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considered a separate kingdom, annexed to the British Crown. But after the year 1782, the body which was sovereign in Great Britain ceased to be sovereign in Ireland; the sovereign government of Ireland consisted of the Crown, with the Irish houses of parliament; and the only political connexion between the two countries was, that the King of Great Britain was also King of Ireland, the rules of succession to the two crowns being, moreover, so long as they both might remain unaltered, identical. The political relation between Great Britain and Ireland during the eighteen years following 1782 was similar to the political relation between Hanover and the United Kingdom during the reign of William IV; with this exception, that the rules of succession to the two crowns were identical in the case of Great Britain and Ireland, and not identical in the case of the United Kingdom and Hanover.
"But although Ireland ceased in 1782 to be legally and in form, it did not then cease to be, virtually and in fact, dependent upon Great Britain. The great body of the Irish people continued to be excluded from all effective participation in the exercise of political rights; the country was managed by a native party devoted to the English interest and to the maintenance of the connexion with England; and, consequently, the government was substantially, though covertly, directed by English influence. Although the form of the Irish government was completely altered, in regard to its relation with England, by the events of 1782, the extent of the indirect influence of England over it had not, before the Union, been materially affected by that change.
"Now it may be assumed that the advocates of a repeal of the Act of Union between Great Britain and Ireland do not wish to place Ireland in the same legal relation to Great Britain as that in which it stood prior to 1782, and to make it a dependency of Great Britain. Their desire doubtless is, that the legal relation of Great Britain and Ireland should be restored to the state in which it was at the time of the Union.
"But although the legal relation which subsisted between Great Britain and Ireland at the time of the Union might be restored, the general political relations subsisting between the two countries would necessarily be very different. The internal changes which have taken place in Ireland since 1800 have rendered it impossible that the bulk of the people should be excluded from the effective exercise of all political rights, and that the country should be governed by a merely English party. The Irish House of Commons would, if the Act of Union were repealed, be elected by constituencies not less popular than those by which the Irish members of the House of Commons of the United Kingdom are elected. An Irish House of Commons, so elected, could not fail to obtain the chief influence in the government of the country, and would, therefore, render Ireland, for some time at least, both legally and virtually an independent state. The power of the Crown would, under these circumstances, be insufficient to render Ireland virtually dependent on Great Britain, or even to procure to Great Britain any sensible influence upon the proceedings of the Irish Parliament.
"The natural relations of Ireland and Great Britain would, however, eventually secure to the government of the latter a considerable influence over that of the former island. The close proximity of their coasts, the
identity of their languages, their close commercial relations, the ownership of land in Ireland by Englishmen, together with the superior wealth, power, and general importance of Great Britain, must ultimately lead to this result. The inconveniences which Ireland would suffer from becoming an independent state (such as the increased taxation necessary for maintaining a separate army and navy, and a separate body of representatives with foreign powers, and the loss of the free commercial intercourse with Great Britain and her dependencies) would conspire with many other causes to render a large body of the Irish people dissatisfied with their government. It may, therefore, be reasonably doubted whether, if the Act of Union between Great Britain and Ireland were repealed, and the government of Ireland were restored to the state in which it existed immediately before the Union, Ireland would long remain a virtually independent state."
We may take this opportunity of offering a few observations connected with colonial policy, a department that has been hitherto considered embarrassing, the welfare both of the dependencies and the mother country having been often sacrificed to class interests, and on other occasions imposed restrictions having been dictated in ignorance of political principles. The present conjuncture from its causes and from the shadows which the future appears to cast before it, ought to impart to us invaluable lessons. The few general ideas which we shall throw out will have a reference chiefly to the East and the West Indies.
The Minister or rather the Foreign Office has in times past, say particularly from the close of our war with Napoleon, been obliged or tempted to neglect or postpone the consideration and discussion of the grand commercial interests of the country, in order to conciliate, or not to come into collision with some powerful class. For example, we have seen it lately in print that when Lord Castlereagh in ceding in 1814 the valuable settlement of Banca, off the coast of Sumatra, to the Dutch, a settlement extremely valuable on account of its tin mines, he gave as the reason of the apparently generous transfer this answer: 66 Say not a word about our generosity. Do you not know, that if I had kept Banca, I should have had all the miners of Cornwall upon my back in the next session of Parliament ?"
Had his Lordship, however, at the time boldly taken his ground, -the ground that would have invited competition, and shown strong hostility to restrictions and monopoly; at a period too when England had attained a proud pre-eminence among European powers and throughout the world,-it is probable that by this our day we might have had not only the prime benefits which ought to be reaped from the working of the mines in Cornwall and Banca, and also from the growth of the cane in Hindostan as well as in the West Indies, but that Free Trade might have been in healthful operation, and that much of the sufferings now felt at home, as well
as of the injustice to magnificent dependencies experienced far distant from us, might have been avoided.
We believe it to be generally admitted that the attempt to secure a monopoly of colonial produce to the West Indies has not only grievously failed with respect to capitalists who have embarked capital in the culture of these settlements, but has imposed heavy burdens and losses upon the imperial state, while it has had the effect of robbing Hindostan and the East of much that was their due. But the day has come when Britain is no longer ignorant of the vast variety of riches and immense capabilities of the East, for almost every purpose which agriculture, manufactures and commerce can demand. Surely therefore it is time that there should be a thorough revision of our system, both as between Great Britain and the settlements whether East or West, and between these settlements themselves.
We have spoken of the necessity for inviting competition. Every facility and opportunity should be given for the exercise of this salutary spring of human action and enterprise, especially in the employment of capital and human intelligence in commercial affairs. We hold that our colonists have no cause to fear the progress and exertions of foreigners in this respect, provided the intelligence and enterprise of the former be not subjected to exactions and restrictions, which deny them a natural and fair reward, which denial would amount to oppression; the certain fate of the oppressor, sooner or later, being the diminution of the necessary returns for the consumption of the governmental spoils, and sad disaster in all the social relations of life, and to the derangement of honest industry. If then our colonists ought not to fear foreign competition if they are fairly dealt with; if they ought not to have their hands tied up by unreasonable prohibitions in their desire and capacity to trade with foreigners; surely it must be absurd and exceedingly prejudicial both to such a dominant power, for example, as England, and also to her dependencies, when very unequal positions and relations are held by these parties towards one another severally, and amongst themselves.
As between the East and West Indies, and towards the mothercountry, the present seems to demand a pause in our past system, and for a remodelling of it. A grand experiment has been made in the latter settlements, the issue of which to our trade and the islands in question, is not clearly foreseen, and, may be lamentable, especially when the uncertainty of productions in these islands is matter of notoriety. At the same time that doubt and darkness brood over them, even after all that has been expended in the way of money and protection by the mother-country, speculation has set in towards the East, and unless sedulously guarded against, restrictions may be demanded and granted in the old fashion for the mono
polizing protection of rival interests with those of the West Indian planters.
Is the present time, then, not peculiarly fitting for a thorough revision and liberal adjustment of our colonial policy? The great powers of Europe are at this moment manifesting an onward march in commercial enlightenment; and offer us facilities and inducements to reconsider our relations with them as well as with our dependencies. May therefore neither jealousies at home nor abroad mar the light that is setting in, or thwart the capacities of the sons and descendants of Britons! and then we shall have ample evidence that not only the science of international and colonial policy has been made a theme of general study, but that the nations practically feel that all of them belong to one family, and that all real and permanent benefits to mankind are reciprocal and salutarily generative; although after long perversion and the possession of vested and class interests, it will require great care, delicacy, and mutual forbearance at first, to effect the necessary changes.
III.-Memorials of the Order of the Garter. By G. F. BELTZ, K. H. Lancaster Herald. Ridgway.
THESE Memorials extend from the foundation of the Order to the present time, and contain also "Biographical Notices of the Knights in the reigns of Edward III. and Richard II." This renowned institution has repeatedly engaged the pens of antiquaries and members of the College of Arms, the celebrated Selden being of the number of these writers. It appears, however, that for a long series of years no new work has been published on the subject; so that to persons particularly interested in the history of our ancient foundations, in the pomp and pageantries of chivalric times, or who wish to catch side-lights of manners and feelings at periods in the national annals, that have from infancy enlisted the romantic and boastful fancy of every Englishman, Mr. Beltz's volume will be a treat. It is indeed a production that contains ample proofs of learning, patient research, and a love for its subject. The biographical notices alone entitle the book to distinction in the range of history, and beyond the study of the merely curious in black letter lore, or the priers into the fortunes of heraldry and the antiquities of knighthood.
Many of our readers, however, may not experience much concern about one point, at least, which has occupied much of the attention of our author and other inquirers who are distinguished on account of similar partialities and habits of study. We allude to the extreme anxiety which such persons have evinced to ascertain the precise date of the foundation of the Order of the Garter, there being a
variation of three or four years in the calculations; these years ranging from 1344 to 1348, or thereabouts. Room is left for conjectures relative to this question, there being no known record in existence in our national muniments to set the matter at rest. The annals of the Order, we are told, previous to the fourth year of Henry V., are lost, while the writers who at a remote period pretended to solve the historical problem, and who are chiefly of the age of Henry VIII., are said to be entitled to slender credit. Froissart's story, however, although shown to be incorrect in some particulars, is adopted by Mr. Beltz as to the exact date of the foundation, viz. St. George's day, 1344. The following is the enthusiastic chronicler's account, he being a boy at the precise period stated:
"At this time Edward king of England resolved to rebuild the great castle of Windsor, formerly built and founded by King Arthur, and where was first set up and established the noble Round Table, from whence so many valiant men and knights had issued forth to perform feats of arms and prowess throughout the world. And the said king created an Order of Knights, to consist of himself, his children, and the bravest of his land. They were to be in number forty, and to be called Knights of the blue Garter; their feast to be kept and solemnised at Windsor annually on St. George's day. And, in order to institute this festival, the king of England assembled earls, barons, and knights from his whole realm, and signified to them his purpose and great desire to found the same. In this they joyfully concurred; for it appeared to them to be an honourable undertaking, and calculated to nourish affection amongst them. Then were elected forty Knights known and celebrated as the bravest of all the rest; and they bound themselves to the King, under their seals, by oath and fealty, to keep the feast, and obey the ordinances which should be agreed upon and devised. And the King caused a chapel of St. George to be built and founded within the castle of Windsor; established canons therein for the service of God; and provided and endowed them with a good and liberal revenue. And, in order that the said feast might be promulgated in all countries, the King of England sent his heralds to publish and proclaim the same in France, Scotland, Burgundy, Hainault, Flanders, Brabant, and the German empire; granting to all Knights and Esquires, who should be willing to come, safe conduct until fifteen days after the feast. And there was to be held at this feast a jousting by forty Knights, within the lists, against all comers, and also by forty Esquires. And this feast was to be celebrated on ST. GEORGE'S DAY next coming, which would be in the year of grace ONE THOUSAND THREE HUNDRED AND FORty-four, at Windsor Castle. And the queen of England, accompanied by three hundred ladies and damsels, all noble and gentlewomen, and uniformly apparelled, were to be present."
Having stated that St. George's day drew near when the great feast was to be celebrated in Windsor Castle, it is added:
"The King made there great preparations; and there were present the