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No. 9, Vol. 1.) Wednesday, November 3rd, 1819. [Price 2d.
If Humanity shown to the God of this World,
A figlit for his fatherly eye,
Resolu'd for their FREEDOM TO DIE.
Through the darkness of human control,
Through the eye of ap heavenly soul. C, PHILLIPS.
IMPORTANT PUBLIC MEETING IN FINSBURY
The meeting of the inhabitants of the metropolis and its vicinity in Finsbury Market Place, was as numerous as we have ever witnessed upon a like occasion, and was conducted with a degree of harmony and good order, highly gratifying. to the real friends of Radical Reform. Various were the efforts of the ill-disposed to create tumult and disorder, but such attempts were invariably put down, by the unanimous expression of “ silence and order" from the immense mul titude, assembled to witness the proceedings of the day. The few days preceding the meeting were very wet, yet on Saturduy the ground was free from puddles, at least comparatively free, when the immense cart loads of dirt are taken into consideration, through which the people had to wade, to get to the front of the hustings on Monday. The littleness of mind, which could dictate such a proceeding, is truly despicable: nor should we notice it but for the purpose of removing any impression of blame, which those who are unacquainted with the circumstance might have imbibed against the Committee, Public Meetings have been condemned at this particular period, by many even of the supposed friends of Reform, on the supposition that the slightest disturbance would be affording a handle to government to suspend the liberties of the people. On this very ground, however, we imagine that public meetings should be encouraged, prior to the meeting of Parliament in November, to prove by their usual peaceable demeanour, that nothing alarming is to be expected to result from such meetings, as long as any hope
Printed and Published by T. DAVISON, 10, Duke Street, Smithfield,
can be entertained that Reform may be effected without bloodshed. It has also been said that meetings on one and the same day throughout the kingdom, should not be attempted, until laws are enacted infringing upon the liberties of the people, or suspending them in toto; it appears to us, however, that such imposing assemblages of the people may have the effect of deterring the ministry (who are only to be acted upon by their fears) from passing Restriction Bills, suspending the Habeas Corpus Act, or placing a censorship on the hitherto independent Press of England. At all events we will venture to predict, that if simultaneous meetings are not resorted to before the forementioned measures are adopted by his Majesty's ministers, THEY NEVER CAN BE RESORTED TO, AFTERWARDS!!! Prevention is generally easier and always better, if it can be accomplished, than cure, and therefore it is that we would recommend the People to persevere in meeting publicly for a redress of grievances; for if Restriction Bills are passed, they can hereafter only meet in private, by which they will subject themselves to charges of conspiracy before despotic tyrants, who with the jaundiced eye of fear will pervert the most trivial circumstances into High Treason, for the purpose of removing all characters obnoxious to them, owing to the principles of independence they are well known to maintain.
Having premised thus much with respect to Public Meetings, we will now proceed to give our readers an account of the one in question, which for many reasons must be considered the most important which has been witnessed in this metropolis for some years past.
The times are more critical than any that have as yet occupied the attention of Englishmen, and the Resolutions and Address to His Royal Highness the Prince Regent, which we give at full length, are more pithy and foreible, than any that the People of England, have hitherto qualified with unanimous approbation, or than any which have ever been laid before the People for their consideration. To the Address it is EXPECTED that an answer will be returned by the Prince, and the People were requested to meet again in the same place, on Monday the 15th of this month, to hear such answer, or in case of a failure in the performance of such an important duty on the part of the Prince, to consider what further steps it might be prudent to take for the recovery of those Rights and Privileges of which they have been unjustly deprived. There is but one opinion as to the necessity of recovering those Rights, and to use an old proverb, “ Where there is a will, there is always a way." When the object is determined to be attained, the nieans of attaining that object will shortly be disa
covered. Difficulties will doubtless intervene, but it is to be hoped that difficulties will only give fresh ardour to the combatants in the cause of Freedom, till their unanimity and the justice of their cause, ensure to them a bloodless victory.
At the close of the Meeting a gentleman proposed that on that day fortnight, the people should assemble armed. We have before given our opinions upon this point, and
d we again declare our conviction, that however necessary such a mea, sure may be at Public Meetings in the country, there is no occasion for it in the metropolis. Magistrates in London will not dare to act over again the Massacre of Peterloo. The execration of that atrocious deed has been loud and universal, and the perpetrators have been held up to the scorn and contempt of the honest and worthy part of the community, So vehement and so general has been its condemnation, that we verily believe that even the expectant Baronet would not risk its repetition, even if the title of Viscount was held out to him as the harvest of his villainy.
This seemed likewise, to be the general opinion of the Meeling, for the motion was negatived by a vast majority, indeed almost unanimously. The business of the day commenced by a motion, emanating from Mr. Griffin, that Dr. Watson should take the chair, which motion was seconded by Mr. Walker, and carried unanimously,
Dr. Watson addressed the Meeting, and expressed his gratitude for the honor just conferred upon him, and he begged to assure them that whenever the Rights of the People--whenever the Liberties of Man were at stako, they would never want a man to preside over their deliberations. They had appealed to the Parliament of the Country--to the Prince, Regent of the Country; but all their Petitions and Remonstrances were unavailing, for they had not as yet obtained those rights, to which,
as Britons, they justly thought themselves entitled. It was expected, and for aught he knew it was the case, that the People of Glasgow, Paisley, Carlisle, Newcastle, Hull, Leeds, a great part of Yorkshire and Lancashire, of Sheffield, Nottingham, Liver
pool, Derby, Lynn, Norwich, Coventry, and Macclesfield, together with those of London, would all have congregated together to express their desire for liberty, and make such an Appeal to the Prince Regent as would induce him to listen to their Petitions, relieve their sufferings, and redress their grievances. - It was expected that no less a body than a million and a half of people would have assembled this day, to invite the Prince to pay attention to their Appeals. For his part, he thought it was always better to negociate for the rights of mankind, than to fight for them;
and that he begged to dissent from the opinions of those men who discountenanced Public Assemblies. To negociate was their intention; they wished to consult with the Prince Regent, and to do so without the loss of a single life. In order to prove that the very poorest of the people paid taxes, he should read to them a calculation he had made that morning. In doiug this, he should confine himself to the effects produced by the late infamous “ Corn Bill.” He supposed there were 3,000,000 of industrious families in this kingdom who got their living by their labour; that each family consisted of five persons, and that each family consumed one quartern loaf per day. In consequence of the “ Corn Bill," the price of the loaf was now as high as one shilling; but about forty or fifty years ago, the price was only 4d. It followed, then, that every poor family out of these 3,000,000, paid tax of 3d. per day, amounting altogether to £100,000 every day; and that the total amount of the tax paid by the popr on bread alone, was £36,500,000 a year! The Dr. concluded a very able and energetic speech by 'moving the following Resolutions, which Mr. Förrester seconded in a very able manper.
Mr. Walker having finished reading the Resolutions,
Dr. Watson again came forward, and said, the Resolu. tions just read, were as important as any that were ever submitted to an enlightened people on the face of the globe. That they might not be always presenting Petitions and Addresses, without mentioning any direct and specific mode of relief, it was pointed out in a plain Resolution.
Mr. Walker then read an Address to the Prince Regent, founded on the Resolutions, which was moved by Mr. Preston, and seconded by Mr. Goold, who took a retrospective view of our commercial situation in point of the British Islands ceded to foreign powers; and the utter in competency of our present in woolley-headed Administre tion to releve the country from any difficulties which they have brought upon it by a system of mismanagement and improvidence.
Our limits being so contracted, we are under the necessity of referring our readers to “ THE LONDON ALFRED," for a full and correct Report of the speeches, &c.
Thę Meeting quietly dispersed by the request of Dr. Watson, who proceeded to his carriage accompanied by the cheers of the populace, as did, also, the other speakers, who were drawn to their respective habitations greeted by the acclamations of their fellow-countrymen, to the dismày and consternation of the servile 'and pampered wretches who support a mystem of corruption and robbery.
At a numerous Meeting of Non-represented persons, being Inhabitants of London, held in Finsbury Market Place, Finsbury Square, on Monday, the 1st of November, 1819, the multitude of People then assembled, determined unanimously in language firm, manly, and respectful, to Appeal to you, Sir, as the representative of your Father, the King; and deputed us, the undersigned, part of that assembly, to lay before you their manifold grievances, the purport of the various Resolutions they then agreed to,-to solicit your most serious attention to the subjects which their Appeal contains, and to beseech you not to fail to return a gracious and favorable answer to the claims of an oppressed People.
The distress and misery, the vexatious wrongs they suffer, the forlorg condition to which the most useful, and the most industrious parts of the community are reduced, the increase of numbers continually added from the middle sphere of society, to the ranks of wretchedness and de spondency, the keen and appalling sympathies of Parents, Children, and Friends, 'in beholding the deplorable privations and horrors of each others condition; who, though surrounded by the plenty and profusion of bounteous Nature, and their own superior ingenuity and industry, nevertheless through the effects of a destructive system of misrule, are perishing of want of the common necessaries of life; the universality of distress in all parts of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland cry aloud for instant relief to stay the flood of misery from overwhelming society in one common scene of confusion, anarchy, and despair; and pleads for us in using to you the most simple, plain, and unequivocal language of sincerity and truth;---and for praying that you will let the solemn Appeal we now make sink deep into your heart;---por let any impression of sympathy which it may create, fleet from you like a summer cloud, but that you . will incline yourself to listen to our call to withdraw yourself from the splendour and luxuries of that vated rank to which you are raised --to meditate upon the high duties of a Prince, humanely to investigate into the condition of a People, who have liberally bestowed upon you overy profusion to gratify the most unbounded desires; and we call upon you to forego your usual scenes of pomp and splendour, that you may be at leisure to reflect upon the principles and precepts you received from the friends of your early days, and to exert yourself upon the principles of just, enlarged, and benevolent policy, to remove the growing evils and abuses which have long afflicted an honest, laborious, and worthy People, bowed down to the dust by the wrongs heaped upon them by men arrogant, profligate, and cruel. The urgency of public affairs demands from una relation of the facts, That the exhausted state of the People's means to provide for the public expenditure ---the failure of trade and commerce--the decay of the manufactures ---the disproportion between the price of food and of labour,---the high rentals charged upon houses and land, the enormous taxes levied upon al industrious classes of People ---the very bread they cat artificially, wujratily, and nanaturally raised by an infamous