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purpose of procuring arms, and were intended to be held on the the other measures of open insur- same day. rection which followed, were not It appears manifest that the accidental or unpremeditated, but persons engaged in various parts, had been deliberately pre-con- both of England and Scotland, in certed, as parts of a general plan forwarding the plans of revoluof rebellion and revolution. There tion, have constantly waited for appears also strong reason to be the example of the metropolis. lieve that the execution of those Intelligence of the event of the projects at that particular time meeting there on the second of was expected by some of the December was anxiously expect. associations in distant parts of the ed; and as the first report of the country. The conspirators seem beginning of the disturbance exto have had the fullest confidence cited in a high degree the spirits of success ; and a persuasion has of the disaffected, so its speedy subsequently been expressed a- suppression produced the expresmongst them, that their plans sion of strong feelings of disapcould have been defeated only by pointment. Had it even partially casual and unexpected circum- succeeded, there seems much reastances. Even after the failure of son wo believe that it would have this atteinpt, the same plans ap- been the signal for a more general pear not to have been abandoned. rising in other parts of the king
Your committee are deeply con- dom. Since that time it appears cerned to be compelled, in further to be the prevailing impression execution of their duty, to report amongst the leading malcontents their full conviction that designs in the country, that it is expeof this nature have not been con- dient for them to wait till the fined to the capital, but have been whole kingdom shall, according extended and are still extending to their expression, be more comwidely in many other parts of pletely organized, and more ripe Great Britain, particularly in some for action. of the most populous and manu What is meant by completely facturing districts
organizing the country is but to At the meeting of the second evident from the papers before of December in Spa-Fields, that the committee It appears clearly part of the assembly which had that the object is, by means of not engaged in the acts of plunder societies or clubs, established, or and insurrection before men to be established, in all parts of tioned, came to a resolution to Great Britain, under pretence of adjourn the meeting to the second parliamentary reform, to infect Monday after the meeting of Par- the minds of all classes of the liament, namely, the tenth of community, and particularly of February; and it appears by the those whose situation most ex. papers referred to the committee, poses them to such impressions, that meetings in various parts of with a spirit of discontent and dis. the country, conformably to a aflection, of insubordination, and plan settled by the leading per contempt of all law, religion, and sons in London at an early period, morality, and to hold out to them
the plunder and division of all form, but under these words property, as the main object of understanding universal suffrage we efforts, and the restoration and annual parliaments : projects of their natural rights ; and no which evidently involve not any erstravours are omitted to prepare qualified or partial change, but a them to take up arms on the first total subversion of the British oral for accomplishing these de- constitution. *"471$.
It appears that there is a LonIt is on these grounds that your don l'nion Society, and branch committee have been led to look Unions corresponding with it, witte particular anxiety to the form and affiliated to it. Others of 3-awn, principles, and conduct these societies have adopted the of thuise societies or clubs by name of Spencean Philanthrobond the ende of the disaffected pists; and it was by members of have been hitherto so much for- a club of this description that the warded, and are expected by thein plans of the conspirators in Lonto be bnally accomplished. Many don were discussed and prepared of these societies pass under the for execution. dramation of Hampden Clubs. The principles of these last as. Inder this title societies of very sociations seem to be spreading varssus descriptions appear to have rapidly among the other societies been bred, all professing their which have been formed, and are Gnt to be parliamentary reform. daily forming, under that and I hent name and their professions other denominations in the counDu have induced many persons try. Among the persons adoptWe benutne members of such so. ing these principles, it is common cenes who may not be aware of to disclaim parliamentary reform the ultimate intentions of many as unworthy of their attention. of their leaders; and the com- Their objects are avowed in a meter would by no means ascribe band-bill dispersed by the society to all these societies the same of that description in London, $72.tices and designs which they and in numerous other publicahave found to be but too prevalent tions. These objects are, “ A Borcst a large number of them; Parochial partnership in land, on
way find that, particularly the principle that the landholders on the manufacturing and are not proprietors in chief ; that havan.n classes, societies of this they are but the stewards of the dorra Tanatun have been most public; that the land is the peoxiy extended, and appear to ple's farm; that landed monopoly Live bune some of the chief is contrary to the spirit of chris. 1e*ruments of disseminating doc- tinnity, and destructive of the trians, and of preparing for the independence and morality of ruime of plans, the most dan- mankind." FTkS to the public security and The societies under these dif.
ferent names are so numerous, Orders of these societies are and so various, that it has been nied lawn (lutus, professing the difficult to obtain a complete view se object of parliamentary re- of all of them, or to compro
hend them under any general de derable quantities, which can only scription.
have been done with a view to the The country societies are prin- use of force. Subscriptions are cipally to be found in and in also generally required, which, the neighbourhood of Leices- although the amount paid by each ter, Loughborough, Nottingham, individual may be very small, may Mansfield, Derby, Chesterfield, produce, from the large numbers Shefheld, Blackburne, Manches. of the contributors, no inconsiter, Birmingham, and Norwich, derable fund. and in Glasgow and its vicinity; The destructive objects which but they extend and are spreading, the leading members of these soin some parts of the country, io cieties have in view are demonalmost every village. In addition strated by their publications and to all the arts of seduction, resort by their proceedings, all equally is also had to a system of intimis calculated to intlame the minds of dation, and threats are held out the members, and in general of to those who refuse to join. Their the poorer classes of the commucombinations are artfully con- nity. At the ordinary meetings trived to secure secrecy in their of these societies, which are often proceedings, and to give to the continued to a late hour, their leading members undisputed au- time is principally employed in thority over the rest. Oaths of listening to speeches tending to secrecy have been frequently ad. the destruction of social order, ministered, some of which are of recommending a general equalithe most atrocious and dreadful zation of property, and at the import.
same time endeavouring to corrupt They do not, however, trust to the morals of the hearers, and to this security alone to prevent dis- destroy all reverence for religion. covery; their proceedings are sel. The landholder has been repredom reduced to writing; they sented as a monster which must pass and are communicated by be hunted down, and the fundword of mouth. The inore nu- holder as a still greater evil; and merous meetings delegate all au- both have been described as rathority to a managing committee; pacious creatures, who take from and by that committee, and by the people fifteen-pence out of meetings of delegates from the every quartern loaf They have committees of different societies, been told that parliamentary reeverything of importance is trans. form is no more than a halfacted.
measure, changing only one set The committees themselves are of thieves for another : and that also cautious of reducing any of they must go to the land, as notheir proceedings to uniting, come thing short of that would avail municating with each other only them. Another principal emplos. by delegates and missionaries ment of their time is, to listen to
It appears that, in some parts publications of the same descripof the country, arme huse been tion as the speeches, containing lately procured by individual mem- the same doctrines, and leading to bers of these societies in consi- the same purposes ; and the meet.
ings are frequently terminated, even in the exercise of one of the
By such tage of the opportunities afforded means, and by the profession of by public meetings, convoked either open infidelity in which some of by the leaders of these societies, the members indulge in their or by others, in the metropolis, and speeches, the minds of those who in populous places and districts, attend their meetings are tainted to address the multitude in terms and depraved; they are taught of unprecedented license and viocontempt for all decency, all law, lence, amounting even in some all religion and morality, and are instances to an open declaration thus prepared for the most atro- that, in case of non-compliance cious scenes of outrage and vio- with their petitions, the sovereign lence.
will have forfeited his claims to Amongst the most effectual their allegiance. These proceedmeans of furthering these dan- ings are subsequently printed and gerous designs, the committee circulated, and thus become a think it their duty particularly to fresh vehicle for sedition and call the attention of the House to treason. the unremitting activity which has By the frequency of these meetbeen employed throughout the ings, and by the new practice of kingdom in circulating to an un continuing them (under various precedented extent, at the lowest pretexts) by frequent adjournprices or gratuitously, publications inents, the minds of his majesty's of the most seditious and inflam- well-disposed and peaceable submatory nature, marked with a jects are held in a state of perpeculiar character of irreligion and petual agitation and alarm. The blasphemy, and tending not only appointment of such public meetto overturn the existing form of ings in a variety of different places government and order of society, on the same day appears to be but to root out those principles considered as the most effectual upon which alone any government means of accomplishing the deor any society can be supported. signs of the disaffected, and must
The committee cannot but con- evidently in a high degree emsider the late attack upon his royal barrass and impede the exertions highness the Prince Regent, on of all civil powers applicable to his way from opening the present the suppression of disturbances, session of parliament, as an ad- distract the attention of governditional and melancholy proof of ment, and oblige them so to subthe efficacy of this system to de- divide and harass the military stroy all reverence for authority, force which it may
be necessary and all sense of duty, and to ex to call in for the assistance of the pose to insult, indignity, and civil power, as to render it inadehazard the person of the immedi- quate to the maintenance of public ate representative of the sovereign, tranquillity.
Such a state of things cannot existing establishments, and in a be suffered to continue without division of the landed, and exhazarding the most imminent and tinction of the funded property of dreadful evils; and although the the country. committee do not presume to an
This hope and prospect of spoticipate the decision of parliament liation have been actively inas to the particular measures to dustriously propagated by several be adopted in the present emer- societies, openly existing in the gency, they feel it to be their duty metropolis, distinguished by the to express their decided opinion name of Spenceans; a title which that further provisions are neces- they have assumed in consequence sary for the preservation of the of having revived the principles, public peace, and for the protec- with some variation, of a visionary tion of interests in which the hap- writer of the name of Spence, piness of every class of the com which first appeared in a publicamunity is deeply and equally in- tion of his near twenty years ago. volved.
It appears that at some of these
societies, held during the last House of Commons.
month, the question was discussed, The Committee of Secrecy, to whether the meetings for parlia
whom the several Papers, which mentary reform are calculated to were presented (sealed up) to mislead or enlighten the public. the House, by Lord Viscount In the course of the debates upon Castlereagh, on the 4th day of which question, it was strongly February, by command of his urged that parliamentary reRoyal Highness the Prince Re- form was only a half measure, gent, were referred, and who that they must look to the land, were directed to examine the for nothing short of that would matters thereof, and report the ever avail them : that we had no same, as they should appear to constitution, there being no book them, to the House ;-have una in which it could be found, nor nimously agreed to the follow-, any man that could tell what it ing Report:
was.” In another discussion upon It appears to your Committee, the question,
so whether the pracfrom the most attentive consider- tical establishment of Spence's ation of the several documents re- plan be an effectual remedy for the ferred to them, that attempts have present distresses,” one of the been made, in various parts of the doctrines maintained was, that country, as well as in the metro "the landholder was a monster polis, to take advantage of the dis to be hunted down; but that they tress in which the labouring and should not suffer themselves to be manufacturing classes of the com amused; that there was a greater munity are at present involved, to evil, namely, the fundholder; that induce them to look for immediate these were the rapacious wretches, relief, not only in a reform of that took fifteen-pence out of every parliament on the plan of uni- quartern loaf.” versal suffrage and annual election, It further appears, that in these but in a total overthrow of all meetings the most blasphemous