Category Archives: George III

Item of the Day: The Royal Interview (1789)

Full Title: The Royal Interview: A Fragment by the Author of a Letter from a Country Gentleman to a Member of Parliament. Third Edition. London: Printed at the Logographic Press, and sold by J. Walters, No. 169, Opposite Old Bond Street, Piccadilly; C. Stalker, Stationers-Court, Ludgate-Street; and W. Richardson, under the Royal-Exchange, MDCCLXXXIX. [1789]

 

ROYAL INTERVIEW, &c.

K.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * To say the truth, it has been my wish and intention not to enter into any conversation with your Royal Highness concerning the public conduct of my ministers, or those who have acted in opposition to them during the affecting interval of my government. It was rather an anxious desire of my own heart to pass over the chasm which the lapse of my understanding occasioned in the public administration of my kingdom. It appeared to me, that there was not intermediate event which could afford a pleasing topic of discussion between you and myself: and as it would ill become me to accompany the blessing of my recovery with resentment to my son, whatever his conduct might have been, I became extremely solicitous to avoid a retrospect. –It is enough for me, that, on awaking from my delerium, I find my kingdom uninjured by my infirmity, and exulting in my restoration. –But as you seem to apprehend ill impressions, of some kind or other, and declare, that the comfort of your life depends on my hearing from yourself the reasons which governed your conduct during my affliction, I shall comply with your requisiton, and listen to you with a paternal patience. It becomes me, however, previously to inform you, that I am well acquainted with every transaction of the late important period, and that my opinion is already formed of the measures that have been adopted, of the opposition that was made to them, and of the persons who have appeared as principal actors on the occasion. It may be also necessary, for a right understanding between us, in the business on which we are about to engage, to observe, that while you possess a full right to plead, I may take the liberty, if I see occasion, to condemn. —-My kindest attention awaits you.

 

P.

I have very reason to apprehend that some particular leading indivduals, among your Majesty’s servants, have represented my demeanour during the late unhappy period, as undutuful to yourself, unfeeling to your situation, and hostile to the interests of your kingdom.

 

K.

What convincing reason you may possess whereon to buld such an hypothesis, I am not anxious to enquire, because they are without foundation. Both the Lord Chancellor and the first minister have, in their communications to me, delivered themselves with the most respectful attention to you; and if I could suppose it possible for such wise men and faithful servants to step beyond the bounds of decorum in their consultations with me, I should conclude they had done it in the more than earnest manner with which they recommended me to check any, and every suspicion of my breast with respect to the motives that governed the late conduct of your Royal Highness. Indeed, I cannot but express my concern, that, on the very threshold of the business, you should begin with answering an accusation that has never been made, and charging those men with practising against you all the injustice of misrepresentation, who have, on the contrary, acted with a spirit of magnanimity, which would do honour to yourself. But, not to turn you aside from the mode of apology, which, perhaps, you are prepared to adopt; –you are at liberty to suppose that I am perfectly well acquainted with your plans of operation during the time when it was doubtful, whether it would please God to restore me to myself and to my people.

 

P.

I should be truly sorry, Sir, to suspect where suspicion would be unjust; and your royal word is more than sufficient to remove mine, in the matter before us, from certain of your Majesty’s Ministers; but as I know them to be indisposed towards me, I had something like a right to imagine, that, in representing their own services to your Majesty, they would not fail to misrepresent those who oppose them.

 

K.

I cannot answer for the secret designs or thought of my Ministers, any more than for those of my children. —To search into the recesses of the human heart, and to discover what is passing there, belongs to that Power alone, before which the monarchs of the world must bend; –but as I wish to hear your sentiments on something more than vague opinion, I must beg your Royal HIghness to confine yourself to yourself; and that you will not do your heart and understanding so great injustice as to look for your justification in the misconduct of others. —But I perceive your embarrassment; — to relieve you, therefore, as far as may be in my power, from your very unpleasant situation, and to save you the trouble, as well as the pain, of stating the supposed charges, which your propose to answer — I will turn catechist, if you please, and offer such interrogatories as may call forth those replies, which will involve all that you wish to say to me in the very interesting subject of the present conference. I shall therefore suppose, what I trust you feel yourself prepared to prove, that, during the late extraordinary and awful period, you have done every thing which was required, by your duty to me, who am your father — the dignity of your station, which places you next to your Sovereign — and the interests of the Empire, which, if you live, will one day be your own. On this idea I shall conclude, that, when you had recovered from the severe shock which must have been felt by your mind, on the unexpected nature and possible consequences of my illness, you immediately called to your councils and consolation, some of the first, the wisest, and the best men in this country: or, if you should have thought it more proper, as it might have been at first, to rest the burthen of your mind on one rather than many, I should hope that the distinguished individual would be most worthy of your confidence, and be esteemed as such by the nation, as well as yourself. May I, therfore, ask, whom did your Roayl Highness honour with your earliest communications?

 

P.

Mr. Sheridan. —

 

K.

Mr. Sheridan! –In the name of reason, common sense, and honour, what could induce you to place such a confidence, in such a man? — . . .

 

 

 

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Filed under 1780's, George III, Government, Great Britain, Political Commentary, Posted by Caroline Fuchs, Royal Family

Item of the Day: A Fragment (1789)

Full Title: A Fragment which Dropped from the Pocket of a Certain Lord, On Thursday, the 23d April, 1789, on his way to St. Paul’s with the Grand Procession. With Notes by the Finder. London: Printed or W. Priest, in Holborn; and sold by the booksellers in Piccadilly, the Strand, Fleet Street, and Pater-Noster-Row, 1789.

 

CHAP. II.

Oh, ill-star’d wight! misguided pamphleteer!

Dull as the vapid taste of mawkish beer;

Whose brains, though tortur’d oft, will never raise

The mead of solid pence, or empty praise;

So strain’d and twisted to each varying hour,

Alas! no wonder that the dregs are sour.

In these lines we think we can discover the irascible J. H—ne T–ke, a man no less distinguished for the accommodating versatility of his political zeal, than the inumberable quantity of pamphlets, letters, election squibs, &c. &c. &c. which his prolific head has given birth to. But as it often happens, the quickest births are not the most perfect, so many of his productions have come into the world in so mangled and undigested a state, that in compliment to his nartural parts, it is but charity to suppose a brain over-heated with chimaeras of promised greatness, has engendered such a motley breed. It has been the misfortune of this weather-beaten politician, that other people cannot see his services with his own eyes, and he has laboured long in the beaten track of plitical controversy without the solacing encouragement of pension or place to inflame his zeal, or shapren the natural virulence of his temper. He has, however, received the negative encouragement of not having yet stood in the pillory, an exaltation to which he has both a claim and a right, (two words which have made a great deal of noise lately,) and which, by the grace of God, no doubt, he will soon come into the possession of; we would advise him however, to make haste, as otherwise the Printers of some of our Morning Papers will be before hand with him, who mean there to enjoy the full “Liberty of the Press.” Till that happy day arrives, like the Camelion, he must change his colour, to meet each rising sun, and like that animal too, must feed on air, or what is as bad, the unsubstantial diet of a Minister’s promises, which wet the stomach without appeasing its yearnings. How must we admire then the charitable dispositon of our author in taking notice of this neglected wight, who barks like a dog at midnight, when every body is asleep.

Useless thy works, for head or tail the same;

The first they’ll deaden, and the last enflame.

With what delicacy does our poet touch upon the consequences of his lucubrations! How modestly does he insinuate, that a blister applied a posteriori, would have the same effect. By many families (it is said) they are used as tinder, and never is a house-maid so happy as when she can lay her hands upon any part of them, in her morning excursions, for fire paper. It has been shrewdly suggested, that the new-invented matches which light of themselves in the middle (in this resembling something else) are partly composed of one of these combustible performances. They were one of the Jack-the-Painter’s chief ingredients in setting fire to Portsmouth Dock-Yard, and serve universally for touch-paper to crackers, &c. &c. &c.  In short, their uses are as inumberable as their quantity, and it must be matter of pleasing reflection to their author to find amidst all his disappointmets, that his works, by taking a turn which he could never foresee, have become almost inestimable.

Yet, notwithstanding the great advantages which acrue from his literary labours, the danger which threatens those unaquainted with their inflammatory qualities, by making use of them a posteriori, induces us to join with our author in recommending the following recipe for the oveflowing of his bile, as we would not wish that any of our friends should experience the fate of Hercules, and suffer durance in a poisoned shirt. We therefore, (without a fee) prescribe the following regimen:

Then feed awhile on vegetable food,

To clear thy juices, and correct the blood,

Nor think it hard,

Virtue like thine should be its own reward. . . .

 

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Filed under 1780's, George III, Great Britain, Political Commentary, Political Pamphlets, Posted by Caroline Fuchs, Press

Item of the Day: Declaration by Representatives of the United Colonies (1775)

Full Title:

The Declaration by the Representatives of the United Colonies of North America, Now met in General Congress at Philadelphia, Setting forth the Causes and Necessity of taking up Arms.  The Letter of the Twelve United Colonies by their Delegates in Congress to the Inhabitants of Great Britain, Their Humble Petition to his Majesty, and their Address to the People of Ireland.  Collected together for the Use of Serious Thinking Men, By Lovers of Peace.  [John Dickinson].  Read with Candour:  Judge with Impartiality.  London: Printed in the Year, MDCCLXXV.

The following is a Declaration […] taking up Arms.

If it was possible for Men, who exercise their Reason, to believe that the Divine Author of our Existence intended a part of the human Race to hold an absolute Property in, and an unbounded Power over others, marked out by his infinite Goodness and Wisdom, as the Objects of legal Domination, never rightfully resistible, however severe and oppressive, the Inhabitants of these Colonies might at least require from the Parliament of Great Britain some Evidence that this dreadful Authority over them has been granted to that Body.  But a Reverence for our Great Creator, Principles of Humanity, and the Dictates of Common Sense, must convince those who reflect upon the Subject, that Government was instituted to promote the Welfare of Mankind, and ought to be administered for the Attainment of that End.  The Legislature of Great Britain, however stimulated by an inordinate Passion for a Power not only unjustifiable, but which they know to be peculiarly reprobated by the very Constitution of that Kingdom, and desperate of success in any Mode of Contest, where Regard should be had to Truth, Law, or Right, have at length, deserting those, attempted to effect their cruel and impolitic Purpose of enslaving these Colonies by Violence, and have thereby rendered it necessary for us to close with their last Appeal, from Reason to Arms.–Yet, however blinded that Assembly may be, by their intemperate Rage for unlimited Domination, so to slight Justice and the Opinion of Mankind, we esteem ourselves bound by the Obligations of Respect to the rest of the World, to make known the Justice of our Cause.

Our Forefathers, Inhabitants of the Island of Great Britain, left their Native Land, to seek on these Shores a Residence for Civil and Religious Freedom.  At the Expence of their Blood, at the Hazard of their Fortunes, without the least Charge to the Country from which they removed, by unceasing Labour, and an unconquerable Spirit, they effected Settlements in the distant and inhospitable Wilds of America, then filled with numerous and warlike Nations of Barbarians.  Societies or Governments, vested with perfect Legislatures, were formed under Charters from the Crown, and an harmonious Intercourse was established between the Colonies and the Kingdom from which they derived their Origin.  The mutual Benefits of this Union became in a short Time so extraordinary, as to excite Astonishment.  It is universally confessed, that the amazing Increase of Wealth, Strength, and Navigation of the Realm, arose from this Source; and the Minister who so wisely and successful directed the Measures of Great Britain in the late War, publickly declared, that these Colonies enabled her to triumph over her enemies.–Towards the Conclusion of that War it pleased our Sovereign to make a Change in his Counsels.–From that fatal Moment the Affairs of the British Empire began to fall into Confusion, and gradually sliding from the Summit of glorious Prosperity, to which they had been advanced by the Virtues and Abilities of on Man, are at length distracted by the Convulsions that now Shake it to its deepest Foundations.  The new Ministry finding the brave Foes of Britain, tho’ frequently defeated, yet still contending, took up the unfortunate Idea of granting them a hasty Peace, and of then subduing her faithful Friends.

  

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Filed under 1770's, American Revolution, Colonial America, Eighteenth century, George III, Liberty, Posted by Matthew Williams, United States

Item of the Day: Pitt’s Political Debates

Full Title:

Political Debates.  [Featuring William Pitt, 1st Earl of Chatham]  “Upon the whole, I will beg leave to tell the House what is really my opinion.  It is, that the Stamp Act be REPEALED ABSOLUTELY, TOTALLY, andIMMEDIATELY.” The Great Commoner.  A Paris, Chez J. W. Imprimeur, Rue du Colombier Fauxbourg St. Germain, a l’Hotel de Saxe. M DCC LXVI. [Prix 30 Sous.] Avec Approbation, & Privilege

It is necessary to inform the reader, that some time before the meeting of parliament, a report had been artfully propogated, that the ministry had changed their minds with regard to the Stamp-Act, and, instead of repealing, were resolved to enforce it.  If it could be proved, that this report did not come originally from the favourites of a certain northern nobleman, yet it was certainly much indebted to them for its progress, which was so great as to affect the stocks.

The king’s speech to the parliament on the 14th of January, 1766, gave some colour to the suggestion; but when the gentleman had spoke who moved for the address, and who seconded it, nothing could be clearer, than that the ministry persisted in their intention to promote the repeal.  The friends of the late ministry applauded the king’s speech, and approved of the proposed address, which, as usual, only recapitulated the speech.

The opposition took great offence at the tenderness of the expression, that the first gentlemen had made use of concerning America.  Mr. Nugent particularly insisted, “That the HONOR and dignity of the kingdom obliged us to compel the execution of the Stamp-Act, except the right was acknowledged, and the repeal solicited as a favour.  He computed the expence of the troops now employed in America for their defence, as he called it, to amount to nine-pence in the pound of our land-tax; while the produce of the Stamp-Act would not raise a shilling a head on the inhabitants of America; but that a pepper-corn, in acknowledgement of the right. was of more value than millions without.  He expatriated on the extreme ingratitude of the colonies; and concluded, with charging the ministry with encouraging petitions to parliament, and instructions to members from the trading and manufacturing towns, against the Act.”

Mr. Pitt was the next speaker.  Every friend of his country rejoiced to see him again in that house, and more so, in such perfect health.  As he always begins very low, and as every body was in agitation at his first rising, his introduction was not heard, ’till he said, “I came to town today; I was a stranger to the tenor of his majesty’s speech, and the proposed address, ’till I heard them read in this house.  Unconnected and unconsulted, I have not the means of information; I am fearful of offending through mistake, and therefore beg to be indulged with a second reading of the proposed address.”  The address being read, Mr. Pitt went on:–“He commended the king’s speech, approved of the address in answer, as it decided nothing, every gentleman being left at perfect liberty to take such  a part concerning America, as he might afterwards see fit.  One word only he could not approve of, and EARLY, is a word that does not belong to the notice the ministry have given to parliament of the troubles in America.  In a matter of such importance, the communication ought to have been immediate:  I speak not with respect to parties; I stand up in this place single and unconnected.  As to the late ministry, (turning himself to Mr. G—-lle, who sat within one of him) every capital measure they have taken, has been entirely wrong!”

 

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Filed under 1760's, Colonial America, George III, Government, Posted by Matthew Williams, Stamp Act

Item of the Day: Observations on the Act of Parliament Commonly Called the Boston Port-Bill (1774)

Full Title: Observations on the Act of Parliament Commonly Called the Boston Port-Bill; with Thoughts on Civil Society and Standing Armies. By Josiah Quincy, Jun’r. Boston, N.E.: Printed for and sold by Edes and Gill, in Queen-Street, 1774.

PREFACE.

THE Statute of the 14th George 3d, received in the last Ships from London, (entitled “An Act to discontinue, in such Manner, and for such Time as are therein mentioned, the landing and discharging, the lading or shipping of Goods, Wares, Merchandize, at the Town, and within the Harbour of Boston, in the Province of Massachusetts-Bay, in North-America,”) gave rise to the following OBSERVATIONS: —They will appear thrown together in haste; and as the Writer was out of Town on business, almost every day, the Sheets were printing off, no doubt many Errors of the Press escaped correction.

The Inaccuracies of a sudden Production from one of infirm health, perplexed with various avocations, will receive a mild censure: more material faults, FRIENDS may be prone to forgive; but from ENEMIES–public or private–we are never to expect indulgence or favor.

JOSIAH QUINCY, Junr.

Boston, May 14, 1774.

 

OBSERVATIONS, &C.

IN times of public calamity, it is the duty of a good citizen to consider. If his opportunities or advantages, for knowledge and reflection, are greater than those of mankind in general, his whole duty will remain undischarged, while he confines his thoughts to the compass of his own mind. But if danger is added to the calamity of the times, he who shall communicate his sentiments on public affairs with decency and frankness, merits attention and indulgence, if he may not aspire to approbation and praise.

Whoever attends to the tenor and design of the late act of the British Parliament for the BLOCKADE of this HARBOUR, and duly considers the extensive confusion and distress this measure must inevitably produce; whoever shall reflect upon the justice, policy and humanity of legislators, who could deliberately give their sanction to such a prceedure [sic]–must be satisfied, that the man, who shall OPENLY dare to expose their conduct, hazards fatal consequences. –Legislators, who could condemn a whole town unheard, nay uncited to answer. who could involve thousands in ruin and misery, without suggestion of any crime by them committed; and who could so construct their law, as that enormous pains and penalties would inevitably ensue, NOTWITHSTANDING THE MOST PERFECT OBEDIENCE TO IT’S [sic] INJUNCTIONS; I say, that legislators, thus formed as MEN, thus principled as STATESMEN, would undoubtedly imagine the attainder and death of a private individual, for his public animadversions, a less extraordinary act of power. But all exertions of duty have their hazard: –if dread of Parliamentary extravagance is to deter from public energies, the safety of the common wealth will soon be despaired of; and when once a sentiment of that kind prevails, the excess of present enormities so rapidly increase, that strides, at first appearance, exorbitant, will soon be found–but the beginning of evils. We therefore consider it as a just observation, that the weight and velocity of public oppressions are ever in a ratio proportionate to private despondency and public despair.

He who shall go about to treat of important and perilous concerns, and conceals himself behind the curtain of a feigned signature, give an advantage to his adversaries; who will not fail to stigmatize his thoughts, as the notions of an unknown writer, afraid or ashamed to avow his sentiments; and hence they are deemed unworthy of notice and refutation. Therefore I give to the world both my sentiments and and name upon the present occasion, and shall hear with patience him, who will decently refute what is advanced, and shall submit with temper to that correction and chastisement which my errors deserve.

 

 

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Filed under 1770's, American Revolution, Colonial America, Commerce, England, George III, Great Britain, Political Pamphlets, Posted by Caroline Fuchs

Item of the Day: The New Book of Chronicles [1789]

Full Title: The New Book of Chronicles; Delineating in Eccentrical Sketches of the Times a Variety of Modern Characters of the Great and Small Vulgar. London: Printed for T. Massey, Snow-Hill, and Sold by all the Booksellers of Great Britain.

CHAPTER I.

ARGUMENT.

 

With odds and ends, and scanty scraps

The mystic muse begins; perhaps,

‘Tis, as descending from the sky,

Before her forded flashes fly,

She’s forc’d to touch the catching tinder,

Ere she can blaze like Peter Pindar.

 

IN those days there was no poet laureat in the land of Albion, and every bard began to rhyme right in his own eyes.

2. And I heard a voice from Parnesses, like a trumpet sounding, saying unto me; take up thy pen quickly and record the acts of Albion.

3. Now it came to pass, when George, the king of the isles had drank of the waters of Cheltenham, that, behold his spirit was troubled.

4. The report also of his death was spread abroad, about the regions of the great cities, none rejoiced at the rumour, save the mercers and woolen drapers.

5. Howbeit Death, when he saw that he could not aim his javelin against George,

6. On the first day of the first month drew his bow at a venture and smote a certain noble of the land, who afore time had been a knight of the order of Sir Bullface Doublesee, and also president of the lower Sanhedrim.

7. And on the morrow the same king of terrors, mounted on his white horse, knock’d at the door of Cornwall, even another president of the same assembly, and carried him, no mortal man knows where, even to this day.

8. Behold William sirnamed Windham Grenville was chosen in his stead.

9. On that day George, even the king’s son and the Prince of Patriots,

10. Was filled with compassion for the poor of the great city, and sent by his servant; twenty thousand pounds to relieve their affliction;

11. For which the poor praised him, yea the Recorder and certain of the elders blessed him in his new palace.

12. Now when the people of Albion and of Hibernia beheld that the king was not recovered,

13. They cried with one accord, saying, lo, let the Patriot Prince be declared Regent of the Realm.

14. Howbeit the Premier, and also the lord on whose hand the king had leaned,

15. Opposed the people, and strove with all their might to bind the Prince in chains, and his nobles in fetters of iron.

16. And the patriots cried aloud in the Sanhedrim, saying:

17. Why muzzle ye the ox that treadeth out the corn? Why require the prince to make bricks without straw?

18. For the premier had said go forth, I will put a barren sceptre into thy hand, which shall neither bud nor blossom; take with thee no money, nor Scrip, neither have two coats in they wardrobe.

20. But, behold, it came to pass, while the contention was waxing warm that the King arose, even as the sun after the rain, and gladened the islands of the sea

21. On the evening of the tenth day of the third month were all the windows of Westminster, and also of the great city and her suburbs illuminated.

22. And upon a certain day appointed, even the twenty and third day of the fourth month, the King presented himself before the Lord, in the great temple of Paul,

23. Even amidst the multitude of the nobles and the elders of the land: the citizens also with their dames and damsels.

24. On that day of thanksgiving many of the other temples remained empty, even from the great Abbey of the West city, to Little Zoar, as thou goest to the Barking Dogs.

25. For those people whom the great temple of Paul would not receive into its sacred porch,

26. Even the weavers, who deal in doves, and the money-changers, who fell sell strong drink,

27. Swarmed in the streets as the King passed to and from the Temple.

28. Many of the boys of Barrington also mingl’d with the multitude, while their chief Captain remained in ward, lamenting the loss of so glorious a day.

29. Howbeit many of the traders that day obtained much money of the people who hired their houses for the sight.

30. On that day a certain Seller of Sugar Plumbs sat on his triumphal Carr, his windows facing the holy temple, and his heart fixed on the Mammon of unrighteousness.

31. Lo, the ladies looked at his comely countenance, and smiling at the simple one, ran into the house of honey and it was filled with guests. . . .

 

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Filed under 1780's, George III, Great Britain, Political Commentary, Posted by Caroline Fuchs, Satire