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been done by Parliament in consequence of that event. By way of introduction you should be told that, owing to a scarcity of work for our manufacturers (arising from laws of France and America), added to a dearth of provisions, there have for many months existed great disturbances in the counties of York, Lancaster, Chester, Leicester, Stafford, and Nottingham. A considerable regular army is assembled in that part of England for the purpose of opposing and putting down the people who have risen; and a law has been passed inflicting the punishment of death in certain cases, where the punishment before was transportation. To give you some idea of the sufferings of the poor people, it will be quite sufficient of me to state these facts: that the weekly wages of a working man does not, upon an average throughout England, exceed 155. ; that the price of a bushel of wheat is, upon an average, 18s.; that the price of a bushel of potatoes has been for some time past, upon an average, 8s. 6d. To you, who know what food a man and his wife and three or four children require; to you, who have a heart to feel for every fellow creature; to you, at whose home the traveller, be he who or what he might, never needed even to ask for victuals and drink; to you I need say no more in order to show you the extent of the distress of the labouring people in general : but, I ought to add, that in the manufacturing counties a want of work has co-operated with scarcity of the late harvest, and that both together have rendered the situation of the people truly deplorable. There is another great cause of national poverty and misery, namely, the taxes, caused by the fearful war, which are now become enormous: but this is a cause which is always operating. The extraordinary causes are those that I have just mentioned. In consequence of these distresses, numerous petitions have been presented to Parliament, but as I said before, the only law passed respecting the disturbances, or the cause or them, is a law to punish with death the crime of frame breaking, which was formerly punished with transportation. Another law is brought into the House of Commons for making it death to take or administer unlawful oaths, upon the alleged ground that the disturbers of the peace are combined together by an oath. This act had been introduced, read a first time, and was, I believe, to have been read a second time on the evening of the day when the Prime Minister was killed. Such was the state of the country, when on Monday the 11th of this present month of May, 1812, and at five o'clock in the afternoon, Spencer Perceval, who had formerly been Attorney General, and who was now become First Lord of the Treasury, Chancellor of Exchequer, and Prime Minister of the Regent, and who held besides two sinecure offices, was shot just as he was about to enter that House of Commons where he long carried everything before him, and where all opposition to him appeared in vain. The place and manner of his death were as follows :--There is to *' house where the members meet (which was formerly a dedicated to St. Stephen) a sort of ante-chamber or out which for what reason I know not, is called the Lobby.

the time the House is sitting there are always a great number of persons in this lobby. Attendants of one sort or other; persons who want to speak with members; persons who have petitions or private Bills before the House; in short, anybody of tolerable decent appearance, whom business or curiosity may bring there, and for whose accommodation there are a fire-place and some benches. Amongst those thus met on the day before mentioned was John Bellingham, who, upon the Minister entering at the Lobby door, went up to him with a pistol and shot him in the heart, in consequence of which he stumbled forward towards the door of the house, fell and expired in a few minutes, with a faint exclamation of 'Oh, I'm murdered! I'm murdered !' Bellingham, the moment he had shot off his pistol, went and sat down very calmly upon one of the benches. Such was the surprise, the confusion, and consternation amongst all present, that he might easily have gone out at the lobby door and escaped for a time at least ; but, as afterwards appeared, this was not at all his design; therefore, when the consternation was enough abated for some one to ask, who and where was the murderer, he answered, 'I am the man that killed Mr. Perceval,' whereupon he was seized and searched, and another pistol, loaded, was found in his pocket. When the knowledge of the event was communicated to them, great indeed was the alarm and confusion, Beilingham was dragged into the House of Commons, whither he was followed by the people in the lobby; so that the house was filled with strangers, reporters, messengers, and persons of all descriptions, mingled pell mell with the members, and it was some time before anything like order was restored. The alarm in the House of Lords appears to have been greater. All forms were cast aside, and confusion seemed to reign in their stead. The Lord Chancellor himself made a motion for instantly shutting the doors, in order to prevent further mischief being perpetrated. In the meantime the Duke of Cumberland had been and seen the dead body, and he now declared the fact. The chief Judge (Lord Ellenborough), who had been sitting on the Court of King's Bench, and who, upon hearing winat had happened, had quitted the court (all under the same roof) and hurried into the House or Chamber, of the Lords, rose and moved that some evidence might be taken at the bar, whereon to ground a regular proceeding of some sort. This was at last agreed to, and after evidence had been produced and taken down in great haste proving that Mr. Perceval had been killed in the lobby of the Commons, the Lords, upon the motion of the Earl of Radnor, passed hastily a resolution for addressing the Regent upon the subject, requesting him to issue a Proclamation for the speedy prosecution of the offender or offenders in the case. This motion being passed, the House immediately adjourned."

Bellingham was brought to trial at the Old Bailey and convicted of the murder, and before nine o'clock in the morning of the Monday following was hanged and his body in the hands of the surgeons for dissection.

When the operation was performed the doctors found his heart still faintly beating. The whole of this dismal tragedy was enacted within one short week.

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THE APPREHENSION OF BAINES, THE HALIFAX LUDDITE

LEADER.
"But far too numerous is the herd of such
Who think too little and who talk too much."

DRYDEN
"A prison is a house of care-

A place where none ean thrive;
A touchstone true to try a friend ;

A grave for one alive.
Sometimes a place of right,

Sometimes a place of wrong ;
Sometimes a place for rogues and thieves,
And honest men among.

Inscription on Edinburgh Tolbooth. The magistrates and military were more successful in Nottingham, Cheshire, and Lancashire, in arresting Luddites than were the authorities in this locality. Special commissions for the trial of the rioters were opened at Lancaster on the 23rd of May, and at Chester on the 25th. Great excitement prevailed throughout both counties and an organised attack to rescue the prisoners was talked of in Cheshire. In consequence of these rumours the alarmed authorities concentrated upwards of a thousand picked troops in Cheshire castle yard, by whom the approaches to the court were carefully guarded during the whole of the sittings. Many of the rioters were imprisoned for long periods; a number were transported beyond the seas; two were hanged at Chester, and eight at Lancaster.

The talk about a general rising still continued, and during the whole of June raids for arms took place almost nightly throughout the whole of the West Riding, especially in the neighbourhood of Huddersfield, Wakefield, Horbury, Ossett, and Dewsbury, and large bodies of men were seen almost nightly in the Yorkshire clothing districts, performing military exercises in secluded places. Soothill was a favourite rendezvous, and Cawley Wood, at Heckmondwike, was also frequently visited by the disaffected in this immediate locality. The whole of the towns and villages around those centres were denuded of arms of every kind by the men, the robberies often taking place as they returned from the drills which were generally held after midnight on Saturdays. Great numbers of leaden vessels, also sheet lead, lead pipes, &c., were likewise stolen to melt down for bullets.

On the 23rd of June, James Oldroyd, of Dewsbury, was denounced as a Luddite, one who had been at the attack on Cartwright's mill, and he was apprehended the same day by a troop of the King's Bays. He was conveyed to Huddersfield for examination and committed for trial at the assizes which were opened at York on the 18th of July. Although the Government spy swore positively against him he was fortunately able to prove an alibi to the satisfaction of the Jury, and was consequently liberated. In this respect Oldroyd fared much better than old John Baines, of Halifax, president of the Republican Club, whose case we must now refer to.

From what we have already said about Baines, and from the address he gave at the meeting when the attack on Cartwright's mill was resolved upon, our readers will be well aware that although he was a member of the Luddite fraternity he had very different ideas respecting the aims and objects of the organisation than were entertained by such men as Mellor and Thorpe. Assassination found no advocate or defender in the old democrat, Baines. His aim was not to shoot the masters, but to rouse the people en masse to assert their rights as citizens to a share in the government; to overthrow what he called the "bloody rule of kings and aristocrats," and establish democracy in its place. Like the great bulk of his class he was not sufficiently enlightened to appreciate the value of machinery, in fact he regarded it as wholly a curse, and rejoiced to hear of the destruction of that which he thought was calculated to still furiher diminish the scanty earnings of the poor; but in joining the men who had done so much to prevent its general introduction he had no idea that their aim was to confine themselves to merely local conflicts. As we have already seen, he had strongly supported the scheme of a general rising as advocated by the Nottingham delegate, Weightman, and had regarded the breaking of machinery and the attacks on the mills simply as preliminaries to the general movement which was to result in what he called “the enfranchisement of the long-suffering, trodden-down people.” He had always urged on the raids for arms that were at this time more prevalent than ever, in order that when the signal was given the people might be ready for the struggle. Conceiving the time to be very near, he had also endeavoured to extend the organisation, but in enrolling new members he had not exercised sufficient care in administering the oath. So imprudent had he become of late, indeed, that the suspicions of the local magistrates

were directed towards the St. Crispin Democratic Club and its president, but they had not been able to obtain any positive information. The failure of the local magistrates being reported to Government, which since the attack on Cartwright's misl, and especially since the assassination of Horsfall had been spurring on the authorities in the disaffected districts and requiring frequent reports, it was decided at head-quarters that other steps should be taken to break up the mysterious organisation which was evidently taking such deep root and extending so rapidly. For this purpose two spies were sent to Halifax from Manchester by the famous detective Nadin to endeavour to entrap the leaders. One of these spies was an Irishman named M’Donald, who, before he took up the disreputable profession, was a weaver. It need hardly be said that he was a low fellow who had lost all self-respect; for none but such would consent to make a living by hunting down their fellow creatures for blood money. M'Donald appears to have been worse than the average of his abominable class, for when the time came for him to give evidence against his victim, he was found to be in prison himself, and had actually to be brought up by Habeus Corpus to give evidence, and yet the statements of a vile wretch like that, supported partly by that of another spy, a man of the name of Gossling, a broken-down fustian cutter, was accepted as trustworthy, and the evidence of respectable tradesmen in defence, was entirely passed over and ignored.

The two spies, having received their instructions, left Manchester early on the morning of the 8th of July, 1812, and arrived at Halifax about noon. They were dressed in their ordinary working clothes and passed themselves off as men in search of employment. They made direct to the St. Crispin Inn, where they partook of some refreshments and then went out to seek lodgings. On returning to the public house in the evening, they found a man whose name they afterwards discovered to be Charles Milnes, and they immediately led him into conversation. This Milnes, who was a cardmaker, was very intimate with John Baines, and was in fact a Luddite, though he does not appear to have taken any part in frame breaking. He was an off-hand, careless talker, and M'Donald soon saw that he was just the very man he wanted. The two spies were extremely frank and friendly, and Milnes soon became quite confidential. They said that work in Manchester was very bad and they thought they would come and try it they could get a job at Halifax, where, they had been told, work was more plentiful and provisions cheaper.

“Whoever has told you that,” replied Milnes, “has told you more than they can prove, I think. Trade is bad enough at Halifax, and as for cheap provisions I and a good many more would like to know where they are. In all the towns round here the rich subscribe pretty liberally to help the poor to get flour and potatoes or they would starve."

You seem to have plenty of soldiers in the town however. I

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