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Reign of George III. (Continued.) page 8


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The chagrin of ministers was made the more intolerable because they saw that their conduct was thus alienating their supporters in the house. As the debate approached its close, they called in every possible vote; the sick, the lame were hurried into the house, so that, says Horace Walpole, you would have thought they had sent a search warrant into every hospital for members of parliament. When the division came, which was only for the adjournment of Meredith's motion for a month, they only carried it by fourteen votes. In the City there was a confident anticipation of the defeat of ministers, and materials for bonfires all over London, and for illuminating the monument. Temple was said to have faggots ready for bonfires of his own.

Government, not content with expelling Wilkes from the house of commons, had commenced an action against him in the court of king's bench, where they succeeded in obtaining a verdict against him for a libel in the "North Briton." Temple paid the costs, and the City of London turned this defeat into a triumph, by presenting its freedom to the lord chief-justice Pratt, for his bold and independent conduct in declaring against the general warrants. They ordered his portrait to be placed in Guildhall; and the example of London was followed by Dublin and many other towns, who presented freedoms and gold snuff-boxes to Pratt. The City of London also presented its thanks to their members of the house of commons for their patriotic conduct there.

During this session, the princess Augusta, one of the king's sisters, was married to the hereditary prince of Brunswick, and parliament voted her a dowry of eighty thousand pounds. The prince, who was a nephew of Frederick of Prussia,, and had fought in Germany with our army under the auspices of Pitt, gave offence to the court, during his visit, by showing his veneration for the great man, and by paying him a visit at Hayes. He lived to engage in the campaign, as Duke of Brunswick, against Buonaparte, and died of a wound received, in 1806, at the battle of Jena. A daughter of his marriage was the unfortunate queen Caroline, wife of George IV.

Another minor act of this summer was the presentation of our bills for the two million dollars from Spain, as the Manilla ransom, given to Sir William Draper by the governor of the Philippines. The Spaniards laughed at the demand; and the feeble Grenville, whom Dr. Johnson said could have counted the money had he been able to get it, for that was rather his post than governing a great nation, knew not how to enforce it. Had Pitt been in power, he would have seized unceremoniously a Spanish treasure ship, and paid himself.

Several distinguished members of the opposition died during this year, amongst them Legge, formerly Pitt's chancellor of the exchequer, the duke of Devonshire, and the earl of Hardwicke. Pitt, though tortured with the gout, received the unexpected legacy of an estate in Somersetshire of three thousand pounds a-year, from Sir William Pynsent, whom he had never seen in his life, but who had a wonderful admiration of him.

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Pictures for Reign of George III. (Continued.) page 8

Great seal of England
Great seal of England >>>>
Queen Charlotte
Queen Charlotte >>>>
Catherine II
Catherine II >>>>
Storming the fortress of Moro
Storming the fortress of Moro >>>>
View in the Island of Cuba
View in the Island of Cuba >>>>
Monument erected to the memory of the sufferers in the Black Hole, Calcutta
Monument erected to the memory of the sufferers in the Black Hole, Calcutta >>>>
Medal struck in commemoration of the battle of Plassy
Medal struck in commemoration of the battle of Plassy >>>>
Threatened arrest of Wilkes
Threatened arrest of Wilkes >>>>
Duel between Wilkes and Martin
Duel between Wilkes and Martin >>>>
North Briton
North Briton >>>>

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