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KING'S ARMS TAVERN, PALACE-YARD. February 20, 1784.] At a numerous and most respectable adjourned meeting of the Westminster Committee of Association,
JOHN BRETT, Esq. in the Chair, The Report of the Select Committee was received and read. Report of the Select Committee appointed to examine into the acts of outrage and vio
lence committed at the General Meeting, held in Westminster Hall, on Saturday the: 14th inftant;
"'Upon a sérious and full enquiry into the circumstances attending the outrages com“ mitted, and the tumults attempted to be raised, at the General Meeting, held on “ Saturday the 14th instant, at Weftmifter Hall, your Select Committee find it sub“ ftantiated by the most indifputable testimony, that there were several bands of ruffians “ dispersed through the Hall, who your Committee have reason to believe were neither “ Electors or Inhabitants of Westminster, and who acted evidently upon a concerted “ plan, and whose outrages were luch, as to endanger even the lives of perfons whom
your Committee have examined.
is l'pon the subject which your Committee are more particularly directed to examine “ into, they find, upon a full investigation and examination of evidence, that after Mr. “ Fox had been some time in the front of the hustings and while he was addressing “ the Electors (his principal opponents being at a confiderable distance) a canvas bag
was thrown at him.
“It appears by the manner in which this was done, and from the singular construc" tion of the bag, that the intention must have been that the contents ihould discharge 66 themselves in the face of Mr. Fox.
“ Your Committee find, that though the execution of this failed in part, yet Mr. “ Fox, and many perfons whom your Committee have carefully examined, were in“ ftantly and violently afflicted by a noisome powder and vapour which issued from the
" That an attempt was immediately made by some ruffians to recover the bag ; but " that it was detained by the exertions of persons whom your Committee have exa“ mined, and that afterwards being produced at Devonshire House in the presence of “ a great number of persons, your Committee have the teftimony of gentlemen, who
were immediately, upon finelling the powder at a distance, seized with violent cough“ ing and sickness, and that some of those gentlemen were affected thereby for the re
maining part of the evening.
“ That upon this it was determined to have the contents examined by some eminent “ Chymist : whose opinion your Committee suhjoins.
“ Your Committee have also the affidavits of persons, to substantiate the identity of “ the bag and contents delivered to Mr. Stock.
“ Your Select Committee have also the inost respectable authorities, which render it “ unquestionable, that Euphorbium is a drug of 10 poisonous and fubtile a nature, that
a very fmall quantity reaching the stomach of any person, might produce the most “ fatal consequences. (Signed) Godfrey Webster,
J. A. Wallinger,
A. H, Shove,
The testimony of Mr. Stock referred to by the above Report:
“ Having examined very carefully the contents of the bag brought to me by Mr. Ro“ binton and another gentleman, I find it to contain Capsicum and Euphorbium. The “ Euphorbium is extremely well disguised, being in powder, and therefore I am led to “ judge it to be that, more from its great activity than from its visible appearance: I “ have examined it with great caution, and indeed apprehension, because I have been 66 frequently affected by it ; yet with all my caution of stopping my nose and mouth, I 6 felt its effects. My servants who were in the place, or accidentally passing, were in“ stantly seized with heat in the nose and throat, and violent coughing. A person " coming into the warehouse from the air was affected by it immediately. The quality “ of both these ingredients, -more particularly Euphorbium, is extremely noxious and “ dangerous when applied so as to be taken into the eyes, nose, or mouth; it occa“ fions violent and extreme inflammation, discharge of watery humour from the eyes 66 and nose, and violent and intolerable heat in the throat; it will occasion ulcerations “ in the throat : indeed when violent inflammation is excited in any part, there is no “ faying where such symptoms may end, nor is there any reason why it may not pro• duce effects that will put an end to life.
“ W. STOCK, Ludgate-hill." For the further satisfaction of some members of this Committee, who are opposers of the Address and proceeding signed by Mr. Fox, the Chairman of the Select Committee, offered to enter into the detail of the evidence, upon which the Select Committee had founded their report; and at the desire of those gentlemen, a respectable witness, who had not attended the Select Committee, was called in and examined by this Committee. The following Resolutions were then unanimously agreed to:
Resolved unanimously, 66 That this Committee, conceiving a just indignation at the enormity of the pro“ ceedings, stated in the report of their Select Committee, do continue the appointinent 66 of the said Select Committee, and earnestly request them to pursue the most effectual " methods for the discovery of the authors and instruments of the tumults and acts of “ outrage stated in their report; and more especially to use their utmost endeavours to “ detect the contrivers and perpetrators of that attrocious attempt which disgraces hu« manity and the manners of a free people.
Resolved, ". That, for the furtherance of this object, immediate application be made to the “ Magistrates of Westminster, and this Committee do hereby offer a reward of TWO “ HUNDRED GUINEAS to any person or persons, who shall discover the parties “ concerned in preparing the said bag and ingredients, or in throwing the same, know“ ing the contents thereof; which sum is placed in the hands of Messrs. Drummond “ and Co. Bankers, Charing-Cross, to be paid on conviction of any of the offen66 ders.”
This business being settled, it was moved, that, “ Whereas an advertisement has ap“ peared in several of the public papers, signed John Churchill, purporting that the “ tumult near the hustings, in Westminster Hall, on Saturday the 14th inftant, was “ such as to prevent the persons nearest the hustings from hearing what fell either from 6 Mr. Fox, or any of his friends,”.
And resolved (with one diffentient) “ That it appears to this Committee, that no person, or number of persons, assem« bled near the hustings, for the purpose of interrupting the proceedings of the meet“ ing, by tuinult and clamour, have any right to impeach the validity of such proceed“ ings, under pretence that the propositions could not be distinctly heard when the “ several questions were regularly put by the Chairman of the Meeting, and decided
according to the usual mode, by a shew of hands; and that the infinuation contained " in the above mentioned advertisement can only be considered as an attempt from the 6 minority who disfented from the proceedings agreed on the 14th of February, to con
vey an unfounded imputation upon the candour, fairness, and impartiality, which « characterize the conduct of the Chairman, as well as of a majority of Electors af66 sembled on that day." Adjourned to Friday the 27th of February instant, at twelve o'clock at noon.
JOHN BRETT, Chairman,
SHAKESPEARE MONTHLY MEETING. This evening [March 12] there were assembled about fix hundred of the principai Electors of Weitminster.
Colonel Stanhope took the Chair, and apologized for the absence of General Burgoyne, one of the Stewards, and Mr. Fox, who were attending their duty in the House of Commons, on Mr. Sawbridge's motion for a Parliamentary Reform. This was received (as it ought to be) with fatisfaction; and then the usual constitutional toasts were given, and drank with every mark of approbation which could testify that the feels ings of those present sprung from the truest sense of real patriotism. Between the several toasts, the company were highly entertained by Captain Morris, and Mr. Johnstone, of Covent Garden Theatre, who alternately fung; the one in a stile of wit and satire on the present times, which made the room resound with plaudits at the end of each stanza; and the other with a voice, taste, execution, and judgment, that gained him as much applause as man could desire. Perhaps in the annals of song-writing there cannot be found a more pointed or a more humourous composition than that sung by the Captain. It turned on the conduct of Mr. Pitt, and was so humourously and so poetically handled, that even the gravity of a prerogative Bishop would have forsaken his Right Reverence, and made the head of the church laugh.
Immediately on the House breaking up, which was about eleven o'clock, Mr. Fox, General Burgoyne, Lord Surrey, Lord Maitland, Colonel Fitzpatrick, Mr. Alderman Sawbridge, Mr. Sheridan, and many more Members of Parliament arrived.
Mr. Fox took the Chair, and said he was detained by his duty in Parliament from having the honour to attend the meeting sooner. He was forry to inform them that Mr. Alderman Sawbridge's motion for a Parliamentary Reform was negatived by a majority of forty-eight, the numbers being for the motion 143, and against it 191. This defeat he attributed to the friends of the present Ministry being for no Reforin, and consequently voting against the motion. He believed there might be about cighty of those that always are considered to support Administration, who on this occafion took the opposite side to the Minister. He begged to retire for a short time, as he had not dined; which having done, he returned, and drank the health of the Independent Electors of Westminster; and afterwards that of Mr. Alderman Sawbridge.
Mr. Alderman Sawbridge, upon this, got up, and having politely returned thanks for the honour done hiin, begged that he might have liberty to lay a few words on the fubject of debate that day in the House of Commons. His rigiit honourable friend had informed them of the defeat of the Parliamentary Reform, so much withed for by every true friend to the Constitution. This defeat, he said, was now to be entirely ascribed to the present Administration. It was their phalanx, and the jesuitically-instructed conduct of the right honourable gentleman who apparently presides there, which overthrew the motion. Nothing would have been more openly apparent to the purpose of negaL
tiving the question than Mr. Piti's speech, although that gentleman hinself voted for the question. This, however, was not done with a view to make the friends of the Minister vote against the motion, for they had already received their instructions how to aet. No :---It was done for the purpofe of forcing the friends of Lord North to keep up consistency, and give their negative as they had hitherto done. Every art of argument, every nerve of elocution was exerted to colour the right honourable gentleman's speech so as to make it have that effect, and yet gave it that semblance and outward form of a contrary intention. Indeed the fate of the motion, and the conduct of the iminediate servants of the Crown, proved this in the strongest view of demonstration. He added, that he had not on his mind one single doubt of the PARLIAMENTARY REFORM taking place, if the Ministry had not laid their commands of interdi&tion. The device of Mr. Pitt's voting FOR IT, when the great body of Administration voted AGAINST IT, was too poor a subterfuge not to be discerned by the meanest capacity. But supposing Mr. Pitt to have acted from principle, yet here was a proof that he held in ESTIMATION and CONFIDENCE that very Cabinet who opposed himn in one of the most essential requisites to the benefit of the nation.
Lord Surrey informed the company, that the gentleman, named Jack Robinson, had, with a chofen band, mustered up stairs, during almost the whole of the debate, from whence he brought down his troops just previous to the division. His Lordship faid the matter was clear as noon-day, that if the Minister chose, the motion for a PARLIAMENTARY REFORM would have been carried. Every man in the House did perceive, and he hoped every man out of the House would see that Mr. Pitt, who talked fo much of REFORM, was the very person who put a stop to it. It would be in vain for his friends to urge that he himself voted for it, when all mankind saw that his influence was against it.
After this the meeting grew extremely convivial, and Captain Morris was requested: again to sing his Pitt-nursing composition, which, if possible, was received with louder, plaudits than before.
WILLIS'S ROOMS, KING-STREET. March 19.] This day there was the most respectable assemblage of the Electors of Westminster that ever yet were convened on any public occasion. The gentlemen began to assemble at about half past three, and were ushered up into the great which at four o'clock was nearly filled ; and betore five the overflow filled the stair-case do to the hall in such a manner, that it was impossible to pass. The number amounted to Five Hundred and Forty, almost the whole of whom were what may be called very respectable and independent inhabitants of Westminster.
At half past five the dinner room was opened, and nearly five hundred persons fat down at six tables, covered in a stile of public entertainment far beyond any thing of the kind that has ever before appeared for the accommodation of such a number of people. There was no confusion, no irregularity, and no want of any thing that could please the palate. The company did not come down until dinner was announced to be on the table, which created regularity and that polite etiquette, which are the distinguished characteristics of a meeting of gentlemen. When the covers were taken off, there appeared a variety of every thing, fish in abundance of all sorts, salmon, cods heads, &c. trout, soles, smelts, craw fish, &c. &c. roait beef, shoulders and legs of excellent houses
lamb, plentifully dispersed and fashionably set out, chickens, tongues, mock turtle, soups of all kinds, jellies, blanche mange, and apple pies, turkies, wild fowl, sallads, &c.
As soon as dinner was over the following toasts were drank:
Mr. Fox gave “the Independent Electors of the city of Westminster;" “ the Majesty “ of the People of England;” “the cause of freedom all over the world;" “ the glorious “ and immortal memory of King William the Third;" “ the Constitution as established " at the Revolution;" “ the Champion of the House of Commons, and may the people " emulate his example;" (the name of Fox here resounded throughout the room); all these toasts were drank with shouts of applause.
The Stewards proposed, and Mr. Fitzherbert read the motion, “ That it is the opi“nion of this meeting, that the Right Hon. Charles James Fox should be supported at " the next election for Westminster." There was not a diffenting voice---all joined in. their wishes, and each seemed fure of success.
Mr. Fox rose to thank the meeting for this distinguished mark of their favour: he said he had long experienced their friendship, and he hoped his conduct would continue to hin that support which first gave to him their esteem and their good wishes; his endeavours had been for the public benefit; he became their reprefentative avowedly to lessen the undue influence of the Crown; the Electors gave him their suffrages for that purpose, as one great feature of their countenance. He asked if he had departed from that system; if he had done any thing unconstitutional, or that inilitated against his own and against his Constituents principles. He had no view but that of serving his counfry. Idle reports had gone abroad, and every influence was used to make him obnoxious to the people, but there was no reason, no argument to support such accusations. He had ever dealt candidly by his coaftituents, and he hoped they would do so by him. He meant to itand a candidate for their favour on the next vacancy, unless the sense of his present Constituents was against him; and that he not only hoped, but had every reason to imagine was not the case. The respectable meeting present, the numerous friends he saw among thein, a conscious and open uprightnets in his conduct, and that zeal which he had ever possessed, and which he was resolved to maintain for the well-being of the empire, convinced him that he had not lost the confidence of his Constituents. He was their friend now, and let his situation be what it might, he should ever continue fo.
The Stewards gave “ Success to Mr. Fox's Election;" it was drank with una voce applause.
Mr. Fox gave “ Alderman Sawbridge, and Success to a Parliamentary Reform.”
Mr. Withey said, he could not pass by this opportunity of publicly returning thanks to Mr. Fox for his conduct on that occasion; and for the great though unsuccessful support he gave to that most desirable object.
Mr. Sawbridge explained to the meeting in what manner Mr. Pitt acted on the motion for a Parliamentary Reform, and clearly pointed out, that although the Minister voted for the question himself
, yet he used every influence in his power with all his friends to vote against it.
Mr. Fox thought it necessary here to explain that his sentiments and his conduct were what they ever had been on the Reform Bill. He wished it from his heart; and had some hopes that as Mr. Pitt was Minister, and had got over to him one hundred and thirty of Lord North's friends, the measure might have been carried. But the matter was otherwise; and all the world now saw that there was no real intention to have such a plan accomplished. Mr. Sawbridge, he said, did not take up the motion until the question had been asked, whether Mr. Pitt meant really to pursue his Plan of Reform; and until an answer, amounting to a negative, was given. Then indeed he did propose it, and it met that fate of which the public were already advertised. He averred, that if Mr. Pitt really meant to support the motion, it would have been carriel. He again repeated