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WILLIAM WILBERFORCE. (After the Portrait by G. Richmond.)THE ADMIRALTY, LONDON.
The Sulpitian, Abb Belmont, says that the avarice of the merchants was the cause of the war; that they and La Barre wished to prevent the Iroquois from interrupting trade; and that La Barre aimed at an indemnity for the sixteen hundred livres in merchandise which the Senecas had taken from his canoes early in the year. Belmont adds that he wanted to bring them to terms without fighting.
*** Avaugour, Mmoire, 4 Ao?t, 1663.
The Ministers and the Prince Regent, indeed, fully approved of the conduct of these magistrates, and that was to be expected, for neither of these parties ever evinced much sympathy for the people, and consequently received very little regard in return. There was a disposition to rule by the high hand in both the Prince and the Cabinet, which eventually brought them into extreme odium, and warned them that very different times were approaching. On the reassembling of Parliament Lord Sidmouth made the most candid statement of the full and entire approbation of himself and his colleagues of this cruel and dastardly transaction. He said that the news of the event reached town on the Tuesday night; and that it was followed on the Wednesday by two gentlemen from Manchester, one of them a magistrate, to give the Government the most minute particulars regarding it; that a Cabinet Council was immediately summoned, at which the two Manchester gentlemen attended, and entered into the fullest details of all that had taken place; and that the Attorney-General and Solicitor-General, then present, gave it as their opinion that the proceedings were perfectly justified by the necessity of the case. The statement of all particulars was then dispatched to the Prince Regent, who was yachting off Christchurch, and, on the 19th, the Prince replied, by the hand of Sir Benjamin Bloomfield, expressing his "high approbation and commendation of the conduct of the magistrates and civil authorities at Manchester, as well as of the officers and troops, both regular and yeoman cavalry, whose firmness and effectual support of the civil power preserved the peace of the town on that most critical occasion." To most people this appeared to be giving commendation, not for preserving, but for disturbing the peace of the town; but Lord Sidmouth, having received this sanction, addressed letters, on the 21st, to the Lords-Lieutenant of Lancashire and Cheshire, the Earls of Derby and Stamford, requesting them to convey to the magistrates of the two counties, who were present at Manchester on the 16th, "the great satisfaction derived by his Royal Highness from their prompt, decisive, and efficient measures for the preservation of the public tranquillity." Hunt and his confederates were charged with high treason; but, on the circumstances being examined, they were found not to bear out this charge, and Hunt and his friends were indicted only for a treasonable conspiracy; and true bills to the extent of this mitigated charge were proved against Hunt and nine others at the summer assizes for the county of Lancaster.When these infamous doings were known in England, a feeling of horror and indignation ran through the country. The East India Company was compelled to send out Lord Pigot to Madras to do what Clive had so vigorously done in Bengalcontrol and reverse the acts of the Council. Pigot most honourably acquitted himself; liberated the outraged Nabob of Tanjore and his family, and restored them. But Pigot had not the same overawing name as Clive. The Council of Madras seized him and imprisoned him, expelling every member of the Council that had supported him. This most daring proceeding once more astonished and aroused the public feeling of England. An order was sent out to reinstate Lord Pigot, but, before it arrived, his grief and mortification had killed him. Sir Thomas Rumbold, a most avaricious man, was appointed to succeed him, and arrived in Madras in February, 1778, Major-General Hector Munro being Commander-in-Chief, and the army of Hyder, one hundred thousand in number, already again menacing the frontiers.
given by J. Vigor in appendix to Histoire du Montral