Imatges de pÓgina
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sion of the military ascendance implied must depend, not upon its titles or in this objection was like that of the classes, but on the mode in which it poor insane gentleman, who was afraid is conferred. At present, there is no of his own sword after he had hung want of breasts, often exposed to danit up on the wall;—that the character ger for their country, on which the and constitution of our army, as well badges of the various classes may be as the principles and education of our honourably displayed. But we hope, officers, were such as to warrant us (for the hope implies a prospect of against any apprehension of their be. long and continued peace) that the ing led to consider their own inte time will arrive when worthy canrest, or that of their profession, as dis- didates for military honours must netinct from the liberty and welfare of cessarily be more scarce. If the sovetheir country ;-that as Britain could reign, withstanding favour and imnot repay by more solid bounty the portunity, shall then refuse to grant actions of her best and bravest sail the distinctions of the order to all who ors and soldiers, the least which could have not honourably earned them, it be assigned to them was the empty will retain its lustre in the eyes of honour of rank and precedence;-that those who wear it, of those who asthere was no novelty in the prece- pire to win it, of the country, and of dence of the Companions of the Or- posterity. Should it be otherwise, der, since an Esquire of the Bath took this, like other honours, will cease to Tank of all Esquires, except those of be the badge of merit, and sink inthe King's body, by the original sta- to a distinction of little value, to be tute of the order ; and, finally, that obtained by court-intrigue or favour. the gentry of England, who had been itism, honouring neither the wearer, protected in their rights by these galo nor the sovereign by whom it is confant men, could feel no degradation ferred. And it is further to be rein giving place to their distinguished marked, that the supposed degrada.

tion cannot take place, even in the Viewing the matter generally, we lowest rank of the Order, without can see no impropriety in the esta- transgression of the fundamental rule, blishment or extension of a military that the officers on whom it is confera order, to reward past services, and red, shall have been distinguished for afford an honourable object of emu- some special act of service communi. lation in future wars. Something per- cated to the public in the London haps may be objected to the terms Gazette. Grand Crosses and Commanders, both The trial of Sir John Murray by a as unknown to our English chivalry, court martial next engaged the attenwhose dialect affords modes of dis- tion of the public. The reader may tinction as significant; and as ap. remember, that while the Duke of proaching too nearly, in sound at Wellington was pursuing his victoriJeast, to the phraseology of foreign ous career in the south-west of Spain, orders, the lowest ranks of which are in summer 1813,* Sir John Murray, usually distributed with injudicious at the head of an army of English and and indiscriminate profusion. This, Sicilians, had the difficult task to keep however, is a trifle; for the respec- in check Suchet, who occupied Catatability of the Order of the Bath, lonia with a large French force. With and every other honorary institution, this view Sir John undertook the siege


* See the Edinburgh Register for that year, Chapter X.

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of Tarragona, and being compelled to him of the remainder of that charge ; raise it by the advance of a very su- and the court, under all the cireumperior French force, succeeded indeed stances of the case, considering the in embarking his men with safety, but conduct of Sir John Murray to have left behind some battering guns and proceeded from a mere error in judge mortars, and stores of no great va. ment, is of opinion, and does adjudge, lue. We have given the particulars that for the part of the third charge of his expedition in our volume for of which Lieutenant-General Sir J. the year in which it took place, with so Murray has been so found guilty, he much minuteness, that we may dis- be admonished in such manner as his pense with resuming the subject. The Royal Highness the Commander in charges brought against Sir John Mur. Chief may think proper." It was proray were three in number, the two bably considered by his Royal Highfirst being supported by the judge. ness the Duke of York, that the error advocate, Mr Larpent, and the third of judgment of which Sir John Murby Admiral Hallowell

, who command- ray was found to be guilty, arose from ed the naval force of the expeditions his preferring the certain loss of a few The first charge related to the siege guns and stores of no great value, to of Tarragona, and the delay in raising the possible and even probable chance it, even after, in Sir John Murray's of the troops being exposed to the atown former opinion, the success of the tack of a superior enemy when in the enterprise had beconie hopeless. The very act of re-embarkation. second was, that he had disobeyed therefore, the conclusion of his royal his instructions in embarking only a highness, that as an error in judgment part of his army, and in subsequently alone was charged against Sir John disembarking them. The third char. Murray, and that it proceeded from a ged, that the force was embarked cautious regard to the safety of his in a hurried and precipitate manner, army, engaged in what always must be 80 as to sacrifice the object pointed a perilous operation, the case did not out in Lord Wellington's letter, and to appear to call for any

further observadisgrace the military character of the tion. The decision of the commander country, by abandoning various guns in chief was generally acceptable to and trophies to an approaching enemy: the public, for the temporary prejudiUpon these charges, the first and ces against Sir John Murray had been third ot' which are not easily reconci- long removed when the impossibility led to each other, a quantity of evi- of success against Tarragona was made dence was led, and Sir John Murray fully manifest, and the necessity of a adduced many witnesses to support retreat no less so. The third charge, his defence. The decision of the comparatively unimportant in itself, court found Sir John Murray Not was supposed to be in some degree Guilty of the two first charges. Upon founded upon the rivalry between the the third, they found that Lieutenant- army and 'navy, which had in former General Sir John Murray, Bart. is times done so much prejudice to both, Guilty only of so much of the charge and which has occasionally disposed as states, “ That he unnecessarily the officers of the one service to think abandoned a considerable quantity of and judge somewhat harshly of the conartillery and stores, which he might duct of those belonging to the other. have embarked in safety, such conduct Another incident, of an extravabeing detrimental to the service; and gant and even ludicrous nature, octhe court does therefore find him cupied for a few days the public atGuilty of such part, but does acquittention. We regret to say it again

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assembled in the very lobby of the perty and houses of the members unHouse, for the avowed purpose of in- derstood to favour the corn bill. A timidating the members of the legisla- small and desperate band, which at ture in their deliberations; and his eyes, first did not exceed seventy or eighty te if theirs be the channel of communica- in number, went to the house of the tion he iɛ most in the habit of trust. right honourable F. J. Robinson, the ing, might have read an answer to his original mover of the bill, and obtain. question in the marks of ill-usage ex- ing admittance by a stratagem, prohibited by such members as had un- ceeded to destroy the whole furniture, dergone the discipline of the mob. with books, pictures, papers, and proBut, notwithstanding the evidence of perty of every description, and ended his own senses, it was not until seve- by dashing the windows into the ral witnesses had been examined at street, and breaking the doors down. the bar, that Mr Lambton became Having thus completely sacked the finally satisfied that the soldiery were

habitation of the obnoxious member brought down, not to overawe the with whom the bill originated, they House of Commons, but to protect proceeded to those of others, whom them from the threats and actual vio- they regarded as its supporters. Lord lence of a riotous populace.

Darnley's house and Mr Yorke's were Upon the whole (as might have attacked. The rioters were unable to been expected from the British spirit force admittance into the latter, and of our legislators) the violence, by were alarmed in their attack upon the which the populace attempted to former, when they had penetrated inoverawe the House, produced exact- to the hall, so that less damage was ly the opposite effect. Several mem- sustained than at Mr Robinson's. bers, whose opinions were not before Neither peace officers nór military completely made up, were decided in appeared in sufficient force to disturb favour of the bill, from the determi- the mob in these riotous proceedings. nation to shew they were not to be If this was little creditable to the podebarred from their duty by popular lice of the metropolis, the conduct of clamour and violence. Many of those two eminent law-lords shewed the who opposed the bill, and had advised firmness and spirit worthy of those that the measure should be at least selected to administer justice to a postponed, now agreed with its sup- great nation. The rabble assembled porters that a dilatory course might before the Lord Chancellor's house in inspire the populace with a dangerous Bedford-square, and having giving belief that their measures of intimida. three cheers, deliberately proceeded con had made some impression, and to force their way into the premises, consented therefore to the immediate by breaking open the doors. Lord and final discussion. And the vote of Eldon, by a private door, through the night was decisive in favour of the which he had let out his lady and fa. corn bill, by a more triumphant majo- mily into the gardens of the British rity than had accompanied the mea. Museum, introduced two files of solsure in any former stage of its progress. diers; and finding the mob had suc

The resentment of the populace did ceeded in forcing their way into his not subside upon their being driven house, and were commencing the defrom the vicinity of the House of struction of his property, his lordship Commons by the military. They di- exhibited the Chancellor of England vided into parties, in order, by a si- in a new character, by personally lead multaneous attack, to destroy the pro. ing hismilitary auxiliaries to the charge

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The rioters fled with great alarm be their purpose while the soldiers were fore this inferior, but unexpected in the next street, without their haforce; not, however, till the Lord ving notice of it. When a party of Chancellor had with his own hand the military did come up, the rioters made two of their ringleaders prison- dropped their implements of mischief, ers. Lord Ellenborough behaved with and appeared to be the wondering equal spirit. On the mob appearing and innocent spectators of the ruins before his house, and commencing they themselves had made. The their usual violence, he came out and mansions of Lord King, Earl Bathurst, demanded their purpose ; and being and Sir William Rowley suffered seanswered with menacing shouts of verely; the sashes and doors being de"No corn bill!” he placed before molished, the windows dashed in, and them, in a few. brief words, the folly the iron railings broken down and and danger of their conduct, with converted into weapons for storming such effect, that they greeted him the street-doors. The houses of many with three cheers, and carried their other distinguished members of the clamours and fury elsewhere. These legislature were injured in a greater were the events of the Monday night. or less degree.

It has seldom happened that riots, The rioters, whatever care they having been allowed to proceed to a might mean to take in selecting the certain height, without an effectual victims of their fury, fell into various check, subside till they arrive at a fa. mistakes, and frequently broke the tal crisis. What is in the first day a windows and assaulted the houses of popular start of violence, becomes on persons who had nothing to do with the next a system of organized plun- the state measure which they resentder and destruction. Every greated so deeply. The following instances city contains a certain number of per- of such errors were ludicrous. Mi sons, to whom theft and rapine are fa. Morritt (member for Northallerton, mtliar: and in London, at this period, and known to the literary world aś there existed several associations who the advocate of the Iliad against were led to join in such scenes of tu. the criticisms of Bryant) had spomult, and to aid the thoughtless rioter, ken in favour of the corn bill. From and the more determined professional the similarity of the names, the mob depredator, from the instigation of po- visited with their vengeance the house litical zeal. The tumults, therefore, as- of Mr Morris the Indian director; sumed on the Tuesdaya more systema- and the classical defender of Homer tic form. The rioters, dispersed in par- had his windows broken only by proxy. ties through different and remote quar. At another time the mob announ. ters of the city, selected their objects ced their next object of vengeance of vengeance, by learning at the beer. by shouting " Let's to Berkeley Pahouses in the Meuse-lanes the names get's.” A gentleman enquired what of such members of parliament as in- possible pretext they couid have for habited the adjacent streets. They attacking the house of a brave officer, then proceeded to the work of de. who had no concern whatever with struction, not in one large mass, but the corn-laws. It was replied by one acting in different parties of limited of these sagacious orators, that the innumbers; and to add to the general dividual in question was no officer, alarm which their tactics produced, but a brewer, and deeply concerned 13 the night was dark and the wind in grain speculations. An ecclaircishigh, they sometimes accomplished sement ensued, and it was found out

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that these “ most sweet voices" had but be thought most natural to in-
confounded Colonel Berkeley Paget, dulge it.
with Messrs Barclay, Perkins, and

The riots did not cease even with

this fatal accident. In the course of But the events of the 7th March Wednesday (8th March) fresh outrawere unfortunately not all of a ludi. ges were committed, and some for crous nature. A guard of soldiers had which no pretext whatever could be been posted in Mr Robinson's house, alledged. An attack was made on which, as we have said, had sustained the house of Sir Joseph Banks, the first fury of the mob on the pre- whose whole life had been devoted ceding evening, and had again been not to politics but to science, and visited by them in the course of the some property and papers were deday. The guard were supported by stroyed. Fortunately, the arrival of some of that gentleman's servants, the military saved the inexpressible armed to protect what property their loss to knowledge which might other. master had left, and to repel the riot. wise have been sustained by the ers, who had repeatedly demanded to destruction of his library and scienti. know where Mr Robinson was; and fic collections. Similar violence disthreatened death to him and all who graced different parts of the metropoprotected him. About seven o'clock lis; and it seemed that the audacity at night a party of the mob entered of the rioters increased with the for. Burlington street, and again attacked bearance of the soldiery, who conthe ruins of Mr Robinson's house. ducted themselves with the most un. The military, after warning them of common temper and discretion; hard. their danger, and loading their pieces ly assuming even the blameless liin their presence, at length fired from cense of self-defence, though subjectthe windows. Several of the mob were ed to every species of outrage in lanwounded, but the persons killed were guage and action. In the meanwhile unfortunately a young midshipman a scène passed in the House of ComAamed Vize, and a female called Jane mons, which, though doubtless not so Watson, innocent spectators of the intended, must have led the mob to tumult, if those can be termed entire- believe they were not without a friend ly irreprehensible, who, though ga- and advocate even within the walls of zing on the mob out of mere curiosity,

that House, increase their confidence by giving

On the forenoon of the Gth there an appearance of numbers, and put had been a meeting of the electors themselves in the way of danger from in Old Palace-Yard for petitioning the means which at last must be used against the corn bill. Their repreto suppress

them. It is probable that sentative, Sir Francis Burdett, seems no mob would ever appear so formi- (like the general who said he was a dable as to defy the civil power, were

Venetian before he was a Christian) the mass of idle, curious, and unthink- to have remembered that he was a ing spectators to be withdrawn from landholder before he was a patriot, and the determined and active rioters. therefore approved of the corn bill. The deaths of these persons were not But to have avouched such sentiments the less accidents deeply to be re- in the House of Commons would gretted, since, however prudent and have risked his popularity with his proper


may be to repress the spirit constituents; and therefore, as a comof curiosity in such cases, it cannot promise between his opinion and his

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