“A free government, in order to maintain itself free, hath need, every day, of some
new provision in favour of liberty.”—MACHIAVELLI.

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Printed by Hazell, Watson, & Viney, Ld., London and Aylesbury.



N presenting this volume to the public a few words of

explanation are considered necessary. The author, a London clergyman, while ministering among the poor during the last thirteen years, had, at different times and in various parishes, drawn round him a number of young men desirous of learning something of the history of their country. During that time, having occasion to refer the students to larger histories for fuller information, the need of a short biographical account of the period under review was keenly felt, and it is hoped that the present work may satisfy the want. It is not addressed to the fortunate few who have leisure and access to well-stocked libraries, but is rather intended for those whose time for reading is limited. A history of the rise and progress of the Radical Party in England is here given, showing, among other matters, how the English colonies in America were founded, established, and lost; how France, at the cost of much blood, freed herself from a corrupt ministry and a profligate Church, thereby restoring the land to the people and liberty to the subject. The quickening influence which these two great social convulsions had upon English political life is carefully treated. A close view is given of the character of those men who in the days of prejudice and political apathy bravely carried in their hands the torch of Liberty, threatened, as it was, with extinction, at every step of their stormy journey. Such near views are not to be found in the pages of general history, the historian being precluded from giving them prominence by the very weight and extent of his subject; thus in the treatment of a long period matters of importance are at times unavoidably slurred over or unnoticed. The present work contains an account of certain events of great social importance which may be easily grasped, and most of which have already exerted a vast influence in helping to solve the political problems which are now agitating the present generation. The utmost care has been taken to select those facts only which are likely to be of most value to the historical student, and all lengthy details have been rigidly excluded. A hope is entertained that the book may be ultimately presented to the public in a cheaper form. It is the result of several years' miscellaneous reading of the pamphlets and histories of that period which lies between 1688 and 1815. The old materials have been shaken up, sifted, and carted to a clear spot, and footnotes and other references, which often confuse the reader, are, for the most part, avoided. From the nature of the work the debt due to writers of recognised merit is of necessity very great, and such authorities have been used unsparingly.

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THE DAWN OF RADICALISM. PAGE Introduction—Early Life of Horne—Anecdote—The Future Philologist at

School—Becomes Vicar of New Brentford–Studies Law—A Cheap
Dinner—Anecdotes of Lord Kenyon—Religious Influence on Social
Relations—Open Air Preaching—Want of Popular Education—
Metropolitan Manners—Experience of Lackington—State of Rural
Society—Agricultural Conditions—Domestic Manufactures—Univer-
sity Education — Prevalence of Drinking Habits — Passion for
Gambling—Frequency of Robberies and Murders . * * ... I



Accession of George III.-Prerogative—A Game of Whist—Lord Bute—
A Royal Scandal—Struggle between Crown and Aristocracy—The
Party of the People—Bute's Policy—Borough-mongering—Origin of
Public Meetings—Expulsion of Wilkes—Middlesex Election—Horne's
Political Writing—Dares Prosecution—Early Life of Wilkes—
Repartee—The Medmenham Club—A Practical Joke—Lord Sand-
wich—Bute and Pitt—The Peace of Paris—Popular Indigmation—
Subsidising the Press—The AVorth Briton—Wilkes on Liberty—
Hatred of Scotland—Lord Talbot's Horse—The Poet Churchill—
Resignation of Bute–No. “45”—“The Kingly Office "—General
Warrants—The Law Officers of the Crown—Arrest of Printers—
Wilkes sent to the Tower—Government Evasion—Habeas Corpus Act
—Chief Justice Pratt—Triumph of Wilkes–Popular Enthusiasm—
Hostility of the Government . - o - o s . I9

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