The employment of pit-coal had not reached perfection, and in 1785 the Society of Arts offered a premium for the making of fine bar iron with pit-coal. This object was accomplished by Mr. Cort, an iron-founder of Gloucestershire, by exposing the pig iron on the hearth of a reverberatory furnace to the flame of pit-coal. This process was improved into what was called puddling, in puddling or reverberatory furnaces. Cort also introduced the drawing out of iron between cylindrical rollers; but he became ruined in his experiments, and other iron-masters of more capital came in to reap the profit. Many years passed before a pension was conferred on some of his children for his services. In 1755 the whole population of Carron was only one thousand eight hundred and sixty-four; in 1795 the workmen alone employed in the works were one thousand, the population four thousand, when the foundry had five blast furnaces, sixteen air furnaces, three cupola furnaces, and consumed one hundred and thirty-six tons of coals daily. It supplied to the Government eleven thousand tons annually of cannon, mortars, shot, shells, etc.; to the East India Company six thousand tons; and to all customers together twenty-six thousand tons. The growth of the iron trade in Great Britain, through these improvements, may be seen from the fact that in 1802 there were one hundred and sixty-eight blast furnaces, producing two hundred and twenty thousand tons of iron; in 1820 the annual production of iron was four hundred thousand tons; in 1845 the production was calculated at twice that amount—that is, in twenty-five years the production had doubled itself. In 1771 the use of wire ropes, instead of hempen ones, was suggested by M. Bougainville, and this was made a fact by Captain Brown, in 1811. Before this, in 1800, Mr. Mushet, of Glasgow, discovered the art of converting malleable iron, or iron ore, into cast steel; and in 1804 Samuel Lucas, of Sheffield, further extended the benefit by the discovery of a mode of converting any castings from pig iron at once into malleable iron, or cast steel, so that knives, forks, snuffers, scythes, and all kinds of articles, were converted into steel, "without any alterative process whatever between the blast furnace and the melting-pot." In 1815 it was calculated that two hundred thousand persons were employed in manufacturing articles of iron, the annual value of which was ten million pounds.Such was the condition into which an army and navy, once illustrious through the victories of Marlborough and Blake, were reduced by the aristocratic imbecility of the Newcastles, Bedfords, and Cumberlands. This last princely general had, in fact, put the climax to his career. He had placed himself at the head of fifty thousand confederate troops, in which there were no English, except the officers of his own staff, to defend his father's Electorate of Hanover. But this ruthless general, who never won a battle except the solitary one of Culloden, against a handful of famished men, was found totally incompetent to cope with the French general, d'Estrées. He allowed the French to cross the deep and rapid Weser, and continued to fall back before them as they entered the Electorate, until he was driven to the village of Hastenbeck, near Hameln, where the enemy overtook and defeated him. He then continued his retreat across the desolate Lüneburg Heath, to cover Stade, near the mouth of the Elbe, where the archives and other valuable effects of Hanover had been deposited for safety. At this time Richelieu succeeded to the command of d'Estrées in this quarter, and he continued to drive Cumberland before him, taking Hameln, G?ttingen, and Hanover itself, and soon after Bremen and Verden. Thus were Hanover and Verden, which had cost England such millions to defend, seized by France; nor did the disgrace end here. Cumberland was cooped up in Stade, and compelled, on the 8th of December, to sign a convention at Closter-Seven, by which he engaged to send home the Hesse and Brunswick troops, and to disperse the Hanoverians into different quarters, not to serve again during the war.
The chiefs of the Tory party were at this time sanguine in their expectation of being speedily called to office. Their hopes were founded mainly upon the dissensions that were known to exist in the Cabinet. These dissensions were first revealed by O'Connell's motion for a committee to inquire into the conduct of Baron Smith, when presiding as a judge in criminal cases, and especially with reference to a charge addressed by him to the grand jury of Dublin, in which he said: "For the last two years I have seldom lost an opportunity for making some monitory observations from the Bench. When the critical and lawless situation of the country did not seem to be generally and fully understood, I sounded the tocsin and pointed out the ambuscade. Subsequent events deplorably proved that I had given no false alarm. The audacity of factious leaders increased from the seeming impunity which was allowed them; the progress of that sedition which they encouraged augmented in the same proportion, till on this state of things came, at length, the Coercion Bill at once to arrest the mischief, and consummate the proof of its existence and extent." As there was no doubt that these shafts were aimed at O'Connell, this last charge afforded him a fair opportunity of putting a stop to the abuse by bringing the conduct of the talented but eccentric judge before Parliament; for, as there was no political case in the calendar, there was no excuse for the attack. Mr. Littleton declared it impossible to refuse his consent to the motion. Mr. Stanley, Lord Althorp, and Lord John Russell expressed a similar view. Sir James Graham briefly but warmly dissented from his colleagues. He had come down to the House with the understanding that they meant to oppose the motion. He for one still retained his opinion, and had seen no reason to change it. As one who valued the independence of the judges and his own character, he must declare that if the motion were carried, and if, as its result, an Address was presented to the Crown for the removal of Baron Smith, it would be a highly inexpedient—nay, more, a most unjust proceeding. The present would be the most painful vote he had ever given, since he felt it incumbent upon him to sever himself from those friends with whom during a public life of some duration he had had the honour of acting; but feeling as he did the proposition to be one dangerous in itself, he conceived he would be betraying the trust committed to him if he did not declare against it. Baron Smith was ably defended by Mr. Shaw, by Sir J. Scarlett, and Sir Robert Peel. On a division, the motion for a committee of inquiry was carried by 167 to 74, Sir James Graham and Mr. Spring-Rice voting in the minority. Next morning Sir James tendered his resignation as First Lord of the Admiralty, which was declined, and in the following week the vote was rescinded by a majority of six.Parliament was opened by commission on the 5th of February, 1829. The state of Ireland was the chief topic of the Royal Speech. The existence of the Catholic Association was referred to as inimical to the public peace; and its suppression was recommended, as a necessary preliminary to the consideration of the disabilities affecting the Roman Catholics. This part of the Speech excited much interest, as preluding the great contest of the Session. On the 4th Mr. Peel had written to the Vice-Chancellor of Oxford, resigning his seat for the University, which he had won from Canning on the strength of his anti-Catholic principles. He need not have resigned, but he acted the more honourable part. Having offered himself for re-election, he was opposed by Sir Robert Inglis, who, after a contest which lasted three days, during which 1,364 votes were polled, was elected by a majority of 146. As one of the most numerous convocations ever held in Oxford had, in the previous year, by a majority of three to one, voted against concession to the Roman Catholics, it was a matter of surprise that the Home Secretary was not defeated by a larger majority. He secured a seat with some difficulty at Westbury. On the 10th, Mr. Peel, while still member for Oxford, introduced the first of the three measures intended for the pacification of Ireland—a Bill for the suppression of the Catholic Association. As it was known to be an essential condition of granting Emancipation, there was little opposition to it either in Parliament or in Ireland. By it the Lord-Lieutenant was empowered to disperse the meetings of any association he thought dangerous to the public peace. The Bill quickly passed both Houses, and in a few days received the Royal Assent. Anticipating the action of the executive, the Association, on the 12th of February, dissolved itself, with the unanimous concurrence of the bishops, Mr. Sheil stating at the meeting that he was authorised to throw twenty-two mitres into the scale.
King of the prow, the ploughshare, and the sword!So successful were they in this endeavour that the Government was in a state of the greatest possible perplexity. Lord Anglesey, the Viceroy, and Lord Leveson Gower, the Chief Secretary, were in continual correspondence with the Home Secretary as to the propriety of adopting measures of repression. Lord Anglesey was decided in his conviction that Emancipation ought to be immediately granted. He was naturally reluctant to employ force, unless it was imperatively necessary, and then he felt with Mr. Peel that it ought to be used effectively, whatever might be the consequences. Neither the Irish nor the English Government concealed from itself what those consequences would probably be—namely, an open rebellion, a sanguinary civil war; which, however, they had no doubt of being able to put down. The law officers of the Crown, both in England and Ireland, were called upon for their opinions as to the illegality of the proceedings of the agitators, as to the likelihood of success in case of prosecution, and whether the Government would be warranted, by statute or common law, in dispersing the popular assemblages by force. They agreed on both sides of the channel that the case was not sufficiently clear to justify the Government either in legal proceedings or military repression. The English law officers came to this conclusion although at the time Sir Charles Wetherell was Attorney-General. It is evident, however, from the tone of the correspondence published by Sir Robert Peel's executors, that the Home Secretary was far from being satisfied with the conduct of Lord Anglesey. It was believed that he did not always act with sufficient discretion, and that he sometimes did and said things which made the agitators believe that they had his countenance and support. For example, he went on a visit to Lord Cloncurry, who, though a Protestant, was a member of the Catholic Association, and who a few days after entertaining the representative of the king, attended a meeting of that body. The excuse of Lord Anglesey was, that Lord Cloncurry went for the purpose of preventing the passing of a resolution in favour of exclusive dealing. The opinion of the English Government was shared by Mr. Vesey Fitzgerald and many other Liberal statesmen who sympathised with the irritation of the Irish Protestants at the supineness of the Irish executive. Looking at the state of things at this distance of time, every impartial person must agree that Peel was right. He had urged the propriety of issuing a proclamation by the Lord-Lieutenant in council, warning the people against assembling in large bodies in military array, as exciting alarm in the public mind, and threatening to disturb the peace. When at last Lord Anglesey was induced to adopt this course, it proved successful. The agitators became cowed and cautious, and it was quite evident that nothing was further from their wishes than to come to blows, either with the troops or the Brunswickers. Thus, in November, Mr. Vesey Fitzgerald wrote to Mr. Peel: "The sentiment is universal of disgust, indignation, and alarm at the proceedings of Lord Anglesey's Government, and at the tone of his partisans and his press. Whether the collision will happen so soon as is contemplated I know not. I rather think not. The Association is frightened; and if the demonstrations of the south are interrupted, and Mr. Lawless's progress in the west be not persevered in, it is possible, and it is to be hoped, that the hostile parties may not come to an effusion of blood. But can we read the reports of the meetings that are taking place and expect that before the winter is over the gentry of the country, Emancipators as well as Brunswickers, will not call on the Government to take a part, and to save us from these horrors?" Mr. Leslie Foster, a leading Irish statesman, wrote in the same month: "Depend upon it, let Parliament do what they may, the Catholics will not rebel. Their leaders are more deeply convinced than you are of the utter and immediate ruin that would be the result of any insurrectionary movement; and in every rank among them, down to the lowest, there is a due fear of the power of England, the facilities of a steam invasion, the character of the Duke, and not least, perhaps above all, the readiness of the Ulster Protestants for battle. It is further to be borne in mind that in no period within our memory was the condition of the people so rapidly improving, or their employment so great, as at the present moment; and there is a real, substantial disinclination in consequence, amongst all ranks above the mere rabble, to hazard any course that would involve the country in confusion."
Drag the slow barge, or drive the rapid car.
He was advised to try Westminster, where Mr. John Churchill, the brother of his coadjutor, the satirist, and others, were in his interest, but he boldly struck for the City of London. There were seven candidates at the poll. Wilkes received one thousand two hundred and forty-seven votes, but he was still lowest on the poll. His friends, the mob, had no franchise.Until the beginning of the nineteenth century the state of mathematical science was very low in England. The commencement of a better era originated with Woodhouse at Cambridge and Playfair in Edinburgh, by both of whom the Continental methods were introduced into the studies of their respective Universities. About 1820 the translation of La Croix's "Differential Calculus," superintended by Sir John Herschel and Dean Peacock, came into use as a text-book. Soon afterwards the writings of Laplace and Poisson were generally read in the Universities; and a few men of active and daring minds, chiefly of the Cambridge school, such as Professor Airy and Sir John Lubbock, grappled with the outstanding difficulties of physical astronomy; whilst a larger number applied themselves to the most difficult parts of pure analysis, and acquired great dexterity in its use, in the solution of geometrical and mechanical problems.
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Only a week after Sir Robert Peel delivered his memorable speech on the foreign policy of the country, his career was suddenly terminated. On the 22nd of June her Majesty's third son, Arthur William Patrick Albert, had been baptised with the usual ceremonial pomp at Buckingham Palace, and on the 29th Sir Robert Peel had called there and entered his name in her Majesty's visiting-book. Proceeding thence up Constitution Hill, he had arrived nearly opposite the wicket gate leading into the Green Park, when he met Miss Ellis, one of Lady Dover's daughters, on horseback, attended by a groom. Sir Robert had scarcely exchanged salutes with this young lady when his horse became restive, swerved towards the railing of the Green Park, and threw him sideways on his left shoulder. He became unconscious, and remained so till he was placed in a carriage, when he revived and said, "I feel better." On being lifted out of the carriage at Whitehall Gardens, he walked with assistance into the house. The effect of meeting his family, however, caused a reaction. He swooned in the arms of Dr. Foucart, and was placed upon a sofa in the nearest apartment, the dining-room, from which he was never removed till his death. Sir Benjamin Brodie, Mr. C?sar Hawkins, Dr. Seymour, and Mr. Hodgson held a consultation, and attempted to reduce the visible injury, but this caused such agony that, at the patient's earnest request, the attempt was abandoned. He passed a restless night on Saturday, and continued in a very precarious state on Sunday and Monday. On Tuesday morning he fell into a sound sleep, after which he felt easier, his mind being quite composed. But at two o'clock on that day symptoms appeared which caused the physicians to abandon all hope. The last rites of the Church were administered by the Bishop of Gibraltar, Dr. Tomlinson, a very old friend. Lady Peel and the members of the family joined in this melancholy communion, Sir Robert being scarcely able to recognise them. Lord Hardinge and Sir James Graham also joined the group of mourners; but the painfully excited feelings of Lady Peel rendered it absolutely necessary to remove her from the apartment. He ceased to breathe about midnight, his great spirit departing peacefully from the earthly tabernacle that had been so suddenly crushed (July 2, 1850). A post-mortem examination showed that the cause of death was a broken rib on the left side pressing upon the lung.详情
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