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On the night of the second of November, renounced his allegiance to the Peishwa. rear-admiral Sir Richard Strachan, cruising After a fruitless negotiation, the troops in off Ferrol with four ships of the line and the Deccan, under general Wellesley, rethree frigates, fell in with what he thought duced the fortress of Chandore ; while lord the Rochefort squadron; but they proved Lake, by a series of skilful and rapid moveto be the fugitives from the combined fleet, ments, compelled him to risk encounters to which he immediately gave chase. A little which ultimately led to his discomfiture. before noon on the fourth, Dumanoir, finding On the thirteenth of November, 1804, a an engagement unavoidable, came to close large force was totally routed near Deeg; action; and, after a well-supported contest, and on the seventeenth his cavalry was surcontinued for nearly three hours and a half, prised and defeated near Feruckabad, Holkar all the four ships struck to the English, but himself escaping with great difficulty from not till they had become quite unmanage- the field. This splendid success would have able. Thus was the naval power of France decided the contest, had not the unexpected and her ally reduced to insignificance; the defection of the rajah of Bhurtpore enabled phantoms of "ships, colonies, and commerce," the fugitive to repair his desperate fortunes. which had floated before the imagination of Early in 1805 lord Lake made several at. Buonaparte, were chased from the regions tacks on the town of Bhurtpore, in all of of probability; and Britain was confirmed which he was repulsed with considerable in her paramount dominion of the seas. loss; but at length the rajah made proposals
for peace, which was granted to him, and WAR IN INDIA.-DEATH OF LORD CORN- subsequently to Holkar, on terms favorable WALLIS.
to the company. In July lord Cornwallis In India a new war was occasioned by arrived at Madras, as successor to the marthe intrigues and aggressions of Jeswunt quis Wellesley, but in such a reduced state Rao Holkar, the Mahratta chief, who had of health that he died in the October folusurped the dominions of his brother, and lowing.
State of Europe-Meeting of Parliament-Death of Pitt—Change of Ministry—New
- Intercourse between the West Indies and America-Slave Trade-Impeachment
STATE OF EUROPE.
and prudent, but that many of that body 1806.-Ar the commencement of the year would join themselves to a French army 1806, the French and English nations had whenever it might make its appearance in acquired an absolute and uncontrolled do- their country. minion, the one over the land, and the other MEETING OF PARLIAMENT-DEATH OF over the seas. The battle of Austerlitz had PITT.-CHANGE OF MINISTRY. confirmed the military superiority of France, Affairs were in this posture when parand left her without a rival on the continent; liament was opened by commission on the while the victory of Trafalgar had decided twenty-first of January. After suitable conthe naval pre-eminence of England: she gratulations on the late naval successes, was, however, unable to make any serious mixed with regret for the lamented death of impression on the power of Buonaparte, who, the hero by whom they were achieved, the after the treaty of Presburg, no longer de- speech stated that his majesty had directed terred by the fear of a continental coalition, the treaties concluded with foreign powers was at liberty to direct his whole force and to be laid before the two houses; and, while energy to her subjugation. If Great Britain he lamented the late disastrous events on the had nothing to apprehend from the number continent, he congratulated them on the asof troops Buonaparte might be able to land surances which he continued to receive from on the shores of England, other parts of the the emperor of Russia. The speech then empire were not equally invulnerable to his stated that one million pounds, accruing to attacks. In Ireland, exposed by her griev- the crown from the droits of admiralty, would ances to the seduction of his emissaries, and be applied to the public service of the year; accessible by her situation to the invasion and concluded by recommending vigilance of his army, rebellion had been put down, and exertion against the enemy. An amendbut discontent still existed: the fire which ment to the address was read in both houses, had lately blazed with such fury, was smoth- but was not proposed as a motion, on account ered, but not extinguished; and though the of the dangerous indisposition of Pitt, who more moderate of the Catholics were ready was at that moment on his death-bed. to postpone the discussion of their claims This distinguished statesman had been till the chief obstacle to the redress of their compelled, at the close of the former session grievances was removed, and the prudent of parliament, to relinquish all active share and considerate were disinclined to those in public business, and retire to Bath, whence violent counsels from which they had already he returned, on the eleventh of January, to suffered so much, it was not to be supposed his residence on Putrfey Heath, in a state of that all the Irish Catholics were moderate debility and exhaustion, augmented by anxi
ety and disappointment. His constitution, the assistance of lord Grenville, and on the originally delicate, sunk rapidly; and on the third of February the new ministerial artwenty-third of January he expired, in the rangements were finally settled, embracing forty-seventh year of his age, after having the leading members of the three parties, enjoyed greater power and popularity, and designated by the appellation of the old and held the first place in the government of his new opposition, and the Sidmouth party. country for a longer course of years, than The cabinet was composed of the following any former minister of England. On a mo- members: earl Fitzwilliam, president of the tion of the honorable Henry Lascelles, made council; lord Erskine, lord chancellor; visin the house of commons on the twenty-count Sidmouth, lord privy-seal; lord Grenseventh of January, and carried by a ma- ville, first lord of the treasury; lord Hojority of two hundred and fifty-eight to eighty- wick (late Mr. Grey), first lord of the adnine, his remains were interred at the pub- miralty; earl Moira, master-general of the lic expense in Westminster Abbey, by the ordnance; earl Spencer, Mr. Fox, and Mr. side of his father. A sum not exceeding forty Windham, secretaries of state for the home, thousand pounds was voted for the payment foreign, and war departments; and lord of his debts without opposition. He pos- Henry Petty, chancellor of the exchequer. sessed no particular advantages of person or Lord chief justice Ellenborough was also physiognomy; but as a speaker he was admitted to a seat in the cabinet. The duke thought to be without a rival. His integrity of Bedford went to Ireland as lord-lieutenwas unimpeached; his conduct moral; and, ant, accompanied by Elliot as chief secretaso far was he from making use of his oppor- ry. Ponsonby was appointed chancellor and tunities to acquire wealth, that he died in- keeper of the seals in Ireland, and Sir John solvent. As a financier, he displayed great Newport chancellor of the Irish exchequer; ability in augmenting the public revenue, lord Minto was appointed president of the and in raising money on public faith; but board of control; Sheridan, treasurer of the whilst he was thus adding to the burdens navy; general Fitzpatrick, secretary at war; of the people, and entailing a heavy load on Sir Arthur Pigott and Sir Samuel Romilly, posterity, the wealth so acquired was dis- attorney and solicitor general. In the subtributed with lavish profusion. Such was his ordinate offices, likewise, so complete a dread of the revolutionary principles which change had not been effected since the comdesolated France, tliat, considering no price mencement of Pitt's first administration. too great for the means of opposing them, he Lord Grenville's holding the office of aucarried the practice of subsidizing foreign ditor of the exchequer, which is incompatistates to an unprecedented and almost ruinous ble with that of first lord of the treasury, extent. But, whatever may have been his rendered it necessary to bring a bill into errors, his exertions in the public service, parliament, to enable him to accept the latduring a period of unexampled difficulty, ter office, without forfeiting the former; were unwearied; and the emphatic words and, to palliate the objections that might be pronounced by the herald over his corpse, made to this equivocal union, his lordship * non sibi sed patriæ vixit,” were not less was empowered to name a trustee to hold just than honorable.
the office of auditor, so long as he should Either from confidence in his own powers, continue in the situation of first lord of the or from the love of sway, Pitt seldom asso- treasury; which trustee should be responsiciated himself with men of superior talent, ble to the auditor for the salary, and to the and his death at this critical juncture was public for the due execution of his office. considered as a virtual dissolution of the ex- The appointment of lord chief justice Elisting adıninistration. His colleagues, be- lenborough to a seat in the cabinet was a sides the want of public confidence, were measure of still more doubtful policy. disunited and without a head; and the loss MILITARY ARRANGEMENTS.-FINANCE. of their patron dissolved the only tie that
-SLAVE TRADE. bound them. In circumstances so discourag- On the third of April, Windham submiting, the surviving members of Pitt's admin- ted to the house of commons some important istration resigned to their opponents the military arrangements. Instead of an enreins of government, without a struggle; gagement to serve for life, he proposed that and even refused to retain charge of them, the soldiers in future should be enlisted for when urged to that duty by the solicitations a term of years only; this term to be diviof the court
. Lord Hawkesbury was offered ded into three periods, of seven years each, the post of premier, but he deemed it too for the infantry; and, for the cavalry and arduous, and on retiring from office received artillery, the first period to be ten; the secthe wardenship of the cinque ports. ond, six; and the third, five years. At the
Every attempt to form an administration end of each period the soldier to have a from the wreck of the late cabinet having right to claim his discharge, and be entitled proved unsuccessful, his majesty called in to certain advantages proportioned to his length of service. Desertion might be pun-1that establishment: the same principle was ished by the loss of so many years' service; also extended to the excise and customs, to and though corporal punishments could not, the stamp and post offices, and to the office he said, be entirely banished from the army, of surveyor-general of the woods and forthey might be diminished both in number ests; an act was passed for increasing the and severity. The volunteer corps ought salaries and abolishing the fees of the cusonly to be formed of persons who would tom-house officers of the port of London; serve at their own expense, and the peasant- and judicious measures were adopted for the ry should be loosely trained to harass and settlement of public accounts. impede an enemy. This training he meant The corn trade between Great Britain to be compulsory; and that two hundred and Ireland was placed on the same footing thousand should be annually liable to that as that between the different counties of duty. The bills necessary for effecting these England, by an act which judiciously allowarrangements were strongly opposed in eve-ed the free interchange of grain without ry stage, but finally passed in both houses. any bounty, duty, or restraint whatever. An
On the twenty-eighth day of March the act was also passed for regulating the interbudget was opened by lord Henry Petty, who course between the West Indies and the stated the unredeemed debt of Great Brit- United States, which vested a discretionary ain and Ireland at nearly five hundred and power in his majesty to permit, under cerfifty-six million pounds, and the redeemed tain restrictions, the trade in lumber and at one hundred and twenty-seven million provisions carried on by neutrals with the pounds, of which the annual charge was British colonies, with the proviso that no nearly twenty-seven million five hundred commodities, staves and lumber only exthousand pounds. The supplies on account cepted, should be imported, which were not of Great Britain were estimated at forty- of the growth and produce of the countries three million six hundred and eighteen to which the neutral vessels belonged, and thousand four hundred and seventy-two that they should not export the indigenous pounds; and among the proposed ways and products of the colonies. means the most considerable were a loan of The abolition of the slave trade, which eighteen million pounds, and an augmenta- had for so many years engrossed the attention of the war taxes to nineteen million tion of the friends of humanity in this counfive hundred thousand pounds, to be effected try—which had been supported by the eloprincipally by raising the property tax from quence of the late prime minister whenever six and a half to ten per cent. It was also it was brought before parliament, but had as proposed to raise the war duties on the cus- constantly been defeated by the prevalence toms, with certain modifications, from one of interests which, as minister, he did not fourth to one third; and, in order to cover choose to oppose—was pursued by the new the interest of the loan, the duty on wine administration with so much earnestness, was to be made permanent, and two pounds that in the present session considerable proper ton imposed on pig-iron; the duty on gress was made towards its accomplishment. tea was to be equalized; and a tax on ap- A bill was passed, prohibiting the exportapraisements imposed. The property tax bill tion of slaves from the British colonies after encountered great opposition, but was pass-the first of January, 1807, and interdicting ed with some modifications. The tax on all subjects of this country from being aciron excited such opposition that it was cessory to the supply of foreign countries abandoned, and a tax on private brewers with slaves after that period. Another bill substituted, but this raised a still greater soon after passed without opposition, for outcry, and the interest of the loan was pro- preventing the increase of the British slave vided for by an addition of ten per cent to trade, by prohibiting any vessels from emthe assessed taxes. The budget for Ireland barking in that traffic which were not alwas opened by Sir John Newport on the ready employed therein. The next measeventh of May, when it appeared that the sure was a resolution moved by Fox on the supply voted for that country was eight tenth of June, and which being his last momillion nine hundred and seventy-five thou- tion, may be said to have closed the parliasand one hundred and ninety-four pounds; mentary career of that great statesman. and the ways and means, including a loan The words of the resolution were, “that of two million pounds, were estimated at this house conceiving the African slave nine million one hundred and eighty-one trade to be contrary to the principles of justhousand four hundred and fifty-five pounds. tice, humanity, and sound policy, will, with
Some salutary regulations were adopted all practicable expedition, take eflectual in various departments. The balances of measures for abolishing the said trade, in the treasurer of the ordnance were ordered such manner and at such period as may be to be deposited at the bank of England, and deemed advisable.” He declared that he the payments to be made by drafts upon was so fully impressed with the vast importance of attaining the object of his mo- trary judgment. The whole number of peers tion, that if
, during the almost forty years voting was one hundred and thirty-five, and, that he had enjoyed a seat in parliament, he considering the nature of the proceeding, had been so fortunate as to accomplish that, the trial was conducted with unusual disand that only, he could retire from public life patch. with the conscious satisfaction that he had On the twenty-third of July, after a long done his duty. The motion was opposed by and busy session, parliament was prorogued lord Castlereagh, the members for Liver- by commission. pool, and a few in the West India interest; NEGOTIATION FOR PEACE. but, on a division, they were only fifteen In February, a project for assassinating against one hundred and fourteen, leaving a Buonaparte was communicated by a foreigner majority of ninety-nine in favor of the abo- to Fox, who immediately sent a statement lition. In the lords the same resolution was of the circumstances to Talleyrand. The adopted, on the motion of lord Grenville, by French minister, in reply to this letter, took forty-one against twenty. The last step occasion to introduce, unofficially, an extract taken on this subject, during the present from Buonaparte's speech to the Legislative session, was a joint address from the two Body, expressive of his wish for peace with houses, beseeching his majesty to take mea- England, and his readiness to negotiate, sures for obtaining the concurrence of for- without a moment's delay, agreeably to the eign powers in the abolition.
treaty of Amiens. Fox considered this comIMPEACHMENT OF LORD MELVILLE.— munication as a distinct overture, and pro
PARLIAMENT PROROGUED. ceeded to answer it in that frank and direct The house of commons having resolved style which is the characteristic of all his to exercise its power of impeachment against public dispatches. He stated the impossilord Melville, managers were duly appoint-bility of concluding any treaty unless in coned; Westminster hall was appropriately cert with Russia; but suggested the practifitted up; and on the twenty-ninth of April (cability of some previous discussion of the the court was opened with the usual forms. principal points, and some provisional arThe articles, which were ten in number, rangements. A correspondence of some contained three principal charges. The first length ensued, in which Talleyrand endeawas, that, before the tenth of January, 1786, vored to represent Russia as interposing its he had applied to his private use and profit authority between two nations fully compevarious sums intrusted to him as treasurer tent to adjust their own differences: Fox, of the navy. The second was, that he had however, stated explicitly that his majesty permitted Trotter, his paymaster, illegally was willing to negotiate conjointly with to take from the bank of England large sums Russia, but not separately; to which Talleyissued on account of the treasurer of the rand re-urged the former objections, and navy, and to place those sums in the hands thus the correspondence closed. of his private banker. The third was, that Early in June, however, lord Yarmouth, he had fraudulently permitted Trotter to son of the marquis of Hertford, who had apply the said money to purposes of private been among those detained in France at the use and emolument, and had himself de- commencement of hostilities, arrived in rived profit therefrom. Lord Melville aver-London, and communicated the substance red that he was not guilty, when Whitbread of a conversation with Talleyrand, which addressed the court in an elaborate speech, had passed at the desire of that minister, for and the solicitor-general recapitulated the the purpose of conveying the outlines of the evidence. The counsel for lord Melville terms on which peace might be restored occupied three days in the defence: on the Three specific offers were held out as intwo following days the managers delivered ducements to Great Britain to treat, viz. the their reply on the part of the commons: the restoration of Hanover; the possession of further proceedings were deferred till the Sicily, as a consequence of the principle of twenty-eighth of May. A motion of thanks the uti possidetis; and a facility in the arto the managers was made on the twenty- rangement of the form of treating, which, third, in the commons, by general Fitzpat- without recognizing the claim of a joint rick, and agreed to with only one dissentient negotiation, would not impair the advantages voice. At the appointed period the peers which Great Britain and Russia might deassembled; the assistance of the judges on rive from their alliance. Talley rand, in the certain points of law was resorted to; and first interview with lord Yarmouth after his on the twelfth of June their lordships pro- return to Paris, not only departed entirely ceeded to deliver their verdict. The result from his offer of Sicily, but indulged himwas, that his lordship was acquitted of all self in vain allusions to further demands, the charges; but on four of the articles the and in peremptory representations of the majority in his favor did not amount to dou- necessity of negotiating with some persons ble the number of those who gave a con- duly empowered to treat. This deviation