The Constitutional History of England from 1760 to 1860 eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 521 pages of information about The Constitutional History of England from 1760 to 1860.

[Footnote 212:  See his “Civil Despatches,” iv., 570.  In February, 1829, he said to Lord Sidmouth, “It is a bad business, but we are aground.”  “Does your Grace think, then,” asked Lord Sidmouth, “that this concession will tranquillize Ireland?” “I can’t tell; I hope it will,” answered the Duke, who shortly discovered, and had the magnanimity to admit, his mistake.—­Life of Lord Sidmouth, iii., 453.  It is remarkable that the question of endowing the Roman Catholic clergy was again considered by Lord John Russell’s ministry in 1848.  A letter of Prince Albert in October of that year says, with reference to it:  “The bishops have protested against Church endowment, being themselves well off; but the clergy would gratefully accept it if offered, but dare not avow this.”—­Life of the Prince Consort, ii., 186.]

[Footnote 213:  This first extract refers in part to the proposal which he made to the Duke to resign his office as Secretary of State, and to support the Emancipation as a private member, a design which he only relinquished at the Duke’s earnest entreaty.  The second extract refers to the seat in Parliament alone.—­See Peel’s Memoirs, i., 310, 312.]

[Footnote 214:  Speech to the electors of Bristol on being declared by the sheriffs duly elected member for that city, November 3, 1774.—­Burke’s Works, iii., 11, ed 1803.]

[Footnote 215:  It is worth pointing out, however, that, as if it were one of the natural fruits of the Reform Bill, the Liberal Committee of the Livery of London in 1832 passed a series of resolutions asserting the principle of delegation without the slightest modification; one resolution affirming “that members chosen to be representatives in Parliament ought to do such things as their constituents wish and direct them to do;” another, “that a signed engagement should be exacted from every member that he would at all times and in all things act conformably to the wishes of a majority of his constituents, or would at their request resign the trust with which they had honored him.”—­Annual Register, 1832, p. 300; quoted by Alison, 2d series, v., 355.]

CHAPTER IX.

Demand for Parliamentary Reform.—­Death of George IV., and Accession of William IV.—­French Revolution of 1830.—­Growing Feeling in Favor of Reform.—­Duke of Wellington’s Declaration against Reform.—­His Resignation:  Lord Grey becomes Prime-minister.—­Introduction of the Reform Bill.—­Its Details.—­Riots at Bristol and Nottingham.—­Proposed Creation of Peers.—­The King’s Message to the Peers.—­Character and Consequences of the Reform Bill.—­Appointment of a Regency.—­ Re-arrangement of the Civil List.

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