« PreviousContinue »
people; and if the people were too and to render odious and conlukewarm to run all hazards with temptible all popular interpofition him, whon their conscience and in affairs of Itate. They remindtheir country called them forih, ed them of their ačtivity in givthey might get another profident; ing orders to hold the military in for he would tell them candidly, readiness on a peaceable meeting that he was not a lukewarın man in Weftminster Hall, and their himself, and that if they meant to utter neglect of the declared and spend their time in mock debate denounced violence of shis fort of and idle opposition, they might people. get another leader. He after. The alarming cry against Powards declared, that if he was as pery, with the continual invectended by less than 20,000 men tive and abule, which they diron the appointed day, he would feminated through new-papers, not prefent their petition; and pamphlets, and sermons, by de. he gave orders, under the appear. grees drew over to a meeting, oriance of a motion, for the manner ginally finall and obscure, a num. ia wbich they should be mar- ber of well-meaning people from thalled in St. George's Fields; the various classes of Protestants, appointing that they thould be who feriously apprehended their formed in four bodies, three of religion to be in danger.' Thus, them regulated by the respective however deficient they were in boundaries of the great divisions point of confideration, being, for of the metropolis; and the fourth the far greater part, poor and ig. compoled entirely of his own par. norant people, many of whom ticular countrymen. To prevent could not write their names, they miliakes, the whole were to be became formidable with respect to diftioguifhed by blue cockades.-- numbers. It is, however, to be If this were not sufficient to arouze at all times remembered, that the the attention of government, Lord conduct of thefe affociators was George Gordon gave notice to "not inore execrated, than the inthe House of Commons on the tolerant principle, to which they Tuesday, that the petition would owed their union and action, was be presented on the following condemned, by the found and Friday; and that the whole body eminent divines, both of the eltaof Proteftant associators, were to blished church and of the Diffenaffemble in St. George's Fields, ters. in order to accompany their peti. The grand divisions , tion to the house.
of the atrociators. beine June 20. These notices ought to have drawn off by different routes from given a more serious alarm than I the rendezvous in St. George's they feem to have done to govern. Fields, filled the ways, through ment. The opposition afterwards which they marched in ranks, with charged them with little less than a multitude which excited wona meditated encouragement to this der and alarm. Having arrived fanatic tumult, in order to dif. at the place of their destination, countenance the affociations which and filed up all the streets and had more ferious objects in view; avenues to both houses, they be
gan the exercise of the new au- who acted as asliftant or substitute thority derived from their num- to the Chaplain of the House of bers, only by compelling the Commons, rebuked the outrage members as they came down, to of the mob, and told their leadcry out No Popery, to wear blue er, in their presence, that he was cockades, and some, as it is said, answerable for all the blood that to take an oath to contribute all would be thed, and all the other in their power to the repeal of the fatal consequences that might ennew law, or as they called it the sue, merited some other reward Popery Act. But upon the ap- besides mere applause. pearance of the Archbishop of In the mean time, the author, York, and other of the prelates mover, and leader of the sedition, and court lords, their rage and having obtained leave in the House violence was increaled to the of Commons to bring up the peti. highest pitch. During this dread. tion, afterwards moved for its be. ful tumult, which continued with ing taken into immediate confi. more or less interruption for some deration. This brought out some hours, the Archbishop, the Duke debate, and the rioters being in of Northumberland, the Lord Pre poffeffion of the lobby, the house fident of the Council, with seve- were kept confided for several ral others of the nobility, in- hours, before they could divide ·cluding most or all of the lords upon the question. The impedi
in office, were treated with ment being at length removed by the greatest indignities. The the arrival of the magiftrates and Bishop of Lincoln, in particular, guards, the question was rejected, most narrowly escaped with his upon a division, by a majority life; first by being suddenly car- of 192, to fix only, by whom it ried into a house upon the demo- was supported. During this time, lition of his carriage ; and then Lord George Gordon frequently being as expeditioufly led through, went out to the top of the gallery and over its top, into another. ftairs, from whence he harangued Lord: Stormont's life was likewise the rioters, telling them what in the most iinminent danger; passed in the house; that their and he was only rescued, after petition would be postponed ; being half an hour in their hands, that he did not like delays ; and by the presence of mind and ad- repeating aloud, the names of dress of a gentleman who happen. gentlemen, who had opposed the ed to be in the crowd.
, taking it into consideration under It would be iinpossible to de. their present circumstances; thus, scribe the astonishment, sense of in fact, holding them out as obdegradation, horror, and dismay, noxious persons and enemies, to which prevailed in both houses. a lawless and desperate banditti. Attempts were twice made to force The House of Commons have their doors ; and were repelled by been much censured, for the want the firmness and resolution of of resolution and spirit, in not their door-keepers and other offi- immediately committing, upon the cers. In this scene of terror and arrival of the guards at night, danger, the resolution and spirit, their own member to the Tower, with which a young clergyman, who had by so thameful a violation of their privileges, involved mons. Besides that the malice of them in a scene of such unequalled the rioters was pointed more that danger and disgrace. It has even way, they were not under the been said that a measure of such restraint of any application to them vigour, might have prevented all for redress. The appearance of the horrid scenes of conflagration, the lords who had passed through plunder, military slaughter, and their hands, every thing about civil execution, that afterwards them in disorder, and their cloaths took place. And it has been ar- covered with dirt, threw a grogued, from the passive conduct of tesque air of ridicule upon the the mob fome years ago, upon the whole, which seemed to heighten committal of the Lord Mayor the calamity. A proposal was Crosby, and of Alderman Oliver, made to carry out the mace; but to the Tower, that it would not it was apprehended, that peradhave been attended with any ill venture it might never return. consequence.
In a word, so disgraceful a day It is, however, to be remem- was never beheld before by a Bribered, that danger is considered tish parliament. in a very different manner, by In the midst of the confusion those who are entirely out of its fome angry debate arose, the teach, and even by the same per. lord's in opposition charging the fons, onder its immediate im- ministers with being themselves pression. The circumstances were the original cause of all the millikewife widely and essentially dif- chiefs, that had already or might ferent. Religious mobs are at all happen, by their scandalous and times infinitely more dangerous cowardly concessions to the rioters and cruel, than those which arise in Scotland ; and at the same time on civil¡ or political occasions. calling them loudly to account, What country has not groaned, for not having provided for the under the outrages and horrors present evil, of which they had so of fanaticism? Or where have much previous notice, by having they ever been quelled but in the civil power in readiness for its blood? This mob was much more prevention. - To this it was anpowerful and numerous, as well swered by a noble earl in high as dangerous, than any other in office, that orders had been given remembrance. The force of the on the preceding day for the at. affociators, was on that day, whole tendance of the magiftrates, but and entire, which it never was two of those gentlemen who hap. after. The intense heat of the pened to be in the way, being sent weather, which necessarily in- for and examined, declared they creased their inebriation, added had neither heard of nor received fire to their religious fury; and any such orders.rendering them equally fearless Before the rising of the House and cruel, no bounds could have of Commons, several parties of been prescribed to their enormi. the rioters had filed off, and proties.
ceeded to the demolition of the The fituation of the lords was chapels belonging to the Sardi. Aill worse than that of the com- nian and Bavarian ministers. VOL. XXIII,
· The commons adjourned to the their authors, promoters, and de 6th; but the lords met on the betcors; the third, for a prosecu. following day, and agreed to a tion by the Attorney General; motion for an address made by and the fourth, an address to his the Lord President, requesting his majesty for the reimbursement of majesty to give immediate orders the foreign ministers, to the for prosecuting, in the most effec- amount of the damages they had tual manner, the authors, abeto sustained by the rioters. Another tors, and instruments, of the out- resolution was moved by the minirages commitced on the preceding ster and agreed to, for proceeding day, both in the vicinity of the immediately, when the present houses of parliament, and upon tumults were subsided, to take the houses and chapels of several into due confideration the periof the foreign ministers,
tions from many of his majesty's On the 6th, above 200 mem. Protestant subjects. Intelligence bers of the House of Commons being received of the conflagras had the courage, notwithstanding tions which were commenced in the dreadful conflagrations and the city, it chrew every thing into mischiefs of the two preceding new confusion, and a hafty ade nights, the destruction threatened journment took place. to several of themselves in their Some of the lords likewise met; persons and houses, and which but the impropriety of their prohad already fallen upon the house ceeding upon any public business of Sir George Saville, io Leicester in the present state of tumult, and Fields, to make their way through surrounded by a military force, the vast crowds which filled the being taken into consideration, streets, and which were interlaced and an account arriving at the and surrounded by large de- same time, that the firft lord of tachments of the military on foot the admiralty, in his way to the and on horseback. They found house, had been set upon, woundWestminster Hall and the ave- ed, and his life only critically, nues to the house lined with fol. faved by the military, they ad. diers ; upon which a celebrated journed to the 19th. member observed in his speech, Never did the metropolis, in bewailing the deplorable fituation any known age, exhibit such a to which parliament was reduced, dreadful spectacle of calamity and that they had a bludgeoned mcb horror, or experience such real waiting for them in the street, danger, terror and distress, as on and a military force with fixed the following day and night... bayonets at their doors, in order it is said, that it was beheld 7". to support and preserve the free. blazing in thirty-six different parts dom of debate.
from one spot. Some of these They, however, passed some conflagrations were of such a mag. resolutions; one being an assure nirude as to be truly tremendous. tion of their own privileges; the Of these, the great jail of Newsecond, for a committee to en. gate, the King's Bench prison, quire into the late and present the new Bridewell in St. George's outrages, and for the discovery of Fields, the Fleet Prison, and the houses and great distilleries of Mr. business at an end, houses and Langdale in Holborn, where the shops fue up, the Royal Ex. vast quantities of spirituous liquors change, public buildings and increased the violence of the Aames streets, poffered and occupied by to a degree of which no adequate the troops, smoaking and burning conception can be formed, pre- ruins, with a dreadful void and sented spectacles of the most dread- filence, in scenes of the greatest fal mature. The houses of most hurry, noise, and business. of the Roman Catholicks were The House of Commons on marked; and generally destroyed met on the following day ; othe or burned ; as well as those of the but although the rioters were enfew magiftrates who thewed any tirely quelled, it was immediately activity in repressing those fue noticed that the city of Weltminster mults. The outrages grew far was under martial law, and they more violent and general after the accordingly adjourned to the 19th. breakiog open of the prisons. On the afternoon of the same day,
The attacks made that day upon Lord George Gordon was taken the bank, rouzed the whole acti. into custody, at his house in Wel, vity of government. Great bo- beck Street, and conveyed to the dies of forces had for some time Horse Guards; and after a long been collecting from all parts. examination before several lords They were at length employed, of the privy council, he was beand brought on the catastrophe of tween nine and ten in the evening chat melancholy night which fol- conducted (under the strongest lowed. Strong detachments of guard that was ever known to attroops being rent into the city, tend any late prisoner) to the and the attempts on the bank Tower, where he was committed and other places removed, a car- to close confinement... page, then inevitable, ensued, in The meeting of par. which a great number of lives liament, after this com- Junc igale
M: June 19th. were lost. Nothing could be pelled recess, was opened by a more dismal than that night. speech from the throne, in which Those who were on the spot, or notice was taken, that the outin the vicinity, say, that the pre.. rages committed by bands of derfent darkness, che gleam of the perate and abandoned men, broke diftant fires, the dreadful thouts, forth with such' violence into acts in different quarters, of the rise of felony and treason, had so far ters, the groans of the dying, and overborne all civil authority, and the heavy regular platoon firing threatened so directly the immeof the soldiers, formed, all toge- diate subversion of all legal powther, a scene so terrific and tre- er, the destruction of all proper. mendous, as no description or ty, and the confusion of every even imagination could possibly order in the ftate, that his majesty reach.
found himself obliged, by every The metropolis presented on tie of duty and affection to his the following day, in many people, to suppress, in every part, places, the image of a city re. those rebellious infurre&tions, and cently stormed and facked; all to provide for the public safety,