The English took the field in the summer of 1763 against Meer Cossim with six hundred Europeans and one thousand two hundred Sepoys. Major Adams, the commander of this force, was vigorously resisted by Meer Cossim, but drove him from Moorshedabad, gained a decided victory over him on the plains of Geriah, and, after a siege of nine days, reduced Monghyr. Driven to his last place of strength in Patna, and feeling that he must yield that, Meer Cossim determined to give one parting example of his ferocity to his former patrons, as, under their protection, he had given many to his own subjects. He had taken prisoners the English belonging to the factory at Patna, amounting to one hundred and fifty individuals. These he caused to be massacred by a renegade Frenchman in his service, named Sombre. On the 5th of October his soldiers massacred all of them except William Fullarton, a surgeon known to the Nabob. The mangled bodies of the victims were thrown into two wells, which were then filled up with stones. This done, the monster Cossim fled into Oude, and took refuge with its Nabob, Sujah Dowlah. The English immediately entered Patna, which was still reeking with the blood of their countrymen, and proclaimed the deposition of[317] Meer Cossim, and the restoration of Meer Jaffier as Nabob of Bengal.

Meanwhile, in America military intrigues were on foot against Washington. Amongst these endeavours was one for alienating from him Lafayette. For this purpose an expedition was planned against Canada, and Lafayette, as a Frenchman, was appointed to the command, hoping thus to draw to him the Frenchmen of Canada. Not a word was to be breathed of it to Washington; and Conway and Starke, two of the most malicious members of the cabal, were to take command under Lafayette. On the 24th of January, 1778, Washington received a letter from Gates, the President of the Board of War, commanding him to send one of his best regiments to Albany, on the Hudson, for a particular service, and enclosing another to Lafayette, requiring his immediate attendance on Gates. Gates found, however, that Lafayette was not to be seduced from his attachment to Washington. He would not accept the command, otherwise than as acting in subordination to his Commander-in-Chief; and he should send all his despatches and bulletins to him, at the same time that he furnished copies to Congress. The vain Frenchman verily believed that he was going to restore Canada, not to America, but to the French Crowna fear which began to haunt Congress after he had set out; but the fear was needless. When Lafayette reached his invading army, instead of two thousand five hundred men, it amounted to about one thousand two hundred, and the militia were nowhere to be heard of. Clothes, provisions, sledges, were all wanting, and, instead of leading his troops, as he was directed, to Lake Champlain, whence he was to proceed to ?le-aux-Noix to blow up the English flotilla, and thence, crossing the Sorel, to descend the St. Lawrence to Montreal, he gave up the expedition with a sigh, and returned to the camp of Washington. The declaration of war against Britain by the Convention was unanimous. The decree was drawn up by the Girondists, but it was enthusiastically supported by the Jacobins, including Robespierre and Danton. A vote creating assignats to the amount of eight hundred million livres was immediately passed, a levy of three hundred thousand men was ordered, and to aggravate the whole tone of the affair, an appeal to the people of Great Britain was issued, calling on them to act against and embarrass their own Government.

Two courses were now open to the Duke of Wellington and to Peelto resign, in order that Emancipation might be carried by the statesmen who had always been its advocates, and who might therefore carry it without any violation of consistency or of their own political principles. It was for not adopting this course that they were exposed to all the odium which they so long endured. But the question was, whether Lord Grey or Lord Lansdowne could have carried Catholic Emancipation even with the aid of the Duke of Wellington and Mr. Peel in oppositioncould have overcome the repugnance of the Sovereign and the resistance of the House of Lords. It was their decided conviction that they could not, especially with due regard to the safety of the Established Church. But being convinced that the time had come when the question ought to be settled, the Duke examined the second course that was open to him, and embraced it. It was this: that postponing all other considerations to what he believed to be a great public duty, he should himself, as Prime Minister, endeavour to settle the question.

The chiefs of the Tory party were at this time sanguine in their expectation of being speedily called to office. Their hopes were founded mainly upon the dissensions that were known to exist in the Cabinet. These dissensions were first revealed by O'Connell's motion for a committee to inquire into the conduct of Baron Smith, when presiding as a judge in criminal cases, and especially with reference to a charge addressed by him to the grand jury of Dublin, in which he said: "For the last two years I have seldom lost an opportunity for making some monitory observations from the Bench. When the critical and lawless situation of the country did not seem to be generally and fully understood, I sounded the tocsin and pointed out the ambuscade. Subsequent events deplorably proved that I had given no false alarm. The audacity of factious leaders increased from the seeming impunity which was allowed them; the progress of that sedition which they encouraged augmented in the same proportion, till on this state of things came, at length, the Coercion Bill at once to arrest the mischief, and consummate the proof of its existence and extent." As there was no doubt that these shafts were aimed at O'Connell, this last charge afforded him a fair opportunity of putting a stop to the abuse by bringing the conduct of the talented but eccentric judge before Parliament; for, as there was no political case in the calendar, there was no excuse for the attack. Mr. Littleton declared it impossible to refuse his consent to the motion. Mr. Stanley, Lord Althorp, and Lord John Russell expressed a similar view. Sir James Graham briefly but warmly dissented from his colleagues. He had come down to the House with the understanding that they meant to oppose the motion. He for one still retained his opinion, and had seen no reason to change it. As one who valued the independence of the judges and his own character, he must declare that if the motion were carried, and if, as its result, an Address was presented to the Crown for the removal of Baron Smith, it would be a highly inexpedientnay, more, a most unjust proceeding. The present would be the most painful vote he had ever given, since he felt it incumbent upon him to sever himself from those friends with whom during a public life of some duration he had had the honour of acting; but feeling as he did the proposition to be one dangerous in itself, he conceived he would be betraying the trust committed to him if he did not declare against it. Baron Smith was ably defended by Mr. Shaw, by Sir J. Scarlett, and Sir Robert Peel. On a division, the motion for a committee of inquiry was carried by 167 to 74, Sir James Graham and Mr. Spring-Rice voting in the minority. Next morning Sir James tendered his resignation as First Lord of the Admiralty, which was declined, and in the following week the vote was rescinded by a majority of six.

GOVERNMENT HOUSE, CALCUTTA. (From a Photograph by Frith & Co.)

The suggestions of Murat had failed to induce Ferdinand to leave his capital and go to meet Napoleon; but a more adroit agent now presented himself in the person of Savary, the delegated murderer of the Duke d'Enghien. Savary paid decided court to Ferdinand. He listened to all his statements of the revolution of Aranjuez and the abdication of the king. He told him that he felt sure Napoleon would see these circumstances in the same favourable light as he did, and persuaded him to go and meet the Emperor at Burgos, and hear him salute him Ferdinand VII., King of Spain and of the Indies.

On the 9th of January, a month after their arrival, Lord Derwentwater was impeached of high treason by Mr. Lechmere in a bitter speech in the Commons. Other members, with equal acrimony, followed with impeachments against the Lords Widdrington, Nithsdale, Wintoun, Carnwath, Kenmure, and Nairn. The impeachments were carried up to the House of Lords on the same day, and on the 19th the accused noblemen were brought before the Peers, where they knelt at the bar until they were desired to rise by the Lord Chancellor, when, with the exception of Lord Wintoun, they confessed their guilt, and threw themselves on the mercy of the king. Sentence of death was immediately pronounced on those who had pleaded guilty; and Lord Wintoun was condemned after trial, but several months later he effected his escape from the Tower. Every effort was made to save the prisoners, and they were all reprieved, with the exception of Derwentwater, Kenmure, and Nithsdale. The first two were executed; but the Countess of Nithsdale, being about to take her leave of her husband, contrived, by introducing some friends, to secure his escape in female attire.

Amongst the most distinguished of this series of architects is James Gibbs, who, after studying in Italy, returned to England in time to secure the erection of some of the fifty churches ordered to be built in the metropolis and its vicinity in the tenth year of Queen Anne. The first which he built is his finestSt. Martin's, at the north-east corner of Trafalgar Square.[160] Besides St. Martin's, Gibbs was the architect of St. Mary's, in the Strand; of Marylebone Chapel; of the body of All Saints', Derbyan incongruous addition to a fine old Gothic tower; of the Radcliffe Library, at Oxford; of the west side of the quadrangle of King's College, and of the Senate House, Cambridge, left incomplete. In these latter works Sir James Burrows, the designer of the beautiful chapel of Clare Hall, in the same university, was also concerned. Gibbs was, moreover, the architect of St. Bartholomew's Hospital.

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