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number of men of a military age. The correctness of the statement, indeed, is no longer defended in any quarter ; and the advocates of the noble person alluded to have been obliged to contend, that his words must have been mistaken; and that, in his statement, he could only have alluded to the strength of the supposed conspirators all over the country. That there must have been a mistake somewhere, we are very ready to allow;-and also, that, if it existed on the part of that illustrious person, it must have been an innocent and casual mistake. But it is matter of notoriety, that it was given as we have stated it, in all the newspapers of the day-and made the subject of many terrifying comments, for weeks together, in the Ministerial or Alarmist journals, by means of which it contributed mainly to increase the general alarm, and predisposed the public to sacrifice the safeguard of their liberties to their protection from dangers so great and so imminent. It is most important however to remark, that not only is there nothing whatever to warrant or account for such a statement, in the evidence laid before Parliament, but that the scanty documents with which we are there presented, as to the state of this part of the country, concur with the whole of the rest in proving, that the danger of actual violence was altogether chimerical,
There appears to have been a large meeting held on Newcastle Moor on the 11th of October ;-which is proved, from the letter of Lord Darlington, (p. 41), to have quietly dispersed.' On the 17th of that month, however, the worship ful Mayor of Newcastle, whose nerves appear to have been somewhat shaken by an alarming riot among the keelmen, that had occurred in the interim at Shields, and in which his person seems to have been in some hazard, writes to Lord Sidmouth, that it is impossible to contemplate the meeting of • the 11th without awe-more especially, if my information is
correct, that 700 of them were prepared with arms (concealed) to resist the civil power. Those men came from a village * about three miles from this town; and there is strong reason to • suspect that arms are manufactured there : they are chiefly forgemen. I have given my information to the Magistrates of Durham, it being within their jurisdiction.”. (p.43.)
Now, this is the whole of the evidence as to the armaments and preparations for resistance in the counties of Northuinberland and Durham. And it is worth while to make one or two observations upon it. In the first place, the particulars or the general nature of the Mayor's information, is nowhere given; there are no examinations or depositions transmitted -and not even an anonymous voucher produced for such extraordinary intelligence. In the second place, 700 men are said to have
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come in arms from one village within three miles of Newcastle, We should like to know what village could have furnished such a contingent. If its whole population were Radicals, it must have contained at least 5 or 6000 inhabitants, to have sent out in one day such a number of men fit to bear arms. pinions of the people were at all divided, it must have contained 8 or 10,000. In the third place, those arms, the existence of which neither A. B. nor X. Y. can be brought to speak to, were confessedly concealed; and therefore could not be seen by any body, on the only occasion on which it is alleged that they were mustered; it is certain they were neither used nor displayed at the meeting. In the last place, though the letter of the Mayor substantially expresses nothing more than suspio cion, and bears that he had communicated all his informations to the Magistrates of Durham, there is neither any information from those Magistrates, nor any traces of the result of the inquiry which must have been instituted on that information-although it appears to have been given immediately after the 11th of October, and the Parliamentary Papers are brought down to the 18th or 20th of November. It is impossible, therefure, to doubt that the information turned out to be erroneous; and that the result of the inquiry was to ascertain, that the suspicions of the Mayor were groundless; and that neither arms, nor armed
forth from this Vulcanian village. There is some anonymous evidence as to a few pikes being made in 'Lancashire; and we do not mean to deny, that there is ground to believe that a small number of such implements were provided in that district, after the fatal transactions at Manchester. But the direct evidence, such as it is, does not prove
the existence of a dozen; and all the researches that have since been made, have not brought to light much more than that number. It is downright insanity to say, that the evidence before Parliament affords the slightest reason to believe, that there was any thing like a general arming going on amongst the disaffected, or any concert or preparation for a warlike insurrection.
A considerable portion of the Papers relates to Scotland, where there can be no doubt that the distress was in some districts the greatest, and where, as might naturally be expected, the discontent was the most marked, the more especially as these happened to be the most populous towns in the country, and contained a very considerable number of Irish labourers, who, when the bad times came, were of course turned out of employment, in order to retain the native workmen. The first Glasgow Meeting was held the 21st of August; and by the Provost's Report (p. 34.) • ended without any breach of the peace, or even disturbance.
The Magistrates judiciously made all suitable preparations, by swearing
in special constables, and having military in readiness; but they did not interfere with the meeting; and no evil consequence ensued from permitting it to go on unmolested. The next Meeting, of which the Papers make any mention, took place at Paisley; but it should seem that one bad been held in the interval at Glasgow ; for the Provost, in the last quoted despatch, states his apprehensions of another much more numerous meeting to be held on the 26th of August. From this silence in the documents, we conclude that it passed off as quietly as the former. The Paisley Magistrates appear to have con-, ducted themselves with the same prudence, and exemplary moderation which distinguished those of Glasgow, excepting in the single particular of causing the flags to be seized; which unfortunately produced resistance, and this ended in considerable rioting. During the outrageous proceedings of the mob, nothing could exceed the temperate, conciliatory, and even kind, demeanour, both of the Magistrates and Military. The Riot Act was read; full warning of this was given; the admirable precaution (which ought to be made a part of the law) was pursued, of posting up handbills among the mob, informing them that the proclamation had been made; and, after all, the military only actedt, amidst the insults of the rabble, in such a way as to command general admiration. Several of the rioters were taken, and are now under prosecution; none were killed, nor even severely hurt; and the quiet of Paisley, as well as Glasgow, was restored, after riotous proceedings for two days, resembling, in the nature of the mischief, and in the description of its perpetrators, the riots that not unfrequently take place there without any kind of political design, or any concert whatever. Similar mobbing had disturbed the publick peace a few months before, and led to no serious consequences. In a word, the conduct pursued by those truly worthy Magistrates forms a signal contrast to the ill-judged violence shown by their brethren elsewhere: In the one place the law was adıninistered in mercy, and the sword unsheathed reluctantly, by men who wisely, as well as humanely, felt that they had to deal with misguided children of a larger growth; in the other, an occasion of displaying power in all its harshness, seems to have been eagerly sought for, and even created, when it.could not be found. Let the country contemplate the opposite results produced in the two cases.
The more general accounts given in the correspondence of the Duke of Hamilton and Lord Glasgow, also deserve to be con- . sidered. His Grace, in describing the irritation of his district, and the effects of the prevailing alarm in preventing persons
from uniting to aid the civil power, evidently ascribes the whole to distress, as its ultimate or producing cause. • This part of 6. the country (says that distinguished and justly respected per• son) is unfortunately surrounded by idle Irishmen, weavers and colliers, who create a general uneasiness.' (p. 49.) 'I 6 must repeat to your Lordship (he says in another Letter), • that this neighbourhood continues in a state of extreme disa
tress; generally in want of employment, and under a considerable degree of agitation, all of which appear more likely 6. to increase than diminish.' (ibid.) Lord Glasgow's Letter is quite general; enters into various statements of the spirit of discontent prevailing; and complains of the attempts made to pervert the minds of youth, without giving a single fact in support of his assertion. He speaks the technical language of the alarmists, and, like the rest of his sect, avoids all discussion of particulars. He prefers, with Lord Grenville and Mr Plunket, to stake the question upon ' general notoriety.'
We have now minutely gone through the whole evidence laid before Parliament; and we venture to draw from it one inference, without the least fear of contradiction, that distress is at the bottom of the whole discontent; that no deep-laid design exists to destroy the Constitution, or war against the Law, or invade the property of the country; but that, as always happens in a popular Government, demagogues have availed themselves of the bad times to further their views, whether of political speculation, or of personal vanity; and that these proceedings may have here and there overstepped the bounds which are prescribed by law. The history of these events reminds one forcibly of the insurrections which broke out in Henry VIIIth's reign, upon occasion of the first attempt to introduce an Income Tax into this country. The masters were forced, by the difficulties it imposed on them, to throw men out of enployment; and the poor workmen in many places rose up and Look arms, not being quite so shortsighted as some of our demagogues, who conceive such a tax to fall wholly on the rich, and hold that the poor are noway concerned in opposing it. The Government took precautions to quell the riots, and enforce the tribute; and the principal scene of operation being in the eastern counties, the Dukes of Suffolk and Norfolk were sent thither with a force to quell the insurgents; with whom, when they began to reason, and asked who was their leader or captain, an aged man, called John Green, stood forth and said, • If it please you, Sirs, our captain's name is Poverty, and his
brother Necessity;' and opined plainly the causes of their s ferment to lic in the impost, and its grinding effects on their
employers, who could thus pay no wages. And after a while," adds the Chronicler (Hall), this tribute surceased through the • land, and quiet was restored—for well it was seen that the « Commons could none pay.'.
If any addition were wanting to the proofs which we have given of the groundlessness of our late alarm, we assuredly have it in the important fact, wholly overlooked by the supporters of the new Bills, that the meetings, so much the object of dread, had in fact ceased all over the country before a single Bill was brought in. Previous to the 16th of August, we have seen how they were dwindling away both in numbers and vice lence;—the events of that memorable day excited a general ferment, and revived the drooping spirit of popular assemblies; and then this was continued and augmented by the constant irritation kept up in the public mind by the unfortunate course of judicial proceedings, both before the Magistrates, the Grand Jury, and the Coroner, apparently amounting to a complete denial of justice; so that for a few weeks more numerous and violent meetings were everywhere held than had at any former time been known. But no fact is more certain than the tendency of all popular spirit to evaporate of itself, if unchecked by persecution ; and the difficulty of repeating public meetings frequently within a short period of time, where there is nothing done but debate, is well known to all who have ever engaged in such proceedings. Accordingly, the effects of the Manchester outrage, and of the subsequent course pursued by the Courts in the Country, by degrees subsided ; and even to discuss those interesting and fruitful topics, no new meetings were assembled. The leaders of the multitude tried in vain to renew their exploits; the spirit of the capital was found to have evaporated in a great procession; that of Manchester was under the control of a salutary caution, and the indisposition to witness another 16th of August was manifest. The demagogues, both in town and country, began to quarrel among themselves, and to show some sense of justice in copiously reviling one another, both by parole and in writing; vain attempts were made to assemble even the rabble of London; and two Spafields meetings, lately the terror of all men, were held with hardly any auditors, to the laughter and pity and contempt of all the town; till at length the whole having dwindled to nothing, the last account, that lived in the recollection of the publick, was the accusation brought against one rebel chief of embezzling four pounds thirteen and twopence, and the arrest of another for about the same sum, being the tavern bill of a civic entertainment to commemorate the triumph of the popular cause!.. Strange, that the