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requires it, to the thwarting of the personal feelings of 1759, the monarch. The glory of his reign arose out of the measures of his ministers, and more particularly of those, who least indulged his predilection for his German dominions. To their stern adherence to public principle was it owing, that the monarch's private affections never did, or to their prudence, that they were never known to the nation to interfere with the public business, influence, or course of justice. The personal talents and endowments of the monarch were avowedly not of a cast either to render himself beloved at home or respected abroad. When he was called to the British throne, his habits and character had assumed a settled form, not very congenial with the freedom and candour of an Englishman. He was proud, diffident, and reserved. His frugality bordered upon avarice. Possessing himself no learning, he despised it in others; he gave no encouragement to talent or literature of any sort. His encomiasts have selected no one great virtue to panegyrize: and though charged with having habitually given into se. veral of the meaner vices, the ungracious function of retailing them may be avoided.

*“ In times full of doubt and danger to his person Mr. Burke's and family, George the Second maintained the dignity George II. of his crown connected with the liberty of his people,

* Mr. Burke, in the soundest and most admirable of his political works written in the meridian glow of his powers, has left a portrait of this monarch more highly coloured than historical justice warrants. (Thoughts on the present Discontents, 430)

1760.

not only unimpaired, but improved for the space

of 38 years. He overcame a dangerous rebellion, abetted by foreign force, and raging in the heart of his kingdom; and thereby destroyed the seeds of all future rebellion, that could arise upon the same principle. He carried the glory, the power, the commerce of England, to an height unknown even to this renowned nation in the times of its greatest prosperity ; and he left his succession resting on the true and only true foundation of all national and all regal greatness ; affection at home, reputation abroad, trust in allies, terror in rival nations. The most ardent lover of his country cannot wish for Great Britain a happier fate, than to continue as she was then left."

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Accession

No prince ever ascended the throne more to the joy 1760. and satisfaction of his people, than our gracious sovereign. He is the grandson of George II. He was of George

III, and his the first monarch of the house of Brunswick who was speech to

the parlia a native of England. In his first speech to the British ment, parliament, he said, “ born and educated in this country, I glory in the name of Briton: and the peculiar happiness of my life will ever consist in promoting the welfare of a people, whose loyalty and warm affection to me I consider as the greatest and most permanent security of my throne: and I doubt not but their steadiness in those principles will equal the firmness of my invariable resolution to adhere to and strengthen this excellent constitution in church and state ; and to maintain the toleration inviolable. The civil and religious rights of my loving subjects are equally dear to me, with the most valuable prerogatives of the crown: and as che surest foundation of the whole, and the best means to draw down the divine favour on my reign,

1760.

Origin of
White Boys.

it is my fixed purpose, to countenance and encourage the practice of true religion and virtue.” In these flattering assurances of the young monarch to the people of Great Britain, Lord Halifax, then lordlieutenant of Ireland, had it in command to declare to the sister kingdom, that his subjects of Ireland were fully, and in every respect, comprehended*. Congratulatory addresses to the throne flowed in from all descriptions of persons : amongst which, none were more remarkable for their good sense and loyalty, than the addresses from the Quakers and the Roman Catholics.

The internal state of Ireland was at this period gloomy from two principal causes: the decline of public credit and the extreme wretchedness of the distressed peasantry. In the general rejoicing at the descent of the crown upon a native monarch victorious in the war, in which he found his people engaged, Ireland alone was doomed to weep. In the southern province of that kingdom great misery produced disturbances in the lowest class of the wretched

peasantry. They were generally catholics; and religion was stupidly or maliciously saddled with the cause of these riots. The insurgents at first committed their outrages at night; and appearing generally in frocks or shirts, were denominated White Boys: they seized arms and horses, houghed the cattle, levelled the enclosures of commons, turned up new-made roads, and perpetrated various other acts of outrage and violence. These un

Com. Journ. vol. VII. p. 13.

fortunate wretches, as is the case in all insurgencies, 1761, raised a popular cry against the rapacity and tyranny of their landlords, the cruel exactions of tithe-mongers, and the illegal enclosures of commons.

Various causes concurred in reducing the peasantry Causes of to this abject wretchedness. An epidemic disorder of the White

Boys. the horned cattle had spread from Holstein through Holland into England, where it raged for some years, and consequently raised the prices of beef, cheese, and butter to exorbitancy; hence pasturage became more profitable than tillage ; and the whole agriculture of the south of Ireland, which had for some time past flourished under a milder administration of the popery laws, instantly ceased; the numerous families, which were fed by the labour of agriculture, were turned adrift without means of subsistence. Cottiers being tenants at will were ever y-where dispossessed of their scanty holdings, and large tracts of grazing land were set to wealthy monopolizers *, who by feeding cattle required few 'hands, and paid liigher rents. Pressed by need, most of these unfortunate peasants sought shelter in the neighbouring towns, for the sake of begging that b.read, which they could no longer earn: and the only piteous resource of the affluent was to ship off as many, as would emigrate to seek maintenance or death in foreign climes. The price then paid 'ior the little labour that was done, kept not pace with the rise of necessaries: it exceeded not the wages given in the days of Elizabeth. The landlords de.

* In the cant of these wretched rioters they were called landpirates.

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