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Full text of "A history of England: Division 3 - From A.D. 1688 to A.D. 1885"

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"A HISTORY OF EUROPE, A.D. 476-928," ETC. 


FROM A.D. 1688 TO A.D. 1885. 








1. COMPLETE EDITION, in one vol., $j. 

2. IN TWO PARTS, divided at A.D. 1603. 3*. each. 


DIVISION I. to A.D. 1307. 2s. 

II. A.D. 1307-1688. 25. 

III. A.D. 1688-1885. 2s. 6d. 




XXXII. ANNE. 1702-1714 ... ... ... 461 

XXXIII. THE RULE OF THE WHIGS. 1714-1739 ... 482 


OF BRITAIN. 1739-1760 ... ... 498 


WAR. 1760-1783 ... ... ... ... 532 


ENGLISH PROSPERITY. 1782-1793 ... ... 554 


1789-1802 574 

:XVIII. ENGLAND AND BONAPARTE. 1802-1815 ... 598 

XXXIX. REACTION AND REFORM. 1815-1832 ... ... 633 


XLI. THE DAYS OF PALMERSTON. 1852-1865 ... 673 


XLIII. INDIA AND THE COLONIES. 1815-1885 ... 718 



THE SPANISH NETHERLANDS, 1702 ... ... ... 465 

THE BATTLE OF BLENHEIM ... ... ... ... 467 



THE BATTLE OF QUEBEC ... ... ... ... 528 


SPAIN AND PORTUGAL, 1808-1814 ... ... ... 617 

EUROPE IN 1811-1812 ... ... ... ... 621 

THE BATTLE OF WATERLOO ... ... ... 630 

SEBASTOPOL, 1854 ... ... ... ... ... 686 

INDIA, 1815-1890 ... ... ... ... ... 720 


THE SPANISH SUCCESSION, 1699 ... ... ... .. .457 

THE HOUSE OF STUART ... ... ... ... 481 

( 445 ) 



JAMES II. had believed that by absconding to France he 
would plunge England into anarchy, and leave no constituted 
power behind him. With a childish worship of forms, he flung 
the Great Seal into the Thames as he fled, that no state docu- 
icnt might be issued in due shape. His slow and pedantic 
mind conceived that the nation would be nonplussed by the loss 
of king and seal at once ! 

But Englishmen can always show a wise disregard for 
formulae when it is necessary. Though there was no king to 
summon a Parliament, yet a " Convention " at The Con- 
once met on the invitation of William of Orange. vention. 
It consisted of the peers, and a lower House formed of all 

rviving members of the Commons who had sat under Charles 1 1., 
:ogether with the Aldermen and Common Councillors of London. 

This body, though not a regularly constituted meeting of the 
wo Houses, proceeded to deal at once with the question 
f the succession. There were three alternatives wmiamand 

. . _. . ,. , , Mary to be 

>pen to make the Princess Mary queen in her joint sove . 
father's room, or to crown both her and her reigns, 
msband William, or to declare them merely regents in the 
ibsence of the exiled king. The last alternative commended 
itself to many of the Tories, who still held strong theories about 
the divine right of kings, and were loath to surrender them 
by consenting to a deposition. But when the proposal was 
broached to William of Orange, he answered that he would 
never consent to be the mere locum tenens of his father-in-law. 
He would leave England if nothing more than the power of 

446 England after the Revolution. 

regent were granted him. It was then proposed that the 
Princess Mary should be queen regnant ; but this too the 
prince refused he would not become his wife's servant and 
minister. When the Tories showed signs of insisting on this 
project, William began to make preparations for returning to 
Holland. This brought the Convention to reason ; they knew 
that they could not get on for a moment without the prince's 
guiding hand. Accordingly they were constrained to take the 
third course, and to offer the crown to William and Mary, as 
joint sovereigns with equal rights. No one spoke a word for 
Mary's infant brother, the Prince of Wales : not only was he 
over-seas in France, but most men believed him to be no true 
son of James II. 

Before the throne was formally offered to William and Mary, 
the Convention proceeded to draw up the famous Declaration of 

The Decia- Rights. This document contained a list of the main 

ration of principles of the constitution which had been 
violated by James II., with a statement that they 
were ancient and undoubted rights of the English people. It 
stigmatised the powers claimed by the late king to dispense with 
or suspend laws as illegal usurpations. It stated that every 
subject had a right to petition the king, and should not be 
molested for so doing an allusion to the case of the seven 
bishops. It stipulated for the frequent summoning of Parlia- 
ments, and for free speech and debate within the two Houses. 
The raising and maintenance of a standing army without the 
permission of Parliament was declared illegal. In a clause 
recalling the most famous paragraph of Magna Carta, it was 
stated that all levying of taxes or loans without the consent of 
the representatives of the nation was illegal. The Declaration 
then proceeded to provide for the succession : William and 
Mary, or the survivor of them, were first to rule ; then any 
children who might be born to them. If Mary died childless, 
the Princess Anne and her issue were to inherit her sister's 
rights. Finally, any member of the royal house professing 
Romanism, or even marrying a Romanist, was to forfeit all claim 
to the crown. The Declaration was afterwards confirmed and 
made permanent as the " Bill of Rights." 

William and Mary swore to observe the Declaration, and were 
proclaimed on February 13, 1689, after an interregnum which 

1689. The Coalition against Lewis XIV. 447 

had lasted two months since the flight of James II. to 

The new king and queen were not a well-matched pair, though, 
owing to Mary's amiable and tactful temper, they agreed better 
than might have been expected. The queen was character of 
lively, kind-hearted, and genial, well loved by all William, 
who knew her. William was a morose and unsociable invalid, 
who only recovered his spirits when he left the court for the 
camp. In spite of his .wretched health, he was a keen soldier, 
and had the reputation of being one of the best, if also one of 
the most unlucky, generals of his time. His talent chiefly 
showed itself in repairing the consequences of his defeats, 
which he did so cleverly that his conquerors seldom drew any 
advantage from their success. In private life William was 
cold, suspicious, and reticent. He reserved his confidence for 
his Dutch friends, openly saying that the English, who had 
betrayed their natural king, could not be expected to be true to 
a foreigner. He knew that he was a political necessity for 
them, and nothing more. Hence he neither loved them nor 
expected them to love him. 

William had expelled his father-in-law, not from a disinterested 
wish to put down his tyranny, nor merely from zeal against 
Romanism, but because he wished to see England wiiiiam and 
drawn into the great European alliance against ^ewis xiv. 
France, which it was his life's work to build up.) He had spent 
all the days of his youth in opposing the ambition of the bigoted 
Lewis XIV., and all his thoughts were directed towards the 
construction of a league of states strong enough to keep the 
French from the Rhine. For Lewis was set on annexing the 
Spanish Netherlands, the Palatinate, and the duchy of Lorraine, 
so as to bring his frontier up to the great river. He had 
already made several steps towards securing his end, by seizing 
Alsace, the Franche Comtd, and part of Flanders. If William 
had not hindered him, he would probably have accomplished 
his whole desire. But the Prince of Orange had induced the 
old enemies Spain and Holland to combine, and had enlisted 
the Emperor Leopold of Austria in his league. With the aid 
of England he thought that Lewis could be crushed beyond a 

On the 1 3th of May, 1689, William had his wish, for England 

448 England after the Revolution. 

declared war on Lewis. It was already made inevitable by 

-war with t ^ ie con ^uct of the French monarch, who had 
France not only received the fugitive James, but had lent 
re * him men and money to aid him in recovering 
his lost realms. 

But William was not to be able to divert the strength of 
England into the continental war quite so soon as he had 
expected. He was forced to fight for his new crown for nearly 
two years, before he was able to turn off again to lead the 
armies of the coalition against Lewis. 

The proclamation of William and Mary proved the beginning 
of new troubles both in England, Scotland, and Ireland. In 
En&iish opposi- England things were not serious : a certain portion 

tion. The of the Tory party declined to accept William as 
king, though they had been ready to take him as 
regent. For refusing to take the oath of allegiance to him, 
Archbishop Sancroft the hero of the trial of the seven bishops 
four other prelates, and four hundred clergy had been removed 
from their preferments. Some Tory laymen of scrupulous con- 
science gave up their offices. But these " Non-jurors," as they 
were called, made no open resistance, though many of them 
began to correspond secretly with the exiled king. 

In Scotland, the crisis was far more serious. Both Charles 
II. and James II. had governed that realm with an iron hand. 

Scotland - They had P laced tne rule of the land in tne hands 
career of of the Scottish Episcopalians, who formed a very 

ciaverhouse. smaU m i nor i ty o f tne nation. The Covenanters 
had been sternly repressed, and their ineffective rising, ending 
in the fight of Bothwell Brig, had been put down with the most 
rigorous harshness.* When James was overturned, the perse- 
cuted Presbyterians rose in high wrath, and swept all his friends 
out of office. They followed the example of the English in 
offering the crown to William and Mary, and began to revenge 
their late oppression by very harsh treatment of their former 
rulers, the Scottish Episcopalians. But James II. had a 
following in Scotland ; though not a very large one, it had an 
exceedingly able man at its head John Graham of Ciaverhouse, 
Viscount Dundee, who had commanded the royal forces in the 
realm for the last ten years. Dundee succeeded in rousing a 
* See p. 433. 

1689. The Battle of Killiecrankie. 449 

number of the Highland chiefs to take arms for James II., not so 
much because they loved the king as because they hated the 
great clan of the Campbells, now, as always, the mainstay of 
the Covenanting interest north of Clyde and Forth. The new 
government collected an army under General Mackay, and 
sent it against Dundee. But the Jacobite leader retired before 
it till Mackay's men had pushed up the long and narrow pass of 
Killiecrankie. When the Lowland troops were just emerging 
from the northern end of the pass, Dundee fell on from an 
ambush. The wild rush of his Highlanders swept away the 
leading battalions,* and Mackay's entire force fled in disgrace- 
ful rout back to Dunkeld. The Jacobite general, however, fell 
in the moment of victory, and when his strong and able hand 
was removed, the rebel clans dropped asunder, and ceased to 
endanger the stability of William's throne (June 17, 1689). 
The insurrection, however, continued to linger on in the remoter 
recesses of the Highlands for two years more. 

In Ireland the struggle was far longer and more bitter than 
in Scotland. In that country the old quarrel between the 
natives and the English settlers broke out under Ireland _ Tyr 
the new form of loyalty to James or William. In connei and the 
the time of Charles II., the old Irish or Anglo- catholic army. 
Irish proprietors had been restored to about one-third of the 
lands from which they had been evicted by the Cromwellian 
settlement of 1652. They hoped, now that they had a king of 
their own faith, to recover the remaining two-thirds from the 
English planters. From the moment of his accession, James 
had done his best for the Irish Romanists. He had decreed 
the revocation of Cromwell's settlement, he had rilled all 
places of trust and emolument with natives, and had raised an 
Irish army in which no Protestant was admitted to serve either 
as soldier or officer. His Lord-Deputy was Talbot, Earl of 
Tyrconnel, a violent and unscrupulous man, who was prepared 
to go even further than his master in the direction of suppressing 

f w hen the news of the landing of William of Orange at 
[Cilliecrankie was interesting, from the military point of view, for the 
)lete victory of men armed with sword and target over regular troops 
ing the musket. In close fight, the latter, for want of an easily fixed 
net, proved inferior. 

450 England after the Revolution. 

Torbay reached Ireland, the Lord-Deputy kept faith with 
James, and began arming the whole nation in his cause, till he 
is said to have had nearly 100,000 undisciplined levies under his 
orders. At the same time he summoned all Protestants in 
Ireland to give up their arms. The English settlers saw that the 
predominance of Tyrconnel and his hordes meant danger to 
themselves, and promptly fled by sea, or took refuge in the few 
towns where the Protestants had a majority, leaving their houses 
and property to be plundered by the Lord-Deputy's " rapparees." 
In Ulster, where they mustered most strongly, they shut them- 
selves up in the towns of Derry and Enniskillen, proclaimed 
William and Mary as king and queen, and sent to implore 
instant aid from England. 

In March, 1689, James II. landed in Ireland, convoyed by a 
French fleet, and bringing a body of French officers, 10,000 
James ii. in stand of arms, and a treasure of ^i 12,000 pounds, 
Dublin. ail given him by Lewis XIV. He found himself 
master of the whole country except Derry and Enniskillen, and 
promptly ordered the siege of these places to begin. He 
summoned a Parliament to meet in Dublin, and there undid, 
so far as words and acts could do, all the doings of the English 
in Ireland for the last two centuries. The Irish peers and 
commons voted the resumption by the old native houses of 
all the lands confiscated by Elizabeth, James I., and Cromwell. 
They made Romanism the established religion of the land, and 
declared Ireland completely independent of the English Parlia- 
ment. All this was natural and excusable enough ; but a 
bloodthirsty act of attainder followed, condemning to death as 
traitors no less than 2500 Protestant peers, gentry, and clergy, 
who had either declared for William, or at. least refused to join 

This made the civil war an affair of life and death, since the 
Protestants of Derry and Enniskillen dared not surrender when 
siege of Derry thev knew thev would be treated as convicted 

andEnnis- traitors. Hence it came that both places held out 
with desperate resolution, though help was long 
in coming from England. Derry held out unsuccoured for 105 
days (April to August, 1689) till it was relieved by a small 
fleet, which burst the boom that the Irish had thrown across 
Loch Foyle, and brought food to the starving garrison. The 

1690. The Battle of the Boyne. 45 1 

Protestants of Enniskillen saved themselves by an even more 
desperate exhibition of courage. Sallying out of their town, 
they beat the force that blockaded them at the battle of 
Newtown Butler (August 2, 1689), and drove them completely 

In spite of these successes, the Ulstermen must have been 
crushed if the long-expected English army had not begun to 
cross the channel. But in October a force at last appeared in 
Down, under the Duke of Schomberg, a veteran French officer 
in the service of William. Schomberg had been expelled from 
the French army for refusing to become a Romanist, and 
devoted the last years of his life to a crusade against the bigoted 
Lewis XIV., who had driven him from home and office for 
religion's sake. 

Through the winter of 1689, the Irish and English faced each 
other in Ulster without coming to a decisive engagement. But 
in the spring of 1690, William arrived in person wmiam lands 
with large reinforcements, and began to advance m Ireland, 
on Dublin with an army of 35,000 men. 

James had done but little to strengthen his position during 
the eighteen months that Ireland had been in his hands. His 
army was still half trained and unpaid. He had caused untold 
distress to all classes by issuing a forced currency of copper 
crowns and shillings, which his creditors were compelled to 
accept or incur the charge of treason. His councillors, English 
and Irish, were quarrelling fiercely. His troops were unwisely 
dispersed, so that on the news of William's approach he found 
himself unable to concentrate them in time. 

He gathered, however, some 30,000 men, of whom 6000 were 
French, and took up a strong position behind the river Boyne, 
to cover Dublin. In this position he was attacked TheBattieof 
by William, whose troops forded the river and the Boyne. 
charged up the opposite slope. The Irish cavalry fought well 
enough, but many regiments of their undisciplined infantry 
broke and fled after a few discharges. The wreck of the 
Jacobite army was only saved by the French auxiliaries, who 
stubbornly defended the pass of Duleek till the fugitives had 
got away (July I, 1690). 

James seemed panic-stricken by the result of the battle of the 
Boyne. Abandoning Dublin without firing a shot, he fled in 

452 England after the Revolution. leoi. 

craven haste and took ship for France. His deserted followers, 

Ireland sub- however, made a long and gallant resistance 

pScationof in the West. William returned to England, 

Limerick." leaving his army under the Dutch general Ginckel 
to subdue Connaught and Munster (September, 1690). The 
task proved harder than had been expected ; Ginckel was 
unable to move till the next spring for want of food and 
transport. He forced the line of the Shannon by storming 
Athlone in June, 1691, but did not break the back of the Irish 
resistance till he had won the well-fought battle of Aughrim, 
scattered the army of Connaught, and slain its commander, the 
French marshal St. Ruth. Even after this decisive fight, 
Limerick held out for nearly three months. It surrendered on 
October 3, 1691, on terms which permitted the Irish army to 
take ship for France, and 11,000 men passed over-seas to serve 
Lewis XIV. At the same time, the representatives of William 
signed the " Pacification of Limerick," which granted an amnesty 
to all Irish who did not emigrate, and stipulated that they 
should be left unmolested in possession of the very limited civil 
and religious rights that they had enjoyed under Charles II. 

These terms were broken in a most faithless manner by the 
Irish Parliament, now entirely in the hands of the victorious 
The Protestant Protestant minority, only a few years after they 

ascendency. ^ad ^ een s ig ne( j (1697). By a new penal code 
that body prohibited Romanists from practising as lawyers, 
physicians, or schoolmasters, took away from them the right 
of sitting in Parliament, made marriages of Protestants and 
Romanists illegal, banished all monks and all clergy except 
registered parish priests from the realm, and prohibited any 
Romanist from possessing arms. But their worst device was a 
cruel scheme for promoting conversions, by a law which gave any 
son of a Romanist who abjured his religion, the right to succeed 
to all his father's property, to the exclusion of his unconverted 
brothers and sisters. Under this harsh code the Irish groaned 
for a whole century, but they had been so crushed by William's 
blows that they never rose in rebellion again till 1798. 

The whole of Ireland was subdued ere the spring of 1692 
began. A month later occurred the cruel deed which marked 
the final end of the revolt in the Scottish Highlands. The 
wrecks of Dundee's followers had been scattered at the skirmish 

1692 The Massacre of Glencoe. 453 

of Cromdale in 1690. But a few chiefs still refused their 
submission. William proclaimed that there should be an 
amnesty for all who surrendered before January i, 1692. This 
opportunity was taken by all the Highlanders, save Macdonald 
of Glencoe, a petty chief of 200 families in Argyleshire. He 
made his submission a few days later than the appointed time. 
Lord Stair, the Secretary of State for Scotland, prevailed upon 
William to give him leave to make an example of Macdonald 
and his tribe. A regiment was sent to Glencoe, and courteously 
received by the chief, who thought his tardy submission had 
brought him impunity. But, obeying their orders, the soldiery 
fell at midnight upon their unsuspecting hosts, shot Macdonald 
and all the men they could catch, and drove the survivors out 
of their valley. This cold-blooded outrage was sanctioned by 
William, but only because he had been carefully kept in ignor- 
ance of the fact that Macdonald had submitted a few days after 
the appointed date. 

While the Irish war had been in progress, important events 
had been taking place nearer home. The war on the continent 
had proved indecisive, though if either party had The 
a slight advantage, it was the French. Even at ~ 

sea the fleets of Lewis at first gained some 
successes, mainly owing to the culpable slackness of the English 
admiral, Lord Torrington. His negligence treachery would 
perhaps be the more appropriate word was only a symptom of 
a very wide-spread spirit of disloyalty among the Tory party. 
Many persons had not got out of the Revolution the private 
advantages for which they had hoped. William III. had 
endeavoured to hold an equal balance between the English 
parties, but could not wholly conceal his suspicions of the 
Tories and his private preference for the Whigs. In con- 
sequence, some of those who had been foremost in expelling 
James II., now began to intrigue with him, and expressed a 
more or less real sympathy with his plans for recovering his 
crown. Among these traitors were the best sailor and the best 
soldier thaT~lLiigland owned, Admiral Russell, who succeeded 
Torrington in command of the Channel fleet, and John 
Churchill the .Marlborough of later days who had been 
appointed commander of the English troops whom William had 
taken to the continent. It is some palliation to their guilt that 

454 England after the Revolution. 1692. 

they neither of them actually did desert William in the 
moment of trial, but both were undoubtedly guilty of habitual 
.correspondence with the enemy. Churchill even descended S75 
far into the depths of baseness as to send secret intelligence of 
William's plans to the French though, with characteristic 
duplicity, he sent them too late to be of any use. 

How much these secret protestations of loyalty to James 

meant, was shown in 1692 by the event of the battle of La 

The battle of Hogue. The French king had collected an army 

iLa Hogue. j n Normandy to invade England, and ordered up 
his ships from Brest to convoy it, relying on the promise of 
Russell that he would bring over the Channel fleet. But when 
the squadron of De Tourville came in sight, the admiral 
promptly attacked it. Either the spirit of fighting had over- 
come him, or compunction for his treachery smote him at the 
last moment. At any rate, he fell briskly upon the French 
whose squadron was much inferior in numbers destroyed 
twelve ships, and completely scattered the rest. This victory 
gained Russell a very undeserved peerage, and saved England 
from all danger of a French invasion or a Jacobite rising 
(May 19, 1692). 

Meanwhile the armies of Lewis XIV. and William were 

contending obstinately in the Netherlands, without any marked 

success on either side. William was opposed by 

Netherlands, a general as able as himself in Marshal Luxem- 

1692-1695. bourgj and met his usual m j uck in the fidd> He 

was defeated at two great pitched battles, Steenkerke (August, 
1692), and Landen (July, 1693), yet after each engagement he 
made such a formidable front, that the enemy gained nothing by 
his victory, and hardly won a foot of ground in the Spanish 
Netherlands. At each of these fights the English troops were 
in the thick of the fray, and justified by their conduct the 
anxiety that William had always shown to have England on 
his side. Yet Churchill, their best general, was not leading 
them ; he had been deservedly disgraced in 1692, when his 
intrigues with James II. were discovered. When at last the 
fortune of war began to turn in favour of the allies (mainly 
owing to the death of William's great opponent, Marshal 
Luxembourg), it was again the English troops who got the 
chief credit in the one great success of the king's military life 

1697. The Peace of Ryswick. 455 

the storm of Namur. When that great fortress, whose lofty 
citadel, overhanging the Meuse, was the strongest place in 
Belgium, was taken by assault in the very face of a French 
army of 80,000 men, it was the English infantry, under Lord 
Cutts, who forced their way into the breaches and compelled 
Marshal Boufflers to surrender (August, 1695). 

After the fall of Namur the war languished: the King of 
France saw his resources wasting away, and, in spite of all his 
efforts, had utterly failed to conquer the Nether- The treaty of 
lands, though his armies had been somewhat yswick. 
more successful in Italy and Spain. He finally consented to 
treat for peace, which, after long negotiations, was at last secured 
by the treaty of Ryswick (rfiqvV^ This was the first occasion on 
which the ambitious and grasping king had to own defeat. Making 
terms with England^Holland, Spain, and Austria, he surrendered 
all that he had gained since 1678, with the single exception of /, 
the .town of Strasburg. He was also compelled to recognize * 
William as the lawful King of England, though he refused to 
expel James II. and his family from their asylum at St. Germains, 
where they had been dwelling since 1691. 

English domestic politics during the time of the struggle with 
Lewis XIV. had presented a shameful spectacle. It is difficult 
to say whether the Whigs or the Tories disgraced English 
themselves the more, by their factious violence and factions, 
treacherous intrigues. In all her history Britain has never 
known such a sordid gang of self-seeking, greedy, and de- 
moralized statesmen, as the generation who had been reared in 
the evil times of Charles II. Danby, the corrupt old Tory 
minister of 1674; Sunderland, the renegade tool of James II.; 
the traitors Russell and Churchill, were typical men of the day. 
The party warfare of Whig and Tory was prosecuted by dis- 
graceful personalities impeachments for corruption, embezzle- 
ment, or treacherous correspondence with France ; and, to the 
shame of England, the accusations were generally true. Even 
the unamiable William III. appears a comparatively dignified 
and sympathetic figure among these squalid intriguers. We can- 
not wonder that he disliked and distrusted Englishmen, when 
those with whom he had most to do were such a crew of 
sharpers and hypocrites. For eight years he contrived to 
combine Tories and Whigs in his ministry, an extraordinary 

456 England after the Revolution. ie9e. 

testimony to his powers of management, and to his subjects' 
blind love of office. His own troubles were constant and galling ; 
not only was he abused by both political parties for his modera- 
tion, but he was openly accused of favouritism and even of 
corruption. His very life was not safe : a conspiracy formed by 
some extreme Tories and Jacobites, headed by a member of 
Parliament named Sir John Fenwick, came to light in 1696, 
which was found to involve a plot to shoot the king as he was 
on his way to hunt in Richmond Park. When the conspirators 
were arrested and examined, evidence came to hand which 
proved that half the statesmen in England had been corre- 
sponding with James II., though it is true that no one of 
importance had been implicated in the actual assassination plot. 
It is no wonder that William grew yet more sour and cold as 
the years passed over his head. He had lost his bright and 
able wife, Queen Mary, on December 28, 1694, and after her 
death he felt himself more than ever a stranger in England. If 
only the political exigencies of his situation would have allowed 
it, he would have preferred to return to Holland for good. 

Only two successful political experiments emerged from the 
faction-ridden times of William III. The first was the reform 

Reform of f ^ e coinage in 1695, when the clipped and 

the coinage.- worn money of the Tudors and Stuarts was 

England honestly redeemed by the government for new 

founded. an( j g 00 d pieces in earlier days the state had 

always cheated the public on the occasion of a recoinage. The 

other was the establishment of the Bank of England in 1694. 

This excellent device was intended to give the nation a solid 

and solvent bank, provided with a government guarantee, that 

should be above the dangers of fraud and ill luck which render 

private banks dangerous to the investor. At the same time, in 

return for the grant of the government guarantee, the new 

Bank of England contracted to lend the state money, and took 

over the management of the National Debt, then a small matter 

of a very few millions. 

The peace which followed the treaty of Ryswick lasted for 

four uneasy years only. The old war had hardly ceased before 

The Spanish a n ew trouble began to appear on the horizon. 

succession. This was thc vexed question of the Spanish 

Succession. The reigning king of Spain, Charles II., was a 


The Spanish Succession. 


hypochondriacal invalid. His next of kin was his eldest sister, 
Maria Theresa, who had wedded Lewis XIV. ; her son, the 
Dauphin, would have been the natural heir to Spain, if his 
mother had not executed on her marriage a deed of renunciation 
of her rights of succession. After the Dauphin, the nearest 
relative of Charles II. was his younger sister Margaret, the 
wife of the Emperor Leopold I. ; but the rights of this princess 
and her daughter, Maria Antonia, were also barred by a 
renunciation, made when she married the Emperor. Next in 
the family came Leopold himself, as the son of an aunt of 
Charles II., who had made no such engagement at her espousals. 
The question turned on the validity of the renunciations made 
by the two infantas. Lewis XIV. said that his wife's agreement 
was worthless, because no one can sign away the rights of their 
heirs. Yet the document had been solemnly sanctioned by the 
Cortes, the Spanish Parliament. The Emperor stood out for the 
validity of the document, and urged, not the claims of his 
Bavarian daughter, who had also been the victim of her mother's 
renunciation, but his own right as grandson of Philip III. 

The real difficulty of the situation lay in the fact that all 
Europe viewed with dismay the union of Spain and France, 
and was very little better pleased at the idea of the union of 
Spain and the Empire. The Spanish dominions were still so 
broad and so wealthy, that they would throw out the balance of 



I HI., 
I Emperor. 


Maria = 



= Lewis XIV. Mar 
of France. 

is, Maximilian = 
e of 
)hin. Bavaria. 

garet = 

= Ma 

" Bavai 

= Leopold, = 


=. Eleanor 

I I 
sephl., Charles, 
nperor. Archduke. 


Lewis, Philip, 
uke of Burgundy. Duke of Anjou. 

Joseph o: 

458 England after the Revolution. 1099. 

power in Europe, if they were united to any other large state. 
For Charles II. reigned not only over Spain, but in Belgium, 
in Milan, Naples, Sicily, and Sardinia, and over the rich 
Spanish colonies in Mexico, the West Indies, South America, 
and the Malay Archipelago. 

While Charles II. was slowly sinking into his grave, all his 
heirs were busily engaged in discussing the changes that must 
The first Par- follow his decease. Both Lewis and the Emperor 
tition Treaty. saw t ^ at ft wou id b e unwise to claim Spain for 
themselves, therefore the French king named his youngest 
grandson, Philip, Duke of Anjou, as his representative, while 
the Austrian passed on his personal claims to his younger son, 
the Archduke Charles. They then arrived at an agreement 
that neither Philip nor Charles should have Spain itself, but 
that each should have compensation for resigning his full claim 
the archduke was to take Milan, Duke Philip Naples and 
Sicily. Meanwhile Spain, Belgium, and the Indies were to go 
to the young Prince of Bavaria, the one claimant who was 
unobjectionable to all Europe ; a secret treaty to this effect 
was signed, and carefully kept from the knowledge of the 
Spaniards, to whom it would have been very offensive, as taking 
away their obvious right to choose their own king. England and 
Holland, however, were both made consenting parties to the 
treaty, of which William III. fully approved. 

But in 1699 the young Prince of Bavaria died, leaving no 
brother or sister to succeed to his claim. The whole matter 
The secondPar- f the succession was again thrown into confusion, 
tition Treaty. But after long negotiation, Lewis XIV. agreed to 
permit the Archduke Charles to become King of Spain, if he 
were himself bought off with Naples, Sicily, and Milan. 

But this compromise was never to come into operation. The 

news of it got abroad and reached Spain. Both Charles II. 

Last will and anc ^ ^is people were much enraged at seeing their 

death of empire parcelled out by foreigners without their 

Charles n. own consent. Rousing himself on his very death- 
bed, the king solemnly declared Philip of Anjou his heir in the 
whole of the Spanish possessions, and expired immediately 
after (1700). 

The temptation to accept the legacy of King Charles, and to 
claim Spain and the Indies for his grandson, was too much 

1700. The Ad of Settlement. 


for Lewis XIV. In spite of the elaborate engagements with the 
Emperor Leopold to which he had plighted his Philip of Anjou 
faith, he resolved to snatch at the prize. If Spain, King of Spain. 
Belgium, and half Italy fell into his grandson's hands, he 
thought that the house of Bourbon must give the law to the 
whole of Europe. Accordingly, the Duke of Anjou was allowed 
to accept the Spanish throne when the Cortes offered it to him, 
and was proclaimed king as Philip V. 

This was bound to lead to war. Austria could not brook 
the breach of faith, Holland and the minor German states could 
not tolerate the idea of seeing the Spanish Nether- wmiam's war 
lands falling into the hands of a French prince, policy opposed 
But if unaided by England, it was doubtful if the by the Tories ' 
powers of Central Europe could face the united force of France 
and Spain. It was now all-important to know whether England 
would join them. William III. was eager to renew his old 
crusade against French aggression, but the English Parliament 
and people were far less certain of their purpose. The Tories, 
who were now dominant in Parliament, had of late been carping 
at every act of the king ; they had cut down his revenue, forced 
him to reduce the standing army to 7000 men, and confiscated 
many estates in Ireland, which had been granted to his friends, 
Dutch and English. While William was dreaming of nothing 
but war, the Tory majority in the Lower House were solely intent 
on the impeachment of the Whig ministers who had been in 
office in 1696-1700, and on regulating the succession to the 
crown after William's death. 

The important act which settled this question had become 
necessary on the death of William's nephew, the little Duke 
of Gloucester, the only surviving son of the The Act ot 
Princess Anne. He was the sole near relative settlement, 
of the king who was not a Romanist, and, lest the crown should 
lapse back to James II. and his heirs, some new measures had 
to be taken. Accordingly the Parliament, Tory though it was, 
voted that the next Protestant heir should succeed on the death 
of William and his sister-in-law, the Princess Anne. This heir 
a granddaughter of James I., the aged Electress Sophia 
of Hanover, the child of Frederic of the Palatinate and his 
wife Elizabeth of England, whose fortunes had moved the 
world so deeply some eighty years back. Her brother's children 

460 England after the Revolution. 1702. 

were all Romanists, and she was therefore preferred to them 
in the Act of Settlement. The crown was ensured to her and 
her heirs, to the prejudice of some dozen persons who stood 
before her in the line of succession.* 

The act also laid down two important constitutional doctrines. 
In future the judges were to hold office quamdiu sebene gesserint, 
not at the king's pleasure, and only to be removable for mis- 
conduct upon an address of both Houses of Parliament. No 
pardon granted by the sovereign was to stand in the way of an 
impeachment by the Commons ; ministers, therefore, would not 
be able to plead that they were irresponsible because the king 
had pardoned them. 

It is very doubtful if the English Parliament would have 

consented to join in an alliance against France, if Lewis XIV. 

had not at this moment indulged in an ill-timed 

Lewis acknow- 

ledges the old act of bravado which seemed especially designed 
pretender. to cast contempt on the Act of Settlement." 

In 1701, the exiled James II. died at St. Germains. Lewis 
at once saluted his heir, the prince born in 1688, as rightful 
King of England, and hailed him by the title of James III. 

The whole English nation was deeply excited and angered 

at this breach of the agreement in the treaty of Ryswick, by 

England de- w hich Lewis had recognized William III. as legiti- 

ciaresforwar mate ruler of Britain. Thus it became easy for 

with France. the ^. tQ ^ t ^ em j nto ^ b reac li with France 

and alliance with the Emperor, which it was his aim to bring 
about. The Whigs got a majority in the new Parliament, which 
met in the winter of 1701-2, and showed themselves enthusiasti- 
cally ready for a war with France. 

Just as his schemes were on the point of success, King 
William was suddenly removed from the scene. He broke his 
Death of collar-bone while out hunting at Hampton Court, 
wniiam. hj s enfeebled constitution could not stand the 
shock, and he expired in a few days (March 8, 1702). But he 
could die in peace. His work had not been wasted ; England 
was committed to the new war, and the ambition of Lewis XIV. 
was to be effectually bridled by the great alliance which William 
left behind him. The lonely and morose invalid regretted but 
little his own release from an existence of pain and toil, when 
he saw that the great aim of his life had been achieved. 

* See genealogical table of the Stuarts on p. 481. 

1702. ( 4 * 



ACCORDING to the provisions of the "Act of Settlement," the 
English crown passed, on the death of William III., to his sister- 
in-law, the Princess Anne, the second daughter Queen Anne 
of James II. The new sovereign was a worthy, *%? 
pipuswpmaiijL of"simple domestic tastes, without Denmark, 
a spark of intelligence or ambition. She was by far the most 
insignificant personage who had ever yet sat upon the throne 
of England. Her husband, Prince George of Denmark, was 
a fit match for her ; he was reckoned the most harmless and 
the most stupid man within the four seas. " I have tried him 
drunk," said the shrewd Charles II., "and I have tried him 
sober, and there is nothing in him." He was the best of hus- 
bands, and always acted as his wife's humble attendant and 
admirer. He and his good-natured, placid, lymphatic spouse 
might possibly have managed a farm ; it seemed almost ludi- 
crous to see them set to manage three kingdoms. 

The worthy Anne was inevitably doomed to fall under the 
dominion of some mind stronger than her own. It was notorious 
to every one that for the last twenty years she had Ascendency 
been managed and governed by her chief lady-in of Lady- 
waiting, Sarah, Lady Churchill, the wife of the 
intriguing general who had betrayed James II. in 1688, and 
William III. in 1692. They had been friends and companions 
from their girlhood, and the imperious Sarah had always had 
the mastery over the yielding Anne. The princess saw with her 
favourite's eyes, and spoke with her favourite's words. Any 
faint symptoms of independence on her part were promptly 

462 Anne. 1702. 

crushed by the hectoring tongue of Lady Churchill, who had 
acquired such an ascendency over her mistress that she per- 
mitted herself the strangest licence, and cowed and deafened 
her by her angry and voluble reproaches. It is only fair to say 
that she exercised almost as great a tyranny over her own 
husband. The suave and shifty genera^ looked upon his wife 
with doting admiration, and yielded a respectful obedience to 
her caprices. 

It is a curious testimony to the survival of the personal power 
of the sovereign in England, that Anne's predilection for the two 
Ministerial Churchills changed the face of domestic politics 
changea on h er accession. During William's life, they 
had been eyed with distrust ; now they became the most impor- 
tant personages in the realm. The queen dismissed most of 
the Whig ministers who had been in power when her brother-in- 
law died, and filled their places with Tories, or rather with 
friends and adherents of Churchill, who, though he called him- 
self a Tory, was in reality a pure self-seeker who cared nothing 
for either party. The chief minister was Lord Godolphin, 
whose son had married Churchill's daughter, as shifty a politician 
as any of his contemporaries. He had long maintained a fruit- 
less intrigue with the exiled Stuarts, but, when he came into 
power, dropped his correspondence with St. Germains, and 
ultimately became a Whig. 

It was fortunate for England that Churchill and Godolphin 
were as clever as they were selfish. Though personally they 
Policy of were mere greedy adventurers, yet their policy was 
churciiiii and the best that could have been found. Churchill's 
Godoiphin. m jiit ar y ambition made him anxious to proceed 
with the war which William III. had begun. The complete 
mastery over the queen which his wife possessed, made him 
firmly resolved to keep Anne on the throne at all costs. Hence 
there was no change either in the foreign or domestic policy of 
England : the new ministry were as much committed to main- 
taining the Protestant succession and the French war as their 
predecessors, though almost every individual among them had 
at one time or another held treasonable communications with 
James II. 

The great alliance, therefore, which William III. had done 
his best to organize, was completed by the Godolphin cabinet. 

1703. The War of the Spanish Succession. 463 

England, Holland, Austria, and most of the smaller states of the 
Empire bound themselves to frustrate the union of completion of 
France and Spain, and to secure the inheritance of ^JjSS** 
Charles II. for his namesake, the Austrian arch- France, 
duke. Portugal and Savoy joined the alliance ere the year was 

On the other side, Lewis XIV. had the support of Spain : for 
the first time for two centuries the Spaniards and French 
were found fighting side by side. Only a small Positlonand 
minority of the people of the Peninsula refused resources of 
to accept Philip of Anjou as their rightful sove- Lewis 
reign, and adhered to the archduke ; this minority consisted of 
the Catalans, the inhabitants of the sea-coast of North- Eastern 
Spain, who had an old grievance against their kings for de- 
priving them of certain local rights and privileges. By reason 
of the Spanish alliance, Lewis started on the war in complete 
military possession of two most important frontier regions, the 
Milanese in Italy, and the whole of the Spanish Netherlands 
(Belgium) in the North. He had also a strong position in 
Germany, owing to the fact that he had secured the alliance of 
those powerful princes, the Elector of Bavaria and the Prince- 
archbishop of Cologne, two brothers of the house of Wittelsbach 
who had an old family grudge against the Emperor. 

War had been declared by England and her allies in 1702, 
but it was not till 1703 that important operations began. They 
were waged simultaneously on four separate theatres the 
Spanish Netherlands, South Germany, North Italy, and Spain. 
It appeared at first as if Lewis XIV. was to be the aggressor ; 
from his points of vantage in Alsace, Milan, Bavaria, and the 
Spanish Netherlands, he seemed about to push forward against 
Holland and Austria. But he had now to cope with two 
generals such as no French army had ever faced the Emperor's 
great captain, Prince Eugdne of Savoy ; and the wary Churchill, 
now, by Queen Anne's favour, commander-in-chief of the English 
and the Dutch armies. 

The first campaign was indecisive, the only considerable 
advantage secured by either side being that Churchill rendered a 
French invasion of Holland impossible, by captur- T he campaign 
ing the north-eastern fortresses of the Spanish oiiTos. 
Netherlands, Venloo and Ruremonde, and by overrunning the 

464 Anne. 1704. 

electorate of Cologne and the bishopric of Liege. On his return 
to England, he was given the title by which he is best known, 
that of Duke of Marlborough. 

Hitherto Churchill had shown himself an able general, but no 
one had taken the true measure of his abilities, or recognized the 

Military fact that he was ^7 far the greatest military man 

genius of that England had ever known. But now the 
Marlborough. jg nom j n j ous political antecedents of Queen Anne's 
favourite were about to be hidden from view by the laurels that he 
was to win. John Churchill, when once he had intrigued his 
way to power, showed that he was well fitted to hold it. As a 
soldier he was the founder of a new pr.h^ 1 ^ <=><* ientific ?trfltpgy. : 
on~the battle-field he was alert and vigorous, but he was greater 
in the operations that precede a battle. He had an unrivalled 
talent for carejul and scientific combinations, by which he would 
deceive and circumvent an enemy, so as to attack him when 
least expected and at the greatest advantage. Where generals 
of an older school would run headlong into a fight and win with 
heavy loss, he would outflank or outmarch his enemy, and 
hustle him out of his positions with little or no bloodshed. On 
one occasion as we shall see he drove an army of 60,000 French 
before him and seized half the duchy of Brabant, without losing 
more than 80 men. Yet when hard blows were necessary he never 
shrank from the most formidable problems, and would lead his 
troops into the hottest fire with a cool-headed courage that won 
every man's admiration. 

Great as were Marlborough's talents as a general, he was 
almost as notable as a riiplnmatisl- ancLadministrator. He had 
^-thc-gifts of a. statesman : suave, affable, patient, 
diploma- and plausible, he was the one personage who could 
tist * keep together the ill-assorted allies who had 
combined to attack Lewis XIV. The Dutch, the Austrians, and 
the small princes of the Empire had such divergent interests that 
it was a hard task to get them to work together. That they were 
kept from quarrelling and induced to combine their efforts was 
entirely Churchill's work. The organization of the allied army 
was in itself no mean problem; the English troops in it formed 
only a quarter or a third of the whole, and to manage the great 
body of Dutch, Prussians, Hanoverians, and Danes, who formed 
the bulk of the host, required infinite tact and discretion. Yet 

as a 


The Battlefields of Belgium. 


2 H 

466 Anne. 1704. 

under Maryborough this motley array never marched save to 
victory, and never failed from lukewarmness or disunion. 

When we recollect all Churchill's intellectual greatness, we are 
more than ever shocked with his moral failings. Not only was 
His avarice he an i ^* ier to the backbone, but he was grossly 
and indecently fo_niJ_o-illC_ney : he levied contri- 
butions on all the public funds that pissed through his hands, 
was open to presents from every quarter, and did not shrink 
from gross favouritism where his interests moved him. 

The first great campaign in which Marlborough showed his 
full powers was that of 1704. When it opened, his army lay on 
the Meuse and Lower Rhine, holding back the 
borough moves French from Holland. But meanwhile Lewis 
to Bavaria. xiy< had pushed f orwar d another army into 
South Germany to join the Bavarians, and their united forces 
held the valley of the Upper Danube, and seriously threatened 
Austria. Seeing that the sphere of decisive action lay in 
Bavaria, and not on the Meuse, Marlborough resolved to 
transfer himself to the point of danger by a rapid march across 
Germany. After with great difficulty persuading the Dutch to 
allow him to move their army eastward, he executed a series of 
skilful feints which led the French to imagine that he was about 
to invade Alsace. But having thoroughly misled them as to his 
intentions, he struck across Wurtemburg by forced marches, and 
appeared in the valley of the Danube. By storming the great forti- 
fied camp of the Bavarians on the Schellenberg, he placed himself 
between the enemy and Austria, and rendered any further advance 
towards Vienna impossible to them. When joined by a small 
Austrian army under Eugdne of Savoy, he found himself strong 
enough to fight the whole force of the French and Bavarians. 

Accordingly he marched to attack them, and found them 
56,000 strong, arrayed in a good position behind a marshy 
The Battle of stream called the Nebel, which falls into the 
Blenheim. Danube near the village of Blenheim. Formid- 
able though their line appeared, Marlborough thought that it 
might be broken. He sent Prince Eugene with 20,000 men to 
keep employed the enemy's left wing, where the Bavarians lay. 
He himself with 32,000 assailed the French marshals Marsin 
and Tallard, who formed the hostile centre and right. On the 
two flanks the Anglo-Austrian army was brought to a standstill 


The Battle of Blenheim. 


opposite the fortified villages of Blenheim and Oberglau, and 
could advance no further. But between them Marlborough 
himself found a weak point, just where the French and Bavarian 
armies joined. He made his men wade through the marshy 
stream, and then directed a series of furious cavalry charges 
against the hostile centre. After a stout resistance it broke, 
and the French and Bavarians were thrust apart. The Elector 
and his men got off without much hurt, for Prince Eugene's 
force had been too much cut up early in the day to be able to 
pursue them. But the enemy's right wing fared very differently : 


Aug. 13, 1704. 

A. Prince Eugene. 

B. Marlborongh. 

C. Lord Cults. 

D. Elector of Bavaria 

E. Mar sin. 

F. Tallard. 

[arlborough's victorious cavalry rolled it up and drove it 

nithward into the Danube. The French had no choice but 

drown or to surrender. Tallard was captured on the river- 

>ank. Eleven thousand men laid down their arms in Blenheim 

tillage when they saw that their retreat was cut off; 15,000 

lore were drowned, slain, or wounded, and not half the Franco* 

ivarian army succeeded in escaping (August 13, 1704). 

This crushing blow saved Austria. The whole of Bavaria fell 

ito Marlborough's hands, the French retired behind the Rhine, 

id for the future Germany was quite safe from the assaults of 

468 Anne. 1705. 

King Lewis. The duke then transferred himself back to the 
Dutch frontier so rapidly that the French had no time to do 
any mischief before his return. Next spring he was again on 
the Meuse, and threatening the Spanish Netherlands on their 
eastern flank. 

It was not in Bavaria alone that the English arms fared 
well in the year 1704. A fleet under Admiral Rooke and a 

Gibraltar sma ll army had been sent to Spain, to help the 
taken by the Catalan malcontents, who were ready to rise in 

English. the name of the Archduke Charles. They were 

foiled before Barcelona, but on their return took by surprise 
the almost impregnable fortress of Gibraltar, a stronghold which 
has remained in English hands ever since. The possession of 
this place, " the Key of the Mediterranean," has proved invalu- 
able in every subsequent war, enabling England to watch, and 
often to hinder, every attempt to bring into co-operation the 
eastern and the western fleets of France and Spain. Cadiz 
cannot communicate with Cartagena, or Toulon with Brest, 
without being observed from Gibraltar, and a strong English 
fleet based on that port can practically close the entrance of 
the Mediterranean. 

In 1705 Marlborough had intended to attack France by the 
valley of the Moselle, but owing to the feeble help given by the 
The campaign Austrians Prince Eugdne had been sent off to 
of 1705. j ta iy h e was conl p e ii e d to try a less adventurous 
scheme in the Spanish Netherlands. The armies of King Lewis, 
now under Marshal Villeroi, had ranged themselves in a long line 
from Antwerp to Namur, covering every assailable point with 
elaborate fortified lines. By a system of skilful feints and 
countermarches, Marlborough broke through the lines with the 
loss of only 80 men, and got possession of the plain of Brabant. 
He would have fought a pitched battle on the field of Waterloo, 
but for the reluctance of the Dutch Government, who wished 
to withdraw their troops at the critical moment, and prevented 
the campaign from being decisive. 

The next spring, however, brought Marlborough his reward. 

When he threatened the great fortress of Namur, Marshal 

1706,-Battie Villeroi concentrated all the French troops in the 

ofRamiiiies. Netherlands, and posted himself on the heights 

of Ramillies to cover the city. Marlborough's generalship was 

1706. The Battle of Ramillies. 469 

never better displayed than in the battle which ensued. 
Threatening the French left wing, he induced Villeroi to con- 
centrate the stronger half of his army on that point. Then 
suddenly changing his order of attack, he flung himself on the 
extreme French right, and had taken Ramillies and stormed 
the heights behind it before Villeroi could hurry back his troops 
to the point of real danger. Each French brigade as it arrived 
was swept away by the advancing allies, and Villeroi lost his 
baggage and guns and half his army. The consequences of 
the fight were even more striking : Brussels, Antwerp, Ghent, 
Bruges, and all Flanders and Hainault fell into Marlborough's 
hands. In the whole of the Spanish Netherlands, Lewis XIV. 
now held nothing but the two fortresses of Mons and Namur. 
The French frontier was laid open on a front of more than 
200 miles. 

While the arms of France were faring so badly in the North, 
they were equally unsuccessful in the South. On September 6th 
of the same year, Prince Eugdne and the Duke of French re- 
Savoy routed the French army of Italy in front verses in Italy 
of Turin ; in consequence of this battle the generals Lewis P xrv7 
of Lewis were obliged to evacuate the Milanese suesforpeace. 
and Piedmont, and to retire behind the Alps. At -the same 
time a second assault of the allies on Spain met with signal 
good fortune. The Catalans had risen in favour of the Archduke 
Charles, Barcelona had been stormed in 1705 by an Anglo- 
Austrian force under the Prince of Hesse,* and all Eastern Spain 
submitted. In 1706 an English force, reinforced by Portuguese, 
marched up to Madrid and seized it. It seemed that Philip V. 
would ere long be forced to leave Spain, and retire beyond the 
Pyrenees. The spirits of Lewis XIV. were so much dashed 
by this series of reverses that he, for the first time in his life, 
humbled himself to sue for peace from the allies offering to 
waive his grandson's rights to Spain, Belgium, and the Indies, 
if he were allowed to keep the Spanish dominions in Italy 
Milan, Naples, Sicily, and Sardinia. 

The allies were unwise enough to reject these terms ; Holland 

* For this success the volatile and unscrupulous Earl of Peterborough 
.imed all the credit. But his account of his doings in Spain is a mere 
lance, and he was in truth a hindrance rather than an aid to the 


Anne. 1707. 

and the German states would have accepted them, but the 
1707,-Battie Emperor was set on gaining the Milanese, and 
of Aimanza.- Marlborough, who loved the war for the wealth and 

Reverses of the . 

allies. glory that it brought him, persuaded the English 
Government to refuse to treat. This obstinate determination 
to push matters to extremity met with a well-deserved retribution. 
The fortune of war in 1707 commenced to turn against the 
allies. In Spain their army lost Madrid, and was almost anni- 
hilated at the battle of Aimanza by the French and Spaniards. 
In consequence they lost all their foothold in the peninsula 
except Catalonia and Gibraltar About the same time Eugene 
of Savoy and the Austrians crossed the Alps and invaded 
Provence, but were beaten out of France after a disastrous 
failure before Toulon. Marlborough himself won no new suc- 
cesses in the Netherlands ; the Austrians gave him little help, 
and his attention was distracted from Flanders by the enter- 
prises of Charles XI I. of Sweden. That brilliant and headstrong 
monarch, an old ally of France, had just invaded Germany from 
the rear, pursuing a quarrel with the Elector of Saxony. In 
great fear lest he might interfere in the war and join the French, 
Marlborough hastened to the far east, visited Charles at his 
camp in Saxony, and flattered and cajoled him into retiring. 
The Swede marched off into Poland, and Marlborough was 
able to return to Flanders with a quiet mind ; but he had lost 
the best months of the campaigning season in his excursion 
to meet Charles. 

In the next year his old fortune returned to him. Lewis XIV., 
encouraged by the events of 1707, had raised a great army for 
i7oa.-Battie the invasion of Flanders. It was headed by his 
f captSreo? '" eldest grandson and heir, Lewis, Duke of Burgundy, 
Line. who was to be advised by Marshal Vendome, the 
best officer in the French service. They crossed the Lys into 
Flanders and captured Ghent, but Marlborough soon concen- 
trated his forces and fell upon them at Oudenarde. The French 
army was mismanaged. Burgundy was obstinate, and Vendome 
brutal and overbearing ; they gave contradictory orders to the 
troops, and were caught in disorder by Marlborough's sudden 
advance. In a long running fight on the heights above Ouden- 
arde, the French right wing was surrounded and cut to pieces ; 
the remainder of the host fled back into France (July 11, 1708). 

1709. The Battle of Malplaqu<t. 471 

They were soon pursued ; the Austrian army came up under 
Prince Eugdne to help the English, and the allies crossed the 
frontier and laid siege to the great fortress of Lille, the northern 
bulwark of France. It fell, after a long siege, on December 9, 
1708, when Marshal Boufflers and 15,000 men laid down their 
arms before the allied generals. 

Lewis was now brought very low, lower even than in 1706. 
Once more he asked the allies for terms of peace. This time 
they were even harsher in their reply than at the Lewis again 
previous negotiations. They demanded not only asks for peace, 
that he should surrender his grandson's claims to any part of 
the Spanish inheritance, but that he should guarantee to send 
an army into Spain to evict King Philip, if the latter refused to 
evacuate the realm which he had been ruling for the last six 
years. Lewis was also bidden to surrender Strasburg and some 
of the fortresses of French Flanders. 

Though his armies were starving, and his exchequer drained 
dry, the King of France could not stoop to the humiliation of 
declaring war on his grandson. " If I must needs Lewisre . ecta 
fight," he is reported to have said, " I would rather the terms of 
fight my enemies than my own children." So, the allies, 
protesting that the continuance of the war was no fault of his, he 
sent his plate to the mint, sold his costly furniture and pictures, 
and made a desperate appeal to the French nation to maintain 
the integrity of its frontiers and its national pride. By a supreme 
effort nearly 100,000 men, under Marshal Villars, were collected 
and ranged along the borders of Flanders. 

With this army Marlborough had to deal in the next year. 
He was proceeding with the siege of the fortress of Mons, when 
Villars came up to hinder him, and took post on rroQ.-Battie 
the heath of Malplaquet. The French position of Maipiaauet. 
was very strong, covered on both flanks with thick woods, and 
defended with entrenchments and heavy batteries. Nevertheless 
Marlborough attacked, and met with his usual success, though 
on this occasion his victory was very dearly bought. His left 
wing, headed by the headstrong young Prince of Orange, made 
a rash and desperate assault on the French lines before the rest 
of the army had begun to advance, and was beaten back with 
fearful loss. But the duke broke through the centre of Villars' 
entrenchments by bringing up his reserves, and won the field, 


Anne. 1709 

though he lost more men than the French, who had fought 
under cover all day. Inconsequence of this victory Mons fell, 
and the allies advanced into France, and began to besiege the 
fortresses of French Flanders and Artois. Their progress 
seemed to slacken among these thickly set strongholds, and the 
once rapid advance of Marlborough grew slow. This was more 
in consequence of the internal politics of England than of any 
falling off in the great general's capacity. The duke had ceased 
to command the obedience of the English ministry, and his 
friends had just been turned out of office. 

From 1702 to 1710 Marlborough's connection, Godolphin, 

remained the chief minister. He had kept himself in power 

oodoiphin-s bv utilizing the jealousies of Whig and Tory, and 

ministry. allying himself alternately to either party. Till 
1706 Godolphin had posed as a Tory himself, but finding that 
the majority of the Tory party were lukewarm in supporting the 
war, and pressed for an early peace with France, he resolved to 
break with them. Accordingly he dismissed most of his old 
colleagues, and took into partnership Marlborough's son-in- 
law, the Earl of Sunderland, who, though the heir of the time- 
serving favourite of James II., was a violent Whig. It was the 
Godolphin-Sunderland ministry which rejected the French pro- 
posals for peace in 1708, when the most favourable terms might 
have been secured. But to subserve Marlborough's ambition 
and the fanatical hatred of the Whigs for Lewis XIV., the war 
was continued. 

The only important event of domestic politics which occurred 
in this part of Anne's reign was the work of the Godolphin- 
The Union with Sunderland ministry. This was the celebrated 

Scotland. (j n i on w i tn Scotland " in 1707, which permanently 
united the crowns and parliaments of the two halves of Britain. 
The separation of the two kingdoms had many disadvantages, 
both commercial and political, and William III. had wished to 
unify them. But old local patriotism had frustrated the scheme 
hitherto, and the unfortunate Darien Scheme * had caused much 

* A Scottish Colonial Company had been formed to seize and colonize the 
pestilential region about the Isthmus of Panama then known as Darien 
so as to obtain access to the Pacific (1698). The Scottish Parliament gave 
it great privileges, but William III. refused to confirm them, and would not 
commit England to the scheme. The colonists all perished of disease and 
tropical heat ; but the Scots ascribed the failure to English jealousy. 

1707. The Union with Scotland. 473 

bitter feeling in William's later years. Early in Anne's reign 
this took the ominous shape of an attempt to change the law 
of succession to the throne in Scotland, so that there appeared 
a grave danger of the separation of the two crowns at the 
queen's death. Fearing this, Godolphin's ministry made a 
resolute attempt to bring about a permanent union of the two 
crowns. An act to that effect was ultimately carried through 
the Scottish Parliament, but with the greatest difficulty. 
National pride, the fear lest England might endeavour to 
Anglicize the Kirk, the dislike of the citizens of Edinburgh 
to see their city lose its status as a capital, the secret hopes of 
the Jacobites to win the Scottish crown for James the Pretender, 
worked on one side. On the other the arguments used were 
the political and commercial convenience of the change, and 
the absolute necessity for making sure of the Protestant 
succession. When the English Government gave pledges for 
the security of the Kirk, and for the perpetuation of the Scottish 
law courts and universities, the majority yielded, and the bill 
passed (1707). For the future Scotland was represented in the 
United Parliament of Great Britain by 45 members of the 
Commons and 16 representative peers. The arms of England 
and Scotland were blended in the royal shield, and in the new 
British flag, the " Union Jack," the white saltire of St. Andrew 
and the red cross of St. George were combined. 

It was many years, however, before the Scots came to 
acquiesce cordially in the Union, and the Jacobite party did 
their best to keep up the old national grudge, and to persuade 
Scotland that she had suffered by the change. But the allegation 
was proved so false by the course of events, that the outcry 
against the Union gradually died away. Scotland has since 
supplied a much larger proportion of the leaders of Britain alike 
in politics, war, literature, and philosophy, than her scanty 
population seemed to promise. 

The domination of the Whigs was not to last much longer. 
They fell into disfavour for two reasons : the first was that the 
people had begun to realize the fact that the costly arowing . un . 
and bloody struggle with France ought to end, popularity of 
now that Lewis was humbled and ready to 
surrender all claims to domination in Europe. The second was 
that the Whigs had contrived to offend the religious sentiments 

474 Anne. 1710. 

of that great majority of the nation which clung to the Church 
of England and resented any action that seemed to put a slight 
upon her. 

The Tories set to work to preach to the people that the war 

only continued because Marlborough profited by it, and because 

the Emperor and the Dutch wished to impose 

denounce the over-heavy terms on the French. This was on 

war ' the whole quite true, and it was dinned into the 

ears of the nation by countless Tory speeches and pamphlets, 

of which the best-known is Dean Swift's cogent and -caustic 

" Conduct of the Allies" (1711). 

But a more active part in the fall of the Whig ministry was 
played by the Church question. High Churchmen had always 
The trial of suspected the Whigs of lukewarm orthodoxy, 
sachevereii. because of the attempts which were made by 
them from time to time to secure toleration for Dissenters. 
This, the best and wisest part of the Whig programme, brought 
them much enmity. They were already looked upon askance 
by many Churchmen, when they contrived to bring a storm 
about their ears by an attempt to suppress the liberty of the 
pulpit. Dr. Sachevereii, a Tory divine, had preached two 
violent political sermons, " On the Peril of False Brethren in 
Church and State." They were stupid and bombastic utterances, 
in which he compared Godolphin to Jeroboam, and called him 
" Volpone, the Old Fox." The minister was foolish enough to 
take this stuff seriously : he arrested Sachevereii, and announced 
his intention of impeaching him for sedition before the House 
of Lords. He carried out his purpose ; the doctor was tried, 
and condemned by the Whig majority among the peers to 
suspension from his clerical function for three years, while his 
sermons were burnt by the common hangman. This decision 
produced riots and demonstrations over the whole country ; the 
Whigs were denounced as violators of the freedom of the Church 
and as the secret allies of schism. The windy Sachevereii 
became the party hero of the day, and made a triumphal progress 
through the midlands. The agitation was still in full blast, 
when it was suddenly announced that the queen had dismissed 
her ministers, and charged Harley, the chief of the Tory party, 
to form a new cabinet. 

Queen Anne's decisive and unexpected action was mainly due 

1710. Fall of the Marlboroughs. 475 

to personal causes. The domestic tyranny which the Duchess 
of Marlborough had exercised over her for so The Duchess of 
many years, had at last reached the point at Mariborouen 
which it became unbearable. The duchess had dis ^ aced - 
grown harsher and ruder with advancing years, and treated 
her royal friend with such gross impertinence that even the 
placid Anne became resentful. She gradually transferred her 
friendship to 'a new favourite, Mrs. Masham, one of her ladies 
in waiting, and a cousin of the Tory leader Harley. Provoked 
by some final explosions of the jealous wrath of the duchess, 
the queen sought the secret advice of Harley, and suddenly 
dismissed her from her offices, and bade her leave the court. 
After a scene of undignified recrimination with her mistress, the 
disgraced favourite was forced to retire : on her departure she 
completely wrecked, in a fit of anger, the rooms which she had 
so long occupied in St. James's Palace (1710). 

Godolphin and Sunderland were dismissed from power 
immediately after the disgrace of the duchess, and Harley 
and the Tories were at once installed in office. Godolphin and 
They left Marlborough in command in the dSfs^ed.-^ 
Netherlands for a time, but began at once to open Tory ministry, 
negotiations for peace with France. This was an honest 
attempt to carry out the Tory programme, but it was made in 
an underhand way, for the Dutch and Austrians were kept 
entirely in the dark, and received no news of the step that 
England was taking. 

Meanwhile Marlborough fought his last campaign in France ; 
Marshal Villars had endeavoured to stop him by a long system 
of entrenchments and redoubts stretching from Marlborough 
Hesdin to Bouchain. But Marlborough always superseded, 
laughed at such fortifications : he deceived Villars by his skilful 
feints, and easily burst through the vaunted lines, which the 
Frenchman had called his ne plus ultra. He took Bouchain, 
and was preparing to advance into Picardy, when he suddenly 
received the information that he was dismissed from his post 
and recalled to England. Harley had found the French ready 
to treat, and was resolved to stop the war. He gave the Duke 
of Ormonde, a Tory peer, the command of the English army, 
with the secret instructions that he was not to advance, or help 
the Austrians in any way (1711). 

476 Anne. 1712. 

Marlborough returned to England to protest, but found 
himself involved in serious troubles when he landed. The 
His peculations Tories had laid a trap for him, which his own 
leTves'isn? avarice had prepared. He was accused of gross 
land. peculations committed while in command in 
Flanders. It was proved that he had taken presents to the 
amount of more than ; 60,000 from the contractors who sup- 
plied his army with food and stores. He had also received from 
the Emperor Joseph a douceur of ?.\ per cent, on all the 
subsidies which the English ministry had paid to Austria. 
More than ; 150,000 had gone into his pocket on this account 
alone. The discovery of these instances of greed blasted the 
duke's character ; it was to no purpose that he pleaded that the 
money was a free gift, and that such transactions were customary 
in foreign services. He found himself looked upon askance by 
all parties, even by his old friends the Whigs, and retired to the 

In 1712, Harley, who had now been created Earl of Oxford, 
brought his negotiations with France to a close. They resulted 

The treaty in the celebrated treaty of Utrecht. By this 

of Utrecht agreement England recognized Philip V. as King 
of Spain and the Indies, stipulating that Austria and Holland 
were to be compensated out of the Spanish dominions in Italy 
and the Netherlands. France ceded to England Newfoundland, 
Acadia since known as Nova Scotia and the waste lands 
round Hudson's Bay. Spain also gave up Gibraltar and the 
important island of Minorca. Both France and Spain signed 
commercial treaties giving favourable conditions for English 
merchants. Even the long-closed monopoly of Spanish trade 
in South America was surrendered by the Asiento, an agreement 
which gave England certain rights of trade with those parts, 
especially the disgraceful but profitable privilege of supplying 
the Spanish colonies with negro slaves. Spain and France also 
recognized the Protestant succession in England, and agreed 
not to aid "the Pretender," as the young son of James II. was 
now called. 

The minor allies of England also obtained advantages by the 
treaty of Utrecht. Holland was given a favourable commercial 
treaty and a line of strong towns in the Spanish Netherlands 
known as the " Barrier fortresses/' because they lay along the 

1713. The Peace of Utrecht. 477 

frontier of France. They included Namur, Tournay, Ypres, and 
six or seven other places. The Duke of Savoy received Sicily 
and the title of king ; the Elector of Brandenburg took Spanish 
Guelders a district on the Meuse and was recognized as King 
of Prussia. But Austria, our most powerful ally, does not appear 
in the agreement. The Emperor wished to continue the war, 
and refused to come into the general pacification. 

The treaty of "Utrecht was on the whole profitable to Eng- 
land, though it is certain that better terms could have been 
extorted from Lewis XIV. and Philip V., both of Austria de- 
whom were in the last stage of exhaustion and de- sorted by the 
spair. But in signing it England committed a grave 
breach of faith with Austria, who wished to continue the war. 
The English army, under Ormonde, was actually withdrawn in 
the middle of the campaign of 1712, so that the Austrian troops 
were left unsupported in France, and severely handled by the 
enemy. Harley's reason for refusing to stand by his allies was 
that Joseph I. had lately died, and had been succeeded by his 
brother, the Archduke Charles, who had so long claimed the 
Spanish throne. It seemed to the Tory ministry just as unwise 
to allow the house of Hapsburg to appropriate the bulk of the 
Spanish dominions as to allow them to fall into the hands of 
Lewis XI V. Accordingly, they refused to listen to the Emperor's 
plans for bringing further pressure on the enemy and for de- 
manding harder terms. Left to himself, Charles VI. fared ill 
in the war, and was forced to sign the treaty of Rastadt in 1714. 
This agreement a kind of supplement to the treaty of Utrecht 
gave to the Austrians Naples, Sardinia, the Milanese, and most 
the Spanish Netherlands ; but a small part of the last-named 
untry fell to Holland and Prussia, who, as we have already 
entioned, acquired respectively the " Barrier fortresses " and 
e duchy of Guelders. 

The peace of Utrecht had been signed early in 1713, and the 
bry party could now settle down to administer England after 
.eir own ideas, undisturbed by alarms of war 

f ^ke question 

om without; but all other subjects of political oftnesuc- 
mportance were now thrown into the background cession, 
the question of the succession to the crown. The queen's 
alth was manifestly beginning to fail, and it was evident that 
e many years the Act of Settlement, passed in 1701, would 

478 Anne. ma. 

come into operation, and Sophia of Hanover be called to the 
English throne. But there were many persons within the 
Tory party who viewed the approaching accession of this aged 
German lady with dislike, and wished, if it were but possible, to 
put the son of James II. on the throne. The exiled prince was 
now a young man of twenty-five, slow, apathetic, and deeply 
religious in his own narrow way. He was not the stuff of which 
successful pretenders are made, and played his cards very ill. 

Nevertheless, there was for a time a considerable possibility 
that Tames III. might sit on the throne of England. It was 
position of the generally felt that to exclude Anne's brother from 
Pretender. ^ succe ssion, in favour of her distant cousin, was 
hard. The large section of the Tory party who still clung to 
the old belief in the divine right of kings, were not comfortable 
in their consciences when they thought of the exclusion of the 
rightful heir. Another section, who had no principles, but a 
strong regard for their own interests, looked with dismay on the 
prospect of a Hanoverian succession, because they knew that 
the Electress Sophia and her son, the Elector George Lewis, 
were closely allied with the Whigs, and would certainly put 
them in office when the queen died. 

If James Stuart had been willing to change his religion, or 
even to make a pretence of doing so, the Tory party would have 
accepted him as king, and his sister would have presented him 
to the people as her legitimate heir ; but the Pretender was 
rigidly pious with the narrowest Romanist orthodoxy. He 
would not make the least concession on the religious point to his 
secret friends on this side of the water, when they besought him 
to hold out some prospect of his conversion. This honesty cost 
him his chance of recovering England. 

When the Tories ascertained that James would never become 

a member of the Church of England, the party became divided. 

The Tory split Barley, tne prime minister, and the bulk of his 

-schemes of followers would not lend themselves to a scheme 

B The 8 sc r hm~ for delivering England over to a Romanist. They 

Act - continued to correspond with the Pretender, but 

refused to take any active steps in his cause, and let matters 

stand still. But there was another section of the party which 

was not so scrupulous, and was prepared to plunge into any 

treasonable plot, if only it could make sure of keeping the 

1714. Bolingbroke^ s Intrigues. 479 

Whigs out of office. These men were led by Henry St. John 
Viscount Bolingbroke, one of the two Secretaries of State. St. 
John was a clever, plausible man, a ready writer and a brilliant 
speaker, but utterly unscrupulous, and filled with a devouring 
ambition. Though in secret a free-thinker, he pretended to be 
the most extreme of High Churchmen, and led the more bigoted 
and violent wing of the Tory party. St. John was set on 
becoming the ruler of England, and saw his way to the post if 
he could place James III. on the throne. His cautious colleague 
Harley stood in his way, so he set himself to expel him from 
office, by playing on the foibles of the queen and the High 
Churchmen. With this end he brought in the " Schism Act," 
a persecuting measure recalling the old legislation of Charles II. 
It proposed to prohibit Dissenters from keeping or teaching in 
schools, so as to force all Nonconformists under the instruction 
of the Church. Harley would not give this bigoted measure his 
support, and so lost the confidence of half his own party, and, 
moreover, the favour of the queen, who was persuaded by St. 
John to give her patronage to the bill. 

In consequence Harley was dismissed from office, the Schism 
Act was passed, and Bolingbroke became the queen's chief 
minister. He set to work to prepare fora Jacobite Bolingbroke 
restoration, filling all posts in the state with chief minister, 
partisans of the exiled prince. So able and determined was he, 
that the Whigs took alarm, and began to make preparation to 
defend the Protestant succession. They put themselves into 
communication with George of Hanover, whose aged mother 
the electress was just dead, and swore to secure him the throne, 
even at the cost of civil war. 

But the new ministry had only been in power a few days, when 
Queen Anne was stricken with a mortal sickness. Bolingbroke 
had not reckoned on this chance, and was caught niness of the 
but half prepared. He saw that unless he acted, queen, 
and acted promptly, the law of the land must take its course, 
and the Elector George become King of England. But action 
was difficult ; the army was Whig at heart, and even the majority 
of the Tories were not prepared to draw the sword to place a 
Romanist on the throne. While Bolingbroke hesitated, his 
enemies struck their blow. 

As the English Constitution then stood, the Cabinet system 

480 Anne. 1714 

was but half developed. The modern idea that the queen's advisers 
should be a small homogeneous body of men of the same party 
meeting together under the presidency of the prime minister, was 
only just coming into being. It was still a moot point whether 
Action of the during the sovereign's illness or at his or her 
eaSa death > the executive power lay in the hands of the 
of Anne. whole Privy Council or of the members of it alone 
who were actually ministers and members of the Cabinet. The 
supporters of the Protestant succession took advantage of this 
doubt While the queen lay speechless and dying, three 
dukes, Shrewsbury, a " Hanoverian Tory," and Argyle and 
Somerset, two Whigs, presented themselves at the meeting of 
the Cabinet and claimed a seat in the assembly as privy 
councillors. Bolingbroke did not dare to exclude them, and 
thereby lost his chance of carrying out a coup d'etat. For the 
dukes called in all the other privy councillors, a majority ol 
whom were Whigs or moderate Tories, and took the conduct of 
affairs out of the prime minister's hands. The queen died that 
night (August i, 1714), and the Privy Council at once pro- 
claimed the elector under the name of George I. Bolingbroke 
retired in wrath, muttering that if he had been granted six 
weeks for preparation, he would have given England a different 

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GEORGE LEWIS, Elector of Hanover, who in virtue of the Act 
of Settlement now mounted the English throne, was a selfish, 
Character of hard-hearted, unamiable, and uninteresting man of 
Qeorgei. fifty-four. He was intensely German in all his 
ideas and prejudices ; he could not speak a word of English, 
nor had he the slightest knowledge of the political and social 
state of the kingdom that he was called upon to govern. Being 
a very cautious man, he had never thought himself secure of the 
English crown, and now that he had obtained it, he always 
looked upon it as a precarious piece of property, that might 
some day be taken from him. He was convinced that he might 
at any moment be forced to return to his native Hanover, so he 
did not attempt to make himself at home on this side of the 
North Sea. During his thirteen years of rule he never ceased 
to feel himself a stranger in his palaces at London or Windsor. 
He wished to make what profit he could out of England, but he 
was so ignorant of English politics that he felt himself con- 
strained to rely entirely on his ministers, and let them manage 
his affairs for him. His sole fixed idea was that the Tory party 
were irretrievably committed to Jacobitism, and that, if he 
wished to keep his throne, he must throw himself entirely into 
the hands of his friends the Whigs. With his accession, there- 
fore, began the political ascendency of that party, which was to 
last more than half a century [1714-1770] 

There was no romantic loyalty or mutual respect in the 

The king and bargain which was thus struck between the Whig 

the Whigs. p art y anc } tne new dynasty. The king knew that 

his ministers looked upon him as a mere political necessity. 

1714. Cabinet Government. 483 

They could have no liking for their stolid, selfish master. George 
was indeed most unlovable to those who knew him best. He 
had placed his wife, Sophia of Celle, in lifelong captivity on a 
charge of unfaithfulness. But he himself lived in open sin with 
two mistresses, whom he made Duchess of Kendal and Countess 
of Darlington when he came to the English throne. He was at 
bitter enmity with his son George, Prince of Wales ; they never 
met if they could avoid a meeting. George was, in short, the 
very last person to command either love or respect from any man. 
With the accession of George I. began the substitution of the 
prime minister and the Cabinet for the king as the actual ruler 
of England. Down to Anne's time the sovereign 

i i i i 11 111 !* The beginning 

had habitually attended the meetings of the Privy of cabinet 

Council, and was in constant contact with all the 
members of the ministry. They were still regarded as his 
personal servants, and he would often dismiss one minister 
without turning the whole ministry out of office. The notion 
that the Cabinet were jointly responsible for each other's actions, 
and that the king must accept any combination of ministers that 
a parliamentary majority chose to impose upon him, had not yet 
come into being. Even the mild and apathetic Queen Anne 
had been wont to remove her great officers of state at her own 
pleasure, without consulting the rest of the Cabinet, much less 
the Parliament. 

But George I. was so absolutely ignorant of English politics, 
and placed at such a disadvantage by his inability to speak the 
English language, that he never attempted to interfere with his 
ministers. He seldom came to their meetings, and usually com- 
municated with them through the prime minister of the day. A 
single fact gives a fair example of the difficulty which George 
found in dealing with his new subjects. He knew no English, 
while Walpole his chief minister for more than half his reign 
knew neither German nor French ; they had therefore to discuss 
all affairs of state in Latin, which both of them spoke extremely 
ill. It can easily be understood that George was constrained to 
let all things remain in the hands of the Whig statesmen who 
had placed him on the throne. He fingered much English 
money, and he was occasionally able to use the influence of 
England for the profit of Hanover in continental politics. In 
other respects he was a perfect nonentity. 

484 The Rule of the Whigs. 1714. 

The Whig party which now obtained possession of office, and 
clung to it for two full generations, was no longer led by its old 
chiefs. Godolphin had died in 1712 ; Marlborough, though he 
had returned to England, was not restored to power. His 
character had been irretrievably injured by the revelations of 
1711, and he was suspected (not without foundation) of having 
renewed his old intrigues with the exiled Stuarts during Harley's 
tenure of office. The Whigs now gave him the honourable and 
lucrative post of commander-in-chief, but would not serve under 
him. Only a year after George's accession he was attacked by 
paralysis and softening of the brain, and retired to his great 
palace of Blenheim, in Oxfordshire, where he lingered till 1722, 
broken in mind and body. 

The Whigs were now led by the Earl of Sunderland, the son- 
in-law of Marlborough, by Earl Stanhope a general who had 
The new whig won some military reputation in Spain during 
leaders. the j ate war _by Lord Townshend, and Sir Robert 
Walpole, the youngest and ablest of the party chiefs. They 
were all four men of considerable ability, too much so for any 
one of them to be content to act as the subordinate and 
lieutenant of another. Hence it came that, though they had 
combined to put George I. on the throne, they soon fell to 
intriguing against each other, and split the Whig party into 
factions. These cliques did not differ from each other in 
principles, but were divided merely by personal grudges that 
their leaders bore against each other. They were always 
making ephemeral combinations with each other, and then 
breaking loose again. But on one thing they were agreed the 
Tories should never come into power again, and to keep their 
enemies out of office they could always rally and present a 
united front. 

The Whig party drew its main strength from three sources. 

The first was the strong Protestant feeling in England, which 

made most men resolve that the Pretender must 

The supporters 

of the whig be kept over-seas at any cost, even at that of 

government. submitting to the selfish and stolid George I. 

The second was the fact that the Whigs had enlisted the 
support of the mercantile classes all over the country by their 
care for trade and commerce. While in power .in Anne's 
reign, they had done their best to make the war profitable by 

1714. Whig Ascendency in Parliament. 485 

concluding commercial treaties with the allies, and by further- 
ing the colonial expansion of England. This was never forgotten 
by the merchants. The third mainstay of the Whig party was 
their parliamentary influence. A majority of the House of 
Lords was on their side, and they contrived to manage the 
Commons by a judicious mixture of corruption and coercion. 

The great peers had many " pocket boroughs " in their power 
that is, they possessed such local influence in their own shires 
that they could rely on returning their own Pocket 
dependents or relatives for the seats that lay in bor ?|^ l and 
their neighbourhood. Many of these "pocket boroughs, 
boroughs " were also " rotten boroughs " places, that is, which 
had been important in the middle ages, but had now decayed into 
mere hamlets with a few score of inhabitants. Over such con- 
stituencies the influence of the local landlord was so complete, 
that he could even sell or barter away the right to represent 
them in Parliament. The most extraordinary of these rotten 
boroughs were Old Sarum and Gatton, each of which owned 
only two voters, men paid to live on the deserted sites by their 
landlords. Yet they had as many representatives in the House 
of Commons as Yorkshire or Devon ! Besides these nomination 
boroughs, the Whigs had now control over a number of crown 
boroughs, places where of late the members had been wont to 
be chosen by the sovereign ; there were many such in Cornwall, 
where the king, as duke of that county, was supreme landlord. 
The Tudors had made many Cornish villages into parliamentary 
constituencies in order to pack the House of Commons with 
obedient members. 

Hitherto the crown and the great peers had seldom acted 
together, and no one had realized how large a portion of the 
House of Commons could be influenced by their p arliamenta ry 
combination. But when, in the days of the two influence of 
first Georges, the Whig oligarchy wielded the 
power of the crown as well as their own, they obtained a 
complete control over the Lower House. Often the Tory opposi- 
tion shrank to a minority of sixty or eighty votes, and the 
only semblance of party government that remained was caused 
by the quarrels and intrigues of the leaders of the Whigs, who 
fought each other on personal grounds as bitterly as it tne> 

d been divided by some important principle. 

486 The Rule of the Whigs. 1715. 

In the first year of King George, however, the Whigs were 
still kept together by their fear of the enemy. The Jacobites, 
The Jacobites w ^ ^ a( ^ seeme d so near to triumph in Boling- 

-Deathof broke's short tenure of power, did not yield 
Lewis xiv. ^yithout- an appeal to arms. The late prime 
minister and his chief military adviser, the Duke of Ormonde, 
both fled to France and joined the Pretender. When safe over- 
seas they began to organize an insurrection, counting on the 
active assistance of Lewis XIV., who was always ready to aid 
his old dependents the Stuarts. But the plot was not yet ready 
to burst, when the old king died, and his successor in power, 
the regent Philip of Orleans, refused to risk any step that 
might lead to a war with England. 

Nevertheless, Bolingbroke and his master persevered. They 
had so many friends both in England and in Scotland, that 

Bolingbroke they thou S ht that thev could hardly fail. They 

and the Tory had not realized that most of these friends were 

party. lukewarm, and unprepared to take arms in order 

to give the crown to a Romanist. Two-thirds of the Tory party 

hated the Pope even more than they hated the Whigs and the 

Hanoverian king, and would not move unless James Stuart 

showed some signs of wishing to conform to the Church of 

England. Their loyalty to the national Church was stronger 

than their loyalty to the divine right of kings. 

But the wilder and more excitable spirits in the party were 

ready to follow Bolingbroke. They saw all their hopes of 

Disaffection political advancement cut away by George's alli- 

in Scotland. ance w j tn tne \vhigs, and determined to make a 
bold stroke for power. In Scotland more especially did the 
emissaries of the Pretender meet with encouragement. The 
Scots were still very sore over the passing of the Act of Union 
in 1707, and nursed their ancient grudge against England. 
But the most active source of discontent was the hatred which 
the minor clans of the Highlands felt for the powerful tribe of 
the Campbells. 

The rule of George I. in England implied the domination of 
that great Whig clan, and its chief the Duke of Argyle, over 
Ascendency of the lands north of Forth and Clyde. For now, as 

e Campbells. ; n l645 and l685) the c hi e f of the Campbells, the 
MacCalhin Mor, as his clansmen called him, was at the head 


" The Fifteen." 487 


of the Presbyterian or Whig party in Scotland. The chiefs of 
the other Highland tribes were as bitterly hostile to the present 
Duke of Argyle as their ancestors had been to his father and 

The head of the Jacobite plotters in the north was John 
Erskine, Earl of Mar, who had been Bolingbroke's Secretary 
of State for Scotland in the Cabinet of 1714. He TheEarlof 
was a busy and ambitious man, who was bitterly Mar in the 
vexed at seeing his prospects of political advance- 
ment at an end. Under the pretence of gathering a great 
hunting-party, he assembled a number of the leading chiefs of 
the Highlands at Braemar Castle. On his persuasion they 
resolved to take arms for King James. Among the clans which 
joined in the rising were the Gordons, Murray s, Stuarts, Mackin- 
toshes, Macphersons, Macdonalds, Farquh arsons, and many 
more. In the Lowlands a simultaneous rising was arranged by 
some of the lords of the Border, headed by the Earls ihe Lowland 
of Nithsdale, Carnwath and Wmtoun, and Lord Ken- Jacobites, 
mure. Meanwhile England was also to be stirred up. The Duke 
of Ormonde was to land in Devonshire with some refugees from 
France. Lord Denventwater and Mr. Forster, a T he English 
rich Northumbrian squire, undertook to raise and Jacobites, 
organize the northern counties. A third rising was to take 
place in Wales. 

In the autumn of 1715 the Jacobites struck their blow. On 
September 6th Mar raised the royal standard of Scotland at the 

Castletown of Braemar. Immediately a score of , 

. r i i i r s iheHigrh- 

chiefs joined mm, and an army of 5000 or oooo landers as a 

men was at his disposal. Nor were the High- m 
landers to be despised as a military force. The ancient Celtic 
turbulence and tribal feuds yet survived in the lands beyond the 
Tay, and the clansmen were still reared to arms from their 
youth up. Their fathers had fought under Dundee, and their 
grandfathers had served Montrose in the old civil wars of 
Charles I. The Scottish Government had never succeeded in 
pacifying the Highlands, and the clans were still wont to lift 
each other's cattle, and to engage in bloody affrays. They 
were blindly devoted to their chiefs, and would follow them 
into any quarrel ; the cause in which they armed was indifferent 
to them it was enough for them to know their master's will, 

488 The Rule of the Whigs. 1715. 

and to carry it out. When called to arms, they came out 
with gun, broadsword, and shield. The force and fury of their 
charge were tremendous, and none but the best of regular 
troops could stand against them. But they were utterly un- 
disciplined : it was difficult to keep them to their standards, 
since they were prone to melt home after a battle, to stow away 
their plunder. Moreover, their tribal pride was so great, and 
their ancient tribal feuds so many, that it was very hard to 
induce any two clans to serve side by side, or to help each other 

Mar was a mere politician ; he was destitute of force of 
character, and had earned the dishonourable name of " Bobbing 
John" by his fickle and shifty conduct. No worse leader 
could have been found to command the horde of high-spirited, 
jealous, and quarrelsome mountaineers whom he had called to 

When the news of Mar's rising was noised abroad, the 
Jacobites in the Scottish Lowlands and in Northumberland 
Failure of the gathered themselves together according to their 
lr SieW8Bt of in P romise - But the insurrections in Devonshire and 

England. Wales, on which the Pretender had been counting, 
did not take place. The Whig Government had sent most of 
its available troops to the West of England, and had arrested 
the chief Jacobites of those parts, so that the Duke of 
Ormonde, on landing near Plymouth, found no support, and 
hastily returned to France. But Scotland and Northumber- 
land were all ablaze, and it seemed that the throne of George I. 
was in great danger, for the army available against the 
insurgents was less than 10,000 strong, owing to the reductions 
which the Tories had carried out after the peace of Utrecht. 

But the mistakes and feebleness of the Jacobite leaders 

sufficed to wreck their enterprise. The insurgents on the 

Battle of English and Scottish Border united, and advanced 

Preston. j nto Lancashire, where Roman Catholics were 
many and Toryism strong. But their imbecile and cowardly 
leader, Thomas Forster, allowed himself to be surrounded at 
Preston by a force of 1000 cavalry under General Carpenter, 
and tamely laid down his arms after a slight skirmish, though 
his men outnumbered the regulars by three tc one. He and all 
his chief supporters, the Earls of Derwentwater, Nithsdale, 

1715. Failure of the Jacobites. 489 

Nairn, Carnwath and Wintoun, and Lord Kenmure, were sent 
prisoners to London (November 12, 1715). 

Meanwhile Mar had gathered an army of 10,000 men, and had 
seized Aberdeen, Dundee, Perth, and the whole of the north of 
Scotland ; but, with an unaccountable sluggish- Battle of 
ness, he lingered north of the Tay, and made no sheriffmuir. 
attempt to capture Edinburgh or to over-run the Lowlands. 
He allowed the Duke of Argyle, who had taken post at Stirling 
with 3000 men, to maintain the line of the Forth, and to keep 
separate the two areas of insurrection. It was only on the very 
day of the surrender of Preston that Mar at last consented to 
move southward from Perth. Argyle advanced to meet him, 
and then ensued the indecisive battle of Sherimnuir. In this 
fight each army routed the left wing of the other, and then 
retired towards its base. Mar's bad generalship and the petty 
quarrels of the clans had neutralized the vast advantage of 
numbers which the Jacobites possessed (November 13, 1715). 

Mar brought his army back to Perth in a mutinous and 
discontented condition ; each chief laid on another the loss of the 
expected victory, and the Highlanders began to Mar's army 
melt away to their homes. It was to no purpose disperses, 
that James Stuart himself at last appeared, to endeavour to 
rally his dispirited followers. The Pretender was a slow and 
ungenial young man, with a melancholy face and a hesitating 
manner. He failed to inspire his followers with the enthusiasm 
which he did not himself possess, and his cause continued to 
lose ground. When Argyle, largely reinforced from England, 
began to move northward, James deserted his army and took 
ship for France. The remnants of Mar's once formidable host 
then disbanded themselves ; the chiefs fled over-sea or submitted 
to Argyle, while the clansmen dispersed to their valleys. 

Thus ended in ignominious failure the great rising of 1715. 
The Whigs took no very cruel revenge on the insurgents. Two 
peers, the Lords Derwentwater and Kenmure,* were beheaded, 
and about 30 persons of meaner rank hanged. As the years 
went by, most of the Jacobite chiefs were pardoned and returned 

Mr. Forster and Lord Nithsdale would have shared the fate of 
?rwentwater and Kenmure, but for the fact that they escaped from prison, 
low the latter got away by the ingenuity and devotion of his wife is a 
:ll-known story. 

4QO The Rule of the Whigs. 1719, 

to England. Even Bolingbroke was allowed to come back from 
exile in 1722. 

Even after his lamentable failure in 1715-16, the Pretender 
still nourished some hopes of exciting another rebellion. When 

France refused to help him, he turned to Spain, 
Second attempt 

ofthe and got some small assistance from Philip V., 

Pretender. ^^ ag we ^^ ^ ha( j ^ bes( . reasons f or 

disliking the Whigs. A few hundred Spanish troops landed in 
Rosshire in 1719, and were joined by the clans of the neigh- 
bourhood ; but no general rising took place, and the whole 
Jacobite force was dispersed or captured by Carpenter the 
victor of Preston at the battle of Glenshiel. 

The tale of " the Fifteen " is the one stirring incident in the 
inglorious annals of George I. The domestic interest of the 

War with remainder of his reign centred in the quarrels and 
schemeaof intrigues of the various Whig parties with each 

Alberoni. other. The only important constitutional change 
which dates from this time is the " Septennial Act "of 1716, 
which fixed the duration of Parliament at seven years. Since 
1694 three years had been their legal term, but, on account of 
the inconvenience of general elections at such short intervals, the 
longer term was substituted and still prevails. In foreign politics 
the only notable event was a short war with Spain in 1718-20. 
This was caused by an attempt of Philip V. and his able minister, 
Cardinal Alberoni, to reconquer the old Spanish dominions in 
Sicily and Naples. England, as one of the guarantors of the 
treaty of Utrecht, interfered to aid the Austrians and the Duke 
of Savoy, the two powers whom Spain had attacked, and an 
English fleet under Admiral Byng destroyed off Cape Passaro 
the Spanish squadron which had accompanied the army that 
invaded Sicily. 

In revenge Cardinal Alberoni gave the Jacobites what help he 
could, and endeavoured to concert an alliance with Charles XII., 
the warlike King of Sweden. But he and his helpers were too 
weak to cope with Austria, France, and England, who were all 
leagued against him. Alberoni was forced from office, and his 
master Philip V, signed an ignominious peace, and gave up his 
ephemeral conquests in Sicily (1720). 

The ministry which had carried on the war with Spain had 
been composed of that section of the Whigs Avho followed 

1720. The South Sea Bubble. 491 

Stanhope and Sunderland. But in the same year in which 
peace was signed, that cabinet was replaced by another, and 
England saw the advent to power of the prime minister who 
was to rule the three kingdoms for the next twenty-two years 
(1721-42), Sir Robert Walpole. 

The Stanhope cabinet was overthrown, not by the strength of 
its enemies* but by its own misfortune in becoming involved in 
the great financial panic known as the " South Sea The south sea 
Bubble." The South Sea Company was a trading Bubble, 
venture which had been started in 1711 for developing commerce 
with Spanish America and the countries of the Pacific. The 
undertaking had been very successful, and the shares of the 
company were much sought after, and commanded a very 
heavy premium. But the directors who managed it were 
venturesome and reckless men, who wished to extend their 
operations outside the sphere of trade into that of finance and 
stock-jobbing. They formed a great scheme for offering the 
Government the huge sum of ;7,ooo,ooo for the privilege of 
taking over the management of the National Debt, which had 
hitherto been in the hands of the Bank of England. They 
intended to recoup themselves by inducing the creditors who 
held the state loans to exchange them for new stock of the 
South Sea Company, which would thus accumulate a capital 
sufficient to develop its trade all over the world, and distance all 

Stanhope and Sunderland accepted this wild offer ; they were 
glad to get the burden of the National Debt off their shoulders, 
and did not stop to think if they were treating the public 
creditors fairly in handing them over to the mercies of a greedy 
trading company. Accordingly, the management of the debt 
was duly transferred to the South Sea Company, and the direc- 
tors did their best to put off their shares on the late holders of 
Government stock. For a time they were successful ; the 
exchange was in many cases effected, and on terms very favour- 
able to the Company, whose prospects were so well thought of 
that a share nominally worth ^100 was actually sold for^iooo. 
But this prosperity was purely fictitious ; the actual bulk and 
profit of the Company's trade with the Pacific was not able to 
bear a quarter of the financial mountain that had been built up 
upon it. The first shock to credit that occurred was sufficient 


The Rule of the Whigs. 1721. 

to expose the fraud that had been perpetrated on the public. 
The success of the South Sea Company had led to the starting 
of many other companies, some of them genuine but hazardous 
ventures, some mere swindling devices for robbing the investor. 
A general madness seemed to have fallen upon the nation, and 
in the haste to make money quickly and without exertion, all 
classes rushed into the whirl of speculation and stock-jobbing. 
It is said that subscribers were found for schemes " to discover 
perpetual motion, and utilize it for machinery," " to make salt 
water fresh," " to render quicksilver malleable," " to fatten hogs 
by a new process," and even " to engage in a secret undertaking 
which shall hereafter be made public." Of course, all these 
bubble companies began to burst before they were many 
months old, and to ruin those who had engaged in them. The 
financial crisis which was brought about by these failures, led to 
a general panic, which affected all speculative enterprises, great 
and small. None suffered more than the South Sea Company 
itself, whose shares gradually sank from 1000 down to 135. 
This ruined thousands of investors, and finally broke the 
company itself, which proved unable to pay the Government the 
,7,000,000 that it had covenanted to give for the privilege of 
managing the National Debt. 

On the suspension of the South Sea Company, a cry of wrath 
arose all over the country against the Stanhope cabinet, which 

had taken the venture under its patronage and 
Pall of the 

stanhope entrusted it with such important public duties. It 
cabinet. was wn i S pered that some of the ministers had 
been induced to lend their aid to the scheme by corrupt in- 
fluences, and that others had made money by using their official 
information to aid them in speculation. These suspicions were 
mooted in Parliament, and, when investigated, proved to be not 
without foundation. When an inquiry was pressed for, Craggs, 
the Postmaster- General, committed suicide ; Aislabie, the Chan- 
cellor of the Exchequer, was expelled from the House as " guilty 
of notorious and infamous corruption ; " Stanhope, the prime 
minister, was being attacked in the Lords for the doings of his 
subordinates, when he fell down dead in an apoplectic fit. His 
colleague Sunderland resigned his post of First Lord of the 
Treasury, though he was personally acquitted of all blame in the 
matter of the South Sea Company. 

1721. Sir Robert Walpole. 493 

Thus the Stanhope- Sunderland cabinet had disappeared, and 
the other section of the Whigs, headed by Walpole and Town- 
shend, came into office. The former became Chan- Walpole and 
cellor of the Exchequer and took charge of home Townsnend in 
affairs, while Townshend was entrusted with the 
foreign relations of the country. Entering into power under 
pledges to stay the financial crisis and save all that could be 
rescued from the wreck o'f the South Sea Company, they 
executed their task with success. The company was let off the 
payment of 7,000,000 which it had promised to the state, but 
deprived of the charge of the National Debt. By confiscating 
the estates of its fraudulent directors, enough money was 
obtained to pay all its debtors, and thus the crisis proved less 
disastrous than had at first been expected. 

Sir Robert Walpole was the ruling spirit of the new cabinet ; 
he showed his masterful mind by keeping his brother-in-law 
Townshend in the second place, and ultimately supremacy 
turned him out of the ministry. "The firm," he fWaipoie. 
said, " must be Walpole and Townshend, not Townshend and 
Walpole." He soon got the king into complete subjection, for 
George asked for nothing more than a liberal civil list and fre- 
quent opportunities of visiting his beloved Hanover. Nor was 
he less masterful with the two Houses, where the Tory opposition 
and the Whigs of the rival faction were equally unable to make 
any head against him. 

Walpole was a strange example of the height to which the 
practical power of dealing with other men may raise one who is 
neither intellectually nor morally the superior of waipoie as a 
his fellows. He was a baronet of an ancient statesman. 
Norfolk house, who had entered parliament early, and had 
already made himself a place in politics before the death of 
Queen Anne. The one subject of which he had a competent 
knowledge was finance ; in most of the other spheres of politics 
he was grossly ignorant, and most of all was he deficient in a 
grasp of European politics. He did not understand a word of 
French or any other modern tongue, a fact which is enough by 
itself to account for his inadequate foreign policy. His morals 
and his language were alike coarse; he affected a shameless 
cynicism, which is well reflected in the saying that " every man 
has his price " which was put into his mouth by his enemies. 

494 The Rule of the Whigs. 1727. 

This phrase, indeed, well expresses his political methods ; his 
one end was to maintain himself in office, and for that purpose 
Government he kept his party in a state of complete subjection, 
by corruption. G OOC J service he rewarded by good pay, whether in 
the form of office and preferment, or in the grosser shape of hard 
cash. He was always prepared to buy any member or group of 
members by open bribery, and the taint of corruption dating 
from the times of Charles II. was still so strong in English 
politics that he seldom failed to secure his prize. He was 
impatient of opposition, and gradually turned out of office any 
colleague who would not obey his slightest nod ; even his own 
brother-in-law Townshend and Lord Carteret, the ablest diplo- 
matist of the day, were forced to leave his cabinet by his 
unreasoning jealousy. He preferred to work with nonentities, 
because they feared and obeyed him. 

Walpole was a thoroughly bad influence in English politics ; 
he lowered the moral tone of a whole generation by his constant 
sneers at probity and patriotism. He promoted a host of 
unworthy men to power. Most especially did he injure the 
national Church by his practice of bestowing bishoprics and 
other high preferments on mere political partisans, without any 
thought as to their spiritual fitness. 

Though the Whigs professed to be the party of liberty, 
enlightenment, and toleration, Walpole did not pass one im- 
portant bill to improve the constitution or the social state of the 
nation in his twenty-two years of power. He only took thought 
for the material prosperity of England, and cared nothing for 
her moral welfare. Hence it comes that his whole term of office 
is almost a blank in our political history. 

So firm a grasp had Walpole on the helm of power, that his 
position was not in the least shaken by the death of his master 
Deathof George I. [1727]. The king died suddenly while 
George i. absent on one of his periodical visits to Hanover, 
and was succeeded by his son and bitter enemy, George Prince 
of Wales. The new sovereign disliked Walpole on principle, 
because he had been his father's confidant, but found himself 
quite unable to turn him out of power. Immediately on hearing 
of his predecessor's death, George II. bade Walpole give up his 
seals of office, but a few days later he had to ask him to resume 
them, after finding that no one else would undertake to construct 

1727 Accession of George IL 495 

a cabinet. For fifteen years more he was constrained to keep 
his father's old minister (1727-1742). 

George II. was a man of much greater force of character than 
George I. He was a busy, consequential, irascible little man, 
who would have liked to play a considerable part character of 
in English politics if the Whigs had only allowed George n. 
him. He was a keen if not an able soldier, and had served with 
some distinction under Marlborough in the Low Countries. 
He took a great interest in foreign affairs, and chafed bitterly 
at the way in which Walpole persisted in keeping out of all 
European complications. He spoke English fluently with a 
vile German accent : every one has heard of his famous dic- 
tum, " I don't like Boetry, and I don't like Bainting." His 
tastes were coarse, and his private life indifferent. But he 
was wise enough to let himself be guided in many things by 
his clever wife, Caroline of Anspach, who possessed the very 
qualities in which he was most wanting, was a judicious 
patroness of arts and letters, and knew how to win popularity 
both for her husband and herself. It was mainly by her advice 
that King George was induced to keep Walpole in power, 
instead of rushing into the turmoil that would have followed his 

Walpole went on, for the first twelve years of the reign of 
George II., ruling the country in the same unostentatious way as 
before. He only made one attempt to introduce The Excise 
a measure of importance in the whole time ; this 
was his Excise Bill of 1733, a financial scheme for suppressing 
smuggling, and encouraging the use of England as a central 
depot by other nations, by means of a system of free trade. 
Tobacco, wine, and spirits were to be imported without paying 
any customs duty at the port of entry, and were to be permitted 
to be re-exported without any charge. But the retailers of these 
commodities were to pay the duty on each quantity as they sold 
it, so that the tax should be paid inland if not at the seaport. 
When a great cry was raised against the bill, as inquisitorial 
and tyrannous, Walpole tamely dropped it rather than risk his 
hold on power. 

Meanwhile the continent was much disturbed by the " War 
of the Polish Succession " (1733-1735). in which Austria fought 
unsuccessfully against Spain, France, and Turkey. But Walpole 

496 The Rule of the Whigs. 1739. 

would not interfere to aid our old ally, and saw her lose Naples 
The war of the anc ^ Sicily without stirring a hand. Much was 

Polish sue- to be said in favour of keeping England out of 
' on ' foreign wars in which she had no direct interest ; 
but the new union of France and Spain boded ill for England. 
Already these two powers had secretly formed a union, afterwards 
known as the " Family Compact," by which the uncle and nephew, 
Philip V. and Lewis XV., bound themselves to do their best to 
put an end to England's naval supremacy, and to crush her 
commercial greatness (1733). 

This treaty was carefully kept dark, but the spirit which had 
inspired it could not be concealed. The Spanish government 

began to redouble its vexatious pretensions to a 

hostility of monopoly of the trade of South America, and to 
Spain. interfere with the commercial rights which Eng- 
land possessed under the treaty of Utrecht. The governors 
of the Spanish colonies and their custom-house officials 
waxed more and more tyrannous and insolent to the Eng- 
lish merchants who endeavoured to carry on a trade with 
America. The state of public feeling in England grew very 
bitter over this matter all the more so because Walpole re- 
fused to listen to any complaints, or to remonstrate with the 

At last the case of a merchant captain named Jenkins 

brought the national anger to boiling-point. His vessel had 

The case of been boarded, and he himself maltreated by a 

Captain Spanish guarda-costa. He asserted that the officer 

who searched his ship had cut off his ear, and 

told him to take it back and show it to his masters. And he 

certainly produced the severed ear in a box, and exhibited it 

freely. His story may have been exaggerated, but it was 

universally believed, and Walpole was attacked on all sides 

for his tame submission to Spanish insults. 

Determined to keep himself in power at all costs, the prime 

minister demanded reparation from Spain, and, on failing to 

war with obtain it, reluctantly declared war. The public joy 

jciared. on the news of ihQ rupture was unbounded. Only 

Walpole was sad at the end of twenty years of peace and 
prosperity that his inglorious rule had given to the land. 
" Ring your bells now," he is reported to have said when he 

1739. War with Spain declared. 497 

heard the rejoicings of London, " but you will soon be wringing 
your hands." 

Thus England embarked on the first of four great continental 
wars, which were to cover the greater part of the eighteenth 

2 K 




WHEN the unwilling Walpole was driven into war with Spain 
in 1739 by the clamours of the nation, he believed that he was 
about to become responsible for a very dangerous struggle, for 
he had private knowledge of the existence of the " Family 
Compact," and knew that France was ready to back up Spain. 
England, on the other hand, was entirely without allies, having 
gone to war in defence of her maritime commerce, a subject in 
which no other power felt any interest. As a matter of fact, 
however, the war was necessary and wise, for we were bound to 
come into collision with France and Spain sooner or later on 
the matter of trade. They could not endure to look upon the 
rapid expansion of England's commercial and colonial power, 
which had been increasing at a prodigious rate since the peace 
of Utrecht. Our merchants were beginning to seize an ever- 
growing share of the trade of the world, and to oust the French, 
Dutch, Spanish, and Portuguese from all the more distant 
markets, especially those of Africa, India, and the remoter East. 
In India the East India Company was making advances which 
exasperated its French rivals. In South America the Spaniards 
felt that their ancient monopoly was gradually slipping from 
their hands. In North America the prodigious growth in 
strength and population of our seaboard colonies threatened a 
speedy end to the French settlement in Canada. Since the 
acquisition of Nova Scotia and Newfoundland by the treaty of 
Utrecht, the English dominions seemed to shut out from the 
sea the vast but sparsely peopled tracts along the St. Lawrence 
which still belonged to King Lewis. In the West Indies, 
Jamaica and Barbados were gradually drawing away the wealth 

1742. The End of Walpole' s Ministry. 499 

of the Spanish colonies of Cuba, Porto Rico, and Hispaniola, 
the old centres of the sugar and tobacco trade. 

The French and Spaniards, therefore, had good reason to fear 
and hate England, and if we wished to keep our control of the 
commerce of the world, we were bound to fight Feeble con- 
for it. It was a misfortune, however, that we were ^r-F&ulf 
committed to the struggle while Walpole was waipoie. 
still minister. Disliking the war, he would not throw himself 
heartily into it, grudged spending money, and refused to under- 
take any serious operations. A few expeditions to Spanish 
America were all that he sent out. The first under Admiral 
Vernon, though composed of no more than six ships of war, 
took Porto Bello, one of the chief harbours of the Spanish Main 
( I 739) But a second and much larger armament under the 
same leader failed disastrously before Cartagena, partly owing 
to mismanagement, partly to the marsh fever, which struck 
down the English in their trenches (1741). Walpole bore the 
discredit of his sluggish action and his failures ; he was bitterly 
attacked in Parliament by all the Whigs whom he had been 
excluding from office for the last twenty years, and gradually 
saw the reins of power slipping from his hands. In time of 
war all his bribery and jobbing could not avail to save him ; 
his bought majority dwindled away, and early in 1742 he was 
defeated in the House of Commons, and forced to resign. He 
retired into private life, and died three years later, making no 
further show in politics. 

lie was succeeded by a coalition of all the Whig factions, 
under the nominal premiership of Lord Wilmington, the greatest 
nonentity in the whole cabinet. The real chiefs of The Carteret . 
the new ministry were Lord Carteret, an able Peiham 
diplomatist with a vast knowledge of European 
politics, and the two Pelhams Thomas, Duke of Newcastle, 
and Henry, his younger brother. These two kinsmen were a 
pair of busy and ambitious mediocrities, who stuck like limpets 
to office. They had been reared in Walpole's school, under- 
stood all his arts of management and corruption, and had served 
under him to the last, though for a year or more they had been 
quietly intriguing for his fall, in order that they might succeed 
to his power. 

The Carteret- Peiham ministry had to face a much larger 

500 Development of the Colonial Empire of Britain. 1740. 

problem in European politics than the mere struggle with Spain. 
The "War of During the last year the whole continent had been 
the Austrian set ablaze by the "War of the Austrian Succes- 
succession." the Emperor Charles VI., the 

Archduke Charles who had been a claimant for the Spanish 
throne in the days before the peace of Utrecht. He was the 
last male of the house of Hapsburg, and his death opened a 
question somewhat resembling that of the Spanish succession 
in 1702. Charles had determined that his broad dominions 
the Austrian archduchies, the kingdoms of Hungary and 
Bohemia, the Austrian Netherlands, and the duchies of Milan 
and Parma in Italy should pass in a body to his daughter 
Maria Theresa. He chose to ignore the fact that his own elder 
brother, Joseph I., had left two daughters, who on any principle 
of hereditary succession had a better claim to the Hapsburg 
inheritance than their younger cousin. The elder princess 
Maria Amelia was the wife of Charles, the reigning Elector of 
Bavaria. Charles VI. spent the last twenty years of his life 
in arranging for his daughter's quiet succession. He drew up 
an instrument called the " Pragmatic Sanction," by which she 
was recognized as his heiress, and got it ratified by the estates 
of the various principalities of his realm. He also induced 
most of the powers of Europe at one time and another to 
guarantee this settlement ; England, France, Spain, Prussia, 
and Russia had all been brought to assent to it by concessions 
of some sort. Only the Elector of Bavaria, the prince whose 
rights were infringed by the " Pragmatic Sanction," had con- 
sistently refused to accept any compensation for abandoning 
his wife's claims. 

But when Charles died in 1740, it was seen how little the 
promises of most of the European powers were worth. The 
Frederic ii. accession to the Hapsburg heritage of a young 
seizes siiasia. p r i ncess w i tn a doubtful title was too great an 
opportunity to be lost by the greedy neighbours of Austria. When 
Charles of Bavaria laid claim to his uncle's dominions, and pre- 
sented himself as a candidate for the imperial throne, he got 
prompt assistance from many quarters. The first to stir was 
Frederic II., the able and unscrupulous King of Prussia. Frederic 
had some ancient claims to certain parts of the duchy of Silesia. 
He had also a devouring ambition and the best-disciplined army 

1742. The War of the Austrian Succession. 501 

in Europe, an army which his eccentric father Frederic William 
had spent a whole lifetime in organizing. Without any formal 
declaration of war, Frederic II. threw himself on Silesia and 
swept out of it the armies which Maria Theresa hastily sent 
against him (1741). 

Then France and Spain threw in their lot with the Elector of 
Bavaria. Lewis XV. had his eye on the conquest of the Austrian 
Netherlands, while the old Philip V. wanted the France and 
duchies of Parma and Milan for his younger son. tne^iecto^of 
Thus beset by France, Spain, Prussia, and Bavaria, Bavaria, 
it seemed certain that Maria Theresa must succumb. Her rival 
Charles was chosen Emperor by a majority of the electors, and 
it seemed as if the imperial sceptre was about to pass from 
the house of Hapsburg. The Austrian Netherlands, Silesia, 
Bohemia, and the Milanese were all invaded at once, and the 
armies of Maria Theresa could not make head at so many 
points against the numerical superiority of their foes. The only 
ally to whom she could look for aid was England, who was 
already the open enemy of Spain, and who could not tolerate the 
conquest of the Netherlands by France. 

An appeal for aid to this quarter met with a ready response. 
George II. was anxious to help the Queen of Hungary because 
he disliked his nephew Frederic II., and did not Policy of carte- 
vvish to see a Bavarian Emperor. Carteret, the "oi^StaSa* 
leading spirit in the ministry, was even more Theresa, 
eager for the fight. He was a far-sighted man who had 
realized the fact that England must inevitably come into collision 
with France from their rivalry in trade and colonization, and he 
therefore held that France's enemies were our friends. It was 
his wish to see England embark boldly in the strife, and send a 
large army to Germany to aid the Austrians. If France were 
involved in an exhausting continental war, he held that she would 
be unable at the same time to keep up a maritime struggle with 
England. Accordingly, the ministry promised the Austrians a 
large subsidy, took 16,000 Hanoverian troops into British pay T 
and sent all the available strength of the national army to 
Germany. George II., who was burning for the fray, placed 
himself at the head of the Anglo-Hanoverian forces and moved 
rapidly down to the Main, to attack the flank of the French 
ai*my which was invading Austria. 

502 Development of the Colonial Empire of Britain. 1743. 

The fortunes of Maria Theresa now began to look more 
prosperous. Carteret got her to buy off the ablest of her 
assailants, the King of Prussia, by ceding him Silesia. When 
Frederic had withdrawn from the struggle, the French and 
Bavarians were driven back from Austria, and retreated up the 
Danube. It was against their flank that George was operating 
in 1743, when his rather rash advance into the midst of foes 
very superior in numbers brought on the battle of Dettingen 
(July 27, 1743). 

Finding that he was beset by forces nearly double the strength 
of his own 30,000 men, the king faced about, to retire up the 

Battle of banks of the Main. But the van of the French 

Dettingen. armv O f tn e Due de Noailles outmarched him, and 
threw itself across his path at the village of Dettingen, while 
the main body of the enemy was rapidly coming up on his 
flank. George hastily formed up his troops as they arrived, and 
dashed forward to cut his way through, leading the advance in 
person. He was entirely successful, drove the French into the 
Main with great loss, and completely extricated himself from his 
difficulties. This was the last occasion on which a king of 
England has ever been under fire. 

Further successes followed the victory of Dettingen. The 

Austrians overran Bavaria, and the Emperor Charles was obliged 

The congress to ^ a Y down his arms and ask for peace. Carteret, 

at worms, who had followed the king to Germany, called 
together a congress at Worms, at which the representatives of 
England, Holland, Sardinia, and Saxony, guaranteed the Prag- 
matic Sanction, and the integrity of the dominions of the house 
of Hapsburg. Next spring the allies pledged themselves to 
invade France, and Carteret, in his moment of triumph, drank to 
the restoration of Alsace to Germany a wish not to be fulfilled 
for another 127 years. 

But England and Austria were still far from their goal. The 
attack on France had to be postponed, because the unscrupulous 

Renewal of Frederic of Prussia renewed the war in the North, 
the war. an d fell upon the rear of the Austrians. They 
withdrew great bodies of troops to face him, and were left com- 
paratively weak on their western front. 

Not long afterwards Carteret, the soul of the continental war, 
lost his place at the head of the ministry. His jealous colleagues, 

1744. Fall of Cart en t The Pelham Ministry. 503 

the two Pelhams, were anxious to get rid of him, and took a 
mean advantage of his long absences in Germany, carteret driven 
They allowed him to be attacked as favouring a from office - 
Hanoverian, not an English policy, and as consulting the wishes 
of the king rather than those of the Parliament. Carteret was 
violently assailed by a young politician named William Pitt, 
whose cry was always that France should be assailed at sea and 
in her colonies, not on her continental frontiers. The Pelhams 
would not defend him, and suffered him to be loaded with many 
ungrounded accusations. The opposition called his ministry 
" the drunken administration," because he was somewhat flighty 
in his demeanour, and was known to love his bottle of port over- 
well. They accused him of lavishing on German allies money 
that should have gone to our own fleet, and raised such a storm 
of words against him that the Pelhams had their excuse for 
throwing him over a feat which they accomplished in the end of 
1744, to the great detriment of England. William Pitt, when a 
minister himself in later years, confessed that he had discovered 
in the course of time that Carteret's plans were excellent, and 
that he had himself put them into practice with success, after 
having so often denounced them as ruinous and reckless. 

The Pelhams thus became supreme in the conduct of affairs, 
and stuck to office as closely as their master Walpole. Henry, the 
younger of the two "a fretful, suspicious, indus- Ministry of 
trious mediocrity " was prime minister till he died ^n^tn^Duke 
in 1754. His elder brother the duke then sue- of Newcastle, 
ceeded him, and kept his feeble hand on the helm of state till he 
lost office in 1756. English policy under these two narrow and 
shifty borough-mongers soon lost the vigour that the guidance 
of Carteret had imparted to it. 

The war with France continued, but no longer with the same 
success as before. In the spring of 1745 the armies of Lewis 
XV., under the able Maurice of Saxony, the Mart- Battle of 
chal de Saxe as the French called him, fell upon ^ontenoy. 
the Austrian Netherlands. Maria Theresa had so few troops in 
this quarter that the defence of the Belgian provinces fell 
entirely upon the English and Dutch. The allied armies did 
not act together with much success, and the Dutch general, the 
Count of Waldeck, quarrelled with his colleague, George Duke 
of Cumberland, the younger son of George II. It was this 

504 Development of the Colonial Empire of Britain. 1745. 

want of co-operation which led to the loss of the bloody battle 
of Fontenoy (May u, 1745). The French army was besieging 
Tournay, when Waldeck and Cumberland came up to relieve it, 
and found the enemy drawn up along a line of woods strengthened 
with redoubts on their flanks a position much like the neigh- 
bouring field of Malplaquet, where Maryborough had won his 
last fight thirty-six years before. 

While Waldeck skirmished feebly with the French wings, the 
stubborn and reckless young duke pushed into the centre of the 
hostile army with a solid column of English and Hanoverian 
infantry. He broke through two lines of the French, and cut 
their host in twain, but failed for want of support on the flanks. 
He was encompassed by the PYench reserves, and forced back 
with fearful loss to his old position, but the enemy were too 
maltreated to molest him further. 

The campaign of 1745 was still undecided, when the greater 
part of the English army was suddenly called home to face a 
The rebellion new and unexpected danger. The ministers of 
of'45. Lewis XV. had determined to try the effect of 
stirring up a Jacobite rebellion, hoping to distract the strength 
of England even if the house of Hanover could not be over- 
thrown. James Stuart, the " Old Pretender," was now elderly 
and had always been apathetic, but his son Charles Edward 
Stuart was a young prince of a very different character. Reck- 
less, adventurous, and light-hearted, he was the very man to lead 
a desperate venture. The French gathered an army of 15,000 
men at Dunkirk, and promised to put it at his disposal if he 
would invade Scotland. But a storm scattered the transports, 
and the troops were ultimately drawn off to the war in Flanders. 
Nevertheless, Charles Edward resolved to persevere, and, on 
hearing of the fight of Fontenoy, slipped off on a small privateer 

The Young and landed in Invernesshire with no more than 

P i r andS?S r seven companions, " the Seven Men of Moidart," 
Scotland. as the Jacobites called them. His arrival was 
quite unexpected, and he had nothing more to rely upon than 
the traditional attachment of the Highlanders to the house of 
Stuart. The chiefs of the West were dismayed at the recklessness 
of the venture, and it was with difficulty that the enthusiasm and 
personal charm of the young prince induced them to take arms. 
At first only a few hundreds of the Camerons and Macdonalds 

1745. " The Forty-Fire." 505 

joined him, but the absolute imbecility displayed by the English 
Government encouraged him more and more to make the ven- 
ture. The Marquis of Tullibardine, an exile since 1715, roused the 
Perthshire clans, and the insurrection spread to South and East. 
The Pelham cabinet only got news of the prince's coming 
three weeks after his landing in Moidart. They were in no small 
degree alarmed, for well-nigh the whole army 

. V-i j Sir John Cope 

was over-sea in P landers, and no one knew how marches north- 
far disaffection might have extended in England ward, 
and the Scottish Lowlands. The only troops in the North were 
four battalions of foot and two newly raised regiments of 
dragoons. This small army of 3000 men was entrusted to Sir 
John Cope, one of the incompetent men whom the Pelhams 
loved to employ, because they were pliant and docile. Cope 
hurried north, hoping to relieve the two isolated military posts 
of Fort William and Fort Augustus, the sole garrisons of the 
West Highlands. But finding the insurgents in possession of 
the pass of Corry-Arrack, over which his road ran, he swerved 
eastward to execute a long circular march by way of Inverness. 
Thus he was no longer placed between the enemy and the 
Lowlands, and left the way to Edinburgh open. 

The prince's generalship was always bold even to recklessness ; 
the moment that Cope had passed north of him, he dashed 
down into Perthshire and struck at the capital of Charle 
Scotland. He met with no resistance till he was Edward in 
quite close to Edinburgh, when 600 dragoons, Edinburgh, 
the only force left in the Lowlands, fled before him at the 
skirmish of Colt-Brig. The Scots of the South, Whigs and 
Presbyterians though they were, showed an extraordinary apathy. 
They did not join the prince, but they refused to take arms for 
King George. The militia of Edinburgh, whom the half-hearted 
magistrates had called to arms, dispersed when the Highlanders 
appeared at their gates. Thus Prince Charles was able to seize 
the city, to proclaim his father king at the market cross, and 
to hold his court at Holyrood. 

Soon, however, he had to fight to preserve his conquest. 
Cope, on hearing that the Highland army had passed south- 
ward, had hurried to the coast and taken ship with Battle of 
his men, hoping to reach. Edinburgh before the Preston Pans, 
prince. But on landing at Dunbar he found that he was three 

506 Development of the Colonial Empire of Britain. 1745. 

days late, and that he must fight if he wished to recapture the 
city. Advancing to Preston Pans, he camped there in a strong 
position covered by a marsh. But the Highland army crossed 
the difficult ground in the dusk of dawn, and fell upon him in 
the early morning. Cope threw his men into line, and waited 

to be attacked. The result was a disgraceful rout ; the wild rush 
of the clansmen carried all before it. The bayonets of the 
regulars proved no match for target and claymore, and the 
dragoons on the flanks fled in wild panic. Cope left the field 
among the first, and brought the news of his own defeat to 
Dunbar (September 21, 1745). 

The news of the fall of Edinburgh and the battle of Preston 

Pans came like a thunderclap to the English Government. 

Panic in There was hardly a soldier in the land save the 

England. rova i g Uar( Js in London ; the militia had not 

been called out, and the temper of the people was unknown. 

The imbecile Pelhams were at their wits' end, and it is said 

1745. Charles Edward in England. 507 

that Newcastle even made secret overtures to the Pretender. 
If Charles Edward could have marched forward the morning 
after his victory, there is no knowing where his success would 
have ended. 

But the prince halted for five weeks, to allow the Highlanders 
to stow away their plunder, and to raise and arm new levies. 
This delay was fatal to him ; it gave the ministry inactivity of 
time to summon over the English troops from the prince. 
Flanders, and to call out the militia a numerous if not a very 
serviceable body. 

When Charles Edward moved forward again on November 3, 
his chance was already gone. Marshal Wade lay at Newcastle 
with 10,000 veterans ; the Duke of Cumberland 

i r r T-I t neturn or 

with the rest of the army of Flanders was ten English troops 
clays behind him. The guards and the militia from Flandera 
of the southern counties lay on Finchley Common to protect 

The prince, ignorant of the fact that Jacobitism had almost 
disappeared in England during Walpole's peaceful rule, imagined 
that Wales and the North would rise in his favour, The advance 
if only he were to show himself beyond the Tweed to Derby, 
with an army at his back. Leaving 4000 men to garrison 
Scotland, he crossed the border with 6000 picked clansmen, 
routed the Cumbrian militia at Carlisle, and pushed rapidly 
southward into Lancashire. Before he had been ten days in 
England, he saw that he had been deceived as to the temper of 
the country. Hardly a man joined him not 200 recruits were 
found for him in the Tory county of Lancaster, which had put 
2000 men in the field in the old days of " the Fifteen." Hoping 
against hope, the prince pushed on still further, skilfully eluding 
the armies of Wade and Cumberland, who tried in vain to 
enclose him between them. But the Highlanders began to melt 
away from him, to drive home the cattle they had lifted, and 
the Jacobite chiefs were dismayed at the utter apathy of the 
English Tories. By the time that Derby was reached the rebel 
army had dwindled down to 3000 men, and it secerned likely 
that if Charles Edward persisted in advancing, he would arrive 
at London alone. Overborne by the arguments of his followers, 
he gave the order to retreat (December 6, 1745). 

He was ignorant of the effect that his advance had caused in 

508 Development of the Colonial Empire of Britain. 1740. 

the South. Panic prevailed in London, and on the " Black 
Friday" when the news of his arrival at Derby arrived, the 
timid ministers had been preparing for the worst. The king's 
plate had been sent on shipboard, the Bank of England had 
paid away every guinea in its reserve, and the militia at Finchley 
were fully persuaded that they were to be attacked on the 
next day by 10,000 wild clansmen. 

The Highland army slipped back to Scotland with little 
difficulty, evading both Wade and Cumberland, whose heavy 
The prince regiments could make no speed over the snowy 
retreats to December roads. On recrossing the Border 
S Battie of Charles called up his reserves, and was soon at the 
Falkirk. nea( i O f IOj ooo men. He trusted to maintain his 
hold on Scotland, even if England was unassailable. When the 
royal troops advanced, he inflicted a smart check on their 
vanguard at the battle of Falkirk (January 17, 1746). But the 
English came pouring northward in numbers which he could 
not hope to resist; the fiery Duke of Cumberland had more than 
30,000 men on the march by the spring of the New Year, and 
fresh levies were forming behind him. The Jacobite leaders saw 
that the day was lost, though hitherto all the fighting had been 
in their favour. Their undisciplined bands began to disperse 
once more, and the prince must have known that, unless the 
French came to his aid, the ruin of his cause was at hand. 
He was constrained to retire northward, first to Perth, then to 
Inverness, with an ever-dwindling host. Cumberland pushed 
on in his rear with 8000 picked men, resolved to revenge the 
disgraceful days of Preston Pans and Falkirk ; the rest of the 
English army followed at leisure. 

Charles Edward would not yield without one final blow. 
With the 5000 men who still followed his standard, he marched 
Battle of out from Inverness, and attacked the Duke on 
cuiioden. Culloden Moor (April 16, 1746). Cumberland 
was ready for the fight ; he had warned his troops to receive 
the Highland rush as if it were a cavalry charge, doubling the 
files and presenting a triple line of bayonets by making the 
front ranks kneel, while cannon were placed in the intervals 
between the regiments. The clansmen charged with their 
usual fury, but were staggered by the artillery fire, and almost 
blown to pieces by the triple volley of three ranks of infantry 

1746. 2 he B 'a tile of Culloden. 509 

delivered at a distance of only fifty paces. The survivors 
straggled up only to perish on the bayonets. The prince's left 
wing, where the Macdonald clan had held back on a foolish 
point of tribal jealousy, was still intact ; but when the English 
cavalry advanced, Charles saw that the day was lost, and bade 
his followers disperse. Cumberland tarnished the glory of his 
victory by the savage cruelty which he displayed. He gave 
no quarter, shot 200 prisoners in cold blood, and burnt every 
dwelling in the glens of the rebel clans. A price of 30,000 
was put upon the head of Charles Edward, who lurked for five 
months in the West Highlands before he could find a ship to 
take him to France. He passed through countless perils in 
safety, and found no man among his unfortunate followers mean 
enough to betray him in the day of adversity. The story of 
his romantic escape to Skye in the disguise of the maidservant 
of Flora Macdonald is well known to all. 

After this gallant if reckless expedition, Charles Edward never 
appeared again in English politics. He did not at first despair 
of striking another blow, and in 1750 paid a secret visit to 
Britain to see if a second insurrection were possible. But in 
England the Jacobites were almost extinct, while in Scotland 
they had been so sorely crushed that they had no power to 
stir again. The prince had to return, having accomplished 
nothing. Hope long deferred makes the heart sick, and in 
middle life Charles Edward grew apathetic, took to drinking, 
and became only the wreck of his old self. When his father 
died in 1765, he proclaimed himself king as Charles III., but 
never made another attempt to disturb the peace of England 
down to his death in 1788. With his brother Henry, a cardinal 
of the Roman Church, the male line of the Stuarts expired 
in 1807. 

The English Government dealt very hardly with the insurgents 
of 1745-6. Three Scottish peers, the Lords Kilmarnock, Bal- 
merino, and Lovat, were beheaded, as was Colonel Suppression 
Townley, the only Englishman of rank who had of scottisii 
joined the prince. Many scores of men of less Jac l 
note were hanged or shot. A series of bills was passed in 
Parliament for weakening the clans and sapping their loyalty 
to their chiefs. One forbade the wearing of the Highland dress 
with its tribal tartans. Another abolished the feudal jurisdiction, 

5 io Development of the Colonial Empire of Britain. 1748. 

which gave the chiefs power over their followers. Another 
made the possession of arms a penal offence. Good roads were 
pushed up into the remoter valleys, and an attempt was made 
to get rid of the Gaelic language by making English compulsory 
in schools. A few years later William Pitt took the wise step 
of endeavouring to turn the restless military energy of the 
Highlanders into patriotic channels, and raised several of the 
kilted regiments which have since distinguished themselves on 
so many British battle-fields. By the end of the century the 
Highlands were as quiet as any English shire, and Jacobitism 
had faded away into a romantic sentiment. 

The war with France and Spain dragged on for three years 
more, under very indifferent management on both sides. The 

Progress of withdrawal of the English army from Flanders 
Euro 6 T-1745 m J 745 ^ a d given the French an advantage in the 
1747. Netherlands, from which they had greatly profited. 
They had overrun the whole of the Austrian provinces, and 
in 1746 threatened the frontier of Holland. Cumberland and 
his army were recalled, after the suppression of the Scottish 
rising, to check the advance of the Marechal de Saxe. But the 
duke suffered at Lawfeldt, in front of Maestricht, a defeat of 
much the same character as that of Fontenoy (July 2, 1747). 
Nevertheless, the French in the following winter consented to 
treat for peace ; they had fared badly along their frontier on 
the Rhine and in Italy, and looked upon their successes in 
Belgium as only sufficient to entitle them to ask for a mutual 
restitution of all conquests. Moreover, their maritime trade 
had been completely ruined by the war, and several of their 
colonies had fallen into English hands. 

Hence came the treaty of Aachen (Aix la Chapelle), signed in 
the spring of 1748, to which all the powers who had been 

The treaty of engaged in the War of the Austrian Succession 
Aachen. g ave their assent. Maria Theresa had finally to 
acquiesce in the loss of Silesia to the King of Prussia, and to 
make smaller territorial concessions in Italy to Spain and 
Sardinia, giving Parma to one, and a long slip of the duchy of 
Milan to the other. The remainder of her vast dominions she 
maintained intact, while her husband, Francis of Lorraine, was 
acknowledged by all parties as Emperor, in succession to the 
unfortunate Charles of Bavaria, who had died in 1745. 

1748. The English ami French in India. 511 

England, France, and Spain restored to each other all that 
each had taken no very considerable amount and left the great 
question of their colonial and commercial rivalry The maritime 
quite unsettled. Another and a greater war was C AnBon ; s" 
required to decide it. The results of the fighting voyage, 
beyond the seas between 1739 an d 1748 had not been very 
important. We have already mentioned how the English had 
failed at Cartagena in 1741. On the other hand, they had 
captured the French island of Cape Breton, off the mouth of the 
St. Lawrence, in 1744, and had maintained with success a 
desultory struggle with the enemy along the inland frontier 
of Canada. One hazardous expedition against the Pacific ports 
of Spanish America had been carried to a brilliant end by 
Commodore Anson, who followed in the steps of Drake by 
capturing the great Acapulco galleon, with the yearly hoard 
of the mines of Mexico on board (1743). Like Drake, too, Anson 
returned to Europe by the Cape route, and brought his ship, 
the Centurion, back to Spithead in 1744, thus completing the 
circumnavigation of the world in three years. 

While these comparatively unimportant events had been 
happening on the American side of the globe, the first war 
waged between England and France in India had Indla _ Break . 
been giving promise of more serious results. Down up of the Mogul 
to the commencement of the eighteenth century 
the great empire of the Moguls had dominated Hindostan, and 
the traders of the English and French East India Companies 
had been no more than visitors to the coast, allowed to build 
factories at convenient ports by the bounty of the Great Mogul. 
But in 1707 had died Aurungzebe, the last powerful monarch 
of that house, and since his death the vast Mohammedan 
empire which his ancestors had built up was falling rapidly 
to pieces. Everywhere the Mogul viceroys, or " nawabs," were 
making themselves independent of their imperial master at 
Delhi. The native tribes of India also, more especially the 
brave Mahrattas of the Western Deccan, had been throwing 
off the Mussulman yoke and starting on a career of conquest. 
The European settlers in the ports of Southern India profited 
immensely by this relaxation of the central control which the 
Mogul government had been wont to exercise, and assumed a 
much less deferential tone when dealing with the revolted 

512 Development of the Colonial Empire of Britain. 1748. 

nawabs who now ruled in the Carnatic, Bengal, and the 

It was first during the War of the Austrian Succession that 

the English and French ventured to engage in hostilities with 

collision be- each other, without paying attention to the native 

EngUaiMwd P owers > whose sovereign rights they were thereby 

Frencu settlers, impugning. The factories of the two powers were 

scattered along the Coromandel coast in curious alternation, 

and it was here that the struggle took place. The English 

were based on their chief settlement at Madras, the French on 

their stronghold of Pondicherry. 

Four years of fighting gave a decided superiority to the 
French, who were headed by Dupleix, a man of great energy 
successes of and far-reaching views. He was the first to dis- 
Dupieix. cover the part that might be played in Indian 
politics by native troops officered and drilled by Europeans. 
These Sepoys (Sipahis is the more correct form) had originally 
been small armed guards employed by the governors of the 
factories. Dupleix discovered, from a chance encounter at St. 
Thome (1746), that a small body of these disciplined mercenaries 
could defeat whole hordes of native cavalry, and used his dis- 
covery with skill and promptitude. Raising large numbers of 
Sepoys, he built up the first regular army that had been seen 
in India. In his struggle with the English he was very success- 
ful. Madras and almost all the other English factories fell into 
his hands, and it looked as if the French were to be the sole 
power in Southern Hindostan. The complete triumph of Dupleix 
was only prevented by his quarrels with his colleague Labour- 
donnais, the governor of the Mauritius, who had come to his 
aid at the head of a fleet. They were both energetic and 
arbitrary, refused to fall in with each other's plans, and so failed 
to completely expel the English from the Coromandel coast. The 
other settlements of the East India Company the island port of 
Bombay, the old dowry of Catherine of Portugal, and the factory 
of Fort William at Calcutta in Bengal were not molested. 

To the intense disgust of Dupleix, the treaty of Aachen 
stipulated the mutual restoration of conquests, and the English 
settlements were all given back in 1 748. In India, as in America, 
all was left unsettled, and the struggle for supremacy had to be 
deferred for a space. 

1750, The Broad Bottomed Administration. 513 

Eight years of uneasy peace followed the indecisive and vague 
treaty of Aachen (1748-1756). England, under the feeble rule of 
the two Pelhams, seemed to have sunk back into Tne"Broad- 
the same condition of prosperous lethargy which ^mintetiu- 
had been her lot in the uneventful days of Walpole. tion." 
In her political history there is nothing of moment to relate ; 
the Pelhams had almost silenced opposition by the simple ex- 
pedient of finding places in the cabinet or the public service for 
any one who might have made himself dangerous to them. 
Even the eloquent and energetic William Pitt, the consistent 
denouncer of all ministers, had been quieted for a time by 
the gift of the lucrative post of Paymaster of the Forces. 
Room was found for so many and diverse persons in the 
Pelham cabinet, that it was known as the "Broad-Bottom 

The Pelhams, though using the old Whig catchwords about 
liberty and reform, were, like Walpole, only anxious to keep 
things quiet and to preserve themselves in office, conversion of 
Hence there is little or nothing to record of their the 3 f e ^ i ^ nal 
doings. We may mention, however, the creation " Consols." 
of our celebrated 3 per cents, by Henry Pelham, who was some- 
what of a financier, his sole accomplishment. The National 
Debt, then a sum of ^78,000,000, was paying 4 per cent, at the 
time of the treaty of Aachen. The premier, seeing that the 
public credit was good, and money cheap, resolved to reduce 
the rate of interest. This he accomplished by borrowing money 
at 3 per cent, to pay off all those national creditors who would 
not accept the new scale. The conversion was accomplished 
with ease, and relieved the revenue of some ,500,000 a year of 
expenses. The debt, thus reduced and simplified, received its 
new name of" Consols," all the old loans having been consolidated 
into one (1750). 

A word may be also given to the reform of the Calendar in 
1752. England up to this time had used the " Old Style," or 
Julian Calendar, invented by Julius Caesar eighteen The reform 
centuries before. A slight error in the calculation of the 
of the great Roman had made the year too short, Calenct ar. 
and in the lapse of the ages this error had grown by accu- 
mulation into as much as eleven days. England, later than 
most nations, adopted the reformed or Gregorian Calendar 


514 Development of the Colonial Empire of Britain. 1750. 

named after Pope Gregory XIII. during the Pelham adminis- 
tration. Thus, the change being made on September 2, 1752, 
the day that followed became the I4th instead of the 3rd. This 
bewildered the multitude, and was made a serious charge 
against the minister by many ignorant folks, who com- 
plained that they had been defrauded of eleven days of their 
lives ! 

In such comparatively trifling events the middle years of the 
eighteenth century passed away. The stagnant times of the 
old Whig oligarchy were drawing towards their close, and 
the movements which were to stir England so deeply in the next 
generation were beginning to develop. 

We have already spoken of the increasing commercial supre- 
macy of England in the period. This growth in foreign trade 
innin of was now beginning to be supplemented by an 
the industrial increased activity in manufacturing industry, which 

revolution. wag ^ ^ e tne distinguishing mark of the second 
half of the century. But the first signs of it were already 
apparent before 1750. The earliest attempt for the improvement 
of the inland communications of the kingdom may be traced to 
1720, when the Irwell canal was opened to Manchester. As 
important a landmark is the discovery of the process of smelting 
iron by means of coal in 1740. Up to this time iron had always 
been worked with charcoal, and the manufacture of it had been 
almost confined to the wooded districts of southern England, 
most especially to the Sussex Weald. But the new process 
opened up the Yorkshire iron mines, which were to completely 
supersede those of the South, for in the North iron and coal are 
found together in most convenient proximity. All this develop- 
ment, however, belongs to the times of George III. rather than 
those of George II. 

Even more important in the history of the social life of Eng- 
land than the expansion of her commercial resources, was another 

The church cnan ge which began about the middle of the 

under the eighteenth century, in the sphere of spiritual things. 

The Whig supremacy in the State, which had 

begun in 1714, had the most deplorable results on the Church. 

Walpole and his disciples were men quite out of sympathy with 

any religious impulse ; their lives and morals would not bear 

looking into, and they openly scoffed at religion. To them the 

1750. The Church under Whig Rule. 515 

Church was simply a field of patronage for friends and depen- 
dents, and a machine for supplementing the working of the State. 
Down to the time of Anne's death the Tory party had been 
supreme within the bounds of the establishment, and the Whigs 
therefore viewed the whole body of the clergy with suspicion. 
They stopped in 1717 the meetings of Convocation, which had 
existed from time immemorial, wishing to prevent the clerical 
body from finding a mouthpiece. They systematically officered 
the Church with Whig bishops, of whom nothing was asked but 
political orthodoxy. As was likely, men chosen on this principle 
were often most unfit pastors of the Church. A Walpole or a 
Pelham was not likely to select men whose characteristics were 
fervour or enthusiasm. The Whig bishops were generally of 
two classes either they were prominent political clergy, court 
chaplains and the like, who laid themselves out to win prefer- 
ment by their sermons, or they were " Greek-play bishops " to 
use an expressive phrase mere scholars, whose title to promotion 
was to have edited a classic author or ruled a public school. 
Both classes were, as a rule, very inefficient ; many were 
scandalous non-residents, and seldom went near their dioceses, 
dwelling in London all the year round and haunting the court. 
Remote sees like Bangor or Carlisle hardly knew the face of 
their bishops. Some of these prelates were more notable for 
their political than their religious orthodoxy ; of these " Latitu- 
dinarian " bishops perhaps the best known is Hoadley, whom 
the Whigs promoted to four sees one after another, in spite of 
the fact that his views on the Trinity were hardly consistent 
with his position as a member of the Church. 

It was not to be expected that such prelates would be in touch 
with their subordinates the country clergy, who still for the most 
part remained Tory in their views, looked on the Decllne of 
least measure for the political emancipation of religious 
Dissenters or Romanists with horror, and nourished 
a strong personal dislike for the two first Georges and their 
ministers. Hence came such a breach in the unity and organi- 
zation of the Church as had never been seen before. The upper 
clergy were careless and unspiritual, the lower clergy grew 
lethargic and apathetic under the neglect of their superiors. There 
was a general tendency to praise common sense and morality, 
and to sneer at theological learning or evangelical fervour. 

516 Development of the Colonial Empire of Britain. 1750. 

This general deadness in the Church could not long continue 
without causing a reaction. The great feature in the second 
he Methodist l uarter ^ tne eighteenth century was the appear- 
movement.- ance of the " Methodist " movement, of which John 
John Wesley. W esley was the originator. Shocked by the want 
of energy and enthusiasm among the clergy, Wesley, a Fellow 
of Lincoln College, Oxford, devoted himself to active evangelical 
work, and especially to public preaching. He is first heard of 
as preaching to the poor of neglected Oxford parishes, and to the 
prisoners in the jail (1729). A few years later he went out as 
a missionary to America, and laboured in the backwoods of 
Georgia. Returning in 1738, he resumed his work in England, 
passing from place to place, and addressing large congregations 
of all sorts and conditions of men. His fervent eloquence and 
enthusiasm came as a revelation to the neglected masses of the 
cities, or to congregations condemned to many years of sermons 
on dry morality. He spoke of sin and conversion with an earnest- 
ness which had not been seen since the days of early Puritan 
enthusiasm. Wesley and the numerous followers who sprang 
up to join him might have inspired the Church with a new spirit 
of fervour, if they had but been permitted to do so. But, un- 
fortunately, the Latitudinarian bishops disliked his emotional 
harangues and his clear-cut dogma, and the parish clergy often 
treated him as an intruder when he appeared inside their cures. 
Hence, though a strong Churchman at first, he was gradually 
driven into schism, and became the founder of a new Non- 
conformist sect, instead of the restorer of the spirituality of the 
Church from within. Towards the end of his sixty years of 
labour (1729-91), he took the final step of ordaining preachers 
and allowing them to celebrate the sacraments, thus committing 
his followers to abandoning the national Church. His work, 
however, was not without its effect inside the Church of England ; 
many who sympathized with him remained Churchmen, and 
from them came the Evangelical, or newer Low-Church party, 
within the establishment. 

From Wesley and his contemporaries began a decided im 

Growth of provement in the moral life of England. After 

a higher remaining at its lowest ebb in the eighty years that 

morality. followed the Restoration, it began to mend about 

the middle of the century. The change is marked in all the 

1750 England before the Seven Years' War. 517 

most characteristic spheres of action, by an increased humanity 
to prisoners, paupers, and slaves, an improved tone in literature 
and the drama, and a growing demand for the observation of a 
higher standard of morals by public men. Political corruption 
and ostentatious ill living, which had been the rule in the begin- 
ning of the eighteenth century, had become the exception at 
its end. 

But if England was more serious and more moral by the end 
of the century, no small share in that result must be attributed 
to the sobering effect of three long and desperate wars, which 
more than once seemed about to be the ruin of the realm. 
Between 1756 and 1815 there were to be thirty-six years of war 
to twenty-three of peace, and two whole generations were bred 
up in times of stress and trouble, which developed the sterner 
virtues, and taught men no longer to sneer at fervour, whether 
displayed in patriotism or in religion. 

The " Seven Years' War " into which England was plunged 
in 1756, while still under the imbecile guidance of the elder 
Pelham, was the most important struggle in which T he seven 
she had engaged since the days of the Spanish Years' war. 
Armada. It definitely settled all the points which had been left 
undetermined by the peace of Aachen, and gave her the empire 
of the seas and the lion's share of the commerce of the world. 
Her hold on these gains was to be shaken in later wars, but 
never lost. 

The Seven Years' War, like the War of the Austrian 
Succession, had two sides the Colonial and the European. In 
1756, as in 1742, England, while contending for her own objects 
beyond seas, was also subsidizing a powerful continental ally, 
who had his own interests to serve, in order to distract the 
attention of France from the more distant struggle. The new 
war resembled the old in another respect. In each case it 
was the colonial quarrel which first came to the front; the 
European strife was a later development. The causes which 
provoked the Seven Years' War were to be found both in 
America and in India. In both of these quarters the repre- 
sentatives of England and of France came to blows before the 
mother countries had resolved on war. The quarrel was the 
result of natural causes which made it inevitable, and not the 
deliberate work of the timid Newcastle or the selfish Lewis XV, 

5 1 8 Development of the Colonial Empire of Britain. 1751. 

It was in India that the first hostilities broke out, not very 
long after the peace of Aachen had been signed. We have 
supremacy of already mentioned how the French governor 

^utbon? Dupleix had raised an army of Sepoys, and re- 
india. solved to employ it for the furtherance of French 
interests in Southern India. He was enabled to do this by the 
fact that a war of succession had broken out in each of the two 
great native states which were neighbours to the European 
settlements on the Coromandel coast. In the Deccan two 
princes of the Nizam family, an uncle and a nephew, were dis- 
puting for the throne of Hyderabad. In the Carnatic a rebellious 
minister was trying to usurp his master's throne. Dupleix re- 
solved to sell the aid of his army to one pretender for use against 
the other. The appearance of his disciplined battalions in the 
field settled the fortune of war at once. He gained for his ally 
Mozuffer Jung the whole of the Hyderabad dominions. Then 
he turned against the Carnatic, slew the old nawab in battle, 
and drove his son, Mohammed Ali, into Trichinopoly, his last 
stronghold. The rebel minister, Chunda Sahib, was then saluted 
as ruler of the land. The two new nawabs soon became the 
mere creatures of Dupleix, whose military strength completely 
overawed their motley armies. They lavished millions of rupees 
upon him, and Mozuffer Jung gave him the title of Supreme 
Vizier of all India south of the river Kistnah, and appointed him 
permanent chief of his army. 

Dupleix was in truth master of Southern India, a fact viewed 
with dismay by the English settlers along the Coromandel coast. 

ciive seizes They na< ^> m rivalry with him, espoused the cause 
and holds of the two nawabs whom he had crushed. One of 
these princes was now dead, the other besieged in 
his last stronghold. The rulers of Madras despaired, but a 
single bold spirit persuaded them to venture a blow against the 
power of the Frenchman. Robert Clive, the scapegrace son of a 
Shropshire squire, had been sent out to Madras as a clerk in the 
East India Company's service to keep him out of mischief. But 
he changed his pen for the sword, and became a captain in the 
Company's army. Now he persuaded Governor Saunders to 
entrust him with a few hundred men, to make a diversion in 
favour of the besieged nawab, Mohammed Ali. To draw away 
the army which was beleaguering Trichinopoly, Clive resolved to 

1754. dive at Arcot, 519 

sippi valley. 

520 Development of the Colonial Empire of Britain. 1754. 

to connect it with Canada by a string of forts placed along the 
Mississippi and its tributary the Ohio. If they could have 
carried out this gigantic and wide-stretching plan, they would 
have shut in the English colonies between the Alleghany 
mountains and the sea, and prevented them from extending into 
the interior of the continent. The weak point of the plan was 





that the French were far too few in numbers to execute any 
such project. Though they counted among them many hardy 
backwoodsmen and fur-traders, who had explored all the water- 
ways of the West, they could not back these pioneers up with 
solid masses of population. There were not more than 180,000 

1756. The Sevtn Years' War begins. 521 

French emigrants in America, while the English colonies boasted 
at this time nearly 2,000,000 sturdy settlers. 

In spite of this disparity of numbers, the French governors 
were set on executing their venturous scheme. It was their 
active advance into the wilderness that lay between outbreak of 
Canada and the English colonies, that brought ^J^S''^ 
about the first collisions with the English outposts. defeat. 
The three northern links of the chain that was to join Canada 
with Louisiana were Fort Ticonderoga, at the south end of Lake 
Champlain, Fort Niagara, near the Great Falls between Lake 
Erie and Lake Ontario, and Fort Duquesne, at the head-waters 
of the Ohio. The first and last of these were a very few miles from 
the English back-settlements, and their establishment in 1754-55 
was looked upon as a direct challenge by the inhabitants of 
Pennsylvania and Virginia. In 1754 a party of Virginian militia, 
headed by Major George Washington, of whom we shall hear 
much later on, made a dash on Fort Duquesne. But they were 
beaten and forced to surrender after a fight at Great Meadows. 
This provoked the colonies, and at their request General Brad- 
dock repeated the attack in the next year with a force of 2200 
men, part of whom were British regulars. But he was drawn 
into an ambuscade by a very inferior force of French and 
Indians, his force was disgracefully routed, and he himself was 
slain. The fighting at once began to spread, and both England 
and France sent out reinforcements to America. Yet the two 
nations were still nominally at peace, and the French, who 
were just about to engage in a great war in Germany, were not 
anxious to commence hostilities with England at this particular 
moment. Newcastle, however, precipitated the outbreak of the 
struggle by a characteristic half- measure. He sent out Admiral 
Boscawen with orders not to attack all French ships, but to 
intercept a particular squadron carrying troops to Canada. 
Boscawen met it, and took two vessels after a fight ; this made 
war inevitable. It broke out in the spring of 1756, and opened 
with a series of disasters for England, a fact which causes no 
surprise when we remember that her forces were under the 
direction of the imbecile Newcastle. 

Just at the same moment another struggle was commencing 
on the Continent. The Empress Maria Theresa had never 
forgiven the King of Prussia for robbing her of Silesia in the 

522 Development of the Colonial Empire of Britain. 1756. 

hour of her distress, fourteen years before. She had devoted 
. much time and trouble to forming a great coali- 

Europeancoali- . 

tion against tion for the purpose of punishing the plunderer, 
Prussia. an( j k a( j secret jy enlisted in her alliance France, 
Russia, Sweden, Saxony, and most of the smaller German 
states. For the unscrupulous and rapacious Frederic was not 
viewed with love by his neighbours, and it was easy to combine 
them against him. His venomous pen had made enemies of 
two vindictive women, Elizabeth Empress of Russia, and 
Madame de Pompadour, the all-powerful mistress of Lewis XV., 
and though political expediency did not prescribe war with 
Prussia to either Russia or France, yet personal resentment 
brought it about. 

The open war between England and France had broken 
out in the spring of 1756. In the autumn of the same year the 

Frederic ii contmen tal struggle began. Getting secret intelli- 

overruns ' geiice of the plot that was maturing against him, 

saxony. Frederic resolved to strike before his numerous 

adversaries were ready, and invaded Saxony. He overran the 

whole electorate and annihilated the Saxon army in a fortnight. 

But Austria, Russia, Sweden, and France immediately fell upon 

him, and he had much ado to avoid being crushed by brute 

force of numbers ; for Prussia was but a small state of 5,000,000 

souls, while the confederacy ranged against her counted half 

Europe in its ranks. 

Alone among a host of foes, Frederic was desperately in need 
of an ally. And only one ally was possible England. For 

Alliance be- botn England and Prussia were now at war with 
tween England France, and it was obvious that they ought to aid 

and Prussia 11 , 

each other against their common foe. 

Moreover, the English Government was itself sadly in need 
of assistance, for the war had opened with a series of disasters 
The loss of in more than one quarter of the world. The most 
Minorca. serious loss had been suffered in the Mediter- 
ranean : a French fleet and army under the Due de Richelieu 
had slipped out of Toulon and fallen on Minorca, the Spanish 
island which had formed part of England's plunder at the 
peace of Utrecht. The English garrison was weak, for it had 
always been supposed that we were strong enough at sea to 
prevent the enemy from approaching this important possession, 

1756. English disasters Newcastle resigns. 523 

which was to us then what Malta is now. But when the 
Mediterranean fleet under Admiral Byng came up to relieve the 
troops beleaguered in the citadel of Port Mahon, a disgraceful 
sight was seen. The English admiral, finding that the French 
squadron was slightly superior to his own, refused to fight, and 
fled away to Gibraltar, though his second in command urged 
him hotly to risk everything in order to save the island. The 
deserted garrison held out a month longer, and then was forced 
to surrender (June, 1756). 

Nor was this the only disaster with which the Seven Years' 
War opened. Montcalm, the French commander in Canada, made 
a dash against the frontier garrisons of the British Successe8 of 
colonists in America, and took Forts Oswego and Montcalm in 
William Henry, our outposts on the North-West. 

Still more shocking news was on its way home from India. 
The Nawab of Bengal, a cruel and debauched tyrant named 
Suraj-ud-Dowlah, had picked a quarrel with the The Black Hole 
governor of Calcutta, the English factory near the of Calcutta, 
mouth of the Ganges. Suddenly declaring war in June, 1756, 
the same month that Minorca was lost, he captured Calcutta 
with ease. In his hour of triumph, he bade his guards thrust all 
his captives into the " Black Hole," a small dungeon not much 
more than twenty feet square, which had been wont to serve as 
the prison of the factory. No less than 146 persons merchants, 
officials, soldiers, and women were driven into this confined 
space, and locked in for the night. They were tightly wedged 
together, had no air save from two narrow barred windows, and 
could not move. In the stifling heat of a Bengal June, nearly 
the whole of them perished of suffocation. Only twenty-three 
one of whom was a woman were found alive next morning. 
The horrors of the Black Hole were soon to be revenged, but 
long ere the news of the punishment which Clive wreaked on 
the nawab came home, the Newcastle ministry had been driven 

rfrom office. 
The popular outcry at the mismanagement of the war, and 
above all at the loss of Minorca, had been too great for the feeble 
Newcastle to withstand. It was in vain that he Trial of 
arrested Byng and promised to try him for cowardice. "^JJSiof Nev^ 
For Byng could not be made the scapegoat for castle, 
disasters in America or India, and the universal indignation 

524 Development of the Colonial Empire of Britain. 1756. 

against Newcastle's administration of the war forced him to 
resign in November, 1756. Shortly after the admiral was tried 
by court-martial, condemned, and shot, for disobedience to 
orders and for criminal feebleness, though he was acquitted of 
any treasonable intent or personal cowardice. His death 
served, as Voltaire remarked at the time, " pour encourager les 
autres? and English admirals since then have never shirked an 
engagement with an enemy of only slightly superior force. 

The king summoned the opposition Whigs to form a cabinet, 

and William Pitt and the Duke of Devonshire took office. Pitt, 

as we have already had occasion to remark, was 

Pitt and Devon- , ; f . , T71 . 

ehire take the fighting man of the Whig party, and the advo- 
office ' cate of a vigorous colonial and commercial policy. 
He was the one statesman of the day who commanded the 
confidence of the nation, because he was the only one whose 
reputation was entirely free from the stain of political corruption. 
He was an able, eloquent man, whose scathing denunciations of 
the errors and feebleness of the late ministry were convincing 
to all who heard them. It remained to be seen if his own 
administration would prove more successful. At first, however, 
it seemed likely that Pitt would have small opportunity of trying 
his hand at the helm. Though he was trusted by the nation, 
he was not trusted by the House of Commons. Newcastle set 
himself to overthrow his successor, by bidding his hirelings in 
the Lower House to vote consistently against the new ministers. 
Moreover, King George disliked Pitt for his vehemence and his 
pompous language. 

Hence came a vexatious crisis in April, 1757, when Pitt found 
himself in a minority in the House of Commons, and was dis- 
pitt dismissed, missed from office by the king. But the public 
"^ShNew : - t ou tcry against the proposed resumption of office 
castle. by Newcastle was so loud, that a curious and not 
very satisfactory compromise was arranged. The duke offered 
to take Pitt as his colleague, and to give him a free hand in the 
management of the war and all foreign policy, if he himself 
were permitted to retain the direction of domestic affairs. Pitt 
believed himself to be necessary to his country ; he thought 
that he could bring the war to a successful conclusion, and that 
no one else could do so. Hence, though he was thoroughly 
acquainted with the mean and intriguing spirit of the duke, he 

1757. The Pitt-Newcastle Ministry. 525 

took his offer. Newcastle wanted no more than the power of 
managing Parliament and dispensing patronage his ideas of 
government went no further. In return he placed his sub- 
servient parliamentary majority at Pitt's disposal.. The result 
was, as a shrewd contemporary observer remarked, that " Mr. 
Pitt does everything, and the Duke of Newcastle gives every- 

The Pitt-Newcastle ministry lasted nearly six years, and its 
excellent results almost justified the ignominious compact on 
which it was founded. Soon after Pitt got the , 

The Conven- 

control of affairs, the fortune of war began to tionofcioster- 
mend. His first attempts at launching expedi- 
tions against France were, it is true, unsuccessful. The Duke of 
Cumberland was sent to Hanover to defend the electorate 
against the French. But he suffered the same misfortune 
as at Fontenoy and Lawfeldt, once more showing himself a 
brave soldier, but a bad strategist. At Hastenbeck he was 
defeated, and, retiring northward, was pressed back against the 
North Sea near Stade, and forced to sign the Convention of 
Closter-Seven, by which the Hanoverian army laid down its arms 
(June, 1757). 

This disaster exposed the western frontier of Prussia to the 
French, and might have proved the ruin of King Frederic. 

But that marvellous general saved himself by the _ 

Battles oiRoss- 

rapid blows which he dealt to West and East. bach and 
Flying into central Germany, he routed the French ^uthen. 
at Rossbach (November 5) ; and then, returning to Silesia before 
the Austrians had missed him, he defeated the troops of the 
Empress at Leuthen (December 5). Thus he won himself six 
months' respite, and during that time Pitt raised another army 
for service in Germany, which was placed under Prince Ferdinand 
of Brunswick, a distant cousin of the royal family, but a general 
of very different order from the unlucky George of Cumberland. 
This force effectually protected the western borders of Prussia 
and the electorate of Hanover from the French during the 
remainder of the war. 

With the opening of the year 1758 began a succession of 
victories all over the world, which effectually justi- war-policy of 
fied the claims of Pitt to be the restorer of the 
greatness of Britain. He had everywhere put new vigour into the 

526 Development of the Colonial Empire of Britain. i?58. 

struggle, by placing young generals, chosen by himself, at the 
head of his expeditions, and by raising loans for war expenses 
with a profusion which appalled more timid financiers. Part 
of this wealth was lavished on the King of Prussia, whose aid 
was invaluable in distracting the forces of France. " I am 
conquering Canada on the plains of Germany," observed Pitt 
to those who reproached him for the vast subsidies which he 
sent to Frederic. And the epigram was true, for the reinforce- 
ments which were absolutely necessary if France was to retain 
her American possessions, were being sent across the Rhine 
to join in the great European struggle. Pitt, in fact, was work- 
ing out to a glorious end the policy which Carteret had sketched 
nearly twenty years before. 

While Ferdinand of Brunswick with his Anglo-Hanoverian 
army beat the French at Crefeldt, and kept them back on the 
The struggle Rhine (June, 1758), still more important things 
for Canada. were being effected in America. A general 
advance was made along the whole front of the French posses- 
sions in America. In the north Admiral Boscawen and the 
young General Wolfe captured Louisburg, the strongly fortified 
capital of the island of Cape Breton. In the south Fort 
Uuquesne was occupied by a force consisting mainly of colonial 
militia, and thus the line of French communications between 
Canada and Louisiana was effectually cut. The jubilant 
colonists changed the name of the place to Pittsburg in honour 
of the great minister. Only in the centre of the advance was 
a reverse sustained ; there the French commander, the gallant 
Montcalm, had collected the bulk of his forces behind the 
ramparts of Ticonderoga, to bar the line of advance up the 
Hudson. General Abercrombie was repulsed with fearful loss 
when he attempted to take the place by assault, though his 
men did all that could be done, and Pitt's new Highland 
regiments absolutely filled the ditch with their bodies ere they 
could be forced to retire. But the fall of Canada was only 
delayed a few months by this check to the British arms. 

The next year, 1759, was even more fertile in successes. The 
naval strength of France received its final blow in 

Lagos and two decisive battles. The French Mediterranean 

Quiberon. fleet mn Qut Q f Toulon and tried to escape into 
the Atlantic, but Admiral Boscawen met them off Lagos in 

1759. Battles of Lagos, Quiberon, and Minden. 527 

Portugal, and took or destroyed most of the vessels. Some 
months later Admiral Hawke attacked the French Atlantic fleet, 
which had come out of Brest and was lying in Quiberon Bay. 
Though a fierce storm was raging, he ran into the bay and 
forced the enemy to engage. In the heat of the fight many of 
their ships were driven ashore and lost, while Hawke carried off 
two prizes, and only a few out of the hostile fleet escaped into 
the mouth of the river Vilaine. After the battles of Lagos and 
Quiberon Bay, the enemy never attempted to appear at sea in 
any force during the remaining four years of the war. Indeed, 
the French marine was almost entirely destroyed, for sixty-four 
line-of-battle ships had been sunk or taken in 1758-1759. 

In the same year a great victory had been gained in Germany. 
When the French reinforced their army of the Rhine and 
again pushed forward toward Hanover, Prince Battle of 
Ferdinand gave them battle at Minden, and in- Minden. 
flicted on them a defeat which sent them back in haste towards 
their own borders. The chief honour of the fight fell to seven 
regiments of English infantry, which received and repelled the 
fierce charges of the whole of the cavalry of the French army ; 
but a slur was cast on the victory by the misconduct of Lord 
George Sackville, the general of the English horse, who refused 
out of temper or cowardice to charge the broken enemy and 
complete their rout. Nevertheless the fight did its work, and 
proved the salvation of our ally, Frederic II., who was just at 
this moment in the depths of despair. He had suffered a fear- 
ful defeat at the hands of the Russians at Kiinersdorf, on the 
Oder, and was only saved from complete destruction by being 
able to draw aid from the victorious army of Prince Ferdinand. 

But events of far greater import had happened in America 
during this summer. Pitt had sketched out a concentric attack 
on Canada from three sides. General Amherst , 

M-ontcnlrn find 

had taken Ticonderoga, the fort that had baffled Woife.-Battie 
Abercrombie in the previous year, while another 
expedition captured Fort Niagara and the other western strong- 
holds of the French. But the main blow was struck in the 
North. An English fleet appeared in the St. Lawrence and put 
ashore General Wolfe, Pitt's favourite officer, with an army of 
8000 men. Montcalm hurried to the spot with all the French 
regulars in the province, and a horde of Canadian militia, and 

528 Development of the Colonial Empire of Britain. 1759. 

hastened to the defence of Quebec, the capital of the land. The 
place was very strongly placed, being protected on two sides 
by the rivers St. Lawrence and St. Charles, and watched by 
Montcalm's entrenched camp at Beauport. After failing to 

break the French lines, Wolfe ventured on a hazardous flank 
attack. The cliffs overhanging the St. Lawrence were believed 
to be inaccessible, as there was only a single precipitous goat- 
track which mounted them, and this was protected by a guard. 
But Wolfe resolved to risk the danger of assaulting them. His 

1750. The Battle of Quebec. 529 

53O Development of the Colonial Empire of Britain. 

was entrusted with one regiment of British troops, the 39th, 
which bears on its colours the honourable legend Primus in Indis, 
and with 2000 Madras sepoys. With this small force he did not 
hesitate to invade the vast but unwarlike province of Bengal. 
He forced his way up the Hoogly and recovered Calcutta with 
ease. But he hesitated some time before advancing into the 
interior, to strike at the nawab's capital of Moorshedabad. 

Soon, however, he learnt that Suraj-ud-Dowlah was hated by 
his subjects, and that his own ministers were ready to betray 

Battle of him. Armed with this knowledge, Clive advanced 
SnS^s 6 from Calcutta as far as the village of Plassey, 
ters of Bengal, where he found himself in face of the nawab's 
hordes, 50,000 irregular horse and foot of the worst quality. The 
English were attacked but feebly and half-heartedly, for the 
enemy had no confidence in their prince. Moreover, Mir Jaffar, 
who commanded one wing of his army, had sold himself to 
Clive for the promise of his master's throne, and held aloof all 
day, like Northumberland at Bosworth Field. At the hour of 
noon Clive bade his men charge, and the contemptible soldiery 
of Suraj-ud-Dowlah fled before the assault, though they out- 
numbered the English by eighteen to one. Only the nawab's 
French artillerymen stood firm, and were bayoneted at their 
guns. This battle, which gave England the rich realm of Bengal, 
was won with a loss of only 72 men to the victors. Clive soon 
seized Moorshedabad and installed Mir Jaffar as nawab in his 
master's room. The deposed tyrant was caught by his successor 
and promptly strangled. Mir Jaffar ruled for the future as the 
dependent of England, paid the East India Company a tribute, 
and acted as their vassal. Thus Bengal, though not annexed, 
was for all practical purposes made a part of the British empire. 

Clive sullied his laurels by two acts which show the un- 
scrupulous character that was allied with his great talents. 
Before Plassey, a Bengali named Omichund discovered the 
intrigue with Mir Jaffar, and threatened to reveal it to the 
nawab. Clive bought him off by a forged promise of money 
signed with the name of Admiral Watson. When the danger 
was over, he avowed his forgery to the traitor, who thereupon 
went mad with rage and disappointed greed. After Plassey 
Clive committed his second fault, by accepting for his private 
use huge sums of gold which Mir Jaffar offered him. When 

1760. End of the French power in India. 531 

taunted with this, he only replied that " he was astonished at his 
own moderation, considering the enormously larger amount that 
he might have asked and received " (1757). After settling Bengal 
and defeating an attempt to reconquer it made by Shah Alum, 
the heir of the Great Moguls, Clive returned to England in 1759, 
to be saluted as the conqueror of the East. 

While Clive was overrunning Bengal, the English armies in 
the Carnatic were making an end of the small remnants of the 
French power in India. The operations were pro- Battle of 
tracted, till in January, 1760, Sir Eyre Coote routed 
the last French army at Wandewash, and, ere 
another year was out, Pondicherry and all the other strongholds 
of the enemy were in his hands. 

While England was thus triumphant alike in Europe, India, 
and America, and Pitt was at the height of his glory, the old 
king, George II., died suddenly in his seventy- Death of 
eighth year (October 25, 1760). His death made George n. 
an instant change in the national politics both at home and 
abroad, for his successor was not one of those sovereigns who 
were contented to obey their ministers and meekly bear the yoke 
of the great Whig oligarchy. 

( 532 ) 1760. 



IN the last two centuries of English history the accession of a 
new king has not often caused a complete revolution in politics. 
The change of sovereigns often gives us an unfortunate and 
misleading cross-division, cutting periods in two that are really 
one, or making us dream that there is a unity in periods which 
are really divided in their interest and meaning. 

This was not the case, however, when George III. succeeded 
his grandfather George II. For the last time in English 
history, the change of kings implied a real break in the con- 
tinuity of the politics of the time. The new monarch was only 
twenty-two years of age, and was totally unversed in affairs of 
state. George II. had lived in bitter enmity with his feeble and 
factious son, Frederic Prince of Wales, the nonentity of whom 
the contemporary satirist wrote 

' ' Since it's only Fred who was alive and is dead, 
There's no more to be said." 

After the prince's death, the old king had transferred his dis- 
like to his son's widow and his grandson. George III. had 
therefore been brought up almost in seclusion. 

Education and ,.. 

political aims The most notable point in his education was that 
or George m. his mot h e r, Augusta of Saxe-Gotha, had taught 
him to despise his grandfather and his grandfather's position 
in the State. He had been told from his earliest years that 
the position of a sovereign who allowed himself to be led and 
governed by his ministers was degrading. " When you come 
to the throne," we are told that his mother said, " George, be 
k^ng" The idea had taken root, and the young prince had 
made up his mind that he should rule his ministers, not his 

1760, The aims and character of George TIT. 533 

ministers him. That the cabinet should be responsible to the 
king as well as to Parliament, was the keystone of his theory. 
He would have the choice of his ministers lie in his own hands, 
not in those of the great Whig houses. George did not wish 
to rule unconstitutionally, to fly in the face of Parliament, or to 
govern without it, as the Stuarts had tried to do. He had, 
indeed, such a belief in his own good intentions, that he thought 
that they must coincide with the nation's will, and there were 
circumstances which for some time bore him out in his view. 

George's main bent was to assert his individuality, and take 
the chief share in the governance of the country. The other 
features of his character are easy to describe. 
His tastes were frugal, and his private life strictly 3 
virtuous, a thing which had not been known in an English king 
for more than a century. He was sincerely pious, though, as 
some critics observed, he was better at scenting out other 
persons' sins than his own. He had an enormous capacity 
for hard work, though no very great brain-power to guide him 
through it. He had a great share of self-restraint and reticence, 
so that it was not easy to guess what plans he had in hand 
when he did not wish them to be known. Above all, he was 
terribly obstinate, with the obstinacy of a good-hearted man, 
who feels he is in the right, and believes that he will be doing 
wrong if he gives up his own opinion. Lastly, though he had 
no power of appreciating greatness of any kind (he called 
Shakespeare " sad stuff, only one must not say so," and thought 
Pitt a bombastic old actor), yet he had great penetration in 
measuring littleness in others. This made him exceedingly fitted 
to cope with the average Whig statesmen of his day. 

When George came to the throne he was greeted with the 
usual popularity which attends a new and untried sovereign. 
He showed himself affable and good-tempered, a 
model of decorum and respectability, and won all 
hearts by his English habits and prejudices. His grandfather 
and great-grandfather had been Germans in mind and language. 
George III. took the first opportunity of declaring that he was 
English born and bred, and that " he gloried in the name of 
Briton." By so doing he won all men's hearts. Thus in the 
beginning of his struggle with the Whigs he had the inestimable 
advantage of personal popularity with the nation. 

534 George III. and the Whigs the American War. 1760. 

The king had, as we have already said, passed his youth in 

seclusion, with few friends and no organized band of retainers. 

The "King's He had to build up his own party, if he wished to 

Friends." ca rry out his schemes. This he at once began to 
do. Descending into the arena of politics, he set to work 
to make himself a following, much as Newcastle or Walpole 
had done in a previous generation. But George, unlike those 
statesmen, had not to rely on bribery or borough-mongering 
alone. He could count on all the prestige and attraction which 
surrounds the crown, to draw men into his net. Some of the 
" King's Friends " (as his followers grew to be called) were 
politicians bought by pensions or titles, but many were honest 
supporters, who found their pleasure in displaying their loyalty 
to the crown. 

In especial George won to himself from the first the very 

considerable remnants of the old Tory party. Jacobitism had 

The king and now become such a thing of the past, that the 

the Tories. vas (- majority of the Tories were ready to accept 
with enthusiasm a king whose views exactly coincided with their 
own old doctrines. For George was a stout defender of the 
Church of England, in which his godless old grandfather had 
never professed any interest. He held the ancient Tory doctrine 
that the royal prerogative should be actively exercised in the 
affairs of the nation. Most important of all, he hated the Whig 
oligarchy, a fact which could not fail to recommend nim to their 
long-oppressed rivals. Hence it came that the most prominent 
element among the " King's Friends " was drawn from the Tory 
party. One condition was demanded of all who joined that 
body implicit obedience to George's will, the will of a man of 
limited abilities and narrow mind. This fact sufficiently 
accounts for the result that the " King's Friends " never in- 
cluded any men of marked talent ; to obey George in all 
things would have been too trying for any one of real genius 
or breadth of spirit. 

The king's first and most injudicious way of attempting to 
interfere in politics was worked_ out through the medium of 

The rise of Lord Bute. That nobleman was a Scottish peer 

Lord Bute. o f respectable character, moderate abilities, and a 
rather pedantic disposition. He had aided the Princess of Wales 
in giving George such instruction in statecraft as he had 

1761. Pitt and Lord Bute. 


received. Bute was almost absolutely unacquainted with 
Parliament or practical politics. Yet a few months after his 
accession, the king insisted that the Pitt- Newcastle cabinet 
should take his old tutor into partnership. Bute was made one 
of the Secretaries of State, and at once began to show a great 
independence of the nominal prime minister. He rebuked 
Newcastle for keeping the details of his political jobbing from 
the king, and for filling posts without consulting royalty. At 
the same time he spoke strongly against the continuance of the 
war with France, and most particularly against the lavish 
subsidies with which the great war-minister was maintaining our 
much-tried ally, the King of Prussia. The fact was that George 
had observed that the Whig ministry depended for its strength 
on the combination of Newcastle's corrupt influence over 
Parliament with Pitt's hold on the nation, secured by suc- 

Fssful war. To end it he wished to deprive the duke of his 
tronage, and to close the war, so as to make Pitt no longer 
In this matter the king's private designs clashed most un- 
happily with the interests of England, for Pitt's vigorous policy 
was still bearing the best of fruits. Ere King Pitt's war- 
George had been a year upon the throne, Pitt thwarteZ-Ho 
could announce to him that Pondicherry, the last resigns. 
French fortress in India ; Belleisle, a large island off the coast 
of Brittany ; and Dominica, a rich West-Indian island, had fallen 
into his hands. After these last disasters the ministers of 
Lewis XV. began to make overtures for peace, which Bute wished 
to accept ; but Pitt withstood him, partly because he thought 
that England had yet more to gain, partly because he had secret 
knowledge that France was trying to create a diversion by 
stirring up Spain against us. Charles III., the king of that 
country, was an old enemy of England, and had offered to 
renew with his cousin, Lewis XV., the " Family Compact " of 
1733 the old pact of the Bourbon princes for the checking of 
English maritime supremacy. Having news of this transaction, 
Pitt advised instant war with Spain. But Bute opposed him, 
and when the king openly gave his support to his old tutor, Pitt 
was forced to resign the office which he had held for five years 
with such credit and distinction (October 5, 1761). 

The king received the great minister's resignation with joy, and 

536 George III. and the Whigs the American War. 1762. 

next set himself to get rid of Pitt's unworthy colleague, Newcastle. 

Newcastle That olci J obber clun g to his P lace till May, 1762 : 

forced to but, finding that the king was determined to strip 

him of his crown patronage, and thwart him in 

his management of the House of Commons, he was finally forced 

to follow Pitt into retirement. Thus Bute became the chief 

minister of the realm. 

The king's favourite was to hold power for less than two 

years, but into that short space many important events were 

Spain joins compressed. The war with Spain, which Pitt had 

Ssh n marittn?e declared to be imminent, broke out in 1762, and 

successes, the French hoped for a moment that they might 
be saved by their new ally. But Spain's power proved to have 
declined so low, that her interference made no difference to the 
fate of the war. The able generals and admirals whom Pitt 
had discovered and promoted, made short work of the Spanish 
fleets and armies. Ere he had been a year at war with England, 
Charles III. saw two of his greatest colonies fall into the hands 
of his enemy. Havanna, the richest city of the West Indies, 
and Manilla, the capital of the Philippine Islands in the far 
East, were both in English hands by the end of 1762. In the 
same space of time Admiral Rodney captured Martinique, St. 
Lucia, and all the rest of the French West Indies. Meanwhile 
Ferdinand of Brunswick, with the Anglo- Hanoverian army in 
Germany, had maintained his old superiority over the French 
army of the Rhine. 

Stripped of her colonies, with her fleet entirely destroyed, 
her armies on the continent beaten back, and her exchequer 
completely drained dry, France was now compelled to sue for 
any terms that Bute and King George would grant her. Her 
ally Spain, equally disheartened by the turn which the war had 
taken, followed her example. 

Nothing could please the English king better than the con- 
clusion of peace. He gave Bute a free hand, and readily 
The Peace of consented to the conclusion of the treaty of Paris 
Patis. (February, 1763). By this agreement France ceded 
to England the vast province of Canada, and all her American 
claims east of the Mississippi, retaining only some fishing rights 
on the coast of Newfoundland, which have proved very trouble- 
some in our own day. At the same time, the West Indian 

ires. The Peace cf Paris. 537 

Islands of St. Vincent, Tobago, Grenada, and Dominica were 
surrendered, as well as the African settlement of Senegal. 
France also undertook to keep no garrisons in her factories in 
Hindostan, when they should be restored to her. She gave back 
Minorca, which she had held since Byng's disaster, and with- 
drew her armies from Germany. But she received back much 
that she had lost, and had no power of recovering Belleisle 
in Europe, Martinique, St. Lucia, and Guadaloupe in the West 
Indies, Goree in Africa, and all her Indian establishments. In 
a similar way Spain ceded to us the swampy and uninhabited 
peninsula of Florida, which rounded off the line of our North 
American colonies ; but she received back the two wealthy settle- 
ments of Havanna and Manilla, which she could never have 
regained by force of arms. 

The peace of Paris was not received with enthusiasm in 
England. It was said, and truly, that Pitt would have asked 
and obtained much better terms, and that it was weak and 
futile to restore to France and Spain their lost colonies. Yet, 
looking at our enormous gains, it seems absurd to complain. 
The treaty made England supreme in America and in Hindo- 
stan, and ratified her permanent ascendency at sea. When so 
much was secured, it appeared greedy to ask for yet more, for 
never by any previous treaty had England won so much or 
brought a war so triumphantly to a close. 

But one blot on Bute's reputation can not be passed over. 
He deserted, most shamelessly, our useful if unscrupulous ally, 
King Frederic of Prussia. Having gained what The treaty of 
England required, he left Frederic to shift for Hubertsbur*, 
himself, withdrawing our armies from Germany, and stopping 
the liberal subsidies which had maintained the king's famishing 
exchequer. If fortune had not favoured him, Frederic might 
have been ruined by the loss of his only ally. He was saved, 
however, by the unexpected withdrawal of Russia from the 
hostile ranks. He proved able to hold his own against Austria, 
his one remaining foe, and brought the Seven Years' War to an 
end by the treaty of Hubertsburg ere the year 1763 had expired. 
But he never forgave England for the mean trick which Bute 
had played him, and would never again make an alliance 
with her. 

When the war was over, Bute found his position as prime 

538 George III. and the Whigs the American War. 1753. 

minister quite unbearable. He was clamoured at by Pitt's 
Resignation numerous admirers for making peace on too easy 
of Bute. terms. At the same time the Whig borough- 
mongers, who followed Newcastle, took their revenge on him 
in Parliament by rejecting all his bills. He was decried as an 
upstart Scot, a mere court favourite, " the Gaveston of the 
eighteenth century," and the enemy of the greatness of England. 
Though he lavished the public money and the crown patronage 
on all sides, even more shamelessly than Newcastle had done, 
he could not hold his own. Bute was a sensitive man, and 
apparently could not bear up against the odium which his 
position as a court-minister, disliked both by the nation and 
the Houses of Parliament, brought upon him. In April, 1763, 
he laid down the seals of office, much to the regret of his royal 

Thus King George had been defeated in his first contest with 
the Whigs. He was compelled to draw back for a moment 
Divisions of the and to rearrange his plans. His next scheme 
Whig party. was to trv the effect of playing off the various 
clans and factions of the Whigs one against another. For 
the fall of the great Pitt-Newcastle cabinet had split the Whig 
party into a complicated series of family groups and alliances 
divided by no difference in principle, but only by matters of 
personal interest. The king thought that he could make and 
unmake ministries by the unscrupulous use of the votes of his 
" friends : ' in Parliament, and so hold the balance between the 
various sections of his enemies, till he could reduce them all 
to powerlessness. 

To succeed the Earl of Bute, George made choice of the 
Whig leader whom he thought least objectionable, a narrow- 
minded statesman named George Grenville, who 

The O-renville- 

Bedford had hitherto shown himself fairly amenable to 
ministry. the royal m fl uence> gut the king had made a 

mistake ; Grenville was as obstinate as himself, and when he 
found his master interfering in his patronage and intriguing 
with his followers, he allied himself with one of the great Whig 
clans, that headed by the Duke of Bedford a faction which 
was jocosely called the " Bloomsbury Gang," because it centred 
at the duke's residence, Bedford House, Bloomsbury. 

The Grenville-Bedford ministry only lasted two years (1763- 

1763. Wilkes and the " North Briton." 


1765), and was overthrown by another Whig alliance, the group 
headed by the Duke of Grafton and the Marquis The " North 
of Rockingham. But short though its tenure of Briton. "-Gene- 

f f -if-. i i T T- i i ral "warrants 

office was, it left its mark on history. In England declared 
itself the act of this cabinet which made most noise megai. 
was the prosecution of Wilkes. John Wilkes was a member 
of Parliament, a party journalist of gross scurrility, and a man 
of scandalous private life, but he had the good fortune to be 
made twice in his life a martyr to oppressive government. He 
had grossly libelled Lord Bute in his newspaper, the North 
Briton, but his chief offence in the eyes of Grenville was that 
he had, in No. 45 of that publication, made abusive comments 
on the royal speech at the end of the session of 1763. For 
this he was illegally seized and imprisoned, under a " general 
warrant," a document issued by Grenville, not against him by 
name, but against " the authors, printers, and publishers of No. 
45 of the North Briton." He was acquitted when put on his 
trial, under the plea that he had been illegally arrested. " A 
general warrant is no warrant, because it names no one," was 
the decision of Lord Mansfield, the Chief Justice ; and so this 
dangerous and tyrannical form of arrest was declared illegal. 
Wilkes posed as a victim of arbitrary government, and obtained 
great popularity in spite of his infamous character. But Gren- 
ville then prosecuted him for publishing a blasphemous and 
obscene poem. Feeling sure that he would be condemned, 
\Vilkes absconded to France, and lived there four years ; he 
was accounted by many a victim of malicious political persecu- 
tion, and never lost his favour with the mob of London. 

But while raising this storm in a teacup about the worthless 
Wilkes, George Grenville was committing another and a very 
different mistake in a matter of the highest importance. It is 
to him that we must attribute the first beginnings of the quarrel 
between England and her North- American colonies. 

The Seven Years' War had left behind it a heavy burden of 
debt and taxation, and George Grenville, while searching around 
for new sources of revenue, was struck with the The stamp 
bright idea that he might tax the colonies. Ac- Act> 
cordingly, he brought forward in 1764, and passed in 1765, a 
bill which asserted the right of Parliament to lay imposts on 
our possessions over-seas, and proceeded to prescribe that 

540 George III. and the Whigs the American War. rres. 

certain stamp duties on legal documents were in future to he 
paid by our American colonies. The proceeds were to go to 
maintain the British troops quartered among them. 

The Stamp Act was bitterly resented by the inhabitants of 

America. It was the first circumstance that really taught the 

The North thirteen colonies, which lay scattered along the 

American coast from Massachusetts to Georgia, to combine 

colonies. . fl a common movement. Hitherto they had been 
without any formal bond of union between themselves. Legally, 
New York had no more to do with Virginia than in our own 
day Jamaica has with Tasmania. Each was administered as a 
separate unity depending immediately on the English crown. 
Their origins and the character of their population were very 
different. The Puritan farmers and seamen of Massachusetts, 
the slave-owning planters of Virginia, the Anglo-Dutch of New 
York, and the Quakers of Pennsylvania had few sympathies in 
common. Hitherto they had been jealous of each other ; colony 
quarrelled fiercely with colony, and the chief tie that had kept 
them together was the common dread which all felt, of the 
aggression of the enterprising French governors at Quebec. 
It was this fear of the French which had enabled William Pitt to 
induce them to join loyally in his great scheme for the conquest 
of Canada. 

Now that the restraining influence of their dread of France was 

removed, the colonies were no longer compelled to lean so closely 

They unite to on England. They were rapidly growing in popu- 

resistthe lation, wealth, and national spirit. It only required 

p ' some common provocation to make them forget 

their petty local jealousies and turn fiercely to defend what 

they believed to be their rights. This provocation the pedantic 

George Grenville now proceeded to supply. 

Grenville had much to say on his side. It was quite fair that 
the colonies should pay something towards the expenses of the 
The case for the S even Years' War, which had largely been incurred 

stamp Act. for their benefit. It was rational that they should 
be asked to maintain the troops still quartered in America for 
their protection. And the Stamp Act imposed on them a 
very small tax, only some few thousands a year. Moreover, 
Grenville had studied the old precedents, and could show clear 
instances of imperial taxation levied in the past from various 

1765. The Colonies and the Stamp Act. 541 

possessions over-sea. But, above the letter of the law, statesmen 
are responsible to the nation for the wisdom as well as for the 
legality of their actions. It is no excuse for the unwise minister 
to plead that he has the statute-book on his side, if it can be 
proved that he has common sense against him. It is for this 
reason that Grenville and his two successors, Grafton and 
North, are held to have incurred a graver load of responsibility 
than any other British statesman has ever borne. 

The main line of protest which the colonists adopted was 
grounded on a favourite maxim of William Pitt, that " there 
should be no taxation without representation " ; that Grounds of the 
is, that any persons taxed ought to be represented in colonial 
Parliament, and allowed a share in voting their own PB B 
contributions. It was, of course, impossible in those days to 
ask that American representatives should appear in the House 
of Commons, an idea which the remoteness of their country and 
the slowness of communication with it rendered absurd. What 
the colonists therefore meant was that, being unrepresented, they 
ought not to be taxed. They were growing so strong that they 
would no longer endure to be treated as mere dependencies, and 
governed solely for the benefit of England. 

Serious trouble would have ensued if George Grenville had 
been able to persist in his schemes. But he was overthrown 
in 1765 by the machinations of George III., who The Hocking- 
bade the eighty or ninety " King's Friends " in %%%*& 
the Commons to vote against him, and combine stamp Act. 
with the Opposition Whigs to turn him out of office. Grenville 
was outvoted, and resigned. He was replaced by a new com- 
bination of Whig clans. The new cabinet was formed by the 
followers of the Marquis of Rockingham and the Duke of Grafton, 
to whom the old Duke of Newcastle was for the moment allied. 
Lord Rockingham was a more moderate man than Grenville, 
though a less able one. He disliked trouble, and, to silence 
American complaints, took the very wise step of repealing the 
Stamp Act. But the Rockingham administration lasted only a 
year, for in 1 766 the " King's Friends " once more received orders 
from their master to overthrow the cabinet of the day. Rock- 
ingham was beaten in the Commons and laid down his seals, 
and a second Whig faction had felt the weight of King George's 

54 2 George III. and the Whigs the American War. i?6e. 

The next ministry marked a new shifting of the political 
kaleidoscope. Pitt, who had been out of place since 1761, was 
The Pitt-Graf- now invited by the king to take office. He con- 
ton ministry, sented, believing (as he always did) that he was the 
one man able to administer the British empire. But he had 
learnt that to manage the Commons he required to secure the 
aid of some one of the great Whig clans, and now took into 
partnership the Duke of Grafton, one of the members of the late 
ministry. But the Pitt-Grafton ministry lasted for a few months 
only. Pitt was growing old, and his powers were weakening. 
He felt the hard work of the House of Commons too much for 
him, and on taking office retired to the House of Lords as Earl 
of Chatham (July, 1766). But even there the strain over-taxed 
his strength. Less than a twelvemonth after he had taken 
office he was stricken down by illness, which took the form ot 
brain-trouble. He grew incompetent to transact any business, 
and the cabinet which he had formed passed entirely under the 
control of his colleague, the Duke of Grafton. 

The ministry of the Grafton clan proved the most disastrous 
that England has ever known, with the single exception of that 
-, d f Grafton's immediate successor, Lord North, 
attempt to tax It was this Whig administration that finally re- 
the colonies. newe d t h e struggle with America, which had been 
suspended since the repeal of the Stamp Act. With the duke's 
assent, Charles Townshend, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, 
brought in a bill for raising in America duties on tea, glass, 
paper, and painter's colours. The whole was to bring in about 
,40,000 a year. Like the Stamp Act, this measure distinctly 
affirmed the right of England to tax her colonies without their 
consent. The Americans remembered that their previous re- 
sistance had been crowned with success, and commenced an 
agitation against the new act. A brisk fire of petitions was kept 
up by the houses of representatives of the various colonies, 
who besought the king both publicly and privately the House 
of Commons, and the ministers to remove the tax, restating 
their old theory of " No taxation without representation." More- 
over, the colonies began formally to correspond with each other, 
and to find that the same spirit of discontent prevailed in all, a 
fact very ominous for the home government. 

At the head of the thirteen colonies was Massachusetts, whose 

1770. Wilkes and the Middlesex Election. 543 

capital Boston was the largest town in America, and a very 
thriving port. Its seafaring population had the Rioting 
greatest objection to the new customs duties. m Boston. 
Mobs were continually filling the streets to demonstrate against 
England, and as early as 1768 the rioting grew serious. In 
1770 Boston saw the first bloodshed in the American quarrel. 
A party of soldiers, stoned by a mob till they could no longer 
keep their temper, fired and shot four or five rioters. This 
" massacre," as the colonists called it, brought the bitter feeling 
against England to a head. 

The Grafton cabinet at home could not at all understand the 
feelings of the Americans. They supposed that it was the mere 
amount of the tax that was causing discontent, and contented 
themselves with pointing out that it was insignificant, not seeing 
that it was the principle of taxation, not the small sum actually 
levied, that was exasperating the colonists. 

But the duke and his followers were not to see the end of the 
matter. In 1770 their day of reckoning with their master, the 
king, had arrived. George III. had been perpetually increasing 
his band of followers in the Commons, and the new Tory party 
was grown large enough, not only to hold the balance between 
two Whig cliques, but to make a bid for power on its own account. 

The Grafton ministry fell before a double assault. Pitt, whose 
health had now recovered so far that he was able to appear in 
his seat in the House of Lords, was thundering at Wilkes and the 
them for their misconduct of American affairs. Middlesex 
But another difficulty was far more actively opera- 
tive in their overthrow. The irrepressible John Wilkes had 
returned from France, had stood for the county of Middlesex, 
and had been elected. The cabinet declared him ineligible, on 
account of his old outlawry, and made the House of Commons 
expel him. Nothing daunted, Wilkes appeared as a candidate 
again, and was re-elected. Then Grafton and his majority 
enacted that the defeated opponent of Wilkes, who had received 
only three hundred votes, was the legitimate member for 
Middlesex. This iniquitous step roused public feeling ; it was 
said that liberty was at an end if the ministry could appoint 
members of Parliament in defiance of the votes of the electors. 
Even Charles I. in his worst days had not falsified the results 
of elections, as the Whigs of Grafton's party were doing. 

544 George III. and the Whigs the American War. 1770. 

Stormed at by Pitt, scurrilously libelled by the able but 
malignant political writer who signed himself Junitts, hooted 

ran of the down by the mob of London, and abandoned by 
orafton the " King's Friends " in his moment of distress, 

ministry. Q ra f ton resigned. It was generally thought that 
another Whig ministry would appear on the scene, probably an 
alliance between Pitt and Lord Rockingham. This, however, 
was not to be so. The king had been counting up his forces. 
Having upset in succession four different Whig ministries, he 
now thought himself strong enough to renew the experiment 
which he had tried in Bute's day. 

Accordingly, the nation was surprised by the news that George 
had made Lord North prime minister. North was a parlia- 

Lord North mentar y jobber of the same type as Newcastle. 
prime He was a good-natured, indolent man, of limited 

Minister. intelligence, but shrewd and business-like. He 
made his bargain with the king, and undertook to carry 
out his policy. He was the tool, George the hand that 
guided it. 

For the next twelve years (1770-82) George ruled the nation 
according to his own ideas, and led it into the most slippery 

impotence P atns - His compact body of " King's Friends," 
of the Whigs aided by mercenary helpers from among the 

in Parliament. , TTI . , . . . .. 

Whigs, preserved a constant majority in Parlia- 
ment under the astute management of North. The old Whig 
clans raged in impotent wrath, but could not shake the ministry. 
Their expulsion from power had one good effect it taught them 
to put some reality into their old assertion that they were the 
people's friends and the guardians of constitutional liberty. In 
their day of adversity they began to advocate real reforms, 
though in fifty years of power they had executed none. The 
younger men among them, such as the eloquent Edmund Burke, 
began to stir the questions of constitutional reform which were 
to be brought into play later on, as the new principles of the 
Whig party. They denounced parliamentary corruption, minis- 
terial jobbing, and attacks on the liberty of the press, or the 
rights of the constituencies. Hints were dropped that the old 
rotten boroughs might be abolished, and more members given 
to the populous counties and cities. 

But while the W T higs were talking of reforms, North and his 

1773. The Boston Riots. 


master were actually engaged in bringing a much more exciting 
topic to the front. In four years they succeeded The tea duties 
in plunging England into a desperate war with her -Further riots' 
Transatlantic colonies. The new ministry was 
determined to persevere with the old scheme of the Grenville 
and Grafton cabinets for taxing America. North, under his 
master's orders, remitted the taxes on paper and glass, but 
insisted on retaining that on tea. His persistence led to open 
violence in America. In 1773, a mob disguised as Mohawk 
Indians boarded the tea-ships in Boston harbour, and cast the 
chests into the sea. The local authorities pretended that they 
could not discover the rioters. In high wrath, the Government 
resolved -to punish the whole city of Boston. North produced 
a bill for closing its harbour to all commerce, and compelling 
the ships that had been wont to trade with it to go to the 
neighbouring port of Salem. 

This unwise and arbitrary bill was followed by another yet 
more high-handed, which annulled the charter of the State of 
Massachusetts, depriving it of its house of repre- TheMassa- 
sentatives, and making it a crown colony, to be 
administered by government officials and judges 
sent out from England. This punishment far exceeded any- 
thing that the people of Boston had earned by their rioting, 
and made all the other colonies tremble for their own liberties. 

The Massachusetts Government Act was the last straw which 
broke down the patience of the Americans. The representative 
bodies of all the colonies passed votes of sympathy The Congress 
with the people of Boston, and ordered a general 
fast. Soon after, they all resolved to send deputies 
to a " General Congress " at Philadelphia, in order to concert 
common measures for their defence against arbitrary govern- 
ment. This body, which had no legal status in the eye of the 
law, proceeded to act as if it were the central authority in North 
America. It issued a " Declaration of Rights," which set forth 
the points in which the liberties of the colonies were supposed 
to have been infringed. But it also took the strong step of 
declaring a kind of blockade against English commerce, by 
forbidding Americans to purchase any goods imported from 
the mother-country. 

In view of this threatening aspect of affairs, Lord North 

2 N 

54 6 George III. and the Whigs the American War. 1775. 

began to send over troops to America, foreseeing that a collision 

Outbreak of might occur at any moment. He was not wrong ; 

war. while fruitless attempts were being made to pacify 

the offended colonists without giving in to their demands, actual 

war broke out. 

The House of Representatives of Massachusetts, when 
abolished by royal mandate, had migrated to Concord, and 
The skirmish of resumed its sittings there. Seeing that this act 

Lexington. o f contumacy must lead to an attempt to dissolve 
it by force, it called out the local militia, and began to collect 
munitions of war. General Gage, the governor of Boston, on 
hearing of this, sent out 800 men to seize and destroy these 
stores. This force was fired on by a small body of Massa- 
chusetts militia at Lexington, where the first blood shed in the 
war was spilt. After burning the stores, the British troops 
started to march back, but were set upon by the levies of the 
district, who kept up a running fight for several hours, and 
drove the regulars into Boston with a loss of 200 men (April 19, 


This skirmish proved the beginning of a general war. When 

the news spread, all the colonies sent their militia into the field, 

George and the Congress at Philadelphia formally assumed 

Washington. Sll p reme authority, and named a commander-in- 
chief. This was George Washington, a Virginian planter, who 
had seen much service in the last French war, and was almost 
the only colonist who possessed a good military reputation. No 
choice could have been better ; Washington was a staid, upright, 
energetic man, very different from the windy demagogues who 
led the rebellion in most of the colonies. His integrity and 
honesty of purpose made him respected by all, and his readiness 
of resource and unfailing cheerfulness and perseverance made 
him the idol of the willing but undisciplined bands who followed 
him to the field. 

Ere Washington reached the seat of war in Massachusetts, 

a battle had been fought. The colonists were defeated, but not 

Battle of discouraged, for at the fight of Bunker's Hill 

Blinker's mil. (j une ^ 1775), they maintained their entrench- 
ments for some time against the regulars, and were only beaten 
out of them after a very stiff combat. General Gage, a very 
unenterprising man, was so disheartened by the losses of his 

1776. The Declaration of Independence. 547 

troops that he did not follow up his victory, and allowed 
Washington to reorganize the beaten colonists and blockade 

The struggle was now bound to be fought out to the end. 
When the Congress sent to London the " Olive Branch Petition," 
a last attempt at a peaceful settlement, the king 
bade Lord North return it unanswered, as coming Branch 
from a body which had no legal existence. The Petition." 
small regular army of England some 40,000 men scattered 
all over the world was obviously unable to cope with so great a 
rebellion, so the government had to begin raising new regiments, 
and enlisting Hessian and Hanoverian auxiliaries in Germany. 

While these new forces were being got ready a whole year 
was consumed in preparation the Americans had all their own 
way. In March, 1776, the royal troops were 
forced to evacuate Boston, the only stronghold tionofinde- 
that they held in the colonies. Three months pendence. 
later the Congress took the decisive step of throwing off all 
allegiance to England, by publishing the " Declaration of Inde- 
pendence," and forming the thirteen colonies into a federal 
republic (July 4, 1776) 

Very shortly after, the English reinforcements began to appear, 
md General Howe with 20,000 men landed on Long Island, in the 
State of New York. For a moment it appeared English victory 
as if the rebellion would collapse before this at Brooklyn, 
formidable army. Howe beat Washington at the battle of 
Brooklyn (August, 1776). He retook New York, and then 
landed on the mainland and overran New Jersey. The colonial 
rmy disbanded in utter dismay, and only four or five thousand 
len kept together under Washington. 

But in the moment of victory the English began to realize 
the difficulty of their task. The land was everywhere hostile, 

id could only be held down by garrisons scattered Difficulties of 
broadcast. But America was so vast that enough the English, 
men could not be found to garrison every port and city. When 
Howe began to distribute his men in small bodies, Washington 
swept down upon these isolated regiments and destroyed them. 
The English general was forced to halt, and to send home for 
yet further reinforcements. 

He was not denied them, for George III. had set his heart on 

548 George III. and the Whigs the American War. 1777. 

teaching the rebellious colonists that he could not be defied with 

Burgoyne's impunity. While Howe was sent fresh regiments, 

expedition. an d ordered to take Philadelphia, a new army of 

8000 men was despatched to Canada under General Burgoyne, 

and bidden to march by Lake Champlain and the Hudson river, 

to attack the colonies in the rear. Meanwhile a third force 

from New York was to ascend the Hudson and lend a helping 

hand to Burgoyne. 

Half of this plan only was executed. Howe won the battle of 
Brandywine over Washington and took Philadelphia, but Bur- 
Burgoyne sur- g o Y ne failed lamentably, The distance he had to 

renders at cover was too great ; after struggling with difficulty 

Saratoga. across t h e wilderness that divided Canada from 
the States, he found himself with a half-starved army at Saratoga. 
Here he was beset by all the militia of the New England States 
under General Gates. They outnumbered him by two to one, 
and held strong positions in woods and hills which he could not 
force. The troops from New York failed to come to his aid, his 
retreat on Canada was cut off, and after hard fighting he laid 
down his arms, with 5000 starving men, the remnant of his 
much-tried army (October 17, 1777). 

The news of the surrender at Saratoga flew all round the 

world, and had the most disastrous consequences. Judging that 

France and England had at last involved herself in a fatal 

Spa jar on lare stru g le > her old enemy France resolved to take 

England. her revenge for all that she had suffered in the 
Seven Years' War. The ministers of the young king, Lewis XVI., 
thought that they might now win back Canada and India, and 
shatter the commercial and colonial supremacy that Britain 
had gained by the treaty of Paris. In December, 1777, France 
recognized the independence of America. In February, 1778, 
she declared war on England. Spain, bound as of old by the 
" Family Compact " of the Bourbons, and eager to win back 
Minorca and Gibraltar, followed suit in the next year. Holland 
was added to our enemies in 1780. 

The interference of France profoundly modified the face of 
the war. Instead of a mere local struggle between England 
and her colonists, it became a general contention all over the 
world for the same prize that had been disputed in the Seven 
Years' War the empire of the sea. But this time England had 

1778. The Death of Chatham. 549 

not only to fight her old foes, but her own children. Moreover, 
she was deprived of the aid of Frederic of Prussia, the most 
useful of allies in the old contest ; for, disgusted by the conduct 
of Bute and George III. in 1762, he refused to hear of any 
renewed alliance with England. 

Nothing could have been more difficult than the problem 
which England had now to face. With all her disposable army 
over-sea in America, she found herself threatened 

Critical posi- 

by an invasion at home, and saw her possessions tionof 
all over the world beset by France and Spain. En * land - 
Gibraltar and Minorca, the West Indies, and all our other 
outlying posts, were held by garrisons of wholly inadequate 
strength. The fleet, which, owing to the continental character 
of the American struggle, had been hitherto neglected, was sud- 
denly called upon to act as our main line of defence, and proved 
too small for its task. 

King George was as obstinate and courageous as he was 
narrow-minded. With a firm resolution that was admirable but 
unwise, he stood forth to face the whole world in lagt gpeech 
arms, without yielding an inch. It was in vain and death of 
that the aged William Pitt, whom the news of 
foreign war called out from his retirement, came down to the 
House of Lords to speak for reconciliation with America at all 
costs. He urged that we must not fight our own kith and 
kin, but seek peace with them, and turn all our forces against 
the foreign foe. After an impassioned harangue he fainted 
in his seat in the House, and was carried home to die 
(May 11, 1778). 

The French commenced the war by sending supplies and 
money to America. Soon after, they despatched a fleet and an 
army to the same quarter. This had a marked 

- . France sends 

effect on the face of the war. The English lost, in aid to the 
1778, all their strongholds in the colonies except 
the island city of New York. But this reverse only led the 
king to try a new attack on the Americans. The southern 
states of Georgia and Carolina were known to be less zealous 
for the cause of American independence than the other colonies, 
and to contain many loyalists. It was resolved to transfer the 
English army to this quarter (1779). 
Accordingly Lord Cornwallis, an able and active officer, was 

550 George III. and the Whigs the American War. 

charged with the invasion of the South. For a time the English 
Expedition carried all before them. They took Savannah and 
ofcornwaiiis Charleston, and overran all Georgia and South 
Carolina. Many of the loyal colonists took arms in their favour, 
and it seemed that England would save at least a part of her 
ancient inheritance. The American Government was much 
alarmed, and sent southward all its disposable troops, headed 
by Gates, the victor of Saratoga. But Cornwallis beat this large 
army at Camden (August, 1780), and added North Carolina to 
his previous conquests. But with a mere 10,000 men scattered 
all over three vast States, he was unable to maintain any very 
firm hold on the country, and his flanks and rear were harassed 
by predatory bands of partisans, who slipped round to raise 
trouble behind him. He treated these guerillas as brigands, 
and shot some of them when captured, a proceeding which 
served no end but to exasperate the Americans. 

Persevering in his ideas of conquest, Cornwallis in 1781 
collected his army, and, leaving a very scanty garrison behind 

Cornwallis at ^ m1 ' set out to invade Virginia. He beat the 
Yorktown. Americans at Guildford Court House (March 15), 
and chased La Fayette, a young French officer who was com- 
manding the colonists in this quarter, into the interior of 
Virginia. But finding his army worn out with long marches 
and incessant fighting, he dropped down on to Yorktown, a 
seaport on the peninsula of the same name, to recruit himself 
with food and reinforcements from the English fleet, which had 
been ordered to meet him there. 

This march to Yorktown ended in a fearful disaster. Corn- 
wallis found no ships to welcome him. A French squadron had 
intercepted Admiral Graves when he set out from 
drives off the New York. Outnumbered by three to two, Graves 

English fleet. re tired after a slight engagement, and it was the 
Frenchman De Grasse who now appeared off Yorktown, to 
blockade instead of to succour the harassed English troops. At 
the same time Washington, with a powerful American army, 
reinforced by 6000 French, appeared on the land side, and 
seized the neck which joins the York peninsula to the Virginian 

Thus Cornwallis was caught in a trap, between Washington's 
army and the fleet of De Grasse. He made a desperate attempt 

1781. English disasters at home and abroad. 551 

to escape by breaking through the American lines, but, when it 
failed, was forced to surrender for want of food and cornwaiiis 
ammunition, with 4500 men, the remnants of the capitulates, 
victorious army of the South. With him fell all hopes of the 
retention of Georgia and Carolina by the British. The feeble 
garrisons which he had left behind him were swept away, and 
the fortress of Charleston alone remained of all the conquests 
which he had made (October, 1781). New York, in a similar 
way, was now left as the only British post in the North. 

Under this disaster it seemed as if England must succumb, 
more especially as it was but one of a simultaneous batch of 
defeats suffered in all corners of the empire. Reverses in the 
Minorca was captured by the French in the same Mediterranean 
autumn, after a vigorous defence. All the West an a ndEast 
India islands, save Jamaica and Barbados, suffered 
the same fate. In India a French fleet under De Suffren was 
hovering off the coast of Madras, while at the same time Haider 
Ali, a famous military adventurer who had made himself ruler 
of Mysore, invaded the Carnatic from the inland, cut an English 
army to pieces, and ravaged the country up to the gates of 

At home too matters were looking very dark. The dull and 
reactionary government of North had been suffering a stormy 
trial. In 1780 the strange and fantastic Gordon Tne Q rdon 
Riots had seemed for a moment to shake the Biota, 
foundations of society in London. Lord George Gordon, a 
fanatical and half-crazed member of Parliament, had stirred up 
an agitation against some bills for the relief of Romanists which 
had come before the Lower House. He raised a mob which 
burnt many Catholic chapels, destroyed the houses of unpopular 
persons, and then turned to indiscriminate plunder. The 
ministry and the magistrates showed a strange weakness before 
this outburst of anarchy, and it was left to King George himself 
to order the troops to act against the mob, and get the streets 
cleared by the prompt shooting of plunderers. 

In Ireland things were far more dangerous. In the absence 
of the regular army, the ministry had permitted the Protestants 
of Ireland to form volunteer corps for the pro- The Irish 
tection of the island from French invasion. But volunteers, 
the volunteers, finding themselves the only force in the land, 

552 George III. and the Whigs the American War. i?82. 

proceeded to follow the example of America, by agitating for the 
complete parliamentary freedom of Ireland, and the repeal of 
Poynings' Act, which subjected the Irish to the British legis- 
lature. It was only their fear of their own Catholic countrymen 
which kept them from demanding separation, and all through 
1781-82 an open rebellion seemed possible at any moment ; nor 
had England a single soldier to spare to repress such a rising. 
Indeed, the trouble only ended by the complete surrender of the 
English Government. North's successors in May, 1782, granted 
the Irish the Home Rule they demanded, and for eighteen years 
(1782-1800) the Irish legislature was completely independent of 
that of Great Britain. 

The general break-up of the British empire seemed possible 

and even probable in 1782. But two great victories saved it. 

Lord Rodney on April 5 met the French fleet in 

tory.-Beiief of the West Indies, and inflicted a crushing defeat 

Gibraltar. on it off ^ Lucia, capturing his opponent, De 
Grasse. This restored English maritime supremacy in America, 
and led to the recovery of most of the lost West India Islands. 
A similar triumph in waters nearer home followed in the aut'umn 
of the same year. A great French and Spanish army and fleet 
had been besieging Gibraltar since 1779. It made its final 
attack in September, 1782, bringing up vast floating batteries to 
compete with the artillery of the Rock. But General Elliot, the 
indefatigable governor of the place, destroyed all these cumbrous 
structures with red-hot shot ; and a few days later an English 
fleet under Lord Howe arrived and relieved the long-beleaguered 

Six months before the relief of Gibraltar, Lord North, seeing 
all things round him in disaster, and sensible that the king's 

Lord North policy was no longer possible, laid down office. 

wSmakl To his g^ and humiliation, George III. was 

peace with the forced to call his enemies the Whigs into power, 

and to surrender the administration of affairs to 

them. A Whig cabinet under Lord Rockingham was formed, 

which immediately made overtures of peace to the United 

Colonies, conceding complete independence. The Americans 

were half bankrupt and wholly tired of the war ; they accepted 

the terms with alacrity, and, to the disgust of their French allies, 

made peace in April, 1783. 


The Treaty of Versailles. 


This left France and Spain committed to a war which was no 
longer going in their favour. England had reasserted her old 
maritime supremacy, and seemed very far from The Treaty of 
crushed. But she was so disheartened that it was Versailles, 
well known that she would make vast concessions to end the 
war. The allies consented to treat, and granted the new Whig 
ministry comparatively easy terms. England ceded Minorca 
and Florida to Spain, and St. Lucia and Tobago, Senegal, and 
Goree to France, besides restoring the Indian factories of the 
French. So by the treaty of Versailles (September, 1783) ended 
the disastrous "War of American Independence." 

554 ) 178S 




WHEN England bowed before the force of circumstances, and 
concluded peace with America, France, Spain, and Holland in 
Results J 7^3' s ^ e ^ a ^ touched the lowest point of weakness 
of the which had been her lot since the fifteenth century. 
Peace had been imposed by victorious enemies, 
after a fruitless struggle of eight years. English armies had 
grown accustomed to defeat ; English fleets could barely hold 
their own upon the seas. Money had been spent with a lavish 
hand, and the National Debt was doubled. As a result of all 
her efforts, England had not only to surrender smaller posses- 
sions all over the world, but to witness the loss of her great 
Western empire, the thirteen colonies which had been the pride 
of her statesmen, and one of the main outlets of her commerce. 
A blow such as the loss of America seemed likely to be fatal to 
England. Not only was her prestige gone, and her pride 
humbled, but she was left with her finances in an apparently 
hopeless condition of exhaustion, and her internal politics in a 
state of complete disintegration. King George's great experiment 
in autocratic government had completely failed ; he had led the 
nation into disaster and bankruptcy. His ministry had been 
struck down by the course of events, the irrefutable logic of the 
American war. Lord North had retired ; his master had been 
forced to own himself beaten, and to make over the conduct of 
the realm to a Whig ministry. But the Rockingham cabinet 
was evidently a mere stop-gap. George's skilful policy of the 
last twenty years had so divided and broken up the Whig party, 
that it was difficult to reconstitute a strong cabinet from its 

1732. The Whigs in Office. 555 

remnants. When peace with America and France had been 
secured that peace being the one great mandate which the 
nation had given to the Whigs it seemed likely that the 
perennial jealousies of their cliques and clans would once more 
wreck the party, and that the king, with his steady power of 
intrigue, his pension list, and his power of patronage, would 
succeed in placing some second North in office. 

The Whigs, however, were no longer their old selves. The 
great effect of their twelve years' exile from power had been 
to teach the better men of the party to detest the chan g ed 
old methods of parliamentary corruption and family character or 
jobbery which they had learnt from Walpole and the Whi(?s - 
Newcastle. The Whigs had failed to realize the hatefulness 
of these practices when employed by themselves, but when their 
own engine was turned against them by the king, they began to 
see its shame. That the party which professed to represent 
the people and to forward the immortal principles of the Revo- 
lution, should ground its power on official bribery and corrup- 
tion, was humiliating to the better men in the Whig camp. 
Hence it came that the nobler spirits among them resolved to 
protest against the old methods, and to claim that the victory of 
their party over the king in 1782 should result in something 
more than a distribution of the loaves and fishes of office among 
their partisans. Unhappily, however, much of the old leaven of 
corruption still hung about the Whigs, and the section which 
represented it was just about to perpetrate the worst piece of 
jobbery which their party ever committed. 

The one thing in which all sections of the Whigs could agree, 
was dislike of the royal influence, as employed by George III. 
The first end, therefore, which the Rockingham Death of Lord 
cabinet set before itself, was to cut down the means Rockingham. 
of corruption which the king possessed. The sheiburne 
pension list was diminished, no single person was 
to be allowed to draw more than ^300, the "secret service" 
funds in the royal hands were cut down, and a certain number 
of the useless and expensive offices about the court abolished. 
This was all very well so far as it went, but much more was 
needed, and it was very uncertain how much time would be 
granted to the new Whig ministers to carry out further reforms. 
Their leader, Lord Rockingham, died suddenly in July, 1782, 

556 The younger Pitt, and renewed Prosperity. 1.732. 

long ere the formal treaties of peace with France and Spain had 
been signed. He was a man of slender abilities, but honest and 
popular, and able to keep his party together. On his death the 
old clan rivalries of his followers burst once more into life. The 
king sent for Lord Shelburne, the leader of the liberal and 
reforming party among the Whigs, and offered him the premier- 
ship. But Shelburne was viewed with bitter dislike by many of 
the Whig chiefs ; his sharp tongue and his love of intrigue made 
him many foes, and when he took office they refused to serve 
under him. On the mere ground of personal jealousy and 
resentment, the larger half of the party went into opposition and 
joined the Tories. Not only the old family cliques that repre- 
sented the Bedford and Grafton Whigs of an earlier day, but 
many of the younger men, who called themselves the friends of 
liberty and reform, took this suicidal step. Among them was 
Charles James Fox, the most able and open-minded man in the 
party, but irregular in his private life, a gambler and a lover of 
the bottle, somewhat tainted with the failings of a political 
adventurer, and too factious to be altogether honest in his 
actions. Fox had been a Tory in his earlier years, but had 
quarrelled with Lord North in 1772, and after that date had 
joined the opposition, become one of its chiefs, and been the first 
to favour peace with America. 

Shelburne took office, therefore, with a comparatively weak 
following. So many of the old leaders had refused to aid 
wuiiam him, tnat ^ e was constrained to give the post of 
Pitt the Chancellor of the Exchequer and leader of the 
House of Commons to a young man of twenty- 
three, William Pitt, the second son of the great Earl of 
Chatham. This appointment, startling though it appeared, was 
a very wise one. The younger Pitt was the most remarkable 
man of his age. He had inherited from his father high prin- 
ciples, an enthusiastic belief in the future of England, and a 
sympathy for the cause of reform. He had been reared as 
a Whig, but had no sympathies for the old parliamentary 
jobbing and corruption of the party. His personal integrity was 
as great as that of his father, and his hatred of intrigue and 
bribery even greater. Though quite new to the House of 
Commons, he made a sensation on his first appearance in it, 
which showed that men saw that the mantle of his father had 

1783. Fall of the Shelburne Ministry. 557 

fallen upon his shoulders. His self-confidence and belief in his 
own powers were as great as those of Chatham had been, but 
he was devoid of the theatrical pomposity which had sometimes 
marred the effect of his parent's eloquence. As Chatham had 
believed himself the destined saviour of England from the 
dangers of foreign war, so it was his son's aim and end to 
deliver England from internal faction, and to build up a great 
constitutional party which should combine loyalty to the crown 
with liberal and progressive legislation. This party, as Pitt 
imagined, would consist of the more enlightened Whigs, the 
section of the party which had once followed his father, and 
now obeyed Shelburne. That it would ever grow to be known 
as the " Tory party," would at this moment have been beyond 
his comprehension. 

The Shelburne ministry only held office for nine months 
(July, 1782, to April, 1783). From the first it was doomed to 
fall before the hostility of the Whig opposition. Fail of 
It survived long enough to ratify the final con- Shelburne. 
elusion of the peace negotiations which the Rockingham 
cabinet had begun. But it fell before a factious motion of Fox, 
who moved a vote of censure on the very reasonable and 
moderate terms on which peace had been bought from France. 
This motion was supported by the ominous combination of 
the old Tory supporters of Lord North with the discontented 
sections of the Whig party. It drove Shelburne to instant 

But no one could have foreseen the strange sequel to this 
vote. To the surprise of all save those who were in the secret, 
it was suddenly announced that Fox and North p xand 
were about to unite their forces, not for a single North 
division, but for a permanent alliance. Lord 
North seems to have imbibed in his long tenure of power from 
1770 to 1782 a craving for office at any price. Seeing that the 
king was too weak for the moment to replace him in his old 
seat, he plotted an unnatural union with his foes the Whig 
clans. He could command the allegiance of that section of the 
Tories who cared more for place and power than for their loyalty 
towards the crown, of the men who had aided King George from 
purely personal and corrupt motives. Now he offered Fox and 
the Duke of Portland, the Whig leaders, the invaluable aid of 

558 The younger Pitt, and renewed Prosperity. 1783. 

this solid phalanx of votes, if they would admit him into their 
alliance. Having no political aims or principles of his own save 
a desire to possess power and patronage, he could undertake 
to fall in with any schemes that they might desire. To their 
great discredit the Whigs closed eagerly with this immoral 
proposal, and took North into partnership, though they had 
been spending the last ten years in vehement abuse of his 
methods of government and his mean subservience to the king. 

Hence came into existence the " Coalition Ministry " of April 
1783, in which the followers of North and Fox sat together 
The coalition under the nominal control of the Duke of Portland, 

Ministry. one o f t he chiefs of the old Whig families. The 
cynical immorality of the combination displeased every one. 
The king was enraged with his old hireling North for leading 
away half the Tories to join the hated Whig oligarchs. The 
nation was puzzled and disgusted to see men who had so ofteu 
abused each other, combining from no better motive than mere 
lust for power and office. But unpopular though the new 
cabinet was, it was for the moment supreme in Parliament by 
means of its overwhelming majority of votes. 

The continued existence of the Coalition Government would 

probably have led to a return to the ancient corruption of 

Pitt's Reform Wal pole and Newcastle. What the principles of 

Bm the new Whig administration were, was sufficiently 

rejected. s h own by t ^ e f ate o f a Reform Bill, to abolish 

rotten boroughs and increase the representation of populous 
districts, which William Pitt brought forward in the summer of 
1783. The ministry frowned on a measure which would diminish 
their power to buy votes, and the bill was rejected by a majority 
of 144. 

But, fortunately for England, the Coalition was not to last for 
long. It fell partly because of its unpopularity with the nation, 
and partly because the king tried against it the last of his 
autocratic methods of interfering with politics. 

In November, 1783, Fox brought in a bill for rearranging the 
government of our Indian possessions, a measure which had 

FOX'S India become necessary in consequence of changes in 
Bm> that country which we shall have to narrate a few 
pages later on. The manifest failure of the East India Com- 
pany to provide for the good administration of the growing 

1783. Foxs India Bill. 559 

empire which was falling into its hands, rendered the inter- 
ference of the Home Government imperative. Fox produced 
a bill for taking the rule of our Indian possessions entirely 
out of the power of the Company, which was in the future 
to confine its activity to commerce alone. All the English 
officials in India, from the governors of presidencies down to 
ensigns in the army and clerks, were to be selected by a 
council of seven commissioners in London, nominated by 
Parliament. The names of the seven were given, and they 
were all violent partisans of Fox and North. The bill, good in 
many ways, was liable to censure in the one point that it gave 
the ministry a fund of patronage which was certain to be abused. 
The Fox-North cabinet was nothing if not unscrupulous, and 
when it got control of the ,300,000 of annual patronage which 
the East India Company possessed, there is no doubt that it 
would have employed it to forward Whig family jobs and 
political corruption. An opponent of the bill complained that 
" it took the diadem off the king's head to place it on that of 
Mr. Fox." Much was also said as to the injustice of stripping 
the Company of its chartered rights. 

The India Bill, however, passed the Commons, and then 
came before the Lords. To throw it out, the king now took the 
unprecedented step of sending down to the House The Kin 
a paper written with his own hand, which Lord and FOX'S 
Temple was to show to such of the peers as he 
thought fit. It was to the effect that "whoever voted for the 
bill was not only not his Majesty's friend, but would be con- 
sidered as his enemy." This notice was given to all who 
wavered, or who did not wish to incur the king's personal 
enmity. It led so many of the weaker Whig peers to abstain 
from voting, that the bill was thrown out by a majority of 
nineteen. George's conduct was quite unconstitutional ; if it 
were possible for the king to engage in such an underhand 
intrigue against his own cabinet, the system of government by 
responsible ministers became impossible. 

The Whigs revenged themselves by passing a vote through 
the Commons stigmatizing Lord Temple's conduct in showing 
the paper as a high crime and misdemeanour. The coalition 
Nevertheless they had to quit office, though they resigns, 
boasted that they would soon be back again, since George could 

560 The younger Pitt, and renewed Prosperity. i?84. 

not find any other ministry to put in their place (December, 

They were mistaken, however. The king, ready to dare any 

expedient that would keep the hated Coalition out of power, had 

Pitt takes offered the position of prime minister to William 

office. pitt. The ambitious young statesman accepted 

the charge, and took office, though he could only rely on the 

support of the Shelburne Whigs, the reforming section of 

the party, aided by the " King's Friends," as those of the 

Tory party who had not followed North were once again 


The sight of a prime minister of twenty-four, backed by a 
weak minority, moved the derision of the partisans of Fox and 
me General North. They said that they would drive him to 
Election. resign in three weeks, and at once threw out all 
the bills which he brought before the House. But, instead of 
resigning, Pitt was resolved to dissolve Parliament and to face 
a general election. He knew that his own name was great 
with the nation, and that the Coalition was universally detested 
and condemned. His policy was crowned with enormous 
success. Almost every borough and county where the election 
was free and the voters numerous, declared against the candi- 
dates whom Fox and North recommended. No less than 160 
supporters of the Coalition lost their seats, and Pitt came back 
to Parliament with a clear working majority in his favour 
(March, 1784). 

Thus began the long and eventful ministry which was to last 
for the next seventeen years. With the triumph of Pitt English 
Pitt and politics are lifted to a higher level, and lose the 
the kmgr. me an and petty aspect which they had displayed 
ever since the days of Walpole. For the first time since the 
century began, England was in the hands of a minister of a 
spotless personal integrity, who possessed broad views and a 
definite political programme. His power was enormous, for, 
in return for having delivered the king from his hated enemies 
the Whigs, Pitt was granted the royal support even for measures 
which his narrow-minded sovereign hardly understood and 
could not love. George tolerated in him a policy which 
would have maddened him if it had been pursued by the Whigs. 
In return the minister treated the king with a loyalty and a 

1784. The Financial Situation. 561 

which were perhaps hardly deserved by his 

562 The younger Pitt, and renewed Prosperity. 1734. 

at last to disappear, and a multitude of turnpike Acts created 
new highways along which traffic could readily make its way. 
The fast-travelling coach superseded the lumbering stage- 
waggons, which had crept from town to town. 

Along the new roads and canals rolled a vastly increased 
volume of trade. The great discovery of the last reign, that 

A iron might be smelted with coal, made Northern 
Development . ' . 

of the England, where coal and iron lie side by side, a 
North. great manufacturing district instead of a thinly 
peopled range of moors, and before the century was out York- 
shire and Lancashire had become the most important indus- 
trial centres in the realm. 

A few years after the expansion of the iron industry came the 
growth of textile manufactures, fostered by the new discoveries 
Mechanical made by Watt and Arkwright. The former, a 
inventions. Glasgow instrument-maker, began the application 
of steam to the setting of machinery in motion. The latter, 
a barber at Bolton, perfected the details of that machinery, 
and showed that it was possible to do quickly and accurately 
with iron what had hitherto been done slowly and more 
clumsily with human fingers. Where previously the spinner 
and weaver co-operated with the precarious motive-power 
of running water, the new mills, working by steam and able 
to establish themselves wherever coal was to be found, 
made their appearance. Thus the price of production was 
enormously lessened, and English woven goods became able 
to underbid any others in the markets of the world. For as yet 
no other nation had learnt the use of steam and machinery, 
and England had a monopoly of the new inventions. Our 
linen, woollen, and cotton manufactures were increasing with 
an astounding rapidity, and wealth and population mounted 
up by leaps and bounds. It is true that the new factory system 
was to lead to many social troubles and miseries. In the haste 
to grow rich, the mill-owners took little thought of the bodily or 
moral welfare of their workmen. In the new centres of popula- 
tion the lower classes were crowded together in narrow and 
unhealthy streets, forced to work too many hours a day, and 
grievously stinted in their wages as competition grew fierce. 
But these evils were only beginning to develop, while the rush 
of wealth produced in the new industries was apparent at once. 

1784. Pitts Commercial Policy. 563 

Moreover, the growth of manufactures had stimulated other 
sources of prosperity. The increased population called for a 
larger food-supply, and therefore forced agriculture improved 
to develop. Waste and moor were everywhere agriculture, 
being ploughed up, to raise corn for the new thousands who 
annually swelled our ranks. It is said that more new ground 
was taken into cultivation in the years between 1760 and 
1780 than in the whole century which preceded them. Thus 
the landholding classes shared in the prosperity of the manu- 
facturers. Nor was it only in the quantity of new corn-bearing 
land that progress was seen ; the older acres also were culti- 
vated with improved methods, and brought forth double their 
former produce. 

The growth of manufactures and the development of 
agriculture were enough in themselves to account for the 
marvellous ease with which England bore the Growth oi 
burdens imposed upon her by the American wealth, 
war. So greatly was the national wealth increased, that losses 
which had seemed ruinous at the time were forgotten in ten 
years. The ^120,000,000 of debt incurred in the struggle 
were no longer a nightmare to Chancellors of the Exchequer ; 
it became evident that the country had suffered no incurable 
wound in the disastrous struggle with America, France, and 

Pitt, then, fell upon a fortunate time when he took office in 
December, 1783. But we must not deprive him of the full credit 
of restoring the prosperity of English finance. It is pitt>B flnancial 

a great title to praise that he saw the bright side and , con *: 

. . mercial policy, 
of things when other men were hopeless. And it 

must be remembered that his own enlightened conduct of 
affairs had much to do with the improved condition of the 
country. For he was far ahead of his contemporaries in his 
knowledge of finance and political economy. First of all 
English statesmen, he had studied the laws of wealth and 
the workings of international commerce. He had found an 
inspiration in Adam Smith's celebrated book, the " Wealth of 
Nations," published in 1776, and from it had convinced himself 
that Free Trade was the true policy of England, and that the old 
and narrow commercial policy of restriction and Protection 
was radically unsound. In all his legislation he bore this 

564 The younger Pitt, and renewed Prosperity. 

principle in mind, and the realm profited thereby to no small 

The first ten years of Pitt's rule (1783-1792) were a time of 
profound peace both at home and abroad. Though his foreign 

policy was not weak or vacillating, the young 
Peace abroad. r * . . . ., ... . . , ... 

premier avoided all collisions with our neighbours. 

A slight difficulty with Spain in 1789 about our colony on 
Vancouver's Island, in the North Pacific, is hardly worth 

Meanwhile Pitt's ascendency at home was complete. The 

disgrace of the Coalition still hung over the Parliamentary 

The Whigs opposition. There seemed to be hardly any reason 

powerless, for the longer existence of the old Whig party, 
which followed Fox, Burke, and Sheridan. The popular 
principles on which they had always pretended to rest had 
now been adopted by the opponent whom they styled a 
Tory. The opposition in the years 1783-1793 was factious 
rather than honest. The Whigs had to see measures, which 
they could not but approve, carried by their political enemy, 
or else to withstand them on the inadequate ground of pure party 
spite. The spectacle of a conscientious and enlightened minister 
opposed by men who could find no real fault with his principles 
or measures, disgusted the nation, and the Whig party sunk 
into a disrepute which proceeded from a general belief that 
it was insincere. Not least among the causes of its ill odour 
with the country was the close connection of its leaders, Fox 
and Sheridan neither of them men of a high moral reputation 
with the Prince of Wales. For the young prince's dissolute 
habits, wanton thriftlessness, and unfilial conduct towards his 
father rendered him a byword among right-minded men. Yet 
the only hope of the Whigs returning to office lay in the help 
of the younger George. He had promised to dismiss Pitt and 
call Fox to office if ever he were able, and when in 1788 his 
father was stricken down with a temporary fit of insanity, it 
seemed that he might be able to carry out his design. But the 
king recovered before his son had been formally named regent, 
and the Whigs lost their opportunity. 

The early years of Pitt's domination were a period of active 
legislation. He took in hand many schemes, and brought most 
of them to a successful end. His enlightened views on Free 

1790. Pitfs Legislative Reforms. 565 

566 TJie younger Pitt, and renewed Prosperity. 1763. 

any scheme for making those princes govern in accordance 
with English interests and ideas. It was intolerable that we 
should be responsible for the misrule of effete oriental despots, 
while keeping no real control over them ; for, except in the 
suburbs of Madras and Calcutta, we made no pretence to 
territorial sovereignty. 

The feeble Mohammed Ali in the Carnatic did no worse than 
pile up mountains of debt, and quibble with the Governor of 

Battle of Madras. But Mir Kasim, the Nawab of Bengal, 
Buxar. W as made of sterner stuff. Resenting all inter- 
ference of his suzerains in the governance of his realm, he 
rebelled against the Company, and sealed his own fate by 
massacring 150 English merchants of the factory of Patna. 
This brought down prompt chastisement. He was driven out 
of Bengal, and forced to take refuge with his neighbour 
Sujah-ud -Dowlah, the Nawab of Oude, who consented to 
espouse his cause. But at Buxar, Major Munro, with a 
handful of sepoys, defeated the united armies of the two Moham- 
medan princes (1763). This important victoiy gave England 
the control of all North-Eastern India : she enthroned a new 
nawab in Bengal, but made him a mere puppet and tool, with 
no real authority. For the future the Company administered 
Bengal and Bahar in its own name, under the authority of a 
grant from Shah Alum, the powerless Grand Mogul of the day. 
At the same time Oude came within the sphere of British 
influence, for Sujah-ud-Dowlah was forced to become our ally 
and to pay us a subsidy. 

Shortly after this pacification, Lord Clive came out again to 

India, to act as Governor of Bengal. His second tenure of power 

dive's lasted two years (5765-1767), and was notable for 

reforms. great improvements which he introduced into the 
governance of the land. Hitherto the English officials and 
military commanders had received very low pay, while placed 
in positions where money-making was easy. Many succumbed 
to the temptation, and accumulated fortunes by blackmailing 
the natives, by selling their patronage, or by engaging in 
private trade. Clive wisely stopped these sources of corruption, 
by raising the salaries of his subordinates, but forbidding 
them to trade with the country or to receive gifts from natives. 
His reforms were much resented,, and almost led to sedition 

1773. Warren Hastings. 567 

among the military ; but he carried them through with a strong 
hand, and left the army and civil service 'much improved and 
purified. Ill-health forced him to return to England in 1767, 
where some years after he put an end to himself in a fit of 

For the next six years our Indian possessions were ruled by 
men of lesser fame, and were unvexed by foreign wars. But in 
1773 a new era began. In that year a Governor- Warren HaBt . 
General was for the first time appointed, and ings, Qover- 
entrusted with the command of all the three pre- nor - Qeneral - 
sidencies of Bengal, Madras, and Bombay. The first man 
placed in this office was the greatest who has ever held it the 
able and undaunted Warren Hastings. For twelve years this 
stern ruler maintained the prestige of the English name in 
India, though he had to face the fearful storm of the American 
war, which shook the foundations of the British empire in every 
part of the world. Not the least of his achievements was that 
he asserted his own will in every crisis against the strenuous 
opposition of his factious council, who, headed by Philip Francis 
the virulent writer of the " Letters of Junius " did their best 
to thwart every scheme that he took in hand. 

Hastings began his rule by placing in English hands all the 
posts in the administration of justice and the collection of the 
taxes, which had hitherto been in the charge of Execut i n of 
natives. This led to increased revenue and pure Nandukumar. 
law. But the Bengalis did not at first understand the methods 
of the new courts, which in some ways worked harshly enough. 
When Sir Elijah Impey, the first Chief Justice, hung for 
forgery the great Calcutta banker, Nandukumar (Nuncomar), 
they could only believe that he suffered because he had offended 
the Governor-General by intriguing with Francis and the other 
discontented members of council. Hence came a most unjust 
accusation against Hastings and Impey, of having committed 
a judicial murder. 

The worst trouble which Hastings experienced was the 
continual cry for increased dividends with which the directors 
of the East India Company kept plaguing him. The RoMiia 
They were not particular as to the way in which 
money was to be earned, and the Governor-General sometimes 
tried strange expedients to satisfy them. The worst was the 

568 The younger Pitt, and renewed Prosperity. 1778. 

hiring out to Asaf-ud-Dowlah, the Nawab of Oude, of English 
troops for use in wars with his neighbours. By such aid that 
prince subdued the Rohillas, an Afghan tribe on his northern 
frontier. The only excuse that Hastings could plead for this 
undignified traffic was that the Rohillas were a race of plunderers 
and a public nuisance to Northern India (1774). 

A little later an attempt to extend the English influence in 
Western India involved Hastings in a dangerous war. The 
The Mahratta Bombay government wished to acquire over its 

war, 1778. neighbours the Mahrattas the same sort of suze- 
rainty which Madras exercised over the Nawab of the Carnatic, 
and Bengal over the Nawab of Oude. With this object a 
treaty was concluded with a prince named Raghonath Rao, 
who claimed to be Peishwa, or head of the Mahratta con- 
federacy, by which he was to be lent troops, and to pay in return 
a large subsidy to the Company. But the other Mahratta chiefs, 
headed by Scindiah, the most powerful of their race, refused to 
acknowledge Raghonath, and attacked the Company. They 
utterly defeated the Bombay army, and the credit of the British 
arms was only saved by a daring experiment of Hastings, who 
made an English army march from Bengal right across Northern 
India. This force took Gwalior, Scindiah's capital, and overran 
the province of Gujarat. The Mahrattas made peace, ceding 
to Hastings the island of Salsette ; but the attempt to make 
them into vassals had distinctly failed, and had to be postponed 
for twenty years. 

But the greatest danger which Hastings had to face came 
from the outbreak of the war with France in 1778. It is true 

Haider Ail ^ at *" s troops easily captured Pondicherry and 
the other French settlements, but they could not 
prevent their enemies from stirring up against them a very 
dangerous enemy. This was Haider Ali, a Mohammedan 
military adventurer who had built up an empire for himself 
in Southern India. He had usurped the throne of his master, 
the Rajah of Mysore, and had conquered all his neighbours 
by the aid of a great mercenary army of fanatical Mussulmans. 
While Hastings was still engaged in the dangerous Mahratta war, 
the French easily induced the ruler of Mysore to interfere in the 
struggle, for he coveted the rich dominions of our vassal, the 
Nawab of the Carnatic. 

1784. The Mysore War. 569 

Haider AH poured his hordes of predatory horse down from 
the plateau of Mysore into the Carnatic. They swept over the 
whole country, and burnt the villages at the Hastings' 
very gates of Madras. Hastings, already involved extortions, 
in one war, and vexed by a French fleet under De Suffren 
which was hovering about, felt himself at his wits' end for 
troops and money to resist the J 00,000 men whom Haider 
had sent against the southern presidency. To raise new 
resources he harshly fined Cheyte Singh, Rajah of Benares, 
a vassal prince who was slack in contributing to the war. For 
failing to give ^50,000, the unfaithful rajah was mulcted in 
the sum of ^500,000. When this was unpaid, Cheyte Singh 
was deposed from his throne. More funds were procured from 
our ally, the Nawab of Oude, in a not very reputable way. When 
Hastings asked him for aid, Asaf-ud-Dowlah answered that he was 
penniless at the moment, because his late father had illegally left 
the state-treasure to the Begums, his widow and mother. He 
asked permission from Hastings to extract the hoard from the 
old ladies, and did so by the cruel imprisonment and torture of 
their servants. Of course the Governor-General was not respon- 
sible for the Nawab's methods. But he profited by them : more 
than ;r,ooo,oco was torn from the Begums, and served to 
pay the expenses of the Mysore war. 

That struggle, which had begun under such unfavourable 
circumstances, was finally carried to a glorious end. The veteran 
Sir Eyre Coote, who had won the Carnatic at Battle of 
Wandewash twenty years before, now saved it by ^o^o NOVO. 
the victory of Porto Novo (July, 1781). Haider's multitudes 
were routed, and he was driven back into the hills. Next 
year he died, and the throne of Mysore fell to his son, Tippoo 
Sultan, a cruel and fanatical prince of talents very inferior to 
those of his father. After two years of war, Tippoo was 
constrained to make peace, and to cease from molesting the 
Carnatic (1784). 

Hastings' work was now done ; he had saved our Indian 
empire by his hard fighting with the Mahrattas and the rulers 
of Mysore, at a time when England, oppressed by war in Europe 
and America, could give him no aid. He had organized the 
administration, increased the revenue, and set justice on a firm 
basis. If some of his acts had been harsh, yet all should have 

570 The younger Pitt, and renewed Prosperity. i?85. 

been pardoned him when his difficulties were taken into con- 


But when Hastings came home in 1785, hoping to receive the 

thanks of the nation and to be rewarded with a peerage, he was 
Trial of woefully undeceived. His enemy Francis had 
Hastings. returned from India before him, and had laid 

before Fox and Burke, the leaders of the Whig opposition, 




The names of the five 
Great Mahratta states 
are underlined. 

all the doings of the last ten years painted in the darkest 
colours. He persuaded them that Hastings was a tyrant 

1789 Cornwallis in India. 571 

and a monster, and moreover that a damaging blow could 
be dealt to Pitt by impeaching the great governor. For 
if the prime minister defended him, as was likely, he might 
be accused of protecting guilt and malfeasance. The Whigs 
therefore demanded with loud cries the impeachment of 
Hastings; but Pitt rather to their surprise granted it. Then 
began the famous trial of the Governor- General before the House 
of Lords, which lasted fully six years. Accused of having 
judicially murdered Nandukumar, of having illegally sold British 
troops to the Nawab Asuf-ud-Dowlah, and of having cruelly 
oppressed Cheyte Singh and the Begums of Oude, Hastings 
was acquitted on every point. But the law expenses had ruined 
him, and the nation's indifference had soured him, so that he 
died an unhappy and disappointed man. 

Hastings was succeeded as Governor-General by Lord 
Cornwallis, the victor of Camden and the vanquished of York- 
town. This honest and brave man was set the pitt , s India 
task of governing India under a new constitution. Bil1 - 

In 1784 Pitt had passed an "India Bill" not very unlike 
that of Fox. It gave the Crown the supreme power over 
the Company, making the Governor-General and the Board of 
Control in London nominees of the Crown. But the Company 
was still left its patronage, its monopoly of trade, and a certain 
undefined power over the Governor-General which led to much 
trouble in the future. 

Cornwallis ruled British India for seven years (1786-1793), 
and, though he had gone out with no intention of engaging in 
wars or aggrandizing the Company's dominions, comwaiiis' 
was driven by the force of circumstances into a Indian policy. 
policy which was practically identical with that of Warren 

The Sultan Tippoo of Mysore, always restless and quarrel- 
some, made war on all his neighbours, till at last, in 1789, he 
attacked the Rajah of Travancore, a vassal of the -wai-with 
Company. Resolved to crush the Sultan, Corn- Tippoo of 
wallis built up a great alliance with the Nizam, 
the Mohammedan ruler of the Hyderabad state, and with the 
chiefs of the Mahrattas. Standing at the head of this confederacy, 
the English appeared for the first time as asserting a predominance 
over the whole peninsula. Neither the Mahrattas nor the Nizam 

572 The younger Pitt, and renewed Prosperity. 1791. 

gave any very material aid towards the suppression of Tippoo, 
but Cornwallis proved able to accomplish it without their assist- 
ance. His first advance into Mysore was foiled by lack of 
provisions, but in the next year (1791) he forced his way into the 
heart of Tippoo's realm, beat him at the battle of Arikera, and , 
then stormed the lines of Seringapatam, which covered the 
Sultan's capital. A few more days' fighting would have put it 
in the hands of Cornwallis ; but when Tippoo humbled himself 
and asked for peace, he was spared. Nearly half his dominions 
were taken from himpart to be added to the Madras Presidency, 
part to be given to the Nizam and the Mahrattas. It was 
fortunate that Tippoo did not delay his attack on the allies for a 
few years ; if he had waited a little longer, he would have found 
England deep in her struggle with the French Revolution. As 
it was, he was so crushed that he gave no trouble for eight years 

Hardly less important than the Mysore war was Cornwallis's 
well-intentioned but ill-judged measure, the " Perpetual Settle- 

The "Per melit " of Bengal. This was a scheme for per- 
petual settle- manently fixing the land revenue of that province, 
by assessing a fair rent to be paid to the Company 
as supreme lord of the soil which should not vary from year 
to year, but remain for ever at the moderate figure at which it 
was now settled. But unfortunately Cornwallis did not make the 
bargain with the ryots, or peasants, the real owners of the land, 
but with the zemindars, a class of hereditary tax-collectors who 
were one of the legacies left to us by the old Mogul rulers of 
India. As the Government made its contract with the zemindar 
for the rent of each group of villages, and undertook never to 
ask more from him than a certain fixed amount, it became the 
interest of this tax-collecting class to screw up the contributions 
of the villagers to the highest point, as the whole profit went into 
their own pockets. The rack-renting led to a general strike among 
the peasantry, who agreed to withhold their rents, and to go to 
law with the zemindars en masse, knowing that they could choke 
the law-courts for years by sending in thousands of appeals at 
the same moment. The result of this conspiracy much like one 
that was seen in Ireland only a few years ago was to ruin most 
of the zemindars, who became liable for the land-tax to the 
Government, and could not raise it while the ryots were fighting 


The Perpetual Settlement. 


them in the courts. In any other country than Bengal this crisis 
must have led to agrarian civil war, but the Bengalis preferred 
litigation to outrages, and affairs ultimately settled down. Later 
legislation has wisely taken note of the rights of the ryot as well 
as those of the zemindar, but the pledge of the " Perpetual 
Settlement " has never been broken, and to this day the lands 
of Bengal pay no more to the crown than the moderate assess- 
ment of 1793 a standing proof that the British Government 
keeps its word. 

Corn wallis came home in 1794, to find England plunged in the 
greatest war that she has ever known that with the French 

( 574 ) 



IN the year 1789, when Pitt was in the zenith of his power, 
strong in the confidence of the nation and the king, signs of 
The meeting of trouble began to appear across the British Channel, 
the states which attracted the attention of all intelligent 
General. men< The great French Revolution was com- 
mencing : in May, 1789, King Lewis XVI. summoned the 
States General of France to meet at Versailles, in order to 
consult with him on measures for averting the impending bank- 
ruptcy of the realm. It was nearly two centuries since the last 
States General had assembled, and nothing but dire necessity 
drove the king to call into being the assembly which his 
despotic ancestors had so carefully prevented from meeting. 
But France was in a desperate condition : the greedy and 
autolatrous Lewis XIV. and the vicious spendthrift Lewis XV. 
had piled up a mountain of debts which the nation could no 
longer support. The existing king, though personally he was 
mild and unenterprising, had been drawn into the war of 
American independence, and wasted on it many millions more. 
The only way out of the difficulty was to persuade the nation to 
submit to new imposts, and most especially to induce the nobles 
to surrender their old feudal privilege of exemption from 

The king and his ministers were only thinking of the financial 

trouble ; but by summoning the States General they gave the 

Prance under P ower of speech to discontented France, and found 

the^Ancien themselves confronted by a much larger problem. 

The realm had been grossly misgoverned for the 

last century by a close ring of royal ministers, who constituted 

1789. France in 1789. 575 

a bureaucracy of the most narrow-minded sort. Lewis XIV. 
had crushed out all local institutions and liberties, in order to 
impose his royal will on every man. The lesser kings who 
followed had allowed the power to slip from their own hands 
into those of the close oligarchy of bureaucrats whom the Grand 
Monarque had organized. France under the Ancien Regime 
was suffering all the evils that result from over-centralization 
and "red tape." The smallest provincial affairs had to be 
referred to the ministers at Paris, who tried to settle everything, 
but only succeeded in meddling, and delaying all local improve- 
ments. The most hopeless feature of the time was that the 
nobility and gentry were excluded from all political power by 
the Parisian bureaucrats, though suffered to retain all their old 
feudal privileges and exemptions. Thus they were objects of 
jealousy to the other classes, yet had no share in the governance 
of the realm, or opportunity to temper the despotism of the 
royal ministers. Two old mediaeval abuses survived, to make 
the situation of the country yet more unbearable : offices of all 
kinds were openly bought and sold, while taxation was not 
raised directly by the state, but leased out to greedy tax- 
farmers, who mulcted the public of far more than they paid into 
the national treasury. 

While the government was in this deplorable condition, 
public opinion had of late been growing more and more restive. 
All the educated classes of France were permeated Growth of dis- 
with deep discontent. Ideals of constitutional col fte'^ 01 ~ 
government, borrowed originally from English Rousseau, 
political writers, were in the air. The recent alliance with 
America had familiarized many Frenchmen with republican 
institutions and notions of self-government. The opposition 
was headed by the chief literary men of the age. The stinging 
sarcasms of Voltaire were aimed against all ancient shams and 
delusions. Nothing was safe from his criticism, and most of all 
did he ridicule the corrupt Gallican Church, with its hierarchy of 
luxurious and worldly prelates and its bigoted and superstitious 
lower clergy. While Voltaire was decrying old institutions and 
teaching men to be sceptical of all ancient beliefs, his younger 
contemporary, the sentimental and visionary Rousseau, was 
advocating a return to the " state of nature." He taught that 
man was originally virtuous and happy, and that all evil was 

576 England and the French Revolution. 

the result of over-government, the work of priests and kings. 
He dreamed of a renewal of the Golden Age, and the abolition 
of laws and states. All men were to be brothers, and to live 
free and equal without lord or master. Smarting under the 
narrow and stupid rule of the Ancien Regime, many Frenchmen 
took these Utopian ideas seriously, and talked of setting up the 
reign of reason and humanity. Hence it came that all the 
claims and aspirations of the French Revolution were inspired 
by vague and visionary ideas of the rights of man, and demanded 
the destruction of old institutions, unlike our English agitations 
for reform, which from Magna Carta downwards have always 
claimed a restoration of ancient liberties, not the setting up of 
a new constitution. 

When the dull but well-intentioned Lewis XVI. had once 
summoned the States General of 1789, he soon found that he 
The National ^ a( ^ gi ven himself a master. For the deputies of 
Assembly, the Tiers Etat, or Commons, instead of proceed- 
ing to vote new taxes, began to clamour for the redress of 
grievances of all kinds. When the king, like Charles I , 
threatened to dissolve them, their spokesman answered, " We 
are here by the will of the people of France, and nothing but 
the force of bayonets shall disperse us." King Lewis was too 
weak and slow to send the bayonets. He drew back, and 
allowed the States General to organize themselves into a 
National Assembly, and to claim to represent the French 

The obvious weakness of the king encouraged the friends of 
revolution all over France to assert themselves. On July 14, 
storming of 1 7^9, the mob of Paris stormed the Bastille the 
the Bastille. o \& state pr i son o f t h e capital and massacred 
the garrison. The king made no attempt to resent this riot 
and murder. Then followed a rapid series of constitutional 
decrees, by which the Assembly, backed by the pikes of the 
Parisian mob, abolished all the ancient despotic and feudal 
customs of the realm. It seemed for a moment as if a solid 
constitutional monarchy might be established. But the king 
was too feeble, and the reformers too rash and wild. The taint 
of riot and murder hung about all their doings, and they were 
constantly calling in the mob to their aid. Foreseeing a 
catastrophe, the greater part of the French royal family and 

1789. Burke and the Revolution. 577 

noblesse fled the realm. Ere long the king became little better 
than a prisoner in his own palace. 

These doings across the Channel keenly interested England. 
At first they met with general approval. It looked as if France 
was about to become a limited monarchy ; and as 
the personal and dynastic ambition of the Bour- 
bons had always been the cause of our wars with Rev lu tion. 
them, English public opinion looked with favour on the sub- 
stitution of the power of the National Assembly for that of the 
king. It was thought that France, under a constitutional 
government founded on English models, could not fail to 
become the friend of England. Pitt expressed in a guarded 
way his approbation of the earlier stages of the Revolution. Fox 
became its vehement admirer and panegyrist ; he exclaimed 
that the storming of the Bastille was the greatest and best 
event in modern history, conveniently ignoring the cold-blooded 
massacre of its garrison which had followed. The greater part 
of the Whig party followed their chief, and expressed unqualified 
praise for the doings of the French. Some of the more 
enthusiastic members of the party visited France and corre- 
sponded with the leaders of the Revolution ; others formed 
political clubs to encourage and support the reformers across 
the Channel. 

But the mood of generous admiration and universal approval 
could not last for long. As the Revolution went on developing, 
while the outbursts of mob violence in France The reaction _ 
grew more frequent, and the National Assembly Criticisms of 
plunged into all manner of violence and arbitrary 
legislation, there began to be a schism in English public 
opinion. Fox and the more vehement Whigs still persisted 
in finding nothing to blame across the Channel, explaining the 
violent deeds of the Parisians as mere effervescence of the 
mercurial French temperament. But, curiously enough, it was 
a Whig, and one who never tired of singing the praises of 
our own Revolution of 1688, who was the first prophet of evil 
for the French movement. Edmund Burke, Fox's old colleague 
and ally, was an exponent of that view of constitutional liberty 
which looked on mob-law as even worse than the despotism of 
kings. He fixed his eyes on the murderous riots in Paris and 
the spectacle of the humiliation of Lewis XVI., not on the fair 

2 P 

578 England and the French Revolution. 1701. 

promises of a golden age made by the milder French reformers. 
The prospect of anarchy shocked him, and he used his unrivalled 
eloquence to warn the English nation to have nothing to do 
with a people of assassins and atheists. " When a separation 
once appears between liberty and law, neither is safe " was his 
cry. And, unlikely as it appeared at first, Burke was entirely in 
the right. Nothing which he predicted of the French Revolu- 
tion could exceed the realities which ere long came to pass. 

The consciousness of their own uncontrolled power was 
turning the brain of the French Assembly, and maddening 

Attempted the Parisian populace. They were irritated, but 
flight of not checked, by the weak resistance and futile 

Lewis xvi. evas i ons o f Lewis XVI. At last they persuaded 
themselves that the king and the nobility were conspiring to take 
away their newly won liberties, while in reality Lewis and his 
nobles alike were paralyzed with dread, and only thinking of 
saving themselves. In the summer of 1791 the unfortunate 
king took the fatal step of trying to escape by stealth from 
Paris. He stole away in disguise with his wife and children, 
and had got half-way to the eastern frontier before his 
absence was discovered. A chance caused his stoppage and 
discovery at Varennes ; he was seized and sent back to Paris, 
where he was for the future treated as a prisoner, not as a king. 
From this moment it was the fixed belief in France that 
Lewis had been about to fly to Germany, in order to incite the 
despotic monarchs of Austria and Prussia against 

Intervention of . r 

Austria and his country. In the Assembly the wilder party 
Prussia. began to come to the front, preaching republican- 
ism, and crying that France could not be saved by constitutional 
reforms, but required blood-letting. Ere long the symptoms of 
violence and anarchy, which had frightened Burke in England, 
exercised a still stronger effect on the rulers of the continent. 
Francis of Austria and Frederic William II. of Prussia, alarmed 
as to the republican propaganda in France, and warned by 
the fate of their fellow-king, began to concentrate their armies 
on the Rhine, and to concert measures for putting down the 
Revolution. On learning their plans, the French Assembly 
declared war on them in April, 1792. But at first their raw 
levies fared ill against the Germans ; defeat as always in 
France was followed by the cry of treason, and on the loth of 

1792- Pitt and the French Republic. 579 

August the Parisian mob stormed the Tuileries, slew the king's 
guards, and called for his deposition. 

The democratic National Convention, which now superseded 
the Assembly, proclaimed a Republic, after the populace had 
massacred many hundreds of persons who were A Republic 
rightly or wrongly supposed to be the king's friends proclaimed.- 

/," * m\ s-+ TIIG S6pt6niDer 

(September 2, 1792). The Convention gave its massacres, 
tacit sanction to these atrocities, in which some of its more 
violent members were personally implicated. 

The news of the September massacres and the proclamation 
of the Republic cleared up for ever the doubts of the English 
people as to the character of the French Revolu- Attitude of 
tion. Pitt's judicial attitude towards the move- pitt - 

ment had at last changed. In 1790 he had doubted whether 
it were good or bad ; by 1792 he was convinced that it was 
dangerous, anarchic, and detestable, but still hoped to avoid 
coming into actual conflict with it. He was in his heart a 
peace-minister, and it was circumstances, not his own will, 
which were to make him the fomenter of leagues and con- 
federacies against France for nine long years of war. When 
Austria and Prussia invited him to join them in their attack, 
he had at first refused. But he was much disturbed by the 
bombastic "Edict of Fraternity," which the Convention pub- 
lished, appealing to all the nations of Europe. " All governments 
are our enemies, all peoples our friends," said this document, 
and the multitude in every land were invited to overthrow kings 
and ministers, and receive the aid which France would give. 
Pitt looked upon this as an appeal to anarchy addressed to the 
discontented classes in England, and was much disturbed when 
he found that it was welcomed by some of the Whigs of the 
more popular and democratic section. A small but compact 
body of these extreme politicians were doing their best to 
frighten England into a frenzy of reaction by their unwise and 
unpatriotic conduct. Two clubs called the Corresponding 
Society and the Constitutional Society were founded in London 
for the propagation of revolutionary doctrines. They were 
composed of men of no weight or importance, visionary 
politicians with a craze for republicanism, men of disappointed 
ambitions who longed for a political crisis to bring them into 
notice, mob-orators, and such like. These bodies deserved 

580 England and the French Revolution. 1792. 

contempt rather than notice, but in view of the doings over seas, 
they attracted attention, and their noisy declamations in favour 
of the wilder doctrines of the French Revolution frightened 
the public. Especially was an outcry raised by the books and 
pamphlets of the celebrated free-thinker and republican writer, 
Tom Paine, the most blatant apologist of the atrocities in Paris. 

The average Englishman was sufficiently disgusted by the 
language of these home-grown revolutionaries from the first, 
Panic in Eng- but when more and more blood was shed in 

1 ressive 6 ~ France, a measure of alarm was mixed with his 

legislation, dislike of the noisy clubs. Men began to re- 
member the permanent existence in London of a large body of 
the dangerous classes ; it was easy to assume a connection 
between the French government, the English revolutionary 
societies, and the dregs of the London streets. And indeed a 
few wild spirits do seem to have talked to French agents of 
foolish plans for starting riots, setting fire to the capital, and 
seizing the Tower arsenal, in order to arm the mobs who, as they 
thought, would follow them. But the thousands of rioters and 
anarchists had no existence save in the brains of the French 
government and the alarmed and indignant English Tories. 
Their supposed designs, however, led to an unhappy panic in 
English legislation : the Habeas Corpus Act was suspended, the 
right of free meeting restricted, even free speech in a measure 
fettered, by a wholly unnecessary series of Government measures, 
which were in reality directed against a few hundred silly but 
noisy fanatics. It was like using a sledge-hammer to crush a 

Unfortunately, the ultimate effects of this scare were destined 
to endure throughout the twenty-two years of the coming war, 

The moderate End eVCn aftei * tS Cnd ' The atrocities Committed 

Whigs join by the French revolutionists, and the foolish talk 
of their English admirers, were the cause of the 
cessation of liberal legislation in England for a quarter of a 
century. Pitt himself, who had hitherto led the party of reform, 
felt the revulsion. His long series of wise and enlightened bills 
ceases in 1791, and his name becomes, unhappily, connected with 
stern and repressive laws of unnecessary severity. But it was 
not to be wondered at that he should act so, when we find that the 
larger half of the Whigs, the professors of an exaggerated zeal 

1703. The Execution of Lewis XVI. 581 

for liberty and popular government, now joined the Tories. 
After a continuous existence of a century, the Whig party suffered 
complete shipwreck. The majority of its members followed 
Burke in concluding an alliance with Pitt. Only a minority 
remained in opposition with Fox. In a party division, taken 
before the actual commencement of the French war, Fox was 
followed by only 50 of his own party when he attempted to 
oppose a warlike address to the Crown. It maybe worth noting 
that this wave of revulsion against the French revolution is 
reflected in the English literature of the times. The younger 
authors of the day, such as Wordsworth and Southey, are 
liberal, and even republican, when they begin to write ; but 
after the worse side of the French movement developed, they 
rapidly slide into enthusiastic patriotism, and denunciations of 
French anarchy and wickedness. 

When this was the state of English public feeling, two events 
conspired to urge the nation into the war for which men had 
gradually been preparing themselves. The first i, eW i 8 xvT 
was the trial and execution of the unfortunate king executed.- 
of France. The " Jacobin " party, the followers of ciares war^n 
the bloodthirsty Marat, the blatant Danton, and the England, 
coldly ferocious Robespierre, were now swaying the Convention. 
They impeached Lewis, not so much for any definite acts of his, 
as to show that they were determined to be rid of monarchy. 
" The coalized kings of Europe threaten us," said Danton ; " let 
us hurl at their feet as a gage the head of a king." Lewis was 
sent to the guillotine on the most empty and frivolous charges 
(January 21, 1793). His unfortunate wife, Queen Marie Anton- 
nette, followed him thither a few months after. Pitt immediately 
withdrew the English ambassador from Paris, and began to 
prepare for war. But the actual casus belli was the determination 
of the French, who had now overrun Belgium, to open the 
Scheldt, and make Antwerp a great naval arsenal. When Pitt 
protested, the Convention declared war on George III., under 
the vain belief that the English people would take their side, 
and overturn Pitt and his master. " The king and his Parlia- 
ment mean to make war on us," wrote a French minister, 
" but the Republicans of England will not permit it. Already 
these freemen show their discontent, and refuse to bear arms 
against their brethren. We will fly to their succour. We will 

582 England and the French Revolution. 1793. 

lodge 50,000 caps of liberty in England ; and when we stretch 
out our arm to these Republicans, the tyranny of their monarchy 
will be overthrown." 

So, on February 8, 1793, began the great war, which was to 
last, with two short intervals, till July 7, 1815. If England and 
France alone had been engaged in the struggle, the famous 
saying about the impossibility of a duel between the whale and 
the elephant might have been applicable. France, with her 
new levies just rushing into the field, had an army of something 
like 500,000 men. The English regular troops, available for war 
over-seas, were, in 1792, about 30,000 strong. On the other hand, 
the English fleet had 153 line-of-battle ships, the French only 
86. The one nation was almost as superior by sea as the other 
by land. It was evident that we could only attack the French 
by land if we had continental allies, while France could not 
harm us by sea until she had secured assistance from other 
powers to increase her navy. But if with our limited army we 
could not hope to equal in the field the legions of France, we 
had one means of attacking her on land the use of our power as 
the richest nation in Europe. Austria, Prussia, and the German 
states had large armies, but little money ; England had much 
money, if few men. Accordingly, it was by liberal subsidies to 
the military powers of the continent that we from first to last 
fought France on land. History records nine separate coalitions 
which Pitt and his successors drew together and cemented with 
English gold, in order to stay the progress, first of the French 
Republic, then of the great man who inherited its position. 

The moment that the war began, the naval supremacy of 
England enabled her to seize most of the outlying French 
English naval colonies. At the same time our fleets moved down 
^?Howe's to blockade the great naval arsenals of Brest, 
victory. Toulon, and Rochefort, where the French navy 
was cooped up. So thoroughly were the hostile fleets held in 
restraint, that there was only one important sea-fight in the first 
three years of the war. In the summer of 1794 the Brest 
squadron came out to convoy a merchant fleet, and was caught 
and completely beaten by Lord Howe on "the glorious First 
of June." 

The years 1793-1794 were the hardest part of the war for the 
French. The coalition against them now comprised England,. 

1704. Successes of the Convention. 583 

Austria, Prussia, Spain, Holland, and Sardinia. Assailed on 
every frontier by foreign enemies, they had also to v . 
face a formidable royalist rising in La Vende'e and government of 
Brittany. Yet the Convention made head against ^fon.^The" 
all its foes. The Jacobin faction, headed by the Reign of 
ruthless Robespierre, put a fearful energy into its 
generals, by the summary method of sending every officer who 
failed to the guillotine. The sanguinary despotism which they 
exercised was a thing of which the most tyrannical monarch 
would never have dreamed. They had impeached and slain 
the Girondists, or moderate Republicans, in the summer of 1793. 
Six months later, Robespierre, determined to be supreme, had 
seized and executed his colleague and rival Danton, and all his 
faction. The " Reign of Terror " made Paris a perfect shambles : 
1400 prisoners were guillotined in six weeks, and Robespierre 
called for yet more blood. 

But these horrors within were accompanied by vigour without. 
Quickened by the axe hanging over their necks, the generals 
did their best, and finally succeeded in beating Military Buc- 
" ick the allies, whose motley armies failed to co- cess of the 
>perate with each other, and had no one com- 
lander who could direct the whole course of the war to a 
single end. 

England's part in these early years of the war was neither 
important nor glorious. The Duke of York, the second son of 
George III., was sent with 20,000 men to aid the English re- 
Austrians in Flanders. But he was a very in- ve JersSn?at n " 
capable commander, got beaten by the French at Toulon. 
Hondeschoote near Dunkirk, and was forced back into Holland, 
and at last chased as far as Hanover (1793-94)' Another failure 
was seen at Toulon in the same year. The royalist inhabitants 
of that town called in the English to their aid, and surrendered 
its arsenal and fleet. But the place was indifferently defended 
by General O'Hara, and fell back into the hands of the 
Republicans after a short siege, mainly owing to the ability 
displayed by a young artillery officer named Napoleon Bonaparte. 
The only compensating advantage was that, before evacuating 
the place, the English were able to burn the French fleet and 

Pitt had said that when all Europe united against a nation of 

5 84 England and the French Revolution. 1703. 

wild beasts and madmen, two campaigns would settle the 
Fan of Robes- business. But at the end of 1794 things seemed 
pierre. The further from a settlement than ever. For the 
<ory ' coalition against France, after faring ill in the 
field, both in Flanders and on the Rhine, began to show signs 
of breaking up. That this was possible came from the fact 
that the " Reign of Terror " and the domination of the im- 
placable Robespierre were at last ended. The time had come 
when he and his associates, having guillotined all available 
Royalists and Moderates, were reduced to preying upon their own 
party, in their insane desire to find imaginary conspirators against 
the Republic. Robespierre fell at the hands of the rank and file of 
the Jacobins, who found the rule of the dictator intolerable, when 
it began to imperil their own necks. Having long shared in his 
misdoings, they sent him to the guillotine, when he began to 
terrify them (July, 1794.). Tallien, Barrere, Barras, and the 
other leaders in Robespierre's overthrow were, if less ferocious 
than their master, full of vices of which he could never be accused, 
profligate, venal, and corrupt. But, however bad they were, they 
yet reversed Rpbespierre's policy. The executions and massacres 
ceased, and the reign of the guillotine came to an end. The 
Convention dissolved itself in 1795, and gave place to the 
government of the " Directory," a committee of five ministers, 
of whom Barras was chief. 

This " Directory," though venal and greedy, was a settled 

government, with which foreign powers could treat, not a gang 

Pru-sia and of bloodthirsty madmen like Robespierre and his 

Sp !edge C ?he W ~ crew. When the Jacobin propaganda of murder 

Republic. all( j massacre was ended, several of the powers of 
the coalition determined to make peace with France. Prussia 
and Spain had drawn no profit from the war, and had lost men 
and money in it. Accordingly they withdrew their armies and 
acknowledged the Republic. Holland had been overrun by the 
French in 1794, after the Duke of York's defeat, and forced to 
become the ally of her conqueror. Hence the strong and well- 
equipped Dutch fleet is found for the rest of the war on the side 
of France. 

Thus England, Austria, and Sardinia alone remained of the 
original confederates, and the war began to grow more like the 
old struggles in the early years of the century. It ceased to be 

1797. The Directory Bonaparte in Italy. 585 

a war of opinion between England as representing constitutional 
monarchy, and France as representing rampant Policy of the 
and militant democracy. We find the Directory jSSmce'witii 
taking up the old policy of the Bourbons, claiming Spain, 
the frontier of the Rhine on land, and aiming at breaking the 
strength of England at sea, in order to seize our colonies and ruin 
our commerce. For the future, the French government was not 
set on stirring up the London mob, and deposing George III., but 
on fomenting war in India, and rebellion in Ireland, so as to 
break our national strength. The likeness of the struggle to the 
old times of the " Family Compact '' became still more notable 
when, in 1796, Spain, from reasons of old commercial jealousy, 
was induced to declare war on England, and join France. We 
had now to face the united fleets of France, Holland, and 
Spain, a much more formidable task than had hitherto been 
our lot. 

Things seemed almost desperate for England in 1797, when 
we lost our last continental allies. The Directory had made 
Napoleon Bonaparte commander of the army of Bonaparte in 
Italy in 1796. In two campaigns that marvellous 
general overran the Austrian and Sardinian 
dominions in the valley of the Po, and then pushing on, crossed 
the Alps and invaded Austria from the south. When he was 
less than a hundred miles from Vienna, the emperor asked for 
peace, and obtained it from Bonaparte by the Treaty of Campo 
Formic, at the price of surrendering Belgium and Lombardy 
(October, 1797). 

Thus England was left alone to face France, Holland, and 
Spain, whose fleets, if united, outnumbered our own. For the 
next three years the safety of England hung on England 
the power of our admirals to keep the junction threatened 

r , . , - <i . -i -with invasion. 

from taking place. Six English fleets were always 
at sea, facing the six great naval ports of the allies, the Texel, 
Brest, Ferrol, Cadiz, Cartagena, and Toulon. It was clear 
that if one or more of the blockaded fleets got away and joined 
another, the English would be outnumbered at the critical point 
and if once beaten could not prevent an invasion of England 
If only the command of the Channel were lost, there was nothing 
to prevent the victorious armies that had overrun Germany, 
Holland, and Italy, from coming ashore in Kent or Sussex. 

586 England and the French Revolution. 1797. 

In return, Pitt called on England for a great effort ; the war 
expenditure was increased to ,42,000,000 a year, and every 

Financial nerve was strained to keep up the fleet. This 

panic in enormous outpouring of money drained the 
exchequer to such a degree that public confidence 
began to fail, and in February, 1797, there almost occurred the 
national disaster of the bankruptcy of the Bank of England. 
A long and steady demand for hard cash, by creditors who feared 
the worst, drained the bank reserve till there was no more gold 
left. A crash was only staved off by Pitt passing in a single 
night a bill for suspending payments in gold, and for making 
bank-notes legal tender to any amount, so that no one could 
demand as a right from the bank five guineas for his five- 
guinea note. This state of things lasted till 1819, when cash 
payments were renewed. 

But this trouble was nothing, compared to the awful danger 
three months later, when the Channel and North Sea fleets 
The Mutiny at burst out into mutiny in April, 1797. These 

theNore. mutinies were early examples of the phenomena 
which we know so well in our own days under the name of 
" strikes." The sailors had suffered greatly from the long 
blockading service, which kept them perpetually at sea, off the 
French and Dutch ports. Their pay was low, their food bad, 
and their commanders in many cases harsh and cruel. They had, 
therefore, much excuse for themselves, when they demanded a 
better diet, higher pay, a fairer distribution of prize-money, and 
the dismissal of certain tyrannous officers. But the time they 
chose for their strike was inexcusable, for, while they lay idle at 
the Nore and Spithead, the French and Dutch might have 
sailed out, joined, and mastered the Channel. At first it was 
feared that the navy had been corrupted by French principles, 
and was about to declare for a republic, and join the enemy. 
But it was soon found that with a few exceptions the men were 
loyal, and only wanted redress of grievances. Pitt wisely granted 
their demands, and they returned to duty, refusing to follow a 
few wild spirits who wished to begin a political insurrection. 
Few or none protested when Parker, the sailor-demagogue, was 
hanged, and the fleet, which had been in mutiny in the summer, 
went out in the autumn to victory. 

Some weeks after their opportunity was passed, the Dutch 

1797. Disaffection in Ireland. 587 

fleet came out of the Texel, hoping to find the North Sea still 
unguarded. But Admiral Duncan absolutely Battles of 
annihilated his enemies at the hard-fought battle Cl SS" a 1 J rn 
of Camperdown (October, 1 797). Some time earlier st. Vincent, 
another decisive victory had crushed the Spanish fleet. The 
Cadiz squadron of twenty-seven line-of-battle ships had slipped 
out to sea. But Admiral Jervis, well seconded by his great 
lieutenant Nelson, followed them, and beat them off Cape St. 
Vincent, though he had only fourteen ships with him. This was 
the most extraordinary victory in the whole war, when the 
disparity of numbers is taken into consideration. 

The victories of St. Vincent and Camperdown were the salva- 
tion of England, for the naval crisis was tided over, and the 
union of the hostile fleets prevented. During the remainder of 
the war the French often threatened invasion, but were never 
able to get that command of the Channel which they might have 
seized without trouble during the mutiny at the Nore. The 
restored dominion of England at sea was all the more important 
because of the danger in Ireland, which was now impending. 

Though Ireland had obtained her Home Rule Parliament in 
1782, her troubles were as far from an end as ever. The govern- 
ment of the island was still in the hands of the lreland unde r 
Protestants of the Church of Ireland alone, and the Parliament 
the Romanists and Protestant dissenters were still 
excluded from many political rights. Thus six-sevenths of the 
people had no part in governing themselves, and the five-sevenths 
who were Romanists were even yet subject to many of the 
repressive laws against their religion, passed in the reign of 
William III.* Though in 1792 they were at last granted 
freedom of public worship, and allowed to vote for members 
of Parliament, they could not sit therein. The rule of the 
Irish Tories was harsh and arbitrary. From the outbreak 
of the French Revolution onward, they had suspected and 
with justice that the French would endeavour to raise trouble 
in Ireland. For there alone in the British Isles was to be 
found a discontented population, held down by a minority 
which governed entirely in its own interests, and took no 
heed of the desires of its subjects. There had always been 
close communication between France and Ireland since the old 
* See p. 452. 

588 England and the French Revolution. 

Jacobite days, and many Irish exiles were living beyond the 
seas. Hence it was not strange that first the discontented 
Protestant dissenters and afterwards the Roman Catholics put 
themselves into communication with the French the latter more 
reluctantly than the former, for they were the most bigoted of 
Papists, and much disliked the atheists and free-thinkers who 
guided the Revolution. From 1793 to 1798 Ireland was being 
undermined with secret societies, much like the Fenians of our 
own days, whose intrigues the Tory government strove in vain 
to detect and frustrate. 

The chief of these associations was called the " United Irish- 
men," because it worked for the combination of the Dissenters 
The "United of the north and the Romanists of the south in 
irishmen." ^ commO n end of rebellion. The original leaders 
in the conspiracy were all hot-headed Radical politicians, who 
had been fired with the enthusiasm of the French Revolution. 
Their chiefs were Lord Edward Fitzgerald, a young noble- 
man of republican proclivities, Wolfe Tone, a violent party 
pamphleteer, who had hitherto called himself a Whig, and 
Bond, a Dublin tradesman. 

These conspirators did not at first intend to rise without 
getting aid from France, and till 1796 there was never much 
Heche's at- chance of their friends over-sea being able to send 
tempt to in- them help. But when the fleets of France, Spain, 
elandt and Holland were united, it seemed possible to 
send an expedition to Ireland. In December, 1796, the Brest 
squadron took on board 16,000 men, under the young and 
vigorous General Hoche, and made a dash for the coast of 
Munster. Slipping out while the English blockading squadron 
was blown off by a storm, Hoche's fleet got safely to sea. But 
the ships met with a hurricane, and were so beaten about 
and dispersed that only half of them reached their rendezvous 
at Bantry Bay in County Kerry. Hoche, their leader, never 
appeared, and Grouchy, his lieutenant the man who in later 
years was Napoleon's unlucky marshal shrank from landing 
with 7000 men in an unknown country where he could detect no 
signs of the promised insurrection. He lost heart and returned 
to Brest, without having been met or molested by the English. 
If he had landed, there is no doubt that the whole south of 
Ireland would have risen to join him. In the next year there 

1798. The Irish Rebellion. 589 

was an even greater peril of invasion while the English fleet was 
in mutiny. The Dutch squadron, which was beaten at Camper- 
down, had been given Ireland as its goal, and might have got 
there unopposed if it had started six weeks earlier. 

Conscious of the danger which it was incurring, the Irish 
government was stirred up to vigorous measures. All the 
loyalists of Ireland the Orangemen, as they were Harsh 
now called * had already been embodied in regi- ^rSTSovern- 6 
ments of yeomanry, and were ready to move at the merit, 
first alarm of rebellion. Lord Lake, the commander-in-chief 
in Ireland, was directed to disarm the whole Catholic population, 
and to search everywhere for concealed arms. The order was 
carried out with more vigilance than mercy, as the task of 
finding the weapons was entrusted to the Orangemen of the 
yeomanry corps, who were determined to crush their rebellious 
countrymen at any cost. They employed the roughest measures 
to elicit information, flogging the suspected peasants and torturing 
them with pitch-caps and pointed stakes, till they revealed the 
hiding-place of their weapons. But, if cruel, Lake's measures 
were completely successful. In Ulster, where the search began, 
no less than 50,000 muskets and 70,000 pikes were seized, and 
if the same energy had been displayed in other parts of Ireland, 
the rebellion of 1798 would have been impossible. But the 
outcry caused in the Irish and English Parliaments by the rough 
doings of the yeomanry prevented the full execution of the dis- 
armament, and the United Irishmen of the south retained their 
concealed weapons, and waited for the signal of revolt. 

The crisis came in the spring of 1798, when the government 
were at last put by an informer on the track of the central com- 
mittee of the United Irishmen. The leaders and outbreak of 
organizers who had so long eluded them were at the Rebellion, 
last caught and lodged in Dublin Castle, save Lord Edward 
Fitzgerald, who fought with the police who came to arrest him, 
slew two, and was himself killed in the struggle. The seizure of 
the chiefs, instead of wrecking the conspiracy, caused it to burst 
out with sudden violence, for the Irish thought that all was 
discovered, and that rebellion was the only way to save their 
necks. An abortive rising in Ulster was easily put down, but 

From their having enrolled themselves in clubs named after their hero, 
William of Orange. 

5QO England and the French Revolution. i?98. 

in the south-east of Ireland the whole countryside rose in arms, 
and great bodies of insurgents attacked not only the loyal 
yeomanry but every Protestant family in the district. The 
rebels were under no central control, and were headed only by 
village ruffians and ignorant and bigoted priests. Acts worthy 
of the Parisian mob were perpetrated by the peasantry of Wex- 
ford, where the rebellion was strongest. They shot the Bishop 
of Ferns, and many other noncombatants, including women and 
children. On Wexford bridge they put several scores of persons 
to death by tossing them in the air and catching them on pikes. 
At Scullabogue they burnt alive a whole barnful of prisoners. 

For a fortnight there was sharp righting in the south, for the 
rebels showed as much courage as ferocity. But the Orange 

Battle of yeomanry were stirred to frantic wrath by the 
vinegar Hiii. atroc i t i es O f their enemies, and put down the in- 
surrection with little aid from the regular troops. The decisive 
fight was at the fortified camp of Vinegar Hill, the chief strong- 
hold of the rebels. When it was stormed, and when Father 
Murphy, the leader of the Wexford men, had fallen, the peasants 
dispersed. The atrocities which they had committed were 
promptly avenged, and the triumphant Orangemen hanged or 
shot hundreds of prisoners, with small attentions to the forms 
of justice. 

Two months after the battle of Vinegar Hill, a small French 
expedition succeeded in slipping out of Rochefort and landed 
General Hum- ^ n Connaught. But the back of the rebellion was 
berrs expedi- broken, and though General Humbert routed some 
militia at Castlebar, he was soon surrounded and 
captured by Lord Cornwallis, the Lord- Lieutenant, who beset 
him with a tenfold superiority of numbers. 

The Great Rebellion of 1798 led to the legislative union of 
England and Ireland. Pitt and his lieutenant, Cornwallis, 
pitrt-s scheme thought, rightly enough, that the rising had come 
EngSSdaSd from the fact that the large majority of the Irish 
Ireland. we re handed over, without representation or po- 
litical rights, to be governed by the minority. They devised 
two schemes for bettering the state of the land the Romanists 
were to receive " Emancipation," that is, the same rights as 
their neighbours of the Church of Ireland and at the same 
time an end was to be put to the Dublin Parliament, and the 

1798. Bonaparte in Egypt. 591 

Irish members incorporated in the Parliament of Great Britain. 
For Emancipation without union would have given the Romanists 
a majority in the Dublin Parliament and led to a bitter struggle 
between them and their old masters, which must have ended in 
a second civil war. 

The process of persuading or bribing the Anglo- Irish Protestant 
aristocracy to give up their national Parliament took two years. 
They bitterly disliked the idea, and were only in- The Act o! 
duced to yield by a liberal shower of titles and "Union passed, 
pensions, and a goodly compensation in cash distributed among 
the chief borough owners and peers. It was not till February 
1 8, 1800, twenty months after the rebellion had been crushed, 
that the Irish Houses voted their own destruction. For the 
future Ireland was represented by thirty-two peers and one 
hundred commoners in the Parliament of the " United Kingdom." 
After completing the Union, Pitt began to take in hand his 
scheme of Catholic Emancipation. But he was not destined to 
carry it through a fact which was in a short time to have a 
widely felt influence on English politics. 

Meanwhile the French war was still raging. Having failed 
to win command of the seas, and having been equally disap- 
pointed in their plans for causing rebellion in Bonap artei 
Ireland, the French Directory tried another scheme Egypt, 
for injuring England. Napoleon Bonaparte, the young general 
who had conquered Italy in 1796-7, was now the first man in 
France. He had lately formed a grandiose scheme for erecting 
a great empire in the Levant. From thence he intended to 
strike a blow at the English dominions in India, which he 
regarded as the chief source of our wealth. The venal and 
incapable members of the Directory feared Bonaparte, and were 
glad to get him out of France. They at once fell in with his 
plan, and gave him the Toulon fleet and an army of 30,000 
men. Keeping his destination a profound secret, Bonaparte 
sailed from Toulon in May, 1798. He piratically seized Malta 
from the Knights of St. John as he passed, to make it a half-way 
house to his intended goal. Then, pushing on eastwards, he 
landed at Alexandria, and in a few weeks overran the whole of 
Egypt, though France had never declared war on the Sultan 
of Turkey, the ruler of that land. Once seated there, he began 
to develop a gigantic scheme for the conquest of the whole 

592 England and the French Revolution. 

East, vowing that he would build up an Oriental empire and 
" attack Europe from the rear." His first care was to send 
emissaries to Tippoo Sultan, the son of our old Indian enemy 
Haider Ali, bidding him to attack the English in India with the 
assurance of French support. 

Soon after Bonaparte had taken Cairo, he heard that the 
ships which had brought him to Egypt had been destroyed. 
Battle of the Admiral Nelson, the commander of the English 
Nile. Mediterranean fleet, had arrived too late to pre- 
vent the French army from disembarking. But, finding their 
squadron lying in Aboukir Bay, he determined to destroy it. 
The enemy lay moored in shallow water, close to the land, but 
Nelson resolved to follow them into their anchorage. Sending 
half his ships to slip in between the enemy and the shore, he 
led the other half to attack them on the side of the open sea. 
This difficult manoeuvre was carried out with perfect success ; 
first the van, then the centre, then the rear of the French fleet 
was beset on two sides. The squadrons were exactly equal in 
numbers, each counting thirteen line-of-battle ships. But so 
great was the superiority of the English seamanship and gunnery, 
that eleven out of the thirteen French vessels were sunk or taken 
in a few hours. This brilliant feat of naval tactics had the 
important result of cutting off Bonaparte's power to return to 
France. He was penned up in Egypt as in an island, with no 
way of egress save by the desert route to Syria. Nor could any 
further reinforcements reach him from France, since the victory 
of the Nile gave Nelson complete command of the Mediter- 
ranean. But Bonaparte did not at first show any dismay ; he 
was firmly established in Egypt, and had resolved to peroevere 
in his attempt to conquer the whole East with his own army. 

In the winter of 1798-99 he crossed the desert and flung himself 

upon Syria. He turned the Turks out of the southern part of 

the land, and won a great victory over them at 

Mount Tabor. But before the walls of the seaport 

of Acre he was brought to a standstill, not so much by the 

gallantry of the Turkish garrison, as by the activity of a small 

English squadron under Sir Sidney Smith, which harassed the 

besiegers, threw supplies into the town, and landed men to assist 

the pacha when the French tried to take the place by storm. 

Bonaparte used to say in later days that but for Sidney Smith 

1709. Bonaparte u First Consul" 593 

he might have died as Emperor of the East. At last he was 
forced to raise the siege and to retreat on Egypt, where he 
found startling news awaiting him [May, 1799]. 

While he was absent in the East, Pitt had found means to 
start a new coalition against France, in which both Russia and 
Austria were engaged. The imbecile Directory 
was quite unable to keep these foes at bay. An tion against 
Austro-Russian army drove the French completely France, 
out of Italy, and at the same time another Austrian army 
defeated them in Germany and thrust them back to the Rhine, 
while an English force, under the Duke of York, landed in 
Holland, to threaten the northern frontiers of the Republic. 

Bonaparte had expected something of the kind, knowing the 
imbecility of the Directory, and he was now ready to pose as the 
saviour of France, and to make a bid for supreme Return of 
power, for his ambition ran far beyond that of Bonaparte, 
being merely the chief of French generals. Leaving his army 
in Egypt, he ran the gauntlet of the English fleet, and safely 
reached France. 

The accusations of mismanagement which he brought against 
the Directory were supported by French public opinion, especially 
by that of the army. With small difficulty Bona- Bonaparte 
parte dethroned the Directory, and dispersed by " First consul." 
force of arms the " Council of Five Hundred " which represented 
parliamentary government. He then instituted a new form of 
constitution, which was in reality, though not in shape, a 
military despotism. Under the title of " First Consul " he 
became the supreme ruler of France (November, 1799). 

The nation acquiesced in this change because Bonaparte had 
pledged himself to save France from the coalition, if he was 
entrusted with a dictatorship. He kept his word. Battles of 
Crossing the Alps by the pass of the Great St. Marengo and 
Bernard, where no large army had crossed before, fpeaSe o? n * 
he got into the rear of the Austrians in Italy, Luneviiie. 
and then beat them at the battle of Marengo (June, 1800). Cut 
off from their retreat, the Austrians had to surrender, and all 
Italy fell back into the hands of Bonaparte. Later in the same 
year the French won an equally crushing victory in South 
Germany, at Hohenlinden, where General Moreau annihilated 
the Austrian army of the north. Russia had already withdrawn 


594 England and the French Revolution. 1799. 

from the coalition, for the eccentric Czar Paul had conceived 
great admiration for Bonaparte, and did not object to a despot 
though he hated a republic. The Duke of York had been 
driven out of Holland long before, and France was triumphant 
all along the line. Austria, threatened with invasion at once on 
the west and the south, was forced to ask for peace, and by the 
peace of Luneville recognized Napoleon as ruler of France 

Thus England was once more left alone, to fight out her old 
duel with France, or rather with the vigorous and able despot 
Lord Welles- wno na( ^ made France his own. But the struggle 
ley and Tippoo was no longer so dangerous as in 1797-98. In 
Southern india every quarter of the globe the English held their 
subdued. own j n the y ears 1799-1801. In India the in- 
trigues of Bonaparte had caused Sultan Tippoo of Mysore to 
attack the Madras Presidency. But he was opposed by a man 
of great ability, Lord Wellesley, the new Governor- General of 
India, the first statesman who boldly proposed to make the 
whole peninsula of Hindustan subject or vassal to England. 
Wellesley dealt promptly and sternly with the Sultan of Mysore. 
He was beaten in battle, chased back to his capital of Seringa- 
patam, and slain at the gate of his palace as he strove to resist 
the English stormers. It was in this siege that Wellesley 's 
brother, Arthur Wellesley, the great Duke of Wellington of a 
later day, first distinguished himself. On Tippoo's death, half 
Mysore was annexed, the other half given back to the old Hindu 
rajahs whom Tippoo's father had deposed (May, 1799). The 
complete subjection of Southern India was shortly afterwards 
carried out by the annexation of the Carnatic, where the de- 
scendants of our old ally Mohammed AH had fallen into utter 
effeteness ; they had, moreover, been detected in intrigues with 
Tippoo during the late war. 

The conquest of Mysore was not the only English success 

that resulted from Bonaparte's expedition to Egypt. In 1800 

Capture of we took Malta from the garrison which he had 

^ta.-The left there. In 1801 the more important task of 

peiiedfrom reconquering Egypt itself was undertaken. Sir 

Egypt. Ralph Abercrombie landed at Aboukir with 20,000 

men. He twice defeated the French in front of Alexandria, but 

fell just as he had won the second battle. He had, however, 

1801, The Battle of Copenhagen. 595 

done his work so thoroughly that the hostile army was com- 
pelled to capitulate, and to evacuate Egypt, which England then 
restored to the Turks (March-August, 1801). 

Bonaparte had still one card to play. He used the personal 
influence which he had acquired over the eccentric autocrat of 
Russia, to endeavour to stir up trouble for England The "Armed 
in the north. At his prompting, Czar Paul Se JJ;JJ}eof '" 
induced his smaller neighbours Denmark and Copenhagen. 
Sweden to form the "Armed Neutrality," with the object of 
excluding English trade from the Baltic. England at once sent 
a great fleet to the north. It moored before Copenhagen, the 
Danish capital, which commands the main entrance to the Baltic, 
and summoned the Danes to abandon the Armed Neutrality, 
and permit the English to pass. The Prince Regent of Denmark 
refused, and the battle of Copenhagen followed. The slow and 
pedantic admiral, Sir Hyde Parker, was proceeding to dilatory 
tactics, but his hand was forced by his second in command, 
Nelson, the victor of the Nile. Disregarding his superior's orders 
to hold back, Nelson forced his way up the Strait to Copenhagen, 
sunk or took nearly the whole Danish fleet, and silenced the shore- 
batteries. When he threatened to bombard the city, the Prince 
Regent asked for an armistice, and abandoned the Armed 
Neutrality (April, 1801). 

Nelson now entered the Baltic, and would have attacked 
Russia, but the death of Czar Paul saved him the trouble. The 
tyrant had so maddened his nobles by his caprices Death of the 
and cruelty, that he was slain by conspirators in Czar Paul- 
his own bed-chamber. His son, Alexander I., promptly came 
to terms with England, and abandoned his French alliance. 

Just before the battle of Copenhagen had been fought, England 
lost the minister who had guided her in peace and war for the 
last seventeen years "the pilot who weathered Plt t a nd 
the storm," as a popular song of the day called catholic 
him. Pitt resigned his place on a point of honour. Ema: 
In the spring of 1801 there met the first United Parliament of 
Great Britain and Ireland, and before this new assembly the 
premier introduced his long-projected bill for the relief of Roman 
Catholics from their political disabilities. This measure wa 
destined to cause the great statesman's fall. The bigoted and 
stubborn old king whom he had served so faithfully, had a 

596 England and the French Revolution. isoi. 

stronger prejudice against justice for Catholics than against any 
other reform that could be mooted. He imagined that any 
measure giving them Emancipation would be against the terms 
of his coronation oath, and openly said that he would never 
make himself a perjurer by giving his royal assent to Pitt's bill. 
The prime minister had an exaggerated view of the duty of 
loyalty, and a great personal regard for his old master. On the 
other hand, he had solemnly pledged himself to the Irish 
Romanists to back their cause as long as he was in power. 
Under the circumstances he thought himself bound to resign his 
office, and retired in March, 1801. 

George replaced his old servant by a man infinitely beneath 
him, Henry Addington, a commonplace Tory, one of Pitt's 
Addington sue- least able lieutenants. This vapid nonentity had 
MadneoTof the t ^ ie sm ^ e m erit of want of originality he went 
king. on with Pitt's policy because he could devise no 
other. But his weakness and subservience to the crown might 
have induced George III. to revert to some of his former uncon- 
stitutional habits, if the old king had not gone mad soon after. 
He recovered his senses after some months, but was never the 
same man again, and was liable to recurring fits of insanity, 
which at last became permanent. 

It was the feeble Addington who was fated to bring to an end 
the first epoch of the great war with France, though he had not 
been concerned in the labour of bearing its brunt. Bonaparte 
had failed in all his schemes against England, alike in Egypt, 
India, and the Baltic. The French navy was crushed ; most of 
the French colonies were in English hands. He was accord- 
ingly glad to make peace, partly in order to take breath and 
build up a new naval power before assaulting England again, 
partly in order to find leisure to carry out his plans for making 
himself the permanent ruler of France ; for he was set on 
becoming something more than First Consul, and needed time 
to perfect his plan. 

England was not less desirous of peace. The long stress of 

the war had wearied the nation, and the load of debt which had 

The Peace of been piled up since 1793 appalled the ministers, 

Amiens. When Bonaparte offered to treat, his proposals 

were eagerly accepted. Negotiations were begun in October, 

1801, and peace was signed at Amiens on March 25, 1802, with 


The Peace of Amiens. 


France, Spain, and Holland. It was not unprofitable. Bona- 
parte undertook to withdraw the French armies from Naples, 
Rome, and Portugal, and to give up any claims to Egypt. He 
made his allies, the Dutch and Spaniards, surrender to us the 
rich islands of Ceylon and Trinidad. Malta, now in English 
hands, was to be restored to the Knights of St. John. On the 
other hand, England recognized Bonaparte as First Consul, and 
restored to him all the French colonies which we had conquered, 
from Martinique in the west to Pondicherry in the east. Con- 
sidering the imminent danger which we had passed through in 
the last nine years, the nation was glad to obtain peace on these 
respectable if not brilliant terms. It was hoped that our 
struggle with France was at last ended. 

59 8 



WHEN the treaty of Amiens had been signed, the English 
people firmly believed that the great war was ended, that the 
period of stress and anxiety, of heavy taxation and huge 
armaments, of threatened invasions and domestic strife, was 
finally closed. Bonaparte, who needed an interval of peace for 
the working out of his domestic policy, had affected a frank, 
liberal, and conciliatory spirit in dealing with our diplomatists, 
and had produced on them the impression that a reasonable as 
well as strong man was now at the helm at Paris. The France 
with which we had come to terms was no longer the wild and 
militant republic of the old Jacobin days, but a well-ordered 
and strongly centralized monarchy, though its ruler did not yet 
bear the title of king. If Bonaparte had really intended to 
accept the situation, and dwell in peace beside us as a loyal 
neighbour, the treaty of Amiens would have needed no defence. 
But Addington and his fellows had not gauged the First Consul's 
true character or the peculiarities of his position. He had risen 
to power by war ; his power depended on his military prestige, 
and a permanent peace would have ruined his control over his 
army, which he had gorged with plunder and glory, and turned 
into a greedy and arrogant military caste. But it was hard to 
expect English statesmen to see through the character and 
designs of a man whom the French themselves had not yet 
learnt to know. And when an honourable peace was proffered, 
it would have been wrong to refuse it : the internal condition of 
England called for rest and retrenchment. 

But the First Consul's real objects in concluding the peace of 
Amiens were purely personal and selfish. He wished to recover 

1803. England forced into War. 


the lost French colonies, and to rebuild the ruined French navy. 
He needed peace to reorganize the control of schemes of 
France over her vassal states in Holland, Italy, Bonaparte, 
and Switzerland, which she had bound to her chariot-wheels 
during the late wars. Most of all he required a space of leisure 
to prepare for that assumption of monarchical power which he 
had been plotting ever since his return from Egypt. 

While England was thinking only of peace, and while 
thousands of English were embarking on the continental travel 
which had been denied them for nine years, 

. , Hls conduct 

Bonaparte was already beginning to show the towards 
cloven hoof. In the autumn of 1802 he annexed 
to France the continental half of the dominions of our old ally 
the King of Sardinia, and the Duchy of Parma. He sent 
30,000 men into Switzerland to occupy the chief passes of the 
Alps. He ordered the vassal republics in Holland and North 
Italy to place prohibitive duties on English merchandise. 
These actions, though irritating, were not actual breaches of the 
peace, but things grew more serious when he made the impudent 
request that we should expel from our shores the exiled princes 
of the old royal house of France, and that our government 
should suppress certain newspapers which criticized his rule in 
France too sharply. These demands were of course refused ; 
the First Consul then began to harp on the question of the 
evacuation of Malta. That island was still garrisoned by 
English troops, as its old masters, the Knights of St. John, were 
not yet in a position to resume their dominion there. When 
England refused to evacuate Malta at once, and ventured to 
remonstrate about the annexation of Piedmont and Parma, 
Bonaparte assumed a most offensive attitude. He summoned 
Lord Whitworth, our ambassador at Paris, into his presence, 
and in the midst of a large assembly at the Tuileries delivered 
an angry harangue to him, declaring that the English cabinet 
had no respect for honour or treaties, and was wishing to drive 
him to a new war. He did not wish to fight, he said, but if he 
once drew the sword, it should never be sheathed till England 
was crushed. 

This insulting message roused even the feeble Addington to 
anger. With extreme reluctance and dismay, the cabinet began 
to contemplate the possibility of a renewed war with France, 

600 England and Bonaparte. isos. 

A royal message was laid before Parliament asking for in- 
war declared ci eased votes for the army and navy, which had 
E^ih^u?- just been cut down on account of the peace. Bona- 
jects in France, parte, on the other hand, began to move masses 
of troops towards the shores of the English Channel, and to order 
the building of many ships of war. Addington attempted 
further negotiations for staving off a collision, but met no 
response from the First Consul, who refused to listen to any 
offers till we should have evacuated Malta, and recognized the 
legality of his annexations in Italy and Switzerland. Nothing 
could be done to bring him to reason, and on May 12, 1803, our 
ambassador left Paris, and war was declared, only thirteen 
months after the signing of the peace of Amiens. Bonaparte 
had, perhaps, been intent on bullying the English cabinet, and 
had fancied that they would yield to his hectoring. He showed 
intense irritation when war was declared, and committed a 
flagrant breach of international law by seizing all the English 
tourists and travellers who were passing through France on 
business or pleasure, and imprisoning them as if they were 
prisoners of war. They were about 10,000 in number, and 
Bonaparte had the cruelty to keep them confined during the 
whole of the war. Another sign of his malice was that he kept 
accusing the English government of instigating assassins to 
murder him there was, indeed, hardly a crime which he did 
not lay to the account of his enemies. 

The second act of the great drama of the French war had 
now begun : the first had lasted nine years, this was to endure 
for eleven from May, 1803, to March, 1814. The whole war 
is indeed one, if we regard it as the last struggle for commercial 
and maritime supremacy between England and her old rival, 
and compare it with the Seven Years' War and the war of 
American Independence. 

But, on the other hand, the aspect of the strife was greatly 
changed by the fact that England had no longer the principles 
Nature of the of the Revolution to fight, but was engaged in a 
twee^Engilnd struggle against an ambitious despot, a world- 

and France, conqueror who had no parallel save Caesar or 
Alexander the Great. The France of Bonaparte only resembled 
the France of Robespierre in the unscrupulous vigour of her 
assaults on her enemies. She was no longer professing to fight 

1803. The Nature of the Contest. 60 1 

for a principle the deliverance of oppressed peoples from the 
yoke of monarchy and the proclamation of Liberty, Equality, 
and Fraternity for all men. Though Bonaparte still made a 
parade of being a beneficent liberator, yet France was now 
fighting to make herself the tyrant-state of Europe, to win 
power and plunder, not to carry out the principles of the 
Revolution. In the long struggles that followed the declaration 
of war in 1803, Bonaparte at one time and another struck down 
every government in Europe that dared to stand against him, 
but England he could never subdue. From the moment when 
Sidney Smith turned him back from the walls of Acre, down to 
the moment when Wellington drove him a broken and defeated 
adventurer from the hillside of Waterloo, it was always England 
that stood between him and complete success. Hence it came 
that he honoured her with a venomous hatred such as he nevei- 
bestowed on any other foe. It may be said with much truth 
that his whole career after 1803 was a crusade against England, 
and that all his actions were directed to secure her ruin, 
whether that ruin was to be brought about in the open strife 
of contending fleets, or in the slow but deadly working of 
laws aimed against English commerce and industries. When 
Bonaparte was meeting and beating the Austrian, the Prussian, 
or the Russian, he felt that he was fighting the hired soldiers 
of England ; for every confederacy against him was cemented 
with English gold. The final object of all his continental wars 
was to crush us ; his victories were all means to that end. 

In a contest between a single despot and a free state, the 
former has in many ways the advantage. He has no Parliament 
to criticize his actions, no public opinion before which he is 
bound to justify his every deed. He can work out his schemes 
in his own brain, and give them the unity that a single master- 
mind inspires. He can secure the implicit obedience of his 
lieutenants, because he alone can make or mar their career. 
On the other hand, the policy dictated by an English cabinet of 
a dozen men was prone to lack consistency and singleness of 
aim, and their plans and projects were divulged to Parliament, 
criticized by opponents, and trumpeted out to all Europe by 
the Press, before they were well set in hand. It was no light 
responsibility that the Addington ministry took upon themselves 
when they declared war on the unscrupulous First Consul. 

6o2 England and Bonaparte. isos. 

The long struggle which followed may be divided into four 
epochs. In the first 1803-1805 Bonaparte strove to settle 
the national duel by an actual invasion of England, and lament- 
ably failed. In the second 1805-1808 England fought by 
subsidizing foreign allies, while Bonaparte struck at his enemy 
by the " Continental System," a plan for starving English trade. 
In the third period 1808-1814 a new aspect was given to the 
struggle by the interference of England on land. Instead of 
relying on subsidies, we poured troops into Spain, and met 
the French face to face. At the same time the intolerable 
oppression which Bonaparte exercised over all the states of the 
continent, led to national risings against him, which finally, in 
1814, wrought his downfall. The fourth period comprises only 
the "Hundred Days" of March-June, 1815, in which the 
tyrant tried to seize once more his old place and power, and 
suffered his final defeat at Waterloo. 

In the first opening months of the war, Bonaparte set his 
mind on bringing the struggle to a rapid conclusion, by crossing 
Bonaparte re- t ^ ie Channel and invading England. He de- 
soivestoin- spatched 120,000 veteran troops to the coast 
' between Dunkirk and St. Valery, and fixed his 
own headquarters at Boulogne, where the cliffs of Folkestone 
and Dover were actually in sight. " The Channel is but a 
ditch," he said, " and any one can cross it who has but the 
courage to try." A fog might enable his whole army to slip 
across unseen, or a fortunate gale might drive away the English 
fleet for the short twenty-four hours that he required. Hundreds, 
and afterwards thousands, of flat-bottomed boats were collected 
at Boulogne and the neighbouring ports, and fitted up, some as 
armed gunboats, some as transports. The troops were trained 
to embark with extraordinary speed, so that they might not lose 
a minute when the signal for sailing should be given. But from 
June, 1803, to September, 1805, they waited and yet the signal 
was never given. 

England faced the trial with wonderful courage. The nation 

Defensive was so wrathful at the wanton renewal of the war 

^vohStelr 116 b y Bonaparte, and at his arrogant threat of in- 

Movement. vasion, that it made efforts such as had never been 

Recall of Pitt, dreamed of before. While the Addington ministry 

were doubting how best to meet the projected attack* the 

1803. The Volunteers. Pitt recalled. 603 

nation itself solved the problem by the great Volunteer Move- 
ment. Almost every able-bodied man in England and Scotland 
offered himself for service. By the autumn of 1803 there were 
347,000 volunteers under arms, besides 120,000 regular troops 
and 78,000 militia. This was a marvellous effort for a kingdom 
which then only counted 15,000,000 souls.* The volunteers, it is 
true, were imperfectly trained, often insufficiently officered, and 
unprovided with a proper proportion of cavalry and artillery. 
But when we consider their numbers and enthusiasm, it is only 
fair to conclude that even if Bonaparte had thrown across his 
120,000 or 150,000 men into Kent or Sussex, he would have 
been able to do little against such a vast superiority of numbers. 
Not contented with enrolling men for land service, the govern- 
ment displayed great energy in strengthening our first line of 
defence, the fleet. The dockyards were worked with such zeal 
and speed that 166 new vessels were added to the navy before 
the year was over. Blockading squadrons were hastily sent out 
to face all the French and Dutch naval ports, as they had done 
in the old war. Not the least of the signs of national enthusiasm 
was that, in obedience to the public voice, Pitt whose name was 
now bound up with a vigorous war-policywas recalled to the 
helm of state with the king's consent, while the weak Addington 
retired into the background. 

While Bonaparte was drilling his army for rapid embarkation, 
ind multiplying his gunboats, he utilized the time to stir up 
rouble for England in all parts of the world. Attempted 
[e gave his approval to a wild scheme for an ^j3jj"uc*' 
[rish rebellion, headed by the rash young revo- cess in India, 
itionary, Robert Emmet, whose only achievement was to cause 
riot in Dublin, murder Lord Kilwarden, the Chief Justice of 
[reland, and get himself promptly hung. A more dangerous 
jlovv was aimed at our empire in India. French military 
[venturers had been many and prosperous in the native courts 
)f that country ever since the days of Dupleix, and the First 
Consul hoped by their aid to stir up the Nizam and the Mahratta 
)wers against England. But he had to deal with the able 
id vigorous Lord Wellesley, the greatest Governor-General 
that India has known since Warren Hastings. Wellesley forced 

* And this including Ireland, where only the Protestants could be trusted 
nth arms. 

604 England and Bonaparte. 1804. 

the Nizam to dismiss his French officers, and allied himself 
with the Peishwah, the nominal head of the Mahratta con- 
federacy, against the other chiefs of that nation. In 1803 Lord 
Lake conquered Delhi and the Doab from the French 
mercenaries of Scindiah, the most powerful of these rulers, 
while Arthur Wellesley, the Governor- General's brother, was 
fighting further to the south against Scindiah himself and the 
Rajah of Berar. In the brilliant battles of Assay e and Argaum 
this young general beat the Mahratta hosts, though they were 
nine to one against him. The two hostile princes were forced 
to make peace, and cede to the East India Company their 
outlying dominions, Scindiah's fortresses in the north, which 
became the nucleus of our " North- Western Provinces," and the 
Rajah of Berar's province of Orissa, which was added to Bengal 

In the winter of 1803-4, Bonaparte began to doubt the wisdom 

of attacking England with his flotilla of gunboats and transports 

only, and resolved to wait till he could concentrate 

Bonaparte as- 
sumes the title m the Straits a fleet of line-of-battle ships, capable 
of Emperor. o f beating off the English Channel squadron. 
While this plan was being worked out, he brought the internal 
affairs of France to a crisis. In the spring of 1804, an abortive 
royalist conspiracy against him was detected, and he took 
advantage of it to assume a higher and firmer position in the 
state than that of First Consul. Accordingly, his servile senate 
requested him to accept the title of Emperor. In May, 1804, he 
forced the Pope, who stood in mortal dread of annexation, to 
come up to Paris and preside at his coronation, a great and 
costly pageant, which marked the end of even the shadow of 
liberty in France. Bonaparte assumed the title of Napoleon I., 
thus making his own strange Christian name notable for the first 
time since history begins. 

When his coronation festivities were over, Napoleon set his 
mind seriously to the task of concentrating a great fleet in the 
He determines Channel, to cover the crossing of his army. In 
to employ the the autumn of 1804, the days of the old naval 
Spanish fleet. j ea g ues a g a i nst England in 1782 and 1797 were 
renewed, when the Emperor forced Spain to join him, demanding 
either a money contribution or an auxiliary fleet. The feeble 
Charles IV. chose to give the money, but the vessels which bore 

1805. Napoleoiis Invasion Scheme. 605 

the treasure were seized by an English squadron, and Pitt 
promptly declared war on Spain. By utilizing the large Spanish 
fleet, Napoleon thought that he could gather together an 
armament strong enough to keep the Channel open for the 
crossing of the legions which lay at Boulogne. But, meanwhile, 
English blockading vessels were already watching Cartagena, 
Cadiz, and Ferrol, as well as Toulon and Brest, and a hard task 
lay before the Emperor, when he determined to concentrate the 
scattered naval forces of France and Spain. 

While Napoleon was busy with this scheme, Pitt had been 
returning to his old policy of finding continental allies for 
England, and stirring them up against France. Austria and 
Russia had been greatly displeased by the same reckless 
annexations in 1803 which had driven England into war ; but 
their grudges might not have grown into an anti-French 
coalition, if it had not been for the energy of Pitt's diplomacy 
and the large subsidies which he offered. 

In the spring of 1805, things came to a head. On the one 
hand, the French Emperor's scheme for the invasion of England 
was ready; on the other, Pitt's continental allies Napoleon's 
were secretly arming. Napoleon's plan was com- naval ficheme - 
plicated but ingenious ; its strength lay in the fact that it was 
not easy for the English to judge what exactly would be his 
method, or to provide against it. He ordered the French 
Mediterranean fleet at Toulon to take advantage of the first 
rough weather, and to escape from its harbour, whenever the 
English blockading squadron, now headed by the ever-active 
and vigilant Nelson, should be blown out to sea. Then his chief 
admiral, Villeneuve, was to slip past Gibraltar, and to join the 
Spanish fleet at Cadiz, driving off the English ships which were 
watching that port. The united Franco-Spanish armament was 
then to sail right across the Atlantic, to the West Indies, as if 
to attack our colonies there. But the real object of this demon- 
stration was to entice Nelson, who was certain to chase them 
when he found their route, far away from Europe. For when 
they had reached the West Indies, the allied fleet were to turn 
sharply back again, and steer across the Atlantic for Brest, 
where they would find another large French fleet, blockaded 
by Admiral Cornwallis and the English Channel squadron. 
Villeneuve, as the Emperor calculated, would be able to deliver 

606 England and Bonaparte. isos 

the Brest fleet some weeks before Nelson could appear in 
Europe. He would then have seventy ships to oppose the thirty- 
five with which England guarded the Channel, and with such 
overwhelming superiority would be able to clear the Dover 
Straits, and convoy across the army which had been waiting so 
long at Boulogne. 

In the first part of this great naval campaign, the Emperor's 

elaborate scheme worked well. Villeneuve slipped out of Toulon 

vnieneuve es w ^^ e Nelson's fleet was blown away by rough 

capes to the weather. He hurried away to Cadiz, liberated the 

West indies. Spaniards there> and vvas off to the West Indies 

before Nelson could find out what had become of him. Very 
tardily the great English admiral discovered his route, and 
hurried across the Atlantic in pursuit. In due pursuance of the 
scheme of Napoleon, Villeneuve turned back and steered for 
Brest, while his pursuer was seeking him off Barbados. 

But here the good fortune of the French ended, and a combi- 
nation of chance and skill saved England. So slow was the 
Battle off cape Franco-Spanish fleet, and so bad its seamanship, 

Finisterre. tnat Nelson gained many days upon them. He 
luckily chanced upon a ship that had seen them turn back, 
hastily shifted his own course to follow, and sent to England to 
warn the Lords of the Admiralty that Villeneuve might be 
expected off Brest. With most commendable haste, a squadron 
under Admiral Calder was organized, to encounter Villeneuve 
before he could reach Europe. It sailed out just in time to meet 
him as he got into the Bay of Biscay, and fought him off Cape 
Finisterre. Villeneuve was not a man of nerve, and though 
Calder's squadron was far inferior to his own, he turned aside 
after an indecisive battle. So Napoleon heard in August, 1805, 
to his disgust and wild anger, that the fleet which was to enable 
him to cross the Channel, had not appeared off Brest, but had 
dropped into Ferrol to refit after the fight with Calder. 

Then to make things yet worse, Villeneuve sailed from Ferrol 
not for Brest, but for Cadiz, to strengthen himself yet further, 
vnieneuve re- with Spanish reinforcements. This delay enabled 
tir Return a <?f iZ ~ tne ea g er Nelson to arrive in European waters, 
Nelson. and at the critical moment he and Calder, with 
twenty-eight ships, lay outside Cadiz, while the thirty-five Franco- 
Spanish vessels were within its harbour. The Emperor's plan 

1805. The Battle of Trafalgar. 607 

was therefore wrecked, and no chance remained of the longed- 
for fleet sailing up the Channel to meet the 1 50,000 men who 
sat idly waiting for it at Boulogne. 

Seeing his scheme shattered, while at the same time rumours 
of the Austro-Russian coalition had reached him, Napoleon 
dropped his long - cherished invasion scheme. 

. Napoleon aban- 

He suddenly turned his back on the sea, and, dons the plan 
declaring war on his continental enemies before 
they were ready for him, came rushing across France toward 
Germany with incredible speed. But before he started he sent 
his unfortunate admiral at Cadiz a bitter letter, in which he 
taunted him with cowardice for having turned away from Brest, 
and ruined the plan for invading England. Stung to the heart 
by the imputation of want of courage, Villeneuve came out of 
Cadiz to fight Nelson, in order to show that he was not afraid, 
not in order to secure any useful end, for the time for that 
was over. 

Off Cape Trafalgar twenty-seven English ships met the 
thirty-three allied vessels, and at the great battle of that name 
completely destroyed Villeneuve's fleet. Nelson's Battle of Tra- 
splendid naval tactics easily compensated for the faigar. 
disparity of numbers. Seeing the enemy lying before him in 
a long line, he formed his own ships into two columns and 
swooped down on the centre of the Franco-Spanish Armada. 
He cut the enemy in two, and destroyed their midmost ships 
ere the wings could come up. Of the thirty-three hostile 
vessels nineteen were taken and one burnt, but in the moment 
of success, the great admiral fell ; he had led the attacking 
column in his own ship, the Victory, and, pushing into the 
thickest of the enemy, was laid low by a musket-ball ere the 
fight was half over. But he lived long enough to hear that 
the day was won, and died contented (October 21, 1805). In 
her grief for Nelson, England half forgot her joy at the most 
decisive naval triumph that we had ever gained, for Napoleon 
was driven to own himself impotent at sea, and the spirits of 
the French seamen were so broken that they never dared again 
to put out to sea, save in small numbers for secret and hurried 
cruises. For the future the Emperor determined to strike at 
English commerce by decrees and embargos, not to attack 
England herself by armed force. 

5o8 England and Bonaparte. isos. 

But, for the moment, to put down Austria and Russia was 
his task. Already, before Trafalgar had been fought, he had 
uimandAus- crushed the vanguard of the Austrians at Ulm, 
teriitz.-End of w h e re the imbecile General Mack laid down his 

the " Holy Ro- 
man Empire." arms with nearly 40,000 men, while the Russians 

were still miles away, toiling up from Poland. Vienna fell into 
his hands before the allies were able to join their forces. A 
month later they met the French on the snow-covered hillside of 
Austerlitz, a village some eighty miles north-east of the Austrian 
capital. Here Napoleon beat them with awful slaughter. Left 
with only the wreck of an army, the Emperor Francis II. asked 
for peace, and got it on humiliating terms. He had to cede his 
Italian dominions, as well as the Tyrol, the very cradle of the 
Hapsburg dynasty. Moreover, he gave up his old title of head 
of the " Holy Roman Empire " the imperial style which had 
lasted since the days of Charlemagne, and had remained in the 
Austrian line for 350 years and was constrained to take the new 
and humbler name of Emperor of Austria. 

The news of this disaster to the coalition which had cost him 
so much trouble to knit together, and from which he had 
Death of Pitt.- expected so much, broke Pitt's heart. He had 

T o^ e " 3 Aii i the y been in iU-he^th ever since he took offic e in 1804, 
Talents." the constant stress of responsibility, while the in- 
vasion was impending, having shattered his nerves. He died on 
January 23, 1806, aged no more than forty-six. He had been 
prime minister for nearly half this short span of life, and had 
certainly done more for England in his tenure of office than any 
man who has ever occupied that position. The death of Pitt, 
and the public dismay at the break up of the coalition of 1805, 
led to a demand for a strong and united ministry that should 
combine all parties for the national defence. There was no man 
among the Tories great enough to take up Pitt's mantle, and 
Addington, the late prime minister, Lord Grenville and several 
other leaders of that party were ready to admit the long-exiled 
Whigs to a share in the administration. The king was discon- 
tented at having to receive his old foe, Charles James Fox, as 
a minister, but bowed to the force of public opinion. Thus 
came into being the short Fox-Grenville cabinet, which con- 
temporary wits called the ministry of "All the Talents," on 
account of its broad and comprehensive character, for it included 

1807. The Tories return to Power. 609 

all shades of opinion, from Addington at the one end to Fox at 
the other. 

Fox had always opposed war with France, and had main- 
tained that if the late ministry had met Napoleon in an open 
and liberal spirit they might have secured an Failure of nego- 
honourable peace. But when he himself was Rations with 


given the opportunity of testing the Corsican s Death of FOX. 
real temper, he met with a bitter disappointment. Napoleon was 
too angry with England to think of any accommodation. He 
offered Fox terms which were absolutely insulting, considering 
that England had held her own and successfully kept off 
invasion. Fox died soon after, worn out by the hard work of 
office, to which he had been a stranger for twenty years (Sep- 
tember, 1806). 

After his decease and the failure of the peace negotiations, 
the Grenville Ministry had no great reason for existence ; it was 
forced to continue the war-policy of Pitt, but EndoftheQren- 
met with no success in several small expeditions ^AboSuJmTf 
that it sent out to vex the French and Spaniards, me slave Trade. 
In March, 1807, the ministers resigned, after a quarrel with the 
king on the same point which had wrecked Pitt in 1802 the 
question of Catholic Emancipation. The only good work which 
this short administration had done in its thirteen months of 
office was to abolish the slave-trade. On the resignation of the 
Whigs the Tories came back into power. Their nominal chief 
was now William Bentinck, Duke of Portland, an aged man, 
one of the Whigs who had been made Tories by the 
French Revolution. But the shrewd and ambitious Spencer 
Perceval, the new Chancellor of the Exchequer, was the real 
leader of the Tories. He was a narrow-minded man of 
moderate ability, whose only merit was that he clung to the 
policy of Pitt, and continued to hammer away at the French in 
spite of all checks and failures. 

After Austerlitz, Napoleon assumed the position of tyrant of 
all Central Europe. He created his younger brother Lewis king 
of Holland, and drove out the Spanish Bourbons The Confedera . 
from Naples, in order to make his eldest brother tionofthe 
Joseph king of the Two Sicilies. He formed the 
smaller German states into the " Confederation of the Rhine," of 
which he declared himself protector. 


6 io England and Bonaparte. isoe. 

These high-handed doings were certain to provoke further 
fighting, for Russia, though defeated at Austerlitz, did not con- 
Prussia de sider nerself beaten, and the strong military state 

clares war on of Prussia was bound to resent the ascendency of 
Prance. the French in Germany. Frederic William III., 
the rather irresolute monarch who swayed that country, had 
been half inclined to help Austria in 1805. But he delayed till 
the campaign of Austerlitz was over, and then found that he 
must fight Napoleon alone. Relying on the strength of his 
army and the old traditions of Frederic the Great, he declared 
war on France in 1806, hastily patching up treaties of alliance 
with Russia and England. 

Of all the disasters which befell the powers of the continent at 
Napoleon's hands, none was so sudden and crushing as that 
which Prussia suffered in 1806. Only a few weeks 
Battle of Jena. after the Declaration of war, the Prussian monarchy 
was ruined. The Emperor's swiftness and power of concen- 
tration were never shown more brilliantly. After defeating the 
Prussians at Jena (October, 1806), he pursued them so furiously 
that he captured their whole army more than 100,000 men at 
Magdeburg, Lubeck, and Prenzlow. Nearly all the Prussian 
fortresses surrendered, and Frederic William escaped beyond 
the Vistula, with only 12,000 men, to join his Russian allies. 
After entering Berlin, Napoleon pushed on into Poland to meet 
the advancing forces of Czar Alexander. In the bitter cold of a 
Polish February, he fought the battle of Eylau with the Russians, 
and, for the first time in his life, failed to gain a decisive victory 
over .these stubborn foes. But, in the following May, he finally 
settled the campaign by winning the bloody fight of Friedland, 
after which the Czar asked for peace. 

At the treaty of Tilsit .Napoleon dictated his terms to Russia 
and Prussia. Alexander was left comparatively unmolested ; 

The Treaty of he was not stripped of territory, but only compelled 
mem^ermentof to Promise aid to Napoleon's schemes against 
Prussia. England. But Prussia was absolutely crushed ; 
half her territory was taken from her the eastern districts to 
form a new Polish state called the Grand Duchy of Warsaw, 
the western to make, along with Hanover and Hesse, a new 
"kingdom of Westphalia" for Napoleon's youngest brother 

Jerome. In addition, all the Prussian fortresses received French 

1807. The Berlin Decrees. 611 

garrisons, and a fine of ^26,000,000 was imposed on the 
mutilated kingdom (June, 1807). 

Since Trafalgar the Emperor had been pondering over new 
schemes for ruining England. In a leisure moment during the 
Prussian campaign he devised the celebrated The Berlin 
" Berlin Decrees." The English, as he thought, Decrees, 
mainly lived upon the revenues that they earned by being the 
middlemen between Europe and the distant lands of Asia and 
America. Their carrying trade was the staple of their pros- 
perity, and if he could destroy it England must go bankrupt. 
Accordingly, the Berlin Decrees declared a blockade against 
goods made or brought over by the English, in every country 
that France could influence. Now the idea of a naval blockade 
is familiar enough, but Napoleon's scheme contemplated its 
exact converse. He had resolved to station soldiers and 
custom-house officers round every mile of coast in Europe, to 
prevent English vessels from approaching the shore, and to see 
that not a pound's worth of English manufactures or colonial 
produce should be imported. The decrees declared the British 
Isles under blockade as regards the rest of Europe ; no subject 
of France or of any vassal power was to trade with them. All 
Napoleon's unfortunate subject-allies, Prussia, Holland, Spain, 
and the powers of Italy were forced to assent to this strange 
edict, and the Czar of Russia was cajoled into accepting it. 
Napoleon thought that he had thereby struck a deadly blow at 
England, for every European state, save Sweden, Turkey, and 
Portugal, and the islands of Sicily and Sardinia, was at his beck 
and call. But he had not calculated on the greatness of the 
sacrifice which he was asking his allies to make. They were to 
give up, in order to please him, many of the comforts, even the 
necessities of life West Indian sugar and coffee, the tea, pepper, 
and spices of the East, the cloth and linen of England, the 
muslin of Hindustan. 

The English government boldly accepted the Emperor's 
challenge, and replied that if there was to be no English trade 
with the continent, there should not be any trade The orders in 
at all. By the " Orders in Council " of November, Cou 1 ^" of 
1807, the whole coast-line of France and her allies 
was declared in a state of blockade, and the war-vessels of 
England were directed to seize as prizes all ships entering them, 

612 England and Bonaparte. 

whether neutral or not, unless before sailing for the continent 
such vessels should have touched at an English port. Napoleon 
replied by the Milan Decrees (Dec. 17, 1807), which declared 
that any vessel belonging to a neutral power which had touched 
at any British port should be considered a lawful prize, and 
ordered all British merchandise found on the continent to 
be confiscated and burnt. Thus, between the Berlin Decrees 
and the Orders in Council, all the ports of Europe were formally 
closed. The one great neutral power, the United States of 
America, felt this blow bitterly, and bore a deep grudge against 
both parties in the strife. 

From the very first the result of the " Continental System," as 
the Emperor's plan was named, was very different from what 

Results of the he had ex P ected - Tne English manufactures and 
"Continental colonial wares, which he intended to exclude, con- 
system." trived to creep, nevertheless, within the bounds of 
his empire. All along the coasts of Germany, France, Italy, 
and Spain, there sprang up an extraordinary development of 
smuggling. From Heligoland, the Channel Isles, Gibraltar, 
and Sicily, hundreds of vessels sailed by night to land their 
cargoes in secret. But if the merchandize arrived, it came by 
such hazardous and circuitous ways that its price was vastly 
increased. Napoleon did not succeed in ruining the commerce 
of England, but he succeeded in making Germans and Russians 
and Italians pay monstrous prices for their coffee or their sugar, 
and got their well-earned curses for it. 

Napoleon's restless energy in carrying out his scheme for the 
isolation and financial ruin of England, led him into new troubles 
The French in- m another part of Europe, less than three months 
vade Portugal. a f ter he had ended his Polish campaign by the 
peace of Tilsit. The little kingdom of Portugal was, with 
Turkey, almost the last state in Europe which had not accepted 
the Continental System. Loth to lose their valuable commerce 
with England, the Portuguese tried evasion, and returned shifty 
answers when Napoleon bade their prince-regent accept the 
Berlin Decrees. Without waiting for further provocation the 
tyrant, who had now grown impatient of the slightest remon- 
strance against his fiat, declared that "the house of Braganza 
had ceased to reign," and sent an army under General Junot 
across Spain to occupy Lisbon. The prince-regent was forced 

1868. Deposition of Charles IV. of Spain. 613 

6 14 England and Bonaparte. isos. 

and had now to conquer a barren and arid country, "where 
large armies starve and small armies get beaten." Spain 
sprang to arms on the news of the crime of Bayonne. The 
great towns everywhere proclaimed Ferdinand VII. king, and 
though the central government was destroyed, "juntas" or 
revolutionary committees were formed in every province and 
began to raise troops to resist King Joseph. 

The news of the Spanish insurrection was received with joy 
in England, more especially because it was the first really 
England deter- national rising against the Emperor that had yet 
minestoaidthe been seen. Even the Whigs were enthusiastic for 

Spaniards. aiding Sp ain. " Hitherto," said Sheridan, " Bona- 
parte has contended with princes without dignity, numbers 
without ardour, and peoples without patriotism ; he has yet to 
learn what it is to combat a nation animated by one spirit 
against him." Misled by their sympathy into over-estimating 
the strength of Spain and the valour of her raw provincial 
levies, the English government, influenced mainly by Canning, 
a disciple of Pitt, who was now the most prominent among the 
younger Tory statesmen, determined to strike a bold blow by 
land against Napoleon. For the last three years the very 
considerable body of regular troops in England, set free from 
the task of watching the Boulogne army, had been frittered 
away on small expeditions against outlying parts of the French 
and Spanish dominions, and had suffered nothing but checks. 
Now the cabinet determined to send a really formidable army 
to the Peninsula. It was resolved to throw 20,000 men ashore 
in Portugal to assail Junot, who was cut off from the rest of the 
French armies by the revolt in Spain. To the Spaniards were 
sent subsidies of arms and money, but no troops. 

Bonaparte's notion that Spain could be annexed by a pro- 
clamation, and held down by 80,000 men, was destined to receive 
me capituia- a ru de shock. Almost simultaneously, two disasters 
tion at Bayien. f e n upon his armies. A corps had been sent south- 
wards to conquer Andalusia, where the insurrection was at its 
strongest. Its leader, General Dupont, allowed himself to be 
surrounded by superior numbers of Spanish levies at Bayien, 
and after some grossly mismanaged fighting, laid down his arms 
with his whole force of 15,000 men (July 20, 1808). 

Junot, in Portugal, suffered almost the same fate. The English 

lace. The Peninsular War begins. 615 

began to land in Portugal a few days after the capitulation 
of Baylen. When their leading divisions were Battle of 
ashore, headed by Sir Arthur Wellesley, the ^^^^of 
victor of Assaye and Argaum, Junot marched Cintra. 
against them to drive them into the sea. Finding Wellesley on 
the hillside of Vimiero, he attacked him recklessly (Aug. 21), for 
the French had not yet learnt to appreciate the worth of the 
British infantry. He received a crushing defeat, and his army 
would have been destroyed if W T ellesley had been allowed to 
pursue him. But on the night of the battle, more troops arrived 
from England, and with them Sir Hew Dalrymple, who was 
in command of the whole expedition. The cautious veteran 
refused Wellesley permission to follow up the flying enemy, 
and Junot escaped to Lisbon. But the Frenchman had been so 
badly beaten, that by an agreement called the " Convention 
of Cintra" he gave up Lisbon and all Portugal in return for 
being granted a safe passage back to France. English public 
opinion was disappointed that Junot's whole army had not been 
captured, and Dalrymple and Wellesley were put on trial for not 
taking Lisbon by force. The former, the responsible person, 
was deprived of his command ; the latter was acquitted and sent 
back to Portugal to repeat his triumph of Vimiero on larger 
fields of battle. Meanwhile, while he was being tried in England, 
Sir John Moore, a young and daring general, received the 
command of the English army in the Peninsula. 

The news of Baylen and Vimiero had roused Napoleon to 
fury, which grew still greater when he heard that his brother 
Joseph had evacuated Madrid and fallen back Napoleon in 
behind the Ebro. He determined to march in joh^Moore-s 
person against Spain with the " Grande Amide," campaign, 
nearly 250,000 veterans, the victors of Austerlitz and Jena. 
Proclaiming that he was " about to carry his victorious eagles to 
the Pillars of Hercules, and drive the British leopard into the 
sea," he hurried over the Pyrenees, and fell upon the raw Spanish 
levies who had now advanced to the line of the Ebro. With 
a few crushing blows, he scattered them to right and left, and 
entered Madrid (Dec. 4, 1808). All northern and central Spain 
were overrun, and Napoleon might have accomplished his 
boast, and advanced to Cadiz and Lisbon, but for the daring 
diversion made by Sir John Moore and his 25,000 English- 

England and Bonaparte. i5& 

When that able officer heard that the Emperor had passed south- 
ward and taken Madrid, he fell upon his line of communication, 
and threatened to cut off his connection with France. He knew 
that this act would bring overwhelming numbers against him, 
but he also knew that it would save Southern Spain for a space. 
When Napoleon learnt that Moore was in his rear, he hurriedly 
left Madrid and directed 100,000 men to chase the bold young 
general. But Moore, satisfied to have drawn off the French, 
continually retreated before them in the most skilful manner, 
always offering battle to the French van, and retreating when 
their main body appeared. He thus drew Napoleon up into 
the extreme north-western corner of Spain, among the rugged 
hills of Galicia. While engaged in this pursuit the Emperor 
received unwelcome news which drew him hastily back to Paris. 

The English government had not been idle during the 
autumn of 1808, and had formed a new coalition with Austria, 

Napoleon who in three years had begun to recover the 
lea Battie of 1 '" disaster f Austerlitz, and to chafe against Napo- 

Corunna. Icon's dictatorial ways and the inconveniences 
of the Continental System. Seeing the Emperor entangled in 
the Spanish war, Austria thought the opportunity of attacking 
him too good to be missed, and was preparing to send her armies 
into South Germany while Napoleon was chasing Moore into 
Galicia. The Emperor was forced to leave the greater part of 
his army in Spain, and to hurry off to the Danube with his 
guards and picked troops. Marshal Soult, whom he sent in 
pursuit of Moore, followed him as far as the sea, where an 
English fleet was waiting at Corunna to pick up the way-worn 
and jaded troops. To secure a safe embarkation, Moore turned 
sharply on the head of Soult's army, and drove it back at the 
battle of Corunna (Jan. 16, 1809). He fell in the moment of 
victory, but his efforts had not been in vain : his troops sailed 
away in safety, and the French invasion of Spain had been 
checked for four months by his bold stroke. 

The English cabinet had resolved not to abandon Spain and 
Portugal ; when Moore's regiments returned to England many 
of them were sent back to Lisbon, and placed under Wellesley^ 
the victor of Vimiero, whose trial had ended in a triumphant 
acquittal. In April, 1809, began that wonderful series of 
campaigns which was to last till March, 1814, and to bear the 


Wellesley in command in the Peninsula. 617 

English standard in triumph from the Tagus to the Garonne. 
Fettered by timid instructions from the home government, linked 
to rash and jealous allies, and starting with no more than 20,000 
British troops, Wellesley was bidden to hold his own in the 
Peninsula, where more than 200,000 French troops were still 
encamped. He showed the rarest combination of prudence 
and daring, and brought his almost impossible task to a 
successful end, in spite of the tiresome stupidity of his Spanish 
confederates, and the inefficient support which the home 
government gave him. At any moment, during the first three 





L 18O3- 1814. ^AJ 

years of his command, a single defeat would have caused the 
cabinet to recall him and withdraw his army from the Peninsula, 
but the defeat never came, and Wellesley at last won the con- 
fidence he merited, and was given adequate means to carry out 
his mighty schemes. The story of the war is the best proof 
of his abilities. A calm, stern, silent man, with an aquiline nose, 
clear grey eyes, and a slight, erect figure, he inspired implicit 
confidence, if his taciturnity and hatred of display or emotion 

618 England and Bonaparte. ISOQ. 

prevented him from winning the love and enthusiasm of his 
troops as many lesser generals have done. " The sight of his 
long nose among us on a battle morning," wrote one of 
his veterans, " was worth 10,000 men of reinforcements any 

While Napoleon was engaged in his Austrian war of 1809, 

Wellesley easily held his own in the Peninsula. He defeated 

souit driven Marshal Soult at Oporto, and drove him out of 

fr ^att2 U of a1 ' Portu g al with the loss of a11 his artillery and 
Taiavera. baggage. Then, turning southward, he marched 
against Madrid in the company of the Spanish general Cuesta. 
But he found his allies almost useless. Cuesta was perverse 
and imbecile to an incredible degree, and his wretched 
provincial levies fled at the mere sound of the cannon, unless 
they were ensconced behind walls and trenches. At Taiavera 
the allied armies beat Marshal Victor and King Joseph, but all 
the righting fell on the English. Cuesta's troops, sheltered in 
the town of Taiavera, refused to come out of their defences and 
left Wellesley's 20,000 men to repel the assaults of 40,000 
French. After this experience of Spanish co-operation the 
victor vowed that he would never again share a campaign 
with a Spanish army (July 28, 1809). 

The news of Taiavera brought the French armies from all 
sides to aid the defeated marshal, and, beset by 100,000 men, 

Wellington Wellesley was obliged to retreat on Portugal. He 
retires to Por- g t back in perfect safety, but his imbecile col- 

wlichSen eague Cuesta was caught and crushed by the 

expedition. p urs uers. The result of the fighting at Taiavera 
had given the English troops confidence, and the king conferred 
on the victor the title of Viscount Wellington. He would have 
preferred to receive reinforcements rather than honorary distinc- 
tions, but the cabinet had decreed otherwise. They had sent all 
the available troops in England, some 40,000 men, on an ill-judged 
expedition against Antwerp, which was too strongly fortified 
and lay too far inland to be readily taken by an army of such a 
size. The general placed in command was Lord Chatham, Pitt's 
elder brother, a dilatory commander who moved slowly and 
allowed himself to be detained in the siege of the minor fortresses 
which guarded the way to Antwerp. The army landed on the 
swampy isle of Walcheren and beleaguered Flushing for three 

1810. The Battle of Wagram Torres Vedras. 619 

weeks, but in the trenches the troops were smitten with marsh 
fever, and succumbed so rapidly that the expedition had to be 
given up, when 11,000 men were simultaneously in hospital. 
Flushing was destroyed, but the troops had to return to England, 
and had exercised no influence whatever on the fate of the war 
(July to August, 1809). If sent to Wellesley, they would have 
enabled him to crush King Joseph and take Madrid. 

Meanwhile the Austrian war had ended in the triumph of 
Napoleon at the battle of Wagram (August, 1809), though the 
gallant efforts of the Archduke Charles, and the Battle of 
insurrection of the patriots of the Tyrol and ^SS'of 
Northern Germany, had seemed at first to shake Napoleon, 
his power. The Emperor of Austria was forced to cede all his 
Illyrian coast-line, that Napoleon might make his blockade of 
English goods the stricter, to surrender half his share of Poland, 
and to give the bitterest drop in his cup the hand of his 
daughter Maria Louisa to the conqueror. This unhallowed 
union was only made possible by the divorce of Josephine 
Beauharnais, the wife with whom Napoleon had lived for the 
last fourteen years (October, 1809). 

Freed from the Austrian war, and with his " Grande Amide " 
once more unoccupied, Napoleon resolved to make an end of 
the Spanish insurrection. He gave 70,000 fresh The "Lines of 
troops to Massdna, the ablest of his marshals, T lMaSn?s'" 
and bade him drive Wellington into the sea and retreat, 
conquer all Spain and Portugal. The English general had 
foreseen some such assault from the moment that he heard the 
news of the defeat of Austria. He spent the winter of 1809-1810 
in constructing a triple series of fortifications across the peninsula 
on which Lisbon stands, the famous " Lines of Torres Vedras." 
When Massena advanced against Portugal Wellington retired 
slowly before him, wasting the country and compelling all 
the people to take refuge in Lisbon. He turned at Busaco 
(September 29, 1810) to inflict a sharp check on the heads 
of Masse'na's columns, but finally withdrew into his formidable 
lines. The French were brought to a stand before the un- 
expected obstacle, for they had no knowledge that Wellington 
had so strengthened his place of refuge. The position, armed 
with 600 pieces of artillery, and defended by 30,000 English, and 
the whole of the militia of Portugal, seemed too strong to be 

620 England and Bonaparte. i&it. 

meddled with. Massena lay in front of the lines for four 
months, sending in vain for reinforcements to Spain. But his 
colleague Souk, occupied in the conquest of Andalusia, and the 
sieges of Cadiz and Badajos, would not come to his aid. Massena's 
nrmy suffered bitter privations in the wasted and depopulated 
country, and at last, in March, 1811, he was fain to draw back 
and retreat from Portugal, after having lost more than 20,000 
men by sword and famine. Wellington followed him, perpetually 
harassing his retreat, and took post again on the borders of 
Spain, from which he had been forced back six months before. 

The triumphant defence of the lines of Torres Vedras was the 
turning point of the whole Peninsular War. The French were 

Battles of never again able to invade Portugal, and Wel- 
d'o^or^and l m g ton > strongly reinforced from England after his 

Aibuera. success was known, was for the future able to 
undertake bolder strokes and no longer forced to keep to the 
defensive. The last offensive movements of the French were 
stopped by two bloody actions fought in May, 1811, within a 
few days of each other. In the north Massena attacked 
Wellington in order to try to save the beleaguered fortress of 
Almeida ; but he was repulsed at Fuentes D'Onoro (May 5), 
and was shortly afterwards recalled in disgrace by his master. 
In the south Marshal Soult inarched to relieve Badajos, which 
was being besieged by Lord Beresford, Wellington's second-in- 
command, aided by the Spanish general Blake. Beresford 
met the French at Aibuera, and almost lost the battle, partly 
by his own unskilful generalship, partly by the sudden flight of 
his Spanish auxiliaries. But the day was saved by the celebrated 
charge of the " Fusilier Brigade," in which the yth and 23rd 
Fusiliers, only 1500 strong, stormed a precipitous hill held by 
7000 French, and forced Soult to retreat. This was the 
bloodiest fight which an English army ever gained. Beresford 
lost 4300 men out of 7500, yet his indomitable troops won the 
day for him (May 16). 

The years 1810-1811 were the last years of Napoleon's as- 
cendency in Europe. They are marked by his final attempt to 

make the Continental System effective, by the 

Further An- * '* 

nexations by annexation of almost the whole coast-line of Central 

Napoleon. Europe. He had already taken Rome and Central 

Italy from the Pope in 1809. Now he expelled his own brother 

i8ii. Napoleon at the height of his Power* 621 

622 England and Bonaparte. ieii. 

Lewis from Holland, and appropriated that country. He next 
added to his dominions the whole north coast of Germany as far 
as the Baltic, including the Hanseatic towns and the realms of 
four or five of his vassals, the princes of the Confederation of 
the Rhine. These wild and arbitrary seizures, which made the 
coast of France extend from Rome to Lubeck, were to Napoleon 
mere episodes in the struggle with England. The Dutch and 
Germans would not enforce the blockade against English goods 
as stringently as he wished, and so he annexed them to make 
their secret trade with England impossible. The Continental 
System was now in full swing : it was working in all Napoleon's 
own dominions, in France, Italy, and Illyria, in the lands of all 
his vassals the German states, Poland, Denmark, Naples, 
Prussia in Sweden, where one of his marshals, Bernadotte, had 
lately been made heir to the throne, and even in the territories 
of his reluctant allies the emperors of Austria and Russia. Yet, 
in spite of Napoleon's many assertions to the contrary, England 
was neither ruined nor likely to sue for peace. 

There had of late been many changes in the persons who 

ruled England, but the policy of Pitt was still maintained by 

Perceval and his successors. The old king, George III., had 

-wt?Syof S ne mad in l8lo > and the nominal control of the 
the Tories. country was now in the hands of his worthless, 
vicious son George, Prince of Wales, the old ally of the Whigs. 
But the regency was given him guarded with so many checks 
and limitations, that he was completely in the hands of the 
ministry, and could not do much harm. First Perceval, and after 
he had been shot by a lunatic in 1812, Robert Jenkinson, Earl 
of Liverpool, swayed the policy of England as prime minister. 
Both were men of moderate abilities and narrow minds, but they 
had the saving virtue of obstinacy, and stuck to the old policy 
of war with France through thick and thin. Their task was no 
easy one : debt was accumulating in appalling loads from the 
expenses of the war ; the taxes were increased year by year ; 
trade was much hampered by the Continental System ; a series 
of bad harvests raised the cost of corn to famine-price, and led 
to endless discontent and rioting both in town and country ; our 
allies were beaten one by one on the continent. There was 
no compensating gain save Wellington's successes in Spain, 
and the fact that we had now full control of the seas and had 

1813. Napoleon invades Riissia. 623 

absorbed the colonial trade of the whole world. Yet the Tories 
hardened their hearts, and hammered away at " the Corsican 
Ogre " with untiring zeal. Nor can it be doubted for a moment 
that they were right ; Napoleon had to be put down, or England 
must perish. All honour therefore to the men, narrow-minded 
and prejudiced though they were, who carried out the struggle 
to the bitter end. 

They were at last about to be rewarded for their perseverance. 
Towards the end of 1811 Napoleon became involved in a third 
struggle with Russia, more deadly than those of Bussia and the 
1805 and 1806-7. The cause of the quarrel was continental 
the inevitable Continental System. Hitherto Eng- System, 
land had been the largest buyer of Russian goods, and Russia had 
been wont to get her luxuries and colonial wares from England. 
The enforced prohibition of trade with her best customer did 
Russia untold harm, and the Czar Alexander found that every 
class of his subjects was groaning under the yoke of the Berlin 
Decrees. Discontent was rife, and Alexander knew well 
enough that Russia is " a despotism tempered by assassination," 
and remembered the fate of his own father. He saw at last 
that his empire was losing more from alliance with Napoleon 
than she could lose by open war against him. Finally the Russian 
government began to provoke the Emperor by an almost overt 
neglect of his wishes, and practically abandoned the Continental 

Napoleon was at the height of his arrogance and autocratic 
insolence. Instead of making an end to the war in Spain "the 
running sore" as he called it, from the drain Napoleon . s 
which it caused on his resources he resolved to Russian cam- 
impose his will on Russia by force, and declared 
war upon the Czar. A vast army of 600,000 men was concen- 
trated in eastern Germany, and crossed the Niemen in June, 
1812. But the Russians had taken example by the policy by which 
Wellington had foiled Massena in 1810 : instead of fighting on 
their frontier, they withdrew into the heart of their vast plains, 
wasting the country behind them, and leaving no food for the 
invader. The French army had lost half its horses and a 
third of its men, before it approached Moscow or fought a 
serious engagement. The Russians turned to bay at Borodino, 
in front of their ancient capital ; but Napoleon stormed their 

624 England and Bonaparte. isia. 

entrenchments at the cost of 25,000 men, and entered Moscow. 
But he found it deserted by its inhabitants, and a few days after 
his arrival the whole city was burnt, whether by the deliberate 
resolve of the Russians, or by the carelessness of the French 
soldiery. Winter was now at hand, and for want of food and 
shelter the Emperor resolved to retire on Poland. But the season 
was too late, and he was surprised on his way by the snow. 
His harassed and half-starved soldiers died by thousands on 
the roadside : the Russians cut off every straggler, and less 
than a tenth of the magnificent army that had crossed the 
Niemen struggled back to Germany (Nov. i8i2-Jan. 1813). 

The fortune of war had at last turned, and Napoleon's first 

disaster was soon to be followed by his fall. Prussia and all 

his other unwilling subjects in northern Ger- 

Storming of 

ciudadRodriso many took arms when the fate of the " Grande 
andsadajos. Arm( s e became known, and to meet them the 
Emperor had to call up his last reserves of men, and especially 
to draw on the large force in the Spanish peninsula. But he 
found that little help could come from Spain, for 1812 had been 
as fatal to his marshals in the south as to himself in the far 
north. Early in the year Wellington had swooped down on 
Ciudad Rodrigo and Badajos, the two fortresses in French hands 
which covered the Spanish frontier. He stormed each of them 
after a siege of a few days, making the desperate courage of his 
soldiery serve instead of a long bombardment, and paying for 
his rapid success by a heavy loss of men. Badajos was actually 
escaladed with ladders, the breaches having proved inaccessible. 
The French marshals came hurrying up to save their strong- 
holds, but found them already fallen into English hands. 

There followed the decisive battle of Salamanca, in which 
Wellington defeated Marshal Marmont, and crushed the main 
Battle of army of the enemy. This fight was a splendid 
Salamanca, exhibition of his skill : his able adversary had for 
a moment put ^ his left wing in a hazardous position. Before 
half an hour had elapsed, Wellington had pounced upon the 
isolated divisions, routed them, and attacked and scattered the 
main body. Thus, as was happily said, he " beat forty thousand 
men in forty minutes." In consequence of this victory Wellington 
was able to retake Madrid, after it had been four years in hostile 
hands. To check his further success the French marshals had 

1813. The French driven from Spain. 625 

to evacuate all southern and central Spain, and mass their forces 
against the victor. When they beset him with 100,000 men he 
was forced to retreat towards the Portuguese frontier for a 
space. But the net result of the campaign had been to deliver 
Andalusia and most of Castile from the enemy, and more was 
to follow. Napoleon had to withdraw so many of his veterans 
from Spain, to replace his losses in the Russian war, that in the 
next spring Wellington was no longer in his wonted inferiority 
of numbers. He used his opportunity with his usual skill and 

Attacking the French before they had concentrated from their 
scattered winter-quarters, he chased them before him in disorder 
all across northern Spain. It was only at Vittoria, Battle of vit- 
close under the Pyrenees, that they could collect effortTo^the 
in numbers strong enough to face him. But French in 
there he fell upon them, routed Marshal Jourdan, Spain, 
cut off his retreat on France, and drove him into the mountains 
with the loss of every single cannon and waggon that the 
French army possessed (June 21, 1813). The autumn of the 
year was occupied in subduing St. Sebastian and Pampeluna, 
the two fortresses that guarded the French frontier, and in 
repulsing, at the " Battles of the Pyrenees," two gallant attempts 
made by Marshal Soult to relieve the beleaguered fortresses. 
At last they fell, and Wellington prepared to invade France 
in the next spring. 

Meanwhile, Napoleon, with a horde of conscripts and the few 
veteran troops that he could collect, had been fighting hard in 
Germany. Against the Russians and Prussians he Fail of 
held his ground for some time, but when his own R^Sfmtlon ot 
father-in-law, Francis of Austria, joined the enemy, Louis xvm. 
he was overwhelmed by numbers. The three-days' strife at 
Leipzig, which the Germans call the " battle of nations," sealed 
his fate. It was only with the wrecks of an army that he 
escaped across the Rhirie in the autumn of 1813. The allies 
followed him without giving him a moment's respite, a wise 
strategy that they had learnt from his own earlier doings. The 
Emperor made a desperate fight in France, but the odds were 
too many against him. After some ephemeral successes he was 
defeated at Laon by one body of the allies, and their main army 
slipped past him and took Paris (April 4, 1814). On the news of 


626 England and Bonaparte. isi4. 

the fall of the capital the French marshals compelled Napoleon 
to abdicate, and laid down their arms. The humbled despot 
vainly attempted to commit suicide, fearing death at the victors' 
hands. But they spared his life, gave him the little Tuscan 
island of Elba as an appanage, and bade the man who had been 
the ruler of all Europe to spend the rest of his life in governing 
a rock and 10,000 Italian peasants. The crown of France was 
given with questionable wisdom to the representative of the 
Bourbons, the eldest surviving grandson of Lewis XV. This 
shrewd and selfish old invalid, who was known as the Count of 
Provence, now took the title of Lewis XVIII. and mounted 
his martyred brother's long-lost throne. 

While the Austrians, Russians, and Prussians had been 
conquering Napoleon and capturing Paris, Wellington had not 
Wellington in been * dle - He had inva ded France from the south, 
France.-Battie taken the great city of Bordeaux, and beaten 
lse ' Marshal Soult at the battle of Toulouse, when the 
news of Napoleon's abdication brought his brilliant campaign to 
a conclusion (April 14, 1814). 

All Europe now began to disarm, dreaming that the deadly 
struggles of the last twenty-two years were over at last. Diplo- 
Tne American matists from all nations were summoned to meet 
sSclMseforSe at Vienna, to rearrange the map of Europe and 
united states, parcel out Napoleon's ill-gotten spoils. England 
alone was unable to disband her armies, for she had still got a war 
on hand. In 1812 Napoleon had succeeded in stirring up against 
us the United States of America. Their grievance was the 
Orders in Council, by which we had prohibited neutral ships 
from trading with France, in retaliation for the Emperor's 
Berlin Decrees against our own commerce. After five years 
of bickering and recrimination the Americans declared war on 
us though they might with equally good logic have attacked 
Napoleon, whose conduct to them had been even more harsh 
and provoking than that of the Perceval cabinet. With all her 
attention concentrated on the Peninsula in 1812-13, England 
had little attention to spare for this minor war, and Canada 
was left much undermanned. But the small garrison and the 
Canadian militia fought splendidly, and three separate attempts 
to overrun the colony were beaten back, and two American 
armies forced to capitulate. But while so successful on land, 

1814. The War with the United States. 627 

the English were much vexed and surprised to suffer several 
small defeats at sea in duels between single vessels. The few 
frigates which the United States owned were very fine vessels, 
heavily armed and well manned ; on three successive occasions 
an American frigate captured an English one of slightly inferior 
force in single combat, a feat which no French ship had ever 
been able to accomplish in the whole war.* In course of time 
the American vessels were hunted down and destroyed by our 
squadrons, but it was a great blow to English naval pride that 
the enemy had to be crushed by superiority of numbers instead 
of being beaten in equal fight. But the fact was that individually 
the American ships were larger and carried heavier guns than 
our own, so that the first defeats were no matter of shame to 
our navy. 

When Napoleon had been crushed, England was able to turn 
serious attention to America, and to send many of the old 
Peninsular veterans over the Atlantic. But their Battles of 
arrival did not crush the enemy so easily as had Biadensburg- 
been expected. One expedition under General ieans^-End of 
Ross, landing in Maryland, beat the Americans at the war - 
Bladensburg, and burnt Washington, the capital of the United 
States (1814). But two others failed : the imbecile Sir 
George Prevost invaded the State of New York, but turned 
back without having done any serious fighting. On the other 
hand, the overbold Sir Edward Pakenham, one of the bravest of 
Wellington's officers, was slain at New Orleans with 2000 of 
his followers because he endeavoured to storm from the front 
impregnable earthworks held by a steady foe (January 8, 1815). 
The war, however, had ceased just before Pakenham fell. 
Napoleon having abdicated, and the English having withdrawn 
the Orders in Council, the causes of our strife with America had 
been removed, and the two powers had signed the peace of 
Ghent on December 24, 1814. This agreement restored the 
old condition of affairs, each party surrendering its conquests, and 
agreeing to let bygones be bygones. But the struggle had bred 
much ill blood, not to be forgotten for many a year. 

By the new year of 1815, when the treaty of Ghent had been 

* In sixty-seven duels of single English frigates with French, Dutch, or 
Spanish vessels of the same rating, the adversary succumbed; in no single 
case was an English vessel taken by an enemy of equal force. 

628 England and Bonaparte. IBIS. 

signed, England was at peace with all men, and the Liverpool 
Napoleon ministry began to take in hand the reduction of 
escapes from our army and navy, the restoration of finance, and 
the protection of English interests in the resettle- 
ment of Europe at the congress at Vienna, which had met in the 
previous autumn. All the diplomatists of the great powers were 
hard at work settling the new boundaries of their states, when 
suddenly the alarming news was heard that Napoleon had escaped 
from Elba and landed in France. The rule of the selfish old 
Lewis XVIII. and the elderly companions who had returned 
with him from a twenty years' exile, had irritated and disgusted 
the French, and most of all the army. When, therefore, Napoleon 
landed in Provence with seven hundred men, and called on his 
countrymen to rise in behalf of liberty and expel the imbecile 
Bourbons, his appeal met with a success such as he himself had 
hardly hoped for. Not a shot was fired against him ; regiment after 
regiment went over to his side, and Lewis XVI 1 1. had at last to fly 
from Paris and take refuge in Flanders (March, 1815). Napoleon 
proclaimed himself Emperor once more, but promised the French 
a liberal constitution in place of his old autocratic rule. He 
also made overtures to the allied powers, saying that he was 
tired of war, and would accept any honourable terms. But they 
knew his lying tongue of old, and wisely refused to listen to his 
smooth speeches. One after another, all the monarchs of Europe 
declared war on him. 

Napoleon's second tenure of power was only to last from 

March 13 till June 22, 1815, the " Hundred Days," as they are 

Napoleon generally called. Forced to fight, he displayed 

enters Belgium, his old energy, and resolved to strike at the allies 

-Battles of B/J 

i.ignyand before they could concentrate their scattered 
Quatre Bras. f orces f rom t h e remotest ends of Europe. He 
culled his old veterans to arms, and hastily organized an army 
of 130,000 men for an immediate attack on the nearest foe. By 
waiting longer he could have collected an army thrice as great, 
but, on the other hand, his enemies would have been able to 
mass their whole force against him. The only troops ready to 
oppose him by June, 1815, were two armies in Belgium, one of 
Prussians under the old Marshal Bliicher, which lay about 
Namur, Lidge, and Charleroi, the other a combined force of 
British, Germans, and Dutch under Wellington, now a duke., 


The Hundred Days. 629 

stationed round Brussels and Ghent. The Prussians were 
120,000 strong, and Wellington had 30,000 English and 65,000 
Hanoverians, Germans, and Dutch. Napoleon was therefore 
bound to be outnumbered, but he thought that he could crush one 
army before the other came to its aid, if he could only strike 
hard and fast enough. His advance into Belgium was rapid 
and skilful. He made for the point where the English left 
touched the Prussian right, near Charleroi, and thrust himself 
between them. On June 16 he engaged and beat Bliicher's 
Prussians at Ligny, while his lieutenant, Marshal Ney, held 
back at Quatre Bras the front divisions of Wellington's army as 
they came marching up to try to join the Prussians. 

The Prussians were severely beaten, but the indomitable old 
Bliicher gathered together his defeated forces, and marched 
north to rejoin the English, while Napoleon vainly dreamed 
that he was flying eastward towards Germany. Thus it came 
to pass that the Emperor sent Marshal Grouchy and 33,000 men 
to pursue the Prussians on the wrong road, a mistake which 
allowed Bliicher to execute an undisturbed retreat on Wavre, 
where he was again in touch with the duke. 

Meanwhile, Napoleon, oh the 17th, marched to join his 
lieutenant Ney, who had been forced back from Quatre Bras by 
the English, and needed his aid. The Emperor, believing that 
the Prussians were disposed of, thought he could now deal a 
crushing blow at Wellington's motley army, and was overjoyed 
when he found the duke offering him battle on the hillside of 
Mont St. Jean, twelve miles north of Quatre Bras, in a good 
position which covered the road to Brussels. On this hillside 
was fought next day (June 18, 1815) the decisive battle which 
the English call Waterloo, from the name of the village where 
Wellington wrote his despatch that same night. 

The armies were not very different in numbers. Napoleon's 
72,000 French were opposed to 67,000 troops in the allied army. 
But Wellington could only count on his 23,000 The Battle of 
English and 22,000 Hanoverians and Bruns- Waterloo, 
wickers, for good and zealous service. He was hindered rather 
than helped by the presence of 20,000 raw Dutch and Belgian 
conscripts, who had no heart in the war, and would as soon have 
fought for Napoleon. His army was stretched along the gentle 
slope which is crossed by the Brussels road, with the infantry in 


England and Bonaparte. 


the front line, and the cavalry partly in reserve, partly on the 
wings. In front of his position were the two farms of Hou- 
goumont and La Haye Sainte, the former held by the English 
guards, the latter by a picked battalion of Hanoverians. 
Napoleon ranged his men on the opposite ridge, and launched 
them against the English in successive attacks. His first attempt 
to storm the farm of Hougoumont was manfully beaten back. 
He then sent four heavy columns against the English left, but 
they were utterly routed by the charge of Picton's infantry and 


June 18, 1815. 

Knglith French Pruitia 

Ponsonby's famous "Union Brigade "of dragoons, the Royals, 
Scots Greys and Inniskillens. His third effort was to break 
the English centre by the furious charges of 15,000 gallant 
horsemen, supported by a tremendous fire of artillery. But the 
English squares held fast, though assailed for five hours by 
constant onsets of cavalry and pounded in the intervals by an 
overwhelming force of cannon. Most of the Dutch and Belgians 
and some of the Germans retired from the field, and many fled 
to Brussels : but the indomitable squares held their own, even 
after the farm of La Haye Sainte had been stormed, and a gap 
opened in the English centre. In the thick of the fighting, 
Napoleon was surprised to see new troops coming up on his 

1815. The Battle of Waterloo. 631 

right : these were Bliicher's Prussians, marching from Wavre to 
aid the English, according to a promise which the old marshal 
had made to the Duke on the previous day. To hold them back, 
Napoleon had to detach nearly all his reserves ; but for a final 
stroke against Wellington he sent out 5000 men of the " Old 
Guard" to break through the long-tried English line. But this 
last effort was foiled by the steady fire of Maitland's English 
guards, and when the attacking columns were seen recoiling 
down the hillside and Wellington's last cavalry reserves came 
charging after them, the whole French army broke and fled. 

Never was a more complete rout seen. The defeated army 
disbanded itself: Napoleon could not rally a man, and fled to 
Paris, where he abdicated for a second time. Na oleoncon 
Wellington and Bliicher rapidly followed him and fined at st. 
entered Paris (July 6). The ex-Emperor, fearing Helena - 
death at the hands of the infuriated Prussians, fled across 
France to Rochefort, and surrendered himself to the English 
man-of-war which blockaded that port. After much discussion 
the ministers resolved to send him as a prisoner to the desolate 
island of St. Helena, where he lived for six years, spending his 
time in dictating mendacious accounts of his life and campaigns, 
and in petty quarrels with the governor of the island. 

Napoleon was now really disposed of, and the pacification 
of Europe was complete. The congress of Vienna had com- 
pleted its work, and all the territorial changes Supremacy of 
which it dictated were carried out at leisure. me^SSii? 
England's share of the plunder in Europe was marine, 
the islands of Malta and Heligoland and the Ionian Isles ; 
beyond seas she got the French isle of Mauritius in the Indian 
Ocean and the valuable Dutch colony of the Cape of Good 
Hope. But her real gain was the fact that she had absorbed, 
during the course of the war, nearly the whole of the carrying 
trade of the world. Twenty years of her ascendency at sea had 
destroyed the mercantile marines of France, Holland, Spain, 
and Italy, and it was many years before those countries could 
recover from their losses. The naval and commercial supremacy 
which we enjoy to-day is the direct result of the great wars 
of 1793-1815. 

This being so, the changes on the continent were of com- 
naratively little moment to us. France was confined within her 

632 England and Bonaparte. isis 

old boundaries of 1789. Russia took the greater part of Poland, 
Austria was given Lombardy and Venetia, Prussia annexed 
The re-settie- half Saxony and most of the small states along 
ment of Europe, ^g Rhine. Belgium and Holland were joined in 
an unnatural union as the " Kingdom of the Netherlands," while 
the old despots of Central and Southern Italy returned to their 
long-lost thrones. These boundaries were to last, with little 
alteration, for half a century. 

1915. ( 633 ) 



THE great struggle was now over, and a new period had com- 
menced, in which European wars were to be as rare as they had 
of late been common, for between 1815 and 1848 there was no 
serious strife between any of the powers of Western and Central 
Europe, and the general peace was only interrupted by com- 
paratively unimportant broils in the Balkan peninsula and in 

England, whose troops were not destined to fire another shot 
in Europe for forty years, had full leisure to look around her 
and count up the cost of the Revolutionary and Napoleonic 
wars. The table of profit and loss was not at first sight a very 
cheerful one. The weight of debt and taxation was obvious to 
every man, while the compensating advantages, resulting from 
the firm establishment of our naval and commercial supremacy 
in all the seas of the world, were only just beginning to make 
themselves felt. The country and its governors were at the 
same time beginning to feel very uneasy at a silent change in 
the social life of England. 

For, noticeable as were the years 1793-1815 for the display of 
England's vigour abroad, they were even more remarkable for 
the social change which was taking place within. The industrial 
In those twenty-three years was consummated revolution, 
the transformation of England from an agricultural to a manu- 
facturing community, a transformation the stranger because 
agriculture was being all the time artificially stimulated, by laws 
for the protection of the English farmer against foreign 
competition. So the change in the general character of the 
English state was due not to a decay in agriculture, but solely 

634 Reaction and Refoun. IBIS. 

to an increase in manufactures. The war which, as Napoleon 
had trusted, would crush our industries, had only fostered then', 
by putting us beyond the reach of foreign competition, and 
throwing open to us alone every market and line of trade 
outside Europe. For instead of our prosperity being checked 
by the loss of our continental trade, continental prosperity had 
been checked by the loss of all maritime traffic with Asia and 
America, which passed entirely into our hands. 

England, therefore, had become the manufacturer of the goods 

of the whole world, not merely owing to her monopoly of trade, 

but owing to the improved machinery, and methods 

Engllsn manu- . " J^JT ir , 

factoring of transit which she adopted long before the rest 
supremacy. of Europe< cjhe obtained such a start in the use of 
the means of industrial production, that no state has yet been able 
to catch her up in the race of commerce. Hence England was 
at the end of the war able to bear a weight of taxation and debt 
which must have ruined her in its earlier years. Nine hundred 
millions of National Debt, though a tremendous burden, turned 
out not to be, as many had feared, a ruinously heavy infliction. 
The forced paper currency, whose introduction in 1797 had ap- 
peared to mark a step on the downward road to national bank- 
ruptcy, was successfully taken off a few years after the war ended. 
The great army and navy which had been draining our exchequer 
were disbanded, when they had finished their duty of protecting 
us against the threatened invasions of the Revolution and the 
Empire, and had afterwards played the decisive part in exhausting 
Napoleon's resources, by that long struggle in the Spanish 
peninsula, which encouraged the rest of Europe to throw off 
the French yoke. 

But there were other aspects in which the results of the war 
had been less happy for England. If the increase of wealth had 
poverty and been enormous, the method of that wealth's distri- 
thfilb^uring bution was not satisfactory. The new masses of 
classes. population, which had been called into existence 
by the development of manufactures, were poor with a poverty 
which had been unknown in the days when England was still 
mainly an agricultural country. The introduction of improved 
machinery, great as was its ultimate benefit, caused during the 
years of transition much misery to the classes whose industry 
was superseded by it. While English manufactures were driving 

1815. Distress of the Labouring Classes. 635 

out foreign competition all over the world, English mobs were 
often wrecking the machinery which made these manufactures 
possible, in their rage at the ruin of the old handicrafts. Actual 
famine seemed several times during the war to be staring the 
lower classes in the face, for the largely increased population 
could no longer be supported on the food supply of England. 
Nevertheless, in their zeal to encourage English agriculture, the 
Tory governments of the early years of the century refused to 
allow the free introduction of the foreign corn which was really 
necessary for the increased consumption of the population. And 
while wheat was dear, because limited in quantity, owing to 
Protection, the agricultural classes were not being enriched in 
the manner which might have been expected. The enhanced 
profit passed entirely to the farmer and the landlord, not to the 
labouring population ; and at the same moment at which the 
artisan was breaking machinery, the agricultural labourer was 
burning his employer's ricks. This unfortunate state of things, 
however, was due rather to misguided legislation than to any 
actual danger in the economic conditions of England, and could 
therefore be relieved by methods which cannot come into play 
when a real and not a fictitious crisis in the internal state of a 
country is at hand. 

The main cause of the degradation of the agricultural labourer 
in the early years of the nineteenth century was a series of 
unwise Poor-Laws, which had been passed at in- p 00 rLawad- 
tervals since 1795. There had been much local ministration, 
distress in the early years of the revolutionary war, and to 
alleviate it many parishes had commenced a system of indis- 
criminate doles of money to poor residents, without much inquiry 
whether the recipients were deserving or idle, able-bodied or 
impotent. The old test of compelling paupers to enter the work- 
house was entirely forgotten, and money was given to every one 
who chose to ask for it. Moreover, the rule was laid down that 
the larger the family, the more was it to draw from the rates in 
its weekly subsidy. This unwise scheme at once led to the evil 
of reckless marriages and enormous families, for the labourers 
saw that the more their children increased, the larger would be 
their dole from the parish. 

But not the labourer only was to draw profit from the new 
Poor Laws. The farmers began to see that if they kept down 

5$6 Reaction and Reform. isis. 

the wages of their men, the parish could be trusted to make up 
The farmers the deficiency. It thus became easy for them to 
and the Poor pay starvation-wages to the labourers, and then 
force the local rates to support them with a subsidy 
just sufficient to keep each family out of the workhouse. Thus 
the agricultural classes began to live, not on their natural wages, 
but on a pittance from their employer, supplemented by a weekly 
grant from the parish. This suited the farmers well enough, but 
was ruinous to every one else, for well-nigh every labourer was 
forced to ask for local aid, and thereby to become a pauper. 
At the same time the rapid growth of population caused the 
burden on the parish to advance by leaps and bounds. At last 
the poor-rate became an intolerable drain on the resources of 
the less wealthy districts. A well-known case is quoted in 
Buckinghamshire, where the annual dole to the paupers grew till 
it actually exceeded the annual rating of the parish. And as 
long as every one who chose was able to demand outdoor relief, 
it was impossible to see where the trouble would end. In the 
years after the great war had ended actual bankruptcy seemed to 
be threatening scores of parishes, yet corn was high in price, and 
the profits of farming, if fairly distributed, ought to have sufficed 
to keep both landowner, farmer, and labourer in comfort. 

In considering the political history of England in the years 
after 1815, this abject distress of the working class, both in town 
and in countryside, must be continually borne in mind. It was 
the discontent of the ignorant multitude, feeling its poverty but 
not understanding its cause, and ready to seek any scheme of 
redress, wise or unwise, that was at the bottom of the political 
trouble of the time. The discontent was really social, the result 
of unwise laws, and wrong conceptions of political economy. 
But it often took shape in political forms, and the government 
of the day thought that it heralded the approach of a catastrophe 
like the French Revolution. 

Unfortunately for the prosperity of England, its rulers were at 
this moment committed to a stern and reactionary policy, and 
Reactionar wou ld listen to no proposals for change or reform 
policy of the of any kind. The generation of Tories who had 
ries - grown up during the great French war, had for- 
gotten the old liberal doctrines of their great leader Pitt. Of 
all the ministers, George Canning was almost the only one who 

1815-so. The Middle Class and the Whigs. 637 

remembered his old master's teaching, and was ready to think 
of introducing reforms, now that peace had once more been ob- 
tained. The majority of his colleagues, especially the premier, 
the narrow-minded Earl of Liverpool, and the harsh and un- 
bending Foreign Secretary, Lord Castlereagh, set their faces 
against any change in the constitution, however small. 

Now the Tories had merited well of their country by carrying 
the war to a successful close, but when the war was over, it was 
time to be thinking of some way of alleviating the Renewed 
social ills which had been accumulating during popularity of 
its course. This they refused to do, quoting the 
fate of Lewis XVI. as the sample of what happens to rulers who 
yield one inch to the pressure of mob violence. They were still 
firm in office, for the Whig party had not yet recovered from 
the discredit which they had won from the hopeless failure of 
the Fox-Grenville cabinet of 1806-1807. But now that their 
ideas on foreign policy could do no harm, they began to 
be viewed with more favourable eyes. The ten years which 
followed the battle of Waterloo were marked by the gradual 
passing over of the great middle class to the Whig party. It 
was felt that the only hope for the introduction of any scheme 
of social and political reform lay with the W 7 higs, and that 
from them alone could England obtain the liberal measures 
which Pitt would have granted years ago, if the French Revolu- 
tion had not intervened. 

But the Whigs were still in a hopeless minority in Parliament, 
though they were gradually growing stronger in the ranks of the 
nation. It was not till fifteen years had elapsed since the 
end of the great war, that a Whig ministry once more received 
the seals of office. 

The general discontent of the lower classes in the years 
1815-20 found vent in two very different ways. The wilder 
spirits talked of general insurrection, and an assault Projects of 
not only on the government but on all forms of ^Se^the*" 
property and all established institutions. A few Tories, 
mischievous demagogues set themselves to fan these rash and 
ignorant aspirations into a flame, and to bring about anarchy 
in order thereby to rid the nation of the existing social evils. The 
cooler and wiser heads were not influenced by these wild 
notions, but pinned their faith to the modification of the 

63$ Reaction and Reform. 18.15-20. 

constitution in the direction of popular government. It was their 
belief that matters would improve the moment that England 
was governed by the people and for the people. And this end 
could only be secured by reform of the real governing body 
the House of Commons. The idea of making the House truly 
representative of the nation had been one of Pitt's cherished 
plans ; in 1785 he had actually brought forward a bill for doing 
away with the worst of the rotten boroughs, but had failed, 
owing to the factious opposition of the Whigs. But Pitt's 
successors at the head of the Tory party had contrived to forget 
his teaching ; they owed much of their strength to the support 
of the great borough-mongers, and they now refused to take any 
measures tending to Parliamentary Reform. At the bottom of 
their hearts they did not trust the masses, and feared that a 
House of Commons really representing the nation would proceed 
to wild measures of radical reform, and sweep away all the 
institutions that they held dear. 

Hence it came to pass that the Whigs alone supported the 
idea of Parliamentary Reform in the early years of the nineteenth 

TheWhi s cen tury, and the multitudes who saw in that 
and reform.- measure the panacea of all ills were bound to 
rey< follow them. All the old chiefs of the Whigs were 
now gone : Fox had died in 1806 ; Sheridan in 1816 ; Grenville 
had retired from public life, and the party was now led by 
Charles Lord Grey, a very capable and moderate man, who 
fully shared the notion that Parliamentary Reform was the one 
pressing question of the day, but was careful not to go beyond 
the bounds of wisdom and law in pressing for it. 

The Whigs got no help from their old friend the Prince of 

Wales ; since he had obtained the regency in 1811 owing to his 

The ro ai father's insanity, George had thrown himself into 

family and the the hands of the Tories. Personally he disliked 

succession. all re f orms _f Or t h e person in England who most 
needed reforming was himself. He was now a man of fifty-five, 
but age had not improved him ; to the last he was as false, 
vicious, and selfish as in his youth. For many years his 
quarrels with his foolish and flighty wife, Caroline of Brunswick, 
had been a public scandal. She was an intolerably vain and 
silly woman, but the provocation which he gave her would have 
driven a wiser head into rebellion. But George's health was 

1815-so. The Government and the Agitation. 639 

weak, owing to his evil life, and it was hoped by many that he 
would not survive his aged father. At his death the crown 
would fall to his only daughter, the Princess Charlotte, an 
amiable and high-spirited young woman of whom all spoke well. 
But the princess, having married Leopold of Saxe-Coburg in 
1816, died in childbirth before the next year was out, to the 
general grief of the nation. The next heir was Frederick, Duke 
of York, but as he though married had no children and was 
no stronger in health than his elder brother, it was clear that 
the crown would not stay long with him. Therefore all the 
younger sons of George III. hurried into wedlock in 1817, that 
their father's line might not be extinguished. William, Duke 
of Clarence, who afterwards reigned as William IV., married 
Adelaide of Saxe-Meiningen ; Edward, Duke of Kent, was 
wedded to Victoria of Saxe-Coburg, and became by her the 
father of our present queen ; Adolphus of Cambridge and 
Ernest of Cumberland also took wives and had issue, who are 
still among us. 

The last days of the reign of George III. were full of trouble 
and disorder, provoked rather than repressed by the obstinate 
rigour with which Lord Liverpool's government The Q OVern . 
put down all agitations, both harmless and danger- merit and the 
oils. Some of the riots and risings of the years 
1816-20 were remarkable for the violence and for the wild aims 
of those who led them. In December, 1816, a body of revolu- 
tionary enthusiasts, who called themselves " Spencean Philan- 
thropists," raised a tumult in Spa fields, and tried to seize the 
Tower, to distribute arms from its arsenals among the mob. But 
they were as weak as they were wild, for though they shot one 
man dead, Lord Mayor Wood and a handful of constables turned 
them back in front of the Royal Exchange and dispersed them. 
In June, 1817, there was another rising near Derby, but five 
hundred armed rioters allowed themselves to be stopped and 
routed by eighteen hussars. 

But the most celebrated riot of the time was that at Manchester 
in August, 1819 ; a great mob of 30,000 persons had assembled 
in St. Peter's Field to listen to addresses by The Ma nches- 
a demagogue named Hunt. The magistrates ter massacre, 
attempted to arrest him, but being prevented from reaching 
him by the enormous crowd, rashly and cruelly ordered a 

640 Reaction and Reform. isao. 

regiment of cavalry to charge the unarmed multitude. There 
was no resistance made, but some four or five persons were 
crushed to death, and sixty or seventy injured, as they trod each 
other down in escaping from the horsemen. This event was 
called the " Manchester massacre " by the enemies of the govern- 
ment, who were made responsible for it because they commended 
the violent action of the magistrates. 

It was with the object of revenging the Manchester massacre 
that a bloodthirsty demagogue, named Arthur Thistlewood, one 
The cato street of the " Spencean Philanthropists" of 1816, formed 

conspiracy, a plot for murdering the whole cabinet. Hearing 
that the ministers were about to dine together on February 23, 
1820, he collected a band of twenty-five desperadoes who vowed 
to slay them all. But one of the gang betrayed the scheme, and 
Thistlewood and his men were seized by the police, as they were 
arming at their trysting-place in Cato Street, Edgware Road. 
They resisted fiercely, and blood was shed on both sides, ere 
they were overpowered. Thistlewood and four of his associates 
were hung and then beheaded being the last persons who 
suffered by the axe in England, for the horrid sight of their 
decapitation moved public opinion to demand the abolition of 
this ancient punishment of criminals guilty of treason. 

Even after the mad Cato Street conspiracy had shocked all 
the wiser friends of reform, there were isolated outbreaks of 
rioting all over the north of England and the Scottish Lowlands, 
the last being a skirmish at Bonnymuir, near Glasgow, between 
some Lanarkshire mill hands and the local yeomanry 
(April, 1820). 

The government dealt very harshly with all who gave it 

trouble, not merely with dangerous rioters, but with writers or 

speakers who did no more than protest against 

Six Acts. react j onar y legislation or advocate radical reform. 

Their chief weapons against their enemies were the celebrated 

"Six Acts" of 1819, which Addington* and Castlereagh, the 

sternest members of the cabinet, had elaborated with much care. 

They imposed the heaviest penalties not only on persons caught 

drilling, or using arms, or engaging in riots, but on all who wrote 

what the government chose to consider seditious libels a term 

* Addington had been created Lord Sidmouth long before this, but to 
avoid confusion his better-known name is still used. 

1822. Canning joins the Liverpool Cabinei. 641 

that covered any newspaper article or pamphlet which abused 

Repression was in full swing when the old king died, in the 
tenth year since he had gone mad (January 29, 1820). The 
prince-regent now began to rule as George IV., George IV and 
but his accession made no practical difference in Queen 
politics. His conduct, however, soon gave his Caroline, 
subjects one more additional reason for despising him. He 
brought his long quarrel with his foolish and reckless wife to a 
head, by refusing to acknowledge her as queen or allow her to be 
crowned. He accused her of adultery, and made Lord Liver- 
pool bring in a " Bill of Pains and Penalties " to enable him to 
divorce her. George's life had been such that his attack on 
Queen Caroline, for conduct much less blameworthy than his 
own, provoked universal contempt and dislike. Lord Liverpool 
withdrew his bill in a panic, when all London was in an uproar 
in the queen's favour. More trouble would undoubtedly have 
followed if the unhappy Caroline had not died in August, 1821. 
Her funeral was the occasion of a bloody riot. 

The abortive bill against the queen had added the last straw 
to the unpopularity of the ministry the best-hated cabinet that 
England has ever known. They felt the fact Addington re _ 
themselves : Addington resigned in 1821, and sig-ns.-suicide 
Castlereagh, the most harsh and unbending of 01 
them all, was so worn out by the stress of his responsibilities 
and the knowledge of the detestation in which he was held, that 
he cut his own throat in a fit of temporary insanity in September, 

Lord Liverpool was helpless when deprived of the two men 
who had been the chief instigators of his reactionary measures. 
Abandoning his old policy, he took into partner- The JLlverpool< . 
ship George Canning, the chief of the moderate canning: 
Tories and the wisest disciple of Pitt. Canning 
took Castlereagh's place as Foreign Secretary, while Addington's 
place as Home Secretary was given to Robert Peel, a rising 
young politician with a turn for political economy and an open 
mind a very different person from his case-hardened pre- 
decessor in the post. Shortly after, Huskisson, the first Free- 
Trader who had presided over our commercial policy since the 
younger Pitt, was made- President of the Board of Trade. 


642 Reaction and Reform. isss. 

Thus the character of the Liverpool cabinet was completely 

changed, and for the last four years of its existence it dropped 

its old repressive measures, and became quite 

Social tran- ... . 

auuiity liberal in its legislation. The country at once 
restored. began to grow quiet, and the old riots and risings 
ceased. The gradual growth of prosperity in the land, now 
that the effects of the great war were passing away, alleviated the 
violence of the social discontent. But there was a sense of 
impending change ; the immediate domestic question was the 
removal of religious disabilities, but beyond this lay the questions 
of parliamentary and municipal reform, of freedom of trade, of 
simplifying law and legal procedure, and especially of humanizing 
the criminal law. Strange to say, the treatment of the Catholic 
claims to be represented in Parliament was regarded as an open 
question in Lord Liverpool's cabinet. Canning was in favour 
of the admission of the Catholics. Peel was their strenuous 

The rule of the Liverpool-Canning ministry was distinguished 
by the abolition of many old and oppressive laws, and the 
Reform of the introduction of several reforms of great value. In 
criminal law. ^23 Peel began the reform of the criminal law, 
and the reduction of that tangled mass, with its ghastly list of 
capital offences, to a shape more consistent with scientific order 
and common humanity. The old system, a monstrous survival 
from the Middle Ages, had worked very badly for juries refused 
to convict persons who were clearly guilty, because they thought 
the offence did not deserve the fearful penalty of death. The 
abolition of capital punishment for so many minor offences put 
an end to this state of things, and in future the proportion of 
criminals escaping was marvellously reduced. 

In the province of trade and finance several valuable improve- 
ments were introduced by the influence of Huskisson. The old 
Huskisson's " Navigation Laws," dating from the time of 
Free Trade Cromwell,*.which impeded free trade with foreign 
countries, were abolished. The wise policy of 
reducing import duties on the raw materials needed for English 
manufactures was adopted, so that the cost of goods was 
perceptibly lowered, without any harm to the makers of them. 
Commercial treaties were concluded with several foreign powers, 
* See page 409. 

1811-1827. Canning and the Holy Alliwce, 643 

to the great benefit of both parties concerned. A considerable 
relief was given to the Exchequer by reducing the interest of the 
many loans raised during the great war from 5 or 4 per cent, 
to 3j. Huskisson had also in hand measures for reducing the 
duty on the importation of foreign corn, and for the abolition of 
slavery in the British colonies, but before they could be carried 
out the unhappy deattLof Canning in 1827 broke up the ministry. 

A word is needed as to the foreign policy of England. The 
main characteristic of European history from 1815 to 1830 was 
the renewed despotism of the continental mon- The Holy 
archs, when the fear of Bonaparte had vanished ^JJJt? fo^Sgu" 
from their minds. The Emperors of Austria and policy. 
Russia and the King of Prussia had formed a league called the 
" Holy Alliance," for the putting down of liberal opinions and 
demands for popular government in their own and their neigh- 
bours' dominions. The restored Bourbon monarchy in France 
was equally narrow and reactionary. Not content with crushing 
liberty in their own realms, the Austrians invaded Naples and 
the French Spain, when the kings of those countries had been 
forced to grant constitutional government to their subjects. In 
each case the constitution was abolished and despotic rule 
restored. While Castlereagh was guiding the Foreign Office, the 
English ministry had refused to interfere with these continental 
troubles, and had allowed the members of the Holy Alliance 
to do what they pleased with their smaller neighbours. Canning's 
advent to power changed this policy. He protected Portugal 
from an invasion by the French and Spaniards, allied in the cause 
of despotism, and recognized the independence of the revolted 
Spanish colonies in America, " calling," as he said, " the New 
World into existence to redress the balance of the Old." 

But the sympathy of Canning, and of all men of generous 
mind in England, was most deeply stirred by the Greek insur- 
rection against the grinding tyranny of the Turks, The Greek 
which had commenced in 1821, and had been ""SStoS?^ 
struggling on, accompanied by all manner of Navarino. 
atrocities and massacres, for six years. The resurrection of the 
ancient people of Hellas stirred all the memories of the past, and 
called forth much enthusiasm in England. Many English volun- 
teers hastened to the East to aid the insurgents : Lord Cochrane 
took command of their fleet, and General Church headed some of 

644 Reaction and Reform. 

their land forces. Even Lord Byron, the poet, roused himself 
from his mis-spent life of luxury in Italy, and went out to offer 
his sword and fortune to a people rightly struggling to be free. 
His death from marsh-fever at Missolonghi caused him to be 
looked on as the martyr of liberty, and gave England yet a 
further interest in the cause that he had championed. When 
the Turks failed to put down the rising, in spite of all their 
massacres, the Sultan called in the aid of his vassal Mehemet 
Ali, Pasha of Egypt, who landed his well-trained army in the 
Peloponnesus and overran half the peninsula. Canning then 
induced the Russian and French governments, who had their 
own private ends to serve, to join him in interfering, and an 
English fleet was sent out to the coast of Greece. When the 
Egyptian troops refused to quit the Peloponnesus, and the atrocities 
continued, Sir Edward Codrington, the English admiral, aided 
by a few French and Russian ships, sailed into the bay ot 
Navarino the ancient Pylos where the Turkish and Egyptian 
fleets lay, and destroyed them all save a few vessels. In this he 
had exceeded his instructions, but he saved the independence 
of Greece, and English public opinion ratified his action 
(Oct. 20, 1827). 

But ere Navarino had been fought, a new ministry was in 
power in England. Lord Liverpool had been stricken by 

Death of paralysis in Fehniar^-L827, and Canning, as was 

canning. natural, became prime minister. But the weak- 
ness of his position was soon apparent. Many Tories who 
opposed the Catholic claims deserted him ; the Whigs would not 
join him ; the strain of responsibility told fatally on his health, 
and he died on August 8, after less than five months' tenure of 
the premiership. The ministry which he had formed continued 
for a few months, under the leadership of the weak and fussy 
Lord Goderich, who found himself unable to manage Canning's 
motley following, and was forced to resign before the meeting of 

The king then proposed that a strong head should be found 

for the ministry, in the person of a man universally respected 

Wellington an( ^ owning a splendid reputation for loyalty 

and the Greek and stern sense of duty the Duke of Wellington, 

insurgents. the herQ Qf the p eninsular Wan The suggestion 

was an unhappy one, for Wellington had little political know- 

1828, The Dtike of Wellingtoiis Ministry. 645 

ledge, had never managed Parliament, and was full of honest 
but obstinate prejudices. He was, however, made prime minister, 
and troubles soon began to follow. Almost the first utterance 
of the duke was to stigmatise the victory of Navarino as " an 
untoward event" which gave great offence, for most men 
looked upon it as a righteous blow against tyranny and op- 
pression. He refused to continue Canning's efforts in favour of 
Greece, and that country ultimately obtained her freedom from 
the not very disinterested hands of Russia. For in 1828 Czar 
Nicholas attacked the Turks, sent his armies across the Balkans, 
and imposed peace on Sultan Mahmoud, helping himself to a 
large slice of Ottoman territory in Asia at the same time that 
he stipulated for the recognition of Greek independence. 

Though the most upright and conscientious of men, Wellington 
proved a very unsatisfactory prime minister. His main fault 
was precisely the one that would least have been 

J Wellington 

expected from an old soldier a tendency to as prime 
flinch from his resolves and engagements when minister, 
he found that public opinion was set against him. Personally he 
was a Tory of the old school : for popular cries and magnificent 
programmes he had a rooted distrust, which he had picked up in 
the Peninsula, while dealing with the bombastic and incapable 
statesmen who led the liberal party in the Spanish Cortes. 
But, on the other hand, he had seen so much of the horrors of 
civil war, that he had imbibed a great dread of making himself 
responsible for any measure that might split the nation into 
hostile camps and cause domestic strife. These two conflicting 
impulses acted on his mind in strange and often abrupt alterna- 
tions. He was always making reactionary declarations, and 
then receding from them when he found they were unpopular. 

At first it seemed likely that he was about to make himself 
the mouthpiece of the stern and unbending Tories of the school 
of Castlereagh. Before he had been three months in office he 
had dismissed Huskisson, and the other disciples of Canning 
followed Huskisson into retirement. 

But very soon he disappointed his more fanatical followers. 
In the summer of 1828 he was confronted with a great national 
agitation in Ireland. Since the Union, that cathoiicEman- 
country had been in its normal condition of unrest, "J^ei" 
but the main grievance which Irish agitators O'Conneii. 

646 Reaction and Reform. less. 

mooted was the non-fulfilment of the promise of Catholic 
Emancipation which Pitt had made in 1800, when he united the 
two Parliaments. The demand that the majority of the nation 
should be granted equality of political rights with the minority 
v:as obviously just, yet not only Irish Orangemen but English 
Tories had a violent prejudice against Romanism. It was 
evident that Emancipation would not be conceded without a 
struggle. But the Irish at this moment were headed by the 
adroit and capable Daniel O 'Council, a wealthy squire of old 
family, a platform orator of great power and pathos, and a skilful 
party leader, but vain, scurrilous, and noisy. He founded an 
" Association," the prototype of the Land Leagues and National 
Leagues of our own day, to forward the Catholic claims. He 
filled the land with monster public meetings, and frightened the 
champions of Protestant ascendency by vague threats of civil 
war. To his great credit he kept his followers from crime, a 
feat which his successors have not always accomplished. His 
power was shown by his triumphant return to Parliament, in 
defiance of the law, for County Clare. Under the influence of 
their priests, the Irish farmers had broken away from their old 
subservience to the great landlords, and placed themselves at 
O'Connell's disposal. 

Wellington was by birth an Anglo- Irish Protestant, and he 
detested Romanism, but he detested civil war still more. When 

Wellington O'Connell's agitation grew formidable, and the old 

EmancSon T ricS Ur ? ed . him tO re P rCSS ifc ^ f rCe > he refuSed ' 

to the Catholics. At last his mind was made up to grant Emancipa- 
tion. His own words explain his mental attitude, " I have 
passed a longer period of my life in war than most men, and 
principally in civil war, and I must say this, that if I could avert 
by any sacrifice even one month's civil war in the country to 
which I am attached, I would give my life to do it." In the 
spring of 1829 Wellington announced his intention of granting 
complete equality of civil rights to all Romanists. Many of his 
followers called him a weathercock and a turn-coat, while the 
vicious old king pretended in imitation of his father's action in 
1801 that his conscience forbade him to violate his coronation 
oath. But Wellington carried his Emancipation bill with the 
aid of Whig support, and against the votes of all the narrower 
Tories. The king swallowed his scruples with cowardly haste, 

1830. Accession of William IV. 647 

and the Act was made law (April 14, 1829). O'Connell and 
some scores of his followers, his " Tail " as the English called 
them, entered Parliament and allied themselves to the Whigs. 

The Emancipation question being moved out of the way, the 
topic of Parliamentary Reform came once more to the front as 
the great difficulty of the day. When the Whigs 

* . & The Reform 

began to moot it again, they found the time agitation 
favourable, for the Wellington ministry was grown renewed, 
very weak. The duke had expelled the moderate Tories from his 
cabinet in 1828, he had angered the old Tories by his concession 
to the Romanists in 1829, and could no longer command the 
loyalty of either section of his party. 

The agitation for the reform of the Commons began to become 
formidable in the stormy year 1830. Unrest was in the air, 
and all over the world popular risings were rife. Europe in 
In July the French rose in arms, dethroned their 183 - 
dull and despotic king, Charles X., and replaced him by his 
popular cousin Louis Philippe, Duke of Orleans. The Poles 
raised an insurrection against the tyranny of Czar Nicholas. 
There were troubles in Italy and Germany, and open war in 
Belgium and Portugal ; everywhere the partisans of the Holy 
Alliance and the old rdgime were being assailed by riot and 
insurrection. It was natural that England should feel the 
influence of this wave of discontent. 

In the midst of the year King George died, worn out by his evil 
living (June 26, 1830). He was succeeded by his third brother, 
William Duke of Clarence, for Frederick of York, Accession ot 
the second son of George III., had died in 1827. wmiamiv. 
The new king was an eccentric but good-natured old sailor. 
He was simple, patriotic, and kindly, and carried into all his 
doings something of the breezy geniality of his old profession. 
But his elevation almost turned his brain, and in the first 
months of his reign he was guilty of a dozen absurd actions 
and speeches which made men fear for his sanity. "It is a 
good sovereign," punned a contemporary wit, "but it is a 
little cracked." The best feature in William was that he was 
not a party man j he acted all through his reign as a constitu- 
tional monarch should, and his personal popularity did much 
to make the crisis of the reform agitation of 1830-1832 pass off 
without harm. 

648 Reaction and Reform. 

The fall of Wellington's ministry followed very closely on the 
accession of the new king. A general election in the autumn 

rail of ^ ^3 was ^ ata * to t ^ ie Cuke's majority in the 
Wellington's Commons. The old Tories refused to interest 

ministry. themselves in his fate, and would not work for him, 
while the Whigs made a great effort and swept off almost all the 
seats in which election was really free and open. No less than 
sixty out of eighty-two county seats in England were captured 
by them. Parliament reassembled on November 2, and on 
November 15 Wellington was beaten by a majority of twenty- 
nine in the Lower House and promptly resigned. 

William IV. immediately took the proper constitutional step 
of sending for the leader of the opposition, Lord Grey. After an 

The Whigs absence of twenty-three years from power the 
return to office. Whigs once more crossed to the treasury bench 
and took over the management of the realm. Their long exile 
from office had made them better at criticism than administra- 
tion, and they found it hard to settle down into harness more 
especially as some of the new ministry were wanting in restraint 
and gravity, notably the Lord Chancellor Brougham, one of 
the most versatile and able, but also one of the most eccentric 
and volatile men who has ever sat on the woolsack. But the 
cabinet was much strengthened by the adhesion of two of the 
Canningite Tories, Lord Melbourne and Lord Palmerston, who 
became respectively Secretary for Ireland and Secretary for 
Foreign Affairs. 

The Whigs at once took in hand the chief item of their pro- 
gramme, Parliamentary Reform, though O'Connell was doing his 
best to bring another topic to the front by agitating for Home 
Rule, or " Repeal " as it was then called, and was enlisting all 
Catholic Ireland in a league for that end. 

In March, 1831, Lord John Russell, a young member of one 
of the greatest Whig houses, and the great-grandson of the Bed- 

The Peers * rc ^ w ^ was minister in 1763, brought forward 
throw out the his famous Reform Bill, which disfranchised most 
Jlllf of the rotten boroughs, and distributed their seats 
among the large towns and the more populous counties. Owing 
to differences of opinion among the Whigs themselves as to 
the exact shape it should assume, the bill never reached its 
third reading in the Commons. The ministry then dissolved 

1832. The Reform Agitation. 649 

Parliament, in order to get a clear verdict from the constituencies 
on the Reform question. They came back to Westminster with a 
magnificent majority of 1 36. Lord John Russell again introduced 
his bill, which passed all its readings with ease, but was rejected 
by the Tory majority in the House of Lords on October 8, 

This rash action of the peers brought about such a quarrel 
between the two Houses as has never been seen before or since, 
and nearly wrecked the old order of the English violent demon- 
constitution. For the peers had never before asSnstthe 
dared to cross such a crushing majority as the Peers. 
Whigs then possessed in the Commons, backed by the public 
opinion of the nation. Riotous demonstrations in favour of 
Reform burst out all over the country, often accompanied by 
violence. At Bristol there was a wild rising, ending in the 
burning and pillaging of the houses of prominent Tories. In 
London a " National Union " of reformers was formed to bring 
pressure to bear on the Lords. At Birmingham a local Radical 
named Attwood formed an association of 200,000 members, who 
swore to march on London and use force if their cry of " The 
Bill, the whole Bill, and nothing but the Bill," was denied. 

Strengthened by these demonstrations of popular sympathy, 
the ministers brought in their bill for the third time, and again 
sent it up to the Lords. The Upper House was seriously 
frightened by the turmoil in the country, and allowed the bill to 
pass its second reading. But the more fanatical Tories made a 
final rally and mutilated the bill in committee by postponing 
the clauses which disfranchised the rotten boroughs (May 7, 

This brought England within a measurable distance of civil 
war. The ministry resigned, throwing on the king and the 
Lords the responsibility for anything that might Wellington 
occur. King William, in strict constitutional form, refuses to take 
asked the Duke of Wellington to form a Tory 
cabinet. The duke unwillingly essayed the task ; but the feel- 
ing of the majority of the Tories was so strongly in favour of 
leaving to the Whigs the responsibility of facing the crisis, that 
the duke threw up the cards, and acknowledged his inability to 
form a ministry. This was fortunate, for the Radicals had been 
organizing armed multitudes, and threatened open insurrection. 

650 Reaction and Reform. 183s 

But the eventful ten days during which war was in the air 
passed over, and the Grey cabinet came back to power 

In the end of May the bill was sent up to the Lords for the 

third time. The king promised Lord Grey that if the bill was 

The Beform again rejected, he would create enough new Whig 

BUI carried, peers to carry it against any opposition. The 

House of Lords was made aware of this promise, and, to avoid 

forcing the king to this extremity, Wellington and one hundred 

Tory peers solemnly left their seats, and allowed the Act to pass 

by a considerable majority (June 4, 1832). 

The details of the measure in its final shape deserve a word 
of notice. It disfranchised all the absolutely rotten boroughs, 
The redistri- /* all places with less than 2000 inhabitants 
bution of seats. w hi c h were no less than 56 in number. It took 
away one member each from 30 boroughs more, which had 
more than 2000 but less than 4000 residents. This gave 143 
seats for distribution among the unrepresented or under-repre- 
sented districts. Of these 65 were given to the counties and 78 
to new boroughs. In the former case the county was broken up 
into two or more divisions, each returning two members. In 
the latter, five London boroughs * and twenty-two large places 
(such as Birmingham and Manchester) received two members 
each, while twenty-one considerable towns of the second rank 
got one member each. 

At the same time the franchise was made regular all over 
England. Previously it had varied in the most arbitrary fashion ; 

The new some towns had practically manhood suffrage ; 
b0r coun h ty nd in others the corporation had been the only 

franchise. electors. Now, in the boroughs, the power to vote 
was given to all resident occupiers of premises of 10 yearly 
value so that all the shopkeeping class and the wealthier 
artisans got the franchise, but not the poorer inhabitants. In 
the counties freeholders, copyholders, and holders of leases for 
60 years to the annual value of 10, with occupiers paying a 
yearly rent of ^50, were enfranchised. Thus the farmers and 
yeomen ruled the poll, and the agricultural labourers had no 
voice in the matter. The franchiss in Ireland was assimilated 
to that in England, thus depriving of their power the 2 house- 
holders who had hitherto been allowed to vote in that country. 
* Lambeth, Greenwich, Marylebone, Finsbury, Tower Hamlets. 

1632. The Reform Bill 651 

In Scotland, on the other hand, the rule was slightly more 
liberal than in England, as occupiers of ^10 farms were given 
the franchise, instead of ^50 being left as the limit. 

Thus the United Kingdom acquired its first representative 
Parliament. But the new body was as yet representative of the 
middle classes alone; it was thought, wisely enough, that the 
agricultural labourers and the town poor were as yet unfit to 
be electors. For thirty years no serious attempt to extend 
the limits of the franchise was made, and fifty were to elapse 
before simple household suffrage in town and county alike was 
to be made the rule. Meanwhile, the first Reform Bill amply 
justified itself, and gave England two generations of quiet and 
orderly government. 

( 652 ) 1832. 



THE struggle over the Reform Bill had been so fierce, and the 
change in the House of Commons caused by it had been so 
sweeping, that it was generally supposed at the 
by the Reform time that the immediate consequences of the 
BUI. triumph of the Whigs would be very marked and 
startling. The Tories prophesied the introduction, at no very 
distant date, of legislation on behalf of all the Radical cries which 
the more extreme followers of Lord Grey had adopted such as 
manhood suffrage, vote by ballot, the abolition of the standing 
army, the disestablishment of the Church of England. Some 
even whispered that Great Britain would have ceased to be a 
monarchy within ten years. 

All these suspicions were unfounded. By the action of the 
Reform Bill, the power to make and unmake cabinets had passed, 

its actual not mto the hands of the masses, but into those 
results. O f t h e middle classes the shopkeepers of the 
towns and the farmers of the countryside. These were a very 
different body from the excited mobs who had rioted in the 
streets and threatened civil war in the years 1830-32. As a 
matter of fact, the bill had done comparatively little for those 
who supported it most violently, and caused grave disap- 
pointment to the wilder spirits among the followers of Lord 
Grey. It had put an end to borough-mongering ; no ministry 
could henceforth hope to keep in office unless it had the 
support of the majority of the constituencies. It had placed the 
individual member much more under the control of the electors 
than had been the case in earlier years, so that the power of 

1834. The New Poor Law. 653 

public opinion was greatly increased. It had modified the com- 
position of the House of Commons, by bringing in a large 
number of new members of a different type from the old ; for 
the great industrial centres in the North and Midlands, which 
now obtained representatives for the first time, had mostly 
returned wealthy local manufacturers and merchants to speak in 
their behalf. 

But neither the newly enfranchised classes nor their members 
in Parliament were likely to be in favour of sudden and violent 
changes in the constitution or the social condition of the realm, 
such as had sometimes appeared imminent in the turbulent 
years between 1816 and 1832. The Whigs were no Radicals ; 
it was more than thirty years before they began seriously to think 
of enfranchising the labouring classes, and facing all the problems 
of democracy. A sufficient indication of the character of Lord 
Grey's ministry is to be found in the fact that some of its most 
important members were recruited from the ranks of the moderate 
Tories ; Lord Palmerston, the Foreign Secretary, and Lord Mel- 
bourne, the Home Secretary, had both been followers of Canning, 
and had joined the ranks of the Whigs only when they saw the 
Tories under Wellington finally committed to reactionary views. 
Perhaps Huskisson, Canning's minister of commerce, would 
have gone with them, but he had been killed just before Lord 
Grey came into office in the first railway accident that ever 
occurred in England. 

The Grey ministry held office for four years only, but did 
much for the country in that time. Its best piece of work was 
the new Poor Law of 1 834, which put an end to The new Poor 
the ruinous and degrading system of out-door Law. 
relief,* which had been crushing the agricultural labourer and 
loading the parishes with debt ever since the unwise legislation 
of 1795. The new law reimposed the old test of the workhouse 
on applicants for charity. Only aged and impotent persons 
were to receive doles of money and food at their own homes ; 
able-bodied men were forced to enter the workhouse which 
they naturally detested on account of its restraint or to give up 
their weekly allowance. The result was to force the farmers to 
pay the whole of their labourers' wages, and to cease to expect 
the parish to find half of the amount. This was perfectly just 
* See p. 635-6. 

654 Chartism and the Corn Laws. 1334. 

and rational ; the parish finances were at once lightened of their 
crushing burden, while the labourers ceased to be pauperized, 
and did not lose anything by the change of the method of 
payment. But if they lost nothing, they gained nothing, and 
the condition of the rural classes of England still remained much 
inferior to what it had been in the old days, before enclosure 
acts and high rents came into vogue in the second half of the 
eighteenth century. The new Poor Law compelled small neigh- 
bouring parishes to combine into " unions " to keep a common 
workhouse, and it was found that one large institution was 
worked both more efficiently and less expensively than several 
small ones. In seven years the total cost of the poor relief of 
England fell from nearly ^8,000,000 to ,4,700,000, an immense 
relief to the country. 

Another splendid piece of work done by the ministry of Lord 
Grey was the final abolition of slavery in the English colonies. 

Abolition of Though the slave-trade had long been prohibited, 
slavery. y e t slavery itself still subsisted, and the West 
Indian planters were a body strong and wealthy enough to offer 
a vigorous opposition to the enfranchisement of their negroes. 
Many of the old Tories were narrow and misguided enough to 
lend them aid in Parliament, but the, bill was carried. Twenty 
million pounds were set aside to compensate the owners, and on 
August i, 1834, all the slaves became free, though they were 
bound to work as apprentices to their late masters for seven years 
a period afterwards shortened to three. 

A third useful measure was the reform of the municipal cor- 
porations of England, of which many had hitherto been wholly 
The Municipal unrepresentative bodies, not chosen by the people, 

corporations but co-opting each other, and often worked by 

Act> small and corrupt party or family rings. For this 

absurd arrangement the Act of 1835 substituted a popular and 

elective constitution, to the enormous improvement of the purity 

and respectability of the municipal bodies. 

The European policy of the Whigs was in the hands of the 
brisk and self-reliant Lord Palmerston, who directed the foreign 

Paimerston's relations of England for nearly thirty years, with 

foreign policy, a few intervals of retirement from office. He had 

ranee. left the Tories because he disliked their policy of 

non-intervention in continental affairs., and because he nourished 

1830-40. Palmer storis Foreign Policy. 655 

an active dislike for the despotic monarchies of the Holy Alliance. 
His end was to raise up a league in Western Europe which 
should support national liberties and constitutional government 
in each country, against the autocratic and reactionary powers 
of Central and Eastern Europe. He therefore allied himself 
with Louis Philippe of Orleans, the new King of 'France, who 
had been set up by the Liberal party in that country as a consti- 
tutional king after the expulsion of Charles X. 

He actively assisted the parties in Spain and Portugal who 
were fighting for limited monarchy and the nation's right to 
choose its own sovereign. In each of those countries Spain and 
there was a civil war in progress between the Portugal. 
Liberal party, backing a young queen with a parliamentary title 
to the crown, and the reactionary party, supported by the priest- 
hood, and upholding a prince who claimed the throne under the 
Salic law, and appealed to the divine hereditary right of kings. 
Palmerston supported both Donna Maria in Portugal and Donna 
Isabella in Spain against their uncles Don Miguel and Don 
Carlos, by every means short of the actual sending of British 
troops to the Peninsula. But many officers were allowed to 
volunteer into the Portuguese and Spanish service, and the 
struggle was largely settled by their aid. The designs of Don 
Miguel in Portugal were finally frustrated by the defeat of his 
fleet by Admiral Napier, who commanded the young queen's 
ships (1831). In Spain the fighting lasted much longer, and the 
efforts of Sir De Lacy Evans' " British Legion " against the 
Carlists were not altogether successful (1835-38), but the war 
ultimately came to an end in the favour of Queen Isabella in 

Palmerston also lent his support to the national party in a 
struggle nearer home. Holland and Belgium had been united 
into a single kingdom by the treaty of Vienna, and Holland and 
placed under the House of Orange, the old Stadt- Belgium, 
holders of the United Provinces. But the Belgians much dis- 
liked the arrangement ; they were divided by religion from their 
northern kinsfolk, and had no national sympathy with them, or 
loyalty to their Dutch king. In 1830 they rose in arms and 
declared their independence j William I. of Holland endeavoured 
to subdue them, and perhaps might have succeeded but for the 
interference of England and of Louis Philippe, the new King of 

656 Chartism and the Corn Laws. 

France. When the Dutch refused to come to terms, a French 
army entered Belgium and expelled the garrison of Antwerp, 
while an English fleet blockaded the Scheldt. On this pressure 
being applied, the Dutch yielded, and the kingdom of Belgium 
was established, its first sovereign being a prince well known in 
England, Leopold of Saxe-Coburg, the widower of the much- 
lamented Princess Charlotte.* 

Thus when France, Spain, Portugal, and Belgium were in the 
hands of governments professing liberal principles and opposed 
to despotism, the reactionary monarchs of the Holy Alliance 
ceased to appear such a danger to the existence of constitutional 
monarchy in Europe. 

While fairly successful alike in its foreign policy and its 
English legislation, the Grey cabinet was never so strong as 
Peel and the mi ht have been ex P ected from its triumphant 
conserva- commencement of office. The Tory party, which 
tive party. had seeme( j shattered for ever by the Reform Bill, 
and had remained for some years in a broken and helpless 
condition, began gradually to reorganize itself under the wise 
and cautious leadership of Sir Robert Peel. Though Palmerston 
Melbourne, and the other Canningites who had quitted it in 
1828, did not return to its ranks, and remained moderate Whigs, 
yet there were many others who gradually rallied themselves to 
the old " Church and State " party. The new voters whom the 
Reform Bill had created did not prove so universally devoted to 
Radical principles as had been expected. There was always 
much attachment to the old ideals in the middle classes. When 
Peel appeared as leader, in place of narrow . old Tories of the 
type of Castlereagh and Addington, he was gradually enabled to 
collect a large body of followers, and to form an opposition 
commanding a respectable number of votes. About this time 
he wisely dropped the name of Tory, and called himself and his 
followers " Conservatives," in order to get rid of the unfortunate 
associations of the older party appellation. 

But the time was still far off when the Conservatives were to 

obtain a preponderance in the House of Commons. Lord Grey 

The Tithe war. resi ned m l8 34> but only to give place to another 

-Lord arey ' Whig prime minister, who continued the policy 

resigns. an ^ wor j, o f his predecessor with the aid of most 

* See p. 639. 

1834. JLord Melbourne Prime Minister. 657 

of his cabinet. The change of premiers was due to a division 
among the Whigs caused by Irish affairs. The grant of 
Catholic Emancipation in 1829 had completely failed to quiet 
Ireland, It only caused the Irish to substitute new demands for 
the old ones. O'Connell, flushed with his victory on the Emanci- 
pation question, had started two new agitations, combined with 
each other much as Home Rule and the Land Question are com- 
bined by modern Irish politicians. The first of them was the 
demand for " Repeal," that is, the abolition of the Union of 1800, 
and the establishment of a local Parliament in Dublin the cry 
that is called Home Rule in our own day. The second was the 
Tithe War, a crusade against the payment by the Romanist 
peasantry of tithes for the support of the Established Church of 
Ireland, a body which they naturally detested. The Tithe War 
la'sted for" six or seven years, and was accompanied by much 
rioting and outrage ; the peasantry withheld the tithe, and the 
Protestant clergy were in many cases absolutely ruined and 
reduced to starvation by being deprived of their sustenance. A 
coercion bill for the suppression of riots and violence was passed 
in 1833, and had some effect in restoring order. 

But the ministry was divided on the question of the justice of 
continuing to extract money from the Romanist peasantry to 
support an alien Church. The premier proposed that the 
government should take over the collection of the tithe, but use 
it for such purposes, secular or otherwise, as might be deemed 
fit. But many of his colleagues objected to diverting Church 
money from its original uses, and the cabinet fell to pieces after 
a stormy scene in the House over a renewal of the Coercion 
Act. Grey retired, and the king sent for Sir Robert Peel, who 
at once dissolved Parliament, but the Whigs had a majority in 
the new House, and Peel fell, after holding office for two 
months only. Grey's colleague, Lord Melbourne, took over 
the conduct of affairs and rearranged the cabinet, excluding 
only the late premier, and his clever but eccentric Chancellor, 
Lord Brougham. 

This ministry struggled on for six years, confronted always 
by the strong Conservative following and the master mind of 
Peel, and dependent on the uncertain support of The Melbourne 
O'Connell and his " Tail." Its chief achievement ministry.- 
was the final passing of the Irish Tithe Act, which relieved 

2 U 


Chartism and the Com Laws, 


the peasantry of the duty of paying that contribution to the 
Established Church, and transferred it to their landlords, so 
that the tithe was for the future a charge on rent. O'Connell 
accepted this compromise, and the Tithe War ended, but the 
Repeal agitation went on vigorously, and monster meetings all 
over Ireland were continually demanding Home Rule. O'Con- 
nell had the priests on his side to a man, and, using them as 
his instruments, could dictate orders to the countryside, and 
return all the members for the Catholic districts of Ireland. To 
his great credit, he kept the agitation clear of outrages, as he 
had already done in the case of Emancipation ten years before. 
Without having recourse to any such expedients, he was able 
to keep the government in continual hot water, and more than 
once to wrest concessions of importance from it. 

The Melbourne cabinet was still wandering on its feeble way 
when on June 20, 1857, the worthy old king, William IV., 

Death of died. His decease had no great effect on the 
wniiam iv. politics of the realm, for when the election for a 
new Parliament took place as was necessary on the sovereign's 
death the ministry was found to have in the new House a small 
majority, of much the same numbers as that which they had 
enjoyed in the old. 

The successor of King William was his niece Victoria, 

daughter of Edward Duke of Kent, the fourth son of George III. 

Accession of She was a young girl of eighteen, who had been 

Qu ISaIover ia ' brou g llt: U P ver y quietly at Kensington Palace by 

separated from her widowed mother, Victoria of Saxe-Coburg. 

England. Little was known of her by the nation at large, 
and some of the baser spirits among the Tories whispered at 
first that she would prove a party-sovereign and a mere tool of 
the Whigs. But it was not long before the world discovered 
that the young queen was likely to be a model for constitutional 
monarchs. She was simple, straightforward, filled with a deep 
consciousness of the responsibility of her position, and anxious 
to discharge her duties with all possible regard for the well-being 
of her subjects. The more she was known, the more was she 
liked and respected, and there was accordingly a general feeling 
of relief that the throne had not gone to the next heir, the 
queen's unpopular uncle, Ernest Duke of Cumberland. That 
prince, moreover, now became ruler of Hanover, where the 

1837. Queen Victoria. 659 

Salic law prevailed, and tire electorate was finally separated 
from England after a hundred and twenty-three years of union. 
Thus England was freed from all necessity for interfering in the 
internal politics of Germany. 

Lord Melbourne, behind an air of studied levity, possessed a 
strong will and a conscientious desire to do well by his country. 
He determined to place his experience at the dis- ' The Queen and 
posal of the young queen, and to teach her the i-ord Mei- 
ways of constitutional monarchy. Until her mar- 
riage he acted as her private secretary, using his position for no 
party purpose. In the language of the Duke of Wellington, he 
" taught her to preside over the destinies of this great country." 

The Melbourne cabinet lasted till May, 1841, much vexed in 
its later years by social troubles in England, the result of the 
growing discontent among the working classes TheOovern . 
at the failure of the Reform Bill to bring about a ment and the 
golden age. They had thought that the creation 
of a representative House of Commons would be followed by all 
manner of Radical reforms, and were now complaining that the 
new government was little better than the old. " The Tories 
scourged us with whips, but the Whigs use scorpions," com- 
plained Cobbett, the Radical pamphleteer, while Lord Grey was 
still in power. There was this amount of truth in the complaint, 
that the Tories were always trying to interfere in social matters, 
and believed in " paternal government " and the duty of the 
State to care for the individual citizen ; but the Whigs, under 
the influence of the rules of strict political economy, held that 
the State must not meddle with private men, that the rule of 
laissez faire, or non-intervention, was right, and that free 
competition between man and man was the true order of life. 
Now, Tory interference with social matters had generally been 
wrong-headed and disastrous, but Whig indifference and absten- 
tion was quite as exasperating to the masses. 

The old delusion that men can be made happy by legislation 
and grants of political rights, was still universally prevalent, and 
the discontent of the labouring classes took shape The people's 
now, as in the last generation in a demand for charter. 
Parliamentary Reform. The new agitation got its name from 
the document called " the People's Charter," which was put 
forward as the programme of the movement, It contained five 

66o Chartism and the Corn Laws. isss. 

claims (i) for manhood suffrage, (2) for the vote by ballot at 
elections, (3) for annual Parliaments, (4) for the payment of 
members, (5! for the throwing open of seats in the House of 
Commons to all men by the abolition of the property qualification, 
which was still required, in theory, to be possessed by members. 
It is curious to reflect how entirely useless all these five demands 
would have been to cure the social discontents of the day. The 
second and fiftnclauses of the charter have long been granted, 
the first is practically conceded, and the fourth may be so ere 
long, yet the ills against which the Chartists were protesting 
are still with us. For the real end of the agitation was in truth 
purely social ; it was much the same as the cry for the so-called 
" living wage " that is heard among us to-day. "The principle 
of the People's Charter," said one of its advocates in 1838, 
"is the right of every man to have his home, his hearth, and 
his happiness. It means that every working man in the land 
has a right to a good coat, a good hat, a good dinner, no more 
work than will keep him in health, and as much wages as will 
keep him in plenty." The demagogues honest or dishonest 
who led the Chartist movement insisted that the golden age 
would follow the introduction of universal suffrage and their 
other demands, though it is difficult to see how they can have 
been so simple as to hold such a view. But they were, for the 
most part, mere windy orators, with no grasp of the means or 
ends that they needed ; the most prominent man of the whole 
band being Feargus O'Connor, an Irishman with an enormous 
flow of words and an ill-balanced brain, who ended his days in 
a lunatic asylum. Riotous public meetings, where threats of 
physical force were freely used, were rife all through the years 
1838-4:*, and gave the Whig ministry no small trouble. But the 
movement was never so dangerous to law and order as the 
troubles, of the years 1816-32 had been, for the Chartists were 
backed by neither of. the great political parties, had no competent 
leaders, and were detested for their noisy turbulence by the 
whole of the middle classes, Whig and Tory alike. Parliament 
refused to take them seriously, even when they kept sending up 
monster petitions to the House of Commons, purporting to 
contain a million and a half or even three million signatures. 
One of these documents, as large in circumference as a cart- 
wheel,, had. to. be. carried by sixteen men, and stuck in the door 

1841. The Syrian War. 66 1 

of the House, so that it had to be cut up in order to allow it to 
enter. But petitions, riots, and wild talk had none of them any 
practical effect. 

There was little that was eventful in the foreign policy of the 
later years of the Melbourne cabinet. The only events of 
importance were our first war with China, and our The Op ium 
interference in the Levant to prevent the break-up War. 
of the Turkish empire. The Chinese quarrel the Opium War, 
as it was often called arose from the destruction of a quantity 
of that drug belonging to English merchants by the mandarins 
of Canton, who had resolved not to allow it to be imported 
into their country. In consequence, an army was sent out 
to the far East, which, after some desultory fighting, compelled 
the Chinese to sue for peace, pay an indemnity of 21,000,000 
dollars, and cede the island of Hong- Kong, which, in British 
hands, has since become one of the greatest ports of the world 

The war in Syria was caused by the attempt of Mehemet Ali, 
the Pacha of Egypt, to assert his independence, and to tear 
Syria and Asia Minor from his suzerain the Sultan. Thinking 
that the maintenance of Turkey was essential to England and 
British interests in the East, Lord Palmerston Mehemet AH. 
bade the rebel pacha retire within his own borders, and, on his 
refusal, bombarded and took Acre and Sidon. This brought 
Mehemet Ali to reason, and he acquiesced in an agreement 
which left him the position of a quasi-independent ruler in 
Egypt, but stripped him of his conquests beyond the Syrian 
desert (January, 1841). 

In the year which preceded this last war, England had been 
rejoiced to see her queen happily married. The young sovereign's 
choice had been her own first cousin, Albert of The Prince 
Saxe-Coburg, whom the country knew so well first consort, 
as " Prince Albert," then as the " Prince Consort." He was very 
young at the time of the marriage, being only in his twenty-first 
year, but from his earliest days in England showed a remarkable 
wisdom and power of adapting himself to his new surroundings. 
While carefully refraining from taking any ostensible part in poli- 
tics, he was able in many ways to act as a useful counsellor both 
for his wife and his wife's ministers, for he had a large knowledge 
)f foreign politics, and a sound and cautious judgment. His 

662 Chartism and the Corn Laws. i84i. 

blameless private life and many amiable qualities endeared him 
to all who came into personal contact with him ; but for many 
years he was not properly appreciated by the English people, 
who were vaguely suspicious of a foreign prince placed in such 
a difficult position as that of husband to a constitutional queen. 
All their suspicions of him and his influence were ungrounded, 
but it was not till after his death in 1861 that most men realized 
what a thoroughly wise and unselfish friend of England he had 

The Melbourne ministry went out of power a few months after 
the queen's marriage. A general election took place in June- 
Theconserva- July, 1841, and a Conservative majority was re- 
tives in office, turned to the House of Commons, whereupon Sir 
Robert Peel was called upon to take office in the due course of 
constitutional etiquette. 

The Tories, now again in power after an interval of twelve 
years, were a very different party from what they had been in 
the old days before 1 830. The whole body of them 
ier ' had moved slowly forward, but there were still, as 
always, a more and a less progressive section among them, as 
in the days of Canning and Castlereagh. Peel himself had 
generally been considered to belong to the former body, though 
he had been one of those who opposed Parliamentary Reform 
to the last. His own breeding and character account for his 
position ; he was not a member of one of the old aristocratic 
Tory families, but the son of a wealthy Lancashire millowner, 
a representative of the Conservatism of the middle classes, not 
of the old landed interest. He was a firm, able, conscientious 
man, rather too masterful in dealing with his followers, and 
prone to command rather than to persuade. But in 1841 his 
authority over them seemed so firmly established, that men 
prophesied that he would rule for as many years as the younger 
Pitt. As a matter of fact, his ministry was only to last from 
September, 1841, to July, 1846, and, instead of establishing the 
Conservative party firmly in power, he was fated to break it 
up, and to condemn it to almost continuous exile from office for 
nearly thirty years. * 

* Between 1846 and 1874 the Conservatives were only in power for four 
years in all. 

1842, Sir Robert Peel in Office. 663 

But Peel's early years of power promised well. His first achieve- 
ment was to restore the national finances, which had been left 
in a most unsatisfactory condition by the Melbourne ministry. 
His budget of 1842 was long remembered as being the first 
important step in the direction of Free Trade that had been 
taken for many years. He reduced the import 

J , J . , , \ Peel's finance. 

duties on nearly 750 articles of consumption, -The income 
reasoning that the advantage to the consumer far tax * 
outweighed the loss to the English manufacturer, whose interests 
were served by the protective duties which he removed. To make 
up the deficit in the revenue caused by these remissions of 
import duties, he imposed the income tax, under a pledge that 
it was to be an exceptional impost ; five years, he said, would 
suffice to restore the revenue to its old amount, and it should 
then be dropped. Unfortunately for all persons with fixed 
incomes, Peel was out of office long before the five years were 
over, and none of his successors has ever redeemed his pledge. 
The income tax still remains with us, the easy and obvious 
method by which any impecunious Chancellor of the Exchequer 
can wring more money from the middle classes, by adding an 
extra " penny in the pound." It must, however, be granted that 
at its first imposition it tided England very successfully over a 
dangerous financial crisis. 

The Melbourne cabinet had left the task of dealing with two 
troublesome agitations as a legacy to their successors. The 
Chartists were still thundering away at monster The chartist 
meetings, and bombarding Parliament^vith gigantic i agitation, 
petitions. One sent to the House of Commons in 1842 pur- 
ported to be signed by 3,000,000 persons, and was actually 
signed by, perhaps, a third of that number. It was couched 
in such seditious terms that the government refused to receive 
it, and were supported by a majority of 238, when certain 
Radical members pressed them to a division. But Peel's hand 
was known to be firm, and it was obvious that there was no 
chance of intimidating him ; so the Chartist agitation, though it 
continued to simmer all through his time, never boiled up into 
any dangerous effervescence. 

In Ireland matters seemed for a time more serious. Daniel 
O'Connell was still pressing on his campaign for Repeal. He 
was the master of the greater part of the Irish people, and 

-664 Chartism and the Corn Laws. 

had his well-disciplined " Tail " to follow him in the Commons. 
The "Young But as long as both Conservatives and Whigs re- 
Ireland Party." fused to buy his aid at the price of granting his 
demands for Home Rule, he could do no more than bluster and 
declaim at public meetings. But O'Connell was joined, in the 
year 1842, by a body of recruits who refused to be fettered by his 
command to refrain from the use of physical force. A band of 
ardent young politicians, the political heirs of Lord Edward 
Fitzgerald and Robert Emmet, bound themselves together to 
strive for Repeal by the old method of armed rebellion when 
" England's extremity should be Ireland's opportunity." They 
called themselves the " Young Ireland Party," revived the old 
watchwords of the United Irishmen, and gloried in the principles 
of '98. The chiefs of this faction were Smith O'Brien, Meagher, 
and Gavan Duffy. O'Connell was afraid of their rashness, and 
the priesthood, who acted as O'Connell's agents all over Ireland, 
viewed them with suspicion as possible republicans and atheists ; 
but they gained considerable influence in the land. 

The Repeal agitation came to a head in 1843, when O'Con- 
nell gathered several hundred thousand people together at a 
O'Connell's in- meetm at Tara,the old seat of the Kings of Ireland, 
nuenoe de- and addressed them in an excited strain, promising 
clines. tliGm " a Parliament of their own on College Green 
within the year." But Peel had him and his chief lieutenants 
arrested, and tried for sedition. The whole agitation seemed 
to collapse when the government made a show of force, and, 
though O'Connell was ultimately acquitted, his hold on the 
Irish people was much shaken by the obvious uselessness for 
any practical end of all his meetings and harangues. The 
majority of his followers fell back into apathy, the minority 
resolved to join the "Young Irelanders," and to plot armed 
treason at some convenient date in the future. Meanwhile 
Repeal was dead, and O'Connell died a few years later, just 
before the miserable years 1846-7 revived the troubles of 

English foreign policy in Peel's day continued on the good 
lines on which Palmerston had placed it, for the new Con- 
servative party were vigilant to defend our interests 

England and -.1 

the United abroad, and to resent the aggression of our neigh- 
states, bours. A very threatening dispute with the 

1843-16. The Spanish Marriages. 665 

United States about the south-western boundaries of British 
America was settled in 1842, by a satisfactory treaty which 
gave England Vancouver's Island and all the coast north of 
the Straits of Juan da Fuca, taking the forty-ninth degree of 
latitude as the dividing-line from the Pacific to the end of Lake 
Superior. The Americans had claimed, but had to give up, 
the whole western shore of North America, up to the Russian 
province of Alaska. 

Twice England appeared likely to engage, in war with France 
in 1844 and 1846 while Peel was. in power. The first quarrel 
was about the annexation of the island of Tahiti, England and 
in the Pacific, where a French admiral arrested France, 
the English consul, and seized the island in the most arbitrary 
.way from its queen. But Louis Philippe did not wish for war 
with the only power in Europe that looked kindly on a con- 
stitutional monarchy in France, and forced his ministers to 
apologize to England and abandon Tahiti. In the second 
quarrel, the crafty and intriguing old king was himself to blame. 
He had formed a design for securing Spain for his younger son 
Anthony, Duke of Montpensier, by means of a marriage. The 
crown of that country was now worn by the young Queen 
Isabella, whose heiress was her still younger sister Louisa. 
Louis Philippe secured the marriage of the younger princess 
with his own son. At the same time, by disreputable intrigues 
with the Spanish queen-mother, Christina of Naples, and the 
.factious parties in the Cortes, he got the unfortunate queen 
married to her cousin, Don Francisco, Duke of Cadiz, a wretched 
weakling, who as he thought was certain to die without heirs, 
so that the crown must ultimately fall to the Montpensiers (1846). 
This scheme reproduced the old danger that had brought about 
the war of the Spanish succession in the days of William III. 
and Anne, the chance that the crowns of Spain and France 
might be united. The English government and people were 
bitterly provoked, high words passed between London and 
Paris, and there appeared for some time a danger that a rupture 
might ensue. But external events intervened to prevent such a 
misfortune. Peel's government lost office in 1846, and Louis 
Philippe was dethroned in 1848, after which the Spanish mar- 
riages ceased to have any importance. 

While that question was at its height, England had been 

666 Chartism and the Corn Laws. 1945. 

going through an unexpected political crisis, caused by Peel's 
landth sudden conversion to complete Free Trade. His 

Free Trade budget of 1842 had shown that all his tendencies 

movement. lay in that Direction ; but he had not yet touched 
the one point which was certain to bring him into collision with 
the majority of his own party the question of Free Trade in 
corn. Since England had become a great manufacturing country, 
with a population that advancectby leaps and ^9\|fl^s | it was 
daily growing more impossible to feed the new mouths with 
English corn alone. But the heavy duties on imported grain, 
Avhich survived from the last century, only allowed the foreign 
wheat to come in at an exorbitant price. Hence the poor man's 
loaf was always dear. Farmers and landlords profited by this 
protection of English agriculture, but, since the landed interest 
had ceased to be the most important element in the state, the 
Corn Laws injured many more persons than they benefited. 
For the last five or six years a vigorous agitation in favour of 
their abolition had been in progress, whose guiding spirit was 
Richard Cobden, "the prophet of Free Trade." It seemed 
more likely that the Whigs would be converted by him than the 
Conservatives, for the backbone of Peel's majority in the House 
of Commons was composed of the county members, who repre- 
sented the farmers and landlords of England. 

But in 1845, a famine in Ireland, caused by the failure of the 
potato-crop, called for a large importation of corn to feed the 

TheProtec- starving Irish cottiers. Peel proposed to suspend 
tionists.-Dis- the Corn Laws as a temporary measure, to allow 

raeli and . . . . /., 11 /-ri 

Lord o. Ben- of the introduction of the needed supply of food 
tinck. at the cheapest possible rate. His colleagues in 
the ministry resolved to support the proposal, but they proved 
unable to persuade the whole of their party to follow them. 
About a hundred members of the House of Commons the 
representatives of the corn-growing shires and the old Tory 
families refused to be convinced by Peel's arguments. They 
were headed by two men of mark, neither of whom had as yet 
been taken very seriously by the House. The first was Lord 
George Bentinck, a younger son of the great ducal house of 
Portland, who had hitherto been seen more frequently on the 
racecourse than at St. Stephen's, but who showed an unexpected 
ability when he proceeded to attack his chief. The second was 

y ^ 

1846. The Repeal of the Corn Laws. 667 

Benjamin Disraeli, the son of a Jewish man of letters, then 
known as a young and volatile member of the House, who 
combined high Tory notions on Church and State with extreme 
Radical views on certain social questions. But he had been 
hitherto more 'notorious for his eccentric and gorgeous dress, 
and his curious high-flown and bombastic novels, than for any 
serious political doings. 

When Peel brought forward his bill for abolishing the Corn 
Laws, he found himself bitterly opposed by Bentinck and 
Disraeli and their protectionist followers, who The Corn Laws 
scouted him as a turncoat and a traitor to the repealed. 
Tory cause. He carried the abolition of the obnoxious duties 
by the aid of the votes of his enemies, the Whigs (May 15, 1846). 
A month later the angry Protectionists took their revenge ; on 
the question of an Irish coercion bill, Bentinck and Disraeli led 
some scores of Tory members into the opposition lobby, and 
left the prime minister in a minority of seventy-three (June 25, 

Peel immediately resigned. He had carried his bill, but 
broken up his party, and the Whigs were now to have a fresh 
lease of office that lasted thirty years, for the two Breaku ofthe 
sections into which the Conservatives had broken Conservative 
up the Peelites and the Protectionists would 
never join again, so bitterly did they dislike each other. In the 
course of time most of the Peelites drifted over to the Whig 
camp, among them two who were destined to be prime ministers 
of England Lord Aberdeen, who had been Peel's Foreign 
Secretary, and William Ewart Gladstone, then a rising young 
member, who had held the Presidency of the Board of Trade 
from 1843 to 1846. 

The Whigs, or the Liberal party, as they were now beginning 
to call themselves, came back to power with every advantage, 
as the opposition was divided into two irrecon- 

l.ord John 

cilable sections, who would never join on account Russell's 
of their old grudge. Yet the new cabinet was ^^^try. 
never a very strong one, because the Whigs refused to put 
Lord Palmerston, their strongest and ablest man, at the head 
of affairs. Some of the party could never forget that he had 
once been a Canningite, and thought that he was not Liberal 
enough for them ; others were afraid of his firm and incisive 

668 Chartism and the Corn Laws. 

way of dealing with foreign powers, and prophesied that he 
would some day land England, unexpectedly, in the midst of a 
great war. Instead of Palmerston, Lord John Russell, the 
promoter of the great Reform Bill of 1832, was made premier. 
He was a much less notable personage than Palmerston, and not 
strong enough for his place, being nothing more than an adroit 
party tactician with no touch of genius about him. Yet he held 
power for six years, and made no great mistakes if he performed 
no great achievements at home ; while, as the foreign policy of 
England was handed over to Palmerston, there was no lack of 
strong guidance in things abroad. 

The chief problem which the Liberal cabinet found to trouble 
them when they took office was an Irish one. In 1845 there 
The famine had been a partial failure of the potato-crop, the 
in Ireland. staple food of the Irish peasantry ; this was followed 
in 1846, just after Lord John Russell came into power, by a far 
more dreadful disaster of the same kind. In August the whole 
potato harvest of Southern and Western Ireland was struck 
down by a sudden blight, such as had never been seen before 
or since, and 4,000,000 persons were suddenly brought to the 
verge of starvation. The disaster was aggravated by the hopeless 
state of the rural population. For the last half-century the popu- 
lation of Ireland had been advancing with disastrous rapidity ; it 
had swelled from 5,000,000 to 8,000,000, yet there had been no 
corresponding increase either of improved cultivation, or of land 
taken under tillage. The improvident landlords had allowed 
the still more improvident tenantry to divide their farms into 
smaller and smaller fractions, till the land only fed its population 
in years of exceptional fertility. The greater part of Ireland 
was cut up into miserable slips of a few acres, where the cottier 
paid intermittently as much as he could of a rent which was 
rated at a higher amount than the wretched little farm could ever 
produce. The unexampled disaster of two successive years of 
blight brought the whole of the miserable peasantry to the edge 
of the grave. The workhouses were soon crammed, all local 
funds used up, and yet the people were dying by thousands from 
famine, or from the fevers which were bred by insufficient 
nourishment. The government paltered with the evil by estab- 
lishing relief works, and refused for some time to face the fact 
that nothing but wholesale distribution of food would keep the 

1846. The Irish Potato Famine. 669 

wretched peasantry alive. It was not till 1847 that they faced 
the full horror of the problem, and established soup-kitchens 
and depots for free food all over the land. By this time scores 
of thousands had died, and the bitterest feelings of wrath had 
been bred in the Irish mind at the neglect or incompetence of 
the cabinet. 

When the famine was over, it was generally recognized that 
the worst of the disaster had been owing to the congested state 
of the population, who were trying to live on Evictions and 
smaller farms than could really support them, emigration. 
This led to wholesale evictions by the landlords, who, half ruined 
by the famine themselves, wished to avoid another such expe- 
rience by thinning offthe pauperized cottiers, and throwing several 
farms into one. In many cases these evictions were carried 
out with ruthless haste and cruelty, for the proprietors often 
absentees who did not know their tenants by sight had no 
sympathy for the wretched peasants, and only wanted to be rid 
of them. The unwilling emigrants were driven out of Ireland 
by the hundred thousand, and retired for the most part to 
America, carrying away a fanatical hatred for the Anglo-Irish 
landholding classes who had evicted them, and for the English 
government which had sanctioned their expulsion. 

With such class rancour in the air, it was no wonder that 
troubles broke out in Ireland in 1848, the year after the famine 
was over. The chiefs of the "Young Ireland" g m ith 
party * thought that the times were ripe for open O'Brien's m- 
insurrection, and, seeing revolutions rife all over 
Europe, and the Chartist riots stirring again in England, resolved 
to strike at once. Their leader, Smith O'Brien, after using 
threatening language in the House of Commons, went over to 
Ireland and called the discontented to arms. But he proved a 
very incapable chief when he essayed the part of Catiline. 
Gathering together some hundreds of armed followers, he at- 
tacked fifty constables on Bonlagh common, in Tipperary. His 
men scattered after a few volleys, and he and his chief adherents 
fled to the hills, where they were soon caught (July, 1848). They 
were tried for treason and condemned, but the government com- 
muted their punishment to exile, and a few years later they were 
given a free pardon. 

* See p. 664. 

670 Chartism and the Com Laws. 1848. 

This abortive revolt in Ireland was one of the least note- 
worthy events of 1848, the most turbulent year of the nine- 
teenth century. The whole continent was ablaze 
Revolutionary * . 

agitation with insurrections in favour of liberal ideas and 
abroad. national rights. .The French drove out Louis 
Philippe, because he had grown reactionary in his old age, and 
refused to grant universal suffrage ; on his expulsion they 
established a republic. Another great insurrection arose in 
Hungary, when the people tried to wrest a constitution by force 
of arms from their king Ferdinand, the Austrian Emperor. In 
the same year a great rising in Italy strove to win national 
unity by expelling the Austrians from Lombardy and Venetia, 
and making an end of the petty dukes and kings of Central and 
Southern Italy. Germany was at the same time convulsed by 
popular agitation, which demanded constitutional liberty from 
its many rulers, while the diet at Frankfort declared in favour of 
unifying the land on a republican basis. 

All these troubles could not pass unnoticed in England, and 
the Chartists, whose movements had been small and unimpor- 

Endof tant ^ or t ^ ie ^ ast ^ ve y ears > once more began to 
the chartist stir up trouble. The last of their " monster 

agitation. petitions " was sent in to the House of Commons, 
and the " Five points" demanded more noisily than ever. Things 
came to a head when their chief, Feargus O'Connor, summoned 
a great meeting on Kennington Common, and threatened to 
march on Westminster with 500,000 men at his back. But the 
government refused to be cowed, and the middle classes, in 
fierce anger at the noisy agitation, took arms against the rioters. 
Two hundred thousand " special constables " were enrolled to 
face the rioters, the bridges leading to Westminster were manned 
with troops, and the great meeting was awaited with resolution. 
It chanced to fall on a rainy day, only a few thousand Chartists 
assembled, and Feargus O'Connor, frightened at the display of 
military force and the steady attitude of the special constables, 
bade his followers go home, and disappeared. This was the 
last outbreak of the Chartists, who proved to be a mere bugbear 
when they were once met and faced (April, 1848). 

For the future England was undisturbed, and, secure at home 
herself, could watch all the turmoil on the continent with com- 
posure. Palmerston did his best to favour the liberal and 

1852. Louis Napoleon's "Coup cTEtat? 671 

national parties abroad by all peaceful means, but would not 
commit England to war on their behalf. To his Thecontinen- 
regret, Italy and Hungary were at last reconquered *ton^Louis 
by their old masters, and the German liberals Napoleon, 
were also put down, so that the unification of their land was 
delayed for twenty years (1849). The French Republic proved 
weak and ill-governed ; after several anarchist risings in Paris 
had frightened the French bourgeoisie, they took refuge under a 
military dictatorship, electing as president Louis Napoleon, the 
nephew of Napoleon I., and the son of his younger brother 
Louis Bonaparte, King of Holland. The new president's record 
was not encouraging ; twice during the reign of Louis Philippe 
he had made hairbrained attempts to raise military revolts in 
France, trading on the great name of his uncle. On each 
occasion he had failed lamentably, his preparations having been 
entirely inadequate to carry out his purpose. He had acquired 
the reputation of a rash and wild adventurer, ready to embark 
in any scheme, yet the French, dazzled by the name of Bona- 
parte, and over-persuaded by his promises to give them peace 
and prosperity, were unwise enough to elect him as president. 

Louis Napoleon soon strengthened himself by placing in office, 
both in the army and the ministry, a band of unscrupulous men 
whom he could trust to follow him in any dark The Seco nd 
scheme, if only they were well enough paid. When Empire, 
he had made his preparations, he seized and imprisoned most 
of the members of the Chamber of Deputies, shot down all who 
took arms to defend the Republic, and assumed despotic power 
(December 2, 1851). Soon afterwards he assumed the title of 
Emperor and the name of Napoleon III. 

The French president's treacherous usurpation brought about 
Palmerston's dismissal from office, and ultimately the fall of the 
Russell cabinet. Immediately after Louis Bona- .paimerston'a 
parte had perpetrated his coup d'e'tat, the great dismissal, 
foreign minister expressed to the French ambassador his ac- 
quiescence in the revolution. He had so much disliked the 
turbulent and anarchic Republic which the usurper had de- 
stroyed, that he was quite ready to acknowledge the new 
government, which was at any rate settled and strong for the 
moment. Palmerston took this action before he had consulted 
with his colleagues in the ministry, or obtained the formal 

672 Chartism and the Corn Laws 1352. 

permission of the queen to recognize the legality of Bonaparte's 
position. Both the sovereign and the cabinet were vexed at his 
acting without any consultation, and Lord John Russell dismissed 
him from office (January, 1852). 

But Palmerston had many friends and admirers, and was soon 

able to revenge himself. Less than a month after his dismissal, 

he led a section of the Whigs into the opposition 

John Russell's lobby on a division concerning a bill to strengthen 

ministry. the m ^(^ all( j put R usse ll i n a minority. The 
ministry was therefore obliged to resign (February, 1852). 

1851. ( 673 



THE time which followed the quieting down of England and 
Europe after the turbulent years 1848 and 1849, was perhaps 
the most peaceful which the century had known. Expectations 
The English people, overjoyed to find that Chartism 
was but a bugbear and Irish rebellion a farce, 
had settled down to enjoy what they trusted would prove a 
long spell of tranquil prosperity. There was no great political 
question pending at home, since the Corn Laws were gone, and 
the Whigs had refused to take up any Radical programme. The 
continent was quiet, though its stillness only resulted from the 
dying down for a space of the flames of rebellion in Italy, 
Germany, and Hungary, where embers still smouldered beneath 
the apparent deadness of the surface, and only needed a fresh 
stirring to make them break out again into a blaze. This fact 
was not appreciated in England, and the year 1851 saw the 
high-water mark of a vague and optimistic belief that the 
troubles of the world were over, and a reign of good-fellowship 
and brotherly affection among nations about to begin. When 
the Prince Consort opened the first great International Exhi- 
bition in Hyde Park in the June of that year, much wild and 
visionary talk was heard about the end of war, and the advent 
of an era when all disputes should be settled by arbitration. No 
expectation was ever more ill-founded. After forty years of 
comparative peace, since the fall of Napoleon, the continent was 
just about to see the commencement of a series of four great 
wars, and England whose soldiers had not fired a shot in 
Europe since Waterloo was not to be without her share in 

2 x 

674 The Days of Palmer ston. isos-isss. 

The English people were far from guessing this. Nearly all 
their attention had been given to matters of domestic policy for 
steam navi- tne last fort y Y ears > and no one thought that other 
nation. topics were now to engross them. But before pass- 
ing on to the Crimean war and the struggles that followed it, 
a few words are needed to show how the England of 1852 
differed from the England of the days before the Reform Bill. 
The first and most striking change visible was the enormous 
development of the means of internal communication in the 
land. In 1832 the application of steam to locomotive engines 
alike on water and on land was just beginning to grow common. 
The first steam-tug had been seen on the Clyde as far back as 
1802, but no serious attempt to utilize the discovery on a large 
scale, and for long voyages, was made for many years. It was 
only after 1830 that the steamer began steadily to supersede the 
sailing-ship for ordinary commercial purposes. But within a few 
years after that date all passenger traffic was carried on the 
new paddle-steamer, and a large share of the goods traffic also. 
It was a sign of the indifference of the nation to things military 
during the years of the great peace, that ships of war remained 
unaltered long after the advantages of steam had been discovered. 
A few small vessels were fitted with paddle-wheels about 1840, 
and took part in the bombardment of Acre. But even in 
1854 most of the line-of-battle ships of Great Britain were still 
of the old type that Nelson had loved, and depended on their 
sail power alone. 

The utilization of steam for locomotion by land had started in 
the humble shape of the employment of small engines to drag 

Growth of trucks of coal and stone on local tramways at the 
railways, slowest of paces. After lingering for some thirty 
years in this embryo stage, it was suddenly and rapidly 
developed by George Stephenson, a clever north-country 
engineer. The first railway on which passengers were conveyed, 
and merchandise of all kinds carried, was a short line between 
the two towns of Stockton and Darlington, built by Stephenson's 
advice in 1825. It was not till five years later that the success 
of the Stockton and Darlington railway led to the construction 
of a second and greater venture of the same kind, the Liverpool 
and Manchester railway, opened in 1830. This line achieved an 
unhappy notoriety owing to the fact that Huskisson, the Tory 

1840. The Growth of Railways. 675 

Free-Trade minister, was killed by the first train that ran upon it. 
Though the early railways were slow and inconvenient their 
average pace was eight miles an hour, and their carriages were 
converted stage-coaches, strapped on to trucks they soon 
conquered the public confidence, though old-fashioned persons 
refused for many years to trust themselves to the new-fangled 
and dangerous mode of locomotion. Between 1830 and 1840 
the companies began to multiply rapidly, and in 1844-45 there 
was a perfect mania for railway construction, and schemes were 
formed to run lines through every corner of England, whether 
they were likely to pay or not. Many of these plans were never 
carried out, others were executed and ruined those who invested 
in them. But the temporary depression which followed this 
over-speculation had no long continuance, and the competition 
of the companies with each other was always increasing the 
rapidity and comfort of railway travelling. By 1852 it had 
taken its place among the commonplaces of life, and had 
profoundly modified the condition of England in several ways. 
The habit of travelling for pleasure which it begot and fostered, 
the safe, cheap, and quick transportation of goods which it 
rendered possible, and the easy transfer of labour from market 
to market which it favoured, have all had their share in the 
making of modern England. 

A part only second to that of the railway in modifying the 
character and habits of the English people was played by two 
other inventions of the forties. The Penny Post, 

The Penny 

introduced by the efforts of Rowland Hill in 1840 Post and the 
into every corner of the kingdom, and superseding 
the old rates which ranged up to many shillings, had a 
marvellous effect in facilitating communication. To supplement 
it by a yet more rapid process, the first public Telegraph offices 
were opened in 1843 > but, for many years after, this invention 
was in the hands of private companies, and was too dear to suit 
the pocket of the ordinary citizen, who preferred to trust to his 
letter sent by the Penny Post 

Meanwhile many other characteristic features of modern 
English social life were rapidly developing themselves. We 
have mentioned the misery of the operative The Factory 
classes in the great towns in an earlier chapter. 
The first efforts to amend their condition date from the years 

676 The Days of Palmerslon. 

1832-52. Philanthropists, of whom Lord Shaftesbury was the 
best known, strove unceasingly to put an end to the worst horrors 
of the new industrial system. In 1833 acts were passed to 
prevent millowners from working children in their factories for 
more than half-time. In 1844 Sir Robert Peel put women under 
the same protection, prohibited lads under eighteen from being 
given more than twelve hours' labour, and appointed inspectors 
to go round the factories and see that the law was carried out. 
The Mines Act of 1842 prohibited women and children from 
working underground, and a second Mines Act of 1850 put all 
subterranean labour under government inspection. This benevo- 
lent legislation was mainly due to the Tories, for the Liberals, 
wedded to the principles of strict political economy, were loth 
to interfere between employer and workman, and generally urged 
that matters ought to be allowed to right themselves by the laws 
of supply and demand. 

A not less effective means of protection for the operative 
classes was devised by the workmen themselves. Trades Unions 
became possible after the laws prohibiting com- 
bination of labourers had been repealed in 1824, 
though governments, both Whig and Tory, still looked upon 
them with much suspicion and disapproval, and occasionally 
suppressed them under the plea that they were secret societies 
for coercing free labour. Strikes, then as now, were often 
accompanied with violence and rioting, and it had not yet been 
realized that they might often be justified. But in spite of the 
frowns of those in authority, the Unions were continually growing 
in number and in power all through the middle of the century, 
though they had not yet assumed the inquisitorial and dictatorial 
tone which they have adopted in our own day, and were still 
defensive rather than offensive in their character. 

While social England was thus assuming its modern shape, 

the chief factors of the spiritual and intellectual life of the 

The state of present day were also coming into being. To the 

the cimrch. per iod 1832-52 belongs the rise of both of the 
movements which have stirred the minds of men during the last 
fifty years. In the early years of the century the condition of 
the Church of England was very unsatisfactory. The only body 
within its pale who displayed any zeal or true spiritual life were 
the Evangelicals, the heirs of the men who had been stirred by 

1830-1840. The Condition of the Church. 677 

the preaching of the contemporaries of Wesley.* But they were 
not a very numerous body, for their general acceptance of the 
harshest doctrines of Calvinism repelled the majority ; moreover, 
they were destitute of organization, for they worked to increase 
the religious fervour of the individual soul, not to reform the 
Church. Yet the Church needed reforming ; its higher ranks 
were still filled by " Greek-play bishops " and promoted royal 
chaplains ; the bulk of the parish clergy, though genial honest 
men, were neither learned, zealous, nor spiritual-minded, differing 
often only by the colour of their coats from the squires with 
whom they associated. The worst part of the situation was that 
the new masses of the population in the great towns were 
slipping out of religious habits altogether, owing to the want of 
missionary zeal among their pastors, and the deplorable dearth 
of religious endowment in the new centres of life. 

The reaction against the deadness of the national Church 
took shape in two new forms. The first was the " Broad- 
Church " movement, started by men who wished Tfa 
to broaden and popularize the Church by bringing church" 
its teaching into accordance with the latest dis- m v ement. 
coveries in science and in history, and by giving it a basis on 
philosophy rather than on dogma. The first great name in this 
school was Archbishop Whately (1787-1863) ; he and his con- 
temporaries laid more stress on logic and philosophy than did the 
younger generation of Broad Churchmen, who devoted them- 
selves more to reconciling science and religion, and to bringing 
to bear on the history'of Christianity new historical and scientific 
lights. They only agreed in setting dogma aside, advocating 
the widest freedom of opinion, and preaching the application of 
the spirit of Christianity to the everyday acts and duties of life. 

Very different were the views and aims of the other party in 
the Church which arose in the years between 1830 and 1840. 
The new High- Church school thought that the The Tractarian 
deadness of spiritual life in their day came from a movement, 
neglect of dogma and a want of appreciation of the unity and 
historical continuity of the Church of England. Most men then 
held that the national Church only dated from the Reformation, 
and that the Bible was the only basis of its doctrines. Against 
these views the leaders of the new school the Oxford movement, 
* See p. 516. 

678 The Days of Palmerstofi,. 1345. 

as it was called, because its three leaders, John Henry Newman, 
John Keble, and Edward Pusey, were all resident Fellows of 
Oxford colleges entered an emphatic protest. They said that 
the Church of 1835 was the Church of Anselm and Augustine, 
and that those who wished to make it the Church of Henry 
VIII. and to cut it off from its place in the unity of Christendom, 
were guilty of national apostacy. They taught that it was still 
bound to hold all the dogmas and usages which could be traced 
back to the days of the early Fathers. Most especially they 
laid stress on two doctrines of which little had been heard 
since the days of the Stuarts the Real Presence in the 
Sacrament, and the sacrificial priesthood of the clergy. 
Newman started a series of " Tracts for the Times," to which 
his friends and followers contributed ; they urged that submis- 
sion to authority in matters doctrinal, and a return to the ritual 
and practice of the early Church could alone revivify English 
spiritual life. Unfortunately, it was impossible to find any 
universally received authority to which to appeal, since Low 
Churchmen and Broad Churchmen alike denied the first 
postulates of the Tractarian creed, and fell back on the 
Thirty-nine Articles and the practice of the last two centuries 
as the only standard of faith and ceremony that they would 
recognize. They added that those who yearned after mediaeval 
doctrine and ritual were mere disguised Romanists, and would 
find what they wanted in Popery alone. 

A storm of wrath was directed against the new High-Church- 
men, who were denounced as Jesuits and false brethren. Most 

Newman's f au * was tne outcry loud when Newman in 1841 

secession. wrote a pamphlet to prove that by certain ingenious 
interpretations of loosely worded portions of the Thirty-nine 
Articles, a man might hold all the leading doctrines of 
Rome and yet stay inside the English Church. This curious 
production was a lour deforce which, as he afterwards confessed, 
did not satisfy his own conscience. He retired from teaching 
for awhile, and then seceded to the Romanist communion, where 
alone he felt that he could realize his desire to belong to a Church 
undoubtedly orthodox and enjoying a right to speak with authority 
[1845]. Many of his more zealous adherents followed him, at 
intervals, in the next ten years. 

But the bulk of the Tractarians felt sure that the Church 

i860. The High Church Party. 67 () 

of England was a true branch of the Catholic Church and 
remained within it, gradually conquering the The Hig . h 
tolerance of their contemporaries by their un- church party, 
doubted zeal and purity of motive. Ere long they acquired a strong 
position, as their doctrines were very acceptable to the clergy, 
while the admirable life and work of men like Keble gradually 
won over many of the laity to their views. To the new High- 
Church party we owe much good work in neglected parishes, and a 
restoration of decency and order in public worship, which was a 
great improvement on the careless and slovenly practice of the 
eighteenth century. Their efforts led to a revival of interest in 
Church history and ecclesiastical antiquities. Their influence 
made the clergy as a body more spiritual and more hard-working. 
But for a time the Tractarian controversy split England into two 
hostile camps, and the eccentric mediaevalism of the "Ritualists " 
those of the party who strove to restore the forgotten minutiae 
of pre-Reformation ceremonies drove Low and Broad Church- 
men into extreme wrath. Even yet the breach is not healed, 
and the Church is divided, though the old bitterness has been 
forgotten to a great extent in the last ten years. But the net 
result of the movement has been to substitute zeal if sometimes 
the zeal was without discretion for deadness, and the Church 
of to-day is far stronger and more powerful than the Church 
of 1830. 

The most unhappy result of the movement has been to drive 
the Nonconformists, to whom High-Church doctrine was 
particularly repulsive, into a deeper antagonism to The Noncon- 
the Church than they ever felt before. Hence formists. 
Dissent has become political, putting the disestablishment of the 
Church of England before it as one of the ends of its work, side 
by side with its spiritual aims. 

The fear that the Tractarian movement would lead to 
widespread conversions to Romanism turned out to be unjusti- 
fied. Though a considerable number followed The Ecolesl- 
Newman in the forties, the stream soon slackened, asticai Titles 
Yet for some years the nation was nervously 
anxious about "Papal aggression," and in 1850, when the 
Pope issued a Bull which appointed a hierarchy of bishops and 
archbishops to preside over English sees, the government of Lord 
John Russell passed an " Ecclesiastical Titles Bill," imposing 

1853. Lord Aberdeen's Ministry. 68 1 

any open attempt to reintroduce Protection, and Disraeli's budget 
as Chancellor of the Exchequer was only remarkable for an 
effort to substitute direct for indirect taxation, in opposition to 
the strict rules of Political Economy. 

The general election, which presented the only chance of 
salvation for this weak Tory cabinet, disappointed them deeply. 
They gained a few seats, but not nearly enough to enable them 
to secure a majority in the new House of Commons, and had to 
resign shortly after meeting Parliament. 

To secure any permanent cabinet a coalition was obviously 
necessary, and on Lord Derby's resignation the natural result 
followed. The Peelite Conservatives consented to ThePeeiites 
join the Whigs, and thereby a party with a clear and the wwgs. 
majority was formed. There was nothing strange or at all un- 
worthy in this coalition ; the more advanced Conservatives were 
not separated by any great gulf from men like Palmerston, and 
those other Whigs who thought that reform and change had 
now gone far enough, and that the constitution needed no 
further alteration. Both alike believed in Free Trade ; both were 
zealous for the safe-guarding of English interests abroad ; both 
were opposed to the radical reforms which the more advanced 
wing of the Liberal party were advocating. The Peelites and 
the moderate Whigs were indeed more at home with each other 
than with the more extreme men of their own parties. Ere long 
they coalesced, and as is always the case the larger body 
absorbed the smaller, so that Aberdeen, Gladstone, and their 
followers became ranked as Liberals. 

In the new ministry Lord Aberdeen was chosen as prime 
minister; Gladstone, the great financier of the Peelite party, 
was made Chancellor of the Exchequer ; Russell Lor d Aber- 
and Palmerston patched up their old quarrel for aeen's ministry - 
a space, and took office as Home and Foreign Secretaries ; 
the other posts were equally divided between the two sections of 
the coalition. This cabinet, created by a compromise, and not 
viewed with any great enthusiasm by the nation, was destined 
to chance upon the gravest foreign complication that England 
had known for forty years. 

The disturbing elements in Europe at this moment were two 
in number. The first was the new Emperor of the French, who 
felt his throne unsteady, and thought that it could be best made 

6&2 The Days of Palmer ston. isss. 

firm by a war ; for, as a Bonaparte, he felt that great deeds of 
Louis Napo- arms were expected from him. He was at first un- 
le of tScfzfr 18 decided in his choice of a foe, but events in the East 
Nicholas. of Europe soon settled his resolve. Czar Nicholas 
of Russia had long been eyeing the decrepit Turkish empire 
with greed. He was not satisfied with his gains in the war of 
1828, and thought that his vast army could overrun Turkey 
with ease, if he could be sure that no other European power 
would interfere. He knew that an attack on Turkey might 
be resented by England, France, and Austria ; but he was pre- 
pared to buy them off with a share in the spoil. His point of 
view was well expressed in the phrases which he used to an 
English ambassador in 1853 : "We have on our hands a sick 
man a very sick man ; it would be a great misfortune if, one of 
these days, he should slip away from us before the necessary 
arrangements have been made." Adding that Turkey must 
break up ere long, he offered England, as her share in the^spoil, 
Crete and Egypt. Of course the offer was refused, and the 
indications of the Czar's state of mind on the subject were viewed 
with some dismay. 

The nominal casus belli in the East was a trivial quarrel 
between Greek and Latin monks in Palestine. There were 
The Greek some disputed rights in the Church of the Holy 
and Latin Sepulchre at Jerusalem, and the Church of the 
Russia pr'e- Nativity at Bethlehem, to which both Roman 
pares for war. Catholics and Greek Churchmen have access. " All 
the bloodshed came from a key and a star," as was said at the 
time, the former being the key of the Holy Sepulchre, of which 
the Greek and Latin patriarchs both claimed the custody, the 
latter a large emblem that hung over the altar at Bethlehem. 
When Russia used her power in favour of the Greeks, Louis 
Napoleon, eager to assert the influence of France in the East, 
replied by supporting the Latins. Both threatened the un- 
fortunate Sultan with their displeasure, and when he decided in 
favour of the Romanists, the Czar proceeded to strong measures 
of coercion. He demanded that the Sultan should recognize 
him as the legal protector and guardian of all the Greek 
Christians within the Turkish empire, a preposterous request, 
for to grant it would have been equivalent to giving Russia con- 
trol over the whole of European Turkey. Prince Mentchikoff, 

1853. The Czar declares War on Turkey. 683 

a stern and blustering old general, was sent to Constantinople 
to bring pressure to bear on the Sultan, and soon after, Czar 
Nicholas sent his armies over the Pruth and occupied Moldavia 
and Wallachia, two vassal states of Turkey (July, 1853). 

Now, England had no interest in the foolish quarrel about the 
key and the star, but she was deeply concerned at the occupa- 
tion of Turkish territory by Russian troops, which 

, , i , ~ , -, Palmerston 

foreboded a dash at Constantinople, and an and sir strat- 
attempt to make an end of the Sultan's rule in ford canning-. 
Europe. The Aberdeen cabinet had no intention to go to war 
with Russia, but they could not suffer the Czar's aggression to 
pass unnoticed, and sent off Sir Stratford Canning, an able 
diplomatist, who knew the East better than any other living 
Englishman, to counteract the doings of Prince Mentchikoff on 
the Bosphorus. Stratford Canning was an old enemy of Russia, 
and much trusted by the Sultan, who put himself under his advice, 
and rejected all the demands of Russia. France at the same 
time bade the Sultan stand his ground, for the Emperor was 
set on gaining prestige by checking Russia, and quite ready to 
make war if the Czar would not yield. Palmerston sent direc- 
tions to Stratford Canning to act vigorously on the same lines 
as the French ambassador at Constantinople, and thus England 
was gradually drawn into a hostile attitude towards Russia, 
before Lord Aberdeen and the rest of the ministry had realized 
the drift of the action of their energetic colleague at the Foreign 

The Czar was obstinate, and determined not to yield an inch 
to the threats of Palmerston or Louis Napoleon ; he thought 
England would not fight, and he despised the brand- 
new Emperor at Paris. On November i, 1853, he clares war on 
declared war on Turkey, and a few days later his 
troops crossed the Danube, while his fleet destroyed a Turkish 
squadron at Sinope, and got complete control of the Black Sea. 

This violent action put the Aberdeen cabinet in great pertur- 
bation of spirit ; they did not want to declare war on Russia ; 
yet they had gone so far in opposing the Czar, that England and 
they could not retire from their position without France join the 
deep humiliation. Even yet they might have drawn 
back, if Lord Palmerston had not threatened to resign unless 
strong measures were taken. Yielding to him, the ministers 

684 The Days of Palmerston. 1354. 

consented to join the French Emperor in sending an ultimatum 
to St. Petersburg, menacing war unless the Russian troops were 
withdrawn from Turkish soil. Nicholas I. proved recalcitrant, 
and only ordered his armies to press the sieges of the fortresses 
of Bulgaria which they were beleaguering. Accordingly Eng- 
land and France declared war on him on March 27, 1854. 

Thus England had been drawn into a dangerous struggle with 
the most powerful monarch in Europe, before her ministers well 

Want of realized what they were doing. She was utterly 
military prepa- unprepared for war. The army was weak in 

England. numbers, and had been woefully neglected for the 
last forty years. It had seen no fighting with a European foe 
since Waterloo, and had quite lost the habit of taking the field. 
Accustomed to barrack life in England, the men found them- 
selves entirely at a loss when landed on the shores of the Black 
Sea, and showed little power to shift for themselves. A great 
proportion of the officers were ignorant of all their duties, save 
that of facing the enemy with the old English courage. The 
commissariat service and the other branches of supply proved 
hopelessly incompetent to keep the army well fed or well clothed. 
To add to the other misfortunes of England, the leaders of the 
army were unwisely chosen. The command was given to Lord 
Raglan, an amiable but worn-out veteran of sixty-six, who had 
served as Wellington's aide-de-camp in Spain ; many of the 
divisional commanders owed their place to influence or interest, 
rather than to proved competence in war. Sir Colin Campbell, 
who had won a great reputation in India, was one of the few 
among them who thoroughly deserved his place. 

With some difficulty, an expeditionary force of 28,000 men 
was collected and sent to the East ; they landed at Varna, on 
Sebastopoito tne Black Sea, and joined a French army 
be attacked. o f about the same strength. But it was found 
that they were not needed on the Danube. The Turks had 
already thrust the Russians out of Bulgaria, and the Czar's 
forces were in retreat towards the Pruth. It thus became 
necessary to settle on some plan of offensive operations against 
Russia, which the English and French governments had not 
hitherto contemplated. Russia is only open to attack from the 
water on two points, the Baltic and the Black Sea, and the 
allies were almost committed to making their main attack on 

1854. The Battle of the Alma. 685 

the latter field, as they had already sent their armies in that 
direction. It was resolved, therefore, to despatch a powerful fleet 
to the Baltic to threaten St. Petersburg, but to confine serious 
operations to the Black Sea. There the easiest point of attack 
was the great naval fortress of Sebastopol, in the Crimea, the 
stronghold and arsenal of the Russian fleet. Its destruction 
would inflict a great blow on the Czar, and its capture seemed 
easy owing to its remoteness from the centres of Russian 

Accordingly the allied armies, somewhat more than 50,000 
strong, sailed from Varna on September 7, 1854, and landed on 
the western shore of the Crimea, thirty miles north of Sebastopol, 
a few days later. The expedition was very late in starting ; it 
should have sailed in July, and would then have found the 
Russians unprepared. As it was, Prince MentchikorT, now com- 
manding in the Crimea, had got wind of the intention of the 
allies, and hastily taken measures to strengthen his position. 

Advancing very slowly towards Sebastopol, the English and 
French armies found Mentchikoff with 40,000 men drawn up 
behind the river Alma, in a lofty position Battle of the 
strengthened with entrenchments. The allied Alma, 
generals won the battle that ensued, but their victory was not 
the reward of their own good generalship. Raglan and the 
French general St. Arnaud did not get on well together, and 
the latter showed from the first a tendency to throw the heavier 
work of the campaign on the English. Half of the French 
army executed a long flank march by the sea-shore, and never 
fired a shot in the action. The remaining half allowed them- 
selves to be checked for some time by the Russian left wing, a 
force of very inferior strength. Meanwhile the English advanced 
against the hostile centre and right ; their front line outran its 
supports, crossed the river with a rush, and captured the chief 
redoubt on the opposite bank. But, assailed by the main body 
of the enemy, it was compelled to fall back, and the heights had 
to be stormed for a second time by the belated English reserves, 
which came up at last and swept all before them. Thus the 
fight was won, without any co-operation from the two com- 
manders-in-chief : for St. Arnaud was too ill to follow the 
fortunes of the day ; while Lord Raglan had blindly ridden 
forward, lost touch with his men, and blundered by mistake 


The Days of Palmers/on. 


into the rear of the Russian position, where he might easily 
have been taken prisoner (September 20, 1854). 

As the French, who had done hardly any fighting, refused to 
pursue, while the English were worn out, the Russian army got 
away without being completely destroyed, though the deadly 
musketry of the English infantry had fearfully thinned its ranks. 
The allies followed at a very slow pace ; if they had hurried on 

they might have captured Sebastopol at once. But St. Arnaud 
was dying, and Lord Raglan could not goad the French into 
action. Even when they approached the fortress, an extra- 
ordinary caution and lack of enterprise was displayed. Ment- 
chikorT had retired into the interior with his army, and left the 
town to an improvised garrison of sailors and militia, so that it 
could probably have been stormed offhand. 

1884. The Charge of the Six Hundred. 687 

But the allies sat down before the place to besiege it in full 
form, and allowed the great engineer Todleben to cover its weak 
defences with a screen of improvised earthworks TJie sie&e of 
which daily grew more formidable. Mentchikoff sebastopoi. 
came back with his army when he saw that Sebastopoi could 
resist, and as Russian reinforcements kept pouring in, the de- 
fenders soon outnumbered the beleaguering force. 

The position of the English and French grew daily more 
unsatisfactory. They were only blockading the southern half of 
the town, for they were not numerous enough to encircle the 
two sides of Sebastopoi harbour. They had chosen to occupy 
the bleak peninsula of the Chersonese, where neither food nor 
fodder could be got, and had no power to make raids into the 
interior for supplies. The English had to bring their stores up 
from the small harbour of Balaclava, six miles from the trenches, 
and much exposed to the danger of an attack from the east. 

Finding that the bombardment by land and sea was doing no 
harm, and seeing that they were gradually beginning to out- 
number the besiegers, the Russians resolved to Baiaciava.- 
make an attack against the English communi- The t e a g5 f 
cations. The battle of Balaclava resulted from Hundred, 
an attempt made by a large hostile force to seize Balaclava, 
which was only protected by two weak brigades of English 
cavalry, 150x3 sabres in all, a single regiment of Highland 
infantry, and 3000 Turks. General. Liprandi, with 20,000 men, 
came down towards the harbour, drove the Turkish auxiliaries 
from some weak redoubts, and pushed onward. His advance 
was stopped by the gallant charge of General Scarlett's brigade 
of dragoons, led by the Scots Greys and Inniskillens, who rode 
down a force of three times their own numbers, and gave the 
English commander time to hurry up reinforcements from his 
siege-lines. The Russians, staggered by the desperate attack of 
the " Heavy Brigade," halted, and began to draw back. Then 
occurred a dismal blunder : Lord Raglan sent orders for the 
remainder of the English cavalry, the " Light Brigade," to 
" advance and prevent the enemy from carrying off the guns," 
meaning the guns in the redoubts which the Turks had lost in 
the morning. Lord Lucan, the chief of the English cavalry, 
stupidly or wilfully misunderstood the order, and sent the 
Light Brigade to charge a battery in position which formed the 

638 The Days of Palmer ston. 1854. 

centre of the Russian host. Accordingly the five weak regiments 
of light cavalry only 670 sabres in all which formed Lord 
Cardigan's brigade, deliberately and without supports attacked 
a whole army. They rode for a mile and a half through a 
tempest of shells and bullets, captured the Russian battery, 
routed the troops in support of it, and then for want of help 
from the rear were forced to retreat by the same way they had 
come, through a second hail of fire. Out of the famous " Six 
Hundred," 113 had been killed, and 134 wounded. The charge 
was absolutely useless, for Lord Raglan did not proceed to follow 
it up by an infantry attack, though the Russians had been greatly 
cowed by the frantic courage of the Light Brigade, and would 
certainly have made off if they had been threatened with more 
fighting. So the battle ended unsatisfactorily for both parties ; 
for though Balaclava was saved, yet the Russians remained in 
a position which constantly threatened it with a new attack 
(October 25). 

Prince Mentchikoff was far from being discouraged by the 
result of the fight, and, when fresh reinforcements joined him, 

Battle of resolved to try another assault on the right flank 
inkerman. of the English. This time it was their siege-lines 
which were to be attacked under cover of the night. Two great 
columns, mustering more than 40,000 men, secretly assembled 
opposite the extreme right of the English lines, one coming from 
Sebastopol, the other from the open country. A thick fog com- 
pletely hid them from the English, and they were attacking the 
camp of the second division almost before their arrival was sus- 
pected. There followed the fight of Inkerman, " the soldiers' 
battle," as it was called, for the men, surprised in their tents, 
turned out without orders and almost without guidance, and 
flung themselves recklessly on the advancing enemy. Arriving 
in scattered companies and wings, each regiment attacked the 
first foe it met, and for six hours a desperate fight went on all 
over Mount Inkerman. In the fog no one knew where or with 
what numbers he was fighting, but the general result of the 
battle was all that could have been desired. Every time that 
the dark masses of the enemy surged up against the crest of the 
English position, they were dashed down the hillside by the 
desperate valour of the thin line of defenders. When towards 
midday some French reinforcements came up, the Russians 

1656. The Crimean Winter. 6^9 

withdrew, leaving the ground covered with their dead. It was 
only when the fight was over that the victors realized that 8000 
English, aided late in the day by 6000 French, had defeated 
an army of more than 40,000 men, and slain or wounded more 
than 10,000 of them. The heavy English loss of 2300 men was 
not too great a price to pay for the self-confidence and feeling of 
superiority over their enemies which the victory of Inkerman 
gave to the conquerors (November 5, 1854). 

Sebastopol might perhaps have fallen if vigorously attacked 
the day after Inkerman, but the English and French commanders 
did not call on their wearied troops for another sufferings of 
effort, and the siege dragged on into the winter the troops, 
with the most disastrous results. The army had only been 
equipped for a short campaign, and no account had been made 
of the bitter cold of the Crimea. All the commissariat horses 
and mules died, and the supplies had to be brought up from 
Balaclava for six miles on the backs of the wearied soldiery. 
Food ran short, the flimsy tents gave no shelter against the 
storms and snow, and the men were stricken down in hundreds 
by cold and disease. An unlucky storm sank the ships which 
were bringing warm clothing, and in January, 1855, Lord 
Raglan had to report to London that the army comprised 
11,000 men under arms and 13,000 in hospital. The French 
suffered hardly less, but the Emperor continued sending out 
reinforcements, which kept up their numbers, while the English 
army had no reserves, and could not be quickly recruited. 

When the miserable state of the army in the Crimea became 
known in England, owing mainly to the reports of newspaper 
correspondents, a howl of wrath was raised against Resignation of 
the men who were responsible for the want and Lord Aberdeen, 
starvation which our troops were enduring. Part of the misery, 
it is true, was due merely to the inexperience of the English in 
war ; but much more was owing to the inconsiderate slackness 
and folly of the home authorities, who were responsible for 
feeding and clothing the army. Almost incredible tales are 
told of the combination of parsimony and extravagance, 
red-tape and ignorance, which ruined our army. The nation 
called for scapegoats, and, in deference to its clamour, the 
prime minister, Lord Aberdeen, and the war minister, the 
Duke of Newcastle, resigned their offices. They were only 

2 Y 

6 go The Days of Palmer ston. 1355. 

guilty of being unable to control their inefficient and ignorant 

When Lord Aberdeen retired, he was succeeded by the brisk and 
vigorous Palmerston, the soul of the war-party, who managed to 
iLord Palmer- infuse a share of his own energy into the struggle, 
ston premier. Supplies and recruits were poured into the 
Crimea a railway was built from Balaclava to the front ; and 
the hospitals, where the sick and wounded were dying by 
thousands, were reformed, and entrusted with success to Florence 
Nightingale and her volunteer nurses, who came out to supple- 
ment the inadequate staff that the government had provided. 

Soon the English had nearly 40,000 men in the Crimea, while 

the French Emperor had raised his troops to 100,000. Further 

victor was S* ven to t ^ ie ames by Sardinia, whose king 

Emmanuel Victor Emmanuel, following the old tradition of 

joins the allies. the house of SavQVj wag eager , Q take part Qn the 

stronger side in a great war. His object was partly to gain the 
gratitude of France, partly to display the strength of his warlike 
little kingdom in the councils of Europe. 

The Russians were now feeling the war bear hardly upon 

them. Their supplies and reinforcements had to be brought 

from vast distances, and there were as yet no rail- 

of thfcLr ways or even good roads over the steppes of 

Nicholas. Southern Russia. So toilsome was the winter 

march to the Crimea, that a quarter of the troops sent thither 

are said to have fallen by the way. The Czar Nicholas died in 

February, heart-broken by the utter failure of his armies ; but 

his successor, Alexander II., was too proud to ask for peace on 

such terms as the allies offered negociations at Vienna for this 

purpose completely failed. The young Czar was induced to 

persevere only by the obstinate courage with which the garrison 

of Sebastopol held out, guided by the great engineer Todleben, 

who had so strengthened the defences of the place that nothing 

but a few outlying redoubts had yet fallen into the allies' hands. 

On June 18, 1855, the allies tried a general assault on the 

fortress, which failed with heavy loss. Soon after Lord Raglan 

Fail of died, worn out by responsibility and by the know- 

Sebastopoi, ledge that he was much criticized at home. He was 
replaced by General Simpson: the French commander Canrobert 
was at the same time superseded by Marshal Pelissier, a rough 

lees. Fall of Sebastopol. 691 

soldier who did not err from over-caution like his predecessor. 
On September 8, the new leaders ordered a general assault on 
the eastern front of Sebastopol, the French taking as their 
goal the Malakoff, and the English the Redan, two forts which 
formed the keys of the line of defence. The English assault was 
beaten off ; though the stormers actually got inside the Redan, 
they were too few to hold their ground. But Pelissier launched 
more than 20,000 men against the Malakoff, and carried it by 
a bold rush. The loss of this all-important fort broke the 
Russians' line ; in the following night they set fire to Sebastopol 
and retired across the harbour, abandoning the town to the 

After this disaster the Czar was forced to bow to circumstances, 
and sued for peace. This the Emperor of the French was ready 
to grant on easy terms, for he was satisfied with The Treaty of 
the prestige that he had acquired by his victory, Paris, 
and did not wish to make Russia his enemy for ever. England 
was desirous of going on with the war, to make a thorough end 
of the aggressive and despotic empire of the Czars. But when 
her ally refused to continue the struggle, she was forced to join 
in the general pacification, though Palmerston declared that 
Russia was only scotched, and would be as powerful as ever in 
ten years a true prophecy. By the treaty of Paris (March, 
1856) the Czar engaged to cede to Turkey a small strip of terri- 
tory at the mouth of the Danube, to keep no war-fleet in the 
Black Sea, and to leave Sebastopol dismantled. The Sultan 
undertook to grant new rights and liberties to his Christian 
subjects a promise most inadequately fulfilled. The oppor- 
tunity was taken, at the same time, to settle an old and long- 
disputed question of maritime law. England and the other powers 
agreed for the future that privateering in time of war should be 
abolished, and that the neutral flag should cover all goods from 
seizure, except military stores and other munitions of war. 

The peace of Paris settled nothing. The late war had dis- 
abled Russia for ten or fifteen years, and the Eastern question 
did not begin to grow dangerous again till after 1870. But 
Turkey was no stronger for all the support that she had 
received ; the Sultan's government was hopelessly effete, and 
when next Russia began to move, the doom of the Turkish power 
in Europe was near at hand. 

692 The Days of Paimerston. 

But few men in England understood that the Eastern question 
had only been shelved for a few years. Proud of the valour 
supremacy of which the army had displayed, and fondly hoping 
Paimerston. that the weak points of our military system had 
now been discovered and remedied, the nation gave all its 
confidence to the minister who had brought the war to what 
was considered a successful conclusion. Paimerston stayed 
in power for the remaining ten years of his life, save for one 
short interval in 1858-59. He was, as we have already had 
occasion to remark, less fond of constitutional changes than any 
other man in the Whig party. He thought that little more 
remained to be done in matters of internal reform, and used his 
influence to check the more progressive members of his cabinet. 
As long as he held office, questions of domestic importance were 
entirely subordinated to matters of foreign policy. 

Paimerston was right in thinking that our external relations 
were likely to be difficult and dangerous during the next few 
years. The selfish and unscrupulous designs of Louis Napoleon 
were a disturbing element in Europe so long as the Second 
Empire lasted, and a watchful eye was always needed to look 
after England's interests. 

Meanwhile there were other complications further afield which 
required attention. The Crimean war was hardly over before 

war with England found herself involved in two little wars 
Persia. j n the East. One of them was a direct con- 
sequence of the great struggle with the Czar in 1854-55. was still in progress, the Shah of Persia had behaved 
with scant courtesy to the British minister at his court, thinking 
that England was too much engrossed in the strife in Europe .to 
resent his conduct. Finally, he had invaded Afghanistan fcnd 
taken Herat, though warned that such action meant war, for, as 
Persia was now under Russian influence, this advance toward 
India could not be tolerated. In the autumn of 1856 Lord 
Paimerston thought that England was at leisure to chastise the 
Persians. An army from India was landed at Bushire ; it beat 
the Shah's troops at the battle of Kooshaub, and occupied most 
of the ports of Southern Persia. Thus brought to reason, 
Nasr-ud-din asked for peace, and obtained it on evacuating 
Herat (March, 1857). That he chose to sue for terms at this 
moment chanced to be most fortunate for England 1 , for the 

1859. The * Conspiracy to Murder^ Bill. 693 

army which returned from Persia was sorely needed in India, 
to take part in subduing the great mutiny in that country, which 
we shall have to notice in another chapter. 

The second little war in which the English were engaged in 
1857 was with China. The mandarins of Canton had seized a 
small trading vessel, the Arrow, flying the war with 
British flag, and imprisoned the crew. Lord China. 
Palmerston never endured for a moment high-handed acts 
committed by a barbarous power. He declared war, sent an 
army and fleet against China, and seized first the forts which 
command Canton, and afterwards the more important Taku 
forts, which guard the way to Pekin up the Pei-Ho river. 
In the end the British troops, aided by a French force, 
compelled the Emperor of China to pay an indemnity of 
^4,000,000, and to open several ports to English commerce 
(1860). The length of the second Chinese war resulted from the 
distraction of the English arms to the great mutiny in India. 
If that struggle had not been raging, the forces of the effete 
Eastern power would have been crushed much sooner. 

Long before the end of this weary little war, the attention of the 
English government was called back to affairs in Europe. The 
disturbing element was Louis Napoleon, who was Attempted 
once more striving to win personal profit by foster- y(^Son^ 
ing the old quarrels of other nations. He had orsini. 
half promised to do something to deliver the Italians from the 
bitter bondage to Austria which they had endured since 1848. 
But he was weak and vacillating, and dallied so long that some 
Italian exiles, headed by one Orsini, tried in revenge to murder 
him by throwing a bomb into his carriage. 

This attempted assassination led, strange as it may appear, 
to the temporary displacement of Palmerston from power. 
Orsini had formed his plot and made his bombs The <c n- 
in London, and the French government hotly spiracyto 

. . . murder Bill. "- 

pressed for the seizure and extradition of his Palmerston 
accomplices, as would-be murderers. The prime resig-ns. 
minister, who wished to keep on good terms with the Emperor, 
replied by proposing to the English Parliament the " Con- 
spiracy to Murder Bill," which placed political assassination- 
plots among the offences punishable by penal servitude for life, 
whether the crime took place in or out of England. But, 

694 The Days of Palmer ston. 1859. 

unfortunately for Palmerston, the French press, and more 
especially the French army, were using at the time very 
threatening language, which was deeply resented on this side of 
the Channel. Special offence was given by an address to the 
Emperor by certain French colonels, which asked him to permit 
his army to " destroy the infamous haunt in which machinations 
so infernal are hatched." The opposition charged Palmerston 
with cringing to the angry clamour of France, though the 
Conspiracy Bill in itself was a rational measure enough. The 
unfounded charge shook for a moment the confidence which 
the nation and the House of Commons felt in the old minister. 
His bill was thrown out, and he resigned (February, 1858). 

No Liberal ministry could be formed without Palmerston's 
aid; so the Queen sent for the Conservatives. Lord Derby 
Lord Derby in and Mr. Disraeli took office, as they had done 
rae^kSorm in l8 52, though they had not a majority in 
BUI. Parliament to back them. As on the previous 
occasion, their ministry was merely a stop-gap, doomed from 
the first to a speedy end. They clung to office till 1858 had 
passed by, and well into the following year. Disraeli, who was, 
as he said, trying hard to "educate his party," strove to win 
popular favour by showing that the Conservatives could be 
friends of domestic reform and progress as much as the Liberals. 
He brought in a Reform Bill, extending the household fran- 
chise both in town and country, but giving extra votes to persons 
of education and property. This very rational measure was 
greeted with derision by the Liberals, who called the new qualifi- 
cations for voters which Disraeli wished to introduce "fancy 
franchises," and insisted on keeping to the old idea, which made 
householding alone the test of citizenship. 

The Reform Bill dropped, but the Conservatives, in their short 
term of power, conferred one great boon on the nation by 
The Volunteer encouraging and organizing the " Volunteer 

Movement. Movement." The angry language of the French 
army at the time of the Orsini plot had provoked both resent- 
ment and alarm in England. To guard against the peril of 
sudden invasion, it was felt that the small regular army and 
the militia were not numerous enough. Accordingly men of all 
classes came forward and formed themselves into volunteer 
corps, like the old levies of 1803. They undertook to arm 

i860. The Liberation of Italy. 695 

and train themselves at their own expense, and to take the 
field for the defence of the realm, whenever peril of invasion 
should arise. The Derby government encouraged this patriotic 
scheme : 170,000 men were enrolled in the year 1859, an d the 
Volunteer force, though at first it was hampered by the red 
tape of the War Office, and somewhat derided by the regulars, 
has taken a fixed and valuable place in the national line of 

Fortunately, the French scare had soon blown over. Louis 
Napoleon was scheming against Austria, not against England. 
The great Sardinian statesman Cavour had Na poieon and 
induced him to pledge himself to deliver Italy the Italians, 
from its oppressors, and after much vacillation the Emperor 
declared war on Francis Joseph II., and sent his armies over 
the Alps. He beat the Austrians at Magenta and Solferino, 
and the Italians vainly hoped that he would aid them to set up 
a kingdom of United Italy. But he suddenly stopped short 
after rescuing Lombardy alone, and made peace with the 
Austrian enemy. Lombardy was united to Sardinia, but the 
selfish and greedy Emperor took Nice and Savoy from his own 
ally in return for his aid, and refused to free Central or Southern 
Italy. Abandoned by him, the Italians delivered themselves. 
Sudden insurrections drove out the foreign rulers of Tuscany, 
Parma, and Modena, and the hero Garibaldi expelled the 
Bourbons from Naples and Sicily. Thus a kingdom of Italy 
was created in spite of the French Emperor (1860-1). But he sent 
troops to Rome to guard the Pope, and would not permit Cavour 
and Garibaldi to complete their work by adding the ancient 
capital to the dominions of Victor Emmanuel. 

Long ere the Italian war was over, Lord Derby's Conserva- 
tive government had been defeated, and had retired from 
office. Palmerston's doings of 1858 had quickly p a imerston re- 
been forgiven and forgotten by the nation, and turns to power, 
he returned to office, which he held till his death six years 

It was well that his strong and practised hand should be at 
the helm, for the years 1860-65 were full of delicate problems 
of foreign policy, which more than once brought Tne American 
England within measurable distance of war. A civU war - 
most formidable difficulty cropped up when the great civil war 

696 The Days of Palmerston. isei. 

across the Atlantic broke out in 1861. The Southern States 
.seceded from the Union, and proclaimed themselves independent 
under the name of the Confederate States of America. Their 
avowed reason for separating themselves from the North was 
that the Federal government, under Northern control, was 
infringing the rights of the individual States to self-govern- 
ment. But old sectional jealousies, and especially the fear of 
the Southern planters that the Northerners would interfere with 
their " great domestic institution," negro slavery, were really at 
the bottom of the quarrel. 

English opinion was much divided on the subject of the 
American civil war. It was urged, on the one hand, that the 
Attitude of North were fighting for the cause of liberty against 
Se?zu?<f of the s l averv '> an( l this idea affected many earnest- 
Trent." minded men to the exclusion of any other con- 
sideration. On the other side, it was urged that the Southern 
States were exercising an undoubted constitutional rightJn 
severing themselves from the UmonTanoTlhis was true enough 
in itself. It was certain that the Southerners, who wished for 
Free Trade, were likely to be better friends of England than the 
i *^- protectionist North, which had always shown a bitter jealousy 
of English commerce. Many men were moved by the rather 
unworthy consideration that America was growing so strong 
and populous that she might one day become " the bully of the 
world," and welcomed a convulsion that threatened to split the 
Union into two hostile halves. Others illogically sympathized 
with the South merely because it was the weaker side, or because 
they thought the Southern planters better men than the hard 
and astute traders of the North. The Palmerston cabinet, with 
great wisdom, tried to steer a middle course and to avoid all 
interference. But when eleven powerful States joined in seceding, 
they thought themselves bound to recognize them as a belligerent 
power, and to treat them as a nation. This gave bitter offence 
to the North, and war nearly followed, for a United States 
cruiser in 1862 stopped the British steamer Trent, and took 
from her by force two envoys whom the Confederates were 
sending to Europe. This flagrant violation of the law of nations 
roused Lord Palmerston to vigorous action : he began sending 
troops to Canada, and demanded the restoration of the envoys 
]Vlason and $lidell under pain of war. President Lincoln and his 

i86s. The Lancashire Cotton-Famine. 697 

advisers hesitated for a moment, but gave up their prisoners with 
a bad grace just as war seemed inevitable. Naturally this 
incident did not make the English people love the North any 

Another cause of friction was destined to give trouble long 
after the civil war had ended. The United States ambassador 

in London summoned the English government to 

... r , . . . . The Alabama, 

prevent the sailing from Liverpool of a vessel 

called the Alabama, which, as he declared, had been bought by 
the Confederates, and was destined to be used by them as a 
war-ship. The cabinet were somewhat slow in ordering the 
detention of the Alabama, which hurriedly put to sea, and 
justified the fears of the American minister by seizing and 
burning many scores of Northern vessels. This damage to 
commerce was charged to the account of England by the 
government of President Lincoln, and probably they had some 
ground for accusing the English officials of slackness. The 
grudge was carefully nursed in America, and put to good use 
when the war was over. 

But the most painful form in which the American quarrel 
affected England was the dreadful cotton famine in Lancashire, 
which set in as the year 1862 wore on. The The cotton 
English mills had always subsisted on the cotton famine, 
of the Southern States, and when the strict blockade instituted 
by the Northerners sealed up New Orleans, Charleston, and the 
other cotton ports, England suffered terribly for the want of raw 
material to keep her mills going. The mill-hands bore the 
stoppage of their work and wages with great courage and 
resignation, but they lived for months on the verge of starvation. 
A disaster as great as the Irish potato famine of 1846 was only 
prevented by lavish private charity, which sent ,2,000,000 to 
the distressed districts of Lancashire, supplemented by the wise 
measures of the Government, who worked so well that hardly a 
life was lost in spite of the pinching poverty of the times. Cotton 
was at last brought from Egypt and India in quantities sufficient 
to set the mills going again, and by 1863 the worst of the trouble 
was over. In 1865 the Southern States were conquered, and 
the American cotton once more came in. 

Wars nearer home were meanwhile beginning to distract the 
attention of the English from America. A quarrel between the 

698 The Days of Palmer ston. ises. 

King of Denmark and his German subjects in the duchies of 
Schleswig and Holstein led to the interference of 
and the Danish Austria and Prussia. The inhabitants of the two 
duchies. duchies wished to cut themselves loose, and to join 
Germany. Bismarck, the iron-handed prime minister of Prussia, 
saw his way to make profit for his country out of the war, and 
induced the unwise Austrian government to join him in bringing 
force to bear against the Danes. The English looked upon the 
struggle as a mere case of bullying by the two German powers, 
and Palmerston used somewhat threatening language against 
them ; but when he found that his usual ally, the Emperor of 
the French, was not prepared to help him, he drew back, and 
allowed the Austrians and Prussians to overrun the duchies. 
Beaten in the field, the Danish king had to consent to their 

To protest, and then to make no attempt to back up words 

with deeds, is somewhat humiliating. But this course was 

Palmerston f rce d on Palmerston not only in the case of the 

and the Polish Schleswig-Holstein war, but also in the case of 

insurrection. Poland in the same year (1863). Treating the 

unfortunate Poles with even more than its usual rigour, the 
Russian government forced them to a fierce but hopeless insur- 
rection. Palmerston sent a note to the Czar in favour of better 
treatment of Poland, but met with a rebuff, and was practically 
told to mind his own business. Not being ready to engage in 
a second Crimean war without Louis Napoleon's aid, he had to 
endure the affront. He was much censured for his useless inter- 
ference, but it is hard to blame him either for his protest, or for 
his refusal to follow it up by plunging England into a dangerous 

While these foreign affairs were engrossing most of the nation's 
attention, domestic matters caused little stir. After the cotton 
Prosperity at f amme ended, the country entered into a cycle of 
home.-Rise of very considerable growth and prosperity. Glad- 
>ne ' stone, once a Peelite, but now one of the most 
advanced of the progressive wing of the Liberal party, was now 
Chancellor of the Exchequer. Year after year he was able to 
announce a surplus, and to grant the remission of old taxes. 
His measures were judicious, but the constant growth of the 
revenue from increased prosperity, and the conclusion of a 

1865. The Death of Palmer ston. 699 

fortunate commercial treaty with France, were the real causes of 
his being able to produce his favourable budgets, and won him 
a financial reputation at a comparatively cheap expense of 
labour. But his name was rapidly growing greater, and it was 
beginning to be clear that he would be Palmerston's successor 
as leader of the Liberal party. The old premier did not view 
this prospect with much satisfaction. " Whenever he gets my 
place," he observed, " we shall have strange doings." 

The succession was not long delayed. Lord Palmerston died 
on October 18, 1865, and, on the removal of his restraining 
hand, the Liberal party began to show new and Death of 
rapid signs of change. For the first time it was Palmerston. 
about, under the guidance of its new leader, ffo frankly ^ accept 
the principles of democracy, and to throw up its old alliance 
with the middle classes. Palmerston had been for so many 
years the leading figure in English politics, that his death, at the 
ripe age of eighty-one, seemed to end an epoch in domestic 
history. He was by far the most striking personage in the middle 
years of the century. Faults he had : somewhat over-hasty in 
action, somewhat flippant in language on occasion, too self- 
confident and too prone to self-laudation, he was yet so resource- 
ful and so full of courage and patriotism that he won and merited 
the confidence of the nation more than any minister since the 
younger Pitt. 

( 7o ) 





THE death of Lord Palmerston forms a convenient point at 
which to draw the line between the earlier and the later history 
of the two great English political parties. Down to 1865, the 
Liberals and the Conservatives alike retained in a great measure 
the characteristics of their forefathers the Whigs and Tories. 
The Liberal host was still largely officered from the old aristo- 
cratic Whig houses ; many of its members disliked and dis- 
trusted democracy, and thought that in all essential things the 
constitution had reached a point at which it needed no further 
reform. As long as Palmerston lived, there was no chance that 
the more militant and progressive wing of the Liberals would 
draw the whole party into the paths of Radicalism. In a similar 
way, the Conservative party still kept somewhat of the old Tory 
intolerance and inflexibility, though for the last twenty years 
the younger of its two chiefs, Benjamin Disraeli, had been 
striving hard to guide it into new lines of thought. 

After 1865 the new Liberalism and the new Conservatism came 
into direct opposition, personified in the two men who were soon 
The New to ta ^ e U P ^ Q leadership of the two parties 
Liberalism. Gladstone and Disraeli. Liberalism when divested 
of its Whiggery was practically Radicalism. Its younger 
exponents took up as their official programme the ideas that 
had been afloat for the last forty years in the brains of the more 
extreme section of their party. Their main aim was the trans- 
ference of political power from the middle classes to the masses, 
by means of a wide extension of the franchise ; the new voters 
were to be made worthy of the trust by compulsory national 


Gladstone and Disraeli. 701 

education, while to guard them against influences from without, 
the secret ballot one of the old Chartist panaceas was to 
be introduced. 

The party which proclaimed itself the friend of democracy was 
bound to promise tangible benefits to the working classes. But 
the Liberals were still divided on the question of the gtate interfer- 
advisability of State interference in the private life ence and 
of the citizen. The younger men were already " laissezfaire -" 
dreaming of " paternal legislation " for the amelioration by law 
of the conditions of life among the poorer classes, hoping to 
secure them cheap food, healthy dwellings, shorter hours of labour, 
and opportunities of recreation and culture by means of State 
aid and public money. But in the sixties the "Manchester 
School," as the adherents of laissez faire and strict political 
economy were called, was still predominant, and social legis- 
lation and extensive State interference were not yet enrolled 
among the official doctrines of the Liberal party. Its war-cry 
at election time was " Peace, retrenchment, and reform." The 
first cry was one that had not been so much heard in Palmerston's 
day, but on his death his successors showed themselves very 
cautious in dealing with all foreign powers. Moreover, they 
wished to win popularity by cheap government, a thing incom- 
patible with a spirited foreign policy. Their opponents accused 
them of allowing the army and navy to grow too weak, and of 
being compelled in consequence to assume a meek tone in 
dealing with the powers whom Palmerston had been wont to 
beard and threaten. Wrapped up in their schemes of domestic 
reform, they gave comparatively little attention to external 

The new Conservatism of which Disraeli was the exponent 
was a creed of a very different kind. It was the aim of that 
statesman to lay the foundations of his party on Tlie New 
a combination of social reform and national pa- conservatism, 
triotism. Since his first appearance in Parliament, he had 
striven to persuade the people that the Conservatives were truer 
friends of the masses than the Liberals. The latter, he main- 
tained, offered them barren political privileges ; the former were 
ready to aid them by benevolent legislation to secure a practical 
amelioration of the conditions of their life. They would govern 
for the people, if not by the people. 

702 Democracy and Imperialism. isee. 

Even in the direction of enlarging the franchise, Disraeli was 
prepared to go far, though at first he shrank from granting so 
Disraeli and niuch as his rivals, and wished to give an extra 
Reform. voting power to education and wealth. 
But the feature of the new Conservatism which was most 
attractive to the public was one of which Palmerston would 
Disraeli and nave thoroughly approved. Disraeli had a great 
imperialism, confidence in the imperial destiny of Great Britain, 
and a firm belief that she ought to take a bold and decided part 
in the councils of Europe. With this end in view, he was 
anxious to keep our armed strength high, and his expenditure 
on military and naval objects was dne of the things most 
frequently thrown in his teeth by his opponents. The Liberals 
accused him of a tendency towards " Imperialism," meaning, 
apparently, to ascribe some discredit to him thereby. He himself 
never denied the charge, but made his boast of it, though in his 
mouth it had another shade of meaning. To the Liberals it 
meant presumption, a love of show and of sounding titles, a 
readiness to annex to the right hand and the left, a proneness to 
intervene in foreign quarrels, "a policy of bluster," in short. 
But in the mouth of its exponents Imperialism meant a desire 
to knit more closely together Great Britain and her colonies ; to 
treat the empire as a whole, and to govern it without any slavish 
subservience to the " parochial politics " of England ; to make 
the British name respected by civilized and feared by barbarous 

At the opening of the new period, therefore, the nation was 
about to be confronted by two rivals, one of whom offered it 
internal political reform, the other imperial greatness. But at 
first the issues were not clear ; the two parties were still, to a 
certain extent, draped in the remnants of the old wardrobe of 
Whiggery and Toryism. Till these were torn away, the meaning 
of the new movements could not be distinctly seen. 

On Palmerston's death, the leadership of his cabinet fell to 

the aged Lord John now Earl Russell. His accession to power 

Lord was fll we d by the bringing forward of the first 

John Russell of the Reform Bills which were to occupy the fore- 

The Reform front of English politics for the next three years. 

BUI of 1866. j t was proposed to reduce the qualification for the 
franchise to the possession of a ^14 holding in the counties, 

1867. Disraeli's Reform Bill. 703 

and a j house in the boroughs. Lord Derby and his Con- 
servative followers opposed it, though Disraeli had long ago 
pointed out that a Reform Bill of some sort was inevitable. 
But the Tories were strengthened by seceders from the minis- 
terial camp, followers of the old Palmerstonian policy, who hated 
the idea of unrestrained democracy. By their aid the bill was 
thrown out, and Lord John Russell immediately resigned (June, 

For the third time, Lord Derby and Disraeli were charged 
with the thankless task of forming a ministry, though they had 
only a minority in the House of Commons to back Ministry of 
them. On this occasion they were destined to stay Lord Derby, 
in office for more than two years (June, i866-December, 1868), 
a far longer period of power than they had enjoyed in 1852 
and 1858-9. Apparently Disraeli, into whose hands the age and 
failing health of Lord Derby were throwing more and more of 
the real guidance of the party, had resolved to imitate the action 
of William Pitt in 1784 to display to the nation his readiness to 
take in hand all rational and moderate measures of reform, and 
then to appeal to the country at a general election. 

Accordingly, in the spring of 1867 he introduced a series of 
resolutions, pledging his party to pass a Reform Bill, but 
announcing that he should stipulate for the " fancy Disraeli's 
franchises " on which the Conservatives had laid Deform BUI. 
such stress during previous discussions of the question. Persons 
(i) owning ^30 in the savings bank, or (2) ^50 invested in 
Government funds, or (3) paying i a year and over in direct 
taxes, or (4) possessed of a superior education, were to have a 
second vote. In spite of these safeguards, the more unbending 
Conservatives refused to follow Disraeli, and their chiefs, Lord 
Carnarvon and Lord Cranborne (the present Marquis of Salis- 
bury) seceded from the cabinet. The bill was introduced, but 
the Liberal majority cut it about by all manner of amendments, 
and utterly refused to accept the " fancy franchises." Forced to 
choose between dropping the bill altogether and resigning, or 
passing the bill shorn of all its safeguards against the intro- 
duction of pure democracy, Disraeli chose the latter alternative, 
and " took the leap in the dark," as was said at the time. The 
bill so passed reduced the franchise in town to a rating of .5, 
thus granting what was practically household suffrage, and added 

704 Democracy and Imperialism. 

to the householders all lodgers paying 10 a year. In the 
counties the franchise was lowered to 12. This still left the 
agricultural labourer without a vote, but made electors of well- 
nigh every other class in the kingdom. At the same time thirty- 
five seats were taken away, partly from corrupt boroughs, partly 
from places which had too many members in proportion to their 
size, and were distributed among London and the great northern 
shires, which had been still left much under-represented in the 
redistribution of 1832 (August "15, 1867) 

While the Reform Bill was engrossing the attention of polU 
ticians, the United Kingdom had been passing through a 
The renian dangerous crisis. Ireland, of which little had been 
outbreaks, heard since the Potato Famine and Smith O'Brien's 
rebellion, was once more giving trouble. The end of the 
American Civil War in 1865 had thrown on the world large 
numbers of exiled Irish and Irish-Americans, who had learnt 
the trade of war, and were anxious to let off their energies by an 
'attack on England. It was they who organized the " Fenian 
Brotherhood," a secret association for promoting rebellion in 
Ireland. They planned simultaneous risings all over the country, 
which were to be aided by thousands of trained soldiers from 
America. To distract the attention of the government, an 
invasion of Canada was projected, and a number of outrages 
planned in England itself. The Fenians failed, partly from want 
of organization, partly from shirking at the moment of danger, 
partly from secret traitors in their own ranks. The horde 
which invaded Canada ran away from a few hundred militia. 
The national rising in Ireland was a fiasco : a few police- 
barracks were attacked, but the assailants fled when they 
heard of the approach of regular troops (February, 1867). A 
hare-brained scheme to surprise the store of arms in Chester 
castle failed, because the 1500 men who had secretly assembled 
in that quiet town saw that they were watched by special 
constables. In fact, the only notable achievements of the 
Fenians were two acts of murder. A band of desperadoes in 
Manchester stopped a police-van and rescued two of their 
comrades who were in custody, by killing one and wounding 
'three of the four unarmed policemen who were in charge. A still 
tnore reckless party in London tried to release some friends 
"confined in Clerkenwell prison by exploding a powder-barrel 

1863. Fall of Disraelis First Ministry. 705 

under its wall. This did not injure the prison, but killed or 
wounded more than a hundred peaceable dwellers in the neigh- 
bouring streets (December, 1867). For these murders several 
Fenians were executed. 

The abortive revolt of 1867 called English attention once more 
to Ireland. The Liberal party insisted that the Fenian dis- 
turbance was due not so much to national grudges 
as to certain practical grievances, such as the of the 
existence of the Protestant Established Church 
of Ireland, supported on the tithes of the country, and the 
unsatisfactory condition of the peasantry, still tenants-at-will 
at rack rents, and often in the hands of absentee landlords. 

The experience of the last Zwenty years has shown that 
Irish discontent is far more deeply seated than the Liberals 
supposed. But in 1868 they seriously thought Defeat of the 
that it could be pacified by legislation on these two Government, 
points. Mr. Gladstone selected the Church question as the first 
battle-ground, and carried against the ministry a resolution in 
the Commons, demanding the abolition of the establishment. 
Disraeli, now prime minister in name as well as in fact (for Lord 
Derby had retired from ill health in February, 1868), appealed 
to the country by dissolving Parliament. But the Conservatives 
suffered a decisive defeat at the polls, and were forced to resign 
(December, 1868). 

Abroad the Derby-Disraeli ministry had witnessed one very 
stirring episode of European history, but had not intervened 
in it. In 1866, Count Bismarck guided Prussia The war 
into war with Austria, crushed the great empire p^J^and 
at the battle of Koniggratz, annexed Hanover Austria, 
and Hesse, and united all the lands north of the Main, under 
Prussian headship, into the " North German Confederation." 
The struggle did not directly affect England, and the Con- 
servative ministry made no attempt to interfere, and watched 
with equanimity Prussia supplant Austria as the chief power in 
Central Europe. 

The only warlike enterprise of the years 1 866-8 was the costly 
but almost bloodless Abyssinian expedition, Disraeli's first 
attempt to vindicate British prestige in remote The Abyssinian 
corners of the earth. Theodore, King of Abyssinia, expedition. 
a savage despot, had imprisoned some British subjects. To 

2 z 

7 o6 Democracy and Imperialism. ISTO. 

deliver them, Sir Robert Napier led an Indian army to Magdala, 
the Abyssinian capital ; he stormed the place, and released the 
captives. Theodore blew out his brains when he saw his strong- 
hold taken, and on his death the victors retired unmolested. 

Mr. Gladstone came into office in December, 1868, with a 
majority of 120 votes in the Commons, and at once proceeded to 

Gladstone carrv out his Irish P olicv - Tne position of the 
Prime Minis- Irish Church was very open to attack, for a Pro- 
^n'^nVs"? testant establishment in a country where seventy- 

tabiished. fj ve p er ce nt. of the population were Romanists 
was too anomalous to be easily defended. This was felt by the 
Conservatives themselves, and, in spite of the protests of the 
Irish Protestants, a bill for disestablishing the Church passed 
both Houses (June, 1869). ^ ts endowments were taken away at 
the same time, but the churches and buildings were retained by 
their old owners, and compensation was granted to all incum- 
bents and curates. So far from being ruined by the blow, the 
Irish Church has remained a vigorous and increasing body. 

Having dealt with the Irish Church, Mr. Gladstone then 
turned to the second grievance, whose removal, as he then hoped, 
The Land Act would do away with Ireland's grudge against 
of ISTO. England. By his Irish Land Act of 1870, he 
gave the tenants a right to be compensated for any improve- 
ments they might have made on their holdings, when they 
resigned them or were evicted from them. He also permitted 
the outgoing tenant to sell his goodwill to his successor. To 
facilitate the creation of a peasant proprietary, the government 
undertook to lend money to any tenant who wished to buy his 
farm from his landlord, if the latter was willing to sell it. 

But the Land Bill was far from contenting the Irish peasantry, 
who were seeking not merely a reasonable rent and a fair com- 
pensation for improvements, but complete posses- 
troubles con- sion of their holdings. Agrarian outrages, which 
had been widespread ever since the Fenian 
rising of 1867, remained as numerous as ever. So far was 
Ireland from being quieted, that the government had to pass a 
stringent Peace-Preservation Act, and to send additional troops 
across the Channel. The policy of conciliation had thus far 
proved a complete failure. 

Mr. Gladstone's tenure of office was signalized by a long series 

1870. The Franco- German War. 707 

of domestic reforms, the most momentous of which was the 
Education Act, introduced in 1 870 by Forster, the The Education 
Vice-President of the Council of Education, for Act - 

providing sufficient school-accommodation for the whole infant 
population of the country, and making the attendance of all 
children at school compulsory. 

Another important measure was the introduction of the secret 
ballot at parliamentary elections. This act tended to diminish 
bribery, by depriving the buyer of votes of the power 
of ascertaining whether the elector with whom he 

Treaty of 

708 Democracy and Imperialism. 1372. 

on Northern shipping.* Lord Derby's cabinet had staved off 
the question, but in 1870 the language of the Americans grew 
so threatening, that the Liberals had to choose between sub- 
mission or the chance of a war. They took refuge in a middle 
course, preferring to refer the liability of England for the doings 
of the Alabama to a court of arbitration, composed of foreign 
lawyers. But in the principles laid down, on which the arbi- 
trators were to give their decision, so much was conceded to the 
Americans, that the result, if not the amount, of the award was 
a foregone conclusion. The referees met at Geneva, and com- 
pelled England to pay ,3,000,000, which sufficed not only to 
pay all the claims made against the Alabama, but to leave 
a handsome surplus in the American treasury (1872). 

The knowledge that the people were growing alarmed and 
impatient at the military weakness of England, especially after 

card-weirs ^ e su( ^^ en collapse of France in 1870-71, induced 
military re- the government to bring in a scheme for improving 
forms. ^e na tj ona j defences. Cardwell, the minister of 
war, introduced in 1872 a bill to reorganize the army on the 
short-service system, which had been found to work so well in 
Germany. For the future, instead of enlisting for the "long 
service " of twenty years, the soldier was to engage for seven 
years with the colours and five in the Reserve. The Reserve was 
only to be called out in time of danger ; but when war was at 
hand it was to join the ranks. Thus the strength of the army 
could be raised by 60,000 trained and seasoned men on the 
outbreak of hostilities. It must be allowed that in peace-time 
the battalions are prone to be rilled with very young men, all 
under seven years' service. But as the reserves, when they 
have been called out, have always appeared promptly and in 
full numbers, the change was undoubtedly wise and beneficial. 
An attempt made at the same time to localize all the regiments 
in particular districts, whence they were to draw all their 
vecruits, has not been so successful, owing to the fact th?.t 
some counties supply men in much greater proportion than 
others. One more military reform, the " Abolition of Purchase," 
formed part of Cardwell's scheme. It put an end to the system 
by which retiring officers sold their commissions to their suc- 
cessorsa practice that had often kept poor men of merit for 
* See p. 697. 

1874. Fall of Gladstones Ministry. 709 

many years unpromoted. The measure was obviously right, but 
Mr. Gladstone provoked much criticism by putting it forth in 
a Royal Warrant, instead of passing it through the two Houses 
in the usual form. 

After the rush of legislation in the period 1869-72, the last years 
of the Gladstone ministry seemed tame and uneventful. In the 
spring of 1873 they were beaten, on the compara- p a ii of 
tively small question of a bill to establish a secular Gladstone's 
university in Ireland. Next winter Mr. Gladstone ministry, 
dissolved Parliament, and, on appealing to the constituencies, 
suffered a crushing defeat (January, 1874). 

For the first time since 1846, Parliament was in the hands of 
a solid Conservative majority in both Houses, and Disraeli, 
seated firmly in power, was able to display the Disraeli's 
characteristics of the "New Toryism." He mi ^^^ e 
announced that he took office to secure a space party, 
of rest from harassing legislation at home, and to defend the 
honour and interests of England abroad. His first two years 
of power (1875-76) were among the quietest which the century 

is known. They were only marked by some excellent measures 
of social and economic reform, such as the Artisans' Dwellings 
Act, which permitted corporations to build model houses for 
workmen ; and the Agricultural Holdings Act, which granted to 
farmers compensation for unexhausted improvements on their 
land, when they gave up their farms to their landlord. But 
signs of coming trouble were soon apparent both at home and 
abroad. In the Commons the ministry was beginning to be 
harassed by the Irish members, who had latterly banded them- 
selves together, under the leadership of Isaac Butt, to demand 
Home Rule. 

This trouble, however, was as yet but in its infancy. A more 
)ressing cause of disquietude was arising in the East, on which 
-ngland had always kept a watchful eye since the Egypt and 
'riniean War. Two separate difficulties were begin- Ismail, 
ling to arise in that quarter. The first was in Egypt, a land which 

id grown very important to England since the use of the 
)verland route to India by Alexandria and the Red Sea had been 
liscovered, and still more so since de Lesseps had constructed 
the Suez Canal in 1868. The thriftless and ostentatious Khedive 
Ismail, by his extravagance and oppression at home and his 

7 io Democracy and Imperialism. i87e. 

unwise conquests in the Soudan, had reduced Egypt to a state of 
misery, and seemed not far from bankruptcy. To get ready 
money, he proposed to sell his holding nearly one-half of 
the shares of the Suez Canal Company. Disraeli at once 
bought them by telegram for ^4,000,000. The investment 
was wise and profitable ; the shares are now worth twice 
the sum expended, and their possession gives England the 
authority that is her due in the conduct of this great inter- 
national venture. 

But a far more ominous storm-cloud was rising in the Balkan 
Peninsula. England had been very jealous of the action of the 
The RUSSO- Czar m t ^ ie ^ast smce ^e abrogation of the 
Turkish war. treaty of Paris in 1870. She had been greatly 
stirred by the activity of the Russians in Central Asia, 
where, by overrunning Turkestan and reducing Khiva and 
Bokhara to vassalage, they had made a long step forward in . 
the direction of India. But now a new trouble arose nearer 
home, in the shape of sporadic insurrections, which broke out 
all over European Turkey. The misgovernment of the Porte 
was enough to account for them ; but it was suspected, and 
with good cause, that they were being deliberately fomented 
by Russian intriguers with the tacit approval of the imperial 
government. The rising began in Bosnia in 1875 ; m tne 
summer of 1876 the princes of Servia and Montenegro took 
arms to aid the Bosnians, and thousands of Russian volunteers 
flocked across the Danube to join the Servian army. Next, 
while the Turks were sending all their disposable troops against 
the two princes, a rising broke out in Bulgaria. This insurrection 
was put down by bands of Circassians and armed Mussul- 
man villagers, with a ruthless cruelty which had a most marked 
effect on English public opinion. Hitherto the government had 
been showing some intention of resenting Russian interference 
in the Balkans. But the news of the Bulgarian atrocities so 
shocked the country that any such design had to be abandoned. 
Mr. Gladstone, who had given up the leadership of the op- 
position for the last two years, emerged from his retirement 
and made a series of speeches against the Turks which had 
a profound effect, and when in 1877 the Czar openly declared 
war on Turkey and sent his armies across the Danube, the 
English government stood aside in complete neutrality. The 

1878. Treaty of St. Stefano and Berlin Conference 7 1 1 

Turks held out with unexpected firmness ; but in the early winter 
of 1877-78 their resistance broke down, and the Russians 
came pouring on towards Constantinople. 

The English government, though prevented from interfering 
in behalf of the Sultan by public opinion, had been watching 
the advance of the Russians with much anxiety. Attitude of 
When the victorious armies of Alexander II. England, 
approached the Bosphorus, Disraeli who had now taken the 
title of Earl of Beaconsfield and retired to the Upper House 
began to take measures which seemed to forebode war. He asked 
for a grant of ,6,000,000 for military purposes, and ordered up 
the Mediterranean squadron into the Sea of Marmora, placing 
it within a few miles of Constantinople. If the Czar's troops 
had struck at the Turkish capital a collision must have occurred, 
and a general European war might have followed. But the 
Russian ranks were sorely thinned by the late winter campaign, 
and their generals shrank from provoking a new enemy. 
Instead of attacking Constantinople they offered the Sultan 
terms, which he accepted (March 3, 1878). 

The treaty of St. Stefano gave Russia a large tract in Asia 
round Kars and Batoum, and advanced her frontier at the 
Danube-mouth to its old position in the days The Treat 
before the Crimean war. Servia, Roumania, and of st. 
Montenegro received large slices of Turkish terri- 
tory ; but the great feature of the treaty was the creation of a 
new principality of Bulgaria, reaching from the Danube to the 
Aegean, and cutling European Turkey in two. 

Persuaded that the treaty of San Stefano made all the states 
of the Balkan Peninsula vassals and dependents of Russia, 
Lord Beaconsfield refused to acquiesce in the The Berlin 
arrangement. He called out the army reserves, Conference, 
hurried off more ships 'to the Mediterranean, and began to bring 
over Indian troops to Malta by way of the Suez Canal. In view 
of his menacing attitude, the Czar consented to a complete 
revision of the treaty of San Stefano. At the Berlin Con- 
ference (June July, 1878) its terms were modified : the new 
Bulgaria was cut up into two states, and its frontier pushed 
back from the Aegean. The Sultan undertook to introduce 
reforms into his provinces, and England guaranteed the integrity 
of his remaining Asiatic dominions. In return for this, Abdul 

7i2 Democracy and Imperialism. iseo. 

Hamid placed the island of Cyprus in British hands, though 
retaining his nominal suzerainty over it. 

Lord Beaconsfield returned triumphant from Berlin in July, 
1878, claiming that he had obtained "Peace with Honour" for 
England, and had added a valuable naval station to our posses- 
sions in the Mediterranean. But the advantages which he had 
secured were in some ways more apparent than real. He had 
checked and irritated Russia without setting up any sufficient 
barrier against her. He had pledged England to introduce 
reforms in Turkey, a promise which she was never able to induce 
the Sultan to perform. Cyprus turned out harbourless and 
barren a source of expense rather than profit. Later events 
showed that the partition of Bulgaria was a mistake, and that the 
creation of a strong principality on both sides of the Balkans 
would have been the most effective bar to a Russian advance 
towards Constantinople. 

The scarcely averted war between England and the Czar had 

a tiresome and costly sequel in the East, the Afghan war of 

Fail of Lord 1878-80, which we describe in the following 

fieaconsfloid'a chapter a struggle which was not without its 

ministry , disasters, and formed one of the chief reasons for 
the gradual loss of popularity by the Beaconsfield cabinet in the 
years that followed the treaty of Berlin. A similar result was 
produced by the mismanaged Zulu war and the disaster at 
Isandula (1879),* while at home the ministry was kept in 
perpetual difficulties by the obstructive tactics of the Irish party, 
who were now headed by the astute and unscrupulous Charles 
Stewart Parnell. They wasted time and provoked perpetual 
scenes. In June, 1880, Lord Beaconsfield dissolved Parliament, 
and a Liberal majority of 100 was returned to the House of 
Commons from Great Britain, while in Ireland the Home 
Rulers swept almost every constituency except those of Ulster. 

Mr. Gladstone now took office for the second time, pledged to 
pacify Ireland, and to carry out a policy of peace abroad, and 
Gladstone's of reform and Liberal measures at home. But the 
**^*W* years 1880-84 were full of costly and unsatis- 
The Eoer war. factory wars. Scarcely was the new cabinet in- 
stalled when the Boers, the inhabitants of the recently annexed 
Transvaal, revolted. The small English force in South Africa 
* See pp. 738, 739. 

less. The Egyptian Rebellion. 713 

suffered a crushing defeat at Majuba Hill, whereupon the 
government, ere reinforcements could arrive, made peace with 
the rebels, and granted them independence (1880-81). 

Soon after the Transvaal war had reached its disastrous 
conclusion, fresh troubles broke out in Egypt. Since Lord 
Beaconsfield first interfered in that country by Arabi's rebel- 
buying for England the Suez Canal shares of the lion - 
Khedive Ismail, Egyptian affairs had been going from bad to 
worse. After driving the country to the verge of bankruptcy, 
the old Khedive abdicated in 1879, m favour of his son Tewfik ; 
but England and France joined to establish the " Dual Control " 
over the young sovereign, and appointed ministers to take charge 
of the finances of Egypt. Tewfik himself made little or no 
objection to this assertion of foreign domination, but some of 
his officers and ministers resented it, and in 1882, Arabi Pasha, 
an ambitious soldier, executed a coup d'etat, drove away the 
foreign ministers, and raised the cry of "Egypt for the 
Egyptians." It was expected that the two powers who had 
established the Dual Control would unite to put down Arabi. 
But the French ministry, jealous of England, and hoping to draw 
its private profit out of the complication, refused to join in any 
action against him. It is probable that the Gladstone cabinet 
had no intention at first of provoking a war. But the English 
Mediterranean squadron was ordered to Alexandria, which 
Arabi was busily engaged in fortifying. On June n, a great 
riot broke out in that city, and the mob massacred many 
hundreds of European residents. This made hostilities in- 
evitable ; when the Egyptian authorities refused to dismantle 
their new forts, Admiral Seymour bombarded the place (July 
Ii), and drove out the garrison. Shortly after, English troops 
landed and seized the ruined city. 

The struggle which followed was brought to a prompt end by 
the quick and decisive action of Sir Garnet Wolseley, who seized 
the Suez Canal, and marched across the desert on The Eg .y P tian 
Cairo, while the Egyptians were expecting him on war - 
the side of Alexandria. By a daring night-surprise, he carried 
the lines of Tel-el- Kebir (September 13), and routed Arabi's host. 
A day later, his cavalry seized Cairo by a wonderful march of 
fifty miles in twelve hours, and the rebellion was at an end. Arabi 
was exiled to Ceylon, and the Khedive was restored to his palace 

7 14 Democracy and Imperialism. issa-ss. 

in Cairo ; but for all intents and purposes the war left England 
supreme in Egypt a very anomalous position, which Mr. 
Gladstone soon proceeded to make yet more so, by promising 
France and Turkey that the English troops should be with- 
drawn so soon as order and good government should be 

He might, perchance, have carried out his engagement but 
for the outbreak of the disastrous Soudan war of 1883. During 
The war in the Arabi's rebellion troubles had broken out in the 
don^rKhar-" Egyptian provinces on the Upper Nile, where the 
toum. pashas had been subjecting the wild Arab tribes 
to cruel oppression. A fanatic named Mohamed Ahmed, of 
Dongola, put himself at the head of the rising, proclaiming that 
he was the Mahdi ^ the prophet whom Mussulmans expect to 
appear in the last days before the end of the world. When the 
English had put down Arabi, they found themselves forced to 
cope with the insurrection in the Soudan. Accordingly General 
Hicks was despatched with a raw native army to attack the Mahdi ; 
but he and all his troops were cut to pieces (October 3, 1883). 
The government then resolved to send to the Soudan Charles 
Gordon, a brave and pious engineer officer, who had won much 
credit for his wise administration of the land in the days of the 
old Khedive Ismail. But he was given no troops to aid him, 
and was merely told to withdraw the Egyptian garrisons from 
the Upper Nile, as the cabinet did not wish to reconquer the 
lost provinces, and thought that the insurgents had been 
justified in their rebellion by the atrocious misgovernment of 
their Egyptian masters, Gordon reached Khartoum, the capital 
of the Soudan, but, immediately on his arrival there, was be- 
leaguered by the hordes of the Mahdi (February, 1884). With 
two or three Europeans only to aid him, and no troops but ttls 
cowed and dispirited Egyptians, who had been driven into 
Khartoum from their other posts in the lost provinces, Gordon 
made a heroic defence. But as he could not withdraw his 
garrison without help from outside, he besought the cabinet for 
English troops, pointing out that the Soudanese enemy were not 
patriots struggling to be free, but ferocious fanatics, who 
massacred all who refused to acknowledge the Mahdi, and 
believed themselves destined to conquer the whole world. 

The English ministry ultimately sent a small force, undei 

1881. The Land Act and the Land League. 715 

Lord Wolseley, the victor of Tel-el- Kebir, with orders to rescue 
Gordon and his garrison, and then to retire. But The fall of 
the expedition was despatched too late. After Khartoum, 
forcing their way in small boats up the Nile, and marching 180 
miles across the waterless Bayuda desert, the main column of the 
relieving army beat the Mahdi's hordes at the hard-fought fight 
of Abu-Klea (January 22, 1885), and forced their way to within 
loo miles of Khartoum, but there learnt that the place had been 
stormed, and Gordon, with the 11,000 men of his garrison, cut 
to pieces, four days after the battle of Abu-Klea (January 26, 

The English then retired and abandoned the whole Soudan 
to the Mahdi's wild followers, who soon threatened Egypt 
itself. Two successive expeditions were sent to p roRT ess of the 
Suakim, on the Red Sea, to endeavour to attack Mahdi. 
the Mahdists from that side. Both had to withdraw after 
advancing a few miles inland, foiled by the waterless desert 
and the incessant harassing of the rebels. Somewhat later the 
fanatics twice endeavoured to force their way up the Nile from 
the south, and were only cast back after heavy fighting at Wady 
Haifa, on the very frontier of Egypt. 

The war in the Soudan dealt a heavy blow to the reputation 
of the Gladstone cabinet. In the mean time, it was beset by 
even greater difficulties arising out of the Irish The Land Act 
question. In 1880 the government brought in a ofissi. 
bill forbidding any landlord to evict a tenant without paying 
him " compensation for disturbance ; " the bill was rejected by 
the House of Lords. In 1881 they brought forward and carried 
the second Irish Land Bill, appointing a commission or Land 
Court to fix all rents for fifteen years. 

But the peasantry were far from being satisfied, and aimed at 
making an end of " landlordism " altogether. Their leaders 
had founded the celebrated " Land League," The Land 
which organized a system of terrorism all over p^^ix^park 
the country. Outrage grew more and more murders, 
rampant, and at last the government, abandoning the idea 
of pacification, seized and imprisoned Parnell and forty other 
prominent chiefs of the Land League. In revenge for this, 
the " No-Rent Manifesto " was published by the surviving 
leaders of the League, and largely acted upon in the south and 

716 Democracy and Imperialism. 1884. 

west of the country. Chaos seemed to have set in, and matters 
were made no better by the release of Parnell and his friends, 
under the so-called " Kilmainham Treaty," in which the premier 
consented to negociate with his prisoners for a cessation of hos- 
tilities. Forster, the Irish Secretary, and Lord Spencer, the 
Viceroy, resigned, to show their disapproval of the cabinet's 
policy. To replace Forster, Lord Frederic Cavendish was made 
Secretary for Ireland ; but six days after his appointment he 
and his under-secretary, Mr. Burke, were murdered in broad 
day in Phoenix Park by some members of a Dublin secret society 
known as the " Invincibles " (June, 1882). 

Universal horror was excited by this murder, but the country 
did not quiet down, and a stringent Crimes Bill passed in the 
same autumn did not suffice to stop the agrarian outrages which 
reigned throughout Ireland. All through the days of the 
Gladstone cabinet the island remained in the most deplorable 
condition, and the Irish parliamentary party continued to be a 
thorn in the side of the government. 

Unhappy both at home and abroad, and fearing the results 
of a general election, the prime minister reverted to the old 
The Reform Liberal cry of Parliamentary reform, and pro- 
Biii of duced the Reform Bill of 1884, which conferred 
1884. ^ f ranc hi se on t h e agricultural labourers, the 
last considerable class in the country who still lacked the vote. 
It was urged by the Conservative opposition that " redistribu- 
tion" the adjustment of seats to population in due proportion 
ought to accompany this change. The House of Lords 
threw out the Reform Bill on this plea. Mr. Gladstone then 
consented to combine redistribution with enfranchisement, and 
the bill was passed in its new shape. The small boroughs with 
less than 15,000 inhabitants, which had escaped the bill of 1832, 
were deprived of their members, and the seats thus obtained 
were divided among the more populous districts and towns. 

In June, 1885, a chance combination of Conservatives and 
Home Rulers beat the government on the budget. Mr. 

The Home Gladstone resigned, and the opposition took office, 

*bSi? l c? 6 though, like Lord Derby in 1852 and 1866, they 

parties. had only a minority in the House. Beaconsfield 

had died in 1882, and the Conservatives were now led by Lord 

Salisbury, the foreign minister of the years 1878-80. When the 

1886. The Home Rule Bill. 717 

session was over, Lord Salisbury dissolved Parliament, and 
a general election followed. The Liberals gained many of 
the new county seats, but the Conservatives did so well in 
the boroughs that the numbers of the two parties in the 
new Parliament were not far from equal. This put the 
balance of power into the hands of the Home Rulers, who 
could give the majority to the party with whom they choose to 
vote. The first use of their strength was to turn out the Con- 
servative ministry (January, 1886). 

Mr. Gladstone then took office, though he too had a ma- 
jority in the Commons only so long as it pleased the Irish 
members to vote with him. But soon it appeared The Home 
that he was prepared to secure their allegiance by Rul e Bil1 - 
promising them Home Rule. Several members of his cabinet 
thereupon resigned. In April a bill for conceding practical 
legislative independence to Ireland was brought in. It was 
thrown out by the action of 97 English and Scotch Liberals, 
who voted against their party. The Gladstone cabinet at once 
resigned ; a general election followed, and a large majority of 
" Unionists " was returned. 

Here we must leave Britain, for the chapter which began 
with the Home Rule Bill of June, 1886, is still unfinished. To 
carry our tale further would be to launch into the party politics 
of to-day, and its continuation must be left to another time, when 
it has become possible to view the events of the last ten years 
in true historical perspective. 



DOWN to the end of the great struggle with Revolutionary and 
Imperial France, the history of the rise and development of the 
British empire beyond seas is intimately connected with the 
history of Britain's wars in Europe. The contest for colonial 
and commercial supremacy is at the root alike of the war of the 
Austrian succession, the Seven Years' War, the war of American 
Independence, and the war with Bonaparte. 

But after 1815 this close interpenetration of the European and 
colonial affairs of England comes to an abrupt end. For the 
last eighty years they have touched each other at very rare 
intervals ; the only occasions of importance when European 
complications have reacted on our dominions over-sea have 
been when our strained relations with Russia have led to troubles 
on the north-western frontier of India. 

For the most part, the development of the colonial and Indian 
empire of Britain has gone on unvexed by any interference 
from without. We have therefore relegated our treatment of it 
to a separate chapter, set apart from our domestic annals. 

In 1815 the British territories in India were already by far 

the most important of our possessions, but they comprised not 

The British on e-fourth of the dominions which now acknow- 

Empirein ledge the Queen as their direct sovereign. In 
Africa we owned only a few fever-smitten ports on 
the Gulf of Guinea, and the newly annexed Dutch colony of the 
Cape of Good Hope, inhabited by a scanty and disaffected 
population of Boers and a multitude of wild Kaffirs. In Aus- 
tralia, the small convict settlements of New South Wales and 
Tasmania gave little signs of development, blighted as they 

1815. The British Empire in 1815. 719 

were by the unsatisfactory character of the unwilling emigrants. 
Our group of colonies in North America was the most promising 
possession of the crown ; granted a liberal constitution by Pitt's 
wis^e Canada Act, they were growing rapidly in wealth and 
population. They had shown a most commendable loyalty during 
the American war of 1812-14, and the divergence in race and 
religion between the old French habitanf of the province of 
Quebec and the new English settlers in Upper Canada had not 
as yet brought any trouble. But the greatest part of British 
North America was still a wilderness. The limit of settled 
land was only just approaching Lake Huron ; even in the more 
eastern provinces, such as Quebec and Nova Scotia, there were 
still vast unexplored tracts of waste and forest. Into the far 
West, the basins of the Columbia and Mackenzie rivers, only a 
few adventurers fur-traders of the Hudson's Bay Company and 
French half-breed trappers had as yet penetrated. 

The West Indian colonies, somewhat increased in number by 
the results of our wars between 1793 and 1815, had suffered many 
evils from French privateering and negro rebellions, The West 
but were now at the height of their prosperity. Indian islands. 
Vigorously if recklessly developed by the slave-owning planters, 
they were at this moment the main producers of sugar and coffee 
for the whole world. The colonies of France and Spain had 
suffered so fearfully that they could hardly attempt competition. 

Other outlying possessions were in the hands of England, 
some destined to prosperity, some to obscurity such as 
Mauritius, the Falklands, St. Helena, Bermuda but we have 
10 space for more than a hasty mention of them. 

The history of the more important groups India, Australia, 
Canada, and South Africa requires a more detailed treatment. 

At the great peace of 1815 we were masters in Northern 
[ndia of the great province of Bengal, lately increased by the 
North-West Provinces," the territory between British terri _ 
llahabad and Delhi which we had taken from toriai posses- 
Scindiah in 1801-3. We had also annexed in sions in India, 
ic same year the possessions of the Rajah of Berar in Orissa. 
'hese three tracts constituted the presidency of Bengal, and 
fere governed from Calcutta. South of Orissa the whole east 
coast of Hindostan was in our hands, the Carnatic having been 
mexed in 1799. The Carnatic, the lands taken from Sultan 


India and the Colonies. 


Tippoo, and the " Circars " which the Nizam had ceded to us, 
formed the presidency of Madras. Our possessions in this 
quarter were completed by Ceylon, which we had acquired 

British Territory, White 
Vassal States 
Independent States 

from the Dutch at the treaty of Amiens. In Western India the 
Bombay presidency consisted as yet of no more than the 
islands of Bombay and Salsette and a few ports along the coasL 

isle. British Supremacy in India. 721 

But in addition to these dominions, ruled directly by the 
Company, English influence was predominant in a much larger 
tract of India. The Nawab of Oude in the north, The vassal 
the Nizam in the Deccan, the Rajah of Mysore states, 
in the south, the Peishwa in the west, and many smaller princes, 
were all bound to us by subsidiary treaties ; they had cove- 
nanted to guide their foreign policy by our own, and to supply 
us with troops and subsidies in time of war. 

In all the Indian Peninsula there were only three groups of 
states which were still independent of the British power. The more 
remote Mahratta powers the realms governed by The Mahrat ta 
Scindiah, Holkar, the Gaikwar, and the Rajah of and Rajput 
Berar were still for all intents and purposes 
autonomous. The treaties which Lord Wellesley had made 
with them were not enforced by his weaker successors, and the 
Mahratta princes continued their feuds with each other and 
their incursions into those parts of India which were not yet 
under British control. Their chief victims were the unfortunate 
states of Rajputana, where a cluster of native princes of ancient 
stock were as yet unprotected by treaties with the East India 

Beyond the Rajputs lay the third district of India which was 
still independent the Sikh principality of the Punjab. The 
Sikhs were a sect of religious enthusiasts who TheSikhs.- 
had revolted against the misgovernment of the Bunjit Sin8h ' 
Great Mogul some fifty years before, and had formed themselves 
into a disorderly commonwealth. But one great chief, Runjit 
Singh, had taught them to combine, and forced them into union. 
He ruled them for many years, and organized the whole sect 
into an army which combined the courage of fanaticism with the 
strictest discipline. He was friendly to the British, and took 
care never to come into collision with them. 

Thus in 1815 the British in India held a position dominating 
half the peninsula, but unprovided with any solid frontier 
on the land side. They were charged with the care of several 
weak and imbecile dependent states, surrounded by greedy and 
vigorous neighbours. Unless they were to make up their minds 
to go back, they were bound to go forward, for no final peace 
was possible till it should be settled whether the East India 
Company or the Mahrattas and Sikhs were to be the dominating 


^22 India and the Colonies. IBIS. 

power in the whole land between the Indus and the Bay ot 

The first important advance after the departure of Wellesley 
was made by the Marquis of Hastings, Governor- General from 
Lord Hastings I ^ I 4 to 1823. This active ruler was resolved not 

Governor- to permit the petty insults to British territory, and 
G NeJauiese 6 tlie plundering of British allies which the unsettled 
war. condition of the frontier made possible. In 1814 
he attacked and drove back into their hills the Gurkhas, the hill 
tribes of Nepaul, who had been wont to harass the northern 
frontier of Bengal and Oude. They offered a desperate 
resistance, but when once beaten became the fast friends of the 
British, and have given valuable aid in every war which we have 
since waged in India. 

The Nepaul war having ended in 1815, Hastings took a larger 
matter in hand : the dominions of our vassal the Nizam and of 
Extinction of tne other princes of Central India were much vexed by t jj e pindarees, organized bands of marauders 
like the free companies of the Middle Ages who found har- 
bourage in the territories of the Mahrattas, and, when not 
employed in the civil wars of those chiefs, plundered on their 
own account all over Ithe Deccan. Under a great captain of 
adventurers named Cheetoo, these hordes became a public 
danger to all India. Hastings had them hunted down and 
destroyed by armies which started simultaneously from Madras, 
Bengal, and Bombay. They were completely exterminated, and 
their leader Cheetoo fled alone to the jungle, and was devoured 
by a tiger. 

The Pindarees had long received the secret countenance of 
the Mahratta chiefs, and while the British were still engaged 

The third m chasing the marauders, three of the great 
Mahratta war. chiefs of Western India took arms. The Peishwa 
Bajee Rao was anxious to free himself from the dependence 
which Wellesley had imposed on him in 1801. He conspired 
with the Rajah of Berar and the regents who ruled for the young 
Holkar. But the event of the third Mahratta war (1817-18) was 
not for a moment doubtful. The allied chiefs never succeeded 
in joining each other : Bajee Rao was defeated in front of Poona 
by a mere handful of British troops, and after long wanderings 
was forced to lay down his arms and surrender. The army of 

isle. The Subjugation of the Mahrattas. 723 

the Holkar state was routed, after a much harder struggle, at 
Mehidpore ; the hordes of the Rajah of Berar fled before 1500 
British troops at Seetabuldee. Each of the confederates fought 
for his own hand without aid from his neighbour, and all alike 
were crushed. 

The campaign of 1817-18 made an end of the independence 
of the Mahrattas. The Peishwa's whole realm was annexed 
to the Bombay presidency : he himself was sent to live on a 
government pension at Cawnpore, far away in Oude. One third 
of the dominions of Holkar was confiscated ; the Rajah of Berar 
was deposed. Stringent terms of subjection were imposed on 
both their states. All the Mahratta principalities now came 
under British control, for Scindiah and the Gaikwar of Baroda, 
who had taken no part in the war, consented to sign treaties 
which made them the vassals of the Company. The same 
position was gladly assumed by the chiefs of Rajputana, who had 
suffered many ills at the hands of their Mahratta neighbours, and 
were only too glad to gain immunity from assault under the 
protection of the Company's flag. In all India only the realm 
of Runjit Singh beyond the Sutlej was now outside the sphere of 
British influence. 

Owing to the wisdom of that aged prince, it was to be yet 
many years before the English and the Sikhs came into collision. 
For some years after the victories of Lord Hastings in 1817-18, 
India enjoyed a term of comparative peace. Lord 
Amherst and Lord William Bentinck, the two next quuiity. The 
Governor-Generals, were more noted for the in- Burmese war - 
ternal reforms which they carried out than for the wars which 
they waged. The only important annexation of the period 
1823-35 resulted from a struggle with a power which lay 
altogether outside the bounds of India. The King of Burmah 
assailed the eastern limits of Bengal and was punished by being 
deprived of Assam and Aracan. 

But the times of Lord Amherst and Lord William Bentinck 
have a far better distinction from the liberal measures of reform 
which they introduced than from any annexations. Reforms of 
The latter Governor- General, a man of a strong ^iw? 
will and a very enlightened mind, put down the Bentinck. 
horrible practice of suttee, or widow-burning, and crushed the 
Thugs, the disguised gang-robbers who infested the roads and 

* 24 India and the Colonies. isaa. I 

took life half for plunder and half as a religious sacrifice. He 
lent his support to Christian missions, which the Company had I 
hitherto discouraged, from a dread of offending native suscepti- 
bilities. He introduced steamships on the Ganges, and worked I 
out a scheme for the carrying of the mails to Europe by way I 
of the Red Sea and the short overland journey from Suez to 1 
Alexandria. But this wise plan was not finally adopted till many I 
years after. 

In 1833, while Lord William Bentinck was still, in power, the 
East India Company's charter from the crown ran out, and I 
B newaiofthe was on ^ renewed by the Whig government of j 

company's Lord Grey on the condition that the Company I 
charter. should entirely give up its old commercial mono- I 
polies, and confine itself to the exercise of patronage and the I 
duties of administration. For the last twenty-five years of its I 
rule the tone of the great corporation was vastly improved, now j 
that dividends were not the sole aim of its directors. 

In 1836 Lord Auckland took over the governor-generalship. 
His tenure of power is mainly notable for the commencement 

The First f ^e disastrous first Afghan war. Frightened 
Afghan war by the intrigues of the Russians with " Dost 

Lord Auckland _ * , ji i * A r i_ _*. 

restores shah Mohammed, the ruler of Afghanistan, Lord 
sujah. Auckland unwisely determined to interfere with 
the internal politics of that barren and warlike country. There 
was living in exile in India Shah Sujah, a prince who had once 
ruled at Cabul, but had long been driven out by his country- 
men. The Governor-General determined to restore him by 
force of arms, and to make him the vassal of England. 
Though we could only approach Afghanistan by crossing 
the neutral territory of the Sikhs, this distant enterprise 
was taken in hand. An English army passed the Suleiman 
mountains, occupied Candahar, stormed Ghuznee, and finally 
entered Cabul (1839). Shah Sujah was placed on his ancient 
throne, and part of the victorious troops were withdrawn to India. 

But the Afghan tribes hated the nominee of the stranger, and 
refused to obey the Shah. Lord Auckland was compelled to 
Destruction of l eave an English force at Candahar and another at 

the British Cabul to support his feeble vassal. For two 

uneasy years the garrison held its own (1839-41) 

against sporadic risings. But in the winter of 1841-42 a general 

1842. The First Afghan War. 725 

insurrection of the whole of the tribes of Afghanistan swept all 
before it. The very townsmen of Cabul took arms and 
murdered the English resident almost under the eyes of the 
Shah. General Elphinstone, who commanded the brigade at 
Cabul, was a feeble old invalid. He allowed himself to be shut 
up in his entrenched camp, saw his supplies cut off, and was 
finally compelled to make a retreat in the depth of winter, after 
signing a humiliating treaty with the Afghan chiefs, and giving 
them hostages. But the treacherous victors attacked the 
retreating army as it struggled through the snow of the Khoord 
Cabul Pass, and massacred the whole force. One British 
regiment, three sepoy regiments, and 12,000 camp-followers 
were cut to pieces. Only a single horseman, Dr. Brydon, made 
his way through to Jelalabad, the nearest English garrison, to 
bear the tidings of the annihilation of the whole army. 

Shah Sujah was murdered by his rebellious subjects, and all 
Afghanistan was lost save the two fortresses of Candahar and 
Jelalabad, whose gallant defence forms the only End of the war. 
redeeming episode in the war. But to revenge ~ D med^e m " 
our disaster, if for no better purpose, a new English stated, 
army under General Pollock forced the Khyber Pass, defeated 
the Afghans, and reoccupied Cabul. They evacuated it after 
destroying its chief buildings, and Dost Mohammed, whom we 
had deposed in 1839, was permitted to return to the throne from 
which we had evicted him. For long years after we left Afghani- 
stan alone, the memory of the massacre in the Khoord Cabul 
Pass sufficing to deter even the most enterprising Governor- 
Generals from interfering with its treacherous and fanatical 

Ere the Afghan war was over, Lord Auckland had been 
superseded by Lord Ellenborough, an able and active ruler, 
whose qualities were only marred by a tendency LordE11 en 
to grandiloquence and proclamations in the style borough an- 
of the Great Napoleon. He not only brought the 3 
Afghan war to its close, but annexed Scinde, the barren lower 
valley of the Indus. We were drawn into a quarrel with the 
Ameers of that country, and it was overrun by a small army 
under Sir Charles Napier, who beat the Ameers at Meanee, 
though their forces outnumbered him twelvefold. Scinde was 
annexed to the Bombay Presidency, and by its possession we 

726 India and the Colonies. 

encompassed on two sides the Punjab, the only remaining in- 
dependent state in India. 

Runjit Singh had died in 1839, and his successors were weak 
princes who perished in civil wars or by palace conspiracies. 

LordHar- They were utterly unable to restrain their arro- 
dinge and the gant and unruly army, which made and unmade 
sovereigns at Lahore like the Roman praetorians 
of the third century. In 1845 the rash and ignorant generals 
of the Sikhs resolved to attack the British, and dreamed of 
overrunning all India. They crossed the Sutlej and invaded the 
North- Western provinces ere the new Governor-General, Lord 
Hardinge, had fully realized that war was at hand. 

Our Sikh wars saw the hardest fighting which has ever taken 
place in India. The army which Runjit Singh had spent his life 

Battles of m training was a splendid force, and proved able 

Ferozeshah in the shock of battle to beat the sepoys of the 
braon. Com p any> j t was om - v ^ y t ^ Q desperate fighting 

of the British troops, little aided by their native auxiliaries, 
that the Sikhs were finally driven back. Unfortunately, Lord 
Gough, the commander-in-chief, was a reckless general, whose 
only idea of tactics was to dash his men at the centre of the 
enemy's position, regardless of batteries, obstacles, and earth- 
works. A more circumspect officer could probably have attained 
his end at a much less cost of life. At Ferozeshah he was 
completely foiled in his first attempt to force the entrenched 
camp of the Sikhs, and only succeeded on the next day because 
the enemy, who had suffered as heavily as the British, had not 
the heart to stand up to a second battle within twenty-four hours, 
and retired from his position. Sobraon, the decisive engagement 
of the campaign, was even more bloody ; but on this occasion 
the Sikhs fought with the Sutlej at their backs ; and when at 
last they were driven from their lines, a fourth of their army 
perished in the river (February 10, 1846). The Lahore govern- 
ment then asked for peace, which was granted them on condition 
that Dhulip Singh, the young son of Runjit Singh, should ac- 
knowledge the suzerainty of the British. 

But the brave and obstinate Sikhs did not yet consider them- 
selves beaten. Less than two years after the first struggle was 
over they again tried the fortune of war. In March, 1848, Moolraj, 
the Governor of Mooltan, rose in rebellion to throw off the 


The Sikh Wars. 727 

British suzerainty. The whole Sikh army fell away to him, 
and a campaign not less desperate than that of Battles of Ohil . 
1845-6 began. Lord Gough, who was still in com- lianwaiiah and 
mand, repeated his former tactics at Chillianwallah, 
and flung his army against a line of batteries hidden by jungle. 
The British only carried them with heavy loss, the 24th foot 
being completely cut to pieces. The old general's disregard for 
common prudence and the lives of his men so irritated his 
officers, that when they again met the enemy at the decisive 
battle of Guzerat (February 22, 1849) they clandestinely confined 
him on a housetop, till the Sikh entrenchments had been 
pounded for three hours by an overwhelming fire of artillery. 
The British infantry were then let loose, carried the earthworks 
with little loss, and brought the campaign to a prompt end, for 
the whole Sikh army surrendered a few days later (March 12, 


The Punjab was now annexed, for Lord Dalhousie, the 
Governor-General who had succeeded Lord Hardinge, did not 
intend to give the Sikhs the opportunity of raising Lord Dalhousia 
a third war. Dhulip Singh, the titular Maharajah, annexes the 
was sent to live in England on a pension. Certain 
outlying districts, such as Cashmere, were left to chiefs who had 
not opposed us in the struggle of 1848; but Lahore and the 
whole of the plain of the " Five Rivers " were put under British 
rule. The officers to whom the settlement of the Punjab was 
given over were the picked men of India : so ably and genially 
did they do their work, that the Sikhs soon settled down into 
quiet and loyal subjects. When next the British empire in 
Hindostan was in danger, it was largely saved by the gallant aid 
of levies from the Punjab. 

After the great struggle with the Sikhs was over, the rest of 
Lord Dalhousie's administration was comparatively uneventful. 
The second Burmese war of 1852, provoked by The second 
the ill-treatment of English merchants at Rangoon, Burmese war. 
was a short and easy campaign, which resulted in the annexation 
of Pegu, the coast district of the Burmese kingdom, and the 
mouths of the Irrawaddy. 

But some of the doings of Dalhousie in India itself, though 
they made little noise at the time, were fated to have grave 
consequences. He held strongly the doctrine that direct British 

728 Iniia and the Colonies. isse. 

administration was the best thing for natives, and took every 
opportunity of annexing vassal states where the 
ations byword ruling houses died out. This was much against 
Daihousie. ^ p re j u dices of the Hindoos, who always try to 
perpetuate their family by adoption when natural heirs fail. By 
refusing to allow of this custom Lord Daihousie was able to 
annex the great Mahratta state of the Rajahs of Berar, the old 
opponents of Wellesley and Hastings. He also took over the 
smaller Mahratta states of Jhansi and Satara, and refused to 
allow the deposed peishwa, Bajee Rao, to pass on his title and 
pension to his adopted son, the Nana Sahib. There is no doubt 
that these acts gravely displeased pious Hindoos. 

Moreover, in 1856, Daihousie, more by the Company's wish than 

his own, completed his wide annexations by dethroning the King 

of Oude,the chief Moslem state of northern India, 

of the King and the oldest of the vassals of the British. His 

ofoude. abominable misgovernment and folly drew down 

his fate deservedly enough ; but the seizure of Oude was not 

popular even among the subjects who were delivered from the 

tyrant's rule, and it created a feeling of distrust and resentment 

among all the surviving feudatories of the Company. 

Lord Daihousie, broken down by hard work, returned to 
England to die, soon after the annexation of Oude. He was 
Lord canning succeedecl bv Lord Canning, the son of the great 
Governor- Tory prime minister of 1827. Scarcely had Can- 
General. n j n g gathered up the reins of power when the 
terrible sepoy mutiny of 1857 broke out. 

A power which undertakes to hold down a vast empire by a 
great mercenary army raised from among the peoples of the land, 
The native is always exposed to the danger of military rebellion, 
army in India. The army has no other incentives than its pay, its 
habit of disciplined obedience, and its loyalty to its officers, to 
keep it true to its foreign masters. If the soldiery realize their 
power, and are ready to unite with each other for a common 
end, they may aspire to cast out their employers and rule for 
their own benefit. Mutinies of single regiments were not un- 
frequent episodes in the history of the Indian army, but hitherto 
no general revolt had occurred. 

In 1857 the proportion of British to native troops in India was 
abnormally low. The regiments withdrawn for the Crimean war 

1867. The Sepoy Mutiny. 729 

had never been replaced, and small expeditions to Persia and 
China* were absorbing many more. In the whole peninsula the 
European stood to the sepoy troops in the ratio of only one to 
six at present one to three is considered the least that is safe. 
Moreover, the spirit of many of the native troops was very bad. 
They had been so flattered and pampered by the government 
that they believed themselves to be the masters of the situation, 
and despised the few white regiments scattered among them. 

The army was arrogant and discontented ; the old ruling 
families of the lately annexed states were intriguing and conspiring 
all over northern India. A widely spread prophecy outbreak of 
that the rule of the British was only to last for a the mutiny, 
hundred years, dating from Plassey and the annexation of 
Bengal, was disturbing the minds of the masses, when a trivial 
incident let loose the elements of discord. The government was 
introducing among the native troops the use of rifles, in place of 
the old musket. The new weapons required greased cartridges, 
which were being duly issued, when some mischievous incendiary 
spread among the Bengal sepoys the rumour that they were 
being defiled. The cartridges, it was said, were lubricated with 
the grease of pigs and cattle, in order that the Hindoos might 
lose their caste by touching the flesh of the sacred cow, and the 
Mussulmans might be polluted by the contamination of the 
unholy swine. When all had become unclean, it was said, the 
government intended to make Christians of them. This foolish 
rumour sufficed to set the army in a flame. Two regiments 
which mutinied near Calcutta were easily disbanded ; but a 
formidable and successful revolt of the sepoy brigade at Meerut, 
near Delhi (May 10, 1857), was the signal for the outbreak of 
well-nigh the whole Bengal army. 

In the months of May and June, more than forty garrisons in 
the valleys of the Ganges and the Jumna mutinied. In most 
cases their rising was followed by hideous cruelty ; The heir of the 
the European officers were treacherously shot, and ^fa^ed Em- 
hundreds of women and children massacred. Both peror at Delhi. 
Hindoos and Mussulmans eagerly joined the rising, but the main 
guidance of the mutiny was in the hands of the latter. They 
proclaimed the descendant of the great Mogul, who still resided 
at Delhi, the heir of the empire of his ancestors. Delhi itself, 
* See pp. 692, 693. 


India and the Colonies. las?. 

where there was no British garrison, fell into their hands, 
after the great magazine had been blown up by the desperate 
courage of Lieutenant Willoughby. 

The ancient city became the centre of the rebellion in the 
north, while further south, in Oude, the whole population rose in 
Bisinginoude arms to restore their late king, and beleaguered 

siege of in the residency of Lucknow the one British regi- 

Lucknow. ment wllich f orme d part of the garrison of the 
newly annexed state. 

Except in Oude and certain parts of the North- West Provinces 

the rebellion was purely military, and the peasantry preserved a 

spread of the timid neutrality in the strife. But the whole Bengal 

rebellion. army, with hardly an exception, rose or tried to 
rise against its masters. Fortunately for England, the mutiny 
did not affect the Madras presidency at all, and only spread to 
a small corner of the Bombay presidency. But all northern 
India from Benares to the Sutlej was lost for a time. Unwar- 
like Bengal remained quiet, and the Punjab where English 
regiments were more numerous than in any other part of India 
was kept under control by its able governor, Sir John Lawrence. 
But all that lay between them was a seething flood of rebellion, 
where a few English garrisons lay scattered like islands in a 
tempestuous sea. Agra, Cawnpore, Lucknow, Allahabad, were 
all insufficiently held only at the third of them was there so 
much as a single regiment of British infantry. 

While the authorities at Calcutta were collecting the few 
European troops who could be gathered from Burmah and 
The siege of Madras, and were making desperate appeals for 
DeiM. prompt aid from home, the governor of the Punjab 
struck the first blow for the reconquest of the lost provinces. 
Four thousand Europeans and some hastily raised Sikh levies 
crossed the Sutlej and marched on Delhi, now held by at least 
30,000 mutineers. They defeated the rebels in the field, and 
commenced the siege of the royal city on June 10, 1857. 
This bold move threw the enemy on the defensive, and the 
rising spread no further in the north. But Delhi was be- 
leaguered for fourteen weeks, and even when every available 
British soldier had been drawn from the Punjab, the storming 
of the place was a hazardous task, only carried to a successful end 
by the reckless courage of the assailants. After six days of deadly 

1857- 77/6' Massacre of Cawnpore. 731 

street fighting (September 14-20, 1857), the rebels were driven 
out, and their titular leader, the aged Grand Mogul, with 
all his family, was captured. Bahadur Shah himself was only 
banished to Burmah, but his sons and grandson were shot 
without trial by Major Hodson, the daring cavalry officer who 
had tracked and captured them. 

While the siege of Delhi was still in progress, a small force 
had been collected at Calcutta and hurried northward to attack 
Oude and relieve the beleaguered garrisons of The massacre 
Cawnpore and Lticknow. General Havelock of Cawnpore. 
commanded this brigade, a mere handful of 1200 men. He 
pushed on from Allahabad on June 30, but when he had cut 
his way to Cawnpore after four considerable fights, he found 
that he was too late. The small garrison there, hampered with 
many hundreds of women and children, had held out for a 
month, but surrendered on June 27 to the chief of the rebels, 
Nana Sahib, the adopted son of the late Peishwa, whose pension 
and title had been denied him.* This revengeful and treacher- 
ous ruffian promised the besieged a safe passage to Allahabad. 
But as soon as they had evacuated their entrenchments, he 
massacred them all in cold blood, save two hundred women 
and children, whom he saved alive. When the news of 
Havelock's victorious advance was heard, he had these poor 
survivors hacked to death and cast into the famous " well of 
Cawnpore" (July 15). The British brigade cut its way into 
the city a day too late to save the prisoners, but was able to 
wreak a terrible vengeance on their murderers, though the 
Nana himself, to the bitter disappointment of all, got safely 
away and died a fugitive in the jungles of Nepaul. 

Havelock had to wait some time at Cawnpore for reinforce- 
ments before he could march on Lucknow, where the garrison, 
some looo strong, had maintained themselves The relief of 
for eighty-seven days behind the walls of the hastily Lucknow. 
fortified Residency. The much-tried defenders were cheered by 
the arrival of Havelock, who with 3000 men forced his way into 
the Residency after a day's street fighting. But 60,000 rebels, 
the whole fighting population of the province of Oude, still hung 
round the place, and Havelock could not drive them away. 
The final relief of Lucknow was only accomplished by Lord 
* See p. 723. 

732 India and the Colonies. 

Clyde, the Colin Campbell of the Crimean war, who had 
arrived in India with the first reinforcements from home. On 
November 9 he swept away the rebels, and liberated the garrison, 
but Havelock died the very day after he and his troops were 

Lord Clyde drew back to Cawnpore with the rescued garrison, 
leaving Lucknow to be reoccupied by the rebels. He was 
Lord Clyde de- forced to turn because the Mahratta army of 
Sttasand^e Scindiah had just revolted and joined the Oude 
oude rebels, insurgents. Clyde beat them on December 6, 
just outside Cawnpore, and drove them back on to Central 

The final stage of the war was reached in March, 1858, when 
Clyde marched for the second time against Lucknow, stormed 
the city, and drove the remnants of the rebel army 
of Oude to Bareilly, where they were crushed in 
and Gwaiior. the last general engagement but one of the war 
(May 7). Meanwhile Sir Hugh Rose had collected an army 
from the Bombay presidency and overrun Scindiah's dominions 
and Bundelkund, where the rebellion of the Mahrattas had 
been headed by the Ranee of Jhansi and Tantia Topee, a 
clever leader of irregular troops. On June 16 he beat them in 
front of Gwalior, the Ranee was slain, and her army dispersed. 
But Tantia Topee took to the jungles, and was not finally caught 
and hung till the spring of the succeeding year. 

Thus ended the great mutiny of 1857-58, a ferocious struggle 
in which the treachery and cruelty of the sepoys were amply 
punished by the ruthless severity of their victors, who gave 
no quarter, blew prominent traitors from the cannon's mouth, 
and hung meaner prisoners by the hundred. 

The English nation were convinced that something must be 
done to reform the administration of India, and the East India 
Abolition of the Company was abolished by Act of Parliament 

East India in 1858, the whole administration, civil and military, 
of the peninsula being now taken over by the 
Queen's government. To mark that no blame was thrown on 
the Governor-General, Lord Canning, whose conduct all through 
the war had been most cool and courageous, he was made the 
first viceroy of the new empire. 

Since the Mutiny the annals of India have been comparatively 

1878. The Second Afghan War. 733 

peaceful, and hardly a shot has been fired within the bounds 
of the peninsula. The history of the last thirty Indiaunder 
years has been a record of growing prosperity, the rule of the 
of the development of trade and industries, the 
building of railways and canals, and the marvellous increase of 
sea-borne trade. Since the Suez Canal has brought India so 
close to Europe, the arable land is everywhere encroaching on 
the jungle, and the main difficulty of the future appears likely to 
be the overgrowth of population in the thickly settled districts, 
where, more than once, a year of dearth has slain thousands and 
brought tens of millions to the edge of starvation. The terrible 
Madras famine of 1877, the worst of its kind, is said to have cost 
the lives of 1,500,000 peasants. 

The one great warlike episode in the history of British India 
remaining to be chronicled is the second Afghan war, of 1878-80. 
This struggle was a consequence of the Russo- The second 
Turkish war of the previous year, and of the Af han war. 
estrangement between Russia and England which resulted 
therefrom. Lord Lytton, the viceroy of the years 1876-80, was a 
disciple of Lord Beaconsfield, and a believer in a spirited foreign 
policy. He found that Shere Ali, the Ameer of Afghanistan, was 
intriguing with the Russian governor of Turkestan, and promptly 
summoned him to sign a treaty of alliance and receive a British 
resident at his court. The Ameer refused, and at once saw his 
dominions invaded. When General Roberts stormed the Peiwar 
Kotal and advanced within a few miles of Cabul, the Ameer 
fled towards the Russian frontier, and died on the way. His son, 
Yakoob Khan, accepted the British suzerainty, and promised all 
that was required. But when the army had retired, the populace 
of Cabul rose just as in 1842, and murdered Sir Lewis Cavagnari, 
the British resident, and all his escort. A second invasion at 
once began, and Yakoob Khan was deposed and sent to India. 
Lord Lytton would probably have annexed the whole country 
but for the troubles which broke out in the winter of 1879-80, 
when the Afghan tribes took arms and assailed the garrisons 
of Cabul and Candahar. Roberts was besieged in his en- 
trenchments at Cabul, but finally drove off the insurgents, and 
held his own. But in the south General Burrows, advancing to 
attack the pretender Eyoob Khan, was totally defeated at Mai- 
wand, with the loss of half his brigade, and chased back into 

734 India and the Colonies. iseo. 

Candahar. He was only saved by the rapid and masterly 
march of Roberts, who in twenty-three days forced his way from 
Cabul to Candahar, routed the army of Eyoob, and liberated 
the Candahar garrison (September I, 1880). But the disaster of 
Maiwand had troubled English public opinion, and a Liberal 
government had now replaced Lord Beaconsfield at home. 
Afghanistan was evacuated, and Abdurrhaman Khan, a nephew 
of Shere Ali, was recognized as ruler of the whole country, where 
he still maintains himself with success, and has proved very 
faithful to the English alliance. 

Perhaps Lord Lytton's administration may ultimately be 
remembered less for his unhappy Afghan war than for his 
The Queen proclamation of the Queen as Empress of India 
ImpSsTof in the S reat Durbar held in Delhi in 1877. This 
India. step marked the commencement of a new and more 
intimate relation of England and India, of which an earnest had 
been given two years before by the Prince of Wales's tour 
through the peninsula. Since then every attempt has been 
made to enlist the sympathies of the natives on behalf of the 
British rule. Their princes have been encouraged to visit 
England, to interest themselves in public works, education, and 
internal reforms, and to supply troops for the general service of 
the empire. Elective municipalities have been created in the 
cities, to teach their motley population the art of self-govern- 
ment which they are still very far from having learnt. A 
share in the administration which some think unduly large is 
granted to native civil servants, and the native press has been 
granted a liberty which it often abuses. All financial and agrarian 
legislation is framed to press as lightly as possible on the masses. 
But the results of these efforts are still somewhat problematic, 
and the British bayonet is still needed to keep the peace between 
contending races and creeds. 

In strong contrast with the stirring annals of British India 
are the unromantic details of the development of our Australian 

The A.US- Colonies. We have alluded to the unpromising 

traiian penal foundation of our first establishment in Botany 

settlements. ,_, , ., , ,,., ,., f 

New south Bay, by the despatch thither of the gangs of con- 

Waies. v i cts W k j n an ear ii er a g e usec i to be sent into 

servitude in America (1788). For many years this annual crop 
of ruffianism swamped all attempts at real colonization in New 

1788-1885. The Development of Australia. 735 

South Wales. But after a time the extraordinary fertility of the 
soil began to attract more immigrants, while the mitigation of 
the English penal law under the hands of Sir Robert Peel 
decreased the number of convicts. As the free population grew 
they begun to protest so strongly against the companions who 
were drafted in upon them, that the government diverted the 
stream of convicts to new settlements in Tasmania and Western 
Australia. For long years New South Wales remained a purely 
pastoral colony, and its immense plains were inhabited only by 
the "squatters" the proprietors who had bought large tracts 
of land from the government. They dwelt in stations thinly scat- 
tered over the face of the country, rearing vast herds of cattle 
and sheep. It was as exporting wool, hides, and tallow alone 
that Australia first became known to the commercial world of 

In 1851, however, an enormous difference was made by the 
discovery of rich alluvial gold deposits near Port Phillip, on the 
southern shore of New South Wales. The wash- . 

Discovery of 

ings proved so productive that thousands of im- gold-fields. 
migrants of all sorts and conditions poured in to 
profit by them. The Port Phillip district was cut off from New 
South Wales, and made into the new colony of Victoria (1851). 
Its population went up from 80,000 to 450,000 in the ten years 
that followed the discovery of gold. When the alluvial deposits 
were exhausted, it was found that large reefs of auriferous quartz 
lay below them, and a steady development of scientific mining 
by machinery superseded the haphazard work of the early 
diggers. Victoria still continues one of the great gold-producing 
centres of the world. 

New South Wales still remains a mainly pastoral country, 
though here too considerable gold-fields have been found. 

After throwing off its southern districts to form , 
, , r^r- -, -, Queensland. 

the colony of Victoria, it ceded its northern ter- The labour 

ritory to form the colony of Queensland (1859). difflcult y- 
The semi-tropical climate of this last province differentiates 
it from the rest of Australia. The great heat makes European 
labour difficult during the greater part of the year. 

South Australia, settled in 1836, is mainly an agricultural country 
with some copper-mines. Western Australia, originating in a 
convict settlement in 1829, has lagged behind the rest of the 

736 India and the Colonies, ms-isee. 

sister colonies for want of any of the natural advantages which 

south AUS- attract immigrants, but the tardy discovery of gold 

SSi^Sit in l8 9 2 ma Y suffice at last to draw thither the 

-Tasmania, much-needed population. Tasmania, originating, 

like Western Australia, in a penal colony, has developed into a 

small island community of steady prosperity. 

Far to the east of Australia lie the twin islands of New 
Zealand, first explored by Captain Cook in 1773, but not 
New Zealand P lanted with English colonists "till 1839. Unlike 
-The Maori the aborigines of Australia, the lowest and feeblest 
savages in the world, the natives of New Zealand 
were a fierce and clever race of cannibals, named Maoris. 
They bitterly resented the settlement of their islands, and raised 
two considerable wars, for the second of which (i 861-66) 
British troops had to be brought to this remote colony, and 
had hard work to expel the Maoris from their pahs^ or 
stockades. After their defeat they quieted down, and are now 
slowly dying out before the progress of civilization, which 
seems fatal to them, though they are a vigorous and intelligent 
race. New Zealand more resembles Great Britain in climate 
and situation than does any other of our colonies, and has 
enjoyed a long career of prosperity, somewhat checked of late 
by a tendency to a rash extension of the public debt. 

Passing westward across the Indian Ocean, we come to the 
second great group of English colonies, those of- South Africa. 

The cape The ^ Dutch dominion of the Cape of Good 

Coiony.-The Hope was conquered by the British in 1806, and 

secured to us by the treaty of Vienna in 1815. 

It reached only as far as the Orange River, and was thinly 

settled by Dutch farmers, or Boers, scattered among a population 

of Kaffirs, whom they had in many cases reduced to slavery. 

When English emigration was directed to the Cape, the 
Boers resented the intrusion of the foreigner, and many of them 

Natai.-The trekked, i.e. migrated, into the wilderness to con- 
BtSelnd r fe <l uer new homes among the Kaffirs. But the 

Transvaal. British government followed them, and annexed 
their first settlement in Natal (1843). They then moved 
inland, and finally established (1852-54) the two republics of 
the Orange Free State and the Transvaal, which still remain, 
though each of them was for a short time under British control, 

1815-1881. British South Africa. 737 

The history of the Cape Colony, till within the last few years, 
was one of comparatively slow development and of frequent 
Kaffir wars. No less than eight such struggles The Kaffir 
with the natives are recorded between 1815 and wars. 
1881, some of them of considerable length and difficulty. 

Each led to an annexation, till at last all the country south 
of the Orange River had passed into the hands of the settlers, 
though large reserved tracts were set aside for the The diamond 
native tribes. Meanwhile the Dutch and English mines. 
colonists held apart, and have always remained more 
or less estranged. The first rapid development of the settlement 
began in 1867, when the discovery of diamond-mines in Griqualand 
West, beyond the Orange River, led to the northward extension 
of the British boundary, to the grave discontent of the Boers 
of the Orange Free State (1872). The great mining town of 
Kimberley has arisen as the centre of this arid but busy district. 

The most formidable difficulty which the English have met in 
South Africa came from the annexation of the Transvaal in 
1877. The Boers of that republic having engaged Annexation of 
themselves in dangerous wars with the natives, the Transvaal. 
Lord Beaconsfield's government resolved to place them under 
British rule. This was done, and, as heirs to the Boers' quarrels, 
we fought out the sanguinary Zulu war of 1879. 

The Zulus, an immigrant tribe from the north, had built up a 
military monarchy over their neighbours under a despot named 
Chaka, who had disciplined them and formed them 

. Tiie Zulu war 

into regiments in imitation of European organiza- 
tion. We made war on his grandson Cetewayo, and incurred, 
on our first meeting with the formidable Zulu army, the disaster 
of Isandula, where a whole British battalion and 1000 native 
auxiliaries were exterminated to the last man. It required the 
dispatch of 10,000 men from England under Sir Garnet Wolseley, 
and three sharp battles at Ekowe, Kambula, and Ulundi to break 
Cetewayo's army and restore the prestige of the British arms. 

Hardly was the Zulu war over when the Boers of the Trans- 
vaal revolted, and defeated the small British force in Natal at 
Laing's Neck and Majuba Hill. We have related elsewhere 
how the Gladstone government thereupon made peace, and gave 
the Boers their independence.* 

* See p. 713; 

738 India and the Colonies, 

The history of British Africa during the last ten years has 
been the story of a scramble with the other European powers for 
The scramble the possession of the unoccupied parts of the con- 
fer Africa, tinent. Since the Germans began to seize large 
tracts of southern Africa, and the French to extend their power 
into the Sahara and the valley of the Niger, the British govern- 
ment was forced in self-defence to make similar seizures, in order 
to prevent its colonies from being cut off from the interior. 
This has resulted in the annexation of three great tracts one 
reaching from the Orange River and Griqualand up to the 
Zambezi, and circling round three sides of the Transvaal Repub- 
lic ; a second round Lake Nyassa ; a third further north, includ- 
ing a slip of coast about Mombasa and Witu, and running 
up inland to the great equatorial lakes which feed the Nile, so 
as to include the kingdom of Uganda. At the same time the 
Niger Company has been allowed to establish a protectorate 
over the lower valley of that great river, where a colony is being 
built up which throws into the shade the old pestilential sea- 
ports at Sierra Leone and on the Gold Coast, which were once 
the only British possessions in Guinea. This rapid extension of 
our possessions brings them everywhere into touch with the 
newly acquired and half-subdued territories of France and 
Germany, and must lead to much trouble with those powers in 
the future. 

The history of the British colonies in North America is of a 
Upper and very different character from that of British South 
Lower Canada. Africa. We have spoken in an earlier page of the 
gallant aid which the colonists gave to England in her struggle 
with the United States during the years 1812-15. When the 
excitement of this war had died down, there arose a slowly 
increasing estrangement between the two provinces of Upper 
and Lower Canada ; the English settlers of the former and the 
old French habitans of the latter were separated from each 
other by race, language, religion, and prejudices. They were, 
moreover, administered as wholly different colonies. Gradually 
a dangerous spirit developed itself among the French Canadians, 
who complained that their governors and officials were un- 
sympathetic, and chafed against the limited self-government 
allowed them by Pitt's Canada Act of 1791. Even some of the 
settlers of the Upper Province expressed disloyal sentiments on 

1837-1885. The Dominion of Canada. 739 

this latter grievance, and spoke of asking for annexation to the 
United States. 

This discontent took shape in the Canadian rebellion of 1837, 
a movement almost entirely confined to the French-speaking 
districts, and easily suppressed by the loyalists, The Canadian 
aided by a few British troops. After investigating rebellion, 
the grievances which had led to the rising, the Home Govern- 
ment resolved to unite the two provinces into a single colony, 
that the French districts might be more closely linked to and 
controlled by the English. At the same time a more liberal 
measure of self-government was conceded. The constitution for 
the future comprised an elective Lower House and an Upper 
House of life-members, who stood to the governor much as the 
two Houses of the English Parliament stand to the Queen (1840). 

The most important event in the history of British North 
America has been the federation of all its colonies into the single 
"Dominion of Canada" in the years 1867-1871. Canadian 
The danger which the British possessions had federation, 
experienced during the threatened war with the United States in 
1862 and the Fenian invasions of 1866-7 impelled the provinces 
towards the union which gives strength. Nova Scotia, New 
Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, British Columbia, consented 
to federate themselves with Canada. Only the remote and thinly 
populated fishing-station of Newfoundland has preferred to 
remain outside the alliance. The four other colonies send deputies 
to the Dominion Parliament, which meets at Ottawa, though 
they retain for local purposes provincial legislatures of their own. 

The Canadian Pacific Railway was completed in 1885, so that 
free communication exists across the whole continent from Nova 
Scotia to British Columbia. Since then the broad The Canadian 
plains between the great lakes and the Rocky Pacific Kail- 
Mountains are being rapidly peopled. The old 
settlement of Manitoba and the newer provinces of Assinboia, 
Saskatchewan, and Alberta are all being put under the plough 
or turned into cattle runs. 

The success of the federation of our North American provinces 
has led to the mooting of similar projects for Australasia and 
South Africa. But much has to be done ere those other feder- 
groups of colonies are likely to coalesce. The ation schemes, 
repeated meetings of inter-colonial congresses in each of those 

74^ India and the Colonies. isse, 

regions has not yet led to any permanent scheme for a, 

But far above such schemes in importance lies the larger 
question of the practicability of the federation of Great Britain 

imperial and all her colonies into a single great British State. 

federation. Such a union might almost control the world, but 
it is hard to bring about. First among the difficulties in the 
way is the doubt whether Great Britain would ever allow hefself 
to be outvoted by her colonies in an Imperial Parliament, and 
whether Canada would submit to the dictation of Australia, or 
Australia to the dictation of South Africa, in matters where their 
interests clashed. Next comes the question of free trade and 
protection. Most of the colonies are zealously protectionist in 
spirit, and as a condition of federation they would probably 
demand that the mother country should give their goods a 
preference over those of foreign states, by means of a revised 
customs tariff. A third set of objections turn on the likelihood 
of the colonies refusing to countenance the purely European 
policy of England. A fourth and formidable question is the 
place which India would have to take in the confederacy ; she 
is not yet fit for self-government and equal partnership with the 
rest. If shs were, the votes of her 250,000,000 inhabitants would 
swamp those of all the other members of the league. Yet none 
of these difficulties appear wholly insuperable. The idea of 
federation is in the air both in Great Britain and in her daughter- 
states. The day has long gone by when a not inconsiderable 
number of English statesmen looked forward to the time when 
the colonies should, as it was phrased, " cut the painter " and 
steer their own course. The consciousness of common origin 
and interests grows stronger ; the interdependence of the mother 
country and her colonies is more realized ; the development of 
rapid communication by sea and land makes the distance between 
the various British communities in different hemispheres less felt 
as every year rolls by. If local jealousies prevail, and the English- 
speaking peoples drift asunder, each must be content to play a 
comparatively unimportant part in the annals of the twentieth 
century. If, on the other hand, the project of federation can be 
worked out to a successful end, the future of the world lies in the 
hands of the Anglo-Saxon race. 




DA Oman, (Sir) Charles William 

32 Chadwick 

04.5 A history of England