Very likely King George
was quite sincere in this momentary burst of religious emotion.  It was
a part of his artistic nature to be able thus to fill himself with any
emotion which helped out the performance he had in hand; but it is at
least an odd comment on his recent emotions of love for the Irish
people and absolute trust in their loyal devotion, that he could not
reconcile himself to the idea of allowing any Irishman to occupy the
position of Primate of All Ireland.  There was no question in this of
Protestant against Roman Catholic, and that Coronation Oath, which had
in the former reign proved so formidable an obstacle to the recognition
of any Catholic {28} claims, was in no wise brought into question.
Nobody suggested that a Roman Catholic bishop should be made Primate of
All Ireland, but it was strange that soon after George's reiterated
professions of love for his Irish people, and absolute trust in them,
he could not reconcile himself to the idea of any Protestant bishop,
however meritorious, being raised to such an office if the Protestant
bishop happened to be an Irishman.

[Sidenote: 1822--George the Fourth visits Scotland]

King George had to leave his capital again in order to visit other
lands where he had subjects to gratify with the pleasure of his
presence.  He paid a visit to Hanover, and then to Scotland.  George,
it need hardly be said, was King of Hanover as well as of England, and
he thought it right that he should illumine the Hanoverians with the
light of his royal countenance.  So he made his way to Hanover, taking
Brussels in his course.  He was accompanied thus far by the Duke of
Wellington and other eminent persons, and he took the opportunity of
surveying the field of Waterloo, and having all the striking points of
the battle-field pointed out and explained to him by the Duke of
Wellington.  It would appear that the sovereign's personal survey of
the field on which Napoleon's last great battle had been fought only
served to strengthen the impression on his mind that he had himself
taken a part, and even a distinguished and heroic part, in that
immortal struggle.  Here again the artistic nature asserted itself.  No
doubt it had long seemed to George that the heir to the English throne
ought to have taken a leading part in a battle which was a
turning-point in the history of England, and by degrees he had
contrived to persuade himself into the belief that he had actually done
the deeds required by the dramatic fitness of things, for it was well
known that, at certain seasons of inspiration, he had described himself
as leading a desperate charge at Waterloo.  Then he pursued his way to
Hanover, and he made much the same demonstrations of deep emotion as
those which had delighted the crowds at Dunleary and in Dublin.  Again
and again he protested his love and his devotion for his Hanoverian
subjects, again and again he accompanied {29} with voice and with
gesture the singing of patriotic hymns, and on more than one occasion
the royal eyes were seen to be streaming over with sympathetic tears.

All this, however, did not prevent him from sometimes making it known
to the more intimate companions of his journey that he was greatly
bored by the Germans in general, and that he was particularly disgusted
with the Hanoverians.  George had always some chosen favorite holding
important personal office in his courtly retinue, and to him, in
moments of relaxation, he occasionally let out his real feelings with
regard to the ceremonial performances which he believed it his duty to
get through.  Then he visited Scotland, and was welcomed by
enthusiastic crowds at Leith and in Edinburgh.  While he was still on
board the royal vessel at Leith he was waited on by several
distinguished representatives of Scottish feeling, and among others by
no less a personage than Sir Walter Scott.  George was very gracious in
his reception of the great novelist, and assured Sir Walter that he was
the one man in Scotland whom he most wished to see.  As had been the
fashion during his visit to Ireland, there was a good deal of
spirit-drinking when the King came to testify his gratitude for the
loyal welcome given to him by his Scottish subjects.  His Majesty
poured out with his own hand some cherry brandy into a glass, which he
tendered to Sir Walter Scott, and Sir Walter not merely drank off the
liquid thus commended to him, but asked permission to keep the glass as
a perpetual relic of the royal giver and of the august occasion.
Thackeray tells the story of the incident in his lecture on George the
Fourth, and we cannot do better than describe it in his own words:
"When George the Fourth came to Edinburgh," says Thackeray, "a better
man than he went on board the royal yacht to welcome the King to his
kingdom of Scotland, seized a goblet from which his Majesty had just
drunk, vowed it should remain forever as an heirloom in his family,
clapped the precious glass in his pocket, and sat down on it and broke
it when he got home."  One can easily imagine how the sudden fate of
the precious relic must have amused {30} and delighted the satirical
genius of Thackeray, who could not quite forgive even Sir Walter Scott
for having lent himself to the fulsome adulation which it was thought
proper to offer to George the Fourth on the occasion of his visit to
his kingdom of Scotland.

Thackeray, indeed, seems to have been a little too hard upon George,
and to have regarded him merely as a worthless profligate and buffoon,
who never really felt any of the generous emotions which the sovereign
found it convenient to summon up at the appropriate seasons.  Our own
study of the character leads us to the opinion already expressed, that
George did actually believe for the time in the full sincerity of the
feelings he thought proper to call into action on the occasion of an
important ceremonial, and that the feelings were no less genuine at the
moment than those which came on him when the performance was over, and
he had an opportunity of showing the new state of his mind in the
reaction of weariness caused by the whole tiresome proceedings.  George
went through the usual rounds of visits in Scotland, and put on an
appearance of absolute enjoyment during the public entertainments and
popular acclamations which he had brought upon himself.  He displayed
himself frequently in a suit of Stuart tartan when he did not array
himself in his costume as a field-marshal.  We read that during the
singing of royal songs he not only beat time to the chorus, but
actually accompanied it with his voice.  His parting words when he was
leaving the shores of Scotland were the deep-toned and thrilling
benediction, "God bless you all!"  The loyal chroniclers of the time
proclaimed that the visit to Scotland was a perfect success, and if the
loyal chroniclers at the time were not in a position to know, how can
we of a later date, who had not the advantage of being present at the
scene, or even of being alive at the time, pretend to dispute the
accuracy of their estimate?




[Sidenote: 1720-87--Canning and the King]

[Transcriber's note: the above dates are what were in the book, but
1820-37 would seem more logical.]

We have seen how the course of the proceedings taken against the Queen
deprived the Liverpool Ministry of the services of its most brilliant
member, George Canning.  Canning had made up his mind from the beginning
that he could not appear as one of the Queen's accusers, although he had
consented, as a compromise, to the omission of her name from the Royal
Liturgy.  He had consented to this compromise because, although he did
not believe in the worst of the charges against the Queen, he could not
help admitting that there was much in her conduct which rendered her
unsuitable as the reigning consort of the King; and at the time he did
not understand that the King's disapproval of her actions was to take the
form of a prosecution and a demand for divorce.  He had applied to the
King for leave to resign his office in the Ministry, and had only been
induced to remain on the understanding that he was not expected to take
any part in the public proceedings against the unhappy Caroline.  When,
however, it became evident that the whole question would be raised in the
House of Commons, and that he must either give a silent assent to the
course taken by the King's advisers or publicly condemn it there, he felt
it his duty to send in his resignation of his place in the Ministry and
to stand by his resolve.  Canning withdrew from office and became, for
the time, merely a private member of the House of Commons.  King George
got it into his mind that his former minister had deserted his cause at
an anxious and critical moment, and the King, who was flighty enough in
most of his purposes, seldom forgot what he regarded as an injury.  He
never forgave Canning, {32} although the time was now coming when hardly
any choice was left him but to take Canning back into his service again,
and under conditions that gave Canning a greater influence over public
affairs than he had ever had before.

[Sidenote: 1720-87--The early life of Canning]

[Transcriber's note: see the note on page 31.]

After the group of illustrious men, which included the elder and the
younger Pitt, Fox, Burke, and Sheridan, had disappeared from English
public life, Canning was through the whole of his career the greatest
Parliamentary orator and leader in England.  Up to the time at which we
have now arrived, he had not yet won his highest reputation as a
statesman.  He was born under conditions which might have been depressing
and disheartening to one of different mould.  His father was a man of old
family and well connected, who had in his earlier years developed some
taste for literature, and was regarded by most of his relatives as one
who merely brought discredit on his kindred by his mean ambition to
devote himself to the profession of letters.  The elder Canning does not
seem, however, to have had a capacity for making a real success in that
way, and, indeed, it would appear as if he had too much of the often
fatal gift of the amateur in his composition to allow him to concentrate
his energies on any one pursuit.  He sought for success in various fields
and never found it, and he died soon after his son, George Canning, was
born.  The mother of the future statesman was thus left a widow while she
was still young, and, as she had great beauty and believed that she had a
vocation for the stage, she did her best to make a living for herself and
her child by becoming a professional actress.  She was not much of an
actress, however, and, being unable to make any mark in London, she
passed for a time into the provinces, and at last married an actor and
disappeared from historical notice.

Meanwhile, the education of George Canning the son had been provided for
by his uncle, a wealthy merchant and banker, Stratford Canning, whose son
was afterwards famous as Lord Stratford de Redcliffe, the "great Elchi"
of Kinglake.  This uncle seemed anxious to make reparation for the manner
in which his dead brother had been {33} treated by the family in general.
The young Canning was sent to Eton and to Oxford, and began to study for
the bar, but he displayed such distinct talents for literature and for
politics that there seemed little likelihood of his devoting himself to
the business of law.  He soon became known at Oxford as a charming poet,
a keen and brilliant satirist, and a public speaker endowed with a voice
of marvellous intonation and an exquisite choice of words.  He made the
acquaintance of Sheridan and of Burke; by Burke he was introduced to
Pitt, and by Sheridan to Fox, and it is believed to have been on the
suggestion of Pitt that he resolved to devote himself to a Parliamentary
career.  He married a woman who had a large fortune, and he obtained a
seat in the House of Commons.  In that House he remained silent for a
whole session after his election, and devoted himself to a close study of
the rules, the usages, and the manners of the representative chamber.  In
those far-off days it was considered becoming on the part of a young
member of the House to observe a modest silence for a great part of his
first session, and to make himself familiar with the assembly before he
ventured on any public display of his eloquence.  The time had not yet
come when it was considered humanly possible for a member of Parliament
to make his first speech on the very day of his first introduction to the
House of Commons.

Canning's first speech was a distinct success.  He was thought by some
critics to have imitated too closely the magnificent rhetorical style of
Burke, but the exquisite voice and the noble elocution of Canning were
all his own and certainly could not have been improved by any imitation
of the voice and manner of Burke.  Many of Canning's friends took it for
granted that the young member would ally himself with the Whig
Opposition, but Canning at once presented himself as the devoted follower
of Pitt.  Canning was afterwards the foremost among the creators of the
_Anti-Jacobin_, a famous satirical periodical set up to throw ridicule on
the principles and sentiments of the French Revolution, and of all those
who encouraged its levelling theories or who aped its exalted professions
of {34} humanity and of universal brotherhood.  Canning made his way
rapidly in public life, and became an Under-Secretary of State three
years after his election to the House of Commons.  His next appointment
was that of Treasurer to the Navy, and in 1807 he became Secretary of
State for Foreign Affairs.  A quarrel began between him and Lord
Castlereagh, one of his colleagues, arising out of the unfortunate
Walcheren expedition, and the quarrel resulted in a duel, after the
fashion of the day, in which Canning received a wound.

[Sidenote: 1822--Canning and the governorship of India]

The policy of Castlereagh made as strong a contrast with the policy of
Canning as even the contrast which was brought under the notice of every
listener by the Parliamentary speeches of the two men.  Canning was
master of a polished eloquence which, at the time, had no rival in either
House of Parliament.  Castlereagh was one of the most singular and
striking illustrations of the fact that a man may sometimes become a
power in the House of Commons without the slightest gift of eloquence.
Canning was a master of phrase, tone, and gesture.  Castlereagh's
language was commonplace, uncouth, and sometimes even ridiculous, and it
happened only too often that in his anxiety to get his words out he
became positively inarticulate.  His policy represented the ideas of the
Holy Alliance in their narrowest and most reactionary meaning; while
Canning, although entirely opposed to the principles of mere revolution,
had an utter contempt for the notion that a conclave of European
sovereigns could lay down limits and laws for the growth and the
government of all the European nationalities.  The policy of Castlereagh
has long since ceased to have any believers even among the advisers of
autocratic sovereigns, while the policy of Canning is the recognized
creed of statesmanship all over the civilized world.

Canning resigned his office as Foreign Secretary in 1809, and was for a
short time sent on a special embassy to the Court of Lisbon.  Then he
became President of the Board of Control, which may be said to have
divided at that time the management of our Indian possessions with the
East {35} India Company, and he held this important office for about four
years.  Meanwhile he had resigned his seat for Newport, in the Isle of
Wight, and had been elected as representative of the great and growing
port of Liverpool in the House of Commons.  The visitor to Liverpool at
the present day can hardly go far through the great city without meeting
some memorial of the veneration in which the illustrious name of Canning
is held by the dwellers on the Mersey.  A vacancy arose in the office of
Governor-General of India, and the directors of the East India Company
invited Canning to accept the splendid and commanding position.  Canning
at once made up his mind to close with the offer.  The position would in
many ways have suited his genius, his deep interest in the government of
states, and the freshness of his ideas on all subjects connected with the
growth of the Empire.  Moreover, he knew that he had offended the King,
and that George was not a man likely to forgive such an offence, and he
thought he had reason to believe that, for the present at least, there
was not much prospect for him of advancement in English political life.
Many of his friends endeavored to persuade him against accepting a
position which would make him an exile from England at a time when
England's interests on the European continent required just such a genius
as his to guide her foreign policy, and they felt sure that the time
could not be far distant when he must be invited to resume his former
place in the Administration.  Canning, however, held to his purpose,
accepted the offer of the East India Company, and went to Liverpool in
order to take farewell of his constituency before setting out on his
voyage to the scene of his new duties.

He stayed while in Liverpool at Seaforth House, the residence of Mr. John
Gladstone, one of the merchant princes of Liverpool, whose son William
Ewart Gladstone was afterwards to make the name of the family famous in
history.  During his stay at Seaforth House, Canning used to spend much
of his time gazing out upon the sea, while the little boy William Ewart
Gladstone played on the lawn near him.  It was here that Canning heard
the news {36} which led to an entire change in his purpose, and opened
the way to his greatest success.  His late colleague, his late rival,
Castlereagh, was dead--had died by his own hand.  Castlereagh had lately
succeeded to his father's title, and had become Marquis of Londonderry;
but as the marquisate was only an Irish peerage, he could still sit in
the House of Commons as the chosen representative of an English
constituency.  His mind had seemed, for some time, to be darkened by
troubles of which he gave no account to his friends, and he suddenly
committed suicide.  There are many conjectures and suggested explanations
as to the immediate cause of the act, but all we know for certain is that
the strong mind seemed suddenly to give way, and that Castlereagh could
endure life no longer.  Seldom, indeed, has the death of a public man in
modern times been received with any such demonstrations as those which in
many places followed the news that Castlereagh had done himself to death.
In every community all over the country, and indeed all over Europe and
the civilized world, there were those who proclaimed that the death of
such a man was a positive blessing to the human race.  Wherever men were
struggling against despotism and suffering from tyranny, there were those
who felt and who declared that the departure of Castlereagh from this
world was a benefit to humanity at large.

[Sidenote: 1822--Canning as Foreign Secretary]

Yet the man himself had not a cruel or an ignoble nature.  He had through
all his life friends who loved him, and whose love his private character
and conduct had well deserved.  But he had made himself the English
representative of the policy of the Holy Alliance at a time when every
lover of liberty, and every believer in the development of free
institutions and the beneficent results of their working, must have felt
that even the excesses of the French Revolution gave no excuse for the
deliberate setting-up of the doctrine of combined despotism.  Men of
liberal opinions were in an especially angry mood just then because
England seemed to have gone in deliberately for the policy which
authorized the "crowned conspirators," as Sydney Smith called them, to
impose their edicts {37} on the whole continent of Europe.  This
condition of things may help to explain the cry of rejoicing with which
the news of Castlereagh's suicide was received in so many places.  The
London crowd who followed the funeral procession to Westminster Abbey
greeted the removal of the coffin with yells of execration.  Byron wrote
verses of savage bitterness about the dead man and his deed of
self-murder--wrote some verses which no English publisher now would put
into print.

The death of Castlereagh became a turning-point in the career of Canning.
The whole voice of Liberal public opinion at once proclaimed that Canning
was the only man left in the country who was capable of redeeming
England's foreign policy from the discredit and disgrace brought upon it
by Castlereagh's Administration.  Even Lord Liverpool himself soon came
to see that there was no other course left to him than to recommend the
King to offer to Canning the place of Foreign Secretary.  The King at
first fought hard against the advice of his Prime Minister.  The letters
which passed between him and Lord Liverpool are a curiosity in their way.
George had evidently persuaded himself that Canning was a monster of
ingratitude, who had committed a positively unpardonable offence against
his lord and master.  Indeed, it was only by playing upon the King's
personal vanity that Lord Liverpool at last brought him to accept the
wholesome advice tendered to him.  Lord Liverpool reminded George again
and again that one of the noblest of a monarch's prerogatives was his
power to grant forgiveness to any repentant sinner.  George was probably
beginning to be weary of the discussion, and perhaps had natural
shrewdness enough to see that it could only end in one way.  He therefore
seemed to be taken by the appeal made to his generosity for pardon to a
penitent offender, and he consented to make approaches to Canning with
regard to the office of Foreign Secretary.  At first, however, the King
made so ostentatious a profession of his magnanimous desire to pardon the
remorseful wrong-doer that Canning could not bring himself to accept the
abject position which {38} his sovereign was arranging for him.  He
therefore declined at first to take any office under such conditions, and
the King had to come down from his high horse and treat with his subject
in less arrogant fashion.  The King, at last, so far modified his
language as to leave the prerogative of mercy out of the question, and
Canning, by the advice of all his friends and supporters, consented to
become once more a member of the Administration and to undertake the
duties of Foreign Secretary.

[Sidenote: 1822-27--Canning's fitness for Foreign Minister]

This, we have said, was the turning-point in the career of Canning.  It
was also a turning-point in the modern history of England.  The violence
of the reaction against the principles of the French Revolution had spent
itself, and the public mind of this country was beginning to see that the
turbulence of democracy was not likely to be safely dealt with by the
setting-up of despotism.  Canning himself was a living illustration of
the manner in which many great intellects had been affected by the course
of events between the fall of Napoleon and the death of Castlereagh.
Canning in his earlier days was in sympathy with the theories and
doctrines of popular liberty, and we have seen that up to the time of his
actually entering Parliament it was generally believed he would rank
himself with the Whig Opposition.  But, like many other men who loved
liberty too, he had been alarmed by the aggressive policy of Napoleon,
and he believed that the position of England was best guaranteed by the
later policy of Pitt.  Then came the Congress of Vienna, and the
deliberate attempt to reconstruct the map of continental Europe, and to
decree the destinies of nations according to the despotic principles of
the Holy Alliance.

Canning soon recognized the fact, obvious enough, one might have thought,
even to a man of intellect far lower than that of Canning, that the
traditions, the instincts, and the feelings of a people must count for
something in the form and manner of their government, and that there are
forces at work in the hearts and minds of peoples which can no more be
governed by imperial and royal decrees than can the forces of physical
nature itself.  He {39} had unconsciously anticipated in his own mind
that doctrine of nationalities which afterwards came to play so momentous
and so clearly recognized a part in the politics of the world.  He saw
how the policy of Castlereagh had made England the recognized ally of all
the old-world theories of divine right and unconditional loyalty, and had
made her a fellow-worker with the sovereigns of the Holy Alliance for the
restoration of tyranny all over the European continent.  He understood
the nature and the meaning of the new forces which were coming up in
political life; he saw that the French Revolution was not destined to end
in the mere restoration of mediaeval despotism.  He saw that the American
Revolution had opened a new chapter in the history of the modern world,
and that no man, whether he called himself Tory or Whig, was fit to be
intrusted with the administration of England's foreign policy who had not
learned the lessons taught by the closing years of the eighteenth and the
opening years of the nineteenth century.  Canning had much of that
imaginative faculty without which there can hardly be any real
statesmanship.  Even his gift of humor helped him in this way.  He was
able to understand the feelings, the tempers, and the conditions of men
with whom he had little opportunity of personal contact.  He could bring
himself into sympathy with the aspirations of peoples who were wholly
foreign in race to him, and who would have been mere foreigners and
nothing else in the eyes of many of his political colleagues.

If Lord Londonderry had lived and had continued, as no doubt he would
have done, to hold the Foreign Office, he would have been England's
representative at the Congress of Verona.  The new chances opened by his
death inspired that demand for the services of Canning which compelled
the King at last to yield and invite Canning back to his old place.  The
Congress of Verona was in fact a reassembling of the Holy Alliance for
the purpose of taking once more into consideration the disturbed state of
Europe, and laying down once more the lines of the only policy which,
according to the judgment of the despotic {40} sovereigns and their
ministers, could restore peace to the Continent.  The disturbances arose
simply from the fact that some of the European populations were rising up
against the policy of the Holy Alliance, and were agitating for the
principles of constitutional government.  The immediate and ostensible
object for the summoning of the Congress was the fact that Greece had
been trying to throw off the yoke of Turkey, and that the leading members
of the Holy Alliance believed it was their business and their right to
say what was to be done with Greece, and whether or not it was for their
convenience that she should be held in perpetual bondage.

[Sidenote: 1822-27--England and the Congress of Verona]

But there were troubles also in Spain, because the Spanish sovereign had
been giving way to the desire of his people for a system of
constitutional government and for the recognition of the principle that a
people has something to do with the making as well as with the obeying of
laws.  The restored Bourbon Government in France declared that it saw
dangers to its own rights and its own security in these concessions to
popular demand, made in a country which was only divided from French
territory by the barrier of the Pyrenees.  It was intimated in the
clearest manner that the Bourbon Government of France would be prepared,
if necessary, to undertake armed intervention in the affairs of Spain in
order to prevent the Spaniards from thus setting a bad example to the
subjects of the Bourbon dynasty.  Then the condition of Poland was giving
some alarm to the despotic monarchs of the Continent everywhere; for, if
Poland were to rise and were allowed to assert its liberty, who could
tell on what soil, sacred to despotism, other rebellious movements might
not also break out.  Therefore, the monarchs of the Holy Alliance were
much perturbed, and came to the conclusion that, as the Congress of
Vienna had not succeeded in enforcing all its edicts, the only wise thing
would be to call together another Congress, to be held this time at
Verona, and there go over all the work again with greater vigor and

Now it was unavoidable that England should be invited {41} to take part
in this Congress, seeing that, but for the assistance given by England,
there would never have been a chance for even the Congress of Vienna to
make any attempt at the regulation of Europe.  Besides, it was well known
that Lord Londonderry had been a main instrument in the formation and
execution of the plans laid down by the Congress of Vienna, and although
England, on that occasion, had not been able to go quite as far as her
allies would have wished her to accompany them, yet it was not thought
possible to leave England without an invitation to be represented at the
Congress of Verona.  On the death of Lord Londonderry it was resolved by
the English Government to send the Duke of Wellington to Verona.  The
Duke had never professed any particular ideas of his own with regard to
foreign policy, but he was the most loyal of men in obeying the
instructions of those who were properly authorized to direct his
movements, and in whom he could place his confidence.  When Canning
consented to accept office the Duke at once put himself into
communication with the new Foreign Secretary, and wrote to him from Paris
informing Canning of his belief that the Spanish question would be
brought, in some shape or other, under the consideration of the Congress,
and asking Canning for instructions as to the course which he ought to
adopt.  Canning despatched a reply to the Duke, one passage of which may
be regarded as a full illustration of the new principle which he had
determined to establish in England's foreign policy.  The words of the
great statesman cannot be read with too close an attention.  Canning
declares that, "If there be a determined project to interfere by force or
by menace in the present struggle in Spain, so convinced are his
Majesty's Government of the uselessness and danger of any such
interference, so objectionable does it appear to them in principle as
well as in practical execution, that when the necessity arises--or, I
would rather say, when the opportunity offers--I am to instruct your
Grace at once frankly and peremptorily to declare that to any such
interference, come what may, his Majesty will not be a party."


[Sidenote: 1822-27--Canning and the Bourbons]

The Duke of Wellington faithfully obeyed the instructions which had been
given to him.  He made it clear to the Congress of Verona that England
would not sanction any project for the interference of foreign sovereigns
with the domestic affairs of Spain.  When the Duke found that his
arguments and his remonstrances were of no avail, he withdrew from the
Congress altogether and left the members of the Holy Alliance to take on
themselves the full responsibility of their own policy.  Now it would be
hardly possible to overrate the importance of the step thus taken by
England at a great crisis in the public affairs of Europe.  The reign of
George the Fourth would be memorable in history if it had been
consecrated by nothing but this event.  The utter disruption between the
old state policy and the new was proclaimed by the instructions which
Canning sent to the Duke of Wellington, and which were faithfully carried
out by the Duke.  No English Government has, in later days, ventured to
profess openly any other foreign policy than that announced by Canning.
Other ministers in later times may have attempted, now and then, to
swerve from it in this direction and in that, and to cover their evasion
of it by specious pleas, but the new doctrine set up by Canning has never
since his time found avowed apostates among English statesmen.  It would
have been well if such a principle could have inspired the foreign policy
of England in the days when the French Revolution broke out, and if
England had then proclaimed that she would be no party to any attempt
made by foreign States to prevent the people of France from settling
their own systems of government for themselves.  Europe might have been
saved a series of disastrous wars.  France might have been relieved from
counter-revolutions, seasons of anarchy, and seasons of military
despotism.  England might long have had friendly neighbors where even yet
she has perhaps only concealed enemies.

The designs of the Holy Alliance soon made themselves manifest.  The
French Government had brought so much pressure to bear on the feeble King
of Spain that he revoked the Constitution which, at a better moment, he
had {43} granted to his people.  There was an attempt at revolution in
Spain, and the attempt was put down by the strong hand with the
assistance of France, and the leading rebels were at once conducted to
the scaffold.  Portugal still kept those free institutions which England
had enabled her to preserve, and still retained her sympathy with
freedom.  Canning soon saw that a part of the policy of the French
Government was to bring Portugal also into subjection, and against this
danger he provided by a bold announcement of policy.  He declared in the
House of Commons that if Portugal were, of her own accord, to engage
herself in a war with France, the English Government would not feel bound
to take any active part in the struggle, but that if the King of Spain
were to accept or call in the assistance of the King of France to
suppress Portugal, the Government of England would put its armies into
the field to maintain its ancient ally.  Then there arose a great
question concerning the Spanish colonies and possessions across the
Atlantic.  The policy of France was to enable Spain to reconquer some of
her American colonies which had long been withdrawing themselves from
their condition of subjection, and the scheme of French statesmen
evidently was that Spain would hand over some of her American possessions
as a tribute of gratitude to France for the services she had rendered to
the cause of absolutism in Spain.

On this question, too, Canning announced to the House of Commons a
determination on the part of the English Government which put an
effectual stop to this audacious policy.  Canning declared that, although
Spain had long since lost any real control over her transatlantic
colonies, yet if she were to attempt their actual reconquest for herself
England, however little in sympathy with such a purpose, might not feel
that it was any part of her business to interfere by force of arms.  But
he went on to tell the House that, if Spain should claim the right to
hand over any of those colonies to France as a part of the policy
arranged between France and Spain, the English Government would then
intervene directly and at once on behalf {44} of the Spanish-American
colonies.  This was the course of action which Canning described to the
House of Commons in an immortal phrase when he told the House "that he
had called in the New World to redress the balance of the Old."  No words
employed by an English minister during the last century have been more
often quoted, and none have ever more thoroughly justified themselves in
history.  The schemes of the French and the Spanish Bourbons were
blighted in the bud by Canning's memorable declaration.

[Sidenote: 1822-27--The Monroe Doctrine]

Canning had indeed called in the New World to redress the balance of the
Old in a sense more complete than the accepted meaning of his words, at
the time, appeared to signify.  He had secured for his policy the moral
co-operation of the New World's greatest power--the Republic of the
United States.  It was on the inspiration of Canning that the President
of the United States embodied in a message to Congress that declaration
of principle which has ever since been known as the Monroe doctrine.
President Monroe, who knew well that he was proclaiming no doctrine which
his influence and his authority with his country would not enable him to
carry out, made known to Congress that it was his intention to warn
European sovereigns against the danger of setting up their systems in any
part of the New World.  The United States, according to President
Monroe's declaration, had no idea of interfering with existing systems,
but if European sovereigns were to set up governments of their own on any
other part of the American continents and against the wishes of the
populations, the United States must regard any such attempt as a menace
and a danger to the American Republic.  This is in substance the meaning
of that Monroe doctrine which has often been criticised unfairly or
ignorantly on this side of the Atlantic, and its proclamation was
undoubtedly due, at the time, to the advice which came from George
Canning.  President Monroe never meant to say that the Government of the
United States had any idea of interfering with British North America or
with the Empire of Brazil.  The {45} Canadian provinces of Great Britain
were, of course, perfectly free to remain a loyal part of the British
Empire so long as it suited the interests and the inclinations of the
Canadians.  If the people of Brazil chose to be governed by an emperor,
the United States Government did not assert any right to interfere with
their choice.  But what the Monroe doctrine did declare was that if any
foreign sovereigns attempted to bring liberated American colonies again
under their sway, or to set up by force new subject colonies on American
shores against the wishes of the populations concerned, the United States
must regard such action as a menace and a danger to the American
Republic, and must not be expected to look quietly on without any attempt
at intervention.  This was, in the truest sense, the announcement of a
policy of peace, for it frankly made known to the despotic rulers of the
Old World what their risk must be if they ventured on the futile
experiment of setting up despotic states on the shores of the New World.

It would have been well indeed if European monarchs at a later day had
always remembered the warning and rightly estimated its weight.  It would
have been well for Louis Napoleon if at the zenith of his imperial
success he had studied that message of President Monroe and properly
interpreted its meaning.  Such a course would have prevented him from
making his ill-starred attempt to set up a Mexican Empire by the force of
French arms on the ruins of a subjugated Mexican Republic.  It would have
saved him from defeat and disaster, and would have saved the unhappy,
ill-advised, and gallant Maximilian, his puppet emperor, from a tragic
fate.  The attempt to retrieve the disgrace of his enforced withdrawal
from Mexico led Louis Napoleon into that policy of the desperate
gambler's last throw which ended in the occupation of Paris and the fall
of the Second Empire.

Meanwhile the policy of Canning had accomplished its purpose.  The
Congress of Verona had been an idle piece of business, the sovereigns of
the Holy Alliance had found that their day was done, and the New World
had been successfully called in to redress the balance of the Old.




[Sidenote: 1820-30--Sir William Knighton]

The King was at first disposed to show some alarm at the bold policy of
Canning.  George, to do him justice, was in general a lover of peace,
and for a while he did not see how the declarations of his Foreign
Minister could lead to anything less than an outbreak of war on the
part of the Continental sovereigns, who thus seemed to be challenged to
assert what they believed to be their rights.  His doubt and dread took
the form of more or less concealed grumblings against Canning, and
efforts to induce his other ministers to make a common cause with him
against the adventurous Foreign Minister.  Canning, however, saw that
the crisis which he had to face was one which makes a bold and resolute
policy, frankly avowed on the part of a strong Government, the best or
the only means of securing peace.  He was able, after a while, to
impress his royal master with the justice of his belief, and the King
graciously received the envoy accredited to his Court on behalf of one
of the new American Republics.  Then the rest of the work went on
smoothly, the lines of the new policy were laid down, and the
sovereigns of the Holy Alliance did not venture to transgress them.

The King was, at all times, much in the habit of attempting to make
encroachments on the proper domain of any minister who had the courage
and the strength to oppose him, and Canning had to endure a good deal
of interference of this kind.  The Foreign Minister patiently and
steadfastly held his own, and George did not see his way to come to any
open rupture.  The King found it hard to make up his mind to settle
down to the part of a purely constitutional sovereign.  Perhaps the
part had not yet {47} been clearly enough evolved from the conditions
of the time, and George, even when he had the best intentions, was
always lapsing back into the way of his predecessors.  George was a
great letter-writer.  To adopt a modern phrase, he "fancied himself" as
a composer of State papers.  It seems marvellous now that a man so lazy
by nature should have found the time to pen so many documents of the
kind.  Perhaps even in the most commonplace ways of life we are often
compelled to wonder at the amount of work a man habitually lazy can
sometimes contrive to cram into his day's doings.  George was now as
much addicted to indolence, to mere amusement, and to pleasures as he
had been during earlier seasons of his career.  He was just as fond of
the society of his intimates and of all the pastimes and social
enjoyments in which he and they delighted.  He had not reformed any of
his habits, and his growing years did not bring him any steady resolve
to apply himself to the actual business of his position.  Yet he seemed
to be frequently inspired by fitful desires to display himself as the
genuine ruler of a State and to let his ministers know they must not
attempt to do without him.

One of the King's prime favorites was Sir William Knighton, who had
begun by being a physician, had made his way into Court circles, and
become the private and confidential adviser of the King.  Sir William
Knighton had been appointed to the office of Keeper of the Royal Purse,
and in that capacity he had rendered much service to George by
endeavoring with skill and pertinacity to keep income and expenditure
on something more nearly approaching to a balance than had been the way
in former days.  Knighton's was not exactly a State office and it gave
him no position among ministers, but the King constantly used him as a
go-between when he desired to have private dealings with any of his
recognized advisers, and Knighton was the recipient of his most
confidential communications.  From the letters and memoranda which
belong to this time we are enabled to learn much of the real feelings
of King George towards some of his ministers, and to {48} understand
the difficulties with which Canning had to deal while endeavoring to
make his enlightened policy the accepted and recognized policy of

[Sidenote: 1822-27--The war of Greek independence]

The condition of Greece began to be a serious trouble to the statesmen
of Europe.  Greece was under the sway of the Sultan of Turkey, and its
people may fairly be described as in a state of chronic insurrection.
The Greeks, even in their lowest degree of national decadence, were far
too intelligent, too ready-witted, and too persevering ever to become
the mere slaves of an Ottoman ruler.  There was something
inextinguishable in the national life of the country, and it seemed as
if no pressure of tyranny, no amount of humiliation, could make the
Greeks forget the history of their glorious days and the deeds of their
ancestry, or compel them to stifle, even for a season, their hopes of
national independence.  A great struggle broke out against the Ottoman
rule, and it roused the passionate sympathy of the lovers of freedom
all over the world.  Byron threw his whole soul into the cause, and
stirred the hearts of his countrymen by his appeals on behalf of the
Greek struggle for independence.  Numbers of brave Englishmen gladly
risked their lives to help the Greeks.  Lord Cochrane, who was
afterwards described as the last of the English sea-kings, rushed over
to Greece to give his genius and his daring to the help of the Greeks
in their struggle against overwhelming odds.  A speech of Lord John
Russell's which he delivered in the House of Commons within the hearing
of living men described with admirable effect the enthusiasm which was
aroused in England for the cause of Greece and the efforts which were
openly made even by members of the ruling class to raise money and to
send out soldiers and sailors to enable the Greeks to hold their own
against the Ottoman enemy.  Many Englishmen bearing historic names
joined with Byron and Cochrane in giving their personal help to the
struggling Greeks, and indeed from every civilized country in the world
such volunteers poured in to stand by Bozzaris and Kanaris in their
desperate fight for the rescue of Greece.  The odds, however, were
heavily against the Greeks.  Their {49} supply of arms, ammunition, and
general commissariat for the field was poor and inadequate, and they
were sadly wanting in drill and organization.  Splendid feats of
bravery were displayed on land and on sea, but it seemed only too
certain that if the Greeks were left to their own resources, or even if
they were not sustained by the open support of some great foreign
State, the Ottoman Power must triumph before long.

The best part of the war on the side of Turkey was carried on by
Ibrahim Pasha, the adopted son of Mehemet Ali, who ruled over Egypt as
a vassal sovereign to the Sultan of Turkey.  Ibrahim Pasha had great
military capacity; he was full of energy, resource, and perseverance,
and the Turkish Sultan could not have had a better man to undertake the
task of conducting the campaign.  The sympathies of Russia went
strongly with the Greeks, or perhaps it might be more correct to say
that the policy of Russia was directed against the Turks.  At that
time, as in later days, the public opinion of Western Europe was not
always certain whether the movements of Russian statesmanship were
governed more by the desire to strengthen Greece or by the desire to
weaken Turkey.  Canning had always been a sympathizer with the cause of
Greece.  In his early days his sympathy had taken poetic form, and now
at last it had an opportunity of assuming a more practical shape.  He
would have wished well to any effort made by Russia for the
emancipation of Greece, but he feared that if the effort were to be
left to Russia alone the result might be a great European war, and his
policy was above all things a policy of peace.  His idea was to form an
alliance which should exercise so commanding an influence as to render
any prolonged resistance impossible.  He succeeded in impressing his
ideas and his arguments so effectively upon the Governments of France
and Russia as to induce them to enter into a treaty with England for
the avowed purpose of watching events in Eastern Europe, endeavoring to
keep the conduct of the war within the limits of humanity, and bringing
it to as early a close as possible.


[Sidenote: 1824--Death of Lord Byron]

The combined fleets of the three Powers were sent into the
Mediterranean for the purpose of watching the movements of the Turkish
and Egyptian fleets, which were threatening the shores of Greece.  Sir
Edward Codrington, the British Admiral, was in command of the
expedition, and his instructions enjoined on him, in the usual official
way, the necessity of caution and circumspection in all his movements.
Something happened which brought the policy of caution to a speedy end.
A report, which found some credit at the time, gave out that Sir Edward
Codrington had received an unofficial hint that there was no necessity
for carrying caution too far; but, however the event may have been
brought about, it is certain that a collision did take place between
the allied fleets and those which were championing the authority of the
Sultan, and the result was that the Turkish and Egyptian war vessels
were destroyed.  This was the battle of Navarino, which was afterwards
described in the language of British authority as "an untoward event."
Untoward, in fact, it was not, for the purposes which Canning had in
view, because it put an end to all the resistance of the Ottoman Power,
and the independence of Greece as a self-governing nation was
established, and recognized.  We have been somewhat anticipating events
in order not to break up the story of the Greek struggle for
independence, but it has to be said that Canning did not live to see
the success of his own policy.  Before the battle of Navarino had been
fought, the career of the great statesman had come to an end.  We shall
have to retrace our steps, for there is much still left untold in the
story of Canning's career.

That struggle for Greek independence will always be remembered in the
history of English literature.  It cost England the life of one of her
greatest modern poets.  Lord Byron died of fever in the swamps of
Missolonghi on April 19, 1824, not long after he had left the Greek
Islands to conduct his part of the campaign on the mainland of Greece.
It was not his good fortune to die sword in hand fighting on the
battle-field for the cause which he loved so well.  It was not his good
fortune even to have had a {51} chance of doing much of a soldier's
work in that cause.  There can be no doubt that if he had been graced
with opportunity he would have shown that he had a leader's capacity as
well as a soldier's courage--that, as Fortinbras says of Hamlet, "He
was likely had he been put on to have proved most royally."  He had
only completed his thirty-sixth year shortly before his death, and the
poem in which he commemorated his birthday can never be read without
feelings of genuine emotion.  His death created a profound sensation,
not only in England, but all through the civilized world.  Not long
since we were all favored with an opportunity of hearing how the boy,
afterwards to be famous as Alfred Tennyson, was thrilled by the news of
Byron's death, and how it seemed to him to be like the ending of the
world.  The passion of partisanship for and against Byron as a poet and
as a man has long since died away, and indeed it might perhaps be said
that the reaction which, for a time, followed the outburst of his fame
has spent itself as well.  It may be taken now as the common judgment
of the world that Byron was one of the great forces of modern poetry,
and that his political sympathies sometimes had, as well as his poetic
efforts, the inspiration of genius to guide them.

We must now return to the career of Canning as we left it at the time
when he had made his great declaration of policy with regard to the
revolted colonies of Spain on the American shores, and when he was as
yet engaged in shaping the policy which was destined to end in the
emancipation of Greece.  There were questions of home government coming
more and more to the front every day, which much disturbed the mind of
King George, and made the business of keeping an Administration
together more and more difficult for his advisers.  The financial
policy of the country had been gradually undergoing a change, owing to
the foresight and enlightenment of some few among English statesmen.
Lord Liverpool, to do him justice, was always a man of somewhat
advanced views on questions of finance, although an inveterate Tory in
all that related to popular representation and freedom of speech.
Canning and his {52} friend William Huskisson were leading the way in
the movement towards an enlightened financial system.  Huskisson had
done more than any other man, with the exception of Canning himself, to
improve the systems of taxation.  What may perhaps be called the
scientific principle in the raising of revenue was only in process of
development, and to many statesmen no better idea of increasing
supplies seemed to have occurred than the simple plan of increasing the
rate of custom or excise duty on the first article of general
consumption which came under notice.  Huskisson represented the new
ideas, and put them into action whenever he was allowed a fair chance
of making such an experiment.  He had often held administrative office,
had been Secretary of the Treasury, President of the Board of Trade,
and Secretary for the Colonies, and had accomplished the removal of
many restrictions on the commercial dealings of the colonies with
foreign countries and the reduction of many antiquated and embarrassing
import duties.

[Sidenote: 1770-1830--Daniel O'Connell]

Canning and Huskisson were always close friends and often ministerial
colleagues, and they two may be said to have led the way towards the
system of free trade to which the time had not yet come for Robert Peel
to give his complete adhesion.  The great question of electoral reform
was coming up, and Charles Grey and Henry Brougham were among its most
conspicuous leaders.  Canning did not take to Parliamentary reform,
although he was what might be described as an advanced Liberal on most
other questions of national importance.  The Duke of Wellington was
strongly opposed to any proposals for a change in the Parliamentary
system, and this was one of the few great questions on which Canning
and he were in habitual agreement.  Then there was the still more
pressing question of political equality for the Catholics of the three
kingdoms.  Lord John Russell succeeded later on in carrying the repeal
of the Test and Corporation Acts which precluded Protestant Dissenters
from holding political or municipal office, but the attempt to obtain
the rights of equal citizenship for subjects of the King who belonged
{53} to the Church of Rome had to encounter much greater difficulties.

As might easily be expected, Ireland became the main battle-field of
this struggle.  We have already recorded the fact that Pitt had been
greatly assisted in passing the Act of Union between Great Britain and
Ireland and abolishing Grattan's Parliament by the hopes which he held
out that the union of the legislatures would be followed by a complete
measure of Catholic emancipation.  George the Third refused point-blank
to give his assent to any such measure, or even to listen to any
proposal for its introduction, declaring again and again that his
coronation oath absolutely forbade him to entertain an idea of the
kind.  In the end, as we have seen, Pitt gave in and undertook never
again to worry the mind of his conscientious sovereign by any talk
about relief to George the Third's Roman Catholic subjects.  But it
soon became evident that in this as in other instances the resolve of
the most headstrong monarch, and the promise of the most yielding Prime
Minister, cannot always induce a population to put up passively with a
manifest grievance.  In Ireland, where six out of every seven of the
people belonged to the Church of Rome, and where the demand for
Catholic Emancipation had long been championed by the greatest and the
most patriotic of Protestant Irishmen, it was utterly impossible that
any King and any minister could impose submission on such a question.
By the time at which we have now arrived the Catholics of Ireland had
found a political leader of their own faith.

Daniel O'Connell was undoubtedly one of the greatest advocates a
popular cause has ever had in modern times.  He was an Irishman who had
become one of the most successful advocates in the Irish law courts,
and as a popular orator he had no rival in his own country.  He had
made himself the leader in Ireland of the movement for Catholic
Emancipation, and he had kindled an enthusiasm there which any English
statesman of ordinary intelligence and foresight might easily have seen
it would be impossible to extinguish so long as there was a struggle to
be fought.  {54} Canning had always been in favor of Catholic
Emancipation.  Lord Liverpool was, of course, entirely opposed to it,
and almost until the last the Duke of Wellington held out against it.
George the Fourth, for all his earlier associations with Fox and
Sheridan, declared himself now to have inherited to the full his
father's indomitable conscientious objection to any measure of Catholic
Emancipation.  George seemed, in fact, to have suddenly become filled
with a passionate fervor of Protestant piety when any one talked to him
about political equality for his Catholic subjects.  He declared again
and again that no earthly consideration could induce him to fall away
from the religious convictions of his father on this subject, and the
coronation oath had again become, to use Erskine's satirical phrase,
"one of the four orders of the State."  When reading some of George's
letters and discourses on the subject, it is almost impossible not to
believe that he really must have fancied himself in earnest when he
made such protestations.  In private life he frequently delivered long
speeches, sometimes with astonishing fluency, sometimes with occasional
interruptions of stammering, in vindication of his hostility to any
proposal for Catholic Emancipation.

[Sidenote: 1827--Lord Liverpool's successor]

In the common language of the political world of that time the members
of a Government who opposed the Catholic claims were called Protestant
ministers, and the members in favor of the Catholic claims were
described as Catholic ministers.  In fact, it has had to be explained,
for the sake of clearness, by some recent writers, that the word
"Catholic" was constantly used in George the Fourth's time merely to
signify pro-Catholic.  When Canning was spoken of as a Catholic
statesman there was not the least idea of describing him as a member of
the Church of Rome, and, indeed, the words "Roman Catholic" hardly come
up in the controversies of those days.  When Mr. Lecky spoke during a
recent Parliamentary debate of Catholics and Protestants, he was
gravely rebuked by some divines of the Established Church who were
under the impression that he was in some way or other truckling to the
{55} claims of the Papacy when he used the word "Catholic" to describe
the worshippers in the Church of Rome.  Mr. Lecky was put to the
trouble of explaining that he used the words "Protestant" and
"Catholic" in the ordinary significance given to them during long
generations of political controversy.

A crisis was suddenly brought about by the illness of Lord Liverpool.
The Protestant statesman was stricken down by an attack which for a
time deprived him of consciousness, and even after his partial recovery
left him in a state which made it clear to all his friends that his
work as an administrator was done.  There was no hope whatever of his
resuming official work, and the question which mainly occupied the mind
of the King and of those around him was not what was to become of Lord
Liverpool, but whom it would be most convenient for the King to appoint
as his successor.  Naturally every eye was turned on Canning, whether
in hope or in fear.  As Lord Palmerston said of himself many years
later, so it might be said of Canning, he was the "inevitable man."
The whole civilized world was filled with his fame.  His course of
policy had made England stronger than she had ever been since the death
of the younger Pitt.  Even King George could not venture to believe in
the possibility of passing him over, and King George's chief objection
to him was found in the fact that Canning was in favor of the Catholic
claims.  George thought the matter over a few days, consulted Lord
Eldon and other advisers, and found that nobody could inspire him with
any real hope of being able to form an enduring Ministry without

Then the King sent for Canning, and Canning made his own course quite
clear.  He came to the point at once.  He assumed that the great
difficulty was to be found in the pressure of the Catholic question,
and he advised the King to form a Ministry of his own way of thinking
on that subject and to do the best he could.  The King, however,
explained that it would be futile for him to think that any Ministry so
composed could carry on the work of administration just then, and he
gave Canning many {56} assurances of his own entire approval of his
foreign policy, and declared that no one knew better than he did how
much the power of England had increased with Continental States since
Canning had obtained the conduct of her foreign affairs.  Thus urged,
Canning consented to undertake the formation of a Ministry, but he did
so on the express condition that he should not only have the King's
full confidence and be free to take his own course, but that he should
be known to hold such a position and to have the absolute authority of
the sovereign to sustain him.  Canning's mind was, in fact, clearly
made up.  He would either be a real Prime Minister, or he would have no
place in the new Administration, and would become once again an
independent member.  There was nothing else to be done, and the King
gave Canning full authority to make his own arrangements.

[Sidenote: 1827--Defection among Canning's supporters]

The task which Canning had nominally undertaken was the reconstruction
of the Ministry, but no one knew better than he did that it really
amounted to the formation of a new Ministry.  Canning was well aware
that the Duke of Wellington and Sir Robert Peel would not consent to
serve under him in any Administration.  The Duke of Wellington was at
this time entirely opposed to any recognition of the Catholic claims,
and, more than that, he had never been in favor of the principles of
foreign policy adopted and proclaimed by Canning.  Between the two men,
indeed, there was very little political sympathy, and Canning had got
it into his mind, rightly or wrongly, that the Duke of Wellington had
done his best to disparage him and to weaken his authority as Foreign
Minister.  Sir Robert Peel occupied a somewhat different position.  He,
too, was opposed to the Catholic claims; but he was a statesman of a
far higher order than the Duke of Wellington, and it might always
safely be assumed of him that he would rightly estimate the force of
public opinion, and that when a great movement of political reform had
proved itself to be irresistible Peel would never encourage a policy of
futile resistance.

Peel's attitude is well described in the admirable life of {57} George
Canning published by Mr. Frank Harrison Hill in 1887.  "Peel," says Mr.
Hill, "did not believe in governing against Parliamentary and public
opinion."  "To him the art of government was the measurement of social
forces, and the adaptation of policy to their direction and intensity.
When it was clear to him that a thing must be done, and that his help
was essential to the doing of it, his duty was plainly marked out."  Up
to this time, however, Peel did not see that the Catholic question had
reached such a stage, and he probably did not believe that it would
ever reach such a stage.  He had opposed Catholic claims thus far
whenever the opportunity arose, and he could not undertake to serve
under a Prime Minister who was openly in favor of recognizing those
claims.  We shall have to tell, before long, in the course of this
history, how Peel came to see that Canning was right in his policy, and
how he came to be the Prime Minister by whom it was carried to success,
and how he brought the Duke of Wellington along with him.  But at the
time which we have now reached Peel still believed his own policy on
the subject of Roman Catholic Emancipation to be the rightful policy
for the guidance of the sovereign and the State, and he therefore found
it impossible to serve in the new Administration.  Five other members
of the existing Government, besides Sir Robert Peel, resigned their
places on the same grounds.  One was, of course, the Duke of
Wellington, and another was Lord Chancellor Eldon.  Some influential
peers who were not members of the Government made it known that they
could not give their support to any Administration which admitted the
possibility of recognizing the Catholic claims.

Canning's heart might well have sunk within him for a time when he
found himself abandoned by such colleagues and thrown over by such
supporters.  He actually waited upon the King, and asked his permission
to give up the undertaking for the formation of a new Ministry.  The
King, however, probably felt that he had gone too far in his support of
Canning to draw back at such a moment.  It is very likely that he was
displeased by the pertinacity of {58} the resistance which men like
Wellington and Peel and Eldon offered to any act of policy approved by
him, and he had undoubtedly by this time come to have a strong faith,
not only in Canning's capacity, but also in Canning's good fortune.
Whatever may have been his chief inspiration, he certainly had an
opportune season of enlightenment, and he refused to allow Canning to
withdraw from the task assigned to him.  Accordingly Canning became
Prime Minister, and united in his own person the offices of First Lord
of the Treasury and Chancellor of the Exchequer.

[Sidenote: 1827--Canning and Lord Grey]

Sir John Copley, raised to the peerage under the title of Lord
Lyndhurst, became Lord Chancellor in succession to Lord Eldon, and the
House of Lords thus obtained a member who was destined to be one of its
foremost orators, to maintain a rivalry in Parliamentary debate with
Brougham and the great Tory orator and leader, Lord Derby, and to be
listened to with admiration by men still living, who are proud to
remember that they heard some of his great speeches.  It may be
observed that Lord Eldon, whose retirement made way for Lord Lyndhurst,
had been Lord Chancellor for twenty-six years, with the exception of
one year when he was out of office.  Huskisson became Treasurer of the
Navy and President of the Board of Trade in the new Administration.
Lord Palmerston was Secretary at War, and Frederick Robinson, now made
Lord Goderich, who was in thorough sympathy with Canning and Huskisson
on questions of financial policy, was Colonial and War Secretary, the
latter office according to the arrangements of that time a position
having quite different functions from those of the Secretary of War.
The arrangements for the new Ministry were completed in April, 1827.
Canning had now reached the highest point of his career.  His policy
had already been marked out for him, for England, and for Europe.  The
treaty between England, France, and Russia for the protection of
Greece, which became a formal instrument after his accession to the
office of Prime Minister, was the result of the efforts which he had
made before Lord Liverpool's sudden illness {59} led to the break-up of
the Liverpool Administration.  Canning had little time left him to turn
his new and great position to account.  Fame, as Mr. Hill well says,
was a sucked orange to George Canning when he accepted the office of
Prime Minister.

The difficulties against which the new Ministry had to contend were
many and great.  Canning had the support of such Whigs as Brougham in
the House of Commons, but in the House of Lords he had many powerful
opponents, and the influence of the House of Lords then counted for
more than it does at present.  In the House of Lords, too, Lord Grey
bitterly and pertinaciously opposed him.  Grey was then one of the
leading advocates of Parliamentary reform, and Canning could not see
his way to ally himself with the Parliamentary reformers.  Lord Grey,
moreover, seems to have distrusted the sincerity of Canning's support
of Catholic emancipation, a distrust for which no possible reason can
be suggested; and, indeed, Grey would appear to have had a feeling of
personal dislike to the great statesman.  Accordingly he made several
attacks on Canning and Canning's policy in the House of Lords, and Grey
was an eloquent speaker, whose style as well as his character carried
command with it.  Canning was a man of singularly sensitive nature.
Like many other brilliant humorists and satirists, he was somewhat
thin-skinned and very quick of temper.  He could bear a brilliant and
even a splendid part in the Parliamentary battle, but it was a pain to
him to endure in silence when he had no chance of making a retort.  The
attacks of Lord Grey exasperated him beyond measure, and it is believed
that he had at one time a strong inclination to accept a peerage and
take a seat in the House of Lords, thereby withdrawing forever from the
inspiriting battle-ground of the House of Commons for the mere sake of
having an opportunity of replying to the attacks of Lord Grey, and
measuring his strength against that of the great Whig leader.  The
fates, however, denied to Canning any chance of making this curious
anticlimax in his great political career.  His health had always been
more or less delicate, and he was {60} never very careful or sparing in
the use of his physical powers.  He was intensely nervous by
constitution, and was liable to all manner of nervous seizures and
maladies.  In the early days of 1827 he caught a severe cold while
attending the public funeral of the Duke of York in the Chapel Royal,

[Sidenote: 1827--Death of Canning]

The Duke of York was the second son of George the Third, and for some
time had been regarded as heir-presumptive to the crown.  The Duke's
public career was in almost every way ignoble.  He had proved himself
an utterly incapable commander, although a good War Office
administrator, and his personal character was about on a level with his
military capacity.  His death in January, 1827, may be said to have had
two serious consequences at least--it made the Duke of Clarence the
next heir to the crown, and it brought on Canning the severe cold from
which he never recovered.  It may be mentioned here, although the fact
is of little political importance, that Canning when he became Prime
Minister made the Duke of Clarence Lord High Admiral.  The office was
probably bestowed as a token of Canning's gratitude to the King who had
stood by him, not indeed to the last, but at the last.  It certainly
could not have been given because of any conviction in Canning's mind
that the Duke of Clarence was likely to render signal benefit to the
royal navy, to the State, or to the country by his services in such an

Canning seemed for a while to rally from the cold which he had caught
at the Duke of York's funeral, but the months of incessant anxiety
which followed cast too heavy a burden on his shattered nerves and
feeble physical frame.  It was hoped by his friends that the
adjournment of the Houses of Parliament, which took place after the
Ministry had been formed, might give him rest enough from official work
to allow him to repair his strength.  But Canning's was not a nature
which admitted of rest.  The happy faculty which he had once possessed
of getting easily to sleep when the day's work was done had long since
deserted him, and of late he took his official cares to bed with him,
and they kept him long awake.  The early {61} summer of 1827 brought
him no improvement, and his friends already began to fear for the
worst.  He suffered from intense agonies of nervous pain, and the
agonies seemed to grow worse and worse with each return.  The Duke of
Devonshire offered him the use of a summer residence which he had at
Chiswick, and Canning gladly accepted the offer.  It was remarked at
the time by some of his friends that an evil omen hung over this summer
retreat.  The former Duke of Devonshire, father of Canning's friend,
had offered the same villa as a temporary retreat to Charles James Fox;
the offer was accepted by him, and Fox actually died in the bedroom
which was now occupied by Canning.

The omen soon made good its warning.  Canning gradually sank under the
influence of his fatal illness.  He said to a friend that during three
days he had suffered more pain than all that had been compressed into
his life up to that time, and we know that his was a frame which was
always liable to acute pain.  He sank and sank, and on August 7 he
talked for the last time coherently and composedly to those who were
around him.  Then he met his approaching death with a resigned and
cheerful spirit, and his latest words showed that he knew where to
repose his trust for the great change which was so near.  Shortly
before four o'clock on the morning of August 8, 1827, the struggle was
over and the great statesman was at rest.  Even at that early hour the
villa was surrounded by a large crowd of anxious watchers, who could
not leave the grounds until they heard the last tidings that were to
come from the sick-chamber.  The funeral of Canning in Westminster
Abbey, although it was in name a private ceremonial, was followed by a
throng of sorrowing admirers, among whom were princes and nobles,
statesmen and prelates, politicians of all orders, and men and women of
all ranks down to the very poorest, who thus bore their spontaneous
tribute to the services and the memory of the great Prime Minister, and
expressed in the only way left to them their sense of the loss which
his country and the cause of peace and freedom had sustained by his


[Sidenote: 1827--Canning and the English ministers]

Canning had only just completed his fifty-seventh year when his career
came to a close.  He died before his old friend and colleague whose
sudden illness had left open to him the place of Prime Minister, for
Lord Liverpool did not die until December 4 of the following year.  The
place of Canning in English history is more clear to us now than it was
to the world even when the anxious crowd was watching round the villa
at Chiswick and when the throng followed his remains to Westminster
Abbey.  He was, as we have already said, the founder of that system of
foreign policy which English statesmanship has professed ever since his
time.  His was that doctrine of conditional non-intervention for which,
in later days, men like John Stuart Mill contended as the doctrine
which ought to be the governing principle of a great council of
European States, if such could be established.  Canning's idea was not
that England should proclaim such a principle of non-intervention as
that which Cobden and Bright, and other men equally sincere and
patriotic, endeavored to impress on public opinion at a later day.
Canning's principle was that England should not intervene even on the
right side of any Continental struggle in which she had no direct
concern, unless some other State equally free from any direct share in
the controversy were making preparation to intervene on the wrong side.
Then, according to his doctrine, England was bound to say to the
interposing State: "If you, an outsider to this controversy, are making
up your mind to intervene on what we believe to be the wrong side, then
it may become our duty to intervene on what we believe to be the right
side."  It was in accordance with this principle that Canning prevailed
upon the Governments of France and Russia to enter into that engagement
with England which secured the independence of Greece, as it was in
accordance with this principle that he had made the proclamation of
policy which secured the independence of the Spanish-American colonies,
and thus called in the New World to redress the balance of the Old.

Canning must, on the whole, be ranked among great Liberal statesmen,
although there were some passages in {63} his career which showed that
he had not advanced quite so far in Liberal principles as some of the
statesmen of his own day.  It is hard now to understand how such a man
could have stood out against the principle of Parliamentary reform and
popular suffrage, and could have resisted the efforts to give full
rights of citizenship to the members of dissenting denominations.  It
is especially hard to understand why a man who was in favor of
abolishing religious disqualifications in the case of Roman Catholics
should have thought it right to maintain them in the case of Protestant
Dissenters.  The explanation of this latter inconsistency may be found,
perhaps, in the assumption that when Canning thought of the grievance
to Roman Catholics he had in his mind the grievances to the Roman
Catholics of Ireland, a separate country with a nationality and
traditions of her own, and a country in which the vast majority of the
population belonged to the one religious faith.  He may have thought
that the English Protestant Dissenters who did not see their way to
class themselves with the Protestants of the English State Church had
not so distinct a claim to the recognition of their grievance.  It may
seem strange that a mind like Canning's could have been beguiled from
the acceptance of a great principle by a curious distinction of this
kind, but it must be remembered that down to a much later day many of
the professed supporters of religious equality contended for some
limitation of the principle where political privileges were concerned,
and that only in our own time has admission to the House of Commons
been left open to the professors of every religious faith, and even to
those who profess no religious faith at all.  So far as Parliamentary
reform in the ordinary sense of the words is concerned, we may feel
quite sure that if Canning had lived a few years longer his mind would
have accepted the growth of public opinion and the evidences which
justified that growth, and he would not have been found among the
unteachable opponents of popular suffrage and a well-adjusted
Parliamentary representation.

As a financial reformer he was distinctly in advance of {64} his time,
and even such men as Sir Robert Peel only followed slowly in the path
which Canning and Huskisson had opened.  Canning's fame as a
Parliamentary orator is now well assured.  He has been unduly praised,
and he has been unduly disparaged.  He has been described as the
greatest Parliamentary orator since the days of Bolingbroke, and he has
been described as a brilliant and theatric declaimer who never rose to
the height of genuine political oratory.  The common judgment of
educated men now regards him as only inferior, if inferior at all, to
the two Pitts and Fox among great Parliamentary orators, and the rival
of any others belonging to his own, or an earlier, or a later day in
the history of the English Parliament.  Of him it may fairly be said
that his career made an era in England's political life, and that the
great principles which he asserted are still guiding the country even
at this hour.




[Sidenote: 1827--Lord Goderich]

During the closing days of Canning's life he was speaking to Sir
William Knighton of the approaching end, and he said, quietly: "This
may be hard upon me, but it is still harder upon the King."  There was
something characteristic in the saying.  Canning had been greatly
touched by the manner in which the King had, at last, come round to him
and stood by him against all who endeavored to interpose between him
and his sovereign; and to a man of Canning's half-poetic temperament
the sovereign typified the State and the people, to whom the Prime
Minister was but a devoted servant.  It was certainly hard upon the
King, at least for the time.  George must have had moments of better
feelings and better inspirations than those which governed the ordinary
course of his life, and he had lately come to realize the value of the
services which Canning had rendered to England.  We shall see, before
long, that a secession of Canning's followers from the party in power
took place, and that the seceding men were called, and called
themselves, the "Canningites."  George already appears to have become a

The King had a good deal of trouble in forming an Administration.  Lord
Goderich became Prime Minister, with Lyndhurst again as Lord
Chancellor, and Huskisson in Goderich's former place at the War and
Colonial Office.  Lord Goderich, as we have seen, had been sent into
the House of Lords when Canning became Prime Minister.  Up to that time
he was Mr. Frederick John Robinson, generally known by the nickname of
"Prosperity Robinson."  This satirical designation he obtained from the
fact that while he was President of the Board of Trade, and {66} still
later when he was Chancellor of the Exchequer, he had always made it
his business in each session to describe the country as in a condition
of unparalleled prosperity.  More than that, he always insisted on
declaring that the particular schemes of taxation that he brought
forward were destined, beyond all possibility of doubt, to increase
still further that hitherto unexampled prosperity.  It had been his
fortune, in his early official career, to propose and carry some
schemes of taxation which met with such passionate opposition in some
parts of the country as to lead to serious rioting and even to loss of
life.  But all the time he saw only prosperity as the result of his
financial enterprises, and hence the nickname, which is still
remembered in England's Parliamentary history.

[Sidenote: 1828--The struggle for religious equality]

Lord Goderich was not a man of remarkable political capacity, and he
was a poor, ineffective, and even uninteresting speaker, except when
the audacity of his statements, and his prophecies, and the tumult of
interruptions and laughter that they created, lent a certain
Parliamentary interest to his orations.  He had an immense amount of
that sort of courage which, in the colloquial language of our times,
would probably be described as bumptiousness.  He had an unlimited
faith in his own capacity, and he saw nothing but success, personal and
national, where observers in general could discern only failure.  He
was one of a class of men who are to be found at all times of
Parliamentary history, and who manage somehow, nobody quite knows how,
to make themselves appear indispensable to their political party.  He
was not, however, without any faculty for improvement, and of late
years he had derived some instruction from Canning's teaching and
example in politics and in finance.  Such as he was, his appointment as
Prime Minister in succession to Canning seemed about the safest
compromise the King could make under all the existing conditions.  His
position as a stop-gap was maintained but a very short time.  During
his Administration, or perhaps it ought rather to be called his nominal
Administration, the substantial result of Canning's recent foreign
policy was seen in the destruction {67} of the Turkish and Egyptian
fleets at the battle of Navarino, which led almost immediately to the
Sultan's acknowledgment of the independence of Greece.

Some differences of opinion on financial questions soon broke out in
the Cabinet, and Huskisson and certain of his colleagues threatened to
resign; and Lord Goderich, seeing little or no chance of maintaining
himself long in his position, got out of the difficulty by tendering
his own resignation.  The King accepted the resignation, and there was
then really only one man, the Duke of Wellington, to whom George could
look for the construction of a Government.  Accordingly, the Duke
became First Lord of the Treasury, and Huskisson retained, for the
time, his former position.  During this Administration Lord John
Russell brought forward his motion for the repeal of the Test and
Corporation Acts; the object of the motion being to abolish all the
conditions which rendered it impossible for the members of any
Protestant dissenting denomination to hold State or municipal office,
unless they were willing to accept a test-oath, which acknowledged the
spiritual supremacy of the Church of England.  Lord John Russell's
motion was carried in the House of Commons by a majority of 237 to 193,
and a Bill founded on the principle of the motion was passed through
both Houses of Parliament.  This may be described as the first of the
great measures accepted by Parliament for the purpose of establishing
the principle of religious equality, in admission to the rights of
citizenship, among the inhabitants of these countries.  Of course, the
establishment of religious equality was yet a good long way off, and it
is a curious fact that the measure that was founded on Lord John
Russell's motion did something very distinct in itself to make new
battle-grounds for those who advocated the full recognition of the

The new measure proposed to admit the members of all recognized
Protestant denominations, whether inside or outside the Church of
England, to the rights of citizenship, but it took good care to affirm
that it had no intention of admitting any one else.  The Act provided
that all {68} persons presenting themselves as candidates for election
to political or municipal office should subscribe a declaration "on the
true faith of a Christian."  This, of course, excluded Jews and
Freethinkers, while the Roman Catholics were shut out by a special
oath, directed exclusively against themselves, and to which it was
impossible that any professing Catholic could subscribe.  Lord John
Russell, however, had begun his great career well when he carried the
Legislature with him, even thus far, on the way to religious equality,
although he was not himself destined to see the last fight which had to
be fought before the principle had been completely established.  It is
almost needless to say that the new form of pledge introduced by the
measure was no part of Lord John Russell's plan, but he accepted the
Bill as amended in the House of Lords rather than sacrifice, for the
time, the whole purpose of his motion.  The motion, it may be added,
was strongly opposed in the House of Commons, not only by Robert Peel,
but by Huskisson.  Peel's opposition is easily to be understood,
because up to this time he had not risen above the convictions with
which he started in public life in favor of the general practice of
making the political and civic rights of citizenship conditional upon
what he believed to be religious orthodoxy.  In the case of Huskisson,
who was a strong supporter of the admission of Roman Catholics to full
equality of political and civic rights with the members of the State
Church, the explanation probably was that he feared if the Dissenters
received their rights in advance they might become less zealous than
many of them had been for the full recognition of the Catholic claims.
Some of the archbishops and bishops in the House of Lords were liberal
enough to give their support to the Bill, much to the consternation of
Lord Eldon, who could not understand how any prelate of the State
Church could be so far led away from the sacred duties of his position
as to lend any countenance to a measure admitting the unorthodox to the
place in society which ought to be the right only of orthodox believers.

[Sidenote: 1828--The Catholic Association]

It is interesting to notice that a protest was entered {69} against the
introduction of the words "on the true faith of a Christian" by Lord
Holland, who represented the principles of Charles James Fox.  The
peers, it should be said, enjoy the privilege, which is not allowed to
members of the representative chamber, of recording their formal
protest on the books of their House against any motion or measure which
has been carried in spite of their opposition, and of setting forth
reasons on which their objection is founded.  Many of the protests thus
recorded form important contributions to political history.  Lord
Holland vindicates his protest in words which are well worth quoting:
"Because the introduction of the words 'upon the true faith of a
Christian' implies an opinion in which I cannot conscientiously concur,
namely, that a particular faith in matters of religion is necessary to
the proper discharge of duties purely political or temporal."  Lord
Eldon strongly condemned the action of the prelates who had voted in
favor of the measure, and he used some words which showed that, however
obtuse his bigotry may have been, he clearly saw what must inevitably
come from the concession to religious liberty which was made by the
passing of such a measure.  "Sooner or later," he said, "perhaps in
this very year, almost certainly in the next, the concessions to the
Dissenters must be followed by the like concessions to the Roman
Catholics."  The Roman Catholic claims were already asserting
themselves with a force which appealed irresistibly to the minds of all
enlightened men.

The Catholic Association had been formed in Ireland for the purpose of
advocating the claims of the vast majority of the Irish people, and it
had found for its leader a man who must have made a great figure in the
political life of any era, and who was especially qualified to take a
leading place in such an agitation.  Daniel O'Connell was one of the
most remarkable men of his time.  He was the first Irish political
leader of modern days who professed the faith which may be called the
national creed of his people.  The leaders of great Irish movements
just before his time--the Fitzgeralds, the Tones, and the Emmets--had
{70} had been, like Grattan himself, members of the Established Church.
O'Connell had, moreover, no sympathy whatever with the sentiments of
the French Revolution.  He had passed a few of his early years in
France, he had seen some of the later excesses of the revolutionary
period, and he had been inspired with a horror as great as that felt by
Edmund Burke for the extravagances of the revolutionary era.  He
belonged to the landlord class, but his sympathies had always been with
the popular and national movements of his countrymen.  He had practised
at the Irish bar, and had become the greatest advocate in the Irish law
courts, and was thus enabled to combine with all the fire and energy of
a born popular leader the subtlety and craft of a trained and practised
lawyer.  O'Connell was one of the greatest orators of a day when
political oratory could display some of its most splendid
illustrations.  He had a commanding presence, indeed a colossal form,
and a voice which was marvellous alike for the strength and the music
of its varied intonations.  Such men as Disraeli and Bulwer Lytton have
borne enthusiastic tribute to the magic of that voice, and have
declared it to be unrivalled in the political eloquence of the time.
O'Connell made his voice heard at many great public meetings in England
and in Scotland, as well as in Ireland, and his political views had,
indeed, much in common with those of English and Scottish advanced

[Sidenote: O'Connell and the Parliamentary Oath]

The Catholic Association was made, at one period of its career, the
subject of an Act of Parliament which declared it to be, for a certain
time, an illegal organization, and the period was now approaching when
the prohibitory Act would have to be renewed or allowed to drop out of
existence.  In consequence of some ministerial rearrangements a vacancy
had arisen in the Parliamentary representation of the county of Clare
in Ireland, and O'Connell resolved on taking a bold and what then
seemed to many a positively desperate step.  He announced himself as a
candidate for the vacancy in opposition to its former occupant, who,
having been appointed to ministerial office, was compelled to resign
his place in the House of {71} Commons and offer himself to his former
constituents for re-election.  O'Connell was not disqualified by
positive enactment from becoming a candidate for a seat in Parliament;
that is to say, there was no law actually declaring that a Roman
Catholic, as such, could not enter the House of Commons.  But, as we
have explained already, it was the law of the land that no man could
take his seat in that House until he had subscribed an oath which it
was perfectly impossible for any Roman Catholic to accept, an oath
disavowing and denouncing the very opinions which are an essential part
of the Roman Catholic's faith.  O'Connell, therefore, could not be
prevented from becoming a candidate for the representation of Clare,
and when the contest came on it ended in his being triumphantly
returned by an overwhelming majority.  O'Connell presented himself at
the table of the House of Commons, and was called upon to subscribe the
usual oath, which, of course, he absolutely refused to do.  He was then
ordered to withdraw, and he did withdraw, and the seat was declared
vacant.  O'Connell returned to Clare, again offered himself as
candidate, and was again elected by a triumphant majority.  Then,
indeed, men like Lord Eldon must have begun to think that the old world
was really coming to an end.  King George and the Government found
themselves face to face with a crisis to which there had been no
parallel in the memory of living statesmen.

The progress of events was, meanwhile, making a deep impression on the
receptive mind of Sir Robert Peel, now Home Secretary, and by far the
most rising and powerful member of the Administration.  Huskisson, it
should be said, had by this time ceased to belong to the Duke of
Wellington's Government.  There had been some misunderstanding between
him and the Duke, arising out of a speech made by Huskisson in
Liverpool, which was understood to contain a declaration that Huskisson
had only accepted office on the express understanding that the policy
of the Duke's Government was to be the policy of Canning.  The Duke
took exception to this, and declared that he had entered into no
understanding as to his general {72} policy, but that what Huskisson
probably had said was that he had accepted the composition of the
Government as a guarantee in itself that a sound national policy was to
be carried out.

[Sidenote: 1828--Demand for Catholic emancipation]

Huskisson accepted the explanation, and explained that this was what he
really had said, and no doubt this was really the purpose of that
passage in his speech; but the incident led to some friction between
the two men, and was the beginning of other misunderstandings.  Some
difference of opinion afterwards arose on minor questions of policy,
and Huskisson sent to the Duke a somewhat hasty letter announcing his
resignation.  The letter was intended to be only a conditional
intimation of his purpose, but the Duke took it as positive and final,
and announced it as such to the King.  There was no course left open to
Huskisson but to resign.  The incident created much talk at the time,
and gave rise to a good deal of satirical comment.  Several other
members of the Government, among whom was Lord Palmerston, resigned
along with Huskisson, and they formed themselves into an independent
party, bearing the name of the Canningites.  It is curious to notice
that the reconstructions caused in the Government by these
resignations, and the new appointments which had to be made, led to
that vacancy in the county of Clare which gave O'Connell an opportunity
of coming forward as a candidate for the seat and being elected.

Peel saw that the Duke of Wellington's Government had lost some of its
most influential members.  Other events, too, had been turning his
attention towards the growth of the agitation in Ireland.  The Marquis
of Wellesley, elder brother of the Duke of Wellington, had been Viceroy
of Ireland.  Wellesley had been a distinguished statesman, and as
Viceroy of India had conducted to a successful issue, with the help of
his younger brother, the great Mahratta war.  When he became Viceroy of
Ireland he had gone over to that country as a strong opponent of the
Catholic claims, but his experience there soon convinced him that it
would be impossible to resist those claims much longer, and at the same
time {73} to keep Ireland in tranquillity.  Therefore, when the Duke of
Wellington, on coming into office as Prime Minister, refused to
recognize the Catholic claims, Lord Wellesley resigned his place.  He
was succeeded by the Marquis of Anglesey, a soldier who had done
brilliant service in the wars against Napoleon, and was well known as a
determined opponent of the demands made by the advocates of Catholic
emancipation.  Lord Anglesey, too, became satisfied during his time of
office in Ireland that there was no alternative between emancipation
and an armed rebellion among the Irish Catholics, a large number of
whom were actually serving in the ranks of the army.  His opinions were
again and again impressed on the Government, and the course he took
only led to his recall from the Viceroyalty.

In the House of Commons an event took place which had a great effect on
the mind of Peel.  Early in 1828 Sir Francis Burdett, who held a very
prominent place among the more advanced reformers of the time, and who
represented Westminster in the House of Commons, brought forward a
resolution inviting the House to consider the state of the laws
affecting the Roman Catholics of the two islands, "with a view to such
a final and conciliatory settlement as may be conducive to the peace
and strength of the United Kingdom, to the stability of the Protestant
Establishment, and to the general satisfaction and concord of all
classes of his Majesty's subjects."  The resolution was supported by a
powerful speech from Brougham, in which he dwelt on the fact that not
one of those who opposed the motion had expressed any conviction that
the existing state of things could long continue, and that it was
impossible to overlook or deny the great advance which the movement for
Catholic Emancipation had been making in and out of Parliament.  Peel
was greatly impressed by this argument, and also by the fact that the
men who supported Burdett and Brougham in the House of Commons
represented the best part of the intellect and statesmanship of that
House.  The resolution was carried by 272 votes against 266 on the
other side, a small majority, {74} indeed, but a majority that at such
a time was large enough to show a man of Peel's intellect the practical
progress which the demand for Catholic Emancipation had already made.

[Sidenote: 1828--Peel and Catholic emancipation]

We find in Peel's own correspondence the most interesting evidences of
the influence which all these events were making on his clear and
thoughtful mind.  The man whom O'Connell had defeated in Clare, Mr.
Vesey Fitzgerald, had represented the constituency for many years, had
always supported by speeches and votes the claims of the Catholics, and
was the son of one who had stood by the side of Grattan and Sir John
Parnell in resisting the Act of Union.  No one could have been more
popular up to that time among Irishmen, and the election of O'Connell
was obviously due to the fact that O'Connell had made himself the
leader of a movement which had for its object to bring about a great
crisis, and to compel the Parliament and the Government to surrender at
once or encounter a civil war.  Peel asked himself--we quote his own
words--"whether it may not be possible that the fever of political and
religious excitement which was quickening the pulse and fluttering the
bosom of the whole Catholic population--which had inspired the serf of
Clare with the resolution and the energy of a free man--which had in
the twinkling of an eye made all considerations of personal gratitude,
ancient family connections, local preferences, the fear of worldly
injury, the hope of worldly advantage subordinate to the one absorbing
sense of religious obligation and public duty--whether, I say, it might
not be possible that the contagion of that feverish excitement might
spread beyond the barriers which under ordinary circumstances the
habits of military obedience and the strictness of military discipline
opposed to all such external influences?"

Peel became gradually convinced that the Marquis of Anglesey was right
in his views, and that there was no choice between a recognition of the
Catholic claims and the outbreak of a civil war in Ireland.  The more
he thought over the question, the more he became convinced that it
would not be possible to rely on the loyalty of all {75} the Catholic
soldiers in the ranks of the army in Ireland if they were called upon
to join in shooting down their own brothers and friends because these
had risen in rebellion against the oppressive laws which excluded a
Catholic from the full rights of citizenship.  Peel was not a
philosopher or a dreamer, but above all things a practical statesman,
and when he had to choose between civil war and the concession of a
claim which was admitted to be right and just by some of the most
enlightened Englishmen and Scotchmen who sat near him on the benches of
the House of Commons, and by some of the most enlightened Englishmen
and Scotchmen outside the House, he could not bring himself to believe
that claims thus advocated could be so essentially unjust or
unreasonable as to make their continued refusal worth the cost of so
terrible a struggle.

Peel made up his mind to the fact that Catholic Emancipation must, as
soon as possible, become the work of Parliament.  But he did not yet
believe that he was the right man to undertake the task.  It seemed to
him that one who had always been regarded as the determined opponent of
Emancipation would not be likely to win over many supporters among his
Tory friends for such a sudden change of policy.  He did not think
himself well suited, and he was not inclined, to conduct the
negotiations which would be necessary between any Government attempting
such a task and the Irish advocates of Emancipation.  His idea was that
Lord Grey, as the head of the reforming party, would be the statesman
best qualified to undertake such an enterprise and most likely to carry
it to an early success.  His first business, however, would clearly be
to convince the Duke of Wellington that Catholic Emancipation was
inevitable, and this work he at once set himself to accomplish.  He had
some trouble in bringing the Duke over to his own opinions, but the
Duke became convinced in the end, and, indeed, both at that time and
after, the Duke was always inclined to follow Peel's guidance, on the
plain, practical, soldierly principle that Peel understood political
affairs much better than he did, {76} and that Peel's advice was always
sure to be sound and safe.  So the Duke, too, became convinced that
Catholic Emancipation must be accepted as inevitable, and that the
sooner it was carried through the better.  But Wellington was strongly
opposed to the idea of handing over the work to Lord Grey.  He showed
that it would be hardly possible to induce King George to accept the
services of Lord Grey for such a purpose.  The King was known to
dislike Lord Grey, whose stern, unbending manners could not be welcome
to a sovereign unaccustomed to the dictation of so uncourtierlike an
adviser as the leader of the Whig party.

[Sidenote: 1828--The Oath of Supremacy]

Wellington's idea was that, as the thing had to be done, it had better
be done by Peel and himself, and he almost implored Peel not to desert
him at such a crisis.  Peel could not resist the personal and brotherly
appeal thus made to him by one for whom he had so profound a respect,
and the result was that the two agreed to work together as they had
been doing, and to make Catholic Emancipation the business of their
Government.  But then the King had to be won over, and nobody knew
better than Wellington did how difficult this task must be.  Yet he did
not despair.  He had had some experience of the King's resistance and
the only means by which it could be got over.  Again and again he had
had occasion to urge on the sovereign the adoption of some course to
which George, at first, was obstinately opposed, and he knew that quiet
persistence was the only way of carrying his point.  His plan was to
avoid argument as much as possible, to state his case concisely to the
King, and allow the King to take his full time in pouring forth his
protestations that he never could and never would consent to such a
policy.  The King was very fond of hearing himself talk, and loved on
such occasions to display all that eloquence which he fully believed
himself to possess, and which he had no opportunity of letting out on
any Parliamentary or public platform.  Then, when the King had
exhausted himself in repeating over and over again his reasons for
refusing the demands made upon him, Wellington would quietly return to
the fact that there was no practical way out of the difficulty but to
assent to {77} the proposition.  The King usually gave way, and the
interview had a satisfactory close.  The King was appeased by the sound
of his own eloquence, and the taciturn minister had his way.

This course of policy Wellington resolved to adopt with regard to the
question of Catholic Emancipation.  He listened to all the talk about
the coronation oath and the declaration that George would rather retire
to his kingdom of Hanover, abdicate the throne of England, and leave
the English people to find a Catholic--that is, a pro-Catholic--king in
the Duke of Clarence, and then merely pointed out to the sovereign that
something had to be done, and that his Majesty's advisers could think
of nothing else but the course which they proposed for his acceptance.
The King gave way to a certain extent, but he put his foot down, as the
modern phrase goes, on the maintenance of the Oath of Supremacy in its
existing form.

There is an interesting account given of the final interview which the
Duke of Wellington, Lord Lyndhurst, and Robert Peel had with their
royal master on this subject.  Without an alteration in the terms of
the Oath of Supremacy it was absolutely impossible that Roman Catholics
could enter the House of Commons, for the oath contained the very words
no Catholic could possibly consent to utter or subscribe.  The King
absolutely and vehemently refused to give his consent to any alteration
of the oath, and he then asked his three ministers what, under the
circumstances, they proposed to do.  The ministers informed the
sovereign that they proposed to ask his permission for them to make
announcement in the two Houses of Parliament that they had ceased to
hold office and were no longer responsible for the work of
administration.  George took the announcement at first with gracious
composure, and told them he supposed he could not find any fault with
them for their act of resignation.  He carried his kindness even
further, for, as we learn on the authority of one of the three
ministers, "the King took leave of us with great composure and great
kindness, gave to each of us a salute on each cheek, and accepted our
resignation of office."

{78} Thackeray, in his lecture on George the Fourth, turned this record
to most amusing account, and delighted his audience by a comical
description of the King's paternal benediction imprinted in kisses on
the cheeks of Wellington, Lyndhurst, and Peel.  But when the kissing
was over and the three statesmen had departed, the King began to find
that he was left practically without a Government.  What was to be
done?  It would be impossible to form a Government after his own heart
without such men as Wellington, Lyndhurst, and Peel, and even if he
could have got over his own personal dislike to Lord Grey, it was
impossible to suppose that Lord Grey would become the head of any
Government which did not undertake Catholic Emancipation.  The King
found himself in the awkward position of having either to announce to
his subjects that he intended to govern without any ministers, and to
direct the affairs of the State entirely out of his own head, or to
call back to office the men whom he had kissed and sent away.  Even
George the Fourth could not hesitate when such a choice was forced upon
him.  He wrote to the Duke of Wellington, telling him that he must once
more put himself in the hands of the Duke and his colleagues, and let
them deal as they thought best with Catholic Emancipation.

[Sidenote: 1829--The Forty-shilling Freeholders]

The Catholic Relief Bill was at once brought in, and consisted in
substance of the enactment of a new oath, which admitted Roman
Catholics to Parliament and to all political and civil offices
excepting merely those of Regent, Lord Chancellor, and Lord Lieutenant
of Ireland.  The Bill was passed rapidly through both Houses of
Parliament.  The third reading was carried in the House of Commons by
320 votes to 142, and in the House of Lords by 213 to 109, and the
great controversy was happily at an end.  The settlement, however, was
not effected with as complete and liberal a spirit as Peel would
certainly have infused into it if he could have had his way.

O'Connell, who had been twice elected for Clare, was not allowed to
take his seat under the new measure until he had returned to his
constituents and submitted himself for {79} re-election--a ceremonial
absolutely unnecessary, and only impressing the civilized world as an
evidence of the ungenerous and ungracious manner in which the
inevitable had been accepted.  Then, again, an Act of Parliament was
passed disfranchising the class of voters in Ireland who were called
the Forty-shilling Freeholders, who formed a large proportion of
O'Connell's constituents.  This was done no doubt to put some
obstacles, at all events, in the way of the Irish Catholic population
if they should hope ever again to make the representation of any
national claims as effective as they had done in the Clare election.
It may be taken for granted that Peel would not have marred the effect
of an act of mere justice by niggardly qualifications of any kind, but
he knew he had to deal with a Tory House of Lords, and was content to
accept some compromise as long as he could carry the main object of his
policy.  The first great chapter in the modern history of political
reform had come to a thrilling close.




[Sidenote: 1829--Wellington fights Lord Winchilsea]

One incident connected more or less directly with the Catholic
Emancipation question deserves historical record, if only for the curious
light it throws upon the contrast between the manners of that day and the
manners of more recent times.  Shortly before the passing of the Catholic
Relief Bill, the Earl of Winchilsea wrote a letter which was published in
one of the newspapers strongly denouncing the conduct of the Duke of
Wellington, and declaring him guilty of having joined in a conspiracy to
overthrow the Church and the Constitution of England under false
pretences.  This letter was addressed to the secretary of a committee
formed for the establishment of King's College in London, and Lord
Winchilsea had apparently assumed that the subject under consideration
warranted him in expressing his views with regard to the conduct of the
Prime Minister on the Catholic relief question.  In more recent times, of
course, such a letter might have been written by anybody, whether peer or
commoner, and published in all the newspapers of the country without
calling for the slightest notice on the part of a Prime Minister.  The
Duke of Wellington, however, lived at a time when a different code of
honor and etiquette prevailed.  He wrote to Lord Winchilsea a letter, the
principal passage of which is worth quoting to illustrate the peculiar
sense of duty which could, at the time, direct the conduct of a man like
the Duke of Wellington.  "The question for me now to decide is this: Is a
gentleman who happens to be the King's Minister to submit to be insulted
by any gentleman who thinks proper to attribute to him disgraceful or
criminal motives for his conduct as an individual?  I cannot {81} doubt
of the decision which I ought to make on this question.  Your Lordship is
alone responsible for the consequences."  This was, of course, a
challenge to Lord Winchilsea to withdraw his accusation or to fight a
duel forthwith.

Now, to the cool, philosophic mind, at least in later times, it might
well seem obvious that whether Lord Winchilsea's charge against the Duke
of Wellington was just or unjust, its justice or injustice could not in
any way be made clear by the discharge of bullets from the pistols of the
challenger and the challenged.  The cool, philosophic observer of a later
time might wonder also how the Duke's sense of public responsibility
could allow him to peril a life which he must have known to be of the
highest value to his country, for the sake of taking part in a combat
with an antagonist whose personal opinion of the Duke and of the Duke's
conduct could not be of the slightest importance to the vast majority of
the Duke's countrymen.  But the Duke of Wellington was not in any case a
cool, philosophic observer, and he lived at a time when the established
or tolerated code of what was called personal honor seemed to have
nothing to do either with Christian morals, with political expediency, or
with ordinary common-sense.  Wellington accepted without question the
dictates of the supposed code of honor, and he sent his challenge.  Lord
Winchilsea, it will be seen, did not intend to stand by his gross and
preposterous charge against the Duke, but he did not think that the code
of honor allowed him to say so like a man, and tender an apology like
what we should now call a gentleman, without first subjecting himself to
the fire of his wrongfully accused antagonist.  So the Duke and the Earl
went out with their seconds and met at Wimbledon.  The victor of Waterloo
was not destined to kill or be killed in this absurd contest.  When the
parties to the duel were placed on the ground and the word was given.
Lord Winchilsea reserved his fire, the bullet from the Duke's pistol
passed him without doing any harm, and Lord Winchilsea then discharged
his pistol in the air, and authorized his second to make known his
retraction of his {82} charge against the Duke, and his apology for
having made such a charge.  The retraction and the apology were published
in the newspapers, and there, to use a form of words which was very
common at the time after such an incident, the affair ended with equal
honor to both parties.

[Sidenote: 1829--Comments upon Wellington's duel]

It seems hard now to understand how any man, in the position and with the
responsibilities of the Duke of Wellington, could bring himself to think
that he was called upon to risk his life for the mere sake of resenting
an imputation which no rational man in his senses could possibly have
regarded as of any consequence to the Duke's public or private character.
The whole incident seems to us now one more properly belonging to comic
opera than to serious political life.  We can hardly conceive the
possibility of the Marquis of Salisbury insisting on fighting a duel with
some hot-headed member of the House of Lords who had chosen to describe
him as a conspirator against the Constitution and the Church of England.
The Duke of Wellington, however, must be judged according to the ways of
his own time, and the code of political and personal honor in which he
had been nurtured.  There has not been in modern political history a more
conscientious and high-minded statesman than Robert Peel, and yet not
very long before the Winchilsea business Robert Peel had only been
prevented by the interference of the law from going out to fight a duel
with Daniel O'Connell, and O'Connell himself had killed his man in
another affair of honor, as it was called.  We who live in these islands
at the present time may be excused if we indulge in a certain feeling of
self-complacency when we contemplate the advance towards a better code of
personal honor and a better recognition of the teachings of Christianity
which has been made here since the days when the Duke of Wellington
thought that for him, as a gentleman, there was no other course to take
than to risk his life because an insignificant person had made a
ridiculous charge against him.

Still, it is something to know that there were cool observers even at the
time who thought the Duke of Wellington had done wrong.  Charles
Greville, in commenting on {83} the duel, says that "everybody, of
course, sees the matter in a different light; all blame Lord Winchilsea,
but they are divided as to whether the Duke ought to have fought or not."
"Lord Winchilsea is such a maniac, and has so lost his head, that
everybody imagined the Duke would treat what he said with silent
contempt."  Greville utterly condemns Lord Winchilsea for having made the
attack on the Duke, and for not having sent an apology when it was first
required of him, but he adds: "I think, having committed the folly of
writing so outrageous a letter, he did the only thing a man of honor
could do in going out and receiving a shot and then making an apology,
which he was all this time prepared to do, for he had it ready written in
his pocket."  Most of us at this time of day would be inclined to think
that if Lord Winchilsea was willing to make the apology and had it ready
written in his pocket, he might have acted according to a better code of
honor by not exposing the Duke to the chance of killing him.  However, we
must not expect too much from Greville, and it is well to know, as his
final verdict on the whole affair, that "I think the Duke ought not to
have challenged him; it was very juvenile, and he stands in far too high
a position, and his life is so much _publica cura_ that he should have
treated him and his letter with the contempt they merited."  The King, it
seems, approved of the Duke of Wellington's conduct in making the letter
the subject of a challenge and meeting his opponent in a duel.  Greville
goes on to remark that somebody said "the King would be wanting to fight
a duel himself," whereupon some one else observed, "He will be sure to
think that he has fought one."

The Duke of Wellington had a great deal to trouble him after the passing
of the Catholic Relief Bill.  There was great distress all over the
country, and the discontent was naturally in proportion to the distress.
Wellington had lost much of his popularity with the more extreme members
of his own party, who could not lift their minds to an understanding of
the reasons which had compelled him to change his old opinions on the
Catholic question.  It cannot be doubted, too, that he sometimes felt
disappointed {84} with the results which were following from his policy
towards Ireland.  Members of his own party were continually dinning into
his ears their declaration that the measure passed in favor of the Roman
Catholics had not put a stop to agitation in Ireland, and that, on the
contrary, O'Connell was now beginning to agitate for a repeal of the Act
of Union.  At that time, as at all times, the opponents of any great act
of justice were eager to make out that its concession must have been an
utter failure, because instead of satisfying everybody forever it had
only led other people to demand that other acts of justice should also be
done.  Some members of Wellington's own party were now inclined for the
first time to become advocates of Parliamentary reform, on the ground
that nothing but a reduced franchise in England could save the State
Church from being overthrown by the emancipated Roman Catholics.  Those
who had trembled before at the possibility of revolutionary sentiments
leading to the subversion of the throne, now declared themselves in
terror lest the spread of Roman Catholic doctrine should lead to the
subversion of the Protestant altar.  The truth is, and it is a truth of
which governments have to be reminded even in our own times, that the
long delay of justice was alone answerable for any alarm which might have
been caused by its sudden concession.  The arguments in favor of Catholic
Emancipation were just as strong, and ought to have been just as clear,
to all rational men before it became evident to Wellington and Peel that
there was no choice but between emancipation and civil war.  The plain
duty of a civilized government is to redress injustice at the earliest
possible moment, and not to wait idly or ignorantly until the danger of a
popular uprising makes instant redress inevitable.

[Sidenote: 1829--Need for radical reforms]

The great distress in many parts of the country was in the mean time
leading to new forms of crime.  The burning of corn-ricks and farm-houses
was becoming in many districts the terrible form in which hunger and want
of work made wild war against property.  The Game Laws, which were then
at their highest pitch of severity, led to {85} ferocious and frequent
struggles between the patrons and the enemies of legalized monopoly.
Poachers were killed by game preservers, and game preservers were killed
by poachers.  Every assize court told this same story.  An entirely new
form of crime broke out in the murders which were committed for the sake
of obtaining bodies to be sold for the purposes of dissection.  The price
of food was often made enormously high by the purely artificial
restrictions imposed upon its importation, and even in some cases on its
mere production, and in ordinary human society increase of poverty always
means increase of crime.  A large proportion of the population was sunk
in absolute ignorance, and as yet no systematic attempt whatever was made
to establish any form of national education.  The luxury and the
extravagance of the rich were enormous, and were greatly stimulated by
the example of the sovereign and the Court.  Under the influence of the
spasmodic and unreal impulse given to commercial activity by the late
wars the rich seemed to be growing richer, while by the increased
taxation which was the result of these wars the poor were certainly made
to grow poorer.  The demand for Parliamentary reform was beginning to
express itself in systematic movements.   Lord John Russell and Henry
Brougham made their voices heard in the House of Commons and throughout
the country.  Daniel O'Connell went so far as to declare that nothing
would satisfy him short of universal suffrage--manhood suffrage, that is
to say--vote by ballot, and triennial Parliaments.  This was thought at
the time by most people to be the mere raving of a madman or the wild
outcry of a revolutionary demagogue.  We are not very far from the full
accomplishment of the programme just now.  The agitation against slavery
and the slave trade was becoming an important movement.  The time, in
fact, was one of storm and high pressure.  The shapes of great coming
changes were daily seen upon the horizon, and part of the community
regarded as the portents of coming national destruction what others
welcomed as the bright signs of approaching prosperity, education, and


[Sidenote: 1830--Death of George the Fourth]

One coming change all men looked forward to with the conviction that it
was near.  The end of the reign was close at hand.  The King's health and
strength had wholly given way of late years, and it was beyond the reach
of medical science to do much for the prolongation of his life, even if
George had been the sort of man to give medical science any chance of
doing much for him.  Preparations, however, were still being made for his
birthday celebration in April, and nothing was done by any official
announcement to give strength to the general prevailing impression that
the end was near at hand.  When, on April 15, a bulletin was at last
issued, it merely announced that the King was suffering from a bilious
attack accompanied by a slight difficulty in breathing, but nothing was
said to intimate that the King's physicians were in any alarm for the
result.  The royal physicians still kept issuing bulletins, but they were
so vague in their terms that it is impossible to believe they were not
made purposely deceptive.  It would appear that King George, like many
braver and better men, had a nervous objection to any admission by
himself or on his behalf that there was the slightest reason for alarm as
to the state of his health.  Greville, who was then in Rome, notes on May
12 that: "Everybody here is in great alarm about the King, who I have no
doubt is very ill."  Then Greville adds, in characteristic fashion: "I am
afraid he will die before I get home, and I should like to be in at the
death, and see all the proceedings of a new reign."  But he makes up his
mind that he must not hurry his departure on the ground that "I shall
probably never see Rome again, and I have a good chance of seeing at
least one king more leave us."

Days and days went on and the public were still kept in doubt, until on
May 24 a message was sent in the King's name to both Houses of Parliament
to say that the King no longer found it convenient to sign State papers
with his own hand, and hoped some means might be found for relieving him
from the necessity of making any attempt to discharge the painful duty.
This announcement made it clear enough to everybody that the King was in
a very {87} weak condition, but there was naturally some difficulty about
devising an entirely satisfactory method of dispensing him from the duty
of appending his sign-manual to important documents.  Not a very long
time had passed away since the throne of England was nominally occupied
by an insane sovereign.  It was thought quite possible that insanity
might show itself in the present King, and it was absolutely necessary
that the utmost care should be taken to provide against any chance of the
royal authority being misused by those who surrounded the sovereign.  It
was arranged, therefore, that the sign-manual should be affixed in the
King's presence, and in obedience to his order given by word of mouth,
and that the document thus stamped must be endorsed by three members of
the Privy Council.  All this was to be provided for by an Act of
Parliament, and the Act was only to be in operation during the session
then going on, in order that if the King's malady should last the renewal
of the regular authority must be formally sought from the Legislature.
The Bill for this purpose became law on May 28, and it remained in
operation but for a very short time.  On June 26, about three in the
morning, the reign of George the Fourth came to an end.  The death was
sudden, even when we consider that there had been for some time no hope
left of the King's recovery.  George was sitting up in bed, and to all
outward appearance was not any worse than he had been for some days
before, when suddenly a startled expression came over his face, he leaned
his head on the shoulder of one of his attendants, was heard to say, "O
God, this is death," and then all was over.

The rupture of a blood-vessel proved to have been the immediate cause of
death, but ossification of some of the vessels near the heart had begun
years before and a complication of disorders had been gradually setting
in.  The King's mode of life was not one which gave him any chance of
rallying against such disorders.  He was reckless in his food and drink,
and had long been in the way of cheering and stimulating himself by
glasses of cherry-brandy taken at any moment of the day when the impulse
came upon {88} him.  Shortly before his death George made an earnest
request to the Duke of Wellington, who was in constant attendance, that
he should be buried in the night-shirt which he was wearing at the time.
The Duke was somewhat surprised at this request, for one reason among
others that the garment in question did not seem likely to commend itself
as a shroud even to a sovereign less particular as to costume than George
the Fourth had been.  During his later years, however, as we learn from
the testimony of Wellington himself, the King, who used to be the very
prince of dandies where his outer garments were concerned, had got into
the way of sleeping in uncleanly nightshirts and particularly dirty
night-caps.  When the King was dead, Wellington noticed that there was a
red silk ribbon round his neck beneath the shirt.  The ribbon was found
to have attached to it a locket containing a tiny portrait of Mrs.
Fitzherbert, perhaps the one only woman he had ever loved, perhaps, too,
the woman he had most deeply wronged.  It seemed that at one period of
their love story the King and Mrs. Fitzherbert had exchanged small
portraits, each covered by half a cut diamond, and no doubt there was an
understanding that each should rest forever on the breast of its wearer.

[Sidenote: 1830--The character of George the Fourth]

Nothing in the story of George the Fourth's worthless and erring life is
more discreditable and dishonorable to him than the manner in which he
behaved to Mrs. Fitzherbert, and the utter falsehood of the denial which
he had given to the reports that a marriage ceremony had taken place
between them--a falsehood which, be it remembered, he had declared to
Charles Fox upon his honor to be a truthful statement.  The moralist may
be a little puzzled how to make up his mind as to the bearing of this
incident upon the character of George the Fourth.  Does it relieve the
murky gloom of George's life by one streak of light if we find that,
after all, he did love Mrs. Fitzherbert to the last, and that in his
dying moments he wished her portrait to go with him to the tomb?  Or does
it darken the stain upon the man's life to know that he really did love
the woman whom nevertheless he could deliberately consign {89} to an
infamous imputation?  We do not know whether any writer of romance has
ventured to introduce into his pages an incident and a problem such as
those which are thus associated with the death-bed of George the Fourth.
It is something to know that the King's brother, the Duke of Clarence,
whom that death-bed had made King of England, was kind and generous to
Mrs. Fitzherbert, and did all in his power to atone to her for the trials
which her love and her royal lover had brought upon her life.

George was in his sixty-eighth year when he died.  It would not be easy
to find anywhere the story of a life which left so little of good to be
remembered.  George seems to have had some generous impulses now and
then, and he probably did some kindly acts which could be set off against
his many errors, imperfections, ignoble selfishnesses, and grave
offences.  But the record of his career as history gives it to us is that
of a life almost absolutely surrendered to self-indulgence.  It is only
fair to remember when we consider all the unworthy acts of his manhood
that the unwise and harsh restraints imposed upon him in his early years
are accountable, at least to a certain extent, for the follies and the
vices to which he yielded himself up when he became, as Byron says of one
of his characters, "Lord of himself, that heritage of woe."  Heritage of
woe it certainly was in the case of George the Fourth.  In his early
manhood he appears to have had the gift of forming close friendships with
men of genius and of noble impulse, but their example never told upon
him, and as one cause or other removed them from his side his career bore
with it no trace of their influence or their inspiration.  No one ever
seems to have loved him except Mrs. Fitzherbert alone, and we have seen
how that love was repaid.  Even those who were most devoted to him in his
later years, because of their devotion to the royal house and to the
State of which he was the representative, found themselves compelled to
bear the heaviest testimony against his levity, his selfishness, his lack
of conscience, his utter indifference to all the higher objects and
purposes of life.

George must have had some natural talents and some {90} gifts of
intellect, for he would otherwise not have chosen such friends as those
whom in his better days he chose out and brought around him.  We are told
that he had marvellous powers of conversation, that he had a ready wit,
and a keen insight into the humors and the weaknesses of those with whom
he was compelled to associate.  We are told that he could compete in
repartee with the recognized wits of his time, and that he could shine as
a talker even among men whose names still live in history because of
their reputations as talkers.  Of course it will naturally occur to the
mind that the guests of the Prince Regent might be easily inclined to
discover genuine wit in any repartee which came from the Prince Regent,
but it is certain that some at least of the men who surrounded him were
not likely to have been betrayed into admiration merely because of the
rank of their royal entertainer.  Burke was held to have spoken
disparagingly of George when he described him as "brilliant but
superficial."  To one of Burke's deep thought and wide information a man
might well have seemed superficial in whom others nevertheless believed
that they saw evidences of intellect and understanding, but if Burke
thought a man brilliant it is only reasonable to assume that that man's
conversation must have had frequent flashes of brilliancy.

[Sidenote: 1830--The Third and Fourth Georges contrasted]

Undoubtedly George was capable sometimes of appreciating thoroughly the
qualities of greatness in other men, but the appreciation never left any
abiding influence upon his character or his career.  He certainly did not
make himself the cause of so much injury to the best interests of the
State as George the Third had done, but it has also to be observed that
when George the Third went wrong and obstinately maintained a wrongful
course he was acting in dogged obedience to what he believed to be his
conscience and the teachings of his creed.  George the Fourth had
absolutely no conscience and no law of life, and when he talked most
vehemently and loudly about his coronation oath those who were accustomed
to deal with him knew quite well from experience that when he had
exhausted his humor by a {91} sufficient outpouring of eloquence he would
be sure to take the advice given to him and to trouble himself no more
about the question of conscience.  In this way, of course, George the
Fourth did less harm to the State than his father had done, but when we
come to compare the moral character of the two men we must admit that the
obstinacy of the father deserves the recognition which we cannot give to
the spasmodic and ephemeral self-assertion of the son.  Nobody for a
moment believed that George the Fourth had the slightest idea of actually
abdicating his royal position in England and betaking himself to
perpetual boredom in Hanover rather than consent to the passing of
Catholic Emancipation.  But at times of trial those who were around
George the Third had good reason to believe that if he were driven to
choose between his throne and his conscience he would have come down
deliberately from the throne and followed his conscience whithersoever it
might lead him.  With George the Fourth the only question was how long he
would stand the wear and tear of having to defend his position, and how
soon he would begin to feel that the inconvenience of giving in would be
less troublesome than the inconvenience of holding out.  Even the most
courtly historian would be hard put to it if he were set to find out any
passage in the whole of George the Fourth's matured life which compels

George seems to have been an absolutely self-centred man.  He was to all
appearance constitutionally unable to import into his mind any
considerations but those which affected his own personal comforts and
likings and indulgences and occasional love of display.  There were times
when he evidently thought he was acting a great part, and when it filled
him with joy to believe that he was thus making himself an object of
public admiration; but no higher consideration, no thought beyond him and
the applause he believed himself to be winning, appear to have entered
his mind even at such moments of exaltation.  We read in history of
princes who believed themselves qualified by nature to be great actors or
great singers, and who made absurd exhibitions of themselves accordingly
and accepted {92} the courtly and venal applause as genuine tributes to
artistic genius.  In the same way, and only in the same way, George the
Fourth sometimes believed himself to be playing a great part, and it
gratified his vanity to act the part out until it became tiresome to him
and he found it a relief to go back to the ordinary delights of his easy,
lazy, and sensuous nature.  Perhaps the best that can be said of him is
that he had possibly some gifts which under other conditions might have
been turned to better account.  Perhaps if he had had to work for a
living, to make a career in life for himself, to depend for his success
entirely on the steady use of his own best qualities, and to avoid the
idleness and self-indulgence which would have condemned him to perpetual
stint and poverty, he might have made a respectable name in some career
where intelligence and application count for much.  But a hard fortune
had condemned him to be a king, and to begin by being the son of a king,
and thus to find as the years went on increasing opportunity of
gratifying all his meanest tastes and finding always around him the ready
homage which accords its applause to the most ignoble caprices and the
most wanton self-indulgence.  The reign of George the Fourth saw great
deeds and great men; it could have seen few men in all his realm less
deserving a word of praise than George the Fourth.

[Sidenote: 1830--Events in the reign of George the Fourth]

The reign saw the beginning of many great enterprises in practical
science, the uprising of many philanthropic combinations, and the first
movements of political and social reform.  It saw the earliest attempts
made in a systematic way towards the spread of education among the
multitude, and the close of many a bright career in literature and the
arts.  Bishop Heber died in 1826.  The death of Byron has already been
recorded in these pages, and at even an earlier period of the reign two
other stars of the first magnitude in the firmament of literature ceased
to shine upon the earth in bodily presence with the deaths of Keats and
Shelley.  John Kemble, probably the greatest English tragic actor from
the days of Garrick to the uprising of Edmund Kean, died while George the
Fourth was {93} King.  Sir Thomas Lawrence, Flaxman, Fuseli, and
Nollekens ceased to work for art.  Sir Humphry Davy, Dugald Stewart, and
Pestalozzi were lost to science.  The reign saw the foundation of the
Royal Society of Literature, which, to do him justice, George the Fourth
helped to establish; the beginning of Mechanics' Institute, and the
opening of some new parks and the Zoological Gardens.  It is doubtful if
the Thames Tunnel can be described as a really valuable addition to the
triumphs of engineering, and it will perhaps be generally admitted that
Buckingham Palace was not an artistic addition to the architectural
ornaments of the metropolis.  The Society for the Diffusion of Useful
Knowledge was set on foot owing chiefly to the energy and the instincts
of Henry Brougham.

We have seen how the foreign policy of Canning opened a distinctly new
chapter in English history, and it may be observed that owing to the
influence of that policy the principle of neutrality was maintained under
difficult conditions, and even where the general sympathy of England went
distinctly with one of the parties to a foreign dispute.  This policy
might well have been followed with credit and advantage to England on
more than one critical occasion at a much later time.  The reign saw the
beginning of the movement towards free trade as a distinct international
policy, and saw the removal of some of the most cramping and antiquated
restrictions on the commerce of the kingdom and the colonies.  The
crusade against slavery and the slave-trade may be said to have begun its
march in anything like organized form during this reign.  The political
principles which we now describe as Liberal became a new force in the
State during the same time.  The idea that even beneficent despotism can
be counted on as an enduring or an endurable form of government began to
die out, and the principle came to be more and more distinctly and loudly
proclaimed that the best form of government must be not only for, but by,
the people.

These things are in themselves enough to show that in the sphere of
political and social reform as well as in that {94} of practical science
the reign of George the Fourth was at least a reign of great beginnings.
The student of history may perhaps draw an instructive and a moral lesson
from the knowledge forced upon him of the fact which seems lamentable in
itself that to the ruler of the State little or nothing was due for the
achievements which give the reign its best claim to be honored in
history.  The reign of George the Fourth teaches us that in a country
like modern England, while a good sovereign may do much to forward the
intellectual, political, and social progress of the people, even the
worst sovereign could no longer do much to retard it.

[Sidenote: 1830: The Georges and the Stuarts]

The Four Georges had come and gone.  A famous epoch in English history
had ended.  Four princes of the same race, of the same name, had ruled in
succession over the English people.  Practically, the reigns of the four
namesakes may be said to coincide with, to comprehend, and to represent
the history of the eighteenth century in England.  The reign of George
the Fourth may be regarded as a survival from the eighteenth into the
nineteenth century, as the reign of Anne was a survival from the
seventeenth into the eighteenth century.  In all the changes of that long
and eventful age one change is very memorable and significant.  The
position of the dynasty was very different when George the Fourth died
from what it was when his great-great-grandfather came over unwillingly
from Germany to grasp the sceptre.  When the Elector of Hanover became
King of England, the Stuart party was still a power in political life and
the Stuart cause the dearest hope of a very large number of devoted
Englishmen.  It might well be hard for men to realize in the days of
George the Fourth that in the reign of the first George and in the reign
of the second George the throne reeled beneath the blows which the armed
adherents of the exiled Stuart princes struck at the supremacy of the
sovereigns of the House of Brunswick.  Even when the third George came to
the throne there were still desperate dreamers who hoped against hope
that something, anything, might happen which would allow the King--the
King over the {95} water--to enjoy his own again.  When the last of the
Georges passed away, the Stuart cause had been buried for nearly half a
century in that grave in Rome which encloses the remains of the last and
perhaps the most unhappy of the Stuart princes.





[Sidenote: 1830--The career of William the Fourth]

William the Fourth, as the Duke of Clarence had now become, was nearing
the completion of his sixty-fifth year when the death of his brother
raised him to the throne.  He had surely had full time in which to
prepare himself for the business of a monarch, for during a long period
it was well known that nothing was likely to stand between him and the
succession except the life of his elder brother, the Duke of York.  But
William's tastes did not allure him to any study of the duties which
belonged to a throne.  The Navy was assigned to him as a profession,
and he actually saw some service in America and in the West Indies, but
he obtained his promotion as a matter of course until he reached the
position of Lord High Admiral, which may be described as the main-top
of his naval career.  The story is told of him, and will probably,
whether it be accurate or not, be told as long as his history comes
under public recollection, that he had something to do with the
promotion of the great naval battle of Navarino, which led to the
emancipation of Greece.  The combined fleets of England, France, and
Russia, under command of Admiral Sir Edward Codrington, were watching
the Turkish and Egyptian fleets, in order to protect Greece against
them.  But the actual course to be taken by the allies was supposed to
depend upon many serious political considerations.  The British
Admiralty issued a solemn official despatch to Sir Edward Codrington,
enjoining on him the necessity of great care and caution in any action
he might take.  This {97} document was forwarded in due course by the
Lord High Admiral, and the story goes that the Duke of Clarence
scribbled at the end of it in his own hand the encouraging words, "Go
it, Ned."  Whether it was fought under this inspiration or not, it is
certain that the battle was fought, that the Turkish and Egyptian
fleets were destroyed, and that the independence of Greece was won.

The English public generally would have been none the less inclined to
welcome the accession of the Duke of Clarence as William the Fourth
even although it had been part of authentic history that the new King
had lately borne an important, if an underhand, part in the rescue of
Greece from Ottoman oppression.  But there was little else in the
career of the Duke of Clarence to command popular respect or affection.
He had lived openly, or almost openly, for many years with the
celebrated actress Mrs. Jordan, who had borne him ten children, and
this connection had been made the subject of free and frank allusion in
some of the verses of Robert Burns.  The British public, however, were
inclined, as Robert Burns was, to look forgivingly on the doings of the
Prince, for he was still a young man when his acquaintance with Mrs.
Jordan began.  The British public liked him because he was a sailor, if
for nothing else, and men's eyes turned hopefully to him when it became
apparent that not much good was any longer to be looked for from George
the Fourth.  In 1818 William married the eldest daughter of the Duke of
Saxe-Meiningen, and had two daughters, both of whom died in their
infancy.  The Duke of Clarence had been noted, during the greater part
of his career, for his roughness of manner, and many anecdotes of him
were spread about which might have suited well the fun of some
historian belonging to the school of Brantôme, or some compiler of
memoirs after the fashion of Saint-Simon.  Still he was the Sailor
King, and England had always, and naturally, loved sailors; and "go to
then," as might have been said in the days of Shakespeare, what further
explanation could be needed of the fact that William the Fourth opened
his career of royalty under favoring {98} auspices?  It might seem to
the mind of some philosophical observer rather hard to get into
transports of enthusiasm about a new monarch aged sixty-five who during
all his previous career had done nothing of which to be particularly
proud, and had done many things of which a respectable person in
private life would have felt heartily ashamed.  Still, the Duke of
Clarence had become William the Fourth, and was on the throne, and
great things might possibly be expected from him even yet, although he
was pretty well stricken in years.  At all events, he was not George
the Fourth.  So the public of these countries was in the mood to make
the best of him, and give him a loyal welcome, and wait for events with
the comfortable faith that even at sixty-five a man may begin a new
life, and find time and heart and intellect to do things of which no
promise whatever had been given during all his earlier years.

[Sidenote: 1830--The pocket boroughs]

William had been supposed up to the time of his accession to lean
towards the Whig, or what we should now call the Liberal party.  His
manners were frank, familiar, and even rough.  He cared little for
Court ceremonial of any kind, and was in the habit of walking about the
streets with his umbrella tucked under his arm, like any ordinary
Londoner.  All this told rather in his favor, so far as the outer
public were concerned.  There was supposed to be something rather
English, something rather typical of John Bull in the easy-going
manners of the new sovereign, which gave people an additional reason
for welcoming him.  The new sovereign, however, had come in for times
of popular excitement, and even of trouble.  There came a new
revolution in France--only a dynastic revolution, to be sure, and not a
national upheaval, but still it was a change which dethroned the newly
restored legitimate line of sovereigns.  The elder branch of the
Bourbons was torn away and flung aside.  There were to be no more kings
of France, but only kings of the French.  Charles the Tenth was
deposed, and Louis Philippe, son of Philippe Egalité, was placed on the
throne.  Charles the Tenth was the last of the legitimate kings of
France so far, and there does not {99} seem much chance in the
immediate future for any restoration of the fallen dynasty.

The overthrow of legitimacy in France had a strong effect on popular
opinion in England.  It was plain that Charles the Tenth and his system
had come to ruin because the sovereign and his ministers would not move
with the common movement of the times over the greater part of the
European continent, and popular reformers in England took care that the
lesson should not be thrown away over here.  Great changes had been
accomplished by popular movements even during the enfeebling and
disheartening reign of George the Fourth.  Great progress had been made
towards the establishment of religious equality, or at all events
towards the removal of religious disqualifications among the Dissenters
and the Roman Catholics.  There was a loud cry almost everywhere for
some measure of political reform.  The conditions of the country had
been gradually undergoing a great change.  England had been becoming
less and less dependent for her prosperity on her mere agricultural
resources, and had been growing more and more into a great
manufacturing community.  Huge towns like Manchester, Liverpool, Leeds,
Birmingham, and Sheffield were arising in the Northern and Midland
regions.  Liverpool was superseding Bristol as the great seaport of
commercial traffic.  Yet in most cases the old-fashioned principle
still prevailed which in practice confined the Parliamentary
representation of the country to the members who sat for the counties,
and for what were called the pocket boroughs.  The theory of the
Constitution, as it was understood, held that the sovereign summoned at
his own discretion and pleasure the persons whom he thought best
qualified to form a House of Commons, to consult with him as to the
government of the empire.  The sovereign for this purpose conferred the
right of representation on this or that town, or district, or county,
according as he thought fit, and this arrangement had gone on from
generation to generation.  Now it sometimes happened that a place that
had been comparatively popular and prosperous at the period when it
obtained the {100} right of representation had seen its prosperity and
its population gradually ebb away from it, and leave it little better
than a bare hill-side, and yet the bare hill-side retained the right of
representation, and its owner could send any one he pleased into the
House of Commons.  There were numberless illustrations of this curious
anomaly all over the country.  The great families of landed proprietors
naturally monopolized among them the representation of the counties,
and many of them enjoyed also the ownership of the small decaying or
totally decayed boroughs which still retained the right of returning
members to Parliament.  On the other hand, the development of
manufacturing energy had caused the growth of great and populous towns
and cities, and most of these towns and cities were actually without
representation or the right of representation in the House of Commons.
Thus a condition of things had arisen which was certain to prove itself
incompatible with the spread of education and the growth of public
interest in all great questions of domestic reform.

[Sidenote: 1830--The Princess Victoria]

We have already seen in this history how the Whig party in Parliament,
and the popular agitators out of Parliament, had long been rousing the
national intelligence and the national conscience to a sense of the
growing necessity for some complete change in all that concerned the
representation of the people.  The Duke of Wellington was at the head
of the Administration when George the Fourth died and William came to
the throne.  The new King, as has been said, was supposed to have
Liberal inclinations as regarded political questions, and there was a
common expectation that he might begin his reign by summoning a new set
of ministers.  The King, however, did nothing of the kind.  He sent
messages to the Duke of Wellington telling him, in his usual familiar
and uncouth way, that he had always liked the Duke uncommonly well, and
did not see any reason why he should not keep him on as his Prime
Minister.  This was, to begin with, a disappointment to the majority of
the public.  The first royal speech from the throne contained other
matter of disappointment.  There was great distress all over the {101}
country.  The enormous expense of the long wars was still making itself
felt in huge taxation.  The condition of agriculture was low, and many
districts were threatened with something like famine.  Trade was
suffering from the reaction which always follows a long and exhausting
war.  It was confidently expected that the royal speech would take some
account of the widespread national distress and would foreshadow some
measures to deal with it.  The speech, however, said nothing on the
subject.  Then there was another omission which created much
dissatisfaction and even some alarm.  The speech made no mention of any
measures to be taken for the establishment of a regency in the event of
the King's death.  The King was sixty-five years old, and had led a
life which even the most loyal and hopeful of his subjects could not
regard with confidence as likely to give promise of a long reign.  Now
the heir-presumptive to the throne was the Princess Alexandrina
Victoria, a child then only eleven years old.  The Princess Victoria,
as she was commonly called, was the daughter of the Duke of Kent, the
fourth son of George the Third.  Any attack of illness, any serious
accident, might bring the life of King William to a sudden close, and
then if no previous arrangement had been made for a regency Parliament
and the country might be involved in some confusion.

There was one very grave and even ominous condition which had to be
taken into account.  If the King were to die suddenly, and with no
provision made for a regency, the girl, perhaps the child, who
succeeded him would in the ordinary course of things be left under the
guardianship of her eldest uncle, the Duke of Cumberland.  Now it is
only stating a simple fact to say that the Duke of Cumberland was then
the most unpopular man in England.  He was not merely unpopular, he was
an object of common dread and detestation.  He was regarded as a
reckless profligate and an unprincipled schemer.  There must have been
much exaggeration about some of the tales that were told and accepted
concerning him, for it is hard to believe that at a time so near to our
own a prince of {102} the Royal House of England could have lived a
life the story of which might seem to have belonged to the worst days
of the Lower Empire.  But, whatever allowance be made for exaggeration,
it is certain that the Duke of Cumberland was almost universally hated,
and that many people seriously considered him quite capable of any plot
or any crime which might secure his own advancement to the throne.
Sanguine persons, indeed, saw a gleam of hope in the fact that the Duke
of Cumberland was in any case the heir to the crown of Hanover.  In the
House of Hanover the succession is confined to the male line, and the
Princess Victoria had nothing to do with it.  The hope, therefore, was
that the Duke of Cumberland would be content with the prospect of his
succession to the throne of Hanover, and that when the time arrived for
him to become King of Hanover he would betake himself to his new
kingdom and trouble England no more.  Still the fact remained that just
as yet he was not King of Hanover, and that if no proper provisions
were made against a contingency he might become the guardian of the
girl, or the child, who was to succeed William the Fourth on the
English throne.

[Sidenote: 1830--The death of Huskisson]

King William, however, did not trouble himself much about all these
considerations.  He did not see any reason why people should expect him
to die all of a sudden, and he could hardly be got to give any serious
attention to the question of a regency.  It was then part of the
constitutional practice of the monarchy that a dissolution of
Parliament should take place when a new sovereign had come to the
throne.  The practice has since ceased to be a part of our
constitutional usages, but in the days when William the Fourth came to
the throne it was a matter of course.  The King, for some reason or
other, was anxious that a dissolution should take place as soon as
possible.  It may be that he was merely desirous to find out how far
the existing Ministry had the support of the country, although it does
not seem quite likely that William's intelligence could have carried
him so near to the level of statesmanship as to make this elementary
question a {103} matter of consideration in his mind.  The King's
principal ministers were the Duke of Wellington and Sir Robert Peel.
The most powerful among the leaders of Opposition were Charles, Earl
Grey, in the House of Lords and Henry Brougham and Lord John Russell in
the House of Commons.  There was some doubt as to the position which
might be taken up by Canning and Huskisson and their friends.  Some of
the Tories believed that they might be won over to support the Duke of
Wellington, in order to assist him in counteracting the efforts of the
more ardent and liberal reformers, like Grey and Brougham and Russell.
Fate soon settled the question so far at least as Huskisson was
concerned.  The opening of the line of railway from Liverpool to
Manchester, the first line of any considerable length completed in
England, took place on September 15, 1830.  The Duke of Wellington, Sir
Robert Peel, and Huskisson were among the distinguished visitors who
were present at the opening of the railway.  The friends alike of the
Prime Minister and of the great expert in finance were anxious that the
two should come together on this occasion, and make a personal if not a
political reconciliation.  The train stopped at a station; the Duke and
Huskisson both got out, and were approaching to meet each other, the
Duke holding out his hand, when an alarm was raised about the approach
of a locomotive.  A rush was made for the carriages, and in the
confusion Huskisson was struck down by an open door in the moving
train, and suffered such injuries that his death almost immediately
followed.  Huskisson was, beyond doubt, one of the most enlightened
statesmen of his time in all that concerned the financial arrangements
of the country.  He might have been called a Liberal, just as we might
call Canning a Liberal, when we think of the general direction taken by
the policy of either man.

The dissatisfaction with which the speech from the throne was received
found its expression in no severer form, so far at least as Parliament
was concerned, than a motion by Lord Grey in the one House, and Lord
Althorp in the other, for a short delay to enable both Houses to {104}
consider the address in reply to the royal speech.  It was made evident
that the delay sought for had to do with the question of a regency,
concerning which, as has been said, the King had not troubled himself
to make any announcement.  Now the constitutional system of England had
taken no account, except through the provision of a regency, of the
fact that a child might become sovereign of the realm.  Therefore, if
Parliament did not establish a regency during the lifetime of King
William, and if the King were soon to die through any accident or
malady, the child Princess would come to the throne under no further
constitutional restraints than those which belonged to the position of
a full-grown sovereign.  There was another trouble, however, and one of
still graver political importance, awaiting the Ministry of the Duke of

[Sidenote: 1830--Brougham and Reform]

Henry Brougham gave notice in the House of Commons that on an early day
he would bring forward a motion to raise the whole question of reform
in the representative system of the country.  Brougham, at this time,
was regarded as the most strenuous and powerful champion of reform in
the House of Commons.  Lord John Russell had not yet had an opportunity
of proving how steadfast were his principles as a reformer, and how
great were the Parliamentary gifts which he had brought to the main
purpose of his life.  Moreover, Lord John Russell never had any of the
kind of eloquence which made Brougham so powerful in and out of
Parliament.  Brougham on a popular platform could outdo the most stormy
mob orator of the time.  He was impassioned, boisterous, overwhelming
to a degree of which we can find no adequate illustration even in the
most tumultuous Trafalgar Square demonstrations of our later days.
Even in the House of Commons, and afterwards in what might be regarded
as the deadening atmosphere of the House of Lords, Brougham was
accustomed to shout and storm and gesticulate, to shake his fist and
stamp, after a fashion which was startling even in those days, and of
which now we have no living illustration.  Brougham was at this time
almost at the very zenith of his popularity among the reformers all
over the country, {105} and more especially in the North of England.
When, therefore, Brougham announced that he was determined at the
earliest opportunity to raise the whole question of reform in the House
of Commons it became evident that the new reign was destined to open
with a momentous and long constitutional struggle, a struggle that
might be counted upon to mark an epoch in the history of England.  The
news that the French legitimate monarchy had fallen and that Louis
Philippe reigned as King of the French--King of the barricades he was
commonly called--came in time to quicken men's hopes and animate their
passions for the approaching trial of strength between the old forms
and the new spirit.

The Government refused to agree to the one day's delay which was asked
for by the leaders of Opposition.  On a division being taken there was
a majority for Ministers in both Houses, and the Duke of Wellington had
scored thus far.  He had shown that he was personally determined not to
concede any point to the Opposition, and he had secured a victory.
Parliament was dissolved within a few days and the country was plunged
into a general election.  At that time, it should be remembered, an
election was a very different sort of event from that which bears the
same name at the present day.  An election contest could then,
according to the extent and nature of the constituency, run on for a
time not exceeding fifteen days, and it was accompanied by a practice
of bribery, lavish, open, shameless, and profligate, such as is totally
unknown to our more modern times, and such as our habits and feelings,
no more than our laws, would tolerate.  Intimidation and violence were
also parts of every fiercely contested election, and those whom the law
excluded from any part in the struggle as electors were apt to find, in
that very exclusion, only another reason for taking part in it by the
use of physical force.  Just at the time which we are now describing
there are many conditions which made a general election likely to be
especially stormy and turbulent.

The distress which prevailed throughout the country had in many
districts called up a spirit of something like {106} desperation, which
exhibited itself in a crime of almost entire novelty, the burning of
hayricks on farms.  This offence became so widespread throughout large
parts of the country that it gave rise to theories about an organized
conspiracy against property which was supposed to be, in some vague
sort of way, an outcome of the socialistic excesses which had taken
place during the French Revolution and had been revived by the more
recent commotions in France.  The probability is that the rick-burning
offences were, in the first instance, the outcome of sheer despair
seeking vengeance anywhere and anyhow for its own sufferings, and then
of the mere passion for imitation in crime which finds some manner of
illustration here and there at all periods of history.  However that
may be, it is certain that the offences became very common, that they
were punished with merciless severity, and that the gallows was kept in
constant operation.

[Sidenote: 1830--A change in constitutional systems]

Now, it may be taken almost as a political axiom that whenever there is
great distress at the time of a general election it is certain to give
rise to some feeling of hostility against a Ministry, especially if the
Ministry had been for any length of time in power.  A considerable
portion of the Tories had been turned against the Duke of Wellington
because, under the advice of Sir Robert Peel, he had yielded at last to
the demand for Catholic Emancipation, even although, as Peel and the
Duke himself declared, the concession had been made merely as a choice
between Catholic Emancipation and civil war.  Some influential Tories
all over the country were asking whether Ireland had been pacified or
had shown herself in the least degree grateful because an instalment of
religious freedom had been granted to the Roman Catholics, and they
insisted that the Duke had surrendered the supremacy of the Established
Church to no purpose.  It was certain, indeed, that O'Connell had not,
in the slightest degree, slackened the energy of his political movement
because the emancipating Act had been passed.  Among the opponents of
reform, at all times, there are some who seem to hold that the granting
of one reform ought to be enough to put a stop to all demands for any
{107} other, and that it is mere ingratitude on the part of a man who
has just obtained permission to follow his own form of worship if he
wants also to be put on an equality with his neighbors as regards the
assertion of his political opinions.  Therefore, the Ministry found, as
the elections went on, that they had not merely all the reformers
against them, but that a certain proportion of those who, in the
ordinary condition of things, would have been their supporters were
estranged from them merely because they had, under whatever pressure,
consented to introduce any manner of reform.

When the elections were over it seemed to reasonable observers very
doubtful indeed whether King William, however well inclined, would be
able to retain for any length of time the Duke of Wellington and Sir
Robert Peel as the leading advisers of the Crown.  The country just
then may be described as in a state of transition from one
constitutional system to another.  It was growing more clear, day by
day, that the time had gone by when the sovereign could hold to any one
particular minister, or set of ministers, in defiance of the majority
in the representative chamber and the strength of public opinion
out-of-doors.  On the other hand, the time had not yet arrived when the
system introduced and established by the present reign could be relied
upon as part of the Constitution, and the sovereign could be trusted to
accept, without demur, the judgment of the House of Commons as to the
choice of his ministers.  The new Parliament was opened on November 5,
and the Royal Speech gave but little satisfaction to reformers of any
class.  It contained no recommendation of constitutional reform, and
indeed congratulated the whole population on having the advantage of
living under so faultless a political system.  It concerned itself in
no wise about the distress that existed in the country, except that it
expressed much satisfaction at the manner in which the criminal laws
had been called into severe action for the repression of offences
against property.

The King conceded so much to public opinion as to recommend the
appointment of a regency, in order to {108} make provision for the
possibility of his life being cut short; but even this was only done in
a fashion that seemed to say, "If you really will have it that I am
likely to die soon you may humor yourselves by taking any course that
seems to satisfy your scruples--it is not worth my while to interfere
with your whims."  The reformers therefore had clearly nothing to
expect so far as the Royal Speech could deal with expectations.  But
they found that they had still less to expect from the intentions of
the Ministry.

[Sidenote: 1830--Wellington as a politician]

In the debate on the address, in reply to the speech from the throne,
Lord Grey took occasion to ask for some exposition of Ministerial
policy with regard to reform of the representative system.  Then the
Duke of Wellington delivered a speech which may be described as unique
in its way.  It would be impossible to put into words any statement
more frankly opposed to all Parliamentary reform.  The greatest orator
that ever lived, the profoundest judge who ever laid down the law to a
jury, could not have prepared a statement more comprehensive and more
exact as a condemnation of all reform than that which the victor of
Waterloo was able to enunciate with all confidence and satisfaction.
He laid it down that it would be utterly beyond the power of the wisest
political philosopher to devise a Constitution so near to absolute
perfection as that with which Englishmen living in the reign of his
present Majesty, William the Fourth, had been endowed by the wisdom of
their ancestors.  He affirmed that he had never heard any suggestion
which contained the slightest promise of an improvement on that
Constitution.  He repeated, in various forms of repetition, that
Englishmen already possessed all the freedom that it was good for men
to have, that the rights of all classes were equally maintained, that
the happiness of every one was secured, so far as law could secure it,
and that the only thing for reasonable Englishmen to do was to open
their eyes and recognize the advantages conferred upon them by the
Constitution under which they were happy enough to live.

The Duke of Wellington probably knew nothing of {109} Voltaire's
philosopher who maintained that everything was for the best in this
best of all possible worlds, but he seemed to be pervaded by the same
sentiment of complete satisfaction when he contemplated the British
Constitution.  Finally, he declared that, so far from having any
intention to touch with irreverent hand that sacred political structure
for the vain purpose of improvement, he was determined to resist to the
uttermost of his power every effort to interfere with the
constitutional arrangements which had done so much for the prosperity
and the glory of the empire.  We do not quote the exact words of the
Duke of Wellington's speech, but we feel sure we are giving a faithful
version of the meaning which he intended to convey and succeeded very
clearly in conveying.  The Duke of Wellington was undoubtedly one of
the greatest soldiers the world has ever seen.  As a soldier of
conquest he was not indeed to be compared with an Alexander, a Caesar,
or a Napoleon, but as a soldier of defence he has probably never had a
superior.  As an administrator, too, he had shown immense capacity both
in India and in Europe, and had more than once brought what seemed
absolute chaos into order and shape.  But he had no gift for the
understanding of politics, and it was happy for him, at more than one
crisis of his career, that he was quite aware of his own political
incapacity and was ready to defer to the judgment of other men who
understood such things better than he did.  We have already seen how he
accepted the guidance of Peel when it became necessary to yield the
claim for Catholic Emancipation, and he was commonly in the habit of
saying that Peel understood all such matters better than he could
pretend to.  He was not, therefore, the minister who would ruin a State
or bring a State into revolution by obstinate adhesion to his own views
in despite of every advice and every warning, and no doubt when he was
delivering his harangue against all possible schemes of reform he felt
still convinced that he was merely expressing the unalterable opinion
of Peel and every other loyal subject whose judgment ought to prevail
with a law-abiding people.


In the House of Commons Brougham gave notice that on an early day he
would bring forward a motion on the subject of political reform.  Thus,
therefore, the trumpet of battle was sounded on both sides.  The
struggle must now be fought out to the end.  Nothing, however, could be
done until the Ministry had been driven from office, and it was not by
any means certain that in the House of Commons, as it was then
constituted, a direct vote on the question of reform would end in a
defeat of the Duke of Wellington's Government.  Something that seemed
almost like an accident brought about a crisis sooner than had been
anticipated.  Sir Henry Parnell brought forward a motion for the
appointment of a select committee to inquire into, and report upon, the
estimates and amounts submitted by his Majesty with regard to the civil
service.  This motion had the support of the Liberal leaders and was
strongly opposed by the Government.  No one could have been surprised
at the opposition offered by the Government, for Sir Henry Parnell's
was just the sort of motion which every Ministry is sure to oppose.  A
government prepares its own estimates, and is not apt to be in favor of
the appointment of an outside committee to inquire into their amount
and their appropriation.  Still, the whole question was not one to be
regarded as of capital importance in ordinary times, and therefore,
although the debate was one of great interest both inside and outside
the House of Commons, it did not seem likely to lead to any momentous
and immediate consequences.

[Sidenote: 1830--Ministerial resignations]

Sir Henry Parnell was a man of ability and character, and was regarded
in the House as an authority on financial questions.  He belonged to
the family of Parnell the poet, the friend of Swift and Pope, and he
afterwards became the first Lord Congleton, taking his title from that
part of Cheshire where the poet and his ancestors had lived.  In years,
much later years, that belonged to our own times another member of the
Parnell family made for himself a conspicuous place in the House of
Commons and in Imperial politics, the late Charles Stewart Parnell, the
famous leader of the Irish National party.  Sir Henry {111} Parnell
carried his motion by a majority of twenty-nine in the House of Commons.

Now in the ordinary course of things there was nothing in such an event
to compel the resignation of a Ministry.  It would have been quite
reasonable for any Government to express a willingness to meet the
wishes of the House on such a subject, to agree to the appointment of a
committee, and then go on as if nothing particular had occurred.  But
it sometimes happens that a Government is willing, or even anxious, to
accept defeat on a side issue, although of minor importance, in order
to escape from, or at all events to postpone, a decision on some
question of vital import.  Sometimes, too, there are reasons, well
known to all members of a Government but not yet in the knowledge of
the public, which incline a Ministry to find a reason for resigning
office in the result of some casual division which cannot be said to
amount to a vote of want of confidence.  Not many years have passed
since a Liberal Government, which might have seemed to ordinary
observers to be secure in its position, thought it well to accept a
vote on the supply of cordite in the army stores as a vote of want of
confidence, and accordingly went out of office.  The Duke of Wellington
and Sir Robert Peel appear to have come to the conclusion that the
success of Sir Henry Parnell's motion would furnish them with a
plausible excuse for withdrawing at a convenient moment from an
unpromising position.  Henry Brougham, as we have already said, had
given formal notice in the House of Commons that he would bring forward
a motion for leave to introduce a definite scheme of Parliamentary
reform.  Now everybody knew that Brougham was at that time thoroughly
earnest on the subject of reform, and that he had, during the recent
general election, the best possible reasons for knowing that the great
majority in the North of England, at all events, was behind him.  On
the other hand, ministers themselves had had ample opportunities of
finding out, during the elections, that a large number of those whom at
other times they might have regarded as their own supporters were
estranged from them or had actually turned {112} against them.  The
Duke of Wellington and Sir Robert Peel probably thought that their
wisest course would be to let Lord Grey and Brougham and their friends
try what they could do with the monstrous spectre of reform which they
had conjured up, and wait till the country had recovered its senses
before again undertaking to act as ministers of the Crown.

[Sidenote: 1830--Wellington and Peel resign]

An odd and rather absurd incident, which created much scandal and alarm
at the time, and soon passed out of public recollection, had helped no
doubt to bring the Duke of Wellington and Peel to their decision.  The
King and Queen had been invited to dine with the Lord Mayor and the
Corporation at the Guildhall on November 9, and had accepted the
invitation.  The Duke of Wellington and the other ministers were to be
among the guests.

Shortly before the appointed day the Duke of Wellington got a letter
from the Lord Mayor-elect, telling him that he had received private
information about some mysterious organized attempt to be made against
the Duke himself on the occasion of his visit to the City, and urging
the Duke to have the streets well guarded with soldiers, in order to
prevent the success of any such lawless and atrocious enterprise.  Now
the Duke was not a man to care much, personally, about an alarm of this
kind, but he thought it would be rather an unseemly spectacle if the
streets of the City had to be guarded by troops when the new sovereign
went to be the guest of the Lord Mayor at the Guildhall.  The attempt,
to be sure, was said to be directed against the Duke himself and not
against the King; but still it would hardly do, it would scarcely have
a happy effect on public opinion at home and abroad, if the first visit
of the Sailor King, the popular William, to the City were to be made
the occasion of a murderous attack on the King's Prime Minister.  It
might get into the public mind that what had happened in Paris was
likely to happen in London, and the effect on Europe might be most
damaging to the credit of the country.  So the banquet was put off; the
sovereign and his Prime Minister did not visit the City.  A vague panic
raged everywhere, {113} and the Funds went alarmingly down.  The story
which had impressed the Lord Mayor-elect was in all likelihood only a
mere scare.  But it had, no doubt, some effect in deciding the action
of the Ministry.  At all events, the Duke of Wellington and his
colleagues determined to try what strength the reformers had behind
them.  They tendered their resignation; the King was prevailed upon to
accept it, and it was announced to Parliament and the public that the
Duke of Wellington and Sir Robert Peel were no longer in office.




[Sidenote: 1830-37--Eccentricities of William the Fourth]

We may turn for a moment from the path of politics to mention a fact
that is worth mentioning, if only because of the immense difference
between the accepted usages of that time and any usages that would be
possible in our days.  King William shortly after his accession created
his eldest son Earl of Munster, and conferred upon all his other sons
and daughters the rank that belongs to the younger children of a
marquis.  The King's living children, as has been said before, were all
illegitimate.  In raising them to the rank of the peerage King William
was only following the example of many or most of his predecessors.
People thought none the less of him, at the time, because he had
bestowed such honor upon his progeny.  Charles Greville, the famous
Clerk of the Council to George the Fourth and William the Fourth,
describes the new sovereign with characteristic frankness and lack of
reverence.  "Altogether," says Greville, writing about a fortnight
after the King's accession, "he seems a kind-hearted, well-meaning, not
stupid, burlesque, bustling old fellow, and if he doesn't go mad may
make a very decent king, but he exhibits oddities."

The early bringing-up of the new King had certainly not tended much to
fill him with the highest aspirations or to qualify him for the most
dignified duties of royalty.  "Never," says Greville, "was elevation
like that of King William the Fourth.  His life has hitherto been
passed in obscurity and neglect, in miserable poverty, surrounded by a
numerous progeny of bastards, without consideration or friends, and he
was ridiculous from his grotesque ways and little, meddling curiosity."


He appears to have been a man of rather kindly, and certainly not
ungenerous, disposition, and it is decidedly to his credit, in one
sense, that the expectations of most of the Whigs were disappointed
when he came to the throne.  During his career in the Navy he had a way
of disregarding orders, and when in command of a squadron would
sometimes take his own vessel on an expedition according to his own
fancy, and leave the remainder of the vessels under his charge to do as
well as they could without him until it pleased him to return.  Some of
his later exploits in this way drew down on him a marked expression of
disapproval from the Duke of Wellington, then at the head of the
Government, and for this reason it was thought by many, when William
came to the throne, that he would be sure to dismiss from his service
the Prime Minister who once had offended him so deeply.  A man with a
more malevolent turn of mind would very likely have acted as public
expectation seemed to foreshadow, but William, as we have seen, soon
made it clear that he had no fault to find with the Duke of Wellington,
that he cherished no ill-will and was quite ready to let bygones be
bygones.  There can be no doubt that William, although he had no great
defects of any deep or serious nature, no defects at least which are
not common enough among the sovereigns of his time, was yet as
undignified a figure for a throne as even the modern comic opera itself
could imagine.

He was eccentric to a degree that sometimes seemed to suggest a lurking
tendency to insanity.  He was fussy, garrulous, excitable, noisy,
overbearing, apt to take strong likes and dislikes and to express his
likings and his dislikings with an utter disregard for the accepted
conventionalities of social life.

He could explode at a moment's notice into a burst of rage which
sometimes made itself felt for hours, and perhaps when the next day
came he had forgotten all about it and greeted those who were its
especial objects with hilarious good-humor.  There were many anecdotes
told about him in the days not long before his accession to the throne
which were commonly believed by those who knew him, {116} and which it
would not be possible to reproduce in the modest pages suitable to our
own times.

[Sidenote: 1830-37--Some strange doings of the King]

Now it would certainly be most unfair to accept every story told by
gossip about some exalted personage as a story worthy of credit and
qualified to take its place in authentic history, but, at the same
time, it is quite fair and reasonable when forming an estimate of the
exalted personage's character to take some account of the sayings of
contemporary gossip.  We may be sure that there were stories told about
the father of Frederick the Great, about Catherine of Russia, about a
late King of Bavaria, which were not true, but none the less the
historian is undoubtedly helped to form an estimate of the ways and
doings of these exalted personages by the collective testimony of the
stories that are told about them and believed in their own time.
William the Fourth could not, when he ascended the throne, suddenly
shake off all the rough manners and odd ways which he had allowed
himself to foster during his long career as a Prince of the Blood
Royal, as a sailor, and as a man much given to the full indulgence of
his humors, whatever they might happen to be.

After he had become King, and it was part of his royal duty to give
great State dinners, it was sometimes his way to behave himself on the
occasions of those festivities after a fashion which even W. S. Gilbert
never could have caricatured in any "Mikado" or other such piece of
delightful burlesque.  The King was fond of making speeches at his
State dinners, and it was his way to ramble along on all manner of
subjects in the same oration.  Whatever idea happened to come uppermost
in his mind he usually blurted out, without the slightest regard for
time, place, or company.  This habit of his became very embarrassing
now and then when some of the ambassadors of great European States
happened to be guests at his dinner-table.  In the presence of the
French Ambassador, for instance, the King, while delivering his
after-dinner speech, would suddenly recall some of his recollections of
the days when the great Napoleon held the Imperial throne of France,
and he would then, perhaps, close a sentence {117} with an exultant
reference to the glorious triumphs we had obtained over our enemies the

On one occasion when Leopold, King of the Belgians, was dining with him
the King suddenly observed that his royal guest was drinking water, and
he called to him with an oath and demanded what he was drinking that
sort of stuff for; and not content with the poor King's plea that he
drank water because he liked it better than wine, William insisted
that, in his house at least, his royal brother must swallow the juice
of the grape.  One day when Talleyrand was among his guests King
William favored the company with a very peculiar sort of speech, and he
concluded the speech by proposing a toast which is described by those
who heard it as utterly unsuited for publication.  One of the guests
was Charles Greville.  He was anxious to know what impression this
extraordinary performance had made upon Talleyrand.  He asked
Talleyrand in a whisper if he had ever heard anything like that before.
But Talleyrand, who had listened to the oration and the toast with
unmoved composure, was not to be thrown off his balance or drawn into
any expression of opinion by an indiscreet question.  He merely
answered that it was certainly "bien remarquable."

The Duchess of Kent and the young Princess Victoria were dining with
the King one day, and some of the guests, although not all, were well
aware that there had been differences of opinion lately between William
and his sister-in-law.  The guests, however, were amazed indeed when
the King rose and delivered a speech in which he raked up all his old
grievances against the Duchess of Kent, and complained of her and
denounced her as if he were the barrister, the hero of the old familiar
story, who, having no case, is advised to abuse the plaintiff's
attorney.  The child Princess Victoria is said to have been so
distressed by some parts of this unexpected oration that she burst into
tears; but the Duchess, her mother, retained self-control, and sat as
composedly silent as if the King had been taking his part in some
dignified State ceremonial.


King William sometimes broke the conventionalities of royal deportment
in a quite different sort of way, in a way which undoubtedly shocked
the traditional sensibilities of the older officials of the Court, but
with which the lovers of modern and more simple manners are inclined
sometimes, perhaps, to have a sort of wilful sympathy.  He would
sometimes insist on dropping some great royal visitor from abroad at
the door of his hotel, just as if he were an ordinary London resident
giving a lift in his carriage to a friend from the country.  At the
most solemn State ceremonial he would bustle about irresponsibly, and
talk in a loud voice to any one who might seem to him at the moment to
be an attractive person with whom to have a pleasant chat.  It might
happen that some great State functionary or some dignified ambassador
from a foreign capital, who ought to have been spoken to long before,
was kept waiting until the unconcerned sovereign had had his talk out
with some comparatively insignificant personage who had been known to
the King in former days, and whose appearance brought with it certain
early and jovial associations.  Many of the King's minor offences in
this way seem now to the unconcerned reader about as venial as that by
which Marie Antoinette in her early Court days broke through the
established rules of etiquette among the ladies of her bedchamber by
snatching her chemise one morning with her own hands instead of
allowing it to pass in its regular order from the lowest to the highest
degree of the attendant women.  But it certainly was perhaps a little
too much of a departure from the usages of a Court when the monarch,
about to sign an important document in the presence of his State
Council, flung down the quill with which he had begun to write and
proclaimed it to be a damned bad pen.

[Sidenote: 1830-37--Béranger's King of Yvetot]

Every day the King was sure to astonish those around him by some breach
of Court conventionality, little or great.  He was liable to strong
likings and dislikings, and he took no pains to conceal his sentiments
in either case.  He seems to have had an affectionate regard for his
young niece, the Princess Victoria, and a strong dislike to her {119}
mother.  The Duchess of Kent would appear to have had no particular
liking for him, and she very much objected to be brought into familiar
association with the sons and daughters of the eccentric sovereign.
Perhaps it is not to William's discredit that he always treated these
children as if they were his legitimate descendants.  It was no fault
of theirs if the ceremony of marriage had not preceded their coming
into the world, and the King apparently did not see why even the most
righteous person should feel any objection to their frequent presence.
But one can understand that the Duchess of Kent must have often wished
that the sense of public decorum, which was even already growing up in
English society, should not be shocked by the too frequent reminder
that the King had several children who were not born in wedlock.
Béranger, the once popular French lyric poet, satirized a certain royal
personage, a contemporary of William the Fourth, as the King of Yvetot.
There was a French legend which told of the conditions under which the
descendants of a certain lord of the manor in Brittany had been created
by Clotaire kings of Yvetot.  Béranger's monarch is described by him as
one having made little mark of his own in history, who could live very
comfortably without troubling himself about glory, and who liked to be
crowned with a simple cotton nightcap.  This monarch, the poet tells
us, could enjoy his four meals a day, and liked very often to lift his
glass to his lips.

There are many reasons, we are told, why some of his subjects might
have called him a father to his people, but the name was not applied by
the poet in the ordinary metaphorical sense of the word.  He never
desired to trouble his neighbors, and never disturbed his mind with any
projects for the increase of his dominions, and, like a true model to
all potentates, found his ambition quite satisfied in the indulgence of
his own pleasures while desiring as little as possible to interfere
with the pastimes of his people.  Every verse of the ballad ends by
telling us what a good little king was this sovereign of Yvetot.  With
certain slight alterations Béranger's satirical verses might {120} have
served as a picture of William the Fourth.  But our good little King of
Yvetot was not destined altogether to have quite an easy time of it,
although he was more successful in that way than the monarch for whom
Béranger intended his satire.  William had come in for the age of
reform.  The whole course of English history hardly tells us of any
reign, of anything like equal length, into which so many reforms were
crowded.  William the Fourth, we may be sure, would never have troubled
himself or any of his subjects about any projects of improvement in the
political or social conditions of his realm.  He would have been quite
content to let things go on just as they had been going in the days
before he came to the throne, and would probably have asked no higher
title of affection from the loyalty of his subjects than the familiar
name that they gave him of the Sailor King.  When for a while he began
to be called the Patriot King he must have associated the title with a
sense of all the worry and trouble brought upon him by the incessant
preparation of patriotic projects for the improvement of everything all
over the country.

[Sidenote: 1830-37--Lord Grey and William the Fourth]

It seems like a curious freak of fate that such a sovereign, at such a
time, should have had to get rid of the Duke of Wellington and accept
Lord Grey as his Prime Minister.  The Duke of Wellington was himself
simple, plain, and occasionally rough in manners, with little taste for
Court ceremonial and little inclination for the exchange of stately
phrase and inflated language.  There are many anecdotes told of
Wellington which show that he had no more liking or aptitude for the
ways dear to a Court functionary than King William himself had.  Lord
Grey was a man of the most stately bearing and the most refined style.
His manner was courtly without the slightest affectation; he was
courtly by nature, and dignity was an element of his every-day
demeanor.  He had been in constant companionship with some of the
greatest statesmen and orators of his time, but even his devotion to
Charles James Fox had never beguiled him into any of Fox's careless,
free-and-easy ways.  He was sorely tried, as all {121} contemporary
accounts tell us, by the abrupt and overbearing manners of his
son-in-law, Lord Durham, but he always contrived, in public at least,
to bear Durham's eccentricities with unruffled temper and undisturbed
dignity.  Such a statesman must have had a hard time of it with King
William of Yvetot; but let it be freely admitted that King William of
Yvetot must have had a hard time of it with such a minister as Lord
Grey.  William would probably, if left to his own inclinations, have
made up his mind to hold on to the Duke of Wellington, join with the
Duke in opposing all schemes of reform, and face the music, if we may
adopt a familiar modern phrase.  But there was good sense enough in
William's head, for all his odd ways and his unkingly humors, to teach
him that he had better not begin his reign by setting himself against
the public opinion of the great majority of his subjects, and therefore
our good King of Yvetot consented to become, if not the head, at least
the figure-head of a great historical movement.




[Sidenote: 1830--Brougham and the ministry]

The King had no other course left open to him than to send for Lord
Grey and invite him to form an Administration.  Lord Grey was quite
ready for the task, and must, for some time back, have had his mind
constantly occupied with plans for such an arrangement.  About some of
the appointments there was no difficulty whatever.  It was obvious that
Lord Melbourne, Lord Althorp, and Lord John Russell would be invited to
take office, but there was a certain difficulty about Brougham.  The
difficulty, however, was not about offering a place to Brougham; the
only trouble was to find the place which would suit him, and his
acceptance of which would also suit his leaders and his colleagues.
Nothing could be more certain than the fact that Brougham must be
invited to a place in the new Administration.  He was a strong man with
the country, and he now had a distinct following of his own.

Among the yet unenfranchised districts, especially in the North of
England, Brougham probably counted for more, so far as the question of
reform was concerned, than all the other reformers in Parliament put
together.  It would be idle to think of creating a Reform Ministry just
then without Henry Brougham.  The new Administration could not possibly
get on without him.  But then it was by no means certain that the new
Administration could get on with him, and no one could understand this
difficulty better than the stately and aristocratic Lord Grey.  Grey
had simply to choose between encountering an uncertainty or undertaking
an impossibility, and of course he chose the former alternative.  He
had to invite Brougham to take office, but the question was what office
it was {123} most advisable to ask him to take.  Brougham was offered
the position of Attorney-General, the acceptance of which allows a man
to retain his seat in the House of Commons, while it puts him directly
on the way to a high promotion to the judicial bench.  Brougham flatly
declined the offer, and seemed to be somewhat offended that it should
have been made to him.  Then Lord Grey thought of offering him the
dignified position of Master of the Rolls, coupled with the exceptional
arrangement that he was still to retain his seat in the House of
Commons.  Lord Grey was naturally very anxious to conciliate Brougham,
and looked with much dread to the prospect of Brougham breaking off
from the negotiations altogether and retaining his seat in the House as
an independent critic of the Ministry.  Nothing could well be more
alarming to the head of the new Administration than the thought of
Brougham thus sitting as an independent critic, prepared at any minute
to come down with the force and fury of his eloquence on this or that
section of the new Reform Bill, and to denounce it to the country as
utterly inadequate to satisfy the just demands of the people.  The
King, however, suggested, with some good sense, that Brougham as a
dissatisfied Master of the Rolls still sitting in the House of Commons
might prove an inconvenient and dangerous colleague.

Lord Grey thought the matter over once more, and began to see another
way of getting out of the difficulty.  Why not give to Brougham the
highest legal appointment in the service of the Crown, and thus promote
him completely out of the House of Commons?  Why not make him Lord
Chancellor at once?  This offer could not but satisfy even Brougham's
well-known self-conceit, and it would transplant his eloquence to the
quieter atmosphere of the House of Lords, where little harm could be
done to the surrounding vegetation by its too luxuriant growth.  In
plain words, it might be taken for granted that the House of Lords
would reject any reform measure, however moderate, when it was first
introduced to the notice of the peers, and therefore no particular harm
could come from Brougham's presence in the hereditary assembly.  But
{124} Brougham in the House of Commons might, at any time, be so far
carried away by his own emotions, and his own eloquence, and his own
masterful temperament as to bring his colleagues into many a
difficulty, and force on them the unpleasant alternative of having to
choose between going further than they had intended to go or failing to
keep up with Brougham as the accredited and popular promoter of reform.

[Sidenote: 1830--Brougham as Lord Chancellor]

When Lord Grey next conferred with the King he was not a little
surprised to hear from the sovereign's own lips a suggestion that
Brougham might be offered the position of Lord Chancellor.  Grey told
the King that he had been almost afraid to start such a proposition,
inasmuch as William had discouraged the idea of making Brougham Master
of the Rolls; but the King with shrewd good sense directed Grey's
attention to the fact, which had been already an operative force in
Grey's own mind, that to make Brougham Master of the Rolls, and yet
keep him in the House of Commons, might still leave him a very
dangerous colleague, while by making him Lord Chancellor the King and
his Prime Minister could get him practically out of the way altogether.

So it was agreed between the King and his Prime Minister that Lord
Brougham should be made Lord Chancellor, and thus forfeit his right to
sit in the House of Commons.  If we speak with literal accuracy it is
not quite correct to say that a man by becoming Lord Chancellor becomes
necessarily, and at once, a member of the House of Lords.  The Lord
Chancellor of course presides over the sittings of the House of Lords,
but he is not necessarily, from the first, a member of the hereditary
assembly.  He sits on the woolsack, which, though actually in the House
of Lords, is not technically to be described as occupying such a
position.  If a Lord Chancellor who is actually a peer desires to take
part in a debate he has to leave the woolsack and stand on some part of
the floor which is technically within the Chamber.  On more than one
historic occasion some inconvenience has arisen from the fact that a
newly created Lord Chancellor had not yet been {125} made a peer, and
therefore was not entitled to take part in a debate, or even to speak
for some ceremonial purpose within the Chamber on behalf of the House
of Lords.  Brougham as a matter of fact was not made a peer until a
little time after he had become Lord Chancellor.

All this, however, is only mentioned here as a matter of curious and
technical interest to the reader of Parliamentary history.  Brougham
was made a peer soon enough for all purposes, and in the mean time he
was removed altogether from the House of Commons.  Brougham did not
accept his new position without some grumbling.  Probably he had the
idea that Lord Grey and others of his colleagues were glad to have him
safely provided for out of the range of the representative assembly,
where his eloquence might now and then become an inconvenient
influence.  He accepted the position, however, and became a member of
the House of Lords.  From that time his real influence over the country
may be said to have come to an end.  After he ceased to be Lord
Chancellor he remained simply an eloquent, overbearing member of the
House of Lords, often delighting the galleries and the public with his
meteoric flashes of eloquence; but his power as a reformer was gone,
and for the greater part of his remaining career, when one or two
important questions to which he was pledged had been disposed of, he
took little interest in any movement of reform.

Lord Althorp became Chancellor of the Exchequer.  Lord Althorp, who was
leader of the House of Commons as well as Chancellor of the Exchequer,
was an influential person in those days, but is almost forgotten in our
time.  He was a model country gentleman, devoted to the duties and the
delights of such a position; had a natural gift for farming and no
natural inclination whatever for politics.  Not merely did he make no
pretensions to oratory, but, even for a country gentleman, he could not
be regarded as a particularly good speaker.  Yet he undoubtedly was a
man of much weight in the Parliamentary life of his time.  He was
thoroughly straightforward and disinterested; he was absolutely
truthful and honorable; his word was his bond, {126} and the House of
Commons and the country in general could always feel sure that any
advice given by Lord Althorp was guided by the light of his own
judgment and his own conscience, and that he was never unduly swayed by
fear, favor, or affection, whether towards sovereign or party.  Lord
Melbourne was Home Secretary.

[Sidenote: 1830--The Reform Administration]

If we glance down the list of this Reform Administration to-day we
shall all probably be struck by the fact that the men who were regarded
as juniors and something like beginners have come to occupy, in many
cases, a higher position in political history than their elders and
leaders.  Lord John Russell, for instance, was not a member of Lord
Grey's Cabinet; he only held the office of Paymaster of the Forces.
From his first entrance into the House of Commons Lord John Russell had
distinguished himself as a reformer.  In 1819 he had brought forward a
motion for a reform in the Parliamentary system, and he had renewed the
motion in almost every succeeding year.  He had been a steady supporter
of the movement for the repeal of the Test and Corporation Acts, which
imposed an unjust and utterly irrational disqualification on
Dissenters, and had been a zealous advocate of the measures for the
emancipation of Roman Catholics.  All his early life had been a
training for statesmanship.  He had been associated with scholars and
thinkers, with poets and historians.  He had gone through Spain while
the war with Napoleon was still going on, and had been welcomed by the
Duke of Wellington in his camp.  He had visited Napoleon at Elba, and
had talked over politics and war with the fallen Emperor.  As Disraeli
said of him many years later, he had sat at the feet of Fox and had
measured swords with Canning.  Lord Palmerston became for the first
time Foreign Secretary in the Grey Administration.  He had been a
junior Lord of the Admiralty in a former Government, and he had more
lately been Secretary at War; but at the time that he first became
Foreign Secretary under Lord Grey few indeed could have anticipated
that he was destined to become one of the most powerful English
statesmen known to the century.  Sir James Graham became First Lord of
the Admiralty, and {127} some of us can still remember him as one of
the foremost debaters in the House of Commons.  Lord Durham, Grey's
son-in-law, accepted what may almost be called the nominal office of
Lord Privy Seal.

At that time Durham was regarded as a brilliant, eccentric sort of man,
a perfervid reformer on whose perseverance or consistency no one could
reckon for a moment--perhaps the comet of a season, but if so then
surely a comet of a season only.  We now recognize Durham as the man of
statesmanlike foresight and genius who converted, at a great crisis, a
Canada burning with internal hatred between race and sect, and the one
common hatred of Imperial rule, into the Canada which we now know as
one of the most peaceful, prosperous, and loyal parts of the British
Empire.  Mr. Stanley, afterwards Lord Derby, the famous "Rupert of
debate," became Chief Secretary to the Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland.
Grey appointed Lord Plunket Lord Chancellor for Ireland, and the name
of Lord Plunket will always be remembered as that of one of the
greatest Parliamentary orators known to modern times.

The new Ministry was, therefore, well prepared to carry on the battle
of reform.  Lord Grey had made up his mind that Lord John Russell,
although not in the Cabinet, was the most fitting member of the
Administration to conduct the Reform Bill through the House of Commons.
As soon as Grey had completed his arrangements for the construction of
a Ministry, Lord Durham put himself into communication with Lord John
Russell.  Durham told Lord John Russell that Lord Grey wished him to
consult with Russell as to the formation of a small private committee
whose task should be to create and put into shape some definite scheme
as the foundation of the great constitutional change which the new
Government had been called into power to establish.  Lord John Russell
of course accepted the suggestion, and after some consideration it was
agreed by Lord Durham and himself that Sir James Graham and Lord
Duncannon, then Commissioner of Woods and Forests, should be invited to
join them, and make a committee of four for the purpose of devising a
{128} comprehensive and practicable measure of reform.  Durham then
asked Lord John to put on paper at once his own idea with regard to the
outlines of such a plan, so that it might be taken into consideration
by the committee at their earliest meeting.

[Sidenote: 1830--The Reform Bill]

Lord John Russell's book, "The English Government and Constitution,"
tells us all what was the central idea in his mind when he set himself
to construct the groundwork of a Reform Bill.  He tells us, alluding to
the task assigned to him, "It was not my duty to cut the body of our
old parent into pieces, and to throw it into a Medea's caldron, with
the hope of reviving the vigor of youth."  He thought it his duty not
to turn aside "from the track of the Constitution into the maze of
fancy or the wilderness of abstract rights."  "It was desirable, in
short, as it appeared to me, while sweeping away gross abuses, to avail
ourselves, as far as possible, of the existing frame and body of our
Constitution.  Thus, if the due weight and influence of property could
be maintained, by preserving the representation of a proportion of the
small boroughs with an improved franchise, it was desirable rather to
build on the old foundations than to indulge our fancy or our conceit
in choosing a new site and erecting on new soil--perhaps on sand--an
edifice entirely different from all that had hitherto existed."

No Reformer who understood the general character of the English people,
and who had studied the development of political growth in England,
could have gone more prudently and wisely about the work of bringing
the existing Constitution into harmony with the altering conditions,
and removing out of its way all difficulties that might interfere with
its gradual and safe development in the future.  But Russell was
clearly of opinion, and in this he was entirely in accordance with Lord
Grey, that nothing but a large and comprehensive measure would be of
any real use, and that "to nibble at disfranchisement and cramp reform
by pedantic adherence to existing rights would be to deceive
expectation, to whet appetite, and to bring about that revolution which
it was our object to {129} avert."  Russell drew up a sketch of his
proposed Reform Bill, which he submitted to Lord Durham, and on the
draft of the measure thus submitted to him Lord Durham offered some
suggestions and alterations of his own.  Russell's speech was written
on a single piece of letter-paper, and is reproduced with Lord Durham's
notes in Russell's book, "The English Government and Constitution."
The opening paragraph proposes that "the fifty boroughs having the
smallest population according to the latest census should be
disfranchised altogether."  This proposal had Lord Durham's full
approval, and he noted the fact that according to his calculation it
would disfranchise all boroughs having a population of not more than
1400.  The second paragraph proposed that fifty other boroughs of the
least considerable population, above the line already drawn, should be
allowed to send only one member each to the House of Commons.  This
proposal also had the approval of Lord Durham, and he notes it would
apply to boroughs not having more than 3000 inhabitants each.

Then came a paragraph which proposed that all persons qualified to
serve on juries should have the right of voting, and to this clause
Lord Durham objected, regarding it probably as an embodiment of the
principle of what were called in later days "fancy franchises."  The
fourth paragraph recommended that no person should be entitled to vote
in cities or boroughs, except in the City of London, in Westminster,
and in Southwark, unless he were a householder rated at ten pounds a
year, and unless, moreover, he had paid his parochial taxes for three
years, within three months after they became due, and had lived in the
constituency for six months previous to the election at which he
claimed to vote.  The fifth clause proposed that the unrepresented
parts of London should have among them four or six additional members,
that eighteen large towns should have representation--and let the
reader try to realize for himself what the supposed representation of
the country could have been when at least eighteen large towns were, up
to that time, wholly unrepresented--and that twenty counties should
send two additional members {130} each to the House of Commons.
Another paragraph limited the right of voting in the newly enfranchised
towns to householders rated at ten pounds a year or persons qualified
to serve on juries.  Lord Durham approved of the rating qualification,
but, consistently with his objection already mentioned, struck out the
words which connected the right to vote with the right to serve on a
jury.  It is not necessary to go through the whole list of the
proposals set out in the sketch drawn up by Lord John Russell.  Those
which we have already mentioned possess a peculiar historical interest
and illustrate in the most precise and effective manner the whole
nature of the system which, up to that time, had passed off as
constitutional government.

[Sidenote: 1831--Vote by ballot]

It will be seen that, on the whole, Lord Durham was a more advanced
reformer than even Lord John Russell.  The entire scheme, as drawn out
by Russell, consisted of ten paragraphs or clauses, and it was at once
submitted to the consideration of the four men who formed the
committee.  There was much discussion as to the borough qualification
for voters, and the committee finally agreed to recommend that it
should be uniform, and thus get rid of what were called the freemen and
the scot-and-lot voters, a class of persons endowed with antiquated and
eccentric qualifications which possibly might have had some meaning in
them and some justification under the conditions of a much earlier day,
but which had since grown into a system enabling wealthier men to
create in constituencies a body of thoroughly dependent or positively
corrupt voters.  The desire of the committee was to extend the voting
privilege as far as possible consistently with due regard for the
principle that the voters ought to be men of substance enough to insure
their independence.  This security they believed they could attain by
establishing the ten-pound franchise.  This seems, no doubt, to modern
eyes a somewhat eccentric and haphazard line of demarkation; but it
must be remembered that even until much later days the ten pounds
rating principle in boroughs held its own, and was believed to be
absolutely essential to the {131} maintenance of an independent and
upright body of voters, and to the securing of such a body against the
danger of being "swamped," according to the once familiar word, by the
votes of the dependent and the corrupt.

There were some slight differences of opinion between Lord John Russell
and Lord Durham as to the extent to which the total or partial
disfranchisement of the small boroughs ought to go, but the scheme, as
finally shaped, had on the whole the thorough approval of the
committee.  One important proposal, brought forward, it was understood,
by Lord Durham, was agreed to and formally adopted by the committee,
but not without strong opposition on the part of Lord John Russell.
This was the proposal for the introduction of the vote by ballot.  When
Lord Grey's Cabinet came to consider the draft scheme the proposal for
the introduction of the vote by ballot was struck out altogether.  The
time, in fact, had not come for the adoption of so great a reform.
Forty years had to pass before the mind of the English public could be
brought to recognize the necessity for such a change.  Statesmanship
had still to learn how much the value of a popular suffrage was
diminished or disparaged by the system which left the voter at the
absolute mercy of some landlord or some patron who desired that the
vote should be given for the candidate whom he favored.  The ballot
even then was demanded by the whole body of the Chartists.  Orator
Hunt, one of the most popular heroes of the Chartist agitation, had
only just defeated Mr. Stanley at Preston.  Daniel O'Connell was in
favor of the ballot, because he saw that without its protection the
Irish tenant farmer would have to vote for his landlord's candidate or
would be turned out of his farm.  But the general feeling among
statesmen, as well as among the outer public, was that there was
something un-English about the ballot system, and it was contended that
the true Englishman ought to have the courage of his opinion and to
vote as his conscience told him, without caring whom he offended.
Edmund Burke in one of his speeches tells us that the system which is
founded on the heroic virtues is sure to have its {132} superstructure
in failure and disappointment, meaning thereby that every system is
doomed to failure which assumes as its principle the idea that all men
can at all times be up to the level of the heroic mood.  Some of us can
well remember the days when English statesmen still declared that the
compulsion of education was un-English, and that it ought to be left to
the free choice of the English parent whether he would have his
children taught or leave them untaught.

[Sidenote: 1831--Lord John Russell and the Reform Bill]

Lord Grey's Cabinet would have nothing to do with the ballot.  With
this exception the draft scheme as submitted by Lord John Russell was
accepted by Lord Grey and his colleagues.  Then it was laid before the
King, and the King, according to Lord John Russell, gave it his ready
and cheerful sanction.  There were indeed some observers at the time
who believed that the King had cheerfully sanctioned the whole scheme
of reform as proposed, because he still confidently believed that
nothing but the wreck of the Ministry was to come of it.  However that
may have been, it is certain that the King did give his full sanction
to the measure, and the Government prepared to introduce the first
Reform Bill.

It was arranged that the conduct of the Bill in the House of Commons
should be placed in the hands of Lord John Russell.  This arrangement
created, when the Bill was actually brought forward, a good deal of
adverse criticism in the House and in the country.  Some prominent
members of the Opposition in the House of Commons persuaded themselves,
and tried to persuade their listeners, that Lord Grey's Cabinet, by
adopting such an arrangement, showed that there was no sincerity in the
professed desire for reform.  If the members of the Cabinet, it was
argued, are such believers in the virtue of reform, why do they not
select one of their own body to introduce the measure?  Lord John
Russell was only Paymaster of the Forces, and had not a seat in the
Cabinet, and if he was taken out of his place and put into the most
prominent position it could only be because no member of the Cabinet
could be found who was willing to undertake the task.  {133} The answer
was very clear, even at the time, and it is obvious indeed to the
generations that had an opportunity of knowing how eminently Lord John
Russell was qualified for the work which had been entrusted to his
hands.  He was a member of one of the greatest aristocratic families in
the land, and one of the practical dangers threatening the Reform Bill
was the alarm that might spread among the wealthier classes at the
thought of a wild democratic movement upsetting the whole principle of
aristocratic predominance in the English constitutional system.  Still
more important was the fact that Lord John Russell, who had
distinguished himself already as the most devoted promoter of
constitutional reform, was a man peculiarly qualified by intellect and
by his skill in exposition to pilot such a measure through the House of

Lord John Russell had not yet won reputation as a great Parliamentary
orator; nor did he, during the whole of his long career, succeed in
acquiring such a fame.  But he was a master of the art which consists
in making a perfectly clear statement of the most complicated case, and
in defending his measure point by point with never-failing readiness
and skill throughout the most perplexing series of debates.  It was
pointed out also, at the time, that if Lord John Russell was selected
to introduce the Reform Bill, although he was only Paymaster of the
Forces and had not a seat in the Cabinet, thus too had Edmund Burke
been selected to introduce the East India Bill, although he, like Lord
John Russell, was only Paymaster of the Forces and had not a seat in
the Cabinet.  Indeed, to us, who now look back on the events from a
long distance of time, the impression would rather be that Lord Grey
had little or no choice in the matter.  He was not himself a member of
the House of Commons, and therefore could not introduce the Bill there.
Brougham had ceased to be a member of the House of Commons, and was
therefore out of the question.  Lord Althorp, who had not yet succeeded
to the peerage, and had a seat in the representative chamber, was, as
we have already said, the poorest of {134} speakers, and utterly
unsuited for the difficult task of steering so important a measure
through the troublous sea of Parliamentary debate.  Lord Grey, of
course, was thoroughly well acquainted with Russell's great abilities
and his peculiar fitness for the task assigned to him, and could, under
no circumstances, have made a better choice.  But our only possible
difficulty now would be to say what other choice, under the existing
conditions, he could possibly have made.

[Sidenote: 1831--Need for secrecy about the Reform Bill]

Tuesday, March 1, 1831, was the day fixed for the introduction of the
Reform Bill in the House of Commons.  In the mean time, as we learn
from all who can be considered authorities on the subject, the nature
and the plan of the proposed reforms were kept a profound secret, not
only from the public at large, but even from members of the House of
Commons itself, with the exception of those who belonged to the
Administration.  Ministerial secrets, it is only fair to say, are
generally well kept in England, but instances have undoubtedly occurred
in which the nature of some approaching measure, which ought to have
been held in the profoundest secrecy until the time came for its
official revelation, has leaked out and become fully known to the
public in advance.  There is, of course, great difficulty in preventing
some inkling of the truth getting prematurely out.  Cabinet Ministers
generally have wives, and there are stories of such wives having caught
stray words from their husbands which put them on a track of discovery,
and not having the grace to keep strictly to themselves the discovery
when made.  No such mischance, however, appears to have attended the
preparation of the Reform Bill.  It is said that there must have been
more than thirty persons who had official knowledge of the Ministerial
plans, and yet it does not appear that any definite idea as to their
nature was obtained by the public.

It may perhaps be asked whether there was any solid reason for
attaching so much importance to the keeping of a secret which on a
certain fixed and near-approaching day must, as a matter of fact, be a
secret no more.  Of course the imperative necessity of secrecy would be
obvious {135} in all cases where some policy was in preparation which
might directly affect the interests of foreign States.  In such a case
it is clear that it might be of essential importance to a Government
not to let its plans become known to the world before it had put itself
into a condition to maintain its policy.  In measures that had to do
with commercial and financial interests it might often be of paramount
importance that no false alarm or false expectations of any kind should
be allowed to disturb the business of the country before the fitting
time came for a full declaration.  But in the case of such a measure as
the Reform Bill it may be asked if any great advantage was to be gained
by keeping the nature of the measure a complete secret until the hour
came for its full and official explanation.  With regard to this Reform
Bill there were many good reasons for maintaining the profoundest
possible secrecy.  If any premature reports got out at all they would
be sure to be imperfect reports, indiscreet or haphazard revelations of
this or that particular part of the Bill, utterly wanting in balance,
symmetry, and comprehensiveness.  The whole thing was new to the
country, and there would have been much danger in fixing public
attention upon some one part of the proposed reform until the public
could be in a position to judge the scheme as a complete measure.

Lord Grey's Government had to deal with two classes of men who were
naturally and almost relentlessly opposed to each other--the more
clamorous reformers and the enemies of all reform.  It was of immense
importance that the latter class should, if possible, be prevailed upon
to see--at least the more intelligent and reasonable among them--that
the Government had not gone so far in the direction of reform as to
make it seem a threatened revolution.  It was, on the other hand, of
immense importance to prevail upon the former class to see that the
Government had not so stunted and dwarfed its proposed reform as to
render it incapable of anything like a political and constitutional
revolution.  Any sudden explosion of feeling on either side brought
about by some premature {136} and imperfect revelation might have
caused the most serious trouble in the country.

[Sidenote: 1831--Introduction of the Reform Bill]

Moreover, none of the ministers could possibly profess to be quite
certain as to the genuine wishes and purposes of his Majesty King
William the Fourth with regard to the Reform Bill.  The King was not
always in the same mood on the same subject for any two days in
succession, or indeed for any two hours of the same day.  If the
opponents of all reform were to get a knowledge of the clauses in the
Bill least favorable to their own ideas as to their interests, and were
to make a commotion among the owners of the soil, the immediate effect
might be to discourage the King altogether, to fill his mind with a
strong desire for escape from the uncongenial part of a reformer and an
overmastering anxiety to get rid of his reforming Ministry.  If, on the
other hand, the Peterloo men, the Chartists generally, and the
populations of the northern towns were to get into their minds through
some imperfect revelation that the Ministerial Bill was not intended to
do half so much for them as they were demanding, and if in consequence
there were to be a stormy agitation throughout the country, then it was
quite possible that the King might take alarm and tell his ministers
that it was hopeless to think of conciliating such agitators, and that
the safety of the State, and especially of the monarchy, could only be
provided for by postponing reform until some more favorable
opportunity.  For all these reasons, and many others, the leaders of
the Government had their hearts set on keeping well their secret until
the right hour should come for its official disclosure, and it is a
fact of some historical interest, even to readers of the present day,
that the secret was faithfully kept.

The 1st of March, 1831, was a day of intense excitement and even tumult
in and around the House of Commons.  We are told that never before in
that generation had there been so great a crowd of persons struggling
for seats in the galleries of the House of Commons.  It is recorded, as
an illustration of this intense eagerness on the part of the public,
that every available seat in the House {137} was occupied for hours
before the business of the day began.  This, however, is not a
statement that could fill with surprise any reader of the present day.
We have been accustomed lately to read of occasions when not merely
crowds of strangers anxious to obtain seats, but crowds of members
positively entitled to get seats, have had to take their stand at the
outer gates of the House of Commons hours before daybreak on the
morning of the day when some great measure was to be introduced, that
they might get a reasonable chance of a place, in order to hear a
speech which could not possibly begin before four o'clock in the
afternoon.  Certainly the House of Commons did not then consist of
nearly as many members as it has at present, and the reformed House of
Commons has not even yet been so reformed as to impress it with the
idea that there ought to be so many seats for so many members.  However
that may be, it is quite certain that there was intense interest
manifested by the public on the day when the Reform Bill was to be
introduced; that immense crowds of people made for the Parliament
buildings, and that the approaches to the House of Commons were
besieged by an excited and tumultuous crowd.  There was, in fact, such
a rush made to secure the seats in the galleries available for the
public, so much noisy struggling and quarrelling for seats, that the
Speaker was at last compelled to intervene and to declare that if quiet
was not at once restored it would be his duty to have the House cleared
of all strangers.  Order was thus restored after a time, and at last
the moment arrived for Lord John Russell to introduce the Reform Bill.
That was indeed a moment of genuine historical interest.

The descriptions given at the time by listeners tell us that Russell
began his speech in tones which were unusually quiet, low, and reserved
even for him.  It may be said at once that throughout his whole career
in Parliament Russell's manner had been peculiarly quiet and repressed,
and that his eloquence seldom had any fervor in it.  That he was a man
of deep feeling and warm emotions is certain, but both in public and
private life there {138} was a coldness about him which often led
strangers into the quite erroneous belief that he kept apart from the
crowd because he was filled with a sense of his aristocratic position
and wished to hold himself aloof from contact with ordinary mortals.
As a Parliamentary debater he was singularly clear, concise, and
unaffected.  He was a great master of phrases, and some odd
epigrammatic sentences of his still live in our common speech, and are
quoted almost every day by persons who have not the least idea as to
the source from which they come.  His speech on the introduction of the
Reform Bill was even for him peculiarly calm, deliberate, and
restrained.  It contained some passages which will always live in our
history, and will illustrate to the reader, more effectively than a
mass of statistics or political tracts might do, the nature and
proportions of the absurd anomalies which Russell was endeavoring to
abolish.  It may be well to mention the fact that it was this speech
which, for the first time, introduced and adopted the word "Reformer"
as the title of the genuine Whig, and applied the term "Conservative,"
in no unfriendly sense, to the Tory party.

[Sidenote: 1831--Lord John Russell's speech]

Lord John Russell opened his speech by a vindication of the
representative principle as the first condition of the English
constitutional system.  He made it clear that in the early days of our
Parliaments this principle had been distinctly acknowledged, and, to a
certain extent, had been carried out in practice.  Then he showed how
the principle had come to be less and less recognized in the
arrangement of our constituencies and the allotment of representatives,
until at last there had ceased to be any manner of proportion between
representatives and population or any practical acknowledgment of the
main purpose for which representatives were to be selected.  Everything
had tended, in the mean time, to make the owners of the soil also the
owners and masters of the representation.  Lord John Russell employed a
series of illustrations, at once simple and striking, to impress upon
his audience a due understanding of the extraordinary manner in which
the whole principle of representation had been diverted.  {139} from
its original purpose.  He assumed the case of some inquiring and
intelligent foreigner, a stranger to our institutions but anxious to
learn all about them, who had come to England for the purpose of
obtaining information on the spot.  The stranger has the nature and the
purpose of our Parliamentary system explained to him, and he is assured
that it rests on the representative principle.  He is told that the
House of Commons is assembled for the purpose of enabling the sovereign
to collect the best advice that can be given to him as to the
condition, the wants, and the wishes of his subjects.

The House of Commons is to be in that sense representative; it is to be
the interpreter to the King of all that his people wish him to know.
Then the stranger is naturally anxious to learn how the constituencies
are formed, by whose selection the representatives are sent to
Parliament, in order to render to the King a faithful message from his
people.  The stranger is taken to a grassy mound, let us say, in the
midst of an expanse of silent, unpeopled fields, and he is told that
that grassy mound sends two members to the House of Commons.  He is
shown a stone wall with three niches in it, and he is informed that
those three niches are privileged to contribute two members to the
representative assembly.  Lord John Russell described with force and
masterly humor a variety of such sights which were pointed out to the
stranger, each description being an accurate picture of some place
which long since had lost all population, but still continued to have
the privilege of sending representatives to Parliament.  Then Lord John
Russell changed his form of illustration.  He took his stranger to some
of the great manufacturing and commercial cities and towns of England,
and described the admiration and the wonder with which the intelligent
foreigner regarded these living evidences of the growth and the
greatness of the nation.  Here then, no doubt, the stranger begins at
last to think that he can really understand the practical value of the
representative principle.  Thus far he has only been bewildered by what
he has seen and heard of the empty stretches of land which are {140}
endowed with a right to have representatives in the House of Commons,
but now he begins to acknowledge to himself that a people with such
great manufacturing communities can send up to London representatives
enough from their own centres to constitute a Parliament capable of
advising with any monarch.  Then, to his utter amazement, the
distracted foreigner learns that these great cities and towns have no
right whatever to representation in the House of Commons, and have
nothing whatever to do with the election of members.

[Sidenote: 1831--The proposed reforms]

The imaginary foreigner who knew nothing about the principle of the
workings of our Constitution before his arrival in the country might
well have been amazed and confounded, and might have fancied, if he had
been a reader of English literature, that he had lost his way somehow,
and instead of arriving in England had stumbled into the State of
Laputa.  He might well indeed be excused for such bewilderment, seeing
that an English student of the present day finds it hard to realize in
his mind the possibility and the reality of the condition of things
which existed in this country within the lifetime of men still living.
Lord John Russell then went on to describe the manner in which the
Government proposed to deal with the existing defects of the whole
Parliamentary system.  He laid it down as the main principle of the
reforms he was prepared to introduce that a free citizen should not be
compelled to pay taxes in the imposition and levying of which he was
allowed to have no voice.  The vast majority of free citizens could in
any case only express their opinions as to this or that financial
impost through their representatives in the House of Commons.  This
principle had of late been allowed to fail so grossly and so widely in
its application that the House of Commons had almost entirely ceased to
represent the will of the people.

Lord John Russell explained that the chief evils with which the
Government had to deal were three in number.  The first was the
nomination of members of Parliament by individual patrons.  The second
was the nomination of members by close corporations.  The third was the
{141} enormous expense of elections, which was principally caused by
the open bribery and corruption which had almost become a recognized
accompaniment of every contest.  He proposed to deal with the first
evil by abolishing altogether the representation of the nominal
constituencies, the constituencies that had no resident inhabitant, the
boroughs which at some distant time had had houses and inmates, but of
which now only the faintest traces were visible to the eye of the
traveller--like, for instance, the extinct communities of whose
existence some faint memorial evidence might be traced on Salisbury
Plain.  The Census last taken, that of 1821, the Government had
resolved to accept as a basis of operations, and Lord John Russell
proposed that every borough which, at that date, had less than 3000
inhabitants should cease any longer to send a member to the House of
Commons.  All boroughs that had not more than 4000 inhabitants should
send in future only one member each to Parliament.  The principle of
nomination by individuals or by corporations was to come to an end.
The "fancy franchises" were to be got rid of altogether.  In the
boroughs every householder paying rates on houses of the yearly value
of ten pounds and upwards was entitled to have a vote.

The Government, however, proposed to deal mercifully, so far as
possible, with the existing interests of voters, although the process
of extinction was summary and complete with regard to the so-called
rights of patrons and of corporations.  For instance, resident voters,
under the old qualifications, were to be allowed to retain their right
during their lives, but with the lapse of each life the qualification
expired and the owner of such a vote could have no successor.  When
dealing with the counties Lord John Russell announced that copyholders
to the value of ten pounds a year and leaseholders for not less than
twenty-one years at an annual rent of fifty pounds and upwards were to
have the franchise.  The abolition of the small boroughs and the
uninhabited constituencies would reduce the number of members in the
House of Commons by 168, and Lord John Russell explained that the
Government did not {142} propose to fill up all these vacancies, being
of opinion that the House was already rather overflowing in its numbers
and had a good deal too many members for the proper discharge of its

[Sidenote: 1831--The principles of the Reform Bill]

Some of the vacant seats were, however, to be assigned to the cities
and towns which were then actually unrepresented in the House of
Commons.  Seven of these towns were to have two representatives each,
and twenty smaller but still goodly towns were to have one
representative each.  Even at this day it may still come as a matter of
surprise to some readers to learn that the seven towns which in 1831
were wholly unrepresented, and to which the Bill proposed to give two
members each, were Manchester, which was to include Salford;
Birmingham, Leeds, Greenwich, Wolverhampton, Sheffield, and Sunderland.
The Government proposed to give eight additional members to the
metropolis itself--that is to say, two members each to the Tower
Hamlets, Holborn, Finsbury, and Lambeth.  The three Ridings of
Yorkshire were to have two members each, and twenty-six counties
already represented, and in each of which there were more than 150,000
inhabitants, were each to have two additional members.  It is not
necessary to go more fully into the details of the scheme which Lord
John Russell expounded elaborately to the House of Commons.

In Ireland and in Scotland there were some slight differences as to the
scale of the qualification from those that were proposed for England;
but in the three countries the principle was the same, and the right to
vote was associated with a certain occupation of land or payment of
household rating, and new constituencies were created where towns,
unrepresented before, had grown up into recognized importance.  By the
changes that the Bill proposed to make no less than half a million of
new voters were to be created throughout Great Britain and Ireland.
For the purpose of diminishing the enormous expense of elections it was
proposed that the poll should be taken at the same time in separate
districts, so that no voter should have to travel more than fifteen
miles in order to record his vote, and {143} that the time over which
an election contest could be spread should be greatly reduced, and
reduced in proportion to the size of the constituency.  It is as well
to say at once that that part of the Reform Bill which aimed at the due
reduction of election expenses to their legitimate and necessary
proportions proved an utter failure.  No reduction in the amount of
what may be called working expenses could have diminished, to any
satisfactory degree, the evil from which the country was suffering at
that time, and from which it continued to suffer for more than another
generation.  Bribery and corruption were the evils which had to be
dealt with, and the Reform Bill of 1831 left these evils as it had
found them.  The Bill, however, did, in its other provisions, do much
to establish a genuine principle of Parliamentary representation.

To begin with, it proclaimed the principle of representation as the
legal basis of the whole Parliamentary system.  It abolished the
nomination of members, whether by individual persons or by
corporations.  It laid down as law that representation must bear some
proportion to the numbers represented.  It made actual, or at least
occasional, residence a qualification for a voter.  These were the main
principles of the measure.  The attention of readers will presently be
drawn to the manner in which the Bill failed to answer some of the
demands made upon the Government by the spreading intelligence of the
country, and left these demands to be more adequately answered by the
statesmen of a later generation.  Enough to say that with all its
defects the Bill, as Lord John Russell explained it, was, for its time,
a bold and broad measure of reform, and that it laid down the lines
along which, as far as human foresight can discern, the movement of
progress in England's political history will make its way.




[Sidenote: 1831--Sir Robert Inglis and Reform]

The debate which followed Lord John Russell's motion for leave to bring
in the Bill contained, as well might be expected, some very remarkable
speeches.  Three of these deserve the special attention of the student
of history.  The first illustrated the views of the extreme Tory of
that day, and is indeed a political curiosity which ought never to be
consigned to utter oblivion.  This speech was made by Sir Robert Harry
Inglis, who represented the University of Oxford.  Sir Robert Inglis
was a living embodiment of the spirit of old-world Toryism as it had
come down to his day, Toryism which had in it little or nothing of the
picturesque, half poetic sentiment belonging to the earlier wearers of
the rebel rose, the flower symbolic of the Stuart dynasty.  Sir Robert
Inglis was a man of education, of intelligence, and of high principle.
His sincerity was unquestioned, and his opinion would probably be well
worth having on any question which was not concerned with the
antagonism between Whig and Tory.  Sir Robert argued boldly in his
speech that the principle of representation had never been recognized
by the Constitution as the Parliamentary system of England.  He
insisted that the sovereign had a perfect right to choose any
representative he pleased from any constituency which it suited him to
create.  The King could delegate to any nobleman or gentleman his right
of nominating a representative.  Sir Robert scouted the idea that a
large, prosperous, and populous town had any better claim to be
represented in the House of Commons than the smallest village in the
country.  It was all a matter for the sovereign, and if the sovereign
thought fit he had as good a right to invite any one he {145} pleased
to represent an unpeopled plain as to represent Manchester, Leeds, or
Sheffield.  He denounced Russell's proposal to disfranchise the small
nomination boroughs, and he used an argument which was employed in the
same debate and by much wiser men than he in defence of the pocket
boroughs and the whole system of nomination.  Some of the most
brilliant, gifted members of the House of Commons, he contended, had
been sent into that House by the patrons and owners of such boroughs,
and otherwise never could have got into Parliament at all, for they
could not have borne the enormous expense of a county contest.

We have heard that argument over and over again in days much more
recent.  It would, of course, have been hard to dispose of it
completely if it could be shown that there was no possible way by which
the expenses of elections could be reduced to a reasonable amount; if
it could be shown that there was any human system so bad as to have no
compensating advantages whatever; and finally if it could be shown that
with the spread of education and the growth of popular intelligence a
man of great and commanding ability without money would not have a much
better chance of election at the hands of a large constituency than by
the mere favor of some discerning patron.  Sir Robert Inglis also used
an argument which is even still not unfamiliar in political debate,
whether inside or outside Parliament.  He contended not merely that the
English population had no real grievances to complain of, but that none
among the English population would have fancied that they were
suffering from grievances if it had not been for the evil advice and
turbulent agitation of mob orators.  To these wicked persons, the mob
orators, Sir Robert ascribed all the disturbances which were setting
the country in commotion.  If only these mob orators could be kept from
spouting everything would go well and no subject of the sovereign would
ever get it into his head that he was suffering from the slightest

This is an argument which had just been used with regard to Catholic
Emancipation; which was afterwards to {146} be used with regard to
free-trade and the introduction of the ballot and household suffrage;
and which will probably be used again and again so long as any sort of
reform is demanded.  Of course it need hardly be said that when Sir
Robert Inglis referred to mob orators he used the phrase as a term of
contempt applying to all speakers who advocated principles which were
not the principles represented by the Tory aristocracy.  A Tory
landlord spouting any kind of nonsense to the most ignorant crowd would
not have been, according to this definition, a mob orator; he would
have been a high-bred Englishman, instructing his humbler brethren as
to the way they ought to go.  Sir Robert also indulged in the most
gloomy prophecies about the evils which must come upon England as the
direct result of the Reform Bill if that Bill were to be passed into
law.  The influence of rank and property would suddenly and completely
cease to prevail; education would lose its power to teach and to guide;
the House of Commons would no longer be the place for men of rank,
culture, and statesmanship, but would be occupied only by mob orators.
Art after art would go out and all would be night, if we may adopt the
famous line of Pope's which Sir Robert somehow failed to introduce.

[Sidenote: 1831--Peel's speech on the Reform Bill]

The second speech in the debate to which we may refer was that of Sir
Robert Peel.  It was a necessity of Peel's position just then, and of
the stage of political development which his mind had reached, that he
should oppose the Reform Bill.  But in the work of opposition he had to
undertake a task far more difficult to him in the artistic sense than
the task which the destinies had appointed for Sir Robert Inglis to
attempt.  Inglis, although a man of ability and education, as
collegiate education then went, was so thorough a Tory of the old
school that the most extravagant arguments he used came as naturally
and clearly to his mind as if they had been dictated to him by
inspiration.  But a man of Peel's high order of intellect, a man who
had been gifted by nature with the mind of a statesman, must sometimes
have found it hard indeed to convince himself that some of the
arguments he used against reform {147} were arguments which the history
of the future would be likely to maintain.  Peel's genius, however, was
not one which readily adopted conclusions, especially when these
conclusions involved a change in the seeming order of things.  We have
seen already that he was quite capable of taking a bold decision and
accepting its responsibilities when the movement of events seemed to
satisfy him that a choice one way or the other could no longer be

The whole story of his subsequent career bears evidence of the same
effect.  His genius guided him rightly when the fateful moment arrived
at which a decision had to be made, but when left to himself his
inclinations always were to let things go on in their old way.  He had
not yet seen any necessity for a complete system of Parliamentary
reform, nor was he likely, in any case, to have approved of some of the
proposals contained in the Bill brought in by Lord John Russell.  The
speech he delivered appears, by all the accounts which reach us, to
have been a genuine piece of Parliamentary eloquence.  Peel did not, as
may well be imagined, commit himself to some of the extravagances which
were poured forth in absolute good faith by Sir Robert Inglis.  But the
very nature of his task compelled him sometimes to have recourse to
arguments which, although put forward with more discretion and more
dexterity than Inglis had shown, seemed nevertheless to belong to the
same order of political reasoning.

It is not, perhaps, surprising that Peel should have found much to say
for the existence of the small nomination boroughs, seeing that the
same arguments were made use of a whole generation afterwards by no
less a person than Mr. Gladstone.  These arguments, we need hardly say,
were founded on the familiar assumption that a Burke or a Sheridan, a
Canning or a Plunket, would have no chance whatever of getting into the
House of Commons if some appreciative patron did not generously put a
borough at his disposal.  In our own days we have seen, again and
again, that a man of high political character and commanding eloquence,
but having no money or other such influence to back him, would have a
far better chance at {148} the hands of a great popular constituency
than he would be likely to have in some small borough, where local
interests might easily be brought to conspire against him.  But at the
time when Peel was making his speech against the Reform project the
patronage system still prevailed in politics, if no longer in letters,
and the unendowed child of genius would have little chance indeed if he
were to try to get into Parliament on his own mere merits.  On the
whole, it must be owned that Sir Robert Peel made as good a case
against the Bill as could have been made from the Conservative point of
view, and it may be added that an equally ingenious case might have
been made out by a man of his capacity against any change whatever in
any system.

[Sidenote: 1831--The second reading of the Reform Bill]

The third speech to which we think it necessary to refer was that
delivered by the Irish orator and agitator, Daniel O'Connell.
O'Connell promised the Bill all the support in his power, but he took
care to explain that he supported it only because he believed it was
the best Bill he could obtain from any Government at that moment.  He
described clearly and impressively the faults which he found with Lord
John Russell's measure; and it has to be noticed that the objections
which he raised were absolutely confirmed by our subsequent political
history.  He found fault with the Bill because it did not go nearly as
far as such a measure ought to go in the direction of manhood suffrage,
or, at all events, of household suffrage.  He contended that no Reform
Bill could really fulfil the best purposes for which it was designed
without the adoption of the ballot system in the voting at popular
elections.  He advocated shorter Parliaments and much more
comprehensive and strenuous legislation for the prevention of bribery
and corruption.  In short, O'Connell made a speech which might have
been spoken with perfect appropriateness by an English Radical of the
highest political order at any time during some succeeding generations.
O'Connell's opinions seem to have been at that time, save on one
political question alone--the question of Repeal of the Union--exactly
in accord with those of the Radical party down to the days of Cobden
and Bright.


It may be mentioned, as a matter of some historical interest, that,
vindicating the true theory of popular representation, he complained
that successive English Governments had abandoned the constitutional
position taken up by the glorious Revolution of 1688.  Readers of the
present day may be inclined to think, not without good reason for the
thought, that statesmanship in the days of Lord Grey's first Reform
Bill, and for many years after, might have had less trouble with
Ireland if it had taken better account of the opinions and the
influence of O'Connell.

The debate on the motion for leave to bring in the Bill lasted several
days.  In accordance, however, with the usual practice of the House of
Commons, no division was taken and the Bill was read a first time.  In
the House of Commons it is not usual to have a long debate on the
motion for leave to bring in a Bill, which amounts in substance to a
motion that the Bill be read for the first time.  When, however, a
measure of great importance is introduced there is sometimes a
lengthened and very often a discursive debate or conversation on the
motion; but it is rarely so long and so earnest a discussion as that
which took place when Lord John Russell brought in the Reform Bill.
One result of the length of the debate which preceded the first reading
was that when the motion for the second reading came on the leading
members of the Opposition were found to have expressed fully their
opinions already, and the discussion seemed little better than the
retelling of an old story.

When the motion for the second reading came to be put to the vote it
was found that the Opposition had got together a very full gathering of
their numbers, and the second reading was only carried by a majority of
one.  The hearts of many of the reformers sank within them for the
moment, and the hopes of the Tories were revived in an equal degree.
Even already it seemed clear to all of Lord Grey's colleagues that a
measure carried on its second reading by such a bare majority had not
the slightest chance of forcing its way through the House of Lords,
even if it should be fortunate enough to pass without serious {150}
damage through the House of Commons.  Lord Grey and his colleagues were
already beginning to think that nothing worth accomplishing was likely
to be achieved until a general election should have greatly
strengthened the Reform party in Parliament.  The movement for reform
had of late been growing steadily in most parts of the country.  Some
of the more recent elections had shown that the reform spirit was
obtaining the mastery in constituencies from which nothing of the kind
had been expected a short time before, and it seemed to most of the
Whig leaders that the existing Parliament was the last bulwark against
the progress of reform.  When the time came for the motion to enable
the Bill to get into committee--that is, to be discussed point by point
in all its clauses by the House, with full liberty to every member to
speak as many times as he pleased--General Gascoigne, one of the
representatives of Liverpool, proposed an amendment to the effect that
it was not expedient, at such a time, to reduce the numbers of knights,
citizens, and burgesses constituting the House of Commons, and this
amendment was carried by a majority of eight.  Now the carrying of this
amendment could not possibly have been considered as the destruction of
any vital part of the Bill.

[Sidenote: 1831--William the Fourth and Reform]

Lord John Russell had argued for the reduction of the numbers in the
House as a matter of convenience and expediency; but he had not given
it to be understood that the Government felt itself pledged to that
particular proposition, and had made up his mind not to accept any
modification in that part of the plan.  The authors of the Reform Bill,
however, read very wisely in the success of General Gascoigne's
amendment the lesson that in the existing Parliament the Tories would
be able to take the conduct of the measure out of the hands of the
Government during its progress through committee, and to mar and
mutilate it, so as to render it entirely unsuited to its original
purposes.  Therefore Lord Grey and the other members of his Cabinet
made up their minds that the best course they could take would be to
accept the vote of the House of Commons as a distinct defeat, and to
make an {151} appeal to the decision of the constituencies by an
instant dissolution of Parliament.

One important question had yet to be settled.  Would the King give his
assent to the dissolution?  No one could have supposed that the King
was really at heart a reformer, and the general conviction was that if
William cared anything at all about the matter his personal inclination
would be in favor of good old Toryism, or that, at the very least, his
inclination would be for allowing things to go on in the old way.  At
that time the principle had not yet been set up as a part of our
constitutional system that the sovereign was bound to submit his own
will and pleasure to the advice of his ministers.  It would have been
quite in accordance with recognized precedents since the House of
Hanover came to the throne if the King were to proclaim his
determination to act upon his own judgment and let his ministers either
put up with his decision or resign their offices.

For some time, indeed, it appeared as if the King was likely to assert
his prerogative, according to the old fashion.  The disagreeable and
almost hazardous task of endeavoring to persuade the King into
compliance with the desire of his Ministry was entrusted to Lord
Brougham, who was supposed, as Lord Chancellor, to be keeper of the
sovereign's conscience.  Brougham was not a man who could be described
as gifted with the bland powers of persuasion, but at all events he did
not want courage for the task he had to undertake.  William appears at
first to have refused flatly his consent to the wishes of the Ministry,
to have blustered a good deal in his usual unkingly, not to say
ungainly, fashion, and to have replied to Brougham's intimation that
the ministers might have to resign, with words to the effect that
ministers, if they liked, might resign and be--ministers no more.  The
King, however, was at last prevailed upon to give his assent, but then
a fresh trouble arose when he found that Lord Grey and Lord Brougham,
presuming on his ultimate compliance, had already taken steps to make
preparations for the ceremonials preceding dissolution.  As the {152}
Ministry thought it necessary that there should be no delay whatever in
the steps required to dissolve Parliament, a message had been sent in
order that the Life Guards should be ready, according to the usual
custom when the King went to Westminster for such a purpose.  William
found in this act on the part of the Ministry a new reason for an
outburst of wrath.  He stormed at Brougham; he declared that it was an
act of high-treason to call out the Life Guards without the express
authority of the King, and he raged in a manner which seemed to imply
that only the mercy of the sovereign could save Grey and Brougham from
the axe on Tower Hill.

[Sidenote: 1831--The second Reform Bill]

Perhaps it was fortunate on the whole for the peaceful settlement of
the controversy that the King should have found this new and unexpected
stimulant to his anger; for when his wrath had completely exploded over
it, and when Brougham had been able to explain, again and again, that
no act of high-treason had been contemplated or committed, the royal
fury had spent itself; the King's good-humor had returned; and in the
reaction William had forgotten most of his objections to the original
proposal.  It was arranged, then, that the dissolution should take
place at once.  As a matter of fact, Sir Robert Peel, in the House of
Commons, was actually declaiming, in his finest manner, and with a
voice that Disraeli afterwards described as the best ever heard in the
House, excepting indeed "the thrilling tones of O'Connell," against the
whole scheme of reform, when the Usher of the Black Rod was heard
knocking at the doors of the Chamber to summon its members to attend at
the bar of the House of Lords, in order to receive the commands of his
Majesty the King.  The commands of his Majesty the King were in fact
the announcement that Parliament was dissolved, and that an appeal to
the country for the election of a new Parliament was to take place at

The news was received by Reformers all over the country with the most
exuberant demonstrations of enthusiasm.  In London most of the houses
throughout the principal streets were illuminated, and many windows
which showed {153} no lights were instantly broken by the exulting
crowds that swarmed everywhere.  The Duke of Wellington received marked
tokens of the unpopularity which his uncompromising declaration against
all manner of reform had brought upon him.  Some of the windows at
Apsley House, his town residence--the windows that looked into the
Park--were broken by an impassioned mob, and for years afterwards these
windows were always kept shuttered, as a sign--so at least the popular
faith assumed it to be--that the Duke could not forgive or forget this
evidence of public ingratitude to the conqueror of Waterloo.  The King,
on the other hand, had grown suddenly into immense popularity.  The
favorite title given to him at the time of his accession was that of
the "Sailor King."  Now he was hailed everywhere in the streets as the
"Patriot King."  Wherever his carriage made its public appearance it
was sure to be followed by an admiring and acclaiming crowd.  The
elections came on at once, and it has to be noted that the amount of
money spent on both sides was something astonishing even for those days
of reckless expenditure in political contests.  Neither side could make
any boast of political purity, and indeed neither side seemed to have
the slightest inclination to set up such a claim.  The only rivalry was
in the spending of money in unrestricted and shameless bribery and
corruption.  The more modern sense of revolt against the whole
principle of bribery was little thought of in those days.  There were
men, indeed, on both sides of the political field who would never have
stooped to offer a bribe if left to the impulses of their own honor and
their own conscience.  But the ordinary man of the world, and more
especially of the political world, felt that if he himself did not give
the bribe his rival would be certain to give it, and that nobody at his
club or in society would think any the worse of him because it was
understood that he had bought himself into the House of Commons.  When
the elections were over the prevalent opinion as to their result was
almost everywhere that the numbers of the Reform party in the House of
Commons would be much greater than it had been in the {154} House so
lately dissolved.  When the new Parliament was opened, Lord John
Russell and Mr. Stanley appeared as members of the Cabinet.  The new
Parliament was opened by King William on June 21.  If William really
enjoyed the consciousness of popularity, as there is every reason to
believe he did, he must have felt a very proud and popular sovereign
that day.  His carriage as he drove to the entrance of the House of
Lords was surrounded and followed by an immense crowd, which cheered
itself hoarse in its demonstrations of loyalty.  On June 24 Lord John
Russell introduced his second Reform Bill.  It is not necessary to go
through the details of the new measure.  The second Reform Bill was in
substance very much the same as its predecessor had been, but of course
its principle was debated on the motion of the second reading with as
much heat, although not at such great length, as in the case of the
first Reform Bill a few weeks before.  Nothing new came out in this
second argument, and the debate on the second reading, which began on
July 4, occupied only three nights, a fact which made some members of
the Opposition think themselves entitled to the compliments of the
country.  The Parliamentary opponents of the Reform Bill were, however,
soon to make it evident that they had more practical and more
perplexing ways of delaying its progress through the House of Commons
than by the delivery of long orations on the elementary principle of
reform.  The second reading of the Bill was carried by 367 votes in its
favor and 231 votes against it--that is to say, by a majority of 136
for the Bill.  Therefore everybody saw that, as far as the House of
Commons in the new Parliament was concerned, there was a large majority
in support of the measure brought forward by the Government.

[Sidenote: 1831--William Cobbett]

It was morning, and not very early morning, when the House divided, and
the Attorney-General had not much time to spare for rest before setting
off for one of the law courts to conduct a prosecution which the
Government had thought it well to institute against a man who held a
most prominent position in England at that time, and whose name, it is
safe to say, will be remembered as long as good {155} English prose is
studied.  This man was William Cobbett, and he had just aroused the
anger of the Government by a published article in which he vindicated
the conduct of those who had set fire to hayricks and destroyed farm
buildings in various parts of the country.  William Cobbett had begun
life as the son of a small farmer, who was himself the son of a day
laborer.  He had lived a strange and varied life.  In his boyish days
he had run away from a little farm in Surrey and had flung himself upon
the world of London.  He had found employment, for a while, in the
humblest kind of drudgery as a junior copying clerk in an attorney's
office, and then he had enlisted in a regiment of foot.  He was
quartered for a year at Chatham, and he devoted all his leisure moments
to reading, for which he had a passion which lasted him all his
lifetime.  He is said to have exhausted the whole contents of a lending
library in the neighborhood, for he preferred reading anything to
reading nothing.  He was especially fond of historical and scientific
studies, but he had a love for literature of a less severe kind also,
and he studied with intense eagerness the works of Swift, on whose
style he seems to have moulded his own with much success and without
any servile imitation.  Then he was quartered with his regiment for
some time in New Brunswick, and after various vicissitudes he made his
way to Philadelphia.  During his stay in New Brunswick he had studied
French, and had many opportunities of conversing in it with
French-Canadians, and when settled for a time in Philadelphia he
occupied himself by teaching English to some refugees from France.  Now
and again he went backward and forward between America and England, but
it was in Philadelphia that he was first known as a writer.  Under the
signature of Peter Porcupine he published the "Porcupine Papers," which
were chiefly made up of sarcastic and vehement attacks upon public men.
Cobbett had begun as a sort of Tory, or, at all events, as a professed
enemy of all Radical agitators, but he gradually became a Radical
agitator himself, and when he finally settled in England he soon began
to be recognized as one of the most powerful {156} advocates of the
Radical cause in or out of Parliament.  He wrote a strong, simple
Anglo-Saxon style, and indeed it is not too much to say that, after
Swift himself, no man ever wrote clearer English prose than that of
William Cobbett.  He had tried to get into Parliament twice without
success; but at last he succeeded in obtaining a seat as the
representative of the borough of Oldham, a place which he represented
until the time of his death, and which was represented by members of
his family in the memory of the present generation.  He had started a
paper called _The Weekly Political Register_, and in this he championed
the Radical cause with an energy and ability which made him one of the
most conspicuous men of the time.

[Sidenote: 1831--The prosecution of Cobbett]

Lord Grey's Government was probably not very anxious to prosecute
Cobbett, if a prosecution could have been avoided, but it was feared,
perhaps, by the members of the Cabinet that some of his writings would
be used by the opponents of reform as an illustration of the principles
on which reform was founded, and the practices which it would encourage
if the Government failed to take some decided action.  It was therefore
decided to institute the prosecution for the article which had been
published in the previous December.  The Guildhall, where the case was
to be tried, was crowded to excess, and the prisoner was loudly
applauded when he stood in the court.  He was one of the heroes of the
hour with large numbers of the people everywhere, and the court would
have been crowded this day in any case; but additional interest was
given to the sitting by the fact that Cobbett had summoned for
witnesses for his defence Lord Grey, Lord Brougham, Lord Althorp, and
Lord Durham.  The summoning of these witnesses was one of Cobbett's
original and audacious strokes of humor and of cleverness, and his
object was, in fact, to make it out that the leading members of his
Majesty's Government were just as much inclined to countenance violence
as he was when such a piece of work might happen to suit their
political purposes.  The stroke, however, did not produce much effect
in this case, for Lord Brougham's evidence, which in any case would
have been {157} unimportant to the question at issue, would have been
rather to the disadvantage than advantage of the prisoner if it had
been fully gone into, and Cobbett relieved Brougham from further
attendance; while Chief Justice Tenterden, the presiding judge, decided
that the testimony which Cobbett said he intended to draw from the
other noble witnesses had nothing to do with the case before the jury.
The whole question, in fact, was as to the nature of the article in the
_Political Register_.  The jury could not agree upon their verdict, and
after they had been locked up for fifteen hours, and there seemed no
chance of their coming to an understanding, the jurors were discharged
and there was an end of the case.  When the result was announced
Cobbett received tumultuous applause from a large number of the crowd
in court and from throngs of people outside.  He left the court even
more of a popular hero than he had been when he entered it.

Now, in studying the article itself as a mere historical document, the
reader who belongs to the present generation would probably be disposed
to come to the conclusion that, while it was indeed something like a
direct incentive to violence, it also pointed to evils and to dangers
which the wisdom of statesmanship would then have done well to fear.
For the main purpose of the article was to emphasize the fact that, in
the existing conditions of things, nothing was ever likely to be done
for the relief of the hungry sufferers from bad laws and bad social
conditions, unless some deeds of violence were employed to startle the
public into the knowledge that the sufferings existed and would not be
endured in patience any longer.  It is unfortunately only too true
that, at all periods of history, even the most recent history of the
most civilized countries, there are evils that legislation will not
trouble itself to deal with until legislators have been made to know by
some deeds of violence that if relief will not come, civil disturbance
must come.  The whole story of the reign of William the Fourth is the
story of an age of reform, although no particular credit can be given
to the monarch himself for that splendid fact.  It is a melancholy
truth {158} that not one of these reforms would have been effected at
the time or for long after if those who suffered most cruelly from
existing wrongs had always been content to suffer in law-abiding
peacefulness, and to allow the justice of their cause to prove itself
by patient argument addressed to the reason, the sympathy, and the
conscience of the ruling orders.




[Sidenote: 1831--Obstructive tactics in the Commons]

The Reform Bill was, then, clearly on its way to success.  It had
passed its second reading in the House of Commons by a large, and what
might well be called a triumphant, majority.  Now, when a great measure
reaches that stage in the modern history of our Constitution, we can
all venture to forecast, with some certainty, its ultimate fate.  We
are speaking, it need hardly be said, of reform measures which are
moved by a clear principle and have a strong and resolute band of
followers.  Such measures may be defeated once and again by the House
of Lords, and may be delayed in either or both Houses for a
considerable time; but it only needs perseverance to carry them in the
end.  Some of the more enlightened and intelligent Conservatives must
have begun already to feel that the ultimate triumph of the reform
measure was only a question of time; but then those who were opposed to
every such reform were determined that, at all events, the triumph
should be put off as long as possible.  The House of Lords would, no
doubt, throw out the Bill when it came for the first time within the
range of their power; but it was resolved, meanwhile, to keep the Bill
as long as possible in the House of Commons.  Therefore there now set
in a Parliamentary campaign of a kind which was almost quite new to
those days, but has become familiar to our later times--a campaign of
obstruction.  After the second reading of the new Reform Bill there set
in that first great systematic performance of obstruction which has
been the inspiration, the lesson, and the model to all the obstructives
of later years.  The rules and the practices of the House of Commons
offered in those times, and, {160} indeed, for long after, the most
tempting opportunities to any body of members who were anxious to
prolong debate for the mere purpose of preventing legislation.  For
example, it was understood until quite lately that any motion made in
the House, even the most formal and technical, might be opposed, and,
if opposed, might be debated for any length of time, without the
Speaker having the power to intervene and cut short the most barren and
meaningless discussion.

[Sidenote: 1831--Parliamentary procedure]

When the House goes into committee, according to the formal
Parliamentary phrase, the temptation to obstruct becomes indefinitely
multiplied, for in committee a member can speak as often as he thinks
fit on the subject--or, at least, such was his privilege before the
alterations adopted in very recent years.  It may be well to explain to
the general reader the meaning of what takes place when the House goes
into committee.  When a Bill has passed through its first and second
reading it is understood that the main principles of the measure have
been agreed upon, and that it only remains for the House to go into
committee for the purpose of considering every clause and every minute
detail of the Bill before it comes up to the House again for its third
and final reading.  Now the House, when it goes into committee, is
still just the same House of Commons as before, except that the Speaker
leaves the chair and the assembly is presided over by the Chairman of
Committees, who sits not in the Speaker's throne-like chair, but in an
ordinary seat at the table in front of it.  There is, however, the
important difference that, while in the House itself, presided over by
the Speaker, a member can only speak once on each motion, in the
committee he can speak as often as he thinks fit, and for the obvious
reason that, where mere details are under consideration, it was not
thought expedient to limit the number of practical suggestions which
any member might desire to offer as the discussion of each clause
suggested new possibilities of improvement.  By the alterations
effected recently in the rules of procedure the Speaker of the House,
or the Chairman of Committees, obtains a {161} certain control over
members who are evidently talking against time and for the sake of
wilful obstruction; but in the days of Lord John Russell's Reform Bill
no such authority had been given to the presiding officer.

The very motion--in ordinary times a purely formal motion--which had to
be passed in order that the House might get into committee, gave to the
opponents of reform their first opportunity of obstruction.  The motion
was that the Speaker do now leave the chair, and the moment that motion
was put it was immediately met by an amendment.  A Tory member raised
the question that there was a mistake in one of the returns of
population in the constituency which he represented, and he proposed
that his constituent should be allowed to show cause in person or by
counsel at the bar of the House for a rectification of the error.  Lord
John Russell admitted that there appeared to have been some mistake in
the return, but he contended that the motion to enable the House to go
into committee was not the proper time at which such a question could
be raised.  Every one in the House knew perfectly well the motive for
raising the question just then, and after some time had been wasted in
absolutely unnecessary discussion the obstructive amendment was
defeated by a majority of 97.  That, however, did not help matters very
much, for the House had still to divide upon the question that the
Speaker do now leave the chair.  This was met by repeated motions for
adjournment, and on every one of these motions a long discussion was
kept up by some leading members of the Opposition and by their faithful
followers.  The reader will remember that until the motion had been
carried for the Speaker to leave the chair it was still the House, and
not the committee, that was sitting, and therefore no member could
speak more than once on the same subject.  But then this fact did not
secure even that particular stage of the debate against obstruction,
for there were several different forms in which the motion for
adjournment might be made, and on each of these several proposals a
member was entitled to speak even although he had already spoken on
each motion previously proposed {162} to the same practical effect.
Perhaps it may be as well to bring the condition of things more clearly
and more practically within the understanding of the general reader,
seeing that the Parliamentary obstruction which may be said to have
begun with the Reform Bill became afterwards so important an instrument
for good or for evil in our legislative system.  The motion then is
made that Mr. Speaker do now leave the chair.  Thereupon Mr. Brown,
Tory member, moves as an amendment that the House do now adjourn, and
Mr. Brown sets forth in a lengthened speech his reasons for thinking
that the House ought not to sit any longer that night.  Some member of
the Ministry rises and gives his reason for urging that the Speaker
should be allowed to leave the chair at once, and that the House go
into committee in order to consider the details of the measure.
Thereupon several of Mr. Brown's friends arise, and one after another
expound, at great length, their reason for supporting Mr. Brown.  The
ministers, by this time, have made up their minds that the best course
they can follow is to let Mr. Brown's friends have all the talk to
themselves, but some independent members on the side of the Government
are sure to be provoked into making speeches denouncing the
obstructives and thereby only helping to obstruct.  At length, when all
Mr. Brown's friends have had their say--and Mr. Brown, it will be
remembered, cannot speak again on this particular question--a division
is taken on his amendment, and the amendment is lost.  Then the
question is put once more for the Speaker to leave the chair, and
instantly Mr. Jones, another Tory member, springs to his feet and moves
as an amendment, not that the House do now adjourn, but that this
debate be now adjourned, which, as every one must see, is quite a
different proposition.  On this new amendment Mr. Brown is quite
entitled to speak, and he does speak accordingly, and so do all his
friends, and at last a division is taken and the amendment of Mr. Jones
has the same fate as the amendment of Mr. Brown, and is defeated by a
large majority.  Up comes the question once more about the Speaker
leaving the chair, and up gets Mr. Robinson, {163} another Tory member,
and moves that the House do now adjourn, which motion is strictly in
order, for it is quite clear that the House might with perfect
consistency refuse to adjourn at midnight and yet might be quite
willing to adjourn at four o'clock in the morning.  On the amendment of
Mr. Robinson his friends Brown and Jones are of course entitled to
speak, and so are all their colleagues in the previous discussions, and
when this amendment too is defeated, then Mr. Smith, yet another Tory
member, rises in his place, as the familiar Parliamentary phrase goes,
and moves that this debate be now adjourned.  This is really a fair
summary of the events which took place in the House of Commons on this
first grand opportunity of obstruction, the motion to enable the House
to get into committee on the details of the Reform Bill.

[Sidenote: 1831--The Reform Bill in committee]

It was half-past seven in the morning when the out-wearied House
consented to adjourn, and the story was told, at the time, that when
Sir Charles Wetherell was leaving Westminster Hall with some of his
Tory colleagues he observed that a heavy rain was pouring down, and he
declared with a vigorous oath that if he had known of that in time he
would have treated the Government to a few more divisions before giving
them a chance of getting to their homes.  The Bill, however, did get
into committee at last, and then the work of obstruction began again
and was carried on after the most systematic fashion.  In committee the
opportunities were ample, for the case of each constituency which it
was proposed to disfranchise, or each constituency the number of whose
members it was proposed to lessen, had to be discussed separately, and,
of course, gave rise to an unlimited number of speeches.  A committee
was actually formed to prepare, organize, and apply the methods of
obstruction, and of this committee no less a person than Sir Robert
Peel, then one of England's most rising statesmen, afterwards to be one
of her greatest statesmen, was the president.  Sir Robert Peel was
himself one of the most frequent speakers in the obstructive debates,
and among his rivals were Sir Charles Wetherell and Mr. John Wilson
Croker, a man who has {164} been consigned to a sort of immortality by
a famous essay of Macaulay's and by Disraeli's satirical picture of him
as Mr. Rigby in "Coningsby."  The committee of Tory members which has
been already mentioned arranged carefully, in advance, the obstruction
that was to be carried on in the case of each particular constituency,
and planned out in advance how each discussion was to be conducted and
who were to take the leading parts in it.

[Sidenote: 1831--Determination to pass the Bill]

Meanwhile popular feeling was rising more and more strongly as each day
of debate dragged on.  Some of the largest constituencies were most
active and energetic in their appeals to the Government to hold out to
the very last and not yield an inch to the obstructionists.  A fear
began to spread abroad that Lord Grey and his colleagues might endeavor
to save some of the main provisions of their Bill by surrendering other
parts of it to the Opposition.  This alarm found expression in the cry
which soon began to be heard all over the country, and became in fact
the battle-cry of Reformers everywhere--the Bill, the whole Bill, and
nothing but the Bill.  Great public meetings were held in all parts for
the purpose of urging the Government to make no concessions to the
political enemy.  During the summer a meeting of the most influential
supporters of the Government was held in the Foreign Office, and at
that meeting Lord Althorp, Chancellor of the Exchequer, announced that
Lord Grey and his colleagues were perfectly determined not to give way,
and he declared that the Government were resolved to keep the House of
Commons sitting until December, or, if necessary, until the following
December, in order to pass the Bill before the rising of the House for
its recess.  Naturally this firm declaration had some effect on the
obstructionists, especially on the rank and file of the
obstructionists.  Nothing discourages and disheartens obstruction so
much, in the House of Commons, as a resolute announcement on the part
of the Ministry that the House is to be kept together until the measure
under debate, whatever it may be, is disposed of.  It is a hard task,
at any time, to keep the House of Commons together after the regular
season for its {165} holiday has come on; and if the rank and file of
Opposition can once be brought to believe that a certain measure is to
be passed no matter what number of weeks or months it may occupy, the
rank and file is very apt to make up its mind that there is no use in
throwing good months after bad, and that it might be as well to get the
thing done, since it has to be done, without unlimited sacrifice of
personal comfort.  Still, the leaders of the Tory Opposition were not
deterred by Lord Althorp's proclamation from maintaining their work of
obstruction for some time yet.  The impatience and anger of the country
rose higher and higher.  A reforming member of the House was in an
unlucky plight indeed if he happened to be caught by one of the
amendments proposed from the benches of Opposition and, believing that
it had something reasonable in it, allowed his too sensitive conscience
to persuade him into supporting it by his vote.  Into such a plight
fell a worthy alderman of the City of London--who had been sent into
the House of Commons as a Radical reformer.  This well-meaning person
had permitted himself to become satisfied that there was something to
be said for one of the Opposition amendments, and in a moment of rash
ingenuousness he voted for it.  He was immediately afterwards formally
censured by his constituents and by the body to which he officially
belonged.  He was informed by solemn resolutions that he had been sent
into the House of Commons to help the Government in passing the Reform
Bill, and it was more or less plainly intimated to him that he had no
more right to the exercise of his independent opinion on any of the
details of the measure than a private soldier on a battle-field would
have to exercise his individual judgment as to the propriety of obeying
or disobeying the order of his commanding officer.  The poor man had to
make the most fervid assurances that he had meant no harm in voting for
the Opposition amendment, that he was thoroughly devoted to the cause
of reform, and to the particular measure then before the House of
Commons, and that never again was he to be induced by any arguments to
give a vote against the Government on any {166} section or sentence or
line of Lord John Russell's Bill.  Then, and not until then, he was
taken back into favor.

[Sidenote: 1831--The Reform Bill passes the Commons]

The Bill, however, did get through committee at last.  The Government
contrived by determined resistance and untiring patience to get their
scheme of reform out of committee in substantially the condition they
wished it to have.  Then came the third reading.  It was confidently
assumed on both sides of the House that there would be a long debate on
the motion that the Bill be now read a third time.  In the House of
Commons, however, it often happens that the assumption of a forthcoming
debate as a certainty is itself the one cause which prevents the
debates from being long.  So it happened on this important occasion.
Every Tory took it for granted that his brother Tories would keep the
debate going for an indefinite time, and in this fond faith a good many
Tories felt themselves in no hurry to get to the House, and were
willing to leave the first hour or two at the disposal of their
colleagues.  When the sitting began, and, indeed, when the motion for
the third reading came on, there were comparatively few Tories in the
House, and the great leaders of Opposition were not present.  There was
confusion in the ranks of the Tories, and the crowded benches of the
Reformers thundered with clamorous shouts of "Divide!  Divide!"  Now,
it takes a very heroic orator indeed to continue declaiming for a long
time when a great majority of the members present are bellowing at him
and are drowning, by their united voices, the sounds of the words which
he is trying to articulate.  The members of Opposition in the House
found this fact brought home to them, and, being further bewildered by
the fortuitous absence of their leaders, soon gave up the struggle, and
the debate collapsed, and the third reading was carried by a large
majority before Sir Robert Peel, Sir Charles Wetherell, and others came
in leisurely fashion into the House, filled with the assumption that
there would be ample opportunity for them to carry on the debate.  Even
yet, however, all was not over.  According to the procedure of the
House, it was not enough that the motion for the third reading of the
{167} Bill should be carried.  It was still necessary to propose the
motion that the Bill do now pass.  The moment this motion was proposed
the torrent of opposition, frozen up for a too-short interval, began to
flow again in full volume.  The nature of the formal motion gave
opportunity for renewed attacks on the whole purpose of the Bill, and
all the old, familiar, outworn arguments were repeated by orator after
orator from the Tory benches.  But this, too, had to come to an end.
The House was no longer in committee, and each member could only speak
once on this final motion.  Of course, there could be motions for
adjournment, and on each such motion, put as an amendment, there would
be opportunity for a fresh debate; but the leaders of the Opposition
were beginning to see that there was nothing of much account to be done
any longer in the House of Commons, and that their hopes of resisting
the progress of reform must turn to the House of Lords.  So the Reform
Bill passed at last through the House of Commons, and then all over the
country was raised the cry, "What will the Lords do with it?"

Soon the temper of the more advanced Reformers throughout the country
began to change its tone, and the question eagerly put was not so often
what will the Lords do with the Bill? but what shall we do with the
House of Lords?  At every great popular meeting held throughout the
constituencies an outcry was raised against the House of Lords as a
part of the constitutional system, and no speaker was more welcome on a
public platform than the orator who called for the abolition of the
hereditary principle in the formation of legislators.  One might have
thought that the agitation which broke out all over the country, and
the manner in which almost all Reformers seemed to have taken it for
granted that the hereditary Chamber must be the enemy of all reform,
might have put the peers on their guard and taught them the unwisdom of
accepting the imputation against them, and thus proving that they had
no sympathy with the cause of the people.  But the great majority of
the Tory peers of that day had not yet risen to the idea that there
could be any {168} wisdom in any demand made by men who had no
university education, who had not what was then described as a stake in
the country.  The voice of the people was simply regarded as the voice
of the rabble, and the Tory peers had no notion of allowing themselves
to be guided by any appeal coming from such a quarter.

[Sidenote: 1831--The Reform Bill in the Lords]

The agitation of which we are speaking had been going on during the
long reign of obstruction in the Commons, and there was no time lost by
the Government between the passing of the Bill in the representative
Chamber and its introduction in the House of Lords.  On the evening of
the day when the Bill was passed by the Commons, September 23, 1831, it
was formally brought into the House of Lords and read a first time.  It
has already been explained that, according to Parliamentary usage, the
first reading of any Bill is taken in the House of Lords as a matter of
right and without a division.  The second reading of the Bill was taken
on October 3.  Lord Grey, who had charge of the measure in that House,
delivered one of the most impressive and commanding speeches which had
ever come from his eloquent lips, not merely in recommendation of the
measure itself, but in solemn warning to the peers in general, and to
the bishops and archbishops in particular, to pause and consider
carefully all the possible consequences before committing themselves to
the rejection of a demand which was made by the vast majority of the
English people.

Lord Grey was a noble illustration of what may be described as the
stately order of Parliamentary eloquence.  He had not the fire and the
passion of Fox; he had not the thrilling genius of Pitt; and, of
course, his style of speech had none of the passionate and sometimes
the extravagant declamation of which Brougham was a leading master.  He
had a dignified presence, a calm, clear, and penetrating voice, a style
that was always exquisitely finished and nobly adapted to its purpose.
It would not be too much to say for Earl Grey that he might have been
the ideal orator for an ideal House of Lords, if we assume the ideal
House of Lords to be an assembly in which appeal {169} was always made
to high principle, to reason, and to justice, not to passion, to
prejudice, or to party.  Lord Grey, so far as we can judge from
contemporary accounts, never spoke better than in the debate on the
second reading of the Reform Bill, and it was evident that he spoke
with all the sincere emotion of one whose mind and heart alike were
filled with the cause for which he pleaded.  But the House of Lords
just then was not in a mood to be swayed greatly by argument or by
eloquence.  Lord Wharncliffe moved an amendment to the effect that the
Bill be read a second time this day six months.  This, at least, was
the shape that the motion took after some discussion, because Lord
Wharncliffe, in the first instance, had concluded his speech against
the second reading by the blunt motion that the Bill be rejected; and
it was only when it had been pressed upon his attention that such a
method of disposing of the measure would be a downright insult to the
Commons that he consented to modify his proposal into the formal and
familiar amendment that the Bill be read a second time this day six
months.  The effect would be just the same in either case, for no
Ministry would think of retaining office if the discussion of its most
important measure were postponed in the House of Lords for a period of
six months.  During the debate which followed, the Duke of Wellington
spoke strongly against the Bill.  On the morning of October 8 the
division was taken.  There were 199 votes for the amendment and 158
against it, or, in other words, for the second reading of the Bill.
The second reading was therefore rejected by a majority of 41.  The
whole work of legislation during all the previous part of the year had
thus been reduced to nothing, and the House of Lords had shown what it
would do with the Bill by contemptuously rejecting it, and thus bidding
defiance to the demand unquestionably made by the vast majority of the
people of England, Scotland, and Ireland.

Parliament was at once prorogued, and the members who were in favor of
reform hurried off to address great meetings of their constituents, and
to denounce the action of the House of Lords.  Popular enthusiasm was
aroused {170} more than ever in favor of the Reform Bill, and popular
passion was stirred in many places to positive fury against the
principal opponents of the Bill.  In London several public men who were
conspicuous for their opposition to the Bill were surrounded in their
carriages as they drove through the streets by suddenly collected
crowds, who hooted and hissed them, and would have gone much further
than hooting and hissing in their way of expressing condemnation but
for the energetic intervention of the newly created police force.  In
some of the provincial towns, and here and there throughout the
country, the most serious riots broke out.  In Derby there were
disturbances which lasted for several days, and consisted of attacks on
unpopular persons and of fierce fights with the police.  Nottingham was
the centre of rioting even more serious.  Nottingham Castle, the seat
of the Duke of Newcastle, was attacked by a furious mob and actually
burned to the ground.  In the immediate neighborhood was the estate of
Mr. Musters, which was invaded by an excited mob.  The dwelling-house
was set on fire, and, although the conflagration was not allowed to
spread far, yet it ended in a tragedy which must always have a peculiar
interest for the lovers of poetry and romance.  The wife of Mr. Musters
was the Mary Chaworth made famous by Lord Byron in his poem of the
"Dream," and other poems as well--the Mary Chaworth who was his first
love, and whom, at one time, he believed destined to be his last love
also.  Mary Chaworth does not seem to have taken the poet's adoration
very seriously--at all events, she married Mr. Musters, a country
gentleman of good position.  Mrs. Musters was in her house on the night
when it was attacked by the mob, and when the fire broke out she fled
into the open park and sought shelter there among the trees.  The mob
was dispersed and Mrs. Musters, after a while, was able to return to
her home; but she was in somewhat delicate health, the exposure to the
cold night air of winter proved too much for her, and she became one of
the most innocent victims to the popular passion aroused by the
opposition to the Reform Bill.


[Sidenote: 1831--The Reform riots]

Bristol was the scene of the most formidable riots during all that
period of disturbance.  Sir Charles Wetherell, who had made himself
conspicuous as an opponent of reform, was the Recorder as well as the
representative of Bristol, and his return to the city after the Lords
had thrown out the Bill became the signal for an outbreak of popular
fury.  Houses were wrecked in various parts of the city; street fights
took place between the mob and the military, day after day; the Mansion
House, where Sir Charles Wetherell was supposed to have taken refuge,
was besieged, attacked, and almost demolished, and Sir Charles
Wetherell himself was rescued, more than once, with the utmost
difficulty from hostile crowds who seemed thirsting for his blood.  All
these riots were atoned for dearly soon after by some who had taken
part in them.  The stroke of the law was heavy and sharp in those days,
and many of the rioters in Derby, Nottingham, and Bristol, and other
places expiated on the scaffold their offences against peace and order.
Some of the cathedral cities became scenes of especial disturbance
because of the part so many of the prelates who were members of the
House of Lords had taken against the Reform Bill.  The direct appeal
which Earl Grey had made to the archbishops and bishops in the House of
Lords to think long and well before opposing the Reform Bill was
delivered with the highest and sincerest motive, with the desire that
the Church should keep itself in harmony with the people; but the mere
fact that the appeal was made, and made in vain, seems to have aroused
in many parts of the country, and especially in the cathedral cities, a
stronger conviction than ever that the prelates were, for the most
part, the enemies of popular rights.  Then, again, there was a more or
less general impression that the King himself, in his heart, was not in
favor of reform and would be glad to get rid of it if he could.  Daniel
O'Connell, addressing a great popular meeting at Charing Cross in
London, pointed with his outstretched right arm towards Whitehall, and
awakened a tremendous outburst of applause from the vast crowd by
telling them that it was there Charles I. had lost his head {172}
because he had submitted to the dictation of his foreign wife.  There
was a popular belief at the time that Queen Adelaide, the wife of King
William, cherished a strong hatred against reform such as Lord Grey and
his colleagues were pressing on, and that she was secretly influencing
the mind of her husband her own way, and so it was that O'Connell's
allusion got home to the feelings and the passions of the multitude who
listened to his words.  Never, in the nineteenth century, had England
gone through such a period of internal storm.  All over the Continent
observers were beginning to ask themselves whether the monarchy in
England was not on the verge of such a crisis as had just overtaken the
monarchy in France.

[Sidenote: 1832--The third Reform Bill]

Lord Grey and his ministers still, however, held firmly to their
purpose, and the King, much as he may have disliked the whole reform
business, and gladly as he would have got rid of it, if it were to be
got rid of by any possible means, had still wit enough to see that if
he were to give his support to the House of Lords something even more
than the House of Lords might be in danger.  Parliament was therefore
called together again in December, and the Royal Speech from the Throne
commended to both Houses the urgent necessity of passing into law as
quickly as possible the ministerial measure of reform.  Lord John
Russell brought in his third Reform Bill for England and Wales, a Bill
that was, in purpose and in substance, much the same as the two
measures that had preceded it, and this third Reform Bill passed by
slow degrees through its several stages in the House of Commons.  Then
again came up the portentous question, "What will the Lords do with
it?"  There could not be the least doubt in the mind of anybody as to
what the majority of the House of Lords would be glad to do with the
Bill if they only felt sure that they could work their will upon it
without danger to their own order.  There, however, the serious
difficulty arose.  The more reasonable among the peers did not attempt
to disguise from themselves that another rejection of the Bill might
lead to the most serious disturbances, and even possibly to civil war,
and they were not {173} prepared to indulge their hostility to reform
at so reckless an expense.  The greater number of the Tory peers,
however, acted on the assumption, familiar at all times among certain
parties of politicians, that the more loudly people demanded a reform
the more resolutely the reform ought to be withheld from them, and
that, if the people attempted to rise up, the only proper policy was to
put the people down by force.  The opinions and sentiments of the less
headlong among the Conservative peers had led to the formation of a
party, more or less loosely put together, who were called at that time
the "Waverers," just as a political combination of an earlier day
obtained the title of the "Trimmers."  The Waverers were made up of the
men who held that their best and most patriotic policy was to regard
each portion of the Bill brought before them on its own merits, and not
to resist out of hand any proposition which seemed harmless in itself
simply because it formed part of the whole odious policy of reform.
King William is believed, at one time, to have set hopes on the efforts
of the Waverers, and to have cherished a gladsome belief that they
might get him out of his difficulties about the Reform Bill; as indeed
it will be seen they did in the end, though not quite in the way which
he would have desired.

Lord Grey introduced the third Reform Bill on March 27, 1832.  The
first reading passed, as a matter of course, but when the division on
the motion for the second reading came on on April 14, there was only a
majority of 9 votes for the Bill: 184 peers voted for it and 175
against it.  Of course Lord Grey and his colleagues saw, at once, that
unless the conditions were to be completely altered there would be no
chance whatever in the House of Lords for a measure of reform which had
passed its second reading by a majority of only 9.  The moment the Bill
got into committee there would be endless opportunities afforded for
its mutilation, and if it were to get through the House at all, it
would be only in such a form as to render it wholly useless for the
objects which its promoters desired it to accomplish.  This dismal
conviction was very speedily {174} verified.  When the Bill got into
committee, Lord Lyndhurst moved an amendment to the effect that the
question of enfranchisement should precede that of disfranchisement.
Now this proposal was not in itself one necessarily hostile to the
principle of the Bill.  It is quite easy to understand that a sincere
friend to reform might have, under certain conditions, adopted the
views that Lord Lyndhurst professed to advocate.  But the Ministry knew
very well that the adoption of such a proposal would mean simply that
the whole conduct of the measure was to be taken out of their hands and
put into unfriendly hands--in other words, that it would be utterly
futile to go any further with the measure if the hostile majority were
thus allowed to deal with it according to their own designs and their
own class interest.

[Sidenote: 1832--The Peers and the third Reform Bill]

Lord Lyndhurst was a man of great ability, eloquence, and astuteness.
He was one of the comparatively few men in our modern history who have
made a mark in the Law Courts and in Parliament.  As a Parliamentary
orator he was the rival of Brougham, and the rivalry was all the more
exciting to the observers because it was a rivalry of styles as well as
of capacities.  Lyndhurst was always polished, smooth, refined, endowed
with a gift of argumentative eloquence, which appealed to the intellect
rather than to the feelings, was seldom impassioned, and even when
impassioned kept his passion well within conventional bounds.  Brougham
was thrilling, impetuous, overwhelming, often extravagant, scorning
conventionality of phrase or manner, revelling in his own exuberant
strength and plunging at opponents as a bull might do in a Spanish
arena.  Lyndhurst's amendment was one especially suited to bring to his
side the majority of the Waverers.  It was plausible enough in itself,
and gave to many a Waverer, who must have had in his mind a very clear
perception of its real object, some excuse for persuading himself that,
in voting for it, he was not voting against the principle of reform.
When the division came to be taken on May 7, 151 peers voted for the
amendment and 116 against it, thus showing a majority of 35 against
{175} the Government, by whom of course the amendment had been
unreservedly opposed.

The country saw that a new crisis had come, and a crisis more serious
than any which had gone before.  There was only one constitutional
course by which the difficulty could be got over, and that was by the
King giving his consent to the creation of a number of new peers large
enough to carry the Reform Bill through all its subsequent stages in
the House of Lords.  Other outlet of safety through peaceful means
there was none.  Lord Grey's Ministry could not possibly remain in
office and see the measure, on which they believed the peace and
prosperity of the country to depend, left at the mercy of an
irresponsible majority of Tory peers.  The King was most unwilling to
help his ministers out of the trouble, especially by such a process as
they had suggested, and in his heart would have been very glad to be
rid of them and the Reform Bill at the same time.  Charles Greville in
his Memoirs makes several allusions to the King's well-known dislike
for the Whig ministers and his anxiety to get the Duke of Wellington
back again.  Lord Grey and his colleagues, finding it hard to get the
King to recognize the gravity of the situation, and to adopt the advice
they had offered to him, felt that there was nothing left for them but
to resign office.  And the King was delighted to have a chance of
recalling the Duke of Wellington to the position of Prime Minister.
Under the date of May 17, 1832, Greville has some notes which well
deserve quotation: "The joy of the King at what he thought to be his
deliverance from the Whigs was unbounded.  He lost no time in putting
the Duke of Wellington in possession of everything which had taken
place between him and them upon the subject of reform and with regard
to the creation of peers, admitting that he had consented, but saying
he had been subjected to every species of persecution.  His ignorance
and levity put him in a miserable light and proved him to be one of the
silliest old gentlemen in his dominions."  Greville goes on to say:
"But I believe he is mad, for yesterday he gave a dinner to the Jockey
Club, {176} at which, notwithstanding his cares, he seemed to be in
excellent spirits, and after dinner he made a number of speeches so
ridiculous and nonsensical beyond all belief but to those who heard
them, rambling from one subject to another, repeating the same thing
over and over again, and altogether such a mass of confusion, trash,
and imbecility, as made one laugh and blush at the same time."

[Sidenote: 1832--The King seeks a Prime Minister]

The poor muddled-headed old King in fact could not understand that the
question submitted to him allowed of no middle course of compromise.
He seemed to think he had gone far enough in the way of conciliation
when he offered to allow his ministers to create a certain number of
peers.  No concession, however, could be of the slightest use to the
Ministry unless the power were conceded to them to create as many new
peers as might be necessary to overbear all opposition to the Reform
Bill.  The struggle was in fact between the existing House of Lords and
the vast majority of the nation.  One or other must conquer.  The only
constitutional way in which the existing opposition of the House of
Lords could be overborne was by the creation of a number of new peers
great enough to turn the majority of the House of Lords into a minority.

Lord Grey and Lord Althorp were not, it is hardly necessary to say, men
who shared in the popular sentiment, which would, if it could, have
abolished altogether the hereditary principle in legislation.  But Lord
Grey and Lord Althorp read the signs of the times, and saw clearly
enough that if the House of Lords were allowed to stand much longer in
the way of the Reform Bill the result would be probably a political
revolution which would abolish the House of Lords altogether.
Therefore the ministers could make no terms with the King short of
those which they had offered, and as the King did not see his way to
accept their conditions there was nothing left for them but to resign
office.  Accordingly Lord Grey tendered his resignation and that of his
colleagues, and the King, after much indecision and mental flurry,
thought he could do nothing better than to accept the resignation, and
try to find a set of ministers more suitable to his {177} inclinations.
He sent for Lord Lyndhurst and entered into conversation with that
astute lawyer and politician, and Lord Lyndhurst advised him to send
for the Duke of Wellington.  The Duke was sent for, but the Duke had
not much to say which could lend any help to the King in his
difficulties.  Wellington saw distinctly enough that there was no
alternative but that which lay in the choice between reform and some
sort of popular revolution.  We have seen already in these volumes how
Wellington preferred to accept Catholic Emancipation rather than take
the risk of plunging the country into civil war.  In the case of the
Reform Bill he would have acted, no doubt, upon the same principle if
driven to the choice, but after the repeated and energetic
denunciations of reform which he had delivered in the House of Lords he
did not think that it would be a fitting part for him, even for the
sake of helping the sovereign out of his constitutional trouble, to be
the Prime Minister by whom any manner of Reform Bill should be
introduced.  Wellington therefore strongly urged the King to send for
Sir Robert Peel, and declared that he himself would lend all the
support he possibly could to a Peel Administration.  Peel was sent for
accordingly, but Peel was too far-seeing a statesman to believe that he
could possibly hold office for many weeks unless he yielded to the full
demands of the country, and his political principles would not have
allowed him to go so far as that.  He did his best to make it clear to
the King that no administration but a reform administration could
stand, and that, if a reform administration had to be accepted, there
was nothing better to be done than to invite Lord Grey and Lord John
Russell back again to office.

Meanwhile the country was aroused to a fervor of enthusiasm in favor of
reform, which seemed only to increase with every delay and to grow
stronger with every opposition.  Public meetings were held in
Birmingham of larger size than had ever been gathered together in
England before, and resolutions were passed by acclamation which were
almost revolutionary in their character.  In many cities and towns
appeals were made for a run on the {178} bank, a run for gold, and
there were alarming signs that the advice was likely to be followed to
such a degree as to bring about utter confusion in the money market.
In the City of London an immense meeting was held, at which resolutions
were passed calling on the House of Commons to stop the supplies unless
the King accepted the councils of the Whig statesmen and gave them
authority for the election of new peers.  The overwhelming strength of
the demand for reform may be easily estimated when it is remembered
that the majority in the great cities and towns, and also in the
counties, were for once of the same opinion.  In more than one great
political controversy of modern times, as in the free-trade agitation
for example, it has happened that the town population were of one
opinion and the county population of another.  But at the time which we
are now describing the great cities and towns were all nearly
unrepresented, and in their demand for representation they were of one
mind and one spirit with the county populations, which called out for a
real and not a sham representation.  There will probably always be a
question of curious speculation and deep interest to the students of
history as to the possibility of a great revolution in England if the
King had made up his mind to hold out against the advice of the Whig
statesmen and to try the last chance.  It is certain that the leading
Whig nobles were considering, with profound earnestness, what course it
might be necessary for them to take if the King were absolutely to
refuse all concession and to stand by what he believed to be his
sovereign right to set up his own authority as supreme.  If the choice
should be forced on them, would these Whig nobles stand by the
obstinate King or throw in their lot with the people?  This grave
question must have been considered again and again in all its bearings
by the Whig leaders during that time of terrible national crisis.

[Sidenote: 1832--The Whig nobles and the military]

It would seem to be beyond all question that some, at least, of the
Whig nobles were contemplating the possibility of their having to
choose between the King and the people, and that their minds were made
up, should the worst come {179} to the worst, to side with the people.
Many years afterwards, during the State trials at Clonmel which
followed the Young Ireland rebellion of 1848, evidence was brought
forward by the counsel for the defence of Mr. Smith O'Brien and his
fellow-prisoners to prove that the Whig nobles during the reform crisis
in England had been in communication with Sir Charles Napier, the great
soldier, for the purpose of ascertaining how the army would act if
there should come to be a struggle between the sovereign claiming
despotic rights and the people standing up for constitutional
government.  All this, however, is now merely a question of interesting
historical speculation.  The King had tried Wellington, had tried Peel,
had sent for Wellington a second time, and found that Wellington,
though he dared do all that might become a man, saw nothing to be
gained for sovereign or State by an attempt to accomplish the
impossible, and William at last gave way.  It was about time that he
did so.  William was becoming utterly unpopular with the great mass of
his subjects.  He who had been endowed with the title of the Patriot
King was now to be an object of hatred and contempt to the crowds in
the streets with whom from day to day he could not avoid being brought
into contact.  When his carriage appeared in one of the great London
thoroughfares it was followed again and again by jeering and furious
mobs, who hissed and groaned at him, and it was always necessary for
his protection that a strong escort of cavalry should interpose between
him and his subjects.  Even in the London newspapers of the day, those
at least that were in favor of reform, and which constituted the large
majority, language was sometimes used about the King which it would be
impossible to use in our days about some unpopular Lord Mayor or member
for the City.

All this told heavily upon poor King William, who was a good-natured
sort of man in his own way if his ministers and others would only let
him alone, and who rather fancied himself in the light of a popular
sovereign.  He therefore made up his mind at last to accept the advice
{180} of his Whig ministers and grant them the power of creating as
many new peers as they thought fit, for the purpose of passing their
importunate Reform Bill.  The consent was given at an interview which
the King had with Lord Grey and Lord Brougham, Lord Brougham as keeper
of the royal conscience taking the principal conduct of the
negotiations on behalf of the Government.  The King, as usual on such
occasions, was flurried, awkward, and hot-tempered, and when he had
made up his mind to yield to the advice of his ministers he could not
so far master his temper as to make his decision seem a graceful
concession.  Even when he announced that the concession was to be made
the trouble was not yet quite over.  Lord Brougham thought it necessary
to ask the King for his consent in writing to the creation of the new
peers, and hereupon the wrath of the sovereign blazed out afresh.  The
King seemed to think that such a demand showed a want of confidence in
him which amounted to something like an insult, and he fretted and
stormed for a while as though he had been like Petruchio "aboard
carousing to his mates."  After a while, however, he came into a better
humor, and perhaps saw the reasonableness of the plea that Lord Grey
and Lord Brougham could not undertake the task now confided to them
without the written warrant of the King's authority.  William therefore
turned away and scratched off at once a brief declaration conferring on
his ministers the power to create the necessary number of peers,
qualifying it merely with the condition that the sons of living peers
were to be called upon in the first instance.  The meaning of this
condition was obvious, and its object was not unreasonable from the
King's point of view, or, indeed, from the point of view of any
statesman who was anxious that the House of Lords should be kept as
long as possible in its existing form.  Nobody certainly wanted to
increase the number of peers to any great extent, and if only the
eldest sons of the living peers were to be called to the House of Lords
each would succeed in process of time to his father's title and the
roll of the peerage would become once again as it had been before.


[Sidenote: 1832--Passage of the third Reform Bill]

The political crisis was over now.  When once the royal authority had
been given for the unlimited creation of new peers there was an end of
all the trouble.  Of course, there was no necessity to manufacture any
new batches of peers.  As the Reform Bill was to be carried one way or
the other, whether with the aid of new peers or without it, the Tory
members of the House of Lords could not see any possible advantage in
taking steps which must only end in filling their crimson benches with
new men who might outvote them on all future occasions.  The Reform
Bill passed through all its stages in the House of Lords, not without
some angry and vehement discussions, during which personal
recriminations were made that would have been considered disorderly at
the meeting of a parish vestry.  One noble lord denounced the conduct
of Lord Grey as atrocious, and even the stately Lord Grey was roused to
so much anger by this expression that he forgot his habitual
self-control and dignity and replied that he flung back the noble
lord's atrocious words with the utmost scorn and contempt.

The Bill passed its third reading in the House of Lords on June 4,
1832, and received the royal assent on June 7.  The royal assent,
however, was somewhat ungraciously given.  King William declined to
give his assent in person, a performance which, at the time, seemed to
be expected from him, and it was signified only by the medium of a
formal committee.  The Bill, however, was passed, the third Reform Bill
that had been introduced since Lord Grey had come into office.  The
Reform Bills for Ireland and Scotland which had gone through their
stages in the House of Commons immediately after the Bills relating to
England and Wales were then carried through the House of Lords.  The
great triumph was accomplished.

It is not without historical interest to notice the fact that a long
discussion sprang up at this time and was revived again and again,
during many successive years, with regard to certain words used by Lord
John Russell in expressing his satisfaction at the passing of the
Reform Bill.  He was endeavoring to calm the apprehensions of timid
{182} people throughout the country who feared that the whole time of
Parliament would thenceforward be taken up with the passing of new and
newer Reform Bills, and he declared that the Government of which he was
a member had no intention but that the Reform Act should be a final
measure.  It might have seemed clear to any reasonable mind that Lord
John had no idea of proclaiming his faith in the absolute finality of
any measure passed, or to be passed, by human statesmanship, but was
merely expressing the confident belief of his colleagues and himself
that the Bill they had passed would satisfy the needs and the demands
of the existing generation.  At the time, however, a storm of
remonstrance from the more advanced Liberals broke around Lord John
Russell's head, and he was charged with having declared that the Reform
Act was meant to be a measure for all times, and that he and his
colleagues would never more set their hands to any measure intended to
broaden or deepen its influence.  There were indeed popular caricatures
of Lord John to be seen in which he was exhibited with the title of
"Finality Jack."  Lord John's public career proved many times, in later
days, how completely his meaning had been misunderstood by some of
those whose cause he had been espousing, for all through his honored
life he continued to be a leader of reform.  But the common
misunderstanding of the phrase was in itself significant, for it seemed
to foretell the fact that the Bill, with all the great changes it had
introduced and the new foundations it had laid for the future system of
constitutional government, was in itself indeed far from being a final
measure.  The authors of the Reform Bill had left what might now be
called "the masses" almost altogether out of their calculations.  The
rate at which the franchise was fixed for town and country rendered it
practically impossible that the artisan in the town or the laborer in
the country could have any chance whatever of obtaining a vote.

[Sidenote: 1832--Some defects in the Reform Bill]

This was the one great defect of the Reform Bill introduced by Lord
Grey and Lord John Russell.  Perhaps it would not have been prudent for
these statesmen, at that {183} time, to enter on the introduction of a
more comprehensive measure.  Perhaps Lord Grey and Lord John Russell
would have preferred of their own judgment not to introduce too
comprehensive a reform measure all at once, and to allow the franchise
to broaden slowly down.  But it is certain that almost immediately
after the passing of the Reform Bill a profound feeling of
disappointment began to grow and spread among the classes who found
themselves excluded from any of its benefits, and who believed, with
good reason, that they had rendered much practical service in the
carrying of the measure.  The feeling prevailed especially among the
artisans in the cities and towns.  In some of the towns the Reform Bill
had distinctly operated as a measure of disfranchisement rather than of
enfranchisement.  In Preston, for instance, there had been so large a
number of what we have called, adopting a more modern phrase, "fancy
franchises" that something not very far removed from universal suffrage
was attainable by the male population.  These fancy franchises could
not be justified on any principle commending itself to rational minds,
and it was, moreover, an obvious absurdity to have one system of voting
prevailing in this constituency and a totally different system
prevailing in another.  Therefore Lord Grey and Lord John Russell
cannot be censured for their resolve to abolish the fancy franchises
altogether.  They were introducing an entirely new constitutional
system, and it was evident that in the new system there must be some
uniform principle as to the franchise.  But it is none the less certain
that the men who were disfranchised by an Act professedly brought in to
extend the suffrage must have felt that they had good reason to
complain of its direct effect upon themselves and upon what they
believed to be their rights.  Nearly forty years of agitation had yet
to be gone through before the principal deficiencies in the Reform Act
of 1833 were supplied by Liberal and Tory legislation.

Before closing this chapter of history it is fitting to take notice of
the fact that the debates on the Reform Bill gave opportunity for the
public opening of a great career in {184} politics and in
literature--the career of Lord Macaulay.  [Sidenote: 1832--Thomas
Babington Macaulay] Thomas Babington Macaulay was a new member of the
House of Commons when the first Reform Bill was introduced by Lord John
Russell.  He was the son of Zachary Macaulay, who was famous in his
day, and will always be remembered as the high-minded philanthropist
and the energetic and consistent opponent of slavery and the slave
trade.  Macaulay the son had, from his earliest years, given evidence
of precocious and extraordinary intelligence and versatility.  When he
entered Parliament he found that his fame had gone before him, but his
friends were not quite certain whether he was to be poet, essayist,
historian, or political orator.  As years went on, he proved that he
could write brilliant and captivating poems; that he could turn out
essays which had a greater fascination for the public than many of the
cleverest novels; that he could write history which set critics
disputing, but which everybody had to read; and that he could deliver
political speeches in the House of Commons which, when correctly
reproduced from the newspapers, appeared to belong to the highest class
of Parliamentary eloquence.  It may well be questioned whether any man
could possibly attain supreme success in the four fields in which, from
time to time, Macaulay appeared to be successful.  At present we are
only concerned with the speeches which he delivered in the House of
Commons during the debates on the Reform Bills.  Macaulay's appearance
was not impressive, and he had a gift of fluency, a rapidity of
utterance which continued, from first to last, to be a most serious
difficulty in the way of his success as a Parliamentary orator.  He
appears to have committed his speeches to memory, and his memory was
one of the most amazing of all his gifts; and when he rose to deliver
an oration he rattled it off at such a rate of speed that the sense
ached in trying to follow him, and the reporters for the newspapers
found it almost impossible to get a full note of what he said.  This
was all the more embarrassing because his speeches abounded in
illustrations and citations from all manner of authorities, authors,
and historical incidents, and the bewildered {185} reporter found
himself entangled in proper names which shorthand in the pre-phonetic
days could but slowly reproduce.  The speeches, when revised by the
author, were read with intense delight by the educated public, and with
all the defects of the orator's utterance he soon acquired such a fame
in the House of Commons that no one ever attracted a more crowded and
eager audience than he did when it became known that he was about to
make a speech.  We may quote here a characteristic description given by
Greville of his first meeting with Macaulay in the early February of
1833, while the struggle over Lord Russell's third Reform Bill was
still going on.  "Dined yesterday," says Greville, "with Lord Holland;
came very late and found a vacant place between Sir George Robinson and
a common-looking man in black.  As soon as I had time to look at my
neighbor, I began to speculate, as one usually does, as to who he might
be, and as he did not for some time open his lips except to eat, I
settled that he was some obscure man of letters, or of medicine,
perhaps a cholera doctor.  In a short time the conversation turned on
early and late education, and Lord Holland said he had always remarked
that self-educated men were peculiarly conceited and arrogant, and apt
to look down on the generality of mankind from their being ignorant of
how much other people knew; not having been at public schools, they are
uninformed of the course of general education.  My neighbor observed
that he thought the most remarkable example of self-education that of
Alfieri, who had reached the age of thirty without having acquired any
accomplishment save that of driving, and who was so ignorant of his own
language that he had to learn it like a child, beginning with
elementary books.  Lord Holland quoted Julius Caesar and Scaliger as
examples of late education, said that the latter had been wounded, and
that he had been married and commenced learning Greek the same day,
when my neighbor remarked 'that he supposed his learning Greek was not
an instantaneous act like his marriage.'  This remark and the manner of
it gave me the notion that he was a dull fellow, for it came out in a
{186} way which bordered on the ridiculous so as to excite something
like a sneer.  I was a little surprised to hear him continue the thread
of conversation, from Scaliger's wound, and talk of Loyola having been
wounded at Pampeluna.  I wondered how he happened to know anything
about Loyola's wound.  Having thus settled my opinion I went on eating
my dinner, when Auckland, who was sitting opposite to me, addressed my
neighbor: 'Mr. Macaulay, will you drink a glass of wine?'  I thought I
should have dropped off my chair.  It was Macaulay, the man I had been
so long most curious to see and to hear, whose genius, eloquence,
astonishing knowledge, and diversified talents have excited my wonder
and admiration for such a length of time, and here I had been sitting
next to him, hearing him talk, and setting him down for a dull fellow."
We are here only at the opening of Macaulay's great career.  Even at
this time the world seemed to have made up its mind that Macaulay had a
great career before him.  At the present day, when more than forty
years have passed over his tomb in Westminster Abbey, it is a question
still keenly contested every now and then, whether Macaulay fully
realized or barely failed to realize the expectations which men were
forming of him on that day when Charles Greville met him for the first
time, and was amazed to find, as the conversation went on, that he was
sitting next to Macaulay.

[Sidenote: 1832--Death of Sir Walter Scott]

The year of the Reform Bill was marked by an event forever memorable in
the history of literature.  That event was the death of Sir Walter
Scott.  The later years of Scott's life, as we all know, had been
darkened by the failure of his publishers, by the money troubles in
which that failure had involved him, by the exhausting efforts he had
to make to force his wearied mind into redoubled literary exertion,
and, more than all, by the loss of the wife who had been his devoted
companion for so many years.  No words could be more sorrowful and more
touching in their simplicity than those in which Scott declared that
after his wife's death he never knew what to do with that large share
of his thoughts which always, in other {187} days, used to be given to
her.  He had gone out to Italy, obeying the advice of his friends, in
the hope of recovering his health under warmer skies than those of his
native land, but the effort was futile.  It was of no use his trying to
shake off his malady of heart and body by a change of air.  He carried
his giant about with him, if we may apply to his condition the
expressive and melancholy words which Emerson used with a different
application.  Scott was little over sixty years of age when he died--a
time of life at which, according to our ideas of longevity at the
present day, we should regard a man as having hardly passed the zenith
of his powers and his possibilities.  He had added a new chapter to a
history of the world's literature.  He had opened a new school of
romance which soon found brilliant pupils in all countries where
romance could charm.  There have been many revolutions in literary
rulership since his time, but Walter Scott has not been dethroned.




[Sidenote: 1832--The slave trade]

The statesmen who had carried the Reform Bill soon found that they had
taken upon themselves a vast responsibility.  They had accomplished so
great a triumph that most men assumed them to be capable of any
triumph.  It has to be remembered that they had succeeded in
establishing one principle which, up to that time, had never been
recognized, the principle that a constitutional sovereign in these
countries cannot any longer set up his own authority and his own will
in opposition to the advice of his ministers.  Up to the days of
William the Fourth, the ministers always had to give way to the
sovereign at the last moment, if the sovereign insisted on maintaining
his dictatorial authority.  We have seen how one of the greatest of
English statesmen, the younger Pitt, had bowed his judgment and even
coerced into silence the remonstrances of his own heart and his own
conscience, rather than dispute the authority of an obstinate and a
stupid King.  Lord Grey and his colleagues had compelled their King to
listen to reason, and probably not even they knew at the time the full
importance of the constitutional principle which they had thus
established.  In our own days, and under the rule of the first really
constitutional sovereign who ever reigned in these countries, we seem
to have almost forgotten that there ever was a time when the occupant
of the throne was understood to have a right to govern the people
according to royalty's own inclination or royalty's own notion of
statesmanship.  When the passing of the Reform Bill was yet the latest
event in history, the people of these countries commonly, and very
justly, regarded this assertion of the right of a representative
Ministry to exact support from {189} the sovereign as one of the
greatest triumphs accomplished by Lord Grey's Administration.  The
natural feeling therefore was to assume that the men who had done these
great things could do greater things still, and from all parts of the
realm eyes were turned upon them, full of confidence in their desire
and their capacity to accomplish new reforms in every department of our
constitutional and our social system.

The time was one especially favorable for such hopes and for such
achievements.  A new era had opened on the civilized world.  New ideas
were coming up regarding the value and the validity of many of our
constitutional and social arrangements which had formerly been
considered as inspired and sanctified forever by that mysterious
influence, the wisdom of our ancestors.  If education had not yet made
much way among the masses of the people, at least the belief in popular
education was becoming a quickening force in the minds of all
intelligent men.  Then, as ever since, the agitation for each great new
reform began outside the walls of Parliament, and had to take an
organized shape before it became a question for the House of Commons.
The first great work to which the reformed Parliament applied itself,
after the conditions of Lord Grey's Act had been allowed to take effect
in remoulding the constituencies, was the abolition of negro slavery in
the colonies of Great Britain.  Domestic slavery and the slave trade
had already been abolished, but in the minds of a great number of
well-meaning, well-informed, and by no means hard-hearted men slavery
in our colonies was a very different sort of institution from slavery
in our own islands, or from the actual trade in slaves.  The ordinary
Englishman, when he troubled himself to consider such questions at all,
had settled it in his own mind that slavery in England, or in any part
of the British Isles, was incompatible with the free constitution of
the realm, and that the forcible abduction of men and women from
African sea-shores in order to sell them into slavery was an offence
against civilization and Christianity.  But this average Englishman did
not see that there was anything like the same {190} reason for
interfering with the system of slave labor as we had found it
established, for instance, in our West Indian colonies.  "We did not
introduce the system there," it was argued; "we found it established
there; we inherited it; and its continuance is declared, by all those
who know, to be absolutely essential to the production of the sugar
which is the source of profit and the means of living to the islands
themselves, and an indispensable comfort, a harmless and healthful
luxury, to millions of civilized beings who never stood under a
tropical sky."  The mind of the average Englishman, however, had been,
for some time, much disturbed by the arguments, the pleadings, and the
agitation of a small number of enlightened Reformers, at first much in
advance of their time, who were making a pertinacious crusade against
the whole system of colonial slavery.  Some of these men have won names
which will always be honored in our history.  Zachary Macaulay was one
of these.  He was the father of the Macaulay whom we have just heard of
as seated side by side with Charles Greville at Lord Holland's
dinner-table.  Zachary Macaulay had been the manager of a great West
Indian estate, but he had given up the position because his conscience
would not allow him to have anything to do with the system of slavery,
and he had come home to devote his time, his abilities, and his
earnestness to the generous task of rousing up his countrymen to a full
sense of the horrors which were inseparable from the system.  He was
able to supply men like Brougham, like Fowell Buxton, and like
Whitbread with practical facts beyond dispute to establish the
realities of slavery in the West Indian colonies.  Among the more
obvious, although not perhaps even the most odious, accompaniments of
the system were the frightful cruelties practised on the slaves, the
flogging, the mutilation, and the branding of men, women, and children
which formed part of the ordinary conditions of a plantation worked by
slave labor.  Over and over again it had been denied by men who
professed to know all about the subject and to be authorities upon it
that any such cruelties were practised on a well-regulated plantation
belonging to a {191} civilized owner.  It was constantly argued, with
self-complacency, that the planter's own interests would not allow him
thus to mar the efficiency of the human animals who had to do his work,
and that even if the planter had no pity for them, he was sure to have
a wholesome and restraining consideration for the physical value of his
own living property.

[Sidenote: 1832--The horrors of the slave trade]

Zachary Macaulay and the Buxtons, the Wilberforces and the Whitbreads,
were able to give innumerable and overwhelming proofs that the system
every day was working such evils as any system might be expected to
work which left one set of human beings absolutely at the mercy of
another set of human beings.  Many years after this great controversy
had won its complete success for the English colonies, a chief justice
of the Supreme Court of the United States laid it down as law that a
slave had no rights which his owner was bound to respect.  Up to the
time of which we are now writing, it was certainly assumed, in our West
Indian colonies, as a self-evident doctrine, utterly beyond dispute or
question, that a slave had no rights which his owner was bound to
respect.  The band of resolute philanthropists who had taken up the
subject in England were able to show that frequent flogging of men and
women was a regular part of the day's incidents of every plantation,
and that branding was constantly used, not merely as a means of
punishment, but also as a means of identification.  It was a common
practice when a female slave attempted to escape for her owner to have
her branded on the breast with red-hot iron as an easy means of proving
her identity if she were to succeed for a time in getting out of his
reach.  Numbers of advertisements were produced in which the owners,
seeking through the newspapers for the recovery of some of their women
slaves, proclaimed the important fact that the fugitive women were
branded on both breasts, and that thus there could be no difficulty
about their identification.  We need not go further into the details of
the subject, but it may be as well to mention that we have not touched
at all upon the most revolting evidences of the horrors which seemed to
{192} be the inevitable accompaniment of the slave system.  Brougham
was one of the first among leading Englishmen who threw his heart and
soul into the agitation against colonial slavery.  Long before that
agitation approached to anything like success he had brought forward a
motion in the House of Commons, directing attention to the evils and
the horrors of the system, and calling for its abolition.  For a time,
successive Governments did not see their way to go any further than to
endeavor to bring about or to enforce better regulations for the use of
slave labor on the colonial plantations.  Even these modest measures of
reform had many difficulties to encounter.  Some of the colonies were
under the direct dominion of the Crown, were governed, in fact, as
Crown colonies, but others had legislative chambers of their own, and
refused to submit to the dictation of the authorities at home.  These
legislative chambers in most cases resented the interference of the
home Government when it attempted to introduce new rules for the
treatment of negro slaves, and the whole plantation interest rallied in
support of the great principle that every owner of slaves had an
absolute right to deal with them according to his own will and pleasure.

[Sidenote: 1832--Anti-slavery agitation]

It was loudly asserted by the planters and by the friends of the
planters--and of course the planters had friends everywhere in
England--that the sugar-growing business could not be carried on with
any profit except by means of slave labor, and that the slaves could
not be got to work except by the occasional use of flogging or other
such needful stimulant.  The negroes, it was loudly declared, would
rise in rebellion if once it became known to them that the English
Parliament was encouraging them to consider themselves as slaves no
longer, and their mode of rising in rebellion would simply be a
simultaneous massacre of all the planters and their wives and children.
"See what you are doing!" many a voice cried out to the anti-slavery
agitators; "you are preaching a crusade which will not merely end in
the utter bankruptcy of the West Indian Islands, but in the massacre of
all the planters, their wives, and their children."  The agitators,
however, were neither {193} dismayed nor disheartened.  It would have
taken a good deal of sophistry to confuse the conscience of Zachary
Macaulay or Wilberforce.  It would have taken a good deal of bellowing
to frighten Brougham.  The agitation went on with increasing force, and
Brougham continued to denounce "the wild and guilty phantasy" that man
has property in man.

In Jamaica the colonial legislature, pressed hard by the Government at
home, passed an Act with the avowed purpose of mitigating the severity
of the punishments inflicted on slave laborers.  The Act, however, was,
even on the face of it, absurdly inadequate for any humane purpose.
The home Government had demanded, among other reforms, the entire
discontinuance of the flogging of women.  The colonial Act allowed the
flogging of women to go on just as it had done before.  The Jamaica
planters were indignant at the course taken by the home authorities,
and raved as if they were on the verge of rebellion against the Crown,
and the well-meant interference of the Government at home seemed in
fact to have done more harm than good.  In Demerara, which was the
Crown colony, some of the more intelligent among the negro slaves had
heard scraps of talk which led them to believe that the King of England
and his Government were about to confer freedom upon the colored race,
and these reports spread and magnified throughout certain plantations,
and the slaves on one estate refused to work.  Their refusal was
regarded as an insurrection and was treated accordingly.  The most
savage measures were employed to crush the so-called insurrection, just
as in more recent, and what ought to have been more enlightened, days
some local disturbances in Jamaica were magnified into a general rising
of the blacks against the whites, and the horrors perpetrated in the
name of repression startled the whole civilized world.  In Demerara an
English dissenting missionary, the Rev. John Smith, who had been known
as a most kindly friend of the negroes, was formally charged with
having encouraged and assisted the slaves to rise in revolt against
their masters.  He was flung into prison, was treated with barbarous
{194} rigors such as might have seemed in keeping with some story of
Siberia; he was put through the hurried process of a sham trial in
which the very forms of law were disregarded, and he was sentenced to
death.  Even at Demerara and at such a time the court-martial which had
condemned the missionary as guilty of the offence with which he was
charged had accompanied its verdict with a recommendation to mercy on
account of the prisoner's previous good character.  But before it could
be decided whether or not the recommendation was to have any effect,
the unfortunate man died of the treatment he had received.

[Sidenote: 1830--Parliamentary action against slavery]

The story of the accusation, the trial, and the death created an
immense sensation in England.  Brougham, Buxton, Sir James Mackintosh,
the historian and scholar, and many others aroused the public
indignation by their rightful denunciations of the trial and the
verdict.  The Government condemned and reversed the proceedings at the
trial, and when Brougham brought on a motion in the House of Commons,
publicly branding with just severity the whole conduct of the Demerara
authorities, his motion was only defeated by a small majority.
Meanwhile, the agitation against the whole system of colonial slavery
was receiving new impulse and new strength from the teaching of new
events in the colonies, and in May, 1830, a great meeting was held in
London to demand, not the mitigation, but the total abolition of
slavery in every land over which the flag of England floated.  This
meeting was presided over by the great abolitionist, William
Wilberforce, who had been out of public life for some time owing to
severe ill-health, and who believed that he could not more fitly
celebrate his return to the active work of philanthropy than by taking
the chair at such a demonstration.  Mr. Buxton proposed a resolution
calling on the country to agitate for the total abolition of slavery in
the colonies, and to be content with nothing else, and the resolution
was carried by enthusiastic acclamation.  Brougham at once became the
champion of the great London meeting by a motion which he brought
forward in the House of Commons.  One of the greatest speeches of his
lifetime {195} was made in justifying his appeal to the House for the
total abolition of a system which admitted of nothing like partial, or
what is called moderate, reform, and must either be swept out of
existence altogether or remain a curse to those who enforce it as well
as to those against whom it is enforced.  Brougham's motion was
defeated, of course.  We say of course because it was only a motion
made by an independent member, as the phrase goes, and was not proposed
by the leader of a strong Government, determined to stake its existence
on the carrying of its proposition.  Every great reform, it may almost
literally be said, is heralded in Parliament by the motions of
independent members, who are sure to be defeated, but whose determined
efforts have success enough to make the leader of the Government, or
the leader of the Opposition, feel that the time is near at hand when
the cause must be taken up by one or other of the great parties in the

Buxton raised the whole question in the following session; and then
Lord Althorp, speaking for the Government, went so far as to offer a
sort of compromise by suggesting that the colonies which in the future
should give evidence of their sincere resolve to make distinct
improvement in the condition of their slaves should be rewarded and
encouraged by a permission to send their sugar into English ports at a
reduced rate of duty.  The country, however, had long outgrown the
condition of mind in which this feeble and ridiculous proposition could
be regarded as worthy of serious consideration.  The notion of
sacrificing any part of the country's revenues for the purpose of
bribing the planters to deal a little less severely with their slaves
was not likely to find much favor among the men who had thus far
conducted the great agitation against slavery.  The object of reformers
such as Clarkson, Wilberforce, Buxton, Brougham, and Mackintosh was not
merely that the negroes should be flogged less often, or that the negro
women should not be flogged at all, but that the whole abominable
system which made men, women, and children the absolute property of
their owners should be brought to an end forever.


[Sidenote: 1833--A plan for the abolition of slavery]

At last it became evident to the Whig Ministry that something definite
must be done, and that nothing would be considered definite by the
country which did not aim at the total abolition of slavery.  The hour
had come, and the man who could best turn it to account in the House of
Commons was already in his place.  Lord Stanley, who had joined the
Reform Ministry as Secretary to the Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland, had
since that time been moved to the higher position of Colonial
Secretary, and to him was appropriately confided the task of
introducing the measures which the Government had determined to take.
The Lord Stanley of those days was in after years the Earl of Derby,
whom some of us can still call to mind as one of the most brilliant
orators in the House of Lords at a time when Brougham and Lyndhurst
maintained the character of that assembly for parliamentary eloquence.
Those among us who remember the eloquent Lord Derby, the Rupert of
debate, remember him as a Tory Prime Minister or the Tory leader of
Opposition in the House of Lords.  But he began his great Parliamentary
career as a Whig and as a Reformer, and he was one of the most zealous
of Lord Grey's colleagues in pressing forward the great measure which
was carried to success in 1832.  Among those who can remember him there
is only one opinion about the high order of his Parliamentary
eloquence, and that opinion is that he was a worthy rival of Gladstone
and of Bright.  To him as Colonial Secretary was entrusted the task of
bringing forward, in the House of Commons, the measures of the
Government for dealing with the question of slavery in the British
colonies.  Stanley's speech was such a magnificent blending of reason
and emotion, so close and so powerful in its arguments, so thrilling in
its eloquence, that many of those who heard the speech naturally
expected that it was destined to announce a bold and a comprehensive
policy.  A certain feeling of disappointment came up among the
abolitionists when the measures were described which the Government had
resolved to submit to the House of Commons.  What Stanley had to
propose was not a complete measure, but a {197} series of resolutions
embodying the purposes of the Government's policy.  It is enough to say
that the Government proposed a plan which amounted to a scheme of
abolition by stages.  There was to be a certain period of
apprenticeship, a term of fifteen years, during which the slaves, men
and women, were to continue to work for their masters as before, under
conditions gradually relaxing as the slave drew nearer to the time of
emancipation, and then when that hour at length arrived the slave was
to be free forever.  This principle, however, was not to apply to
children under six years old at the time of the passing of the measure,
or to any children born after that time.  The idea on which the whole
scheme was founded was the notion, very common at that time and since,
that the sudden emancipation of any set of human beings could only tend
to bewilder them, and to prevent them from making a proper use of the
freedom thus abruptly thrust upon them.  "The fool in the fable," said
Macaulay, when dealing with a somewhat similar question, "declared that
no man ought to go into the water until he had learned to swim."  Lord
Grey's Ministry had apparently much the same idea about the perils of
emancipation.  Another part of the scheme proposed that fifteen
millions should be advanced by the Government as a loan to the West
Indian planters in order to help them over the diminution of income
which might be expected to follow any interference with the conditions
of slave labor.

The resolutions put forward by the Government were regarded as highly
unsatisfactory by most of the leading abolitionists.  Macaulay indeed
argued with all his usual eloquence and skill in favor of the principle
of gradual abolition, and it is hardly necessary to say that it was not
in that speech he made use of the pithy sentence which we have already
quoted.  Buxton proposed an amendment to the resolution, an amendment
in fact calling for immediate abolition, and the amendment was seconded
by Daniel O'Connell.  Buxton, however, was prevailed upon not to press
his amendment on the ground that the Government were as eager for
emancipation as any one could {198} be, and that Lord Grey and his
colleagues were only anxious to bring forward such a measure as might
at once secure the support of the majority and prevent further delay,
while securing, at the same time, the ultimate and not distant
settlement of the whole question.  O'Connell stood firm, argued
strongly against the proposed compromise, refused to accept it, and
actually pressed Buxton's amendment to a division.  Of course he was
defeated by a large majority, but he carried a respectable minority
along with him; and few now can doubt that the amendment which he
pressed forward, even after its proposer had abandoned it, was right in
its principle, and that the Government, if forced to it, could have
carried a plan for immediate abolition with little more difficulty than
was found in carrying the scheme of compromise.  As the discussion went
on the Government made some further concessions to the abolitionists,
by reducing the time and modifying the terms of the apprenticeship
system, and the abolitionists in general believed it their wisest
policy to accept the modified arrangement and thus avoid any further
delay.  Another alteration of great importance was made by the
Government in favor of the planters, and was finally accepted by the
abolitionists and by the country in general.  The friends of the
planters made strong representations to the effect that the proffered
loan would be of no use whatever to the owners of slaves whose property
was so soon to pass from their hands into freedom, and that there was
not the slightest chance of the planters being able to pay back to the
English exchequer the amount that the Government was willing to
advance.  It was urged, too, with some show of reason, that the
planters were not themselves responsible for the existence of slave
labor, that generations of planters had grown up under the system and
had made a profit by it during the days when civilization had not,
anywhere, set its face against slavery, and that it was hard,
therefore, to make them suffer in pocket for the recent development in
the feelings of humanity.  The offer of a loan was abandoned by the
Government, and it was proposed instead that a gift of twenty millions
sterling should {199} be tendered as compensation for the losses that
the planters would be likely to undergo.  This proposal, at first, met
with some opposition, and by many indeed was looked upon as an
extravagant freak of generosity; but some of the leading abolitionists
were willing to make allowance for the condition of the planters, and
most, or all, of them were prepared to make a large sacrifice for the
sake of carrying some measure which promised, even by gradual advances,
the final abolition of the slave system.  We may condense into a very
brief space the remainder of the story, and merely record the fact that
the Government carried their amended measure of emancipation with its
liberal grant to the West Indian planters through both Houses of
Parliament, and that it obtained the royal assent.

[Sidenote: 1833--Slavery abolished in British colonies]

It may easily be imagined that poor King William must have had some
mental struggles before he found himself quite in a mood to grant that
assent.  If the King ever had any clear and enduring opinion in his
mind, it probably was the opinion, which he had often expressed
already, against the abolition of slavery.  He had, of course, a
general objection to reform of any kind, but his objection to any
reform which threatened the endurance of the slave system must have
been an article of faith with him.  It was the fate of King William the
Fourth to live in a reign of reforms, not one of which would appear to
have touched his heart or been in accordance with his personal
judgment.  The highest praise that history can give him is that he did
not at least, as one of his predecessors had done, set his own judgment
and his own inclination determinedly and irrevocably against the advice
of the statesmen whom he had called in to carry on the work of
administration.  The King gave his assent to the amended Bill for the
abolition of slavery, including the generous gift to the planters, and
the measure became law on August 27, 1833.  Some of the colonies had
the sense and spirit to discard the apprenticeship system altogether,
and to date the emancipation of their slaves from the day when the
measure became an Act of Parliament.  In no colony did the setting free
of the negroes bring about any of the troubles and turmoils, the {200}
lawless outbreaks of blacks against whites, the massacres of the
innocents, which had been so long and so often pictured as the
inevitable consequences of the legislation demanded by the Clarksons,
the Wilberforces, the Buxtons, and the Broughams.  It seems to us all
now so much a matter of course for a civilized and enlightened State to
decree the extinction of slavery within its limits, that we find it
hard to appreciate at its true value the difficulty and the splendor of
the achievement which was accomplished by the Grey Ministry.  It has to
be said, however, that the Ministry and the Parliament were, in this
instance, only the instruments by which the great charge was wrought.
The movement carried on out-of-doors, the movement set going by the
leading abolitionists and supported by the people, deserves the chief
honor of the victory.  All the countries that make up the kingdom,
England, Ireland, Scotland, and Wales, sent their authorized speakers
to sustain the cause of freedom for the slaves.  The gift, which on the
recommendation of Lord Grey's Ministry was placed at the disposal of
the West Indian planters, was indeed a lavish gift; but the public in
general made little complaint on the score of its lavishness, and did
not calculate too jealously the value of the sacrifice which the State
was invited to make for the purchase of negro emancipation.  Thirty
years and more had to pass before the great American republic was able
to free itself from the curse of slavery, and even then the late
deliverance was only accomplished at the cost of a war which threatened
for the season a permanent division of the States.

[Sidenote: 1833--Labor legislation]

The same year which saw the passing of the measure for the abolition of
slavery in the colonies saw also the passing of an Act which interfered
seriously, for the first time, with something which might almost be
called a system of domestic slavery.  We are speaking now of the
measure which dealt with the conditions of factory labor in these
countries.  Factory labor, as it was known in the early days of William
the Fourth, was the growth of modern civilization.  England had found
that her main business in life was not the conquest and the subjection
of foreign races, {201} or the building or the navigating of ships, or
the cultivation of land, or the growth of corn, but the manufacture of
goods for her own domestic use and for export all over the world.
Great manufacturing cities and towns were growing up everywhere, and,
while the workers on the land were becoming fewer and fewer, the
workers in the city factories were multiplying every day, so that an
entirely new laboring population was coming up to claim the attention
of the State.  Since the old days, when the whole social organization
was conducted according to the dictates of some centralized authority,
there had been growing up, as one of the inevitable reactions which
civilization brings with it at its successive stages, a sort of vaguely
expressed doctrine that the State has no right to interfere between
capital and labor, between the employer and the employed.  This theory
naturally grew and grew with the growth of the capital invested in
manufactures and the increase in the number of employers, and it was
found in later years than those at which we have now arrived, that the
course of agitation that Lord Ashley may be said to have begun was
opposed mainly in its progress by the capitalists and the employers of
labor, many of whom were thoroughly humane men, anxious to do the very
best they could for the health and the comfort of those whom they
employed, but who sincerely believed that the civil law had no right to
interfere with them and those who worked for them, and that the civil
law could do only harm and no good by its best-intentioned interference.

The whole controversy has now been long settled, and it is a distinctly
understood condition of our social system that the State has a right to
interfere between employer and employed when the condition of things is
such that the employed is not always able to protect himself.  At the
time when Lord Ashley started on his long and beneficent career there
was practically no law which regulated the hours and the conditions of
labor in the great factories.  The whole factory system, the modern
factory system as we understand it, was then quite a new part of our
social organization.  The factory, with its little army of workers,
{202} men, women, and children, was managed according to the will and
judgment of the owner, unless in the rare cases where the demand for
labor far exceeded the supply.  In most places the supply exceeded the
demand, and the master was therefore free to make any conditions he
pleased with his workers.  If the master were a humane man, a just man,
or even a far-seeing man, he took care that those who worked for him
should be fairly treated, and should not be compelled to work under
conditions dangerous to their health and destructive of their comfort.
But if he were a selfish man, or a careless man, the workers were used
merely as instruments of profit by him, or by those immediately under
him; and it did not matter how soon they were used up, for there could
always be found numbers enough who were eager to take their places, and
were willing to undertake any task on any terms, for the sake of
securing a bare living.  Lord Ashley raised the whole question in the
House of Commons, and brought forward a motion which ended in the
appointment of a commission to inquire into the condition of the men,
women, and children who worked in the factories.  The commission was
not long in collecting a vast amount of information as to the evils,
moral and physical, brought about by the overworking of women and
children in the factories.  The general concurrence of public opinion,
even among those who supported Lord Ashley's movement, did not seem to
go beyond the protection of women and children.  The adult male, it was
considered, might perhaps safely be left to make the best terms he
could for himself; but the inquiries of the commission left little
doubt among unprejudiced minds that something must be done to secure
women and children from the evils of overwork.  Lord Ashley succeeded
in forcing the whole question on the attention of Parliament, and an
Act was passed in 1833 which did not indeed go nearly as far as Lord
Ashley would have carried his principle, but which at least established
the right of legislative interference for the protection of children
and young persons of both sexes.  The Act limited the work of children
to eight hours a day and {203} that of young persons under eighteen to
sixty-nine hours a week.  This Act may be regarded as the beginning of
that legislative interference which has gone on advancing beneficially
from that time down to our own, and is likely still to keep on its
forward movement.

[Sidenote: Lord Shaftesbury]

Lord Ashley, whom many of us can well remember as Lord Shaftesbury, may
be said to have given up the whole of his life to the general purpose
with which he began his public career--the object of endeavoring to
mitigate the toils and sufferings of those who have to work hard in
order to provide for others the comforts and the luxuries of life.  His
principle was that the State has always a right to interfere for the
protection of those who cannot protect themselves.  He was not a man of
great statesmanlike ability, he was not a man of extensive or varied
information, he was not a scholar, he was not an orator, he was not in
the ordinary sense of the word a thinker, but he was a man who had, by
a kind of philanthropic instinct, got hold of an idea which men of far
greater intellect had not, up to his time, shown themselves able to
grasp.  The story of his life is part of the whole story of the
industrial development of modern civilization.  Again and again he
worked with success in movement after movement, initiated mainly by
himself, for the protection and the education of those who toil in our
factories and in our mines.  Some day no doubt Parliament may have to
devise legislation which shall do for the women and children employed
in field labor something like that which Lord Ashley did for the women
and children employed in factories and in mines.  We have seen that
already efforts are made in every session of Parliament to extend the
principle of the factory legislation into various industrial
occupations which are common to city life.  For the present, however,
we have only to deal with the fact that one of the first labors
accomplished by the Reformed Parliament was the establishment of that
legislative principle with which Lord Ashley's name will always be

Let it be added that, with the establishment of that principle, came
also the introduction of two innovations in our {204} factory system
which lent inestimable value to the whole measure.  One of these was
the appointment of a number of factory inspectors, who were authorized
to see that the purposes of the Act were properly carried out by the
employers, and to report to the Government as to the working of the
whole system and the necessity for further improvements.  The other was
the arrangement by which a portion of the time of all the younger
workers in the factories was set apart for educational purposes, so
that children should no longer be treated as mere machines for the
making of goods and the earning of wages, but should be enabled and
compelled to have their faculties developed by the instruction suited
to their years.  This provision in the Factories Act may be regarded as
the first step towards that system of national education which it took
so much trouble and so many years to establish in these countries.
Lord Ashley had great work still to accomplish; but even if his noble
career had closed with the passing of the Factories Act in 1833, his
name would always be remembered as that of a man who, more than any
other, helped to turn the first Reformed Parliament to the work of
emancipating the English laboring classes in cities and towns from a
servitude hardly less in conflict with the best interests of humanity
than that which up to the same year had prevailed on the plantations of
Jamaica and Demerara.  The Reformed Parliament had still much difficult
work to call out its best energies and to employ its new resources, but
it had begun its tasks well, and had already given the country good
earnest of its splendid future.




[Sidenote: 1832--"Dark Rosaleen"]

A saying which has been ascribed to a well-known living Englishman, who
has made a name for himself in letters as well as in politics, may be
used as the introduction to this chapter.  The saying was that no man
should ever be sent as Chief Secretary to the Lord-Lieutenant of
Ireland who could not prove that he had thoroughly mastered the meaning
of the noble Irish poem rendered by Clarence Mangan as "Dark Rosaleen."
The author and statesman to whom we refer used to point the moral of
his observation, sometimes, by declaring that many or most of the
political colleagues for whose benefit he had spoken had never heard
either of Clarence Mangan or of "Dark Rosaleen."  Now, as it is barely
possible that some of the readers of this volume may be in a condition
of similar ignorance, it is well to mention that Clarence Mangan was an
Irish poet who was dear to the generation which saw the rise of the
Young Ireland movement during O'Connell's later years, and that the
dark Rosaleen whom Mangan found in the earlier poet's ballad is
supposed to typify his native country.  The idea of the author and
statesman was that no Englishman who had not studied this poem, and got
at the heart of its mystery, so far as to be able to realize the deep
poetic, pathetic love of the Celtic heart for the soil, the traditions,
and the ways of the Celtic island, could attempt with any success to
undertake the government of the country.  We have now come to a period
in this history when the Irish question, as it is called, came up once
again, and in a new form, to try the statesmanship of English rulers.
We have told the story of '98, and how the rebellion ended in complete
defeat and disaster.  Up to the {206} time at which we have now arrived
there was no more talk of rebellion in the field, but in the sullen
heart of Irish discontent there still lived all the emotions which had
animated Lord Edward Fitzgerald, Wolfe Tone, and Robert Emmet.

[Sidenote: 1832--The tithe question in Ireland]

When the rebellion was put down the Government of King George the Third
abolished the Irish Parliament, and then all loyal and sensible persons
in Westminster assumed, of course, that there was an end of the matter.
The rebellion had been put down, the principal rebels had been done to
death, Grattan's troublesome and tiresome Parliament had been
extinguished, Ireland had been merged into complete identification with
England, and surely nothing would be heard of the Irish question any
more.  Yet the Irish question seemed to come up again and again, and to
press for answer just as if answer enough had not been given already.
There was a clamor about Catholic Emancipation, and at last the Irish
Catholics had to be emancipated from complete political
disqualification, and their spokesman O'Connell had been allowed to
take his place in the House of Commons.  Sir Robert Peel had carried
Catholic Emancipation, for, although a Tory in many of his ways of
thinking, he was a statesman and a man of genius; and now Lord Grey,
the head of the Whig Government, had no sooner passed the Reform Bill
than he found himself confronted with the Irish question in a new
shape.  We could hardly wonder that Sir Robert Peel or Lord Grey did
not try to inform their minds as to Irish national feeling through a
study of "Dark Rosaleen," for the good reason that no such poem had yet
been given to the world.  But neither Peel nor Grey was a type of the
average Englishman of the times, and each had gradually borne in upon
him, by a study of realities if not of poetic fancies, that the
national sentiment of the Irishman was not to be eradicated by any Act
of Parliament for his denationalization.  Lord Grey, as the friend and
pupil of Fox, who had always been the friend of Ireland, must have
acquired, as a part of his early political training, the knowledge that
Ireland's grievances were not all {207} sentimental, and that if they
were to be dealt with by Acts of Parliament these Acts must take the
part of relief and not of repression.  It may well be questioned
whether any population is disturbed for very long by mere sentimental
grievances, and it may be doubted also whether the true instinct of
statesmanship does not always regard the existence of what is called a
sentimental grievance as the best reason for trying to find out whether
there is not some practical evil at the root of the complaint.
Certainly, in Lord Grey's time, the grievances were open and palpable
enough to have attracted the attention of any man whose mind was not as
well contented with the wisdom of his ancestors as that of King William

Just at this time, as we have seen, a school of Englishmen was
springing up: Englishmen whose minds were filled with new ideas, and
who thoroughly understood the tendencies of the reforming age to which
they belonged.  The Irish tithe question had come up for settlement.
The Irish tithe question was only a part of the Irish State Church
question.  The Irish State Church was an institution bestowed upon
Ireland by her conquerors.  Five-sixths, at least, of the population of
Ireland belonged to the Church of Rome and were devoted to the religion
of that Church.  The island was nevertheless compelled to maintain the
State Church, which did not even represent the religious belief of the
one-sixth of the population that was not Roman Catholic.  One of the
privileges of the State Church was to exact tithes from all the farmers
of the country for the maintenance of its clergymen.  Ireland was
almost altogether an agricultural country, and had but little to do
with manufacturing industry, and in three out of the four provinces of
Ireland the farmers, almost to a man, held to the religion of their
Catholic forefathers and worshipped only at the altars of their faith.
It would be seen, therefore, that the imposition of tithes for the
support of the State Church ministers was not merely a sentimental
grievance, but a very practical grievance as well.  It was practical
because it exacted the payment of a tribute which the farmer believed
he ought not to be called {208} upon to pay, and it was sentimental
because, while it extorted the money from the farmer's pocket, it also
insulted his nationality and his faith.

[Sidenote: 1832--Difficulty in collecting the tithes]

The result was that a sort of civil war was perpetually going on in
Ireland between those who strove to collect the tithes and those from
whom the tithes were to be collected.  The resistance was sometimes of
the fiercest character; the farmers and their friends resisted the
forces sent by the Government to seize the cattle of those who refused
to pay, as if they were resisting an army of foreign invaders.  Blood
was shed freely and lavishly in these struggles, and the shedding of
blood became so common that for a while it almost ceased to be a matter
of public scandal.  Sydney Smith declared that the collection of tithes
in Ireland must have cost in all probability about one million of
lives.  Police, infantry, and dragoons were kept thus in constant
occupation, and yet it could not possibly be contended that those who
claimed the tithes were very much the better for all the blood that was
shed on their behalf.  For when a farmer's cattle had been seized by
the police after an obstinate fight with the farmers and their friends,
and when the cattle had been driven off under the escort of infantry
and cavalry soldiers, the clergyman who claimed the tithes was not
always any nearer to the getting of that which the law declared to be
his own.  The familiar proverbial saying about the ease with which a
horse may be brought to the water and the difficulty there may be in
getting him to drink when he has been brought there was illustrated
aptly and oddly enough in the difference between seizure of the
farmer's cattle and the means of raising any money on them when they
had been seized.  The captured cattle could not in themselves be of
much use to the clergyman who claimed the tithes, and they would
naturally have to be sold in order that he might get his due, and the
question arose who was to bid for them.  All the farmers and the
peasantry of the country were on the one side, and on the other were
the incumbent, a few of his friends, and the military and police.  It
was certain that the soldiers and the policemen would not bid for the
cattle, and probably {209} could not pay for them, and the population
of the district would have made the place very uncomfortable for any of
the clergymen's friends who showed an anxiety to buy up the impounded
beasts.  In some cases when cattle were sold by public auction no
bidder ventured to come forward but the farmer himself who owned the
cattle, and they had to be knocked down to him at a purely nominal
price because there was no possible competitor.  The farmer drove home
his beasts amid the exultation of the whole neighborhood, and the
clergymen was as far off his tithes as ever.  The passive resistance in
fact was harder to deal with, as far as practical results went, than
even the resistance that was active.  Summon together by lawful
authority a number of soldiers and police, and it is easy to shoot down
a few unarmed peasants, and to dispose for the hour of popular
resistance in this prompt and peremptory way.  But what is to be done
when the resistance takes the form of a resolute organized refusal to
pay up the amounts claimed or to offer any price for the cattle seized
in default of payment?  There were in every district numbers of quiet
Catholic parishioners who would much rather have paid their share of
the tithes to the Protestant clergymen than become drawn into quarrels
and local disturbances and confusion.  But such men soon found that if
they paid their tithes they put themselves in direct antagonism to the
whole mass of their Catholic neighbors.  Intimidation of the most
serious kind was sometimes brought to bear upon them, and in any case
there was that very powerful kind of intimidation which consists in
making the offender feel that he has brought on himself the contempt
and the hatred of nearly all his fellow-parishioners and his
fellow-religionists.  In those days it was not lawful to hold a public
political meeting in Ireland, but there were anti-tithe demonstrations
got up, nevertheless, over three parts of Ireland.  These
demonstrations took the outward form of what were called hurling
matches, great rivalries of combatants, in a peculiar Irish game of
ball.  Each of these demonstrations was made to be, and was known to
be, a practical protest against the collection of the tithes.  {210}
Whenever it became certain that the recusant farmer's cattle were to be
seized, a great hurling match was announced to be held in the immediate
vicinity, and the local magistrates, who perhaps had at their disposal
only a few handfuls of police or soldiery, were not much inclined to
order the seizure in the presence of such a cloud of witnesses.  Nor
would any Catholic parishioner who had quietly paid up his tithes
without resistance have felt very comfortable if he had happened to
come near the hurling field that day, and to hear the loudly expressed
comments of his neighbors on his line of conduct.  To make the troubles
still deeper, it often happened that the claimant of the tithes was an
absentee--the incumbent of many a parish in Ireland left his curate to
look after his flock and his tithes alike--and the absentee was almost
as much hated in Ireland as the tithe-collector.

[Sidenote: 1832--The tithe question in Parliament]

Now it must not be supposed that there were not many of the Protestant
clergy in Ireland who utterly disapproved of the tithe system.  One
Protestant clergyman in England, from whom we have just quoted, the
Rev. Sydney Smith, had denounced the system over and over again in
language the most indignant and the most scornful that even his
scathing humor could command.  But there were numbers of Protestant
clergymen in Ireland who saw and proclaimed its injustice and its
futility.  The Archbishop of Dublin declared that no Government could
ever accomplish the collection of tithes in Ireland otherwise than at
the point of the bayonet.  Protestant country clergy often found that
the very attempts to collect the tithes only brought increased distress
and hardship upon themselves.

Many a poor Protestant clergyman saw the utter injustice of the system,
and disliked and detested it almost as much as the Roman Catholics
themselves could have done.  There were many such men, too, who put up
with miserable poverty rather than make any attempt to recover such an
income by force.  Great English speakers and writers were beginning to
denounce the whole system.  Macaulay stigmatized it as severely as
Sydney Smith had done.  George {211} Grote, the historian of Greece,
who had then a seat in the House of Commons, had not only condemned it,
but had condemned the whole State Church system of which it was only a
part.  In our own days the ordinary English reader finds it hard to
understand how any such system could have been carried on under a
civilized European Government.  Such a reader will readily admit that
Sydney Smith had not gone beyond the limits of sober assertion when he
declared that "there is no abuse like it in all Europe, in all Asia, in
all the discovered parts of Africa, and in all we have ever heard of
Timbuctoo."  The subject had been brought up in Parliament by some of
the advanced reformers of the day, and, indeed, it was bringing itself
before the notice of Parliament every week through the official reports
of the disturbances which were taking place in various parts of Ireland.

The House of Lords had appointed a committee to inquire into the whole
subject.  The committee reported that a complete extinction of the
tithe system was demanded, not only in the interests of Ireland but in
the interests of the State Church itself, and suggested, as a means of
getting out of the difficulty, that the tithes might be commuted for a
charge upon land or by an exchange for an investment in land.  This
meant, in other words, that the collection of tithes should be devolved
upon the landlord, leaving him to repay himself by a corresponding
addition to the rent which he asked from his tenants.  The House of
Commons also appointed a committee to inquire into the subject, and the
recommendation of that committee was in substance very much the same as
the recommendation made by the committee appointed by the House of

The Government then took up the question, and in 1832 Lord Althorp
announced that it was the intention of ministers to submit to the House
of Commons a scheme of their own as a temporary settlement of the Irish
tithe question, and out of which was to be developed, in time, a
measure for the complete removal of the difficulty.  A very brief
description will serve to explain the nature of {212} this measure.
The Government proposed to advance a certain sum of money for the
relief of the tithe-owners who had not been able to recover what the
law held to be their due, and in the meantime to apply themselves to
the preparation of some scheme which might transfer the tithe burden
from the occupiers to the owners of the land.  The Government thus
admitted that at the moment they did not see their way altogether out
of the tithe difficulty, but promised to apply their minds to the
discovery of some final and satisfactory settlement, and undertook
until then to pay to incumbents the arrears of tithes, and to collect
the money as well as they could from the indebted occupiers.  In point
of fact, Lord Althorp and his colleagues proposed to become the
tithe-collectors themselves and to let any loss that might be incurred
fall, for the time, upon the State and the national taxpayers.  The
plan was tried for a while, and we need hardly say that it proved
altogether unsatisfactory.  The Government had no better means of
compelling the farmers to pay the tithes than those means which they
had already vainly put at the disposal of the tithe-owners.  The farmer
who could not be coerced by the police and the military into settling
his accounts with the incumbent was not likely to be any the more ready
to pay up because the demand for payment was made by the

[Sidenote: 1834--Henry Ward and the Irish Church]

It was becoming more and more evident every day that the whole
conditions of the State Church in Ireland were responsible for the
trouble of which the tithes difficulty was only an incident.  Already a
party was forming itself in the House of Commons composed of
intellectual and far-seeing men who recognized the fact that the Irish
State Church was in its very principles an anomaly and an anachronism.
On May 27, 1834, a debate on the whole question of the Irish State
Church and its revenues was raised in the House of Commons by Mr. Henry
Ward, one of the most advanced reformers and thoughtful politicians
whom the new conditions of the franchise had brought into Parliament.
Henry Ward was a son of that Plumer Ward who was at one time famous as
the author of a novel {213} called "Tremaine."  If any memory of
"Tremaine" lingers in the minds of readers who belong to the present
generation, the lingering recollection is probably only due to the fact
that in Disraeli's "Vivian Grey" there is an amusing scene in which the
hero makes audacious use of an extemporized passage, which he professes
to find in Plumer Ward's novel.  Henry Ward, the son, afterwards won
some distinction by his administration of the Ionian Islands while the
islands were under the charge of Great Britain.  In our Parliamentary
history, however, he will always be remembered as the author of the
first serious attempt to obtain a national recognition of the principle
which, within our own times, secured its final acknowledgment by the
disestablishment of the Irish Church.  The resolution which was
proposed merely declared that the Protestant Episcopal Establishment in
Ireland exceeded the wants of the Protestant population, and that, it
being the right of the State to regulate the distribution of Church
property in such manner as Parliament might determine, it was the
opinion of the House that the temporal possessions of the State Church
in Ireland ought to be reduced.  This resolution went no further in
words, as it will be seen, than to ask for a reduction of the revenues
of that Church on the ground that it had already more funds than were
required for the full discharge of its duties among those who attended
its ministrations.  But then the resolution also assumed the right of
the State to institute an inquiry into the application of the revenues
and the needs of the surrounding population, and would necessarily
carry with it the assertion of the principle that the Irish State
Church existed only to minister to the wants of the Protestants of
Ireland.  It is clear that if once this principle were recognized by
the State the whole theory of the Established Church in Ireland could
no longer be maintained.  That theory was that the State had a right to
uphold and a duty to perform in the maintenance of a Protestant
Establishment in Ireland for the purpose of converting to its doctrines
that vast majority of the Irish population who could not be driven,
even at the bayonet's point, to attend the {214} services conducted by
a Protestant pastor.  Only a few years after this time the great
statesman who was afterwards to obtain from Parliament the
disestablishment of the Irish Church was arguing, in his earliest
published work, that the fewer the Protestants in Ireland the greater
was the necessity for the State to be lavish of its money with the
object of converting the outer population of Ireland to the established
religion.  Mr. Ward, in his speech, set himself to make it clear to the
House of Commons that the collection of tithes in Ireland was, at that
time, the principal cause of the disturbance and disaffection which
brought so much calamity on the unhappy island, and prevented any
possibility of its becoming a loyal part of the British dominions.  He
showed by facts and figures that the opposition to the collection of
tithes was not any longer confined to the Catholic population alone,
but had spread among the Protestants of dissenting denominations, and
was showing itself in the North of Ireland, as well as in the provinces
of the South and the West and the Midlands.  He pointed to the fact
that it was found necessary to maintain in Ireland, for the purpose of
collecting the tithes, an army larger than that which England needed
for the maintenance of her Indian Empire, and that, nevertheless, it
was found impossible to collect the tithes in Ireland, and that the
Government could suggest nothing better than a project for the payment
of the tithes out of the pockets of the national taxpayer.  Mr. Ward
made it clear to the House of Commons that the revenues of the State
Church in Ireland were not distributed with anything like a view to the
fair and equal remuneration of its clergy.  In numbers of cases the
clergy of the higher ranks had enormous incomes, quite out of all
proportion to any duties they were even supposed to perform, while the
clergymen who actually did the work were, as a general rule, screwed
down to a pitiful rate of payment which hardly kept soul and body
together.  Twenty pounds a year was not an uncommon stipend among the
curates who did the hard work, while an annual revenue of sixty pounds
was regarded as something like opulence.  Where the curate received his
thirty {215} or forty pounds a year or less, the incumbent usually had
his two thousand a year, and in many instances much more.  As we said
before, the incumbent deriving a rich revenue from his office was often
habitually an absentee, who left the whole of his work to be performed,
as best it might be done, by the curate, half starving on a miserable
pittance.  Mr. Ward made out a case which must have produced some
impression on any Parliamentary assembly, and could hardly fail to find
attentive listeners and ready sympathy among the members of the first
reformed House of Commons.

[Sidenote: 1834--George Grote]

The motion was seconded by a remarkable man in a remarkable speech.
Mr. George Grote, afterwards famous as the historian of Greece, was one
of the new members of Parliament.  He was a man of a peculiar type, of
an intellectual order which we do not usually associate with the
movement of the political world, but which is, nevertheless, seldom
without its representative in the House of Commons.  Grote was one of
the small group of men who were, at that time, described as the
philosophical Radicals.  He acknowledged the influence of Bentham; he
was a friend and associate of the elder and the younger Mill; he was a
banker by occupation, a scholar and an author by vocation; a member of
Parliament from a sense of duty.  Grote, no doubt, was sometimes
mistaken in the political conclusions at which he arrived, but he
deserved the praise which Macaulay has justly given to Burke, that he
was always right in his point of view.  With Grote a political measure
was right or wrong only as it helped or hindered the spread of
education, human happiness, and peace.  He was one of the earliest and
most persevering advocates of the ballot system at elections, and
during his short Parliamentary career he made the ballot the subject of
an annual motion.  Some of us can still well remember George Grote in
his much later days, and can bear testimony to the fact that, to quote
the thrilling words of Schiller, he reverenced in his manhood the
dreams of his youth.  We can remember how steady an opponent he was of
slavery, and how his sympathies went with the cause of the North during
the {216} great American civil war.  One can hardly suppose that
Grote's style as a speaker was well suited to the ways of the House of
Commons, but it is certain that whenever he spoke he always made a
distinct impression on the House.  Some of us who can remember John
Stuart Mill addressing that same assembly at a later day, can probably
form an idea of the influence exercised on the House by the man who
seemed to be thinking his thoughts aloud rather than trying to win over
votes or to catch encouraging applause.  Grote's speech on Ward's
motion brought up one view of the Irish Church which especially
deserved consideration.  Grote dealt with the alarms and the
convictions of those who were insisting that to acknowledge any right
of Parliament to interfere with the Irish State Church would be to
sound in advance the doom of the English State Church as well.  He
pointed out that, whatever difference of opinion there might be as to
the general principle of a State Establishment, the case of the two
Churches, the English and the Irish, must be argued upon grounds which
had nothing in common.  Every argument which could be used, and must be
used, for the State Church of England was an argument against the State
Church in Ireland.  The State Church of England was the Church to which
the vast majority of the English people belonged.  It ministered to
their spiritual needs, it was associated with their ways, their hopes,
their past, and their future.  If an overwhelming majority in any
country could claim the right, by virtue of their majority, to set up
and maintain any institution, the Protestant population of England
could claim a right to set up a State Church.  But every word that
could be said in support of the English State Church was a word of
condemnation and of sentence on the State Church in Ireland.  The Irish
State Church was the Church of so small a minority that, when allowance
had been made for the numbers of dissenting Protestants in Ireland, it
was doubtful whether one in every twelve of the whole population could
be claimed as a worshipper in the temples maintained and endowed by
law.  Moreover, the Irish State Church was a badge of conquest, and was
{217} regarded as such by the whole Celtic population of the island.
The tithe exacted from the Irish Catholic farmer was not merely a
tribute exacted by the conqueror, but was also a brand of degradation
on the faith and on the nationality of the Irish Celt who was called
upon to meet the demand.  The student of history will note with some
interest that, at a day much nearer to our own, the Lord Stanley whose
name we shall presently have to bring up in connection with this debate
on Mr. Ward's motion made use, in the House of Lords, of an appeal
which suggested the idea that he had not heard or had forgotten George
Grote's speech on which we have just been making comment.  Not very
long before his death Lord Derby, as he had then become, was declaiming
in the House of Lords against the proposal to disestablish the Irish
State Church, and he warned the House that if the fabric of the Irish
Church were to be touched by a destroying hand it would be in vain to
hope that the destruction of the English State Church could long be
averted.  [Sidenote: 1834--Lord Derby]  Lord Derby had always a very
happy gift of quotation, and he made on this occasion a striking
allusion.  He reminded the House of that thrilling scene in Scott's
"Guy Mannering" where the gypsy woman suddenly presents herself on the
roadside to the elder, the Laird of Ellangowan and some of his friends,
and, complaining of the eviction of her own people from their
homesteads, bids the gentlefolk take care that their own roof-trees are
not put in danger by what they had done.  Lord Derby made use of this
passage as a warning to the prelates and peers of England that, if they
allowed the Irish State Church to be disestablished, the statelier
fabric of their own Church in England might suffer by the example.  It
was pointed out at the time, by some of those who commented on Lord
Derby's speech, that George Grote had answered this argument by
unconscious anticipation, and had shown that the best security of the
English State Church was the fact that it rested on a foundation
totally different from that of the State Church in Ireland.

The Government were greatly embarrassed by all this {218} discussion as
to the condition, the work, and the character of the Establishment in
Ireland.  Lord Grey, whose whole nature inclined him to move along the
path of progress with slow, steady, and stately steps, began to chafe
against the eagerness with which the more Radical reformers were
endeavoring to hurry on the political movement.  It was necessary that
the Government should announce a purpose of one kind or another--should
either give a general sanction to the inquiry into the claims and
merits of the Irish Church, or declare themselves against any movement
of reform in that direction.  It was found hardly possible for the
Government to ally themselves with the followers of old-fashioned
Toryism, and it soon began to be rumored that Lord Grey could only keep
on the reforming path at the cost of losing some of his most capable
colleagues.  Before long it was made publicly known that the rumors
were well founded.  Lord Stanley and Sir James Graham resigned their
places in the Ministry.  Graham afterwards held office in more than one
Administration that might well be called Liberal, but Lord Stanley
passed the greater part of his Parliamentary life in the ranks of
uncompromising Toryism.  He had begun his public career as an
enthusiastic champion of Parliamentary reform, and he was the
figure-head of reform again at a much later date, but on all other
questions he remained a steadfast and a most eloquent advocate of
genuine Tory principles.  It may fittingly be mentioned here that the
existence of the Radical party, recognized as such and regarded as
distinct from the ordinary Liberals, began with the debates on the
State Church in Ireland.  The passing of the Reform Bill divided the
Whigs and Tories into Liberals and Conservatives, and the discussions
on the Irish Church divided those who had once been Whigs into Liberals
and Radicals.

[Sidenote: 1834--King William and the Irish State Church]

Meanwhile poor old King William was greatly concerned by the attacks
which were made upon the State Church in Ireland.  William the Fourth
had a simple sort of piety of his own, and was perhaps somewhat like
the man whom Doctor Johnson commended because, whatever {219} follies
or offences he might have committed, he never passed a church without
taking off his hat.  The King knew little or nothing, we may well
suppose, about the Irish Church and the way in which it fulfilled, or
had any chance of fulfilling, its sacred office.  But he took off his
hat to it as a Church, and, more than that, he shed tears and
positively blubbered over its hard fate in having to stand so many
attacks from its enemies.  The King received, on one of his birthdays,
a delegation from the prelates of the Irish Church, and to them he
poured out his assurances that nothing should ever induce him to
abandon that Church to its ungodly foes.  He reminded the prelates that
he was growing an old man, that his departure from this world must be
near at hand, that he had nothing left now to live for but the rightful
discharge of his duties as a Protestant sovereign, and he bade them to
believe that the tears which were bedewing his countenance were the
tears of heartfelt sympathy and sorrow.  The King nevertheless did not
get into any quarrel with his ministers on the subject of the Irish
Church, and when any documents bearing on the question were presented
to him for signature he ended by affixing his name and did not allow
his tears to fall upon it and blot it out.  The Duke of Cumberland,
too, stood by the Irish Church to the best of his power.  A member of
the House of Lords has a privilege which is not accorded to a member of
the House of Commons--he can enter on the books of the House his
written protest against the passing of any measure which he has not
been able to keep out of legislation.  The Duke of Cumberland entered
his protest against some of the resolutions taken with regard to the
Irish State Church, and he declared that the sovereign who affirmed
such resolves must do so in defiance of the coronation oath.  That
coronation oath had not been brought into much prominence since the
days of George the Third, when it used to be relied upon as an
impassable barrier to many a great measure of political justice and
mercy.  The Duke of Cumberland was not exactly the sort of man who
could quicken it anew into an animating influence, and King {220}
William did what his ministers advised him to do, and the world went on
its way.  The King, however, liked his ministers none the more because
he did not see his way to quarrel with them when they advised him to
make some concessions to public feeling on the subject of the Irish
tithes.  Thus far, indeed, the concessions were not very great, and the
important fact for this part of our history is only that the tithe
question brought up the far more momentous question which called into
doubt the right to existence of the Irish State Church itself.  The
Government went no farther, for the time, than to offer the appointment
of a commission to inquire into the incidence and the levying of the
tithes, and endeavored to evade the question of appropriation, that is,
the question as to the right of Parliament to decide the manner in
which the revenues of the Irish State Church ought to be employed.  The
tithe question itself was finally settled for England before it came to
be finally settled for Ireland.  But its settlement involved no such
consequences to the English State Church as it did to the State Church
in Ireland.  For our present purposes it is enough to record the fact
that the earliest clear indications of the national policy, which in a
later generation disestablished the Irish State Church, were given by
the first Reform Parliament.  Meanwhile the controversy raised as to
the position of the Irish Establishment had had the effect of
disturbing Lord Grey, who did not like to be driven too rapidly along
the path of reform; of greatly angering the sovereign, who grumbled all
the more because he could not openly resist; and of dissatisfying men
like Ward and Grote and Lord Durham, and even members of the Cabinet
like Lord John Russell, who could not regard mere slowness as a virtue
when there was an obvious wrong to be redressed.




[Sidenote: 1832--The poor-law system]

The spirit of reform was impelling Lord Grey's Government in other
directions as well as in those which led to the abolition of slavery in
the Colonies, the improved conditions of the factory works and the
introduction of some better method for the collecting of tithes.  The
state of the poor laws all over the country had long been attracting the
attention of thoughtful, philanthropic, and at the same time practical
men.  The administration of relief to the poor was still conducted, up to
Lord Grey's reforming Administration, on the same general principle as
that which had been embodied in the famous statute of Queen Elizabeth.
The manner in which that principle had been working during the
intervening centuries was only another illustration of Burke's maxim
about systems founded on the heroic virtues to which we have lately made
reference in this volume.  The statute of Elizabeth was based on the
principle that the State, or at least the local authorities, ought to
find relief for all the deserving poor.  The duty of making provision for
the deserving poor was left in the hands of those who managed the affairs
of the parishes, of whom the local clergy and magistrates were the
principal personages.  The means had to be furnished by the taxpayers,
and the influential men of each parish were left to decide as to the
claims and the deserts of the applicants.  There was no regular body
answerable to public opinion, nor was there indeed any practical way in
which the public of a district could very effectively express itself.
Nothing could be better arranged for the development of that benevolent
spirit which Sydney Smith describes as common to all humanity, and {222}
under the influence of which no sooner does A hear that B is in distress
than he thinks C ought at once to relieve him.  Men and women had only to
go and say that they were in distress, and some influential persons in
the neighborhood were sure to find that the easiest way of doing a
benevolent act was to provide them with orders for parochial relief
inside or outside the workhouse.  There seemed to be a sort of easy-going
impression prevailing everywhere that when a man or a woman or a family
had once been set down for relief from the rates the enrolment ought to
endure as a kind of property for life, and even as an inheritance for
future generations.  The grant of parish relief under the old ways has
been humorously likened to a State pension, which, when it has once been
given, is never supposed to be revoked during the lifetime of the
privileged pensioner.  But the presumption in the case of those relieved
by the parish had a still more abiding efficacy, for it was assumed that
if a man got parish relief for himself and his family the beneficent
endowment was to pass onward from generation to generation.  It is quite
certain that whole races of paupers began to grow up in the country, one
family depending on the rates engendering another family, who were
likewise to be dependent on the rates.  Thus the vice of lazy and
shiftless poverty was bequeathed from pauper sire to son.  In the case of
the ordinary man or woman there was no incitement to industry and
perseverance.  The idle pauper would be fed in any case, and no matter
how hard he worked at the ordinary labor within his reach he could only
hope to be poorly fed.  Indeed, even the man who had an honest
inclination for honest labor was very much in the condition of the Irish
cottier tenant, described many years afterwards by John Stuart Mill as
one who could neither benefit by his industry nor suffer by his

[Sidenote: 1832--Some defects in the poor-law system]

The system may be said without exaggeration to have put a positive
premium on immorality among the poorer class of women in a district, for
an unmarried girl who had pauper offspring to show was sure to receive
the liberal benefit of parochial relief.  Pity was easily aroused for
{223} her youth, her fall, her deserted condition when her lover or
betrayer had taken himself off to some other district.  Any tale of
deceived innocence was readily believed, and so far as physical comforts
go the unmarried mother was generally better off than the poor toiling
and virtuous wife of the hard-worked laborer who found her family growing
and her husband's wages without any increase.  Then, of course, there was
all manner of jobbery, and a certain kind of corruption among parish
officials and the local tradesmen and employers of labor generally, which
grew to be an almost recognized incident of the local institutions.
Labor could be got on cheaper terms than the ordinary market rates if the
employers could have men or women at certain seasons of the year whom the
parish was willing to maintain in idleness for the rest of the time.
Small contracts of all kinds were commonly made, in this sort of fashion,
between parish officials and local employers, and the whole system of
relief seemed to become converted into a corrupting influence, pervading
the social life and showing its effects in idleness, immorality, and an
infectious disease of pauperism.  Owing to the many misinterpretations of
the laws of settlement it was often easy for a rich and populous district
to fling much of its floating pauperism on some poorer region, and thus
it frequently happened that the more poverty-stricken the parish the
greater was the proportion of unsettled pauperism for which it had to
provide.  In many districts the poorer classes of ratepayers were
scarcely a degree better off than the actual paupers whom they were taxed
to support.  Thus many a struggling family became pauperized in the end
because of the increase in the rates which the head of the family could
no longer pay, and the exhausted breadwinner, having done his best to
keep himself and his family independent, had at last to eat the bread of
idleness from parish relief, or to starve with his family by the

Things had come to such a pass indeed that many earnest and capable
observers, like Lord Brougham, Mr. Nassau Senior, and Miss Martineau,
were beginning to advocate the doctrine that no remedy could be found for
{224} the system of legalized poor relief short of its total abolition.
It was gravely contended by many reformers, whose guiding spirit was pure
love of humanity, that the best course for the Government to take would
be to abolish the poor-relief system altogether, and leave the really
deserving poor to the mercy of private benevolence.  By such a measure,
it was contended, private charity would be left to find out its own, and
would, before long, find out its own, and the charity thus given would
carry with it no demoralizing effect, but would be bestowed, as all true
charity is bestowed, with the object of enabling those whom it helped to
help themselves after a while.  The owner of an estate, it was argued,
can easily find out where there is genuine distress among those who
depend upon him, and can sustain them through their time of need, so that
when their hour of sickness or enforced idleness is over they may be able
to begin again with renewed energy, and work with the honest purpose of
making themselves independent.  It was urged that the operation of the
legalized poor law relief could only create new pauperism wherever its
unwholesome touch was felt.  It would impress on the well-inclined and
the industrious the futility of honest and persevering endeavor, inasmuch
as idleness could get itself better cared for than laborious poverty.
Idleness and immorality, it was argued, were well housed and fed, while
honest independence and virtue were left outside in cold and hunger.

[Sidenote: 1832-33--A commission on poor-law relief]

The study of political economy was even already beginning to be a part of
the education of most men who took any guiding place or even any
observant interest in the national life.  Writers who dealt with such
subjects were beginning to find readers among the general public.  Some
of the members of Lord Grey's own Administration had taken a close
interest in such questions.  The whole subject of poor relief and its
distribution was one of the earliest which came under the consideration
of the Liberal Government after the passing of the Reform Bill.  It was
clear that something would soon have to be done, and, as the Whig
ministers had a good deal of other work on their {225} hands, the natural
course, at such a time, was to appoint a commission which should inquire
into the whole system of poor-law relief, and report to the Government as
to the best means for its reorganization.  Such a commission was
appointed and set at once to its work.  Among the commissioners and the
assistant-commissioners nominated for the purpose were some men whose
names are well remembered in our own days.  One of those was Mr. Nassau
Senior, a man of great ability and wide practical information, who
distinguished himself in many other fields of literary work, as well as
that which belonged to what may be called the literature of pure
economics.  Another was Mr. Edwin (afterwards Sir Edwin) Chadwick, who
was a living and an active presence, until a very short time ago, among
those who devoted themselves to the study and the propagation of what are
called social science principles, and whose work was highly valued by so
well qualified a critic as John Stuart Mill.  The commission made careful
inquiry into the operation of the poor-law relief system, and presented a
report which marked an epoch in our social history, and might well have a
deep interest even for the casual student of to-day.  The result of the
inquiries made was such as to satisfy the commissioners that the
administration of the poor law had increased the evils of pauperism,
wherever it found them already in existence, and had created and fostered
evils of the same kind, even in regions which had not known them before
they were touched by its contagion.  The report of the commissioners
pronounced that the existing system of poor law was "destructive to the
industry and honesty and forethought of the laborers, to the wealth and
morality of the employers of labor and the owners of property, and to the
mutual good-will and happiness of all."  This may be thought a very
sweeping condemnation, but the more closely the evidence is studied the
more clearly it will be seen that where the poor-relief system had any
effect worth taking into calculation this was the sort of effect it
produced.  The real objects of the legalized poor-law relief system were
well and even liberally described in the report of the {226}
commissioners.  The object of poor relief, as the commissioners defined
it, should be to make provision for that proportion, to be found in
almost every community, which is plunged into such a condition of
distress that it never can hope to be self-supporting again, and for that
more fluctuating proportion made up of those who at the time are unable
to support themselves, but whom some temporary relief may enable to
return to their former condition of independence.  In each class of cases
it ought to be made equally clear, before public relief were called in,
that those in distress, continuous or temporary, had no near relatives in
a condition to afford them reasonable assistance without undue sacrifice.
Of course it was understood that these conditions included the men and
women who, owing to some temporary lack of employment, were actually
unable to find the means of living by their own honest labor.  The ideas
of the commissioners were not pedantically economical in their range, nor
did they insist that public relief must be given only as the reward of
personal integrity when visited by undeserved misfortune.  It was freely
admitted that even where men and women had allowed themselves, by
idleness or carelessness, to sink into actual poverty, it was better to
give them temporary relief at the public expense than allow them to take
up with the ways of crime, or leave them to pay the penalty of their
wrongdoings by death from starvation.  But it was strictly laid down that
a healthy system of public relief was to help men and women for a time,
in order that they might be able to help themselves once again, as soon
as possible, and to make provision for those who had done their work and
could do no more, and who had no near relatives in a condition to keep
them from starvation.  The report of the commissioners pointed out that
the existing system "collects and chains down the laborers in masses,
without any reference to the demand for their labor; that, while it
increases their numbers, it impairs the means by which the fund for their
subsistence is to be reproduced, and impairs the motives for using those
means which it suffers to exist; and that every year and every day these
evils are becoming {227} more overwhelming in magnitude and less
susceptible of cure."

[Sidenote: 1833--Plans to improve the relief system]

The passages which we have quoted are taken from the recommendations of
Mr. Chadwick.  He goes on to say that, "of those evils, that which
consists merely in the amount of the rates--an evil great when considered
by itself, but trifling when compared with the moral effects which I am
deploring--might be much diminished by the combination of workhouses, and
by substituting a rigid administration and contract management for the
existing scenes of neglect, extravagance, jobbery, and fraud."  Mr.
Chadwick points out that "if no relief were allowed to be given to the
able-bodied or to their families, except in return for adequate labor or
in a well-regulated workhouse, the worst of the existing sources of
evil--the allowance system--would immediately disappear; a broad line
would be drawn between the independent laborers and the paupers; the
numbers of paupers would be immediately diminished, in consequence of the
reluctance to accept relief on such terms, and would be still further
diminished in consequence of the increased fund for the payment of wages
occasioned by the diminution of rates; and would ultimately, instead of
forming a constantly increasing proportion of our whole population,
become a small, well-defined part of it, capable of being provided for at
an expense less than one-half of the present poor rates."  And finally it
was urged that "it is essential to every one of these improvements that
the administration of the poor laws should be intrusted, as to their
general superintendence, to one central authority with extensive powers;
and, as to their details, to paid officers, acting under the
consciousness of constant superintendence and strict responsibility."  On
these reports and recommendations the new measure for the reorganization
of the poor-law system was founded.  The main objects of the measure were
to divide these countries, for poor-relief purposes, into areas of
regular and, in a certain sense, of equal proportions, so that the whole
burden of poverty should not be cast for relief on one particular
district, while a neighboring and much richer {228} district was able to
escape from its fair measure of liability; to have the relief
administered not by local justices, or parish clergymen, but by
representative bodies duly elected and responsible to public opinion; and
by the creation of one great central board charged with the duty of
seeing to the proper administration of the whole system.  Thus, it will
be observed that the main principle of the Reform Bill, the principle of
representation, had been already accepted by statesmanship as the central
idea of a department of State which had nothing to do with the struggles
of political parties.

[Sidenote: 1834--Passage of the Poor-law Bill]

The measure when it came before Parliament met, of course, with strong
opposition, first in the House of Commons and then in the House of Lords.
Much of the opposition came, no doubt, from men of old-fashioned ways,
who dreaded and hated any changes in any institutions to which they had
been accustomed, and who held that even pauperism itself acquired a
certain sanctity from the fact that it had been fostered and encouraged
by the wisdom of so many succeeding generations.  Some of the opposition,
however, was inspired by feelings of a more purely sentimental, and
therefore perhaps of a more respectable order.  It was urged that the new
system, if carried into law, would bear hardly on the deserving as well
as the undeserving people; that the workhouse test would separate the
husband from wife, and the father from the children; and, above all, that
certain clauses of the new measure would leave the once innocent girl who
had been led astray by some vile tempter to bear the whole legal
responsibility as well as the public shame of her sin.  It is not
necessary for us now to go over at any length the long arguments which
were brought up on both sides of the controversy.  Many capable and
high-minded observers were carried away by what may be called the
sentimental side of the question, and forgot the enormous extent of the
almost national corruption which the measure was striving to remove, in
their repugnance to some of the evils which it did not indeed create, but
which it failed to abolish.  One weakness common to nearly all the
arguments employed against the {229} measure came from the facility there
was for putting out of sight altogether, during such a process of
reasoning, the fact that the daily and hourly effect of the existing
system was to force the deserving and hard-working poor to sink into that
very pauperism which it was the object of all law-makers to diminish, or
to abolish altogether.  The wit of man could not devise any system of
poor relief which should never go wrong in its application, should never
bear harshly on men and women who deserved, and were striving for, an
honest and independent subsistence.

The Bill, however, was passed in the House of Commons by a large
majority.  It was carried after a hard fight through the House of Lords,
and received the royal assent in August, 1834.  It should be said that
the Duke of Wellington, although usually strong and resolute as a party
man, had good sense and fair spirit enough to make him a warm supporter
of the measure, despite the vehement protestations of many of his own
habitual supporters.  Since that time it seems to be admitted by common
consent that the measure has accomplished all the beneficial results
which its promoters anticipated from it, and has, in many of its
provisions, worked even better than some of its supporters had expected.
Of course, our poor-law system has since that time been always undergoing
modifications of one kind or another, and public criticism is continually
pointing to the necessity for further improvement.  We hear every now and
then of cases in which, owing to local maladministration, some deserving
men and women, honestly struggling to keep their heads above pauperism,
are left to perish of hunger or cold.  We read well-authenticated, only
too well-authenticated, instances of actual starvation taking place in
some wealthy district of a great city.  We hear of parochial funds
squandered and muddled away; of the ratepayers' money wasted in
extravagance, and worse than extravagance; of miserable courts and alleys
where the deserving and undeserving poor are alike neglected and uncared
for.  But it would be utterly impossible that some such defects as these
should not be found in the management of any system worked by {230} human
mechanism for such a purpose as the relief of a great nation's poverty.
The predominant fact is that we have a system which is based on the
representative principle, which is open to the inspection and the
criticism of the whole country, and which frankly declares itself the
enemy of professional beggary and the helper of the poverty which is
honestly striving to help itself.  Much remains yet to be done for the
improvement of our national system of poor relief, but it has, at least,
to be said that the reformed Parliament did actually establish a system
founded on just principles and responsible to public judgment.

[Sidenote: 1833--The East India Company's charter]

Another of the great reforms which was accomplished in this age of reform
found its occasion when the time came for the renewal of the East India
Company's charter.  The Government and the Houses of Parliament had to
deal with the future administration of one of the greatest empires the
world had ever seen, brought together by events and forces the like of
which had not been at work in any previous chapter of the world's
history.  We have already traced, in this book, the growth of the East
India Company's possessions, a growth brought about by a combination of
the qualities which belonged to the Alexanders and the Caesars, and of
the qualities also which go to the expansion of peaceful commerce and the
opening up of markets for purely industrial enterprise.  The charter of
the Company had been renewed by legislation at long intervals, and the
first reformed Parliament now found itself compelled to settle the
conditions under which the charter should be renewed for another period
of twenty years.  Mr. Molesworth justly remarks that "it was a fortunate
circumstance that the Reform Bill had passed, and a Reform Parliament
been elected, before the question of the renewal of the Company's charter
was decided; for otherwise the directors of this great Company and other
persons interested in the maintenance of the monopolies and abuses
connected with it would in all probability have returned to Parliament,
by means of rotten boroughs, a party of adherents sufficiently large to
have effectually prevented the Government and the House of Commons from
dealing with {231} this great question in the manner in which the
interests of England and India alike demanded that it should be dealt

Up to the time at which we have now arrived the East India Company had an
almost absolute monopoly of the whole Chinese trade, as well as the
Indian trade, and a control over the administration of India such as
might well have gratified the ambition of a despotic monarch.  The last
renewal of the Company's charter had been in 1813, and it was to run for
twenty years, so that Lord Grey's Government found themselves charged
with the task of making arrangements for its continuance, or its
modifications, or its abolition.  Some distinction had already been
effected between the powers of the Company as the ruler of a vast Empire
under the suzerainty of England, and its powers as a huge commercial
corporation, or what we should now call a syndicate, but the company
still retained its monopoly of the India and China trade.  In the mean
time, however, the principles of political economy had been asserting a
growing influence over the public intelligence, and the question was
coming to be asked, more and more earnestly, why a private company should
be allowed the exclusive right of conducting the trade between England
and India and China.  An agitation against the monopoly began, as was but
natural, among the great manufacturing and commercial towns in the North
of England.  Miss Martineau, in her "History of the Thirty Years' Peace,"
ascribes the beginning of this movement to a once well-known merchant and
philanthropist of Liverpool, the late Mr. William Rathbone, whom some of
us can still remember having known in our earlier years.  Miss Martineau
had probably good reasons for making such a statement, and, at all
events, nothing is more likely than that such a movement began in
Liverpool, and began with such a man.  In London the directors and
supporters of the East India Company were too powerful to give much
chance to a hostile movement begun in the metropolis, and it needed the
energy, the commercial independence, and the advanced opinions of the
northern cities to give it an effective start.


When the time came for the renewal of the Company's charter, the
Government had made up their mind that the renewal should be conditional
on the abolition of the commercial monopoly, and that the trade between
the dominions of King William and the Eastern populations should be
thrown open to all the King's subjects.  The measure passed through both
Houses of Parliament with but little opposition.  Mr. Molesworth is
perfectly right in his remarks as to the different sort of reception
which would have been given to such a measure if the charter had come up
for renewal before the Act of Reform had abolished the nomination
boroughs and the various other sham constituencies.  But it is a striking
proof of the hold which the representative principle and the doctrines of
free-trade were already beginning to have on public opinion that the
monopoly of the East India Company should not have been able to make a
harder fight for its existence.  The wonder which a modern reader will be
likely to feel as he studies the subject now is, not that the monopoly
should have been abolished with so little trouble, but that rational men
should have admitted so long the possibility of any justification for its

The renewal of the Charter of the Bank of England gave an opportunity,
during the same session, for an alteration in the conditions under which
the Bank maintains its legalized position and its relations with the
State, and for a further reorganization of those conditions, which was in
itself a distinct advance in the commercial arrangements of the Empire.
Other modifications have taken place from time to time since those days,
and it is enough to say here that the alterations made by the first
reformed Parliament, at the impulse of Lord Grey and his colleagues, were
in keeping with the movement of the commercial spirit and went along the
path illumined by the growing light of a sound political economy.




[Sidenote: 1834--Retirement of Lord Grey]

Lord Grey was growing tired of the work of that Administration.  It had
been incessant work, and its great successes of later years had been
checkered by some disappointments, which, although not deep-reaching,
were irritating and disturbing.  Some of his most capable colleagues
had broken away from him, and he probably began to feel that the
reformers all over the country expected more of him than he saw his way
to accomplish.  In 1834 he asked to be relieved from the duties of his
office, and the King consented, probably with greater good-will than he
had felt in acceding to some of Lord Grey's previous requests, and
accordingly Lord Grey ceased to be Prime Minister.  With his
resignation of office Lord Grey passes out of this history and takes an
abiding place in the Parliamentary history of his country.  He can
hardly be called a great statesman, for he had been mainly instrumental
in bringing to success and putting into legislative form the ideas of
greater men, but his must be regarded as a distinguished and noble
figure among England's Parliamentary leaders.  He was especially suited
for the work which it was his proud fortune to accomplish at the zenith
of his power, for no one could be better fitted than he for the task of
discountenancing the wild alarms which were felt by so many belonging
to what were called the privileged classes at the thought of any
measures of reform which might disturb the existing order of things,
and lead to red ruin and the breaking-up of laws.  On Lord Grey's
retirement he was succeeded as Prime Minister by Lord Melbourne, who
had previously been Home Secretary.  Lord Melbourne might have been
thought just the sort of {234} person with whom King William could
easily get on, because such a Prime Minister was not likely to vex his
sovereign's unwilling ear by too many demands for rapid and
far-reaching reform.  Melbourne was a thoroughly easy, not to say lazy,
man.  He was certainly not wanting in intellect, he had some culture,
he was a great reader of books and a great lover of books, and he was
often only too glad to escape into literary talk and literary gossip
from discussions on political questions and measures to be introduced
into Parliament.  He was fond of society, made himself generally
agreeable to women, and was usually well acquainted with the passing
scandals of high social life.

[Sidenote: 1834--Peel to be Premier]

One might, indeed, have thought that such a man was just the minister
in whom King William would find a congenial companion and adviser.  But
the truth was that the King had grown tired of the Whig statesmen, and
had long been looking out for an opportunity to get rid of them on easy
terms.  Perhaps he did not quite like the idea of telling a man of Lord
Grey's stately demeanor that he wished to dispense with his services
and saw in Lord Melbourne a minister who could be approached on any
subject without much sensation of awe.  However that may be, the King
soon found what seemed to him a satisfactory opportunity for ridding
himself of the presence of his Whig advisers.  Lord Althorp was
suddenly raised to the House of Lords by the death of his father.  Earl
Spencer, and of course some rearrangement of the Ministry became
necessary, as it would not be possible that the Chancellor of the
Exchequer should have a ministerial place anywhere but in the House
which has the levying of the taxes and the spending of the money.  When
Lord Melbourne came to advise with his sovereign on the subject the
King informed him, in the most direct and off-hand manner, that he
contemplated a much more complete rearrangement than Lord Melbourne had
suggested, and, in fact, that he had made up his mind to get rid of the
present Government altogether.  Lord Melbourne, of course, bowed to the
will of his master, and, indeed, was not the sort of man to take a
{235} dismissal from office greatly to heart, believing it, no doubt,
quite likely that some restoration to office might await him, and
possibly feeling that life had some enjoyments left for him even though
he were never again to be Prime Minister.

The King determined to send for Sir Robert Peel and intrust him with
the task of forming an Administration.  William had, as might naturally
be expected of him, consulted in the first instance with the Duke of
Wellington.  Wellington, with the practical good sense which was a part
of his character, had told the sovereign that at such a time it was
futile to think of calling upon any one to become Prime Minister who
had not a seat in the House of Commons.  As the King was resolved to
have a new Administration, Peel was obviously the man to be intrusted
with the task of forming it, and therefore the King sent for him at
once.  But Peel was not in England; he had gone with his wife to Italy,
and, as we know from his own published letters, he had not entered into
any communication, even with the Duke of Wellington, as to the probable
movements of political affairs in his absence, not supposing for a
moment that any emergency could arise at home which might make it
necessary for him to cut short his holiday and return to the working
ground of Westminster.  A special messenger had to be sent off at once
to convey to Peel the wishes of his sovereign, and one has to stop and
think over things a little before he can quite realize what it meant in
those days, which seem so near our own, to send a special message from
London to the heart of Italy.  Peel was at Rome, and had just returned
with his wife one night from a great ball given by a celebrated Italian
Princess, when he received the letter which urged him to come back and
become for the first time Prime Minister of England.  Peel's mind was
at once made up.  That sense of duty which always guided his movements
dictated his reply.  There was for him no question of personal pride or
ambition to be gratified, or of any graceful effort to affect the ways
of one who modestly shrinks from a task beyond his power.  He saw that
his sovereign needed {236} his immediate services, and that was enough
for him.  He and his wife were just on the eve of what had promised to
be a delightful visit to Naples, but the visit to Naples was put off
without a second thought to the indefinite future, and the statesman
and his wife set out at once on their journey to London.  The
preparations for such a journey at that time were such as might give
pause even to an experienced explorer in our own easy-going and
luxurious age.  Sir Robert Peel, of course, had to travel by private
carriage.  He had to traverse more than one State in order to reach the
sea at Calais.  The roads were dangerous in many places, and Peel had
to take some well-armed servants with him.  He had to go well provided
with the most elaborate official passports.  He had even to obtain a
special passport for himself, lest, in the event of his wife finding
the constant travel too much for her, she might have to take rest at
some town on the way, and Peel, if he attempted to continue his
journey, might be stopped somewhere until he had satisfactorily
accounted for the disappearance of the lady who was described in the
original passports as his travelling companion and his wife.  The
journey was interrupted by unforeseen obstacles in several places.  At
one spot the rising of a river relentlessly barricaded the progress of
the travellers for many hours.  At another point a bridge was broken
down.  In France, Peel and his wife were brought to a stand at the city
of Lyons because that city happened just then to be in a state of
siege, and the travellers had to furnish satisfactory evidence that
they were not emissaries of some revolutionary propaganda.  It took
twelve days to cover the distance from Rome to Dover, and, except for
such delays as have just been mentioned, our travellers had gone on
night and day without stopping.  Even when they arrived at Dover, Peel
took no thought about rest, but journeyed on all night until he reached

[Sidenote: 1834--The difficulties that beset Peel]

Peel himself tells us in his memoirs that the long travel had at least
the advantage of giving him time enough to think out his course of
action and the best way of serving his sovereign and his country.  The
journey, he says, {237} allowed him to do this coolly and without
interruption.  He certainly had time enough for the purpose, but it
must have needed all Peel's strength of character to enable him to give
his mind up to such considerations during a course so toilsome, so
rugged, so dangerous, and often so rudely interrupted.  He arrived in
London at an early hour on the morning of December 9, 1834, and he set
off at once to present himself to the King, by whom, it need hardly be
said, he was very cordially welcomed.  The welcome became all the more
warm because he was willing to accept the important task which the King
desired to intrust to him, and would enter without delay on the work of
endeavoring to form a Ministry.  Now, in order to do justice to Peel's
patriotic purpose in undertaking this difficult task, we have to bear
in mind that he did not personally approve of the King's action in
breaking up the Melbourne Administration, or even of the manner in
which it had been broken up.  He knew well enough that the King had
grown tired of the Whig Ministry, but he did not think the King's
personal feelings were a complete justification for William's dismissal
of a set of men whom he had consented to place in power.  Peel did not
regard the mere necessity for a rearrangement consequent on Lord
Althorp's removal to the House of Lords as anything like a fitting
excuse for the break-up of the whole Government.  More than that, Peel
had no confidence in the chances of a new Conservative Administration
just then.  It was not encouraging to a statesman about to form his
first Cabinet to have to believe, as Peel did, that such a Government
would be left very much at the mercy of the Opposition, and in more
than one important or even impending question might at any time be
outvoted in the House of Commons.  None the less, however, was Peel
resolved to stand by his sovereign, who appeared to be in a difficulty.
The same sense of public duty, according to his conception of public
duty, which guided him at every great crisis of his political career
decided his action in this instance.  He set himself to the work of
forming an Administration in which he proposed to take under his own
charge the functions of {238} Prime Minister and the office of
Chancellor of the Exchequer.  He knew that he could count on the
support of the Duke of Wellington, and to Wellington he offered the
post of Secretary for Foreign Affairs, which was at once accepted.
Then he wrote to Sir James Graham and to Lord Stanley.  Both refused.
Sir James Graham, although he declined to accept office, promised Peel
all the support he could give consistently with his own judgment and
his own political views.  Lord Stanley wrote a letter to Peel which has
even still both historical and personal interest.  Its historical
interest consists in the clear exposition it contains of the various
questions which then divided the two great parties in the State.  Its
personal interest is found in the fact that it shows Lord Stanley as
the convinced reformer, who sees no possibility of his joining an
Administration about to be created by a statesman whose whole career
has been antagonistic to political reform.  Those of us who remember
the brilliant orator Lord Derby, by whom the office of Prime Minister
was three times held, find it hard to think of him as anything but a
steady-going Conservative at heart, and may be excused a shock of
surprise when they are bidden to remember that in 1834 the same man,
then Lord Stanley, declared that he could not serve under Peel because
Peel was not reformer enough all round to secure his co-operation.
Lord Stanley pointed out, in his letter, that between Peel and himself
there had been a complete difference of opinion on almost every great
public question except that which concerned the State Church, and he
reminded Peel that so lately as on the occasion of Lord Grey's
retirement from office the Duke of Wellington had seized the
opportunity of publicly condemning the whole policy of the Whig
Administration.  Under these circumstances Lord Stanley declared that,
in his opinion, it would be injurious to his own character and
injurious to the new Government as well if he were to accept the offer
of a place in such an Administration.  He had left Lord Grey's
Government because he differed with Lord Grey on one question alone,
which then had to be dealt with, and he could not join a Government of
which {239} Peel and Wellington were to be the leaders, from whom he
had differed on almost every great political question that had engaged
the attention of the country during his time.

[Sidenote: 1834--Peel forms his Ministry]

Peel had nothing for it but to go on with his task and form the best
Administration he could.  Lord Lyndhurst was once again to be Lord
Chancellor, and in such a man Peel certainly found a colleague who had
no superior either as a lawyer or a debater in the House of Lords.
Some of us who can still remember having heard Lord Lyndhurst deliver
long and powerful speeches in the House of Lords, compelling the
attention and the admiration of every listener when the orator himself
had long left his eightieth year behind him, will feel sure that Sir
Robert Peel's first Administration was adequately represented in the
hereditary chamber.  It is not necessary to introduce here a full list
of the new Ministry, but there are three names which call for special
mention.  These are the names of three young men who then entered
ministerial office for the first time, and with whom the world
afterwards became well acquainted, each according to his different way.
One was William Ewart Gladstone, who became Junior Lord of the
Treasury, and whom the world has long since recognized as the greatest
statesman and the greatest master of the House of Commons known to the
reign of Queen Victoria.  The second was Sidney Herbert, who was for
many years one of the most ready, accomplished, and brilliant debaters
in that House, and whose premature death cut short a career that had
seemed to be steadily rising from day to day.  The third was a man
whose political life has long since been forgotten, but whose name is
well remembered because of his success in quite a different
field--Winthrop Mackworth Praed, the charming author of delightful
verses, the founder of that English school of minstrelsy which sings
for the drawing-room and the club-room, the feasts and the fashions,
the joys and the well-ordered troubles of the West-End.  Sidney Herbert
and Praed were made joint Secretaries to the Board of Control, the
department established by Pitt for directing the Government of India.


The new Prime Minister believed that it would be in every way more
suitable to the convenience of the country that he and his colleagues
should submit their political claims and purposes to the judgment of
the constituencies by means of a general election.  A dissolution
accordingly took place, and Peel issued an address to the electors of
Tamworth, which will always be regarded as an important political
document.  Although Peel had been an opponent of the principles
embodied in the Reform Bill, no reformer in the country understood
better than he did the impossibility, at such a time, of carrying on
the work of the Government without a thorough understanding between the
Ministry and the Parliament, between the Parliament and the public
out-of-doors.  No one knew better than Peel that the time had gone by,
never to return, when an English minister could rule as an English
minister even so lately as in the days of Pitt had done, merely by the
approval and the support of a monarch without the approval and support
of a majority of the electors.  When, therefore, Peel prepared his
address to his Tamworth constituents he knew perfectly well that his
words were meant, not merely for the friendly ears of the little
constituency, but for the consideration of the whole country.  The same
feeling actuated the great statesman during the entire course of his
subsequent career, and the constituency of Tamworth had therefore the
advantage of being favored from time to time with election addresses
which form chapters of the highest interest and importance in the
historical literature of the country.  The address which he issued to
his constituents before the general election in December, 1834,
proclaimed, in fact, the opening of a new political era in England.

[Sidenote: 1834-34--Peel's Tamworth address]

Peel made frank announcement that, so far as he and his friends were
concerned, the controversy about Parliamentary reform had come to an
end.  By him and by them the decision of Parliament, which sanctioned
the introduction of the Reform Bill of 1832, was accepted as a final
settlement of the question.  Peel declared that he regarded it as "a
settlement which no friend to the peace {241} of the country would
attempt to disturb, either by direct or by insidious means."  Of course
it was not to be understood that Peel had any intention of describing
the Reform Act of 1832 as the last word of the Reformers' creed, and
the close of all possible controversy with regard to the construction
of the whole Parliamentary system.  Peel no more meant to convey any
idea of this kind than did Lord John Russell, when he used the word
finality in connection with the Reform Act, mean to convey the idea
that, according to his conviction, Parliament was never again to be
invited to extend the electoral franchise or to modify the conditions
under which the votes of the electors were to be given.  The
announcement which Peel made to the electors of Tamworth, and to the
world in general, was that he and his friends recognized the
establishment of the representative principle in English political
life, accepted the new order of things as a result of a lawful decree,
and separated themselves altogether from the antiquated Toryism which
enshrined the old ideas of government as a religious faith, and revered
the memory of the nomination boroughs, as the Jacobites revered the
memory of the Stuarts.  With the issue of Peel's Tamworth address in
the December of 1834, the antique Tory, the Tory who made Toryism of
the ante-reform days a creed and a cult, may be said to disappear
altogether from the ranks of practical English politicians.  The Tory
of the old school appears, no doubt, here and there through all
Parliamentary days down to our own time.  We saw him in both Houses of
Parliament as a heroic, unteachable opponent of Peel himself, of Bright
and Cobden, of Gladstone, and sometimes even of Lord Derby and of Lord
Salisbury, but he was merely a living protest against the succession of
new ideas, and was no longer to be counted as a practical politician.

Sir Robert Peel soon saw that he had not gained much by his appeal to
the constituencies.  The results of the general election showed that
the Conservatives had made a considerable addition to their numbers in
the House of Commons, but showed also that they were still in a
disheartening minority.  The return of the first Reform {242}
Parliament had, indeed, exhibited them for the time as completely down
in the dust, for there was a majority of more than three hundred
against them, and now the Liberal majority was hardly more than one
hundred.  A very hopeful Conservative, or a Conservative who had a
profound faith in the principles of antique Toryism, might fill himself
with the fond belief that this increase in the Conservative vote
foretold a gradual return to the good old days.  But Peel was too
practical a statesman to be touched for a moment by any such illusion.
He had fully expected some increase in the Tory vote.  He knew, as well
as anybody could know, that there had been some disappointment among
the more advanced and impatient reformers all over the country with the
achievements of the first reformed Parliament, and, indeed, with the
Act of Reform itself.  After victory in a long-contested political
battle there comes, almost as a matter of course, a season of relaxed
effort among the ranks of the victors, for which allowance would have
to be made in the mind of such a statesman as Peel, and, in this
instance, allowance also had to be made for a falling off in the
enthusiasm of those who had helped to carry the Reform movement to
success, and found themselves in the end left out of all its direct

[Sidenote: 1835--The Office of Speaker]

Peel saw at once that his Government must be absolutely at the mercy of
the Opposition when any question arose on which it suited the purposes
of the Opposition leaders to rally their whole forces around them and
take a party division.  So far as the ordinary business of the session
was concerned, the Ministry might get on well enough, for there must
have been a considerable amount of routine work which would not provoke
the Opposition to a trial of strength; but if chance or hostile
strategy should bring about at any moment a controversy which called
for a strictly party division, then the Government must go down.
Nothing can be more trying to a proud-spirited statesman in office than
the knowledge that he can only maintain his Government, from day to
day, because, for one reason or another, it does not suit the
convenience of the Opposition to press some vote which must leave him
and his colleagues {243} in a distinct minority.  Peel had not long to
wait before he found substantial evidence to justify his most gloomy

The new Parliament met on February 19, 1835.  The first trial of
strength was on the election of a new Speaker.  The former occupant of
the office having been put forward for re-election, the Government were
beaten by a majority of ten.  Now this was a very damaging event for
the ministers, and also an event somewhat unusual in the House of
Commons.  There is generally a sort of understanding, more or less
distinctly expressed, that the candidate put forward by the Government
for the office of Speaker is to be a man on whom both sides of the
House can agree.  It is obviously undesirable that there should be a
party struggle over the appointment of the official who is assumed to
hold an absolutely impartial position and is not supposed to be the
mere favorite of either side of the House.  In later years there has
often been a distinct arrangement, or, at all events, a clear
understanding, between the Government and the Opposition on this
subject, and a candidate is not put forward unless there is good reason
to assume that he will be acceptable to the two great political
parties.  In this instance no such understanding existed, or had been
sought for.  The Opposition set up a candidate of their own, and the
nominee of the Government was defeated.  There was, however, one
condition in this defeat which, although it did not take away from the
ominous character of the event, might, to a certain extent, have
relieved Peel from the necessity of regarding it as an absolute party
defeat.  The majority had been obtained for the Opposition by the
support of the Irish members who followed the leadership of Daniel
O'Connell, and thus Sir Robert Peel saw himself outvoted by a
combination of two parties, one of them regarded with peculiar disfavor
by the majority of the English public on both sides of the political
field.  It was something for the followers of the Government to be able
to say that their Liberal opponents had only been able to score a
success by the help of the unpopular Irish vote, and it became, in
fact, a new accusation against the {244} Liberals that they had traded
on the favor of O'Connell and his Irish followers.  From about this
time the Irish vote has always played an important part in all the
struggles of parties in the House of Commons; and it will be observed
that the English Party, whether Liberal or Tory, against which that
vote is directed is always ready with epithets of scorn and anger for
the English Party for whom that vote has been given.

[Sidenote: 1835--Peel and the Opposition]

Several other humiliations awaited Peel as the session went on.
Sometimes he was saved from defeat on a question of finance by the help
of the more advanced Liberals, who came to his assistance when certain
of his own Tory followers were prepared to desert him because his views
on some question of taxation were much too new-fashioned for their own
old-fashioned notions.  Every one who has paid any attention to
Parliamentary history can understand how distressing is the position of
a minister who has no absolute majority at his command, and how more
distressing still is the position of a minister who can only look to
chance disruptions and combinations of parties for any possible
majority.  Peel bore himself throughout all the trials of that most
trying time with indomitable courage and with unfailing skill.  Never
during his whole career did he prove himself more brilliant and more
full of resource than as the leader of what might be called an utterly
hopeless struggle.  The highest tribute has been paid to his
never-failing tact and temper during that trying ordeal by his
principal opponent in the House of Commons, Lord John Russell.  Russell
was now the leader of the Liberal Opposition in the House of Commons,
and the struggle of parties was once again illustrated by a sort of
continuous Parliamentary duel between two rival leaders.  The same
phenomenon had been seen, from time to time, in the days of Queen Anne
and in the days of the Georges; and it was seen again, at intervals,
during some of the most vivid and fascinating passages of Parliamentary
history in the reign of Queen Victoria.

The crisis, however, came soon to this first Ministry of Sir Robert
Peel.  Peel had announced, in a reasonable and {245} manful spirit,
considering how the task of holding together a Ministry had been
imposed on him and the temptation which it afforded for the attacks of
irresponsible enemies, that he would not resign office on any side
issue or question of purely factitious importance, and that he would
hold his place unless defeated by a vote of want of confidence or a
vote of censure.  He challenged the leader of the Opposition to test
the feeling of the House by a division on a question of that nature.
Lord John Russell refused to take any such course, declaring that he
believed it his duty to wait and see what might be the nature of the
measures of reform which the Government had promised to introduce
before inviting the House to say whether the Government deserved or did
not deserve its confidence.  Some of the measures announced by the
Government had to do with the reform of the ecclesiastical courts and
the maintenance of Church discipline, and Sir Robert Peel had himself
given notice of a measure to deal with the Irish tithe system, the
principal object of which was understood to be the transfer of the
liability of the payment of tithes from the shoulders of the tenant to
the shoulders of the landlord.  It was not unreasonable that the
Opposition should proclaim it their policy to wait and see what the
Tory ministers really proposed to do before assailing them with a
direct and general vote of want of confidence.  Even, however, if the
Opposition had been inclined to linger before inviting a real trial of
strength, there was a feeling growing up all over the country which
seemed impatient of mere episodical encounters leading to nothing in
particular.  The leaders of the Opposition had a very distinct policy
in their minds, and on March 30, 1835, it found its formal expression.

Lord John Russell moved a resolution which called upon the House to
resolve itself into a committee "in order to consider the present state
of the Church established in Ireland, with the view of applying any
surplus of revenues not required for the spiritual care of its members
to the general education of all classes of the people without
distinction of religious persuasion."  Now here, it will be seen, {246}
was the battle-ground distinctly marked out on which the two political
parties must come, sooner or later, to a decisive struggle.  About the
collection of tithes, about the imposition of tithes, about the class
of the community on whom the direct responsibility for the payment of
tithes ought to fall, there might possibly be a basis of agreement
found between Tories and Whigs.  But when there arose a question as to
the appropriation of the Church revenues, there the old doctrines and
the new, the old Tories and the new Reformers, came into irreconcilable
antagonism.  The creed of the Tories was that the revenues of the
Church belonged to the Church itself, and that if the Church had a
surplus of funds here or there for any one particular purpose that
surplus could be applied by it to some of its other purposes, but that
no legislature had any right to say to the Church, "You have more money
here than is needed for your own rights, and we have a right to take
part of it away from you and apply it for the uses of the general
public."  The Government, therefore, accepted Lord John Russell's
resolution as a distinct challenge to a trial of strength on an
essential question of policy.

[Sidenote: 1835--William Ewart Gladstone]

The debate which followed lasted through four days, and all the members
of the House on both sides took part in it.  The reports of that
momentous debate may be read with the deepest interest even at this
day, when some of the prophecies intended as terrible warnings by some
of the Conservative orators have long since been verified as facts, and
are calmly accepted by all parties as the inevitable results of
rational legislation.  Sir Robert Peel, Lord Stanley, Sir James Graham,
and most others who spoke on the Ministerial side spoke with one voice,
in warning the House of Commons that if it claimed a right to touch any
of the revenues of the Irish State Church in order to appropriate them
for the general education of the Irish people, the result must be that
the time would come when the Irish Church itself would no longer be
held sacred against the desecrating hand of the modern reformer, would
be treated as no longer necessary to the welfare of the Irish people,
and would be severed from the State and left upon a level {247} with
the Roman Catholic Church and the various dissenting denominations.

One appeal which may be said to run through the whole of the speeches
on the side of the Government is familiar to the readers and the
audiences of all political debates, whore any manner of Reform is under
discussion.  "You are asked"--so runs the argument--"to adopt this sort
of policy in order to satisfy the demands of a certain class of the
population; but how do you know, what guarantee can you give us, that
when we have granted these demands they will be content and will not
immediately begin to ask for more?  We granted Catholic Emancipation in
order to satisfy Ireland, and now is Ireland satisfied?  It was only
the other day we granted Catholic Emancipation, and now already Ireland
declares, through her representatives, that she ought to have part of
the revenues of the Irish State Church taken away from that Church and
applied to the common uses of the Irish people.  If she gets even that,
will Ireland be contented?  Will she not go on to demand repeal of the
Union?"  We turn with peculiar interest to the speech of a young Tory
member which was listened to with great attention during the debate,
and was believed to contain unmistakable promise of an important
political career.  So indeed it did, although the promise that career
actually realized was not altogether of the kind which most of its
audience were led to anticipate.  It was the speech of Mr. William
Ewart Gladstone.  "The present motion," said Mr. Gladstone, "opens a
boundless road--it will lead to measure after measure, to expedient
after expedient, till we come to the recognition of the Roman Catholic
religion as the national one.  In principle, we propose to give up the
Protestant Establishment.  If so, why not abandon the political
government of Ireland and concede the repeal of the legislative union."
"There is no principle," he went on to say, "on which the Protestant
Church can be permanently upheld, but that it is the Church which
teaches the truth."  That, he insisted, was the position which the
House ought to maintain without allowing its decision to be affected by
the mere {248} assertion, even if the assertion were capable of proof,
that the revenues of the State Church in Ireland were entirely out of
proportion to the spiritual needs of the Protestant population.  Mr.
Gladstone, however, had the mind of the financier even in those early
days of his career, and he was at some pains to argue that the
disproportion between the numbers of the Protestant and the Catholic
populations in Ireland was not so great as Lord John Russell had
asserted.  He made out this part of his case ingeniously enough by
including in the Protestant population in Ireland all the various
members of the dissenting denominations, many or most of whom were as
little likely to attend the administrations of the Established Church
as the Roman Catholics themselves.

[Sidenote: 1835--Defeat of Peel's Ministry]

Gladstone's speech was thoroughly consistent in its opposition to Lord
John Russell's resolution on the ground that that resolution, if
pressed to its legitimate conclusion, assailed the whole principle on
which the State Church in Ireland was founded.  "I hope," he said, "I
shall never live to see the day when such a system shall be adopted in
this country, for the consequences of it to public men will be
lamentable beyond all description.  If those individuals who are called
on to fulfil the high function of administering public affairs should
be compelled to exclude from their consideration the elements of true
religion, and to view various strange and conflicting doctrines in the
same light, instead of administering those noble functions, they will
become helots and slaves."  The weakness of Mr. Gladstone's case was
found in the fact that he insisted on regarding the State Church in
Ireland as resting on precisely the same foundations as those which
upheld the State Church in England.  The truth was afterwards brought
home to him that every argument which could be fairly used to justify
the maintenance of the State Church in England was but another argument
for the abolition of the State Church in Ireland--a work which it
became at last his duty to accomplish.  "I shall content myself," said
Daniel O'Connell in his speech in the debate, "with laying down the
broad principle that the {249} emoluments of a Church ought not to be
raised from a people who do not belong to it.  Ireland does not ask for
a Catholic Establishment.  The Irish desire political equality in every
respect, except that they would not accept a single shilling for their

Sir Robert Peel made a speech which was at once very powerful and very
plausible.  It was not, perhaps, pitched in a very exalted key, but it
was full of argument, at once subtle and telling.  He challenged the
accuracy of Lord John Russell's figures, and declaimed against the
injustice of inviting the House to pass a resolution founded on
statistics which it had as yet no possible opportunity of verifying or
even of examining.  He pointed out that the Government had already
given notice of their intention to bring in measures to deal with the
very question concerned in Lord John Russell's resolution; and he asked
what sincerity there could be in the purposes of men who professed a
desire to amend as quickly as possible the tithe system in Ireland, and
who yet were eager to deprive the Government of any chance of bringing
forward the measures which they had prepared in order to accomplish
that very object.  The main argument of the speech was directed not so
much against the policy embodied in the resolution of Lord John
Russell, as against the manner in which it was proposed to carry out
that policy.  Sir Robert Peel declared that the object of the
Opposition was not to effect any improvement in the relations of the
State Church of Ireland and the people of Ireland, but simply and
solely to turn out the Government.  Why not, he asked, come to the
point boldly and at once?  Why not bring forward a vote of censure on
the Government, or a vote of want of confidence in the Government, and
thus compel them, if defeated, to go out of office, instead of
endeavoring to enforce on them the adoption of a resolution dealing
with questions which the Government had already promised to make the
subject of legislation, and without waiting to hear what manner of
legislation they were prepared to introduce?

There was an eloquent defiance in the closing words of Peel's speech.
The great minister knew that defeat was {250} awaiting him, and he
showed himself resolved to meet it half way.  At three o'clock on the
morning of April 3 the division on the resolution of Lord John Russell
took place.  There were 322 votes for the resolution and 289 against
it.  The resolution was therefore carried by a majority of 33.  The
student of history will observe with interest that the abolition of the
Irish State Church was the result of a series of resolutions carried by
Mr. Gladstone in the House of Commons in 1868, and afterwards embodied
in an act of legislation.

[Sidenote: 1835--Melbourne and Brougham]

The debate on Lord John Russell's resolution was carried on for a few
days longer, but it was chiefly concerned with mere questions as to the
form in which the Ministry were called upon to give effect to the wish
of the majority, and submit the resolution to the King.  There was no
heart or practical purpose in these debates, for everybody already knew
what the end must be.  On April 8 Sir Robert Peel announced to the
House that he could not take any part in giving effect to the
resolution, and that, therefore, he and his colleagues had determined
on resigning their offices.  The course taken by Peel was thoroughly
honest, consistent, and upright, and Lord John Russell bore prompt and
willing testimony to the constitutional propriety of the retiring Prime
Minister's resolve.  The Peel Ministry had come to its end.  The
country had been put to the trouble and expense of a general election,
valuable time had been wasted, legislative preparations had been thrown
away, and everything was now back again in just the same condition as
when the King made up his mind to dismiss the Melbourne Administration.
The whole blame for the muddle rested on the King, who now found
himself compelled to take up again with Lord Melbourne just as if
nothing had happened.  The King, indeed, made an attempt to induce Lord
Grey to come out of his retirement and form another Ministry; but Lord
Grey was not to be prevailed upon to accept such an invitation, and
William had to gulp down his personal objections and invite Lord
Melbourne to come back once more and take charge of the Government of
the country.


Lord Melbourne had no difficulty in forming an Administration, and it
was on the whole very much the same in its composition as that which
King William had so rudely dismissed only a few months before.  But
there were some new names in the list, and there was one very
remarkable omission.  Lord Brougham was not one of the members of the
new Government.  Lord Melbourne had made up his mind that if, perhaps,
there could be no living without such a colleague, there certainly
could be no living with him, and he preferred the chance to the
certainty.  The greatest sensation was produced all over the country
when it was found that Lord Brougham was to have nothing to do with the
new Administration.  In and out of Parliament the question became a
subject of keen and vehement discussion.  The energy and the eloquence
of Brougham had held a commanding place among the forces by which
Parliamentary reform had been effected, and the wonder was how any
Reform Ministry could venture to carry on the work of government, not
merely without the co-operation of such a man, but with every
likelihood of his active and bitter hostility.  At one time the report
went abroad, and found many ready believers, that there were periods in
Brougham's life when his great intellect became clouded, as Chatham's
had been at one time, and that the Liberal Ministry found it therefore
impossible to avail themselves of his fitful services.  Lord Melbourne
himself once made an emphatic appeal to his audience in the House of
Lords, after Lord Brougham had delivered a speech there of
characteristic power and eloquence.  Melbourne invited the House to
consider calmly how overmastering must have been the reasons which
compelled any body of rational statesmen to deprive themselves of such
a man's co-operation.  It would appear, however, that the reasons which
influenced Melbourne and his colleagues were given by Brougham's own
passionate and ungovernable temper, his impatience of all discipline,
his sudden changes of mood and purpose, his overmastering egotism, and
his frequent impulse to strike out for himself and to disregard all
considerations of convenience or compromise, all {252} calculations as
to the effect of an individual movement on the policy of an

[Sidenote: 1835--Melbourne and the Irish Members]

From that time Brougham had nothing more to do with ministerial work.
He became merely an independent, a very independent, member of the
House of Lords.  To the close of his long career he was a commanding
figure in the House and in the country, but it was an individual
figure, an eccentric figure, whose movements must always excite
interest, must often excite admiration, but from whom guidance and
inspiration were never to be expected.  Even on some of the great
questions with which the brightest part of his career had been
especially associated he often failed to exercise the influence which
might have been expected from a man of such gifts and such
achievements.  Through the remainder of his life he could always arouse
the attention of the country, and indeed of the civilized world, when
he so willed, but his work as a political leader was done.

The office of Lord Chancellor was left for a while vacant, or, to
describe the fact in more technical language, was put into commission.
The commission was made up of the Master of the Rolls, the
Vice-Chancellor, and one of the Judges.  After a time Lord Cottenham
was made Lord Chancellor.  Lord John Russell became Home Secretary, and
Lord Palmerston was Foreign Secretary.  Among the new names on the list
of the Administration was that of Sir Henry Parnell, who became
Paymaster-General and Paymaster of the Navy, and that of Sir George
Grey, who was Under-Secretary of the Colonies, and afterwards rose to
hold high office in many a Government, and had at one time the somewhat
undesirable reputation of being the rapidest speaker in the House of

King William must have put a strong constraint upon himself when he
found that he had to receive, on terms at least of civility, so many of
the men, as ministers, whom he had abruptly dismissed from his service
not long before.  For a considerable time he put up with them rather
than received them, and maintained a merely official relationship with
them so far even as not to invite them to dinner.  {253} After a time,
however, his Majesty somewhat softened in temper; the relations between
him and his advisers became less strained; and he even went so far as
to invite the members of the Cabinet to dinner, and expressed in his
invitation the characteristic wish that each guest would drink at least
two bottles of wine.  When the construction of the new Ministry had
been completed, Parliament reassembled on April 18; but that meeting
was little more than of formal character, as the Houses had again to
adjourn in order to enable the new members who were members of the
House of Commons to resign and seek, according to constitutional usage,
for re-election at the hands of their constituents.  The only public
interest attaching to the meeting of Parliament on April 18 was found
in an attempt, made by two Tory peers, to extract from Lord Melbourne
some public explanation as to his dealings with O'Connell and the Irish
party.  Lord Melbourne was quite equal to the occasion, and nothing
could be drawn from him further than the declaration that he had
entered into no arrangements whatever with O'Connell; that if the Irish
members should, on any occasion, give him their support, he should be
happy to receive it, but that he had not taken and did not mean to take
any steps to secure it.  The incident is worth noting because it serves
to illustrate, once again, the effect of the new condition which had
been introduced into the struggles of the two great political parties
by the passing of the Catholic Emancipation Act, and the consequent
admission of Irish Catholic members into the House of Commons.

Some of the members of the new Administration were not successful when
they made their appeal to their old constituencies.  Lord John Russell,
for instance, was beaten in South Devonshire by a Tory antagonist, and
a vacancy had to be made for him in the little borough of Stroud, the
representative of which withdrew in order to oblige the leaders of his
party, and obtained, in return for his act of self-sacrifice, an office
under Government.  Lord Palmerston was placed in a difficulty of the
same kind, and a vacancy was made for him in the borough of {254}
Tiverton by the good-nature and the public spirit of its sitting
representative, and from that time to the end of his long career Lord
Palmerston continued to be the member for Tiverton, which indeed won,
by that fact alone, a conspicuous place in Parliamentary history.
There were other disturbances of the same kind in the relations of the
members of the new Government and their former constituents, and it was
clear enough that a certain reaction was still working against the
political impulse which had carried the Reform measures to success.
Still, it was clear that the new Government had come into power as a
Government of reformers, and Lord Melbourne found himself compelled to
go on with the work of reform.  Nothing could be less in keeping with
his habits and the inclinations of his easy-going nature.  It used to
be said of him that whenever he was urged to set about any work of the
kind his instinctive impulse always was to meet the suggestion with the
question: "Why can't you let it alone?"  Now, however, he had in his
Cabinet some men, like Lord John Russell, whose earnestness in the
cause of Reform was genuine and unconquerable; and if Lord Melbourne
was too indolent to press forward reforms on his own account, he was
also too indolent to resist such a pressure when put on him by others.

[Sidenote: 1835--Foundation of municipal bodies]

There was one great pressing and obvious reform which remained to be
accomplished and ought naturally to follow on the reorganization of the
Parliamentary system.  That was the reorganization of the municipal
system.  The municipal work of the country, the management of all the
various and complicated relations which concerned the local affairs of
the whole community, had become a mere chaos of anomalies,
anachronisms, and, in too many instances, of reckless mismanagement and
downright corruption.  If the sort of so-called representation which
prevailed in the Parliamentary constituencies was, up to 1832, an
absurdity and a fraud, it was not perhaps on the whole quite so absurd
or altogether so fraudulent as that which set itself up for a
representative system in the arrangements of the municipal
corporations.  As in the case of the {255} Parliamentary system, so in
the case of the municipal system, the organization had begun with an
intelligible principle to guide it; but, during the lapse of years and
even of centuries, the original purpose had been swamped by the gradual
and always increasing growth of confusion and corruption.  The
municipal arrangements of England had begun as a practical protest
against the feudal system.  While the feudal laws or customs still
prevailed, the greater proportion of the working-classes were really
little better than serfs at the absolute control of their feudal lords
and masters.  The comparatively small proportion of men who formed the
trading class of the community found themselves compelled to devise
some kind of arrangement for the security of themselves, their traffic,
and their property against the dominion of the ruling class.  It was
practically impossible that a mere serf could devote his energies to a
craft or trade with any hope of independence for himself or any chance
of contributing to the prosperity of his working and trading neighbors.
The trading, manufacturing, and commercial classes in each locality
began to form themselves into groups, or what might be called guilds,
of their own, with the object of common protection, in order to secure
an opening for their traffic and their industry, and for the
preservation of the earnings and the profits which came of their skill
and energy.  These trading groups asserted for themselves their right
to free action in all that regarded the regulation of their work and
the secure disposal of their profits, and thus they became what might
be called governing bodies in each separate locality.  One common
principle of these governing bodies was that no one should be allowed
to become a craftsman or trader in any district if he were a serf, and
they claimed, and gradually came to maintain, the right to invest
others with the title and privileges of freemen.  This right of
freemanship soon became hereditary, and the male children of a freeman
were to be freemen themselves.  In many communities the man who married
a freeman's daughter acquired, if he had not been free before, the
right of freemanship.  No qualification of residence was necessary to
{256} enable a man thus to become free.  The self-organized community,
whatever it might be, had the right of creating any stranger a freeman
according as it thought fit.

[Sidenote: 1835--Reform of municipal corporations]

We find this ancient system still in harmless and graceful illustration
when a public man who has distinguished himself in the service of the
country is honored by admission to the freedom of some ancient city.
But in the far-off days, when the system was in practical operation,
the unlimited right of creating freemen came to mean that in many
cities, towns, and localities of all descriptions a number of outsiders
who had no connection by residence, property, or local interest of any
kind with the district, and who were wholly irresponsible to the public
opinion of the local community, had the right to interfere in the
management of its affairs and to become members of its municipal body.
For the local traders soon began to form themselves into councils or
committees for the management of the local affairs, and, in fact,
became what might be described as self-elected municipal corporations;
trustees who had assumed the trust for themselves; local law-makers
whose term of office was lifelong, and against whose decision there was
no available court of appeal.  In some cases these local bodies
actually arrogated to themselves the right of passing penal laws, and
trying cases and awarding punishments.  The local municipalities
sometimes exercised the power of appointing Recorders to preside over
their courts of law, and it happened in many instances that the
municipal body made no condition as to the Recorder being a member of
any branch of the legal profession.  It is hardly necessary to point
out some of the inevitable consequences of such a system.  The
municipal bodies voted what salaries they pleased out of the local
funds, and named according to their pleasure the persons to receive the
salaries.  They disposed of the corporate revenues in any way they
thought fit--and, indeed, in many cases they claimed and annexed as
corporate property possessions that had always, up to the time of the
annexation, been supposed to belong to the public at large.  They
usurped for themselves all manner of privileges and {257} so-called
rights, and, if they thought fit, offered them for purchase to the
highest bidder.  The whole governing body often consisted of a very
small number of residents who had elected themselves to office, and as
they had the power of making themselves very disagreeable to disputants
they did not often find individuals public spirited enough to challenge
their right of local control.  It happened much more frequently that if
any man were strong enough to make his opposition inconvenient or
uncomfortable for the local rulers, they got over the trouble by
prevailing on him to become one of themselves, to share their
privileges and profits, and to strengthen their authority.  A local
magnate, the head of some great family, a peer of old descent, was
often thus "nobbled"--to use a modern colloquialism--and was allowed to
make as many freemen as he pleased and to take whatever part he would
in the control of municipal affairs.

It would be superfluous to say that the municipalities became a
constantly working instrument in the hands of this or that political
party.  Wherever the Whigs or the Tories were strong, there the
constituencies, such as they were, could always be placed at the
absolute disposal of some local magnate.  Even in the districts where
there was but little actual corruption there was often the most
extravagant waste of the public funds and public property, and the most
utter neglect of all the ordinary ways of business and of economy.  For
a long time the increasing evils of the system had been attracting the
attention and arousing the alarm of enlightened and public-spirited men
all over the country, and of course when the great measure of reform
had dealt with the political system, it was obvious that the reforming
hand must before long touch the municipal system as well.  Shortly
after the passing of the Reform Bill Lord Althorp had appointed a
commission to inquire into the whole history, growth, and working of
the municipal corporations, and the report had brought out an immense
amount of systematized information on which the Liberal statesmen, now
once again in office, were determined to act.  Lord Melbourne intrusted
the task of {258} preparing and conducting through the House of Commons
a measure for this purpose to the capable hands of Lord John Russell,
who was now the leader of the Government in that House.  Lord John
Russell's measure was, in fact, the foundation of the whole municipal
system which we see spread over the country in our times.  It proposed
to begin by abolishing altogether the freeman system and placing the
election of local governing bodies in the hands of residents who paid a
certain amount of taxation.  In fact, it made the municipal bodies
representative in just the same sense as the Parliamentary
constituencies had been made representative by the Reform Act.  It
remodelled altogether the local law courts and legal arrangements of
the municipalities, and ordered that the appointment of Recorders
should be in the hands of the Crown, that each Recorder was to be a
barrister of a certain standing, and that a Recorder should be
nominated for every borough which undertook to provide a suitable
salary for the occupant of the office.  Provision was also made for the
proper management of charitable trusts and funds.

[Sidenote: 1835--The Municipal Reform Bill]

The measure was to apply to 183 boroughs, not including the metropolis,
with an average of 11,000 persons to each borough.  Some of the larger
boroughs were to be divided into wards, and in most cases the intention
of the measure was that the boundaries of the Parliamentary borough
should be the boundaries of the municipal borough as well.  The
governing body of each municipality was to consist of a Mayor and
Councillors, the Councillors to be elected by resident ratepayers.  It
was proposed that the rights of living freemen were to be maintained,
but as each life lapsed the right was to be extinguished, and thus the
whole freeman system was to die out and all exclusive trading
privileges were to be abolished.  The Bill, as introduced by Lord John
Russell, only applied to England and Wales; but O'Connell demanded that
Ireland should also be included in the reform, and it was finally
agreed that a Bill of the same nature should be brought in for Ireland,
and that arrangements should be made with the Scottish representatives
to have the provisions of the {259} measure applied also to Scotland so
far as might be consistent with the usages and the desire of the
Scottish people.

Sir Robert Peel did not offer any direct opposition to the measure,
although he criticised it severely enough in some of its provisions.
His speech, however, was distinctly a declaration in favor of some
comprehensive scheme of municipal reform, and might fairly have been
regarded rather as a help than as a hinderance to the purposes of the
Government.  The example set by Sir Robert Peel had naturally much
influence over the greater number of the Conservative party, and only
some very old-fashioned Conservatives seemed inclined to make a stand
against the measure.  Mr. Grote seized the opportunity to introduce a
motion for the adoption of the ballot in municipal elections, but it is
hardly necessary to say that he did not secure support enough on either
side of the House to win success for his proposition.  The Bill passed
through the House of Commons without any important change in its
character, but it met with very serious maltreatment in the House of
Lords.  The majority of the peers did not see their way to compass the
actual rejection of the Bill, especially after the liberal and
statesmanlike spirit in which Sir Robert Peel had dealt with it; but
they set themselves to work with the object of rendering it as nearly
useless as they could for the purposes which its promoters had in view.
Lord Lyndhurst led the opposition to the Bill, and he could, when he so
pleased, become the very narrowest of Tories, while he had ability and
plausibility not included in the intellectual stock of any other Tory
then in the House of Lords.  Under this leadership the Tory peers so
disfigured and mangled the Bill that before long its own authors could
hardly have recognized it as the work of their hands.  The peers not
only restored all, or nearly all, the abuses and anomalies which the
measure as it left the House of Commons had marked for utter abolition,
but they even went so far as to introduce into their version of the
Bill some entirely new and original suggestions for the creation of
abuses up to that time unknown to the existing municipal system.


The Bill thus diversified had, of course, to go back to the House of
Commons, and it is hardly necessary to say that the House of Commons
could not, as the Parliamentary phrase goes, agree with the Lords'
amendments.  Peel once again took a statesmanlike course, and strongly
advised the House of Lords not to press their absurd and objectionable
alterations.  In the House of Lords itself the Duke of Wellington,
acting as he almost always did under the influence of Peel, recommended
the Tory peers not to carry their opposition too far, and before long
Lord Lyndhurst, who was by temperament and intellect a very shrewd and
practical man, with little of the visionary or the fanatic about him,
thought it well to accept Wellington's advice, and to urge its
acceptance on his brother Conservatives.  Lord John Russell recommended
the House of Commons to accept a compromise on a few insignificant
details in no wise affecting the general purposes of the measure, in
order to soothe the wounded feelings of the peers and enable them to
yield with the comforting belief that after all their resistance had
not been wholly in vain.  The struggle was over, and on September 7,
1835, the measure became law in the same shape, to all practical
purposes, as that which it wore when it left the House of Commons after
its third reading there, and thus secured for Great Britain and Ireland
the system of municipal government which has been working to this day.




[Sidenote: 1836--The Universities of London]

The movement for the diffusion of education among the people had been
making steady progress during the reign of William the Fourth, and some
of the most distinct and lasting memorials of that movement have come
to be associated with the history of the reign.  One of these was the
granting of a charter for the establishment of a great university which
was to bear the name of the capital, and was to confer its degrees, its
honors, and its offices without any conditions as to the religious
profession of those whom it educated, and whom it taught and qualified
by appointment to conduct the education of others.  The old
Universities of Oxford and Cambridge were then directly associated with
the State Church, and only gave the stamp of their approval and the
right to teach to those who professed the religion established by law.
There had been growing up, for some time, a feeling in the community
that there was need for a system of university teaching which should be
open alike to the members of all creeds and denominations, and even to
those who did not profess to subscribe to the doctrines of any
particular creed, or to enroll themselves in the ranks of any
particular denomination.  The institutions which are now known as
University College, London, and the University of London are among the
most remarkable growths of this movement.  After years of effort the
charters for these institutions were granted by King William in 1836,
and it is needless to say that University College has played a great
part in the spreading of education among the middle and poorer classes
throughout the country.  Henry Brougham was one of the most active
promoters of the effort to bring the higher education and {262} its
honors within the reach of all classes and creeds, and his name will
always be distinctly associated with the rapid progress made in the
spread of knowledge during the earlier part of the nineteenth century.
Brougham was one of the founders and promoters of the "Penny
Cyclopaedia for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge," which delighted
some of our grandfathers, amazed and bewildered others, and filled yet
others with a holy horror at the daring effort to upset all the
wholesome distinctions of ranks and classes by cramming the lower
orders with an amount of knowledge wholly unsuited to their subordinate
condition, and unfitting them for the proper discharge of the duties
associated with that station in life to which it had pleased Providence
to call them.

Brougham also took a leading part in the founding of the British
Association for the Advancement of Science, which was established by
Sir David Brewster, Sir Roderick Murchison, and many other men famous
in science and in letters in 1831.  It has been holding its annual
meetings in all the great cities and towns of these islands ever since,
and is not likely to be interrupted in the continuance of its work.
The British Association was the subject of a good deal of cheap
ridicule in its early days, and caricaturists, most of them long since
forgotten, delighted in humorous illustrations of the oddities by which
social life was to be profusely diversified when science was taught at
popular meetings, and not merely men, but even women and young women,
could sit in the public hall and listen to great professors discoursing
on the construction of the earth and the laws which regulate the
movements of the heavenly bodies.  The present generation has almost
completely forgotten even the fact that the British Association was
once a familiar and favorite subject for the pen and pencil of
satirists.  "The schoolmaster is abroad" was an expression used by
Brougham to illustrate the educational movement which was going on in
his time, and which he did as much as any man could have done to set
and to keep in motion.  King William himself, we may be sure, took only
a very moderate interest in all these goings {263} on, but, at all
events, he did not stand in the way of the general educational
movement; and indeed he gave it a kindly word of patronage and
encouragement whenever it seemed a part of his State functions to
sanction the progress of science by his royal recognition.

[Sidenote: 1831--The press-gang]

Among the many reforms accomplished in this reign of reform was that
which effected the practical abolition of the system of impressment for
the Navy, that system which had so long worked its purposes through the
action of what was familiarly known as the press-gang.  The press-gang
system had been in force from very remote days indeed, for it is shown
by statute and by record to have been in operation before 1378.  In
1641 the practice was declared illegal by Parliament; but Parliament
might just as well not have troubled itself upon the subject, for the
impressment of seamen went on just as if nothing had happened.
Whenever seamen were required to man the royal fleet in time of war,
the press-gang instantly came into operation.  Its mode of action was
simple and straight-forward, and consisted of the forcible arrest and
complete capture of merchant seamen and fishermen, or stalwart young
men of any kind, in seaport towns, who looked as if they had seen
service on some kind of sailing craft.  The ordinary practice was that
an officer and a party of seamen and marines landed from some ships of
war in the harbor, and seized and carried off any number of men who
seemed to them suitable for their purpose, and dragged them as
prisoners on board war vessels, where they were compelled to serve
until such time as their help might be no longer needed.

The literature of England, almost down to our own times, is diversified
here and there by illustrations of the scenes which were created in our
seaport towns by this practice.  Smollett has more than one animated
picture of this kind.  The sea stories of Captain Marryat's days abound
in such illustrations, and even romance of the higher order, and poetry
itself, have found subjects for picturesque and pathetic narrative in
the stories of young men thus torn from their families without a
moment's {264} notice, and compelled to go on a ship of war and fight
the foreign enemy at sea.  The pay of an able seaman in a ship of war
was, in those times, very poor; the life was one of hardship, and there
was little to tempt a young man of ordinary ways and temperament to
enter the naval service of his sovereign.  The seaport towns and the
towns on the great rivers were called upon by royal authority to supply
a certain proportionate number of men for service in the Navy, and the
local governing bodies did their best, we may be sure, by the offer of
bounties and other encouragements, to induce young men to volunteer for
the sea.  In times of war, however, when sudden demands were made on
the part of the Crown for the efficient manning of the Navy, these
encouragements and temptations often failed to procure anything like
the required amount of voluntary service, and then it was that the
press-gang came into work to meet the demand by force.

[Sidenote: 1835--Resisting the press-gang]

During the long wars which followed the outbreak of the French
Revolution the press-gang had a busy time of it.  Vessels of war were
in the constant habit of summoning merchant vessels to hand over a
certain number of their seamen, and the merchant vessels were brought
to just as if they had been the cruisers of the enemy, and were boarded
by force, whenever force seemed necessary, and compelled to supply the
requisite number.  It sometimes happened that the captain of a vessel
failed to understand the meaning of the peremptory summons issued to
him, and he was then promptly brought to an understanding of the
situation by the shot of the war vessel and the appearance of an armed
boarding party on his own decks.  Nor was it even a very unusual event
for the captain of the merchant vessel to offer a resistance, and then
there was a regular sea-fight between the British war ship and the
British merchantman, in which, of course, the latter was very soon
compelled to acknowledge the validity of the royal warrant.

In the ordinary course of things, however, the captain of the war
vessel sent an officer and a party of men on shore, and their business
was to make any captures they {265} pleased, in that part of the town
where men fit for service at sea were most likely to be found.  There
are stories told, and told on historic evidence as truth, about young
husbands thus captured and thrown into prison to await their removal to
some war vessel off the coast, and whose wives or mothers could devise
no better means for their rescue than to obtain an interview with them
in the prison, and there contrive so to mutilate the hands of the
captives through the bars of the cell as to render them unfit for
service in the Royal Navy.  Sometimes, when it became known that the
press-gang was about to visit that part of the town where seafaring men
were likely to be found, the population of the quarter rallied in
defence of their townsmen, and offered just such resistance to the
emissaries of the naval authorities as they would have offered to an
invading enemy.  Streets were barricaded; from the high windows of
houses stones were hurled down and volleys of musketry were fired;
crowds of armed men, and even sometimes of armed women, met the
invaders in the street itself and disputed their progress inch by inch.

In the lower quarters of Portsmouth and other seaport towns such scenes
were of frequent occurrence.  The whole system had among its other
harmful effects a very damaging influence on the Navy itself and on its
discipline.  The press-gang was not very choice in making up its
contributions of recruits for the fleet.  No great pains were taken
with a view to obtain certificates as to character and conduct.  Those
who formed the recruiting expedition were only too ready to seize any
strapping young men whom they found loitering about the streets and
lanes of the lower quarters in a seaport town.  These strapping young
men often turned out to be rising young men of the criminal classes,
but their limbs and muscles made them like some of Falstaff's recruits,
"good enough to toss--food for powder," and they were promptly swooped
upon and carried off to serve in his Majesty's Navy.  Such captives as
these, when put on board a vessel of war and compelled to serve as
seamen there, had the influence which might have been expected from
them over the habits of the whole crew.  {266} The severest and even
the most savage methods of discipline were often found necessary to
force such men into habits of obedience and into anything like decent
conduct.  Flogging then, and for long after, prevailed in the Navy and
in the Army, and one of the most familiar arguments in favor of keeping
up that form of discipline was found in the fact that in many cases the
new recruits might have corrupted the habits of a whole ship's company
if they had not been compelled by frequent floggings to obey orders,
submit themselves to rules, and conduct themselves with decency.

For a long time a strong feeling had been growing up among
philanthropists and reformers of all kinds against the practice of
impressment and against the discipline of the "cat," as the flogging
instrument was commonly termed.  The philanthropists and the reformers
generally were met by the old sort of familiar argument.  They were
told that it would be utterly impossible to man a navy if the
press-gang were to be abolished, and equally impossible to keep the
Navy up to its work and in decent condition if seamen were no longer
liable to the punishment of the lash.  The innovators were asked
whether they knew better how to raise and maintain an efficient Navy
than did the naval authorities, on whose shoulders rested the
responsibility of defending the shores of England from foreign
invasion.  Those who made themselves conspicuous by their advocacy of
what were then beginning to be called humanitarian principles were
roundly accused of want of patriotism, and it was often suggested that
they were anti-English in their sentiments and their instincts, and
were persons who would probably, on the whole, rather welcome the
foreign invader than lend a hand to drive him back.  The spirit of
humanity and of reform was in the air, however, and in the reformed
Parliament there were many men who had as good a gift of eloquence as
the best of their opponents, and who could not be frightened out of any
purpose on which they had set their minds and hearts.  In 1835 the
Government of Lord Melbourne brought in a measure for the abolition of
the press-gang {267} system and for limitation of compulsory service in
the Navy to a period of five years.  This measure not only had its own
direct and immediate beneficial effects, but it also did much to
prepare the way for the abolition of flogging.  Many years, indeed, had
to pass before this latter reform could be accomplished, but it was
clear that, when the manning of the Navy no longer brought with it its
captures from the criminal classes, the time was coming for the gradual
adoption of a system of discipline more in accordance with the
principles of humanity and the character of a noble service.  As we
have seen in all previous experiences of reform, the forebodings of the
anti-reformers proved to be utterly false alarms in regard to the
manning and the discipline of the Navy.  We have seen some foreign wars
since the days of William the Fourth, and we have heard alarms of
foreign invasion again and again.  But the Navy, under its improved
conditions, has never been in want of volunteers to man it, and the
greatest lovers of peace have always proclaimed it to be the surest and
best defence of the country.  There were many leading men in the House
of Commons since those days who persistently demanded a reduction in
the Army on the very ground that England could safely defy any foreign
foe so long as she had the bulwark of such a Navy.

[Sidenote: 1840--The new Houses of Parliament]

One great, solid, and picturesque memorial is destined to associate the
reign of William the Fourth with the history of English architecture.
We speak of the Houses of Parliament which stand on the banks of the
river, and thus have the Thames on one side and Westminster Abbey on
the other.  The great range of halls, towers, and terraces, arches,
squares, and court-yards, which, until comparatively recent days, were
often described in common phrase as the New Houses of Parliament, owe
their origin and their plan, although not their complete construction,
to the reign of William the Fourth.  On the evening of October 16,
1834, the old buildings in which the Lords and the Commons used to
assemble were completely destroyed by fire.  The fire broke out so
suddenly on that evening and spread with such extraordinary rapidity
that many of those {268} who were engaged in occupations of one kind or
another in various parts of the buildings had much difficulty in
escaping with their lives.  The flames spread so fast that in an almost
incredibly short space of time the two Houses of Parliament, and almost
all the offices, residences, and other buildings attached to them, were
seen to be devoted to hopeless ruin.  For a while it seemed almost
certain that Westminster Hall itself must be involved in the common
destruction, and even the noble Abbey, with its priceless memorial
treasures, appeared destined to become a mere ruin of shattered stones.
The arrangements for the extinguishing of fires were rude and poor and
inefficient in those days when compared with the systematized service
which is employed in our own, and for a considerable time those who
hurried to the spot, charged with the duty of combating the
conflagration, appeared to do little better than get in each other's
way and only give new chances to each fresh eruption.  The tide in the
river was very low, too, when the destroying work began, and it was
hard indeed to bring any great body of water to bear upon the flames.
As the tide rose, however, it became easy to make more effective
efforts.  At last it was found that Westminster Abbey might be
considered perfectly safe.  So was Westminster Hall, that noble
historical enclosure, the Hall which saw the trial of William Wallace,
of Charles the First, of Somers, and of Warren Hastings, the hall which
celebrated the coronation of so many kings, which boasts of being the
oldest chamber in Europe held in continuous occupation up to the
present day, the largest hall in Europe unsupported by pillars.  It was
preserved, to be the grand entrance and vestibule to both the Houses of
Parliament.  But the chambers in which, up to that day, the Lords and
Commons had conducted their legislative work were utterly destroyed.

[Sidenote: 1834--Burning of the old Parliament Houses]

At first it was assumed, as is almost always the assumption in the case
of any great conflagration, that the work of destruction had been the
outcome of an incendiary plot, and for a while a wild idea spread
abroad that some modern Guy Fawkes had succeeded where his predecessor
had {269} completely failed.  But it was soon made clear and certain
that the whole calamity, if indeed it can be called much of a calamity,
had been the result of a mere accident.  A careless workman, aspiring
to nothing more than a quick release from his labor, and not destined
to the fame of the aspiring youth who fired the Ephesian dome, had
brought about the ruin which bequeathed to England and to the world the
vast and noble structure of Westminster Palace.  The workman was
engaged in burning up a number of the old, disused wooden tallies which
once used to be employed in the Court of Exchequer, and he heaped too
large a bundle of them on the fire.  At an unlucky moment a flame
suddenly blazed up which caught hold of the furniture in the room, and
in another moment set the whole building on fire, and then created the
vast conflagration which wrought so much destruction.

We have expressed a certain doubt as to whether the burning of the old
Houses of Parliament is really to be regarded as a national calamity,
and the doubt is founded partly on the admitted fact that the chambers
which existed before the fire were quite unequal in size and in
accommodation to the purposes for which they were designed, and partly
on the architectural magnificence of the buildings which succeeded
them.  The Lords and Commons found accommodation where they could while
preparations were in progress for the building of new and better
chambers, and a Parliamentary committee was soon appointed to consider
and report upon the best means of providing the country with more
commodious and more stately Houses of Parliament.  The committee
ventured on a recommendation which was considered, at the time, a most
daring piece of advice.  The recommendation was that the contract for
the erection of the new Houses of Parliament should be thrown
absolutely open to public competition.  Nothing like that proposal had
ever been heard of under similar conditions in English affairs up to
that time.  What seemed to most persons the most natural and proper
plan--the seemly, becoming, and orderly plan--would have been to allow
the sovereign or some great State {270} personage to select the Court
architect who might be thought most fitting to be intrusted with so
great a task, and let him work out, as best he could, the pleasure of
his illustrious patron.  The committee, however, were able to carry
their point, and the contract for the great work was thrown open to
unrestricted competition.  Out of a vast number of designs submitted
for approval, the committee selected the design sent in by Mr. Barry
(afterwards Sir Charles Barry), the famous architect, who has left many
other monuments of his genius to the nation, but whose most conspicuous
monument, assuredly, is found in the pile of buildings which ornament
the Thames at Westminster.

[Sidenote: 1840--The seating capacity of the Commons]

Only the mere fact that the selection of the design for the new
building was made during the lifetime of William the Fourth connects
the reign of that monarch with the history of Westminster Palace.  It
was not until the reign of Queen Victoria had made some way that the
towers of the palace began to show themselves above the river; but the
new principle which offered the design for the work to public
competition, and the fact that Mr. Barry's design was chosen from all
others, oblige us to associate the building of the new chambers with
the reign of a sovereign whose name otherwise was not likely to be
identified with any triumph of artistic genius.  We must not set down
to any defects in the architect's constructive skill the fact that the
new House of Commons was almost as inadequate to the proper
accommodation of its members as the old House had been.  The present
House of Commons does not provide sitting accommodation for anything
like the number of members who are entitled to have seats on its
benches.  Even if the galleries set apart for the use of members only,
galleries that are practically useless for the purposes of debate, were
to be filled to their utmost, there still would not be room for nearly
all the members of the House of Commons.  But at the time when the new
House was built, the general impression of statesmen on both sides
seemed to be that, if the chamber were made spacious enough to give a
seat to every member, the result would be {271} that the room would be
too large for anything like practical, easy, and satisfactory
discussion, and that the chamber would become a mere hall of

At that time almost all the business of the House, even to its most
minute details of legislation, was done in the debating-chamber itself.
The scheme which was adopted a great many years later, and by means of
which the shaping of the details of legislative measures is commonly
relegated to Grand Committees, as the Parliamentary phrase goes, had
not then found any favor with statesmen.  The daily work of the House
was left, for the most part, in the hands of the members of the
Administration and the leading members of the Opposition, or, in cases
where the interests of a particular class, or trade, or district were
concerned, to the men who had special knowledge of each subject of
legislation.  It was therefore argued, and with much plausibility, that
to construct a chamber large enough to hold seats for all the members
would be to impose an insupportable, and at the same time a quite
unnecessary, strain upon the energies and the lungs of the
comparatively small number of men by whom the actual business of the
House had to be carried on.  This argument was used with much effect,
not many years before his death, by Mr. Gladstone himself, and there
can be no doubt that it maintained itself against the many successive
proposals which have been made from time to time for the enlargement of
the representative chamber.  In most other legislative halls, on the
Continent or in the United States or in Canada, each member has his own
seat, and finds it ready for his occupation at any time; but in the
House of Commons on great occasions the ordinary member has to come to
the House at the earliest moment when its doors are open, hours and
hours before the business begins, in order to have even a chance of
obtaining a seat during the debate, and a large number of members are
fated, whatever their energy and their early rising, to sigh for a seat
in vain.  The question has been raised again and again in the House of
Commons, and all manner of propositions have been brought forward and
plans suggested for the {272} enlargement of the debating-chamber, but
up to the present the condition of things remains just as it was when
the new Houses of Parliament were opened in the reign of Queen Victoria.

[Sidenote: 1840--Ladies in the House of Commons]

Sir Charles Barry's design has the great advantage that it renders an
increase in the size of the House of Commons possible and practicable
without a complete reconstruction of all that part of the vast building
which belongs to the representative chamber and its various offices.
In the opinion of many leading members of the House of Commons the
number of representatives is needlessly large for the purposes demanded
by an adequate and proportionate system of representation, and it is
not difficult to foresee changes which might lead, with universal
satisfaction, to a reduction in the number of members in the House of
Commons.  It may also be anticipated that the system that relegates the
details of legislative measures to the consideration of Grand
Committees may be gradually extended as time goes on, and that thus the
committee work of the House of Commons itself may grow less and less by
degrees.  In either case, or in both cases together, it might easily
come to pass that the present debating-chamber would supply ample
sitting room to all its members on every ordinary occasion, although it
is hardly possible to understand how, on a night of great debate, with
a momentous division impending, the present chamber could be expected
to accommodate the full number of members entitled to claim seats
there.  At all events, it is hardly possible to imagine any condition
of things arising which could call for any alteration in the
construction of the representative chamber which would be likely to
affect, in the slightest degree, the general character of that palace
of legislation which was planned and founded during the reign of
William the Fourth, was opened in the reign of Queen Victoria, and will
bear down to posterity the name of its architect, Sir Charles Barry.

Before leaving this subject it is of interest to note that the question
of providing accommodation for ladies desiring to listen to the debates
in the House of Commons {273} was brought up more than once during the
reign of William the Fourth.  Miss Martineau, in her "History of the
Thirty Years' Peace," makes grave complaint of the manner in which the
proposal for the admission of ladies to hear the debates was treated
alike by the legislators who favored and by those who resisted the
proposition.  The whole subject, she appears to think, was treated as a
huge joke.  One set of members advocated the admission of ladies on the
ground, among other reasons, that their presence in the House of
Commons would tend to keep the legislators sober, and prevent them from
garnishing their speeches with unseemly expressions.  Another set stood
out against the proposal on the ground that if ladies were allowed to
sit in a gallery in sight of the members, the result would be that the
representatives would cease to pay any real attention to the business
of debate, and would occupy themselves chiefly in studying the faces
and the dresses of the fair visitors, and trying to interchange glances
with the newly admitted spectators.

The conditions under which ladies may be permitted to listen to the
debates in the House of Commons form a subject of something like
periodical discussion up to the present day.  There is, as everybody
knows, a certain number of seats set apart behind the Press gallery in
the House of Commons for the accommodation of women, who are admitted
by orders which members can obtain who are successful in a balloting
process which takes place a week in advance.  About twenty members only
out of more than six hundred can win two seats each for any one sitting
of the House, and no member can approach the ballot for at least a week
after he has accomplished a success.  The Ladies' Gallery holds only a
very small number of women, and it is jealously screened by a gilded
grating something like that through which the women of an Eastern
potentate's household are permitted to gaze upon the stage from their
box in the theatre.

It will perhaps be news to some readers to hear that this ladies'
gallery, such as it is, is technically not within the precincts of the
House of Commons at all.  It is not an {274} institution of the House,
nor does it come under the rules of the House, nor is it recognized by
the authorities of the House.  It is there, as a matter of fact, but it
is not supposed to be there, and the Speaker of the House, who is
omnipotent over all other parts of the chamber, has no control over the
occupants of that gilded cage, and is technically assumed to be
ignorant of their presence.  The Speaker can, on proper occasions,
order strangers "to withdraw" from all the other galleries set apart
for the use of outsiders, but he has no power over the ladies who sit
in the gallery high above his chair.  It has even happened that when
subjects had, as a matter of necessity, to be discussed in the House of
Commons which the Speaker did not consider quite suitable for an
audience of both sexes, he has sent a private and unofficial intimation
to the Ladies' Gallery that it would, in his opinion, be more seemly if
its occupants were to withdraw.  But on some occasions a few of the
ladies declined to withdraw, and the Speaker had no power to enforce
his advice, seeing that, technically, there was no Ladies' Gallery
within his jurisdiction.  Some time, no doubt, the House of Commons
will adopt more reasonable regulations, and will recognize the right of
women to be treated as rational creatures, as members of the community,
as citizens, and allowed to sit, as men do, in an open gallery, and
listen to the debates which must always more or less concern their own
interests.  It is a curious fact that the galleries and other parts of
the House of Lords to which women have admission are open to the public
gaze just as are those parts of the House in which male strangers are
permitted to listen to the debates of the peers.

[Sidenote: 1835--The Orange Associations]

In the year 1835 the public mind of these countries was much surprised,
and even startled, by the discovery, or what at least seemed to be the
discovery, of a great and portentous plot against the established order
of succession to the throne.  This plot was declared to be carried on
by the Orange societies which had for many years been growing up in
Great Britain and Ireland, and throughout many of the colonies and
dependencies.  This Orange {275} organization began in the North of
Ireland, and was originally intended to crush out the Catholic
associations which were then coming into existence all over Ireland for
the political and religious emancipation of the Roman Catholics, and
for strengthening the national cause in the Irish Parliament.  There is
so little to be said in defence, or even in excuse, of the Orange
organization in its earlier years that it seems only fair to admit the
possibility of its having been seriously intended, in the beginning,
for the defence of Great Britain against an Irish rebellion fomented
and supported by France.

The Orange associations took their title from the name of the royal
house which had given William the Third as a sovereign to England, and
the name of Orange was understood to illustrate its hostility to all
Jacobite plots and schemes, which were naturally assumed to have the
countenance and the favor of England's foreign enemies.  We have seen
already, in the course of this history, how the Orange societies acted
before the rebellion of '98 in Ireland, and how orange and green became
the rival colors of those who denounced and those who supported every
Irish national movement.  When the rebellion was suppressed, and
Grattan's Parliament was extinguished, the Orange associations were not
in the least disposed to admit that their work had been accomplished
and that there was no further need for their active existence.  On the
contrary, they increased their efforts to spread their power all over
the country, and, claiming for themselves the credit of having been a
main influence in the suppression of the Irish rebellion, they appealed
for the support of all loyal Englishmen to increase their numbers and
strengthen their hands.  Orangeism, which had at first only been known
in Ireland, began to spread widely throughout Great Britain.  Orange
Lodges were everywhere formed; Orange Grand Masters were appointed; a
whole vocabulary of Orange titles, passwords, and phrases was invented;
a complete hierarchy of Orange officialism was created, and an
invisible network of Orangeism held the members of the organization
together.  The Orange conspiracy, if {276} we may call it so, had been
spreading its ramifications energetically during the later years of
George the Fourth's reign, and had succeeded in obtaining the
countenance, and indeed the active support, of many peers, of at least
some bishops, and even of certain members of the royal family.  The
Duke of York, who at that time stood nearest in the succession to the
throne, was a patron of the societies, and was invited to become Grand
Master of the whole organization.  The invitation would in all
probability have been accepted if the Duke had not been assured, on the
most authoritative advice, that a secret organization of such a nature
was distinctly an illegal body.  When the Duke died, and it seemed all
but certain that the next King of England must be his brother William,
Duke of Clarence, the Orange lodges transferred their allegiance to the
Duke of Cumberland, who consented to become their Grand Master.

[Sidenote: 1835--Wellington and the British Crown]

The Duke of Cumberland, as we have already seen, was a Tory of the most
extreme order; an inveterate enemy to every kind of reform and every
progressive movement, a man who was not merely unpopular but thoroughly
detested among all classes who valued political freedom, religious
liberty, and the spread of education.  Soon after William the Fourth's
accession to the throne a new impulse was given to Orangeism by the
King's yielding to the demand for popular reform, and by the measures
and the movements which began to follow the passing of Lord Grey's
Reform Bill.  The Orangemen all over these countries then began to look
upon the Duke of Cumberland as their natural leader, and there can be
little doubt that in the minds of many of them, in the minds of some of
the most influential among them, there was growing up the wild hope
that the Duke of Cumberland might become King of England.  The Orange
lodges became a vast secret organization with signs and passwords, a
mysterious political confraternity, the Grand Master of which was a
sort of head centre, to adopt a phrase belonging to a more modern
conspiracy, and performing, indeed, something like the part which
Continental Freemasonry at one time {277} aspired to play.  The Orange
lodges in Great Britain and Ireland swelled in numbers until they had
more than three hundred thousand members solemnly and secretly sworn to
obey all the orders of the leaders.  More than that, the emissaries of
the Orange lodges contrived to make their influence widely felt in the
Army, and it became clear afterwards that a large number of soldiers
were sworn confederates of the association.

Some of the explanations which were afterwards given to account for the
sudden spread of Orangeism might well appear incredible at first to an
intelligent reader of our day not acquainted with this singular chapter
of history.  But it was afterwards made perfectly certain that a large
number of credulous persons were prevailed upon to join the Orange
ranks by the positive assurance that the Duke of Wellington had formed
the determination to seize the crown of England and to put it on his
own head, and that the Duke of Cumberland was the only man who could
save the realm from this treasonable enterprise.  It seems hardly
possible now to understand that there could have been one human
creature in England silly and ignorant enough to believe the Duke of
Wellington capable of so preposterous and so wicked a scheme.  Lord
John Russell has left it on record that when he visited Napoleon in his
exile at Elba, the fallen Emperor, during the course of a long
conversation, expressed his strong belief that Wellington would seize
the crown of England.  Lord John endeavored to convince him that such
an idea went entirely outside the limits of sober reality; but Napoleon
refused to be convinced, and blandly put the question aside with the
manner of one who knows better but does not particularly care to
impress his opinion on unwilling ears.  One can easily understand how
such an idea might come into the mind of Napoleon, who knew little or
nothing about the actual conditions of English political and social
life, and who had experience of his own to demonstrate the possibility
of a great military conqueror becoming at once the ruler of a State.
But it seems hard indeed to understand how any sane Englishman could
have believed that {278} the simple, loyal, unselfish Duke of
Wellington could allow such an idea to enter his mind for a moment, or
could see his way to make it a reality even if he did entertain it.
Yet it cannot be doubted that numbers of Englishmen were induced to
join Orange lodges by the positive assurance that thus only could they
save the State from Wellington's daring ambition.

[Sidenote: 1836--Dissolution of the Orange lodges]

One of the principal instruments of the Orange organization was a
certain Colonel Fairman, who held an important position in what may be
called its military hierarchy, and was undoubtedly at one time
intrusted by the Duke of Cumberland with the fullest authority to act
as the emissary of the Grand Master to make known his will and convey
his orders.  Whether the Duke of Cumberland ever really entertained the
project ascribed to him of seizing the crown for himself and shutting
out the Princess Victoria can, in all probability, never be known as a
certainty; but there can be no question that his actions often
justified such a belief, and that many of his most devoted Orange
followers looked up to him as the resolute hero of such a project to
save England from Whigs and Liberals, and Roman Catholics, and mob
orators, and petticoat government, and all other such enemies to the
good old state of things as established by the wisdom of our ancestors
and the Act of Settlement.  The whole question was raised in the House
of Commons during the session of 1835 by Joseph Hume, the consistent
and persevering advocate of sound economic doctrine, of political
freedom, of peace, retrenchment, and reform.  Hume obtained the
appointment of a committee to inquire into the whole subject, and the
committee had no great difficulty in finding out that Colonel Fairman
had been carrying on, with or without the consent or authority of his
Grand Master the Duke of Cumberland, what must be called a treasonable
conspiracy through the Orange lodges and even through Orangemen who
were actually serving in the King's Army.  In 1836 Hume brought up the
question once again and obtained so much support from Lord John
Russell, then acting as Leader of the Government in the House of
Commons, that {279} an address was unanimously voted to the King
calling on him to proclaim the condemnation of the Orange conspiracy.
The Duke of Cumberland disclaimed all treasonable purposes, and
declared that many of the steps taken by Fairman and other Orange
emissaries had been taken without his orders and even without his
knowledge.  Fairman disappeared from the scene when the crisis seemed
to become too serious for his personal convenience, and one of the
Orange emissaries, against whom a prosecution was to be instituted, was
removed by a sudden death from the reach of the criminal law.  The Duke
of Cumberland announced that he had already, of his own inspiration,
ordered the dissolution of the Orange lodges.  The King, in his reply
to the address in the House of Commons, declared himself entirely in
accordance with the resolutions of the House, and thus the whole
conspiracy came to an end, and the Government thought it well to allow
the subject to pass into obscurity without further action.

This was the end of the Orange organization, as it was known in the
days of William the Fourth.  At a later date Orangeism was again
revived, but only in the form which it still maintains, by which it is
now known to us all as a political association, openly avowing
legitimate opinions and purposes, and as fairly entitled to existence
as any political club or other such organization recognized in the
movements of modern life.  The treasonable conspiracy, like many
another evil, died when it was compelled to endure the light of day.




[Sidenote: 1748-1832--Mackintosh, Malthus, and Mill]

Many lives that now belong to history had faded into history during the
reign of William the Fourth.  William Wilberforce, the great champion of
every noble and philanthropic movement known to his times, had passed
from the living world which he had done so much to improve.  Wilberforce
lived to see the triumph of that movement against slavery and the
slave-trade which he, more than any other of his time, had inspired and
promoted.  He had been compelled by ill-health to give up his position in
Parliament for several years before his death, but he had never withdrawn
his watchful sympathy and such co-operation as it was in his power to
give from any cause to which he had consecrated his life.  His name will
always be illustrious in English history as that of one who loved his
fellow-men and who gave expression to that love in every act and effort
of his public and private career.  Jeremy Bentham, one of the greatest of
modern thinkers, the founder of more than one school of political and
economic doctrine, a man whose influence on human thought is never likely
to pass altogether away, died in June, 1832.  Bentham's principle, the
greatest happiness of the greatest number, has often been narrowly and
unfairly judged, but it may be doubted whether a sounder theory of
political and social government has ever come out of the mere wisdom of
man.  The phrase utilitarianism, which came into use as the summary of
his teaching, has often been misunderstood and misapplied, and perhaps
some excuse was found for the misinterpretation of his meaning in his
decision that his dead body should be given up for the purpose of anatomy
and not buried in earth to be of service {281} only to the worms.  Many
of us have seen the skeleton of Jeremy Bentham clothed in his habit as he
lived in a room of that University College which he helped to make a

Sir James Mackintosh brought his noble career to a close during this
reign.  Mackintosh had been historian, philosopher, and politician, and,
like Macaulay, he had rendered great services in India as well as in
England.  Like Macaulay also, he had been listened to with the deepest
interest whenever he addressed the House of Commons, although his gifts
and his temperament seemed suited rather for the study than for
Parliamentary life.  Another man whose death belongs to the reign of
William the Fourth, whose teachings were at one time the occasion for
incessant controversy--and indeed caused most controversy where they were
least understood--was Thomas Robert Malthus.  In many classes of readers
the name of Malthus came to be associated for a while with the idea of
some strange and cruel doctrine which taught that wars and pestilences
and other calamities that have the effect of sweeping redundant
populations off the world are really good things in themselves, to be
encouraged by beneficent legislation.  It is hardly necessary to say now
that nothing could be more narrow and even more perverse than this
interpretation of Malthus's philosophy.  Another of the teaching minds
which passed from the contemplation of earthly subjects during the reign
was that of James Mill, the historian of British India and the
promulgator of great doctrines in political economy.  James Mill, like
Edmund Burke, had studied India thoroughly, and come to understand it as
few men had done who had lived there for years and years, although, like
Burke, he had never been within sight of the shores of Hindustan.  Mill
divined India as Talleyrand said that Alexander Hamilton, the American
statesman and companion of George Washington, had divined Europe.
Charles Greville, writing in November, 1830, speaks of meeting at
breakfast "young Mill, a political economist," and adds that "young Mill
is the son of Mill who wrote the 'History of British India,' {282} and
said to be cleverer than his father."  The elder Mill would no doubt have
gladly endorsed the saying, and it may be assumed that history has given
its judgment in the same way, but history will certainly maintain the
fame of the father as well as the fame of the son.  A man of a very
different order from any of these we have just mentioned, but who has
made a reputation of his own in literature as well as in politics, closed
his career within the same reign.  We have already spoken in this volume
of William Cobbett's command of simple, strong English, which made his
prose style hardly inferior to that of Swift himself.  Indeed, one of the
most distinguished authors of the present day, a man who has made a name
in political life as well as in literature, has been heard to contend
with earnestness that, as a writer of pure, strong, idiomatic English,
Cobbett might be accounted the rival of Swift.  The great engineer,
Telford, and the really gifted and genuine, although eccentric and
opinionated, physician, Dr. Abernethy, were among the celebrities whose
deaths rather than their works belong to the time when William the Fourth
was King.

[Sidenote: 1754-1834--Coleridge and Hannah More]

Poetry, romance, and art suffered many heavy losses during the same time.
We have already chronicled the death of Walter Scott.  One who had known
him and had been kindly welcomed by him, James Hogg, the Ettrick
Shepherd, died three years after Scott in 1835.  The death of George
Crabbe was one of the memorable events of the reign.  Crabbe might well
be described in the words which a later singer set out for his own
epitaph, as "the poet of the poor."  Crabbe pictured the struggles, the
sufferings, the occasional gleams of happiness which are common to the
lives of the poor with a realism as vigorous and as vivid as the prose of
Charles Dickens himself could show, and he had touches here and there of
exquisitely tender poetic feeling which were not unworthy of Keats or
Wordsworth.  Nothing was nobler in the life of Burke than his early
appreciation and generous support of Crabbe.  Hannah More died in 1833.
The fame of this remarkable woman has somewhat faded of late years, and
even the {283} most successful of her writings find probably but few
readers among the general public.  She has, however, won for herself a
distinct place in history, not less by her life itself than by her work
in various fields of literature.  In her early days she had been an
associate of Samuel Johnson, Burke, and Goldsmith, and Reynolds, and she
had known Macaulay from his childhood.  She was always a writer with a
purpose, whether she wrote a religious tract or an ethical essay, a
tragedy or a novel.  She always strove to be a teacher, and the
intellectual gifts with which she had been endowed were only valued by
her in so far as they enabled her to serve the education and the moral
progress of humanity.  "The rapt One of the godlike forehead, the
heaven-eyed creature," as Wordsworth described Samuel Taylor Coleridge,
died in 1834.  Coleridge belonged to an order of intellect far higher
than that to which Crabbe or Hannah More had any claim.  He was indeed a
man of genius in all but the very highest meaning of the word.  He was
poet, philosopher, teacher, and critic, and in each department, had he
worked in that alone, he must have won renown.  Perhaps if he had not
worked in so many fields he might have obtained even a more exalted
position than that which history must assuredly assign to him.  His
influence as a philosopher is probably fading now, although he
unquestionably inspired whole schools of philosophic thought, and the
world remembers him rather as the author of "The Ancient Mariner" than as
the metaphysical student and teacher.  As a critic, in the highest sense
of the word, he will always have the praise that should belong to the
first who aroused the attention of Englishmen to the great new school of
thoughtful criticism which was growing up in Germany under the influence
of Lessing and of Goethe.  He would have deserved fame if only for his
translations of some of Schiller's noblest dramas.  It has been justly
said that Coleridge by his successful efforts to spread over England the
influence of the higher German criticism did much to restore Shakespeare
to that position as head of the world's modern literature from which
English {284} criticism and English tastes had done so much to displace
him since the days of Dryden.

[Sidenote: 1775-1836--Mrs. Siddons and Edmund Kean]

The death of Coleridge was soon followed by that of Charles Lamb, and,
indeed, Coleridge's death may have had some effect in hastening that of
his dear and devoted friend.  In the same poem from which we have just
quoted the lines that picture Coleridge, Wordsworth tells how "Lamb, the
frolic and the gentle, has vanished from his lonely hearth."  Lamb was
the most exquisite of essayists and letter-writers, a man whose delicate
humor, playful irony, and happy gift of picturesque phrase claim for him
true poetic genius.  The present generation has probably but a faint
memory of Felicia Hemans, whose verse had at one time an immense
popularity among all readers with whom sweetness of sentiment, musical
ease, fluency of verse, and simple tenderness of feeling were enough to
constitute poetic art.  She, too, died not long before the close of the
reign.  Many men who had won wide fame as pulpit orators and as religious
teachers of various orders marked by their deaths as well as by their
lives this chapter of history.  Rowland Hill was one of these, the great
popular preacher, who flung aside conventionalities, and was ready to
preach anywhere if he had hope of gathering an audience around him whom
he could move and teach, whether he spoke from the pulpit of a church or
a chapel, or from a platform in the open air, or in the midst of a crowd
with no platform at all.  Another was Robert Hall, admittedly one of the
most eloquent preachers of modern times.  Yet another was Adam Clarke,
the author of the celebrated "Commentary on the Holy Scriptures."  Of
course the fame of these men and women does not belong in the fuller
sense to the reign of William the Fourth.  Some of them had wellnigh done
their work before the reign began, none of them can be said to have won
any new celebrity during the reign.  Their names are introduced here
because their deaths were events of the moment and lend, in that way,
additional importance to the reign's history.

The fame of Mrs. Siddons can hardly be said to belong in any sense to the
days when William the Fourth sat on {285} the English throne, for she had
retired from the stage many years before his accession, and only appeared
in public on rare occasions and for some charitable object; but she died
within the reign, and it must therefore find another distinction by its
association with her name.  Two years later died Edmund Kean, who also
may be said to have closed his career as an actor before the reign had
begun.  Of the fame that is won on the boards of a theatre posterity can
only judge by hearsay.  The poet, the novelist, the historian, the
philosopher, the painter, the sculptor, leave their works always living
behind them, and the later generation has the same materials on which to
form its judgment as were open to the world when the author or artist had
just completed his work.  Even the orator can bequeath to all ages the
words he has spoken, although they are no longer to be accompanied by the
emphasis of his gesture and accentuated by the music of his voice.  Of
the actor and the actress who have long passed away we can know nothing
but what their contemporaries have told us, and can form no judgment of
our own.  We can hardly be wrong, however, in regarding Mrs. Siddons as
by far the greatest tragic actress who has ever appeared on the English
stage, and Edmund Kean as the greatest actor of Shakespearian tragedy
whom England has seen since the days of Garrick.  In mentioning these two
names, we must also be reminded of the name of Charles Mathews the elder,
an actor of extraordinary versatility and genuine dramatic power, who is,
however, best remembered as the originator of the style of theatrical
entertainment which may be described as the "At Home" performance, in
which he probably never had a rival.  Many of us can still remember his
yet more gifted son, the younger Charles Mathews, the incomparable light
comedian of a later day.

We have told thus far, in this chapter, only of lights going out in
literature, art, philosophy, theology, and science.  Let us relieve the
picture by recording that one rising star of the first magnitude in
literature cast its earliest rays over these latest years of William the
Fourth.  Early in 1836 the "Sketches by Boz" were published in a {286}
collected form, and a little later in the same year appeared the first
number of "The Pickwick Papers."  Then the world began to know that a man
of thoroughly original genius had arisen, and before the reign was out
the young author, Charles Dickens, was accorded by all those whose
judgment was worth having that place among the foremost English novelists
which he has ever since retained and is ever likely to retain.  "The
Pickwick Papers" opened a new era in the history of English
novel-writing.  By a curious coincidence, the proposal of a young art
student to furnish illustrations for Dickens's books being declined by
the author, led the young art student to believe that he had mistaken his
vocation in trying to illustrate the works of other men, and he turned
his attention to literature, and afterwards became the one great rival of
Dickens, and will be known to all time as the author of "Vanity Fair" and
"The Newcomes."  None of the writings which made Thackeray's fame
appeared during the time of William the Fourth, but his name may be
associated with the close of the reign by the incident which brought him
into an acquaintanceship with Dickens, and which led to his abandoning
the pencil for the pen.

[Sidenote: 1772-1834--The impositions of Princess Olivia]

Towards the close of the reign died one of the most audacious and
astonishing impostors known to modern times.  Even the Tichborne claimant
of the reign that followed makes but a poor show for inventiveness and
enterprise when compared with the woman who described herself as the
Princess Olivia of Cumberland, and who claimed to be the daughter of King
William's brother.  This woman was the daughter of a house painter named
Wilmot, and was educated under the care of her uncle, the Rector of a
parish in Warwickshire.  She received a good education, and even in her
young days seemed to have a desire to exhibit herself as the heroine of
strange adventures.  At an early age she was married to John Serres, a
man distinguished in his art, who obtained the position of painter to the
King and the Duke of Clarence, afterwards William the Fourth, and it was
probably this association with the surroundings of greater personages
that inspired {287} her with some of her bold conceptions.  Her husband
and she did not get on very well together, and a separation took place;
after which for a while Mrs. Serres appeared on the stage, and then took
to the art of painting on her own account, and actually succeeded in
getting herself appointed landscape painter to the Prince of Wales.  Her
next attempt was at novel-writing, and she also published a volume of
poems and even ventured on the composition of an opera.  Later still she
made herself conspicuous by writing a volume to prove that her uncle, the
Rev. James Wilmot, was the actual author of the letters of Junius.  That
was only a beginning, for she soon after proclaimed herself the
legitimate daughter, by a secret marriage, of the Duke of Cumberland.
She made her claims known to the Prince Regent and all the other members
of the royal family, and demanded a formal hearing in order that she
might prove her right to rank as one of them.  She was so far successful
that her claim was actually taken up by a member of the House of Commons,
who moved for the appointment of a Committee of the House to give it a
full investigation.  Sir Robert Peel promptly settled the question, so
far as regarded the appointment of a committee, by announcing that he
held in his hand a manifesto of the Princess Olivia, addressed to the
high powers of the kingdom of Poland, in which she claimed to be the
descendant of Stanislaus Augustus.  Sir Robert Peel urged that as the two
claims were practically irreconcilable and were both made by the same
claimant, the House of Commons might consider itself relieved from the
necessity of appointing a Committee of Inquiry, and the House accepted
his advice.  Still, it is almost needless to say that many persons were
found quite willing to believe in the genuineness of the Princess
Olivia's claim, and even in the genuineness of both her claims, and she
had indeed, for a time, a party of faithful and credulous followers as
strong as that which backed up the pretensions of the adventurer from
Wapping who proclaimed himself to be Sir Roger Tichborne.  The later
years of the self-created Princess Olivia were spent in poverty, and she
died within the rules of the {288} King's Bench.  Even in much later
days, however, her name was not wholly forgotten.

A few lines may be spared to describe the career of a man who died not
long after the death of the Princess Olivia, and who belonged to that
class which used to be described as wonderful characters.  This was a man
named James Norris, who came of a family of good position having property
near Devizes.  Norris received a good education, and at one time promised
to make a name for himself as a student of natural history.  He is
described as "handsome in person and elegant in manners," and we are told
that "he possessed a highly cultivated mind which seemed to promise in
early life eminence in society, and that he would rise to be an ornament
to the age in which he lived."  At a comparatively early age he had
outlived all his family, and thus became the owner of large landed
property.  He suddenly became a prey to strange, overmastering habits of
indolence, apathy, and shyness, which gradually estranged him from all
society.  He neglected his property, allowed his rents to remain for
years and years in the hands of his steward, without troubling himself
about them, and allowed his dividends to grow up in the hands of his
bankers without concerning himself as to their amount, or even opening
any letters which might be addressed to him on the subject.  He gave up
shaving and allowed his hair and board to grow as they would; he never
changed his clothing or his linen until they became worn to rags; he lay
in bed for the greater part of the day, took his principal meal about
midnight, then had a lonely ramble, and returned to bed as the morning
drew near.  He was hardly ever seen by anybody but his servants, and
declined any communication even with his nearest neighbors.  When an
occasion arose which actually compelled him to communicate with any one
from the outer world, he would only consent to speak with a door, or at
least a screen, between him and the other party to the conversation.  All
the time he does not seem to have been engaged in any manner of study or
work, and he appears to have simply devoted himself to the full
indulgence of his {289} passion for solitude.  His figure, or some sketch
suggested by it, has been made use of more than once by writers of
fiction, but the man himself was a living figure in the reign of William
the Fourth, and died not long before its close.

Under the date of March 31, 1837, Charles Greville writes: "Among the
many old people who have been cut off by this severe weather, one of the
most remarkable is Mrs. Fitzherbert, who died at Brighton at above eighty
years of age.  She was not a clever woman, but of a very noble spirit,
disinterested, generous, honest, and affectionate, greatly beloved by her
friends and relations, popular in the world, and treated with uniform
distinction and respect by the Royal Family."  The death of this
celebrated woman recalls to memory one of the saddest and most shameful
chapters in the whole sad and shameful story of the utterly worthless
Prince who became George the Fourth.

[Sidenote: 1756-1837--Illness of William the Fourth]

Meanwhile the reign of William the Fourth was hastening to its close.
The King had had several attacks of illness, and more than once, before
the end was yet quite near, his physical condition went down so low that
those around him believed it impossible for him to rise again.  He
rallied, however, more than once, and regained his good spirits and gave
hope to those who had any real wish for his recovery that the reign had
not yet quite come to an end.  In some of his better moods he showed
glimpses of that higher nature which was wont to assert itself fitfully
now and then at many periods of his career.  More than once he prayed
fervently in these later days that his life might be spared until the
Princess Victoria should come of age.  Almost to the end the usual
festivities were kept up at Windsor Castle, and the Queen, by his wish,
visited the race-course at Ascot a few days before the end came; but it
is recorded that she only remained an hour on the ground.  The formal
announcement that the King was seriously ill was not made until within a
few days of the sovereign's death.  Even when regular bulletins began to
be issued, they were so sparing of their information, and {290} so
carefully guarded against any suggestion of alarm, that the outer public
had really very little to go upon, except the bare fact that the King was
growing to be an old man, and that he was liable to fits of illness just
as he had been for years before.  It would appear that it was William's
whim to dictate the bulletins himself, and that he was very anxious not
to allow a word to go forth which might convey a knowledge of his actual
condition.  The poor old sovereign was apparently inspired by the full
conviction that the prolongation of his life was of the utmost importance
to the welfare of his people, and it may be fully believed that his
unwillingness to admit the imminence of danger to his life came from an
honest sort of public purpose.  He gave his attention to the business of
the State almost to the very last.  All the time those who were
immediately around the sinking sovereign knew quite well that the end was
close at hand, and were already consulting earnestly and constantly as to
the steps which ought to be taken to prepare for the new reign, even as
to the matter of mere ceremonials which were to accompany the accession
of a woman as sovereign.  On June 16 Greville says: "Met Sir Robert Peel
in the Park, and talked with him about the beginning of the new reign.
He said that it was very desirable that the young Queen should appear as
much as possible emancipated from all restraint, and exhibit a capacity
for the discharge of her high functions.  That the most probable as well
as the most expedient course she could adopt would be to rely entirely on
the advice of Melbourne, and she might with great propriety say that she
thought it incumbent on her to follow the example which had been set by
her two uncles, her predecessors, George the Fourth and William the
Fourth."  Each of these had retained the ministers whom he found in
office, although not quite of his own pattern.  There were some fears, at
the time, that Leopold, King of the Belgians, might hasten over to
England, and might exercise, or at least be suspected of exercising, an
undue influence over the young Princess Victoria.  Headers at the present
day will notice, perhaps with peculiar interest, the observation made by
{291} Greville that "Lord Durham is on his way home, and his return is
regarded with no little curiosity, because he may endeavor to play a
great political part, and materially to influence the opinions, or at
least the councils, of the Queen."  Lord Durham, up to this time, was
regarded by most people merely as a Radical of a very advanced order,
burning with strong political ambitions, fitfully impelled with
passionate likings and dislikings, and capable of proving a serious
trouble to the quiet of the new reign.  We know now that Durham was soon
drawn away almost altogether from home politics, disappointing thereby
many of his Radical admirers, and that he found a new field of success,
and established for himself an abiding-place in history as the statesman
to whose courage, energy, and genius is owing the foundation of the
self-governing, prosperous, peaceful, and loyal Dominion of Canada, which
has again and again proved itself in recent times an important part of
the empire's strength.

[Sidenote: 1837--The Princess Victoria]

Writing of the Princess Victoria, Greville goes on to say: "What renders
speculation so easy, and events uncertain, is the absolute ignorance of
everybody, without exception, of the character, disposition, and capacity
of the Princess.  She has been kept in such jealous seclusion by her
mother (never having slept out of her bedroom, nor been alone with
anybody but herself and the Baroness Lehzen), that not one of her
acquaintance, none of the attendants at Kensington, not even the Duchess
of Northumberland, her governess, have any idea what she is or what she
promises to be."  Greville tells us that "the Tories are in great
consternation at the King's approaching death," because they fear that
the new sovereign is not likely to make any advances to them, while "the
Whigs, to do them justice, behave with great decency; whatever they may
really feel, they express a very proper concern, and I have no doubt
Melbourne really feels the concern he expresses."  Then Greville
dismisses, for the moment, the whole subject with the words: "The public
in general don't seem to care much, and only wonder what will happen."
The chronicler no doubt expressed very correctly the {292} public
feeling.  Of course, there is nothing surprising in the fact that while
the poor King lay dying those who had any official relations with the
Court or with Parliament were occupying themselves, during the greater
part of the time, with speculations as to the immediate changes which his
death would bring about, and with discussions and disputations as to the
proper arrangements and ceremonials to accompany and to follow his
passing away from this world.  Something of the same kind must have
happened in the case of any Windsor shopkeeper whose family and friends
were in hourly expectation of his death, and it is only when such
discussions and arrangements come to be recorded as a part of the history
of a reign that we are likely to feel impressed by the difference between
the prosaic, practical details of the business of this world and the
sacred solemnity of the event that is supposed already to cast its shadow

[Sidenote: 1837--Death of William the Fourth]

There appears to have been some dispute between the authorities of Church
and State as to the offering up of prayers in the churches for the
recovery of the King.  William was anxious that the prayers should be
offered at once, and the Privy Council assembled to make the order; but
the Bishop of London raised an objection, not to the offering of the
prayers, but to the suggestion that the prayers were to be offered in
obedience to an order coming from the Lords in Council.  The Bishop
maintained that the Lords had no power to make any such order.  In the
discussion which took place it appears that some eminent lawyers were of
opinion that even the King himself had no power to order the use of any
particular prayers, or, at all events, that even if he had any such power
it was in virtue of his position as head of the Church and not as head of
the State.  This was indeed to raise what the late Baron Bramwell once
humorously described as "a most delightful point of law."  The difficulty
appears to have been got over by a sort of compromise, the Archbishop of
Canterbury undertaking to order, on his own authority, that prayers
should be offered up in all churches for the King's recovery, and the
order was no {293} doubt dutifully obeyed.  To complete the satirical
humor of the situation King William ought actually to have died while the
dispute was still going on as to the precise authority by which prayers
were to be offered up for his recovery, but some sort of effective
arrangement was made during the monarch's few remaining hours of life,
and the appeal on his behalf was duly made.

On June 19 the King was found to be falling deeper and deeper into
weakness, which seemed to put all chance of his recovery out of
reasonable consideration, and the Sacrament was administered to him by
the Archbishop of Canterbury.  One of the King's last utterances may be
set down as in the best sense characteristic--it illustrated, that is to
say, the best side of his character.  "Believe me," were the words of the
dying King, "that I have always been a religious man."  It may be
admitted, in justice to William, that according to his generally dull and
often confused and hazy lights he did always recognize the standard,
higher than that of mere expediency, or political compromise, or personal
convenience, set up to regulate the conduct even of princes.

The reign came to an end on June 30, 1837.  Shortly after two o'clock
that morning King William passed away.  He died calmly and without a
struggle.  The closing hours of his life had a resignation and a dignity
about them which might well have fitted the end of one whose whole
career, public and private, had been more dignified and more noble than
that of the poor, eccentric, restless, illiterate personage who succeeded
the last of the Georges on the throne of England.  It must be owned that,
whatever the personal defects and disadvantages of the sovereign, the
reign of King William the Fourth had been more beneficent in politics
than that of any of his predecessors since the days of Queen Anne.  For
the first time in the modern history of England the voice of the people
had been authorized by legislation to have some influence over the
direction of national affairs.  The passing of the great Reform measure,
and the rush of other reforms which followed it, opened the way for a new
system of {294} administration, the beneficial effects of which in the
political and social life of the empire have been expanding ever since.
With the reign of William the Fourth the principle of personal rule, or
rule by the mere decree and will of the sovereign, came to an end.  If
the reign is to be judged by the work it accomplished, it cannot but be
set down in history as a great reign.  Perhaps there were few men in
England of whatever class, high or low, who had less of the quality of
personal greatness than William the Fourth.  He had greatness thrust upon
him by the mere fact that fate would have him King.  He contributed
nothing towards the accomplishment of the many important works which are
the best monuments of his reign, except by the negative merit of having
at least not done anything to prevent their being accomplished.  Even
this, however, is a claim to the respect of posterity which must be
denied to some of his nearest predecessors.  He ruled over a great
country without acquiring during his course any quality of greatness for
himself.  He was like the glass of the window, which admits the light of
the sun without any light-creating power of its own.



  Abernethy, Dr., death, iv. 282.
  Act for better securing the Dependency of Ireland, i. 177.
  Act of Settlement, i. 4.
  Act of Union passed, iii. 327, 330.
  Acts of Trade, iii. 82, 84, 86, 105.
  Adams, John:
    Conduct towards Colonel Preston, iii. 152.
    Opposes dominion of England, iii. 85.
  Adams, Samuel, protests against Stamp Act, iii. 90.
  Addington, Henry, Viscount Sidmouth, Prime Minister, iii. 337.
  Addison, Joseph:
    M. P. for Malmesbury, i. 52.
    Secretary of State; circular letter to English Ministers, ii. 109.
    Sketch of, i. 37, 180.
  Address (1715), i. 102.
  Adelaide of Saxe-Meiningen, wife of William IV., iv. 97.
    Supposed attitude towards Reform, iv. 172.
  Agrarian crime, iv. 84, 106.
  Agriculture in Scotland (1714), i. 87, 89.
  Agriculture in 1721, i. 229.
  Aislabie, John:
    Chancellor of Exchequer, i. 188, 190.
    Committed to Tower, i. 199.
    Impeaches Lord Strafford, i. 109, 110.
    Treasurer of Navy, i. 105.
  Aix-la-Chapelle, Treaty of, ii. 260, 280.
  Akerman, Keeper of Newgate, attitude towards mob, iii. 203.
  Albany, Countess of, wife of Charles Stuart, ii. 233.
  Alberoni, Giulio:
    Policy, i. 159.
    Sketch of, i. 158.
  Ale-tax in Scotland, i. 249.
  Ali Vardi Khan, death of, ii. 265.
  Allan, killed in riot (1768), iii. 120.
  Allen, Ethan, iii. 179.
  Almanza, battle of, ii. 35.
  Althorp,  Lord  (_see_ Spencer, John Charles, Earl).
  Amelia, daughter of George III., death of, iii. 341.
  Amelia, Princess  (_see_ Emily, Princess).
  American Colonies:
    Discontent in, iii. 147 _seqq._
    Grievances, iii. 82.
    Proclaim their Independence, iii. 183.
    Report on, i. 310.
    Sketch of history, iii. 74.
    Systems of governing, i. 310.
  American  Republic  acknowledged, iii. 184.
    Influence on France, iii. 290, 292.
  American War of Independence, iii. 173 _seqq._
  American War, Second, iii. 344.
  Amherst, Jeffrey, Baron:
    Commander-in-Chief, iii. 207.
    Commands troops in Canada, ii. 287.
  Amhurst, Nicholas (Caleb d'Anvers), edits _Craftsman_, i. 261.
  Anaverdi Khan, Nabob of Carnatic, ii. 201.
  André, Major, death as spy, iii. 184.
  Anglesey, Marquis of, Viceroy of Ireland, attitude towards
      Catholic Emancipation, iv. 73, 74.
  Anne, Princess of Orange, ii. 38.
    Illness, ii. 71, 76.
    Marriage, ii. 42.
  Anne, Queen:
    Character, i. 1, 13.
    Death, i. 47.
    Declining health, i. 1.
    Scheme to reduce expenses, i. 281.
  "Annual Register":
    Description of mob in London, iii. 205.
    Founded by Edmund Burke, iii. 99.
  Anti-Irish riots, ii. 45.
  "Anti-Jacobin," iv. 33.
  Arbuthnot, John:
    History of John Bull, i. 97.
    Sketch of, ii. 20.
  Arcot, Siege of, ii. 263.
  Arden, Richard Pepper, iii. 236.
  Argyll, John Campbell, Duke of, i. 42.
    Commander-in-Chief for Scotland, i. 98, 123.
    Sketch of, i. 44.
    Speech on Convention, ii. 166.
  Aristotle on administration, ii. 246.
  Arnold, Benedict, iii. 179.
    Treason, iii. 184.
  Ashe, Bishop of Clogher, ii. 293.
  Ashley, Lord (_see_ Shaftesbury, Earl of).
  Association of United Irishmen, iii. 309, 313, 319.
  Atterbury, Francis, Bishop of Rochester, i. 48.
    Arrested and committed to Tower, i. 212.
    Banished, i. 222.
    Evidence against, i. 219, 220, 222.
    On condition of church, ii. 129.
    Opposes Septennial Act, i. 146.
    Sketch of, i. 214.
  _Auditor_, iii. 15, 55.
  Augusta, Princess of Saxe-Gotha, wife of Frederick,
      Prince of Wales, ii. 46, 47; iii. 6, 7.
    Birth of first child, ii. 104-107.
    Regency Bill and, iii. 73.
  Augustus, Elector of Saxony, ii. 23.
  Augustus II. of Poland, ii. 23.
  Aurungzebe, Empire on death of, ii. 257.
  Austerlitz, Battle of, iii. 338, 339.
  Austria in 1716, i. 154.

  Bailly, Mayor of Paris, iii. 298.
  Ballot system, iv. 131.
  Balmerino, Lord, trial, ii. 228.
  Bank of England:
    Attacked by rioters, iii. 207.
    Charter renewed, iv. 232.
    Imitates South Sea Company, i. 189.
  Barber, John:
    Letter to Swift, i. 48.
    On Arbuthnot, ii. 20.
  Barnard, Sir John:
    Abandons seceders, ii. 174.
    On Convention, ii. 162.
    On grievances against Spaniards, ii. 154, 157.
    On Walpole's Excise scheme, i. 315.
  Barré, Colonel, iii. 131, 133, 136.
  Barry, Richard, Lord Barrymore, iii. 244.
    Supports Young Pretender, ii. 221.
  Barry, Sir Charles, designs new Houses of Parliament, iv. 270, 272.
  Bartholomew Fair, i. 73.
  Barwell, Richard, iii. 260.
    Supports Hastings, iii. 260, 261, 264.
  Bastile captured, iii. 294.
  Bath in 1714, i. 79.
  Bathurst, Lord, demands prosecution of rioters, iii. 201.
  Beaconsfield, Benjamin Disraeli, Earl of:
    On Lord John Russell, iv. 126.
    Philippics against Sir Robert Peel, i. 287.
  Beaux and requisites, i. 76.
  Bedford, Duke of:
    Opposes Pitt, iii. 26.
    Patron of Rigby, iii. 37.
    Presents petition against Convention, ii. 164.
  Bellingham, John, shot Spencer Perceval, iii. 341.
  Benares annexed, iii. 258.
  Benares, Chait Singh, Rajah of, iii. 269.
  Bentham, Jeremy, theories of, iv. 281.
  Béranger, "King of Yvetot," iv. 119.
  Berkeley, George Bishop:
    Character, ii. 296.
    Lives in Rhode Island, ii. 295.
    Scheme of Settlement in Bermuda, ii. 294.
    Sketch of, ii. 292.
  Berkeley, Lord, of Stratton, describes duel between Colonel
      Chudleigh and Charles Aldworth, i. 58.
  Bermuda, Scheme for Settlement in, ii. 294.
  Bernard, Francis, Governor of Massachusetts, iii. 106, 148.
    Dissolves Massachusetts Legislature, iii. 150.
    Recalled, iii. 151.
  Berwick, James FitzJames, Duke of:
    Sketch of, ii. 34.
    Takes Kehl, ii. 24.
  Bill for Catholic Relief, iii. 190, 191.
  Bill for Princess Anne's dowry, ii. 43.
  Bill for strengthening Protestant interest, i. 171, 172.
  Bill of Rights, i. 3.
  Bill to adjust affairs of South Sea Company, i. 203, 205.
  Bill to suspend Habeas Corpus Act, i. 213.
  Birmingham, iv. 99.
  Bismarck, Prince, Peace policy, ii. 147.
  Black Hole of Calcutta, ii. 266, 267; iii. 249.
  Blackstone, Speech on Middlesex Election Petition, iii. 131.
  Bland-Burges Papers, ii. 217.
  Bland-Burges, Sir James, defends Warren Hastings, iii. 277, 278.
  Bloomfield, patronized by Duke of Grafton, iii. 35.
  Bolingbroke, Henry St. John, Viscount, i. 22, 115.
    Advises secession from Commons, ii. 172.
    Alliance with Pulteney, i. 260; ii. 17.
    At St. Germains, i. 116.
    Attitude towards restoration of Stuarts, i. 39, 48, 107.
    Character, i. 116; ii. 18, 279.
    Correspondence with James Stuart, ii. 18.
    Dismissed by James, i. 131.
    Dreams of Coalition Ministry, ii. 194.
    Flight, i. 103.
    Impeached of high treason, i. 108, 110.
    Inspires _Craftsman_, i. 290.
    Leaves England for France, ii. 17, 18.
    Letter to Swift, i. 47.
    Name erased from roll of peers, i. 114.
    On Duke of Berwick, ii. 34.
    On Duke of Shrewsbury, i. 42.
    On Wyndham's death, ii. 179.
    Petition to Lords, i. 258.
    Removed from Secretaryship of State, i. 101.
    Returns to England, i. 222, 258.
    Scheme of Opposition, i. 287.
    Sketch of, i. 26; later life, i. 133; ii. 278, 279.
    Style as speaker and writer, i. 27.
    Walpole's portrait of, ii. 15, 16.
  Bombay, dower of Catherine of Braganza, iii. 248.
    Evacuated, iii. 182.
    Hostile to British, iii. 151.
    Invested, iii. 175, 181.
    Life in 1765, iii. 77.
    Massacre, iii. 151.
    Protests against Stamp Act, iii. 90.
    Tea thrown into harbor, ii. 43; iii. 160.
  Boston, Lord, in hands of mob, iii. 197.
  Boston Port Bill, iii. 163; copies circulated, iii. 165.
  Boswell, James:
    Johnson and, iii. 44.
    On Alexander Wedderburn, iii. 158.
  Bourbon family:
    Aims of, ii. 28.
    Compacts, ii. 26.
  Bourne, Vincent, at Westminster School, iii. 53.
  Braddock, General, defeat and death, ii. 286; iii. 79, 180.
  Bradley on reform of Calendar, ii. 275.
  Breed Hill battle, iii. 176.
  Bremen ceded to Hanover, i. 160, 161.
  Brewster, Sir David:
    British Association and, iv. 262.
    On Newton, i. 273.
  Bright, John, doctrine of non-intervention, iv. 62.
    Growth of, i. 78.
    Reform riot at, iv. 171.
  British Admirals of Eighteenth Century, iii. 336.
  British Association founded, iv. 262.
  British garrison proposed for America, iii. 84, 86.
  British sailor (1797), iii. 334.
  _Briton_, iii. 51, 55.
  "Broad-bottomed Ministry," ii. 245, 246.
  Bromley, William, motion on Septennial Act, ii. 10, 12.
  "Brothers" Club, i. 74.
  Brougham, Henry, Lord Brougham and Vaux:
    Advice to Queen Caroline, iv. 5.
    Attitude towards electoral reform, iv. 52.
    Attitude towards Poor Relief, iv. 223.
    Attitude towards West Indian Slavery, iv. 192, 193.
    British Association and, iv. 262.
    Character, iv. 251.
    Defends Queen Caroline, iv. 6, 8.
    Evidence in Cobbett's prosecution, iv. 156.
    Leader of Opposition, iv. 103.
    Lord Chancellor, iv. 124.
    Motion on Reform, iv. 104, 110, 111.
    Motions against Slavery, iv. 194, 195.
    Negotiates with King on creation of new peers, iv. 180.
    On Parliamentary Reform, iv. 85.
    Oratory, iv. 104, 174.
    "Penny Cyclopaedia" and, iv. 262.
    Persuades William IV. to dissolve Parliament, iv. 151.
    Power as Reformer, iv. 122, 125.
    Retires from Ministerial life, iv. 251.
    Scheme for national education, iv. 22.
    Speech on Catholic Emancipation, iv. 74.
  Brunswick family, i. 5.
  Buchanan, messenger of Young Pretender, ii. 205.
  Buckingham, Earl of, iii. 338.
  Buckingham House, i. 66.
  Buckingham Palace, iv. 93.
  Bunbury, Sir Thomas Charles, marries Lady Sarah Lennox, iii. 10.
  Burdett, Sir Francis, resolution on Catholic Emancipation, iv. 73.
  Burgoyne at Boston, iii. 175, 182.
  Burgoyne surrenders at Saratoga, iii. 183.
  Burke, Edmund:
    Alliance with Fox and North, iii. 226.
    Attitude on American Independence, iii. 87.
    Attitude towards French Revolution, iii. 285.
    Career, iii. 96 _seqq._
    Character, iii. 227.
    Crusade against French Revolution, iii. 296, 298.
    Denunciation of French Revolution, i. 96.
    "Essay on the Sublime and Beautiful," iii. 98.
    Friend of Goldsmith, iii. 168.
    Impeaches Warren Hastings, iii. 281, 285.
    Indian policy, iii. 273.
    Influence on generation, iii. 96, 100.
    Maiden speech, iii. 100.
    Marriage, iii. 98.
    On Ballot system, iv. 131.
       Boston exploit, iii. 161.
       Chesterfield's rule in Ireland, ii. 251.
       Ministry and Wilkes's riots, iii. 121, 122.
       Townshend, iii. 111.
       Walpole's opposition to war party, ii. 181.
       War with Spain, ii. 184.
       Warren Hastings, iii. 258, 259.
       Wilkes's reception in London, iii. 116; in Middlesex, iii. 117.
    Opinion of George IV., iv. 90.
    Oratory, iii. 100.
    Passion for justice, iii. 272.
    Paymaster-General, iii. 224, 228.
    Praises of Pitt, iii. 223.
    Private Secretary to Lord Rockingham, iii. 99.
    Reproves Charles James Fox, iii. 141.
    Speech against American war, iii. 188.
    Speech on Middlesex Election Petition, iii. 132.
    Vindication of Natural Society, iii. 98.
  Burke, William, iii. 99.
  Burnet, Bishop, on:
    Condition of Church, ii. 129.
    Duke of Marlborough, i. 23.
    High and Low Church, i. 17.
    Queen Anne, i. 2.
  Burney, Miss, in Burke's arraignment of Hastings, iii. 286.
  Burns, Robert, on William IV. and Mrs. Jordan, iv. 97.
  Bury Street, price of lodgings in, in 1714, i. 70.
  Bute, Lord:
    Bribery under, iii. 28, 30.
    Cabals against Pitt, iii. 26.
    Character, iii. 7, 28.
    Foreign policy, iii. 28, 29.
    House besieged, iii. 117.
    Influence over Princess of Wales and her son, iii. 8.
    Prime Minister, iii. 28.
    Proposes cider tax, iii. 30, 32.
    Resigns office, iii. 32.
    Secretary of State, iii. 8.
    Sketch of, iii. 7.
    Unpopular, iii. 28, 32.
  Buxton, Fowell, West Indian slavery and, iv. 190, 191, 194, 195.
  Byng, Admiral:
    Fails to relieve Minorca, ii. 297.
    Tried and shot, ii. 298.
  Byrne, Miles:
    Career, iii. 321.
    Memoirs, iii. 321.
  Byron, Lord:
    Assists Greeks, iv. 48.
    Death at Missolonghi, iv. 50.
    On George IV., iii. 242.
    On Grattan, iii. 307.
    Scorn of O'Connell's loyalty, iv. 23, 27.
    Verses on Castlereagh's death, iv. 37.

  Cabot, John and Sebastian, discover Canada, ii. 283.
  Calder, Admiral Sir Robert, iii. 336.
  Calendar, reform of, ii. 275.
  Campbell, John, Baron, on Lord Harcourt, i. 51.
  Campeachy logwood question, i. 294, 295; ii. 160.
  Camperdown, battle of, iii. 318, 336.
    French and English colonies in, ii. 283, 284.
    Sketch of history, ii. 283 _seqq._
  "Canter of Coltbrigg," ii. 213-215.
  Canterbury, Archbishop of, attends Queen Caroline, ii. 121.
  Canning, George:
    Accepts Governor-Generalship of India, iv. 35.
    Attitude towards Free Trade and Parliamentary reform, iv. 52, 62.
    Character, iv. 60, 65.
    Death, iv. 61.
    Duel with Lord Castlereagh, iv. 34.
    Foreign Secretary, iv. 38.
    Funeral in Westminster Abbey, iv. 62.
    Monroe doctrine and, iv. 44.
    Opponents in House of Lords, iv. 59.
    Oratory, iv. 33, 34, 64.
    Policy, iv. 34, 38, 41, 42, 43, 52, 55.
    Summary of, iv. 62.
    Prime Minister, iv. 55, 58.
    Resigns office, iv. 7, 31, 34.
    Sketch of career, iv. 31 _seqq._, 62.
    Supports Queen Caroline, iv. 5, 7.
    Sympathy with Greece, iv. 49, 52.
  Canning, Stratford, iv. 32.
  "Canningites," iv. 65, 72.
  Carew, Sir George, builds Chichester House, Dublin, i. 80.
  Caricature in political controversy, i. 52.
  Caricatures during Hastings's trial, iii. 288.
  Caricatures of Napoleon Bonaparte, iii. 333.
  Carnwath, Earl of, a prisoner, i. 137, 138.
  Caroline, Amelia Elizabeth, Princess of Brunswick, wife of
      George IV., iii. 244.
    Character, iv. 11.
    Demands to be crowned, iv. 8, 10.
    Divorce bill, iv. 6; abandoned, iv. 8.
    Illness and death, iv. 10, 11.
    Italian witnesses against, iv. 7.
    Returns to England on accession of George IV., iv. 5, 6.
  Caroline, Princess, ii. 38, 71, 79, 105.
    Attends on Queen, ii. 118, 124.
    Dislikes Walpole, ii. 126.
  Caroline, Wilhelmina Dorothea, wife of George II., i. 303.
    Action towards Porteous, ii. 62, 66.
    Acts as Regent, ii. 49.
    Alarmed for King's safety, ii. 71, 72.
    Character, i. 276; ii. 77.
    Death-bed, ii. 114 _seqq._
    Family, ii. 38.
    Godmother to her granddaughter, ii. 108.
    Hates Prince of Wales, ii. 40, 50, 71, 76, 118.
    Lampoons on, ii. 102.
  Carteret, John, Earl of Granville:
    Attacks Ministry and Convention, ii. 165.
    Character, ii. 240, 241; iii. 38.
    Death, iii. 38.
    Denounces Convention, ii. 163.
    Enmity to Walpole, ii. 159, 160, 185.
    Foreign Policy, ii. 177, 240, 241.
    Hatred of Pulteney, ii. 192.
    Knowledge of German, i. 235.
    Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, i. 239; iii. 38.
    Motion on Petition against Convention, ii. 164.
    Moves motion for removal of Walpole, ii. 185.
    Proclamation against "Drapier's Letters," i. 247.
    Proposes address on Prince of Wales's allowance, ii. 89.
    Resigns, ii. 244.
    Secretary of State, ii. 191.
    Sketch of career, i. 233.
    Speech on Salt Tax, i. 314.
  Cartier, Jacques, ascends St. Lawrence, ii. 283.
  Castlereagh, Viscount (Marquis of Londonderry):
    Character, iv. 36.
    Death, iv. 36.
    Duel with Canning, iv. 34.
    Policy, iv. 34, 39, 41.
  Catalans and Peace of Utrecht, i. 94.
  "Catholic" and "Protestant" Ministers, iv. 54.
  Catholic Association formed, iv. 21.
  Catholic disabilities, iii. 307.
  Catholic emancipation question, iv. 52, 67 _seqq._
  Catholic Relief Bill passed, iv. 78.
  Catholics, feeling against, i. 143.
  Catholics, penalty against, i. 216.
  Cato Street Conspiracy, iv. 2, 15.
  Censorship for stage and press discussed, ii. 96 _seqq._
  Chadwick, Sir Edwin, on Poor Law Commission, iv. 225, 227.
  Chait Singh, Rajah of Benares, and Warren Hastings, ii. 269.
  Chambord, Count de, i. 40.
  Charing Cross in 1714, i. 68.
  Charles II. of Spain:
    Character, i. 61.
    Will of, ii. 27.
  Charles VI., Emperor, ii. 23.
    Death, ii. 182.
    Denounces Walpole, ii. 25.
    Pragmatic sanction, i. 228.
  Charles X. deposed, iv. 98.
  Charles XII. of Sweden:
    Action in Poland, ii. 23.
    Sketch of, i. 160, 162.
  Charles River, English fleet in, iii. 173, 182.
  Charleston in 1765, iii. 77.
  Charleston, tea landed at, iii. 161.
  Charlotte, Princess:
    Death, iii. 348.
    Marries Prince Leopold of Saxe-Coburg, iii. 348.
  Charlotte Sophia of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, wife of George
      III., iii. 10.
    Character and personal appearance, iii. 12, 14.
    Death, iii. 348.
  Chartists demand vote by ballot, iv. 131.
  Chaworth, Mary, Mrs. Musters, iv. 170.
  Chesterfield, Philip Dormer Stanhope, Earl of:
    Administration in Ireland, ii. 249.
    Advice to Prince of Wales, ii. 78.
    Attitude on Penal Laws, ii. 249.
    Character, ii. 6.
    Conduct to Johnson, iii. 44.
    Enmity to Walpole, ii. 159, 160, 185.
    Irish policy, ii. 7.
    Moves address on Accession of George II., ii. 7.
    On Bolingbroke, i. 117.
       Bute's nationality, iii. 30.
       Carteret, i. 235.
       Lord Cowper, i. 98.
    Recalled from Ireland, ii. 252.
    Retires from public life, ii. 274.
    Secretary of State, ii. 252.
    Sketch of, ii. 4 _seqq._
    Speech on Convention, ii. 164.
    Speech on Playhouse Bill, ii. 100.
    Speech on Reform of Calendar, ii. 275.
    Viceroy of Ireland, ii. 246, 247.
  Chichester, Sir Arthur, i. 80.
  China trade and East India Company, iv. 231.
  Chippenham election petition, ii. 189, 190.
  Chiswick, Mr., sends Warren Hastings to Calcutta, iii. 247.
  Cholmondeley, Earl of, moves address on Convention, ii. 164.
  Chudleigh, Colonel, quarrels with Charles Aldworth, i. 58.
  Chunar fortress, iii. 270.
  Chunda Sahib:
    Besieges Trichinopoly, ii. 262.
    Captured and put to death, ii. 264.
    Invades Carnatic, ii. 261.
  Church of England, condition in 1738, ii. 129, 132.
  Churchill, Charles:
    Character, iii. 52.
    Death, iii. 69.
    Denunciation of Hogarth, iii. 63.
    Flight, iii. 59.
    "Rosciad," iii. 54.
    Satires, iv. 69.
    Wilkes and, iii. 55.
  Cider tax proposed, iii. 30.
  Claimants to throne (1714), i. 3 _seqq._
  Clare Election (1828), iv. 70, 78.
  Clarence, Duke of (_see_ William IV.).
  Clarendon, Lord, bears tidings of Queen Anne's death to
      George, i. 56.
  Clarke, Adam, death, iv. 284.
  Clarke, George, killed in riot, iii. 129.
  Clarkson, Thomas, West Indian Slavery and, iv. 195, 200.
  Clavering, General Francis, iii. 260, 261.
    Death, iii. 264.
  Clement, Pope, interview with Charles Stuart, ii. 202.
  Clerk, Lord Justice, i. 130.
  Clerkenwell Prison broken open, iii. 203.
  Cleveland, Duchess of, i. 23.
  Clifton, engagement at, ii. 223.
  Clinton at Boston, iii. 175.
  Clive, Richard, ii. 254.
  Clive, Robert, ii. 253.
    Advances against Suraj ud Dowlah, ii. 268.
    Captures Arcot, ii. 262.
    Character, ii. 255.
    Discerns Warren Hastings's talent, iii. 250, 252.
    Escapes from Madras, ii. 260.
    Forges Admiral Watson's signature, ii. 270.
    Governor of Fort St. David, ii. 265.
    Marries, ii. 264.
    Negotiates with Suraj ud Dowlah, ii. 269.
    Protests against Indian Administration, iii. 251.
    Returns to England, ii. 264, 273.
    Returns to India, iii. 253.
    Sketch of career, ii. 256 _seqq._
  Clonmel, State trials at, iv. 179.
    Clubs in 1714, i. 73.
  Coalition Ministry (1783), iii. 225, 229
    Fall of, iii. 235, 237.
  Cobbett, William:
    Death, iv. 282.
    Prosecution, iv. 154.
    Sketch of career, iv. 155.
  Cobden, R., doctrine of non-intervention, iv. 62.
  Cochrane, Thomas, Earl of Dundonald, assists Greeks, iv. 48.
  "Cocoa Tree" coffee-house, i. 76.
  Code Napoléon, iii. 332.
  Codrington, Sir Edward, commands at Navarino, iv. 50, 96.
  Coffee-houses, i. 75, 76.
  Coke's description of Raleigh, iii. 286.
  Coleridge, Samuel Taylor, death, iv. 283.
  Colonial Administration System (1765), iii. 80.
  Committee of Secrecy, i. 104, 168.
  Compton, Sir Spencer, Lord Wilmington, ii. 107, 189.
    Character, i. 275.
    Death, ii. 240.
    Prime Minister, ii. 191.
    Speaker of House of Commons, i. 212.
  Concord, battle and retreat from, iii. 174.
  Congress of Verona and Vienna (_see_ Verona and Vienna Congress).
  Congreve, William, sketch of, i. 299.
  Coningsby, Lord, i. 105.
    Impeaches Oxford, i. 108.
  Convention between England and Spain (1739), ii. 161, 168.
    Petition against, ii. 163.
  Conway, Circular letter to governors of colonies, iii. 105.
  Cooke, George, Tory candidate for Middlesex, iii. 117.
    Death, iii. 124.
  Coote, Major Eyre, ii. 272.
  Cope, Sir John, Scottish Commander-in-Chief, ii. 210.
    Defeated at Preston Pans, ii. 214, 215.
  Copley, Sir John (_see_ Lyndhurst, Baron).
  Cork Hill, Dublin, i. 82.
  Cork in 1714, i. 83.
  Cornwallis, Charles, Marquis:
    Commands royal troops in Ireland, iii. 323.
    Surrenders at Yorktown, iii. 184.
  Corporation Act repealed, iv. 52, 67.
  Corstorphine, Dragoons at, ii. 212.
  Cottenham, Lord Chancellor, iv. 252.
  Court Street Conspiracy, iii. 160.
  Covent Garden in 1714, i. 68.
  Cowper, Spencer, i. 105.
  Cowper, William, Earl, Lord Chancellor:
    Condemns South Sea Bill, i. 190.
    Evidence against, i. 219.
    Opposes taxing Catholics, i. 216.
    Sketch of, i. 98.
  Coxe, Archdeacon, on:
    Division on Prince of Wales's allowance, ii. 88.
    Duke of Newcastle, ii. 33.
  Crabbe, George:
    Account of taking of Newgate, iii. 203.
    Death, iv. 282.
    Objects of, i. 290, 291.
    On Walpole's excise scheme, i. 318.
    Picture of Walpole, ii. 14.
    "Sedition and defamation displayed," i. 306.
    Series of pamphlets, i. 286.
    Started, i. 260.
  Craggs, Father and Son, i. 197.
  Crawford, Earl of, on Princess Anne's dowry, ii. 44.
  Croix, Petit de la, Persian Tales, iii. 254.
  Croker, John Wilson, ii. 107.
    Obstructs Reform Bill, iv. 163.
  Cromarty, Lord, trial, ii. 228.
  Cromwell, Elizabeth, death, ii. 3.
  Cruden, Alexander, dislike to Wilkes, iii. 135.
  Culloden, Battle of, ii. 224.
    Prisoners, ii. 232.
  Cumberland, Ernest Augustus, Duke of:
    Orange Association and, iv. 276, 278.
    Supports Irish Church, iv. 219.
    Unpopularity, iv. 102.
  Cumberland, William Augustus, Duke of (Butcher), ii. 38.
    Army at Stafford, ii. 217.
    Character, ii. 223.
    Commands English troops at Lauffeld, ii. 239.
    Conduct after Culloden, ii. 226.
    Invites Pitt to return to office, iii. 73, 93.
    Queen Caroline's advice to, ii. 118.
  Curran, John Philpot:
    Appeal on behalf of Wolfe Tone, iii. 326.
    Description of Ireland, iv. 27.
  Curran, Sarah, and Robert Emmet, iii. 329.

  "Daily Advertiser," iii. 128.
  _Daily Post_, iii. 128.
  Dalton, Sir Charles, Gentleman Usher of Black Rod, i. 278.
  Dashwood, Francis, Lord Le Despencer, iii. 33, 65.
    Chancellor of Exchequer, iii. 48.
    Founds brotherhood of Medmenham, iii. 46.
  Davy, Sir Humphry, iv. 93.
  Dawson, James, supports Young Pretender, ii. 221, 229.
  Dawson Street, Dublin, i. 81.
  Daylesford Manor, Worcestershire, iii. 245, 247.
  D'Espremesnil, Duval, Governor of Madras, ii. 261.
  De Launay decapitated, iii. 294.
  De Quincey, iii. 44.
  Deccan, Nizam of, sends diamond to George III., iii. 281.
  Declaration of Rights, Philadelphia, iii. 173.
  Declaratory Act, iii. 104, 105.
  Defoe, Daniel, "Robinson Crusoe," ii. 1.
  Demerara, "Insurrection" of slaves, iv. 193.
  Denman, Thomas, Lord Chief Justice:
    Defends Queen Caroline, iv. 6, 7, 8.
  Denmark, King of:
    Character, i. 3.
    Treaty with George I., i. 161.
    Treaty with George II., ii. 176.
  Derby, Edward Geoffrey Smith Stanley, Earl of:
    Letter to Peel declining office, iv. 238.
    Political principles, iv. 217.
    Secretary to Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, iv. 127.
    Speech on Emancipation of Slaves, iv. 196.
    Speech on Irish State Church, iv. 217, 246.
  Derby, Reform riot at, iv. 170.
  Derwentwater, Earl of, i. 137.
    Executed, i. 142.
  Dettingen, battle of, ii. 182.
  Devonshire, Duke of, Premier of Coalition Ministry, ii. 298.
  D'Iberville on Whigs, i. 18.
  Dickens, Charles, iv. 286.
  Dinner hour, changes in, iii. 18.
  Dinwiddie, Governor of Virginia, ii. 285.
  Disarmament of clans, ii. 208, 232.
  Disarming Act (1716), result of, ii. 209.
  Disraeli (_see_ Beaconsfield, Lord).
  Divorce Bill (1820), iv. 6.
    Abandoned, iv. 8.
  Don Carlos:
    Compact to protect (1733), ii. 26.
    Heir to Parma and Placentia, ii. 28.
  Dorset, Duke of, English ambassador to France, iii. 295.
  Drake, Governor, in Fulta Island, iii. 249.
  Draper, Sir William, replies to letters of Junius, iii. 129.
  Drapier's letters, i. 240, 242.
  Drummond, Lord James, supports Young Pretender, ii. 221.
  Dublin coffee-houses, i. 82.
  Dublin in 1714, i. 80.
  Dubois, Abbé, Sketch of, i. 155.
  Duddington, Lieutenant, Commands "Gaspee," iii. 152.
  Dumouriez and Duke of Wellington, i. 129.
  Duncan, Admiral (Lord Camperdown):
    Deserted by squadron, iii. 335.
    Victory of Camperdown, iii. 318, 336.
  Duncannon, Lord, Commissioner of Woods and Forests, iv. 127.
  Dundas, Henry, Viscount Melville:
    Catholic Relief Bill for Scotland, iii. 195.
    Fall of, iii. 338.
    Sketch of, iii. 232.
  Dundonald, Admiral, last of sea-kings, iii. 336.
  Dunleary (_see_ Kingstown).
  Dunoyer, dancing-master and spy, ii. 106.
  Dupleix, Governor of S. India, ii. 261.
    Dreams of French empire in India, ii. 258.
    Founds Chandernagor, ii. 258.
    Indian policy, iii. 249.
    Recalled to France, ii. 262.
    Refuses to ratify Convention and pillages Madras, ii. 259.
  Duplicity universal, i. 30.
  Durham, Earl of, iv. 291.
    Efforts for Parliamentary reform, iv. 22.
    Lord Privy Seal, iv. 127.
    Manners, iv. 121.
    Sketch of, iv. 127.
    Suggestions on Reform Bill, iv. 129.
  Dutch (Batavian) expedition to Ireland, iii. 317.
  Dymoke, King's champion, iii. 13.

  East India Companies, ii. 254, 260.
  East India Company:
    Charter renewed, iv. 230, 232.
    Clamors for revenge, iii. 163.
    Forces tea on America, iii. 161.
    Policy, iii. 248 _seqq._
    Semi-regal authority, iii. 230.
  Edgeworth, Talbot, i. 82.
    Bill, ii. 66, 68.
    City guard, ii. 60.
    Condition in 1745, ii. 210.
    In 1714, i. 84.
    Life in, i. 85.
  Edinburgh Castle:
    Jacobite plan to capture, i. 129.
    Reduction  abandoned  by Young Pretender, ii. 216.
  Edwards, spy in Cato Street conspiracy, iv. 17, 19.
  Effingham, Lord, Earl Marshal, iii. 13.
  Egremont, Lord, iii. 59, 63.
    House besieged, iii. 117.
    Wilkes before, iii. 60.
  Elcho, Lord, ii. 227.
  Eldon, Earl of, Lord Chancellor, iv. 3.
    Attitude on Catholic Emancipation, iv. 69.
    Attitude towards death penalty for stealing, iv. 21.
    Resigns office, iv. 57.
    Toryism, iv. 3.
  Elizabeth, Electress Palatine of the Rhine, i. 5.
  Elizabeth of Parma, wife of Philip V., ii. 28.
  Ellis, relations with Nawab Mir Kasim, iii. 251.
  Emerson prophesies rise of Orientalism in England, iii. 254.
  Emily, Princess:
    At her father's death-bed, ii. 304.
    Attends on Queen, ii. 117, 122, 123.
    Dislikes Walpole, ii. 126.
  Emmet, Robert, iii. 313, 314; iv. 206.
    Projects for Independence of Ireland, iii. 327.
  Emmet, Thomas Addis, iii. 313, 314.
    American Colonies and Advantages of union between, iii. 80.
    Declares war against Spain, ii. 178.
    Politics of Continent, and, i. 154, 225.
    Protests against War of Independence, iii. 183, 184.
    Recuperates, iii. 187.
    Spain and, trade disputes, ii. 150.
  English Copper Company and South Sea Company, i. 193.
  English Protestant Association, iii. 192, 195.
    Meeting in St. George's Fields, iii. 169.
  English substituted for Latin in indictments, etc., i. 302.
  Entinck, John, Editor of _Monitor_, iii. 51.
  Eon, Chevalier d', present to Wilkes, iii. 134.
  Erskine, Thomas, Lord:
    Defends Lord George Gordon, iii. 210.
    On Coronation oath, iv. 54.
  Eugene, Prince, of Savoy, ii. 24, 35.
  Excise Bill (1733), i. 317.
    Abandoned, i. 320.
  Excise Reform, i. 311.
  Exeter in 1714, i. 79.

  Factories Act (1833), iv. 202, 204.
  Factory labor and State, iv. 201, 202.
  Fairman, Colonel, Orange lodges and, iv. 278.
  Falkirk, Hawley defeated at, ii. 223.
  "Family compacts," ii. 26; iii. 27.
  Famines in Scotland, i. 89.
  "Fancy Franchises," iv. 183.
  Fane, British Envoy at Florence, ii. 202.
  Fashions in 1760, iii. 16.
  Ferguson, on Edinburgh City Guard, ii. 60.
  Fielding, Henry:
    On mob in London, iii. 123.
    Satires on Pretender, ii. 219.
  Fielding, Sir John, house sacked, iii. 203.
  Finch, Lord, presents Bolingbroke's petition to Lords, i. 258.
  Fitzgerald, Lord Edward, iii. 309, 314; iv. 206.
    Death, iii. 323.
    Marriage, iii. 220.
    Sketch of career, iii. 312.
    Withdraws from Dublin Parliament, iii. 319.
  Fitzgerald, Vesey, defeated by O'Connell, iv. 74.
  Fitzherbert, Mrs.:
    Death, iv. 289.
    George IV. and, iii. 242; iv. 88.
  Fitzwilliam, Earl, Viceroy of Ireland, iii. 308.
  Flaxman, John, iv. 93.
  Fleet ditch, i. 72.
  Fleet marriages, ii. 279.
  Fleming, Sir Michael, and Lord George Gordon, iii. 199.
  Fletcher, Andrew, in Edinburgh in 1745, ii. 211.
  Fleury, Cardinal, Prime Minister of France, i. 264, 291.
  Florida and Carolina, dispute as to boundaries, ii. 160.
  Fontenoy, Battle of, ii. 210.
  Foote, on Alexander Wedderburn, iii. 158.
  Forbes, Duncan, in Edinburgh in 1745, ii. 62.
  Foreign aid for America, iii. 183.
  Forster, Thomas:
    Escapes, i. 142.
    In Newgate, i. 137.
  Fort Duquesne built, ii. 286.
  Fort Duquesne taken, iii. 180.
  Fort St. David, Olive at, ii. 260, 263.
  Fort Ticonderoga taken, iii. 79.
  "Forty-five," Account of Rebellion, ii. 203 _seqq._
  Forty-shilling freeholders, iv. 179.
  Fowke, charged with conspiracy, iii. 261.
  Fox, Charles James, i. 28.
    Acquainted with Paris, iii. 293.
    Antagonism to Pitt, iii. 225.
    As Leader of Opposition, i. 287.
    Attitude on Regency, iii. 243.
    Attitude towards French Revolution, iii. 296, 299.
    Attitude towards Pitt, iii. 339.
    Character, iii. 227.
    Coalition with North, iii. 225.
    Contracted with Pitt, iii. 212
    Death, iii. 340; iv. 61.
    Early life, iii. 142.
    Foreign Secretary and Leader of Commons, iii. 340.
    Friend to Ireland, iii. 319; iv. 23.
    India Bill, iii. 230 _seqq._
    On Henry Grattan, iii. 307.
    Parliamentary career, iii. 141, 143.
    Praises of Pitt, iii. 223.
    Prince of Wales's conduct to, iii. 243.
    Resigns office, iii. 225.
    Scholarship, iii. 143.
    Secretary of State, iii. 224.
    Speech on Middlesex Election Petition, iii. 132.
  Fox, Henry (_see_ Holland, Lord).
  Fox's Martyrs, iii. 237.
    Acknowledges independence of America, iii. 183.
    Condition before Revolution, iii. 291.
    Declares war (1793), iii. 303.
    In 1716, i. 154, 155.
    Spain and, Alliance between, ii. 25, 26, 182.
    Spanish policy, iv. 42.
  Francis, Philip:
    Character, iii. 260.
    Duel with Hastings, iii. 267.
    Hostile to Hastings, iii. 280.
    Probable author of "Letters of Junius," iii. 39.
  Franklin, Benjamin:
    At Bar of House, iii. 103, 156.
    Gala suit, iii. 156, 184.
    Letters of Hutchinson and Oliver and, iii. 153, 155.
    On Whitefield's eloquence, ii. 139.
    On Wilkes's candidature for Parliament, iii. 116, 132.
    Signs Peace in Paris, iii. 184.
    Sketch of, iii. 102.
  Frazer, Under Secretary of State, iii. 235.
  Frederick Lewis, Prince of Wales, ii. 38.
    Attempts to see his mother, ii. 118.
    Banished from King's palaces, ii. 108.
    Bids for popularity, ii. 71.
    Carries off his wife to London, ii. 106.
    Character, ii. 71, 72, 74, 77.
    Claims independent allowance, ii. 77.
    Conduct on declaration of war, ii. 178.
    Death, ii. 276.
    Epitaphs, ii. 276.
    Income, ii. 87.
    Marries Princess Augusta, ii. 47.
    Patriots and, ii. 50, 108, 110.
    Relations with George II., ii. 39, 50, 76, 91, 104.
    Sketch of, ii. 39.
    Votes against address on Convention, ii. 169.
  Frederick II. of Prussia (the Great), ii. 280.
    Account of abandonment of Excise Bill, i. 320.
    Description of George I., i. 270.
    Occupies Silesia, ii. 182.
  Frederick William, King of Prussia, and George II., ii. 45.
  Free Trade, movement towards, iv. 93.
  Free Trade, Walpole and, i. 317.
  Freedom of City, origin of, iv. 256.
  French aims in America, ii. 285.
  French expeditions to Ireland, iii. 315, 323, 325.
  French in Canada, ii. 283.
  French Revolution, iii. 284, 293 _seqq._
    Condition of France before, iii. 291.
    England and, iii. 302, 306.
  French Revolution of 1830, iv. 98.
  Fuseli, Henry, iv. 93.

  Gage, General:
    Arrives in Massachusetts, iii. 165.
    Raid upon stores in Concord, iii. 174.
  Galland, version of "Arabian Nights," iii. 254.
  Game Laws, severity of, iv. 84.
  Garrick, David, and Samuel Johnson, iii. 42.
  Gascoigne, General, amendment to Reform Bill, iv. 150.
  "Gaspee," iii. 152.
  Gates, General Horatio, iii. 179.
    Traitor, iii. 184.
  Gay, John;
    "Beggar's Opera," i. 302; ii. 95.
    Lampoons, ii. 102.
    "Polly," ii. 95.
    Secretary to Lord Clarendon, i. 38.
    Sketch of, ii. 3.
  _Gazetteer and New Daily Advertiser_, iii. 128.
  George I. (George Louis, Elector of Hanover):
    Attitude towards Prince of Wales, i. 153, 256, 274.
    Character, i. 6, 8, 58, 91, 269.
    Conduct during 1715, i. 136.
    Coronation, i. 101.
    Death, i. 266.
    Descent, i. 6.
    Directions about Czar, i. 163.
    Distrusts Marlborough, i. 54.
    Entry into London, i. 58.
    Extent of Empire, i. 89.
    Journey to England, i. 56.
    Letter to King of Spain on Gibraltar, i. 296.
    New Lords Justices, i. 54.
    Principles of government, i. 91.
    Proclaimed King, i. 47, 49.
    Project for kidnapping Prince of Wales, ii. 109, 110.
    Stories of later years, i. 266.
    Treatment of Oxford and Bolingbroke, i. 101.
    Visits Hanover, i. 152, 236, 265.
    Will, i. 269.
  George II.:
    At Dettingen, ii. 182.
    Character, i. 274; ii. 46, 48, 76, 117, 123, 304.
    Consults Walpole, ii. 195.
    Death, ii. 303.
    Godfather to his grand-daughter, ii. 108.
    Guardian of the Realm and Lieutenant, i. 153.
    His family, ii. 38.
    In danger through storms, ii. 69.
    Income, ii. 89.
    Letter to Queen, ii. 76.
    On Handel, ii. 52.
    Opens Parliament (1728), i. 282.
    Negotiates with Carteret and Pulteney, ii. 244.
    Party when Prince of Wales, i. 257.
    Proposes allowance to Prince of Wales, ii. 81, 86.
    Proposes duel with Frederick William of Prussia, ii. 46.
    Relations with George I., i. 153, 256, 274; ii. 109.
    Relations with Prince of Wales, ii. 40, 50, 76, 104 _seqq._, 118.
    Royal speech (1727), i. 278.
    Speech from throne (1735), ii. 22.
    Sympathy with his mother, i. 153.
    Unpopular, ii. 69.
    Visits Hanover, ii. 47, 49, 210.
  George III.:
    Accession, iii. 2.
    Attitude towards Catholic Emancipation, iv. 53.
    Attitude towards French Revolution, iii. 301.
    Attitude towards Wilkes, iii. 17, 119, 132.
    Birth, ii. 278.
    Character, iii. 4, 241; iv. 91.
    Coronation, iii. 12.
    Courage during Gordon riots, iii. 206.
    Death, iii. 348.
    Dislikes Fox and North, iii. 225.
    Dislikes Pitt, iii. 3, 26.
    Dismisses Fox and North, iii. 235.
    Grenville and, iii. 71, 72, 93.
    Ideal of governing, iii. 23, 25, 80.
    Illnesses, iii. 72, 243, 341.
    Improvements during reign, iii. 349.
    Letter to Temple on India Bills, iii. 234.
    Ministry of all the talents and, iii. 340.
    Personal appearance, iii. 3.
    Policy towards American colonies, iii. 78, 79, 153, 164.
    Private life, iii. 19.
    Speech from throne (1760), iii. 22.
  George IV. (Augustus Frederick):
    Accession and illness, iv. 1.
    Attitude towards Canning, iv. 31, 37, 46, 48, 55, 65.
    Attitude towards Catholic Emancipation, iv. 54, 55, 76.
    Attitude towards Lord Grey, iv. 76.
    Character, iii. 241; iv. 24, 28, 30, 89 _seqq._
    Coronation, iv. 9.
    Death, iv. 87.
    Endeavors to obtain divorce, iv. 3, 4, 6, 8.
    Friend of Fox and Sheridan, iii. 242; iv. 23.
    Illness, iv. 86.
    In opposition, iii. 242.
    Interview with Wellington, Lyndhurst, and Peel, iv. 77.
    Letters to Lord Liverpool, iv. 27, 37.
    Marries Princess Caroline of Brunswick, iii. 244.
    Mrs. Fitzherbert and, iii. 242; iv. 88.
    Regent, iii. 341.
    Visits Hanover, iv. 28.
    Visits Ireland, iv. 23 _seqq._
    Visits Scotland, iv. 29.
  Georgia, John Wesley visits, ii. 127, 134.
  Georgian drama, ii. 94.
  Georgian literature, iii. 171.
  Gheriah, Pirate stronghold, ii. 265.
  Gibbon on Gordon riots, iii. 196.
    Besieged (1727), i. 228.
    Debate on restitution of, i. 296.
  Gin riots, ii. 56.
  Gladsmuir (_see_ Preston Pans, battle of).
  Gladstone, John, entertains George Canning, iv. 35.
  Gladstone, William Ewart, iv. 35.
    Junior Lord of Treasury, iv. 239.
    On "Drapier's Letters," i. 245.
    Speech on Irish Church revenues, iv. 247.
  Glasgow in 1714, i. 86.
  Gloucester, Duke of, death, i. 3.
  Glynn, Serjeant, M. P. for Middlesex, iii. 124.
  Goderich, Viscount:
    Colonial and War Secretary, iv. 58.
    Prime Minister, iv. 65.
    "Prosperity Robinson," iv. 65.
    Resigns office, iv. 67.
    Sketch of, iv. 65.
  Godolphin, Countess of, i. 210.
  Godolphin, Earl of, Lord Privy Seal, ii. 107.
  Goethe, referred to, iii. 144, 145.
    "Sorrows of Werther," iii. 167.
  Goldsmith, Oliver:
    Plays, iii. 170.
    Sketch of career and writings, iii. 167, 171.
  Gordon, Colonel, threatens rioters, iii. 199.
  Gordon, Elizabeth, Duchess of, improves Scotch agriculture, i. 88.
  Gordon, Lord George:
    Acquitted, iii. 210.
    Arrested, iii. 209.
    Death in Newgate, iii. 210.
    Denounces Burke, iii. 199.
    Presents petition to Commons, iii. 198.
    Sketch of, iii. 192.
  Gordon riots, iii. 196 _seqq._
  Gordon, Sir John, ii. 223.
  Government by party, i. 284.
  Graeme, Colonel, mission, iii. 11.
  Grafton, Duke of (I.), killed in Cork, i. 83.
  Grafton, Duke of (II.), Bill to suspend Habeas Corpus Act, i. 213.
  Grafton (Augustus Henry Fitzroy), Duke of (III.):
    Junius's indictment of, iii. 129.
    Resigns place in Rockingham ministry, iii. 108.
    Sketch of, iii. 35.
  Graham, Sir James:
    First Lord of Admiralty, iv. 127.
    Refuses office in Peel's ministry, iv. 238.
    Resigns office, iv. 218.
    Speech on Irish Church revenues, iv. 246.
  Granard, Lord, tells King James of conspiracy, i. 24.
  Grant, Sir Archibald, interest in road-making, i. 88.
  Granville, Earl of (_see_ Carteret, John).
  Grattan, Henry:
    Buried in Westminster Abbey, iv. 23.
    Leader of Irish, iii. 307.
    Withdraws from Dublin Parliament, iii. 319.
  Gray, "Elegy in a Country Church-yard," ii. 289.
  Great Seal stolen, iii. 237.
  "Grecian" coffee-house, i. 76.
  Greece: struggle for independence, iv. 40, 48.
  Green, J. B., on "Family Compact," ii. 31.
  Greene, Nathaniel, iii. 176, 179.
  Gregory XIII. reforms calendar, ii. 275.
  Grenville, George, iii. 26, 57.
    Colonial policy, iii. 84, 87.
    Prime minister, iii. 72.
    Proposes tax to maintain garrison in America, iii. 87.
    Regency Bill and, iii. 72.
    Sketch of, iii. 31.
    Speech on Middlesex election petition, iii. 131.
    Stamp Act, iii. 87, 90.
  Grenville, James, iii. 26.
  Grenville, William Wyndham, Lord, Ministry of
      all the talents, iii. 340.
  Greville, Charles, on:
    Duel between Wellington and Winchilsea, iv. 83.
    Edmund Burke, iii. 96.
    George IV.'s illness, iv. 86.
    James and John Stuart Mill, iv. 281.
    Meeting Macaulay, iv. 185.
    Princess Victoria, iv. 290, 291.
    William IV., iv. 114, 115.
    William IV. and Whig ministers, iv. 175.
  Grey, Charles, Earl:
    Appeal to archbishops and bishops on Reform Bill, iv. 171.
    Appeals to country, iv. 152.
    Attacks Canning, iv. 59.
    Attitude towards electoral reform, iv. 52, 59.
    Attitude towards Irish State Church, iv. 218, 220.
    Catholic Emancipation and, iv. 76.
    Character, iv. 120.
    Introduces third Reform Bill, iv. 173.
    Irish grievances and, iv. 207.
    Leader of Opposition, iv. 103.
    Motion on speech from throne, iv. 104.
    Prime Minister, iv. 122.
    Resigns office, iv. 233.
    Scheme for creating new peers, iv. 176, 180.
    Speech on reform, iv. 108.
    Speech on Reform Bill (second), iv. 168.
  Grey, Earl:
    Committed to Tower, i. 214.
    Condemns South Sea Bill, i. 190.
  Grey, Sir George, Under-Secretary of Colonies, iv. 252.
  Grosvenor, Sir Richard, names squares and streets, i. 68.
  Grote, George:
    On Irish State Church system, iv. 210.
    Motion for ballot in municipal elections, iv. 259.
    Sketch of, iv. 215.
    Speech on Ward's motion on Irish Church, iv. 216, 217.
  Guelf, history of family, i. 5.
  Guildhall banquet rumors, iv. 112.

  Haddington, Lord, introduces sowing grass seeds, i. 88.
    Grudge against English, iii. 265.
    Sketch of career, iii. 265.
  Halhed, friend of Sheridan, iii. 217, 218.
  Halifax, Lord, iii. 59.
    Wilkes before, iii. 60.
  Halkett, Sir P. K., warns General Braddock, ii. 286.
  Hall, Robert, death, iv. 284.
  Hamilton, James, Duke of, killed in duel, i. 122.
  Hamilton, Lady Archibald, accompanies Prince and Princess
      of Wales to London, ii. 107.
  Hamilton (Single-speech), Secretary to Halifax, iii. 99.
  Hampden, John, and ship money, i. 247.
  Hampden, Richard, i. 105.
  Hampton Court Palace, Royal Family in, ii. 105, 106.
    Reception of "Messiah," ii. 51.
    Royal Family and, ii. 51.
  Hanger, George, iii. 244.
    Lady Mary Wortley Montagu's account of, i. 152.
    Separation from English Crown proposed, ii. 105.
    Sketch of House of, i. 5.
    Thackeray's description of, i. 55.
    Treaty of, i. 295.
  Hanoverian dynasty, position of, iv. 94.
  Harcourt, Simon, Lord Chancellor:
    Motion on Oxford's impeachment, i. 169.
    Sketch of career, i. 49.
  Hardwicke, Philip Yorke, Lord Chancellor, ii. 9, 192.
    Heads deputation to Prince of Wales, ii. 81.
    On declaration of war, ii. 177.
    Opposes Pitt, iii. 26.
    Passes Marriage Act, ii. 279.
  Harley, Robert (_see_ Oxford, Earl of).
  Harley, Thomas, arrest ordered, i. 106.
  Harrington, Lord, Secretary of State, i. 304.
  Harrison, Audrey, marries third Marquis Townshend, iii. 110.
  Harrowby, Lord, and Cato Street conspiracy, iv. 18.
  Harvard College, places in lists, iii. 77.
  Hastings, Howard, assists his nephew, iii. 246.
  Hastings, Lady Elizabeth, Essays by Congreve and Steele on, i. 301.
  Hastings, Pynaston, iii. 245.
  Hastings, Warren:
    Acquitted, iii. 285.
    Advice on quarrel of Nawab and Ellis, iii. 252.
    At Bar of House, iii. 276, 289.
    Attempts literature, iii. 253.
    Benares expedition, iii. 269.
    Buys Dalesford, iii. 276.
    Charges against, iii. 258.
    Company's representative at Murshidabad, iii. 250.
    Defence at Bar of House, iii. 276.
    Duel with Francis, iii. 267.
    Enemies, iii. 260, 264, 265.
    Evidence before House of Commons' Committee, iii. 253.
    Friendship for Sir James Bland-Burges, iii. 278.
    Governor-General, iii. 260; his Council, iii. 260 _seqq._
    Governor of Bengal, iii. 257.
    Impeached, iii. 281.
    Indian policy, iii. 273.
    Life at Daylesford, iii. 288.
    Marriage, iii. 250, 256.
    Oriental diplomacy, iii. 249.
    Oriental studies, iii. 254.
    Presents Deccan diamond to king, iii. 281.
    Reforms needed and carried out, iii. 257, 258.
    Relations with Impey, iii. 267, 268.
    Resignation accepted, iii. 264.
    Returns to England, iii. 253.
    Returns to India, iii. 255.
    Scheme for Supreme Court and Council, iii. 267.
    Sketch of career, iii. 245 _seqq._
    State of India on his arrival, iii. 249.
    Trial, iii. 281 _seqq._
    Work accomplished, iii. 258.
  Hatzfeldt, Count, mobbed, iii. 118.
  Hawley, defeated at Falkirk, ii. 223.
  Hazlitt on Steele and Addison, i. 300, 301.
  Heath, --, iii. 179.
  Heber, Bishop, death, iv. 92.
  Heights of Abraham, ii. 288, 289.
  Hell-Fire Club, iii. 47.
  Hemans, Felicia, death, iv. 284.
  Henry IV. becomes a Catholic, i. 13.
  Henry, Patrick, speech against Stamp Act, iii. 90.
  Hepburn, James, of Keith, ii. 214.
  Herbert, Colonel (Lord Carnarvon), Treatment of Lord
      George Gordon, iii. 202.
  Herbert, Sidney, as debater, iv. 239.
  Herrenhausen, i. 55.
  Herschel, Sir John, on Newton, i. 273.
  Hertford, Lord, preparations against insurgents, iii. 205.
  Hervey, James, author of "Meditations," ii. 128.
  Hervey, John, Lord, Baron Hervy of Ickworth:
    Appeal on Convention, ii. 163.
    Attends dying Queen, ii. 118, 123.
    Compares Chesterfield with Scarborough and Carteret, ii. 5.
    Interviews with Walpole on Queen's death, ii. 120, 125.
    Lampoons, ii. 102.
    Memoirs of Reign of George II., i. 306, 308.
    On Duke of Argyll, i. 44.
    On Frederick, Prince of Wales, ii. 39, 105.
    On George II.'s danger, ii. 69.
    On George II.'s illness, ii. 303.
    On Handel and Royal Family, ii. 51.
    On Hardwicke and Talbot, ii. 10.
    On letters between George I. and Prince of Wales, ii. 109.
    On Princess Caroline, ii. 38.
    On Princess Emily, ii. 38.
    On Sir William Wyndham, i. 288.
    On Walpole being indispensable, ii. 91.
    Sedition and Defamation displayed, i. 306.
    Sketch of, i. 306.
    Supports Walpole's policy, ii. 160, 168.
    Takes news of Prince of Wales's claim to Queen, ii. 78, 79.
  Hessian mercenaries, i. 291, 292.
    For America, iii. 183.
    In Ireland, iii. 322.
  Highlands, modern prosperity of, ii. 233.
  Highlands, pacification after Culloden, ii. 227.
  Hill, Frank H., quoted on:
    Fame and George Canning, iv. 59.
    Peel and art of government, iv. 57.
  Hill, Rowland, death, iv. 284.
  Hill, Sir George, recognizes Wolfe Tone, iii. 325.
  Hillsborough, Lord, Secretary of State, iii. 147.
    Colonial policy, iii. 147, 148, 150, 152.
  Hoadley, Dr., Bishop of Winchester, opposed to Test Act,
      ii. 110, 111.
  Hoche, General:
    Commands expedition to Ireland, iii. 315.
    Death, iii. 318.
  Hogarth, William:
    Caricature of Churchill, iii. 63.
    Caricature of Wilkes, iii. 61.
    Death, iii. 68.
    "March to Finchley," ii. 231.
    Pictures of London, i. 64, 65.
    "Polling Day," ii. 188.
    Portrait of Lord Lovat, ii. 230.
    Sketch of career, ii. 230.
  Hogg, James, death, iv. 282.
  Holland, Henry Fox, Lord:
    As Administrator and Debater, ii. 274.
    Asked to support Prince of Wales's claim, ii. 78.
    Character, iii. 33, 141.
    Forms Opposition to Pitt, iii. 26.
    Macaulay and C. Greville dine with, iv. 185.
    Paymaster, ii. 298.
    Protests against words "On the true faith of a Christian," iv. 69.
    Secretary at War, ii. 296.
  Holroyd, Colonel, threatens Lord George Gordon, iii. 199.
  Holwell, on Black Hole of Calcutta, ii. 267.
  Holy Alliance and Congress of Verona, iv. 39, 42, 45.
  Horne-Tooke, John, Rector of Brentford:
    Candidate for Westminster, iii. 139.
    Quarrels with Wilkes, iii. 136.
    Supports Wilkes, iii. 117.
  Horneck, Mary, "Jessamy Bride," iii. 169.
  Houghton, Walpole at, i. 196.
  House of Commons:
    Chairman of Committee, iv. 160.
    Commencement of Party organization, i. 256.
    Committee on Convention, ii. 171.
    Debates on:
      Allowance for Prince of Wales, ii. 82, 88.
      American Colonies, iii. 162.
      Middlesex Election, iii. 131.
      Restitution of Gibraltar, i. 297.
      Supply to George II., i. 280.
    Election Petitions, ii. 189.
    Gordon presents petition to, iii. 198.
    Growth of, i. 32.
    In Committee, iv. 160.
    Inadequate accommodation, iv. 270, 271.
    Ladies' Gallery, iv. 272.
    Numbers in 1714, i. 51.
    Obstruction in, iv. 159, 160 _seqq._
    Petition of merchants against Spaniards, ii. 153.
    Petitions against Spaniards, i. 294.
    Secession from, ii. 172, 174.
    Subsidies for foreign mercenaries, i. 293.
  House of Lords:
    Agitation against, iv. 167.
    Debates on:
      Bill for Princess Anne's dowry, ii. 43.
      Convention, ii. 164, 168.
      Prince of Wales's allowance, ii. 89.
    India Bills rejected, iii. 235.
    Numbers in 1714, i. 51.
    Protest against Address on Prince of Wales's allowance, ii. 90.
    Reform and, iv. 169, 173, 176.
    Scene during Gordon Riot, iii. 197, 201.
    Walpole and, ii. 159.
  Houses of Parliament (old), i. 64.
    Destroyed by fire, iv. 267.
  Houses of Parliament, design for new, iv. 269, 270.
  Howe, Admiral Richard, Viscount, Mutiny at Spithead and, iii. 335.
  Howe, William, Viscount, iii. 182.
    Commands at Breed Hill, iii. 176.
  Humbert, General, commands expedition to Ireland, iii. 323.
  Hume, David, on Whitefield's eloquence, ii. 139.
  Hume, Joseph, Committee on Orangeism, iv. 387.
  Hungerford speaks for Bolingbroke, i. 108.
  Hunt, Leigh, on:
    George IV., iii. 242.
    William Congreve, i. 301.
  Hunt, Orator, defeats Stanley at Preston, iv. 131.
  Huskisson, William:
    Attitude on Catholic Emancipation, iv. 68.
    Colonial and War Secretary, iv. 65, 67.
    Death, iv. 103.
    Resigns office, iv. 72.
    Sketch of career, iv. 52.
    Treasurer of Navy and President of Board of Trade, iv. 58.
  Hutchinson, Governor-General of Massachusetts:
    House in Boston ransacked, iii. 91.
    Letters to Whately, iii. 153.
  Hyde Park, camp in, i. 121.

  Ibraham Pasha, military capacity, iv. 49.
  Imhoff, Baroness von, and Warren Hastings, iii. 255.
  Impey, Elijah, Chief Justice, iii. 261, 268.
  Impressment for Navy abolished, iv. 263, 267.
  India Bills:
    Fox's, iii. 230 _seqq._
    Pitt's, iii. 237, 238.
  Indian Empire, ii. 257.
    Condition in 1707, ii. 257.
    Three Presidencies, ii. 253.
  Inglis, Sir Robert Harry, speech on Reform Bill, iv. 144.
  Insurrection of 1715, i. 118 _seqq._
    Conditions of success, i. 118.
  Intrigues in Cabinet, i. 251.
    Agitation in 1724, i. 240.
    Condition in 1797, iii. 318.
    Grievances, iii. 306.
    In 1714, i. 80.
    New copper coinage, i. 240.
  Irish and English Parliaments, i. 179.
  Irish Brigade at Fontenoy and Lauffeld, ii. 239.
  Irish clergy, ii. 130.
  Irish House of Lords, i. 178.
  Irish Parliament, i. 80; iii. 307.
    Abolished, iv. 206.
  Irish, Penal Laws against, ii. 248.
  Irish Rebellion of '98, iii. 313, 314 _seqq._; iv. 206.
  Irish State Church question, tithes, iv. 207 _seqq._
    Debate on, iv. 212.
    (_See also_ Tithe question, Ireland.)
  Irish vote, iv. 244.
  Irving, Washington, essay on Robert Emmet, iii. 329.
  Isla, Earl of, i. 250.
  Italy in 1716, i. 154.

  Jacobite demonstration in England, i. 121, 135.
  Jacobitism and Tory cause, iii. 24.
  Jamaica: Act to mitigate punishment of slaves, iv. 193.
  Jekyll, Sir Joseph, Gin Act, ii. 56.
  Jenkins, Captain, story of his ear, ii. 158.
  Johnson, Samuel:
    English dictionary, ii. 299.
    Epitaph on Goldsmith, iii. 171.
    Friend of Goldsmith, iii. 169.
    Interview with Wilkes, iii. 138.
    On acquittal of Lord George Gordon, iii. 210.
    On Alexander Wedderburn, iii. 158.
    On authorship of _Letters of Junius_, iii. 131.
    On state of Irish, ii. 248.
    On taking of Newgate, iii. 203.
    Opinion of Thomas Sheridan, iii. 217.
    Receives pension, iii. 55.
    Regard for Warren Hastings, iii. 255.
    Sketch of, iii. 39 _seqq._
    Visits Paris, iii. 293.
  Jones, Inigo, lays out Covent Garden, i. 68.
  Jones, Paul, commands "Le Bonhomme Richard," iii. 183.
  Jones, Sir William, Persian grammar, iii. 254.
  Jonson, Ben, Comedies, i. 299.
  Jordan, Mrs., and William IV., iv. 97.
  Julius Caesar regulates calendar, ii. 275.
  _Junius's Letters in Public Advertiser_, iii. 128.

  Kazim Bazar Settlement, iii. 249.
  Keats, John, death, iv. 92.
  Kean, Edmund, death, iv. 285.
  Kelly supports Young Pretender, ii. 205.
  Kemble, John, death, iv. 92.
  Kendal, Mlle. Schulemberg, Duchess of, i. 7, 241, 266.
    Bribed by Bolingbroke, i. 267.
    Death, i. 266.
  Kenmure, Viscount, i. 137.
    Executed, i. 142.
  Kennett, Lord Mayor of London, iii. 201.
  Kent, Edward, Duke of, death, iii. 348.
  Kent, Duchess of, and William IV., iv. 117.
  Kenyon defends Lord George Gordon, iii. 210.
  Ker, Lord Mark, reception of Cope, ii. 215.
  Kilmansegge, Mme. (Countess of Darlington), i. 7.
  Kilmarnock, Lord, trial of, ii. 228, 229.
  Kilwarden, Lord Chief Justice:
    Action  respecting  Wolfe Tone, iii. 326.
    Murdered, iii. 328.
  King's Evil, iii. 39.
  King's friends, iii. 108.
  Kingstown, origin of name, iv. 25.
  Kinnison, David, iii. 161.
  "Kit-Kat" Club, i. 74.
  Kneller: portrait of Queen Anne, i. 2.
  Knighton, Sir William, sketch of, iv. 47.
  Königsmark, Aurora, mother of Maurice de Saxe, i. 8.
  Königsmark, Charles John, i. 7.
    Murders Lord Thynne, i. 8.
  Königsmark, Philip Christof, assassinated, i. 7.
  Kosciusko in America, iii. 183.

  La Bourdonnais:
    Besieges and takes Madras, ii. 259.
    Founds colonies of Ile de France and Bourbon, ii. 258.
    Sent to France under arrest, ii. 259.
  La Vendée, Royalist revolt in, iii. 303.
  La Vrillière, Mme., i. 237.
  Lade, Sir John, iii. 244.
    Demands revival of States-General, iii. 293.
    In America, iii. 183.
  Lamb, Charles:
    Death, iv. 284.
    On "Robinson Crusoe," ii. 2.
  Lambton, J. G. (_see_ Durham, Earl of).
  Lampooners, ii. 102.
  Landor, Walter Savage:
    Epigram on the Four Georges, iii. 242.
    On George I. and George II., i. 273.
  Langdale, distilleries fired by mob, iii. 207.
  Lauderdale, Lord, attitude towards French Revolution, iii. 301.
  Lauffeld, battle of, ii. 239.
  Law, defends Warren Hastings, iii. 285.
  Law, John, forms Mississippi Company, i. 184.
  Law, William, "Serious Call to a Devout and Holy Life," ii. 133.
  Lawrence, Major, commands in S. India (1751), ii. 264.
  Lawrence, Sir Thomas, iv. 93.
  Layer, Christopher:
    Arrested, i. 219.
    Hanged, i. 221.
  Lecky, William E. H., on:
    Catholics and Protestants, iv. 55.
    Shrewsbury as Lord High Treasurer, i. 46.
  Lee, Richard Henry, on George Washington, iii. 189.
  Lee, General Charles, iii. 179.
    Traitor, iii. 184.
  Leeds, iv. 99.
  Leeds, Duke of, protests against Act for Dependency
      of Ireland, i. 178.
  Leibnitz on Electress Sophia, i. 4.
  Lennox, Lady Sarah, sketch of, iii. 9.
  Leopold, King of the Belgians, iv. 117, 290.
  Lepell, Mary, Lady Hervey, i. 307, 308.
  Lessing, "Laocoon," iii. 98.
    Referred to, iii. 145.
  Leszczynski, Stanislaus, King of Poland, sketch of, ii. 23.
  _Letters of Junius_ in _Public Advertiser_, iii. 128.
    Authorship, iii. 130.
  Lewis, Sir George Cornewall, i. 290.
  Lexington, battle at, ii. 43; iii. 174.
  Liberal political principles, rise of, iv. 94.
  Lightfoot, Hannah, iii. 8.
  Limerick invested by William III., i. 83.
  Limerick, Treaty of, i. 83.
  Linley, Elizabeth (Mrs. Richard B. Sheridan), iii. 218.
    As commercial port, iv. 99.
    In 1714, i. 79.
    Memorials of Canning, iv. 34.
  Liverpool and Manchester Railway opened, iv. 103.
  Liverpool, Robert Banks Jenkinson, Earl of:
    Attitude towards Catholic Emancipation, iv. 34.
    Attitude towards popular liberty, iv. 3.
    Character, iii. 345.
    Death, iv. 62.
    Illness, iv. 55, 58.
    Prime Minister, iv. 3.
    Recommends Canning as Foreign Secretary, iv. 37.
  Lloyd, Dr., at Westminster School, iii. 54.
  Logwood Trade on Campeachy Bay, i. 294, 295.
    In panic, iii. 204.
    In 1714, i. 63.
    In 1760, iii. 15.
    Penny Post, i. 78.
    Poverty in, ii. 89.
    State during '45, ii. 218.
  London University Charter, iv. 261.
  Londonderry, Marquis of (_see_ Castlereagh, Viscount).
  Lord High Treasurer, office of, i. 46.
  Lord Mayor of London committed to Tower, iii. 135.
  Lord Mayor of London presents addresses to King, iii. 133.
  Lord Treasurership in Commission, i. 97.
  "Lords of Trade," iii. 80.
  Louis XIV. and Stuart cause, i. 117.
  Louis XV. places Stanislaus Leszczynski on throne of Poland,
      ii. 23.
  Louis XVI.:
    Character, iii. 295.
    Executed, iii. 300, 303.
  Louis Napoleon, Emperor, demeanor, i. 127.
  Louis Napoleon, Prince, i. 10.
  Louis Philippe, King of the French, iv. 98, 105.
  Louisiana, ii. 283.
  Lovat, Simon Fraser, Lord, sketch of, ii. 229.
  Lowe, Sir Hudson, and Napoleon Bonaparte, iii. 344.
  Lowland Agriculture, i. 87.
  Loyalty in 1714, i. 59.
  Luttrell, Colonel:
    Opposes Wilkes, iii. 126.
    Petition against, iii. 132.
  Lyall, Sir Alfred, on Hastings's application for annuity
      for his wife, iii. 289.
  Lyndhurst, John Singleton Copley, Baron, iv. 58, 65.
    Amendment on Reform Bill (third), iv. 174.
    Interview with King on Catholic emancipation, iv. 77.
    Lord Chancellor, iv. 239.
    Opposes Municipal Bill, iv. 259.
    Oratory, iv. 174.
  Lyons rises against Paris, iii. 303.
  Lyttelton in politics and literature, ii. 274.

  Maberly, house sacked, iii. 201.
  Macartney, General, returns to England, i. 122.
  Macartney, Lord, governor of Madras, iii. 266.
  Macaulay, Thomas Babington, Lord:
    On Arbuthnot, ii. 21.
    On Irish tithe question, iv. 210.
    On Warren Hastings, iii. 258.
    Sketch of, iv. 184.
  Macaulay, Zachary, West Indian Slavery and, iv. 190.
  Macclesfield, Thomas Parker, Earl of:
    Impeached, i. 262.
    On reform of calendar, ii. 275.
  M'Cullock, Lieutenant, suggests scaling Heights of Abraham, ii. 288.
  Macdonald, Aeneas, evidence on '45, ii. 205, 227.
  Macdonald of Barrisdale, ii. 227.
  Macdonald of Sleat refuses to support Young Pretender, ii. 205.
  Macdonald, Sir John, supports Young Pretender, ii. 205,
  Macdonalds' conduct at Culloden, ii. 225.
  Mackintosh, Brigadier, escapes from Newgate, i. 142.
  Mackintosh, Sir James:
    Bill to abolish death penalty for minor offences, iv. 20.
    Death, iv. 281.
    Denounces trial of Rev. John Smith, iv. 194.
  M'Laurin improves fortifications of Edinburgh, ii. 211.
  Maclean, Donald, tried for murdering Allan, iii. 120.
  Macleod of Macleod refuses to support Young Pretender, ii. 205.
  M'Quirk, Edward, tried for murder of George Clarke, iii. 129.
    Besieged by Le Bourdonnais, ii. 259.
    Restored to England, ii. 260.
  Madras expedition, iii. 250.
  Mahon, Lord, iii. 186.
  Mahratta States and Nizam of Deccan, iii. 265, 266.
  Malleson, Colonel, on Suraj ud Dowlah, ii. 267.
  Malthus, Thomas Robert, iv. 281.
  Manchester, iv. 99.
    In 1714, i. 79.
  Mangan, Clarence, "Dark Rosaleen," iv. 205.
  Manley, Isaac, Postmaster-General, Dublin, i. 82.
  Mansfield, Murray, Lord, ii. 274.
    Attorney-General, ii. 296.
    Demeanor during Gordon riot, iii. 197.
    House sacked, iii. 203.
  Mar, John Erskine, Earl of, i. 39.
    Leader of insurrection, 1715, i. 123.
    Letter to Bolingbroke, i. 120.
    Sketch of, i. 123.
  March Club, i. 74.
  Maria Theresa, Queen of Hungary, British troops support, ii. 182.
  Marie Antoinette executed, iii. 300.
  Markham arrests Rajah of Benares, iii. 269.
  Marlborough House, i. 69.
  Marlborough, John Churchill, Duke of, i. 2, 54.
    Advice on rebellion of 1715, i. 128.
    Advice to Bolingbroke, i. 104.
    Character, i. 22, 24, 210.
    Charges against, i. 94.
    Closing days, i. 208.
    Funeral, i. 211.
    Member of Privy Council, i. 100.
    Return to England, i. 16, 52.
  Marlborough, Sarah, Duchess of, i. 208.
    Advice to Duke, i. 100.
    Character, i. 25.
  Marriage Act, ii. 279.
  Marseilles rises against Paris, iii. 303.
  Martin challenges Wilkes, iii. 66.
  Martineau, H.:
    Attitude towards Poor Relief, iv. 224.
    On admission of ladies to hear debates in House, iv. 272.
    On movement against monopoly of East India Company, iv. 232.
    On Queen Caroline, iv. 10.
  Masham, created peer, i. 174.
  Masham, Mrs., i. 2.
    Letter to Swift, i. 36.
    Result of influence with Queen, i. 94.
    Memorial from, ii. 42.
    Mutiny Act and, iii. 150.
    Petition for recall of Hutchinson and Oliver, iii. 155.
    Protests against Stamp Act, iii. 90.
    Punishment of, iii. 164.
  Mathews, Charles, Sen., "At Home" performance, iv. 285.
  Maximilian, Emperor, iv. 45.
  Mayfair, i. 72.
  Mechanics' Institutes, iv. 93.
  Mecklenburg-Strelitz, Duchy of, iii. 11.
  Medmenham-on-Thames, iii. 46.
  Meer Jaffier conspires against Suraj ud Dowlah, ii. 269,
      270, 271, 272.
  Melbourne, William Lamb, Viscount:
    Attitude towards reforms, iv. 254.
    Character, iv. 234.
    Home Secretary, iv. 126.
    Irish Members and, iv. 253.
    Prime Minister, iv. 233, 250.
  Meredith, George, "Ironic procession," iii. 2.
  Methodism (_see_ Wesleyan Movement).
  Methuen, Sir Paul, Treasurer of Household, i. 279.
    Opposes Bolingbroke's pardon, i. 259.
  Mexican Empire, iv. 45.
  Middlesex election (1768), iii. 117.
    Debate on petition, iii. 131.
  Mill, James, historian of British India, iv. 281.
  Mill, John Stuart:
    Doctrine of non-intervention, iv. 62.
    On Irish cottier tenant, iv. 222.
  Mills, Mrs., friend of Lady Nithisdale, i. 139.
  Ministry of All the Talents, iii. 340.
  Ministry of 1714, i. 97.
  Ministry of 1742, ii. 192.
  Minorca, i. 296, 298.
    Captured by French, ii. 297.
  Mir Jaffier, iii. 250, 253.
    Intrigues, iii. 250.
  Mir Kasim, Nawab, and Ellis, iii. 251.
  Mirzapha Jung claims Deccan Vice-royalty, ii. 261.
    Death, ii. 262.
  Mississippi scheme, i. 184 _seqq._
  Mitchel, John, on Chesterfield's rule in Ireland, ii. 250.
  Mob law in London, iii. 122.
  Mob orators, Sir Robert Inglis on, iv. 145.
  Mohun, Lord, i. 74.
    Killed in duel, i. 122.
  Moira, Lady Elizabeth, letter on French expedition to Ireland,
      iii. 315.
  Molesworth: on renewal of East India Company's Charter, iv. 230, 232.
  Monarchy under Hanoverians, ii. 74.
  _Monitor_ edited by John Entinck, iii. 51, 52, 55.
  Monopolies, petitions for, i. 191.
  Monroe doctrine, iv. 44.
  Monson, Colonel, iii. 260, 261.
    Death, iii. 264.
  Montagu, Edward Wortley, i. 105.
    Ambassador to Constantinople, i. 148.
  Montagu, Lady Mary Wortley:
    Letters, i. 148, 149, 152, 157.
    Sketch of, i. 148, 149, 150.
  Montcalm, Louis, Marquis de:
    Killed at Quebec, ii. 290.
    Monument, ii. 290.
  Montesquieu, on Duke of Berwick, ii. 34.
  Montgomery, --, iii. 179.
  Moore, Thomas:
    Lines on Robert Emmet, iii. 329.
    On George IV., iii. 242.
    Quoted, iv. 23.
  Moravian sect, ii. 134.
  More, Hannah:
    Death, iv. 282.
    On Lord George Gordon, iii. 193.
  Morgan, Mrs., friend of Lady Nithisdale, i. 139.
  Morris, Charles, iii. 244.
  Mostyn, Sir Thomas, iii. 338.
  "Mug houses," i. 75.
  Municipal Corporation Bill for Ireland, iv. 258.
  Municipal Corporations Commission and Bill, iv. 257, 258.
  Municipal system, reorganization of, iv. 254 _seqq._
  Munster, Earl of, iv. 114.
  Murari Rao offers to assist English, ii. 263.
  Murchison, Sir Roderick, and British Association, iv. 262.
  Murger, Henri, "bohemianiam," iii. 310.
  Murphy, Father John:
    And _Auditor_, iii. 51.
    Conduct in '98, iii. 320.
  Murray, James (Earl of Dunbar), Secretary to James Stuart, ii. 18.
  Murray, John, of Broughton, ii. 227.
  Murray, tutor to Charles Edward, Young Pretender, ii. 202.
  Murray (_see_ Mansfield, Lord).
  Musters, Mr., house set fire to, iv. 170.
  Mutiny Act and New York, iii. 149.

  Nairn, Lord, a prisoner, i. 137, 138.
  Nand Kumar (Nuncomar), iii. 258, 259.
    Accusations against Hastings, iii. 261.
    Charged with conspiracy, iii. 261.
    Charged with forgery, iii. 261.
    Tried and hanged, iii. 262.
  Napier, Hon. George, marries Lady Sarah Bunbury, iii. 10.
  Napier, Sir Charles, iii. 10; iv. 179.
  Napier, Sir William, iii. 10.
  Napoleon I. (Bonaparte):
    Close of career, iv. 12.
    On Romilly's suicide, iii. 347.
    On Thames Embankment, iv. 14.
    On Wellington seizing English crown, iv. 277.
    Scheme for invasion of Ireland and, iii. 312, 314.
    Sketch of career, iii. 331 _seqq._, 344.
    Wins Toulon, iii. 304.
  Napoleon III. (Charles Louis), Policy, iv. 45.
  National Assembly, declaration of war and, iii. 302, 303.
  National Crisis (1832), iv. 178.
  National Debt (1714), i. 93.
    Pitt's plan for redemption of, iii. 239.
  National distress in 1830, iv. 100, 105.
  Navarino, battle of, iv. 50, 67, 96.
  Navy, press-gang system abolished, iv. 263, 266.
  Nelson, Horatio, Viscount, iii. 337.
    Receives freedom of London, iii. 139.
  Nepean,  Under-Secretary of State, iii. 235.
  New England Colonies, iii. 75.
  New York:
    Congress of 1765, iii. 91.
    In 1765, iii. 77.
    Mutiny Act and, iii. 149.
  Newbottle, Lord, and Lady Sarah Lennox, iii. 9, 10.
  Newcastle, Duke of:
    Appeal to Lords on declaration of war, ii. 177.
    Bribery under, iii. 25.
    Family influence, ii. 243.
    Jealous of Pulteney, ii. 192.
    Leader of Administration, ii. 210, 296.
    On Bill for Princess Anne's dowry, ii. 44.
    On "Briton," iii. 23.
    On "Family Compact," ii. 33.
    Resigns office, ii. 298.
    Sacrifices Byng, ii. 298.
    Secretary for Foreign Affairs, ii. 160.
    Secretary of State, ii. 192.
    Traitor to Walpole, ii. 160, 189.
    Warns Rockingham against Burke, iii. 100.
  Newfoundland, French fishing-stations on, iii. 78.
  Newgate taken by rioters, iii. 203.
  Newton, Sir Isaac:
    Death, i. 272.
    Opinion on Irish coins, i. 241.
  Neyoe, Irish priest:
    Arrested, i. 219.
    Drowned, i. 221.
  Nile, battle of the, iii. 337.
  Nithisdale, Countess of:
    Effects Earl's escape, i. 140.
    Petition to King, i. 139.
  Nithisdale, William Maxwell, Earl of:
    Condemnation and escape, i. 138.
  Nizam-Al-Mulk, Viceroy of Deccan, death of, ii. 261.
  Nizam of Deccan and Mahratta States, iii. 265, 266.
  Nollekens, Joseph, iv. 93.
  Nootka Sound, English settlement at, iii. 302.
  Norbury, Baron, tries Robert Emmet, iii. 329.
  Nore, mutiny at, iii. 335.
  Norfolk, Duke of:
    Committed to Tower, i. 214.
    Discharged, i. 215.
  Norris, James, sketch of, iv. 288.
  _North Briton_, iii. 51, 52, 155.
    Churchill writes on, iii. 55.
    No. 45 on King's Speech, iii. 57, 60.
    Ordered to be burned, iii. 67.
    Warrant for arrest of authors, printers, and publishers, iii. 58.
  North, Frederick, Lord:
    Attitude during Wedderburn's attack on Franklin, iii. 156.
    Bill to close Port of Boston, iii. 163.
    Chancellor of Exchequer, iii. 113.
    Coalition with Fox, iii. 225.
    Colonial policy, iii. 152.
    Fall of Ministry, iii. 223.
    Finances and, iii. 239.
    Makes peace with America, iii. 184.
    Moves repeal of American duties except tea tax, iii. 151.
    Regulates Act of 1773, iii. 260.
  North, Lord:
    Committed to Tower, i. 214.
    Discharged, i. 215.
    Condemns South Sea Bill, i. 190.
  Northcote, James, on Queen Charlotte, iii. 12.
  Northumberland, Duchess of:
    Governess to Princess Victoria, iv. 291.
  Northumberland, Duke of, forced to toast Wilkes, iii. 118.
  Norton, Fletcher, speech on Middlesex election petition, iii. 131.
  Norwich in 1714, i. 79.
  Nottingham Castle burned, iv. 170.
  Nunjeraj, Vizier of Rajah of Mysore, iii. 265.

  Oates, Titus, on term "Tory," i. 17.
  O'Brien, Smith, iv. 179.
  O'Connell, Daniel:
    Demands municipal reform for Ireland, iv. 258.
    Elected for Clare, iv. 71, 78.
    In favor of ballot, iv. 131.
    Loyalty, iv. 23, 27.
    On Universal Suffrage, iv. 85.
    Oratory, iv. 70.
    Seconds amendment on Emancipation of Slaves, iv. 197.
    Sketch of, iv. 53, 69.
    Speech on Irish Church Revenues, iv. 248, 249.
    Speeches on Reform Bill, iv. 148, 172.
  O'Connor, Arthur, iii. 313, 314.
    Withdraws from Dublin Parliament, iii. 319.
  October Club, i. 74.
  Oglethorpe, General, invites John Wesley to Georgia, ii. 134.
  Ohio, English and French on, ii. 285.
  Oliver, Alderman, committed to Tower, iii. 135.
  Oliver, Andrew, collector of stamp taxes at Boston, iii. 91.
  Oliver, Lieutenant-Governor of Massachusetts:
    Letters to Whately, iii. 153.
  O'Meara, Dr. Barry E., conversations with Napoleon, iv. 13.
    Death, ii. 273.
    Plots against English and Suraj ud Dowlah, ii. 269, 270.
  Onslow, Arthur, Speaker of House of Commons:
    On Sir William Wyndham, i. 288.
    Opposes Bolingbroke's pardon, i. 259.
    Re-elected Speaker, ii. 22, 186.
    Sketch of, i. 282.
  Onslow, Sir Richard, i. 105.
  Orange Associations, iv. 274 _seqq._
  Orange, Prince of, marries Princess Anne, ii. 41.
  Order of Bath revived, i. 252.
  Orleans, Louis Philippe, Duke of (Egalité), iii. 293.
  Orleans, Philippe, Duke of (Regent), i. 117.
    Death, i. 238.
    Overtures to George I., i. 156, 181.
    Sketch of, i. 155.
  Ormond, Duke of:
    Flight, i. 111.
    Heads Spanish Jacobite expedition, i. 162.
    Impeached, i. 109, 110.
    In Paris, i. 119, 120.
    Name razed from roll of Peers, i. 114.
    Warden of Cinque Ports, i. 39.
  Orrery, Earl of:
    Committed to Tower, i. 214.
    Discharged, i. 215.
  Otis, James, denounces Writs of Assistance, iii. 84.
  Oude subjected, iii. 258.
  Oude, Vizier of, and Begums, iii. 271.
  Oxford in '45, ii. 220.
  Oxford, Robert Harley, Earl of, i. 26, 29.
    Acquitted, i. 111, 170.
    Attitude towards Restoration of Stuarts, i. 107.
    Character, i. 113.
    Committed to Tower, i. 112.
    Establishes South Sea Company, i. 187.
    Impeached of high treason, i. 109, 110, 112, 168.
    Petition to House of Lords, i. 168.
    Reception by George I., i. 101.
    Sketch of, i. 30.
  Ozinda's chocolate-house, i. 76.

  Paine, Thomas, iii. 312.
  Pakenham, Hon. Catherine, Duchess of Wellington, iii. 334.
  Palmerston, Viscount:
    Foreign Secretary, iv. 126, 252.
    Member for Tiverton, iv. 254.
    Member of Liverpool Administration, iv. 3.
    On the "Inevitable Man," iv. 55.
    Resigns office, iv. 72.
    Secretary at War, iv. 58.
  Pamela, wife of Lord Edward Fitzgerald, iii. 313.
  Paradis defeats Nabob of Carnatic at St. Thome, ii. 261.
  Parker heads mutiny at Nore, iii. 335.
    Annual, i. 146.
    Dissolved (1831), iv. 143.
    Election of 1734, ii. 19.
    Election of 1830, iv. 105.
    Irish and English, i. 179.
    Language of sycophancy, ii. 85.
    Motions for removal of Walpole, ii. 185.
    Of 1722, i. 206, 213.
    Prorogued  (1727), Royal Speech, i. 278.
    Septennial Act, i. 146.
    Short, ii. 11.
    Speech from Throne (1739), ii. 162; (1741), ii. 186;
      (1765), iii. 88.
    Triennial Acts, i. 145.
    (_See also_ House of Lords and House of Commons.)
  Parliamentary Opposition, system of, i. 285 _seqq._
  Parma, Duke of, i. 158.
  Parnell, Sir Henry:
    Motion on Civil Service Estimates, iv. 110.
    Paymaster-General, iv. 252.
  Parr, Dr., opinion of Sheridan, iii. 217.
  Patents, petitions for, i. 190.
  "Patriots," i. 288, 296, 298.
    Frederick, Prince of Wales, and, ii. 50, 108, 110.
    In Opposition and power, ii. 242.
    Oppose borrowing from Sinking Fund, i. 309.
    Raise war cry, ii. 149, 157.
    Return to Commons, ii. 178.
    Secede from Commons, ii. 172.
    Struggle against Walpole, ii. 11.
  Patten, Rev. Robert, as King's evidence, i. 137.
  Peel, Sir Robert:
    At opening of Liverpool and Manchester railway, iv. 103.
    Attitude towards Catholic Emancipation, iv. 57, 68, 74, 75.
    Attitude towards Reform, iv. 152, 163.
    Declines to form Ministry, iv. 177.
    Free Trade and, iv. 52.
    Home Secretary, iv. 71, 103.
    Interview with King on Catholic emancipation, iv. 77.
    Measure on Irish Tithe System, iv. 245; Speech on, iv. 249.
    On claims of "Princess" Olivia, iv. 287.
    Prime Minister and Chancellor of Exchequer, iv. 238.
    Resigns office, iv. 113, 250.
    Speech on municipal reform, iv. 259, 260.
    Speech on Reform Bill, iv. 146.
    Summoned to form Ministry, iv. 235.
    Tamworth Address, iv. 240.
  Peerage Bill, object of, i. 174.
  Peers, creation of new, iv. 180.
  Pelham, Henry:
    Death, ii. 296.
    Letter to Duke of Cumberland, ii. 239.
    Paymaster, ii. 192.
    Prime Minister, ii. 244, 245.
  Pelham Ministry:
    Resign, ii. 244.
    Return to power, ii. 245.
  Penn, William, death, i. 179.
  Penny Post, London, i. 78.
  Pepys quoted on Duchess of Cleveland, i. 23.
  Perceval, Spencer:
    Chancellor of Exchequer, iii. 341.
    Death, iii. 341.
    Regency Bill, iii. 341.
  Percy, Lord, commands reinforcements from Boston, iii. 174.
  Perry, presents petition of merchants against Spaniards, ii. 153.
  Perth, Duke of, ii. 223.
    Appeal to Macdonalds, ii. 225.
    Death, ii. 232.
  Perth, Jacobites retreat from, i. 128.
  Pestolozzi, Johann H., iv. 93.
  Peter the Great, character, i. 162.
  Peterborough, Lord, anecdote of, ii. 167.
    Congress draws up Declaration of Rights, iii. 173.
    Evacuated, iii. 183.
    In hands of British, iii. 183.
    In 1765, iii. 77.
    Tea-ship at, iii. 161.
  Philip V. of Spain, ii. 28.
    Renounces French throne, i. 157.
  Phipps, Sir Constantine, removed from office of Chancellor, i. 98.
  Pitt diamond, ii. 54.
  Pitt Ministry (1766), members of, iii. 108.
  Pitt, Thomas, i. 105.
    M. P. for Okehampton, ii. 54.
  Pitt, William, Earl of Chatham:
    Accepts pension and barony for his wife, iii. 27.
    Advice to Prince of Wales, ii. 78.
    As War Minister, ii. 299; iii. 2, 27, 29.
    Character, iii. 186.
    Coalition against, iii. 26.
    Death, iii. 186.
    Denunciation of Walpole and Carteret, ii. 245.
    Illness, iii. 73, 108, 109.
    In House of Peers, iii. 109.
    Maiden speech, ii. 52, 55.
    On action of Boston people, iii. 161, 163.
    Paymaster-General, ii. 296.
    Protests against war with America, iii. 185.
    Quarrels with Temple, iii. 108.
    Refuses office, iii. 73, 93.
    Resigns office, iii. 27.
    Sketch of, ii. 54.
    Speech on Convention, ii. 171.
    Takes news of accession to George III., iii. 2.
    Takes office, ii. 274; iii. 108.
    Wilkes and, iii. 57.
  Pitt, William (the younger), iii. 211.
    Antagonism to Fox, iii. 225.
    Attacks Fox's India Bill, iii. 232.
    Attitude on Regency, iii. 243.
    Attitude towards Catholic Emancipation, iii. 308; iv. 53.
    Challenge to Ministry on Eastern possessions, iii. 230.
    Chancellor of Exchequer, iii. 225.
    Closing hours, iii. 338.
    Coalition against, iii. 26, 225.
    Contrasted with Fox, iii. 212.
    Death, iii. 339.
    Declines Vice-Treasurership of Ireland, iii. 224.
    Difficulties of Administration, iii. 240.
    Financial measures, iii. 239.
    First Lord of Treasury and Chancellor of Exchequer, iii. 236.
    Foreign policy, iii. 302.
    French policy, iii. 301.
    India Bill, iii. 237, 238.
    Irish policy, iii. 319, 327.
    Makes name in Commons, iii. 223.
    Plan of Parliamentary reform, iii. 229, 240.
    Refuses to appeal for payment of Prince of Wales's debts, iii. 242.
    Resigns office, iii. 337.
    Sketch of, iii. 214.
    Speech on Benares vote, iii. 277, 279.
    Speech on Trafalgar, iii. 339.
    Struggle with Napoleon Bonaparte, iii. 332, 337.
    Supports Dundas, iii. 338.
  Plassey (Palasi), Battle of, ii. 271, 272.
  Playhouse Bill, ii. 96, 99.
  Plunket, Lord, Lord Chancellor for Ireland, iv. 127.
  Pocket boroughs, iv. 99, 147.
  Poland, condition of, iv. 40.
  Poland, election of king, ii. 23.
  Political freedom in 1716, i. 144.
  Political life in 1742, ii. 239.
  Political parties in 1728, i. 287, 288.
  Pomeroy, General, iii. 176, 179.
  Pontiac conspiracy, iii. 79.
  Population of Great Britain (1714), i. 63.
  Poor Laws, iv. 221 _seqq._
    Commission, iv. 225.
    Bill, iv. 228, 229.
  Pope, Alexander:
    "Dunciad," i. 301.
    Epitaph on James Craggs, i. 198.
    Epitaph on Sir Isaac Newton, i. 272.
    Lampoons, ii. 102, 103.
    Loses money in South Sea stock, i. 22.
    On Argyll, Duke of, i. 44.
    On Bacon, i. 22.
    On Bolingbroke, i. 29.
    On Oxford, i. 29, 31.
    Place in literature, ii. 197.
    Sketch of, ii. 197.
  Popham, Major, defeats Rajah's troops, iii. 270.
  "Porcupine Papers," iv. 155.
  Porteous, Captain John:
    Death, ii. 64.
    Sentence on, ii. 62.
    Sketch of, ii. 58.
  Porteous riots, ii. 58 _seqq._
  Portland, William Cavendish Bentinck, Duke of:
    Prime Minister, iii. 340.
    Supports Wilkes, iii. 116.
  Portsmouth, press-gang in, iv. 265.
  Portugal: free institutions, iv. 43.
  Potter, Thomas, iii. 48, 65.
    Vice-Treasurer for Ireland, iii. 49.
  Praed, Winthrop Mackworth, iv. 239.
  Pratt, Justice, Lord Camden, iii. 109.
    Discharges Wilkes, iii. 60, 67.
  Predestination, Wesley and Whitefield dispute on, ii. 139.
  Prescott, hero of Breed Hill, iii. 179.
    "Fancy franchises," iv. 183.
    Jacobites defeated at, i. 128.
  Preston, Colonel, commands British troops at Boston, iii. 151.
  Preston, General, in Edinburgh Castle, ii. 215.
  Preston Pans, Battle of, ii. 214, 215.
  Prideaux, --, in Canada, ii. 287.
  Primacy of Ireland and George IV., iv. 27.
  Prior, Matthew, i. 38.
    Arrested, i. 106.
    M. P. for East Grinstead, i. 52.
  Prisoners in 1715, i. 136.
  Privy Council, July 30, 1714, i. 40, 45, 46.
  Proctor, Sir W. Beauchamp, Whig candidate for Middlesex, iii. 117.
  "Protestant" and "Catholic" Ministers, iv. 54.
  Prussia, position at end of Seven Years' War, iii. 29.
  _Public Advertiser, Letters of Junius_ in, iii. 128.
  Pulteney, William (Earl of Bath), i. 105.
    Accepts Peerage, ii. 192.
    Advice to Prince of Wales, ii. 78.
    Alliance with Bolingbroke, i. 260; ii. 17.
    Attacks Convention and Ministers, ii. 156, 172.
    Declines office, ii. 191.
    Duel with Hervey, i. 306.
    Founder of Parliamentary Opposition, i. 225, 284, 288; ii. 195.
    Leader of discontented Whigs, i. 287.
    Letters to Pope, i. 305.
    Letter to Swift, i. 306.
    Motion on papers concerning war, ii. 187.
    On Arbuthnot, ii. 20.
    On grievances against Spain, ii. 154, 156.
    On Walpole's excise scheme, i. 315.
    Opposes Playhouse Bill, ii. 99.
    Proposes allowance for Prince of Wales, ii. 82.
    Sketch of, i. 98, 253, 286.
    Speech on salt tax, i. 313.
    Speech on Secession, ii. 178.
    Tribune of Commons, ii. 192, 194.
  Puritanism in Boston, iii. 76.
  Purkitt, Henry, iii. 161.
  Putnam, Israel, iii. 176, 179.

  Quadruple Alliance, i. 161.
    Principle of, i. 295.
    Attacked by Wolfe, ii. 287.
    Described, ii. 287, 291.
    Founded, ii. 283.
  Queen Anne's Bounty, i. 280.
  Queen Anne's houses, i. 69.
  Queensberry, Duke of, iii. 244.

  Radcliffe, Charles, escapes from Newgate, i. 142.
  Radical party, i. 20.
    Rise of, iv. 218.
  Rae, Fraser, on elections of Lord Mayor, iii. 137.
  "Rainbow" Coffee-house, i. 75.
  Rainsforth, house sacked, iii. 201.
  Rajah Dulab Ram, ii. 272.
  Rajah Sahib:
    Besieges Arcot, ii. 263.
    Defeated, ii. 263.
  Ramnagar stronghold, iii. 270.
  Rathbone, William, and movement against monopoly of East
      India Company, iv. 231.
  Ray, Miss, murdered by Hickman, iii. 50.
  "Rebecca and Her Daughters," ii. 56.
  Rebellion of 1745, ii. 203 _seqq._
  Reform Bill (First):
    Committee, iv. 127.
    Debate on, iv. 144, 149.
    Introduced in Commons, iv. 134, 137.
    General Gascoigne's amendment, iv. 150.
    Principles of, iv. 143.
    Redistribution, iv. 142.
    Scheme for, iv. 129, 132.
    Second Reading, iv. 149.
  Reform Bill (Second), iv. 154.
    Introduced into House of Lords, iv. 168.
    Rejected, iv. 169.
    Second Reading, iv. 154, 159.
    Third Reading, iv. 166.
    Obstructed, iv. 161, 163.
  Reform Bill (Third), iv. 172.
    Defect in, iv. 182.
    Passed, iv. 181.
    Political Parties and, iv. 218.
  Reform Bills for Ireland and Scotland, iv. 181.
  Reform Meetings, iv. 177.
  Reform Parliament (First), iv. 172, 204, 241.
  Reform Riots, iv. 170.
  Regency Bill, iii. 72.
  Regency Question (1830), iv. 101, 104, 107.
  Religious equality and Parliament, iv. 67, 99.
  Restoration dramatists, character of, ii. 93.
  Revere, Paul, iii. 174.
  Reynolds, Sir Joshua:
    Friend of Goldsmith, iii. 169.
    Portrait of Wilkes, iii. 68.
  Richelieu, Duc de, captures Minorca, ii. 297.
  Richmond, Duke of:
    On "Our Army," iii. 183.
    Speech on Annual Parliaments, iii. 197.
  Richter, Jean Paul, on:
    Eloquence, ii. 135.
    Laurence Sterne, ii. 302.
  Rigby, Richard, sketch of, iii. 36.
  Riot in St. George's Fields, iii. 120, 124.
  Rioters killed, wounded, and executed, iii. 209.
  Ripon, Earl of (_see_ Goderich, Viscount).
  Ripperda, Duke of, i. 264.
  Rob Roy at Sheriffmuir, i. 126.
  Robertson, Dr., threatened, iii. 195.
  Robertson, George, and Porteous riots, ii. 58.
  Robinson, Dr. John, Bishop of London, i. 109.
  Robinson, Frederick (_see_ Goderich, Viscount).
  Robinson, Sir Thomas, ii. 297.
  Rockingham, Charles Watson Wentworth, Marquis of:
    Character, iii. 94.
    Dismissed from office, iii. 108.
    Prime Minister, iii. 94.
    Repeals Stamp Act, iii. 104.
    Second Ministry, iii. 223.
  Rohilla War, iii. 258.
  Roman Catholics (_see_ Catholics).
  Romilly, Sir Samuel:
    Death and character, iii. 346.
    Philanthropic reforms, iv. 21.
  Rosebery, Lord, on Pitt's position, iii. 240.
  Ross, General:
    Captures Washington, iii. 346.
    Speaks for Bolingbroke, i. 108.
  Rousseau, on "Robinson Crusoe," ii. 1.
  Rowe, Nicholas, i. 38.
  Roxburgh, Duke of, attitude towards Walpole, i. 250.
  Royal Society of Literature founded, iv. 93.
  Royal Standard set up at Glenfinnan, ii. 206, 210.
  Russell, Lord John:
    As reformer, iv. 104, 126, 127.
    As speaker, iv. 133.
    Beaten in S. Devonshire, iv. 253.
    Carries repeal of Test and Corporation Acts, iv. 52, 67.
    "English Government and Constitution," iv. 128, 129.
    Home Secretary, iv. 252.
    Interview with Napoleon in Elba, iv. 277.
    Leader of Opposition, iv. 103.
    Municipal Bill, iv. 257, 260.
    On Parliamentary Reform, iv. 85.
    Reforms Parliamentary representation, iv. 22.
    Resolution on Irish Church revenues, iv. 246, 250.
    Second Reform Bill, iv. 154.
    Sketch of proposed Reform Bill, iv. 128, 132.
    Speech on Greek cause, iv. 48.
    Speech on Reform Bill, iv. 137 _seqq._
    Statement on Reform Act, iv. 182.
  Rupert, Prince, sketch of, i. 6.
  Russia in 1716, i. 154.
  Russia: policy towards Greece and Turkey, iv. 49.

  Sacheverell, Dr., impeached, i. 34.
  St. James's, i. 65.
  St. James's coffee-house, i. 75.
  _St. James's Chronicle_, iii. 124.
  St. James's Square, i. 67.
  St. James's Street, i. 66.
  St. John, Henry, Viscount (_see_ Bolingbroke).
  St. Helena, Island of, iii. 344.
  St. Margaret's Lane, London, i. 64.
  St. Patrick's Well, Dublin, i. 81.
  St. Simon on Mississippi scheme, i. 185.
  St. Thome, Nabob of Carnatic defeated at, ii. 261.
  Sala, George Augustus, picture of London in '45, ii. 219.
  Salt tax, i. 313.
  Sandwich, Earl of, iii. 48, 49.
    Denounces Wilkes, and "Essay on Woman," iii. 65.
    First Lord of Admiralty, iii. 48.
    "Jemmy Twitcher," iii. 68.
    Mobbed, iii. 202.
  Sandys, Samuel, Chancellor of Exchequer, ii. 192.
    Motions against Walpole, ii. 185, 186.
  Saratoga, Burgoyne surrenders at, iii. 183.
  Sarsfield defends Limerick, i. 83.
  "Saturday" Club, i. 74.
  Savile, Sir George:
    Bill for Catholic Relief, iii. 190, 191.
    House sacked, iii. 201.
    Sketch of, iii. 190.
  Saxe, Maurice de:
    Commands at Fontenoy and Lauffeld, ii. 239.
    Parentage, i. 8.
  Sayer, James, caricature of Fox, iii. 233.
  Scarborough, Lord:
    Character, ii. 5.
    On Declaration of War, ii. 178.
  Schaub, Sir Luke, Ambassador at Paris, i. 237.
    Recalled, i. 239.
  Schleswig-Holstein, seized by King of Denmark, i. 161.
  Schomberg, Duke of, opinion of Marlborough, i. 24.
  Scotch Judges at Bar of House of Lords, ii. 66, 67.
    Condition in 1745, ii. 208.
    Fanaticism in, iii. 194.
    Riots in, i. 249.
  Scott, Captain, commands Scots Royal, ii. 206.
  Scott, Dr., iii. 203.
  Scott, Major, defends Hastings, iii. 274, 276, 282.
  Scott, Sir Walter:
    Interview with George IV., iv. 29.
    Later years and death, iv. 187.
    Sketch of John, Duke of Argyll, i. 44.
  Scottish Highlands and Lowlands, i. 87.
  Scratton, represents Company at Murshidabad, iii. 250.
  "Scriblerus" Club, i. 73.
  Secession from House of Commons, ii. 172, 175.
  Secretary of State, two departments, ii. 192.
  Seeley, Professor, on "Family Compact," ii. 31, 33.
  Selwyn, George, attachment to Fox, iii. 214.
  Senior, Nassau:
    Attitude towards Poor Relief, iv. 223.
    On Poor Law Committee, iv. 225.
  Septennial Act, i. 146, 147.
    Debate on repealing, ii. 10.
  Serres, Olivia Wilmot, sketch of, iv. 286.
  Servants in 1714, i. 77.
  Seven Men of Moidart, ii. 205.
  Seven Years' War, ii. 297; iii. 29.
    Close of, iii. 79.
  Sévigné, Mme. de, ii. 35.
  Seville, Treaty of, i. 297.
    Trade disputes and, ii. 150.
  Shackleton, Richard, schoolmaster of Edmund Burke, iii. 97.
  Shaftesbury, Anthony Ashley Cooper, Earl of:
    Factory labor and, iv. 200 _seqq._
    Sketch of, iv. 203.
  Shah Alum, enterprise against Meer Jaffier, ii. 273.
  Sheffield, iv. 99.
  Shelburne, William Petty, Earl of:
    Opposes calling out military, iii. 198.
    Passed over by Pitt, iii. 236.
    Secretary of State, iii. 109.
    Sketch of, iii. 223, 224.
  Shelley, Percy Bysshe, death, iv. 92.
  Sherbrooke, Robert Lowe, Lord, i. 290.
  Sheridan, Charles, iii. 218.
  Sheridan, Mrs., opinion of her boys, iii. 217.
  Sheridan, Richard Brinsley, iii. 211.
    Attitude towards French Revolution, iii. 296.
    Begum speech, iii. 280.
    Duel with Matthews, iii. 219.
    Funeral in Westminster Abbey, iii. 346.
    M. P. for Stamford, iii. 221.
    Marriage, iii. 220, 222.
    "School for Scandal," "Critic," iii. 221.
    Sketch of, iii. 216.
    Speeches during Hastings's trial, iii. 280, 286.
    "The Rivals," iii. 221.
    Under-Secretary of State, iii. 224.
  Sheridan (Dr.), Thomas, friend of Swift, iii. 216.
  Sheridan (Sir), Thomas:
    Death, ii. 232.
    Tutor to Charles Stuart, ii. 205.
  Sheriffmuir, battle of, i. 125.
    Amendment on Supply (1727), i. 280.
    Leader of Jacobites, i. 287.
    Opposes Septennial Bill, i. 146.
    Sketch of, i. 289.
  Shrewsbury, Charles Talbot, Duke of, i. 41.
    Death, i. 179.
    Lord High Treasurer, i. 45.
    Resigns offices, i. 97.
    Sketch of career, i. 41.
  Shrewsbury, Duke of, killed by Duke of Buckingham, i. 41.
  Shrewsbury in 1714, i. 79.
  Siddons, Mrs., death, iv. 285.
  Sidmouth, Viscount, Home Secretary:
    Challenged by Thistlewood, iv. 16.
  Signs in streets, i. 70.
  Sinking Fund, borrowing from, i. 309.
  Slaughter's coffee-house, i. 75.
  Slave Trade, Fox and, iii. 340.
  Slavery, iv. 189 _seqq._
    Crusade against, iv. 93.
    (_See also_ West Indies, slavery in.)
  Smith, Rev. John, sentenced to death, iv. 194.
  Smith, Sydney, on:
    Collection of tithes in Ireland, iv. 208, 210, 211.
    Spencer Perceval, iii. 341.
  "Smock races," i. 72.
  Smollett and _Briton_, iii. 51.
  Smuggling in American colonies, iii. 83.
  Sobieski, Clementine, wife of James Stuart, ii. 199.
    Retires to convent, ii. 200.
  Society for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge founded, iv. 93.
  Somers, John, Lord, i. 47, 54.
    Accomplishes Union of England and Scotland, i. 84.
    Approves Septennial Bill, i. 147.
    Member of New Council, i. 101.
    Sketch of career, i. 147.
  Somerset, Charles Seymour, Duke of: sketch of, i. 42.
  Somerset, Charlotte, Duchess of, i. 42.
  Somerset, Elizabeth, Duchess of, i. 43.
  Somerville, Dr. Thomas, _History of Reign of Queen Anne_, i. 13.
  Somerville, Lord, house molested, ii. 217.
  Sophia Dorothea, wife of George I., i. 6, 153.
    Banished to Castle of Ahlden, i. 7.
    Death, i. 267.
    Will, i. 269.
  Sophia, Electress of Hanover, i. 4, 5.
  South Sea Bill, i. 189, 190.
  South Sea Company, i. 187, 193; ii. 150.
    Petitions for relief, i. 194.
    Principle of, i. 194.
    Reconstituted, ii. 167.
  South Sea House, i. 186.
  South Sea victims, i. 194, 204.
    Claims Right of Search, ii. 151, 163, 245.
    Complaints against, i. 294.
    Demands constitutional government, iv. 40, 43.
    England and, trade disputes, ii. 150.
    In 1716, i. 154, 155.
    Portugal and, dispute between, ii. 35.
    Treaty of Utrecht and, i. 227.
    War declared against, ii. 178.
  Spean's Bridge, brush at, ii. 206.
  Spencer, John Charles, Earl, iv. 234.
    As Speaker, iv. 133.
    Chancellor of Exchequer, iv. 125.
    Declaration on Reform Bill, iv. 164.
    Motion on speech from Throne, iv. 104.
    On Government measure for Irish Tithe Question, iv. 211.
    On slavery in Colonies, iv. 195.
    Sketch of, iv. 125.
  Spies in Ireland in '98, iii. 314.
  Spithead, mutiny at, iii. 335.
  Stage Censorship, ii. 96 _seqq._
  Stair, John Dalrymple, Earl of:
    Character, i. 120, 225.
    Commands British troops, ii. 182.
    Recalled from French Court, i. 225.
  Stamp Act, iii. 87, 88.
    Repealed, iii. 103.
  Stanhope, Charles, and South Sea Company, i. 197, 200.
  Stanhope, Colonel (_see_ Harrington, Lord).
  Stanhope, James, Earl, iii. 339.
    Attitude towards French Revolution, iii. 302.
    Death, i. 173.
    First Lord of Treasury and Chancellor of Exchequer, i. 165.
    Impeaches Duke of Ormond, i. 109.
    Mission to Vienna, i. 152.
    On funds and Queen Anne's health, i. 2.
    On Irish clergy, ii. 130.
    On Oxford, Earl of, i. 31.
    Recognized religious equality, i. 173.
    Second Secretary of State, i. 97, 99.
    Sketch of, i. 100.
  Stanhope, Lady Hester, iii. 339.
  Stanley, Lord (_see_ Derby, Earl of).
  States-General convoked, iii. 293.
  Steele, Sir Richard:
    Career, i. 38.
    Compared with Addison, i. 300.
    Death, i. 299.
    M. P. for Stockbridge, i. 52.
    On Somers, i. 147.
    On Whig and Tory, i. 17.
    Petition in favor of rebels, i. 137, 138.
    Tribute to Atterbury, i. 214.
  Stephen, Sir James, "Story of Nuncomar," iii. 263.
  Sterne, Laurence, "Tristram Shandy," ii. 299, 301.
  Sterne, Roger, ii. 299.
    Death, ii. 300.
  Stevenson, Dr., keeps guard at Netherbow Gate, ii. 212.
  Stewart, Dugald, iv. 93.
  Stoke Pogis church-yard, ii. 289.
  Stow, "Survey of London" quoted on penny post, i. 78.
  Strafford, Lord, charges against, i. 109.
  Stratford de Redcliffe, Viscount, iv. 32.
  Streets of London in 1714, i. 70.
  Strickland, Francis, supports Young Pretender, ii. 205.
  Stuart, Cardinal Henry, death, ii. 234.
  Stuart, Charles Edward, Young Pretender:
    Advantages on his side, ii. 208, 209, 218, 221.
    Adventures after Culloden, ii. 226.
    At siege of Gaeta, ii. 29, 201, 203.
    Birth, ii. 199.
    Education, ii. 201, 202.
    Enters Holyrood, ii. 214.
    Humanity during campaign, ii. 215, 217.
    In London, iii. 14.
    Later career, ii. 233, 234.
    March into England, ii. 217.
    Marches on Edinburgh, ii. 210, 213.
    Proclamation, ii. 206.
    Rebellion of 1745, ii. 204 _seqq._
    Retreats, ii. 223.
    Wishes to advance on London, ii. 222.
  Stuart influence on literature, ii. 234.
  Stuart, James Francis Edward (Old Pretender), i. 4.
    Character, i. 126.
    Dismisses Bolingbroke, i. 131.
    Embarks for Scotland, i. 120.
    Life of exile, ii. 199, 201.
    On South Sea scheme, i. 200.
    Proclaimed in Dundee, i. 123.
    Rebellion in favor of, i. 118.
    Returns to France, i. 128.
    Rumors of, i. 264.
    Sketch of, i. 9 _seqq._
  Stuart standard set up at Braemer, i. 121, 123.
  Sugar Act of 1733, iii. 83.
  Sullivan, iii. 179.
  Sully, advice to Henry IV., i. 13.
  Sumner, Dr., Head-master of Harrow, iii. 217.
  Sunderland, Charles, Earl of, i. 54.
    Accusations against Townshend and Walpole, i. 164.
    Death, i. 206.
    Motion implicating him in South Sea scheme, i. 199.
    Plot against Walpole, i. 207.
    Speech in favor of South Sea Bill, i. 191.
    Viceroy of Ireland, i. 97.
  Suraj ud Dowlah:
    Black Hole of Calcutta, ii. 266.
    Captured and killed, ii. 273.
    Character, ii. 266.
    Death, iii. 250.
    Declares war against English, iii. 249.
  Swetenham, Captain, ii. 207.
  Swift, Jonathan, Dean of St. Patrick's:
    Attitude towards Irish, i. 243.
    Character, ii. 237.
    Death, ii. 236.
    Defends Treaty of Utrecht, i. 96.
    Dialogue between Whig and Tory, i. 219.
    "Drapier's Letters," i. 240, 242, 247.
    "Gulliver's Travels," i. 302.
    Lampoons, ii. 102.
    Letter to Lord Peterborough, i. 36.
    Letter to Sheridan on Walpole, i. 306.
    On Arbuthnot, ii. 21.
    On Bolingbroke, i. 26, 28.
    On Condition of Church, ii. 129.
    On Marlborough, i. 24.
    On Oxford, Earl of, i. 31, 168.
    On Queen Anne's health, i. 1, 36.
    On Somerset, Duke of, i. 43.
    On William Congreve, i. 299.
    Patron of Berkeley, ii. 293.
    Poems on South Sea mania, i. 202.
    Reception of Carteret, i. 235.
    Sketch of, i. 35.
    Stella and, ii. 236.
  Swinburne, "A Jacobite's Exile," ii. 235.

  Talbot, Charles, Lord Chancellor, ii. 9, 81.
    Dines with William IV., iv. 117.
    On Alexander Hamilton, ii. 248; iv. 281.
  Tea tax introduced by Townshend, iii. 113.
  Telford, Thomas, death, iv. 282.
  Temple, John, iii. 155.
  Temple, Richard Grenville, Earl, iii. 26.
    Action on India Bill, iii. 234.
    Persuades Pitt to refuse office, iii. 73, 93.
    Removed from Lord-Lieutenancy, iii. 64.
    Resigns office, iii. 236.
    Shows King's speech to Wilkes, iii. 57.
    Supports Wilkes, iii. 116.
  Ten-pound franchise, iv. 130.
  Tenterden, Chief Justice, decision in Cobbett prosecution, iv. 157.
  Test Act:
    Debate on proposed repeal, ii. 176.
    Repeal proposed, ii. 110.
    Repealed, iv. 52, 67.
  Thackeray, W. M., iv. 286.
    Description of Hanover, i. 55.
    On George IV., iii. 242.
    On interview of George IV. and Sir Walter Scott, iv. 29.
    On interview of George IV. with Wellington, Lyndhurst,
      and Peel, iv. 78.
    On Laurence Sterne, ii. 302.
    On Swift's character, ii. 237, 238.
  Thames frozen (1716), i. 154.
  Thames Tunnel, iv. 93.
  Thistlewood, plots to assassinate Ministers, iv. 15.
  Thomas, --, iii. 179.
  Thornhill, Sir James, i. 68.
  Thurlow, Lord, iii. 228.
  Thynne, Thomas, Lord, i. 8.
  Tippu, English make treaty with, iii. 266.
  Tithe question, Ireland, iv. 207 _seqq._, 216, 220.
    Government proposal on, iv. 211, 245.
  Tobacco, excise duty on, i. 316.
  Tolbooth fired, ii. 64.
  Tone, Matthew, fights under Humbert, iii. 324.
  Tone, Theobald Wolfe, iv. 206.
    Death, iii. 327.
    Letter to his wife, iii. 324.
    Marriage, iii. 311.
    Project for colony in South Sea island, iii. 310.
    Scheme for French invasion of Ireland, iii. 311.
    Sketch of, iii. 309 _seqq._
  Tonson, Jacob, Secretary to Kit-Kat Club, i. 74.
  Torcy, Marquis de, Secretary of State, France, i. 110.
    Attitude towards restoration of Stuarts, i. 16, 19.
    Doctrines, i. 17 _seqq._
    Jacobitism and, iii. 24.
    Old school of, iv. 241.
    Origin of name, i. 17.
    Peace of Utrecht and, i. 92.
    Retaken by French, iii. 304.
    Welcomes English fleet, iii. 303.
  Townshend, Alderman, opposes Wilkes, iii. 136.
  Townshend, Audrey, Marchioness of, iii. 110.
  Townshend, Charles ("Weathercock"), i. 99.
    Chancellor of Exchequer, iii. 109.
    Character, iii. 110.
    Death, iii. 113.
    Introduces tea tax for America, iii. 113.
  Townshend, Charles, Viscount:
    Accompanies King to Hanover, i. 237.
    Dismissed, i. 164.
    President of Council, i. 182.
    Resigns office, i. 304.
    Secretary of State, i. 97, 278.
    Sketch of, i. 99.
  Trading Guilds, origin of, iv. 255.
  Trafalgar, battle of, iii. 337.
  Traill, H. D., on Laurence Sterne, ii. 302.
  Treaties (_see_ under various titles).
    Besieged, ii. 262.
    Relieved, ii. 264.
  Triennial Parliament Acts, i. 145.
  Triple Alliance, i. 161, 163.
  Tucker, Dean, on mutinous colonies, iii. 163.
    Dies in Tower, ii. 232.
    Supports Young Pretender, ii. 205, 206.
  Turkey in 1716, i. 154.

  Ulm, capitulation of, iii. 338.
  Union, Scotland's attitude towards, i. 83.
  University College Charter, iv. 261.
  University of London, Charter, iv. 261.
  Upper Ossory, John, Earl of, iii. 36.
  Utrecht, Treaty of, i. 95, 157, 227, 263.
    Campeachy logwood question and, i. 295.
    Tories and, i. 92.
    Trade disputes and, ii. 150.
    Will of Charles II. and, ii. 27.

  Valley Forge, iii. 183.
  Vanhomrigh, Esther (Vanessa), i. 36.
    Alters her will, ii. 294.
  Vansittart, Governor of East India Company, iii. 251.
    Advice on quarrel of Nawab and Ellis, iii. 252.
  Vendôme, Duc de, i. 100.
    Character, i. 158.
  Verazani forms settlement in Canada, ii. 283.
  Verden ceded to Hanover, i. 161.
  Verona Congress and Holy Alliance, iv. 39, 42, 45.
  Victoria, Princess Alexandrina:
    Birth, iii. 348.
    Heir-presumptive, iv. 101.
    William IV, and, iv. 117, 118.
  Vienna, Congress of, iv. 38.
  Vienna, Treaty of, i. 295; ii. 30.
  Virginia protests against Stamp Act, iii. 90.
  Voltaire, epigram on Byng, ii. 298.
  Von Steuben in America, iii. 183.
  Vote by ballot proposed, iv. 131.

  Wade, General, clans surrender arms to, ii. 209.
  Wales, Prince of (_see_ Frederick Lewis, Prince of Wales,
      and George IV.).
  Walkenshaw, Miss, ii. 233.
  Walmoden, Mme., ii. 48, 76, 304.
  Walpole, Baron, i. 224.
  Walpole, Horace, Earl of Orford:
    Account of his father (1742), ii. 189.
    Acquainted with Paris, iii. 293.
    Contrasts Townshend with Burke, iii. 112.
    Description of George I., i. 58.
    Description of Lord Hillsborough, iii. 148.
    Description of Mme. Kilmansegge, i. 7.
    Eulogy of Queen Charlotte, iii. 12.
    Maiden speech in defence of his father, ii. 195.
    On Bute's Administration, iii. 28.
    On Carteret, i. 235.
    On Chesterfield's speeches, ii. 5.
    On Coronation of George III., iii. 12.
    On dinner hour, iii. 18.
    On James Stuart, i. 11.
    On Lord George Gordon, iii. 193.
    On Whitefield's eloquence, ii. 139.
    On Wilkes's career, iii. 137.
  Walpole, Horatio, Lord:
    Ambassador to Paris, i. 237, 238, 291.
    Moves Address on Convention, ii. 171.
    Recalled from Paris, i. 304.
  Walpole, Sir Robert, Earl of Orford:
    Accepts war policy, ii. 180.
    Administration, i. 224 _seqq._, 305.
    Address to George II., i. 280.
    Advice to Princesses, ii. 126.
    At Houghton, i. 196; ii. 195.
    At Queen Caroline's death-bed, ii. 119.
    Attacks Peerage Bill, i. 176.
    Attempts to get influence of James Stuart, ii. 186.
    Attitude towards financial reform, ii. 36.
    Bill to adjust affairs of South Sea Company, i. 203, 205.
    Chairman of Committee of Secrecy, i. 105, 106, 168.
    Character, i. 165; ii. 8, 18, 196.
    Charges against, ii. 187, 195.
    Conduct on Prince of Wales's allowance, ii. 80.
    Correspondence with Townshend, i. 252.
    Corruption under, i. 231; ii. 13, 19, 90, 195; iii. 25.
    Created Earl of Orford, ii. 190.
    Death, ii. 196.
    First great finance minister, i. 229.
    Fiscal policy, i. 230, 309, 311 _seqq._
    Foreign policy, i. 229, 236, 292, 305; ii. 24, 31, 149.
    Hails George II. King, i. 275.
    Health in 1742, ii. 188.
    Made K. B., i. 252.
    Made K. G., i. 252.
    Masterly inactivity, ii. 24, 31, 36.
    Moves Address (1715), i. 103.
    On Frederick, Prince of Wales, ii. 71.
    On Queen's illness, ii. 115.
    On Royal family, ii. 74.
    On South Sea Company, i. 188, 196.
    Paymaster-General, i. 97, 181.
    Pleads against war with Spain, ii. 155, 159.
    Quarrel with Townshend, i. 304.
    Relations with stage, ii. 95.
    Resigns office, i. 164; ii. 190.
    Restored to office, i. 278.
    Secretary of State for Scotland, i. 250.
    Settles dispute between Spain and Portugal, ii. 35.
    Sketch of career, i. 32; ii. 196.
    Speech on Bolingbroke, ii. 15.
    Speech on Prince of Wales's allowance, ii. 86.
    Speech on secession from Commons, ii. 174.
  War declared against Spain, ii. 178.
    Results of, ii. 183.
  War of Independence, ii. 43.
  War of Polish Succession, ii. 23 _seqq._
  War of the Succession, purpose of, i. 92.
  War passion, ii. 148.
  War with Spain, iii. 29.
  Ward, Artemus, iii. 179.
  Ward, Henry, resolution on Irish State Church, iv. 212, 213, 214.
  Ward, Ned, ballad on Marlborough's return to England, i. 53.
  Ward, Plumer, author of "Tremaine," iv. 213.
  Ward, Sir John, petition on South Sea Company, i. 203.
  Wardle, Colonel, iii. 338.
  Warren, General, iii. 176.
  Washington, George:
    Character, iii. 188.
    Commands Continental army, iii. 181.
    Disapproves of Boston exploit, iii. 161, 163.
    Fires first shot against enemy, ii. 285.
    First President of American Republic, iii. 189.
    Sketch of career, iii. 180.
  Watson, Admiral, commands fleet against Suraj ud Dowlah, ii. 269.
  "Waverers," iv. 173.
  Webster, "Duchess of Malfi" quoted, iv. 11.
  Wedderburn, Alexander, Solicitor-General, iii. 149.
    Denounces Franklin, iii. 156, 157.
    On using military against mob, iii. 207.
    Sketch of, iii. 158.
    Speech on Middlesex election petition, iii. 131.
  "Weekly Political Register," Cobbett's article in, iv. 156, 157.
  Wellesley, Arthur (_see_ Wellington, Duke of).
  Wellesley, Garret, Earl of Mornington, iii. 341.
  Wellesley, Richard C., Marquis of:
    Resigns Vice-royalty of Ireland, iv. 73.
    Sketch of career, iv. 72.
  Wellington, Arthur Wellesley, Duke of:
    Accompanies George IV. to Waterloo, iv. 28.
    At opening of Liverpool and Manchester railway, iv. 103.
    Attitude towards Catholic Emancipation, iv. 54, 56, 75, 106.
    Attitude towards Municipal Bill, iv. 260.
    Attitude towards Parliamentary reform, iv. 52.
    Attitude towards Queen Caroline, iv. 7.
    Character, iv. 120.
    Declines to form ministry, iv. 177.
    Duel with Lord Winchilsea, iv. 81.
    Interview with King on Catholic emancipation, iv. 77.
    Prime Minister, iv. 67, 100.
    Represents England at Congress of Verona, iv. 41, 42.
    Resigns office, iv. 113.
    Secretary for Foreign Affairs, iv. 238.
    Sketch of, iii. 341 _seqq._
    Speech against Reform Bill, iv. 169.
    Speech on Parliamentary reform, iv. 108.
    Supports Poor Law Bill, iv. 229.
    Unpopular, iv. 153.
  Welsh Copper and Lead Company, and South Sea Company, i. 193.
  Wentworth, Lady, describes house in Golden Square, i. 70.
  Wesley, Charles, ii. 128, 137, 145.
    Accompanies John to Georgia, ii. 134.
    On Revivalist meetings, ii. 139.
  Wesley, John:
    Breaks away from Moravians, ii. 140.
    Breaks from discipline of Church of England, ii. 142.
    Character, ii. 134, 135, 137, 142.
    Dispute with Whitefield, ii. 139.
    Marriage, ii. 137.
    Organization, ii. 140.
    Sketch of, ii. 127 _seqq._
    Visits Georgia, ii. 127.
  Wesleyan Movement, account of, ii. 127 _seqq._
    In United States, ii. 144.
    Revivalist meetings, ii. 138.
  West Indian Planters, grant to, iv. 198, 200.
  West Indies, slavery in, iv. 190 _seqq._
    Abolished, iv. 199, 200.
  Westminster Hall, iv. 268.
    Booths in, i. 64.
    Explosion in, ii. 45.
  Wetherell, Sir Charles, obstructs Reform Bill, iv. 163.
    Rescued from rioters, iv. 197.
  Weymouth, Lord, letter to magistrate in case of riot, iii. 120, 124.
  Wharncliffe, Lord, amendment to Reform Bill, iv. 169.
  Wharton, Duke of:
    Character, i. 264.
    Condemns South Sea Bill, i. 191, 198.
  Whately, --, private secretary to George Grenville, iii. 153.
  Whately, William, iii. 155.
  Wheler, appointed Governor-General, iii. 264.
    Ascendency, iii. 24.
    Attitude towards Hanoverian Succession, i. 16.
    Doctrines, i. 17 _seqq._
    Foreign policy (1716), i. 157.
    Nobles and Reform Bill, iv. 178.
    Origin of name, i. 17.
  Whitbread, efforts to inquire into troubles in Ireland, iii. 319.
  Whitefield, George, ii. 128, 137, 145.
    Disputes with Wesley, ii. 139.
    Oratory, ii. 139.
  White's chocolate-house, i. 76.
  Widdrington, Lord, a prisoner, i. 137, 138.
  Wilberforce, William:
    Later years, iv. 280.
    Supports Queen Caroline, iv. 6.
    Votes against Dundas, iii. 338.
    West-Indian Slavery and, iv. 191, 193, 194.
  Wilkes, John:
    Arrested, iii. 59.
    At King's Bench, iii. 119.
    Attack on, iii. 64, 66.
    Brings actions against Lord Halifax and Wood, iii. 63.
    Candidate for Parliament, iii. 116, 117, 126, 137.
    Catholic Relief for Scotland and, iii. 195.
    Churchill and, iii. 55.
    Committed to Tower, iii. 60.
    Death, iii. 139.
    Duel with Martin, iii. 66.
    Elected Alderman for Farringdon Without, iii. 134.
    Elected Lord Mayor, iii. 137.
    Elected Sheriff, iii. 136.
    Expelled from House, iii. 130.
    Interview with Johnson, iii. 138.
    Later life, iii. 137.
    Liberated from prison, iii. 135.
    Literary executor to Churchill, iii. 69.
    M. P. for Aylesbury, iii. 49, 51.
    _North Briton_ and, iii. 52, 55, 57.
    On rioters, iii. 209.
    Outlawed, iii. 68.
    Released by Judge Pratt, iii. 60, 63.
    Sketch of, iii. 48 _seqq._
    Summoned before Commons, iii. 135.
  William III., opinion of Duke of Marlborough, i. 24.
  William IV.:
    Accession, iv. 96.
    Assents to Bill for Abolition of Slavery, iv. 199.
    Attitude towards Duke of Wellington, iv. 115.
    Attitude towards Irish State Church, iv. 219.
    Attitude towards Ministry (1831), iv. 151.
    Attitude towards Reform, iv. 172, 173, 175, 179, 181.
    Character, iv. 98, 114, 115, 120, 293.
    Conduct as admiral, iv. 115.
    Conduct to Mrs. Fitzherbert, iv. 88.
    Death, iv. 293.
    Dismisses Whig Government and sends for Sir Robert Peel, iv. 235.
    Illness, iv. 289.
    Lord High Admiral, iv. 60, 96.
    Marries Adelaide of Saxe-Meiningen, iv. 97.
    Mrs. Jordan and, iv. 97.
    Opens Parliament (1831), iv. 154.
    Orangeism and, iv. 279.
    Popular, iv. 153, 154.
    Prayers for, iv. 292.
    Raises his children to Peerage, iv. 114.
    Sanctions Reform Bill, iv. 132.
    Speech from Throne (1830), iv. 100, 103, 108.
    Speech from Throne (1831), iv. 172.
    Speeches at state dinners, iv. 116, 117.
    Unconventionalities, iv. 118.
    Unpopular, iv. 179.
  Williamson, Dr. Hugh, iii. 154.
  Will's coffee-house, i. 75.
  Wilmington, Lord (_see_ Compton, Sir Spencer).
  Wilmot, Olivia, sketch of, iv. 286.
  Wilmot, Robert, on grievances against Spaniards, ii. 154.
  Wilson, Alexander, Lord Provost of Edinburgh, Bill
      against, ii. 66, 68.
  Wilson's execution and Porteous riots, ii. 60, 61.
  Winchilsea, Earl of:
    Duel with Duke of Wellington, iv. 81.
    On Princess Anne's Dowry, ii. 44, 45.
    Letter on Duke of Wellington and Catholic Emancipation, iv. 80.
  Window tax, iii. 239.
  Wine-drinking in Georgian era, iii. 20.
  Wintoun, Earl of, a prisoner, i. 137.
    Escapes, i. 142.
  Witherington, Matilda, wife of Wolfe Tone, iii. 311, 329.
  Wolfe, James:
    At Culloden, ii. 227, 282.
    Character, ii. 282.
    Death, ii. 290.
    Monument, ii. 290.
  Wood, Alderman, supports Queen Caroline, iv. 5.
  Wood, William, patent for copper coins, i. 164, 241, 244.
    Withdrawn, i. 248.
  Wooster, --, iii. 179.
  Wray, Sir Cecil, opponent of Fox at Westminster, iii. 238.
  Writs of Assistance, iii. 84, 86.
  Wyndham, Sir William:
    Announces secession from Commons, ii. 173.
    Death, ii. 179.
    Leader of Tories, i. 287.
    On grievances against Spaniards, ii. 156.
    On Salt Tax, i. 313.
    Sketch of, i. 288; ii. 179.
    Speech on repeal of Septennial Act, ii. 12.
  Wynn, Sir Walter Williams, supports Young Pretender, ii. 221.
  Wynn, Watkin Williams, argument against long Parliaments, ii. 12.

  Yale College, places in lists, iii. 77.
  York, Frederick Augustus, Duke of:
    Death, iv. 60.
    Public career, iv. 60.
  York in 1714, i. 79.
  Yorktown, Cornwallis surrenders at, iii. 184.
  Young, Arthur, travels in France, iii. 293.

  Zinzendorf, Count von, founds Moravian sect, ii. 134.
  Zoological Gardens opened, iv. 93.

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