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one of the most combustible fub- with a prodigious number of vefftances, in the great hemp house sels, all" lying so close together, at Portsmouth. He, however, suc- and so free from water in that fea.
ceeded, in setting fire son, that the first thing which strikes
to the rope house in the attention of a stranger, is a that yard, and had an opportunity, surprize how they could be so lodgfor several miles in his flight to ed, and the second, a conviction of London, to feast the malignity of the fatal and irremediable consehis nature, in the contemplation of quences both to the shipping and that dreadful conflagration which the city, which a fire must inevi.. he had excited, a.id which froin its tably produce. The incendiary prodigious appearance, he imagin: failing in his attempt to see two ed had spread to all the magazines, or three of those vessels on fire, buildings, and docks. The fire was found so strict a watch kept af. happily subdued, with no other buss terwards, that he was obliged to than that of the rope house and its change his mode of operation, and contents.
to secure the destruction of the The incendiary ftill pursued his hips by beginning with the design, but failed in his attempts houses. After some failores in his upon the royal docks, and narrowly attempts this way, in which, as in escaped being taken at Plymouth. all others, the finding of his inThe city of Bristol was at that time effective apparatus afforded full greatly divided between the two evidence of the atrociousness of numerous parties of Tories and the design, he at length succeedWhigs, as they were called, the ed so far as to set fire to some former of which eagerly supported, warehouses in the vicinity of the and the latter as highly detefted, quay, fix or seven of which the present coort measures against consumed. America. The former carried op These facts and circumstances an address of congratulation upon afforded a full scope to all the the late successes of his Majesty's rage and virulence of party to arms, which the latter condemned blaze out in their utmost violence, in the frongel terms, representing The most bigotced and furious, it as an ad highly indecent, un- and consequently the most ignochristian, and impious, to exhibit rant, on the one side, attributed any marks of crianph and rejoic- them to the disaffe&ion, the repabing in the slaughter and deltruction lican and American principles, of their fellow-subjects.
of the other; whilst those on an In this state of party and poli. equal scale of understanding and tical dilunion among the inhabi- prejudice on that, were fully contanıs, John the Painter, in the vinced, that they were malicious month of January, 1777, artempr. acts or inventions of the Tories, ed first to burn the hipping, and merely for the purpole of calamafterwards the city itself. A deep niating and blackening their adverand narrow chalın, which is nearly faries. dry when the tide is out, fronts The reign of the incendiary was a great part of the quay in Brif. not much longer. He was taken col, which is generally crowded up soon after his departure from
Bristol, opon some fuspicious cir- spect to the future preservation of cumftances, and behaved with great the royal yards from similar danboldness, art, and an uncommon gers. goveroment in point of speech, Such was in general the state of upon bis several examinations, re- public affairs, during the recess, fang peremptorily to answer any and for some time after the meetquestions, which admitted even of ing of parliament. The a doubt in the remotelt tendency, speech from the throne that the answer could by any con seemed to breathe in 1776. traction be wrested to his own cri- dignation and resentment. mination ; nor was he at all discon- would have afforded much fatiscerted or embarrassed by the ap- faction that the troubles which pearance, or che queftions proposed had so long distracted the colo. to him, by some of the Lords, nies had been at an end ; and and other principal officers of the - that the unhappy people, recoveradmiralıy.
ed from their delusion, had deliHe was, however, with all his vered themselves from the opprefart and caution, circumvented by fion of their leaders, and returnthe means of another painter, whoed to their duty ; but fo daring being either an American, or have and desperate (it was said) was ing lived on that continent, found the spirit of those leaders, whose means thereby, and by pretend- object had always been dominion ing to fympathize in his misfor- and power, that they had openly tanes, and to hold principles fimi. renounced all allegiance to the lar to his own, to obtain his con- crown, and all political connecidence in prison; until at length, tion with this country; that they being instructed and allisted for the had rejected, with circumstances purpose, he fulfilled his intent, of indignity and insult, the means by drawing from him the whole of conciliation held out to them hisory of his crimes. Upon his under the authority of the royal trial at Portsmouth, notwithland. commision ; and had presumed ing the shock which the appear to set up their rebellious confedeance and evidence of his pretend- racies for independent ftates. ed friend must have given him, Much mischief was foreseen from he behaved with the fame bold- the growth of this rebellion, if it nels and address which he had was suffered to take root, not onbitherto manifelted; made a good ly with respect to the safety of defence, shrewd observations upon the loyal colonies, and to the the nature of the evidence, and the commerce of these kingdoms, but acknowledged bareness of the wit- to the general system of Europe. ness, and received sentence of One great advantage would, howdeath with the moft perfect in- ever, be derived, from the object difference. He sent for one of of the rebels being openly avowthe principal naval officers of ed, and clearly understood ; it Portsmouth, either going to, or at would produce unanimity at home, the place of execution, to whom founded on a general conviction of he acknowledged his crime, and the justice and necessity of our meaalso gave fome çautions, with re- fures.
The two houses were informed rately exchanged for all the calaof the r covery of Canada, and mities of war, and the arbitrary of the successes on the side of tyranny of their chiefs. New York, which, notwithstand- The addresses were framed in ing the unavoidable delays that the usual manner, and, according recarded the commencement of the to the practice of late years, prooperations, were of such import- duced great debates, and ance, as to afford the itr. inget posed amendments, of a clear conhopes of the most decitive good trary nature, in boch houses. consequences ; but that, notwith. That of the Commons, besides standing this fair prospect, another confirming, repeating, and adoptcampaign muit, at all events, he ing, all the politions in the speech, prepared for.
attributes the circumstances of inAmicable assurances were fill fult and indignity, which accomreceived from other courts ; panied the rejeclion, by the Amedeavours were used to conciliare rican leaders, of the means of rethe differi'nces becwcen Spain and conciliation graciously held out Portugai; and though a conti- 10 them by his Majesty, to their nuance of the general tranquillity resentment of his firm and conwas hoped, it was, however, tant adherence to the inaintethought expedient, in the present nance of the conftitutional rights situation of affairs, that we ihould of parliament, divefted of every be in a respectabie state of de. poflible view of any separate infence at home. The great conse- terests of the crown ; and expresses quent expence was regretted; but the strongest sentiments of gratino doubt was entertained, that the tude for that attachment to the importance of the objects under parliamentary authority of Great confideration, would procure Britain, which had thus provoked chearful grant of the neceliary sup- the intolence of the chiefs of the plies.
rebellion. It declared, that his Majesty Lord John Cavendish moved an could have no other object in this amendment, which was of greater arduous contest than the true in- length than the original address: terests of all his subjects; and In this picce, (which included a it afferred, that no people ever comprehensive view of the mi. enjoyed more happineis, or lived nisterial conduct with respect to under a milder goverrment, than America,) after a declaration of the revolted provinces; that their the moit earnest deal for his Maboafled improvemenis ini every jeity's true inte ett, and he real art, their numbers, their wealth, glory of his reigs, and the deeptheir ítrength by sea and land, elt concern, at beholding the were irrefragable proofs of it. minds of a very large, and lately The speech concluded with a de- loyal and affectionate part of his claration, that bis Majesy's desire people; entirely alienated from his was to restore to them the bler
government; it was inferred, that sings of law and liberty, equally such an event, as the ditaffection enjoyed by every British subject, and revule of a whole people, which they had fatally and despe- could not have taken place, with
out some considerable errors in the by this fatal omission, the Comconduct observed towards them. millioners nominated for the ap
These errors were imputed, to parent purpose of making peace, the want of a fufficient information
furnished with no legal being laid before parliament, and powers, but that of giving or to the repofing of too great a with - holding pardons at their degree of confidence in Ministers ; pleasure, and that for relaxing who, though by duty obliged, and the severities of a single penal Act by efice enabled, to study and to of Parliament ; leaving the whole know the temper and disposition foundation of this unhappy conof his Majesty's American subjects, troversy just as it stood in the beand to pursue the most falutary ginning. measures, had totally failed in It represented in strong colours, all. To this misplaced confidence, the fatal consequence of not fendand want of parliamentary infor- ing out the Commissioners for mation, was attributed, the pursuit seven months after the time, that of schemes formed for the reduction their speedy departure had been and chastisement of a supposed in- announced by the speech from the considerable party of factious men, throne; by which neglect, it says, and which had driven thirteen large the inhabitants of the colonies, provinces to despair. That every apprized that they were put out of Aa of Parliament which had been the protection of government, and proposed as a means of procuring seeing no means provided for their peace and submission, had become entering into it, were furnished a new cause of hostility and revolt; with reasons but too colourable for until we are almoit' inextricably bræaking off their dependency on involved in a bloody and expensive the crown of this kingdom. civil war; which, besides exhault- It gave an assurance, that the ing at present the strength of all House, by removing their conhis Majesty's dominions, exposing fidence from those who had in so our allies to the designs of their many instances grofly abused it, and our enemies, and leaving this would endeavour to restore to parkingdom in a most perilous situa- liament the confidence of all the tion, threatens, in `its issue, the people. - To answer this end, it moft deplorable calamities to the was proposed to make enquiries whole British race.
into the grievances of the colonies, li lamented, that in consequence into the conduct of Ministers with of the credit given to the repre- regard to them, the causes, that sentation of Ministers, no hearing the commerce of this kingdom had had been afforded to the reiterated been left exposed to the reprisals complaints and petitions of the of the colonies, at the very time colonies, nor any ground laid for when their seamen and finermen, removing the original cause of being indiscriminately prohibited those unhappy differences, which from the peacetul exercise of their took their rise from questions re- occupations, and declared open lative to parliamentary proceed- enemies, must have been expected, ings, and can be settled only by with a certain asurance, io beparliamentary authority, That, take themselves to plunder, and to VOL. XX
wreak their revenge on the com- cedents, the most dangerous to the mierce of Great Britain."
liberties of this kingdom." It observed, that a wise, mode- A similar amendment to the rate, and provident use of the late address of the Lords was moved for advantages gained in arms, might by the Marquis of Rockingham, be productive of happy effects : and both were supported with great and gave an assurance, that nothing force and animation, and the de. should be wanting on their part, bates in both Houses, long, various, to enable his majesty to take full and interesting. In these, the advantage of any disposition to re- speech from the throne, which conciliation, which might be the was confidered merely as the act consequence of the miseries of war, of the Minister, was taken to by laying down real permanent pieces without ceremony, and grounds of connection between treated in all its parts with unusual Great Britain and her colonies, on asperity. principles of liberty and terms of It was asked, where those mighty mutual advantage.
leaders were found, whom the It concluded with the following Americans obeyed so implicitly, declaration, which contained high and who governed them with so and liberal sentiments. We delpotic a rule? They had no should look with the utmost fame grandees amongit them ; -. their and horror, on any events that loil is not productive of nobility. should tend to break the spirit of No people upon earth, in an equal any large part of the British na- ftate of improvement, with so great tion : to bow them to an abject an extent of country, so diffufive unconditional submifiion to
any a commerce with mankind, and power whatsoever; to annihilate in possession of so large a share of their liberties, and to subdue them fubitantial personal property, were to fervile principles and paflive so nearly in a state of equality. habits, by the mere force of foreign There were not many large, and mercenary arms ; because, amidst there were no over-grown fortunes the excesses and abuses which have among them. Mr. Hancock, was happened, we mutt respect the a plain merchant, of fair chaspirit and principies operating in racter, and considerable substance thefe commotions. Our wish is in Boston ; he possessed no super. 10 regulate, not to destroy them; eminence over his brethren, nor for though differing in some cir- authority over the people, till the cumstances, those very principles present troubles called him into evidently bear fo exact an analogy both. Mr. Washington poflefied with those which support the most such a landed estate, as several valuable part of our own conftitu- very private gentlemen in every tion, that it is impoflible, with county in England poffefs, which any appearance of justice, to think enables them to exhibit such a of wholy extirpaling them by the degree of hospitality, as procures sword, in any part of his Majesty's them respect and regard in their dominiors, without admitting con- own diftries, without their being fequences, and establishing pre- heard of or known beyond those