Imatges de pÓgina

ed, and the high bailiff of Amfter dam interfered for the purpofe of putting an end to the tumult. But the patience of the democratical vulgar was already exhausted; and, though without arms, they purfued the rioters, and drove them back to their house of rendezvous. Having thus far fucceeded, they now acted upon the offenfive, and pillaged five or fix houfes of the itadtholderians, among which was that of M. de Rendorp. The Cattemburgers on their fide were not more peaceable; and, having lifted up the drawbridge which connects their quarter with the reft of the city, pillaged the houfes of the pa


triots. In the mean time the armed burghers now affembled, and marched against the quarter of Cattemburg. A kind of battle was maintained acrofs the canal, first with mufquetry, and then with cannon; and a young failor of the patriots, embarking in a boat, leapupon the balluftrade from which the drawbridge was fufpended, cut the cable that fupported it, pulled down the bridge, and returned in fafety. The burghers having thus obtained a paffage, foon put to fight their undifciplined enemy; but the riot was not completely fuppreffed till ten o'clock in the morning. A fevere inquifition into the bufinefs followed; one person was hanged, and ten others branded and whipped. An artillery man of the burghers who had been kill ed, was buried with much folemnity, while a perfon of the fame clafs on the part of the Cattemburgers, was hanged by his foot at the public gallows. Much pains were taken to trace up thefe proceedings to the prince of Orange. Some citizens of confiderable rank found their fafety in flight, and it -was faid to have come out in evi

dence, that an armourer of Liege had expedited fix hundred mufquets for the inhabitants of Cattemburg, and that he had been paid by certain confidential perfons in the court of Nimeguen.

The fignal of general revolt among the troops of the province of Holland was given on the tenth of June by lieutenant colonel Balnea. vis, who, having previously re

fufed obedience to the orders of
Holland, and withdrawn himself
from his regiment, now returned,
and fuccefsfully endeavoured to fe
duce from the fervice the body he
had lately commanded, as well as
a battalion of a different regiment,
which was ftationed with them in
garrifon at the fortrefs of Oudewa-
ter. The example of this divifion
fpeedily infected the whole line of
the troops. In a week the cordon
was broken up, the frontier left de-
fenceless to the mercy of the ene-
my, and near two thirds of the re
gular troops of Holland went over
to the Rtadtholder.

It was probably for the purpose of encouraging this operation, that the prince of Orange at the requi fition of the ftates of Amersfort, took the field at this period, and, having encamped his little army in the vicinity of Utrecht, took up his head quarters at the village of Zeist. The ftates of Holland on their part were not dilatory in the adoption of meafures, to counteract this formidable defection. After the ufual method of modern republics, they appointed a fet of field deputies, or a commiffion of defence, to be ftationed at Woerden, whofe prefent object it was, to confult with general van Reyffel upon the means of preferving the fcattered remains, and repairing the breaches of the cordon. The fuccess of this policy, at least in the immediate abje&t

object which had fuggefted it, was visible. The commiffion was active in the offers that were held out to encourage counter defertions, and their milionaries infinuated themfelves into all thofe places, where their industry was likely to be most inaufpicious to the intereft of the ftadtholer. Of confequence the defections in the army of Zeit were by no means inconfiderable. In the mean time every thing began to wear the appearance of war. General van Reyffel had already obtained the principal command of the troops of Holland, and the rhingrave of Salm and M. de Ternant were now refpectively appointed commanders in chief, on the part of the republicans, of the troops in the provinces of Utrecht and Overyffel.

There was one fubject, which at this time deeply engaged the attention of the adverfaries of the prince of Orange. There is nothing, which is commonly more eagerly defired by all parties in a cafe of civil diffention, than to fecure the forms and acknowledged principles of the conftitution on their fide. It was for this reafon, and for others yet more material, that the patriots had regarded the late proceedings of the affembly of the itates general with great mortification. Though there was no explicit prerogative in that body, which fhould enable them effectually to interfere in the prefent contention, their fupport however naturally gave a refpectability to the party they efpoufed in the eyes of foreign nations, and yielded fuch a fanction to the efforts made on that fide, as had evidently produced the greatest effect in the late question of the obedience of the regimental officers.

The minority in the states general confifted of Holland, Overyffel and Groningen; the majority, of

Guelderland, Zealand, Friesland and Utrecht. The legality of this laft voice might be regarded as fomewhat equivocal, and the town council of Utrecht, in having afferted the irregularity and nullity of the affembly of Amersfort, had virtually denied the right of the provincial deputies appointed by that affembly. Still however they fat in the ftates general, and even formed the cafting voice, that gave colour to the proceedings of the reprefentative of the whole republic. But this could be tolerated by the municipal government of Utrecht no longer. In combating the fuppofed abufe, they might either merely protest against the legality of thefe deputies, and thus endeavour to reduce the voices in the ftates general to an equality; or they might adopt a mode of conduct, more fpirited indeed, but not lefs reasonable and political, nor even lefs likely to be crowned with fuccefs. This was, confidering the great importance and preponderancy of the capital, that they were oppofed by only two towns, Amerffort and Rhenen, and these under military compulfion, to refolve to follow up their condemnation of the convention of Amersfort, by calling a new affembly of provincial ftates, and commiffioning new deputies to the ftates general, who fhould demand the exclufion of their adverfaries, and their own admiffion to the functions of their office; thus inftantly converting the ftadtholderian majority in the national affembly into a minority. This was the measure, which after mature deliberation, was adopted by the republicans. The new fates of Utrecht affembled for the first time on the eleventh of June, and their meeting appears both in numbers and rank to have been highly refpectable.


[ocr errors]

Blecting of Parliament.



Addreḥ. Commercial Treaty with France. De-
Treaty approved by both Houfes.


WO events, that took place fubfequent to the conclufion of the third feffion of the prefent parliament, came immediately under the notice of that affembly, when they met for their fourth feffion on the twenty third of January 187. An attempt had been made on the second of Auguit 1780 to affaffinate the king, and, though it does not appear to have been formidable or well conducted, it naturally excited confiderable alarm a mong the loyal inhabitants of this country, and occafioned a great number of addreffes to be prefented, congratulating his majesty on his fortunate efcape. The author of the attempt was a poor woman, by name Margaret Nicholfon, who had formerly lived in the capacity of a fervant maid, but was now infane. The mode the selected for her undertaking, was that of concealing a knife under a paper, which fle held in her hand, and prefented to the king in the manner of a petitioner. She was prefently difarm ed, though not till fhe had made one thrust at the king's breast; and he is faid immediately to have exelaimed, "I am not hurt. Take eare of the poor woman; do not hurt her." Upon her examination before the privy council it did not appear that he had any accomplice, and the declared, that the crown of England was her property, and that he wanted nothing but her right. The diforder of her intellects, having been afcertained, fhe was conducted to the hofpital of

Bedlam, to remain there probably for the rest of her life.

The other event was of great intrinfic importance. It was the figning at Verfailles on the twenty fixth of September of a treaty of commerce between the courts of England and France, which had been negociated by Mr. William Eden, envoy extraordinary and minifter plenipotentiary of the king of Great Britain, on the one part, and M. Gerard de Rayneval, commiffioner and plenipotentiary of the court of Verlailles, on the other. This treaty was, at leaft in appearance, the triumph of liberal fentiments and comprehensive views over an cient animofity and mercantile jealoufy. It tended to make two nations, the most civilized and refined in the world, mutually useful to each other, and thus to strike off as it were from the number of probabilities, which might involve them in future acts of hoftility and war. Its general principle was to permit the mutual exchange of every fpecies of commodity, except that of warlike ftores.

It was about the fame time that a confiderable addition was made to the English peerage. The earls of Shannon and Tyrone, and lord Delaval of the kingdom of Ireland, were advanced to the rank of barons of Great Britain: the dukes of Queensbury and Athol and the earl of Abercorn from the Scotifh peerage, were refpectively raised to the dignities of baron Douglas, earl Strange, and viscount Hamilton: and

and fir Harbord Harbord, fir Guy Carleton, and Mr. Charles Jenkinfon were created lords Suffield, Dorchester, and Hawkesbury. Lord Hawkesbury was alfo appointed chancellor of the duchy of Lancaf ter, and a new committee of privy council for matters of trade and plantations was nominated, of which that nobleman was prefiden', and fuch perfons, holding offices in the kingdom of Ireland, as the king fhould name privy counsellors of England, were admitted to be members. Lord Dorchefter had in the preceding April been appointed governor of Canada, Nova Scotia, and New Brunswick.

The fpeech from the throne at the commencement of the feffion

ferved upon the apparent tranquillity of Europe, and recommended the treaty of commerce to the fanction of parliament. It alfo referred three specific measures to their approbation: a convention, refpecting the cutting of logwood, with the catholic king; a plan, which had been formed for tranf porting a number of convicts to a part of the island of New Holland, known by the appellation of Botany Bay; and certain regulations for the accommodation of the mercantile part of the kingdom, and for fimplifying the public accounts in the various branches of the re


The address which, befide repeating the topics of the fpeech, congratulated the king upon his recent escape, was moved in the houfe of lords by the earl of Rochford and lord Dacre; and in the house of commons by viscount Compton, fon to the earl of Northampton, and Mr. Matthew Montague; the latter of whom gained fome ap- plaufe for the elegance and spirit of his harangue upon the occafion.

Mr. Fox, who concurred in the addrets, thought proper at the fante time to throw out fome animadverfions in relation to the commercial treaty. By the gentlemen who moved the addrefs, the uncertainty of war had been contrasted with the bleffings of commerce, as if it were fuppofed, that this country had ever gone to war for the fake of extending her dominion, or of gratifying an inordinate ambition. In the opinion of Mr. Fox the fat was directly the reverfe. Through the courfe of all our late, if not of our earlier wars, as often as we had fent our armies into the field, or covered the ocean with our fleets, our enterprizes had originated in a principle of felf-defence, or in the view of fheltering the invaded liberties Mr. Fox of furrounding ftates. expreffed a doubt, whether the treaty was to be confidered as having a political tendency, or were to be regarded as merely commercial; and remarked that the prefent policy of France, while it had the fame object in view, was more alarming in its nature than the policy of Louis the Fourteenth. For-.. merly her engines were oppreffion and power; engines, which could not fail to route a general indignation, and to excite the refiftance of every power, that poffeffed an atom of fpirit, generofity, or rectitude. What was the engine which was at this time employed by France? Influence: that fecret and almoft irrefiftible power, with which ambition infured its object, almost without being perceived, but much more effectually than with any other. It ought alfo to be recollected, that Louis the Sixteenth poffeffed more power than ever Louis the Fourteenth could boast; and that that fuperiority, great as it was, would in all probability foon


be confiderably augmented. Mr. Fox enquired, what were the fymp toms of the fincerity of France in her prefent pretended amicable difpofition towards us? Had minifters felt the influence of her government operating in our favour with those powers with whom we were negociating treaties? Did it manifest it felf in the court of Lisbon, in the court of Madrid, or in the court of Petersburgh? At this time France, who had formerly poffeffed the most powerful army of any European power, ranked in this refpect only as the fourth upon the continent. She had diminished her land force, and was directing all her attention to her marine. Was that a favour able fymptom for this country? Mr. Fox added, he might poffibly be mifrepresented, as a man prepoffeffed by vulgar and illiberal prejudices. But, be that as it might, he could not eafily forget, that thofe prejudices had been productive of no ill confequences to this country, and that the wars, in which they had engaged us, had contributed more than any other circumftance to make us great and glorious. He compared the conduct of the ministers of the prefent day to that of the tory adininittration of queen Anne, who had endeavoured to reprefent all apprehenfions of the inordinate power of France, as no better than a bugbear. The addrefs was carried nemine contradicente.

As one of the principal operations of the French treaty related to the duty upon wines, one of the topics chofen by oppofition for the fubject of their remarks, confifted in the enquiring, how far the trade with Portugal, and the treaty in which that trade had originated, commonly called the Methuen treaty, were compatible with this new

obiect. The article of woollens was alfo a principal object of the Portugal trade, and was likely to be in fome way affected by the com mercial treaty. It was therefore moved by Mr. Minchin on the twenty ninth of January, and by Mr. Pelham on the fecond of February, that certain papers fhould be produced relatively to the Portugal trade, in order to enable the houfe to judge of the value of this object, and of the way in which it would be affected by the French treaty. The motion of Mr. Minchin, after fome debate was withdrawn. The papers moved by Mr. Pelham were, an account of the value of the imporrs and exports between Great Britain and Portugal from 1703 to 1786; an account of the duties upon beer, malt and malt fpirits for the four last years; and a general account of the exports and imports of Great Britain for the years 1784 and 1785. Mr. Pelham alfo read two other motions, one for a general account of the exports of woollen, and the other for a particular account of our trade with Spain in that article, These were withdrawn at the request of Mr. Pitt, who conceived the disclosure to be pregnant with mischief to this country, and who strongly objected to a principle ftated by Mr. Pelham, which had a tendency to bring under the examination of the house treaties, already in negociation, and not yet concluded. Mr. Pitt at the fame time moved for an account of the exports and imports between Great Britain and France from 1714; and an account of French wines imported and confumed, between the fifth of July and the twenty ninth of November 1786.

On Monday the fifth of February it was moved by Mr. Pitt, that the

« AnteriorContinua »