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THE FIRST GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE FREE CHURCH OF SCOTLAND.

In pursuance of this plan of the campaign, Prideaux and Johnson arrived before the fort of Niagara in the middle of July, which they found very strong, and garrisoned by six hundred men. Prideaux was soon killed by the bursting of a shell, but Johnson continued the siege with great ability, having to invest the fort on one hand, whilst he was menaced on the other by a mixed body of French and Indians, one thousand seven hundred in number, who came to relieve the fort. The attack upon him commenced with a terrible war-whoop of the Indians, which, mingling with the roar of the great cataract near, made the most horrible din imaginable. But this did not disconcert the English and their savage allies, who received them with such steady courage, that in less than an hour they were put to the rout in sight of their own garrison, and pursued for five miles with dreadful slaughter. The garrison thereupon capitulated, remaining prisoners of war. There, however, Sir William Johnson's career stopped. From various causes, not foreseen, he was not able to advance beyond the Ontario to unite with Amherst. That general had fully succeeded in taking Ticonderoga and Crown Point, but he found the French so strongly posted on an island at the upper end of Lake Champlain, that he was compelled to stop and build[134] boats to enable his army to reach and dislodge them; and it was not till October that he was ready to proceed, when he was driven back repeatedly by tempests, and compelled to go into winter quarters.

Amherst had now ten thousand men; and though he had to carry all his baggage and artillery over the Ontario in open boats, and to pass the rapids of the upper St. Lawrence, he made a most able and prosperous march, reducing the fort of ?le Royale on the way, and reached the isle of Montreal on the very same day as Murray, and a day before Haviland. Vaudreuil saw that resistance was hopeless, and capitulated on the 8th of September. The French were, according to contract, sent home, under engagement not to come against us during the remainder of the war. Besides this, Lord Byron chased a squadron of three frigates, convoying twenty store-ships to Quebec, into the Bay of Chaleur, and there destroyed them. Thus all the French possessions in North America, excepting the recent and feeble settlement of New Orleans, remained in our hands.

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Growth of Material WealthCondition of the Working ClassesThe Charity SchoolsLethargy of the ChurchProposal to abolish Subscription to the ArticlesA Bill for the further Relief of DissentersThe Test and Corporation ActsThe Efforts of Beaufoy and Lord StanhopeAttempts to relieve the QuakersFurther Effort of Lord StanhopeThe Claims of the Roman CatholicsFailure of the Efforts to obtain Catholic EmancipationLay Patronage in ScotlandThe Scottish EpiscopaliansIllustrious DissentersReligion in Wales and IrelandLiteratureThe Novelists: Richardson, Fielding, Smollett, and SterneMinor and later NovelistsScottHistorians: Hume, Robertson, and GibbonMinor HistoriansMiscellaneous LiteratureCriticism, Theology, Biography, and SciencePeriodical LiteratureThe Drama and the DramatistsPoetry: Collins, Shenstone, and GrayGoldsmith and ChurchillMinor PoetsPercy's "Reliques," and Scott's "Border Minstrelsy"Chatterton and OssianJohnson and DarwinCrabbe and CowperPoetasters and GiffordThe Shakespeare ForgeriesMinor SatiresBurnsThe Lake School: Wordsworth, Coleridge, and SoutheyScott, Campbell, Byron, Shelley, and KeatsPoets at the close of the PeriodImprovement of Agricultural ScienceArthur YoungDrainage and RootsImprovements in Road-making: Telford and MacadamBrindley's and Telford's CanalsBridges and HarboursIron RailwaysApplication of the Steam-Engine to Railways and BoatsImprovements in MachineryWedgwoodManufacture of GlassCollieriesUse of Coal in Iron-worksImprovements in various ManufacturesScientific DiscoveriesMusicArchitecturePaintingSculptureEngravingCoins and CoinageManners and Customs.

In pursuance of this report, Mr. O'Loughlin, the Irish Attorney-General, introduced a Bill, early in the Session of 1836, for the better regulation of Irish corporations. There still remained, he said, 71 corporations, which included within their territories a population of 900,000, while the number of corporators was only 13,000. Of these, no less than 8,000 were to be found in four of the larger boroughs, leaving only 5,000 corporators for the remaining 67 corporations, containing above 500,000 inhabitants. So exclusive had they been, that though, since 1792, Roman Catholics were eligible as members, not more than 200 had ever been admitted. In Dublin the principle of exclusion was extended to the great majority of Protestants of wealth, respectability, and intelligence. In a word, the Attorney-General said that the management of corporations, and the administration of justice in their hands, was nothing but a tissue of injustice, partisanship, and corruption. He concluded by laying down a plan of Reform which would assimilate the Irish corporations to those of England. On the part of the Conservatives it was admitted that the greater part of the corporations in Ireland were created by James I., avowedly as guardians of the Protestant interests, and to favour the spread of the Protestant religion; and that ancient and venerable system this Bill would annihilatea revolution against which they solemnly protested, even though it covered many abuses which had crept into it during the lapse of time. They were quite appalled at the prospect of the evils that this Bill would produce. Borough magistrates were to be elected by popular suffrage. What a source of discord and animosity! First, there would be the registration of the voters, then the election of the town councillors, and then the election of the mayor, aldermen, and town clerks. What a scene would such a state of things present! How truly was it said that the boroughs would be the normal[391] schools of agitation! Then what was to become of the corporate property, which yielded an income of 61,000, while the expenditure was only 57,000, and the debt charged on it only 133,000? Was all this property to be placed under the control of the priests, whose influence would determine the elections?

Next came the enactments regarding fasting. By 5 Elizabeth every person who ate flesh on a fish day was liable to a penalty of three pounds; and, in case of non-payment, to three months' imprisonment. It was added that this eating of fish was not from any superstitious notion, but to encourage the fisheries; but by the 2 and 3 Edward VI. the power of inflicting these fish and flesh penalties was invested in the two Archbishops, as though the offence of eating flesh on fish days was an ecclesiastical offence. Lord Stanhope showed that the powers and penalties of excommunication were still in full force; that whoever was excommunicated had no legal power of recovering any debt, or payment for anything that he might sell; that excommunication and its penalties were made valid by the 5 Elizabeth and the 29 Charles II.; that by the 30 Charles II. every peer, or member of the House of Peers, peer of Scotland, or Ireland, or member of the House of Commons, who should go to Court without having made the declaration against transubstantiation, and the invocation of saints therein contained, should be disabled from holding any office, civil or military, from making a proxy in the House of Lords, or from sueing or using any action in law or equity; from being guardian, trustee, or administrator of any will; and should be deemed "a Popish recusant convict." His Lordship observed that probably the whole Protestant bench of bishops were at that moment in this predicament, and that he had a right to clear the House of them, and proceed with his Bill in their absence. He next quoted the 1st of James I., which decreed that any woman, or any person whatever under twenty-one years of age, except sailors, ship-boys, or apprentices, or factors of merchants, who should go over sea without a licence from the king, or six of his Privy Council, should forfeit all his or her goods, lands, and moneys whatever; and whoever should send such person without such licence should forfeit one hundred pounds; and every officer of a port, and every shipowner, master of a ship, and all his mariners who should allow such person to go, or should take him or her, should forfeit everything they possessed, one half to the king, and the other half to the person sueing.

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