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As Sir Francis Burdett had commenced suits, not only against the Speaker, but also against the Sergeant-at-arms, and against Lord Moira, the Governor of the Tower, for his arrest and detention, the House of Commons appointed a select committee to inquire into the proper mode of defence, and it was determined that the Sergeant-at-arms[599] should appear and plead to these indictments, and that the Attorney-General should be directed to defend them. Though these trials did not take place till May and June of the following year, we may here note the result, to close the subject. In the first two, verdicts were obtained favourable to the Government, and in the third the jury, not agreeing, were dismissed. These trials came off before Lord Ellenborough, one of the most steady supporters of Government that ever sat on the judicial bench; and the results probably drew their complexion from this cause, for the feeling of the public continued to be exhibited strongly in favour of the prisoner of the House of Commons. He continued to receive deputations from various parts of the country, expressive of the sympathy of public bodies, and of the necessity of a searching reform of Parliament. Whatever irregularity might have marked the proceedings of the radical baronet, there is no question that the discussions to which they led all over the country produced a decided progress in the cause of a renovation of our dilapidated representation.?
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Dr. Gilbert Burnet, Bishop of Salisbury (b. 1643)[146] who figures so prominently in the reign of William and Mary, and who rendered such essential service to the establishment of religious liberty, is the great historian of his time. Without his narratives of his own period, we should have a very imperfect idea of it. With all his activity at Court and in Parliament, he was a most voluminous writer. His publications amount to no less than a hundred and forty-five, though many of these are mere tracts, and some of them even only single sermons. His earliest productions date from 1669, and they continued, with little intermission, to the time of his death in 1715鈥攁 space of forty-six years. His great works are "The Reformation of the Church," in three volumes, folio, 1679, 1681, and 1715; and his "History of His Own Times," in two volumes, published after his death in 1724. Burnet lays no claim to eloquence or to much genius, and he has been accused of a fondness for gossip, and for his self-importance; but the qualities which sink all these things into mere secondary considerations are his honesty and heartiness in the support of sound and liberal principles far beyond the majority of his fellow prelates and churchmen. Whilst many of these were spending their energies in opposing reform and toleration, Burnet was incessantly, by word and pen, engaged in assisting to build up and establish those broad and Christian principles under which we now live. Besides the great works named, he wrote also "Memoirs of James and William, Dukes of Hamilton;" "Passages in the Life and Death of Wilmot, Earl of Rochester;" a "Life of Bishop Bedell;" "Travels on the Continent;" "An Exposition of the Thirty-nine Articles," etc. etc.!
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During the spring of 1794 the British, under Lieutenant-General Sir Charles Grey, took the French island of Martinique, in which attempt the Duke of Kent, father of Queen Victoria, distinguished himself. They also took St. Lucia, Guadeloupe, and its dependencies, Marie-Galante, Deseada, and the Saintes. But they were not so successful in assisting the French Royalists in St. Domingo to expel the Republicans. They beat the French in three successive battles, but[431] our troops were then attacked by the yellow fever. General Whyte made himself master of the French capital, Port-au-Prince; but General Dundas, who was appointed governor, was carried off by the fever, as also were numbers of the troops. The French general also fell a victim to the fever; but at this juncture arrived the Jacobin Commissioner, Victor Hugues, with a reinforcement of from fifteen hundred to two thousand men. He immediately assumed the command, proclaimed freedom to all the blacks, and the plunder of the Royalists. The Royalists, terrified, submitted, or only feebly supported their British allies, who were thereupon compelled to yield them to their fate. Hughes, one of the bloodiest of the French revolutionists, set the guillotine to work in the hands of the negroes. The Royalists were beheaded or fusilladed in troops, their houses burnt, and their estates ravaged. Before the end of the year this monster had reduced the island to a dreadful desert. In his ferocious fury, he had caused the very sick and wounded in the hospitals to be massacred, and the dead to be thrown out of their graves. Amongst these were the remains of General Dundas, and the other dead British officers, which were flung into the river. Hugues also recovered Guadeloupe, and perpetrated the same cruelties and abominations there..
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But it was not till the end of July that Lord Clarendon obtained the extraordinary powers which he demanded for putting down rebellion. These were conveyed in an Act to empower the Lord-Lieutenant to apprehend and detain till the 1st day of March, 1849, such persons as he should "suspect" of conspiring against her Majesty's person or Government. On the 27th of July a despatch from Dublin appeared in the late editions of some of the London morning papers, stating that the railway station at Thurles had been burned; that for several miles along the lines the rails had been torn up; that dreadful fighting had been going on in Clonmel; that the people were armed in masses; that the troops were over-powered; that some refused to act; that the insurrection had also broken out in Kilkenny,[568] Waterford, and Cork, and all through the South. This was pure invention. No such events had occurred. In order to avoid arrest, the leaders fled from Dublin, and the clubs were completely dispersed. Mr. Smith O'Brien started on the 22nd by the night mail for Wexford. From Enniscorthy he crossed the mountains to the county Carlow; at Graiguemanagh he visited the parish priest, who offered him no encouragement, but gave him to understand that, in the opinion of the priests, those who attempted to raise a rebellion in the county were insane. He passed on to the towns of Carlow and Kilkenny, where he harangued the people and called upon them to rise. He arrived at Carrick-on-Suir on the 24th, and thence he went to Cashel. Leaders had been arrested鈥攏amely, Duffy, Martin, Williams, O'Doherty, Meagher, and Doheny. The Act, which received the Royal Assent on the 29th of July, was conveyed by express to Dublin, and immediately the Lord-Lieutenant issued a proclamation ordering the suppression of the conspiracy, which should have been done six months before. In pursuance of this proclamation, the principal cities were occupied by the military. Cannon were planted at the ends of the streets, and all but those who had certificates of loyalty were deprived of their arms. The police entered the offices of the Nation and Felon, seized all the copies of those papers, and scattered the types. Twelve counties were proclaimed, and a number of young men arrested having commissions and uniforms for the "Irish Army of Liberation."
CABINET MEMORANDUM, NOVEMBER 6.
21 August, 2019 - 13:08
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21 August, 2019 - 13:08
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