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    In the House of Lords on the 24th of January, 1721, five directors who had been called before them were arrested and their papers seized. By what had been drawn from them, it appeared that large sums had been given to people in high places to procure the passing of the South Sea Bill. Lord Stanhope rose and expressed his indignation at such practices, and moved that any transfer of stock for the use of any person in the Administration without a proper consideration was a notorious and dangerous corruption. The motion was seconded by Lord Townshend, and carried unanimously. The examination being continued on the 4th of February, Sir John Blunt refused to answer their lordships, on the plea that he had already given his evidence before the Secret Committee. A vehement debate arose out of this difficulty, during which the Duke of Wharton, a most profligate young nobleman, and president of the Hell-fire Club, made a fierce attack on Stanhope, accused him of fomenting the dissensions between the king and his son, and compared him to Sejanus, who had sown animosities in the family of Tiberius, and rendered his reign hateful to the Romans. Stanhope, in replying to this philippic, was so transported by his rage, that the blood gushed from his nostrils. He was carried from the House, and soon afterwards expired.

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    The Irish Reform Bill, which had been introduced by Mr. Stanley, then Irish Secretary, became the subject of debate on the 26th of May, when the second reading was moved by him in a speech of great ability. His main object was to prove that the passing of the measure would not endanger the Established Church in Ireland; and that it would not increase the power of O'Connell, whom, instead of conciliating, he exasperated by the contemptuous and defiant tone of his remarks. As the great question of Reform had been conceded in the English Bill, it was only with regard to matters of detail, and to the extent and nature of the franchise, that the Tories maintained their opposition. The second reading was carried by a majority of 116, the numbers being, for the Bill, 246; against it, 130. O'Connell contended that the Bill was not calculated to benefit Ireland, and he said he was sure it was framed with no good feeling to the country; but, on the contrary, was dictated by narrow and bigoted feeling. He complained that certain classes of the forty-shilling freeholders were not restored by the Reform Bill. He was supported by a moderate and greatly respected Irish statesman, the venerable Sir John Newport, who complained of defects in the measure, especially in the mode of registration, which would go far to neutralise all its benefits. O'Connell's proposal was made on the 13th of June, and was rejected by a majority of forty-nine. The Irish Reform Bill, instead of being the means of conciliation, tending to consolidate the union, and taking away the arguments for Repeal, really furnished O'Connell with fresh fuel for agitation. In a series of letters which he addressed to the Reformers of England, he pointed out the defects of the Irish Bill. He objected to it on the ground that it diminished the elective franchise instead of extending it; that the qualification for a voter was too high; that the registration of voters was complicated; and that the number of Irish representatives was inadequate. The substitution in counties of the ten-pound beneficial interest franchise for the forty-shilling freehold caused the disfranchisement of 200,000 voters. He referred to population to prove the unfairness towards Ireland: thus the county of Cumberland, with a population of 169,681, got two additional members, and returned four to Parliament; while the county of Cork, with a population of 807,366, got no additional member, and sent only two to the Reformed Parliament. A similar contrast was presented between other English and Irish counties.
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    If there wanted anything to prove the truth of Lord Wellington's warnings to the Spanish authorities of the undisciplined condition of their armies, and the incompetency of their generals, it came quickly. Whilst they continued to treat him more like an enemy than a friend, and had issued orders throughout the province where he lay, forbidding the sale of provisions and forage for his army, their own armies were again annihilated. The army of Venegas, which had retreated, on the advance of Sebastiani towards Madrid, into the Sierra Morena, had been taken from him, and given to a young, inexperienced man, General Areizaga. Cuesta, also, had been set aside for one still more incapable, a General Eguia, of whom Lord Wellington had already pronounced that he was a fool. Areizaga, instead of maintaining his strong post in the hills, being joined by the greater part of the army of Estremadura, now commanded by Eguia, imagined that he could beat the united forces of Mortier and Sebastiani, and drive them out of Madrid. With fifty thousand men and sixty pieces of artillery he descended from his hills into the open plains of Oca?a, where he was beaten on the 20th of November, with the loss of all his artillery but five guns, his baggage, military chest, provisions, and everything. There was immense slaughter of his soldiers, and the rest fled into the mountains. The Duke del Parque, who was placed for the protection of the line of the Tagus with another large army, was marching to support this intended conquest of Madrid, when, in the month of October, being strongly posted on the heights of Tamames, he encountered General Marchand, and defeated him. Elated by this success, he no longer trusted to hills and strong positions, but, like Areizaga, advanced boldly into the plains, and on the 28th of November he encountered Kellermann at Alba de Tormes, and received a most thorough defeat. His men, both cavalry and infantry, scarcely stayed to cross swords or bayonets with the French, but, flinging down their arms, and leaving all their baggage and artillery behind them, they fled in every direction. Kellerman pursued and cut them down without mercyaccording to his own account, killing three thousand men and making three hundred prisoners.

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    PAMPELUNA. The excitement among the public, as this resolution became known, was intense, and large crowds assembled in front of the baronet's house, applauding, and shouting "Burdett for ever!" In their enthusiasm they compelled all passengers to take off their hats, and shout too. But they did not stop here. On such occasions a rabble of the lowest kind unites itself to the real Reformersand the mob began to insult persons of opposite principles and to break the windows of their houses. The Earl of Westmoreland, Lord Privy Seal, was recognised, and, as well as others of the same political faith, pelted with mud. The windows of Mr. Yorke, as the originator of the acts of the Commons, were quickly broken, and, in rapid succession, those of Lord Chatham, amid loud shouts of "Walcheren!" of Sir Robert Peel, the Duke of Montrose, Lord Castlereagh, Lord Westmoreland, Lord Wellesley, Mr. Wellesley Pole, Sir John Anstruther, and others. The Horse Guards were called out, and dispersed the rioters. The next day the serjeant-at-arms made his way into Sir Francis Burdett's house, and presented the Speaker's warrant for his arrest; but Sir Francis put the warrant in his pocket without looking at it, and a Mr. O'Connor, who was present, led the serjeant-at-arms down stairs, and closed the door on him. A troop of Life Guards and a company of Foot Guards were then ordered to post themselves in front of Sir Francis's house, and at night it was found necessary to read the Riot Act, and then the Guards were ordered to clear the street, which they did. Whilst this was doing, Sir Francis watched the proceeding from the windows, and was repeatedly cheered by the mob. Whilst thus besieged, he was visited by Lord Cochrane, the Earl of Thanet, Whitbread, Coke of Norfolk, Lord Folkestone, Colonel Wardle, Major Cartwright, and other Radical Reformers. Some of these gentlemen thought enough had been done to establish a case for a trial of the right of the House of Commons, and advised Sir Francis to yield to the Speaker's warrant. But Sir Francis addressed a letter to the sheriffs of London, informing them that an attack was made upon his liberty, by an instrument which he held to be decidedly illegal, and calling upon them to protect both him and the other inhabitants of the bailiwick from such violence. In this dilemma, the Premier, Mr. Perceval, advised that the serjeant-at-arms should lay the case before the Attorney-General, Sir Vicary Gibbs, which he did; but the reply of Sir Vicary only created more embarrassment, for he was doubtful whether, should any person be killed in enforcing the Speaker's warrant, it would not be held to be murder, and whether if the serjeant-at-arms were killed, a charge of murder would not issue against the perpetrator. The sheriffs, who were themselves strong Reformers, laid the letter of Sir Francis before the Speaker and before Mr. Ryder, the new Home Secretary, who counselled them to give their aid in enforcing the warrant. But these gentlemen proceeded to the house of Sir Francis Burdett, and passed the night with him for his protection. Lorem ipsum - www.google.com