Imágenes de páginas

ments. That to prompt and effec- ment a message to the following tual reductions in this and every purpose : other branch of the public expen " His Royal Highness the diture, this House must naturally Prince Regent, acting in the name look, as the first step to relieve and on the behalf of his Majesty, the distresses and redress the has given orders that there be laid grievances of which the people so before the House papers containjustly complain ; and that to ena- ing information respecting certain ble themselves to assist his Royal practices, meetings, and combiHighness by their advice in the nations in the metropolis, and in execution of a duty so imperiously different parts of the kingdom, called for by the present situation evidently calculated to endanger of the country, they will lose no the public tranquillity, to alienate time in instituting a strict inquiry the affections of his Majesty's subinto the state of the nation." jects from his Majesty's person

The speakers who successively and government, and to bring into followed were the Earl of Har hatred and contempt the whole rowby, Earl Grosvenor, the Earl system of our laws and constituof Aberdeen, Lord St. John, Earl tion. His Royal Highness recomBathurst, the Marquis Wellesley, mends to the House to take these Viscount Sidmouth and the Earl papers into their immediate and of Darnley. It will scarcely be serious consideration." necessary to remark that the mi On February 4th, Lord Sidmouth nisters and their opponents widely rose in the House of Lords to differed in the conclusions they propose an answer to this commuwere led to draw from the pre nication. If the answer should be, mises. The question was then as he did not question that it put, and the amendment being would, an agreement with his negatived without a division, the Royal Highness's proposal, it was Address was agreed to.

his own intention to refer the In the House of Commons an message to a committee of secrecy; amendment exactly of the same and all he had to desire, was that import was moved by Mr. Pon their lordships would abstain from sonby, to an address to be pre making up their minds till they sented to the Prince Regent. It were in possession of the infoi maengaged many of the principal tion which was to be laid before speakers on both sides, among

them. One remark he further had whom were Mr. Bathurst, Mr. to make, which was, that the Lamb, Mr. Charles Grant, Mr. present communication was in no Curwen, Mr.Bankes, Mr.Canning, degree the consequence of the Mr. Brougham, and Mr. Tierney. shameful outrage on the Prince, The amendment was rejected by which was viewed, not only by the 264 to 112, and the original mo- parliament, but by the great body tion was then carried.

of the people, with detestation

and horror. He concluded with PRINCE REGENT'S MESSAGE.

moving an address of thanks to On Feb. 3d, the Prince Regent the Prince Regent for his messent to each House of Parlia- sage.

In some of the subsequent been formed in the metropolis for speeches, hints were pretty plainly the purpose of uverthrowing, by thrown out of a secret intention means of a general insurrection, in the ministers to shackle the li- the established government, laws, berty of the subject. At present, and constitution of this kingdom, however, they kept warily on their and of effecting a general plunder ground, and the address was car

and division of property. ried unanimously.

In the last autumn various conLord Sidmouth then moved that sultations were held by persons in the papers on the table should be the inetropolis engaged in this refrred to a committee of secrecy conspiracy. Different measures of consisting of eleven lords to be the most extensive and dangerous chosen by ballot; which was nature were resolved upon; paragreed to.

tial preparations were made for In the House of Commons, Lord their execution, and various plans Castlereagh made a parallel motion were discussed for collecting a respecting the Prince Regent's force. sufficient for that purpose. message, which was carried with But at a subsequent consultation out opposition ; as was likewise another plan was adopted, which that of a secret committee consist- was, to get a great number of ing of twenty-one members. men together to see what force

On the 18th and 19th of Fe- could be raised; and it was agreed bruary, the secret committee in that the best way to get them toeach House made its report of the gether would be to call a public contents of the papers communi- meeting. — Spa-Fields was fixed cated by the Prince Regent. upon as the place affording the

The substance of each was near- greatest facilities for entering the ly alike; but it will probably be town, and attacking the most immore interesting to our readers if portant points in the city. In we place both of them in their view. pursuance of this design, and in

order to assemble in the neighHouse of Lords.

bourhood of London a great numBy the Lords Committees appoint- ber of the poorer classes of the

ed a Secret Committee to in- community, and particularly of quire into certain Meetings and those in whose minds the pressure Combinations endangering the of the times might be supposed to public tranquillity, and to re have excited disaffection and disport to the House as they shall content, advertisements were insee occasion :

serted in newspapers, and handOrdered to report, that the com bills were industriously distrimittee have met, and have pro- buted, inviting the distressed maceeded in the examination of the nufacturers, mariners, artisans, papers referred to them.

and others, to assemble at that Their attention was in the first place on the 15th of November. instance directed to those which A large body of people accordingly relate to the metropolis; and they assembled at the time and place have found therein such evidence prescribed. The most inflammaas leaves no doubt in their minds tory language was there held to that a traitorous conspiracy bas the multitude, having a direct


tendency to excite them to out the points of attack were distrirage and violence : and the meet buted. It further appears that ing was in fact followed by some the interval between the two meetacts of plunder and riot. A peti- ings was employed with unretion to his Royal Highness the mitting assiduity by some of the Prince Regent was agreed to at most active agitators in taking that meeting, and an adjournment regular circuits through different to Palace-Yard on the first day quarters of the town. In these after the meeting of parliament they either resorted to the estawas proposed; but the 2d of De- blished clubs or societies, or lacember was subsequently fixed boured in conversations, appaupon (on the proposition of one rently casual, at public houses, to of the persons concerned in the work up the minds of those with plans already described) for ano whom they conversed into such a ther meeting in Spa-Fields ; and state of ferment and irritation as that day appears to have been de- to render them, when collected in termined upon for the execution sufficient numbers, for whatever of their design.

ostensible purpose, the fit and Various schemes were formed ready instruments for the execufor this purpose.

Amongst them tion of any project, however rash was a general and forcible libe- and desperate. In the course of ration of all persons confined in these circuits one of their chief the different prisons in the metro-· objects appears to have been to polis ; into some of which, in or take every opportunity of attemptder to facilitate its execution, an ing to seduce from their alleaddress to the prisoners was in- giance the soldiers of the different troduced, assuring them that their guards and at the barracks. The liberty would be restored under a principal persons concerned in new government; announcing the this plan actually proceeded to intended attack upon all the pri- Spa-fields on the second of Desons for that day; apprizing the cember, some of them with conprisoners that arms would be cealed arms, and with ammuready for them ; exhorting them tion previously prepared; they to be prepared with the national had also provided themselves tricolor cockade, and to co-ope with tricolor flags, and with a rate by the most violent and san stándard bearing the following guinary means to ensure success. inscription : “ The brave soldiers

It was also proposed to set fire are our brothers; treat them kindto various barracks, and steps were ly;" and also with tricolor cocktaken to ascertain and prepare the ades, evidently adopted as the sig. means of effecting this purpose. nal of revolution. After much inAn attack upon the Tower and flammatory language a direct inBank, and other points of import- vitation was by one of these perance, was, after previous consul sons addressed to the multitude tations, finally determined upon. to proceed immediately to actual Pikes and arms to a certain ex insurrection. And it appears quite tent were actually provided, and certain, that the acts of plunder leaders were named, among whom which were perpetrated for the


purpose of procuring arms, and were intended to be held on the the other measures of open insur same day. rection which followed, were not It appears manifest that the accidental or unpremeditated, but persons engaged in various parts, had been deliberately pre-con both of England and Scotland, in certed, as parts of a general plan forwarding the plans of revoluof rebellion and revolution. There tion, have constantly waited for appears also strong reason to be the example of the metropolis. lieve that the execution of those Intelligence of the event of the projects at that particular time meeting there on the second of was expected by some of the December was anxiously expectassociations in distant parts of the ed; and as the first report of the country. The conspirators seem beginning of the disturbance exto have had the fullest confidence cited in a high degree the spirits of success; and a persuasion has of the disaffected, so its speedy subsequently been expressed a- suppression produced the expresmongst them, that their plans sion of strong feelings of disapcould have been defeated vnly by pointment. Had it even partially casual and unexpected circum succeeded, there seems much reastances. Even after the failure of son to believe that it would have this attempt, the same plans ap been the signal for a more general pear not to have been abandoned. rising in other parts of the king

Your committee are deeply con dom. Since that time it appears cerned to be compelled, in further to be the prevailing impression execution of their duty, to report amongst the leading malcontents their full conviction that designs in the country, that it is expeof this nature have not been con dient for them to wait till the fined to the capital, but have been whole kingdom shall, according extended and are still extending to their expression, be more comwidely in many other parts of pletely organized, and more ripe Great Britain, particularly in some for action. of the most populous and manu What is meant by completely facturing districts.

organizing the country is but too At the meeting of the second evident from the papers before of December in Spa-Fields, that the committee. It appears clearly part of the assembly which had that the object is, by means of not engaged in the acts of plunder societies or clubs, established, or and insurrection before

to be established, in all parts of tioned, came to a resolution to Great Britain, under pretence of adjourn the meeting to the second parliamentary reform, to infect Monday after the meeting of Par the minds of all classes of the liament, namely, the tenth of community, and particularly of February; and it appears by the those whose situation most expapers referred to the committee, poses them to such impressions, that meetings in various parts of with a spirit of discontent and disthe country, conformably to a affection, of insubordination, and plan settled by the leading per- contempt of all law, religion, and sons in London at an early period, morality, and to hold out to them




the plunder and division of all form, but under these words property, as the main object of understanding universal suffrage their efforts, and the restoration and annual parliaments : projects of their natural rights ; and no which evidently involve not any endeavours are omitted to prepare qualified or partial change, but a them to take up arms on the first total subversion of the British signal for accomplishing these de- constitution.

It appears that there is a LonIt is on these grounds that your don Union Society, and branch committee have been led to look Unions corresponding with it, with particular anxiety to the for- and affiliated to it. Others of mation, principles, and condnct these societies have adopted the of those societies or clubs by name of Spencean Philanthrowhich the ends of the disaffected pists; and it was by members of have been hitherto so much for a club of this description that the warded, and are expected by thein plans of the conspirators in Lonto be finally accomplished. Many don were discussed and prepared of these societies pass under the for execution. denomination of Hampden Clubs. The principles of these last asUnder this title societies of very sociations seem to be spreading various descriptions appear to have rapidly among the other societies been formed, all professing their which have been formed, and are object to be parliamentary reform. daily forming, under that and This name and their professions other denominations in the counmay have induced many persons try. Among the persons adoptto become members of such so- ing these principles, it is common cieties wh may not be aware of to disc im parliamentary reform the ultimate intentions of many as unworthy of their attention. of their leaders; and the com Their objects are avowed in a mittee would by no means ascribe hand-bill dispersed by the society to all these societies the same of that description in London, practices and designs which they and in numerous other publicahave found to be but too prevalent tions.

These objects are, A amongst a large number of them; Parochial partnership in land, on but they find that, particularly the principle that the landholders among the manufacturing and are not proprietors in chief; that labouring classes, societies of this they are but the stewards of the denomination have been most public; that the land is the peowidely extended, and appear to ple's farm; that landed monopoly have become some of the chief is contrary to the spirit of chrisinstruments of disseminating doc- tianity, and destructive of the trines, and of preparing for the independence and morality of execution of plans, the most dan- mankind.” gerous to the public security and The societies under these difpeace.

ferent names are so numerous, Others of these societies are and so various, that it has been called Union Clubs, professing the difficult to obtain a complete view same object of parliamentary re

of all of them, or to compra


« AnteriorContinuar »