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occasion, because we are reserving the most material of them for another and a more important occasion, when if Providence shall spare us, we shall bring out to public view, in one connected series (on which we have long intently been engaged), the whole of the dark and damning government plots, since the trial of Watt in 1794, who, as some of our readers may remember, was executed at Edinburgh, for High Treason, because he bungled, in his excess of zeal, the secret instructions given to him by a then Secretary of State, whose descendent is at this moment one of the pensioned "hereditary Lords" of Scotland, and, of course, an inveterate enemy of Reform, But it is necessary before we take up our ground, with the case of Andrew Hardie, &c,, to direct the attention of our readers for a little to a brief summary of the political transactions, which occurred in Glasgow, in the year 1816, downwards, without which, we are satisfied, the case of Hardie could not be properly understood, or fairly considered. And here, we may as well observe, that in speaking of the case of Hardie, we wish our readers to understand, that we include the whole of the unfortunate individuals convicted with him at Stirling, in 1820..


It happens fortunately for us that Richmond, the scoundrel to whom we have already alluded,-published a book in 1824, entitled, "Narrative of the Condition of the Manufacturing Population, and the Proceedings of Government, which led to the State Trials in Scotland, &c., and to the Execution of Thistlewood and others, for High Treason, in 1820," And we take from it the following excerpts, which are, perhaps, the only sensible truths he ever promulgated. The very devil, we are told, can sometimes quote scripture to advantage, "No sonner(says Richmond, p. 50.) was the fate of that extraordinary man (Napoleon Buonaparte) sealed for ever;-ere yet the grass grew upon the graves of our country men, who had fallen to restore Europe to the fostering and parental care of legitimate thrones; and while yet the sound of the blood-stained laurels of Waterloo was reverberating from one end of the empire to the other; our merchants were bankrupts; our artizans and mechanics were starying, and betraying an 'ignorant impatience' of the misery they were suffering. The hopes entertained on the opening of the American ports in the beginning of 1816, proved equally fallacious; and in the summer of that year, the distress had become so great, that a general outcry was raised for the reduction of the public burdens. Many attributed a great part of the evils we were suffering to the defects in our system of national representation, and almost all who were friendly to Reform, considered it a favourable opportunity for agitating the question, when we were at profound peace with all the world. Scotfand had her full share of the calamity and distress, and participated in the discontents arising out of them; while the absence of all popular representation made the theoetrical errors of her political institutions more palpable and open to the attacks of those who considered the evil to have its origin in that source. Glasgow, the focus of manufactures and of misery, as might be expected, took the lead in agitating the question; a committee was formed, and an application made to the Magistrates to grant the liberty of the Trades' Hall, to hold public

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meeting to Petition the Throne and both Houses of Parliament, for Retrenchment and Reform. This application was peremptorily refused; and a similar one, made for liberty to meet in the Public Green, met with no better success! Hitherto, large popular meetings for political purposes were almost unknown in Scotland; but this attempt to deprive the people of the very right of making their complaint and declaring their opinion, exasperated them to the highest degree, and produced a general popular ferment. Official robes are not always found to cover the highest attainments, and like the veiled prophet of Khorassan, the influence of the wearers frequently depend more upon the power they have of concealing them from the gaze of vulgar eyes, than an intellectual superiority. Accordingly, the persons who held the discussions with the Magistrates on that occasion, did not find them capable of taking the clearest of all possible views of civil rights, nor possessing a very accurate knowledge of the feelings and conditions of the people.

"The opposition of the Magistrates had a direct tendency to stimu. late to greater exertions. A field was procured in the vicinity of Glasgow, (Thrushgrove, the property of Mr. James Turner,) and on the 29th of October, 1816, a meeting was held, which was attended by upwards of 40,000 persons. There the conduct of the Magistrates was freely animadverted upon, † and the idea conveyed, by such an assemblage, operated upon the imagination of the people, like a shock of electricity. Resolutions in favour of Retrenchment and Reform were carried by unanimous acclamation !"

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We may, in addition, observe, that public meetings for similar purposes were soon afterwards held, almost in every considerable town in the empire, and that the spirited resolutions passed at many of them, began to give great offence to the government.



"Alexander Maconachie, Esq., now Lord Meadowbank, was then Lord Advocate; and the late James Wedderburn, Esq., SolicitorGeneral for Scotland. Being but lately appointed to office, they had very little experience, and no very high opinion was entertained of their capability, either by the Ministry, or the local Magistraey. Robert Hamilton, Esq., Sheriff-Depute of the County of Lanark, had a good disposition, but was in bad health, and did not possess the general qualifications and activity to be efficient in such a situation, particularly in difficult times. And the Lord Provost, for the time being, (James Black, defunct,) with the whole Magistrates of Glasgow, was equally Mr. Kirkman Finlay then occupied a seat in the House of Commons; all the Magistrates looked up to him, and 13. eu? a pain

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The persons, we believe, who held the discussions with the Magistrates were James Turner of Thrushgrove; William Lang, Printer; and John Russell, late Merchant, who was a witness for Thomas Muir on his trial in 1798. The Magistrates were, James Black, Lord Provost; William Leckie. Joshua Heywood, Robert Haddow, Robert Austin, and John Machen, Bailies; James Ewing, Dean of Guild; Robert Ferrie, Deacon Convener.

+ No wonder.-For although the authorities refused to allow the meeting to be held in the Trades' Hall, they actually let that place during the same week to a strolling player, from the Continent, for exhibiting a live Salamander!



were under his influence. He filled no official situation, but in consequence of the generals imbecility, in conjunction with James Reddie, Esq., Advocate, assessor for the city, he had de facto the whole local government; and in adition to the regular channel of communication with the Law Officers of the Crown, 'corresponded directly with Lord Sidmouth, the Home Secretary of State. gong out Such(says Richmond) was the state of the country at the end of 1816." Having thus referred to Richmond's Narrative," published in 1824, and which, we understand, was soon afterwards brought up or suppressed, it is proper we should now state that that consummate villain only published it, as indeed he unblushingly states, when he found that Lord Sidmouth and the other authorities did not reward him with so much money, as he thought he had a right to expect," for his services." We shall see by and bye what some of those services were. Our readers need entertain no doubt of the fact, that he was, to all intents and purposes, a government spy. We have it from his hown" Narrative," that he was in the pay of government from 1816 to 1820. But we are particularly anxious at present to show his connexion with Mr. K. Finlay, agreeably to a promise we elsewhere sometime ago made, and to the performance of which we have oftener than once been challenged, as if we had either forgotten the promise itself, or had not the courage to abide by it. Towards Mr. Kirkman Finlay we have no enmity. As a private gentleman we are bound to respect him. But his public conduct, like that of any other man, is liable to public review, on which ground alone we now claim a right to attack him, as well as others.

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We are enabled to trace Richmond into Mr. Finlay's company within a few months after the Thrushgrove meeting in 1816,-a meeting, we forgot to state, which Andrew Hardie attended, though he took no prominent part in its proceedings. Richmond thus describes the first political conference he held with Mr. Finlay. The meeting of Parliament was approaching, and exertions were making in every part of the country to have petitions for Reform ready to be presented as early as possible after the opening of the Session (1817). It was in contemplation to request Mr. Finlay to present and support the prayer of the petition from Glasgow, and to this subject he turned the conversation. After some general remarks on the prevalence of opinions in favour of Reform, he, in a very imposing and emphatic manner asked me to answer him, upon my honour, if I was not aware of the existence of an extensive and widely spread secret conspiracy, for the avowed purpose of overturning the government? I solemnly assured him I was not; nor did I believe any thing of the kind existed in Scotland, and, at all events, if it did, it was unconnected with the proceedings of the Reform party, every thing they intended being openly and publicly avowed,"&c. "He then assured me that government had the most positive and undoubted information of the existence of such a conspiracy, although they did not then know all the particulars, but were certain that many thousands in Glasgow and its neighbourhood were engaged in it; that he believed there might be many things wrong in our system


of government, but there was no possibility of amending them by such means that relying on my good sense and general knowledge of the population, he made the communication to me, it being in my power to render a most important service to society, and a duty incumbent on me to use my influence, and make every exertion to suppress it. I observed I was still sceptical as to its existence that I was equally convinced with him of the absurdity and utter hopelessness of doing any good by such means that I considered nothing could better serve the purpose of the Ministry, and those opposed to every species of Reform, than such an attempt, as it would serve as a pretext for throwing discredit on its advocates, and quashing the demand then so generally made." Richmond adds, "The Reform committees were now keeping up an active correspondence, but I was certain that nothing of a secret nature was mixed up with their proceedings. In the City of Glasgow the parties engaged in the active management were men in business, and the greater portion of them respectable in their situations in life; with all of them I was acquainted; knew every proceeding, and their general knowledge and information I considered a sufficient guarantine that they would not embark in any desperate attempt," &c. ...Now, in the present investigation, it is of the utmost importance to attend to dates. Richmond, who was bred a common weaver, had some years previously (1813) been indicted, with a great many others, before the High Court of Justiciary, as accessary to a combination for raising -weavers' wages, &c. Mr. Jeffrey, the present Lord Advocate of Scotland, and Mr. Cockburn, the present Solicitor-General of Scotland, were retained as Counsel for the accused. Both of those excellent leminent men felt deeply for the distressed situation of the poor weavers, and humanely offered to assist them, as far as lay in their powerswilt was thought prudent for Richmond, at that time, not to face this indictment, but to leave Scotland, and allow himself to be outlawed. This course he followed, but he returned soon afterwards to Pollockshaws, in a state of abject poverty, and presuming on the former humane offer of Mr. Jeffrey, Richmond, it seems, wrote to him on the 3d of December, 1816, representing his situation, and supplicating pecuniary assistance. To the honour of Mr. Jeffrey, who, we presume, little dreamt, at that time, that there would be such a revolution in politics, as would place him in the high station he now occupies, though that station is not greater than his transcendent abilities justly entitled him to, he, on the receipt of this letter of Richmond, -which many would have treated with indifference, just because it invoked an act of charity, held a consultation with his friend, Mr. Cockburn, and they actually entertained the generous intention of procuring a bank credit for Richmond, to the extent of several hundreds of pounds, with the view of enabling him to commence business on his own account, as a manufacturer in Glasgow, thinking that his abilities, (for he was really a clever fellow,) were better adapted to such a situation, than that of a common weaver. On the 8th of December, 1816, Richmond was honoured with a letter from Mr. Jeffrey, stating, that he (Mr. Jeffrey) had that day written to Mr. Kirkman Finlay, and




Mr. Henry Monteith, who were at the head of the manufacturers of Glasgow, in his (Richmond) behalf, and suggesting to Richmond the propriety of calling upon them to state his own views, as early as possible. "Accordingly (says Richmond), I called upon Mr., Finlay, a day or two after, who received me in a very flattering manner: He entered into all the minutiae of my business, but thought it would be more advisable for me to obtain some respectable situation, such as my abilities and perseverance enabled me to fill, and to procure which, he was ready to lend all the assistance in his power." It then occurred to Mr. Finlay, that Mr. Owen, of New Lanark, wanted à person to superintend his establishment, and he offered to introduce Richmond to that gentleman, in his (Mr. Finlay's) own house in Queen-street, on the following morning. "I accordingly (says Richmond) attended at the time, and was introduced by Mr. Finlay to Mr. Owen. Mr. Finlay left us alone, and we spent several hours together, Previous to Mr. Finlay leaving us in the morning, he requested me not to leave his house until his return, as he was anxious to have some particular conversation with me, after my interview with Mr. Owen had terminated." This was the political conversation we have previously detailed, regarding the "secret conspiracy to overthrow the government," of which, if we can believe Richmond, Mr. Finlay assured him, that government "had the most positive and undoubted information of the (then) existence of such a conspiracy."

We have been thus minute in these details, for the purpose of fixing the date of Richmond's first political interview with Mr. Kirkman Finlay a point, as our readers will soon see, of the utmost consequence to this investigation. And since Richmond admits, that he received Mr. Jeffrey's letter, on the 8th of December, 1816, and that he called on Mr. Finlay " a day or two after," when the above conversation took place, we presume we are quite justisfied in saying, that the converation must have taken place on the 10th or 11th of December, 1816. Richmond, without entering into further detail at this preliminary stage of his connexion with Mr. Finlay, significantly adds, "the communication he (Mr. F.) then made, produced the most serious consequences to me, and involved matters of no slight public interest."

"On the 18th of December (says Richmond), I went to New Lanark, where I remained till the 22d. During the time I continued with Mr. Owen, we went over the whole practical and theoretical details of his system. The visit gave mutual satisfaction, and it was agreed that I should take the charge of conducting the new arrange-ments he contemplated, the amount of salary alone being left undetermined. Mr. Finlay requested me not to close finally with Mr. Owen during my visit, and wished to see me immediately on my return.<I called upon him the same evening, and after disposing of the subject of my visit to Mr. Owen, he recurred to public affairs. He said they had made no progress in gaining information during my absence-(a statement which clearly implies, that Richmond and Finlay understood each other pretty well before,) and the consternation and alarm were daily increasing among the higher classes, in consequence of the threats


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