Page images


Meeting of Parliament- Address Sentiments on the Peace— Debts of the Civil List

-Claim of the Prince of Wales to arrears of Cornish RevenuesRepeal of the Income Tax-LoanNero TaxesSinking Fund Abbot elected Speaker Debates on the definitive Treaty of Peace— Militia AugmentationVaccine InoculationParliament dissolved - French Expedition to St. Domingo and Gaudaloupe-Mutiny in Bantry Bay-Affairs of Switzerland-Annexation of Piedmont to FranceSeizure of the Maltese property in Spain-Buonaparte elected First Consul for life -New Constitution in France Legion of Honor-Affairs of France in the West IndiesDespard's Conspiracy-New Parliament-Symptoms of hostility between France and England - The British Ambassador leaves ParisGrant to the Prince of WalesMessages respecting France, and the Militia, and announcing hostilities, Military Preparations - Levy en masse— Finance, Volunteer AssociationsPreparations for Invasion by France Act to relieve CatholicsAttempt to murder made capital— Vote of thanks to the VolunteersThe Prince of Wales is refused Military Promotion-Rebellion in Ireland, and Murder of Lord Kilwarden— Ireland placed under Martial Law, and Habeas Corpus Act suspended— Emmett and others executed for TreasonCapture of St. Lucia, Tobago, fc.— The French expelled from St. Domingo_Movements in Europe— Invasion of Hanover-Blockade of the Elbe and Weser-War with Holland-Exactions of Buonaparte-Sale of LouisianaEnglish Travellers in France made Prisoners of War-Naval Operations.


the few allies who had not deserted us. MENTS ON THE PEACE.

When it became a mere question of terms, The imperial parliament of Great Britain he was much more anxious as to the tone and Ireland was opened on the twenty-ninth and character of the peace, than about any of October 1801, by the king in person, who, particular object which should come into in a speech from the throne, announced the dispute. As long as the peace was honoraconclusion of the negotiation for peace, and ble, he should prefer accepting terms even declared his satisfaction, that the difference short of what he thought the country entiwhich existed with the northern powers had tled to, to risking the result of the negotiabeen adjusted by a convention with the em- tion by too obstinate an adherence to any peror of Russia, to which the kings of Den- particular point. On the other hand, Windmark and of Sweden had expressed their ham, the late secretary at war, avowed his readiness to accede, and by which the essen-entire disapprobation of the treaty, and detial rights for which we contended were clared himself to be a solitary mourner in secured. He then proceeded to state that the midst of public rejoicings. Sheridan preliminaries of peace had also been ratified said he could not agree that the conditions between himself and the French republic; were glorious and honorable. It was, in his and he trusted that this important arrange- opinion, a peace of which every one was ment, while it manifested the justice and glad, but no one proud. moderation of his views, would also be found A similar address was moved in the conducive to the substantial interests of this house of commons; which, after consideracountry, and honorable to the British char-ble discussion, was agreed to without a acter. In the upper house the address was division. moved by lord Bolton; and the duke of Bed- On the thirteenth of November the artiford, in a speech containing much censure cles of the treaty with Russia having been of the late, and praise of the present admin- laid before the house of peers, the earl of istration, declared his cordial concurrence Darnley moved an address of thanks and in the address, which was agreed to without approbation to the throne. This address a dissentient voice.

was vehemently opposed by lord Grenville, In the house of commons Fox expressed who condemned the treaty in almost all its the same sentiments of approbation respect-provisions; and, from the tenor of his lording the peace, in which he was warmly sec- ship's remarks, it was obvious that no aconded by Pitt, who described it as glorious commodation with the northern powers and honorable. After the continental alli- could have taken place under the adminisance had been dissolved, he said, nothing tration which had recently been dissolved. remained for us but to procure just and hon. The question was carried in both houses orable conditions of peace for ourselves and without a division.

In the progress

DEBTS OF THE CIVIL-LIST-PRINCE OF (obliged to make provision. The loan for

WALES'S CLAIMS FOR ARREARS. Great Britain he stated at twenty-three milWhen parliament assembled, after the lion pounds; the capital in the different christmas recess, the chancellor of the ex- funds, created by the conversion of eight chequer called the attention of the house to million five hundred thousand pounds of excertain papers before them, relative to the chequer-bills into stock, previously to the civil-list, by which it appeared that the pe- christmas recess, was eleven millions two .cuniary affairs of the sovereign were again hundred and thirty-eight thousand and sixtydeeply in arrear; and a committee was ap- two pounds, and the aggregate sum appearpointed to examine the accounts now pre- ed to be no less than ninety-seven million sented to the house. In the course of the nine hundred and thirty-four thousand one discussion, Manners Sutton, solicitor to the hundred and thirty-seven pounds, the interprince of Wales, advanced a claim on the est of which was stated at three million one part of the prince for the amount of the rev- hundred and sixty-two thousand pounds. To enues of the dutchy of Cornwall received defray this enormous demand, very heavy during his minority, and applied to the use additional duties were imposed on beer, of the civil-list. Fox declared strongly in malt, and hops. A considerable increase favor of the equity of this claim, but admit- was also made to the assessed taxes; and ted that the sums voted for the payment of the last article to which ministers had rethe prince's debts ought to be deducted from course at this crisis was a tax on imports the balance accruing to the prince. On the and exports, being a modification of the contwenty-ninth of March, 1802, the report of voy duty. The produce of the new duties the committee was taken into consideration, combined he estimated at four million when it appeared that a debt amounting to pounds, an excess which compensated for no less than nine hundred and ninety thou- the deficiency of divers of the taxes imposed sand pounds had been contracted since the in the course of the war. passing of Burke's reform bill, exclusive of of the business of the revenue, the chancelthe arrears discharged in the years 1784 and lor of the exchequer proposed and carried 1786, and since that time the provisions of into effect several important alterations in the bill had been wholly neglected. After a the sinking-fund bills of Pitt. The last, or long and animated discussion this sum was new fund, provided for liquidating the debt voted by the house : but the chancellor of contracted since the year 1786, was much the exchequer allowed that measures ought larger than the original fund established for to be taken to prevent in future any such the liquidation of the old debt. These two accumulation of debt. Two days after, Man- funds he proposed to consolidate, and to perners Sutton moved for the appointment of a petuate, till the whole of the debt, both old committee, to inquire what sums were due and new, should be completely liquidated. to the prince of Wales from the arrears of The original fund had now arisen to two the revenues arising from the dutchy of million five hundred and thirty-four thouCornwall. The chancellor of the exchequer sand one hundred and eighty-seven pounds, considered it as inconsistent with his duty to and the new to three million two hundred concur in this motion. As to the legal ques- and seventy-five thousand one hundred and tion, he did not pretend to decide upon it: forty-three pounds, making together five but he thought the discussion ought not to million eight hundred and nine thousand be entertained in that house ; not at least three hundred and thirty pounds. The debt till it appeared in proof, that on application contracted previously to the year 1786 for redress, supposing the wrong to exist, amounted to something more than two hunrelief could not be obtained elsewhere. dred and fifty-nine million pounds, and the INCOME TAX REPEALED.-FINANCES. new debt amounted to nearly three hundred

On the same day the chancellor of the million pounds; something less than forty exchequer gave notice of his intention to re- million pounds having been redeemed by the peal the tax upon income. He acknowledg- old, and upwards of twenty million pounds ed the burden of it to be very grievous, by the operation of the new fund. The though the necessities of the state had ren- whole of the existing funded debt, including dered its adoption necessary; but, as this the loan of the present year, was conseimpost was originally proposed as a war tax, quently about five hundred and forty million it should cease with the occasion that had pounds, and the interest amounted annually given it birth. On the fifth of April the plan to the vast sum of upwards of seventeen of finance for the year was brought forward. million pounds. The income tax had been mortgaged by Pitt ABBOT ELECTED SPEAKER-DEBATE ON for the sum of fifty-six million four hundred THE PEACE.-MILITIA.-VACCINATION. and forty-five thousand pounds, three per Sir JOHN MITFORD, the speaker of the cents, for which the present minister, in English house of commons, having vacated consequence of the repeal of this tax, was his chair by accepting the office of lord

Vol. IV.


chancellor of Ireland, in the room of lord of the British empire. The treaty was cenClare, deceased, with the title of lord Redes-sured also by the duke of Richmond, earl dale, the speaker's chair was conferred on Darnley, and lord Caernarvon; and defendCharles Abbot, Esq. a lawyer of eminence ed by lords Auckland, Pelham, and Hobart, and activity in business, and who had the the lord chancellor, and the earls of Westmerit of possessing an intimate acquaintance moreland and Rosslyn. The motion of lord with the forms and usages of the house. Grenville was at length negatived.

On the thirteenth of May the grand de- The terms of the definitive treaty underbate relative to the definitive treaty of peace went a discussion equally animated in the came on in both houses of parliament, when house of commons. Windham attacked the it was attacked and defended with more stipulations of the treaty in all their parts, than ordinary ability. In respect to Malta, concluding by moving an address similar to lord Grenville observed, that few things that proposed in the house of peers by lord could be more absurd than to place that isl- Grenville. The debate was prolonged to a and under the guarantee of six powers, who very late hour, in the course of which Shercould not be expected to agree on any one idan remarked that the discussion of the nepoint relating to it; and as to restoring it to cessary though disgraceful treaty of peace, the order of St. John, that was still more ab- furnished the best defence of the conduct of surd ; for how could it be said that such an those who had uniformly opposed the war. order was in existence, when almost all For his part he supported the peace, because their funds had been confiscated? Of the he supposed it the best that ministers could revenues which supported the order, France, obtain. Their predecessors had left them to at the time of the suppression of the French choose between an expensive, bloody, fruitlangue, had confiscated fifty-eight thousand less war, and a hollow, perilous peace. The late pounds annually, Spain twenty-seven thou- minister told us that the example of a jaco sand pounds, and of their former income of bin government in Europe, founded on the one hundred and thirty thousand pounds, ruins of a holy altar, and the tomb of a maronly twenty-seven thousand pounds was now tyred monarch, was a spectacle so dreadful left,—à revenue evidently insufficient to and infectious to Christendom, that we could keep up the fortifications, or maintain the never be safe while it existed, and it was security of the island. The order of Malta our duty to put forth our last effort for its was therefore extinct as a power, and must destruction. For these fine words, which necessarily come under the influence and had at last given way to security and indeminto the pay of France. In adverting to nity, we had sacrificed nearly two hundred other points of the treaty, he observed, that thousand lives, and expended three hundred our sovereignty in India had not been re- million pounds of money—and had gained cognized, while the Cape of Good Hope, a Ceylon and Trinidad, which might hencestation of the first importance to that sove-forth be named the Indemnity and Security reignty, had been ceded. In the Mediterra- Islands. He admitted the splendid talents nean, where our naval superiority was most of the late minister, but he had misapplied important, we had dispossessed ourselves, them in the government of this country. not only of Malta, but of Minorca, and even The house at length divided against Windof the isle of Elba, which France wanted, ham's address by an immense majority. merely to exclude us from the port of Leg- An important act was passed for consolihorn. "He concluded a most severe and elab- dating the existing milítia laws, and for orute investigation of the terms of the trea- augmenting that force to seventy thousand ty, by moving an address to his majesty, ac- men, the proportion for Scotland being fixed knowledging his prerogative to make peace at ten thousand. The sum of ten thousand and war, but declaring it impossible for the five hundred pounds was voted to Dr. Edhouse to see without alarm the circum- ward Jenner, for the promulgation of his instances that had attended the conclusion of valuable discovery of the system of vaccine the present treaty, by which sacrifices had inoculation, by which it was hoped ultimatebeen made on the part of this country, with ly to extirpate the small-pox. "A reward of out any corresponding concessions on that twelve hundred pounds was also voted to of France; that in the moment of peace Henry Greathead, for the invention of the France had exhibited indubitable proofs of life-boat; and five thousand pounds to Dr. the most ambitious projects ; that these con- James Carmichael Smith, for his discovery siderations imposed on government the ne- of the nitrous fumigation, for preventing the cessity of adopting measures of precaution ; progress of contagious disorders. On the and that, whilst that house relied on his ma- twenty-ninth of June parliament was disjesty's wisdom to be watchful of the power solved by proclamation. of France, they thought it necessary to as- EXPEDITION TO ST. DOMINGO.-MUTINY šure him of their ready and firm support in

IN BANTRY BAY. resisting every encroachment on the rights The French government determined to attempt the recovery of their colonies of | Aloys Reding, and other patriots, were arSt. Domingo and Guadaloupe from the arm- rested and imprisoned; and the indepened negroes by whom they were at present dence of Switzerland, which had been guarheld. For this purpose, a strong military antied in the treaty of Luneville, was anand naval force had been for some time pre- nihilated by the power whose mediation she paring at the ports of Brest, Rochefort, and had solicited. In September Piedmont was L'Orient, and the British ministry consented formally annexed to France, and Turin, its to the sailing of the armament before the capital, was degraded into a provincial city conclusion of the definitive treaty, on re- of the republic. In October the king of ceiving Buonaparte's express assurances that Spain annexed to the royal domains all the its purpose was to take possession of the col- property of the knights of Malta in his doonies, and suppress the insurrection. He minions, and declared himself grand master sought to quell the revolutionary spirit of the order in Spain. This step was supwhich his democratic predecessors had prop- posed to have been taken at the suggestion agated in that quarter, and which had ani- of the French government. Thus the order mated the negroes of St. Domingo under of St. John was diminished by the suppresToussaint L'Ouverture, and those of Gua- sion of three leagues, those of Arragon, Casdaloupe under Pelagie, to assert and vindi- tile, and Navarre; and thus was the treaty cate their claims to liberty and equality, as of Amiens vitiated, because that order was members of the indivisible French republic. now no longer the same body to whom the He was desirous to put an end to a state of island of Malta was to be ceded in full auanarchy, which was pregnant with the most thority. appalling dangers, not only to the French BUONAPARTE FIRST CONSUL FOR LIFE. colonists, but to those of every other Euro- NEW FRENCH CONSTITUTION.--LEGION pean power; and the fleet, consisting of OF HONOR.-WEST INDIES. eighteen French and five Spanish ships of BUONAPARTE, anxious to strengthen his the line, having on board twenty-five thou- power at home, caused a proposal to be made sand troops, under general Le Clerc, put to in the conservative senate that he should sea on the fourteenth of December. Admi- be declared first consul for life; the question ral Mitchell, who was then stationed at Ban- was referred to the people, and carried by try Bay, with seven sail of the line, was an immense majority. A second question, ordered to follow them, and observe their whether he should have the power of apmotions; but, on learning whither they were pointing his successor, was decided in the destined, a mutiny broke out in soine of the affirmative, and he was now an hereditary vessels, which, however, was soon suppress- monarch in everything but the name. He ed, and the squadron proceeded to the West imposed a new constitution on France, by Indies, to reinforce the protecting fleets on which he invested himself with the right of that station. Fourteen of the ringleaders making war or peace; of ratifying treaties; were capitally condemned and executed. of pardoning in all cases; of presenting the AFFAIRS OF SWITZERLAND.--MALTESE names of the other two consuls to the sen

PROPERTY IN SPAIN SEIZED. ate ; of nominating all inferior officers; of In Switzerland, a new constitution was ac- appointing, by his own authority, forty of the cepted by one party and resisted by the one hundred and twenty members composing other, and bloodshed having ensued, the Hel- the senate; and of prescribing to that body vetic government was induced to solicit the the subjects on which alone it was compemediation of France; when Buonaparte, tent to deliberate. The other departments availing himself of so plausible a pretext, of the state were equally subservient to sent an army into the country, and issued his will; so that, having utterly destroyed an arrogant proclamation, commanding the the liberty of the press, he might be said to senate to assemble at Berne, and to send govern the republic by means of an enordeputies to Paris; ordering at the same time mous standing army, and a numerous inquiall authorities constituted since the com- sitorial police. Aware that to the former mencement of the troubles to cease to act, he was indebted for his present elevation, he and all armed bodies to disperse. The diet had for some time contemplated the formaof Schweitz, however, as the supreme re- tion of a military order of nobility, under the presentative body of the Swiss union, re-designation of the Legion of Honor, and mained at their post, hoping for the inter- the legislature decreed its establishment. ference of foreign powers; but Great Britain The legion was to be composed of fifteen alone manifested an interest in their behalf. cohorts, and a council of administration ; each An English resident was sent to Constance, cohort to consist of seven grand officers, twen. empowered to promise pecuniary assistance ty commandants, thirty subordinate officers, if the people were determined to defend and three hundred and fifty legionaries; the their country; but the approach of the French first consul always to be the chief, and the troops had compelled the diet to dissolve ;) members to be appointed for life, each with proportionate salaries. Joseph Buonaparte, sion of the constitution ; but the means by the brother of the first consul, was elected which these traitorous designs were to be grand master.

effected were so little adapted to the magniIn the West Indies Buonaparte recovered tude of the enterprise, that it seemed scarcely Guadaloupe, after a sanguinary resistance, possible that the design should have originand had at first met with some success in ated with any man in a sane state of mind. St. Domingo, Toussaint L'Ouverture having On the sixteenth of November the colonel been induced to submit under promise of par- and twenty-nine laboring men and soldiers don : scarcely, however, had he signed the were apprehended at the Oakley Arms in capitulation, when, on a vague and improb- Lambeth; and on the seventh of February, able charge of conspiring against the French 1803, the former was arraigned before a spegovernment, he was seized in the midst of cial commission for high treason. After a his family, and with them immediately sent trial which lasted nearly eighteen hours, and to France. On his arrival he was, without in which very honorable testimony was given trial or examination, thrown into prison, to the conduct of the colonel, while in the where in the following year he died, and it army, by lord Nelson, Sir Alured Clarke, has been asserted that he was privately put and Sir Evan Nepean, he was found guilty, to death by order of the first consul. On the but earnestly recommended to mercy, on aeseizure of Toussaint, the negro generals Des count of the high testimonials to his characsalines and Christophe, who had also surren- ter and eminent services. On the ninth, dered, justly fearing the fate of their unfor- the court proceeded to the trials of twelve tunate colleague, saved themselves by flight; other prisoners, and, after an investigation the insurgents again everywhere assembled; which continued till the following morning, the climate effectually aided their efforts, and the jury returned a verdict of guilty against general Le Clerc himself at length fell a nine; two were acquitted, and the charge victim to its maligniiy. General Rocham- against the other was abandoned. On the beau succeeded to the command early in No- twenty-first, colonel Despard and the six acvember, when a furious and bloody conflict complices not recommended to mercy were recommenced; the negyv generals recovered executed with the usual forms in cases of poss?ssion of the whole island excepting a high treason. few maritime towns, of which the French

NEW PARLIAMENT. with extreme difficulty maintained posses- On the twenty-third the new parliament sion; and a country of inestimable value, was opened by a speech from the throne, in which, by measures of moderation and con- which the king observed that, in his interciliation, might in all probal-ility have been course with foreign powers, he had been acpreserved to France, appeared irrecoverably tuated by a sincere desire for the maintelost

. In Tobago, when intelligence arrived nance of peace; but that it was nevertheless that the island was to be restored to France, impossible to lose sight of that established the people of color flew to arms, and deter- and wise system of policy by which the inmined to attack the British troops under terests of other states are connected with brigadier general Carmichael, who had under our own; and that he could not be indifferhis command only two hundred men; but, ent to any material change in the relative having gained intelligence of the plot, he condition and strength of those states. He seized thirty of the ringleaders, and the expressed his conviction that parliament French took possession of the island, in vir- would concur in the opinion that it was netue of the treaty of Amiens. In Dominica a cessary to adopt those means of security serious alarm was created by the mutiny of which were best calculated to afford the an entire regiment of blacks, who put to prospect of preserving the blessings of peace. death captain Cameron and several other The presage conveyed in this intimation officers; but they were at length totally was soon afterwards confirmed by proposals routed. Whilst these contests prevailed, the for augmenting the naval and military force French legislative body abrogated the decree of the country. The attention of parliament of the national convention, abolishing sla- until the Christmas recess was chiefly occuvery, and the inhuman traffic was renewed pied by financial arrangements, and by a bill with all the encouragement which it enjoyed introduced into the house of peers by lord under the old French government. Pelham, for appointing commissioners to in

DESPARD'S CONSPIRACY. quire into frauds and abuses existing in the In October of this year a treasonable plot naval departments. was discovered, of which colonel Edward SYMPTOMS OF HOSTILITY WITH FRANCE Marcus Despard, who had distinguished him- -BRITISH AMBASSADOR QUITS PARIS. self in the service of his country, was the The extent of Buonaparte's authority at head, and indeed the only individual of any home only served to render him more imconsideration in the conspiracy. The object patient of contradiction abroad; and as he was the death of the king, and the subver-I had succeeded in subduing all opposition in

« PreviousContinue »