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i78o. The house which had been in a committee, being fe^ i fumed, Mr. Fox moved that the resolutions should be immediately reported. This was opposed by the minister with all the force he yet retained; but the stream was too strong to be resisted. The resolutions were severally reported and received, agreed to and confirmed by the house without a division. Such was the complete and decisive victory gained by the opposition, in behalf of the petitions on that extraordinary and memorable day. "Without doors, the joy and triumph in most parts of England was great and general; and perhaps would scarcely have been exceeded on occasion of the completest victory over a foreign enemy. ,..' -,; April A motion of Mr. Dunning's which had been post*** poned was taken up. It was for an address to his majesty, requesting that he would not disiblve the parliament, nor prorogue the present session, until proper measures mould be taken by that house, to diminish the.in-, fiuence of the crown, and to correct the other evils complained of in the petitions, of the people. After great and long debates the motion was rejected by a majority of 51—254 to 203. Thus all hopes of obtaining any redress for the people in that house, was at an end. But though the freemen of England could obtain no relief from their burdens by a house of representatives -, the non-freemen of France were relieved by their grand monarch, who issued several edicts for the better administration of his finances, and for the suppression of divers places and offices.
The committee in London for raising and applying monies for the relief of the American prisoners, began in March to call upon the public afresh for new subscriptions, scriptions, as the war continued beyond expectation: '780* the same were readily made. Many individuals exhibited a compassion and liberality to the Americans, that does honor to human nature.
On the 28th of April, Don Joseph Solano sailed from 28* Cadiz with 11 ships of the line and several frigates, and convoyed a fleet of 83 transports, having eight regiments of Spanish insantry, of two battalions each, and a considerable train of artillery on board: the whole land force, including 100 engineers, amounted to 11,460 effective men. They are to join the French in the West Indies; and in that cafe will bring the British fleets and islands into the most imminent danger. Jamaica is generally supposed to be the first and principal object.
In the beginning of June, the cities of London and Westminster were convulsed from end to end, by some of the most extraordinary risings that ever happened. When the law for relieving the English Roman catholics was passed in May .1778, a number of persons in Scotland, actuated by a mistaken zeal, associated for the preservation of the protestant religion, and called themselves a protestant association, at the head of which was a lord George Gordon. The associators became so formidable, that the Scotch papists were greatly alarmed, and begged that the laws relating to them might not be altered. The success which had attended the association in North Britain, might give the hint for forming a similar one in London, to those whose jealousy for the protestant interest was increased- by the apparent growth of popery, which of late years had been esteemed very considerable. A society accordingly was formed in the metropolis, which in. a few months gathered great con..
Vol. Ill, E e sequence
* 78o. sequence from the numbers that professed their adherence to the cause it supported; and lord George Gordon was elected president. The first object of the association, aster a committee had been chosen, was to draw up and present a petition to the house of commons, requesting a repeal of the above law. The petition was publicly advertised to be signed by all who approved of it. The alarm which the act gave, had reached various parts of the kingdom, and similar petitions came from many of them, most of which were presented to the
Way house by lord George. The associators met at Coach29. J b
.maker's hall, when the president addressed them for half an, hour. His speech was received with the loudest ac^ ciamations, on which his lordship moved the following resolution—" That the whole body of the protestant association do attend in St. George's-fields, on Friday next at ten o'clock in the morning, to accompany his -lordship to the house of commons, on the delivery of the protestant petition;" which was carried.unanimously. His lordship then informed them, that if he was attended by less than 20,000 men on the appointed day, he would not present their petition. He also directed that they should be formed in four divisions, three of which were to answer to their belonging either to London, to Westminster or Southwark, the fourth was to be composed wholly of his own countrymen the Scots, resident in London "and its environs. To prevent mistakes, the whole were to be distinguished by blue cockades. June The grand divisions of the associators being drawn by 2* different routes from the rendezvous, filled the ways through which they marched in ranks, with a multitude that excited wonder and alarm. When arrived ac the place of destination, they occupied the streets and 1780, avenues to both houses, and soon began to compel the members to cry out—" no popery," to wear blue cockades, and some to promise their assistance for the repeal of the new popery act as they called it. Upon the appearance of the prelates and court lords, their violence increased to the highest pitch; and several of them were treated with the greatest indignities: the lives of two' were in imminent danger. It is impossible to describe the astonishment, sense of degradation, horror and dismay, which prevailed in both houses. Mean while lord George Gordon having obtained leave to bring up the petition, afterward moved for its being taken into consideration. This brought on a debate, and the associa-; tors being in possession of the lobby, the commons were kept confined for several hours before they could divide on the question. The arrival of the magistrates and guards having removed the impediment, it was rejected by a majority of 196 to six only. Before the rising of the house, several parties filed off, and proceeded to the demolition of the insides of the chapels belonging to the Sardinian and Bavarian ministers. The commons adjourned to the 6th; but the lords met on the following day, and agreed on an address requesting the king to give immediate orders for prosecuting the authors and abettors of the outrages. Qn the 4th the mob assembled in and about Moorfields, and repeated their outrages on a Romish chapel and school in the neighbourhood. The military were present, having been sent for; but the lord mayor, through timidity, would neither order them to act, nor venture to interfere with the civil power that attended him. Toward
'78o.the evening of the next day, different parties collected and attacked various houses. Between twelve and one o'clock at night, a large body assembled before Sir George Saville's house, and after breaking all the windows, stripped it of the most valuable furniture, which they burnt before the door. They dispersed on the arrival of a party of horse. June About two hundred members had the courage to make their way into the house, through the vast crowds that filled the streets, and that were interlaced and surrounded by large detachments of the military on foot and horseback. They passed some resolutions; but intelligence being received of the conflagrations which were commenced in the city, a hasty adjournment took place. Some of the lords met, but soon adjourned to the 19th. It was observed of the mob which surrounded the par/ liament house this day, that it consisted osdifferent persons from those who attended the petition on the Friday, being composed almost wholly of men and boys of the lowest rank- Early in the afternoon, the keeper of Newgate was informed by a small party, that the jail would be forced open, if the rioters confined in it, were not released at a certain hour when applied for. He acquainted his civil superiors with it, who neglected the precaution of sending a few armed men, who with a sufficient stock of powder and ball might, from the top os the prison walls, have defended it against all the rioters. About seven in the evening, they came and demanded the release of their comrades; which not being com-» plied with, they took all the jailer's furniture, piled it before the prison door and burned it: they also fired his house, carried off their comrades in triumph, set at liberty