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Owing to these circumstances, occasion was taken, on the presentation to the Privy Council of the petition of the people of Boston for the removal of the Governor and Lieutenant-Governor of Massachusetts, to animadvert on Franklin's conduct. This took place on the 29th of January, 1774, when Dunning and Lee were retained on the part of the petition, and Wedderburn, the Solicitor-General, appeared for the Crown. There were no less than thirty-five Privy Councillors present, amongst them Lord North, and Lord Gower at their head, as Lord President. Neither Dunning nor Lee spoke effectively, but as if they by no means relished the cause in which they were engaged; while Wedderburn seemed animated by extraordinary life and bitterness. He was the friend of Whately, who was now lying in a dangerous state from his wound. After speaking of the Charter and the insubordinate temper of the people of Massachusetts, he fell with withering sarcasm on Franklin, who was present. Hitherto, he said, private correspondence had been held sacred, even in times of the most rancorous party fury. But here was a gentleman who had a high rank amongst philosophers, and should be the last to sanction such infamous breaches of honour, openly avowing his concern in them. He asked where, henceforth, Dr. Franklin could show his face; and said that henceforth he must deem it a libel to be termed "a man of letters," he was "a man of three letters, f u r, a thief." Wedderburn could compare him only to Zanga, in Dr. Young's "Revenge:" 'Celsa sedet ?olus arce,

On the 28th of October General Hill surprised a French force, under General Drouet, near Estremadura, and completely routed it, taking all the baggage, artillery, ammunition, and stores, with one thousand five hundred prisoners. By this[19] action the whole of that part of Estremadura except Badajoz was cleared of the French. This done, General Hill went into cantonments, and the British army received no further disturbance during the remainder of the year. Thus Wellington had completely maintained the defence of Portugal, and driven back the French from its frontiers. Wherever he had crossed the French in Spain, he had severely beaten them too. "MY DEAR PEEL,I find it difficult to express to you the regret with which I see how widely I differ in opinion with Graham and yourself as to the necessity for proposing to Parliament a repeal of the Corn Laws. Since the Cabinet on Saturday I have reflected much and anxiously upon it;[519] but I cannot bring my mind to any other conclusion than that at which I had then arrived. I have thought it best to put down in writing the view of the case which presents itself to me; and when you have read it, I will thank you to send it on to Graham, with whom I have had no conversation upon it. I foresee that this question, if you persevere in your present opinion, must break up the Government one way or the other; but I shall greatly regret indeed if it should be broken up, not in consequence of our feeling that we had proposed measures which it properly belonged to others to carry, but in consequence of differences of opinion among ourselves."

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The Duke of Cumberland, being called southward, had got General Hawley appointed to the command of the army sent after the Young Pretender. Wade was become too old and dilatory, but Hawley was much fitter for a hangman than a general. Horace Walpole says he was called "the Lord Chief Justice," because, like Jeffreys, he had a passion for executions; that when the surgeons solicited the body of a deserter, which was dangling before Hawley's windows, for dissection, he would only consent on condition that he had the skeleton to ornament the guard room. Hearing of his approach, Charles drew in his forces from Falkirk under Lord George, left a few hundred men to blockade Stirling, and concentrated his army on the renowned field of Bannockburn. On the 16th of January Charles, expecting Hawley, drew up his forces, but no enemy appeared. The next day, still perceiving no Hawley, he advanced to Pleanmuir, two miles east of Bannockburn, and on the way to Torwood. No enemy yet appearing, the prince determined to advance and find him out. Hawley was so confident of dispersing the Highland rabble at any moment that he chose, that he had neglected every military precaution, had fixed no outposts, and was away at Callander House, at some distance from the field, comfortably taking luncheon with Lady Kilmarnock, whose husband was in the rebel army, and who was exerting all her powers of pleasing to detain the foolish general as long as possible. At length, when the rebels had come up so near that there was only Falkirk Moor between the armies, Hawley, roused by fresh messengers, came galloping up without his hat, and in the utmost confusion. In the middle of this rugged and uneven moor, covered with heath, rose a considerable ridge, and it appeared to be a race between the two enemies which should gain the advantage of the summit. On the one side galloped the English cavalry, on the other sped the Highlanders, straining for this important height; but the fleet-footed Gael won the ground from the English horse, and Hawley's horse halted a little below them. Neither of the armies had any artillery, for the Highlanders had left theirs behind in their rapid advance, and Hawley's had stuck fast in the bog. So far they were equal; but the prince, by taking a side route, had thrown the wind in the teeth of the English, and a storm of rain began with confounding violence to beat in their faces. The English cavalry remained, as it had galloped up, in front, commanded, since the death of Gardiner, by Colonel Ligonier, and the infantry formed, like the Highlanders, in two lines, the right commanded by General Huske, and the left by Hawley. Behind, as a reserve, stood the Glasgow regiment and the Argyll militia. The order being given, the cavalry under Ligonier charged the Macdonalds, who coolly waited till the English horse was within ten yards of them, when they poured such a murderous volley into them as dropped a frightful number from their saddles, and threw the whole line into confusion. The Frasers immediately poured an equally galling cross-fire into the startled line, and the two dragoon regiments which had fled at Coltbridge and Prestonpans waited no longer, but wheeling round, galloped from the field at their best speed. The Macdonalds, seeing the effect of their fire, in spite of Lord George Murray's endeavours to keep them in order, rushed forward, loading their pieces as they ran, and fell upon Hawley's two columns of infantry. Having discharged their pieces, they ran in upon the English with their targets and broadswords. The left soon gave way, and Hawley, who had got involved in the crowd of flying horse, had been swept with them down the hill, and thus had no means of keeping them to their colours. On the right of the royal army, however, the infantry stood firm, and as the Highlanders could not cross the ravine to come to close quarters with sword and target, they inflicted severe slaughter upon them; and Cobham's cavalry rallying, soon came to their aid and protected their flank, and[104] increased the effect on the Highlanders, many of whom began to run, imagining that the day was lost. Charles, from his elevated position observing this extraordinary state of things, advanced at the head of his second line, and checked the advance of the English right, and, after some sharp fighting, compelled them to a retreat. But in this case it was only a retreat, not a flight. These regiments retired, with drums beating and colours flying, in perfect order. A pursuit of cavalry might still have been made, but the retreat of the English was so prompt, that the Highlanders suspected a stratagem; and it was only when their scouts brought them word that they had evacuated Falkirk that they understood their full success (January 18, 1746). KENNINGTON COMMON, LONDON, ABOUT 1840.

The king now thought of placing Fox at the head of a new administration; but when Fox asked Pitt to join, he refused, and the king was obliged to send for Pitt, much as he hated him. Pitt replied that he was laid up with the gouta complaint which troubled him, but which he frequently found it convenient to assume. George then prevailed upon the Duke of Devonshire, a man of no commanding ability, and averse from office, but of the highest integrity of character, to accept the post of First Lord of the Treasury, and to form a Cabinet. Though the friend of Fox, he felt that statesman to be too unpopular for a colleague, and offered Pitt the seals of Secretary of State, which he accepted; Legge was re-appointed Chancellor of the Exchequer; Pitt's brother-in-law, Lord Temple, First Lord of the Admiralty; Temple's brother, George Grenville, Treasurer of the Navy; another brother, James Grenville, again was seated at the Treasury Board; Lord Holderness was the second Secretary of State, to oblige the king; Willes, Chief Justice of the Common Pleas; the Duke of Bedford was made Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland, it was said by Fox's suggestion, as a thorn in the flesh to Pitt, and, as Horace Walpole sarcastically remarked, Pitt had not Grenville cousins enough to fill the whole Administration; Charles Townshend was made Treasurer of the Chamber, though his talents and eloquence, in which he excited Pitt's jealousy, deserved a much higher office.

The Houses of Parliament reassembled on the 17th of January, 1712, and Anne sent word that she was not able to attend in person, not having recovered sufficiently from her attack of the gout. She announced that the plenipotentiaries were now assembled at Utrecht, and[2] were already engaged in endeavouring to procure just satisfaction to all the Allies according to their several treaties, and especially with relation to Spain and the Indies. This was a delusion, for, by our treaty with the Emperor, we had engaged to secure Spain and the Indies for his son; and it was now, notwithstanding the assurance in her message regarding them, fully determined to give them up to Philip. There was a strong protest in the message against the evil declarations that there had been an intention to make a separate peace, though nothing was more notorious than that the Ministers were resolved, if the Allies did not come to their terms, to go on without them. The message ended by recommending a measure for the restriction of the liberty of the press. Much alarm was expressed at the great licence in the publishing of false and scandalous libels, though the Ministers themselves did not scruple to employ the terrible pen of Swift.

The news of the invasion brought George from Hanover. He arrived in London on the last day of August, by which time the Young Pretender had already been entertained by Lord Tullibardine at Blair Castle; but he seemed to feel no great alarm. He thought the forces of Cope were sufficient to compete with the insurgents, and Lord Granville and his party did their best to confirm him in this opinion. On the 20th of September three battalions of the expected Dutch forces landed, and received orders to march north. But what contributed more than anything to the security of the kingdom was the activity of the fleet. The seamen all round the coasts showed as much spirit and life as the soldiers had shown cowardice. Privateers as well as men-of-war vied with one another in performing feats of bravery. A small ship off Bristol took a large Spanish ship, bound for Scotland, with arms and money. Another small ship took the Soleil, from Dunkirk, carrying twenty French officers and sixty men, to Montrose; and a small squadron of privateers, which volunteered to serve under a brave naval captain, took a vast number of French vessels, and drove still more upon their own shores. Charles's younger brother, Henry, was waiting to bring over the Irish regiments to his aid, but Louis would not hazard their appearance at sea in the face of such a dangerous fleet. Charles made an attempt to corrupt Captain Beavor, of the Fox man-of-war, by offering him splendid rewards in case of his success, but the gallant officer sent him word that he only treated with principals, and that, if he would come on board, he would talk with him.

Whilst the nation was growing every day more Jacobinical, and the danger was becoming more imminent, the queen sent a secret agent to London to sound Pitt. She hoped to win him to an announcement of supporting the throne of France in conjunction with the Continental sovereigns; but Pitt showed his usual reserve. He declared that England would not allow the Revolutionary spirit to put down the monarchy, but he said nothing expressly of supporting the monarch himself; and the queen, who was always suspicious that the Duke of Orleans was aiming at the Crown, and that he had made himself a party in England, was filled with alarm, lest Pitt's words only concealed the idea of such a king. Still the attitude of the Continental Powers became more menacing. The troops of the Emperor, in Belgium and Luxembourg, pressed upon the very frontiers of France, and the numbers of the Emigrants were constantly increasing in the territories of the Electors of Treves, Mayence, and Spires. Two hundred thousand men, in fact, formed a line along the French frontiers from Basle to the Scheldt.

Charles, accompanied by O'Sullivan, Sheridan, and other gentlemen, rode away to a seat of Lord Lovat's. The wild gallop of horsemen startled that wily old fox in his lair; and when he heard the news the Master began to tremble for his own safety. There are different accounts of his reception of the fugitive prince. One says that he was so occupied with thinking of making his own escape, that he hardly showed common courtesy to the prince and his companions, and that they parted in mutual displeasure. Another states that Lovat urged the same advice as Lord George Murray had done, still to get up into the mountains, and make a bold face, by which time might be gained for fresh reinforcements, or at least for making some terms for the unhappy people. But it is clear that Charles had now lost all spirit, if he had ever retained much after he had been forced to retreat from Derby. He and his party rode away again at ten o'clock at night, and reached Invergarry, the castle of Glengarry, about two hours before daybreak. Lord George still entertained the idea of keeping together a large body of Highlanders. He had already with him one thousand two hundred. Charles had stolen away from Invergarry to Arkaig, in Lochaber, and thence to Glenboisdale, where the messengers of Lord George found him, accompanied only by O'Sullivan, O'Neil, and Burke, his servant, who knew the country and acted as guide. All the rest of his train had shifted for themselves. Lord George entreated the prince not to quit the country, but to continue to gather a force in the mountains, and thus resist and harass their enemies till they received reinforcements; but Charles sent him word that the only chance was for himself to hasten over to France, and use all his interest to bring over an efficient force. He therefore sent Lord George a written plan of his intentions, which was not, however, to be opened till he had sailed; and he desired Lord George to request the different chiefs and their men to seek their own safety as best they might. That act terminated the Rebellion.

In order to induce the people to attend to their ordinary spring work, and put in the crops, it was found necessary to adopt the plan of distributing free rations. On the 20th of March, therefore, a reduction of twenty per cent. of the numbers employed on the works took place, and the process of reduction went on until the new system of gratuitous relief was brought into full operation. The authority under which this was administered was called the "Temporary Relief Act," which came into full operation in the month of July, when the destitution was at its height, and three millions of people received their daily rations. Sir John Burgoyne truly described this as "the grandest attempt ever made to grapple with famine over a whole country." Never in the history of the world were so many persons fed in such a manner by the public bounty. It was a most anxious timea time of tremendous labour and responsibility to those who had the direction of this vast machinery. This great multitude was, however, rapidly lessened at the approach of harvest, which happily was not affected by the disease. Food became comparatively abundant, and labour in demand. By the middle of August relief was discontinued in nearly one half of the unions, and ceased altogether on September 12th. It was limited by the Act to the 1st of October. This was the second year in which upwards of 3,000,000 of people had been fed out of the hands of the magistrates in Ireland; but it was now done more effectually than at first. Organised armies, it was said, had been rationed before; but neither ancient nor modern history can furnish a parallel to the fact that upwards of three millions of persons were fed every day in the neighbourhood of their own homes, by administrative arrangements emanating from, and controlled by, one central office. The expense of this great undertaking amounted to 1,559,212a moderate sum in comparison with the extent of the service performed, and in which performance the machinery of the Poor Law unions was found to afford most important aid. Indeed, without such aid the service could hardly have been performed at all; and the anticipations of the advantages to be derived from the Poor Law organisation in such emergencies were fully verified.