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tion of a large portion or the Tory con- morable iron shutters were forced upon stituencies as their representatives for Apsley House, which, till the Duke's death, passing the Catholic Emancipation continued to disgrace the metropolis. At Act, were evidenced by a gain to the

Lanark a dreadful riot occurred, which was Opposition of fifty votes. The fate of only quelled by the interposition of the mithe ministry was evidently sealed; and

litary, and the Conservative candidate was after a defeat in the Commons in No

seriously wounded in the church where the

election was going forward. At Dumbarvember, the Wellington cabinet resign

ton, the Tory candidate, Lord William Graed. After fifty years' exclusion from

ham, only escaped death by being conoffice, the Whigs now returned to power ccaled in a garret, where he lay hidden the underEarlGrey, and immediately intro

whole day.

At Lauder, the election was duced their famous Reform Bill. The carried by a counsellor in the opposite intesecond reading of the bill was carried rest being forcibly abducted, and the ruffians in March by a narrow majority of one, who did so were rescued by the mob. At which showed the Whig leaders that

Jedburgh, a band of ruffians hooted the they had no chance of success, except

dying Sir Walter Scott. "I care for you no by a fresh agitation and a new appeal

more,' said he, “than for the hissing of

gecse.' to the country. Accordingly, although

Genius, celebrity, probity, benefi

cence, were in those disastrous days the certhe Parliament had only been elected

tain attraction of mob brutality, if not slain the previous September, it was

vishly prostituted to their passions." again dissolved in April ; and every means was employed to infuriate the

Wbile the elections were going formasses against the Conservatives; the

ward, the Political Unions were exert. Times, with its usual, and in this case

ing themselves to the uttermost, not disgraceful, subserviency to popular

merely to intimidate their opponents ideas, counselling the Reformers to

by the threat of rebellion, but by organ. use the "brickbat and bludgeon,” and

ising the means of rebellion itself. to “plaster the enemies of the people with mud, and duck them in horse. " In March and April, 1831,” says Miss ponds.” These efforts of the “ friends

Martineau, "the great middle class, by whose of liberty” were successful, and the

intelligence the bill must be carried, believed most dreadful rioting marked the pro- that occasions miglit arise for their refusing gress of the elections, especially in to pay taxes, and for their marching upon Ireland and Scotland. Of the ex- London, to support the King, the Adminiscesses in the latter country our author

tration, and the bulk of the nation, against a gives the following brief" but graphic

small knot of unyielding and interested persummary :

The political unions made known the

numbers they could muster, the Chairman “The Lord Provost of Edinburgh was of the Birmingham Union declaring that they seized by the mob on the day of the election, could send forth two armies, each fully worth who tried to throw him over the North that which had won Waterloo. On the coast Bridge, a height of ninety feet-a crime for of Sussex ten thousand men declared themwhich the ringleaders were afterwards con- selves ready to march at any moment; victed and punished by the Justiciary Northumberland was prepared in like manCourt. The military were called out by ner; Yorkshire was up and awake; and, in the sheriff and magistrates, but withdrawn short, it might be said the nation was ready at the request of the Lord-Advocate (Jef- to go to London, if wanted. When the frey), who pledged himself, if this was done mighty procession of the unions marched to the riots would cease. It was done, and their union ground, the anti-reformers ob they were immediately renewed, and conti- served with a shudder that the towns were nued the whole evening. At Ayr the vio- at the mercy of these mobs. The cry was lence of the populace was such that the vehement that the measure was to be carried Conservative voters had to take refuge in by intimidation, and this was true; the questhe town hall, from whence they were es- tion was, whether, in this singular case, the corted by a body of brave Whigs, who, much

intimidation was wrong.' to their honour, flew to their rescue, to a "Future ages,” says Alison, “will scarcely steam-boat which conveyed them from the be able to credit the generality of the delu. scene of danger. No person anywhere in sions which pervaded the minds of the midScotland could give his vote for the Con- dle and working classes at this eventful servative candidate without running the risk crisis. The former flattered themselves that of being hooted, spit upon, or stoned by the rent and taxes would be abolished, and the mob. At Wigan, in Lancashire, a man sales of their shop goods at least triwas killed during the election riots. In pled, from the universal prosperity which London the windows of the Duke of Wel- would prevail among their customers. The lington, Mr. Baring, and other leading anti. latter believed, almost to a man, that the Reformers, were all broken ; and those me- wages of labour would be doubled, and the

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price of provisions halved, the moment the upon tendered their resignations, which bill passed. The Anglo-Saxon mind, emi

were accepted by the King, and the nently practical, did not, in these moments Duke of Wellington was

sent for, of extreme excitement, follow the ignis fatuus

“ Matters,” says Alison, “had now of liberty and equality,' like the French in

come to the crisis which had long been 1789, but sought vent in the realisation of

foreseen on both sides. The Crown real advantages, or the eschewing of experi

and the House of Lords had taken enced evils."

their stand to resist the Bill, the ComThe new Parliament met in June, mons to force it upon them. When and on the 3rd October the Reform Charles I. planted his standard at Bill was thrown out by the House of Nottingham, the crisis was scarcely Lords, on its second reading, by a ma. more violent, nor the dreadful alternajority of 41. The popular rage now tive of civil war to all appearance more knew no bounds. The Duke of Welling. imminent.” Then were seen the inton, the Duke of Cumberland, and the fernal placards in the streets of London, Marquis of Londonderry, were assault- to “Stop the Duke-go for gold !” and ed in the streets of London, and with in three days nearly £2,000,000 in difficulty rescued by the police and the

specie were drawn from the Bank. In respectable bystanders, from the violence Manchester placards appeared in the of the mob. The last-named nobleman, windows : “Notice-No taxes paid till whose courage and determination the Reform Billis passed;" and a petition throughout the contest had marked

signed by 25,000 persons was speedily him out for vengeance, was struck got up, calling on the Commons to stop senseless from his horse by showers of the supplies till this was done. Even stones at the gate of the Palace, amidst Lord Milton, now Earl Fitzwilliam, cries of“ Murder bim-cut his throat!" desired the tax-gatherer, who happened Greater tumult marked the provinces. to call upon him at this time, to call The terrible Bristol riots were accom- again a week after, as“ he was not panied by others at Derby, Bath, Wor. certain that circumstances might not cester, Coventry, &c. At Liverpool, arise which would oblige bim to resist Glasgow, Edinburgh, Manchester, payment. “ Three groans for the Leeds, Paisley, Sheffield, and all the

Queen !" was the common termination great towns, meetings attended by of public meetings; and attempts were thirty or forty thousand persons were made to seduce the Scots' Greys, then held, at which the most violent lan

stationed at Birmingham. “The leaders guage was used, and the most revolu.

of the political unions,” says Alison, tionary ensigns were exhibited. From

“were quite prepared to embark in a civil his windows in Holyrood, Charles X. war. And although it is not yet known gazed on a scene in the King's park of how far these frantic designs were Edinburgh which recalled the opening countenanced by persons in authority, events of the French revolution ; and

it was proved at the trial of Smith a speaker at the Newcastle meeting, in O'Brien, in 1848, that at this period allusion to Marie-Antoinette, reminded

questions of a very sinister kind were the sovereign that “ a fairer head than

put to a distinguished officer at Man. Adelaide's had ere this rolled on the

chester, by a person in the confidence scaffold." A majority,” says Roe- of a late Cabinet Minister.” Those buck, "of the wealthy, intelligent, who remember the disclosures respect. and instructed, as well as the poor ing . T. Y. of the Home Office” will and laborious millions, had now re- think this a very mild comment upon solved to have the Reform Bill. They the seditious proceedings of the Whig had resolved to have it, if possible by leaders. Roebuck, the Whig annalist peaceable means, but if that were not

of this period, says :possible, BY FORCE.”

After a brief recess, Parliament re- " The violence of the language employed assembled in December ; and in April by persons intimately connected with the 1832, the Reform Bill again reached

Whig chiess, the furious proposals of newsthe House of Lords. Although the se

papers known to speak the sentiments and

wishes of the Cabinet, all conspired to make cond reading was carried, after several

the country believe that, if an insurrection nights' debate, at seven o'clock in the

were to break out, it would be headed by the morning of the 13th, by a majority of

Whig leaders, and sanctioned by the general 9, an important amendment was soon

acquiescence of the immense majority of the afterwards carried against the ministry Whig party. The consequence was, that a by a majority of 45. Ministers there. very large proportion of the more ardent

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Reformers throughout the country were pre- the Reform Bill, and the era of its pared to resist, and civil war was, in fact, passing. It is graphic, succinct, and thus rendered far more probable than was masterly in no ordinary degree, - the ever really intended by those who were using

scene shifting, by turns, from the the popular excitement as a means whereby

Court to Parliament, and from Parliathey were to be reinstated in office. Had

ment to the public, while the narrathe opposition peers stood firm, and had Lord

tive sets forth, now the state of opinion, Grey retired without having exercised the

and now the condition of the country. power confided to him by the King, the Whig party would at once and for ever

The chapter, which is marked through. have been set aside ; a bolder race of poli- out by an impartiality of statement ticians would have taken the lead of the and colouring which is peculiar to this people, civil war would have been dared, and great historian, closes with a series of the House of Lords, possibly the throne reflections upon the true tendencies of itself, would have been swept away in the the Reform Bill, as viewed not merely tempest that would thus have been raised.

in the light of theory, but by the light Fortunately for the fame of Lord Grey and

of facts. It is needless to shut our the Chancellor, fortunately for the happiness

eyes to the circumstance, that the of England, the practical good sense of the Duke of Wellington extricated the nation

question of Reform, however tempofrom the terrible difficulty into which the

rarily postponed by the war, will, ere Administration and the House of Lords had long, be re-introduced into Parliament, brought it.”

and again form an exciting theme of

discussion throughout the country. In In point of fact the Duke, whose such circumstances, it is well to see sole and simple-hearted desire was to what are the deliberate opinions on the serve his King and his country at any subject of so eminent an authority as cost to himself, finding it impossible our author. to form a Government, and urged by The obvious advantage of the passing the King to save him from swamping of the Reform Bill, justly remarks Sir the Upper House by a creation of A. Alison, is, that it has established Peers in the Liberal interest

the Government of this country upon sure which the Whig leaders insisted a greatly firmer basis. It is one thing upon-used his influence to induce a to weaken the rule of two or three number of Peers to absent theniselves hundred aristocratic or millionaire at the third reading of the bill, which holders of seats (through the old noby this means was carried by 106 to mination boroughs) in the House of 22. On 7th June, accordingly, this Commons; it is another and very dif. celebrated bill became law; but the ferent thing to overthrow the sway of King testified bis disapprobation, if nine hundred thousand electors, really not of the bill, at least of the means and practically wielding the powers of adopted by his ininisters to carry it, Governınent, and embracing in their by positively refusing to give the royal ranks those who would have been the assent in person, and it was done by most formidable leaders of revolution. comunission.

Accordingly, the frequent conspiracies By the light of the four volumes of which took place between 1815 and Sir A. Alison's new history, we have 1830, and which aimed at overturning endeavoured to set forth the just and the Government by violence, have been fundamental grounds wbich existed for almost unknown since the Reform Bill Parliamentary Reforin, in the growth passed: even the terrible storm of reof new sections of the population, dis- volution in 1848, which shook every tinct from, and in many respects op- throne on the Continent, failed to posed to, the landed interest, which en- shake the steady fabric of the British joyed an ascendancy under the old ré. monarchy: The risk now is of an. gime,—as well as the wide-spread and other kind. “ There is comparatively fong.continued misery in the nation, little danger now," says our author, which, by producing a morbid desire “ that our frame of government, restfor change, carried Reform beyond its ing on the basis of so numerous and just limits, and after bringing the influential a mass of electors, will be country to the verge of civil war, con- overthrown by a violent convulsion; verted the work of renovation into one but great that one portion of these of revolution. No section of Sir A. electors, having the majority, may Alison's work is better written or more use their power to advance their own deserving of attention than the long interests, without any regard to the chapter in his new volume devoted to effect their measures may have upon

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those of the minority of the electors, Commons are returned by urban conor the immense majority of the unre- stituencies, in wbich the predominant presented portion of the community." class is composed of men paying un

This is true; but, before going fur. der £20 of rent: so that the supreme ther, let us see what class has the supre- power in the State has fallen (as is macy under the present régime. In the always the case in a uniform system of House of Commons, as it now stands, representation) into the possession of there are 405 borough members, and the lowest segment of the enfranchised only 253 for counties. Now, by last population. census, it appears that the urban and Next, who are those £10 and £20 rural sections of the population were voters who thus give the tone to our just equal, each being ten and a half legislation ? The great majority of millions; and the landed interest pays them are shopkeepers, and the rest seven-tenths of the income tax; so are clerks or operatives, for the that in point of numbers it is equal to most part enjoying fixed salaries. the urban classes, while in point of The class, in truth, is one whose inteproperty possessed and taxes paid, it rests are peculiarly those of consumers, is considerably superior to them. Yet as opposed to producers. With shopthe counties possess less than two-fifths keepers the

great desire naturally is, of the representation of the country! to have the price of the articles in which This is one blemish of the Reform Bill. they deal lowered, in order that they But the “ urban classes ” is a wide may transact more business; and in term, embracing the manufacturing, this they are joined by all those (a the commercial, and shopkeeping por. large class in old and wealthy comtions of the community; - let us see munities) who enjoy a fixed income with what section of this town-popula. from Government or other situations, tion the supremacy in the constituen- or in the form of annuities, or as the cies rests. • Experience has now interest of their money.

The interests ascertained,” says our author, “ what of these two classes lead them to try at the time was far from being antici. to cheapen everything, in order that pated, that two-thirds of the consti. the one inay turn over more goods, and tuents in the boroughs are persons oc- the other get more for his fixed money cupying premises, for the most part income; so that the aim of their legisshops, rated from £10 to £20."* Thus, lation is to beat down the cost of proupwards of three-fifths of the House of duction; that is to say, the wages

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1530

As this is a most important fact, a knowledge of which cannot fail to influence opinion when the Reform question is again revived, we shall quote the note which Sir A. Alison appends to his statement :—"The author is enabled to speak with confidence on this point, from having presided for twenty years in the Registration Court of Lanarkshire, which includes Glasgow, and where there have never been less than two thousand, sometimes as many as six thousand, claims for enrolment in each year. From his own observation, as well as the opinion of the most experienced agents whom he consulted on the point, he arrived at the conclusion that the majority of every urban constituency is to be found among persons paying a rent for houses or shops, or the two together, between £10 and £20, and a decided majority below £25. But in order to make sure of the point, he has examined his note-book of cases enrolled this year (1853), and he finds that they stood thus for the burgh of Glasgow :

Total claims
Enrolled on rents between £10 and £20
Above £20, and all other classes
Rejected

1530 “ As Glasgow contains within itself a larger number of warehouses, manufactories, and shops at very high rents-varying from £5 to £1,500 a year—than any other town, except the metropolis, in the empire, this may be considered as proof positive, that over the whole country the majority enrolled on rents below £20 is still more decided. There is no other record but the revising barrister's or registering sheriff's notes of cases which will show where the real majority of voters is to be found. The returns of houses paying the tax beginning at £20 will throw no light on the subject, for the great majority of voters in town3 are enrolled on shops which pay no tax; and even the rating to poor-rates is not a test to be relied on, as it is often made under the real value, and in many boroughs there are no police or other local burdens at all."

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of labour and the profits of the pro- of hostility between the employers and the ducing classes. Thus, cheap bread, employed, which breaks out at times, like at the expense of the agricultural

the flames of a volcano, in ruinous strikes, classes,-cheap sugar and cheap tim- and annually drives above three hundred ber, at the expense of our colonies,

thousand labourers, chiefly rural, into exile. and, generally, no duties upon imports,

In less than a quarter of a century

after the Reform Bill had given them the are the great object of these non-pro

government of the country, the urban shopducing classes, which now direct our

keepers had obtained for themselves an entire legislation. We may add, that as a

exemption from every species of direct taxaconsiderable section of our manufac- tion, and laid it with increased severity upon turers now work entirely for the ex- the disfranchised classes in the State ; while, port trade, and consequently are inde- at the same time, they contrived to shake pendent of the home market and the off all the indirect taxes by which they were well-being of the general community, more immediately affected. They have got they also coincide with the shopkeepers

the window-tax taken oft, and the houseand monied non-producers in desiring

tax from all houses below £20, the line to cheapen everything by free imports,

where the ruling class begins; and when &c., in order that, by keeping wages low,

Lord Derby's Ministry brought forward the

proposal, obviously just, to lower the duty to they may be able to undersell the manu.

£10 houses, they instantly expelled them facturers of other countries. In brief,

from office by a vote of the House of Comthen, the Reform Bill threw the chief

mons. They kept the income-tax for long power of the State into the hands of the at incomes above £150, and now they have lowest segment of the enfranchised po- only brought it down, under the pressure of pulation the £10 and £20 voters; war, to £100 – a line which practically inand has given it to a class (the last de- sures an exemption from that burden to veloped in any country, and antago

nearly the whole of the ruling occupants of nistíc to the producing classes, of

houses below £20; while a tax producing whose prosperity it is a product) whose

now above £10,000,000 a-year is saddled

exclusively upon less than 250,000 persons interest it is to beat down wages and

in the Empire. They have got quit entirely prices by foreign competition, and keep

of the tax on grain, lowered almost to noeverything cheap at home.

thing those on wood and meat, and signally The representative system may work reduced those on tea and sugar and coffee, in very well in a country where the inte- which so large a part of their consumption rests of the different classes of the com- lies; while the direct taxes on the land and munity are identical, or nearly so — higher classes, not embracing above 250,000 where there is no great conflict between persons, have been increased so as now to agriculture and manufactures, or, still

yield above £20,000,000 a-year, or £80 more, between the producing and non

BY EACH PERSON on an average, in income

tax, assessed taxes, and stamps ! producing classes ; but in a country

word, since they got the power, the notlike ours, where the division of labour

ables of England have established a much and diversity of interests is so great,

more entire and unjust exemption, in their the advantages of the representative own favour, from taxation than the notables system, especially as at present consti- in France did before the Revolution tuted, are largely intermixed with evil. rious and instructive circumstance, indicatMark the practical results of the Re- ing how identical men are in all ranks when form Bill, and observe how thoroughly

their interests are concerned, and they obthe legislation of the last twenty

tain power, and the futility of the idea that

the extension of the number of the goveryears has been a class - legislation. 6. The middle classes," observes Sir A.

nors is any security whatever against the Alison, of which this non-producing

establishment of an arbitrary or unjust sys

tem of administration over the governed." section of the urban population constitutes the dominant body

Another great error committed in the

Reform Bill was, that no provision was “ Have made no movement to advance

made for the representation of Labour. farther in the career of reform since they

The great body of labourers both in obtained it; they are satisfied with the

town and country are wholly unreprepower they have got, as well they may, since

sented in the House of Commons. The it has enabled them to rule the State. But

retention of “freemen" in a few great they have set themselves sedulously and

cities cannot be called a representation energetically to improve their victory to their own advantage by fiscal exemptions and le

of labour_it is rather a representation gislative measures; and they have done this of venality and corruption. To beat so eftectually as to have created a sullen state down the remuneration of labour, both

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