The Constitutional History of England from 1760 to 1860 eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 614 pages of information about The Constitutional History of England from 1760 to 1860.

[Footnote 147:  It may be remarked that in another respect also political critics have pronounced the Union defective.  Archbishop Whately, whose long tenure of office in Ireland, as well as the acuteness and candor which he brought to bear on every subject he discussed, entitle his opinions to most respectful consideration, held this view very strongly.  In several conversations which he held with Mr. W.N.  Senior, in 1858 and 1862, he condemned the retention of the Lord-lieutenancy as “a half measure,” which, however unavoidable at the time when “no ship could be certain of getting from Holyhead to Dublin in less than three weeks,” he pronounced “inconsistent with the fusion of the two peoples, which was the object of the Union,” and wholly indefeasible “in an age of steam-vessels and telegraphs.”  And, besides its theoretical inconsistency, he insisted that it produced many great and practical mischiefs, among which he placed in the front “the keeping up in people’s minds the notion of a separate kingdom; the affording a hotbed of faction and intrigue; the presenting an image of Majesty so faint and so feeble as to be laughed at and scorned.  Disaffection to the English Lieutenancy is cheaply shown, and it paves the way toward disaffection to the English crown.”  And he imputed its continued retention to “the ignorance which prevails in England of the state of feeling in Ireland.”—­Journals and Conversations Relating to Ireland, by W.N.  Senior, ii., 130, 251, and passim.  And it is worthy of observation that a similar view is expressed by a Scotch writer of great ability, who, contrasting the mode in which Scotland is governed with that which prevails In Ireland, farther denounces the Viceroyalty “as a distinct mark that Ireland is not directly under the sovereignty of Great Britain, but rather a dependency, like India or the Isle of Man.”—­Ireland, by J.B.  Kinnear, quoted in the Fortnightly Review, April 1, 1881.  It is remarkable that in 1850 a bill for the abolition of the office was passed in the House of Commons by a large majority (295 to 70), but was dropped in the House of Lords, chiefly on account of the opposition of the Duke of Wellington.  But it is, at all events, plain that the reasons, arising from the difficulty and uncertainty of communication, which made its abolition impossible at the beginning of the century, have passed away with the introduction of steam-vessels and telegraphs.  Communication of London with Dublin is now as rapid as communication with Edinburgh, and, that being the case, it is not easy to see how an establishment which has never been thought of for Scotland can be desirable for Ireland.]


A Census is Ordered.—­Dissolution of Pitt’s Administration.—­Impeachment of Lord Melville.—­Introduction of Lord Ellenborough into the Cabinet.—­Abolition of the Slave-trade.—­Mr. Windham’s Compulsory Training Bill.—­Illness of the King, and Regency.—­Recurrence to the Precedent of 1788-’89.—­Death of Mr. Perceval.—­Lord Liverpool becomes Prime-minister.—­Question of Appointments in the Household.—­Appointment of a Prime-minister.

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The Constitutional History of England from 1760 to 1860 from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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