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that his conduct was open, that his principles were known to every man, that he haut not a thought of which the kingdom was not fully possessed, and that he hoped if there was any part of what he had done that was wrong, it might be made an open charge against him, and permission given him to explain his conduct. All his present, all his former life were public. As long as his constituents thought him deserving their favour, they would support himn; but if ever they deserted him, he hoped they would explain their conduct for so doing, and point out where he had erred.
The next toasts were, “ The Rights of the Commons, Constitutional Councils, and Responsible Advisers.”
“ The Majority of the House of Commons, and the Virtuous Minority in the Lords."
Captain Morris sung his Constitutional Song, which got so much applause at the Shakespeare. It is epigrammatic in every line, and, without exception, one of the best pieces of political satire that ever was composed. The meeting were so pleased, that they returned him public thanks for it, and he in return thanked them in terms of politeness and respect. • Mr. Bannister next fung. It is unnecessary to publish panegyric on a man who is usually efteemed, applauded, and in the highest reputation as a man of conviviality, as an actor, and as a finger. Mr. Moody was next called upon. Mr. Moody sung an Irish song. Every body knew him---and in knowing it consequently followed they must applaud. The next was a duet, “ How Sweet in the Woodlands," by Bannister and Johnstone. This indeed was a musical treat. It received such applause as it deserved, the hearty thanks of the company,
The next toast was, “ the Duke of Portland and the Whig Intereft," after which fol. lowed Lord Derby's song of “ Liberty Hall.”
“ Lord Derby and Liberty Hall."
Lord Derby rose, and very politely drank the health of the company in return, afsuring them, that their applause would act as a spur to him to persevere in their cause.
“ His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales, and may the Princes of the House of “ Brunswick ever countenance those principles that feated their family on the Throne 66 of England."
66 The Duke of Devonshire, and the whole House of Cavendish." “ Mr. Byng, and the independent Electors of Middlesex.”
Mr. Byng returned thanks for the honour done him, and assured them that he felt a double satisfaction in finding his name coupled with so respectable a body as his Conflituents.
“ May the County of Stafford ever return Whig Members, and the Town of Staf“ ford persons of equal virtue and abilities of Mr. Sheridan and Mr. Monckton.”
Mr. Sheridan returned thanks for himself and his worthy colleague, and remarked, that the company being so numerous, so happy, and to convivial, he hoped they would meet again
soon at the same place. “ The Cause for which Hampden bled in the field, and Sydney and Ruffell on the « scaffold.”
“ Lord Keppel and the Navy of England.”
Mr. Fox acquainted the meeting, that Thursday next was appointed for the meeting at York, when it was to be decided whether that respectable county were for the Prerogative of the Crown in preference to the Rights of the People; after which he gave,
Lord Fitzwilliam and Mr. Foljambe, with the rest of the real, and not the pres tended, friends of the cause of Freedom in the county of York."
“ A long pull, a strong pull, and a pull all together."
Lord Maitland politely returned thanks for the honour conferred on him; was happy that his conduct had met with their approbation, and assured them, that he knew of no better way to ensure it in future, than by a steady fupport of their worthy Reprefentative, Mr. Fox.
“ General Conway, the late Commander in Chief in England."
General Burgoyne remarked, that if relinquishing (for he could not call it facrificing) power and emolument, to support a cause and a man, both of which he was attached. to, no recompence could be half so flattering to him, as the honour he had received by the approbation of the company.
“ Colonel Fitzpatrick, the late Secretary at War."
Colonel Stanhope assured the company, that he always thould be happy to give every aslistance in his power to secure the rights of mankind in general, and of his country in particular.
Colonel Hartley, a tried friend to the liberties of the people, and success to his “ election in tlae county of Berks."
Colonel Hartley returned thanks, and assured the company, that he should always be happy to support Mr. Fox, who, he was confident, would never either betray or desert the cause of Freedom.
Several other toasts were given, many good songs were sung, and the following Gen-
The Loss of the Great Seal of England, on the Ire of the Dillution
of Parliament, having caused various Speculations, we have selected " the following Particulars from the different Papers of the Day, for the Satisfaction of our Readers.
March 26.] In the night between Tuesday and Wednesday, one of the most extraordinary burglaries took place that has been known within this century. Some daring villains broke into the house of the Lord Chancellor, in Great Ormond-street, and carried off, undiscovered, the Great Seal of England, the Mace, and the Purfe, besides several articles of plate, and about forty guineas. This uncommon robbery created the greatest consternation in town; for that an event fo fingular fhould happen at so critical a moment as on the eve of a diffolution of Parliament, when the Great Seal was neceffary to the Proclamation, naturally gives rise to conjecture, and induces men, less prone to judge from constructive evidence than the English people confessedly are, to imagine that the robbery was a political nanæuvre cn one part or the other. The Seals, Purse, and Mace, were not, as it has been reported, in the Seal Office, or as
most of our forider Chancellors were accustomed to fecure thein, during the night, in the chamber where he flept, but in a back room, the windows of which look into the fields, and where no watchman is within light. The Great Scal and Mace are made of silver; the first is about the size of a small trencher, one part folds on the other, and it makes the impreffion on both fides of the wax. The Purie is the bag in which the Seals are kept; it releinbles the ancient pouch of the Britors, and is still an appendage of the Highland dress. The whole intrinsic value of the Great Seal and Mace is perhaps about 401. but the cost of the workmanship will be more than 2001.
Several curious questions arile on this extraordinare circumstance. Can a Proclamation be issued without the Great Seal? Certainly not: But cannot the King, in his Council, constitute any feal, for the time being, the Great Seal of England---the head of Cæsar, or a Maid of Honour's thimble? Several lawyers yesteday delivered it as their opinion that he could; while others said, that this could only be done by the power of an act of Parliament. When Jaines II, threw the Great Seal into the Thames, expedition was used in having another made. Another question arises---Have we at this instant any Lord Chancellor at all? The act says, that " taking away the Seals deter“ mines the office."---Will the robbery be, in the legal construction, taking `away the Seal ? Must he not be again sworn into office, and the cereinonies be repeated on vlelivering to him his new Seal? The ceremony that constitutes any Seal the Great Seal of England is, that the King delivers the Seal into his hand before certain officers, and he is required to use it as the instrument of the King's pleasure. The inere impression cannot make it so, for that is in any engraver's power. The ceremony originally used in making any other Seal the Great Seal may now be used without requiring the particular figure of that which is loft; but perhaps the Chancellor must again be sworn.
Yesterday morning the Lord Chancellor went early to Buckingham House, to communicate the strange circumstance, and a Council was held on the occasion.
The last attempt of this nature was made by the famous Colonel Blood, who, in the year 1671, formed the daring plan of carrying off the Crown from the Tower. Blood went with a woman, whom he called his wife, to see the regalia; he was habited like a clergyman, and having by various arts insinuated himself into the good graces of Mr. Edwards, the Keeper, he made proposals of marrying his nephew to the old man's daughter, and the gth of March was fixed for an interview. At that time he went with three companions all armed with rapier-blades in their canes, and each with a dagger and a pair of pistols. The old man was ready to receive his guests, and the daughter her gallant---Two of his companions went in with him, and the third staid at the door to watch. As soon as they had entered the room where the Crown was kept, and the door, as usual, fhut behind them, they threw a cloak over the old man's head, and gagged his mouth. Having secured him from crying out, they plainly told him they were determined to have the Crown, Globe, and Sceptre, and if he would submit to it, they would spare his life, otherwise he might expect no mercy. The old man making what noise he could, they knocked him down with a mallet, and as he still struggled, they gave him nine or ten strokes inore on the head with the mallet, and stabbed him in the belly. Concluding him dead, they omitted to tie his hands behind him ; but proceeded immediately to the objects of their robbery. Parret, one of the companions, put the Globe into his pocket, Blood took the Crown under his cloak, and the third was beginning to file the Sceptre in two, when the son of Mr. Edwards, that instant on his retuta from Flanders, came to the door. Being thus disturbed, they went off without the Sceptre; and the old man recovering his senses, though dreadfully wounded, got up and called out “trea“ son! murder !" The daughter seeing him rushed out after the plunderers and called out “ treason! stop thief! the Crown is ftolen!" On this the alarm was given; but the
drmen, when they came to the drawbridge, discharged a pistol at the head of one of the Warders, and got over; they then got through the outward gate upon the wharf, and were inaking hafte to their horses, calling out themselves, “ Stop the ro
gues !". But a Captain Beckman came up with them. Blood discharged his second pistol at the Captain's head, but missed him. He was then seized, and he had the auda city even then to struggle for the Crown; when it was wrested from him he said, “ It " was a gallant attempt, though unsuccessful---it was for a Crown.” The subsequent circumstances were no less curious than the foregoing. He was examined by the King, and instead of being condemned. to die, ja pension of sool. a year was granted to him for his life.
On Tuesday night the most uncommon enormity, since the stealing of the Crown by Blood, was committed by fome abandoned desperadoes. The Lord 'High Chancellor's house in Great Ormond-Áreet was broke open, and the Great Seal of England stolen froin the office in which it was deposited. The peculiar circumstances of the affair thew clearly that it could not have been perpetrated by any common robber. On. Thursday it is universally expected that the Parliament will be diffolved. This, it is well known, can be done only by proclamation; and to this proclamation, it is necessary that the Great Seal be affixed. When we consider, that this robbery happened on the eve of a dissolution ---that a dissolution must be fatal to the hopes of certain gentlemen, who have united themselves into a party, as it should seem, for the express purpose of impeding public business; that the Seal itself could afford no temptation to robbers intent on booty alone, and above all, that without some particular object, that office could not have been peculiarly destined to plunder, we cannot hesitate to impute it to agents of the party alluded to. Their design, however, has proved abortive, a new Seal having been ordered to be made, which, it is expected, will be ready by to-morrow *.
A correspondent affures us, that every account which has been given of the burglary in the Lord Chancellor's house is erroneous, and that the following statement is minutely exact. The Great Seal of England was deposited within a drawer, in a lone and unprotected back room upon the ground floor, exposed to the open fields. No person slept upon the floor, or near so great and valuable a treasure, although his Lordship's private property was cautiously lodged with the butler below. stairs. The villains entered the window without difficulty or interruption, and conveyed away the Great Seal, thirtyfive guineas, official fees belonging it, and the hilts of two swords, the property of his Lordship's officers : fortunately the Mace, which lay in a corner of the room, was concealed by a green cloth, and escaped notice.
The Great Seal, which was stolen from the Chancellor's back parlour last Wednesday morning, weighed near feven pounds weight. If it was pure filver, it would prove a tolerable booty; but it will be most realonable to suspect that it contained an alloy of, base metal!
When the Chancellor miffed the Great Seal, lie exclaimed to his confidential officer, Macklin, “ By G-d I have long ceased to make the impresion I wished !"
The Great Seal consists of two parts, about the size of a small plate, one folding over the other, and the impreffion made by it is on both sides of the wax. The matter of which the Seal is composed is chiefly silver, in value about 30l. but the workmanship amounts to a vast deal more..
This ingenious and grave assertion made its appearance in that wonderful and immaculate paper the Morse ing Pol, so remarkable for new discoveries on every occasion. We hope, however, the presint Euiiio. latt discover that his paper is liccle read, and seldom credited. Our prelent little Minister, Malter Billy, will, we fear, be under the neceility of taking all the impressions himself—indeed it might prove no impolitical 11epo. Put Jack Robinson into a News Walk, he might distribute lies officially every morning wet from the press, and gain the Minister a few more friends.
The following extract froin De Lolme, on the «i Constitution of England,” will explain how far the Great Seal is neceffary in convening a Parliament.---- When the King
has determined to assemble a Parliament, he sends an order for that purpose to the “ Lord Chancellor, who, after receiving the same, sends a writ under the Great Seal 66 of England to the Sheriff of every county, directing him to take the neceffary mea“ fures for the election of members for the county, and the towns and horoughs con“ tained in it. Three days after the reception of the writ, the Sheriff muit, in his “ turn, send his precept to the magiftrates of the towns and boroughs, to order them “ to make their election within eight days after the reception of the precept, giving four “ days notice of the fame. And the Sheriff himself must proceed to the election for “ the county, not sooner than ten days after the receipt of the writ, nor later than “ fixteen days." The following, says a correspondent, may be depended upon as an original letter :
“ My dear Sir, « A gang of scoundrels broke into my house last night, robbed me of some money, 66 and several things of value, amongst which was the Seal, and be d-----d to them.
“ Your's, affectionately, G--- O------d-street,
T--- -W," March 24, 1784. The last public theft, prior to that of the Great Seal, was the stealing of the head of Edward the Confessor from his monument in Westminster Abbey. The head of the itatue was of silver, and the body, which they left behind, of brats. This happened in the time of Oliver Cromwell, and it was generally believed that Oliver was privy to the matter.
There are circumstances attending the outrage of stealing the Great Seal, which create a suspicion that it was not committed by common thieves. The critical period at which it happened, is too remarkable to be overlooked; and there being to little other damage done, though so much more was in the power of the robbers, adds strength to the conjecture, and almost amounts to a proof, that there was no other object originally in view. Another corroborating circumstance is, that, as the plunderers went to directly to the place where the Seal was deposited, they must have been persons well acquainted with the house, unless their infernal plot was assisted by a connivance within doors; and even admitting this to have been the case, the same suspicion remains in full force, as a combination with ordinary felons can hardly be fupposed. But time will probably unveil this mystery of iniquity, and shew the world what fome men are capable of, when a desperate ambition drives them to the last shift of revenge. Public distress is no object with them. If they are disappointed, and cannot fucceed in their wild and lawlets schemes, they are determined they shall not suffer alone; but, as far as they are able, that all shall go to ruin along with them *.
When the theft of the Great Seal was first reported, the generality of people gave no credit to the circumstance, but treated it as an idle story; even the greatest enemies to Faction, those who have always dreaded the lengths which desperate men will go, could not persuade themselves that tuch an attempt would be made, much less would they believe such an act had been committed. The fact now being fully eftablished, with all the aggravating circumstances attending it, it behoves the people of this country, as they value their freedom, to be on their guard, and to be careful how they trust legilla
* Another political speculation from the Minister's Morning Poft. Unfortunately for all these assertions, it happened the robbers were found out, and shocking to relate, it was discovered that neither the Duke of Portland nor Mr. Fox were the thieves, but two notorious housebreakers, who had melted the Seal, and fold it to a Jex. So, Mr. Morning Poft, “ how is it with ye?” But never mild, at it again..