Page images

become, from an agricultural, a commercial country. In 1776 the poor rates were stated at a million and a half; now in the course of forty years, they might be taken altogether at eight millions and a half.This monstrous sum must excite the deepest regret: but it was not merely the amount that was to be deplored, for the sum of happiness and consolation was not increased by it; but, on the contrary, there was an augmentation of human misery. Something must now be applied. He was well aware that the amount was so great that it was impossible to cut it down at once. We had, in the course of years, in fact taken away the care of the people from themselves; and the result of this conduct unfortunately was, that they regarded the present time as every thing, and the future as nothing. It was now our interest and our duty, to endeavour to rescue them from this condition, and to revive and elevate their minds by the operation of some other principle. If we did not, we should lend ourselves to the destruction of their industry, their virtue, and their happiness. A foreigner must look with astonishment at the enormous sum of nine millions raised for the relief of the poor. Few foreign Sovereigns had so great a revenue for all the purposes of their governments. He could make his appeal to those gentlemen who were Magistrates, to say, whether the poor were at present happy, contented, and grateful! No! they must answer, that they were unhappy, dissatisfied, ungrateful to those who afforded them temporary relief, and without real comfort. (Hear !) They looked on every thing with a jaundiced eye, and discontent of mind. He had visited Ireland, and when he first saw the wretched Irish cabins, with the smoke issuing through the door, his feelings of disgust were so strong, that he turned away, desirous of not enter ing but when he did go in, he found a surprising revolution, and the least lookedfor that he could have imagined. He saw within the place the exercise of all the affections of the heart, while potatoes were the food, and butter-milk the only luxury. He thought the Irish peasant happier than an English pauper. He saw a proof that happiness was chiefly seated in the mind. The poor Irishman did not appear broken in spirit or degraded. He travelled a thousand miles in that country, making observations on the state of the poorer classes wherever he went. Nothing, he was convinced, was so dangerous to the poor as pauperism: yet there were not less than two millions of British subjects in that degrading condition. Could the House require a stronger stimulus than this afflicting consideration, to impel them to the application of an instant remedy! After ages of inconveniences had passed, the remedy could operate only by slow degrees; but still he must assume the possibility of its efficacy. It was not possible for the Legislature to

prevent premature and imprudent marriages; but it must be their object to inspire the poor with some forethought of the mi series that might come upon an unprovided offspring. The great object of a proper Committee would be, to find means of shewing to the people their own interest and advantage, in taking their happiness into their own hands. He gave a melancholy picture of the demands in the shape of Poor Rates, in the West Riding of Yorkshire, where one farmer, occupying 210 acres of land, was called upon to pay a guinea a day; and in Sussex, Shropshire, and other counties, he mentioned assessments at 18s. 20s. 24s. and 26s.; and even higher. After stating a number of laborious calculations, to enforce or elucidate his arguments, he said it was his intention to call on the fund-holder, the money-lender, and the trade of the country, to bear their proportion of the burthen; but it was his great aim to lessen the number of claimants, to reduce pauperism within narrower limits, and to restore to the mass of population that independent spirit, which would teach them to trust to themselves and their own exertions for support. After developing his plans and intentions, he moved for a Committee to be appointed, to consider the state of the Poor Laws and the Labouring Poor.

Lord CASTLEREAGH complimented the Hon. Member on the calm, deliberate, and judicious manner in which he had introduced this important subject; and admitted, that his claim on him for his general view of the subject was fair. He was anxious to support inquiry, as were all around him. Ministers would dedicate their time to it most cheerfully, as far as was consistent with their other avocations. His Lordship then entered into a most explicit statement of his view of the subject, which we regret exceedingly that we cannot give.

A Committee was then appointed, and ordered to report from time to time to the House.



Monday, Feb. 24.-Lord CASTLEREAGH prefaced the measures he had to submit to the House with expressions of extreme regret at the necessity which compelled him, in the discharge of his public duty, to bring them forward; he then entered into a very copious analysis and illustration of the report, but without adding any thing material to the statements thereof, or disclosing the facts and evidence on which it was founded, assigning the same reasons that Lord Sidmouth used in the other House. In order to counteract and repress the treasonous practices now afloat in the country, the Ministers of the Crown deemed it necessary, 1st, That a bill should be passed, suspending the Habeas Corpus Act: 2d, For the more effectually preventing seditious meetings and assemblies: 3d, For extending the same legal protection to the person of the

[ocr errors]

Prince Regent as to the King; 4th, For the better prevention and punishment of persons attempting to seduce the military from their duty and allegiance. The last two he would propose to make perpetual; the first two only temporary, perhaps to the close of the present session or the commencement of the next. He concluded with moving for leave to bring in a bill for the more effectually preventing of seditious meetings.

The debate was long and animated; and on a division the numbers were, ayes 190; noes 14; majority 176. The bill was read a first time, and ordered to be read a second time on Wednesday.

Lord CASTLEREAGH then presented a bill to extend to the person of the Prince Regent the statute of 36 George III. for the better preservation of his Majesty's person; and a bill to extend the 37th of his Majesty, for rendering more penal the seduction of the soldiery. They were both read a first time, and ordered to be read a second time on Wednesday.


Feb. 25.-A very long debate ensued on a motion of Sir M. W. RIDLEY, the purport of which was to diminish the number of the Lords of the Admiralty, which was lost on a division; there being for the original motion 152; for the previous question moved by Lord Castlereagh, 208; majority 86.


Feb. 26. On the first reading of this bill being moved by Lord CASTLEREAGH, it was warmly opposed by Mr BENNET and other members. On a division the numbers were, ayes 273; noes 98; majority 175. In the course of the debate, the LORD ADVOCATE of Scotland said, that he was in

formed that a secret conspiracy was organized in Glasgow, which had communications with societies in England. That conspiracy was held together by means of a secret oath, which he read to the House :

"In the presence of Almighty God, I A. B. do voluntarily swear, that I will persevere in my endeavouring to form a brotherhood of affection amongst Britons of every description who are considered worthy of confidence; and that I will persevere in my endeavours to obtain for all the people of Great Britain and Ireland, not disquali fied by crimes or insanity, the elective franchise at the age of twenty-one, with free and equal representation, and annual parliaments; and that I will support the same to the utmost of my power, either by moral or physical strength, as the case may require. (Loud cries of Hear.) And I do further swear, that neither hopes, fears, rewards, or punishments, shall induce me to inform or give evidence against any member or members, collectively or individually, for any act or expression done or made, or to be done or made, in or out, in this or similar societies, under the punishment of death, to be inflicted on me by any member or members of such society. So help me God, and keep me stedfast!" (Hear, from all sides of the House).

Feb. 28.-On the motion of the CHANCELLOR of the EXCHEQUER, the bill was read a third time and passed. Ayes 265; noes 103; majority 162. Another division took place on a motion of Mr PONSONBY, that the act should expire on the 29th May, instead of 1st July. Against the motion 239: for it 97: majority 142. (To be continued.)




THE Prince Regent has been pleased to grant out of the funds at the disposal of his Majesty, £1000, in aid of the subscription for relief of the labouring classes within the city of Edinburgh and suburbs.

A useful discovery.-A machine has been constructed under the immediate auspices of the Lord Mayor of London, calculated to render the most essential services. Its object is to act in case of the overturning of carts, waggons, &c. heavily laden, when by its use an immediate remedy is produced, and danger obviated, in cases where horses become entangled, and their lives endangered. The application of the machine has been already proved to be instantaneous in

its effects. The experiment was made at the brewhouse of Calvert & Company a few days since, with a dray, on which were placed three butts of beer. The expense does not exceed 30s. From a conviction of its great utility, the Lord Mayor has caused one to be placed in the care of each of the watchhouse-keepers in the six principal districts of the city, viz. Giltspur Street, Fleet Market, Mansion House, London Bridge, Bishopsgate, and Aldgate.

2. A flat, yet lively contradiction. [To the proprietor of the Dublin Evening Post.] Sir,-Having seen an account of my death in your paper, I request you will contradict it.


[ocr errors]

6. This being the Princess Charlotte's birth-day, when her Royal Highness completed her 21st year, the day was celebrated at Claremont, and in London, by her Royal Highness's tradesmen illuminating their houses, and by other rejoicings.

7.-The gazette of last night contains an address from the corporation of Dublin to the Prince Regent, thanking, in the warmest terms, his Royal Highness for his munificent contribution of £2000, in aid of the fund for the relief of the labouring classes of that city.

8. The committee for distributing relief to the labouring classes in the city of Edinburgh have now on their list above 1600 persons. The men are employed in working on Leith Walk, at the head of the Links, on the ground at the east side of the Mound, and on the Calton Hill. The subscription amounts to upwards of £6000.

East India House.-A special meeting of proprietors of East India stock was held in Leadenhall Street, to take into further consideration the question of appointing an additional European professor of the oriental languages in their college at Hertford, at a salary of £400, and a further allowance of £100 per annum; when, after a long and animated discussion respecting the character of this establishment, the resolution was put to the vote, and carried in the affirmative.

8. For several hours this morning, the fog throughout the whole of the metropolis was so intense, that candles were used in every shop and counting-house. About twelve o'clock, however, the sun burst out again in all its glory, and a fine summer-like day succeeded.

8. The body of William Pinkerton, smuggler, was found in the Great Canal, at the Plash, near Rockvilla distillery. This man has been missing since the beginning of last month, and when found had a flask of whisky tied to his back.

Singular Occurrence.-On Thursday the 2d instant, the body of a woman was found tied to a boat, near the landingplace of the Royal Hospital at Greenwich, on which an inquest was held before one of the coroners of Kent, when an old man came forward, and swore that the deceased was his daughter, and that she was the wife of Israel Friday, an outpensioner of Greenwich College. He then went into a long account of a quarrel which took place between Friday and his wife the day before the body was found. Other witnesses also swore to the deceased being the daughter of the old man. The coroner thereupon directed diligent search to be made after Friday, the husband. The jury met again on the 10th instant, when the constables reported that they had not been able to find

Friday, but that they had found his wife alive and hearty. The coroner reprimanded the witnesses severely for want of discrimination; but every one allowed that the great likeness there was between the living woman and the deceased might have deceived better judges, particularly as both the women had similar private marks on their arms.

Hawkers. Yesterday John Barlow was examined under the hawker's act, charged with going from house to house, and of fering for sale Cobbett's Political Register, price twopence, the same being unstamped, and he not having a hawker's license. He was convicted in the penalty of £10, and in default to be committed for three months to the house of correction.

9.-Inverness. Died at Ardersier, in this vicinity, a gander, well known to have been full grown when the foundation of Fort George was laid, in the year 1748. His helpmate died only two years ago.

Ireland. The Marquis of Londonderry, in addition to his liberal donation to the poor on his Lordship's Derry estate, has advanced £1000 for the purpose of purchasing fuel and provisions, which are to be delivered out to them at very low


10.-Shocking Story.-A melancholy catastrophe took place at Bolsover, in the county of Derby, a few days ago. It appears that a poor woman of the name of Wylde, took the horrid resolution of destroying herself and her four children by poison. The deadly preparation was procured, and the children called up at an early hour in the morning, under the pretence of giving them a medicine for the worms. She administered it to them, and also a considerable quantity to herself, in the presence of her husband. Its deadly effects were soon visible, and terminated in their death, leaving the agonized husband in a state of mind which it would be vain to attempt to describe.

13. Ely. It is with extreme regret we state that a tremendous breach has taken place in the Burnt Fen Bank, near Mr Seaber's, on the river Lark, by which near 15,000 acres of land are inundated.

Melancholy Accident.-A letter from Lochgoilhead, dated the 3d January 1817, to a gentleman in Glasgow, says " On Monday last a boat left this, in order to go to Greenock; when sailing down Lochgoil, they were hailed by a person that wanted to cross; they condescended, and, being upon the lee shore, gave the boat the two sails, which before had but Half way over opposite the Waininan, came on a squall, and run the boat down by not relieving the sheets. Eight persons were on board, of which five were drowned, and a sixth died after being got on shore.


[ocr errors]

Carr Rock." We are sorry,"


an Edinburgh paper, in the space of a

few weeks, to have again to notice the fatal effects of a very dangerous reef of rocks, which extend from the shore at Fifeness, fully a mile and a half to seaward, and terminating in Carr Rock. The sloop Janet of St Andrews, forty tons register, Elder master, bound from Alloa, with coals, sprung a leak off the Carr Rock about six o'clock on the evening of the 6th. The crew, finding that the water gained fast upon them, were making to the shore, to run the vessel upon Balcombie Sands, when she unfortunately struck upon one of the outer rocks of the Brigs, near the Carr. The crew immediately took to the boat, and landed in safety. Robert Watson, Lord Kellie's fisherman, who has been resident at Fifeness about sixty years, is enabled, fron what he recollects of the shipwrecks at the Carr Rock, to remark, that there has been, in his time, "at least sixty vessels lost upon the Carr for if she missed her mark one year, she is sure to hit twice the year following."

17. A meeting of the advocates for a reform in Parliament, was held at Freemason's Tavern this day, when several resolutions were adopted, expressing the necessity for a constitutional reform in the representation, the abolition of useless offices and unmerited pensions, and a reduction of the military establishment.

IRELAND.-A meeting convened by requisition, took place on the 13th inst. at the Green of Harold's Cross, Dublin, when a respectful address was voted to his Royal Highness the Prince Regent, humbly praying that he would give his royal countenance and support to the measure of parliamentary reform.-Several resolutions were also carried, stating the public distress, and declaring that the object of the meeting was reform, not revolution. A petition to Parliament, founded on the resolutions, was read and adopted.

20-The trial of the rioters for plundering Mr Beckwith's premises on the 2d of December, the day of the first Spafields meeting, commenced this morning at 10 o'clock, at the old Bailey, when John Cashman was found guilty, John Hooper, Richard Gamble, William Gunnel, and John Carpenter, not guilty. Cashman has since been executed. The trial of the other rioters was resumed on the 21st, but none of them were capitally convicted.

22.-The loss of the Mistletoe schooner, tender to the flag-ship at Portsmouth, with all her crew, upon the coast of Sussex, whilst cruising in search of smugglers, can no longer be doubted; she must have foundered in one of the vio

lent gales. It is ascertained that the vessel sunk off Rottingdean is not the Mistletoe, but some merchantman. The officers who have unfortunately perished in her are, Lieut. Wade Blake (commander); Mr J. Duncan, second master; Mr Tully, master's mate; Mr J. Brenham, midshipman; Mr Thomas Kennel, pilot; and thirty-two able seamen and boys.

[ocr errors]

James Watson, senior, who has at tracted so much of public notice, was indicted for having assaulted Joseph Rhodes with a sharp instrument, with which he struck and stabbed him. The jury returned a verdict of acquittal, when several persons below, and in the galleries, gave very indecorous demonstrations of joy.

23.-This day a meeting of delegates, from various petitioning bodies in Great Britain for reform in parliament, was held at the Crown and Anchor-Major Cartwright in the chair; when it was resolved, that representation should be coexistent with taxation, and that property ought to form no part of a member of Parliament's qualification-virtue and talents being sufficient.

Common Council.-Mr Waithman moved a number of resolutions on the subject of parliamentary reform. These resolutions do not go so far as those of the delegates just mentioned, having for their object "the shortening of the duration of Parliaments, and a fair and equal distri bution of the elective franchise to all freeholders, copyholders, and householders paying taxes, with such regulations as would preserve the purity and integrity of the members, and render the House of Commons an efficient organ of the people." The resolutions were carried with not more than ten dissenting voices.

Hatton Garden. Mr Hunt, Mr Cobbett, and the boy, Thomas Dogood, who tore down a posting-bill, entitled, "Mr Hunt hissed out of the city of Bristol," came to this office, when a good deal of conversation passed between the magistrate and Messrs Hunt and Cobbett, respecting the committal of Dogood, and the conduct of the officer, Limbrick, who apprehended him, which led to no result.

Dreadful Catastrophe.-On Friday evening, the 3d instant, about eleven o'clock, Mr Cobbett, jun. of Kingston, having just retired to rest with his wife, to whom he had been married but a few weeks, put an end to his existence by blowing his brains out with a pistol (of three barrels) which he had previously concealed under his pillow. The horrid circumstance has occasioned his wife to be insensible ever since, and she is not expected to live.-Coroner's verdict, Insanity.

Coroner's Inquest.-An inquisition was

Mary-le-bon of

taken before Mr Stirling, coroner for Middlesex, upon the body of Mary Ann Golding, the daughter of John and Elizabeth Golding, No 30, Molineux Street, whose death was occasioned by the barbarous treatment of her parents. The deceased was only five years of age. The jury viewed the body; its appearance was shocking, being covered with marks of violence from the neck downwards to the thigh. The back had several old wounds upon it; the legs were bruised; and the whole frame was emaciated. The evidence taken before the jury disclosed a repetition of acts of brutality on the part of the child's parents, which left no doubt on the minds of the jury, that they had been the cause of her death. After an hour's consultation, the jury returned the following verdict: "The deceased died in convulsions, caused by the cruel treatment of her unnatural parents."

coinage. This valuable cargo, amounting to £300,000, was insured at Lloyd's at the low rate of 10s. 6d. per £100,-a strong proof of the confidence placed in the superior class of Leith smacks.

On Saturday, the 11th January, the inhabitants of New Lanark met in the New Institution, for the purpose of taking into consideration the propriety of presenting an address to Robert Owen, Esq. expressive of their high satisfaction with his conduct, and that of the other proprietors, in introducing various ameliorations in the condition of their community; and more particularly in reducing the time of working in their mills an hour a-day; which regulation took place the first Jan. 1815, the time of labour being from six to seven previously to that dates since which it has been from six to six only. This proposition being unanimously agreed to, a committee was 25.-Johanna Southcote.-The delusion appointed to prepare and present the at this time practised upon the believers same. It was then resolved, that the in the predictions and doctrine of the late village should be illuminated on the prophetess, is matter of great astonishment. Tuesday evening following, in testimony An interdict arrived at Newark on Sunday, of their regard for his disinterested conthe 19th instant, from a disciple of the duct in the management of the establishconclave at Leeds, inhibiting those of the ment, and also in commemoration of the faith, amongst other things, from attend- purchase of the mills by the present proing to their ordinary business during the prietors. ensuing eight or nine days; and a manufacturer's shop in that place is at this time entirely deserted, and the business of many small dealers suspended in consequence.

The following letter has been sent by the Secretary of State for the Home Department to the Lord Lieutenant of the county of Leicester, and, we believe, to the Lords Lieutenants of several other counties.

-Whitehall, Jan. 11, 1817. My Lord, It being deemed expedient under present circumstances, that the civil power should he strengthened in the county under your Grace's charge, I have to request that you will recommend to the magistrates in the principal towns within the same (in which the measure is not already adopted), to encourage the enrolment of respectable householders, to act, as occasion may require, as special constables for a fixed period of time, not less than three months; and I have farther to request that your Grace will communicate to the commanding officers of the several yeomanry corps within the county of Leicester, the wish of his Majesty's government, that they will hold them selves, and the corps under their respective commands, in a state of preparation to afford prompt assistance to the civil authorities in case of necessity. I have, &c. SIDMOUTH.

The Lord Lieutenant of the
County of Liecester.

One of the Leith smacks arrived from London on the 26th instant, having on board nearly forty tons of the new silver

28.-Yesterday a third meeting of the reform delegates was held at the King's Arms Tavern, Palace Yard. There were upwards of thirty delegates present, who affected to represent one hundred and ninety towns throughout the kingdom. After some discussion, which brought out nothing new or interesting, it was agreed that those delegates, having petitions to present to Parliament, should assemble this day at three o'clock, in Palace Yard, to put them into the hands of Sir F. Burdett and Lord Cochrane.-The meeting was then finally dissolved.

This being the day fixed for the meeting of Parliament, the Prince Regent left Carlton House at half-past one, and repaired to St James's palace--His Royal Highness took his seat in the state carriage accompanied by the Duke of Montrose, master of the horse, and Lord James Murray, a lord in waiting; the other royal attendants followed in other carriages. The procession to the House was not seriously disturbed; some discontented voices mixed their murmurs with the applause of the more loyal, yet there was no such expression of disapprobation as to excite alarm. On the return of the royal procession, the discontent broke out into the most outrageous abuse, and even into acts of violence. The life guards were insulted, and gravel-stones and other missiles were thrown at the royal carriage: between Carlton-house gardens and the stable-yard, one glass of the state coach was struck three times and broken. pears from the evidence of Lord James

It ap

« PreviousContinue »