LORD  BYRON  and  his  TIMES
Documents Biography Criticism

Passages of a Working Life during Half a Century
Chapter VIII

Contents Vol. I
Prelude 1
Prelude 2
Chapter I
Chapter II
Chapter III
Chapter IV
Chapter V
Chapter VI
Chapter VII
Chapter VIII
Chapter IX
Chapter X
Contents Vol. II
Chapter I
Chapter II
Chapter III
Chapter IV
Chapter V
Chapter VI
Chapter VII
‣ Chapter VIII
Chapter IX
Chapter X
Chapter XI
Chapter XII
Chapter XIII
Chapter XIV
Chapter XV
Note to Chapter XV
Contents Vol. III
Chapter I
Chapter II
Chapter III
Chapter IV
Chapter V
Chapter VI
Chapter VII
Chapter VIII
Note to Chapter VIII
Chapter IX
Note to Chapter IX
Chapter X
Chapter XI
Chapter XII
Chapter XIII
Note to Chapter XIII
Chapter XIV
Index of Persons
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THE Grey ministry came into power surrounded by circumstances of domestic politics that might well be considered alarming. After the harvest of 1830, there had broken out in the southern agricultural counties what, without exaggeration, may be called a servile insurrection. The ignorance of the labouring population of these districts had become too appalling to be any longer concealed under the most meagre and unsatisfactory attempts of the gentry and the clergy, during the past twenty years, to impart the least portion of knowledge to the young, or to evince any care for the condition of the adults beyond the grudging bounty of the Poor-rate, and an extra dole of bread at Christmas. The thinking portion of the population could not forbear to exclaim,—is it not monstrous, in a country which possesses endowed schools in every town, which has National schools, and Lancasterian schools, and Sunday schools in every village; and, above all, which has ten thousand beneficed clergymen distributed over the whole land, that any such state of ignorance should exist as would lead to rick-burning and machine-breaking?

The outrages of the peasantry in many parishes, especially of Hampshire, Wiltshire, Kent, Berkshire, and Buckinghamshire, had spoken with a voice of
terror to those who had lulled themselves into a shameless neglect of their duty, by the miserable belief that in the intellectual darkness of the labourers consisted their own security from such organizations as the Luddism of manufacturing districts. No vigorous measures had been taken to repress the new-born frenzy of the agricultural slave—the successor of the ancient serf (but without the protection of his lord)—until, on the 8th of December, a circular was addressed by the recently appointed
Home Secretary to the magistracy of the various counties, calling upon them to act with energy and firmness, and to yield nothing to intimidation, either as respected the demand for a uniform rate of wages or the non-employment of thrashing machines. On the 18th of December a special commission was opened at Winchester, when two hundred and seventy persons were arraigned for incendiary acts, or for the destruction of machinery.

The Useful Knowledge Society had, in November, commenced the issue of a small series entitled “The Working Man’s Companion,” to be published occasionally, at the price of a shilling. The first volume, chiefly prepared by Dr. Conolly, called “Cottage Evenings,” was commended by Dr. Arnold, for “its plain and sensible tone;” but he is hard upon what he calls its “cold deism.” He is equally severe upon “the folly” of a little monthly publication conducted I believe by a divine who was afterwards a bishop—“The Cottager’s Monthly Visitor.” At the beginning of December I conceived the possibility of addressing the labourer and the mechanic upon the subject of machinery, by reasoning with them without attempting the slightest distinction between the intellectual
capacity of the poor and of the rich; for in truth upon the question whether machinery had not a tendency to abridge employment and reduce wages, there was nearly as large an amount of error existing amongst the middle classes, and even amongst some of the upper, as amongst those we were in the habit of denominating the working classes. It was not likely that a little book of a sober and argumentative character which contained no appeals to the passions, which rested the strength of its assaults against long cherished prejudices upon a battery of facts, brought to bear on one most vulnerable point, should save a single thrashing machine from the infuriate hand of an unreasoning peasant; but no good seed is utterly thrown away, even if it fall at first upon a barren soil. It would scarcely become me to speak of the almost unparalleled success of
that volume. Some portion of its original popularity may be ascribed to the circumstance of its having being attributed, without the slightest foundation, to the pen of Lord Brougham. Within a month of its publication, at the beginning of January, 1831, I received the formal thanks of the Useful Knowledge Committee, expressed by the chairman of the day, Mr. Spring Rice, who said, perhaps somewhat hyperbolically, that it had effected more good for the repression of outrage than a regiment of horse would have effected in any disturbed county.

The agricultural labourers were not altogether given over to an undiscriminating rage in their Jacquerie. In the neighbourhood of Aylesbury they destroyed all the machinery of many farms down even to the common drills, but they could not make up their minds as to the propriety of destroying a
horse-churn. In the same manner there were artisans in many trades who were equally inconsistent in their hostility to machinery. For example: The bookbinders of London took a similar exceptional view of what they considered the evil of substituting the easier way of getting through work for the harder. They objected to a novelty which had begun to be generally used by the master bookbinders. In a paper, dated the 16th December, 1830, nearly five hundred journeymen bookbinders of London and Westminster called upon their employers to give up the use of a machine for beating books. Books, before they were bound in leather, were formerly beaten with large hammers upon a stone to make them solid. In my little work I said: “The objection of the bookbinders to the beating-machine offers a remarkable example of the inconsistency of all such objections. The bookbinders have a machine called a plough, for cutting the edges of books, which is, probably, as old as the trade itself. A great deal of labour and a great deal of material are saved by this plough. Why do they not require that a book should be cut with a ruler and a penknife?” The journeymen bookbinders, in a pamphlet of thirty pages, published a very elaborate reply to my assertion, that “the greatest blessing ever conferred upon bookbinders, as a body, was the introduction of this beating (more properly rolling) machine; for it had set at liberty a quantity of mere labour, without skill, to furnish wages to labourers with skill.” They contended that the number of journeymen bookbinders out of employ was rapidly on the increase, that the rolling machine was one of the great causes of their distress, and that, commi-
serating their evil lot, some of their employers had agreed to abandon the machine altogether. It may be thought that I have drawn attention somewhat too fully to this instance of short-sightedness on the part of an intelligent body of workmen. I have done so because the progress of knowledge could not have been advanced as it has been during the last half century, had the cost of the material production of books not gone on at a constant rate of diminution, exactly in proportion to the increase of the amount of mental labour also required for their production. Bookbinding is now one of the large manufactures of London, carried on with many scientific applications. The journeymen bookbinders of 1830, in the metropolis, reckoned their entire number as nearly six hundred. In the census of occupations of 1861 we find that in the metropolitan district there were employed in bookbinding three thousand six hundred and ninety-one males and four thousand and sixty-three females. This prodigious increase of employment has followed the introduction of new machines in every department of bookbinding. “We have rolling-machines to make the book solid; cutting-machines, to supersede the handlabour of the little instrument called a plough; embossing machines, to produce elaborate raised patterns on leather or cloth; embossing presses, to give the gilt ornament and lettering. These contrivances, and other similar inventions, have not only cheapened books, but have enabled the publisher to give them a permanent instead of a temporary cover, ornamental as well as useful.”*

* “Knowledge is Power.” 1855.


The “Quarterly Journal of Education” was commenced to be published on the 1st of January, 1831. Although under the superintendence of the Society for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge, I bore, as publisher, the risk of the undertaking. The control of the committee over the various papers was professedly confined to a general superintendence. Within certain limits it was thought useful to allow contributors a free expression of their views. Such a work, whose object was to diffuse a fair and unbiassed criticism on establishments for education, and on the systems and on the books which constitute their real life and existence, was a novelty in this country. There had, indeed, been published for some years, in London, “The Sunday School Teacher’s Magazine and Journal of Education,” but the plan of the work commenced in 1831 was essentially different. “It is the opinion of the committee that the general education of those classes of the community who, from their station in society, have the control over that of the poorer classes, is the most important object to which they can direct their attention. They do not intend to neglect either the statistics of the education of the poorer classes, or the books which are used for their instruction, nor any other fact of any kind that concerns so large a part of the population. But the education of that class, on which depends the education of all the rest, demands their especial attention.”

The “Journal of Education” was regularly continued during five years. When I state that its editor was Professor Long, whose high qualifications as the conductor of any publication requiring learning and general information, I have briefly adverted to: and
when I add that it numbered amongst its contributors men of such eminence as
Dr. Whately, Dr. Thirlwall, and Dr. Arnold, with many heads of schools and teachers engaged in the practical business of instruction, it is scarcely necessary to say that the four thousand pages of which this work consists embrace a mass of information of original value and general interest. They have an historical importance, for in the details of the systems then prevalent in our universities, our public schools, and our establishments for middle-class education, it will be seen that enormous efforts have been made to repair and to reconstruct decayed institutions and systems out of harmony with the character of the age. There was a great work to be accomplished to take the education of all classes out of the hands of incompetent and prejudiced instructors, and to free the young, upon whose judicious training the welfare of another generation would depend, from that discipline which united the extremes of laxity and severity, and that routine which, relying upon forms, so constantly neglected essentials.

As, from the constitution of the Useful Knowledge Society, works on religious subjects were excepted from the critical notices which occupied a considerable part of the Journal, so also any infusion of party politics into its essays or reviews was carefully avoided. There is, however, in the fourth volume a review of Austin’sProvince of Jurisprudence Determined,” which admirably draws the line between political speculations arising out of party debates, and the principles of positive law and government, with reference to the introduction of political instruction into the education of youth. That review was written by the late Sir George Cornewall Lewis,
and it shows how early he had directed his mind to the consideration of practical statesmanship under its highest philosophical aspects. How true it is, even now, in too frequent instances, that “those who have been concerned for many years in the practical administration of government, in discussing the policy of laws, present or future, or in learning or arguing upon the contents and provisions of laws, hold it an affront if any one offers to teach them what government or law is, and, confounding familiar acquaintance with accurate knowledge, think that they understand everything which is not new or strange to them.”

The “Journal of Education” was commenced a month after the accession of the Grey ministry. At the first monthly meeting of the Useful Knowledge Committee following the Christmas vacation, our table presented a scene which lives in my mind as one of national importance. The chambers of the society were then in Gray’s Inn Square; but the accommodation therein was quite insufficient for the company expected at the dinner. We met, therefore, at the Gray’s Inn Coffee House. I well remember talking with Mr. Lubbock about the extraordinary spectacle of so many men of political importance—cabinet ministers, great officers of state and of the law—assembled in frank fellowship with physicians, professors of education, elders of science, astronomers and mathematicians just rising into note in the world of wider limits than Cambridge, and barristers not yet aspiring to silk gowns. It was really very striking to observe how, as it were, by one simultaneous movement, nearly all the committee had come together to hail the triumph
of liberal opinions. Not a word was spoken of politics.
Lord Brougham did not explain how he meant to keep his pledge about Reform. Lord John Russell gave no hint of the scope of the vital measure which the Cabinet was then discussing. It was as practical and common-place a proceeding for confirming minutes and voting small sums for authorship as I ever witnessed. I am not sure whether any new members were elected. I believe it was at another meeting that the proposal of Mr. Hume’s name as a member was evaded by a joke—The great economist would take the dots off the i’s, when a proof came under his correction.

During the month of February one or two came within my observation, as intimates of men in power, who seemed unusually abstracted or unusually volatile. On the 3rd of that month Lord Althorp had informed the House of Commons that the Government plan for amending the representation of the people would be brought forward by Lord John Russell on the 1st of March. The few in the secret talked in this interim with prodigious fluency upon matters in which they felt little interest, like Cinna and Casca debating about the exact point of sunrise when their minds were stirred with the thought of “the dreadful thing” they were to act when the sun had risen. The half confidences, the guesses, the hopes and the fears, the trust and the contempt, which indicated the speculative politicians of either side, were to some a very significant token that a great crisis was approaching.

It is not for me here to indicate, except in the most general manner, the course of parliamentary proceedings on the Reform Bill. The men of influ-
ence with whom I was more immediately connected were far too much engaged to give any marked attention to the ordinary proceedings of the Useful Knowledge Society. In the course of the first stage of the Reform measure there were remarkable separations of ancient friends, and as remarkable unions between men who had been of opposite opinions.
Mr. Macaulay had taken a most distinguished position, in the very earliest debates of the session. Mr. Praed, whose youthful prepossessions, if not convictions, were perhaps even stronger than Mr. Macaulay’s, was diametrically opposed to him; and yet I could not admit that Praed’s maturer opinions were the results of a want of principle, or not feel that he was ungenerously dealt with when one who had been his contemporary in the university, himself taking rank as a man of genius, a poet and a novelist, cast reproaches upon him in Parliament for his opinions when an under-graduate. Yet I could scarcely have expected in those early days of the struggle for Reform that I should have met Mr. Croker and Mr. Praed walking arm-in-arm in the Strand, and each giving me a friendly nod as I passed them. Public men had very soon taken their sides in this great contest, and so indeed had the great body of the middle classes. The majority, however, when they met in the meetings which were held in almost every parish vociferated: “The Bill, the whole Bill, and nothing but the Bill.” During eight weeks of intense excitement, the popular cause was gradually attaining strength without doors, but the opponents of the Government were as steadily gaining ground in divisions upon which the question of a violent or a peaceful revolution depended. At length the king
consented to dissolve Parliament under circumstances of which
Lord Campbell truly writes, that the scenes within the Houses “might convey an adequate idea of the tumultuary dissolutions in the times of the Stuarts.” There was an illumination in London, with a disgraceful but harmless exhibition of mob violence. Windows were broken, amongst others those of the Duke of Wellington, and the great captain thought it prudent to give his mansion of Apsley House something like the aspect of a beleagured fortress.

The results of the elections throughout the country materially strengthened the popular cause. On the 24th of June, Lord John Russell again obtained leave to bring in the Reform Bill. It finally passed in the House of Commons on the 21st of September. After five nights of debate, unsurpassed in the annals of the English Parliament for the utterances of men who were indeed “the top of eloquence,” the House of Lords rejected the Bill by a majority of forty-one. Parliament was again prorogued. Riot and outrage at Derby, and the burning of Nottingham Castle, clouded the hopes of all honest men of either party that the great question might be settled without violence. It was not to be so.

During the proceedings in Parliament of that eventful autumn, I had been occupied in writing a little book that was in some degree a supplement to “The Results of Machinery.” It was originally called “The Rights of Industry;” but is better known by its second title, “Capital and Labour.” It was especially addressed to working men, to exhibit their rights in connexion with their duties by proving that the interests of every member of society, properly understood, are one and the same. “The
more,” I said, “that you perfect in yourselves the character of industrious, temperate, intelligent, and orderly members of the community, the more you will advance the interests of the great nation of which you form so important a part,—and the more you will succeed in obtaining a full share of those national blessings which are the invariable results of Security of Property and Freedom of Industry, established in their just relations to each other by equal laws. Whatever is wanting to the perfection of that balance, must be won by your own steady advancement in knowledge and virtue.”* It had become a matter of grave necessity that from some influential source, such as that of the Useful Knowledge Society, should go forth a popular exposition of the cardinal points of political economy, as far as related to the Production of Wealth. The questions regarding its Distribution were reserved for another possible treatise; but at this time the complicated problem of that Distribution was proposed to be solved by pretended teachers of political economy, who were ranting in popular assemblies about the unequal allotment of riches, and proposing schemes for the “division of property,” whose absurdity rendered them in some degree more dangerous at a time when many of the uneducated were moved rather by passion than by reason. But there was a class in the very lowest depths of ignorance, who were incapable of exercising their reasoning powers, either for good or for evil, upon any abstract question of the relations which held society together in mutual rights, duties, and interests. It was this class that

* Introduction, p. 9.

burnt Bristol on the 29th of October. “Capital and Labour” was ready for publication, when this event called for a conclusion of the treatise, in which I appealed to the great body of the working men of our country, each in his own circle, to put down that ignorant spirit which would make this temple of our once industrious and peaceful island a den of thieves. I thus wrote:

“When the ignorance of great masses of people is manifested by the light of a burning city, the records of that ignorance remain, in ruins which attest the hideous force of lawless violence. If the restraints of order are again set up, the ruins are cleared away; and, slowly, perhaps, but certainly, capital again ventures forth to repair the destruction which a contempt of its rights had produced. But let the spirit of violence long continue to exist in sullen contests with the laws, or in causeless jealousy of the possessors of property, and the spirit of decay is established. Then begins a silent but certain career of destruction, more sweeping and wide-spreading than all the havoc that civil war upon the most fearful scale has ever produced. Houses are no longer burnt, but they become untenanted; manufactories are no longer pulled down, but the sound of labour is heard no more within their walls; barns are no longer plundered to distribute their stores, but the fields are not sown which were wont to produce those stores; roads are no longer rendered impassable by hostile bands, but the traffic which once supported them has ceased; canals and rivers are not dry, but their waters are mantled over with weeds, for the work of communication is ended; harbours and docks are not washed
away by the sea, but the ships that once spread their sails for every corner of the earth lie idly within their bosoms, rotting ‘sheer hulks,’ abandoned to the destruction of the wind and the wave. In the meantime, while all this silent decay goes forward, and many a mouldering pile proclaims that the reign of justice is at an end, the people are continuing to perish from the face of the land. Famine and pestilence sweep away their prey by thousands; and the robber who walks abroad at noon-day selects his victims from the few who still struggle to hide a miserable remnant of former abundance. At length tranquillity is established—but it is the tranquillity of death. The destroyers have done their work;
They make a solitude, and call it peace.*
These, assuredly, would be the consequences of following the blind guides that would break down the empire of property. These advocates of your ‘rights’ would give you weeds instead of corn, skins instead of cloth, hollow trees instead of houses; and when you had gone back to the ‘freedom’ of savage life, and each of the scattered tenants of a country covered with the ruins of former wealth, could exclaim ‘I am lord of the fowl and the brute,’ these ministers of desolation would be able to sing their triumphal song of ‘Labour defended against the claims of Capital,’ amid the shriek of the jackal and the howl of the wolf.”†

* Byron; who translates the passage literally from Tacitus.

† “Capital and Labour,” p. 211. Edition, November, 1831. I should not have introduced this passage, which has especial reference to a condition of ignorance happily passed away, had it


The November of 1831 was a time of national dismay far more intense than any alarm that mob-violence could produce in a country of settled law and government. The Cholera-morbus had come to England. Cases terminating fatally had been reported at Sunderland, and on the 6th of November the people were kneeling in the churches to join in an authorised form of prayer—“Lord turn away from us that grievous calamity against which our only security is in Thy compassion.” The contagion continued to spread throughout the country until, in the middle of February, 1832, cases of cholera were first observed in London. My family were then living at Hampstead, and I had frequently to go to London by the stage-coach. The conversation of the passengers was naturally of a melancholy cast, as indeed was that of all persons in public places or in private circles. The disputes and animosities arising out of the Reform Bill seemed to be forgotten. Instances daily presented themselves as the theme of sorrowful and serious reflection: how the Deputy of a certain Ward had been dining with his Company the day before and was dead in the next afternoon; how another citizen had been taken ill during a journey to the north, and had died at an inn with no relative or friend to receive his last wishes. Examples were given of the impartiality with which the great Leveller performed his work. Some thought that the establishment of a General Board of Health was a wise measure; others that it would be useless, for this new Plague must run its course. Many took

not been omitted in the volume founded upon the “Results of Machinery” and “Capital and Labour,” entitled “Knowledge is Power.”

that selfish view of their own safety which had been recommended by a periodical writer—to isolate themselves entirely from their neighbours, send away all superfluous servants, lay in a large store of provisions, and wait the visitation in gloomy security.

The great body of the British people were of a nobler temper. The rich did not shrink from their duty to the poor; the minister of religion did not hesitate to go fearlessly into the most filthy and pest-breeding districts, to utter the sacred words of hope and comfort; the physician, in this dread assault of a new and mysterious enemy, would rather have been the foremost of a forlorn hope, to encounter many “’scapes in the imminent deadly breach,” where the victims were lying in heaps, than sit in his easy-chair to wait for the fees of frightened great ones. This visitation left the people sadder and wiser. They learnt the value of some of the great principles upon which the public health depended, and from that time there grew up a respect for sanitary regulations which had once been scouted as absurd and effeminate. In the series of the “Working Man’s Companion” we did not neglect the occasion for combating popular errors of a social character, of inculcating the great private duties of cleanliness and temperance as regarded ourselves and our families, and of active benevolence and sympathy for our fellow-creatures. Dr. Conolly’s little book on Cholera was a model of what a popular treatise on the preservation of health ought to be—not leading the delicate and the hypochondriacal to fancy they can prescribe for themselves in real illness; not undervaluing medicine, but showing how rarely is medicine necessary when the laws of nature are not habitually
violated. Of the fatal epidemic that had come amongst us this wise and kind physician spoke with confidence of its speedy removal, under God’s providence, in a condition of society where the principles of cordial brotherhood should more prevail than the miserable suggestions of selfish exclusiveness; where in fact the safety of the upper classes depended upon the well-being of the lower. From the permanent blessing of that cholera-time—a blessing which it left behind instead of a curse—it grew, that the public health became one of the chief cares of the Government. A machinery was gradually organized, under which the effects of any pest can be removed or mitigated; and, what is of more importance, that the constantly present causes of disease should be grappled with—that typhus should be prevented as sedulously as cholera. Thus it has arisen, out of the calamity of 1831, that the whole body of the people have been elevated in their condition, and that the duration of life in England has reached an average which the Tables of Mortality of the last generation could not contemplate.

Parliament had re-assembled in the first week of December, and on the 12th Lord John Russell introduced a new bill for Parliamentary Reform. The first and second bills had been founded upon the census of 1821, in regulating the disfranchising clauses of boroughs with reference to the amount of the population. The results of the Census of 1831 were now to furnish a much safer guide. In addition to this essential change, the boundaries of many towns were carefully surveyed, and populous districts were included in boroughs, of which they had previously formed no portion. The superintendence of
this most important operation was confided to
Lieutenant Thomas Drummond, of the Royal Engineers. He had been previously distinguished, when a very young man, by his beautiful invention of what is now known as the Drummond Light, which was of material use in the survey of Ireland, wherein he was employed. Lord Brougham, it is said, had a hard battle to fight in the Cabinet to carry his point of intrusting the responsibility of arranging the boundaries of boroughs to one unaccustomed to administrative functions. But Lieutenant Drummond’s eminent abilities fully vindicated the perseverance of the Chancellor. I saw little during the passing of the Reform Bill of him who had won this confidence; but I had frequent communications with him when he became Lord Althorp’s private secretary. No one who had business with him could fail to see the quickness of his perceptions, and the soundness of his judgment. Becoming Under-Secretary for Ireland, in 1835, he seemed, in his comprehensive plans for railways and for social improvements arising out of them, to bid fair to become the true Liberator of the sister island, who would build her happiness upon the cultivation of her great material resources. His death, in 1840, cut short this hope. The Reform Bill, thus improved in its machinery but rendered less effective, some thought, in its vital changes, was passed in the House of Commons, on the 19th of March. The bill was then passed in the Lords by a majority of nine; but it soon became manifest that its efficacy would be materially impaired as it went through the committee. Ministers were in a minority in that committee.

A crisis had come. The King refused to create
peers, and
Lord Grey resigned. For one week the country was almost without a government. It was understood that the Duke of Wellington had failed in forming an administration which would adopt some comprehensive measure of Reform according to the wish of the King. In a week Lord Grey was again in power. But that interval was one of intense apprehension in London, and of more fears of popular outbreaks in the great provincial towns. When it was heard that a regiment of cavalry quartered at Birmingham had employed the Sunday in sharpening their swords, it was time for all good men to strive to avert the omen of a bloody revolution, instead of a peaceful Reform. The compromise by which this good was effected was such as the long training of Englishmen in political contests, which do not mean civil war, could alone have accomplished. The Reform Bill became the law of the land.

The Parliament was dissolved. A new Parliament was to be elected upon a broader basis. Large bodies of men throughout the country were to participate in the franchise, and for the first time to put on the rights and duties of electors. Everywhere there were candidates giving pledges. Everywhere electors new to the office had to learn the difference between representatives and delegates. Then was called forth all the mysterious machinery by which, in ancient cities and boroughs, elections had been wont to be carried. For myself, I had never taken any part in civic proceedings, but having met Sir John Key, the Lord Mayor, at a public dinner, he asked me when the company was separating, to go with him where I might witness a curious scene. At a tavern of no very elevated character, near the King’s printing
office, we were ushered up-stairs. The door of a large room was thrown open; the waiter shouted out “The Lord Mayor;” there was a violent rapping of tables, but nothing could be seen, for a dense cloud of tobacco-smoke filled the whole space. Sir John Key was led to a place of dignity, and I was seated at a crowded table. As the smoke cleared away I saw a well-known tailor of Fleet Street elevated on a chair of state, with a silver chain round his neck. On his right hand sat
Mr. Grote, the eminent banker, and now more eminent historian. Sir John Key was placed on the chairman’s left hand. They were the Liberal candidates for the City. I was soon made acquainted with the nature of the honourable society into which I was thrown, for, with all due formalities, I was made a member of the Lumber Troop, in whose records could be traced, I was assured, their origin at the time of the Spanish Armada, as an integral portion of the Train Bands. This distinguished corps had not to go forth, as of old, against the fierce Rupert in his march upon London; their duty was to preserve such an organisation as would give them a voice potential in the representation of the City, which power I might be assured they would be ever ready, as at the present time, to exercise in the cause of freedom and of progress. It was not for me to express my belief that a little honest conviviality might have had as much effect in keeping them together, as any abstract devotion to the high principle by which the Londoners had of old maintained their liberties.