Sidebilder
PDF
ePub

fluence, are still of the lowest orders; men / wherever I can find him or them, and of desperate fortunes, who have taken ad- though he should fly to the verge of nature, vantage of the pressure of the moment, to I will pursue him with increasing venwork upon the inferior class, through the geance. So help me God, and bless me to medium of the Associations in the manu- keep this my oath inviolable." —The mifacturing parts of the country. --The litary organization carried on by persons general persuasion of the persons engaged engaged in these societies has also proceed in these transactions appear, however, to ed to an alarming length; they assemble in be, that all the societies in the country are large numbers, in general by night, upon directed in their motions by a secret com- heaths or conmons, which are numerous mittee, and that this secret conmittcc is and extensive in-some of the districts where therefore the great mover of the whole ma- the disturbances have been most serious ; chine ; and it is established by the various so assembled they take the usual military information to which the committee has precautions of paroles and countersigns ; before alluded, that societies are formed in then muster rolls are called over by numdifferent parts of the country ; that these bers not by names ; they are directed by societies are governed by their respective leaders sometimes in disguise ; they place secret committees ; that delegates are con- sentries to give alarm at the approach of tinually dispatched from one place to an- any persons whom they may suspect of other, for the purpose of concerting their meaning to interrupt or give information plans; and that secret signs are arranged, of their proceedings, and they disperse inby which the persons engaged in these con- stantly at the firing of a gun, or other spiracies are known to each other. The signal agreed upon, and so disperse as to form of the oath or engagement adminis- avoid detection. They have in some intered to those who are inlisted in these so- stances used signals by rockets or blue cieties, also refers expressly to the existence lights, by which they communicate intelliof such secret committees.---The object gence to their parties.- - They have proof this oath is to prevent discovery, by de- cured a considerable quantity of arins, by terring through the fear of assassination the depredations which are daily and nightthose who take it from impeaching others, ly continued ; they have plundered many and by binding them to assassinate those places of lead, for the purpose of making by whom any of the persons engaged may musket balls, and have made some seizures be impeached. These oaths appear to have of gunpowder. Their progress in discibeen administered to a considerable extent; pline appears from the representation becopies of them have been obtained from fore given of the two attacks upon the mills various quarters, and though slightly dif- of Rawdon and Henbury; and the money, fering in terms, they are so nearly the which has been in many instances obtained same, as to prove the systematic nature of by contribution or plunder, answers the the concert by which they are administer- purpose of support, and may serve as an ed. The oath itself is of so atrocious a inducement to many persons to engage in nature, that your committee have thought these disturbances. The system of intiit right to insert the form, as it appears in midation produced not only by the oaths one of those copies : “1, A. B. of my and engagements before mentioned, or by own voluntary will, do declare and so- threats of violence, but by the attack and lemnly swear, that I never will reveal to destruction of houses and factories, by acany person or persons under the canopy of tual assassination in some instances, and Heaven the names of the persons who com- attempts at assassination in others, , under pose this secret conimittee, their proceed circumstances which have hitherto geneings, meeting, places of abode, dress, fea- rally baffled all endeavours to discover and tures, connexions, or any thing else that bring to justice the offenders, all tend to might lead to a discovery of the same, either render these proceedings greatly alarming by word or deed, or sign, under the pe- to the country. In many parts the quiet innalty of being sent out of the world by the habitants consider themselves as enjoying first' brother who shall meet me, and my protection only as far as the military force name and character blotted out of existence, can extend its exertions, and look upon

the and never to be remembered but with con- rest of the country where the disturbances tempt and abhorrence; and I further now take place as at the mercy of the rioters.do swear, that I will use my best endea- The legal proceedings at Nottingham checkvours to punish by death any traitor or ed the disposition to disturbance in that traitors, should any rise up amongst us, quarter, but this effect did not extend to

other parts of the country; and though the rogative over British subjects. British ju.
proceedings under the special commissions risdiction is thus extended to neutral vessels
since issued, and the convictions and execu- in a situation where no laws can operate
tions at Lancaster and Chester appeared to but the law of nations and the laws of the
make a considerable impression, they have country to which the vessels belong; and a
been far from restoring peace and security self redress is assumed, which is British
to the disturbed districts.- A great mili- subjects were wrongfully detained and
tary force has been assembled ; the Local alone concerned, is that substitution of
Militia has been in many places called out, force for a resort to the responsible Sove-
and has done good service; the yeomanry reign, which falls within the definition of
corps have been active and highly useful. war. Could the seizure of British subjects,
Many of the magistrates have zealously ex- in such cases, be regarded as within the
erted their powers, some of them at great exercise of a belligerent right, the acknow-
personal hazard. In many places great ledged laws of war, which forbid an ar,
numbers of special constables have been ticle of captured property to be adjudged,
appointed from amongst the more respect. without a regular investigation before a
able inhabitants, and the Watch and Ward competent tribunal, would imperiously de-
Act has been in some places put in force, mand the fairest trial, where the sacred
though attempted without effect in others, rights of persons were at issue. In place
or abandoned from circumstances already of such trial, these rights are subjected to
stated. All these efforts have proved in the will of every petty Commander.
sufficient effectually to put down the spirit The practice, hence, is so far from affect-
of disturbance; and it is, therefore, the de- ing British subjects alone, that under the
cided opinion of your Committee, that some pretext of searching for these, thousands of
further measures should be immediately American citizens, under the safeguard of
adopted by Parliament, for affording more public laws, and of their National flag,
effectual protection to the lives and proper- have been torn from their country, and
ties of His Majesty's subjects, and for sup- from every thing dear to them; have been
pressing a system of turbulence and disorder dragged on board ships of war of a foreign
which has already proved destructive of the nation, and exposed, under the severities
tranquillity and highly injurious to the pro- of their discipline, to be exiled to the mosg
perty and welfare of some of the most po- distant and deadly climes, io risk their
pulous and important districts of the coun- lives in the battles of their oppressors, and
try, and which, unless effectually checked, to be the melancholy instruments of taking
may lead to consequences still more exten- away those of their own brethren.-
sive and dangerous.

Against this crying enormity, which Great
Britain would be so prompt to avenge, if

committed against herself, the United OFFICIAL PAPERS.

States have in vain exhausted remonstrances

and expostulations. And that no proof AMERICAN States.-- Message of President might be wanting of their conciliatory dis

Madison to the Congress, 1st June, 1812, positions, and no pretext left for contirelative to the dispute with England.

nuance of the practice, the British GovernI communicate to Congress certain do- ment was formally assured of the readiness cuments, being a continuation of those of the United States to enter into arrangeheretofore laid before them, on the subject ments, such as could not be rejected, if of our affairs with Great Britain.- -With- the recovery of the British subjects were ont going beyond the renewal, in 1803, of the real and the sole object. The commuthe war in which Great Britain is engaged, nication passed without effect. ------ British and omitting unrepaired wrongs of inferior cruizers have been in the practice also of magnitude, the conduct of her Government violating the rights and the peace of our presents a series of acts hostile to the United coasts. They hover over and harass our States as an independent and neutral nation. entering and departing commerce. To the

-British cruizers have been in the con- most insulting pretensions they have added tinued practice of violating the American lawless proceedings in our very harbours, flag on the great highway of Nations, and and have wantonly spilt American blood of seizing and carrying off persons sailing within the sanctuary of our territorial juunder it; not in the exercise of a bellige- risdiction. The principles and rules en'reat right, founded on the law of nations forced by that nation, when a neutral against an enemy, but of a municipal pre- nation, against armed vessels of belligerents hovering near her coasts, and disturbing tical discontinuance of its orders, formally her commerce, are well known. When avowed a determination to persist in them called on, nevertheless, by the United against the United States, until the marStates, to punish the greater offences com- kets of her enemy should be laid open to mitted by her own vessels, her Government British products ; thus asserting an obligahas bestowed on their commanders addi- tion on a neutral power to require one beltional marks of honour and confidence.ligerent to encourage, by its internal reguUnder pretended blockades, without the lations, the trade of another belligerent, presence of an adequate force, and some contradicting her own practice towards alt times without the practicability of applying nations in peace as well as in war; and bea. one, our commerce has been plundered in traying the insincerity of those professions, every sea; the great staples of our country which inculcated a belief, that, having have been cut off from their legitimate mar-resorted to her orders with regret, she was kets ; and a destructive blow aimed at our anxious to find an occasion for putting an agricultural and maritime interests. In end to them.-Abandoning still more all aggravation of these predatory measures, respect for the neutral rights of the United they have been considered as in force from States, and for its own consistency, the the dates of their notification; a retrospec. British Government now demands as pretive effect being thus added, as has been requisites to a repeal of its Orders, as they done in other important cases, to the un- relate to the United States, that a formality lawfulness of the course pursued.-And to should be observed in the repeal of the render the outrage the more signal, these French decrees no wise necessary to their mock blockades have been reiterated and termination, nor exemplified by British enforced in the face of official communica- usage, and that the French repeal, besides tions from the British Governinent, de- including that portion of the decrees which claring, as the true definition of a legal operates within a territorial jurisdiction as blockade, “ that particular ports must be well as that which operates on the high actually invested, and previous warning seas against the commerce of the United given to vessels bound to them not to enter.” States, should not be a single special repeal

-Not content with these occasional ex- in relation to the United States, but should pedients for laying waste our neutral trade, be extended to whatever other neutral nathe Cabinet of Great Britain resorted, at tions unconnected with them may be afa length, to the sweeping system of block- fected by those decrees. And as an adades, under the name of Orders in Council, ditional insult, they are called on for a which has been moulded and managed as formal disavowal of conditions and premight best suit its political views, its com- tensions advanced by the French Governmercial jealousies, or the avidity of British ment, for which the United States are so cruizers.To our remonstrances against far from having been themselves responthe complicated and transcendent injustice sible, that, in official explanations, which of this innovation, the first reply was that have been published to the world, and in the orders were reluctantly adopted by a correspondence of the American Minister Great Britain as a necessary retaliation on at London with the British Minister for decrees of her enemy proclaiming a general Foreign Affairs, such a responsibility was blockade of the British Isles, at å time explicitly and emphatically disclaimed. when the naval force of that enemy dared It has become indeed sufficiently cér. not to issue from his ports. She was retain that the commerce of the United States minded without effect, that her own prior is to be sacrificed, not as interfering with blockades, unsupported by an adequate belligerent rights of Great Britain, not as naval force actually applied and continued, supplying the wants of their enemies, which were a bar to this plea ; that executed she herself supplies, but as interfering with edicts against millions of our property could the monopoly which she covets for her own not be retaliation on edicts confessedly im-commerce and navigation. She carries on possible to be executed ; that retaliation, to a war against the lawful commerce of a he just, should fall on the party setting the friend, that she may the better carry on a guilty example, tiot on an innocent party, commerce with an enemy, a commerce which was not even chargeable with an polluted by the forgeries and perjuries acquiescence in it. When deprived of which are for the most part the only passthis flimsy veil for a prohibition of our ports by which it can succeed.---Anxious trade with Great Britain, her Cabinet, to make every experiment short of the last instead of a corresponding repeal of a prac- resort of injured nations, the United States

have withheld from Great Britain, under enabled the United States to demand from successive modifications, the benefits of a France the pledged repeal of her decrees ; free intercourse with their market, the loss either with success, in which case the way of which could not but outweigh the profits would have been opened for a general reaccruing from her restrictions of our com- peal of the belligerent edicts; or without merce with other nations. And to entitle success, in which case the United States those experiments to the more favourable would have been justified in turning their consideration, they were so framed as to measures exclusively against France. The enable her to place her adversary under the British Government would, however, neiexclusive operation of them. To these ap- ther rescind the blockade, nor declare its peals her governmeal has been equally in non-existence, nor perunit its non-existence Hexible, as if willing to make sacrifices of to be inferred and affirmed by the Amerievery sort, rather than yield to the claims can Plenipotentiary. On the contrary, by of justice, or renounce the errors of a false representing the blockade to be coinprepride. Nay, so far were the attempts car- hended in the Orders in Council, the ried to overcome the attachment of the Bri- United States were compelled so to regard tish Cabinet to its unjust edicts, that it it in their subsequent proceedings.received every encouragement, within the There was a period when a favourable competency of the executive branch of our change in the policy of the British Cabinet government, to expect that a repeal of them was justly considered as established. The would be followed by a war between the Minister Plenipotentiary of his Britannic United States and France, unless the French Majesty here proposed an adjustment of the edicts should also be repealed. Even this differences more immediately endangering communication, although silencing for ever the harmony of the two countries. The the plea of a disposition in the United proposition was accepted with a promptiStates to acquiesce in those edicts, originally tude and cordiality corresponding with the the sole plea for them, received no attention. invariable professions of this Government.

-If no other proof existed of a predeter. A foundation appeared to be laid for a sinmination of the British Government against cere and lasting reconciliation. The proa repeal of its Orders, it might be found in spect, however, quickly vanished, The the correspogdence of the Minister Pleni- whole proceeding was disavowed by the potentiary of the United States at London British Government, without any explana. and the British Secretary for Foreign Af- tion which could at that time repress the fairs in 1810, on the question whether the belief, that the disavowal proceeded from a blockade of May 1806 was considered as in spirit of hostility to the commercial rights force or as not in force. It had been ascer and prosperity of the United States. And tained ihat the French Government, which it has since come into proof, that at the very urged this blockade as the ground of its de moment when the public Minister was holdcree, was_willing, in the event of its re- ing the language of friendship, and inspired moval, to repeal that decree ; which being confidence in the sincerity of the negociation followed by alternate repeals of the other with which he was charged, a secret agent offensive edicts, might abolish the whole of his government was employed in insystem on both sides. This inviting oppor- trigues, having for their object a subversion tunity for accomplishing an object so im- of our Government, and a dismemberment portant to the United States, and professed of our happy union. In reviewing the so often to be the desire of both the bellige- conduct of Great Britain towards the United rents, was made known to the British Go- States, our attention is necessarily drawn vernment, As that Government admits to the warfare just renewed-by the savages thai an actual application of an adequate on one of our extensive frontiers ; a warfare force is necessary to the existence of a legal which is known to spare neither age nor sex, blockade; and it was notorious, that if and to be distinguished by features peculiarly such a force had ever been applied, its long shocking to humanity. It is difficult to acdiscontinuance had annulled. the blockade count for the activity and combinations in question, there could be no sufficient ob- which have for some time been developing jection on the part of Great Britain to a for- themselves among the tribes in constant inmal revocation of it; and no imaginable ob- tercourse with the British traders and garjection to a declaration of the fact that the risons, without connecting their hostility blockade did not exist. The declaration with that influence ; and without recollectwould have been consistent with her avow- ing the authenticated examples of such ined principles of blockade, and would have

(To be continued.)

As illustrated in the Prosecution and Punishment of

[ocr errors]

WILLIAM COBBETT. 223]

(294 In order that my countrymen and that the two sureties in the sum of 1,000 pounds each ; world may not be deceived, duped, and cheated that the whole of this sentence bas been executed upon this subject, I, WILLIAM COBBETT, upon me, that I have been imprisoned the two of Botley, in Hampshire, put upon record years, have paid the thousand pounds TO THE the following facts; to wit: That, ou the 24th KING, and have given the bail, Timothy Brown Jnne, 1809, the following article was pub- and Peter Walker, Esqrs. being my sureties; lished in a London news-paper, called the that the Attorney General was Sir Vicary Gibbs, COURIER:- “ The Mutiny amonget the LO- the Judge who sat at the trial Lord Ellenhorongh, “ CAL MILITIA, which broke out at Ely, was the four Judges who sat at passing sentence Enen. fortunately suppressed on Wednesday by the borough, Grose, Le Blanc, and Bailey; and that « arrival of four squadrons of the GERMAN the jurors were, Thomas Rhodes of Hampstead “ LEGION CAVALRY from Bury, under the Road, John Davis of Southampton Place, James “ command of General Auckland. Five of the Ellis of Tottenham Court Road, John Richards “ ringleaders were tried by a Court-Martial, and of Bayswater, Thomas Marshan of Baker Street, “ sentenced to receive 500 lashes cach, part of which Robert Heathcote of High Street Marylebone, “panishment they received on Wednesday, and John Maud of York Place Marylebone, George

a part was remitted. A stoppage for their knap- Baxter of Church Terrace Pancras, Thomas “ sacks was the ground of the complaint that ex. Taylor of Red Lion Square, David Deape of St. “cited this mutinous spirit, which occasioned John Street, William Palmer of Upper Street “ the men to surround their officers, and demand Islington, Henry Favre of Pall Mall; that the “ what they deemed their arrears. The first Prime Ministers during the time were Spencer <division of the German Legion halted yesterday Perceval, until he was shot by John Bellingham, “at Newmarket on their return to Bury."- and after that Robert B. Jenkinson, Earl of Le That, on the 1st July, 1809, I published, in the verpool; that the prosecution and sentence tock Political Register, an article censuring, in the place in the reign of King George the Third, and strongest terms, these proceedings; that, for so that, he having become insane during my impridoing, the Attorney General prosecuted, as sedi. sonment, the 1,000 pounds was paid to his son, tious libellers, and by Ex-Officio Information, the Prince Regent, in his behalf; that, during my me, and also my printer, my publisher, and one imprisonment, I wrote and published 364 Essays of the principal retailers of the Political Register; and Letters upon political subjects; that, during that I was brought to trial on the 15th June, the same time, I was visited by persons from 197 1810, and was, by a Special Jury, that is to say, cities and towns, many of them as a sort of depaby 12 men out of 48 appointed by the Master of ties from Societies or Clubs; that, at the expirathe Crown Office, found guilty ; that, on the tion of my imprisonment, on the 9th of July, 1812, 20th of the same month, I was compelled to give a great dinner was given in London for the purbail for my appearance to receive judgment; pose of receiving me, at which dinner upwards of and that, as I came up from Botley (to which 600 persons were present, and at which Sir place I had returned to my family and my farm Francis Burdett presided; that dinners and other on the evening of the 15th), a Tipstaff went parties were held on the same occasion in many down from London in order to seize me, per. Other places in England; that, on my way home, sonally; that, on the 9th of July, 1810, I, toge. I was received at Alton, the first town in Hamp. ther with my printer, publisher, and the news shire, with the ringing of the Church bells; that man, were brought into the Court of King's a respectable company met me and gave me a Bench to receive judgment; that the three dinner at Winchester; that I was drawn from former were sentenced to be imprisoned for more than the distance of a mile into Botley by some months in the King's Bench prison; that I the people; that, upon my arrival in the village, was sentenced to be imprisoned for two years in I found all the people assembled to receive me; Newgate, the great receptacle for malefactors, that I concluded the day by explaining to them and the front of which is the scene of numerous the cause of my imprisonment, and by giving bangings in the course of every year; that the them clear notions respecting the flogging of the part of the prison in which I was sentenced to be Local Militia-men at Ely, and respecting the emconfined is sometimes inhabited by felons, that ployment of German Troops; and, finally, which felons were actually in it at the time I entered is more than a compensation for my losses and all it; that one man was taken ont of it to be trans- my sufferings, I am in perfect health and strength, ported in about 48 hours after I was put into the and, though I must, for the sake of six children, same yard with him; and that it is the place of feel the diminution that has been made in my confinement for men guilty of unnatural crimes, property (thinking it right in me to decline the of whom there are four in it at this time ; that, offer of a subscription), I have the consolation to besides this imprisonment, I was sentenced to see growing up three sons, upon whose hearts, I pay a thousand pounds TO THE KING, and to trust, all these facts will be engraven. give security for my good behaviour for seven

WM. COBBETT. years, myself in the sum of 3,000 pounds, and Botley, July 23, 1812.

Published by R. BAGSH4W, Brydges-Street, Covent Garden.

LONDO) Printed by J. M'Creery, Black Horse-Court, Fleet-street.

« ForrigeFortsett »