ページの画像
PDF
ePub

To the Independent Electors of Westminster. As the last effort of Sir Cecil Wray's exhausted party, a report has been most industriously propagated that Mr. Fox means to decline the poll. The independent Electors are assured, that their firm and intrepid champion entertains no such idea: he is convinced that there are fill numbers enough of real Electors to give him a decided majority over all the pretended votes collected by the partizans of the Court, from all the soldiers, lodgers, and foreigners, whom gold could corrupt, or threats intimidate. The canvass of his friends, these last two days, have deterinined this point beyond a doubt; and, with the assistance of the honest, the unbiassed, and the independent, the cause of freedom, and the man who is proscribed, merely because he is resolved to stand or fall with that cause, must triumph in the end.

Love and Liberty! Freedom and Fox! Ye friends of these dear names, exert yourselves at this trying moment. If ever our smiles were your delight; if ever the blessings of Liberty were an Englifhman's pride, support a caufe on which our happiness and your own security equally dedend !

Rembember you are now called forth to defend the cause of Love and Liberty !--Assert your own rights !---Defend ours!

THE WOMEN OF WESTMINSTER.

WESTMINSTER RIOT S.

The Court Candidates, and their Committees, well knowing that Mr. Fox, from his open, manly, and consistent conduct, notwithstanding the clamour so unjustly excited against him, had not lost the good opinion and confidence of the truly independent Electors of Westminster, and of the coinmon people, retained in their service at the beginning of the Election, a numerous gang of men, habited like failors. Bye-standers at first were lead to believe that they were a body of honest Jack Tars, who having been discharged from their ships, had come together as volunteers in support of their Admiral. It was not long however before the public was undeceived. For having fixed the ensign which they had brought, over the windows at Wood's Hotel, where the Conimittee were fitting, this gang were conducted by some sea officers and others down.to Paterson's Room, in King-itreet, which had been engaged for the reception of Lord Hood and Sir Cecil Wray's voters. Here, no doubt, they were instructed as to their future behaviour, for when they came out, they from time to time formed two lines extending froin Paterson's Rooms, to the Hustings in Covent Garden, making a passage between them for the admiffion of the friends and voters of Lord Hood and Sir Cecil Wray only; never suffering even one in Mr. Fox's interest to pass them. When they were not thus engaged, they paraded up and down King street, and along the top of Covent Garden, insulting and joftling every body who called out “ Fox for ever," or wore a cockade with Mr. Fox's name upon it. This fort of behaviour, though it drove back,

and

Y 2

[ocr errors]

and terrified several of Mr. Fox's voters, occafioned no very great riot or disturbance, either the first or second days of the Election. On the third, they appeared in greater nuinbers and force; all armed with bludgeons, and having surrounded the door of the Shakespeare where Mr. Fox's Committee were, and insulted several gentlemen coming in and going out of the house, three or four of them were in the course of the morning taken into custody, but were foon discharged, at the request of some sea officers; not however before the men had confessed that they received five shillings a day, each man, for his attendance, besides having a good dinner, and as much porter as they could drink. Mr. Fox's Committee upon this wrote to their opponents, defiring that they would dismiss the failors, and thereby prevent the confequences that were justly to be dreaded from a continuance of them; representing at the same time how Mr. Fox's friends had been insulted; and that the freedom of Election had been grossly violated. To this letter no answer was given. At the conclusion of the Poll that day, several affrays happened. In the evening, all the lamps under the Piazza were put out, and the Shakespeare was besieged; but by a spirited fally of the gentlemen froin within, the Sailors were dispersed for that night, without doing any further mischief though they threatened to pull down the Shakespeare, and Free Niafons Tavern.

On the Monday (the fourth day) the failors appeared in greater force than before, continuing their former behaviour tíll towards the close of the poll, when they rushed forth to the front of the Hustings, and there struck several persons who called out for Mr. Fox. The honest mob then allembled, no longer able to endure the insults of these desperadoes and assassins, fell upon them and soon routed them; several had their skulls fractured, others were afterwards picked up with arms, legs, and ribs, broken. It was thought this retaliation would have prevented these pretended failors (for true failors could not be hired for such abandoned purposes) from assembling again. or at least would have induced Lord Hood and Sir Cecil Wray's Committee to forego their services, and disperse them, to prevent any further disturbance, or more bloodshed. But it did not ; for they rallied again, and proceeded to St. James's-ftreet, with a view to fall upon the Chairmen, (who they apprehended formed the principal party against them) and defiroy their chairs. The Chairmen, however, defended themselves and their property, and the Sailors were again worsted; and several more had their skulls, arms, and legs fractured. A party of the Guards at last quelled this riot. Tuesday (the fifth day) the Sailors appeared as before, with greater bludgeons than ever, their opponents consisting of Chairmen, Butchers, Brewers, and others of the common people, who had been abused by them, appeared also in force towards the conclusion of the Poll. The Sailors dreading another conflict with their victorious opponents, way-laid Mr. Fox in the afternoon, in going from the Shakespeare to canvass fome votes in Westminster. Mr. Fox, and the few friends with him, had a very narrow escape of their lives. They had just time to get into a house at Charing cross, before the Sailors came up with them; and it was with difficulty they were persuaded that Mr. Fox was gone on for Westminster. They proceeded, however, towards Westminster; and, on their return, in the Strand, they fell in with their opponents, who again routed them. The same evening another riot happened in Bond-street, and another in Covent Garden, in all of which the Sailors were worsted, and several of them were carried to the hospitals, without hopes of recovery. On the Wednesday, in the afternoon, the Sailors fell upon three Chairmen, and wounded them in a fhocking manner; and soon afterwards, at the dusk of the evening the Sailors being assembled in King-street, the other party came round the Garden in pursuit of them, when a terrible engagement ensued. No less than twenty or thirty of the Sailors fell in this conflict, and about nine of them that were carried from the field of action to the neigh!ouring furgeons, were reported to be irrecoverable. Thursday very few sailors appeared, and no riot happened about the Garden. The Electors were per

mitted

te

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

mitted to poll without molestation or insult, and as a great number remains yet unpolled, it is hoped that there will be no more riots during the Election. If there should be any more, as the riots have all along proceeded from the Sailors, the Electors and inhabitants of Westminster, and the public at large will know to whom they are to be attributed

votes.

WESTMINSTER ELECTION. The unflattering aspect of Mr. Fox's cause results from the conduct of two classes of men. First, of those who, assuming the name of Moderation, behold in silence and inacion every disaster that befals the Constitution and the Conntry : And, Secondly, of men who persuade themselves that the majority against hiin is too great to be surmounted, and under an idea that their vote individually cannot out-nuinber the majority against him, consider their aid as wholely useless.

To the first of these it would be idle, because it would be ineffectual, to say any thing. Chiefly to them is to be attributed the loss of liberty in every other nation of Europe--Men who look no farther than present convenience, and who would sacrifice the best of political blessings rather than risk the flightest fatigue. They are a sort of excrescence in a free Constitution, which will maintain a listless infipid existence in despight of shame, of Ridicule, and reason.

But upon the other description of persons, I am not without hope of producing fome effect.

It is not true that Mr. Fox is out-numbered in real votes. He has, even at this moment, a majority of legal fuffrages over Sir Cecil Wray. You therefore who imagine that your fingle voice can be of no service are betraying yourselves, and ruining the real object of your choice by this gross mistake. There are at this inoment 3000 uopolled

But if the number were three times as many, whilft each man with-holds his vote under a false idea that he cannot turn the te of the Election, it will be utterly impossible to succeed. Every man's vote is valuable, for the greatest majorities are constituted by the junction of individuals. If, at the close of the poll, Mr. Fox fhould have a superiority, his enemies (conscious of their own guilt) will not dare to attempt a scrutiny. If, on the other hand, the Court Candidate, by continuing to poll the kind of beings that voted for him during the last three days (not one in five of whom are legally qualified) should retain a majority, it is of infinite importance that Mr. Fox should have the largest possible number of votes, as a scrutiny will most indisputably fecure his return, and rescue the City of Westminster from the infamy that would follow his failure.

Whatever difference prevails upon general politics, this sentiment at least uniformly pervades the body of the public---that Mr. Fox's iniscarriage in this instance would be the eternal disgrace of Westminster. Not only the fituation in which he stands (the object of all the perfecution of Government)---not only the cause he is defending against a very formidable confederacy---but even the despicableness of his adversaries should give him some advantage. Lives there one man free in his mind and judgment who thinks that such a creature as Wray should be elected in preference to Fox?

Of Wray there is but one opinion; his unmatched baseness is a topic of universal ab horrence. But there is in his guilt something complicate and uncommon.

It is not simply his ingratitude to Mr. Fox (who brought him in for Westminster against the real wishes of that Court whose creature he now professes himself--and in

declared

[ocr errors][ocr errors]

declared opposition to that very Lord with whom he is at this time so closely linked)---but it is his treachery to the principle upon which he was elected that I reprobate. This man, who was chosen for Westminster upon the ground of an acknowledged independence of the Court and of the Houses of Northumberland and Newcastle, is now the very inftruinent of replunging this City into that fame fervitude to the Court and to those haughty intereits, which ruled it with an iron hand for such a series of years, and froin which it was to lately redeemed by the spririt and abilities of Mr. Fox.

Open your eyes and see the gulph into which your are linking. Behold the danger like inen, and like men resist it. It is not the cause of Fox but your own cause, I call on you to support. His unconquerable mind will furnith him with resources in the worit difficulties, but if you are once vanquished in this conflict, you will become the helpless objects of the contempt of your enemies, and the scorn of the public. That each man's separate share of disgrace will be light in the mass of common shame is a miferable confolation. Let the reflection rather be---who fall do most in his individual capacity to save the general body of citizens from dishonour. The number of unpolled votes is more than sufficient to defeat the combination formed to ruin you. Whilst yet the evil is within the reach of remedy, I implore you to exert yourselves. All is now in your power---to-morrow the opportunity

may be gone for ever. Lose not then a moment in lending your hand to save your City from the mischief that threatens it. And whatever may be the issue of the present distractions, it will be some fatisfaction to you hereafter to show, that, so far as depended on you, the cause of the public was not facrificed, but that you discharged the duty of an honest citizen with spirit and independence.

AN ELECTOR.

To the Free and Independent Electors of the City and Liberty of

Westminster.

Friends and Fellow Citizens, You are now earnestly called upon to exert yourselves in the cause of liberty and your country. The hour is arrived in which it is absolutely necessary for you to stand forth as Britons, and claim, after the manner of your glorious ancestors, your privileges and birth-right, in spite of minifterial menaces, or the smiles of royalty. It is but lately you delivered yourselves from a state of favery, in which you had long been held; and told the Court you were determined to be free, in spite of a corrupted Minifter. You nobly then food forth, and chote the Right Honourable Charles James Fox for your Representative : a gentleman who merited, and had your confidence, and I trust, you are collectively of opinion, he never abused it. He has constantly stood forth at all times, both in and out of office, your faithful watchman over ministerial encroachment, and indefatigably has endeavoured to keep up the consequence of the people in the scale of government, by giving them that weight in the Senate, which our glorious Constitutution has provided in the written palladium of our liberties, the great charter of the land,

Good God then, Gentlemen, what are ye about to do! You cannot mean to desert such a tried friend as this ! Besides, is it not necessary for our salvation at this critical mament, that

you should be represented by a man of the first-rate abilities? Then look round, and see if you can find an equal to Mr. Fox! I know with what respect he is spoke of throughout Europe, and to you who know him so well, it would be idle in me to at

tempt

[merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small]

To the Independent llators of Westminster ishin Band of theire Sounch Old Watchmen Ihe. Guardian of the Rights and

Privileges is dedicated by a gratefull.
N? Bewni oj*bonntorpcitis voercorriol Nililocer llartohmmare upon thelock out:

ectomia

For Chelsea Ho á.

« 前へ次へ »