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not vote the public money to a person not recognized as queen. The passing over the queen's name in the church service was directed by an order in council. Here, then, it must appear, that ministers conceived they had some ground of suspicion, or they would not have adopted a proceeding which derogated from the respect otherwise due to the queen's rank and station. Under these circumstances, he could not suppress his conviction that somebody had been scandalously illused-either the king had been betrayed, or the queen had been insulted. He would not consult any feelings, nor yield to any supposed delicacy, which would impose silence upon him after what had taken place. It was time to speak out openly and honestly. He, as well as many others, had certainly heard rumours extremely injurious to the queen's character-rumours which, if true, proved her unworthy to sit upon the British throne. But it was impossible for him to act upon rumour, upon what might be mere idle calumny. He, therefore, called upon ministers, in the name of justice, and in the name of the English monarchy, to give parliament some information, and to submit the whole case to its inquiry. He pledged himself most solemnly, that, if a case should be made out against the queen, he would second whatever measure might be requisite to set his majesty's mind at rest. Should no case, on the contrary, be made out, it might and must be considered as a misfortune, that parties so connected, and in so elevated a station, could not live together; yet this, as unavoidable,

must be borne. The queen of this country, however, she must then be considered; and out of the mouths of the gentlemen opposite must that name proceed, before he would consent to vote one shilling of the public money.

The language used on this occasion by the leader of the Opposition, is worthy of most serious attention, in judging of the prudence of the steps taken by ministers. If he blames them at all, it is not for what they have done, but for what they have left undone. He will not even consent that the public money should be voted to her majesty, till her character has been cleared from the cloud which hung over it. Far from deprecating investigation, he calls loudly for it.Standing upon the high-moral ground, that a woman of notoriously suspected reputation ought not to be allowed to fill the British throne, he disregards the real or imaginary mischiefs of a prosecution for adultery, nor ever thinks of inquiring what specific benefit would accrue from it to the country.

The language of Mr. Brougham, who, having been long her majesty's legal adviser, was more peculiarly charged with the defence of her rights, was equally remarkable. He said, that there was no difficulty in that part of the case, upon which his right honourable friend (Mr. Tierney) had dwelt so much; because it did not appear to him a matter of any importance, whether the queen were recognized or not, by any of the methods which had been mentioned. Being the wedded wife of the king, the moment he succeeded to the crown, she became queen of England,

con

by a title as indisputable as that of the king himself. It was not the less so, because she was prayed for in no liturgy, or because her name appeared in no order of council; or because no addresses either of condolence or congratulation were presented to her. As little could she be affected by the noble lord preferring to call her a high personage, rather than to describe her by the title to which she had succeeded. How, then, could he agree with his right honourable friend, who, on account of these things, which appeared to him (Mr. Brougham) to be "trifles light as air,' sidered her situation as doubtful and uncertain? How could he imagine himself to be hampered in voting, if called upon to do so, what might be necessary for her maintenance with the splendor and dignity befitting her high rank? He apprehended, that if the advisers of the crown should be enabled to advance what might be necessary for this purpose out of the civil-list, there would be no need whatever to introduce the mention of her majesty's name. If the crown should be pleased to pay 35,000l. a-year to her majesty, parliament, he thought, ought not to interfere; but he must at the same time state distinctly, that he was wholly unacquainted with any grounds of suspicion. He refused his ears to all such rumours; as long as she was the king's consort, he knew and should treat her only in the character of queen-consort. He was wholly ignorant of any inquiries that had been instituted; he listened not to their reported results; nor would he suffer his mind to receive any sinister im

pressions. But if a charge should ever be brought forward, he would deal with it as became an honest member of parliament; and he would endeavour to do justice between the parties most concerned. Never was there a question in which temper and moderation were so indispensable; the voice of party ought to be extinct for no man could calculate the

consequences which might follow. He deprecated, therefore, every thing like an appeal to turbulent passions; he deprecated the broaching of such a question at a moment like the present, when the only effect must be, to defeat the ends of justice, and to drag the subject through the mire of every hustings! These were his feelings, standing, as he did, in the peculiar situation of having professional duties to perform on the one hand, and a public duty to discharge upon the other.

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From these proceedings two inferences seem to follow. first is, that there is a strong presumption, that the conduct of ministers, under the existing circumstances, was wise and prudent; since no part of it was directly blamed, either by their political opponents, or by those who, from inclination or situation, were the peculiar protectors of her majesty's interests. second inference is, that they who had the best means of know ing what line of conduct he majesty's situation ought to recommend to her, must have believed, that her most advisable line of policy was not incompatible with that which ministers were now pursuing. One individual, indeed, had thrown down the gauntlet in the queen's be

half, and had taken up the ques. tion on the ground which her partisans afterwards endeavoured to maintain; but he had no connexion or intimacy with her majesty, and could not, at that time, be regarded as holding a regular commission in the ranks of the Opposition.

No other business of importance was brought forward in this parliament. Having on the 28th of February been prorogued till the 13th of March, it was on the same day dissolved by proclamation, and the necessary steps for summoning a new parliament were immediately taken. The speech, which the lords commissioners, by the mouth of the chancellor, addressed to both Houses immediately before the prorogation, was in the following

words:

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My Lords and Gentlemen ; "We are commanded by his majesty to inform you, that it is a great disappointment to his majesty, that on this first and solemn occasion he is prevented, by indisposition, from meeting you in person.

"It would have been a consolation to his majesty, to give utterance in this place to those feelings, with which his majesty and the nation alike deplore the loss of a sovereign, the common father of all his people.

"The king commands us to inform you, that in determining to call without delay the new parliament, his majesty has been influenced by the consideration of what is most expedient for public business, as well as most conducive to general conveni

ence.

"Gentlemen of the House of

Commons;

"We are directed by his majesty to thank you for the provision which you have made for the several branches of the public service from the commencement

of the present year, and during the interval which must elapse before a new parliament can be assembled.

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My Lords and Gentlemen;

"We are commanded to inform you, that, in taking leave of the present parliament, his majesty cannot refrain from conveying to you his warmest assurances of the sense which his majesty entertains of the important services which you have rendered the country.

"Deeply as his najesty lamented that designs and practices such as those which you have been recently called upon to repress, should have existed in this free and happy country, he cannot sufficiently commend the prudence and firmness with which you directed your attention to the means of counteracting them.

"If any doubt had remained as to the nature of those principles by which the peace and happiness of the nation were so seriously menaced, or of the excesses to which they were likely to lead, the flagrant and sanguinary conspiracy which has lately been detected must open the eyes of the most incredulous, and must vindicate to the whole world the justice and expediency of those measures to which you judged it necessary to resort, in defence of the laws and constitution of the kingdom."

CHAP. III.

Cato-street Conspiracy-Character and Situation of ThistlewoodMeetings of Thistlewood and his Associates-Their first Designs -The Scheme of Murder which was finally adopted-Their Preparations-The Plot known to Government-Several of the Conspirators seized-The Trial, Conviction, and Execution of Thistlewood, &c.-The Conduct of Edwards-The Employment of Spies-Thistlewood's dying Declarations concerning Edwards -Alderman Wood's two Motions in the House of Commons concerning Edwards-State of the manufacturing Districts of Scotland towards the end of March-Revolutionary ProclamationThe Effects of this Proclamation-The Skirmish at BonnymuirArrests in different parts of Scotland-Executions.

THE conspiracy alluded to in THE the conclusion of the speech of the lords commissioners, was one of the most atrocious, though extravagant, plots recorded in history. Its ultimate end was, to effect a revolution; its immediate object, the assassination of the ministers. The persons engaged in it were few in number, low in situation, without knowledge, resources, or foresight. They thought, however (and in this they were not mistaken), that twenty or thirty abandoned miscreants composed a force strong enough to murder the cabinet ministers; and the perverseness of their ignorant minds, blinded by envy and revenge, deluded them with the idea, that, if the work of murder was once completed, the career of power lay open before them.

The framer of this plot was Arthur Thistlewood. Born about the year 1770, he started in life originally with some fortune, and with a fair proportion of the ad

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a subaltern officer, first, in the militia, and afterwards in a regiment of the line, stationed in the West Indies. After having resigned his commission, and spent some time in America, he passed into France, where he arrived shortly after the fall of Robespierre. There he seems to have imbibed all the opinions of which that unhappy country was the propagator and the victim, and to have adopted the belief, that the destruction of the institutions of his country was the only object worthy of the labours of a man. He had been deeply engaged in the wicked and absurd scheme of Dr. Watson. Having, like the Doctor, been acquitted, he thought proper, soon afterwards, to send a challenge to lord Sidmouth. His lordship had recourse to the laws of the land, and Thistlewood was punished by fine and imprisonment. Upon his liberation, in August, 1819, he found himself in circumstances which stimu

lated the natural violence and habitual corruption of his character. Ambitious, without any of those advantages of fortune or talent, by which, in the regular course of things, ambition can be gratified, he found himself excluded from every respectable class in society, without sources of present enjoyment, and without hopes of future improvement in his condition. He now associated only with the most degraded of the lowest and poorest class, spending his time in forming and maintaining connexions with men, whose poverty and profligacy fitted them for any enterprise, however nefarious.

Though he no doubt surveyed with pleasure the dissatisfaction which pervaded a large part of the community towards the latter end of 1819, he seems to have had little connexion with the tumults that were excited, or with the popular demagogues who created and fomented them. Seditious speeches and writings were of so little value with him, that he spoke of Hunt

and

Cobbett as mere tools of ministers in his eyes, bloodshed and murder were the only true tests of patriotism. Gradually he collected around him a number of individuals, equally desperate with himself, all bent on the destruction of the ministers, though the time and means were not yet determined on. Ings, a butcher-Tidd and Brunt, shoemakers and a man of colour, of the name of Davidson, were his principal confidents. Meetings of these men and of their associates were frequently held in a room hired for that purpose, in a court adjacent to Gray's-Inn-lane. The conver

sation always turned on the necessity of murdering the ministers, and subverting the government. After the death of the king, the meetings were held twice a day, and began to take a more determinate aim. At one time it was proposed, that, availing themselves of the absence of the greater number of the troops, in consequence of the royal funeral, they should endeavour to get possession of the metropolis; but this scheme was rejected, as not involving the sure destruction of the ministers.

At last, on Saturday, the 19th of February, it was resolved, at one of their meetings, that poverty did not allow them to delay their purposes any longer, and that, therefore, on the next Wednesday, the ministers should be murdered separately, each in his own house. On Sunday they arranged their plans. Forty or fifty men were to be set apart for the work of murder; and whoever failed through any fault of his own, in performing the task assigned to him, was to atone for his failure with his life. Two separate detachments were at the same time to seize two pieces of cannon stationed in Gray's-Innlane, and six in the Artillery ground. The Mansion-house was to be proclaimed the palace of the provisional government; the Bank was to be attacked forthwith; and London was to be set fire to in different quarters.

Meetings were again held on Monday and Tuesday; and on the latter day, a conspirator, named Edwards, informed Thistlewood, that there was to be a cabinet dinner on the morrow. Thistlewood, doubting the information, sent for a newspaper, and

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