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proposed on the 19th. On the 25th he was pronounced free from complaint; and on the 10th of March the lord chancellor addressed both houses of parliament in the name of his majesty, when the usual business commenced. On this occasion a general joy was manifested by all ranks of people, and illuminations and other marks of public rejoicings were made over all the kingdom. By his majesty's proclamation the 23d of April was observed as a day of public thanksgiving to Almighty God, for the removal of his late indisposition. The report of the privy council on the slave trade was laid on the table of the house of commons on the 25th of April, and on the 12th of May Mr. Wilberforce opened the discussion in a very forcible speech; but, after a great display of argument on both sides, the subject was deferred till next session. Here it may be observed, that the subject of the slave trade was agitated in several succeeding sessions, and its abolition warmly pressed; but Mr. Wilberforce's motions were rejected, and the question in a great measure dropped. In the month of May, 1790, the Spaniards having captured two vessels belonging to Britain, in Nootka Sound (see that article), a rupture seemed unavoidable; but, after vigorous preparations were made on both sides, all differences were settled. Thus was Great Britain happily rescued from the horrors of war in this quarter of the globe, while her Indian possessions, through accident or ambition, were involved in blood. Of all the native princes of India, Tippoo Saib was the most formidable to the British government, and the most hostile to its authority. The dispute which finally involved the English with him, arose betwixt the Dutch and Tippoo. The former were possessed of two forts, situated between Mysore and Cochin; to these the latter laid claim, in right of his father. The Dutch, unable to defend themselves, entered into a negociation with the rajah of Travancore, for the purchase of them, considering that by placing these forts in the hands of the rajah, who was the ally of Great Britain, they erected a powerful barrier against the encroachments of their ambitious neighbour. The bargain was concluded, July, 1789. On the 1st of March, 1790, the rajah's troops made an attack upon o: who had continued quiet within his lines from the 29th of December. An engagement took |. and, war being thus commenced, the ritish government conceived themselves bound to take an active part. For its result, see HINpostAN. Among the subjects which came before parliament, during this session, a repeal of the test act was again proposed. The motion was brought forward by Mr. Fox, and the subject, though ultimately rejected, was warmly debated; in the course of which, as well as on a previous question (the vote of supply for the army), Mr. Fox having made some references to the French republicans, as exemplary, Mr. Burke, who considered the French revolution in a very different light, opposed him with great keenness; and this afterwards ended in a total disunion of these two distinguished members of opposition. o: parliament was dissolved on the 11th of une.
The new parliament assembled on the 25th of November, 1790, and the following day his majesty opened the session by a speech from the throne. Among several subjects of no great historical interest, which occupied the present session, a bill for the relief of protesting Catholics was passed; and the trial of Mr. Hastings gave rise to a question of considerable constitutional importance; whether impeachments by the commons abate by a dissolution of parliament? This was determined in the negative. In the end of March, 1791, an armament was voted, on account of the taking of Oczakow by the Russians; and, a bill having been brought in for regulating the government of Quebec, a debate ensued on the 6th of May, when Mr. Burke, after making some sarcastic references to the principles of the French revolution, and the abettors of them, declared that his friendship with Mr. Fox was dissolved by that cursed event. The session was concluded on the 10th of June; soon after which a series of shameful and violent outrages took place in the town of BIRM.INGHAM. See that article. The transactions of the session of 1792 were even less important than those immediately preceding. In the autumn of 1791 a marriage had been celebrated between the duke of York, his majesty's second son, and a daughter of the king of Prussia, which gave general satisfaction. On the 17th of February Mr. Pitt presented to parliament a copy of the treaty entered into between the British and Prussian monarchs. The dowry of the princess amounted to £12,000, which was viewed in an inconsiderable light in the wealthy nation of Britain, and parliament readily made a provision of £37,000 per annum for the parties. At this time, also, a statement of the public revenue was brought forward by Mr. Pitt, from which it appeared that about £400,000 might be applied towards the extinction of taxes, or the discharge of the national debt. An enquiry into the grievances complained of by the royal boroughs of Scotland was moved by Mr. Sheridan on the 18th of April, but refused by a considerable majority. In the course of this month a society was instituted in London, for the purpose of obtaining a reform in the representation of the people, which assumed the title of The Friends of the People. At the head of this association were Messrs, Grey, Baker, Whithread, Sheridan, Lambton, and Erskine; and it was quickly joined by several respectable characters in the commercial and literary world. According to a resolution of the society, Mr. Grey, on the 30th of April, mentioned his intention to the house, of moving next session for a reform in the representation of the people. A tumultuous debate ensued, and the subject was dropped. 9. From the war of 1793 to the peace of Amiens. —The reader will have anticipated our entering upon a most eventful period of the British history; a period in which our most valuable institutions were threatened with unprecedented dangers. It could not but be obvious, upon the slightest observation, that the French revolution: must produce consequences extremely important to Europe; and particularly to England, from the connexion which subsisted between the two
countries. We have already seen two very eminent British statesmen, who had been generally of one mind in political matters, totally divided in their views of this event. By one of these the celebrated Reflections on the French Revolution had been published in 1790: a work in which the illustrious author, with equal wisdom and eloquence, showed its true spirit, and the
direct tendency of those principles which were
professed by its authors. But we cannot pretend to give any idea of the ferment and commotion that the French revolution at that time occasioned throughout England. The proselytes to its principles spoke and acted as if a sudden blaze of light had illuminated the darkened world; as if mankind had awakened from a dream, and just opened their eyes, hitherto obscured by prejudice and superstition. Congratulatory addresses were sent from different societies to the national convention, extolling their new constitution in the highest terms; the press teemed with publications of the most seditious tendency; the wholesome principles of our ancestors were derided as the prejudices of narrow minds; and nothing but the vain sounds of “liberty, equality, and the rights of man,’ could be heard. These last insidious words were chosen as the title of one of the many replies which were made to Mr. Burke's Reflections; it was drawn up by Thomas Paine, a man who had formerly been caressed in North America, as the author of a pamphlet entitled Common Sense. This book, now published, contributed very much to poison the minds of the ignorant and profligate: it spread the infection of French principles among the lower classes; and the astonishing rapidity with which it circulated, together with the successes of the French in the Netherlands, inspired the favorers of French anarchy with uncommon boldness. Parliament was assembled on the 13th December, 1792, when his majesty, in a speech from the throne, intimated, that he had judged it necessary to embody a part of the militia, and to assemble his parliament earlier than the time specified. The first measure resorted to, in this difficult crisis, was the alien bill. In consequence of the disorders which at that time prevailed in France, under its then tyrannical rulers, great numbers of the French nobility and clergy had been obliged to emigrate, and to seek for safety in poverty and in exile. Another description of men had also emigrated from France for the worst of purposes. It was to thwart the designs of these men, that a bill establishing regulations respecting aliens arriving in Great Britain was presented to parliament. Mr. Burke gave this bill his most cordial support, as being calculated to keep out of England those murderous atheists, who would pull down the state and church, religion and God, morality and happiness. This bill was followed by another, brought in by the attorney-general, to prevent the circulation of assignats, bonds, promissory notes, &c., issued under the authority of France: another bill was passed, about the same period, for restraining the exportation of naval stores, ammunition, &c., and an order of council was issued for preventing the exportation of corn to France
The French having now filled up the measure of their crimes, by embruing their hands in the blood of their sovereign; having, by repeated decrees, held out encouragement and protection to traitors in every country, and attempted to kindle the flames of rebellion throughout the world ; and having in their last outrage, the opening of the Scheldt, manifested their contempt of all the existing treaties of Europe, Great Britain could no longer remain an inactive spectator of their proceedings. On the 28th of January, 1793, a message was delivered to the house of commons, informing them that his majesty thinks it indispensably necessary to make a further augmentation of his forces by sea, for opposing views of aggrandisement and ambition on the part of France. The question in favor of the address was carried both in the house of lords and commons without a division; though the marquis of Lansdowne and Mr. Fox made several observations against the objects of the war. The French, however, anticipated our intentions, whatever they might have been, by a decree of the convention, formally declaring war against his Britannic majesty and the Stadtholder; and, while Mr. Pitt remarked the causes of his mijesty's message, he read an extract from a letter, addressed by one of the executive council in France, to all the friends of liberty in the French sea-ports:—“The king of England and his patliament mean to make war against us. Will the English republicans suffer it? Already these free men show their discontent, and the repugnance which they have to bear arms against their brothers the French. Well, we will fly to their succor; we will make a descent on the island; we will lodge there 50,000 caps of liberty; we will plant there the sacred tree, and we stretch out our arms to our republican brethrea: the tyranny of their government will soon be stroyed.’
About this period, from various causes atter dant on the situation of the continent and the declaration of war with France, a general panlysis seemed to seize the country, and the number of bankruptcies exceeded all that had ever happened in the most calamitous times. Those who were possessed of property, appeared, atlas, as much at a loss where to deposit it as those who experienced pecuniary distress where to look of relief. The interference of government was solicited by several of the principal traders and me” chants, to apply a remedy to this state of things; in consequence of which Mr. Pitt moved that £5,000,000 should be issued by exchequer bills, under certain restrictions, for the assistance such persons as can give proper security to to commissioners, for the sums that may be vanced. The bill, authorising this, passed bo houses without a division; but one-half of the exchequer bills were never applied for. During this session the house of commons, on the recommendation of Sir John Sinclair, voted £30% per annum for the establishment of a board of agriculture. A bill also passed without oppo sition, to remove certain incapacities and restric" tions from Catholics in Scotland; and the in: habitants of the north of Scotland were success." in obtaining, through Mr. Dundas, a repeal
the duty on coals carried coast-ways. The charter of the East India Company being now within a year of expiring, they petitioned for a renewal of it, which was granted, under certain regulations, for twenty years. Barracks were this year erected in the neighbourhood of all the principal towns through Britain, that the army might, as much as possible, be kept free from the contagion of popular opinion. t would exceed our limits to enter into the prosecutions and trials which took place in consequence of the boundless liberty taken by many in propagating sedition, and subverting the government. The session of 1794 (met January 21st) was opened by his majesty with the usual formalities; and the address voted by a majority of 118. Various important questions were agitated in this parliament. No fewer than three motions were made by different members of opposition, for altering the criminal laws of Scotland, and the different treaties that had been entered into with the court of Petersburgh, the landgrave of Hesse Cassel, the kings of Sardinia, Spain, Naples, Prussia, Austria, and Portugal, were all canvassed by opposition, who reprobated the manner of conducting the war. England, at the commencement of her long contest with France, took into her pay a large body of German troops; and the duke of York joined the allies, who confided to him the care of the army which in the summer of 1793 besieged Valenciennes. The trenches were opened on the 14th of June, 1793. The inhabitants wished to surrender; but the violence of the bombardment prevented their assembling. Much of the labor of the siege consisted of mines and countermines. Some of these having been successfully sprung by the allies, the town was surrendered on the 27th of July by capitulation to the duke of York, who took possession of it in the name of the emperor. The siege of Mentz was going on. It suffered much from famine. At last, after an unsuccessful attempt by the French o: its relief, it surrendered on the 22nd of uly. At the termination of thesiege of Valenciennes it is said that the allied powers were at a loss how to proceed next. Among various plans presented, that of the British ministry was adopted, to divide the grand army, and to attack West Flanders, beginning with the siege of Dunkirk. This determination proved ruinous. The French vanquished that army when divided, which they could not encounter when united. On the 24th of August the duke of York attacked and drove the French outposts into the town, after an action in which the Austrian general Dalton was killed. But a strong republican force menaced the covering army of the allies, under general Freytag. He was attacked and totally routed. The siege was raised. The British lost their cannon and baggage, with several thousand men; and the convention, believing that Houchard, their general, could have cut off the duke of York's retreat, tried and executed him for this neglect. Prince Cobourg and general Clairfait besieged Cambray and Bouchain without success. Quesnoy was, however, taken by general Clairfait on the 11th of September, which ter
minated for that o the success of the allies in the Netherlands. A part of the French army of the north took a strong position near Maubeuge, where they were blockaded by prince Cobourg; but, upon the 15th and 16th of October, he was attacked by the French troops under Jourdan, who had now recovered their vigor. They brought into the field a formidable train of artillery, with , many twenty-four pounders. Commissioners from the convention harangued the soldiers, threatened the fearful, and applauded the brave. Crowds of women, throwing off their natural timidity, went through the ranks, distributing spirituous liquors, and carrying off the wounded. The attacks were repeated and terrible on both sides; but the Austrians were defeated, and Cobourg retired in the night. The French now menaced maritime Flanders. They took Furnes, and besieged Nieuport. A detachment of British troops were hastily sent to Ostend, and stopped the farther progress of the French. The leading people of Toulon now entered into a negociation, and submitted to lord Hood, under condition that he should preserve the town and shipping for Louis XVII. and assist in restoring the constitution of 1789. The siege of Toulon was commenced by general Cartaux in September. Neapolitan, Spanish, and English troops, were brought by sea to assist in its defence. In November, Cartaux was removed to the army in Italy, and Dugommier succeeded him. General O'Hara arrived with reinforcements from Gibraltar, and took upon him the command of the town under a British commission. On the 30th of November the garrison made a powerful sally to destroy some batteries erecting upon the heights. The allies succeeded in their object; but, elated by the facility of their conquest, rushed forward in pursuit of the flying enemy, and were met by a strong French force that was drawn out to protect the fugitives. O'Hara now came from the city to bring off his troops; but was wounded and taken prisoner. The total loss of the allies in this affair was estimated at nearly 1000 men. The French had now mustered in full force around Toulon, and prepared for the attack. It was begun on the 19th of December, and was chiefly directed against Fort Mulgrave, defended by the British. This fort was protected by an entrenched camp, thirteen pieces of cannon, thirty-six and twenty-four pounders, &c., five mortars, and 3000 troops. "Such was the ardor of assault, that it was carried in an hour, and the whole garrison destroyed or taken. The allies, finding it impossible to defend the place, in the course of the day embarked their troops, after having set on fire the arsenal and ships. A scene of confusion ensued, unparalleled in the history of modern wars. Crowds of people of every rank, age, and sex, hurried on board the ships, to avoid the vengeance of their enraged countrymen. Some of the inhabitants began to fire upon their late allies; others in despair plunged into the sea, making a vain effort to reach the ships: thirty-one ships of the line were found by the British at Toulon; thirteen were left behind; ten were burnt; four had been previously sent to the French ports of Brest and Rochefort, with 5000 republicans who could not be trusted; and Great Britain obtained by this expedition three ships of the line and five frigates. At this siege first appeared in command, a iieutenant of artillery, Napoleon Buonaparte, destined to disturb the whole civilised world in his future direction of the resources of France. On the 1st February, 1794, the chancellor of the exchequer read to the house of commons the decree of an extraordinary commission instituted in France, in consequence of a resolution of the joint committees of finances, of public and general safety, and subsistence, directing the use of every possible expedient to ascertain the property of French subjects in foreign funds; in order that it might be delivered up to the state, and become public property; and that, when the transfer was made, it should be paid for in assignats estimated at par. The motion, on this occasion, was brought forward by the solicitor general, and was, in substance, for leave to bring in a bill to prevent the application of debts in the hands of any of his majesty's subjects, to or for the disposal of persons resident in France, under the power of those who now exercise the government of France. The bill passed without opposition. In consequence of the French leaders menacing the country with invasion, an act was passed for the embodying and training of volunteers, by which associations of both infantry and cavalry were voluntarily formed throughout the country. Though the ferment about the political principles of the French had now considerably subsided, there were still many secret espousers and propagators of these principles in the country. On the 12th of May the ministry issued warrants for "...i Mr. Horne Tooke, Mr. Hardy, and Mr. Thelwall; with several other persons, on a charge of high treason. On the same day Mr. Dundas brought down a message from the king, recommending to the house to consider the books and papers of the London Corresponding Society, which had been seized by his majesty's order, and to pursue such measures as were necessary to prevent their pernicious tendency. The papers were referred to a committee of secrecy, who brought up their report on the 16th of May; when Mr. Pitt, after an eloquent speech, moved for leave to bring in a bill, empowering his majesty to secure and detain all persons suspected of designs against his crown and government. A strenuous opposition was made to the bill, but it passed by a great majority. The trials for high treason commenced soon after, and that of Thomas Hardy, which continued eight days, terminated in his acquittal; Mr. Horne Tooke obtained also a verdict in his favor, after six days' investigation; five days were occupied upon the trial of Mr. Thelwall, but the issue was alike favorable to him; and the others were discharged. Some differences happening with America occasioned several motions in the house of commons; but matters were afterwards happily adjusted; and the session terminated on i. 11th of July. Immediately on the rising of parliament several changes took place in administration. The duke of Portland was appointed one of his
majesty's principal secretaries of state, and Mr. Windham secretary at war. Earl Fitzwilliam was nominated president of the council, but was soon after sent to Ireland as lord-lieutenant. In the Netherlands the emperor took the field at the head of the allied armies. West Flanders was to be protected by a strong body of men; the main army was to ro to Landrecy, and to cut off the French from the interior by covering the country from Maubeuge to the sea. The plan was bold; but, when attempting to put it in execution, the allies must have been ill. informed of the immense force which the French were collecting. The town of Lisle alone, which is capable of containing a numerous army within its walls, should have seemed an insurmountable objection to the plan. On the 16th of April the Austrian, British, and Dutch armies assembled on the heights above Cateau, and were reviewed by the emperor. On the 17th they advanced in eight columns against the French, drove in their whole posts, and penetrated beyond Landrecy. The allied army now amounted to 187,000 men, who were disposed in the following manner:— 15,000 Dutch and 15,000 Austrians, under the prince of Orange and general Latour, formed the siege of Landrecy; 15,000 British and 15,000 Austrians, commanded by the duke of York and general Otto, encamped towards Cambray. The emperor and the prince of Saxe-Cobourg, at the head of 60,000 Austrians, were advanced as fir as Guise; 12,000 Hessians and Austrians under general Wurmser were stationed near Douay and Bouchain; count Kaunitz with 15,000 Austrians defended the Sambre and the quarter near Maubeuge; and, general Clairfait, with 40,000 Austrians and Hanoverians, protected Flanders from Tournay to the sea; 60,000 Prussians, for whom a subsidy had been paid by Great Britain, were expected in addition to these, but they never arrived. The French now commenced their operations. On the morning of the 26th of April they at tacked the duke of York near Cateau in great force. After a severe conflict they were repulsed, and general Chapuy was taken prisoner. the same time they attacked the troops under his imperial majesty, but were there also repulsed in a similar manner; losing in all fifty-seven cannon. On the same day, however, general Pichegru advanced from Lisle, attacked and
defeated Clairfait, took thirty-two pieces of car
non; and in the course of a few days made him. self master of Warwick, Menin, and Courtray. On the 29th of April the garrison of Landrecy surrendered to the allies. When this event was known in the Convention it excited a considerable degree of alarm. It was, however, the last effectual piece of success enjoyed by the allies during this disastrous campaign. General Clairfait was again completely defeated by Pichegru Ins general engagement; and it was found necessary to send the duke of York to his asistance.
the 10th the duke of York was attacked near Tournay by a body of the enemy, whom her. pulsed; but he was unable to join Clairfit, upon whose destruction the French were chiefly bent: for, at the same time that the duke of York
was occupied by the attack upon himself, Pichegru fell upon Clairfait with such irresistible impetuosity, that he was compelled to retreat in confusion, and a part of his army appears to have fled to the neigbourhood of Bruges. While Pichegru was thus advancing successively in West Flanders, Jourdan advanced in East Flanders from Maubeuge, crossed the Sambre, and forced general Kaunitz to retreat. On the 18th, however, general Kaunitz succeeded in repulsing the enemy, and they recrossed the Sambre with considerable loss. The allies now found that no progress could be made in France, while Pichegru was advancing successfully, and occupying West Flanders in their rear. The emperor, therefore, withdrew the greater jo. of his army towards Tournay, and resolved to make a grand effort to cut off the communication between Courtray and Lisle, to prevent completely the retreat of Pichegru. On the night of the 16th the army moved forwards in five columns for this purpose: Clairfait was directed to cross the Lys, to effect a general junction, and complete the plan; but, in the course of next day, the division under the duke of York was overpowered by numbers, and defeated. The progress of the rest was stopped, and Clairfait completely defeated. The duke of York escaped being made prisoner only by the Swiftness of his horse. The plan of the allies being thus frustrated, their army withdrew to the neighbourhood of Tournay. Pichegru attempted to retaliate. On the 22nd of May he brought down at day-break his whole force against the allies. The attack was commenced by a heavy fire of artillery, and all the advanced posts were forced. The engagement soon became general; the whole day was spent in a succession of obstinate battles. The French and the allied soldiers fought with equal courage and equal discipline. At nine o'clock P.M. the French at last withdrew from the attack. In this engagement the French were unsuccessful in their immediate object; but the weight of their fire, their steady discipline, and their violent obstinacy of attack, raised their military character high in the estimation even of their enemies. Their numbers were immense; they implicitly obeyed their generals. A combination of efforts was thus produced, whose operation was not retarded by divided counsels. On the other side, the numbers of the allies were daily declining; their leaders were independent princes, whose sentiments and interests were often hostile to each other, and their exertions were consequently disunited. On the 24th the French again crossed the Sambre, but were driven back with much loss. On the 27th they attempted to besiege Charleroi; but the prince of Orange, on the 3rd of June, compelled them to raise the siege. On the 12th a similar attempt was made, and they were again repulsed. In West Flanders, however, Pichegru commenced the siege of Ypres. It was garrisoned by 7000 men; reinforcements were therefore daily sent from the grand army to Clairfait to relieve it. The bloody contests in which the unfortunate general was daily engaged with the French were uniformly unsuccessful, and were the means of wasting the armies of the allies. Ypres held out
till the 17th of June, when it capitulated: and such was the discipline of the French army, at this time, that no notice could be obtained, for several days, of that event. On this the duke of York retreated to Oudenarde; for Jourdan, after storming the Austrian camp of Betignies, advanced with such strength upon Charleroi in the east, that its immediate fall was feared. As this would have enabled the two French armies to encircle the whole of Flanders, the prince of Cobourg advanced to its relief. Charleroi surrendered at discretion on the 25th. The prince of Cobourg advanced on the 26th, to attack in their entrenchments the army that covered the siege near Fleurus; but, the covering army being by this time reinforced by the accession of the besieging army, the allies were repulsed. Jourdan than drew his men out of their entrenchments, and attacked the Austrians. He was three times repulsed, but was at last successful; the loss of the vanquished army was prodigious. The French said it amounted to 15,000 men. The allies now retreated in all quarters. Nieuport, Ostend, and Bruges, were taken, and Tournay, Mons, Oudenarde, and Brussels, opened their gates. At this last place the French armies of East and West Flanders united. Landrecy, Valenciennes, Condé, and Quesnoy, were left with garrisons. The allied troops, evacuating Namur, formed a line from Antwerp to Liege toF. the country behind. The French advanced in full force, and attacked general Clairfait, cut to pieces half his troops that remained, and broke the line. The allies retreated. The duke of York was joined by some troops under the earl of Moira; with these and the Dutch troops he retired to near Bergen op Zoom and Breda for the protection of Holland. The prince of Cobourg evacuated Liege, crossed the Maese, and placed a garrison in Maestricht. He soon, however, sent back a part of his troops to the neighbourhood of Tongres; for here, to the astonishment of all Europe, the French armies made a voluntary pause in their career of victory, and ceased to pursue their retiring foes. Sluys in Dutch Flanders was the only foreign post that they continued to attack, and it surrendered after a siege of twentyone days. On the Rhine the war was equally successful on the part of the French. During the course of this summer Corsica was subdued by Great Britain: and the whole of the French West India Islands, except a part of Guadaloupe, yielded to the British troops under Sir Charles Grey and Sir John Jervis. On the 1st of June, 1794, the British fleet, under earl Howe, gained a most splendid victory over the French fleet to the west of Ushant. The French committee of safety had purchased, in America, immense quantities of grain and other stores. These were embarked on board 160 sail of merchantmen, convoyed by six sail of the line. Lord Howe sailed to intercept this valuable convoy. The French fleet sailed to protect it. On the morning of the 28th of May the fleets came in sight of each other. Lord Howe had previously despatched six ships cf. the line, under admiral Montague, to intercept the French convoy, while he should engage ana