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ministration of 193,0001., in addition to a reduction in the diplomatic salaries of 91,000l. But the saving to the pockets of individuals by a reduction of taxation, actually made in 1833, may be summed up as follows :
Total repeal of the duty on Tiles.
Reduction of Assessed Taxes on shops, shopmen, taxcarts, clerks, book-keepers, stewards, &c., and on shepherds’ dogs, and market-gardeners' horses.—(See Abstract of the Act, at the close of the volume.)
Repeal of the stamp-duty on all Receipts given for sums under 51.
Repeal of the duty, imposed in 1821, on Raw Cotton.
For other information relative to the measures of Parliament during the year, we must refer to our “ Parliamentary Register," p. 33 to 140, and to our “ Abstracts of the most important Acts” passed by the Legislature.
From the beginning of the year until the prorogation of Parliament, in August, there was but little, except the proceedings of the Legislature, and such matters as have found insertion in our Chronicle of Occurrences, to interest the attention of the public. Indeed, during the whole of the year, the only subjects of absolute excitement have been, the measure to coerce Ireland by unconstitutional powers, and the meetings which have taken place with the avowed resolution of obtaining a total repeal of the Assessed Taxes, or organizing a resistance to their payment. “ The Political Unions” of 1831 and 1832, if not absolutely extinct, appear, happily, to have become almost nonentities in 1833." Our memoranda of noticeable events are, therefore, so scanty and unimportant, as to be unworthy of analysis.
Yet, being "displayed" in chronological order, they may facilitate the reference of those who may wish to seek details in our “ Chronicle."
Jan. 5. The ship Hibernia destroyed by fire at sea, and 150 lives lost.
March -Some ministerial changes.
April and May.—An epidemic termed “ Influenza" prevalent in the metropolis.
May 1.—Sir J. C. Hobhouse resigned his office.
10.-Sir J. C. Hobhouse rejected by the electors of Westminster.
13.-^ riotous meeting in Coldbath Fields, and murder of Culley, a policeman.
16.—Dinner to Mr. O'Connell.
Aug. 31.—A daily mail established between England and France.
Wreck of the convict-ship Amphitrite, in which all on board, except three of the crew, perished.
Wreck of the Earl of Wemyss packet. Sept.—Corporation inquiries. Oct. 19.—Return to England of Capt. Ross and his crew.
Oct. 25.—Much interest excited this day by the seizure of the goods of Mr. Savage, for assessed taxes, and their rescue by the mob.
26. The Sheriffs of London proceed to make levies for assessed taxes, in person.
Nov. 3. Extraordinary rise of tide in the Thames. Nov. 13.—The shock of an earthquake felt at Chichester, 28.—A dreadful hurricane at Liverpool.
To this brief catalogue, it is lamentable to add, that the dastardly system of the destruction of agricultural produce by fire, has prevailed to a considerable extent in the rural districts of Èngland. The “ Chronicle” supplies particulars of the most flagitious cases, as well as the trials and executions of some of the incendiaries.
With regard to the Revenue of the country, it appears, by
"outline” submitted by the Chancellor of the Exchequer to the House of Commons, that, at the end of 1830, the balance in favour of the country, of receipt over expenditure, was 2,914,0001.; but many taxes had been reduced which did not begin to operate till 1831. At the end of that year, there was a deficiency of 700,000l. ; in April, 1832, this deficiency had increased to 1,240,000; but in April, 1833, there was, instead of a deficiency, a surplus of 1,487,0001. The taxes repealed during 1831-32 amounted to 1,709,0001.; and, in 1833, to 1,545,000l. ; total repeal in three years, 3,335,0006. Notwithstanding which, the balance sheet to the 5th of January, 1834, gave a surplus of 1,513,0001. There was no reason to fear any reduction of this surplus; the estimate, therefore, for the ensuing year would be made up at 500,0001. under those of the past year, making a clear surplus of 2,000,0001. The first demand on this fund would be the interest of the West India compensation money, which amounted to 800,0001., and would, therefore, still leave a
disposable surplus of 1,200,0001. No prospect of any further relief to the public, in 1834, was held out by his lordship, except that of a repeal of the house tax; while the landed interest were to be relieved by a commutation of tithes, and an amendment of the poor-laws.
The proceedings of England with regard to foreign powers, will be found in our Foreign History, under the several heads of Holland and Belgium, Russia and Turkey, Portugal and Spain.
IRELAND.—The prospects of Ireland, cheerless as we left them in our last year's volume, became, in the early part of 1833, daily more and more gloomy. The outrageous fury of the population, already uncontrollable, was fearfully increased by the tithe agitation. If the clergyman attempted to receive, or the farmer to pay, the claims of the established church, the latter was immediately served with a notice to withhold his hand, and threatened with assassination if he disobeyed the mandate. As a consequence, the pastor was driven from his home and sacred charge, and the farmer from the land he had long cultivated, and from the stored produce of his industry.
The Irish papers of this date were filled with details of the most revolting atrocities, of which the statements made in the House of Commons on the question of the Coercion Bill will afford but a faint notion. In the Cork Constitution, it is stated,—“ The clergymen are coming into town with their families, to save themselves from assassination. The churches of all such as have been driven to this step for the preservation of their lives are necessarily closed.” The state of Ireland, always deplorable, called loudly at this juncture for some immediate measure of conservation; while Mr. O'Connell was forming the new association of Volunteers in Dublin, and laying down plans for its organization throughout the country, the Whitefeet were committing savage murders with impunity, and the most disastrous scenes of riot and bloodshed were enacting in several counties. The unsettled condition of the people was rendered still worse by vicious political opinions industriously circulated amongst them, and by reports craftily spread with a view to inflame their passions.
In the Report from the Select Committee of the House of Commons on the State of Ireland, it was recommended to give power to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, if a case of violent disturbance of the peace by a Whiteboy Association should actually occur, to issue his warrant for a special assembling of the Court of Quarter Sessions, at a period when, according to the ordinary course of the law, it could not assemble; the court to try all prisoners charged with Whiteboy and other offences below the rank of capital felonies; and to continue to sit by adjournment from time to time until tranquillity should be restored.
At this inauspicious period, the government were proceeding to recover the tithes for 1831, due throughout the different parishes in the county of Wexford.
In the early part of January, a most heart-rending appeal was made to the sympathy and benevolence of the Protestant community of England, on behalf of the suffering Protestant clergy in Ireland. Such was their melancholy condition, that they were compelled to fly from their churches and their homes, to escape the knife of the assassin, while, by a systematic combination, their income was withheld, and numbers of highly-educated, pious, and most exemplary individuals were, with their families, actually without the common necessaries of life. About three years ago combinations began to be formed for the purpose of resisting the payment of tithes. In consequence of this, numerous ministers were altogether deprived of income, and the sum of 60,0001. was at length voted by Parliament as a loan to be advanced to those ministers; the government taking upon themselves the onus of collecting the tithes. When this sum
was first granted, only three or four dioceses were in a state of disturbance; but before the money was actually issued, the disorder had spread throughout the country, and the number of sufferers was so great, that the sum divided did not amount to one-fifth (and in many instances not to one-tenth) of the sum due to them. Some idea of the privations of the clergy may be formed, when it is stated, that many of them, men of deep piety and laborious in their calling, had not been able to expend one penny in a butcher's or a grocer's shop for two years, but had subsisted, together with their families, on potatoes and buttermilk. Others had been obliged to give up housekeeping altogether, and seek a domicile among relatives or friends. Many clergymen had thrown up their Livings; and numbers of them were scattered abroad, either in this country, or in other places, without employment or the means of subsistence. The Archbishop of Armagh (Lord Primate of Ireland), undertook to distribute such sums as might be collected, in relief of the most distressed families, he having himself applied 5001. to this great work of charity. A meeting having been held on the 3d of January, at the house of the Bishop of London, in St. James's-square, to promote a public subscription in this country, the sum of 2001. was received from his Majesty, sums of 100/. from the Queen, the Duke of Cumberland, and the Duchess of Kent; 5001. from the Archbishop of Armagh, 4001. from the Bishop of Clogher; 3001. from the Bishops of Derry and Limerick; 2001. from the Archbishops of Canterbury and Tuam, the Duke of Northumberland, and the Bishop of Ferns and Raphoe. The other prelates, both of England and Ireland, have subscribed sums of 1001. or 501. in proportion to their sees; and were well supported by the inferior clergy and laity. The following subscribed sums of 1001. each: the Dukes of Wellington and Devonshire, Marquess of Waterford, Earl Talbot, Viscount Clifden, Lords Kenyon, Arden, and Bexley, Magdalen College, Oxford, Geo. Byng, Esq. Rev. C. P. Golightly, Mrs. Lawrence, and Joshua Watson, Esq.
On the 18th of January, the self-styled National Council of the Irish Representatives, summoned to meet by Mr. O'Connell, held its first sitting in Dublin. Thirty-two Members of Parliament were present, the Hon. Col. Butler in the chair; Mr. M. O'Connell was appointed secretary. Mr. Staunton read a long report on the finances, &c. of Ireland. This document having been read, the Council discussed several of the topics alluded to in the report. The state of the Irish soap trade, which is said to have been totally destroyed by the Liverpool soap-boilers, called forth much remark. The Council sat again on the 19th, when three other members attended.
But the meeting of the British Parliament, and the measure of coercion reluctantly adopted by the legislature for the pacification of Ireland, speedily extinguished Mr. O'Connell's “ Council,” of which no more was heard. The debates on the question for the application of extraordinary powers for the suppression of disturbances in Ireland, will be found in our “ Parliamentary Register," at considerable length. We have endeavoured to do justice to the arguments urged by the speakers on both sides; the impression they are calculated to produce on our readers as to the necessity of the measure, it would be inconsistent with our neutral compilation to predict.
The “Disturbances' Suppression Bill,” when passed, was