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the utmost importance to the happiness and welfare of that part of my dominions. “I continue to receive from all Foreign Powers assurances of their friendly disposition, and of their earnest desire for the maintenance of peace. * Gentlemen of the House of Commons—I thank you for the readiness and liberality with which you have voted the supplies for the current year. It will be my constant object to combine a strict regard to economy with the consideration which is due to the exigencies of the public service. “My Lords and Gentlemen— In some districts of Wales, the public peace has been interrupted by lawless combinations and disturbances, unconnected with political causes. I have adopted the measure which I deemed best calculated for the repression of outrage, and for the detection and punishment of the offenders. I have at the same time directed an inquiry to be made into the circumstances which have led to insubordination and violence in a part of the country usually distinguished for good order and willing obedience to the law. “I have observed with the deepest concern the persevering efforts which are made to stir up discontent and disaffection among my subjects in Ireland, and to excite them to demand a Repeal of the Legislative Union. It has been and ever will be my earnest desire to administer the government of that country in a spirit of strict justice and impartiality, and to cooperate with Parliamentineffecting such amendments in the existing laws as may tend to improve the social condition and to develop the natural resources of Ireland. From
a deep conviction that the Legislative Union is not less essential to the attainment of these objects than to the strength and stability of the Empire, it is my firm determination, with your support, and under the blessing of Divine Providence, to maintain inviolate that great bond of connexion between the two countries. “I have forborne from requiring any additional powers for the counteraction of designs hostile to the concord and welfare of my dominions, as well from my unwillingness to distrust the efficacy of the ordinary law, as from my reliance on the good sense and patriotism of my people, and on the solemn declarations of Parliament in support of the Legislative Union. * I feel assured that those of my faithful subjects who have influence and authority in Ireland, will discourage to the utmost of their power a system of pernicious agitation, which disturbs the industry and retards the improvement of that country, and excites feelings of mutual distrust and animosity between different classes of my people.” The Lord Chancellor then declared Parliament to be prorogued till the 10th October, and the long Session of 1843 came to its conclusion. Its results were not indeed of first-rate importance, nor productive of any essential changes in the institutions of the country, but it added some useful and practical measures to the Statute Book, and made some supplementary additions to the large commercial reforms of the preceding year. More might, perhaps, have been accomplished, but for the inconvenient and growing practice of protracting, by repeated adjournment, the Debates on the great questions of
party warfare, in which a large proportion of the Session was fruitlessly consumed. On the other hand a consideration of the great and extensive changes which late years have introduced will go far to reconcile those who are alive to the evil of disturbing and un
settling important interests, to a Session less productive of legislative alterations, and which afforded some pause and resting-place in that onward career and restless pursuit of improvement which the spirit of the age has so greatly tended to accelerate.
Repeal Agitation in Ireland—Mr. O'Connell resumes his exertions for Repeal nith renened energy—Formation of the Repeal Association “; Constitution and Emblems—Appointment of Repeal Wardens, and their duties—The Monster Meetings—Speech of Mr. O'Connell at the Trim Meeting on the 16th March—Meeting at Mullingar, attended by Roman Catholic Bishops and Clergy–Declaration in favour of Repeal by Dr. Higgins, Titular Bishop of Ardagh—Proceedings at other Repeal Meetings–Piolent language used on those occasions —Co-operation of the Press—Efforts of the “Nation ” Nen’spaper in favour of Repeal—Publication of Songs and Pieces commemorative of the Insurrection of 1798—Alarm excited by these Demonstrations in the public mind–Policy of the Government—Removal of Magistrates implicated in the Repeal Movement from the Commission —Further progress of the Agitation—The great Tara Meeting on 15th August—Reason for the selection of this spot for the purposeUnequivocal language of Mr. O'Connell on this occasion—He broaches a plan at the Repeal Association for the revival of the Irish Parliament—Arbitration Courts are proposed to supersede the jurisdiction of the Magistracy—Allusion to the State of Ireland in the Queen's Speech—Mr. O'Connell vehemently attacks this document, and publishes a counter-manifesto—Use made of the Temperance Societies—Mr. O'Connell's Harangue in praise of the Teetotallers— Announcement of a great Repeal Meeting to be held at Clontarf–The Government takes Measures to prevent it.—A Proclamation is issued on the 7th of October prohibiting attendance at the Meeting—Conduct of Mr. O'Connell—He urges the abandonment of the Meeting, and issues a counter-proclamation—The ground at Clontarfis occupied on the 8th by a strong military force—A vast concourse takes place, but no disturbance of the peace—Warrants are issued against Mr. O'Connell and his Son, and eight other leading Repealers on charges of conspiracy and sedition—Mr. O'Connell exhorts the People to tranquillity—His remarkable change of tone after the Arrest—Accession of Mr. W. S. O'Brien, M.P., to the cause of Repeal–Proceedings against the Repealers commenced on the first day of Michaelmas Term—Mr. Justice Burton's Charge to the Grand Jury—A True Bill is returned —Warious efforts of the Defendants to defer the Trial—It is at length postponed till the 15th January. Schism IN THE CHURCH of ScorLAND-State of feeling in the Non-Intrusion Party—General apprehensions of a rupture—Addresses of the Assembly to the Cronn against the jurisdiction of the Lan Courts, and for the total abolition of patronage—Able and comprehensive ansner of Sir James Graham
to the Moderator of the Assembly—Case of the quoad sacra Ministers –Decision of the majority of the Court of Session in the Stenarton case—The Commission of the General Assembly admit the quoad sacra Ministers to their Meeting notnithstanding—The Commission presents a Petition to Parliament—Debate thereupon in the House of Commons on the Motion of Mr. For Maule for a Committee on the subject—It is rejected by 211 to 76–Preparations in Scotland for setting up the Free Presbyterian Church–Declaration of the Special Commission —Public Meeting of Non-Intrusionists at #. —Election of Members of General Assembly—The Marquess of Bute appointed High Commissioner–Conduct of the Marquess of Breadalbane, nith reference to the Movement—Opening of the General Assembly on the 18th May–Dr. Welsh, the Moderator, reads a paper of Reasons to justify the secession, and then retires mith a large party of Non-Intrusionists from the Assembly-Principal MacJarlane is chosen as Moderator by the remanent Members—The seceding Members meet and constitute themselves the Free Presbyterian Church—They choose Dr. Chalmers as their Moderator, and proceed to take Measures for the establishment and organization of the new system—Statement of the Financial Committee—Further Proceedings of the Secessionists—The General Assembly transact some important business—Lord Belhaven moves the rescision of the Veto Act, and of the Acts legalising the admission of quoad sacra Ministers—After some discussion they are repealed—Former decision of the Assembly, suspending the Strathbogie Ministers, is rescinded—Proceedings of the Assembly, respecting the seceding Ministers— Their Churches and Chapels are declared vacant—The Seceders execute an “Act of Separation,” nihich they transmit to the General Assembly—Both Assemblies are dissolved after transacting much business—Nature and extent of the Secession—Relative numbers of Seceders and Adherents —Effects of the Movement in the Country—Substitution of new Ministers in the vacated Benefices—Lord Aberdeen's Bill respecling the settlement of Ministers—Further Proceedings of the Free Church Parly—Some Land-onners refuse to grant sites for Churches—Eacitement caused by this conduct–Letter of the Duke of Sutherland, explaining grounds of refusal–Serious Riots in Rossshire and Cromarty on the introduction of men, Ministers. INSURRECTION IN SOUTH WAies–Rebecca and her Daughters—Great Destruction of Turnpike Gates—Singular Disguise and mode of Attack adopted by the Tioters—Irruption of the Mob into Carmarthen, and attack on the Union—The Hendy-Gate Murder—Capture of Prisoners-Incendiary Fires, and other Outrages-Special Commission at Cardiff– Strong Force of Military and Police quartered in the Disturbed Districts—Appointment of a Commission of Inquiry—Proceedings of the Commissioners.
HE narrative of public events three very remarkable transacfor the year 1843 would be tions, which marked its progress very incomplete, if it did not in- in different quarters of the United clude some particular notice of Kingdom, Ireland, Scotland, and
Wales, each being the scene of an extensive popular movement, though widely dissimilar in their nature and character. The events now referred to, are the Repeal Agitation in Ireland, the secession from the Church of Scotland, and the Rebecca riots in South Wales. We propose to give a brief sketch of each of these events in the order in which they have been mentioned. The Repeal of the Legislative Union had been continually held out by Mr. O'Connell, from time to time, to the people of Ireland, after the attainment of the Roman Catholic Relief Act, as the great ultimatum in his views for their benefit, but his exertions in pursuit of this object, seemed to be at times considerably relaxed or diverted in favour of some more immediately attainable object, and no very strong belief was generally entertained of the sincerity of his professions in relation to this subject. In the present year, however, he took up again the cause of Repeal with new energy, and resumed the agitation by which he sought to attain it, with a vigour and earnestness of purpose which shook Ireland to its centre, and produced an effect unsurpassed by any of his former experiments on the passions of his countrymen. Abandoning the House of Commons, which the overwhelming majority of the Conservative party made a hopeless field for his exertions, he gave himself wholly up to the work which he had undertaken in Ireland, and raising the banner of national independence, devoted all the resources of his mind, and all the arts which a long career of agitation had made him master of, in rousing the sympathies of the people, and combining
their efforts for the great struggle by which the severance of the two Kingdoms, as he promised his followers, was to be effected. The same plan of organization, which had been adopted with such success, in prosecuting the Roman Catholic claims were again resorted to, and an Association for the furtherance of Repeal provided with all the machinery requisite to give effect to its comprehensive designs, formed the main instrument by which the Union was to be assailed. This body, which was
styled the National Loyal Repeal.
Association, was formed under that name in 1840. It consisted of associates, members, and volunteers. The associates were required to pay but a small subscription of 1s. each, so as to have their numbers extended generally throughout the country; and a card was given to each, which answered all the purposes required, without coming within the express language of the Act of Parliament against passwords and signs, and enabled the person having such a card to show to his neighbours that he was connected with the Repeal Association. The next class in the Association were the members, who were to pay each Il, or if an associate who paid ls, took the trouble to collect 20s. from others, he also was entitled to become a member. A card was also issued to the members as the bond of union between them. The inscription on this card was peculiar. It bore the names of four places in Ireland, the scenes of fights in which the Irish had been successful, either over Danes or English. . A printed document accompanying the card described these four victories. In another part of this card the geographical position of