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HISTORY OF GREAT BRITAIN,
DEATH OF GEORGE II. TO THE CORONATION OF GEORGE IV.
Effects of the late King's partiality to his native Dominions-Circumstances attending the Accession of the neis Sovereign–His Majesty's first Speech to both Houses of Parliament-Addresses of the Lords and Commons-Supply voted— Establishment of the Civil List-Sums granted for the Support of the German Confederacy-Subsidy to Prussia— Vota of Compensation to the Provinces in North America for their strenuous Efforts-Baliot for Militia productive of a dreadful Riot at HexhamLoan of twelve Millions— Violent outcry against the New Duty on Beer-Bad Consequence of the opposition to the Compulsive Clause in the new Act of InsolvencyKing's Speech for making the Judges independent of the Demise of the CrownReady Concurrence of both Houses in so patriotic a Proposal-Arthur Onslow, Speaker of the House of Commons for thirty-three years, retires—Two remarkable Points in his Majesty's
Farewell Speech to the Parliament - Advantageous Position of the French in their Winter Cantonments—Prince Ferdinand's extensive Plan of Attack— Fritzlar and several Magazines taken-General Sporken's rapid Progress on the Side of Saxony-First Check in this extraordinary career of Success Steps taken by Marshal Broglio to drive the Allies out of Hesse-Defeat of the Troops under the Hereditary Prince—The King's Sentiments on the proper Use of Con
quests. THE LATE KING'S PARTIALITY TO HIS of another evil: it scattered the seeds of NATIVE DOMINIONS.
disunion, jealousy, and hatred among all the Few princes ever died at a moment more great families of the kingdom; and prefavorable to their popularity than George II. pared for the succeeding prince a series of All the spots and blemishes in his character struggles with the intrigues of party, and seemed to vanish in the blaze of glory which the turbulence of domestic factions, a thouhad been reflected on it by the late successes sand times more vexatious than any combiof his fleets and armies in every quarter of nation of foreign enemies. the globe. But these borrowed splendors ACCESSION OF GEORGE III. could not long conccal the fatal effects of The death of the late king having been his partiality to his native dominions—a par- notified in form to the heir apparent, who tiality, to which not only the blood and trea- was then at Kew, he immediately repaired sure, but the valor, the virtue and public to Carleton House, to meet the privy-counspirit of the British nation had been repeat- cil, on the twenty-second of October. As edly sacrificed. The aggrandizement of his soon as the members had taken the customdarling electorate, and the support of all his ary oaths of fidelity to their new sovereign, schemes for preserving an imaginary balance he expressed his deep sense of the loss susbetween the continental powers, whatever tained by the nation, and of his own insufmight be the expense to England, were the ficiency to support, as he wished, the load only conditions, on which any ministry could which fell upon him at so critical and unexobtain his favor, or secure their own contin- pected a juncture : " But,” said he, “aniuance in office. As none were admitted into mated by the tenderest affection for my nahis confidence but on these terms, so none tive country, and depending upon the advice, were dismissed but from their inability to experience, and abilities of your lordships, fulfil such engagements. Every change of on the support of every honest man, I enter his servants was therefore a fresh wound in- with cheerfulness into this arduous situation, flicted on the real interests of his country. and shall make it the business of my life to The frequent shifting of power through such promote in everything the glory and happia variety of hands, and from motives so in- ness of these kingdoms, to preserve and consistent with liberal policy, was productive strengthen the constitution in both church and state; and, as I mount the throne in the ta in the toleration inviolable. The civil and midst of an expensive, but just and necessa- religious rights of my loving subjects are ry war, I shall endeavor to prosecute it in equally dear to me with the most valuable the manner the most likely to bring on an prerogatives of my crown; and, as the surest honorable and lasting peace, in concert with foundation of the whole, and the best means my allies.” This declaration was ordered to draw down the divine favor on my reign, to be made public, at the request of all the it is my fixed purpose to countenance and members present. They also witnessed two encourage the practice of true religion and instruments of an oath relating to the secu- virtue. rity of the church of Scotland, which was Happier still should I have been, had I taken and subscribed by his majesty on this found my kingdoms, whose true interest I occasion, as the law required.
have entirely at heart, in full peace : but Next morning his majesty was proclaimed since the ambition, injurious encroachments, with the usual solemnities; and, the follow- and dangerous designs of my enemies, rening day, having added the duke of York, dered the war both just and necessary, and and the earl of Bute, to his privy-council
, the generous overture, made last winter, a he ordered the parliament to be prorogued wards a congress for a pacification has not to the eighteenth of November. During yet produced any suitable return, I am dethis interval, the chief objects that engaged termined, with your cheerful and powerful the public attention were the equipment of assistance, to prosecute this war with vigor, a large squadron of men-of-war and trans- in order to that desirable object, a safe and ports at Portsmouth, with the embarkation honorable peace. For this purpose, it is abof a formidable train of artillery, all an- solutely incumbent upon us to be early prenouncing some important enterprise; and pared ; and I rely upon your zeal and hearty the preparations making for the funeral ob- concurrence to support the king of Prussia, sequies of the late king, which were per- and the rest of my allies, and to make amformed on the ninth, tenth, and eleventh of ple provision for carrying on the war, as the November with becoming magnificence. only means to bring our enemies to equitaThe testimonies of joy for the accession of ble terms of accommodation." his grandson, in which all ranks of men vied This speech, which his majesty delivered with each other, certainly expressed the sen- with energy, grace and dignity, could not timents of their hearts. The great body of fail of confirming all the former prepossesthe people could not but be delighted to see sions of the people in his favor. Every the throne at length filled by a prince who noble, patriotic, and endearing sentiment, was born and bred among them ;-who was that it contained, produced a corresponding acquainted with their language and manners, emotion in the breasts of his hearers; and with their laws and constitution ;-whose pre- the moment it was published, the whole najudices, if he had any, must be in favor of tion read it with eagerness and rapture. his native land, and must of course exclude The addresses of the lords and commons all idea of that fatal predilection for Germa- were dictated by the same spirit, and were ny, which, in the two preceding reigns, had most heartily concurred in by every true proved so injurious to the peace and pros- lover of his country, by every man of sense perity of Britain.
and virtue in the kingdom. HIS MAJESTY'S FIRST SPEECH TO BOTH ADDRESS OF THE LORDS AND COMMONS. HOUSES OF PARLIAMENT,
As soon as the king retired, after the deOn the day, to which the meeting of par- livery of a speech so well calculated to give liament had been prorogued, the king went general satisfaction, the members of both to the house of peers and opened the sessions houses proceeded to take the oaths and to with a speech, in which, besides the obvious comply with the forms prescribed by law at and usual topics, his majesty thus expressed the first session of a new reign. The speech his personal sentiments at his accession, and being then reported to the lords by the keepannounced the principles of his future gov- er of the great seal, and to the commons by ernment.
their speaker, addresses were drawn up and “ Born and educated in this country, I unanimously agreed to, breathing, as before glory in the name of Briton; and the pecu- intimated, the warmest spirit of duty and liar happiness of my life will ever consist in affection; and replete with unequivocal tespromoting the welfare of a people, whose timonies of the most hearty concurrence in loyalty and warm affection to me, I consider all his majesty's sentiments and wishes. as the greatest and most permanent security " Animated by that duty,” said the lords, of my throne; and I doubt not, but their" which we owe to your inajesty, and by our steadiness in those principles will equal the zeal for the honor and interest of these king. firmness of my invariable resolution to ad- doms, we give your majesty the strongest here to, and strengthen this excellent con- assurances, that we will cheerfully support stitution in church and state; and to main- you in prosecuting the war; assist the king
of Prussia, and the rest of your allies; and resolution on the next day, that the said heartily concur in all such measures as shall hereditary revenues be carried to, and made be necessary for the defence of your majes- part of the aggregate fund; and that, in lieu ty and your dominions, and for the other na- thereof, there should be granted to his mational and important ends which you have jesty such a revenue as should amount to the so fully laid before us.” The members of clear yearly sum of eight hundred thousand the lower house were still more explicit on pounds, to commence from the demise of his the subject of effectual support. “ We as- late majesty, and to be charged upon, and sure your majesty,” said they,“ that your made payable out of the said aggregate fund. faithful commons, thoroughly sensible of this This resolution, or bargain, was equally important crisis, and desirous, with the di- beneficial to the crown and satisfactory to vine assistance, to render your majesty's the public; for though the funds appropriatreign successful and glorious in war, happy ed to the payment of the civil list revenue, and honorable in peace (the natural return which had been settled on the two preceding of a grateful people to a gracious and affec- sovereigns, ought to have produced a great tionate sovereign) will concur in such mea- deal more than eight hundred thousand sures as shall be requisite for the vigorous pounds a-year, yet it appeared by the acand effectual prosecution of the war; and counts laid before the house, that the rethat we will cheerfully and speedily grant ceipts of his late majesty, during the thirtysuch supplies as shall be found necessary for three years of his reign, had constantly fallen that purpose, and for the support of the king short of that sum (1). The burthen, thereof Prussia, and the rest of your majesty's fore, lay heavy on the subject, while the proallies; and that we will make such an ade- posed supplies were in reality withheld, or quate provision for your majesty's civil gov- diminished by the frauds of the collectors. ernment, as may be sufficient to maintain But by the above plan the income of the the honor and dignity of your crown with crown became certain ; and the former reveall proper and becoming lustre.”
nues being all carried to the aggregate fund, SUPPLY VOTED.
the people were relieved from the most Such manifestations of love and attach- grievous of all taxes, that of embezzlement. ment were answered by the king in terms SUPPLIES GRANTED FOR THE GERMAN of the liveliest sensibility; and his reply to
CONFEDERACY. the commons in particular made such an im- AFTER providing by various grants for pression on them, that, suspending the usual the maintenance of the British forces and orders and regulations at the beginning of seamen employed at home and abroad, the every session, they agreed to a second ad- commons proceeded, according to their dress of thanks for the gracious manner in promise, to enable his majesty to give the which the first had been received. The most effectual support to his German allies, best proofs of their sincerity were the libe- by voting various sums for defraying the rality and dispatch with which they pro- charges of the troops of Hanover, Wolfenvided for all the possible exigencies of the buttle, Saxe-Gotha, and count of Bucke. state. The commons, in a committee of sup- burgh, actually employed against the comply, voted for the services of the ensuing mon enemy, in concert with the king of year, nineteen millions, six hundred and six- Prussia, for one year, to be issued in advance teen thousand one hundred and nineteen every two months; the troops to be mustered pounds, nineteen shillings and nine-pence by an English commissary, and the effective three farthings. A detail of all the different state thereof to be ascertained by the signapurposes, for which the several sums were ture of the commander-in-chief of the said specifically granted, would be tedious. forces; and for defraying the charge of the ESTABLISHMENT OF THE CIVIL LIST. troops of the landgrave of Hesse-Cassel in
Ox the twenty-fifth of November, the the pay of Great Britain, for one year ; inhancellor of the exchequer, by his majesty's cluding the annual subsidy, pursuant to
mmand, acquainted the house, “ that his treaty; and for defraying the charge of the majesty, ever desirous of giving the most troops of the reigning duke of Brunswick in substantial proofs of his tender regard to the the pay of Great Britain, for the service of welfare of his people, was pleased to signify the next campaign, together with the annual his consent, that whenever the house should subsidy, pursuant to treaty; and for the enter upon the consideration of making pro- charge of five battalions serving with his vision for the support of his household, and majesty's army in Germany, with a corps of the honor and dignity of his crown, such artillery ; also one million, upon account, to disposition might be made of his majesty's wards defraying the charges of forage, breadinterest in the hereditary revenues of the wagons, train of artillery, provisions, wood, crown, as might best conduce to the utility straw, and other extraordinary expenses and and satisfaction of the public.” In conse- contingencies of his majesty's combined quence of this message the house came to alarmy, under the command of prince FerdiVol. IV.
nand. If to these sums we add the king of BALLOT FOR MILITIA PRODUCTIVE OF Prussia's annual subsidy of six hundred and
A RIOT AT HEXHAM. seventy thousand pounds; and two millions, The militia in the northern counties had upon a very moderate calculation, for keep- already served the term of three years, ing up an army of five and twenty thousand prescribed by law: it become requisite to British troops in Westphalia, including the ballot for a succession of men; and the detransport service, and other incidental puty-lieutenant and justices of the peace charges, with various deficiencies and extra- for the county of Northumberland accordordinary expenses which the commons were ingly met at Hexham on the ninth of March afterwards obliged to make good; we shall for that purpose. The common people befind that the generosity of Great Britain to ing determined to oppose the measure, her continental allies cost her at least five which they looked upon as an insupportable millions annually.
grievance, assembled to the number of five No part of this contribution was voted thousand, of both sexes, and of all ages, with more cheerfulness than the subsidy to some of them armed with bludgeons, and Prussia. The news of the battle of Torgau others with pikes and firelocks. The jushad reached England just before the meet- tices had procured a battalion of the Yorking of parliament; and the circumstantial shire militia for their guard, and these were account and confirmation of that splendid drawn up in the market-place. The mob, victory, with which baron Coceii, the king being reinforced by a large body of pitmen of Prussia's aid-de-camp, arrived a few days from the collieries, ridiculed the menace, after, did not fail to operate very powerfully assaulted the troop, and shot an ensign dead, in his master's favor. He was received by and two of the private men. The militia, his majesty at St. James's in a most gra- thus exasperated, poured in upon them a cious manner. This single blow counter- regular discharge, by which forty-five of the balanced all the losses he had sustained populace were killed upon the spot, and three during the campaign: it made him master hundred miserably wounded. One of the of all Saxony except Dresden. Laudohn ringleaders was taken up, tried, and executabruptly raised the siege of Cossel, and ed for an example. evacuated Silesia; the Russians abandoned One of the articles, fixed upon by the the siege of Colberg, and fell back into Po- committee of ways and means for raising land, while the Swedes were driven with the before mentioned supplies, seemed to great loss out of Western Pomerania. The threaten a more dangerous commotion in annual treaty or convention between the the capital than that which the renewal of courts of Great Britain and of Prussia was the militia had excited in a different county. renewed on the twelfth of December; and LOAN OF TWELVE MILLIONS. on the twenty-third of the same month the The principal expedient was a loan of commons agreed to the resolution of the twelve millions, the interest of which was committee of supply, to enable his majesty to be paid by an additional duty of three to make good his engagements with the king shillings per barrel on all strong beer, or ale, of Prussia. The popularity of these pro- the sinking fund being a collateral security. ceedings, however, did not shield them from This tax, in addition to the former duties the censure of some very able political wri- of excise on beer, excited a great outcry ters at that time.
among the lower classes of people. COMPENSATION TO NORTH AMERICANS. NEW ACT OF INSOLVENCY.
1761.—THE grant of three hundred thou- PETITIONS in favor of confined debtors sand pounds, voted by the commons on the had of late been presented to the house with twentieth of January, to enable his majesty the fullest confidence in its kind and comto give a proper compensation to the respec- passionate regard. The hopes of the applitive provinces in North America for the ex- cants were greatly encouraged by the acpenses incurred by them in the levying, cession and character of the new sovereign. clothing, and pay of their troops, though They had also, at this juncture, other strong not more popular than the king of Prussia's claims to the consideration of the legislasubsidy, was certainly more unexceptiona- ture: all the prisons in the kingdom were ble. The states had acted with the utmost crowded, and many thousands of valuable vigor and dispatch in the raising and equip- subjects lost to society, at a time when the ment of those troops; and the troops them- people were thinned by a consuming war, selves, particularly the Virginians, had dis- and when several manufactures were standplayed uncommon firmness and courage in ing still or totally abandoned for want of several perilous situations, and had, upon workmen. The commons were not inattenevery occasion that offered, co-operated tive to remonstrances so well supported by with the forces of the mother country, in humanity and policy. A bill was brought the most hearty and effectual manner. in, and soon passed into an act for the re