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Wolfe, meanwhile, had reached the St. Lawrence in June, on board a fleet commanded by Admiral Saunders. The navigation of that river was considered very dangerous, but in ascending they captured two small store-ships, and found on board some excellent charts of the river, which enabled the admiral to ascend safely. On the 27th of June the army was landed on the Isle of Orleans, in the middle of the St. Lawrence, in front of Quebec.Thus the Cabinet was evidently fast breaking up, when Mr. Littleton introduced his Tithe Bill. Its object was much the same as Mr. Stanley's Act of 1832 for the Compulsory Commutation of Tithe. This last Act had been a failure, and Mr. Littleton was compelled to ask Parliament to grant the sum of 1,000,000 to pay the arrears. He hoped to remedy its defects by reducing the number of people who were liable to tithe, and then, after the 1st of November, to commute the tithe into a land tax, payable to the State, to reduce its amount by one-fifth, and to allow any person having a substantial interest in the estate to redeem the residue of it, after five years had expired, on easy terms. After a number of stormy debates the progress of the measure seemed assured, when Lord John Russell went out of his way to express his views in favour of the appropriation of the surplus revenues of the Irish Church to secular purposes. Stanley wrote to Graham the laconic note, "Johnny has upset the coach." Indeed, the declaration was the more indiscreet because the Cabinet was hopelessly divided on the point.

These enactments, unaccompanied by any others the object of which was to relieve the distress of the people, only tended still more to exasperate the feelings of the working classes. In fact, nothing had been so obvious as the effect of the proceedings of Government of late in disturbing that peace which they professed themselves so desirous to preserve. They, in truth, were the real agitators. The passing of the Six Acts only made the popular resentment the deeper, and whilst this tended to render the more prudent Reformers cautious, it stimulated the lowest and most unprincipled of them to actual and deadly conspiracy. The general conspiracy believed in by Ministers never existed, but a conspiracy was actually on foot in London, which again was found to have been, if not originally excited, yet actively stimulated, by the agents of Government. The details of this transaction, and of the concluding scene of the Manchester outrage, namely, the trial of Hunt and his associates, necessarily lead us about two months beyond the death of George III., which took place on the 29th of January, 1820. In November, 1819, whilst Government were framing their Six Acts, the more completely to coerce the people, they were again sending amongst them incendiaries to urge them to an open breach of the laws in order to furnish justifications for their despotic policy. The leading miscreant of this class was a man named Edwards, who kept a small shop at Eton for the sale of plaster casts. Some of the emissaries appeared at Middleton, the place of Bamford's abode, but he was in prison awaiting his trial with Hunt and the rest, and the people tempted were too cautious to listen to these agents of Government. But in London these agents found more combustible materials, and succeeded in leading into the snare some who had been long ready for any folly or crime. Chief amongst these was Thistlewood, who had been a lieutenant in the army, a man who had, or conceived that he had, suffered injustice at the hands[154] of Ministers, and who had wrought up his temper to the perpetration of some desperate deed. Bamford when in London, in 1816, had found Thistlewood mixed up with the Spenceans, and to be met with any day at their places of resortthe "Cock," in Grafton Street, the "Mulberry Tree," in Moorfields, the "Nag's Head," Carnaby Market, No. 8, Lumber Street, Borough, and a public-house in Spa Fields, called "Merlin's Cave." At these places they might be found, amidst clouds of tobacco-smoke and the fumes of beer, discussing remedies for the miserable condition of the people. At the latter place Thistlewood was often to be found with the Watsons, Preston, and Castles, who was employed to betray them. From this spot they issued for their mad attempt on the Tower on the 2nd of December of that year. Thistlewood was one of those seized on that occasion, but was acquitted on his trial. Not warned by this, he no sooner got abroad than he sent a challenge to Lord Sidmouth, for which he was arrested, and sentenced to a year's imprisonment. He issued from gaol still more embittered against Sidmouth and his colleagues, and resolved on striking some mortal blow at them. He did not lack comrades of a like fiery and abandoned stamp, and they determined on a scheme for cutting off the whole Cabinet together. The detestable deed was to be perpetrated in the autumn of 1819, a time when the public mind, especially that of the working classes, was so embittered against the Government. They did not, however, succeed in their intentions, and it was at this crisis of unwilling delay that the man Edwards became privy to their plans. In November he carried the important, and, as he hoped, to him profitable secret to Sir Herbert Taylor, who was attached to the establishment of the king at Windsor, and by him he was introduced to Lord Sidmouth. This minister and his colleagues, with that fondness for the employment of spies, and for fomenting sedition instead of nipping it in the bud, immediately engaged Edwards, on good pay, to lead forward the conspirators into overt action. It was not enough for them that, by adding another witness or two to Edwards, they would be able to produce the most complete proof of the treason of these menthey rather luxuriated in the nursing of this plot, and thus ripening it into something bloody and horrible; and in this they succeeded.The art of coining received, like other things, a new facility and perfection from the application of the steam-engine. Messrs. Boulton and Watt, at the Soho Works, set up machinery, in 1788, which rolled out the metal, cut out the blanks, or circular pieces, shook them in bags to take off the rough edges, and stamped the coinsin higher perfection than ever before attainedat the rate of from thirty to forty thousand per hour.[557]

We have already noted the excitement in Scotland at the Act which was passed in 1778 for the repeal of some of the severest disabilities of the Catholics; and this had been greatly increased by the proposal to extend its operation by a second Act to Scotland. The fanatics of Scotland were promptly on the alert, and there were dangerous riots in Edinburgh and Glasgow. But the same unchristian spirit had now spread to England, and Protestant Associations, as they were called, linked together by corresponding committees, were established in various towns, and had elected as their president and Parliamentary head Lord George Gordon, a brother of the Duke of Gordon. During the spring of 1780 he presented several petitions from the people of Kent, and he then conceived his grand idea of a petition long enough to reach from the Speaker's chair to the centre window at Whitehall, out of which Charles walked to the scaffold. At a meeting of the Protestant Association, held towards the end of May in Coachmakers' Hall, in London, he announced that he would present this petition on the 2nd of June. Resolutions were passed that the Association and all their friends must go in procession on that day to present the petition. They were to assemble in St. George's Fields; every one must have a blue cockade in his hat, to distinguish him from the enemies of the cause; and Lord George, to stimulate them, told them that unless the gathering amounted to twenty thousand he would not present the petition. On the 26th of May he stated in the House of Commons that he should appear there with the petition at the head of all those who had signed it. Accordingly, on 2nd of June vast crowds assembled on the appointed spot, amounting to sixty thousand, or, as many asserted, one hundred thousand men. This formidable throng was arranged in four battalions, one consisting entirely of Scotsmen, who received Lord George with enthusiastic acclamations, and, after a vapouring speech from him, marched by different ways to Westminster.

The trial of Sir Charles Wolseley and Dr. Harrison for their speeches at the meeting for Reform at Stockport in June, 1819, terminated also in their conviction and imprisonment for eighteen months, as well as the giving of security for their future good behaviour on liberation.The chief seats of the hosiery manufacture are in the counties of Derby, Nottingham, and Leicester. The number of stocking-frames in England in 1821 was under 30,000, showing an increase in thirty years of only 10,000. Mr. Felkin gives an estimate for 1833, which states that there were 33,000 frames in England, producing 3,510,000 dozen stockings a year, and consuming 8,137,000 lbs. of cotton yarn, worsted, and silk, valued at 814,000; the wages for making them amounting to 948,000, and for finishing, 229,000; the total value being little short of 2,000,000 sterling, and the total value of the materials 560,000. The total number of persons employed in the making of stockings was 73,000. The total of fixed capital engaged in the manufacture was 385,000, and of floating capital 1,050,000. The quantity of cotton hosiery goods made in 1833 was estimated by Mr. Felkin to have increased more than fifty per cent. in the preceding twenty years.CONFERENCE BETWEEN THE HOUSES OF PARLIAMENT, 1835. (See p. 392.)

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But these proceedings had not been effected without continual tumults. On the day that Wilkes was arrested by order of the King's Bench (the 27th of April), and, being refused bail, was sent to the King's Bench prison, the mob stopped the hackney coach as it proceeded over Westminster Bridge, took out the horses, and, with shouts of "Wilkes and Liberty!" drew him, not to the prison, but into the City, and took him into a tavern in Cornhill, where they kept him till midnight, declaring that he should enjoy his freedom in spite of the law. But Wilkes knew his position better than his champions, and, stealing away, he went voluntarily to the King's Bench, and surrendered himself. The next morning, when the mob knew that he was in prison, they assembled in furious throngs, and demanded, under the most terrible menaces, his liberation. They were at length dispersed by a detachment of Horse Guards, but not until the mob had abused and pelted the soldiers. These riots were kept up in different places from day to day; and on the 10th of May, twenty people were killed or wounded. When the soldiers who had fired on the rioters were brought to trial, they were not only acquitted, but the new Parliament voted loyal addresses on the occasion; and the Government, through Lord Barrington, the Secretary at War, and in the king's name, thanked publicly the officers and men for their signal service in protecting the public peace. This only added fresh fuel to the popular flame. To protect the public peace by shooting the people, and to assure the perpetrators of this outrage, as Lord Barrington did, that they should have every assistance from Government in defending them from all legal consequences, was rightly deemed most un-English conduct. The riots spread on all sides.



Macklin was the author of "The Man of the World," a most successful comedy, as well as others of much merit. He remained on the stage till he was a hundred years old, and lived to a hundred and seven. George Colman had distinguished himself by the translation of Terence's plays and Horace's "Art of Poetry" before he commenced as a dramatist. His vein was comic, and his comedies and farces amount to nearly thirty, the best being "The Clandestine Marriage," already mentioned, "Polly Honeycomb," and "The Jealous Wife." Arthur Murphy was a native of Cork, and was brought up a merchant, but his bent was to the drama, and he quitted his business and went to London, where he wrote two successful farces, "The Apprentice" and "The Upholsterer." He next wrote "The Orphan of China," a tragedy. He then studied for the bar, but had not much practice, and returned to writing for the stage. "The Grecian Daughter," "All in the Wrong," "The Way to keep Him," and "The Citizen," were very successful, and raised him to wealth and distinction. Not satisfied with being a popular writer, he desired to act as well as write, like Garrick and Macklin, but failed. Besides his dramatic productions, he translated Tacitus and Sallust, and wrote the life of Garrick. Richard Cumberland, also an Irishman, was a very voluminous as well as miscellaneous writer. His comedy of "The West Indian" made him at once popular, and he wrote a great number of productions for the stage, amongst the best of which were "The Fashionable Lover," "The Jew," "The Wheel of Fortune," etc. He was employed by Government as an envoy to Lisbon and Madrid, and by it refused the payment of his expenses. This reduced him to sell his hereditary property, but he retired to Tunbridge Wells, and continued to write plays, novels, essays, criticisms, etc., till nearly eighty years of age.

Long for work did he seek,


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