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Memoir of Francis Hodgson
John Hodgson to Francis Hodgson, 9 April 1810

Vol. 1 Contents
Chapter I.
Chapter II. 1794-1807.
Chapter III. 1807-1808.
Chapter IV. 1808.
Chapter V. 1808-1809.
Chapter VI. 1810.
Chapter VII. 1811.
Chapter VIII. 1811.
Chapter IX. 1811.
Chapter X. 1811-12.
Chapter XI. 1812.
Chapter XII. 1812-13.
Chapter XIII. 1813-14.
Vol. 2 Contents
Chapter XIV. 1815-16.
Chapter XV. 1816-18.
Chapter XVI. 1815-22.
Chapter XVII. 1820.
Chapter XVIII. 1824-27.
Chapter XIX. 1827-1830
Chapter XX. 1830-36.
Chapter XXI. 1837-40.
Chapter XXII. 1840-47.
Chapter XXIII. 1840-52.
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Produced by CATH
Lincoln’s Inn: April 9, 1810.

My dear Frank,—The review of Anstey’s works is at length completed; I hope it will make ten or twelve pages, but it has been written piecemeal and amidst many interruptions, and I cannot pride myself much upon it. However, such as it is, Griffiths shall have it to-night or to-morrow. You have, of course, seen how civil the ‘Critical’ has been to you.

Sir Francis Burdett was taken to the Tower this morning. As he had repeatedly declared, both publicly and privately, that he would not surrender, it was necessary to resort to force.
His house was accordingly invested this morning, between nine and ten, by a large party of civil officers, headed by the Sergeant-at-Arms, and backed by a very strong military guard; and, admission being refused, the door was broken open, and the windows on the first floor scaled. He made no personal resistance, and was therefore conveyed into a carriage, and, attended by a regiment of Horse Guards, was safely lodged in the Tower. As the Guards passed through Fenchurch Street and that neighbourhood the mob grew so troublesome and insulting that they were obliged to fire, and a sort of skirmishing took place, in which one man was killed, and some others wounded. When the service was performed the Guards left the City by the way of London Bridge. I long very much to see the Tower with its ditch filled, guns mounted, drawbridge up, &c.; I hear it looks quite grand.

I cannot quite agree in your opinions of this business. With respect to the commitment of Gale Jones, although I am rather surprised at the existence of such a power, I cannot see any ground to dispute it. All text writers of every age acknowledge it, the most liberal and constitutional judges have uniformly approved of it, and the precedents are as old as there are journals of the House, and
the earliest of them speak of the power as one of the undoubted privileges of the House of Commons. Nor do I see any indiscretion in the exercise of the power in Jones’s case: he was by his own confession guilty, and the publication was of a mischievous tendency. His detention in prison is entirely owing to his refusal to make a proper apology to the House and to petition for his discharge. With respect to
Sir Francis himself, he had admitted the power of the House to commit one of its own members; and surely when they had resolved that his letter was a libel, it was too gross a one to merit anything but the highest punishment they could inflict. It would have been better in my opinion if neither of these absurd publications had been noticed at all; but, as they were noticed, the House was bound to maintain its dignity, and vindicate its ancient and established rights and privileges.

The riots have been very considerable, especially on Saturday night when the Horse Guards were obliged to be very active, and some blood was certainly spilt, but I do not think it clear that any life was lost till this morning. Cannon were planted in Soho, Bloomsbury, and Lincoln’s Inn Squares, and quite a park of artillery opposite the offender’s house in Piccadilly. I understand there are
fourteen thousand troops in London. Meantime
Bonaparte is getting happily married and settled at Paris.

Let me hear from you soon; and believe me dear Frank, yours very affectionately,

John Hodgson.