Abbildungen der Seite
PDF
EPUB

nistration, by way of elucidating this re- occasion, again reminded the Administramark :

tion of the fate that awaited the country " I remember," said his Grace," at in consequence of their perseverence. that period a Bill was brought into this He at the same time infianced the action House to prevent the members from be- at Bunker's Hill, as a proof of the braing fcreened for their debts. I heartily very of the Americans, denied the fupeacceded to this Bill upon principle, and riority of numbers to have been on their had the honour of being joined by the side, and observed," that he never reNoble Lord at the head of the Treasury. collecied any other instance where lincs On the division, the Noes, as usual, went had been forced, and no prisoners taken below the bar; when, milling their lead- but such as were wounded." er, they turned short, and were much Having remarked foon after, “ that he surprised to see him on the other side. did not think the people of America in The late Charles Townshend,” added he rebellion, but merely' refifting acts of “ remarked on a similar circumstance the most unexampled cruelty and oppreshe would hold two to one that, in less fion,” the Earl of Denbigh rose, and than a year, those very members who “openly contended, that those who dehad then divided againit him, would fended rebellion, were themselves little creep under the table to join him; and better than rebels; and that there was had be been taken up, he would have very little difference between the traitor won his wager.”

and he who openly or privately abetted On the 7th of February in the same treason." In reply to this he was told year, during a debate on the American by the noble Duke, “ that he was not to affairs, his Grace complained “ of the be intimidated or deterred from his duty inflammatory and ill-grounded represen- by loud words, and that lie would not tations of a learned and noble Lord (Earl retract a single iota he had uttered on this Manstield), who had laboured all in his occasion.” power to millead the Houte, by endea- On the 5th of March, 1776, the Duke vouring to prove that the Colonies were of Richmond moved, “ That an humble in rebellion: an affertion," it was added, address be presented to his Majeliy, pray“ in every point of view, big with the ing that he would be gracioully pleased molt horrible and direful confequences; to countermand the march of the troops an assertion which, as soon as fanctified of Helic, Hanau, and Brunswick, and by a vote of both Houses, authorised likewise give directions for an inmediate every species of rapine, plunder, maf- fuspevfion of hottilities in. Ainerica, in sacre, and persecution whatever.” order to lay a foundation for a happy and

A Prelate (Dr. John Winckcliffe, then permanent reconciliation between the Bishop of Peterborough) having spoken contending parties of this diftracted ensoon after in favour of coercion, the fame pire." Nobleman rose to observe, “ that he In the course of this debate he obthought it was citremely improper for the served, among a variety of other partiRight Reverend Bench to take any part culars, that a very ingenious gentleman on the present occatiou, or to be at all (Mr. Mauduit) had compuled, during the accessory to the thedding of the blood of German war, that every Freuch scalp their fellow-creatures and fellow subjects, coft the nation ten thoutaud pounds; It would be niuch fitter, if they interfered and he wilhed noble Lords to eltimate, at all, to act as mediators, rather than by the same rule, what an American as perfecutors; more conlittent with the scalp would coli, reckoning 17,000 fuprinciples they professed to teach, and reigners at the rate of one million and a alto more particularly suited to the sacred half per annum. functions they were called upon to dif- “ Much Itress, he understood, had been charge." He added, " that, by the fpe- laid on the justice and popularity of the cimen now given, he should not be for present measures; he thould not, houfrited to see the lawn-sleeves upon tbore ever, rebate that fubject now. It was benches, stained with the blood of their said that the independent part of the nao minuneent and oppreflcd countrymeri ou tion was for them; but, for his part, he the other tide of the Atlantic."

questioned the affertion strongly, in the On the opening of the next session, extent it was contended fui. In the (20th of Octobor, 1715), the spirit and other Houfe, he was informed that the numbers of the Opposition seem to bave 'Treasurer of the Navy (Sir Gilbert Els increated, and the Prelate above-men- liot), and the Payniafier of the Forces tioned acceded to the gruendiment to the (Mr, Rigby), the one deriving his fupfi cech, proposed by the Marquis of Rock, port and consequence from the Cabinet, inglaun. The Duke of Richmond on this aud the other from his party, and both deeply interested in measures which, if the reign of his Majesty, and which first pursued, must quickly prove the means gave rise to that abominable title, to that of procuring for them princely fortunes, odious diftinction, of a King's friend, as were those who chiefly supported coer- if a man could not act in perfonal oppocive propolitions. These gentlemen and lition to Government, without proving a ebeir connexions, with the whole race of personal enemy to his Majesty. money-jobbers, contractors, &c. he be- His Grace then proceeded to touch lieved, formued no finall part of the in- upon two topics relative to his own condependent majorities which had been so duct, which loon after occasioned no luudly echoed both within and without finall degree of sensation. doors, as precipitating this country into Haviny applauded the proposition of a cruel, expentive, and unnatural civil the noble Earl, he reinarked, “ that it war."

deeuli

was the duty of their Lordihips to suggest He further observed, “ that the war, falutary advice to the Crown, and to if carried on, would not only be a war stand up as allertors of the rights of the of heavy expence and long continuance, people; but he thought that there was but would be attended with circumstances but little prospect of giving fuch advice of cruelty, civil rage, and devastation, with effect, unless the original principles bitherto unprecedented in the annals of of the constitution were restored.” fankınd. We wished not only to rob Ile contended, “ that, at present, not the Americans of their property, and even one-leventh part of the people were make them flaves to fight our battles, represented, while all the remainder had but we made war on them in a manner no concern whatever, either virtually or that would ihock the most barbarous na- individually, in the management of their tons, by firing their towns, and turning own affairs; wbich," he also added, “their the wretched inbabitants to perish in Lordships well knew the couftitution of cold, want, and nakedness.

this country, as originally framed, gave " Even till more: This barbaric rage them a right to pofless." was not only direcied against our enemies, He then appealed to the House, whebut againit oor warmnelt and most zealous ther many of the Peers of Parliament did friends. The fact was instanced in the not name the members for several bolate conflagration of the loyal town of roughs, and whether the representatives Norfolk in Virginia, as Administration were not chosen by the management of kad fo frequently called it, which was re- two or three burgeiles?“ Was that the duced to alhes by the wanton and un- sort of reprefcutation deligned by the provoked act of one of our naval com, conftitution? Undoubtedly it was not. anders. Such a deed was not less in- Were this point reformed, we might exconlistent with every sentimeiit of huma. pect to see the country capable of retity, tban coutrary to every rule of good gaining fome portion of its former greatpolicy. It would turn the whole Conti- ness." nent, as well friends as foes, into the After maintaining that the nation was molt implacable and invetcrate eneinies: governed by clerks, and not by Ministers, it would incente vur friends, and render he adverted to the Itate of the fortificaour fues at once fierce, desperate, cruel, tions at home. llis Grace particularly and unrelenting : it diigraced our arins; instanced those erected on Dover Heights, it would render us defpired and abhorred, and Chatháin Lines; declaring, and ternain an indelible blot on the dig- military man, that, notwithttanding the nity and honour of the Englith nation." iemense charge of erecting them, they

In 1781, when the Earl of Shelburne were the most absurd and ineffectual that (the late Marquis of Lansdowne) noved could poflibly be advised; a disgrace to an addrefs to the king's speech, propo- all other kinds of ancieut or inodern forting fach cronfels to be laid at the royal tifications, and even the butt of ridicule fect, as might excite the efforts, point for the boys at Woolwich. The thickthe urms, and command the contidenice ness of the parapet was no more than of las Majetty's loyal subjects, he was feven feet; and every person who was in abdy feconded by the subject of the pre- the least conversant in the rudiments of feni Menoir. 'Ho obferved, that we fortification must know, that the proper oned the then ignominious Situation of thicknefs of a parapet, cannon-proof, was or affairs, to the fame cause from which never less than eighteen feet. Such mere the private musfortunes of individuals paper-works would be all knocked to frequently proceeded to folly: It was pieces at the tirit fire, were guns brought owing to the wretched sylteni of govern- to hear upon them.". went which had been early adopted in The minority on this occasion amount

as a

ed

ed to 31, and the following fort, but was at length effected, through the inter. emphatic protett, was soon after entered vention of common friends. on the journals of the House:

On the clevation of Lord George Ger* DISSENTIENT,

maine to the Peerage, the late Marquis

of Carmarthen moved, “ That it is ex“ For seasons too often used in vain tremely reprelientille' in any Minifier, for the latt feven years, againit the ruin- and highly deroyatory to the honour of ous prosecutiou of the unjutt war carry- this Houfe, to advise the Crown to exering on by his Majesty's Minifiers against cife its iudifpntable right of creating a thie peuple of North America, and too Peer in favour of a perion labouring unfatally confirmed by repeated experience, der the heavy centure of a Court-Marand ihe late disgraceful loss of a second tial.” The Duke of Richmond took an arıny, to ftand in need of repetition.

active part in the debate, and was al· RICHMOND, lowed to have ditimguished himselt, both

FITZWILLIAM, by his talents and his researches, on this " ROCKINGHAM."

occasion. He afterted, “ that by an atIn January, 1782, the Duke of Rich- tention to the ancient patents of the moud engaged in an inquiry, that foon Peerage, it would be discovered, that, after produced a disagrecable personal a!- from the reigu of Edward III. until the jercatiou between his Grace and Lord time of Henry VII. it was expressly Kawdun, now Earl of Moira.* This re- Kated in every new patent of the creation lated to the execution of Colonel Ifaac of a Peer, that tuch creation was made Ilaynes, whom he ftated to be “a gen- with the comjent of Parliament ; nor did tleman, who (if report spoke truth) brad a single inttance occur during the whole been executed in consequence of the too of this period, that titles were granted rigid orders of a British officer, and un- without the particular acquiefcence of der circumftances particularly fhocking to the House of lords. Subsequently to the fectings, and repugnant to the prin- the reign of Henry VII. indeed, the ciples of every Englilinan. lle was de- Crown carried with a considerably less fcribed as baving suffered death without reftraining hand this exercise of the prea previous trial: this was the alleged rogatire; and during the later eras, it matter; and whatsoever had been said, had been regarded as an inconteluille wriuen, or printed, on the subject, was and etiablished right. At the epoch aimed (with how conliderable a degree of to which he adverted, the predeceffors truth, invekigation might perhaps deter- of their Lordrips in the Peerage allo mine) at the establifinent of the fact. exercised their privilege of creating new Jiis Gracc afterwards moved for a copy borougtis, and of sending members to of the various papers relative to this at Parliament. Yet so incontrorcrtible was fair, which, however, was not granted. the potition, that power followed pro

Soo. after this, the Nobleman jutt al- perty, that, for a confiderable length of inded to demanded an explanation; a time, and down to the present nioment, challenge, as is commonly believed, pat- the Coinnions had bolden the right of ed on the occalion, and a cuinproinise chooting their own members; and it was

also customary to increase the Peerage * It afterwards appeared, that Lord Raw- whenfoever thic occafion offered, by call Hon had privately inter eded for the life of ing up to the Houfe of Lords such memColonel Haynes, and actually applied to the bers of the House of Commons as were Juyalists to make such an application in fa- confpicuous by their opalence, their wur of the prisoner, as mighe obtain his powerful intereft, of the greatnefs of pardon from Lieutenant-Colonei Baliour, who their alliances," commanded. l'ut Sir Egerton Leigh, the His Grace then proceeded to state, Attorney-General of Carolina, having de that their Lordships were materially inte clased, '" thae" he would sooner cut off his relied in all new creatioks whatsoever, its right hand than tign a petition fo injurious to thev, in fact, “ compofed a Court of llohis Majesty's intercits," this project became nour.” A comiuoner fent upon trial for hopeless. in respect to this man, if the broke his pa. grounds, challenge either one or any

his life, night, on a variety of legal role there might be some pretext for his exc. cutirn; but, even then, his counsel vught to

number of his jurors; but on the conhave been heard in his behalt. On the con- trary, a Peer, in exactly the faine preditrary, if, as the Americans assert, he return. cament, did not enjoy this power, and ed in his allegiancc conditionully, the cafe is mult be tried collectively by his fellow xatirely altered.

Pects. Their Lord thipa could not there. fure guard too carefully against the ad- day. To forward this important object, miffion of members who might be excep- the names of the people were to be retionable, into their body; and as they gistered in each district three weeks bewere excluded froin the privilege of en- fore the election, with their profession, joying what might properly be termed an trade, or employment, annexed. They after-challenge, they ought to poffess the were also to give their votes in their right of challenging before.

fore

refpcétive parith-churches, before thee The Duke then recurred to the battle church-wardens, who were to close the of Minden, and observed, that Lord poll at fun-fet, and deliver the fame per Southampton, then present, and Earl Li-ionally to the sheriff of the district, whu gonier, à Lord of Parliament in Ireland, was to sum up the whole ou a certain were the two persons who delivered the day, at the most central town of the dif metsages from Prince Ferdinand of Brunt- trict, and make his return of the person wick to Lord George Gerinaine, now, who pofelfed a majority of suffrages. Lord Sackville. “ lf," said his Grace, Nearly about the fame period, a large " as I was famioned to appear on the body of the people of Ireland baving aptrial, my depottion had been called for, plied by letter to his Grace, with a view I could have proved that the time lot of obtaining his opiuion as to the bett when tize noble Viscount delayed to ad- practical method of carrying a reform in Tance, under pretence that, bý receiving ibeir Partiainent into eitěct, he tranlinita fucha contradictory orders, it was becomnc ted them a fcheme for that purpose, ad impoflible for him to discover whether he drefled to Ligutenant-Colonel Sherinan. ought to proceed with the whole, or only in this plan, which was afterwards printe part of the British cavalry, was one hour ed and circulated in the form of a pamand a half. Thus, in respect to time, the phlet, the Duke recominended universal noble Viscount was well enabled to bring Juffruge, a proposition afterwards acied up the cavalry from the distance of a mile upon in England, on the part of the Core and a quarter, in order that, joining in responding Societies, and whicb, by in the battle, they might have reudered ducing them to act on exaggerated prinmore brilliant and decifive the victory ciples, brought the idea of reforin into which closed it; but, previoully to their disrepute, and tended uot a little to reus arrival, the engagement was concluded." der every propofitiou for that purpole ob

The Duke of Richmond had now be- noxious. come one of the most popular men in the At length the misfortunes of the Amekingdom, and he seemed, by every meaus rican war opened the eyes of both nation in his power, to court the respect and and Parlianent, and Lord North was citerta of his fellow-citizens. He, as well driven with indignation from the helm, as the present Duke of Norfolk, and fe- like a pilot who, potwithstanding the fie veral other persons of the firtt confidera- quent warnings that had been given him, hon, had become a member of the Con- lad wrecked the vetfel of the itate on ftitutional Society. His zeal for Parlia- those thoals and breakers visible to every mentary Reform was to glowing and ar- one on board but himself. The new Me dent, that he became a delegate from niftry, headed-by the Marquis of Rock the county of Suffes, for the purpose of ingham, immediately fet about a redreis obtaining the completiou of this measure. of leveral tlayrant grievances, by excluus When the Convention expressly allem- ing contractors from Parliament, prcbled with this view, met at the St. Al cluding cultoin-house and excile-officers ban's Tavern, his Grace of Richmond from the exercise of the elective franchise, was wanitnoully chosen Prelident. and abolishing a great number of useless,

He kitoself also drew up a plan with but not unprofitable, offices. The Whigs, his own hand, to make the election of the however, forgot their promise in respect representatives annual, and to extend the to the chief point, viz. a Parliamentary night of voting to every male person in Reform; which, however serviceable to de kingdom, who should have attained the people, would perhaps, at that mothe age of twenty-one years; criminals ment, lare proved rather detrimental to ad inlane persons only excepted. themelves while Minitters. It is, how

For this purpose, the kiugdom of Great ever, but candid.to fuppose, that the Britnm was to be divided into five liun-@fudilen demnife of their illuftrious leader, tred ditnas, ench to contain an equal and the divisions that immedintely ense pogulation, and to choose one ineinber dhe da leot to begin nud eud i one The Marquis pf Rockingham.

fued

sued, might have prevented them from ster, to produce it." The Duke of Ricliredeeming their folennn pledge to the mond, too, boldly perfevered in his fornation.

mer declarations; and, on introducing a Meanwhile, in March 1782, the Duke bill into the House of Lords, publicly deof Richmond had been nominated to the clared, “ that his reasons in favour of a important office of Matter-General of the Parliamentary Reform, were built on the Ordnance, in the room of the preient experience of twenty-six years; which, Marquis of Townshend, During the whether in or out of Government, had schilin that took place in contequence of convinced him, that the restoration of a the divisions in the Cabinet, he left the genuine House of Commons, by a renoparty of his nephew,* and adhered to the vation of the rights of the people, was the late" Marquis of lansdowne, who had only reniedy against that fytiem of corbeen nominated the new First Lord of ruption which had brought the nation to the Treasury. On this occasion, a deadly poverty and disgrace, and threatened it war of ambition took place between the with the loss of liberty." rival factions; in which Mr. Fox, by an But these fine and specious specches, unnatural but politic coalition with Lord were only continued until the nation had North, which was then viewed with ab- becoine hopelels, as to this ohjećt, by borreuce and detestation, finally tri- delay, and the Ministry so strong in point umphed. On this, his uncle resigned his of nuinbers by an increased influence, office at the Board of Ordnance, on the that a project of this kind, which might 9th of April, 1783, and entered once have now endangered their places, was more into the lifts of Opposition. no longer necessary for the retention of

Under a new, a young, and an elo- thein, lis Grace accordingly, instead quent leader, the late Mr. Pitt, victory of reforming the grievances, in his capaonce more siniled on their banners; and city of Master-General, determined to having, by an unexampled degree of reform the fortifications of our illand. good fortune, united in their own per- We have already observed, that he comjons both the royal and popular favour, plained of the scanty proportions of those they fairly drove their enemies from the erected by his predeceffors; as to his field, and once more clothed themselves own, they were of a gigantic fize, and, with their spoils. On this occasion, (De- calculated to realise the dreains of Friar cember, 1783), his old office, which had Bungay and Friar Bacon, who had de been occupied by his old rival,t fell to termined to furround our whole territory the share of the fubject of this Memoir, with a triple wall of brals. This

was and it was foon after followed by the ribs nearly attempted in stone and iron, by band and insignia of the Carter. the Duke; and so alarmed was the lloule

But Mr. Fox, and those who called of Commons at these costly and extenthemselves Whigs par excellence, were five preparations, that the subject was still formidable. As usual, they courted brought under their notice in 1786, and popularity in retireinent, contended a- the whole scheine fet alide, after a divigainst the unconftitutional proceedings of lion, in which the casting-vote of the those in power, and promiled, iu cate of Speaker turned the balance. fuccefs, to give full and ample satisfac- Notwithstanding this, the estimate of tion to the nation for all its wrongs. expences for repairing old works, was They, too, once inore introduced the immenie; new ones are faid, with what qucttion of Parliamentary Reform; and degree of truth we know not, to have their leader, for the firtt time, made a been actually erected under colour of this public and solcınn declaration in its fa- provifion; and our West India illands vour.

began to be rather encuinbered than deBut their opponents, clothed with all fended by extenlive chains of forts, that the power and intluence of the state, foon crurubled into ruins. fairly outbid them at this political auc

Towards the latter end of 1795, the tion: Mr. Pitt ftill preserved his con

Duke of Richmond religned the office of nexion and correspondence with Mr. Malter-General to the late Marquis of Wyville, and all the leaders who had affociated in favour of a new model of the See, 1. Observations on the Duke of Ilonte of Commons; nay, he even pledy. Richmond's Extensive Plan of Fortification, ed himself, “ both as a man and a wini- 1791; 2. A Reply to an Answer, &c. in a

Letter to his Grace; and, 3. An Appendix tu • The late Mr. Fox.

Mir foregoing; wll printed by the Robinsons, + The Marquis of Towbihood.

170.

Cornwallis,

« ZurückWeiter »