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Title: The Impeachment of The House of Brunswick
Author: Bradlaugh, Charles, 1833-1891
Language: English
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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.

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THE IMPEACHMENT OF THE HOUSE OF BRUNSWICK

By Charies Bradlaugh

Boston: William F. Gill & Company

151 Washington Street.

1875.



PREFACE TO FIFTH AND AMERICAN EDITION.

The kindly reception given to me personally throughout those portions of
the United States it has yet been my good fortune to visit, tempts me
to comply with the request of many friends, that I should issue here an
edition of my impeachment of the reigning family in England. The matter
contained in these pages has been delivered orally throughout Great
Britain, and, with one exception, no Digitized by has been offered to
it. Abuse has been plentiful, and threats of prosecution not infrequent;
but although at least one hundred and fifty thousand persons have
listened to the lectures, and four editions of the pamphlet have been
exhausted in England, only one attempt was made, in the _Gentleman's
Magazine_, to advance any kind of reply. And even in this case, when
a formal written discussion had been commenced, the editor of the
_Gentleman's Magazine_ refused to allow any rejoinder to his second
paper.

It is sometimes alleged against me that the pamphlet is a too personal
criticism; my answer is that in every case the points dealt with have
affected our national honor, or augmented our national taxation.

This pamphlet is not a Republican one; it is only an indictment
alleging the incapacity and viciousness of the House of Brunswick, and
a statement of the legal right of the British people to dethrone the
succession on a vacancy arising.

That I am a Republican is perfectly true; that I believe a Republican
form of government to be possible, by peaceful means in England, is
well-known to those who have heard my lectures; and, in issuing this
essay to American readers, I desire to show that there are no reasons
of personal loyalty, there is no plea of gratitude for personal service,
which ought to be urged on behalf of George I. and his descendants.

English by birth, by hope and in ambition, I seek to win from the
descendants of those who broke loose from the Brunswicks nearly a
century ago, sympathy for those who work with me now to a like end. If
I fail, the fault is in the weakness of my tongue and pen, and not from
any defects in the cause I advocate.

The more than fair hearing given to my voice emboldens me to hope a
patient investigation of the case my pen presents; and should a verdict
be given on this great continent unfavorable to me, I feel confident the
jury of my readers will patiently weigh my statements before delivering
their judgment.

Charles Bradlaugh.



IMPEACHMENT OF THE HOUSE OF BRUNSWICK.



CHAPTER I. INTRODUCTORY

By statutes of the 12 and 13 Will. HE., and 6 Anne c. 11, Article 2, the
British Parliament, limiting the monarchy to members of the Church of
England, excluded the Stuarts, and from and after the death of King
William and the Princess Anne without heirs, contrived that the Crown of
this kingdom should devolve upon the Princess Sophia, Duchess Dowager of
Hanover, and the heirs of her body, being Protestants. Heirs failing to
Anne, although seventeen times pregnant, and Sophia dying about seven
weeks before Anne, her son George succeeded under these Acts as George
I. of England and Scotland.

It is said, and perhaps truly, that the German Protestant Guelph was an
improvement on the Catholic Stuart, and the Whigs take credit for having
effected this change in spite of the Tories. This credit they deserve;
but it must not be forgotten that it was scarce half a century before
that the entire aristocracy, including the patriotic Whigs, coalesced
to restore to the throne the Stuarts, who had been got rid of under
Cromwell. If this very aristocracy, of which the Whigs form part, had
never assisted in calling back the Stuarts in the person of Charles
II., there would have been no need to thank them for again turning that
family out.

The object of the present essay is to submit reasons for the repeal of
the Acts of Settlement and Union, so far as the succession to the throne
is concerned, after the abdication or demise of the present monarch.
It is of course assumed, as a point upon which all supporters of the
present Royal Family will agree, that the right to deal with the throne
is inalienably vested in the English people, to be exercised by them
through their representatives in Parliament. The right of the members
of the House of Bruns wick to succeed to the throne is a right accruing
only from the acts of Settlement and Union, it being clear that, except
from this statute, they have no claim to the throne. It is therefore
submitted, that should Parliament in its wisdom see fit to enact that
after the death or abdication of her present Majesty, the throne shall
no longer be filled by a member of the House of Brunswick, such an
enactment would be perfectly within the competence of Parliament. It
is further submitted that the Parliament has full and uncontrollable
authority to make any enactment, and to repeal any enactment heretofore
made, even if such new statute, or the repeal of any old statute, should
in truth change the constitution of the Empire, or modify the character
and powers of either Parliamentary Chamber. The Parliament of the
English Commonwealth, which met on April 25th, 1660, gave the Crown
to Charles II., and the Parliament of the British Monarchy has the
undoubted right to withhold the Crown from Albert Edward, Prince of
Wales. The Convention which assembled at Westminster on January 22d,
1688, took away the crown from James II., and passed over his son, the
then Prince of Wales, as if he had been non-existent. This Convention
was declared to have all the authority of Parliament--ergo. Parliament
has admittedly the right to deprive a living King of his Crown, and to
treat a Prince of Wales as having no claim to the succession.

In point of fact two of the clauses of the Act of Settlement were
repealed in the reign of Queen Anne, and a third clause was repealed
early in the reign of George I., showing that this particular statute
has never been considered immutable or irrepealable. It is right to add
that the clauses repealed were only of consequence to the nation, and
that their repeal was no injury to the Crown. The unbounded right of
the supreme Legislature to enlarge its own powers was contended for
and admitted in 1716, when the duration of Parliament was extended
four years, a triennial Parliament declaring itself and all future
Parliaments septennial. Furthermore, it has been held to be sedition to
deny the complete authority of the Irish Parliament to put an end to its
own existence.

It has been admitted to be within the jurisdiction of Parliament to give
electoral privileges to citizens theretofore unenfranchised; Parliament
claims the unquestioned right to disfranchise persons, hitherto
electors, for misconduct in the exercise of electoral rights, and in
its pleasure to remove and annul any electoral disability. The right of
Parliament to decrease or increase the number of representatives for
any borough has never been disputed, and its authority to decrease the
number of Peers sitting and voting in the House of Lords was recognized
in passing the Irish Church Disestablishment Bill, by which several
Bishops were summarily ejected from amongst the Peers. It is now
submitted that Parliament possesses no Legislative right but what it
derives from the people, and that the people are under no irrevocable
contract or obligation to continue any member of the House of Brunswick
on the throne. In order to show that this is not a solitary opinion, the
following Parlimentary _dicta_ are given:--

The Honorable Temple Luttrell, in a speech made in the House of Commons,
on the 7th November, 1775, showed "that of thirty-three sovereigns since
William the Conqueror, thirteen only have ascended the throne by divine
hereditary right.... The will of the people, superseding any hereditary
claim to succession, at the commencement of the twelfth century placed
Henry I. on the throne, "and this subject to conditions as to laws to be
made by Henry. King John was compelled solemnly to register an assurance
of the ancient rights of the people in a formal manner;" and this
necessary work was accomplished by the Congress at Runnymede, in the
year 1115. "Sir, in the reign of Henry III. (about the year 1223), the
barons, clergy and freeholders, understanding that the King, as Earl of
Poictou, had landed some of his continental troops in the western ports
of England, with a design to strengthen a most odious and arbitrary set
of ministers, they assembled in a Convention or Congress, from whence
they despatched deputies to King Henry, declaring that if he did not
immediately send back those Poictouvians, and remove from his person and
councils evil advisers, they would place upon the throne a Prince who
should better observe the laws of the land. Sir, the King not only
hearkened to that Congress, but shortly after complied with every
article of their demand, and publicly notified his reformation. Now,
Sir, what are we to call that assembly which dethroned Edward II. when
the Archbishop of Canterbury preached a sermon on this Text, 'The voice
of the people is the voice of God'?" "A Prince of the house of Lancaster
was invited over from banishment, and elected by the people to the
throne" on the fall of Richard II. "I shall next proceed to the general
Convention and Congress, which, in 1461, enthroned the Earl of March
by the name of Edward IV., the Primate of all England collecting the
suffrages of the people." "In 1659, a Convention or Congress restored
legal Monarchy in the person of Charles II."

William Pitt, on the 16th December, 1788, being then Chancellor of the
Exchequer, contended that "the right of providing for the deficiency
of Royal authority rested with the two remaining branches of the
Legislature;" and again, "on the disability of the Sovereign, where was
the right to be found? It was to be found in the voice, in the sense
of the people; with them it rested." On the 22d December, Mr. Pitt said
that Mr. Fox had contended that "the two Houses of Parliament cannot
proceed to legislate without a King." His (Mr. Pitt's) answer was: "The
conduct of the Revolution had contradicted that assertion; they
had acted legislatively, and, no King being present, they must,
consequently, have acted without a King."

Mr. Hardinge, a barrister of great repute, and afterwards
Solicitor-General and Judge, in the same debate, said: "The virtues of
our ancestors and the genius of the Government accurately understood, a
century ago, had prompted the Lords and Commons of the realm to pass a
law without a King; and a law which, as he had always read it, had put
upon living record this principle: 'That whenever the supreme executive
hand shall have lost its power to act, the people of the land, fully and
freely represented, can alone repair the defect.'"

On the 26th December, in the House of Lords, discussing the power to
exclude a sitting Monarch from the throne, the Earl of Abingdon
said: "Will a King exclude himself? No! no! my Lords, that exclusion
appertains to us and to the other House of Parliament exclusively. It
is to us it belongs; it is our duty. It is the business of the Lords
and Commons of Great Britain, and of us alone, as the trustees and
representatives of the nation." And following up this argument, Lord
Abingdon contended that in the contingency he was alluding to, "the
right to new model or alter the succession vests in the Parliament of
England without the King, in the Lords and Commons of Great Britain
solely and exclusively."

Lord Stormont, in the same debate, pointed out that William III.
"possessed no other right to the throne than that which he derived from
the votes of the two Houses."

The Marquis of Lansdowne said: "One of the best constitutional writers
we had was Mr. Justice Foster, who, in his book on the 'Principles of
the Constitution,' denies the right even of hereditary succession, and
says it is no right whatever, but merely a political expedient.... The
Crown, Mr. Justice Foster said, was not merely a descendable property
like a laystall, or a pigstye, but was put in trust for millions, and
for the happiness of ages yet unborn, which Parliament has it always
in its power to mould, to shape, to alter, to fashion, just as it shall
think proper. And in speaking of Parliament," his Lordship said, "Mr.
Justice Foster repeatedly spoke of the two Houses of Parliament only."

My object being to procure the repeal of the only title under which
any member of the House of Brunswick could claim to succeed the present
sovereign on the throne, or else to procure a special enactment which
shall for the future exclude the Brunswicks, as the Stuarts were
excluded in 1688 and 1701, the following grounds are submitted as
justifying and requiring such repeal or new enactment:--

1st. That during the one hundred and fifty-seven years the Brunswick
family have reigned over the British Empire, the policy and conduct
of the majority of the members of that family, and especially of the
various reigning members, always saving and excepting her present
Majesty, have been hostile to the welfare of the mass of the people.
This will be sought to be proved at length by a sketch of the principal
events in the reign of each monarch, from August 1st, 1714, to the
present date.

2d. That during the same period of one hundred and fifty-seven years,
fifteen-sixteenths of the entire National Debt have been created, and
that this debt is in great part the result of wars arising from the
mischievous and pro-Hanoverian policy of the Brunswick family.

3d. That in consequence of the incompetence or want of desire for
governmental duty on the part of the various reigning members of
the House of Brunswick, the governing power of the country has been
practically limited to a few families, who have used government in the
majority of instances as a system of machinery for securing place and
pension for themselves and their associates; while it is submitted that
government should be the best contrivance of national wisdom for the
alleviation of national suffering and promotion of national happiness.
Earl Grey even admits that "Our national annals, since the Revolution of
1688, present a sad picture of the selfishness, baseness and corruption
of the great majority of the actors on the political stage."

4th. That a huge pension list has been created, the recipients of the
largest pensions being in most cases persons who are already members of
wealthy families, and who have done nothing whatever to justify their
being kept in idleness at the national expense, while so many workers
in the agricultural districts are in a state of semi-starvation; so many
toilers in large works in Wales, Scotland, and some parts of England,
are in constant debt and dependence; and while large numbers of the
Irish peasantry--having for many generations been denied life at
home--have until lately been driven to seek those means of existence
across the sea which their own fertile land should have amply provided
for them.

5th. That the monarchs of the Brunswick family have been, except in a
few cases of vicious interference, costly puppets, useful only to the
governing aristocracy as a cloak to shield the real wrong doers from the
just reproaches of the people.

6th. That the Brunswick family have shown themselves utterly incapable
of initiating or encouraging wise legislation. That George I. was
shut out practically from the government by his utter ignorance of the
English language, his want of sympathy with British habits, and his
frequent absences from this country. A volume of history, published
by Messrs. Longmans in 1831, says that "George I. continued a German
princeling on the British throne--surrounded still by his petty
Hanoverian satellites, and so ignorant even of the language of his new
subjects, that his English minister, who understood neither French
nor German, could communicate with him only by an imperfect jargon
of barbarous Latin." He "discarded his wife, and had two mistresses
publicly installed in their Court rights and privileges." Earl Grey
declares that "the highly beneficial practice of holding Cabinet
Councils without the presence of the sovereign arose from George the
First's not knowing English." Leslie describes George I. as altogether
ignorant of our language, laws, customs and constitution. Madame de
Maintenon writes of him as disgusted with his subjects. That George II.
was utterly indifferent to English improvement, and was mostly away in
Hanover. Lord Hervey's "Memoirs" portray him as caring for nothing but
soldiers and women, and declare that his highest ambition was to combine
the reputation of a great general with that of a successful libertine.
That George III. was repeatedly insane, and that in his officially
lucid moments his sanity was more dangerous to England than his madness.
Buckle says of him that he was "despotic as well as superstitious....
Every liberal sentiment, everything approaching to reform, nay, even the
mere mention of inquiry, was an abomination in the eyes of that narrow
and ignorant prince." Lord Grenville, his Prime Minister, said of him:
"He had perhaps the narrowest mind of any man I ever knew." That George
IV. was a dissipated, drunken debauchee, bad husband, unfaithful lover,
untrustworthy friend, unnatural father, corrupt regent, and worse king.
Buckle speaks of "the incredible baseness of that ignoble voluptuary."
That William IV. was obstinate, but fortunately fearful of losing his
crown, gave way to progress with a bad grace when chicanery was no
longer possible, and continued resistance became dangerous.

7th. That under the Brunswick family, the national expenditure has
increased to a frightful extent, while our best possessions in America
have been lost, and our home possession, Ireland, rendered chronic in
its discontent by the terrible misgovernment under the four Georges.

And 8th. That the ever increasing burden of the national taxation has
been shifted from the land on to the shoulders of the middle and lower
classes, the landed aristocracy having, until very lately, enjoyed the
practical, monopoly of tax-levying power.



CHAPTER II. THE REIGN OF GEORGE I

On August 1st, 1714, George Lewis, Elector of Hanover, and
great-grandson of James I., of England, succeeded to the throne; but
being apparently rather doubtful as to the reception he would meet in
this country, he delayed visiting his new dominions until the month of
October. In April, 1714, there was so little disposition in favor of the
newly-chosen dynasty, that the Earl of Oxford entreated George not to
bring any of his family into this country without Queen Anne's express
consent. It seems strange to read in the correspondence of Madame
Elizabeth Charlotte, Duchesse d'Orleans, her hesitation "to rejoice at
the accession of our Prince George, for she had no confidence in the
English;" and her fears "that the inconstancy of the English will in the
end produce some scheme which may be injurious to the French monarchy."
She adds: "If the English were to be trusted, I should say that it is
fortunate the Parliaments are in favor of George, but the more one reads
the history of English revolutions, the more one is compelled to remark
the eternal hatred which the people of that nation have had towards
their kings, as well as their fickleness." To-day it is the English who
charge the French with fickleness. Thackeray says of George I. that "he
showed an uncommon prudence and coolness of behavior when he came into
his kingdom, exhibiting no elation; reasonably doubtful whether he
should not be turned out some day; looking upon himself only as a
lodger, and making the most of his brief tenure of St. James's and
Hampton Court, plundering, it is true, somewhat, and dividing amongst
his German followers; but what could be expected of a sovereign who at
home could sell his subjects at so many ducats per head, and make no
scruple in so disposing of them?" At the accession of George I. the
national debt of this country, exclusive of annuities, was about
£36,000,000; after five Brunswicks have left us, it is £800,000,000 for
Great Britain and Ireland, and much more, than £110,000,000 for India.
The average annual national expenditure under the rule of George I.
was £5,923,079; to-day it is more than £70,000,-000, of which more than
£20,000,000 have been added in the last twenty years. During the reign
of George I. land paid very nearly one-fourth the whole of the taxes;
to-day it pays less than one-seventieth part; and yet, while its
proportion of the burden is so much lighter, its exaction from labor in
rent is ten times heavier.

George I. came to England without his wife, the Princess of Zelle.
Years before, he had arrested her and placed her in close confinement in
Ahlden Castle, on account of her intrigue with Philip, Count Konigsmark,
whom some say George I. suspected of being the actual father of the
Electoral Prince George, afterwards George II. To use the language of
a writer patronized by George, Prince of Wales, in 1808, "The coldness
between George I. and his son and successor, George II., may be said to
have been _almost coeval with the existence_ of the latter." Our King,
George I., described by Thackeray as a "cold, selfish libertine," had
Konigsmark murdered in the palace of Heranhausen; confined his wife, at
twenty-eight years of age, in a dungeon, where she remained until she
was sixty; and when George Augustus, Electoral Prince of Hanover, tried
to get access to his mother, George Lewis, then Elector of Hanover,
arrested Prince George also, and it is said, would have put him to
death if the Emperor of Germany had not protected him as a Prince of
the German Empire. During the reign of George II., Frederick, Prince of
Wales, whom his father denounced as a "changeling," published an account
of how George I. had turned Frederick's father out of the palace. These
Guelphs have been a loving family. The _Edinburgh Review_ declares that
"the terms on which the eldest sons of this family have always lived
with their fathers have been those of distrust, opposition, and
hostility." Even after George Lewis had ascended the throne of England,
his hatred to George Augustus was so bitter, that there was some
proposition that James, Earl Berkeley and Lord High Admiral, should
carry off the Prince to America and keep him there.

Thackeray says: "When George I. made his first visit to Hanover, his son
was appointed regent during the Royal absence. But this honor was never
again conferred on the Prince of Wales; he and his father fell out
presently. On the occasion of the christening of his second son, a
Royal row took place, and the Prince, shaking his fist in the Duke of
Newcastle's face, called him a rogue, and provoked his august father. He
and his wife were turned out of St. James's, and their princely children
taken from them, by order of the Royal head of the family. Father and
mother wept piteously at parting from their little ones. The young ones
sent some cherries, with their love, to papa and mamma, the parents
watered the fruit with their tears. They had no tears thirty-five years
afterwards, when Prince Frederick died, their eldest son, their heir,
their enemy."

A satirical ballad on the expulsion of Prince George from St. James's
Palace, which was followed by the death of the newly-christened baby
Prince, is droll enough to here repeat:--

     The King then took his gray goose quill,
     And dip't it o'er in gall;
     And, by Master Vice Chamberlain,
     He sent to him this scrawl:

     "Take hence yourself, and eke your spouse,
     Your maidens and your men;
     Your trunks, and all your trumpery,
     Except your chil-de-ren."

     The Prince secured with nimble haste
     The Artillery Commission;
     And with him trudged full many a maid,
     But not one politician.

     Up leapt Lepel, and frisked away,
     As though she ran on wheels;
     Miss Meadows made a woful face,
     Miss Howe took to her heels.

     But Belenden I needs must praise,
     Who, as down stairs she jumps,
     Sang "O'er the hills and far away,"
     Despising doleful dumps.

     Then up the street they took their way,
     And knockt up good Lord Grant-ham;
     Higgledy-piggledy they lay,
     And all went _rantam scantam_.

     Now sire and son had played their part,
     What could befall beside?
     Why, the poor babe took this to heart,
     Kickt up its heels, and died.

Mahon, despite all his desire to make out the best for the Whig
revolution and its consequences, occasionally makes some pregnant
admissions: "The jealousy which George I. entertained for his son was no
new feeling. It had existed even at Hanover, and had since been
inflamed by an insidious motion of the Tories that out of the Civil List
£100,-000 should be allotted as a separate revenue for the Prince of
Wales. This motion was overruled by the Ministerial party, and its
rejection offended the Prince as much as its proposal had the King....
In fact it is remarkable.... that since that family has reigned, the
heirs-apparent have always been on ill terms with the sovereign. There
have been four Princes of Wales since the death of Anne, and all four
have gone into bitter opposition." "That family," said Lord Carteret one
day in full Council, "always has quarrelled, and always will quarrel,
from generation to generation."

"Through the whole of the reign of George I., and through nearly half
of the reign of George II.," says Lord Macaulay, "a Tory was regarded as
the enemy of the reigning house, and was excluded from all the favors
of the Crown. Though most of the country gentlemen were Tories, none
but Whigs were appointed deans and bishops. In every County, opulent and
well-descended Tory squires complained that their names were left out
of the Commission of the Peace, while men of small estate and of mean
birth, who were for toleration and excise, septennial parliaments
and standing armies, presided at Quarter Sessions, and became
deputy-lieutenants."

In attacking the Whigs, my object is certainly not to write in favor of
the Tories, but some such work is needful while so many persons labor
under the delusion that the Whigs have always been friends to liberty
and progress.

Although George I. brought with him no wife to England, he was
accompanied by at least two of his mistresses, and our peerage roll
was enriched by the addition of Madame Kielmansegge as Countess of
Darlington, and Mademoiselle Erangard Melosine de Schulenberg as
Duchess of Kendal and Munster, Baroness of Glastonbury, and Countess
of Feversham. These peeresses were received with high favor by the Whig
aristocracy, although the Tories refused to countenance them, and "they
were often hooted by the mob as they passed through the streets." The
_Edinburgh Review_ described them as "two big blowsy German women."
Here I have no room to deal fairly with Charlotte Sophia, Baroness of
Brentford and Countess of Darlington; her title is extinct, and I can
write nothing of any good or useful act to revive her memory. Lord
Chesterfield says of George I.: "No woman came amiss to him, if she were
only very willing and very fat." John Heneage Jesse, in his "Memoirs of
the Court of England"--speaking of the Duchess of Kendal, the Countess
Platen (the co-partner in the murder of Konigsmark), afterwards Countess
of Darlington, and many others less known to infamy--says that George
I. "had the folly and wickedness to encumber himself with a seraglio of
hideous German prostitutes." The Duchess of Kendal was for many years
the chief mistress of George, and being tall and lean was caricatured
as the Maypole or the Giraffe. She had a pension of £7,500 a year, the
profits of the place of Master of the Horse, and other plunder. The
Countess of Darlington's figure may be judged from the name of Elephant
or Camel, popularly awarded to her. Horace Walpole says of her: "I
remember as a boy being terrified at her enormous figure. The fierce
black eyes, large and rolling, between two lofty-arched eyebrows, two
acres of cheeks spread with crimson, an ocean of neck that overflowed,
and was not distinguished from the lower part of her body, and no part
restrained by stays. No wonder that a child dreaded such an ogress."
She died 1724. Mahon says: "She was unwieldy in person, and rapacious in
character."

Phillimore declares that "George I. brought with him from Hanover
mistresses as rapacious, and satellites as ignoble, as those which drew
down such deserved obloquy on Charles H., Bothman, Bernstoff, Robethon,
and two Turks--Mustapha and Mahomet,--meddled more with public affairs,
and were to the full as venal as Chiffin, Pepys and Smith." Mahon, who
calls Robethon "a prying, impertinent, venomous creature," adds that
"coming from a poor electorate, a flight of hungry Hanoverians, like
so many famished vultures, fell with keen eyes and bended talons on the
fruitful soil of England."

One of the earliest acts of the Whig aristocracy, in the reign of George
I., was to pass a measure through Parliament, lengthening the existence
of that very Parliament to seven years, and giving to the King the power
to continue all subsequent Parliaments to a like period. The Triennial
Parliaments were thus lengthened by a corrupt majority. For the
committal of the Septennial Bill there was a majority of 72 votes, and
it is alleged by the _Westminster Review_, "that about 82 members of
the honorable house had either fingered Walpole's gold, or pocketed
the bank-notes which, by the purest accident, were left under their
plates.... In the ten years which preceded the Septennial Act, the sum
expended in Secret Service money was £337,960. In the ten years which
followed the passing of the Septennial Act, the sum expended for Secret
Service was £1,453,400." The same writer says: "The friends and framers
of the Triennial Bill were for the most part Tories, and its opponents
for the most part Whigs. The framers and friends of the Bill for long
Parliaments were all Whigs, and its enemies all Tories." When the
measure came before the Lords, we find Baron Bernstoff, on the King's
behalf, actually canvassing Peers' wives, with promises of places for
their relatives, in order to induce them to get their husbands to vote
for the Bill. Another of the early infringements of public liberty by
the Whig supporters of George I., was the passing (1 George I., c. 5)
the Riot Act, which had not existed from the accession of James I. to
the death of Queen Anne. Sir John Hinde Cotton, a few years afterwards,
described this Act, which is still the law of England, as "An Act by
which a little dirty justice of the peace, the meanest and vilest tool
a minister can use, had it in his power to put twenty or thirty of the
best subjects of England to immediate death, without any trial or form,
but that of reading a proclamation." In order to facilitate the King's
desire to spend most of his time in Hanover, the third section of the
Act of Settlement was repealed. Thackeray says: "Delightful as London
city was, King George I. liked to be out of it as much as ever he could,
and when there, passed all his time with his Germans. It was with them
as with Blucher one hundred years afterwards, when the bold old Reiter
looked down from St. Paul's and sighed out, 'Was fur plunder!' The
German women plundered, the German secretaries plundered, the German
cooks and intendants plundered; even Mustapha and Mahomet, the German
negroes, had a share of the booty. Take what you can get, was the old
monarch's maxim."

There was considerable discontent expressed in the early years of
George's reign. Hallam says: "Much of this disaffection was owing to
the cold reserve of George I., ignorant of the language, alien to
the prejudices of his people, and continually absent in his electoral
dominions, to which he seemed to sacrifice the nation's interest....
The letters in Coxe's Memoirs of Walpole, abundantly show the German
nationality, the impolicy and neglect of his duties, the rapacity and
petty selfishness of George I. The Whigs were much dissatisfied, but the
fear of losing their places made them his slaves." In order to add the
duchies of Bremen and Verden to Hanover, in 1716, the King, as Elector,
made a treaty with Denmark against Sweden, which treaty proved the
source of those Continental wars, and the attendant system of subsidies
to European powers, which have, in the main, created our enormous
National Debt. Bremen and Verden being actually purchased for George I.
as the Elector of Hanover, with English money, Great Britain in addition
was pledged by George I. to guarantee Sleswick to Denmark. Sweden and
Denmark quarrelling--and George I. as Elector of Hanover having, without
the consent of the English Parliament, declared war against Sweden--an
English fleet was sent into the Baltic to take up a quarrel with which
we had no concern. In addition we were involved in a quarrel with
Russia, because that power had interfered to prevent Mecklenburg being
added to George's Hanoverian estates. The chief mover in this matter
was the notorious Baron Bernstoff, who held some village property in
Mecklenburg. In all these complications, Hanover gained, England lost.
If Hanover found troops, England paid for them, while the Electorate
solely reaped the benefit. Every thoughtful writer admits that English
interests were always betrayed to satisfy Hanoverian greed.

The King's fondness for Germany provoked some hostility, and amongst
the various squibs issued, one in 1716, from the pen of Samuel Wesley,
brother of John Wesley, is not without interest. It represents a
conversation between George and the Duchess of Kendal:--

"As soon as the wind it came fairly about, That kept the King in and his
enemies out, He determined no longer confinement to bear, And thus to
the Duchess his mind did declare:

"Quoth he, 'My dear Kenny, I've been tired along while, With living
obscure in this poor little isle, And now Spain and Pretender have no
more mines to spring, I'm resolved to go home and live like a King."

The Duchess approves of this, describes and laughs at all the persons
nominated for the Council of Regency, and concludes:--

"On the whole, I'll be hanged if all over the realm There are thirteen
such fools to be put to the helm; So for this time be easy, nor have
jealous thought, They ha'n't sense to sell you, nor are worth being
bought."

"'Tis for that (quoth the King, in very bad French), I chose them for my
regents, and you for my wench, And neither, I'm sure, will my trust e'er
betray, For the devil won't take you if I turn you away."

It was this same Duchess of Kendal who, as the King's mistress, was
publicly accused of having received enormous sums of money from the
South Sea Company for herself and the King, in order to shield from
justice the principal persons connected with those terrible South Sea
frauds, by which, in the year 1720, so many families were reduced to
misery.

In 1717, Mr. Shippen, a member of the House of Commons, was committed
to the Tower, for saying in his place in the House, that it was the
"infelicity of his Majesty's reign that he is unacquainted with our
language and constitution." Lord Macaulay tells us how Lord Carteret,
afterwards Earl Granville, rose into favor. The King could speak no
English; Carteret was the only one of the Ministry who could speak
German. "All the communication that Walpole had with his master was in
very bad Latin." The influence Carteret wielded over the King did
not extend to every member of the Royal Family. The Princess of Wales
afterwards described the Lords Carteret and Bolingbroke as two she had
"long known to be two as worthless men of parts as any in the country,
and who I have not only been often told are two of the greatest liars
and knaves in any country, but whom my own observation and experience
have found so."

Under George I. our standing army was nearly doubled by the Whig
Ministry, and this when peace would rather have justified a reduction
than an increase. The payments to Hanoverian troops commenced under
this king, a payment which William Pitt afterwards earned the enmity of
George II. by very sharply denouncing, and which payment was but a step
in the system of continental subsidies which have helped to swell our
national debt to its present enormous dimensions.

In this reign the enclosure of waste lands was practically commenced,
sixteen enclosure Acts being passed, and 17,-660 acres of land enclosed.
This example, once furnished, was followed in the next reign with
increasing rapidity, 226 enclosure Acts being passed in the reign of
George II., and 318,778 acres of land enclosed. As Mr. Fawcett states,
up to 1845, more than 7,000,000 acres of land, over which the public
possessed invaluable rights, have been gradually absorbed, and
individuals wielding legislative influence have been enriched at the
expense of the public and the poor.

Within six years from his accession, the King was about £600,000 in
debt, and this sum was the first of a long list of debts discharged
by the nation for these Brunswicks. When our ministers to-day talk of
obligations on the part of the people to endow each additional member of
the Royal Family, the memory of these shameful extravagances should have
some effect. George I. had a civil list of £700,000 a year; he received
£300,000 from the Royal Exchange Assurance Company, and £300,000 from
the London Assurance Companies, and had one million voted to him in 1726
towards payment of his debts.

When the "South Sea Bill" was promoted in 1720, wholesale bribery was
resorted to. Transfers of stock were proved to have been made to persons
high in office. Two members of the Whig Ministry, Lord Sunderland and
Mr. Aislabie, were so implicated that they had to resign their
offices, and the last-named, who was Chancellor of the Exchequer, was
ignominiously expelled the House of Commons. Royalty itself, or at
least, the King's sultanas, and several of his German household, shared
the spoil. £30,000 were traced to the King's mistresses, and a select
committee of the House denounced the whole business as "a train of
the deepest villany and fraud with which hell ever contrived to ruin a
nation." Near the close of the reign, Lord Macclesfied, Lord Chancellor
and favorite and tool of the King, was impeached for extortion and abuse
of trust in his office, and, being convicted, was sentenced to pay a
fine of £30,000. In 1716, Mademoiselle Schulenberg, then Duchess of
Munster, received £5,000 as a bribe for procuring the title of Viscount
for Sir Henry St. John. In 1724, the same mistress, bribed by Lord
Bolingbroke, successfully used her influence to pass an act through
Parliament restoring him his forfeited estates. Mr. Chetwynd, says my
Lady Cowper, in order to secure his position in the Board of Trade, paid
to another of George's mistresses £500 down, agreed to allow her £200 a
year as long as he held the place, and gave her also the fine, brilliant
ear-rings she wore.

In 1724 there appeared in Dublin, the first of the famous "Drapier
Letters," written by Jonathan Swift against Wood's coinage patent. A
patent had been granted to a man named Wood for coining half-pence
in Ireland. This grant was made under the influence of the Duchess of
Kendal, the mistress of the King, and on the stipulation that she should
receive a large share of the profits. These "Drapier Letters" were
prosecuted by the Government, but Swift followed them with others; the
grand juries refused to find true bills, and ultimately the patent
was cancelled. Wood, or the Duchess, got as compensation a grant of a
pension of £3,000 a year for eight years.

George died at Osnabruck, on his journey Hanover-wards, in June, 1727,
having made a will by which he disposed of his money in some fashion
displeasing to his son George II.; and as the _Edinburgh Review_ tells
us, the latter "evaded the old king's directions, and got his money by
burning his will." In this, George II. only followed his royal father's
example. When Sophia Dorothea died, she left a will bequeathing her
property in a fashion displeasing to Greorge I., who, without scruple,
destroyed the testament and appropriated the estate. George I. had also
previously burned the will of his father-in-law, the Duke of Zell. At
this time the destruction of a will was a capital felony in England.

In concluding this rough sketch of the reign of George I., it must not
be forgotten that his accession meant the triumph of the Protestant
caste in Ireland, and that under his rule much was done to render
permanent the utter hatred manifested by the Irish people to their
English conquerors, who had always preferred the policy of extermination
to that of conciliation. Things were so sad in Ireland at the end of
this reign, that Dean Swift, in bitter mockery, "wrote and published his
'Modest Proposal' for relieving the miseries of the people, by cooking
and eating the children of the poor;" "a piece of the fiercest sarcasm,"
says Mitchell, "steeped in all the concentrated bitterness of his soul."
Poor Ireland, she had, at any rate, nothing to endear to her the memory
of George I.



CHAPTER III. THE REIGN OF GEORGE II

When George I. died there was so little interest or affection exhibited
by his son and successor, that Sir Robert Walpole, on announcing to
George II. that by the demise of his father he had succeeded to regal
honors, was saluted with a volley of oaths, and "Dat is one big lie."
No pretence even was made of sorrow. Greorge Augustus had hated George
Lewis during life, and at the first council, when the will of the late
King was produced by the Archbishop of Canterbury, the new monarch
simply took it up and walked out of the room with the document, which
was never seen again. Thackeray, who pictures George II. as "a dull,
little man, of low tastes," says that he "made away with his father's
will under the astonished nose of the Archbishop of Canterbury." A
duplicate of this will having been deposited with the Duke of Brunswick,
a large sum of money was paid to that Prince nominally as a subsidy by
the English Government for the maintenance of troops, but really as a
bribe for surrendering the document. A legacy having been left by this
will to Lady Walsingham, threats were held out in 1733 by her then
husband, Lord Chesterfield, and £20,000 was paid in compromise.

The eldest son of George II. was Frederick, born in 1706, and who up to
1728 resided permanently in Hanover. Lord Hervey tells us that the
King hated his son Frederick, and that the Queen Caroline, his mother,
abhorred him. To Lord Hervey the Queen says: "My dear Lord, I will give
it you under my hand, if you are in any fear of my relapsing, that my
dear first-born is the greatest ass, and the greatest liar, and the
greatest _canaille_ and the greatest beast in the whole world; and that
I most heartily wish he were out of it." This is a tolerably strong
description of the father of George HI. from the lips of his own mother.
Along with this description of Frederick by the Queen, take Thackeray's
character of George II.'s worthy father of worthy son: "Here was one
who had neither dignity, learning, morals, nor wit--who tainted a great
society by a bad example; who in youth, manhood, old age, was gross,
low, and sensual."

In 1705, when only Electoral Prince of Hanover, George had married
Caroline, daughter of the Margrave of Anspach, a woman of more than
average ability. Thackeray describes Caroline in high terms of praise,
but Lord Chesterfield says that "she valued herself upon her skill in
simulation and dissimulation.... Cunning and perfidy were the means
she made use of in business." The Prince of Anspach is alleged by the
_Whimperer_ to have raised some difficulties as to the marriage, on
account of George I. being disposed to deny the legitimacy of his son,
and it is further pretended that George I. had actually to make distinct
acknowledgment of his son to King William III. before the arrangements
for the Act of Settlement were consented to by that King. It is quite
clear from the diary of Lady Cowper, that the old King's feeling towards
George II. was always one of the most bitter hatred.

The influence exercised by Queen Caroline over George II. was purely
political; and Lord Hervey declares that "wherever the interest of
Germany and the honor of the Empire were concerned, her thoughts and
reasonings were as German and Imperial as if England had been out of the
question."

A strange story is told of Sir Robert Walpole and Caroline. Sir Robert,
when intriguing for office under George I., with Townshend, Devonshire,
and others, objected to their plans being communicated to the Prince of
Wales, saying,

"The fat b------h, his wife, would betray the secret and spoil the
project." This courtly speech being made known by some kind friend to
the Princess Caroline, considerable hostility was naturally exhibited.
Sir Robert Walpole, who held the doctrine that every person was
purchasable, the only question being one of price, managed to purchase
peace with Caroline when Queen. When the ministry suspended, "Walpole
not fairly out, Compton not fairly in," Sir Robert assured the Queen
that he would secure her an annuity of £100,000 in the event of the
King's death, Sir Spencer Compton, who was then looked to as likely
to be in power, having only offered £60,000. The Queen sent back word,
"Tell Sir Robert the fat b------h has forgiven him," and thenceforth
they were political allies until the Queen's death in 1737.

The domestic relations of George II. were marvellous. We pass with
little notice Lady Suffolk, lady-in-waiting to the Queen and mistress to
the King, who was sold by her husband for a pension of £12,000 a year,
paid by the British tax-payers, and who was coarsely insulted by
both their Majesties. It is needless to dwell on the confidential
communications, in which "that strutting little sultan George II.," as
Thackeray calls him, solicited favors from his wife for his mistress,
the Countess of Walmoden; but to use the words of the cultured
_Edinburgh Review_, the Queen's "actual intercession to secure for the
King the favors of the Duchess of Modena precludes the idea that these
sentiments were as revolting to the royal Philaminte as they would
nowadays be to a scavenger's daughter. Nor was the Queen the only
lady of the Royal Family who talked openly on these matters. When Lady
Suffolk was waning at court, the Princess Royal could find nothing
better to say than this: 'I wish with all my heart that he (i. e., the
King) would take somebody else, that Mamma might be relieved from the
_ennui_ of seeing him forever in her room.'"

Lady Cowper in her diary tells us that George II., when Prince of Wales,
intrigued with Lady Walpole, not only with the knowledge of the Princess
Caroline, but also with connivance of the Prime Minister himself. Lord
Hervey adds that Caroline used to sneer at Sir Robert Walpole, asking
how the poor man--"_avec ce gros corps, ces jambes enflees et ce villain
ventre_"--could possibly believe that any woman could love him for
himself. And that Sir Robert retaliated, when Caroline afterwards
complained to him of the King's cross temper, by telling her very coolly
that "it was impossible it could be otherwise, since the King had tasted
better things," and ended by advising her to bring pretty Lady
Tankerville _en rapport_ with the King.

In 1727 an Act was passed, directed against workmen in the woollen
trade, rendering combination for the purpose of raising wages unlawful.
Some years afterwards, this Act was extended to other trades, and the
whole tendency of the Septennial Parliament legislation manifests a most
unfortunate desire on the part of the Legislature to coerce and keep in
subjection the artisan classes.

In February, 1728, the celebrated "Beggar's Opera," by Gay, was put on
the stage at the Lincoln's Inn Fields Theatre, and, being supposed to
contain some satirical reflections on court-corruption, provoked much
displeasure on the part of Royalty. The Duchess of Queensborough,
who patronized Gay, being forbidden to attend court, wrote thus: "The
Duchess of Queensborough is surprised and well pleased that the King
has given her so agreeable a command as forbidding her the court.... She
hopes that, by so unprecedented an order as this, the King will see as
few as she wishes at his court, particularly such as dare speak or think
truth."

In 1729, £115,000 was voted by Parliament for the payment of the King's
debts. This vote seems to have been obtained under false pretences,
to benefit the King, whose "cardinal passion," says Phillimore, "was
avarice."

The _Craftsman_ during the first decade of the reign, fiercely assailed
the Whig ministry for "a wasteful expenditure of money in foreign
subsidies and bribes;" and in his place in the House of Commons William
Pitt, "the great Commoner," in the strongest language attacked the
system of foreign bribery by which home corruption was supplemented.

The rapidly increasing expenditure needed every day increased taxation,
and a caricature published in 1732 marks the public feeling. A monster
(Excise), in the form of a many-headed dragon, is drawing the minister
(Sir Robert Walpole) in his coach, and pouring into his lap, in the
shape of gold, what it has eaten up in the forms of mutton, hams, cups,
glasses, mugs, pipes, etc.

     "See this dragon Excise
     Has ten thousand eyes,
     And five thousand mouths to devour us;
     A sting and sharp claws,
     With wide gaping jaws,
     And a belly as big as a store-house."

     Beginning with wines and liquors,--
     "Grant these, and the glutton
     Will roar out for mutton,
     Your beef, bread, and bacon to boot;
     Your goose, pig, and pullet,
     He'll thrust down his gullet,
     Whilst the laborer munches a root."

In 1730 Mr. Sandys introduced a Bill to disable pensioners from sitting
in Parliament. George II. vigorously opposed this measure, which was
defeated. In the King's private notes to Lord Townshend, Mr. Sandys'
proposed act is termed a "villanous measure," which should be "torn to
pieces in every particular."

It was in 1732 that the Earl of Aylesford, a Tory peer, declared that
standing armies in time of peace were "against the very words of the
_Petition of Rights_," and that "all the confusions and disorders
which have been brought upon this kingdom for many years, have been all
brought upon it by means of standing armies." In 1733 Earl Strafford
affirmed that "a standing army" was "always inconsistent with the
liberties of the people;" and urged that "where the people have any
regard for their liberties, they ought never to keep up a greater number
of regular forces than are absolutely necessary for the security of the
Government." Sir John Barnard declared that the army ought not to be
used on political questions. He said: "In a free country, if a
tumult happens from a just cause of complaint, the people ought to be
satisfied; their grievances ought to be redressed; they ought not
surely to be immediately knocked on the head because they may happen to
complain in an irregular way." Mr. Pulteney urged that a standing
army is "a body of men distinct from the body of the people; they are
governed by different laws; blind obedience and an entire submission
to the orders of their commanding officer is their only principle. The
nations around us are already enslaved by those very means; by means of
their standing armies they have every one lost their liberties; it is
indeed impossible that the liberties of the people can be preserved in a
country where a numerous standing army is kept up."

In 1735 sixteen Scottish peers were elected to sit in the House of
Lords, and in a petition to Parliament it was alleged, that the whole
of this list of sixteen peers was elected by bribery and corruption.
The petition positively asserted "that the list of sixteen peers for
Scotland had been formed by persons high in trust under the crown,
previous to the election itself, The peers were solicited to vote for
this list without the liberty of making any alteration, and endeavors
were used to engage peers to vote for this list by promise of pensions
and offices, civil and military, to themselves and their relations,
and by actual promise and offers of sums of money. Several had received
money, and releases of debts owing to the crown were granted to those
who voted for this list. To render this transaction more infamous, a
battalion of troops occupied the Abbey-Court of Edinburgh, and
continued there during the whole time of the election, while there was
a considerable body lying within a mile of the city ready to advance
on the signal." This petition, notwithstanding the gravity of its
allegations, was quietly suppressed.

Lady Sundon, Woman of the Bedchamber and Mistress of the Robes to Queen
Caroline, received from Lord Pom-fret jewelry of £1,400 value, for
obtaining him the appointment of Master of the Horse.

With a Civil List of £800,000 a year, George II. was continually in
debt, but an obedient Ministry and a corrupt Parliament never hesitated
to discharge his Majesty's obligations out of the pockets of the
unrepresented people. Lord Carteret, in 1733, speaking of a Bill before
the House for granting the King half a million out of the Sinking Fund,
said: "This Fund, my Lords, has been clandestinely defrauded of several
small sums at different times, which indeed together amount to a pretty
large sum; but by this Bill it is to be openly and avowedly plundered of
£500,000 at once."

On the 27th of April, 1736, Prince Frederick was married to the Princess
Augusta, of Saxe Gotha, whom King George II. afterwards described as
"_cette diablesse Madame la Princesse_." In August of the same year,
a sharp open quarrel took place between the Prince of Wales and his
parents, which, after some resumptions of pretended friendliness, ended,
on September 10, 1737, in the former being ordered by the King to quit
St. James's palace, where he was residing. On the 22d of the preceding
February, Pulteney had moved for an allowance of £100,000 a year to
Prince Frederick. George II. refused to consent, on the ground that the
responsibility to provide for the Prince of Wales rested with himself,
and that "it would be highly indecorous to interfere between father and
son." On the Prince of Wales taking up his residence at Norfolk House,
"the King issued an order that no persons who paid their court to the
Prince and Princess should be admitted to his presence." An official
intimation of this was given to foreign ambassadors.

On the 20th of November, 1737, Queen Caroline died, never having spoken
to her son since the quarrel. "She was," says Walpole, "implacable in
hatred even to her dying moments. She absolutely refused to pardon,
or even to see, her son." The death-bed scene is thus spoken of by
Thackeray: "There never was such a ghastly farce;" and as sketched by
Lord Hervey, it is a monstrous mixture of religion, disgusting comedy,
and brutishness. "We are shocked in the very chamber of death by the
intrusion of egotism, vanity, buffoonery, and inhumanity. The King is
at one moment dissolved in a mawkish tenderness, at another sunk into
brutal apathy. He is at one moment all tears for the loss of one
who united the softness and amiability of one sex to the courage and
firmness of the other; at another all fury because the object of his
regrets cannot swallow, or cannot change her posture, or cannot animate
the glassy fixedness of her eyes; at one moment he begins an elaborate
panegyric on her virtues, then breaks off into an enumeration of his
own, by which he implies that her heart has been enthralled, and her
intelligence awed. He then breaks off into a stupid story about a storm,
for which his daughter laughs at him, and then while he is weeping
over his consort's death-bed, she advises him to marry again; and we
are--what the Queen was not--startled by the strange reply, 'Non, faurai
des maitresses,' with the faintly moaned out rejoinder, 'Cela, n'empeche
pas.'" So does the Edinburgh reviewer, following Lord Hervey, paint the
dying scene of the Queen of our second George.

After the death of the Queen, the influence of the King's mistresses
became supreme, and Sir R. Walpole, who, in losing Queen Caroline had
lost his greatest hold over George, paid court to Lady Walmoden, in
order to maintain his weakened influence. In the private letters of the
Pelham family, who succeeded to power soon after Walpole's fall, we find
frequent mention of the Countess of Yarmouth as a power to be gained, a
person to stand well with. "I read," says Thackeray, "that Lady Yarmouth
(my most religious and gracious King's favorite) sold a bishopric to a
clergyman for £5,000. (He betted her £5,000 that he would not be made a
bishop, and he lost, and paid her.) Was he the only prelate of his time
led up by such hands for consecration? As I peep into George H.'s St.
James's, I see crowds of cassocks rustling up the back-stairs of the
ladies of the Court; stealthy clergy slipping purses into their laps;
that godless old Bang yawning under his canopy in his Chapel Royal, as
the chaplain before him is discoursing."

On the 23d of May, 1738, George William Frederick, son of Frederick, and
afterwards George III., was born.

In 1739 Lady Walmoden, who had up to this year remained in Hanover, was
brought to England, and formally installed at the English Court. In this
year we bound ourselves by treaty to pay 250,000 dollars per annum
for three years to the Danish Government. "The secret motive of this
treaty," says Mahon, "as of too many others, was not English, but
Hanoverian; and regarded the possession of a petty castle and lordship
called Steinhorst. This castle had been bought from Holstein by George
H. as Elector of Hanover, but the Danes claiming the sovereignty,
a skirmish ensued.... The well-timed treaty of subsidy calmed their
resentment, and obtained the cession of their claim." Many urged, as
in truth it was, that Steinhorst was bought with British money, and
Bolingbroke expressed his fear "that we shall throw the small remainder
of our wealth where we have thrown so much already, into the German
Gulf, which cries Give! Give! and is never satisfied."

On the 19th of May, 1739, in accordance with the wish of the King,
war was declared with Spain, nominally on the question of the right of
search, but when peace was declared at Aix-la-Chapelle, this subject was
never mentioned. According to Dr. Colquhoun, this war cost the country,
£46,418,680.

George II. was, despite the provisions of the Act of Settlement,
continually in Hanover. From 1729 to 1731, again in 1735 and 1736, and
eight times between 1740 and 1755. In 1745 he wished to go, but was not
allowed.

On the 2d of October, 1741 (the Pelham family having managed to acquire
power by dint, as Lord Macaulay puts it, of more than suspected treason
to their leader and colleague), the Duke of Newcastle, then Prime
Minister, wrote his brother, Henry Pelham, as follows: "I must freely
own to you, that I think the King's unjustifiable partiality for
Hanover, to which he makes all other views and considerations
subservient, has manifested itself so much that no man can continue in
the active part of the administration with honor." The Duke goes on to
describe the King's policy as "both dishonorable and fatal;" and Henry
Pelham, on the 8th of October, writes him back that "a partiality
to Hanover is general, is what all men of business have found great
obstructions from, ever since this family have been upon the throne."
Yet these are amongst the most prominent of the public defenders of the
House of Brunswick, and a family which reaped great place and profit
from the connection.

Of the Duke of Newcastle, Lord Macaulay says: "No man was so
unmercifully satirized. But in truth he was himself a satire ready made.
All that the art of the satirist does for other men, nature had done for
him. Whatever was absurd about him stood out with grotesque prominence
from the rest of the character. He was a living, moving, talking
caricature. His gait was a shuffling trot, his utterance a rapid
stutter; he was always in a hurry; he was never in time; he abounded in
fulsome caresses and in hysterical tears. His oratory resembled that of
Justice Shallow. It was nonsense, effervescent with animal spirits
and impertinence. Of his ignorance many anecdotes remain, some well
authenticated, some probably invented at coffee-houses, but all
exquisitely characteristic. 'Oh, yes, yes, to be sure! Annapolis must be
defended; troops must be sent to Annapolis. Pray, where is Annapolis?'
'Cape Breton an island! Wonderful! show it me in the map. So it is, sure
enough. My dear sir, you always bring us good news. I must go and tell
the King that Cape Breton is an island.' And this man was, during near
thirty years, Secretary of State, and during near ten years First Lord
of the Treasury! His large fortune, his strong hereditary connection,
his great Parliamentary interest, will not alone explain this
extraordinary fact. His success is a signal instance of what may be
effected by a man who devotes his whole heart and soul without reserve
to one object. He was eaten up by ambition. His love of influence and
authority resembled the avarice of the old usurer in the 'Fortunes
of Nigel.' It was so intense a passion that it supplied the place of
talents, that it inspired even fatuity with cunning. 'Have no money
dealings with my father,' says Martha to Lord Glenvarloch, 'for, dotard
as he is, he will make an ass of you.' It was as dangerous to have
any political connection with Newcastle as to buy and sell with old
Trapbois. He was greedy after power with a greediness all his own. He
was jealous of all colleagues, and even of his own brother. Under
the disguise of levity, he was false beyond all example of political
falsehood. All the able men of his time ridiculed him as a dunce, a
driveller, a child who never knew his own mind for an hour together; and
he overreached them all round."

In 1742, under the opposition of Pulteney, the Tories called upon
Paxton, the Solicitor to the Treasury, and Scrope, the Secretary to the
Treasury, to account for the specific sum of £1,147,211, which it
was proved they had received from the minister. No account was ever
furnished. George Vaughan, a confidant of Sir Robert Walpole, was
examined before the Commons as to a practice charged upon that minister,
of obliging the possessor of a place or office to pay a certain sum
out of the profits of it to some person or persons recommended by the
minister. Vaughan, who does not appear to have ventured any direct
denial, managed to avoid giving a categorical reply, and to get excused
from answering on the ground that he might criminate himself. Agitation
was commenced for the revival of Triennial Parliaments, for the renewal
of the clause of the Act of Settlement, by which pensioners and placemen
were excluded from the House of Commons, and for the abolition of
standing armies in time of peace. The Whigs, however, successfully
crushed out the whole of this agitation. Strong language was heard in
the House of Commons, where Sir James Dashwood said that "it was no
wonder that the people were then unwilling to support the Government,
when a weak, narrow-minded prince occupied the throne."

A very amusing squib appeared in 1742, when Sir Robert Walpole's power
was giving way, partly under the bold attacks of the Tories, led
by Cotton and Shippen; partly before the malcontent Whigs under the
guidance of Carteret and Pulteney; partly before the rising power of the
young England party led by William Pitt; and somewhat from the jealousy,
if not treachery, of his colleague, the Duke of Newcastle. The squib
pictures the King's embarrassment and anger at being forced to dismiss
Walpole, and to Carteret, whom he has charged to form a ministry:--

     "Quoth the King:
     'My good lord, perhaps you've been told
     That I used to abuse you a little of old,
     But now bring whom you will, and eke turn away,
     Let but me and my money at Walmoden stay."

Lord Carteret, explaining to the King whom he shall keep of the old
ministry, includes the Duke of Newcastle:--

     "Though Newcastle's false, as he's silly I know,
     By betraying old Robin to me long ago,
     As well as all those who employed him before,
     Yet I leave him in place, but I leave him no power.

     "For granting his heart is as black as his hat,
     With no more truth in this than there's sense beneath that,
     Yet, as he's a coward, he'll shake when I frown;
     You called him a rascal, I'll use him like one.

     "For your foreign affairs, howe'er they turn out,
     At least I'll take care you shall make a great rout;
     Then cock your great hat, strut, bounce, and look bluff,
     For, though kick'd and cuff'd here, you shall there kick and cuff

     "That Walpole did nothing they all used to say,
     So I'll do enough, but I'll make the dogs pay;
     Great-fleets I'll provide, and great armies engage,
     Whate'er debts we make, or whate'er wars we wage!

     "With cordials like these the monarch's new guest
     Reviv'd his sunk spirits, and gladdened his breast;
     Till in rapture he cried, 'My dear Lord, you shall do
     Whatever you will--give me troops to review.'"

In 1743, King George II. actually tried to engage this country, by a
private agreement, to pay £300,000 a year to the Queen of Hungary, "as
long as war should continue, or the necessity of her affairs should
require." #The King, being in Hanover, sent over the treaty to England,
with a warrant directing the Lords Justices to "ratify and confirm it,"
which, however, they refused to do. On hearing that the Lord Chancellor
refused to sanction the arrangement, King George H. threatened, through
Earl Granvillie, to affix the Great Seal with his own hand. Ultimately
the £300,000 per annum was agreed to be paid so long as the war lasted,
but this sum was in more than one instance exceeded.

Although George II. had induced the country to vote such large sums to
Maria Therese, the Empress-Queen, he nevertheless abandoned her in a
most cowardly manner when he thought his Hanoverian dominions in danger,
and actually treated with France without the knowledge or consent of his
ministry. A rhyming squib, in which the King is termed the "Balancing
Captain," from which we present the following extracts, will serve to
show the feeling widely manifested in England at that time:--

     "I'll tell you a story as strange as 'tis new,
     Which all who're concerned will allow to be true,
     Of a Balancing Captain, well known hereabouts,
     Returned home (God save him) a mere king of clouts.

     "This Captain he takes in a _gold_ ballasted ship,
     Each summer to _terra damnosa_ a trip,
     For which he begs, borrows, scrapes all he can get,
     And runs his poor _owners_ most vilely in debt.

     "The last time he set out for this blessed place,
     He met them, and told them a most piteous case,
     Of a sister of his, who, though bred up at court,
     Was ready to perish for want of support.

     "This _Hung'ry_ sister he then did pretend,
     Would be to his owners a notable friend,
     If they would at that critical juncture supply her;
     They did--but, alas! all the fat's in the fire!"

The ballad then suggests that the King, having got all the money
possible, made a peace with the enemies of the Queen of Hungary,
described in the ballad as the sister:--

     "He then turns his sister adrift, and declares
     Her most mortal foes were her father's right heirs:
     'G--d z--ds!' cries the world, 'such a step was ne'er taken!'
     'Oh, oh!' says Moll Bluff, 'I have saved my own bacon.

     "'Let France damn the Germans, and undamn the Dutch,
     And Spain on old England pish ever so much;
     Let Russia bang Sweden, or Sweden bang that,
     I care not, by _Robert, one kick of my hat!_

     "'Or should my chous'd owners begin to look sour,
     I'll  trust to _mate_ Bob to exert his old power,
     _Regit animos dictis_, or _numis_ with ease
     So, spite of your growling, I'll act as I please!'"

The British Nation, described as the owners, are cautioned to look into
the accounts of their Captain, who is bringing them to insolvency:--

     "This secret, however, must out on the day
     When he meets his poor owners to ask for his pay;
     And I fear, when they come to adjust the account,
     A zero for balance will prove their amount."

The final result of all these subsidy votes was to increase our
national debt, up to the signing of the treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle, to
£76,000,000; while the seven years' war, which came later, brought the
debt to £133,000,000, not including in this the capitalized value of the
terminable annuities.

On November 22d, 1743, a caricature was published, which had a wide
sale, and which represented the King as a fat Hanoverian white horse
riding to death a nearly starved British lion.

In 1744, £200,000 was voted, which King George and Lord Carteret, who
was called by William Pitt, his "Hanoverian troop minister," had agreed
to give the King of Sardinia. £40,000 was also voted for a payment made
by the King to the Duke of Arenberg. This payment was denounced by Mr.
Lyttelton as a dangerous misapplication of public money.

The votes for foreign subsidies alone, in 1744, were £691,426, while
the Hanoverian soldiers cost us £393,773. The King actually tried in
addition, in the month of August, to get a further subsidy for his
friend, the Elector of Saxony, and another for the King of Poland, and
this when Englishmen and Irishmen were lacking bread. Nor was even a
pretence made in some instances of earning the money. £150,000 was paid
this year to keep Prince Charles in Alsace, and the moment Austria got
the money, Prince Charles was withdrawn, and Henry Pelham, writing to
the Duke of Newcastle, says, "The same will be the case with every sum
of money we advance. The allies will take it, and then act as suits
their convenience and security." In the four years from 1744 to 1747,
both included, we paid £4,342,683 for foreign troops and subsidies,
not including the Dutch and Hessians, whom we hired to put down the
rebellion of 1745. In the case of the whole of this war, in which we
subsidized all our allies except the Dutch, it is clear that the direct
and sole blame rests upon the King, who cared nothing for English
interests in the matter. When firmly remonstrated with by Lord
Chancellor Hardwicke, his reply was what the Duke of Newcastle describes
as "almost sullen silence."

For the rebellion of 1745--which came so near being successful, and
which would have thoroughly succeeded had the Pretender's son possessed
any sort of ability as a leader--there is little room to spare here.
The attempt to suppress it in its early stages is thus described in a
Jacobite ballad:--

     "Horse, foot, and dragoons, from lost Flanders they call,
     With Hessians and Danes, and the devil and all;
     And hunters and rangers led by Oglethorpe;
     And the Church, at the bum of the Bishop of York.
     And pray, who so fit to lead forth this parade,
     As the babe of Tangier, my old grandmother Wade?
     Whose cunning's so quick, but whose motion's so slow,
     That the rebels marched on, while he stuck in the snow."

The hideously disgusting cruelties and horrible excesses committed by
the infamous Duke of Cumberland, and the Hessians and Hanoverians under
his command, in suppressing the rebellion after the battle of Culloden,
are, alas! too well known. Duncan Forbes, Lord President of the Court of
Session, and a warm supporter of the Brunswicks, remonstrating with the
Duke as to the latter's disregard of the laws of the country, his Royal
Highness of Cumberland replied with an oath: "The laws of my country,
my lord; I'll make a brigade give laws." Scotland has many reasons
for loving the House of Brunswick. Lord Waldegrave, who strove hard to
whitewash the Duke of Cumberland, says that "Frederick Prince of Wales
gave too much credit to the most malignant and groundless accusations,
by showing favor to every man who aspersed his brother's character."

In 1747, £456,733 was voted by Parliament for the payment of the King's
debts.

In 1748, considerable difficulty arose in consequence of the King's
intrigues to obtain, at the expense of England, the Bishopric of
Osnaburg as a princely establishment for his favorite son, the Duke
of Cumberland, that pious prince, much esteemed in Scotland as "the
butcher." The most open hostility subsisted between the Duke of
Cumberland and Prince Frederick, and pamphleteering attacks on the
former, for his brutality and excesses, were supposed to be encouraged
by the Leicester House party.

Amongst the curious scandals of 1749, it is stated that the King--being
present at a masked ball, at which Elizabeth Chudleigh, afterwards
Duchess of Kingston, figured as "La Belle Sauvage" in a close-fitting
dress of flesh-colored silk, requested permission to place his hand
on Miss Chudleigh's breast. The latter replied that she would put the
King's hand on a still softer place, and immediately raised it to his
own royal forehead.

On the 20th March, 1751, Frederick, Prince of Wales, died. The King, who
received the news while playing cards with his mistress, Lady Yarmouth,
and who had not spoken to his son for years, merely said, "Freddy
is dead." On this subject Thackeray preserves for us the following
epitaph:--

     "Here lies Fred,
     Who was alive, and is dead.
     Had it been his father,
     I had much rather.
     Had it been his brother,
     Still better than another.
     Had it been his sister,
     No one would have missed her.
     Had it been the whole generation,
     Still better for the nation.
     But since 'tis only Fred,
     Who was alive, and is dead,
     There's no more to be said."

In 1755 there was the second war, estimated to have cost £111,271,996.
In this George II. pursued exactly the opposite course of policy to that
taken by him in the previous one. The war during the years following
1739 was for the humiliation of the King of Prussia; the policy in the
last war was to prevent his humiliation. Mr. Baxter estimates the debt
(exclusive of annuities) at £133,000,000; Dr. Colquhoun, adding the
value of the annuities, makes it £146,682,843 at the conclusion of this
war.

Towards the close of the reign of George II., who died on October 25th,
1760, his Royal Highness the Duke of Cumberland, by an exhibition of
great strategy, combined with much discretionary valor, succeeded
in making peace on terms which ensured the repose of himself and his
Hanoverian forces during the remainder of the war. At home his Royal
Highness was much attacked, some venturing to describe his personal
conduct as cowardly, and his generalship as contemptible. It is
a sufficient refutation of such a calumny to say that the Duke of
Cumberland was as brave a soldier and as able a general as our present
Commander-in-Chief, his Royal Highness the Duke of Cambridge.

Lord Waldegrave, who wrote in favor of George II., admits that the King
"is accused by his ministers of being hasty and passionate when any
measure is proposed which; he does not approve of." That "too great
attention to money seems to be his capital failing." And that "his
political courage seems somewhat problematical." Philli-more says: "In
public life he was altogether indifferent to the welfare of England,
except as it affected his Electorate's or his own. Always purchasing
concubines, he was always governed by his wife. In private life he was
a gross lover, an unreasonable master, a coarsely unfaithful husband, an
unnatural parent, and a selfish man."

No more fitting conclusion can be found to this chapter than the
following pregnant words from the pen of Lord Macaulay: "At the close of
the reign of George II. the feeling of aversion with which the House of
Brunswick had long been regarded by half the nation had died away;
but no feeling of affection to that house had yet sprung up. There
was little, indeed, in the old King's character to inspire esteem or
tenderness. He was not our countryman. He never set foot on our soil
till he was more than thirty years old. His speech belayed his foreign
origin and breeding. His love for his native land, though the most
amiable part of his character, was not likely to endear him to his
British subjects. He was never so happy as when he could exchange St.
James's for Heranhausen. Year after year our fleets were employed to
convoy him to the Continent, and the interests of his kingdom were as
nothing to him when compared with the interests of his Electorate. As to
the rest, he had neither the qualities which make dulness respectable,
nor the qualities which make libertinism attractive. He had been a bad
son and a worse father, an unfaithful husband and an ungraceful lover.
Not one magnanimous or humane action is recorded of him; but many
instances of meanness, and of a harshness which, but for the strong
constitutional restraints under which he was placed, might have made the
misery of his people."



CHAPTER IV. THE REIGN OF GEORGE III

When George II. died, his grandson and successor, George III., was
twenty-two years of age. The Civil List of the new King was fixed at
£800,000 a year, "a provision," says Phillimore, in his "History of
England," "that soon became inadequate to the clandestine purposes of
George III., and for the purchase of the mercenary dependents, on the
rapport of whom his unconstitutional proceedings obliged him to depend."
The Civil List of George III. was not, however, really so large as that
of her present Majesty. The Civil List disbursements included such items
as Secret Service, now charged separately; pensions and annuities, now
charged separately; diplomatic salaries, now forming distinct items;
fees and salaries of ministers and judges, now forming no part of the
charge against the Civil List. So that though £924,041 was the Civil
List of George III. four years after he ascended the throne, in truth
to-day the Royal Family alone get much more than all the great offices
and machinery of State then cost. The Royal Family at the present time
get from the country, avowedly and secretly, about one million sterling
a year.

"At the accession of George III.," says Thackeray, "the Patricians
were yet at the height of their good fortune. Society recognized their
superiority, which they themselves pretty calmly took for granted. They
inherited not only titles and estates, and seats in the House of Peers,
but seats in the House of Commons. There were a multitude of Government
places, and not merely these, but bribes of actual £500 notes, which
members of the House took not much shame in assuming.. Fox went into
Parliament at twenty, Pitt was just of age, his father not much older.
It was the good time for Patricians."

A change of political parties was imminent; Whig rule had lasted seventy
years, and England had become tolerably disgusted with the consequences.

"Now that George II. was dead," says Macaulay, "a courtier might venture
to ask why England was to become a party in a dispute between two German
powers. What was it to her whether the House of Hapsburg or the House
of Brandenburg ruled in Silesia? Why were the best English regiments
fighting on the Maine? Why were the Prussian battalions paid with
English gold? The great minister seemed to think it beneath him to
calculate the price of victory. As long as the Tower guns were fired, as
the streets were illuminated, as French banners were carried in triumph
through London, it was to him matter of indifference to what extent the
public burdens were augmented. Nay, he seemed to glory in the magnitude
of those sacrifices which the people, fascinated by his eloquence and
success, had too readily made, and would long and bitterly regret. There
was no check on waste or embezzlement. Our commissaries returned from
the camp of Prince Ferdinand, to buy boroughs, to rear palaces, to rival
the magnificence, of the old aristocracy of the realm. Already had
we borrowed, in four years of war, more than the most skilful and
economical government would pay in forty years of peace."

The Church allied itself with the Tories, who assumed the reins of
government, and thenceforth totally forgot the views of liberty they
had maintained when in opposition. The policy of all their succeeding
legislation was that of mischievous retrogression; they sought to excel
the old Whigs in their efforts to consolidate the aristocracy at the
expense of the people.

"This reactionary movement," says Buckle, "was greatly aided by the
personal character of George III.; for he, being despotic as well
as superstitious, was equally anxious to extend the prerogative, and
strengthen the Church. Every liberal sentiment, everything approaching
to reform, nay, even the mere mention of inquiry, was an abomination in
the eyes of that narrow and ignorant Prince. Without knowledge, without
taste, without even a glimpse of one of the sciences, or a feeling for
one of the fine arts, education had done nothing to enlarge a mind which
nature had more than usually contracted. Totally ignorant of the
history and resources of foreign countries, and barely knowing their
geographical position, his information was scarcely more extensive
respecting the people over whom he was called to rule. In that immense
mass of evidence now extant, and which consists of every description of
private correspondence, records of private conversation, and of public
acts, there is not to be found the slightest proof that he knew any one
of those numerous things which the governor of a country ought to know;
or, indeed, that he was acquainted with a single duty of his position,
except the mere mechanical routine of ordinary business, which might
have been effected by the lowest clerk in the meanest office in his
kingdom.

"He gathered round his throne that great party, who, clinging to the
tradition of the past, have always made it their boast to check the
progress of their age. During the sixty years of his reign, he, with
the sole exception of Pitt, never willingly admitted to his councils a
single man of great ability: not one whose name is associated with any
measure of value, either in domestic or foreign policy. Even Pitt only
maintained his position in the State by forgetting the lessons of his
illustrious father, and abandoning those liberal principles in which he
had been educated, and with which he entered public life. Because George
III. hated the idea of reform, Pitt not only relinquished what he had
before declared to be absolutely necessary, but did not hesitate to
persecute to death the party with whom he had once associated in order
to obtain it. Because George III. looked upon slavery as one of those
good old customs which the wisdom of his ancestors had consecrated, Pitt
did not dare to use his power for procuring its abolition, but left
to his successors the glory of destroying that infamous tracle, on the
preservation of which his royal master had set his heart. Because George
III. detested the French, of whom he knew as much as he knew of the
inhabitants of Kamschatka or Thibet, Pitt, contrary to his own judgment,
engaged in a war with France, by which England was seriously imperilled,
and the English people burdened with a debt that their remotest
posterity will be unable to pay. But, notwithstanding all this, when
Pitt, only a few years before his death, showed a determination to
concede to the Irish a small share of their undoubted rights, the King
dismissed him from office, and the King's friends, as they were called,
expressed their indignation at the presumption of a minister who
could oppose the wishes of so benign and gracious a master. And when,
unhappily for his own fame, this great man determined to return to
power, he could only recover office by conceding that very point for
which he had relinquished it; thus setting the mischievous example
of the minister of a free country sacrificing his own judgment to the
personal prejudices of the reigning sovereign. As it was hardly
possible to find other ministers who to equal abilities would add
equal subservience, it is not surprising that the highest offices were
constantly filled with men of notorious incapacity. Indeed, the King
seemed to have an instinctive antipathy to everything great and noble.
During the reign of George II. the elder Pitt had won for himself a
reputation which covered the world, and had carried to an unprecedented
height the glories of the English name. He, however, as the avowed
friend of popular rights, strenuously opposed the despotic principles of
the Court; and for this reason he was hated by George III. with a hatred
that seemed barely compatible with a sane mind. Fox was one of the
greatest statesmen of the 18th century, and was better acquainted than
any-other with the character and resources of those foreign nations
with which our interests were intimately connected. To this rare and
important knowledge he added a sweetness and amenity of temper which
extorted the praises even of his political opponents. But he, too, was
the steady supporter of civil and religious liberty; and he, too, was
so detested by George III., that the King, with his own hand, struck his
name out of the list of Privy Councillors, and declared that he would
rather abdicate the throne than admit him to a share in the government.

"While this unfavorable change was taking place in the sovereign
and ministers of the country, a change equally unfavorable was being
effected in the second branch of the imperial legislature. Until the
reign of George III. the House of Lords was decidedly superior to the
House of Commons in the liberality and general accomplishments of its
members. It is true that in both Houses there prevailed a spirit which
must be called narrow and superstitious if tried by the larger standard
of the present age.

"The superiority of the Upper House over the Lower was, on the whole,
steadily maintained during the reign of George II., the ministers not
being anxious to strengthen the High Church party in the Lords, and the
King himself so rarely suggesting fresh creations as to cause a belief
that he particularly disliked increasing their numbers. It was reserved
for George III., by an unsparing use of his prerogative, entirely to
change the character of the Upper House, and thus lay the foundation for
that disrepute into which, since then, the peers have been constantly
falling. The creations he made were numerous beyond all precedent,
their object evidently being to neutralize the liberal spirit hitherto
prevailing, and thus turn the House of Lords into an engine for
resisting the popular wishes, and stopping the progress of reform.
How completely this plan succeeded is well known to the readers of our
history; indeed, it was sure to be successful considering the character
of the men who were promoted. They consisted almost entirely of two
classes: of country gentlemen, remarkable for nothing but their wealth,
and the number of votes their wealth enabled them to control; and of
mere lawyers, who had risen to judicial appointments partly from
their professional learning, but chiefly from the zeal with which they
repressed the popular liberties, and favored the royal prerogative.

"That this is no exaggerated description may be ascertained by any one
who will consult the lists of the new-peers made by George III.

"Here and there we find an eminent man, whose public services were so
notorious that it was impossible to avoid rewarding them; but, putting
aside those who were in a manner forced upon the sovereign, it would
be idle to deny that the remainder, and of course the overwhelming
majority, were marked by a narrowness and illiberality of sentiment
which, more than anything else, brought the whole order into contempt.
No great thinkers, no great writers, no great orators, no great
statesmen, none of the true nobility of the land, were to be found among
the spurious nobles created by George III."

In the early part of his reign, George III. (whom even the courtly
Alison pictures as having "little education and no great acquired
information") was very much under the influence of his mother, who had,
previously to his being King, often spoken of her son with contempt.
The Princess of Wales, in turn, was almost entirely guided by Lord Bute,
represented by scandal, says Macaulay, as "her favored lover." "Of this
attachment," says Dr. Doran, "the Prince of Wales himself is said to
have had full knowledge, and did not object to Lord Bute taking
solitary walks with the Princess, while _he_ could do the same with
Lady Middlesex." The most infamous stories were circulated in the
_Whisperer_, and other journals of the time, as to the nature of the
association between the Scotch Peer and the King's mother, and its
results. Phillimore regards the Princess of Wales as "before and after
her husband's death the mistress of Lord Bute." The Princess Dowager
seems to have been a hard woman. Walpole tells us how, when the Princess
Dowager reproved one of her maids of honor for irregular habits, the
latter replied, "_Madame, chacun a son But_." "Seeing," says Thackeray,
"the young Duke of Gloucester silent and unhappy once, she sharply asked
him the cause of his silence. 'I am thinking,' said the poor child.
'Thinking, sir! and of what?'--'I am thinking if ever I have a son, I
will not make him so unhappy as you make me.'"

John Stuart, Earl of Bute, shared with William Pitt and John Wilkes
the bulk of popular attention during the first ten years of the King's
reign. Bute had risen rapidly to favor, having attracted the attention
of the Princess Dowager at some private theatricals, and he became by
her influence Groom of the Stole. His poverty and ambition made him
grasp at power, both against the great Commoner and the Pelham faction;
and a lady observer described the great question of the day, in 1760,
as being whether the King would burn in his chamber _Scotch_ coal,
_Newcastle_ coal, or _Pitt_ coal. Macaulay, who seems to have followed
Lord Waldegrave's "Memoirs," says of Bute: "A handsome leg was among his
chief qualifications for the stage.... His understanding was narrow,
his manners cold and haughty." His qualifications for the part of a
statesman were best described by Prince Frederick, who often indulged
in the unprincely luxury of sneering at his dependents. "Bute," said his
Royal Highness, "you are the very man to be envoy at some small proud
German Court> where there is nothing to do." Phillimore speaks of Lord
Bute as "a minion raised by Court favor to a post where his ignorance,
mean understanding, and disregard of English honor, became national
calamities."

The King's speech on his accession is said to have been drawn up by
Bute, who did not then belong to the Council, but the terms being
vehemently objected to by Pitt, it was actually altered after delivery,
and before it found its way to the printer.

Whatever were the relations between Lord Bute and the Princess
Dowager, it is quite certain that on more than one occasion George III.
condescended not only to prevaricate, but to lie as to the influence
exercised by Lord Bute. It is certain, from the "Memoirs" of Earl
Waldegrave, and other trustworthy sources, that the Scotch Earl, after
being hissed out of office by the people, was still secretly consulted
by the King, who, like a truly Royal Brunswick, did not hesitate to
use falsehood on the subject even to his own ministers. Phillimore,
in remarkably strong language, describes George III. as "an ignorant,
dishonest, obstinate, narrow-minded boy, at that very moment the tool
of an adulteress and her paramour." The Duke of Bedford has put upon
record, in his correspondence, not only his conviction that the King
behaved unfaithfully to his ministers, but asserts that he told him so
to his face.

In 1759, George was married to Hannah Lightfoot, a Quakeress, in Curzon
Street Chapel, May Fair, in the presence of his brother, Edward, Duke
of York. Great doubt has, however, been cast on the legality of this
marriage, as it would, if in all respects valid, have rendered null as a
bigamous contract the subsequent marriage entered into by the King. Dr.
Doran says that the Prince of Wales, afterwards George IV., when needing
money in later years, used this Lightfoot marriage as a threat against
his royal parents--that is, that he threatened to expose his mother's
shame and his own illegitimacy if the Queen would not use her influence
with Pitt. Glorious family, these Brunswicks! Walpole affirms that early
in his reign George III. admitted to his uncle, the Duke of Cumberland,
"that it had not been common in their family to live well together."

On the 18th of September, 1761, George was married to the Princess
Charlotte Sophia, of Mecklenburgh Strelitz, Hannah Lightfoot being
still alive. Of the new Queen, Philli-more says: "If to watch over the
education of her children and to promote their happiness be any part of
a woman's duty, she has little claim to the praises that have been so
lavishly bestowed on her as a model of domestic virtue. Her religion was
displayed in the scrupulous observance of external forms. Repulsive in
her aspect, grovelling in her instincts, sordid in her habits; steeped
from the cradle in the stupid pride which was the atmosphere of her
stolid and most insignificant race; inexorably severe to those who
yielded to temptation from which she was protected, not more by her
situation and the vigilance of those around her, than by the extreme
homeliness of her person; bigoted, avaricious, unamiable to brutality,
she added dulness and gloom even to the English court."

In 1761, the Duke of Bedford was Lord Lieutenant of Ireland; that
unfortunate country, for centuries governed by men who tried to
exterminate its natives, and which was used under the first three reigns
of the House of Brunswick as a sponge out of which, regardless of much
bloodshed and more misery, gold could be squeezed for the dependents and
relatives of aristocrats in office. His reign of office in Ireland was
brief. Walpole says that "the ill-humor of the country determined the
Duke of Bedford to quit the Government, after having amply gratified his
family and dependents with pensions." It was this Duke of Bedford who
consented that the Princess of Hesse should have a pension of £6,000 a
year out of the Irish revenues, and who gave to his own relative, the
Lady Betty Waldegrave, £800 a year from the same source. Shortly after
this, Prince Charles, of Strelitz, the Queen's brother, received £30,000
towards the payment of the debts he owed in Germany. This £30,000 was
nominally given by the King out of the Civil List, but was really paid
by the nation when discharging the Civil List debts which it increased.
On the motion of Lord Barrington, £400,000 subsidy was granted this year
to the Landgrave of Hesse, under a secret treaty made by George II.,
without the knowledge or consent of Parliament, and £300,000 was also
voted to the Chancery of Hanover for forage for Hanoverian, Prussian,
and Hessian Cavalry.

On August 12th, 1762, George, Prince of Wales, was born; and in the same
year, with the direct connivance of George III., the peace of Paris was
made; a peace as disgraceful to England, under the circumstances, as can
possibly be imagined. Lord Bute, who was roundly charged with receiving
money from France for his services, and this with the knowledge of
the mother of George III., most certainly communicated to the French
minister "the most secret councils of the English Cabinet."

This was done with the distinct concurrence of George III., who was
himself bribed by the immediate evacuation of his Hanoverian dominions.
In the debate in the Lords on the preliminaries of peace, Horace Walpole
tells us that "the Duke of Grafton, with great weight and greater
warmth, attacked them severely, and looking full on Lord Bute, imputed
to him corruption and worse arts." Count Virri, the disreputable agent
employed in this matter by the King and Lord Bute, was rewarded under
the false name of George Charles with a pension of £1,000 a year out of
the Irish revenues. Phillimore may well declare that Lord Bute was
"a minion, raised by court favor to a post where his ignorance,
mean understanding, and disregard of English honor, became national
calamities." To carry the approval of this peace of Paris through
the Commons, Fox, afterwards Lord Holland, was purchased with a most
lucrative appointment, although only shortly before he had published
a print of George, with the following lines, referring to the Princess
Dowager and Lord Bute, written under the likeness:--

     "Son of a--------
     I could say more."

To gain a majority in the House of Commons, Walpole tells us "that a
shop was publicly opened at the pay office, whither the members flocked
and received the wages of their venality in bank bills even to so low a
sum as £200, for their votes on the treaty. £25,000 was thus issued in
one morning." Lord Chesterfield speaks of the large sums disbursed by
the King "for the hire of Parliament men."

As an illustration of the unblushing corruption of the age, the
following letter from Lord Saye and Sele to Mr. Grenville, then Prime
Minister of England, tells its own terrible tale:--

"November 26th, 1763.

"Honored Sir:--I am very much obliged to you for that freedom of
converse you this morning indulged me in, which I prize more than the
lucrative advantage I then received. To show the sincerity of my words
(pardon, sir, the over-niceness of my disposition), I return enclosed
the bill for £300 you favored me with, as good manners would not permit
my refusal of it when tendered by you.

"Your most obliged and obedient servant,

"Sate and Sele.

"As a free horse needs no spur, so I stand in need of no inducement or
douceur to lend my small assistance to the King or his friends in the
present Administration."

That this was part of the general practice of the Government under
George III. may be seen by the following extract from an infamous letter
written about fifteen years later by the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland: "No
man can see the inconvenience of increasing the Peers more forcibly than
myself, but the recommendation of many of those persons submitted to his
Majesty for that honor, arose from the engagements taken up at the press
of the moment to rescue questions upon which the English Government were
very particularly anxious. My sentiments cannot but be the same with
reference to the Privy Council and pensions, and I had not contracted
any absolute engagements of recommendations either to peerage or
pension, till difficulties arose which necessarily occasioned so much
anxiety in his Majesty's Cabinet, that I must have been culpable in
neglecting any possible means to secure a majority in the House of
Commons."

A good story is told of the great Commoner Pitt's repartee to Fox
(afterwards Lord Holland), in one of the debates of this period. "Pitt,"
says the _London Chronicle_, "in the heat of his declamation, proceeded
so far as to attack the personal deformity of Fox; and represented his
gloomy and lowering countenance, with the penthouse of his eye-brows,
as Churchill phrases it, as a true introduction of his dark and double
mind. Mr. Fox was nettled at this personal reflection, and the more so,
perhaps, that it was as just as it was cutting. He therefore got up, and
after inveighing bitterly against the indecency of his antagonist, in
descending to remark on his bodily defects, observed that his figure was
such as God Almighty had made it, and he could not look otherwise; and
then, in a tone between the plaintive and indignant, cried out, 'How,
gentlemen, shall I _look?_' Most of the members, apprehending that Mr.
Pitt had gone rather too far, were inclined to think that Mr. Fox had
got the better of him. But Mr. Pitt started up, and with one of those
happy turns, in which he so much excels, silenced his rival, and made
him sit down with a countenance, if possible more abashed than
formerly. '_Look!_ Sir,' said he--'_look_' as you _cannot_ look, if
you _would--look_ as you _dare_ not look, if you _could--look_ like an
_honest man_.'"

In the _London Chronicle_ for March, 1763, we find bitter complaints
that since 1760, "every obsolete, useless place has been revived, and
every occasion of increasing salaries seized with eagerness," and that a
great Whig leader "has just condescended to stipulate for an additional
salary, without power, as the price of his support to the Tory
Government."

In March, 1763, George III. gave four ships of war to the King of
Sardinia at the national expense, and in August appears to have given a
fifth vessel.

On the 23d of April, 1763, No. 45 of the _North Briton_, a journal which
had been started in opposition to Lord Bute's paper, the _Briton_, was
published, severely criticising the King's speech, and warmly attacking
Lord Bute. This issue provoked the ministers to a course of the utmost
illegality. A _general warrant_ to seize all persons concerned in the
publication of the _North Briton_, without specifying their names, was
immediately issued by the Secretary of State, and a number of printers
and publishers were placed in custody, some of whom were not at all
concerned in the obnoxious publication. Late on the night of the 29th
of April, the messengers entered the house of John Wilkes, M.P. for
Aylesbury (the author of the article in question), and produced their
warrant, with which he refused to comply. On the following morning,
however, he was carried before the Secretary of State, and committed
a close prisoner to the Tower, his papers being previously seized and
sealed, and all access to his person strictly prohibited. The warrant
was clearly an illegal one, and had only been previously resorted to
in one or two instances, and under very extraordinary circumstances, of
which there were none in the present case. Wilkes's friends immediately
obtained a writ of habeas corpus, which the ministers defeated by a mean
subterfuge; and it was found necessary to obtain a second before they
could bring the prisoner before the Court of King's Bench, by which
he was set at liberty, on the ground of his privilege as a Member of
Parliament. He then opened an angry correspondence, followed by actions
at law, against the Secretaries of State, on the seizure of his papers,
and for the wrongful arrest. These actions abated, although in the one
for the seizure of the papers a verdict was given for £1,000 damages and
costs. But in the mean time the Attorney-General had been directed to
institute a prosecution against Wilkes, in the King's Bench, for libel,
and the King had ordered him, to be deprived of his commission as
Colonel in the Buckinghamshire Militia. The King further exhibited his
resentment by depriving Lord Temple of the Lord-Lieutenancy of the same
county, and striking his name out of the Council-book, for an expression
of personal sympathy which had fallen from him. Worse than all, this
King George III. actually deprived General A'Court, MP. for Heytesbury,
of his commission as colonel of the 11th Dragoons, for having voted that
the arrest of Wilkes was a breach of privilege. He also caused it to be
intimated to General Conway, "that the King cannot trust his army in
the hands of a man who votes in Parliament against him." The House of
Commons ordered the _North Briton_ to be burned by the common hangman;
but when the authorities attempted to carry out the sentence, the
people assembled, rescued the number, and burned instead a large
jack-boot, the popular hieroglyphic for the unpopular minister.

Amongst the many rhymed squibs the following is worth repetition:--

     "Because the _North Briton_ inflamed the whole nation,
     To flames they commit it to show detestation;
     But throughout old England how joy would have spread,
     Had the real North Briton been burnt in its stead!"

The North Briton of the last line is, of course, the Scotch Earl Bute.

As an illustration of the then disgraceful state of the English law,
it is enough to notice that Lord Halifax, the Secretary of State, by
availing himself of his privileges as a peer, managed to delay John
Wilkes in his action from June, 1763, to November, 1764; and then,
Wilkes having been outlawed, the noble Earl appeared and pleaded the
outlawry as a bar to further proceedings. Ultimately, after five years'
delay, Wilkes annulled the outlawry, and recovered £4,000 damages
against Lord Halifax. For a few months Wilkes was the popular idol, and,
had he been a man of real earnestness and integrity, might have taken a
permanently leading position in the State.

In August, 1763, Frederick, Duke of York, was born. He was created
Prince Bishop of Osnaburg before he could speak. The King and Queen were
much dissatisfied because the clergy of the diocese, who did not dispute
the baby bishop's ability to attend to the souls of his flock, yet
refused to entrust to him the irresponsible guardianship of the
episcopal funds. This bishopric had actually been kept vacant by the
King nearly three years, in order that he might not give it to the Duke
of York or Duke of Cumberland. The income was about £25,000 a year, and
it was to secure this Prince Bishopric for the Duke of Cumberland that
George II. burdened the country with several subsidies to petty European
sovereigns.

The King's sister, Augusta, was, like the rest of the Brunswick family,
on extremely bad terms with her mother, the Princess of Wales. The
Princess Augusta was married on January 16th, 1764, to the hereditary
Prince of Brunswick, who received £80,000, besides £8,000 a year for
becoming the husband of one of our Royal Family. In addition to this,
George III. and Queen Charlotte insulted the newly-married couple, who
returned the insult with interest. Pleasant people, these Brunswicks!

In March, 1764, the first steps were taken in the endeavor to impose
taxes on the American colonies, an endeavor which at length resulted
in their famous rebellion. The commanders of our ships of war on the
American coast were sworn in to act as revenue officers, the consequence
of which was the frequently illegal seizures of ships and cargoes
without any means of redress for the Americans in their own colony. As
though to add to the rising disaffection, Mr. Grenville proposed a new
stamp-tax. As soon as the Stamp Act reached Boston, the ships in the
harbor hung their colors half-mast high, the bells-were rung muffled,
the Act of Parliament was reprinted with a death's head for title, and
sold in the streets as the "Folly of England and Ruin of America." The
Americans refused to use stamped paper. The Government distributors
of stamps were either forced to return to England, or were obliged to
renounce publicly and upon oath their official employment; and, when
the matter was again brought before the English House of Commons, Pitt
denied the right of Parliament to levy taxation on persons who had no
right to representation, and exclaimed: "I rejoice that America has
resisted; three millions of people so dead to all feelings of liberty as
voluntarily to submit to be slaves, would have been fit instruments to
make slaves of all the rest." The supporters of the Government actually
advanced the ridiculously absurd and most monstrous pretension that
America was in law represented in Parliament as part of the manor of
East Greenwich.

The Earl of Abercorn and Lord Harcourt appear to have been consulted by
the Queen as to the effect of the previous marriage of George III. with
Hannah Lightfoot, who seems to have been got rid of by some arrangement
for a second marriage between her and a Mr. Axford, to whom a sum of
money was paid. It is alleged that this was done without the knowledge
of the King, who entreated Lord Chatham to discover where the Quakeress
had gone. No fresh communication, however, took place between George
III. and Hannah Lightfoot; and the King's first attack of insanity,
which took place in 1764, is strongly suggested to have followed the
more than doubts as to the legality of the second marriage and the
legitimacy of the Royal Family. Hannah Lightfoot died in the winter
of 1764, and in the early part of the year 1765, the King being
then scarcely sane, a second ceremony of marriage with the Queen
was privately performed by the Rev. Dr. Wilmot at Kew palace. Hannah
Lightfoot left children by George III., but of these nothing is known.

In the winter of 1764, and spring of 1765, George III. was, in
diplomatic language, laboring under an indisposition; in truth, he was
mad. Her present Gracious Majesty often labors under an indisposition,
but no loyal subject would suggest any sort of doubt as to her mental
condition. A Bill was introduced in 1764 in the House of Lords, to
provide for a Regency in case of the recurrence of any similar attack.
In the discussion on this Bill, a doubt arose as to who were to be
regarded as the Royal Family; fortunately, the Law Lords limited it to
the descendants of George II. If a similar definition prevailed to-day,
we should, perhaps, not be obliged to pay the pensions to the Duke of
Cambridge and Princess Mary, which they at present receive as members of
the Royal Family.

On the 80th of October, 1765, William, Duke of Cumberland, the King's
uncle, died. Dr. Doran says of him: "As he grew in manhood, his heart
became hardened; he had no affection for his family, nor fondness for
the army, for which he affected attachment. When his brother (Prince
Frederick) died, pleasure, not pain, made his heart throb, as he
sarcastically exclaimed, 'It's a great blow to the country, but I hope
it will recover in time.' He was the author of what was called 'the
bloody mutiny act.' 'He was dissolute and a gambler.' After the
'disgraceful surrender of Hanover and the infamous convention of
Kloster-seven,' his father George II. said of him, 'Behold the son who
has ruined me, and disgraced himself.'" His own nephew, George III.,
believed the Duke to be capable of murder. The Dukes of Cumberland in
this Brunswick family have had a most unfortunate reputation.

In 1766, William Henry, Duke of Gloucester, brother of the King, married
Maria, Countess-Dowager of Waldegrave.

This marriage was at the time repudiated by the rest of the Royal
Family.

In October of the same year Caroline Matilda, the King's sister, married
Christian, King of Denmark, an unfeeling, dissolute brute. Our Princess,
who lived very unhappily, was afterwards accused of adultery, and
rescued from punishment by a British man-of-war.

In the autumn of 1766, in consequence of the high price of provisions
and taxes, large gatherings took place in many parts of the kingdom;
these assemblages were dispersed with considerable loss of life, of
course by the military, which the House of Brunswick was not slow to use
in checking political manifestations. At Derby the people were charged
by the cavalry, at Colton eight were shot dead, in Gloucestershire many
lives were lost; in fact, from Exeter to Berwick-on-Tweed there was one
ferment of discontent and disaffection. The people were heavily taxed,
the aristocracy corrupt and careless. As an instance of the madness of
the governing classes, it is sufficient to point out that in 1767,
while taxation was increasing, the landed gentry, who were rapidly
appropriating common lands under Private Enclosure Acts, most
audaciously reduced the land tax by one-fourth. During the first
thirty-seven years of the reign of George III., there were no less than
1,532 Enclosure Acts passed, affecting in all 2,804,197 acres of land
fliched from the nation by a few families. Wealth took and poverty lost;
riches got land without burden, and labor inherited burden in lieu of
land. It is worth notice that in the early part of the reign of George
III., land yielding about a sixth or seventh of its present rental, paid
the same nominal tax that it does to-day, the actual amount paid at the
present time being however smaller through redemption; and yet then the
annual interest on the National Debt was under £4,500,000, while to-day
it is over £26,000,000. Then the King's Civil List covered all the
expenses of our State ministers and diplomatic representatives; to-day,
an enormous additional sum is required, and a Prime Minister professing
economy, and well versed in history, has actually the audacity to
pretend that the country gains by its present Civil List arrangement.

In 1769 George III. announced to his faithful Commons he owed half
a million. John Wilkes and a few others protested, but the money was
voted.

In 1770 King George III. succeeded in making several buttons at Kew, and
as this is, as far as I am aware, the most useful work of his life, I
desire to give it full prominence. His son, afterwards George IV., made
a shoebuckle. No other useful product has resulted directly from the
efforts of any male of the family.

In 1770 Henry, Duke of Cumberland, the King's brother, was sued by Lord
Grosvenor for crim. con., and had to pay £10,000 damages. This same
Henry, in the following year, went through the form of marriage with a
Mrs. Horton, which marriage, being repudiated by the Court, troubled
him but little, and in the lifetime of the lady contracted a second
alliance, which gave rise to the famous Olivia Serres legitimacy issue.

The Royal Marriage Act, a most infamous measure for ensuring the
perpetuation of vice, and said to be the result of the Lightfoot
experience, was introduced to Parliament by a message from George
III, on the 20th February, 1772, twelve days after the death of the
Princess-Dowager, of Wales. George III. wrote to Lord North on the 26th
February: "I expect every nerve to be strained to carry the Bill. It is
not a question relating to the Administration, but personally to myself,
therefore I have a right to expect a hearty support from every one in my
service, and I shall remember defaulters."

In May, 1773, the East India Company, having to come before Parliament
for borrowing powers, a select committee was appointed, whose inquiries
laid open cases of rapacity and treachery involving the highest
personages, and a resolution was carried in the House of Commons
affirming that Lord Clive had dishonorably possessed himself of £234,000
at the time of the deposition of Surajah Dowlah, and the establishment
of Meer Jaffier. Besides this, it was proved that Lord Clive received
several other large sums in succeeding years. Phillimore describes this
transaction, in terrific language, as one of "disgusting and sordid
turpitude," declaring that "individual members of the English Government
were to be paid for their treachery by a hire, the amount of which
is almost incredible." A few years after this exposure, Lord Clive
committed suicide.

On the 18th of December, 1773, the celebrated cargoes of tea were
thrown over in Boston Harbor. The tea duty was a trifling one, but was
unfortunately insisted upon by the King's Government as an assertion of
the right of the British Parliament to tax the unrepresented American
colonies, a right the colonists strenuously and successfully denied.

The news of the firm attitude of the Bay State colonists arrived in
England early in March, 1774, and Lord North's Government, urged by the
King, first deprived Boston of her privileges as a port; secondly, took
away from the State of Massachusetts the whole of the executive powers
granted by the charter of William III., and vested the nomination of
magistrates of every kind in the King, or royally-appointed Governor;
and thirdly, carried an enactment authorizing persons accused of
political offences committed in Boston to be sent home to England to be
tried.

These monstrous statutes provoked the most decided resistance; all the
other American colonists joined with Boston, and a solemn league and
covenant was entered into for suspending all commercial intercourse
with Great Britain until the obnoxious acts were repealed. On the 5th
of Sept., 1774, a congress of fifty-one representatives from twelve
old colonies assembled in Philadelphia. The instructions given to them
disclaimed every idea of independence, recognized the constitutional
authority of the mother country, and acknowledged the prerogatives of
the crown; but unanimously declared that they would never give up the
rights and liberties derived to them from their ancestors as British
subjects, and pronounced the late acts relative to the colony of
Massachusetts Bay to be unconstitutional, oppressive and dangerous. The
first public act of the congress was a resolution declarative of their
favorable disposition towards the colony above mentioned; and, by
subsequent resolutions, they formally approved the opposition it had
given to the obnoxious acts, and declared that, if an attempt were made
to carry them into execution by force, the colony should be supported by
all America.

The following extract is from the "Address of the Twelve United
Provinces to the Inhabitants of Great Britain," when force was actually
used:--"We can retire beyond the reach of your navy, and, without any
sensible diminution of the necessaries of life, enjoy a luxury, which
from that period you will want--_the luxury of being free_."

On the 16th of November, 1775, Edmund Burke proposed the renunciation
on the part of Great Britain of the exercise of taxation in America,
the repeal of the obnoxious duty on tea, and a general pardon for past
political offenders. This was directly opposed by the King, who had
lists brought to him of how the members spoke and voted, and was
negatived in the House of Commons by 210 votes against 105. On the 20th
November, after consultation with George III., Lord North introduced a
Bill by which all trade and commerce with the thirteen United colonies
were interdicted. It authorized the seizure, whether in harbor or on the
high seas, of all vessels laden with American property, and by a cruel
stretch of refined tyranny it rendered all persons taken on board
American vessels liable to be entered as sailors on board British ships
of war, and to serve (if required) against their own countrymen. About
the same time, as we learn by a "secret" dispatch from Lord Dartmouth to
General Howe, the King had been unmanly enough to apply to the Czarina
of Russia for the loan of 20,000 Russian soldiers to enable him to crush
his English subjects in the American colonies. As yet the Americans had
made no claim for independence. They were only petitioners for justice.

In order to crush out the spirit of liberty in the American colonies,
the Government of George III., in February, 1776, hired 17,000 men from
the Landgrave and Hereditary Prince of Hesse Cassel, and from the Duke
of Brunswick. Besides these, there were levies of troops out of George
III.'s Hanoverian dominions, and that nothing might be wanting to our
glory, the King's agents stirred up the Cherokee and Creek Indians to
scalp, ravish, and plunder the disaffected colonists. Jesse says:
"The newly arrived troops comprised several thousand kidnapped German
soldiers, whom the cupidity of the Duke of Brunswick, of the Landgrave
of Hesse Cassel, and other German Princes, had induced to let out
for hire to the British Government.... Frederick of Prussia not only
denounced the traffic as a most scandalous one, but wherever, it is
said, the unfortunate hirelings had occasion to march through any part
of his dominions, used to levy a toll upon them, as if they had been so
many head of bullocks.... They had been sold, he said, as cattle, and
therefore he was entitled to exact the toll."

The consequence of all this was, on the 4th of July, 1776, the famous
declaration of the American Congress. "The history of the reigning
sovereign, they said, was a history of repeated injuries and
usurpations. So evidently was it his intention to establish an absolute
despotism, that it had become their duty, as well as their right, to
secure themselves against further aggressions.... In every stage of
these oppressions," proceeds the Declaration, "we have petitioned for
redress in the most humble terms. Our petitions have been answered only
by repeated injuries.

"A Prince, whose character is thus marked by every act which may define
a tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people." And the United
Colonies solemnly declare themselves to be "free and independent
States."

In 1777, during this American war, Earl Chatham, in one of his grand
speeches, after denouncing "the traffic and barter driven with every
little pitiful German Prince that sells his subjects to the shambles
of a foreign country," adds: "The mercenary aid on which you rely,
irritates to an incurable resentment the minds of your enemies, whom you
overrun with the sordid sons of rapine and of plunder, devoting them
and their possessions to the rapacity of hireling cruelty! If I were an
American, as I am an Englishman, while a foreign troop was landed in my
country, I never would lay down my arms, never! never! never!" In reply
to Lord Suffolk, who had said, in reference to employing the Indians,
that "we were justified in using all the means which God and nature had
put into our hands," "I am astonished," exclaimed Lord Chatham, as he
rose, "shocked, to hear such principles confessed, to hear them avowed
in this House, or in this country; principles equally unconstitutional,
inhuman, and un-Christian. _That God and Nature put into our hands!_ I
know not what idea that Lord may entertain of God and Nature, but I know
that such abominable principles are equally abhorrent to religion and
humanity. What! attribute the sacred sanction of God and nature to
the massacres of the Indian scalping-knife, to the cannibal savage,
torturing, murdering, roasting, and eating; literally, my Lords, eating
the mangled victims of his barbarous battles!"

And yet even after this we find George III. writing to Lord North,
on the 22d of June, 1779: "I do not yet despair that, with Clinton's
activity, and the Indians in their rear, the provinces will soon now
submit."

Actually so late as the 27th of November, 1781, after the surrender of
Cornwallis, we find George III. saying that "retaining a firm confidence
in the wisdom and protection of Divine Providence," he should be able
"by the valor of his fleets and armies to conquer America." Fox, in the
House of Commons, denounced this speech of the King's as one "breathing
vengeance, blood, misery, and rancor;" and "as containing the sentiments
of some arbitrary, despotic, hard-hearted, and unfeeling monarch, who,
having involved his subjects in a ruinous and unnatural war, to glut
his feelings of revenge, was determined to persevere in it in spite of
calamity." "Divest the speech," said he, "of its official forms, and
what was its purport? 'Our losses in America have been most calamitous;
the blood of my subjects has flowed in copious streams; the treasures of
Great Britain have been wantonly lavished; the load of taxes imposed on
an over-burthened country is become intolerable; my rage for conquest
is unquenched; my revenge unsated; nor can anything except the total
subjugation of my American subjects allay my animosity.'"

The following table shows what this disastrous war ultimately cost this
country in mere money; no table can efficiently show its cost in blood
and misery:--


     Year.
      Taxation.
      Loans.

     1775
      £10,138,061

     1776
      10,266,405
      £2,000,000

     1777.
      10,604,013
      6,500,000

     1778
      10,732,405
      6,000,000

     1779
      11,192,141
      7,000,000

     1780
      12,265,214
      12,000,000

     1781
      12,454,936
      12,000,000

     1782
      12,593,297
      13,500,000

     1783
      11,962,718
      12,000,000

     1784
      12,905,519
      12,879,341

     1785
      14,871,520
      10,990,651

     Total
      £129,975,229
      £93,869,992


The American war terminated in 1783; but as the loans of the two
following years were raised to wind up the expenses of that struggle, it
is proper they should be included. The total expense of the American war
will stand thus:--

     Taxes
      £129,975,229

     Loans
      93,869,992

     Advances by the Bank of England
      110,000

     Advances by the East India Company
      3,200,000

     Increase in the Unfunded Debt
      5,170,273

     Total
      232,325,494

     Deduct expense of a peace establishment
     for eleven years, as it stood in 1774
      113,142,403

     Net cost of the American war
      £119,183,091

In addition to this must be noted £1,340,000 voted as compensation to
American loyalists in 1788, and £4,000 a year pension since, and even
now, paid to the descendants of William Penn, amounting, with compound
interest, to an enormous additional sum, even to the present date,
without reckoning future liability. And this glorious colony parted from
us in blood and shame, in consequence of a vain attempt to gratify the
desire of the House of Brunswick to make New England contribute to their
German greed as freely and as servilely as Old England had done.

Encouraged by the willingness with which his former debts had been
discharged, George HI., in 1777, sent a second message, but this
time for the larger sum of £600,-000, which was not only paid, but an
additional allowance of £100,000 a year was voted to his Majesty, and
£40,000 was given to the Landgrave of Hesse.

As an illustration of the barbarity of our laws, it is enough to say
that, in 1777, Sarah Parker was burnt for counterfeiting silver coin. In
June, 1786, Phoebe Harris was burnt for the same offence. And this in
a reign when persons in high position, accused of murder, forgery,
perjury, and robbery, escaped almost scot free.

In April, 1778, £60,000 a year was settled on the six younger princes,
and £30,000 a year on the five princesses. These pensions, however, were
professedly paid out of the King's Civil List, not avowedly in addition
to it, as they are to-day. The Duke of Buckingham stated that in 1778,
and again in 1782, the King threatened to abdicate. This threat, which,
unfortunately, was never carried out, arose from the King's obstinate
persistence in the worse than insane policy against the American
colonies.

In December, 1779, in consequence of England needing Irish soldiers to
make war on America, Ireland was graciously permitted to export Irish
woollen manufactures. The indulgences, however, to Ireland--even while
the Ministers of George III. were trying to enlist Irishmen to kill the
English, Scotch, and Irish in America--were made most grudgingly. Pious
Protestant George III. would not consent that any Irish Catholic should
own one foot of freehold land; and Edmund Burke, in a letter to an Irish
peer, says that it was "pride, arrogance, and a spirit of domination"
which kept up "these unjust legal disabilities."

On the 8th February, 1780, Sir G. Savile presented the famous Yorkshire
petition, signed by 8,000 freeholders, praying the House of Commons to
inquire into the management and expenditure of public money, to reduce
all exorbitant emoluments, and to abolish all sinecure places and
unmerited pensions. Three days later, Edmund Burke proposed a reduction
of the national taxation (which was then only a sixth part of its amount
to-day), and a diminution of the power of the Crown. Burke was defeated,
but shortly after, on the motion of Mr. Dunning, the House of Commons
declared, by a majority of 18 against the Government, "That the
influence of the Crown has increased, is increasing, and ought to be
diminished."

On the 20th March, 1782, Lord North, in consequence of the impossibility
of subduing the American colonies, determined to resign. The King
opposed this to the last, declaring that no difficulties should induce
him to consent to a peace acknowledging the Independence of America. "So
distressing," says Jesse, "was the conflict which prevailed in the mind
of George III., that he not only contemplated abandoning the Crown of
England for the Electorate of Hanover, but orders had actually been
issued to have the royal yacht in readiness for his flight." What a
blessing to the country if he had really persevered in his resolution!

Charles James Fox, who now came into power for a brief space, had,
says Jesse, "taught himself to look upon his sovereign as a mere dull,
obstinate, half-crazed, and narrow-minded bigot; a Prince whose shallow
understanding had never been improved by education, whose prejudices
it was impossible to remove, and whose resentments it would be idle to
endeavor to soften."

In 1784, George, Prince of Wales, was over head and ears in debt, and
the King, who appears to have hated him, refusing any aid, he resorted
to threats. Dr. Doran says: "A conversation is spoken of as having
passed between the Queen and the Minister, in which he is reported as
having said, 'I much fear, your Majesty, that the Prince, in his wild
moments, may allow expressions to escape him that may be injurious to
the Crown.'--'There is little fear of that,' was the alleged reply of
the Queen; 'he is too well aware of the consequences of such a course
of conduct to himself. As regards that point, therefore, I can rely
upon him.'" Jesse says of the Prince of Wales, that between eighteen and
twenty, "to be carried home drunk, or to be taken into custody by the
watch, were apparently no unfrequent episodes in the career of the
Heir to the Throne. Under the auspices of his weak and frivolous uncle,
the Duke of Cumberland, the Prince's conversation is said to have been a
compound of the slang of grooms and the wanton vocabulary of a brothel."
"When we hunt together," said the King to the Duke of Gloucester,
"neither my son nor my brother speak to me; and lately, when the chase
ended at a little village where there was but a single post-chaise to be
hired, my son and brother got into it, and drove off, leaving me to
go home in a cart, if I could find one." And this is the family Mr.
Disraeli holds up for Englishmen to worship!

In July, 1782, Lord Shelburne came into office; but he "always
complained that the King had tricked and deserted him," and had
"secretly connived at his downfall." He resigned office on the 24th
February, 1783. An attempt was made to form a Coalition Ministry, under
the Duke of Portland. The King complained of being treated with personal
incivility, and the attempt failed. On the 23d March, the Prince of
Wales, at the Queen's Drawing-room, said: "The King had refused to
accept the coalition, but by God he should be made to agree to it."
Under the great excitement the King's health gave way. The Prince, says
Jesse, was a member of Brooks's Club, where, as Walpole tells us, the
members were not only "strangely licentious" in their talk about their
sovereign, but in their zeal for the interests of the heartless young
Prince "even wagered on the duration of the King's reign." The King
repeated his threat of abandoning the Throne, and retiring to his
Hanoverian dominions; and told the Lord-Advocate, Dundas, that he had
obtained the consent of the Queen to his taking this extraordinary step.
Young William Pitt refusing twice to accept the Premiership, Fox and
Lord North came again into power. £30,000 was voted for the Prince of
Wales's debts, and a similar sum to enable him to furnish his house.
The "unnatural" Coalition Ministry did not last long. Fox introduced his
famous India Bill. The King, regarding it as a blow at the power of
the Crown, caballed and canvassed the Peers against it. "The welfare of
thirty millions of people was overlooked in, the excitement produced by
selfish interests, by party zeal, and officious loyalty." "Instantly,"
writes Lord Macaulay, "a troop of Lords of the Bedchamber, of Bishops
who wished to be translated, and of Scotch peers who wished to be
reelected, made haste to change sides." The Bill had passed the Commons
by large majorities. The King opposed it like a partisan, and when it
was defeated in the Lords, cried, "Thank God! it is all over; the House
has thrown out the Bill, so there is an end of Mr. Fox." The Ministers
not resigning, as the King expected they would, his Majesty dismissed
them at once, sending to Lord North in the middle of the night for his
seals of office.

On the 19th December, 1783, William Pitt, then twenty-four years of
age, became Prime Minister of England. The House of Commons passed a
resolution, on the motion of Lord Surrey, remonstrating with the King
for having permitted his sacred name to be unconstitutionally used in
order to influence the deliberations of Parliament. More than once the
Commons petitioned the King to dismiss Pitt from office. Pitt, with
large majorities against him, wished to resign; but George III. said,
"If you resign, Mr. Pitt, I must resign too," and he again threatened,
in the event of defeat, to abandon England, and retire to his Hanoverian
dominions. Now our monarch, if a king, would, have no Hanoverian
dominions to retire to.

In 1784, £60,000 was voted by Parliament to defray the King's debts. In
consequence of the large debts of the Prince of Wales, an interview was
arranged at Carlton House, on the 27th April, 1785, between the Prince
and Lord Malmesbury. The King, the Prince said, had desired him to send
in an exact statement of his debts; there was one item, however, of
£25,000, on which the Prince of Wales would give no information. If it
were a debt, argued the King, which his son was ashamed to explain,
it was one which he ought not to defray. The Prince threatened to go
abroad, saying, "I am ruined if I stay in England. I shall disgrace
myself as a man; my father hates me, and has hated me since I was
seven years old.... We are too wide asunder to ever meet. The King has
deceived me; he has made me deceive others. I cannot trust him, and
he will not believe me." And this is the Brunswick family to which the
English nation are required to be blindly loyal!

In 1785, George, Prince of Wales, was married to a Roman Catholic lady,
Mrs. Fitzherbert, a widow. It is of course known that the Prince treated
the lady badly. This was not his first experience, the history of Mary
Robinson forming but one amongst a long list of shabby _liaisons_. A
question having arisen before the House of Commons, during a discussion
on the debts owing by the Prince, Charles James Fox, on the written
authority of the Prince, denied that any marriage, regular or irregular,
had ever taken place, and termed it ah invention.... destitute of the
slightest foundation. Mr. Fox's denial was made on the distinct written
authority of the Prince, who offered, through Fox, to give in the
House of Lords the "fullest assurances of the utter falsehood" of the
allegation; although not only does everybody know to-day that the
denial was untrue, but in point of fact the fullest proofs of the denied
marriage exist at this very moment in the custody of Messrs. Coutts, the
bankers. Out of all the Brunswicks England has been cursed with, George
I. is the only one against whom there is no charge of wanton falsehood
to his ministers or subjects, and it is fairly probable that his
character for such truthfulness was preserved by his utter inability to
lie in our language.

Not only did George, Prince of Wales, thus deny his marriage with Mrs.
Fitzherbert, but repeated voluntarily the denial after he became King
George IV. Despite this denial, the King's executors, the Duke of
Wellington and Sir William Knighton, were compelled by Mrs. Fitzherbert
to admit the proofs. The marriage took place on the 21st December, 1785,
and Mrs. Fitzherbert being a Roman Catholic, the legal effect was to bar
Prince George and prevent him ever becoming the lawful King of England.
The documents above referred to as being at Coutts's include--
1. The marriage certificate. 2. A letter written by the Prince of Wales
acknowledging the marriage. 3. A will, signed by him, also acknowledging
it, and other documents. And yet George, our King, whom Mr. Disraeli
praises, authorized Charles James Fox to declare the rumor of his
marriage "a low, malicious falsehood;" and then the Prince went to
Mrs. Fitzherbert, and, like a mean, lying hypocrite as he was, said, "O
Maria, only conceive what Fox did yesterday; he went down to the House
and denied that you and I were man and wife."

Although when George, Prince of Wales, had attained his majority, he had
an allowance of £50,000 a year, £60,000 to furnish Carlton House, and an
additional £40,000 for cash to start with, yet he was soon after deep in
debt. In 1787, £160,000 was voted, and a portion of the Prince's
debts was paid. £20,000 further was added as a vote for Carlton House.
Thackeray says: "Lovers of long sums have added up the millions and
millions which in the course of his brilliant existence this single
Prince consumed. Besides his income of £50,000, £70,000, £100,000,
£120,000 a year, we read of three applications to Parliament; debts to
the amount of £160,000, of £650,000, besides mysterious foreign loans,
whereof he pocketed the proceeds. What did he do for all this money? Why
was he to have it? If he had been a manufacturing town, or a populous
rural district, or an army of five thousand men, he would not have
cost more. He, one solitary stout man, who did not toil, nor spin, nor
fight--what had any mortal done that he should be pampered so?"

The proposed impeachment of Warren Hastings, which actually commenced
on February 13th, 1788, and which did not conclude until eight years
afterwards, excited considerable feeling, it being roundly alleged that
Court protection had been purchased by the late Governor-General of
India, by means of a large diamond presented to the King. The following
rhymed squib tells its own story. It was sung about the streets to the
tune of "Derry Down":--

     "I'll sing you a song of a diamond so fine,
     That soon in the crown of the monarch will shine;
     Of its size and its value the whole country rings,
     By Hastings bestowed on the best of all Kings.
     Derry down, &c.

     "From India this jewel was lately brought o'er,
     Though sunk in the sea, it was found on the shore,
     And just in the nick to St. James's it got,
     Convey'd in a bag by the brave Major Scott
     Derry down, &c

     "Lord Sydney stepp'd forth, when the tidings were known--
     It's his office to carry such news to the throne;--
     Though quite out of breath, to the closet he ran,
     And stammer'd with joy ere his tale he began.
     Derry down, &c.

     "'Here's a jewel, my liege, there's none such in the land;
     Major Scott, with three bows, put it into my hand:
     And he swore, when he gave it, the wise ones were bit,
     For it never was shown to Dundas or to Pitt.'
     Derry down, &c.

     "'For Dundas,' cried our sovereign, 'unpolished and rough,
     Give him a Scotch pebble, it's more than enough.
     And jewels to Pitt, Hastings justly refuses,
     For he has already more gifts than he uses.
     Derry down, &c.

     "'But run, Jenky, run!' adds the King in delight,
     'Bring the Queen and Princesses here for a sight;
     They never would pardon the negligence shown,
     If we kept from their knowledge so glorious a stone.
     Derry down, &c.

     "'But guard the door, Jenky, no credit we'll win,
     If the Prince in a frolic should chance to step in:
     The boy to such secrets of State we'll ne'er call,
     Let him wait till he gets our crown, income, and all.
     Derry down, &c.

     "In the Princesses run, and surprised cry, 'O la!
     'Tis big as the egg of a pigeon, papa!'--
     'And a pigeon of plumage worth plucking is he,'
     Replies our good monarch, 'who sent it to me.'
     Derry down, &c.

     "Madame Schwellenberg peep'd through the door at a chink,
     And tipp'd on the diamond a sly German wink;
     As much as to say, 'Can we ever be cruel
     To him who has sent us so glorious a jewel?'
     Derry down, &c.

     "Now God save the Queen! while the people I teach,
     How the King may grow rich while the Commons impeach;
     Then let nabobs go plunder, and rob as they will,
     And throw in their diamonds as grist to his mill.
     Derry down, &c."

It was believed that the King had received not one diamond, but a large
quantity, and that they were to be the purchase-money of Hastings's
acquittal. Caricatures on the subject were to be seen in the window of
every print-shop. In one of these Hastings was represented wheeling away
in a barrow the King, with his crown and sceptre, observing, "What a
man buys, he may sell;" and, in another, the King was exhibited on his
knees, with his mouth wide open, and Warren Hastings pitching diamonds
into it. Many other prints, some of them bearing evidence of the style
of the best caricaturists of the day, kept up the agitation on this
subject. It happened that there was a quack in the town, who pretended
to eat stones, and bills of his exhibition were placarded on the walls,
headed, in large letters, "The great stone-eater!" The caricaturists
took the hint, and drew the King with a diamond between his teeth, and
a heap of others before him, with the inscription, "The greatest
stone-eater!"

We borrow a few sentences from Lord Macaulay to enable our readers
to judge, in brief space, the nature of Warren Hastings's position,
standing impeached, as he did, on a long string of charges, some of them
most terrible in their implication of violence, falsehood, fraud, and
rapacity. Macaulay thus pictures the situation between the civilized
Christian and his tributaries: "On one side was a band of English
functionaries, daring, intelligent, eager to be rich. On the other side
was a great native population, helpless, timid, and accustomed to crouch
under oppression." "When some new act of rapacity was resisted there came
war; but a war of Bengalees against Englishmen was like a war of sheep
against wolves, of men against demons." There was a long period before
any one dreamed that justice and morality should be features of English
rule in India. "During the interval, the business of a servant of the
Company was simply to wring out of the natives a hundred or two hundred
thousand pounds as speedily as possible, that he might return home
before his constitution had suffered from the heat, to marry a peer's
daughter, to buy rotten boroughs in Cornwall, and to give balls in St.
James's Square." Hastings was compelled to turn his attention to foreign
affairs. The object of his diplomacy was at this time simply to get
money. The finances of his government were in an embarrassed state, and
this embarrassment he was determined to relieve by some means, fair or
foul. The principle which directed all his dealings with his neighbors
is fully expressed by the old motto of one of the great predatory
families of Teviotdale: "Thou shalt want ere I want." He seems to have
laid it down, as a fundamental proposition which could not be disputed,
that, when he had not as many lacs of rupees as the public service
required, he was to take them from anybody who had. One thing, indeed,
is to be said in excuse for him. The pressure applied to him by his
employers at home was such as only the highest virtue could have
withstood, such as left him no choice except to commit great wrongs, or
to resign his high post, and with that post all his hopes of fortune and
distinction. Hastings was in need of funds to carry on the government of
Bengal, and to send remittances to London; and Sujah Dowlah had an ample
revenue. Sujah Dowlah was bent on subjugating the Rohillas; and Hastings
had at his disposal the only force by which the Rohillas could be
subjugated. It was agreed that an English army should be lent to Nabob
Vizier, and that for the loan he should pay four hundred thousand pounds
sterling, besides defraying all the charge of the troops while employed
in his service. "I really cannot see," says Mr. Gleig, "upon what
grounds, either of political or moral justice, this proposition deserves
to be stigmatized as infamous." If we understand the meaning of words,
it is infamous to commit a wicked action for hire, and it is wicked to
engage in war without provocation. In this particular war, scarcely one
aggravating circumstance was wanting. The object of the Rohilla war was
this, to deprive a large population, who had never done us the least
harm, of a good government, and to place them, against their will, under
an execrably bad one.... The horrors of Indian war were let loose on the
fair valleys and cities of Rohilcund. The whole country was in a
blaze. More than a hundred thousand people fled from their homes to
pestilential jungles, preferring famine, and fever, and the haunts
of tigers, to the tyranny of him to whom an English and a Christian
government had, for shameful lucre, sold their substance, and their
blood, and the honor of their wives and daughters.... Mr. Hastings
had only to put down by main force the brave struggles of innocent
men fighting for their liberty. Their military resistance crushed, his
duties ended; and he had then only to fold his arms and look on, while
their villages were burned, their children butchered, and their women
violated.... We hasten to the end of this sad and disgraceful story. The
war ceased. The finest population in India was subjected to a greedy,
cowardly, cruel tyrant. Commerce and agriculture languished. The rich
province which had tempted the cupidity of Sujah Dowlah became the
most miserable part even of his miserable dominions. Yet is the injured
nation not extinct. At long intervals gleams of its ancient spirit
have flashed forth; and even at this day valor, and self-respect, and a
chivalrous feeling rare among Asiatics, and a bitter remembrance of the
great crime of England, distinguish that noble Afghan race."

Partly in consequence of the proposed legislation by Fox on the affairs
of the East India Company, and partly from personal antagonism, members
of the Indian Council hostile to Governor-General Hastings were sent out
to India.

Amongst his most prominent antagonists was Francis, the reputed author
of Junius's Letters. It was to Francis especially that the Maharajah
Nuncomar of Bengal addressed himself. "He put into the hands of Francis,
with great ceremony, a paper containing several charges of the most
serious description. By this document Hastings was accused of putting
offices up to sale, and of receiving bribes for suffering offenders to
escape. In particular, it was alleged that Mahommed Reza Khan had been
dismissed with impunity, in consideration of a great sum paid to the
Governor-General.... He stated that Hastings had received a large sum
for appointing Rajah Goordas treasurer of the Nabob's household, and for
committing the care of his Highness's person to Munny Begum. He put in a
letter purporting to bear the seal of the Munny Begum, for the purpose
of establishing the truth of his story."

Much evidence was taken before the Indian Council, where there was
considerable conflict between the friends and enemies of Hastings. "The
majority, however, voted that the charge was made out; that Hastings had
corruptly received between thirty and forty thousand pounds; and that he
ought to be compelled to refund."

Now, however, comes an item darker and more disgraceful, if possible
than what had preceded.

"On a sudden, Calcutta was astounded by the news that Nuncomar had been
taken up on a charge of felony, committed, and thrown into the common
jail. The crime imputed to him was, that six years before he had forged
a bond. The ostensible prosecutor was a native. But it was then, and
still is, the opinion of everybody, idiots and biographers excepted,
that Hastings was the real mover in the business." The Chief-Justice
Impey, one of Hastings's creatures, pushed on a mock trial; "a verdict
of Guilty was returned, and the Chief-Justice pronounced sentence of
death on the prisoner.... Of Impey's conduct it is impossible to speak
too severely. He acted unjustly in refusing to respite Nuncomar. No
rational man can doubt that he took this course in order to gratify
the Governor-General. If we had ever had any doubts on that point, they
would have been dispelled by a letter which Mr. Gleig has published.
Hastings, three or four years later, described Impey as the man 'to
whose support he was at one time indebted for the safety of his fortune,
honor, and reputation.' These strong words can refer only to the case
of Nuncomar; and they must mean that Impey hanged Nuncomar in order to
support Hastings. It is therefore our deliberate opinion that Impey,
sitting as a judge, put a man unjustly to death in order to serve a
political purpose."

Encouraged by success, a few years later, Hastings, upon the most unfair
pretext, made war upon and plundered the Rajah of Benares, and a little
later subjected the eunuchs of the Begums of Oude to physical torture,
to make them confess where the royal treasure was hidden.

It is evident from Miss Burney's diary that the King and Queen warmly
championed the cause of Warren Hastings, who, after a wearisome
impeachment, was acquitted.

In 1788, the King's insanity assumed a more violent form than usual,
and on a report from the Privy Council, the subject was brought before
Parliament. In the Commons, Pitt and the Tory party contended that the
right of providing for the government of the country in cases where
the monarch was unable to perform his duties, belonged to the nation at
large, to be exercised by its representatives in Parliament. Fox and the
Whigs, on the other hand, maintained that the Prince of Wales possessed
the inherent right to assume the government. Pitt, seizing this argument
as it fell from Fox, said, at the moment, to the member seated nearest
to him, "I'll unwhig the gentleman for the rest of his life."

During the discussions on the Regency Bill, Lord Thurlow, who was
then Lord Chancellor, acted the political rat, and coquetted with both
parties. When the King's recovery was announced by the royal physicians,
Thurlow, to cover his treachery, made an extravagant speech in defence
of Pitt's views, and one laudatory of the King. After enumerating the
rewards received from the King, he said, "and if I forget the monarch
who has thus befriended me, may my great Creator forget me." John
Wilkes, who was present in the House of Lords, said, in a stage aside,
audible to many of the peers, "Forget you! he will see you damned
first." Phillimore, describing Lord Chancellor Thurlow, says that
he--"either from an instinctive delight in all that was brutal" (which
did not prevent him from being a gross hypocrite), "or from a desire to
please George III.--supported the Slave Trade, and the horrors of the
Middle Passage, with the uncompromising ferocity of a Liverpool merchant
or a Guinea captain."

It appears that the Prince of Wales and the Duke of York exhibited what
was considered somewhat indecent eagerness to have the King declared
irrecoverably insane, and on more than one occasion the Queen refused to
allow either of these Royal Princes access to the King's person, on the
ground that their violent conduct retarded his recovery. The Prince
of Wales and Duke of York protested in writing against the Queen's
hostility to them, and published the protest. Happy family, these
Brunswicks! Dr. Doran declares: "There was assuredly no decency in the
conduct of the Heir-apparent, or of his next brother. They were gaily
flying from club to club, party to party, and did not take the trouble
even to assume the sentiment which they could not feel. 'If we were
together,' says Lord Granville, in a letter inserted in his Memoirs, 'I
would tell you some particulars of the Prince of Wales's behavior to the
King and Queen, within these few days, that would make your blood run
cold.' It was said that if the King could only recover and learn what
had been said and done during his illness, he would hear enough to drive
him again into insanity. The conduct of his eldest sons was marked
by its savage inhumanity." Jesse says: "The fact is a painful one to
relate, that on the 4th December--the day on which Parliament assembled,
and when the King's malady was at its worst--the graceless youth (the
Duke of York) not only held a meeting of the opposition at his own
house, but afterwards proceeded to the House of Lords, in order to
hear the depositions of the royal physicians read, and to listen to the
painful details of his father's lunacy. Moreover the same evening we
track both the brothers (the Prince of Wales and the Duke of York)
to Brooks's, where in a circle of boon companions, as irreverent as
themselves, they are said to have been in the habit of indulging in
the most shocking indecencies, of which the King's derangement was the
topic. On such occasions, we are told, not only did they turn their
parents into ridicule, and blab the secrets of the chamber of sickness
at Windsor, but the Prince even went to such unnatural lengths as to
employ his talents for mimicry, in which he was surpassed by few of his
contemporaries, in imitating the ravings and gestures of his stricken
father. As for the Duke of York, we are assured that 'the brutality of
the stupid sot disgusted even the most profligate of his associates.'"
Even after the King's return to reason had been vouched by the
physicians, William Grenville, writing to Lord Buckingham, says that the
two princes "amused themselves with spreading the report that the King
was still out of his mind." When the great thanksgiving for the King's
recovery took place at Saint Paul's, the conduct of the Prince of Wales
and the Duke of York, in the Cathedral itself, is described "as having
been in the highest degree irreverent, if not indecent." Sir William
Young writes to Lord Buckingham, "The day will come when Englishmen will
bring these Princes to their senses." Alas for England, the day has not
yet come!

In 1789, a great outcry was raised against the Duke of York on account
of his licentiousness. In 1790, the printer of the _Times_ newspaper
was fined £100 for libelling the Prince of Wales, and a second £100
for libelling the Duke of York. It was in this year that the Prince
of Wales, and the Dukes of York and Clarence, issued joint and several
bonds to an enormous amount--it is said, £1,000,000 sterling, and
bearing 6 per cent, interest. These bonds were taken up chiefly abroad;
and some Frenchmen who subscribed, being unable to obtain either
principal or interest, applied to the Court of Chancery, in order to
charge the revenues of the Duchy of Cornwall. Others of the foreign
holders of bonds had recourse to other proceedings to enforce their
claims. In nearly every case the claimants were arrested by the
Secretary of State's order, and sent out of England under the Alien Act,
and when landed in their own country were again arrested for treasonable
communication with the enemy, and perished on the scaffold. MM. De
Baume, Chaudot, Mette, Aubert, Vaucher, and others, all creditors of the
Prince, were thus arrested under the Duke of Portland's warrant, and
on their deportation rearrested for treason, and guillotined. Thus were
some of the debts of the Royal Family of Brunswick settled, if not paid.
Honest family, these Brunswicks!

George, Prince of Wales, and the Duke of York were constant patrons
of prize fights, races, and gambling tables, largely betting, and not
always paying their wagers when they lost. In the autumn of 1791 a
charge was made against the Prince of Wales that he allowed his horse
Escape to run badly on the 20th of October, and when heavily betted
against caused the same horse to be ridden to win. A brother of Lord
Lake, who was friendly to the Prince, and who managed some of his racing
affairs, evidently believed there was foul play, and so did the Jockey
Club, who declared that if the Prince permitted the same jockey, Samuel
Chiffney, to ride again, no gentleman would start against him. A writer
employed by George, Prince of Wales, to defend his character, says: "It
may be asked, why did not the Prince of Wales declare upon his honor,
that no foul play had been used with respect to Escape's first race?
Such a declaration would at once have solved all difficulties, and put
an end to all embarrassments. But was it proper for the Prince of Wales
to have condescended to such a submission? Are there not sometimes
suspicions of so disgraceful a nature afloat, and at the same time
so improbable withal, that if the person, who is the object of them,
condescends to reply to them, he degrades himself? Was it to be expected
of the Prince of Wales that he should purge himself by oath, like his
domestic? Or, was it to be looked for, that the first subject in the
realm, the personage whose simple word should have commanded deference,
respect, and belief, was to submit himself to the examination of the
Jockey Club, and answer such questions as they might have thought proper
to have proposed to him?"

This, coming from a family like the Brunswicks, and from one of
four brothers who, like their highnesses of Wales, York, Kent, and
Cumberland, had each in turn declared himself upon honor not guilty
of some misdemeanor or felony, is worthy a note of admiration. George,
Prince of Wales, declared himself not guilty of bigamy; the Duke of York
declared himself not guilty of selling promotion in the army. Both these
Princes publicly declared themselves not guilty of the charge of trying
to hinder their royal father's restoration to sanity. The Duke of Kent,
the Queen's father, declared that he was no party to the subornation of
witnesses against his own brother. The Duke of Cumberland pledged his
oath that he had never been guilty of sodomy and murder.

In September, 1791, the Duke of York was married to the Princess
Frederica, daughter of the King of Prussia, with whom he lived most
unhappily for a few years. The only effect of this marriage on the
nation was that £18,000 a year was voted as an extra allowance to his
Royal Highness, the Duke of York. This was in addition to 100,000 crowns
given out of the Civil List as a marriage portion to the Princess.
Dr. Doran says of the Duchess of York: "For six years she bore with
treatment from the 'Commander-in-Chief' such as no trooper under him
would have inflicted on a wife equally deserving. At the end of that
time the ill-matched pair separated." Kind husbands, these Brunswicks!

In a print published on the 24th May, 1792, entitled "Vices Overlooked
in the New Proclamation," _Avarice_ is represented by King George
and Queen Charlotte, hugging their hoarded millions with extreme
satisfaction, a book of interest tables lying at hand. This print
is divided into four compartments, representing: 1. Avarice; 2.
Drunkenness, exemplified in the person of the Prince of Wales; 3.
Gambling, the favorite amusement of the Duke of York; and 4. Debauchery,
the Duke of Clarence and Mrs. Jordan--as the four notable vices of the
Royal family of Great Britain. If the print had to be re-issued to-day,
it would require no very vivid imagination to provide materials from the
living members of the Royal Family to refill the four compartments.

Among various other remarkable trials occurring in 1792, those of Daniel
Holt and William Winterbottom are here worthy of notice, as illustrating
the fashion in which the rule of the Brunswick monarchy has trenched
on our political liberties. The former, a printer of Nottingham, was
convicted and sentenced to two years' imprisonment for re-publishing,
verbatim, a political tract, originally circulated without prosecution
by the Thatched House Tavern Association, of which Mr. Pitt and the
Duke of Richmond had been members. The other, a dissenting minister at
Plymouth, of virtuous and highly respectable character, was convicted
of sedition, and sentenced to four years' imprisonment in the jail of
Newgate, for two sermons preached in commemoration of the revolution of
1688. The indictment charged him with affirming, "That his Majesty was
placed upon the throne on condition of keeping certain laws and rules,
and if he does not observe them, he has no more right to the crown than
the Stuarts had." All the Whigs in the kingdom might, doubtless, have
been comprehended in a similar indictment. And if the doctrine affirmed
by the Rev. Mr. Winterbottom be denied, the monstrous reverse of the
proposition follows, that the King is bound by no conditions or laws;
and that, though resistance to the tyranny of the Stuarts might be
justifiable, resistance under the same circumstances to the House of
Brunswick is not. This trial, for the cruelty and infamy attending it,
has been justly compared to the celebrated one of Rosewell in the latter
years of Charles II., to the events of which those of 1792 exhibit, in
various respects, a striking and alarming parallel.

Before his election to the National Convention, Thomas Paine published
the second part of his "Rights of Man," in which he boldly promulgated
principles which, though fiercely condemned at the date of their issue,
are now being gradually accepted by the great mass of the people.
Paine's work was spread through the kingdom with extraordinary industry,
and was greedily sought for by people of all classes. Despite the great
risk of fine and imprisonment, some of the most effective parts were
printed on pieces of paper, which were used by Republican tradesmen
as wrappers for their commodities. Proceedings were immediately taken
against Thomas Paine as author of the obnoxious book, which was treated
as a libel against the government and constitution, and on trial Paine
was found guilty. He was defended with great ability by Erskine,
who, when he left the court, was cheered by a crowd of people who had
collected without, some of whom took his horses from his carriage, and
dragged him home to his house in Serjeant's Inn. The name and opinions
of Thomas Pain were at this moment gaining influence, in spite of the
exertions made to put them down. From this time for several years it is
almost impossible to read a weekly journal without finding some instance
of persecution for publishing Mr. Paine's political views.

The trial of Thomas Paine was the commencement of a series of State
prosecutions, not for political offences, but for political designs. The
name of Paine had caused much apprehension, but many even amongst
the Conservatives dreaded the extension of the practice of making the
publication of a man's abstract opinions criminal, when unaccompanied
with any direct or open attempt to put them into effect. In the
beginning of 1793 followed prosecutions in Edinburgh, where the
ministerial influence was great, against men who had associated to do
little more than call for reform in Parliament; and five persons, whose
alleged crimes consisted chiefly in having read Paine's "Rights of Man,"
and in having expressed either a partial approbation of his doctrines,
or a strong declaration in favor of Parliamentary reform, were
transported severally: Joseph Gerrald, William Skirving, and Thomas Muir
for fourteen, and Thomas Fyshe Palmer and Maurice Margarot for seven
years! These men had been active in the political societies, and it was
imagined that, by an exemplary injustice of this kind, these societies
would be intimidated. Such, however, was not the case, for, from this
moment, the clubs in Edinburgh became more active than ever, and they
certainly took a more dangerous character; so that, before the end
of the year, there was actually a "British Convention" sitting in the
Scottish capital. This was dissolved by force at the beginning of 1794,
and two of its members were added to the convicts already destined for
transportation. Their severe sentences provoked warm discussions in
the English Parliament, but the ministers were inexorable in their
resolution to put them in execution.

The extreme severity of the sentences passed on the Scottish political
martyrs, even as judged by those admitting the legality and justice
of their conviction, was so shameful as to rouse general interest.
Barbarous as the law of Scotland appeared to be, it became a matter of
doubt whether the Court of Justiciary had not exceeded its power, in
substituting the punishment of transportation for that of banishment,
imposed by the Act of Queen Anne, for the offence charged on those men.

In 1794, the debts of the Prince of Wales then amounting to about
£650,000, not including the amounts due on the foreign bonds, a marriage
was suggested in order to give an excuse for going to Parliament for
a vote. This was at a time when the Prince was living with Mrs.
Fitzherbert as his wife, and when Lady Jersey was his most prominent
mistress. The bride selected was Caroline of Brunswick. A poor woman
for a wife, if Lord Malmesbury's picture is a true one, certainly in
no sense a bad woman. But her husband our Prince! When she arrived in
London, George was not sober. His first words, after greeting her, were
to Lord Malmesbury, "Get me a glass of brandy." Tipsy this Brunswicker
went to the altar on the 8th of April, 1794; so tipsy that he got up
from his knees too soon, and the King had to whisper him down, the
Archbishop having halted in amaze in the ceremony. Here there is no
possibility of mistake. The two Dukes who were his best men at the
wedding had their work to keep him from falling; and to one, the Duke
of Bedford, he admitted that he had had several glasses of brandy before
coming to the chapel.

Thackeray says, "What could be expected from a wedding which had such a
beginning--from such a bridegroom and such a bride? Malmesbury gives us
the beginning of the marriage story--how the prince reeled into chapel
to be married; how he hiccupped out his vows of fidelity--you know how
he kept them; how he pursued the woman whom he had married; to what a
state he brought her; with what blows he struck her; with what malignity
he pursued her; what his treatment of his daughter was; and what his own
life. _He_, the first gentleman of Europe!"

The Parliament not only paid the Prince of Wales's debts, but gave him
£28,000 for jewels and plate, and £26,000 for the furnishing of Carlton
House.

On the 12th of May, Mr. Henry Dundas brought down on behalf of the
government, a second message from the King, importing that seditious
practices had been carried on by certain societies in London, in
correspondence with other societies; that they had lately been pursued
with increasing activity and boldness, and had been avowedly directed
to the assembling of a pretended National Convention, in contempt and
defiance of the authority of Parliament, on principles subversive of the
existing laws and the constitution, and tending to introduce that system
of anarchy prevailing in France; that his Majesty had given orders for
seizing the books and papers of those societies, which were to be
laid before the House, to whom it was recommended to pursue measures
necessary to counteract their pernicious tendency. A large collection
of books and papers was, in consequence, brought down to the House; and,
after an address had been voted, a resolution was agreed to, that those
papers should be referred to a committee of secrecy. A few days after
the King's message was delivered, the following persons were committed
to the Tower on a charge of high treason: Mr. Thomas Hardy, a shoemaker
in Piccadilly, who officiated as secretary to the London Corresponding
Society; Mr. Daniel Adams, secretary to the Society for Constitutional
Information; Mr. John Home Tooke; Mr. Stewart Kyd; Mr. Jeremiah Joyce,
preceptor to Lord Mahon, eldest son of the Earl of Stanhope; and Mr.
John Thelwall, who had for some time delivered lectures on political
subjects in London.

Under the influence of excitement resulting from the Government
statement of the discovery of a plot to assassinate the King, and which
plot never existed outside the brains of the Government spies, a Special
Commission of Oyer and Terminer was issued on the 10th of September,
1794, for the trial of the State prisoners confined in the Tower on a
charge of high treason. On the 2d of October, the Commission was opened
at the Sessions House, by Lord Chief Justice Eyre, in an
elaborate charge to the grand jury. Bills were then found against all
who had been taken up in May, except Daniel Adams. Hardy was first
put on his trial at the Old Bailey. The trial commenced on the 28th
of October, and continued with short adjournments until the 5th of
November. Mr. Erskine was counsel for Hardy, and employed his great
talents and brilliant eloquence with the most complete success. After
consulting together for three hours, the jury, who, though the
avowed friends of the then administration, were men of impartiality,
intelligence, and of highly respectable characters, returned a verdict
of Not Guilty. There has seldom been a verdict given in a British court
of justice which afforded more general satisfaction. It is doubtful
whether there has been a verdict more important in its consequences to
the liberties of the English people. On the 17th of November, John Horne
Tooke was put on his trial. The Duke of Richmond, Earl Camden, Mr. Pitt,
and Mr. Beaufoy, were subpoenaed by the prisoner; and the examination
of William Pitt by Mr. Tooke and his counsel formed the most important
feature in the trial, as the evidence of the Prime Minister tended to
prove that, from the year 1780 to 1782, he himself had been actively
engaged with Mr. Tooke and many others in measures of agitation to
procure a Parliamentary reform, although he now not only deemed the
attempt dangerous and improper, but sought to condemn it as treasonable,
or at least as seditious. Mr. Erskine, who was counsel for Mr. Tooke
also, in a most eloquent and powerful manner contended that the conduct
of his client was directed only to the same object as that previously
sought by Pitt himself, and that the measures resorted to, so far from
being criminal, were perfectly constitutional. Mr. Pitt was extremely
guarded in his replies, and professed very little recollection of what
passed at the meetings which he attended. A letter he had written to Mr.
Tooke at that time on the subject was handed to him, which he pretended
he could scarcely recognize, and which the judge would not permit to
be read. Mr. Sheridan, who was likewise engaged in the agitation for
political reform, and subpoenaed by Mr. Tooke, gave unqualified evidence
in favor of Mr. Tooke respecting the proceedings at those meetings. The
trial continued till the Saturday following, when the jury were out of
court only six minutes, and returned a verdict of Not Guilty!

The opening of Parliament was looked forward to with great anxiety, on
account of the extreme distress under which the country was laboring. As
the time approached, popular meetings were held in the metropolis, and
preparations were made for an imposing demonstration. During the morning
of the 29th of October, the day on which the King was to open the
session in person, crowds of men continued pouring into the town from
the various open spaces outside, where simultaneous meetings had
been called by placards and advertisements; and before the King left
Buckingham House, on his way to St. James's, the number of people
collected on the ground over which he had to pass is admitted in the
papers of the day to have been not less than two hundred thousand. At
first the state carriage was allowed to move on through this dense
mass in sullen silence, no hats being taken off, nor any other mark of
respect being shown. This was followed by a general outburst of hisses
and groans, mingled with shouts of "Give us peace and bread!" "No war!"
"No King!" "Down with him! down with George!" and the like; and this
tumult continued unabated until the King reached the House of Lords,
the Guards with much difficulty keeping the mob from closing on the
carriage. As it passed through Margaret Street the populace seemed
determined to attack it, and when opposite the Ordnance Office a stone
passed through the glass of the carriage window. A verse published the
following day says:--

     "Folks say it was lucky the stone missed the head,
     When lately at Caesar 'twas thrown;
     I think very different from thousands indeed,--
     'Twas a lucky escape for the stone."

The demonstration was, if anything, more fierce on the King's return,
and he had some difficulty in reaching St. James's Palace without
injury; for the mob threw stones at the state carriage and damaged it
considerably. After remaining a short time at St. James's, he proceeded
in his private coach to Buckingham House, but the carriage was stopped
in the Park by the populace, who pressed round it, shouting, "Bread,
bread! Peace, peace!" until the King was rescued from this unpleasant
situation by a strong body of the Guards.

Treason and sedition Acts were hurried through Parliament to repress the
cries of the hungry for bread, whilst additional taxes were imposed to
make the poor poorer.

That the terrible French war--of which it is impossible to give any
account in the limits of this essay, a war which cost Great Britain at
least £1,000,000,000 in hard cash, without reckoning the hundreds of
thousands of killed, wounded, and pauperized, and which Buckle calls
"the most hateful, the most unjust, and the most atrocious war England
has ever waged against any country"--directly resulted from our
government under the Brunswick family is a point on which it is
impossible for any one who has examined the facts to have a serious
doubt. Sir Archibald Alison tells us that, early in 1791, "The King of
England took a vivid interest in the misfortunes of the Royal Family of
France, promising, as Elector of Hanover, to concur in any measure which
might be deemed necessary to extricate them from their embarrassments;
and he sent Lord Elgin to Leopold, who was then travelling in Italy, to
concert measures for the common object." It was as Elector of Hanover
also that his grandfather, George IT., had sacrificed English honor and
welfare to the personal interest and family connections of these
wretched Brunswicks.

It is certain too, that, after years of terrible war, on one of the
occasions of negotiation for peace, hindrances arose because our
Government insisted on describing George III, in the preliminaries, as
"King of France." The French naturally said, first, your King George
never has been King of any part of France at any time; and next, we,
having just declared France a Republic, cannot in a solemn treaty
recognize the continued existence of a claim to Monarchy over us.

The following table, which we insert at this stage to save the need
for further reference, shows how the labor of the British nation was
burdened for generations to come, by the insane affection of the House
of Brunswick for the House of Bourbon:--

     Years.
      Taxes.

     1793
      £17,656,418

     1794
      17,170,400

     1795
      17,308,411

     1796
      17,858,454

     1797
      18,737,760

     1798
      20,654,650

     1799
      80,202,915

     1800
      85,229,968

     1801
      33,896,464

     1802
      85,415,296

     1803
      87,240,213

     1804
      87,677,063

     1805
      45,859,442

     1806
      49,659,281

     1807
      53,304,254

     1808
      58,390,255

     1809
      61,538,207

     1810
      63,405,294

     1811
      66,681,366
      29,244,711

     1812
      64,763,870
      40,743,031

     1818
      63,160,845
      54,780,324

     1814
      66,925,835
      63,645,930

     1815
      69,684,192
      70,888,402

     Total
      £981,929,853
      £768,858,934

After making some deductions on account of the operations of the
_loyalty loan_, and the transfer of annuities, the total debt contracted
from 1793 to 1815 amounts to £762,537,445. If to this sum be added the
increase in the unfunded debt during that period, and the additional
sums raised by taxes in consequence of hostilities, we shall have the
total expenditure, owing to the French war, as follows:--

  Debt contracted from 1793 to 1815                   £762,537,445

  Increase in the Unfunded Debt                         50,194,060

  War Taxes                                            614,488,459

  Total                                              1,427,219,964

  Deduct "sum paid to the Commissioners
  for reduction of the National Debt"                  173,309,383

  Total cost of the French war                       £1,253,910,581

Lord Fife, in the House of Lords, said that "in this horrid war had he
first witnessed the blood and treasure of the nation expended in the
extravagant folly of secret expeditions, which had invariably proved
either abortive or unsuccessful. Grievous and heavy taxes had been laid
on the people, and wasted in expensive embassies, and in subsidizing
proud, treacherous, and useless foreign princes."

In 1795 King George and his advisers tried by statute to put a stop
forever in this country to all political or religious discussion. No
meeting was to be held, except on five days' duly advertised notice, to
be signed by householders; and if for lectures or debates, on special
license by a magistrate. Power was given to any magistrate to put an end
in his discretion ta any meeting, and to use military force in the event
of twelve persons remaining one hour after notice. If a man lent books,
newspapers, or pamphlets without license, he might be fined twenty
pounds for every offence. If he permitted lectures or debates on any
subject whatever, he might be fined one hundred pounds a day. And yet
people dare to tell us that we owe our liberties to these Brunswicks!

On the 1st of June, 1795, Gillray, in a caricature entitled "John Bull
Ground Down," had represented Pitt grinding John Bull into money, which
was flowing out in an immense stream beneath the mill. The Prince of
Wales is drawing off a large portion, to pay the debts incurred by
his extravagance; while Dundas, Burke, and Loughborough, as the
representatives of ministerial pensioners, are scrambling for the rest.
King George encourages Pitt to grind without mercy. Another caricature
by Gillray, published on the 4th of June, represents Pitt as Death on
the White Horse (the horse of Hanover), riding over a drove of pigs, the
representatives of what Burke had termed the "swinish multitude."

On the 7th of January, 1796, the Princess Charlotte of Wales was born,
and on the 30th of April, George, Prince of Wales, wrote to the Princess
Caroline, stating that he did not intend to live with her any more.
The Prince had some time previously sent by Lord Cholmondeley a verbal
message to the same effect, which, however, the Princess had refused to
accept. The mistress reigning over the Prince of Wales at this time was
Lady Jersey.

No impeachment of the House of Brunswick would be even tolerably
supported which did not contain some reference to the terrible
misgovernment of Ireland under the rule of this obstinate and vicious
family; and yet these few pages afford but little space in which to show
how beneficent the authority of King George III. has proved to our Irish
brethren.

During the war, when there were no troops in Ireland, and when, under
Flood and Grattan, the volunteers were in arms, some concessions had
been made to the Irish people. A few obnoxious laws had been repealed,
and promises had been held out of some relaxation of the fearfully
oppressive laws against the Catholics. From the correspondence of Earl
Temple, it is clear that in 1782 not only was the King against any
further concession whatever, but that his Majesty and Lord Shelburne
actually manoeuvred to render the steps already taken as fruitless as
possible. We find W. W. Grenville admitting, on the 15th December, 1782,
"that the [Irish] people are really miserable and oppressed to a
degree I had not at all conceived." The Government acted dishonestly to
Ireland. The consequence was, continued misery and disaffection; and
I assert, without fear of contradiction, that this state of things is
directly traceable to the King's wilfulness on Irish affairs. As an
illustration of the character of the Government, it is worth notice that
Lord Temple, when Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, wrote to his brother
in cipher, because his letters were opened in the Post Office by Lord
Shelburne. The Parliament of Ireland was in great part owned by absentee
peers, and each change of Lord-Lieutenancy was marked by heavy addition
to the Pension List. The continuance of the Catholic disabilities
rendered permanent quiet impossible. Three-fourths of the nation were
legally and socially almost outlawed. The national discontent was
excited by the arbitrary conduct of the authorities, and hopes of
successful revolution were encouraged, after 1789, by the progress of
the Revolution in France.

About 1790, the "United Irishmen" first began to be heard of. Their
object was "a complete reform in the legislature, founded on the
principles of civil, political and religious liberty." The clubs
soon became secret associations, and were naturally soon betrayed.
Prosecutions for sedition in 1793 were soon followed by military
repression.

Lord Moira, in the House of Lords in 1797, in a powerful speech, which
has remained without any refutation, described the Government of Ireland
as "the most absurd, as well as the most disgusting, tyranny that any
nation ever groaned under." He said: "If such a tyranny be persevered
in, the consequence must inevitably be the deepest and most universal
discontent, and even hatred to the English name. I have seen in that
country a marked distinction made between the English and Irish. I
have seen troops that have been sent full of this prejudice--that every
inhabitant in that kingdom is a rebel to the British. Government. I
have seen the most wanton insults practised upon men of all ranks and
conditions. I have seen the most grievous oppressions exercised, in
consequence of a presumption that the person who was the unfortunate
object of such oppression was in hostility to the Government; and yet
that has been done in a part of the country as quiet and as free from
disturbance as the city of London." His lordship then observed that,
"from education and early habits, the _curfew_ was ever considered by
Britons as a badge of slavery and oppression. It was then practised in
Ireland with brutal rigor. He had known instances where the master of a
house had in vain pleaded to be allowed the use of a candle, to enable
the mother to administer relief to her daughter struggling in convulsive
fits. In former times, it had been the custom for Englishmen to hold
the infamous proceedings of the Inquisition in detestation. One of
the greatest horrors with which it was attended was that the person,
ignorant of the crime laid to his charge, or of his accuser, was
torn from his family, immured in a prison, and kept in the most cruel
uncertainty as to the period of his confinement, or the fate which
awaited him. To this injustice, abhorred by Protestants in the practice
of the Inquisition, were the people of Ireland exposed. All confidence,
all security, were taken away. When a man was taken up on suspicion, he
was put to the torture; nay, if he were merely accused of concealing the
guilt of another. The rack, indeed, was not at hand; but the punishment
of picqucting was in practice, which had been for some years abolished
as too inhuman, even in the dragoon service. He had known a man, in
order to extort a confession of a supposed crime, or of that of some of
his neighbors, picqueted till he actually fainted--picqueted a second
time till he fainted again, and as soon as he came to himself, picqueted
a third time till he once more fainted; and all upon mere suspicion!
Nor was this the only species of torture. Men had been taken and hung up
till they were half dead, and then threatened with a repetition of the
cruel treatment, unless they made confession of the imputed guilt. These
were not particular acts of cruelty, exercised by men abusing the
power committed to them, but they formed part of our system. They were
notorious, and no person could say who would be the next victim of this
oppression and cruelty, which he saw others endure. This, however,
was not all: their lordships, no doubt, would recollect the famous
proclamation issued by a military commander in Ireland, requiring the
people to give up their arms. It never was denied that this proclamation
was illegal, though defended on some supposed necessity; but it was not
surprising that some reluctance had been shown to comply with it by men
who conceived the Constitution gave them a right to keep arms in their
houses for their own defence; and they could not but feel indignation in
being called upon to give up their right, In the execution of the order
the greatest cruelties had been committed. If any one was suspected to
have concealed weapons of defence, his house, his furniture, and all his
property were burnt; but this was not all. If it were supposed that any
district had not surrendered all the arms which it contained, a party
was sent out to collect the number at which it was rated; and, in
execution of this order, thirty houses were sometimes burnt down in a
single night. Officers took upon themselves to decide discretionally
the quantity of arms; and upon their opinions the fatal consequences
followed. These facts were well-known in Ireland, but they could not
be made public through the channel of the newspapers, for fear of
that summary mode of punishment which had been practised towards the
_Northern Star_, when a party of troops in open day, and in a town where
the General's head-quarters were, went and destroyed all the offices
and property belonging to that paper. It was thus authenticated accounts
were suppressed."

Can any one wonder that the ineffectual attempt at revolution of 1798
followed such a state of things? And when, in the _London Chronicle_ and
_Cambridge Intelligencer_, and other journals by no means favorable to
Ireland or its people, we read the horrid stories of women ravished, men
tortured, and farms pillaged, all in the name of law and order, and this
by King George's soldiers, not more than seventy years ago, can we feel
astonishment that the Wexford peasants have grown up to hate the Saxon
oppressor? And this we owe to a family of kings who used their pretended
Protestantism as a cloak for the ill-treatment of our Catholic brethren
in Ireland. In impeaching the Brunswicks, we remind the people of
proclamations officially issued in the King's name, threatening to burn
and devastate whole parishes, and we allege that the disaffection
in Ireland at the present moment is the natural fruit of the utter
regardlessness, on the part of these Guelphs, for human liberty, or
happiness, or life. The grossest excesses were perpetrated in Ireland
by King George III.'s foreign auxiliaries. The troops from Hesse Cassel,
from Hesse Darmstadt, and from Hanover, earned an unenviable notoriety
by their cruelty, rapacity, and licentiousness. And these we owe
entirely to the Brunswicks.

A letter from the War Office, dated April 11th, 1798, shows how
foreigners were specially selected for the regiments sent over to
Ireland. Sir Ralph Abercromby publicly rebuked the King's army, of which
he was the Commander-in-Chief, for their disgraceful irregularities
and licentiousness. Even Lieutenant-General Lake admits that "the
determination of the troops to destroy every one they think a rebel is
beyond description, and needs correction."

In 1801, it was announced that King George III. was suffering from
severe cold and sore throat, and could not therefore go out in public.
His disease, however, was more mental than bodily. Her present Majesty
has also suffered from severe cold and sore throat, but no allegation is
ventured that her mental condition is such as to unfit her for her Royal
duties.

On March 29, 1802, the sum of £990,053 was voted for payment of the
King's debts.

In 1803, the Prince of Wales being again in debt, a further vote was
passed of £60,000 a year for three years and a half. Endeavors were made
to increase this grant, but, marvellous to relate, the House of Commons
actually acted as if it had some slight interest in the welfare of the
people, and rejected a motion of Mr. Calcraft for a further vote of
money to enable his Royal Highness to maintain his state and dignity.
The real effect of the vote actually carried, was to provide for
£800,649 of the Prince's debts, including the vote of 1794.

On July 21,1763, £60,000 cash, and a pension of £16,000 a year, were
voted to the Prince of Orange.

In 1804, King George was very mad, but Mr. Addington explained to
Parliament, that there was nothing in his Majesty's indisposition to
prevent his discharging the Royal functions. Mr. Gladstone also recently
explained to Parliament, that there would be no delay in the prorogation
of Parliament in consequence of her gracious Majesty's indisposition and
absence.

In 1805, the House of Commons directed the criminal prosecution of Lord
Melville, for corrupt conduct and embezzlement of public money, as first
Lord of the Admiralty. For this, however, impeachment was substituted,
and, on his trial before the House of Peers, he was acquitted, as out
of 136 peers, only 59 said that they thought him guilty, although he had
admitted the misapplication of £10,000.

On the 29th of March, 1806, a warrant was signed by King George III.,
directed to Lord Chancellor Erskine, to Lord Grenville, the Prime
Minister, to Lord Ellenborough, then Lord Chief Justice of England,
and to Earl Spencer, commanding them to inquire into the conduct of Her
Royal Highness the Princess of Wales. Before these Lords, Charlotte Lady
Douglas swore that she had visited the Princess, who confessed to having
committed adultery, saying "that she got a bedfellow whenever she could,
that nothing was more wholesome." Lady Douglas further swore to the
Princess's pregnancy, and evidence was given to prove that she had been
delivered of a male child. The whole of this evidence was found to be
perjury, and Lady Douglas was recommended for prosecution. The only
person to be benefited was George Prince of Wales, who desired to
be divorced from his wife, and it is alleged that he suborned these
witnesses to commit perjury against her. At this time the Prince of
Wales himself had just added Lady Hertfort to the almost interminable
muster-roll of his loves, and was mixed up in a still more strange and
disgraceful transaction, in which he used his personal influence to
canvass Peers--sitting as the highest law court in the realm--in order
to induce them to vote the guardianship of Miss Seymour, a niece of
Lady Hertfort, to Mrs. Fitz-herbert. Spencer Percival, who acted for the
Princess of Wales, being about to publish the whole of the proceedings
of the Royal Commissioners, with the evidence and their verdict, his
book was quietly suppressed, and he received a reward--a post in
the Cabinet. It is said that George III. directed the report of the
Commissioners to be destroyed, and every trace of the whole affair to be
buried in oblivion.

For some years rumors had been current of corruption in the
administration of military promotion under the Duke of York, just as for
some time past rumors have been current of abuse of patronage under his
Royal Highness the present Duke of Cambridge, A Major Hogan, in 1808,
published a declaration that he lost his promotion because he had
refused to give the sum of £600 to the Duke of York's "Venus."

On the 27th January, 1809, Colonel Wardle--who is said to have been
prompted to the course by his Royal Highness the Duke of Kent--rose
in his place in the House of Commons, and formally charged his Royal
Highness Frederick Duke of York with corruption in the administration of
army patronage.

It is difficult to determine how far credit should be given to the
statements of Mrs. Clarke, who positively alleges that she was bribed to
betray the Duke of York by his brother, the Duke of Kent, the father of
her present Majesty. It is quite certain that Major Dodd, the private
secretary of the Duke of Kent, was most active in collecting and
marshalling the evidence in support of the various charges made in the
Commons against the Duke of York. The Duke of Kent, however, after the
whole business was over, formally and officially denied that he was
directly or indirectly mixed up in the business. It is clear that much
bitter feeling had for some time existed between the Dukes of York and
Kent. In a pamphlet published about that time, we find the following
remarkable passages relating to the Duke of Kent's removal from his
military command at Gibraltar:--"It is, however, certain that the
creatures whom we could name, and who are most in his [the Duke of
York's] confidence, were, to a man, instructed and industriously
employed in traducing the character and well-merited fame of the Duke
of Kent, by misrepresenting his conduct with all the baseness of
well-trained sycophants. Moreover, we need not hesitate in saying that
this efficient Commander-in-Chief, contrary to the real sentiments of
his Majesty, made use of his truly dangerous and undue influence with
the confidential servants of the Crown to got his brother recalled from
the Government of Gibraltar, under a disingenuous pretext, and at a risk
of promoting sedition in the army."

In another pamphlet, dated 1808, apparently printed on behalf of the
Duke of Kent, we find it suggested that the Duke of York had used Sir
Hew Dalrymple as a spy on his brother the Duke of Kent at Gibraltar.
Whether the Duke of York slandered the Duke of Kent, and whether the
Queen's father revenged himself by getting up the case for Colonel
Wardle, others must decide. The following extracts from this gentleman's
address to the House of Commons are sufficient to put the material
points before our readers:--

"In the year 1803, his Royal Highness the Commander-in-Chief took a
handsome house, set up a full retinue of servants and horses, and also
a lady of the name of Clarke. Captain Tonyn, of the 48th Regiment, was
introduced by Captain Sandon, of the Royal Wagon Train, to this Mrs.
Clarke, and it was agreed that, upon his being promoted to the majority
of the 31st Regiment, he should pay her £500. The £500 lodged with
Mr. Donovan by Captain Sandon, was paid by him to Mrs. Clarke. The
difference between a company and a majority is £1,100; this lady
received only £500, while the half-pay fund lost the whole sum, for the
purpose of putting £500 into the pocket of Mrs. Clarke. This £500 was
paid by Mrs. Clarke to Mr. Perkins, a silversmith, in part payment for
a service of plate; that the Commander-in-Chief made good the remainder,
and that the goods were sent to his house in Gloucester Place. From
this I infer, first, that Mrs. Clarke possesses the power of military
promotion; secondly, that she received a pecuniary consideration for
such promotion; and thirdly, that the Commander-in-Chief was a partaker
in the benefit arising from such transactions. In this case, there are
no less than five different persons as witnesses, viz., Major Tonyn,
Mrs. Clarke, Mr. Donovan, Captain Sandon, and the executor of Mr.
Perkins, the silversmith.

"The next instance is of Lieutenant Colebrook, of the 56th Regiment.
It was agreed that Mrs. Clarke should receive £200 upon Lieutenant
Colebrook's name appearing in the _Gazette_, for promotion. At that
moment, this lady was anxious to go on an excursion into the country,
and she stated to his Royal Highness that she had an opportunity of
getting £200 to defray the expenses of it, without applying to him.
This was stated upon a Thursday, and on the Saturday following, this
officer's name appeared in the _Gazette_, and he was accordingly
promoted; upon which Mr. Tuck waited on the lady and paid her the money.
To this transaction the witnesses are Lieutenant Colebrook, Mr. Tuck,
and Mrs. Clarke."

After instancing further cases, Colonel Wardle stated that:--

"At this very hour there is a public office in the city where
commissions are still offered at the reduced prices which Mrs. Clarke
chooses to exact for them. The agents there have declared to me that
they are now employed by the present favorite, Mrs. Carey. They have not
only declared this as relative to military commissions, but they have
carried it much farther; for, in addition to commissions in the army,
places of all descriptions, both in Church and State, are transacted at
their office; and these agents do not hesitate to give it under their
own hands, that they are employed by many of the first officers in his
Majesty's service."

On the examination of witnesses, and general inquiry, which lasted
seven weeks, the evidence was overwhelming; but the Duke of York, having
written a letter, pledged his honor as a Prince that he was innocent,
was acquitted, although at least one hundred and twelve members of
Parliament voted for a verdict of condemnation. In the course of the
debate Lord Temple said that "he found the Duke of York deeply criminal
in allowing this woman to interfere in his official duties. The evidence
brought forward by accident furnished convincing proofs of this crime.
It was evident in French's levy. It was evident in the case of Dr.
O'Meara, this minister of purity, this mirror of virtue, who, professing
a call from God, could so far debase himself, so far abuse his sacred
vocation, as to solicit a recommendation from such a person as Mrs.
Clarke, by which, with an eye to a bishopric, he obtained an opportunity
of preaching before the King. What could be said in justification of
his Royal Highness for allowing this hypocrite to come down to Weymouth
under a patronage, unbecoming his duty, rank, and situation?"

Mr. Tierney--in reply to a taunt of the Chancellor of the Exchequer,
that Colonel Wardle had been tutored by "cooler heads"--said: "He would
state that the Duke of York had got his letter drawn up by weaker heads;
he would, indeed, add something worse, if it were not unparliamentary
to express it. The Duke of York was, he was persuaded, too manly to
subscribe that letter, if he were aware of the base, unworthy, and mean
purposes to which it was to be applied. It was easy to conceive that his
Royal Highness would have been prompt to declare his innocence upon a
vital point; but why declare it upon the 'honor of a Prince,' for the
thing had no meaning?"

Mr. Lyttleton declared that "if it were in the power of the House to
send down to posterity the character of the Duke of York unsullied--if
their proceedings did not extend beyond their journals, he should be
almost inclined to concur in the vote of acquittal, even in opposition
to his sense of duty. But though the House should acquit his Royal
Highness, the proofs would still remain, and the public opinion would
be guided by them, and not by the decision of the House. It was in
the power of the House to save its own character, but not that of the
Commander-in-Chief."

It is alleged that the Queen herself by no means stood with clean hands;
that in connection with Lady Jersey and a Doctor Randolph, her Majesty
realized an enormous sum by the sale of cadetships for the East Indies.

On the 31st May, 1810, London was startled by the narrative of
a terrible tragedy. His Royal Highness Ernest Augustus, Duke of
Cumberland, afterwards King of Hanover, and who, while King of Hanover,
drew £24,000 a year from the pockets of English taxpayers, was wounded
in his own room in the dead of night, by some man whom he did not see,
although the room was lighted by a lamp, and although his Royal Highness
saw "a letter" which lay on a night table, and which letter was "covered
with blood." The wounds are said to have been sword wounds inflicted
with an intent to assassinate, by Joseph Sellis, a valet of the Duke,
who is also said to have immediately afterwards committed suicide by
cutting his own throat. General Sir B. Stephenson, who saw the body of
Sellis, but who was not examined at the inquest, swore that "the head
was nearly severed from the body." Sellis's cravat had been cut through
and taken off his neck. Sir Everard Home and Sir Henry Halford were the
physicians present at St. James's Palace the day of this tragedy, and
two surgeons were present at the inquest, but no medical or surgical
evidence was taken as to whether or not the death of Sellis was the
result of suicide or murder; but a cheesemonger was called to prove
that twelve years before he had heard Sellis say, "Damn the King and
the Royal Family;" and a maid servant was called to prove that fourteen
years before Sellis had said, "Damn the Almighty." Despite this
conclusive evidence, many horrible rumors were current, which, at the
time, were left uncontradicted; but on the 17th April, 1832, his Royal
Highness the Duke of Cumberland made an affidavit in which he swore that
he had not murdered Sellis himself, and that "in case the said person
named Sellis did not die by his own hands," then that he, the Duke, "was
not any way, in any manner, privy or accessory to his death." His Royal
Highness also swore that "he never did commit, nor had any intention
of committing, the detestable crime," which it had pretended Sellis had
discovered the Duke in the act of committing. This of course entirely
clears the Queen's uncle from all suspicion. Daniel O'Connell, indeed,
described him as "the mighty great liar;" but with the general character
for truthfulness of the family, it would be in the highest degree
improper to suggest even the semblance of a doubt. It was proved upon
the inquest that Sellis was a sober, quiet man, in the habit of daily
shaving the Duke, and that he had never exhibited any suicidal or
homicidal tendencies. It therefore appears that he tried to wound or
kill his Royal Highness without any motive, and under circumstances in
which he knew discovery was inevitable, and that he then killed himself
with a razor, cutting his head almost off his body, severing it to the
bone. When Matthew Henry Graslin first saw the body, he "told them
all that Sellis had been murdered," and although he was called on the
inquest he does not say one word as to the condition of Sellis's body,
or as to whether or not he believes it to have been a suicide. Of all
the persons who saw the body of Sellis, and they appear to be many, only
one, a sergeant in the Coldstreams, gave the slightest evidence as to
the state in which the body was found, and no description whatever was
given, on the inquest, of the nature of the fearful wound which had
nearly severed Sellis's head from his body; nor, although it was
afterwards proved by sworn evidence that Sellis's cravat "was cut
through the whole of the folds, and the inside fold was tinged with
blood," was any evidence offered as to this on the inquest, although it
shows that Sellis must have first tried to cut his throat through his
cravat and that having partially but ineffectively cut his throat, he
then took off his cravat and gave himself with tremendous force the
gash which caused his death. It is said that the razor with which Sellis
killed himself was found two feet from the bed, and on the left-hand
side; but although it was stated that Sellis was a left-handed man,
no evidence was offered of this, and on the contrary, the bloody hand
marks, said to have been made by Sellis on the doors, were all on the
right hand. It is a great nuisance when people you are mixed up with
commit suicide. Undoubtedly, Sellis must have killed himself. The
journals tell us how Lord Graves killed himself long years afterward.
The Duke of Cumberland and Lady Graves, the widow, rode out together
very shortly after the suicide.

In the Rev. Erskine Neale's Life of the Duke of Kent it is stated that
a surgeon of note, who saw Sellis after his death, declared that there
were several wounds on the back of the neck which it was physically
impossible Sellis could have self-inflicted. In a lecture to his pupils
the surgeon repeated this in strong language, declaring that "no man can
behead himself."

The madness of George III. having become too violent and too continual
to permit it to be any longer hidden from the people, the Prince of
Wales was, in 1811, declared Regent, with limited powers, and £70,000
a year additional was voted for the Regent's expenses, and a further
£10,000 a year also granted to the Queen as custodian of her husband.
The grant to the Queen was the more outrageous, as her great wealth and
miserly conduct were well known. When the Regent was first appointed, he
authorized the Chancellor of the Exchequer to declare officially to the
House of Commons, that he would not add to the burdens of the nation;
and yet, in 1812, the allowance voted was made retrospective, so as to
include every hour of his office.

In the discussion in Parliament on the proposed Regency, it appeared
that the people had been for a considerable period utterly deceived on
the subject of the King's illness; and that, although his Majesty
had been for some time blind, deaf, and delirious, the Ministry,
representing the King to be competent, had dared to carry on the
Government whilst Greorge III. was in every sense incapacitated. It is
worthy of notice that the Right Honorable Benjamin Disraeli, the leader
of the great Conservative party in this country, publicly declared on
September 26th, 1871, that her present Majesty, Queen Victoria,
was both "physically and morally" incapable of performing her regal
functions. One advantage of having the telegraph wires in the hands
of Government is shown by the fact that all the telegraphic summaries
omitted the most momentous words of Mr. Disraeli's speech. During the
debate in the session of 1811, it was shown that when the King was mad
in the month of March, 1804, he had on the 4th been represented by Lord
Eldon as if he had given his assent to a bill granting certain lands to
the Duke of York, and on the 9th as if he had signed a commission.

Earl Grey stated that it was notorious that on two occasions the Great
Seal had been employed as if by his Majesty's command, while he was
insane. The noble earl also declared that, in 1801, the King was mad for
some weeks, and yet during that time councils were held, members sworn
to it, and acts done requiring the King's sanction. Sir Francis Burdett
said, "that to have a person at the head of affairs who had long been
incapable of signing his name to a document without some one to guide
his hand; a person long incapable of receiving petitions, of even
holding a levee, or discharging the most ordinary functions of
his office, and now afflicted with this mental malady, was a most
mischievous example to the people of this country, while it had a
tendency to expose the Government to the contempt of foreign nations."

One of the earliest acts of the Prince Regent was to reappoint his
brother, the Duke of York, to the office of Commander-in-Chief. A motion
was proposed by Lord Milton, in the House of Commons, declaring this
appointment to be "highly improper and indecorous." The Ministry were,
however, sufficiently powerful to negative this resolution by a large
majority. Though His Royal Highness had resigned his high office when
assailed with charges of the grossest corruption, he was permitted
to resume the command of the army without even a protest, save from a
minority of the House of Commons, and from a few of the unrepresented
masses. The chief mistress of the Prince Regent at this time was
the Marchioness of Hertford; and the _Courier_, then the ministerial
journal, had the cool impudence to speak of her as 'Britain's guardian
angel,' because her influence had been used to hinder the carrying
any measure for the relief of the Irish Catholics. Amongst the early
measures under the Regency, was the issue in Ireland of a circular
letter addressed to the Sheriffs and Lord Lieutenants of the counties,
forbidding the meetings of Catholics, and threatening all Catholic
committees with arrest and imprisonment. This, however, was so grossly
illegal, that it had shortly after to be abandoned, a Protestant jury
having refused to convict the first prisoners brought to trial. It is
curious to read the arguments against Catholic Emancipation pleaded in
the _Courier_, one being that during the whole of his reign, George
III. "is known to have felt the most conscientious and irrevocable
objections" to any such measure of justice to his unfortunate Irish
subjects.

In 1812 we had much poverty in England; and though this was not dealt
with by Parliament, £100,000 was granted to Lord Wellington, and
£200,000 voted for Russian sufferers by the French war. We had a few
months previously voted £100,000 for the relief of the Portuguese
against the French. On a message from the Prince Regent, annuities
of £9,000 each were also granted to the four Princesses, exclusive of
£4,000 from the Civil List. The message from the Prince Regent for
the relief of the "Russian sufferers" was brought down on the 17th of
December; and it is a curious fact that while Lord Castlereagh and Lord
Liverpool were eulogizing the Russians for their "heroic patriotism"
in burning Moscow, the Russians themselves were declaring in the _St.
Petersburgk Gazette_ that the deed was actually committed by "the
impious French," on whose heads the _Gazette_ invoked the vengeance of
God.

In 1812, the Prince Regent gave a sinecure office, that of Paymaster of
Widows' Pensions, to his "confidential servant," Colonel Macmahon. The
nature of the sort of private services which had been for some years
performed by this gallant colonel for this virtuous Prince may be better
guessed than described. Mr. Henry Brougham declared the appointment to
be an insult to Parliament. It was vigorously attacked indoors and out
of doors, and, in obedience to the voice of popular opinion, the Commons
voted the immediate abolition of the office. To recompense Colonel
Macmahon for the loss of his place, he was immediately appointed Keeper
of the Privy Purse and Private Secretary to the Prince Regent. This
appointment was also severely criticised; and although the Government
were sufficiently powerful to defeat the attack in the Commons, they
were yet compelled, by the strong protest made by the public against
such an improper appointment, to nominally transfer the salary to the
Regent's privy purse. The transfer was not real, as, the Civil List
being always in debt, the nation had in fact ultimately to pay the
money.

In 1813, foreign subsidies to the amount of £11,000,000, and 100,000
stand of arms, were voted by the English Parliament. Out of the above,
Portugal received £2,000,000, Sicily, £400,000, Spain, £2,000,000,
Sweden, £1,000,000, Russia and Prussia, £3,000,000, Austria, £1,000,000,
besides stores sent to Germany to the amount of £2,000,000 more.

This year his Royal Highness the Prince Regent went to Ascot races,
where he was publicly dunned by a Mr. Vaux-hall Clarke for a betting
debt incurred some years before, and left unpaid.

Great excitement was created in and out of Parliament by the complaint
of the Princess of Wales that she was not allowed to see her daughter,
the Princess Charlotte. The Prince Regent formally declared, through
the Speaker of the House of Commons, that he would not meet, on any
occasion, public or private, the Princess of Wales (whom it was urged
that "he had been forced to marry "); while the Princess of Wales wrote
a formal letter to Parliament complaining that her character had
been "traduced by suborned perjury." Princess Charlotte refused to
be presented at Court except by her mother, who was not allowed to
go there. In the House of Commons, Mr. Whitbread charged the Lords
Commissioners with unduly straining the evidence by leading questions;
and Lord Ellenborough, in his place in the House of Peers, declared that
the accusation was "as false as hell." Ultimately, it was admitted that
the grave charges against the Princess of Wales were groundless, and
£35,000 a year was voted to her, she agreeing to travel abroad. Mr.
Bathurst, a sinecurist pensioner, pleading on behalf of the Prince
Regent that the House of Commons ought not to interfere, urged that it
was no unusual thing to have dissensions in the Royal Family, and that
they had been frequent in the reigns of George I. and George II. Mr.
Stuart Wortley, in the course of a severe speech in reply to Lord
Castlereagh, declared that "we had a Royal Family which took no warning
from what was said or thought about them, and seemed to be the only
persons in the country who were wholly regardless of their own welfare
and respectability."

The Princess Charlotte of Wales was at this time residing in Warwick
House, and some curiosity was aroused by the dismissal, by order of the
Prince Regent, of all her servants. This was immediately followed by the
flight of the Princess from the custody of her father to the residence
of her mother, the Princess of Wales. Persuaded to return to the Prince
Regent by her mother, Lord Eldon, and others, she appears to have been
really detained as a sort of prisoner, for we find the Duke of Sussex
soon after complaining in the House of Lords that he was unable to
obtain access to the Princess, and asking by whose authority she was
kept in durance. Happy family, these Bruns-wicks!

In 1814, £100,000 further was devoted to the Duke of Wellington,
together with an annuity of £10,000 a year, to be at any time commuted
for £300,000. The income of the Duke of Wellington, from places,
pensions, and grants, amounted to an enormous sum. At present we pay his
heir £4,000 a year for having inherited his father's riches.

During the year 1814, £118,857 was voted for payment of the Civil List
debts.

The Emperor of Russia and King of Prussia, after the restoration of
Louis XVIII., visited the Prince Regent in this country, when the
following squib was published:--

     "There be princes three,
     Two of them come from a far countrie,
     And for valor and prudence their names shall be
     Enrolled in the annals of glorie.

     The third is said at a bottle to be
     More than a match for his whole armie,
     And fonder of fur caps and fripperie
     Than any recorded in storie.

     Those, from the North great warriors be,
     And warriors have in their companie,
     But he of the South must stare to see
     Himself in such goodly companie.

     For to say what his usual consorts be,
     Would make but a pitiful storie."

On the 12th of August, 1814, the Princess of Wales quitted England, and
it is alleged that, on the evening prior to her departure, the Prince
Regent, having as usual drank much wine, proposed a toast, "To the
Princess of Wales' damnation, and may she never return to England."
Whether this story, which Dr. Doran repeats, be true or false, it
is certain that the Prince Regent hated his wife with a thoroughly
merciless hatred. When the death of Napoleon was known in England, a
gentleman, thinking to gain favor with George IV. said, "Your Majesty's
bitterest enemy is dead." The "first gentleman of Europe" thought only
of his wife, and replied, "Is she, by God!"

The highly esteemed and virtuous Duke of Cumberland was married at
Berlin to the Princess of Salms, a widow who had been twice married,
once betrothed, and once divorced. The lady was niece to the Queen
of England, who refused to receive her publicly or privately. On this
refusal being known, a letter was published in the newspapers,
written and signed by the Queen herself, to her brother the Duke of
Mecklenburgh-Strelitz, the father of the bride, in which letter the
Queen gave assurances of a kind reception to the bride on her arrival
in England. The Queen's friends replied that the Queen's letter was
only written to be shown to the German Courts on the condition that the
Duchess should not come to England. Curious notions of truth and honor
seem current among these Brunswicks!

On the 27th of June, the Lords, on a message from the Prince Regent,
voted an additional allowance of £6,000 a year to the Duke of Cumberland
in consequence of the marriage. In the House of Commons, after a series
of very warm debates, in which Lord Castlereagh objected to answer
"any interrogatories tending to vilify the Royal Family," the House
ultimately refused to grant the allowance by 126 votes against 125.

One historian says: "The demeanor of the Duchess of Cumberland in this
country has been, to say the least, unobtrusive and unimpeached; but it
must be confessed that a disastrous fatality--something inauspicious and
indescribable--attaches to the Prince, her husband."

This year £200,000 further was voted to the Duke of Wellington, for
the purchase of an estate, although it appeared from one Member of
Parliament's speech that the vote should rather have been to the Prince
Regent. "Who," he asked, "had rendered the army efficient? The Prince
Regent--by restoring the Duke of York to the Horse Guards. Who had
gained the Battle of Waterloo? The Prince Regent--by giving the command
of the army to the Duke of Wellington!!" The Prince Regent himself had
even a stronger opinion on the matter. Thackeray says: "I believe it is
certain about George IV. that he had heard so much of the war, knighted
so many people, and worn, such a prodigious quantity of marshal's
uniforms, cocked hats, cocks' feathers, scarlet and bullion in general,
that he actually fancied he had been present at some campaigns, and
under the name of General Brock led a tremendous charge of the German
legion at Waterloo."

In 1816, Prince Leopold of Coburg Saalfeld, a very petty German Prince,
without estate or position, married the Princess Charlotte of Wales, as
if he were a Protestant, although he most certainly on other occasions
acted as if he belonged to the Catholic Church. A grant of £60,000 a
year was made to the royal couple; £60,000 was given for the wedding
outfit, and £50,000 secured to Prince Leopold for life, in the event
of his surviving the Princess. And although this was done, it was well
known to the Prince Regent and the members of the Government, that on
the 2d January of the previous year, a marriage ceremony, according to
the rites of the Roman Catholic Church, had been performed, by which the
Prince Leopold was united to the Countess of Cohaky. Bigamy appears to
be a fashionable vice, and one to which these Brunswicks never raise any
objection.

On the 9th December, the City of London presented an address to the
Prince Regent, in which they complained of "immense subsidies to foreign
powers to defend their own territories, or to commit aggressions on
those of their neighbors, of an unconstitutional and unprecedented
military force in time of peace, of the unexampled and increasing
magnitude of the Civil List, of the enormous sums paid for unmerited
pensions and sinecures, and of a long course of the most lavish and
improvident expenditure of the public money throughout every branch of
the Government." This address appears to have deeply wounded the Regent,
and the expressions of stern rebuke he used in replying, coupled with
a rude sulkiness of manner, were ungracious and unwarrantable. He
emphasized his answer with pauses and frowns, and turned on his heel
as soon as he had delivered it. And yet at this moment hundreds of
thousands in England were starving. Kind monarchs these Brunswicks!

Early in 1817, the general distress experienced in all parts of England,
and which had been for some time on the increase, was of a most severe
character. Meetings in London and the provinces grew frequent, and
were most numerously attended, and on February 3d, in consequence of a
message from the Prince Regent, Committees of Secrecy were appointed
by the Lords and Commons, to inquire into the character of the various
movements. The Government was weak and corrupt, but the people lacked
large-minded leaders, and the wide-spread discontent of the masses of
the population rendered some of their number easy victims to the police
spies who manufactured political plots.

On the 6th of November, 1817, Princess Charlotte of Wales died.
Complaints were raised that the Princess had not been fairly treated,
and some excitement was created by the fact that Sir Richard Croft,
the doctor who attended her, soon after committed suicide, and that the
public and the reporters were not allowed to be present at the inquest.
No notice whatever of the Princess's death was forwarded to her mother,
the Princess of Wales. In a letter to the Duke of Buckingham, Mr. Wynn
speaks of this as "the most brutal omission I ever remember, and one
which would attach disgrace in private life." At this very time a large
sum of money was being wasted in the employment of persons to watch the
Princess of Wales on her foreign travels. In her correspondence we find
the Princess complaining that her letters were opened and read, and
that she was surrounded with spies. From the moment that George III. was
declared incurable, and his death approaching, there seems little doubt
that desperate means were resorted to to manufacture evidence against
the Princess to warrant a divorce.

On July 13th, 1818, his Royal Highness the Duke of Clarence married
Adelaide, Princess of Saxe Meiningen, and his Royal Highness the Duke
of Kent married her Serene Highness Victoria, Princess of Leiningen. The
Duke of Clarence, of course, had voted to him an additional allowance
of £6,000 a year on entering the married state, although he was already
receiving from the country more than £21,000 a year in cash, and a house
rent free. It is highly edifying to read that during the debates
in Parliament, and when some objection was raised to the extra sums
proposed to be voted to one of the Royal Dukes, Mr. Canning pleaded, as
a reason for the payment, that his Royal Highness was not marrying "for
his own private gratification, but because he had been advised to do
so for the political purposes of providing succession to the throne."
Pleasant this for the lady, and glorious for the country--Royal breeding
machines! The Duke of Kent, who had the same additional vote, had about
£25,000 a year, besides a grant of £20,000 towards the payment of his
debts, and a loan of £6,000 advanced in 1806, of which up to the time of
his marriage only £1,000 had been repaid.

Of Edward Augustus, Duke of Kent, father of her present Majesty, it is
only necessary to say a few words. The fourth son of George III. was
somewhat better than his brothers, and perhaps for this very reason
he seems always to have been disliked, and kept at a distance by his
father, mother, and brothers. Nor was the Duke of Kent less disliked
amongst the army, which he afterwards commanded. Very few of the
officers loved him, and the bulk of the privates seem to have regarded
him with the most hostile feelings. Kept very short of money by his
miserly father and mother, he had, even before his majority, incurred
considerable debts; and coming to England in 1790, in order to try and
induce the King to make him some sufficient allowance, he was ordered
to quit England in ten days. While allowances were made to all the other
sons of George, the Duke of Kent had no Parlimentary vote until he
was thirty-three years of age. In 1802 he was appointed Governor of
Gibraltar, where a mutiny took place, and the Duke had a narrow escape
of his life. The Duke of Kent's friends allege that this mutiny was
encouraged by officers of the highest rank, secretly sustained by the
Duke of York. The Duke of York's friends, on the contrary, maintain that
the overbearing conduct of the Duke of Kent, his severity in details,
and general harshness in command, alone produced the result. The Duke of
Kent was recalled from the Government of Gibraltar, and for some months
the pamphleteers were busy on behalf of the two Dukes, each seeking to
prove that the royal brother of his royal client was a dishonorable man.
Pleasant people, these Brunswicks! If either side wrote the truth, one
of the Dukes was a rascal. If neither side wrote the truth, both were.
The following extract from a pamphlet by Mary Anne Clarke, mistress of
the Duke of York, will serve to show the nature of the publications I
refer to: "I believe there is scarcely a military man in the kingdom who
was at Gibraltar during the Duke of Kent's command of that fortress but
is satisfied that the Duke of York's refusal of a court martial to his
royal brother _afforded an incontestible proof of his regard_ for the
_military_ character and honor of the Duke of Kent; for if a court
martial had been granted to the Governor of Gibraltar, I always
understood there was but _one_ opinion as to what would have been the
_result_; and _then_ the Duke of Kent would have lost several thousands
a year, and incurred such public reflections that would, most probably,
have been painful to his _honorable and acute_ feelings. It was,
however, this _act of affection for_ the Duke of Kent that laid the
foundation of that _hatred_ which has followed the Commander-in-Chief
up to the present moment; and to this _unnatural feeling_ he is solely
indebted for all the misfortunes and disgrace to which he has been
introduced. In one of the many conversations which I had with Majors
Dodd and Glennie, upon the meditated ruin of the Duke of York, they
informed me that their royal friend had made every endeavor in his power
to poison the King's ear against the Commander-in-Chief, but as Colonel
Taylor was so much about the person of his Majesty, all his efforts had
proved ineffectual; and to have spoken his sentiments before Colonel
Taylor would have been very injudicious, as he would immediately have
communicated them to the Commander-in-Chief, who, though he knew this
time ( said these confidential and worthy patriots) that the Duke
of Kent was supporting persons to write against him, and that some
parliamentary proceedings were upon the eve of bursting upon the public
attention, yet deported himself towards his royal brother as if they
lived but for each other's honor and happiness; and the Duke of Kent, to
keep up appearances, was more particular in his attentions to the Duke
of York than he had ever been before."

Despite the Duke of Kent's recall, he continued to receive salary
and allowances as Governor. After the celebration of the marriage, he
resided abroad, and was on such unfriendly terms with his family that
when he returned from Amorbach to England, it was against the express
orders of the Prince Regent, who, shortly after meeting his brother at
the Spanish Ambassador's, took not the slightest notice of him.

On the 17th November, 1818, the Queen died, and the custody of the body
of the mad, deaf, and blind monarch of England was nominally transferred
to the Duke of York, who was voted an extra £10,000 a year for
performing the duty of visiting his royal father twice a week. Objection
was ineffectually raised that his Royal Highness had also his income
as Commander-in-Chief and General Officer, and it might have also been
added, his pensions and his income as Prince Bishop of Osnaburg. Mr.
Curwen said: "Considering how complete the revenue of his Royal Highness
was from public emoluments, he could not consent to grant him one
shilling upon the present occasion."

In 1819, the Duke of Kent tried to get up a lottery for the sale of
his Castlebar estate, in order to pay his debts, which were then about
£70,000, but the project, being opposed by the Prince Regent, fell to
the ground.

On the 24th of May, 1819, her present Majesty was born; and on the 23d
of January, 1820, the Duke of Kent, her father, died.

On the 29th of January, 1820, after a sixty years' reign--in which debt,
dishonor, and disgrace accrued to the nation he reigned over--George
III. died. The National Debt at the date of his accession to the throne
was about £150,000,000; at his death it was about £900,000,000.

Phillimore asks: "Had it not been for the unlimited power of borrowing,
how many unjust and capricious wars would have been avoided! How
different would be our condition, and the condition of our posterity!
If half the sum lavished to prevent any one bearing the name of Napoleon
from residing in France, for replacing the Bourbons on the thrones of
France and Naples, for giving Belgium to Holland, Norway to Sweden,
Finland to Russia, Venice and Lombardy to Austria, had been employed by
individual enterprise, what would now be the resources of England?"

An extract, giving Lord Brougham's summary of George III's life and
character, may, we think, fairly serve to close this chapter: "Of a
narrow understanding, which no culture had enlarged; of an obstinate
disposition, which no education perhaps could have humanized; of strong
feelings in ordinary things, and a resolute attachment to all his own
opinions and predilections, George III. possessed much of the firmness
of purpose which, being exhibited by men of contracted mind without any
discrimination, and as pertinaciously when they are in the wrong as
when they are in the right, lends to their characters an appearance of
inflexible consistency, which is often mistaken for greatness of mind,
and not seldom received as a substitute for honesty. In all that related
to his kingly office he was the slave of deep-rooted selfishness; and no
feeling of a kindly nature ever was allowed access to his bosom whenever
his power was concerned."



CHAPTER V. THE REIGN OF GEORGE IV

The wretched reign of George IV. commenced on the 30th January, 1820.
Mr. Buckle speaks of "the incredible baseness of that ignoble voluptuary
who succeeded George III. on the throne." The coronation was delayed for
a considerable period, partly in consequence of the hostility between
the King and his unfortunate wife, and partly because of the cost. We
find the Right Hon. Thomas Grenville writing of the coronation: "I think
it probable that it will be put off, because the King will not like it
unless it be expensive, and Vansittart knows not how to pay for it if it
is." Generous monarchs, these Brunswicks! Thousands at that moment
were in a state of starvation in England, Scotland, and Ireland. Lord
Cassilis writes: "There seems nothing but chaos and desolation whatever
way a man may turn himself.... the lower orders existing only from
the circumstance of the produce of the land being unmarketable.... The
weavers are certainly employed, but they cannot earn more than from six
to eight shillings a week. Such is our state." When the coronation did
ultimately take place, some strange expenses crept in. Diamonds were
charged for to the extent, it is said, of £80,000, which found their way
to one of the King's favored mistresses. The crown itself was made
up with hired jewels, which were kept for twenty-one months after the
coronation, and for the hire of which alone the country paid £11,000.
The charge for coronation robes was £24,000. It was in consequence of
Sir Benjamin Bloom-field having to account for some of the diamonds
purchased that he resigned his position in the King's household. Rather
than be suspected of dishonesty, he preferred revealing that they
had reached the hands of Lady Conyngham. Sir George Naylor, in an
infamously servile publication, for which book alone the country paid
£3,000, describes "the superb habiliments which his Majesty, not less
regardful of the prosperity of the people than of the splendor of his
throne, was pleased to enjoin should be worn upon the occasion of his
Majesty's sacred coronation."

Sir William Knighton declares that on the news of the King's death
reaching the Prince Regent, "the fatal tidings were received with a
burst of grief that was very affecting." The King had been mad and blind
and deaf for ten years, and the Queen, years before, had complained
of the Prince's conduct as unfilial, if not inhuman. With the Prince
Regent's known character, this sudden burst of grief is really "very
affecting."

On the 23d of February, London was startled with the news of what since
has been described as the Cato Street Conspiracy. The trial of Arthur
Thistlewood and his misguided associates is valuable for one lesson. The
man who found money for the secret conspirators, and who incited them
to treason and murder, was one George Edwards. This Edwards was well
described by one of the journals of the period, "as neither more nor
less than the confidential agent of the original conspirators, to hire
for them the treasons they have a purpose in detecting." By original
conspirators were meant Lord Castlereagh and Lord Sidmouth. In the House
of Commons, Mr. Alderman Wood moved formally, "That George Edwards be
brought to the bar of the House on a breach of privilege. He pledged
himself, if he had this incendiary in his hands, to convict him of the
crimes imputed; he hoped he had not been suffered to escape beyond seas;
otherwise there were honorable gentlemen who were in possession of him,
so that he might be produced"--meaning by this that he was kept out
of the way by the Government. "He regarded him as the sole author and
contriver of the Cato Street plot. It was strange how such a man should
be going about from public house to public house, nay, from one private
house to another, boldly and openly instigating to such plots; and, in
the midst of this, should become, from abject poverty, suddenly flush
with money, providing arms, and supplying all conspirators." Mr. Hume
seconded the motion. "It appeared by the depositions, not of one person
only, but of a great many persons, that the individual in question
had gone about from house to house with hand-grenades, and, up
to twenty-four hours only preceding the 23d of February, had been
unceasingly urging persons to join with him in the atrocious plot to
assassinate his Majesty's Ministers. All of a sudden he became quite
rich, and was buying arms in every quarter, at every price, and of every
description; still urging a variety of persons to unite with him. Now,
it was very fitting for the interest of the country, that the country
should know who the individuals were who supplied him with the money."

As a fair specimen of the disposition of the King in dealing with
his Ministry, I give the following extract from a memorandum of Lord
Chancellor Eldon, dated April 26th, 1820: "Our royal master seems
to have got into temper again, so far as I could judge from his
conversation with me this morning. He has been pretty well disposed to
part with us all, because we would not make additions to his revenue.
This we thought conscientiously we could not do in the present state of
the country, and of the distresses of the middle and lower orders of the
people--to which we might add, too, that of the higher orders. My own
individual opinion was such that I could not bring myself to oppress the
country at present by additional taxation for that purpose."

On the 23d of March, Henry Hunt, John Knight, Joseph Johnson, Joseph
Healey, and Samuel Bamford were, after six days' trial at York,
found guilty of unlawfully assembling. Lord Grenville feared that, if
acquitted, Peterloe might form a terrible bill of indictment against
the Ministry. His Lordship writes on March 29th, to the Marquis
of Buckingham: "It would have been a dreadful thing if it had been
established by the result of that trial that the Manchester meeting was
under all its circumstances a legal assembly." His Lordship knew that
the magistrates and yeomanry cavalry might have been indicted for murder
had the meeting been declared legal. Sir C. Wolseley and the Rev, J.
Harrison were at this time being prosecuted for seditious speaking,
and were ultimately found guilty on April 10th. In May the state of the
country was terrible; even Baring, the Conservative banker, on May 7th,
described the "state of England" to a full House of Commons, "in the
most lamentable terms." On the 8th we find Mr. W. H. Fremantle saying of
the King, "His language is only about the Coronation and Lady Conyngham
[his then favorite sultana]; very little of the state of the country."
Early in June, it being known that Queen Caroline was about to return to
England, and that she intended to be present at the Coronation, the
King offered her £50,000 a year for life to remain on the Continent,
and forbear from claiming the title of Queen of England. This Caroline
indignantly refused. The Queen's name had, by an order in Council, and
on the King's direction, been omitted from the Liturgy as that of a
person unfit to be prayed for, and on the 6th of July a bill of pains
and penalties was introduced by Lord Liverpool, alleging adultery
between the Queen and one Bartolomeo Bergami. To wade through the mass
of disgusting evidence offered by the advisers of the King in support
of the bill is terrible work. It seems clear that many of the witnesses
committed perjury. It is certain that the diplomatic force of England
was used to prevent the Queen from obtaining witnesses on her behalf.
Large sums of the taxpayers' money were shown to have been spent in
surrounding the Princess of Wales with spies in Italy and Switzerland.
Naturally the people took sides with the Queen. To use the language of
William Cobbett: "The joy of the people, of all ranks, except nobility,
clergy, and the army and the navy, who in fact were theirs, was
boundless; and they expressed it in every possible way that people can
express their joy. They had heard rumors about a lewd life, and about an
adulterous intercourse. They could not but believe that there was some
foundation for something of this kind; but they, in their justice, went
back to the time when she was in fact turned out of her husband's house,
with a child in her arms, without blame of any sort ever having been
imputed to her. They compared what they had _heard_ of the wife
with what they had _seen_ of the husband, and they came to their
determination accordingly. As far as related to the question of guilt or
innocence they cared not a straw; they took a large view of the matter;
they went over her whole history; they determined that she had been
wronged, and they resolved to uphold her."

On the 6th of August, the Duchess of York died. Dr. Doran thus writes
her epitaph: "Her married life had been unhappy, and every day of it was
a disgrace to her profligate, unprincipled, and good-tempered husband."

In the month of September Lord Castlereagh was compelled to admit that
the expenses incurred in obtaining evidence from abroad, against the
Queen, had been defrayed out of the Secret Service money. The trial
of Queen Caroline lasted from the 17th of August until the 10th of
November, when, in a house of two hundred and seven peers, the Queen was
found guilty by a majority of nine votes. On this, Lord Liverpool said
that "as the public sentiment had been expressed so decidedly against
the measure," he would withdraw the bill. Amongst those who voted
against the Queen, the names appear of Frederick Duke of York and
William Henry Duke of Clarence. They had been most active in attacking
the Queen, and now were shameless enough to vote as her judges. While
the trial was proceeding, the Duke of York's private conversation "was
violent against the Queen." He ought surely, for very shame's sake,
this Prince-Bishop, to have remembered the diamonds sent by the King his
father to Princess Caroline Amelia Elizabeth, of Brunswick. Being
the bearer of the jewels, his Royal Highness the Duke of York and
Prince-Bishop of Osnaburg, stole them, and presented them to Mrs. Mary
Anne Clarke. Mr. Denman, the Queen's Solicitor-General, was grandly
audacious in his indictment of the King's brothers for their cowardly
conduct. In the presence of the assembled Lords, he, without actually
referring to him by name, denounced the Duke of Clarence as a
calumniator. He called on the Duke to come forward openly, saying, "Come
forth, thou slanderer!" And this slanderer was afterwards our King! The
Queen, in a protest against the bill, declared that "those who avowed
themselves her prosecutors have presumed to sit in judgment upon the
question between the Queen and themselves. Peers have given their
voices against her, who had heard the whole evidence for the charge,
and absented themselves during her defence. Others have come to the
discussion from the Secret Committee with minds biased by a mass of
slander, which her enemies have not dared to bring forward in the
light." Lord Dacre, in presenting the protest to the assembled peers,
added: "Her Majesty complained that the individuals who formed her
prosecutors in this odious measure, sat in judgment against her. My
Lords, I need not express an opinion upon this complaint; delicacy alone
ought to have, in my opinion, prevented their becoming her accusers, and
also her judges."

George IV. was guilty of the vindictive folly of stripping Brougham of
his King's Counsel gown, as a punishment for his brilliant defence of
the Queen.

While the trial of the Queen was going on, it might have been thought
that the King would at any rate affect a decency of conduct. But these
Brunswicks are shameless. Speaking of the cottage at Windsor, on August
11th, Mr. Fremantle says: "The principal object is of course the Lady
Conyngham, who is here. The King and her always together, separated from
the rest, they ride every day or go on the water, and in the evening
sitting alone.... The excess of his attentions and _enjouement_ is
beyond all belief." On December 17th, Mr. Fremantle finds the King ill
and says: "The impression of my mind is that the complaint is in the
head." Most of the Brunswicks have been affected in the head. Either
George I. was insane, or George II. was not his son. George II. himself
had certainly one or two delusions, if not more. George III.'s sanity is
not affirmed by any one. It may be a question whether or not any
allegation of hereditary affection is enough, however, to justify an
appeal to Parliament for a rearrangement of the succession to the
throne.

On the 9th of January, 1821, King George IV. wrote a private letter
to Lord Chancellor Eldon, in the "double capacity as a friend and as a
minister," in order to influence the proceedings then pending in the law
courts "against vendors of treason and libellers."

On the 8th of June, on the motion of Lord Londonderry, and after an
ineffectual opposition by Mr. Hume, £6,000 a year additional was voted
to the Duke of Clarence. The vote was made retrospective, and thus gave
the Duke £18,000 extra in cash. Besides this, we find a charge of £9,166
for fitting up the Duke's apartments.

On the 5th of July, Mr. Scarlett moved the court on behalf of Olivia
Wilmot Serres, claiming to be the legitimate daughter of the Duke of
Cumberland, who was brother of George III. Mr. Scarlett submitted
that he had documents proving the accuracy of the statement, but on a
technical point the matter was not gone into.

In August, 1821, King George IV. visited Ireland. Knowing his habits,
and the customs of some other members of the family, it excites little
surprise to read that, on the voyage to Dublin, "his Majesty partook
most abundantly of goose pie and whiskey," and landed in Ireland "in
the last stage of intoxication." And this was a king! This journey to
Ireland cost the country £58,261. In a speech publicly made by the
King in Ireland, within a few hours after receiving the news of Queen
Caroline's death, the monarch said: "This is one of the happiest days of
my life."

On the 7th of August Queen Caroline died. In Thelwall's _Champion_ there
is a full account of the disgraceful conduct of the King's Government
with reference to the funeral. On the morning of the 14th, after a
disgusting contest between her executors and the King's Government for
the possession of her remains, they were removed from Brandenburgh House
towards Harwich, on their way to interment at Brunswick. The ministers,
to gratify personal feelings of unworthy rancor beyond the grave, gave
orders that the funeral should take a circuit, to avoid manifestations
of sympathy from the Corporation and the people along the direct route
through London. At Kensington, the procession found every road but that
of London barricaded by the people, and was constrained to take the
forbidden route, with the intention of passing through Hyde Park into
the northern road. The Park gate was closed and barricaded, but was
forced by the military. The upper gate was also barricaded. Here a
conflict took place between the military and the people, and two persons
were shot by the soldiers. The procession moved on, the conflict was
renewed, the people triumphed, and the corpse was borne through the
city. Sir Robert Wilson remonstrated with some soldiers and an officer
on duty; but his humane interference caused his removal from the army.
In return, a large sum was subscribed by the public to compensate Sir
Robert Wilson for his loss. The directing civil magistrate present,
for having consulted his humanity in preference to his orders, and
to prevent bloodshed yielded to the wishes of the multitude, was also
deprived of his commission. On the inquest on the body of one of the men
shot, the coroner's jury, vindicating the rights of the people, returned
a verdict of "Wilful murder" against the Life Guardsman who fired.

While the King was in Ireland he paraded his connection with the
Marchioness of Conyngham in the most glaring manner. Fremantle says: "I
never in my life heard of anything to equal the King's infatuation and
conduct towards Lady Conyngham. She lived exclusively with him during
the whole time he was in Ireland, at the Phoenix Park. When he went to
Slane, she received him dressed out as for a drawing-room. He saluted
her, and they then retired alone to her apartments."

If it be objected that I am making too great a feature of the
Marchioness of Conyngham's connection with the King, I plead my
justification in Henry W. Wynn's declaration of "her folly and
rapacity," affirming that this folly and rapacity have left their clear
traces on the conduct of affairs, and in the increase of the national
burdens. Her husband, as a reward for her virtue, was made an English
peer in 1821. Lord Mount Charles, his eldest son, was made Master of the
Robes, Groom of his Majesty's Bedchamber, and ultimately became a
member of the Government. On this, Bulwer said: "He may prove himself an
admirable statesman, but there is no reason to suppose it."

In order that the student of history may fairly judge the account of the
rapturous reception given to the King in Ireland, it is needful to add
that political discontent was manifest on all sides. Poverty and misery
prevailed in Limerick, Mayo, Cavan, and Tipperary, which counties
were proclaimed, and occupied by a large military force. Executions,
imprisonments, and tumults filled the pages of the daily journals.

In the autumn of 1821, King George IV. visited Hanover, and if the Duke
of Buckingham's correspondence be reliable, "Lord Liverpool put a final
stop to the visit by declaring that no more drafts could be honored,
except for the direct return home."

On the 12th of August, 1822, Castlereagh, the most noble the Marquis of
Londonderry, sent himself to heaven, from North Cray Farm, Bexley, at
the age of fifty-three. He was buried in Westminster Abbey. Meaner clay
would have been got rid of at some cross roads.

"The death," says Wallace, "of a public man in England--especially
a death so sudden and lamentable--greatly assuages the political
resentments against him in his life; and there was a reaction in
aristocratic circles in favor of Lord Londonderry when he ceased to
live. His servile complaisance to despots abroad, his predilection for
the worst engines of government at home, were for a moment forgotten.
But the honest hatred of the populace, deep-rooted, sincere, and savage,
remained untouched, and spoke in a fearful yell of triumphant execration
over his remains whilst his coffin was descending into the grave in
Westminster Abbey."

No language could do fitting justice to Robert Stewart, Marquis of
Londonderry. Words would be too weak to describe Castlereagh's cruelty
and baseness towards his own countrymen, or his infernal conduct in
connection with the Government of England. All that can be fittingly
said is, that he was pre-eminently suited to be Minister of State under
a Brunswick.

In 1828 the thanks of Parliament were presented to George IV. for
"having munificently presented to the nation a library formed by
George III." Unfortunately, the thanks were undeserved. George IV. was
discreditable enough to accept thanks for a donation he had never made.
The truth is, says the Daily News, "that the King being, as was his
wont, in urgent need of money, entertained a proposal to sell his
father's library to the Emperor of Russia for a good round sum. The
books were actually packed up, and the cases directed in due form, when
representations were made to Lord Sidmouth, then Home Secretary, on the
subject. The minister resolved, if possible, to hinder the iniquity from
being perpetrated. Accordingly, he represented his view of the matter
to the King. George IV. graciously consented, after a good deal of
solicitation, to present the library to the nation, conditionally on his
receiving in return the same sum as he would have received had the sale
of it to the Emperor of Russia been completed. What the nation did was,
firstly, to pay the money; secondly, to erect a room for the library
at the cost of £140,000; and thirdly, to return fulsome thanks to the
sovereign for his unparalleled munificence.".

On the 25th of April, 1825, the Duke of York spoke in the House of
Lords against Catholic Emancipation. His speech was made, if not by the
direction, most certainly with the consent, of the King. George IV.'s
reluctance to Catholic Emancipation was deep-rooted and violent. The
bare mention of the subject exasperated him. He was known to say,
and only in his milder mood, "I wish those Catholics were damned or
emancipated." The angered despotism of this alternative still afforded
the hope that his intolerance might be overcome by his selfish love of
ease. The Duke of York's address to his brother peers closed with the
declaration that he would, to the last moment of his life, whatever his
situation, resist the emancipation of the Catholics, "so help him God!"
All tyrants think themselves immortal; the Catholics and their cause
outlived the Duke of York, and triumphed. His speech, however, coming
from the presumptive heir to the Crown, had a great share in deciding
the majority of the Lords against the measure; and acted with great
effect upon the congenial mass of brute ignorance and bigotry which is
found ready to deny civil rights to all outside the pale of their own
church.

On the 5th of January, 1827, the Duke of York died. Wallace, in
his "Life of George IV.," says: "Standing in the relation of
heir-presumptive to the throne; obstinately and obtusely fortified
against all concession to the Catholics; serving as a ready and
authorative medium of Toryism and intolerance to reach, unobserved, the
royal ear--his death had a great influence upon the state of parties,
and was especially favorable to the ascendancy of Mr. Canning. He,
some weeks only before he died, and when his illness had commenced,
strenuously urged the King to render the Government uniform and
anti-Catholic; in other words, to dismiss Mr. Canning; and, had he
recovered, Mr. Canning must have ceased to be Foreign Minister, or the
Duke to be Commander-in-chief. The Duke of York was not without personal
good qualities, which scarcely deserved the name of private virtues,
and were overclouded by his private vices. He was constant in his
friendships: but who were his friends and associates? Were they persons
distinguished in the State, in literature, in science, in arts, or even
in his own profession of arms? Were they not the companions and sharers
of his dissipations and prodigalities? He did not exact from his
associates subserviency or form; but it was notorious that, from the
meanness of his capacity, or the vulgarity of his tastes, he descended
very low before he found himself at his own social level. His services
to the army as Commander-in-chief were beyond all measure overrated.
Easy access, diligence, a mechanical regularity of system, which seldom
yielded to solicitation, and never discerned merit; an un-envying,
perhaps unscrupulous, willingness to act upon the advice and appropriate
the measures of others more able and informed than himself,--these were
his chief merits at the Horse Guards. But, it will be said, he had un
uncompromising, conscientious fidelity to his public principles; this
amounts to no more than that his bigotry was honest and unenlightened.
His death, perhaps, was opportune; his non-accession fortunate for the
peace of the country and the stability of his family on the Throne.
Alike incapable of fear and foresight, he would have risked the
integrity of the United Kingdom rather than concede the Catholic claims;
and the whole Monarchy rather than sanction Reform. It would be easy
to suggest a parallel, and not always to his advantage, between the
constitution of his mind and that of James, Duke of York, afterwards
James II., whose obstinate bigotry forced the nation to choose between
their liberties and his deposition from the Throne."

In 1827, the Duke of Clarence obtained, after much opposition, a further
vote of £8,000 a year to himself, besides £6,000 a year to the Duchess.
The Duke of Clarence also had £3,000 a year further, consequent on the
death of the Duke of York, making his allowance £43,000 a year.

In April, 1829, the infamous Duke of Cumberland had stated, that if the
King gave his assent to the Catholic Emancipation Bill, he (the Duke)
would quit England never to return to it. The Right Honorable Thomas
Grenville says, in a letter dated April 9th: "There is some fear that a
declaration to that effect may produce a very general cheer even in the
dignified assembly of the House of Lords." How loved these Brunswicks
have been even by their fellow-peers!

On the 10th of April, the Roman Catholic Emancipation Bill passed the
House of Lords, the Duke of Wellington confessing that civil war was
imminent, if the relief afforded by the measure was longer delayed.

On June 26th, 1830, the royal physicians issued a bulletin, stating
that "t has pleased Almighty God to take from this world the King's most
excellent majesty." Most excellent majesty!! A son who threatened his
mother to make public the invalidity of her marriage; a lover utterly
regardless of the well-being of any of his mistresses; a bigamous
husband, who behaved most basely to his first wife, and acted the part
of a dishonorable scoundrel to the second; a brother at utter enmity
with the Duke of Kent; a son who sought to aggravate the madness of his
royal father; a cheat in gaming and racing. He dies because lust and
luxury have, through his lazy life, done their work on his bloated
carcass, and England sorrows for the King's "most excellent majesty!"

George IV. was a great King. Mrs. J. R. Greer, in her work on
"Quakerism," says that he once went to a woman's meeting in Quaker
dress. "His dress was all right; a gray silk gown, a brown cloth shawl,
a little white silk handkerchief with hemmed edge round his neck, and a
very well-poked Friend's bonnet, with the neatly-crimped border of his
clear muslin cap tied under the chin, completed his disguise." Royal
George was detected, but we are told that the Quakers, who recognized
their visitor, were careful to treat him with courtesy and deference!

In the ten years' reign, the official expenditure for George IV. and his
Royal Family was at the very least £16,000,000 sterling. Windsor Castle
cost £894,500, the Pavilion at Brighton is said to have cost a million,
and another half-million is alleged to have been expended on the famous
"Cottage." After the King's death his old clothes realized £15,000.

Thackeray says of him that he "never resisted any temptation; never had
a desire but he coddled it and pampered it; if he ever had any nerve,
he frittered it away among cooks, and tailors, and barbers, and
furniture-mongers, and opera-dancers.... all fiddling, and flowers,
and feasting, and flattery, and folly.... a monstrous image of pride,
vanity, and weakness."

Wallace says: "Monarchy, doubtless, has its advantages; but it is a
matter of serious reflection that under a government called free, among
a people called civilized, the claims of millions, and the contingent
horrors of a civil war, should be thus dependent upon the distempered
humors and paramount will of a single unit of the species."



CHAPTER VI. THE REIGN OF WILLIAM IV

William Henry, Duke of Clarence, Admiral of the Fleet, and third son of
George III, born August 21st, 1765, succeeded his brother George IV.
as King of England, on the 26th of June, 1830. The new King was then 65
years of age, and had been married, July 11th, 1818, to Adelaide Amelia
Louisa Teresa Caroline, Princess of Saxe-Meiningen. Mrs. Dorothy Jordan,
with whom William had lived, and who had borne him ten children, had
fled to France to avoid her creditors, and had there died, neglected by
the world, deserted by William, and in the greatest poverty. This Mrs.
Jordan was sold to William by one Richard Ford, her former lover, who,
amongst other rewards of virtue, was created a Knight, and made Police
Magistrate at Bow Street. Mrs. Jordan's children bore the name of
"Fitzclarence," and great dissatisfaction was expressed against the
King, who, too mean to maintain them out of his large income, contrived
to find them all posts at the public cost. At the date of William IV.'s
accession, the imperial taxation was about £47,000,000; to-day it has
increased at least £25,000,000.

The annual allowances to the junior branches of the Royal Family in
1830, formerly included in the Civil List, and now paid separately, were
as follows:--

The Duke of Cumberland £21,000. He had no increase on his marriage; the
House of Commons rejected a motion to that effect; but an allowance of
£6,000 a year for his son, Prince George, had been issued to him since
he became a resident in this country. This is the Duke of Cumberland,
who so loved his brother, William IV., that he intrigued with the
Orangemen to force William's abdication, and to get made King in his
stead.

The Duke of Sussex received £21,000.

The Duke of Cambridge, father of the present Duke, had £27,000. He
obtained an increase on his marriage of £6,000 a year. This Prince was
charged with the government of the family territory, the kingdom of
Hanover, and consequently resided but little in England.

Princess Augusta, £13,000.

The Princess Elizabeth of Hesse Homburg, £10,000.

Princess Sophia, £13,000.

The Duchess of Kent, including the allowance granted in 1831, for
her daughter, the Princess Victoria, heir-presumptive to the Throne,
£22,000.

The Duke of Gloucester, including £13,000 which he received as the
husband of the Princess Mary*, £27,000.

The Princess Sophia of Gloucester, his sister, £7,000.

Queen Adelaide had £100,000 a year, and the residence at Bushey granted
to her for life.

Mrs. Fitzherbert, as the widow of George IV., was in receipt of £6,000 a
year, and the ten Fitzclarences also enjoyed places and pensions.

The Duke of Wellington and Sir Robert Peel were the King's Ministers;
and, although there was some personal hostility between William and the
Iron Duke, they were at first his willing coadjutors in opposing either
reduction of expenditure, or any kind of political or social reform. The
quarrel between William as Duke of Clarence and the Duke of Wellington
had arisen when William was Lord High Admiral. William had given
improper orders to a military officer, named Cockburn, which the
latter had refused to obey. The Duke of Wellington refused to sacrifice
Cockburn, and ultimately the Duke of Clarence resigned his office as
Lord High Admiral, for which, says the Rev. Mr. Molesworth, "he was
ill-qualified, and in which he was doing great mischief."

In November, 1830, Earl Grey, Lord Brougham, Lord Melbourne, and Lord
Althorp came into office as leaders of the Whig party. With slight
exception, in 1806, the Whigs had not been before in office during the
present century, and very little indeed since 1762. The Whigs encouraged
the Radical Reformers so far as to insure their own accession to power;
but it is evident that the Whig Cabinet only considered how little they
could grant, and yet retain office. In finance, as well as reform, they
were disloyal to the mass of the people who pushed them into power.

The Duke of Wellington and his Ministry resigned office in November,
1830, because the House of Commons wished to appoint a Select Committee
to examine the Civil List. King William IV., according to the words of
a letter written by him to Earl Grey, on December 1st, 1830, felt
considerable "alarm and uneasiness" because Joseph Hume and other
Radical members wished to put some check on the growing and already
extravagant royal expenditure. He objects "most strenuously," and says,
referring in this especially to the Duchy of Lancaster: "Earl Grey
cannot be surprised that the King should view with jealousy any idea
of Parliamentary interference with the only remaining pittance of an
independent possession, which has been enjoyed by his ancestors, during
many centuries, as their _private and independent estate_, and has now,
as such, lawfully devolved upon him in right of succession. That he
should feel that any successful attempt to deprive the Sovereign of this
independent possession will be to lower and degrade him into the state
and condition of absolute and entire dependence, as a pensioner of
the House of Commons; to place him in the condition of an individual
violating or surrendering a trust which had been held sacred by his
ancestors, and which he is bound to transmit to his successors. The King
cannot indeed conceive upon what plea such a national invasion of the
_private_ rights, and such a seizure of the private estates, of the
Sovereign could be justified."

William IV. reminds Earl Grey, that the Chancellor of the Duchy is sworn
to do all things "for the weal and profit of the King's Highness. And
his Majesty has fair reason to expect that a pledge so solemnly taken
will be fulfilled, and that he will be supported in his assertion
of these _private_ rights, not only of himself, but of his heirs and
successors, as they have devolved upon him, _separate_ from all other
of his possessions _jure coronæ_, and consequently, as his separate
personal and private estate, vested in his Majesty, by descent from
Henry VII. in his body _natural_, and not in his body _politic_ as
King."

Earl Grey naturally promised to prevent Radical financial reformers from
becoming too annoying to Royalty. The Whigs love to talk of economy out
of office, and to avoid it when in place.

Daniel O'Connell appears to have much troubled the King. Directly after
the Dublin meeting in December, 1830, Sir Henry Taylor says: "The King
observed, that he would have been better pleased if this assembly of
people had not dispersed quietly _at his bidding_, as the control
which he has successfully exercised upon various occasions in this way,
appears to his Majesty the most striking proof of the influence he has
acquired over a portion of the lower classes in Ireland."

It is pretended in the _Cabinet Register_ for 1831, and was stated
by Lord Althorp in Parliament, "that his Majesty most nobly and
patriotically declined to add to the burdens of his people by accepting
an outfit for his royal consort, though £54,000 had been granted by
Parliament to the Queen of George III., as an outfit to purchase jewels,
etc." This is so little true, that it appears from the correspondence
between the King and Earl Grey, that a grant for the Queen's outfit had
been agreed to by the outgoing Tories, and would have been proposed
by the new Whig Government, had not one of the Cabinet (probably Lord
Brougham) decidedly objected, on the ground "that proposing a grant for
this purpose would have a bad effect on the House of Commons, and on
public opinion;" and by a letter dated February 4th, 1831, from the
King, it is clear that he only abandoned the claim when he found he
could not get it. There is not a word about "the burdens of the
people," although many at that time were in a starving condition. On the
contrary, the secretary of the King says on the 6th of February, that
"the disinclination shown in the House of Commons" to grant the outfit
had "produced a very painful impression on his Majesty."

The King, afraid of the spread of Reform opinions, says that he "trusts
that the Lord-Lieutenants and Deputy-Lieutenants of counties will be
cautioned to scrutinize the ballots for the militia as far as possible,
so as to endeavor to exclude from its ranks men of dangerous and
designing character, whose influence might prove very pernicious upon
newly-established corps, and before they shall have acquired habits of
discipline and subordination." And to show his desire for Reform,
he urges the Ministers to check the public gatherings, saying, "I am
ignorant to what extent it may be in contemplation to increase the
military means, either by calling out the militia partially, or by any
addition to the regular force; but I am convinced that the latter would
be not only the most efficient, but the cheapest; and it would have the
advantage of being applicable to all purposes."

The Reformer King--for this pretence has been made--in another letter
says: "His Majesty is satisfied that he may rely upon Earl Grey's
strenuous support in his determination to resist all attempts which may
be made to sap the established rights of the Crown, and to destroy
those institutions under which this country has so long prospered, while
others have been suffering so severely from the effects of revolutionary
projects, and from the admission of what are called Radical remedies...
He is induced thus pointedly to notice the proposal of introducing
_Election by Ballot_, in order to declare that nothing should ever
induce him to yield to it, or to sanction a practice which would, in his
opinion, be a protection to concealment, would abolish the influence of
fear and shame, and would be inconsistent with the manly spirit and
the free avowal of opinion which distinguish the people of England. His
Majesty need scarcely add that his opposition to the introduction of
another, yet more objectionable, proposal, the adoption of _Universal
Suffrage_, one of the wild projects which have sprung from revolutionary
speculation, would have been still more decided."

How William IV. could ever have been suspected of being favorable to
Reform is difficult to comprehend. As Duke of Clarence he had spoken in
favor of the Slave Trade, and had declared that "its abolition should
meet with his most serious and most unqualified opposition." When the
Reform Bill actually became law, although William IV. did not dare to
veto it, he refused to give the royal assent in person.

In this chapter there is not space enough to go through the history of
the Reform agitation of 1832. In Moles-worth's "History of the Reform
Bill," and Roebuck's account of the "Whig Ministry," the reader will
find the story fully told. It is not enough to say here that the King
not only hindered Reform until Revolution was imminent, and the flames
of burning castles and mansions were rising in different parts of
England, but it may be stated that he condescended to deceive his
Ministers; that he allowed his children to canvass peers against the
bill, and would have resorted to force to crush the Birmingham Political
Union, if he could have thrown the responsibility of this tyranny upon
the Cabinet. In the King's eyes the people were "the rabble." We find
him "impatient" for the return of the Tories to power, and bitterly
discontented when the orderly character of popular demonstrations
rendered the employment of the military impossible.

The Earl of Munster, one of the King's ten children by Mrs. Jordan, and
who was Governor of Windsor Castle, Colonel in the Army, Aide-de-Camp
to the King, Lieutenant of the Tower, Tory and State prisoner, being
charged with having "unhandsomely intrigued against Earl Grey's
Government," made the curious defence "that for six months before and
for twenty-four hours after the resignation" of the Grey Government,
"it was from certain circumstances out of his power to act in the matter
imputed to him."

It is worthy of notice, as against Mr. Frederic Harrison's opinion,
that no English monarch could now really interfere with the course
of government in Great Britain, that in April, 1832, William IV. gave
written directions to Earl Grey, "that no instructions should be
sent" to foreign ambassadors until they had "obtained his previous
concurrence." And it is clear, from a letter of the King's private
secretary, that William gave these orders because he was afraid
there was a "disposition... to unite with France in support of the
introduction of liberal opinions and measures agreeably to the spirit of
the times." Although the newspapers praised William, he does not seem
to have been very grateful in private. In 1832, he declared to his
confidential secretary that he had "long ceased to consider the press
(the newspaper family) in any other light than as the vehicle of all
that is false and infamous."

In January, 1833, in a speech, not written for him, but made
extemporaneously after dinner, William IV. said, to compliment the
American Ambassador, "that it had always been a matter of serious regret
to him that he had not been born a free, independent American." We
regret that the whole family have not long since naturalized themselves
as American citizens. But such a sentiment from the son of George III.,
from one who in his youth had used the most extravagant phraseology in
denunciation of the American rebels!!

The family insanity, shown in the case of George II. by his persistence
in wearing his Dettingen old clothes; more notorious and less possible
of concealment in that of George III.; well known to all but the people
as to George IV., who actually tried to persuade the Duke of Wellington
that he (George) had led a regiment at Waterloo, was also marked in
William IV. In April, 1832, the King's own secretary admits "distressing
symptoms" and "nervous excitement," but says that the attack "is now
subsiding." Raikes, a Tory, and also a king-worshipper, in his, "Diary,"
under date May the 27th, 1834, says, after speaking of the King's
"excitement" and "rather extraordinary" conduct, that "at the levee a
considerable sensation was created the other day by his insisting that
an unfortunate wooden-legged lieutenant should kneel down." On June
11th, visiting the Royal Academy, the President showed the King, amongst
others, the portrait of Admiral Napier, and was astonished to hear his
Majesty at once cry out: "Captain Napier may be damned, sir, and you
may be damned, sir; and if the Queen was not here, sir, I would kick
you downstairs, sir." The King's brother, his Royal Highness the Duke of
Gloucester, died November 20th, 1834. Raikes says of him: "He was not
a man of talent, as may be inferred from his nickname of Silly Billy."
This is the Royal Family, the head of which, according to Mr. Disraeli,
was "physically and mentally incapable of performing the regal
functions," and which yet, according to the brilliant statesman, so
fitly represents the intelligence and honor of Great Britain!

In 1836, Sir William Knighton died. He had been made private secretary
to the late King, and had made his fortune by means of some papers which
Colonel Macmahon, confidant of George IV., had when dying, and which
came into Knighton's hands as medical attendant of the dying man. Sir
W. Knighton was made a "Grand Cross," not for his bravery in war, or
intelligence in the State, but for his adroit manipulation of secrets
relating to Lady Jersey, Mrs. Fitzherbert, and the Marchioness of
Conyngham. Sir William Knighton and the latter lady were supposed to
have made free with £300,000; but great larcenies win honor, and Sir W.
Knighton died respected.

In August, 1836, William--hearing that the Duke of Bedford had helped
O'Connell with money--ordered the Duke's bust, then in the Gallery at
Windsor, to be taken down, and thrown in the lime-kilns.

On June 20th, 1837, William IV. died. Ernest, Duke of Cumberland,
by William's death, became King of Hanover, and was on the same day
publicly hissed in the Green Park. Naturally, in this loving family
there was considerable disagreement for some time previous to the King's
death between his Majesty and the Duchess of Kent.

The _Edinburgh Review_, soon after the King's death, while admitting
that "his understanding may not have been of as high an order as his
good nature," says: "We have learned to forget the faults of the Duke
of Clarence in the merits of William IV." Where were these merits
shown? Was it in "brooding"--(to use the expression of his own private
secretary)--over questions of whether he could, during the commencement
of his reign, personally appropriate sums of money outside the Civil
List votes? Was it in desiring that Colonel Napier might be "struck
off the half-pay list," for having made a speech at Devizes in favor of
Parliamentary Reform? Was it when he tried to persuade Earl Grey to make
Parliament pay Rundell and Bridge's bill for plate--and this when the
masses were in a starving condition? Was it when he declared that he was
by "no means dissatisfied" that a proposed meeting was likely to be so
"violent, and in other respects so objectionable," as it would afford
the excuse for suppressing by force the orderly meetings which, says his
secretary, "the King orders me to say he cannot too often describe as
being, in his opinion, far more mischievous and dangerous" than those of
"a more avowed and violent character"?



CHAPTER VII. THE PRESENT REIGN.

Her present Majesty, Alexandrina Victoria, was born May 24th, 1819, and
ascended the throne June 20th, 1837, as representing her father, the
Duke of Kent, fourth son of George HI. On February 10th, 1840, it being
the general etiquette for the Brunswick family to intermarry amongst
themselves, she was married to her cousin, Prince Albert of Saxe Coburg,
who received an allowance from the nation of £30,000, to compensate
him for becoming the husband of his wife. The Queen, more sensible than
others of the arduous position of a Prince Consort, wished her loyal
husband to have £100,000 a year. The Government reduced this to £50,000;
Joseph Hume and the Radicals reduced it still further to £30,000. For
this annual payment the Prince undertook to submit to naturalization,
to be the first subject in England, to reside rent free in the Royal
Palaces repaired at the cost of the nation. He also, on his own account,
and for his own profit, attended to various building speculations at the
West End of London, and died very rich. He is known as Prince Albert the
Good. His goodness is marked--not by parks given to the people, as in
the case of Sir Francis Crossley; not by improved dwellings for the
people, as in the case of George Peabody; not by a large and
costly market place, freely given, as in the case of Miss Burdett
Coutts--Peeress without her patent of Baroness;--but by statues erected
in his honor in many cities and boroughs by a loyal people. As an
employer of labor, the Prince's reputation for generosity is marked
solely by these statues. As a Prince, he felt in his lifetime how much
and how truly he was loved by his people; and at a dinner given to the
Guards, Prince Albert, in a speech probably not revised beforehand, told
the household troops how he relied on them to protect the throne against
any assaults. The memory of the Prince is dear to the people; he has
left us nine children to keep out of the taxpayers' pockets, his own
large private accumulations of wealth being inapplicable to their
maintenance.

When her Majesty ascended the throne, poor rates averaged 5s. 4£d. per
head per annum; to-day they exceed 7s. During the last fifteen years
alone there has been an increase of more than 250,000 paupers in England
and Wales, and one person out of every twenty-two is in receipt of
workhouse relief. Everybody, however, agrees that the country is
prosperous and happy. In Scotland there has been an increase of 9,048
paupers in the last ten years. Two out of every fifty-three Scotchmen
are at this moment paupers. In Ireland in the last ten years the
out-door paupers have increased 19,504. As, however, we have, during the
reign of her present most gracious Majesty, driven away the bulk of the
Irish population, there are considerably fewer paupers in Ireland than
there are in Scotland. The average Imperial taxation during the first
ten years of her Majesty's reign was under £50,000,000 a year. The
average taxation at the present day is over £72,000,000 a year.
Pauperism and local and Imperial taxation are all on the increase, and,
despite agricultural laborers' outcries and workmen's strikes, it is
agreed that her Majesty's reign has brought us many blessings.

On March 20th, 1842, the Earl of Munster, eldest son of William IV., and
who had been made Constable of Windsor Castle by her Majesty, committed
suicide. Although the eldest son of the late King, his position as a
natural child excluded him from heaven, according to the Bible, and from
all right to the Throne, according to our law.

Her Majesty's eldest daughter, the Princess Royal, Victoria Adelaide
Mary Louisa, is married to the Prince Imperial, Frederick William, of
Germany, and, as it would have been manifestly unreasonable to expect
either the Queen or the Prince Consort, out of their large private
fortunes, to provide a dowry for their daughter, the English nation pays
£8,000 a year to the Princess.

Her Majesty's eldest son, Albert Edward, Prince of Wales, Duke of
Saxony, Cornwall, and Rothesay, and Earl of Dublin, has earned already
so wide a fame that notice here is almost needless. As a writer, his
letters--a few of which have been published by the kind permission
of Sir Charles Mordaunt--illustrate the grasp of mind peculiar to the
family, and mark in strong relief the nobility of character of the
Royal author. As a military chieftain, the Autumn Manoeuvres of 1871
demonstrated the tact and speed he could display in a strategic movement
of masterly retreat. As an investigator of social problems, he has
surpassed the Lords Townshend and Shaftesbury, and at Mabille and in
London has, by experience, entitled himself to speak with authority.
As a pigeon-shooter, he can only be judged by comparison with the
respectable ex-bushranger now claiming the Tichborne estates. Here,
it is true, the latter is a man of more weight. The Prince of Wales
receives £40,000 a year, and we give his wife £10,000 a year as a slight
acknowledgment for the position she has to occupy as Princess of Wales.
With the history of the wives of the two last Princes of Wales to guide
them, it is almost wonderful that the advisers of the Princess did not
insist on a much higher premium against the risks of the position. When
his Royal Highness came of age, he found accumulations of the Duchy of
Cornwall approaching a million sterling, which, invested in Consols,
would bring him in at least a further £40,000 per annum. His Royal
Highness also has the income of the Duchy of Cornwall, amounting net
to about £75,000 a year. In addition to this, the Prince of Wales is
entitled to military salary as Colonel of the Rifle Brigade and 10th
Hussars. Last year--conscious that it is unfair to expect a Prince
to live upon £153,000 a year--£7,600 were voted by Parliament for the
repair of the house in which he sometimes resides when in London.

A few years ago his Royal Highness was in Paris, and certain scurrilous
foreign prints pretended that on the Boulevard des Italiens, in the face
of France, he had forgotten that one day he would seek to be King of
England. It is written, "_In vino Veritas_." and if the proverb
hold, the Prince is more than half his time a man remarkable for his
truthfulness. Some time later, the _Royal Leamington Chronicle_,
which, in his mercy, the Prince of Wales never prosecuted, coupled
his reputation with infamy. Later, his Royal Highness was ill, and the
nation wept. Then came recovery and Thanksgiving at St. Paul's.

     "So when the devil was sick,
     The devil a saint would be;
     When the devil got well again,
     The devil a saint was he."

The Prince of Wales has since been to Paris, and, according to _La
Liberte_, has honored Mabille with his Royal presence.

Her Majesty's second son is Alfred Ernest, Duke of Edinburgh. His Royal
Highness, when serving on board the Galatea, had leave to go on shore
at Marseilles. Journeying to Paris, he overstayed his leave, refused to
return when summoned, and stayed there, so Paris journals said, till
his debts were thousands. Any other officer in the navy would have
been cashiered; his Royal Highness has since been promoted. The Duke of
Edinburgh visited our Colonies, and the nation voted about £3,500 for
presents made by the Prince. The presents the Prince received were,
of course, his own, and the vote enabled the Duke to do justice to the
generous sentiments of his family. The Colonists pretended at the time
that some of the presents were not paid for by the Duke of Edinburgh;
nay, they went so far as to allege that some of the Duke's debts had
to be discharged by the Colonist Reception Committee. Representing the
honor of England, his Royal Highness earned himself a fame and a name
by the associates he chose. In visiting India, a special sum of, we
believe, £10,000 was taken from the Indian revenues and handed to the
Duke, so that an English Prince might be liberal in his gifts to Indians
at their own cost. The Duke of Edinburgh has £25,000 a year. Five years
ago he borrowed £450 from the pay-chest of the Galatea. I have no means
of knowing whether it has since been paid back; all I can affirm is,
that the country made up the deficient sum in the pay-chest without a
word from any M. P. Had the borrower been a pay-sergeant, he would have
been sent to a District Military Prison; if a commissioned officer,
other than a Royal one, he would have been dismissed the service. The
difference between the Prince of Wales and the Duke of Edinburgh
is this: in the first case, the virtues of the Prince equal his
intelligence; in the second case, the intelligence of the Duke is more
developed than are his virtues.

In the case of Broadwood vs. the Duke of St. Albans, both the Royal
brothers were permitted to guard a pleasant incognito. The Judge who
allowed this concealment was soon afterwards created a Peer of the
Realm.

Our army and navy, without reckoning the Indian Establishment, cost more
to-day, by about £9,000,000 a year, than when her Majesty ascended
the throne. Her Majesty's cousin, George William Frederick, Duke of
Cambridge, is Commander-in-Chief of the Army, and for this service
receives £4,432 per annum. His Royal Highness also receives the sum of
£12,000 in consequence of his being a cousin of the Queen. His Royal
Highness is also Field-Marshal, and Colonel of four distinct regiments,
for which he gets more than £5,000 annually. Naturally, in the Duke
is found embodied the whole military talent of the Royal Family. His
great-uncle, the Duke of Cumberland, carved "Klosterseven" on the
Brunswick monuments. Frederick Duke of York, the uncle of the Duke of
Cambridge, recalled from the field of battle, that he might wear in
peace at home the laurels he had won abroad, added "Clarke" and "Tonyn"
as names to vie with Cressy or Waterloo. The present Duke of Cambridge
was, when Prince George, stationed in Yorkshire, in the famous "plug
plot" times, and his valiancy then threatened most lustily what he would
do against the factory "turnouts," poor starved wretches clamoring for
bread. In the army, the normal schoolmasters can tell how this brave
Brunswicker rendered education difficult, and drove out, one by one,
many of the best teachers. Soldiers who think too much, make bad
machines. It was the father of the present Duke of Cambridge who
publicly expressed his disbelief, in 1844--5, of the failure of the
potato crop in Ireland, "because he had always found the potatoes at his
own table very good!"

For many years her Majesty's most constant attendant has been a
Scotsman, John Brown. This person so seldom leaves her Majesty that it
is said that some years since the Queen insisted on his presence when
diplomatic communications were made to her Majesty; and that, when
escorting the Queen to Camden House, on a visit to the ex-Emperor
Napoleon, Mr. Brown offered her his arm from the carriage to the door.
Afterwards, when an idiotic small boy--Armed with a broken pistol,
loaded with red flannel, and without gunpowder--made a sham attack on
her Majesty, Mr. Brown courageously rushed to the Queen's aid, and has
since received a medal to mark his valor.

For many years her Majesty has taken but little part in the show
ceremonials of State. Parliament is usually opened and closed by
commission--a robe on an empty throne, and a speech read by deputy,
satisfying the Sovereign's loyal subjects. It is, however, the fact that
in real State policy her interference has been most mischievous, and
this especially where it affected her Prusso-German relatives.' In the
case of Denmark attacked by Prussia and Austria, and in the case of
the Franco-Prussian War, English Court influences have most indecently
affected our foreign relations.

Her Majesty is now enormously rich, and--as she is like her Royal
grandmother--grows richer daily. She is also generous, Parliament
annually voting her moneys to enable her to be so without touching her
own purse.

It is charged against me that I have unfairly touched private character.
In no instance have I done so, except as I have found the conduct of the
individuals attacked affecting the honor and welfare of the nation. My
sayings and writings are denounced in many of the journals, and in the
House of Lords, as seditious, and even treasonable. My answer is, that,
fortunately, Hardy, Tooke, and Thelwall heard "Not Guilty" given as the
shield against a criticism which dared to experiment on persecution. In
case of need, I rely on a like deliverance. I do not pretend hereto have
pleaded for Republicanism; I have only pleaded against the White Horse
of Hanover. I admire the German intellect, training the world to think.
I loathe these small German breast-bestarred wanderers, whose only merit
is their loving hatred of one another. In their own land they vegetate
and wither unnoticed; here we pay them highly to marry and perpetuate a
pauper prince-race. If they do nothing, they are "good." If they do ill,
loyalty gilds the vice till it looks like virtue.





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