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LoRD Sidmouth could. He could see, not only an insurrection of the head to provide against, but also an insurrection of the belly; for, in the speech by which he introduced his motion for thanks to the Regent for his Message, he is reported to have said:—“They (the government) ought to “be prepared for the worst. If their “hopes should prove to be unfounded; if it “should please Providence to afflict the “country with another BAD HARVEST; “how heavy would be the responsibility of “the Government; how heavy that of their “Lordships, if they neglected to take such “precautionary measures as the occasion “required?”—Very true, my lord! Really, very true! And, doubtless, as you are so sensible of the heavy responsibility that will fall upon you both as a minister and a lord, if precautionary measures are not taken to meet the affliction of another bad harvest; this being the case you, doubtless, have in view some means either of augmenting the wages or income of the poor, or, of lowering the price of their food. There appear to me to be only these two sets of means; and, as your lordship seems to be so fully sensible of the responsibility, there can be no doubt that one or the other will be employed. The former object might be accomplished, to a great extent, at least, by certain savings which I will hereafter take the liberty to point out to your lordship ; and the latter, by adding to the quantity of corn by importation. But, I have not now room to do any thing more than merely open this most interesting of all subjects. We must now, before we take our leave of this subject for the present, return to the House of Commons, where, on Tuesday, the 30th of June, we find the ballot producing the following members for the Secret Committee: G. Canning Lord G. L. Gower W. Wilberforce Lord Milton Lord Castlereagh C. Long H. Lascelles H. Goulbourn W. Lambe J. S. Wortley Samuel Whitbread Lord Newark The M. of the Rolls Paget D. Davenport G. Tierney J. Blackburne H. Leicester W. W. Bootle T. Babbington. C. Yorke Upon the names being read over Mr. Whitbread said “this List contained the ** identical names that he had seen handed “about this morning. The present was “therefore neither more nor less than the ** Treasury List, as all Committees bal
“loted for in this manner were uniformly “found to be.” The reader will ask, perhaps, how it comes, then, that Mr. Whitbread's own name was put on it; but, reader, of what use is his name, if there be a majority on the side of the minister? Such, then, is this SECRET Committee. And, what is this Committee to do? Why, it is to examine the SEALED UP papers; and, then it is to make a report to the House of the result of its inquiries, and of the measures which it thinks proper to recommend in consequence. And then the House is to decide without seeing the papers: Or, I suppose, at least, that this is the course, it having been so in other cases of Secret Committees. Having now given this subject an opening, and having brought the history of the Luddite measures down to the appointment of the Committee of Secrecy; I shall, for the present, take my leave of it, with once more requesting my readers to WATCH THE WHIGS, and mark what their conduct will be through the whole of this transaction. In neither House have they yet opened their lips upon the subject.
SUMMARY OF POLITICS.
Libel CAs E.-Messrs. Hunt. These Gentlemen, proprietors of the ExAMINER, were, in the term before the last, prosecuted by Ex-Officio Information by the then Attorney General (Gibbs/, who is now become a Puisne judge, for the publishing of a passage, in which the writer gives his opinion of the qualities and character of the Prince Regent. The trial, by SPECIAL Jury, as usual, was to come before the court of King's Bench, at Westminster Hall, on Friday, the 26th of June. But, the Special Gentlemen being called over, and only six answering to their names, the trial was put off, and, of course, it cannot come on till after the next term. It is curious enough, that the last time that these gentlemen were before the same court, only sir of the Special Gentlemen appeared, and, of course, six others were called up promiscuously out of the common pannel. Messrs. Hunt were acquitted upon that occasion. Various conjectures have been hazarded as to the cause of this putting off;. but, while I pretend to know nothing of that cause, I do know this, that the parties prosecuted have been put to a certo expense, and that not a light one ; that
they are now to remain, marked out as criminals, for another four or five months : and that, if acquitted or unprosecuted at last, there is no means of their obtaining compensation for their anxiety and loss. They have behaved, however, most manfully upon the occasion; they will receive for that conduct, as they merit, the thanks of all the real friends of public liberty; and they will, I trust, live to see the day, when they will receive a more solid reward in beholding the triumph of that cause in which they are labouring with so much diligence, spirit, talent, and effect.
BRistol Election. From the Letter, at the head of this sheet, the reader will find a pretty good preface to the history of this Election, which is quite another sort of thing than what the friends of Sir Samuel Romilly appear to have taken an election at Bristol to be. The intelligence which I have from that City comes down to Wednesday last, the 1st instant. I may, and, I dare say, I shall, have it to a later date before this Number goes to the Press; but, I shall now give the history down to that day. Sir Samuel Romilly's friends, at their meeting at the Crown and Anchor, talked of Mr. Prothero as an opponent : but, not a word did they say of MR. Hunt. A farmer was, I suppose, thought beneath their notice. We shall, however, see that farmer doing more at Bristol, I imagine, than they and their subscription will ever be able to do. In the Letter, before inserted, I have shown how Mr. Hunt, whose residence is in Sussex, was taken by surprise. He was wholly ignorant of the vacancy, 'till Thursday evening, the 25th of June, when his news-paper of Wednesday informed him that the writ, in the room of Mr. Bragge, had been moved for on Tuesday. He came to London on Friday, set off that night for Bath, and got into Bristol on Salurday evening, where he was received by the people with a pleasure proportioned to their surprise at seeing him come. Hart Davis had made his entry in an earlier part of the day, preceded by the carriages of bankers, excise and custom-house people, and, in short, all that description of persons who are every where found in opposition to the liberties of Englishmen. As it was settled amongst the parties, that Davis was to meet with no opposition from either Mr. PR othero or SIR SAMUEL RoMilly, he expected a chairing on the Monday, amidst the shouts of some score
or two of hired voices. How great was his surprise, then, and how great the consternation of his party, when they saw it announced that Mr. Hunt was about to make his appearance' Sunday (the 28th of June) passed, of course, without any business being done, but not without “dreadful note of preparation.” On Monday morning, the day appointed by the Sheriffs for holding the election, the Guildhall, the place for holding the election, became a scene of great interest : an injured and insulted people resolved to assert their rights against the intrigues and the violences of a set of men who were attempting to rob them of those rights. After the nominations had taken place, the sheriffs adjourned their court till the next day. In the evening great strife and fighting and violences took place; the White Lion Inn, whence the Club who put in Mr. Bragge, and who are now at work for Davis, takes its name ; this Inn was assailed by the people's party, and, it is said, pretty nearly demolished. Mr. Davis's house at Clifton is said to have shared the same fate; and, this and similar work, with terrible battles in the streets having continued till Tuesday night (the 30th of June), the SOLDIERS WERE CALLED IN, AND, IT IS SAID, ACTUALLY MARCHED, INTO THE GUILDHALL : Pause, here, reader. Look at this spectacle. But, how came this to be necessary 2 It is said, that it was necessary, in order to preserve property. But, how came it to be so 2 Who began the violences 2 That is the question. And I have no hesitation in stating my firm belief, that they were begun, not by the PEOPLE, but by their enemies. I state, upon the authority of Mr. JOHN ALLEN of Bath, whom I know to be a man of honour, of strict veracity, and (if that be any additional praise) of great property; upon the authority of this geutleman, who requests me to use his name, and who was an eye-witness of what he relates, I state, that, there were about 400 men, who had been made special constables for the purpose, who were planted near the place of election ; that these men, who ought to have been for one side as much as for the other, were armed with staves or clubs, painted BLUE, which, the reader will observe, is the colour of the White Lion, or Bragge and Davis, party, and, of course, the PEOPLE, who were for Mr. Hunt, looked upon these 400 men . as brought for the purpose of overawing
them and preventing them by force from exercising their rights. These men committed, during the 29th, many acts of violence against the people. But, at last, the people, after great numbers of them had been wounded, armed themselves with Clubs too; attacked the Blues, and drove them into the White Lion. Here the mischief would have ended; but the Blues, ascending to the upper rooms and the roof, had the baseness to throw down stones, brick-bats, tiles, glass bottles, and other things, upon the heads of the people. This produced an attack upon the house, which was soon broken in, and, I believe, gutted. These facts I state upon the authority of Mr. Allen ; and I state them with a perfect conviction of their truth. The reader will observe, that the great point, is, WHO BEGAN THE FIGHT 2 We have heard Mr. Allen ; now let us hear what the other parties say. In the Times news-paper of the 2d July, it is said by a writer of a letter from Bristol, who abuses Mr. Hunt, that when the nomination was about to take place, “Mr. “Davis and his party made their appear** ance. The friends of Mr. Davis wore “blue cockades, and they were accompa“nied by some hundreds of persons bearing ** short BLUE STAVES, who had been “sworn in as special constables.” This is enough. Here is a full acknowledgment of the main circumstance stated by Mr. Allen: namely, that hundreds of men, sworn in as Constables, were armed with staves of the colour of one of the candidates, and that they accompanied that candidate to the Hustings.-In the Courier of the 1st July, the same fact, in other words comes out. The writer (of another letter from Bristol), in speaking of the precautions intended to be taken, says: “Our Chief Magistrate has summoned “his brother officers together, and as the “constables assembled by Mr. Davis's “friends are to be all dismissed at the ** close of the poll, and their colours taken “out of their hats, there will be no pro“vocation on his part to Mr. Hunt's “ party."—This, coming from the enemy, clearly shews on which side the aggression Aad commenced.—Therefore, for all that followed, the party of Davis are responsible. —We shall know, by-and-by, perhaps, who it was that permitted these hundreds of Constables to hoist the colours of one of the candidates, which was, in fact, “a declar“ation of war against the people,” and as such the Letter in the Times says it was
regarded.—Well, but the SOLDIERS ARE CALLED IN; and, as I am informed, the Soldiers were, on Wednesday morning between five and six o'clock, addressed by Mr. Hunt in nearly the following words: “Gentlemen; Soldiers; fellow “citizens and countrymen, I have to ask “a favour of you, and that is, that you “will discover no hostility to each other “on account of your being dressed in dis“ferent coloured coats. You are all equal“ly interested in this election. You are “all Englishmen; you must all love free“doin; and, therefore, act towards each “other as brother towards brother.” It is added by my informant, that Mr. Hunt was greatly applauded by the whole of his audience.—He expressed his conviction, that the soldiers would not voluntarily shoot at their countrymen; “but,” added he, “if military force is to carry the election, “the sooner the shooting begins the better; “ and here am I,’” said he, laying bare his breast, “ready to receive the first ball.”— Let us now see how the factious view this matter.—The Couri ER abuses Mr. Hunt in the style to be expected. The Times speaks of him in this way: “The poll commenced “at ten o'clock. In this farce Mr. Hunt “ plays many parts: he unites in himself “ the various characters of Candidate, Coun“sel, and Committee, as he has not one “human being to assist him in either of “ those capacities.” Well, and what then 2 What does he want more than a good cause and the support of the people? These are all that ought to be necessary to any candidate. What business have lawyers with elections? And, ought the people to want any committee to tell them their duty? The Morning Chronicle takes a more sanctimonious tone. It says on the 2d of July, (in the form of a letter from Bristol: “It is much to be regretted, that “the regularity and peaceable demeanour “with which our Elections were formerly “conducted, are now totally disregarded. “Notwithstanding the exertions of Mr. Da“vis's, Mr. Protheroe's, and Sir 5. Ro“milly's friends, to prevent a recurrence “of the outrages which endangered Mr. “Bathurst's life at a late Election, the “procession on Saturday was assailed by “vollies of mud, stones, dead cats, &c. “Mr. Davis fortunately escaped unhurt, “except from one stone which struck his “ arm.” Here are two things to be observed: first, that Davis, Prothero, and Sir Samuel Romilly's friends, the friends of all of them are here spoken of as co-operating. Aye, to be sure League with the devil against the rights of the people ! This is a true Whig trait. But, the mud, stones, and dead cats! Who in all the world could have thrown them at “the “ amiable Mr. Davis 2" It must have been some Bristol people certainly ; and that of i. own accord too, for Mr. Hunt was not there at the time.-Mark how these prints discover each other's falsehoods. The Courier of the 1st July gave us an account of Mr. Davis's gracious reception. It told us, , that “Rich Ard HART DAvis, Esq. the “late Member for Colchester, and the pro“fessed candidate of the White Lion party “in this city, was met at Clifton on Satur“day by an immense body of freeholders “ and freemen, consisting of the most re“spectable and opulent inhabitants of the “city, and was preceded to the Exchange ‘‘ by a cavalcade of upwards of one hun“dred carriages, and a numerous body of “his friends on horseback and on foot.”— But, not a word about the mud, stones, and dead cats, with which he was saluted. Yet these were flung at him ; and flung at him, too, by the people of Bristol; by hands unbought; for Mr. Hunt spends not a farthing. They were a voluntary offering on the part of those men of Bristol who were not to be corrupted. The Courier of Thursday 24 July, states, that both horse and soot soldiers had been marched into Bristol. SIR FRANCIS Bu RDETT mentioned this circumstance in the House of Commons on Thursday evening. The Secretary at War said he did not know of the troops being brought into the city. But this will be found to have been the case. WM. COBBETT.
State Prison, Newgate, Friday, 3rd July, 1812.
Documents publish Ep, RELATING to the
his Administration.—That His Royal High
ness had signified his pleasure, that Lord Wellesley should conduct the formation of the Administration in all its branches, and should be First Commissioner of the Treasury; and that Lord Moira, Lord Erskine, and Mr. Canning, should be Members of the Cabinet.—That it was probable, that a Cabinet, formed on an enlarged basis, must be extended to the number of twelve or thirteen Members: that the Prince Regent wished Lords Grey and Grenville, on the part of their friends, to recommend for His Royal Highness's approbation the names of four persons, (if the Cabinet should consist of twelve) and of five Persons, (if the Cabinet should consist of thirteen) to be appointed by His Royal Highness to fill such stations in His Councils as might hereafter be arranged.—That His Royal Highness left the selection of the names to Lords Grey and Grenville, without any exception or personal exclusion.— That in completing the new arrangement, the Prince Regent has granted to Lord Wellesley, entire liberty to propose for His Royal Highness's approbation, the names of any persons now occupying stations in His Royal Highness's Councils, or of any other persons.—That if the proposition made to Lords Grey and Grenville, should be accepted as the outline of an arrangement, all other matters would be discussed with the most anxious solicitude to promote harmony and general accommodation. WELLEsley.
Published by R. BAGSHAW, Brydges-Street, Covent-Garden. - . " LONDON: Pointed by J. M'Creery, Black Horse-court, Fleet-street,
COBBETT'S WEEKLY POLITICAL REGISTER.
- vol.xxii. No. 2..] LONDON, SATURDAY, JULY 11, 1812. [Price 1s. 33] [34
SUMMARY OF POLITICS.
LiNicolN JAll.—On Thursday, the 25th of Jude, a discussion took place, in the House of Commons, upon the subject of the treatment of the prisoners confined in the Castle, which is the county jail, of Lincoln, to which, as the public will recollect, Mr. FINNERTY and Mr. DRAKARD were, sometime ago, committed by the Judges of the Court of King's Bench (Lord Ellenborough, Judges Grose, Le Blanc, and Bailey), for the term of eighteen months, in consequence of trials for LIBEL.—The discussion here alluded to, arose out of a motion made by Sir Samuel Romilly, grounded upon a Petition of THOMAS HOULDEN, lately a prisoner for debt in the jail at Lincoln. The object of the motion was to obtain the appointment of a committee to inquire into the grounds of the complaint of the petitioner, who complained of ill-treatment on the part of MERRYWEATHER, the jailer, and also on the part of some of the magistrates, especially one DOCTOR CALEY ILLINGWORTH, who, as is now become the fashion in almost every part of the kingdom, is at once a Clergyman and a Justice of the Peace. The public will remember, that Mr. Finnerty presented a petition to parliament against the conduct of this jailer and the magistrates. He was shut up in a place the stench of which alone was enough to kill any man. He was committed to this distant jail by Lord Ellenborough, and Judges Grose, Le Blanc, and Bailey, on the 7th of February, 1811, for 18 months, for a libel upon CASTLEREAGH. He was shut up in a place destined for felons; and the stench of the place was such as to be alone sufficient to deprive a man of life in the course of a few months. By his courage and perseverance he has not only bettered his own condition, but that of others also, and is now, I hope, in a fair way of doing the public a still greater service. The conduct of the magistrales, as they are called, but of the Justices of the Peace, as they ought to be called, stands in need of investigation more than that of almost any other description of men in authority. The powers they now
possess are, when one reflects on them,
“ all this authority was derivable to the B