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appeared from the other party, for eleven o'clock, advising them to call Sir Cecil Wray to the Chair, manifestly with an attention to jockey the purport of this meeting, and thereby put a rider upon it.
The Hall was moft prodigiously crouded, and at half past eleven, Sir Cecil Wray and his party came from Alice's Coffee-house to the huftings, erected in the front of the Court of Common Pleas ; soon after, Mr. Fox and his friends came from the King's Arm's Tavern, whereby the hustings were crouded in a manner that made it alınost impoffible to stand on thein. The Chair was surrounded by Sir Cecil Wray's party, and foon laid hold of; in consequence of which Mr. Fox's friends interfered, and claimed the Chair, till a Chairman was nominated, and in this struggle the Chair was totally demohished. The confusion and uproar this occafioned is hardly to be conceived. In this state of things the hustings broke in, and several noblemen and gentlemen were thrown down and trampled on. The pressure of the populace soon overthrew the front of the hustings, by which means scarcely a place was for a moment tenable, and every body was in imminent danger, in a contest on the liustings which Member should be brought forward; but Mr. Fox's friends being too numerous, he was supported in the front, amidst the most violent noises, acclamations, and huzzas, we ever reinember to have heard. The cry of Chair! Chair! Chair! refounded from every quarter of the Hall, when the hustings gave way a second time, and in the confusion Mr. Fox fell. In this situation fome wretch, for inan we cannot call him, threw a leather bag, filled with affa fætida *, in the face of Mr. Fox. To this public injury, we may add one of a more private but more horrid nature, an anonymous letter threatening his life, to which he paid the proper attention, by taking no notice of it. At last Mr. Byron, the Committee Chairman, endeavoured to appease the tumult and filence the noise. He thortly addrefled the Electors, telling them the purport of the meeting, explaining the measures of the Court of Requests meeting, and moved an Address to his Majesty, desiring to collect their sense of it by a fhew of hands. Hats were held up, accompanied with vociferous shouts of approbation, and the majority in favour of the Address was fo very conspicuous, as not to leave the least doubt ; for it may be fairly said, that although it was a manifest mecting of all the Electors, the majority appeared as 100 to one.
Mr. Fox then endeavoured to address the Electors, but noise immediately prevented him, and this he attempted several times with the like effect. At half past twelve the meeting was adjourned, and Mr. Fox was carried on the shoulders of several Electors from Weftininster Hall to the King's Arms Tavern, when he came into the Committee Room, alınost overpowered with heat and fatigue. The Electors, who had accompanied him from the Hall to the Tavern, waited in Palace-yard, and soon after
Mr. Fox came forward to the front bow window of the Tavern, in Palace-yard, which being taken out, in order to give him room and conveniency, after long and continued fhouts of approbation, he addressed the Electors as follows:
Nothing can be more flattering to me, or give me greater happiness, than this “ public opportunity of addressing this astonishingly numerous and respectable body of my “ constituents, the Electors of Westminster.
“ I should have been happy if I could have succeeded in my intentions of addressing,
you in the Public Hall. I fhould there have explained the motives of my conduct " to my conftituents; but the clamours of a hired noisy party prevented my “
“ Gentlemen, You are all able to judge of the goodness of that cause, when those us who espouse it are afraid of their opponents being heard.
* It was afterwards discovered to be Euphorbium.
« Let me repeat it, that it gives me inexpresible happiness to explain my conduct to
you. You will find I liave never deierted your caute : I shall tind likewie tia' you .66 have not deserted me, The foriner is impossible---was you eve.. deferturielies, * I never would desert you,
“ Gentlemen, The very noble, the very disinterested, and the very magnanimous “ manner in which you honoured me with your choice of reprefentative, claimeu ! " iny attention, aslıduity, and adherence; and I trust you have found by my conduct 6 I have neither deserted the caule of my conftituents, nor my own principles. To “ do either, I must desert myself and them too. If you desert me, you erect Count In“ fluence, because it is Court Influence I oppose.
66 Gentlemen, You called me to Parliament to stem the torrent of corruption, to « reform the abuses of your Consitution, and, above all, to oppose the destructive “ principle of Court Influence.
If purging the House of Commons of a number of venal contractors; if reforming 6 several abuses in the expenditure of public monies; if setting iny self up as the oppo“ fer of Court Influence, and being turned out of office because I did oppose it, discovers " a change of fentiinent, I then have changed my sentiments. But I Hatter myself you " have seen, and know enough of yourselves, to be well assured, that by maintaining “ the dignity of the House of Commons against the secret advisers, and the influence " of the Crown, I have maintained your cause; and that by that maintenance I shall “ still have your support.
“ Gentlemen, I have maintained the dignity of the House of Commons against the 4 corrupt and unconftitutional proceedings of the House of Lords---because the House “ of Commons are your Representatives, and not the House of Lords.
“ If you desert the Representatives, who thus support your dignity against Court « Influence, you elect the House of Lords for your representatives, and then you can “ be no longer said to represent yourselves. Will you then have a House of Lords or " a House of Commons to reprefent you? If you support my adversaries, who let you
at detiance, and who trample the greatest of all your privileges, the spirit, the au“ thority, and the dignity of the House of Cominons, under their feet, you are no “ longer represented. The House of Lords then betrays you, and the Crown nominates “ what Minister it pleases, to deprive the people of England of all that reinains dear to " them, the freedom of their choice in Parliament, and their share in the government 66 of the nation.
“ It is upon these principles the present Minister is come into power, and upon these “ principles he supports himself. He sands supported by the secret influence of the “ Crown, and the unconftitutional interference of the House of Lords, which sets your “ freedom and power at defiance.
“ Gentleinen, I need not tell you that the present Administration were the greatest « enemies to the reform of abuses, nor that they supported the American war---you, " who live near the scene of action, who surround the Court, and who daily see and “ know the reality of parliamentary proceedings, are not to be duped by the arts and “ duplicity of Court adherents, and the supporters of Court Influence. You will “ know a man before you elect him, and when elected, you can see him, hear him, “ and prove him. When proved, it is neither the Minister of the Crown, the paltry “ efforts of Peers, nor the secret influence of the Crown, which will make you aban66 don him.
“ Gentlemen, I have been twice called to the office of Secretary of State, since first « I had the honour of your disinterested approbation. When I found your caufe deserted " in the Cabinet, your measures miscarry, and my principles overpowered, I resigned--" I resigned, because, if I had continued in office, I should have deserted iny principles--
* I thould
I need no
6 I should have deserted you---I gave up office, I gave up honours, and I gave up emolu66 ment, rather than forfeit your confidence. This was the first time I proved my at6 tachment to you---did it look like betraying you? could I have any other ground for “ my resignation than your confidence, and the good opinion of the public, which is inu separably connected with my own honour and conscience?
“ I was again called into office, and for what purpose ? To bring forward a burthen s of taxes; Tome of them unpopular, that I, and those who acted with me, might have " the odium of the measure, and bear all the weight which it unpopularity might oc6 cafion---I mean the Receipt Tax.
A respectable gentleman standing in the yard, then addressed Mr. Fox, and told him, that he was desired by a great numer of Electors to ask Mr. Fox, “ WHETHER Mr. Pitt
DID NOT GIVE HIS.CONSENT TO THE RECEIPT Tax" To which Mr. Fox replied, “ HE DID;" on which a general exclamation took place, of “ No Pitt! No Pitt!” and then Mr. Fox went on.
“ When those unhappy measures had been carried, an opposition to those very mea“ sures took place, by those very men who had supported thein, merely for the purpose « of getting themselves into power by the unconstitutional exercise of the Houle of u Lords and the secret influence of the Crown. Are you, gentlemen, to be duped " then by such men and such means ? What was the confequence of the exercise of “ Court influence, and prerogative of the Crown, in oppolition to the sense of the “ people of England ? I opposed it. By opposing it, I supported you---by supporting you,
I lost the confidence of the Crown---I was desired to resign; I would not resign, 6 and for this reason, because I had the people of England to support me. “other, I want no other support. Being supported by you, and on that refusing to re“ sign, I was turned out---1 was turned out because I opposed the House of Lords and “ the Crown, combined together against the people---against you. Did this, gentlemen, “ look like betraying your intereits? Has it the face of changing my opinions, of de“ viating from my principles, of deserting my propofitions when called into power as “ my enemies would invidiously infinuate?
"'Gentlemen, In the situation I now am, I have an opportunity of seeing more, “ standing so high above you, than you can possibly have beneath---I see a far more
numerous body here than that assembled in the Hall, multitudinous as even that was, “ but in the Hall I could not be heard---Here I am honoured with a silence that reflects. " the greatest honour to me, and the highest credit on yourselves. The observation I “ make is, that my opponents prevented by clamour and an hired mob, what they
were afraid to hear, and that the more numerous the Electors, the more attention I
am heard with. One obvious truth deducible from which is, that I am happy in the “ approbation of a very large majority of my conftituents.
“ Gentlemen, I have only one word more to fay to you. The true simple question “ of the present dispute is, whether the House of Lords and Court Influence shall pre“ dominate over the House of Commons, and annihilate its existence? or, whether the “ House of Commons, whom you elected, shall have a power to maintain the privi« leges of the people, to support its liberties, and check the unconftitutional proceed“ ings of a House of Lords, whom you never elected ; and regulate the prerogative of the “ Crown, which was ever too ready to seize upon the freedom of the Electors of this; “ country? The question is thort: It is you, who are to determine it, and to you. “ whom I appeal; to my constituents I Mall always appeal; and no longer wish " them to support me, than I fupport the principles on which they tent me to Para liament. “ Gentlemen, I again return you my fincere thanks for your very candid:
“ hearing, and your approbation of my conduct, which it will ever be my ftudy to preferve."
When Mr. Fox had finished his Address, (which was received with great approbation, at the conclufion of every sentence,) he retired from the window to his carriage, from which the horses were taken, and he was drawn by the populace up Parliament-street, round the statute of Charles at Charing-cross through Cockipur-street, along Pall-mall, St. James's, and Piccadilly, to the Duke of Devonthire's houle, amidst the acclamations of near ten thousand people, who expressed their disapprobation as they passed the Treasury, Lord Temple's, &c. &c. At Carlton Houte were repeatedly given regular huzzas, and at Lord Temple's, a wag held up a key tied to a stick, hung round with crape, which he called the Secret Influence Key in mourning. The whole, on Mr. Fox's fide, was conducted with the utmost regularity, and no mischief was done, except a window broke at Lord Temple's, occafioned by the impudence of fome of his Lordfhip’s female servants, who threw something from the upper story upon the people. At Devonshire House Mr. Fox addressed the Electors to the following effect:
Gentlemen, “ I thank you for the trouble you have taken in conducting me here, and as I am “ much fatigued, I hope you will leave me here, as I ain as much at home as at my “ own houle. hope I Shall always have your support against the attacks of secret 6 influence.
“ I beg leave to propose what I mentioned in Westminster Hall, which, from the op“ position of a hired mob, I believe was not heard, to propose an Address, expressing “ your satisfaction at the manly, disinterested conduct of the House of Commons againit 56 the attacks of secret influence."
The Address was then proposed, and agreed to without the disapprobation of a single voice. After which the multitude retired.
Lord Surrey and Major Stanhope rode on the coach-box of Mr. Fox's carriage.
February 14.] At a very numerous and most respectable meeting of the Electors of Westminster, held this day at Westminster Hall, the huftings that had been ill erected by the friends of Mr. Fox, near the steps of the Court of Common Pleas, broke down, which prevented the Chair being taken so soon as otherwise it would have been.
Lord Mahon was then carried in triumph to the opposite side of the Hall, on the shoulders of the Electors, where his Lordship moved the following Resolution, which being printed in very large capitals, on a wide sheet of parchment, was held up by hin, and was distinctly seen from every part of the Hall. The Resolution was as follows, and, being seconded, was carried by a prodigious majority, viz.
Refolved, " That this meeting do adopt all the proceedings of the public meeting held at the “ Court of Requests, on Tuesday last." · Lord Mahon was then carried (as above) to the steps leading to the Courts of Chancery and King's Bench, where the said Resolutions was again moved by his Lordship, seconded, and carried by a still inore considerable majority.
Sir Cecil Wray was then called to the Chair at the last-mentioned place, and the following Resolutions were then moved, seconded, and all carried, with very few diflentients. The second, third, and fourth Resolutions, were moved by Dr. Jebb, and see conded by Lord Mountmorres.
Resolved, “ First, That this meeting do approve of and confirm the Address to his Majesty, "s which was agreed upon in the Court of Requests, Westminster Hall, on Tuesday last.
Secondly, That the Coalition formed between the Right Honourable Charles James Fox, and the Right Honourable Frederick Lord North, was injurious to the cause
of Freedom and of Public Virtue, and that the conduct of the consequent Admini« ftration was highly detrimental to the interests of Great Britain and Ireland.
“ Thirdly, That it is essential to the cause of Public Freedom, that all ranks and 6 orders of men should UNITE and ASSOCIATE in favour of a substantial Reform in “ the Representation of the Commons; and that this, or any Administration, will de« serve the support and confidence of the country, in proportion to the zeal with which " they shall bring forward, and endeavour to carry into effect, that falutary measure.
“ Fourthly, That the parliamentary conduct of Sir Cecil Wray, Bart. has ever been " honourable to himself, as well as beneficial to his country---that he is entitled to the “ warmest gratitude of his constituents, and in the highest degree deserving of their fu“ ture confidence and support.
“ Fifthly, On the motion of the Right Honourable Lord Ongley (which was se- conded by the Right Honourable Lord Mountmorres) it was unanimouly resolved,
“ That those men who shall, at this period, endeavour to obstruct the necessary busi“ ness of the nation, ought to be considered as enemies to their country.
Sixthly, Resolved, (with very few diffentients) That the thanks of this meeting 66 be given to Lord Mahon, Lord Mountmorres, and Dr. Jebb.
“ Seventhly, Resolved, That the thanks of this meeting be given to the Gentlemen 66 who compose the Committee for conducting the business of the Address of Thanks 66 to his Majesty for dismissing his late unpopular Ministers.
CECIL WRAY, Chairman.
General Meeting of the Electors of Westminster. Feb. 14.] At a most numerous meeting of the Electors of Westminster, held this day in Westminster Hall,
The Right Hon. CHARLES JAMES FOX having been called to the Chair, The following Resolutions and Address were carried upon a fhew of hands, by a majority of at least fix to one.