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TABLE OF CONTENTS.
of Ireland. - Emigration Work. - Reform Bill. The Liar.-Dorsetshire Election.Wigan Election.
No. 1.-To the Labourers of England; on No. 8.-Alterations in the Reform Bill.-State Parliamentary Reform; Instructions for raising Cobbett's Corn; about Truck System and Preston Cock.- Minority on second reading of Reform Bill.-Bloody No.
Old Times. -Scotch Trick and Reform
No. 2.-To Lord Howick, on bis Bill for send-
No. 3.-To all Men who do not like to be duped, on the intentions of the King relative to a Dissolution.-State of Ireland.Envy and Admiration.-The Reform Bill. -Preston Cock's stuff.
No. 4.-Boroughmongers and Hunt.-To the People of Preston.-To Lord Carnarvon. -Real State of Ireland. - Defeat of Ministers.-Curious Proceedings in Parliament.-Mr. Hawkins's speech.
No. 5. To the Readers of the Register.-Pro
rogation of Parliament.-Hunt's profound veneration for the People.-Liberal Whig Prosecution.
No. 6. To the Conductors of the Paris Journals. To the working people of the whole Kingdom. To the Readers of the Register.-Reform Battle.-King and the City. -More of the King.
No. 7.-To the Readers of the Register.Prosecution.-To Lord Grey. -Norfolk Petition.-Alderman Scales.-French Re
9.-Surplus Population, a Comedy in Three Acts.- Elections in Scotland.Fires. - Mr. Northmore.-Ireland. - To Hampshire Fleming.- To the People of Salisbury.
No. 10. To the People of Salisbury.-Famine in Ireland. Surplus Population.-Riots at Whitebaven.-Parsons.-Sir Jas. Graham and Lawyer Scarlett.-Dan. Stuart.-Mr. Hume.
No. 11. To the Readers of the Register.Aristocratical Trickery.-Scotch Morality. -Lying and Malignant Parson.-The Liar. -Literary Hacks.-Insult to the King.Surplus Population.-Famine in Ireland.
No. 12. To the Editors of the Paris Journals. -Liberal Whig Prosecution.-Disturbances in Gloucestershire and Wales.Ireland.-Captain Bouverie.--Church of Ireland. Literary Hacks.-Whig Prosecution.-French State Prosecutions.
VOL. 72.-No. 1.]
LONDON, SATURDAY, APRIL 2nd, 1831.
Kensington, 1st April, 1831.
[Price 1s. 2d.
cannot pass over the present occasion without declaring in this public manner that my partiality in this case arises from the circumstance of JOSEPH and ROBERT MASON, of Bullington, having been transported for life, after having been condemned to death. To relate the whole of the story of these two excellent labourers, will, when I come to discharge, as I shall one of these days, that sacred duty due to defenceless virtue and to truth, the whole of their story, together with that of poor Cooke, of Mitcheldever, whose funeral will be remembered in that parish for ages yet to come; the whole of this story, together with all the interesting circumstances belonging to it, will demand a book; which book, if it shall please God to preserve my life and give me health, I will write and publish.
I ADDRESS myself to the labourers of For the present, suffice it to observe the whole kingdom; but I am particu- that of the two MASONS, JOSEPH, aged larly desirous that this paper should be thirty-two years, having a wife and one read by those of you who live in the child, and ROBERT, aged twenty-four, beautiful valleys of the south of Wilt-unmarried, both natives of Bullingshire, and in the little hard parishes, as ton, where they had lived all their I call them, in the north of Hampshire, lives. They have a mother who beginning at the lower den of Surrey, has been many years a widow, whom and sweeping along over the little dips they always maintained, and kept in the high lands, till you come to from the parish by their labour. They Stockbridge southward, and to Weyhill rented a cottage and three acres and and Coohill northward. I wish to see a half of land at ten pounds a year. you all well off; but those of you who They kept a cow, raised potatoes, turinhabit these parts of the country have nip seed, and used to have a little bit been, as far as my observation has gone, of wheat. This they cultivated themthe most hardly treated; and, therefore, selves. They worked for the neighI am the more desirous to render you bouring farmers; earned their money service. Again, of the numerous pa- by very hard labour; were perfectly rishes in these countries, I select as ob- sober and honest men, and an example jects of my still more particular regard, in these respects to the whole country - the inhabitants of the little bunch of round about; but it was proved that hard parishes in Hampshire, consisting they read COBBETT'S REGISTER, and - of East Stratton, West Stratton, COBBETT'S HISTORY OF THE PROTESTMitcheldever, Weston, Wonston, Sutton ANT REFORMATION; and they were Scotney, Bullington, Barton Stacey, condemned to death, Joseph for being Hunton, and Stoke-Charity. The rea- present, as one of a mob who received sons why I have this very particular two sovereigns from THOMAS DOWDEN regard for the working people of these of Mitcheldever; and Robert for being parishes, I shall have an opportunity of present in the mob who received five more fully stating another time; but I shillings from the parson at Barton
Stacey. This is all that I shall say re-means of the King and his Ministers, lative to these affairs at present, except we are now about to obtain." that I vouch for the truth of the facts 'As long as the Parliament remained here stated; that, when I was in unreformed, there was no hope of betHampshire the other day I went to ter days for the labourer: the farmer see the poor widow, their mother; was unable to give him a sufficiency that I found that JOSEPH's child was of wages without ruin to himself, owing living with her; that JosEen's wife to the enormous burdens which he had was gone to live at service at Barton to bear. The reform of Parliament Farm, Bishop Stocke; and that the will and must diminish these burdens. widow was likely to keep the cottage, It was useless for men to be industrious, her cow and piece of ground, owing to sober, and frugal, while misery was the goodness of the owner, whom I still their lot, in spite of the constant understood to be MR. EDWARD TWIN- practice of these virtues. They laHAM of Witchurch; and here, in these boured in despair; and, therefore, when circumstances, you have the foundation idleness was as well rewarded as inof my most particular anxiety for the dustry, why should they labour? Things well-being of the labouring people, in-will now be changed: we shall have encluding the makers of the ploughs, and couragement to practise care and fruthe makers of the cloths, and the gality. I am about to teach you how makers of the buildings, as well as the tillers of the land, in this little bunch of flinty parishes.
each of you, who has a little piece of
My friends, the working people of England, whether you actually turn up the land or make the implements for doing it with; whether you cut down the corn or the wood, or make the tools necessary for the purpose, or weave or make up the clothing necessary for those who do the work: to the whole of you I now announce with feelings of great joy, that we are now about to have THAT reform of Parliament for which JOSEPH MASON carried a petition to the King, from Bullington to Brighton, signed by about two hundred of the labourers of those little hard parishes, which petition the King did not receive; and I will here add my opinion that, if the King had not been advised not to receive it, but to receive it graciously, there never would have It may be asked, Will a reform of the been a riot in these little hard parishes. Parliament give the labouring man a In that petition, drawn up by JOSEPH Cow or a pig; will it put bread and MASON himself, the King would have cheese into his satchell instead of inseen the true state of the labourers fernal cold potatoes; will it give him a of England. However, the past cannot bottle of beer to carry to the field inbe recalled; we cannot bring back stead of making him lie down upon his yesterday; and, though the two MA- belly to drink out of the brook; will it SONS and many others may be, and put upon his back a Sunday coat I trust will be, brought back to their and send him to church, instead of parents, their wives, and their children, leaving him to stand lounging about let us, in the mean time, make the shivering with an unshaven face and a most of the good which, through the carcass half covered with a ragged
smock-frock, with a filthy cotton shirt demands, and than is necessary to the as yellow as a kite's foot? happiness and honour our country... Will parliamentary, reform put an end There must be, you will understand, to the harnessing of men and women suffering, there must be distress, by a hired overseer to draw carts like created amongst others, in consequence beasts of burden; will it put an end to of doing bare justice to the industrious the practice of putting up labourers to classes. REFORM will create nothing, auction like negroes in Carolina or except that it will not cause the Jamaica; will it put an end to the sys- labours of the country to be more tem which caused the honest labourer to productive: it will not (except in this be fed worse than the felons in the jails; comparatively trifling degree) add to will it put an end to the system which the quantity of bread and meat and caused almost the whole of the young other things in the country. Generally women to incur the indelible disgrace of speaking, it will create nothing that is being on the point of being mothers be- good to man; but, it will cause a diffore they were married, owing to that ferent distribution of every-thing that degrading poverty which prevented the is good. There are millions, yea, fathers themselves from obtaining the lions, who now live luxuriously in idlemeans of paying the parson and the ness, while those who do the work are, clerk will parliamentary reform put or at least have been, half starved. an end to the foul, the beastly, the REFORM will take from the idlers and nasty practice of separating men from restore to the laborious. But, their wives by force, and committing to peaceable reform, that which we all the hired overseer the bestial superin- desire, will not do this all at once. tendence of their persons day and night; From this new distribution the idlers will parliamentary reform put an end to must suffer; and, though the new this which was amongst the basest acts distribution will be perfectly just, juswhich the Roman tyrants committed tice will demand from us that we make towards their slaves? The enemies of the suffering as supportable as is conreform jeeringly ask us, whether reform sistent with our own well-being and would do these things for us; and I with the safety, honour, and welfare, answer distinctly that IT WOULD of our country. For instance now, suppose there to be, in the ten little, DO THEM ALL! hard parishes above-mentioned, some pensioner dead-weight man, sinecureholder, pluralist-parson, Ioan-monger, or any other person living upon the labour of the people; and suppose it to be strictly just, that laws should be passed that would take from him all that he has to live on, it would not be morally just in us to demand such a law; because common humanity would forbid it. We, therefore, who have been suffering forty, nay more than forty years, for fifty, ought now to be patien for a little longer. We see land; and i would be foolish indeed to jump into the sea of confusion and anarchy to reach it, when we know, that, by quietl remaining on board, the ship would bring us to it and land us in safety. B the unnatural, the monstrous system o debts and taxes, the riches and the foo and the raiment of the country hav
been drawn together into great masses. say much, or, indeed, any-thing, to the "Where the carcass is, there will the far greater part of you; and it would. eagles be gathered together." The peo- not have been necessary to say one ple have followed the masses of riches, word to any of you on the subject, had of food and of raiment. The million it not been for the stupid industry of and a half of human beings assembled those who have been living on your in and around London, the swarms got labours, to give you what they call together at Bath, Brighton, Chelten-education; that is to say, book-knowham, and various other places, are ledge, which they have been cramming maintained there by the money, down your throats by the means of food, and raiment, drawn from the their schools and their tracts, all having productive parts of the country. When one and the same tendency; namely, the reformed Parliament shall have di- to make you live contentedly upon pominished the taxes to their proper tatoes, while their tables were covered standard, the money, the food, and the with the best of bread and of meat, and raiment, will remain with those who some of them eating strawberries at a own and cultivate the land, and who guinea an ounce. In this work of ̧ make the clothing, and the houses, and educating, however, they have, without the tools. The swarms before men- intending it, produced a pretty prevationed will and must suffer from this lent opinion that there ought to be an restoration of goods to their right equal distribution of riches as well as owners; and as men when assembled in great bodies make more noise than when they are thinly scattered, the outcry of the sufferers will be dreadful, and especially if the suffering be pushed to its extreme all at once. Reform will be reviled as the cause of all this suffering, the revilers not considering that the beggaring of one fat pensioner puts a flitch of bacon on the rack of two or three hundred labourers. It will be the duty of the Government to do the thing, and it will be our duty to stand by that Government in the doing of it; but, when the actual dispersion of whole masses of people must be the unavoid-state, and the nation would have no able consequence, it would neither be politically wise nor morally just, even if the Government had the power to effect it peacably, to do the thing all at once. Therefore, my friends, let us be patient: REFORM is merely the instrument with which to do the good; and if we have but a little patience, the whole of the good will come. Be patient, therefore, now; prove to those who have insolently called you peasantry and lower orders, that you have sense, and moderation, and humanity, and love of country, if they have none.
With regard to the other topic; namely, the notion that all men ought to be equally rich and live in the same sort of way, it is not necessary for me to
of knowledge; and that all men ought to live in the same sort of way. This, a bare survey of the world will convince you, never can be. If there were no rich farmers, there could be no store of corn or of meat in the country; if there were no gentlemen to be magistrates, there could be neither peace nor property; if there were no legislators of great integrity and knowledge, the country must be torn to pieces for want of laws; if there were no men of great learning and experience, there could be no judges to execute the laws; if there were no statesmen there could be no
means of providing for its independence and safety. If all men were upon an equality in point of means, England would become what the wilds of America are, inhabited by wild men; nobody would work except just to provide food and raiment for the day; and our country would become the most beggarly upon the earth, instead of being what it formerly was (and I hope and trust will be again) the pride of its own people and the envy of the world.
Besides, my friends; besides this impossibility; besides that this inequality in point of riches is contrary to the order of the world and the decrees of God; besides this, I beseech you not to overlook the advantages which