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now distinctly avowed herself ari advocate for reforming the parliament, and I congratulate you and the country at large, on so powerful an acquisition to our cause. It will naturally bring over hundreds that shrunk back from timidity, or a less honourable motive, because it was not fashionable among the higher class, or those possessing property to a great extent. The Queen is an avowed Reformer'; she has told the King plainly, that both Houses of Parliament are corrupt, and thai she will not respect their decisions if they are made against her. The female Reformers in your neighbourhood may now pride themselves with so distinguished a head, and expect that every virtuous female in the country will follow the example so well begun and supported by the females of the north.
Although I should, as I have before said, regret to see any yiolent attempts used for the abolition of any established custom, still I will never cease to do what I have continued to do hitherto, namely, to point out the absurdities of the monarchical system of government, and to shew that it is rather a disgrace than an embellishment to an enlightened nation. We are apt, and much too apt, to applaud whatever was done by our ancestors; but it unfortunately happens that the power of the press was not so extensive formerly as at present, and that we have only had the fair side of history handed down to us: but, in addition to the picture of monarchy I lately printed in the Republican, I can now bring forward a few documents to shew that its absurdity was as great, or more só,
500 years since, than at present. It has ever been the same thing, and ever will be whilst it continues; it may change a little with the change of the times, but its fundamentals are immutable. It was formerly admitted that the King was sovereign lord of all the land in the kingdom, and every one held his lands by some tenure or by the performance of some service, and some of these offices were not a little ridiculous and brutal. I shall mention a few, but must first apologize for the contents, and beg that it will not be considered as indecent in me to revive them, but rather that I bring them forward to elucidate the absurdity of monarchy, past and present. The following are a specimen of tenures:
Rowland de Sarcerre held one hundred and ten acres of * land in Hemingston, in the county of Suffolk, by serjeanty; ' for which, on Christmas-day every year, before our sovereign
lord the King of England, he should perform, altogether, and at once, a leap, a puff, and a fart; or, as Mr. Blount has it, he should dance, puff up his cheeks, making therewith a sound, and let a crack; and, because it was an in
decent service, therefore it was rented, says the record, at "1. 6s. 8d. a-year, at the King's Exchequer.'
One Baldwin, also, formerly held those lands by the same service, and was called by the nick-name of Baldwin le Pettour.'
“ Solomon Attefeld, held land at Keperland and Atterton, in the county of Kent; that as often as our lord the King crossed the sea, the said Solomon and his heir ought to go along with him, to hold his head on the sea, if it was needful.
" John Compes held the manor of Finchingfield in the 6 county of Essex, of Edward III. by the service of turning the spit at his coronation.'
Robert Testard held certain land in the town of Guildford, by serjeanty of keeping the whores in the court of our lord the King'
« Thomas de la Puile, holds one serjeanty in the town of & Guldeford, of the gift of Richard Testard ; for which he formerly used to keep the laundresses of the King's • Court."
William Hoppeshort holds half a yard-land in the town of • Bockhampton, in the county of Berks, of our lord the King; by
the service of keeping for the King six damsels, to wit, whores, at the cost of the King. This was called pimp6 tenure.
• Robert de Gatton holds the manor of Gateshill, in the county of Surry, by the serjeanty of being marshall of ! twelve girls who followed the King's Court.
Hamo de Gatton holds the manor of Gateshill, in the 6 county of Surry, of our lord the King; by serjeanty of being marshall of the whores, when the King should come
into those parts. And he was not to hold it but at the will of the King
The above are rare specimens of the virtues of those times. Many persons are apt to cry out that we are degenerated and more vicious than our ancestors; but the above extracts must convince any reflecting mind as to what was the state of this country for virtue and chastity in those days. We are too apt to idolize the past and to condemn the present. I shall now, by a few more extracts, shew that a king in those days fared no better than a king's horse in the present, neither was there much more expense in keeping him. It will be seen that kingcraft like priestcraft, has been a growing evil; but, thanks to the printing-press, both are near the close of their career.
Peter Spileman paid a fine to the King for the lands which
'the said Peter held by serjeanty of finding an esquire with a
hambergell, or coat of mail, for forty days in England, and of finding litter for the King's bed, and hay for the King's palfrey, when the King should lie at Brokenerst, in the county of Southampton.
Here we see the king rode about the country on a palfrey, and not as at present, in a bullet proof coach surrounded by guards with drawn sabres! I wonder what George the Fourth would say to a litter or bed of strau?
• William, son of William de Alesbury, holds three yardJands of our lord the King, in Alesbury, in the county of Bucks; by the serjeanty of finding stravo for the bed of our lord the King, and to straw his chamber, and by paying three eels to our lord the King, when he should come to Alesbury in winter. And also finding for the King, when 'he should come to Alesbury in summer, straw for his bed, and moreover grass or rushes to strew his chamber, and also paying two green geese; and these services aforesaid he was to perform thrice a-year, if the King should “happen to come three times to Alesbury, and not oftener.
John de Curtese held thirty acres of land in Stow, in the county of Cambridge, by the serjeanty of carrying a truss of hay to the necessary-house of our lord the King, when the King passed through those parts.'
From this last paragraph, it would appear that a king was not so extravagant as to use fine paper or napkins in the necessary-house! Chesterfield recommends his son to keep a book, that is worth reading, for the purpose, but to be sure and not sacrifice a leaf until he has well read it. A very good and useful recommendation. The object of Lord Chesterfield was to enforce on the mind of his son the importance of time, and that it was imprudent to waste those few minutes without reading something. The many foolish services performed at a coronation have been so fully before the public of late, that it would be superfluous to notice them here.
But, however, to return to my subject, I beg leave to say, that I am no advocate for any act of violence being committed on any individual who might fill the office of king. If the representatives of the people thought proper to decree the extinction of that office, well and good, it must be obeyed. I should deem it a strong proof of their wisdom, and I should think the individual who held the office might think himself well off, if he had an estate given him as a private country gentleman in the country afterwards. I think that the putting to death the King of France and his wife and sister, was a
great stain on the French Revolution, and tended more than any thing else to destroy the republic. A nation properly represented in parliament has nothing to fear from the intrigues of an individual; even if he was found carrying on any intrigue, it would be easy to banish him from the country whose government he attempted to disturb. Contempt is the greatest punishment you can bestow on such creatures, if they are disagreeable and troublesome: if you deprive them of life, you have immediately a host of weak minds treating them as martyrs, and cursing the power that destroyed them. Spain has set us a noble example on this head, and I hope that this country will be found equal to improving upon it.
Do not mistake me as advocating the continuance of monarchy, I say distinctly, I would have that species of government abolished: but I would have that abolition effected by the united voice of the nation in parliament assembled. Look to your present King: it is unquestionable, that all the persecution which the Queen has suffered, has been the effect of his disposition towards her. It is not like an ordinary case in politics and government, where his ministers become justly responsible for the result of their measures; but here it is evi. dent, that they have seized this opportunity to pamper his vicious appetite, merely because it gives them an additional hold on place, and makes the danger of changing the administration as common to the King as themselves. The King and his ministers have staked their lives and fortunes together, and have resolved to stand or fall with each other. Theirs is become a joint interest, and you will never see it separated; it may be extinguished. You will bear in mind, that whilst the body of George the Third lay unburied, the present administration, with but one or two exceptions, tendered their resignation rather than impeach the Queen at once; and the present King went so far as to say, that he must have a new set for the purpose; and you may rely on it, that if he could have found a more unprincipled set than the present, he would have had them for the purpose ; but on examination and reflection there were none such to be found; and the King by retracting a little, and the present ministers by conceding a little, were again united, with the understanding that lier Majesty should not be crowned nor reside in this country. Every effort that could be devised was used to keep her out of the country: her Majesty might have brought the ministers to any terms on that score. They would have restored her name to the Liturgy, they would have acknowledged her full right and title at all foreign courts ; in fact, they would have stuck at
nothing to have kept her on the Continent. Her return to England has baffled them, it has sealed their degradation and punishment; they are desperate but impotent. The voice of the nation is against them, and they will struggle like exhausted and ship-wrecked mariners against the fury of the wave, and finally sink to rise no more.
In closing my letter I shall confine myself to the object of the address, the massacre of St. Peter's-field. This circumstance has convinced us that those, who are resolutely bent on reforming the government, cannot obtain justice from the hands of those who administer the laws and the affairs of that government, whatever outrages they have to complain of, or whatever the extent of injury suffered. This has been fully verified in the levity, which our judges, magistrates, and coroners, have thrown on the case of those who were murdered on the fatal 16th of last year, and those who were cut and maimed. They have treated the circumstance throughout as if the persons had fallen by a foreign enemy, or as if they themselves had been foreigners invading this country with arms and an hostile intention. A more scandalous affair has not been recorded in the annals of this country than the Oldham Inquest on the body of John Lees. It was a complete setting aside the law to screen a set of murderers, whose guilt was as apparent as the moon which I now behold in a brilliant view, or as the candle which burns before me. It would be desirable to ascertain how many had been buried without an inquest, and who were the jurymen, and what the name of the coroner who presided at those sham inquests which were held in Manchester. While Manchester exists as a town, and a member of its yeomanry cavalry corps is in being, we must not give up the idea of bringing them and their abetters to condign punishment. To forgive would be to partake of their crimes. If law had been any thing more than a snare for the unwary in this country every one of those monsters would have forfeited his life e'er this.
I need not recite the tale of woe to rouse, your feelings on this subject, you must be daily and hourly meeting with objects to bring them to your recollection: but be assured that the whole of that business is fresh in the mind of every honest man and woman in the country, and although the case of the Queen is become more particularly the subject of conversation, yet we shall no sooner see this business ended, than the Manchester murders will blazon from every tongue; particularly if the Queen defeats her enemies. The imprisonment of Mr. Hunt and your neighbours Johnson, Healy, and Bam