« ForrigeFortsett »
pearance. The question was, how was the public lowed 8 or 9,000 organised insurgents to peace to be preserved and the law enforced? A very march upon an important town, without awful responsibility was cast upon me; for it was by my advice that the counsels of government were a suspicion that such a thing was possito be particularly governed. I trusted to the good ble; if they had then shot dead, by the sense of the people of Great Britain, and to the old military force, fifteen or twenty of the decommon law of the land. (Loud cheers.) I would luded rioters, if the means of resistance introduce no new coercive measure. I would give no countenance to schemes for the employment of were, as far as depended on the foresight force. But prosecutions were instituted for the sup- of the government, so feeble and so ill. port of the established laws; and in every instance combined, that Newport, and probably the the juries did their duty to the country-a verdict was returned vindicating the law. What, then, was
whole of South Wales, owed their preserthe consequence? Without one drop of blood being vation to the personal intrepidity of two spilled, tranquillity was restored : Chartism, as re- or three magistrates and military officers, marked by my Lord Provost, actually vanished from and about thirty men, who defended themthe land.
selves from the bay-window of an innOn this we cannot help exclaiming, in what would the Whigs have said of such the slightly altered words of the ballad— culpable, such indefensible negligence in
a Conservative government ? Ah, luckless speech ! ah, bootless boast, And again-in what violent terms
For which he paid full dear!
would they not have inveighed against Belied him loud and clear!'
the “defective institutions of the country,
and the gross abuses of its administraIt is quite evident that the gift of second tion,' with which great masses of the insight is lost in Scotland, and that Sir telligent working population could be so James Forrest and Sir John Campbell, so dissatisfied ?-Would they not have adfar from having the celebrated Caledonian duced the insurrection of 9000 men as a inklings of futurity, have not even the conclusive proof against the whole con. common cottage sagacity of knowing that stitution of our government-assuming a fire may be covered without being ex- --- as they always had done, till they themtinguished, and that the spark which is selves were in office—that every turbulent smouldering at night may be a flame before agitator, and every seditious assemblage morning.
must have a grievance fully justifying the But ludicrous-farcically ludicrous- sedition and the turbulence 1 How, on the as is the personal position of the Attorney. other hand, have the Conservatives acted ? General, the tragedy to which he spoke
Newport so light a prologue has been deep and Massacres, and talked of WESTGATELOO ? bloody; and the most painful part of the -No ; while they unfeignedly pity the catastrophe is not yet over!
deluded victims, and execrate the authors Our readers will recollect that all the of the delusion-while they lament the Whig speeches and publications of the former indiscretion and recent negligence day, and, still more recently, Lord John of Her Majesty's Ministers, they afford Russell himself, in his celebrated speech the most unhesitating countenance and at Stroud, and on some subsequent occa- support to the tardy vindication of the sions, charged all the disorders which oc
law : from them the disaffected will re. curred in the autumn of 1830 to the ac
ceive no factious encouragement, and the count of the then ministers.
repressive measures of the government The general system of government was no vexatious opposition: condemned with wholesale virulence, be
But Lord John Russell, though he stands cause the populace were so maddened by pre-eminent in these unhappy transactions, the Three glorious Days, and by the in- does not stand alone. In every other deflammatory speeches of Whig and Radical orators, that it was thought imprudent port, that there was some difficulty, at one moment
* It is stated in the letier of the Mayor of Newto allow the King to visit the City in a in procuring ammunition for the troops, and we find November night, lest mischievous people in the proceedings on the Coroner's inquest, Demight provoke disturbances from which cember 3d, the following deposition:the innocent were more likely to suffer
• Edward Hopkins, Superintendent of Police,
sworn-I was there informed that the soldiers were than the guilty. But, let us suppose for short of ammunition, and I event and searched the a moment that a Conservative ministry bodies, and in the pockets of the one who was dying were to show themselves so utterly ig- in the pantry, I found 25 rounds of ball cartridge, norant of the real state of the country as which I handed over to Lieut. Gray, and he immeto boast of profound tranquillity on the diately divided it among the soldiers.
We have, however, heard from other authority, very eve of a rebellion ; if they had al-I that there was no deficiency of ammunition.
partment of the government a similar de shall presently see); but that, when the reliction of duty, a similar disinclination duty should be lowered to a moderate to exert the power of the law, whenever rate, the law could be, and should be, enit might be at all distasteful to Chartists, forced against all violators. Radicals, or any other species of agita Now, this allegation was false and holtors, is equally observable. We shall low, and only made to conceal the real give some further important examples of motive of the proceeding, which was the this general tendency of Lord Mel- contemptible weakness of the governbourne's administration.
It is very true that exorbitant In 1835 the publication of unstamped duties on any description of goods render newspapers had proceeded to a great ex- it very difficult to prevent 'smuggling'tent; and, although the government were in goods of great value and small comvery remiss in executing the law-in- pass, and undistinguishable in their nadeed it was to their remissness that the ture from duty-paid goods of the same great growth of the evil may be wholly species, nearly impossible; and as this attributed-still a considerable number of had grown into a kind of financial axiom, the publishers and venders of such works the government with its characteristic had been imprisoned-chiefly, we believe, duplicity, thought to facilitate their measby the interference of some subordinate ure, and conceal their real difficulty, by officer,--few, if any, by the immediate or calling the sale of unstamped papers ders of the Ministers or the Attorney-Ge- smuggling--though all the world sees neral, whose early and active interposition that it is not what the said political axiom would, we are satisfied, have stopped the means by the word smuggling, which is mischief at once. We need not inform necessarily clandestine ; while, on the our readers that the general character of other hand, it is equally notorious that a these papers was immoral and seditious. bond fide order from the Home Depart
This part of the evil-in our antiquated ment to the Police, and from the Treasopinion, the greatest-does not seem to ury to the Stamp-office, to stop the open have made any impression whatsoever on vending of these unstamped publications, the government; but they found it neces- would have altogether prevented the sary to attend to two opposite classes of abuse-and, even after it had attained complainants, with whom the growing its greatest height, would have stopped extent of the illegal practice brought them it in four-and-twenty hours. But in into contact. The one were those who these enlightened days anything that were suffering punishment for repeated looks like an axiom of political econobreaches of the law, whose advocates my is sure to pass unquestioned. The were stirring the matter in the House of public sale of unstamped newspapers in Commons, and becoming very loud in Piccadilly was voted to be smuggling; their invectives against the stamp-duty on and the only remedy for this as for every newspapers, which they, facetiously, one other kind of smuggling (vide M'Cul. might suspect, called a tax upon know- loch and Co.) was to lower the duty, ledge : the other were the proprietors of which we were assured by the Chancellor the more respectable proportion of the of the Exchequer would render the breach periodical press, who very justly com. of the law so inexcusable, that the governplained that this almost impunity of un- ment,-yea, even Lord Melbourne's pusilstamped publications was a fraud on the lanimous and nerveless government, legally conducted trade. This also was promised to punish, and eventually to a body too powerful to be disregarded. prevent, any infraction of the law; and Perplexed between these antagonist com- under this plausible engagement, on the plainants, the government resolved to part of the Chancellor of the Exchequer, make their usual compromise by a sacrifice the stamp duty was reduced. of the public: the stamp duty was reduced What was the consequence ? Not only from 3d. to ld the Chancellor of the was the smuggling not prevented, but it Exchequer stating, as his chief motive has increased an hundredfold. Not only for this reduction, that as long as the du- does the government not vindicate the ties were so high it was in vain to at- law, but the few prosecutions that used to tempt to counteract the smuggler (so he afford some degree of check are now ne. is reported to have called the publishers ver heard of the smugglers, that is, doz. and venders of unstamped papers-Deb. ens of newsmongers at every stage-coach 15th Mar. and 20th June 1836-why, we door, on board every steam-packet, along VOL. LXV.
every street, thrust into the hands of every which, trash though it be, is working wide, passenger dozens of unstamped sheets of and, we fear, irremediable mischief. the vilest, the most libellous, the most But, passing over the mere morality of seditious garbage! Where are now the the case of which, as we have said, Lord prognostics of Mr. Spring Rice that the Melbourne's government seems to take no smuggling would be extinguished ? where note-can any one doubt what must be the promises of the government that the the political effect of this unbounded and smuggler should be prosecuted and pun. uncontrolled effusion of sedition and treaished ? It would lead us too far from our son? We shall so far break through our present purpose to detail the monstrous resolution not to mention individual painjury to public morals and domestic hap- pers as to give one example, which has piness which this profusion of obscenity, already engaged public attention. We blasphemy, and libel must inflict; nor have before us an unstamped paper bearcould we, consistently with our principles, ing the following title :give any additional publicity to such trash,
THE WESTERN VINDICATOR :
A BOLD UNCOMPROMISING ADVOCATE OF THE PEOPLE OF BRISTOL, BATH,
OF ENGLAND AND SOUTH WALES.
EDITED AND CONDUOTED FOR HENRY VINCENT,
NOW RESIDENT IN MONMOUTH GAOL.
VOL. I.---No. 40.)
SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 23, 1839.
[PRICE Two PENCE.
This ‘Henry VINCENT, now resident in not fight with them! Be wary in your movements, Monmouth gaol,' is, as our readers will we are beset with spies! Be cautious in your speeches,
for anything is sedition. But, in the name of Liberty recollect, imprisoned there for sedition :
-cease not to worry your enemies! Your name is yet
he is suffered to direct, and his col- Legion, for ye are many; and your rights must be leagues are permitted to publish, this un- enforced, if not conceded. Our counsel is-Orga
nize! Organize! Organize!' stamped newspaper, which, even if otherwise innocent, is illegal, and, according Agitate, agitate, agitate, is grown luke. to the promises of Mr. Spring Rice, ought warm and stale, and treason must now orto have been suppressed. Even if other- ganize, organize, organize : such is the wise innocent- -but let us give one or practical advice of this paper. Let us add two specimens of its intrinsic character. a specimen of its doctrines :
An article on the defeat of the late treasonable outbreak at Newport, too long God, oppressors and murderers of their subjects,
· When kings or rulers become blasphemers of to be quoted in extenso, after stating the they ought no more to be accounted kings or lawful leading principles of Chartism to be uni- magistrates, but, as private men to be examined, acversal suffrage,' annual parliaments,
,cused, and condemned and punished by that law of
God, and, being convicted and punished by that • ballot,'" no property-qualification, 'pay- law, it is not man's, but God's doing.” ment of members of parliament,' thus
And again, concludes: • Moral force has failed, by the nnited opposition
• The people may kill wicked princes as monsters of Prejudice, Villany, and Physical Force.
and cruel beasts.' What remains then to be done? How shall the
The effect which such exhortations and Charrists proceed?
* And are we io sit quietly down and relinquish such doctrines must have on an ignorant our canse? Are we to become tacit slaves to our—and, if they can read such poison, worse oppressors, content with what they, in their mercy, than ignorant-population, might be easily tists, remember the words of Mr. Vincent last week imagined à priori, but we have unfortu
Let there be no unmanly shrinking." Desert not nately a practical and touching example your incarcerated friends!
of its deplorable effects. We extract the * But to the question-How shall the Chartists proceed? Let them raise the standard of “Resist case from the report of the inquiry before ance to Oppression!" Beware of soldiers, ye can the magistrates at Newport :
, the Pontypool leader, who was killed by the illegal and seditious press into one the soldiery in the passage of the Westgate Inn, in view,—the original reduction of the stamp mayor, evidences the traitorous objects [of the in- duty on the pretence of extinguishing surgents) in the following letter, written to his father, smuggling, the subsequent impunity and having, it appears, a melancholy presentiment of his hundred fold growth of that same smugcoming death:Pontypool, Sunday Night, Nov. 4, 1839.
gling,' the uninterrupted continuance of Dear Parents, I hope this will find you well, as
this smuggling,' by a prisoner in Mon. I am myself at present.I shall this night be engaged mouth gaol, its certain connection with in a struggle for freedom, and, should it plcase God the fatal insurrection in Wales, and its to spare my life, I shall see you soon; but if not, natural effect in perverting, possibly thougrieve not for me I shall have fallen in a noble cause. My tools are at Mr. Cecil's, and likewise sands, of honest and loyal and respectable my clothes.
men, like poor George Shell into traitors Farewell, dear parents.
thirsting for the lives of others and prod. Your's truly, •GEORGE Shell.
igal of their own-whether, we say, such * This young man, endowed with a courage and a case, beginning in fraud and ending in devotion worthy of a better cause, was, up to May, blood, ever before stained the annals of a 1839, a special constable, universally respected, and civilized government ? And what answer possessing the confidence of the magistracy. He then, unfortunately, listened to the fallacious reason
will the ministers under whose misrule ings of Frost and Jones, and the melancholy result these facts occurred—what answer can has been a traitor's death at the early age of nineteen. they give concerning their respective I have been informed by the bereaved parent of this shares in these lamentable transactions ? youth that he ascribes his ruin to the scandalous publications of the day, and to the " Vindicator," edited We cannot doubt that some explanation by the notorious Henry Vincent.' — Times, 18 No- will be wrung from them on the very first vember.
day of the meeting of parliament. Tis And, after all this, will it be believed not by the imprisonment of one victim or that the unstamped and seditious Vindi. the execution of another that these quescator' was still allowed to diffuse its poi- tions can be answered. Unhappy men ! son with impunity, until the Mayor of Car-whose fate will be a new exemplification diff, in the name of the magistrates of the of the melancholy observation of the Rocounty and borough, was driven, so late man moralist-as the 5th of December, to remonstrate
Multi with the Secretary of State on its unin Committunt eadem diverso crimina fato :terrupted publication, to which they at
Ille crucem, pretium sceleris tulit, hic diadema. tribute the rebellious spirit in those dis. One is rewarded with the gallows, and tricts? This appears so incredible, that ANOTHER with a coronet ! we insert the representations of the ma. But it is not by mere connivance alone gistrates :
that the government appears to encou.
rage the abuses of the press. We believe Cardiff, Dec. 5, 1839.
that the present is the first ministry that My Lord Marquis, -The county and borough ever permitted itself to be publicly idenmagistrates, who have this day met at the Town Hall tified with any newspaper, except the here, for the purpose of investigating charges against London Gazette. All governments have persons connected with the late outrages at Newport, being fully persuaded that a paper called "The occasionally given more or less of their Western Vindicator," published for Henry Vincent confidence to a particular
particular paper, but even (now a prisoner in Monmouth gaol) by Francis this to a very limited extent, and never Hill, of No. 14 Northumberland-place, Bath, has avowedly: indeed, the prudence of gov. been one of the principal causes of such outrage, have caused to be intercepted a packet of these pa
ernments and the independence of editors pers, of the date of the 30th November, directed to have alike disclaimed such copartner: Mr. Davis, Newbridge, Glamorganshire (12 miles ship. As to the personal countenance and from Cardiff,) a district in which Chartism has very interference of the Sovereign in any such widely spread, earnestly beg leave to call your
that no man ship's attention to the extensive circulation and mis- matters, we will venture to say chievous tendency of the said paper, and herewith ever imagined anything so wild and so transmit to your lordship, the intercepted packet; indecorous-never-before the present and I am authorised by John Bruce Price. Esq., and hour. The Observer,' Sunday newspa. the Rev. George Thomas, county magistrates, and Charles Crofts Williams, Esq., late Mayor of Cardiff, per, has of late been a kind of accredited to add their names to mine in making this communi- organ of the ministry: of that, however cation to your lordship.
blameable particular articles may have • I have the honour to be, &c., ‘R. Reece, Mayor of Cardiff.'
been, no complaint is to be made ; but for
some time past it has publicly assumed a We now appeal to the country at large, new and absolutely unprecedented chawhethere taking the whole of this case of racter. It now dignifies its colunans by
TO THE MARQUIS OF NORMAXBY.
the following programme, which we copy | illustration should be equally asinine with exactly :
the text-the royal arms affixed to this announcement of the Queen's patronage'
happen to be, not her Majesty's distinctive THE “ OBSERVER” IS PATRONISED arms, but those of the King of Hanover, BY HER MAJESTY, AND ALL
if he were to become King of England ! THE ROYAL FAMILY.
The blunder is much more piquant than the libel.
It is one of the specious sophisms of the day to charge tumults and sedition, as well as all other crimes, to the ignorance of the people; and this has been, and is now, and will be again, used as an argument in favour of the government and other sectarian schemes of public education. This is not an occasion in which we could enter at large into that important question ;-but so much we will say, that, although ignorance in the
more extended meaning of the term is This is sufficiently unusual, and, we indeed the prolific parent of crime, it is think, indecent; but what can we say
not by such ignorance as can be cured by when we find, as the leading article of this a poor smattering of what my Lord Lans
downe calls secular instruction—that riots very same newspaper, the following abominable libel, which also we copy exactly on the contrary, it has been proved in
and other political offences are excited ; LONDON, SUNDAY, DECEMBER 8. every case in which the fact could be
tested, and most fully in all the late disGreat secrecy has been observed by the Conser. turbances, that the low degree of educa. vative Journals respecting the mission of Lord Stu. tion—not, indeed, deserving that nameart de Rothsay to the King of Hanover. His Lord. which teaches the poor to read without ship has returned ; and, although his report is kept secret, we hear, from good authority, that no direct accompanying that gift with such moral attenipt to dethrone her Majesty will be sanctioned and religious instruction as may regulate by Sir R. Peel, notwithstanding the traitorous de- and purify the use of it, is an infliction clarations of his agents at Canterbury and Ashton.
worse than ignorance; it is like giving
children razors for playthings, and arsenic We will not throw away a word in ex. in sugar-plums. It was not the being posing the flagrant falsehoods, monstrous unable to read that made poor Shell a absurdity, and infamous calumnies, accu- traitor, but the unfortunate capacity of mulated in these half-dozen lines of the reading those infamous and seditious leading paragraph of a paper patronized publications which are everywhere corby the QUEEN.' We will only say, that if rupting our population ; and against it be not `imagining and imputing high which there can be no guard or barrier, treason, we know not what is; and that in but by inseparably combining the rudiall the annals of libel we do not recollect ments of secular education with the great so foul a one. We admit that, as against and vital—but easily taught and easily the
personages whom it intends to vilify, learned-lessons of morality and religion. it is wholly innocuous—to them it can do The author of a work whose title we no harm--the real insult is to her Majesty, have prefixed to this article seems to atwhose name is thus abused, and to her tribute 'popular tumults' to social ignoministers, who permit it. But this inde-rance. But that is only an ad captandum cency is rendered, if possible, still more title: he does not mean, so much, ignocontemptible by the bungling folly with rance in the ordinary sense of the word, which it is executed: for, first, this libel as anti-philosophical prejudices, ignorance on the second member of the Royal House of political economy, and so forth—a speis said to be under the patronage, not cies of ignorance which may certainly be only of the Queen,' but of all the Royal said to produce popular tumults of one Family,' as if that member of the royal class, such as burning corn-stores, breakfamily patronised these libels on himself
, ing machinery, and so forth : but long and that his illustrious brothers and sisters, before the people can be taught right nephews and nieces, all concurred in the principles on these subjects they will calumny; but, secondly, that the graphic have learned other things, which, we