- Software name: appdown
- Software type: Microsoft Framwork
- size: 412MB
But far different was the issue of the troubles with his Flemish subjects, which, with an unaccountable folly and absence of good faith, he had excited. He sent into the Netherlands Count Trautmansdorff as Governor, and General Dalton, a brutal Irishman, as commander. The latter ordered the professors of theology at Louvain to give way to the Emperor's reforms, and, as they refused, Dalton turned them out by force, shut up the colleges, and Joseph sent back again the German professors, who had been before recalled, to appease the popular indignation. But the colleges remained empty; not a student would attend the classes of the Germans. As the volunteer corps had disbanded themselves, in reliance on the Emperor's wish, Trautmansdorff calculated on an easy compulsion of the people, and he called on the Grand Council at Brussels to enforce the decrees of the Emperor. The Council paid no regard to the order.But these were by no means the total of the royal troubles at this period. The youngest and most beloved of George III.'s sisters, Caroline Matilda, had been married to Christian VII. of Denmark. This young man was little better than an idiot, and the poor princess was married to him at the age of sixteen. The marriage of this young couple, and their ascent to the throne, were nearly simultaneous; and, contrary to the usual custom of a monarch, it was deemed advisable that he should travel. In his tour he fell in with the celebrated Struensee, a young physician of Altona. Christian VII., like all weak monarchs, must have favourites. Struensee speedily became the perfect master of Christian's mind and actions, and on their return to Copenhagen he was raised to the rank of count, and soon after was made Prime Minister. His enemies were of course numerous, and scandal soon connected his name with that of the queen. All this especially favoured the plans of the base queen dowager, who, in league with the hostile nobles, feigned a plot against the king; obtained from him, in his bed at midnight, an order for the arrest of the queen, Struensee, and others. The queen was seized half dressed. Struensee was executed with especial barbarities; but the King of England interfered to save his sister, and to procure the succession to her son. The unhappy young queen, however, was separated for ever from her two children, and conveyed to Zell, in Hanoverthe same castle or prison where the unhappy wife of George I. had pined away her life. There she died after a few years, protesting her innocence, though Struensee had confessed his guilt.
This fleet had enough to do to cope with Rodney in the West Indian waters. Rodney, as we have hinted, with twenty sail of the line, came up with De Guichen's fleet of twenty-three sail of the line, besides smaller vessels, on the evening of the 16th of April, off St. Lucia. He came into action with it on the 17th, and succeeded in breaking its line, and might have obtained a most complete victory, but that several of his captains behaved very badly, paying no attention to his signals. The Sandwich, the Admiral's ship, was much damaged in the action, and the French sailed away. Rodney wrote most indignantly home concerning the conduct of the captains, and one of them was tried and broken, and some of the others were censured; but they were protected by the spirit of faction, and escaped their due punishment. Rodney, finding he could not bring the French again to engage, put into St. Lucia to refit, and land his wounded men, of whom he had three hundred and fifty; besides one hundred and twenty killed. De Guichen had suffered far more severely. Rodney again got sight of the French fleet on the 10th of May, between St. Lucia and Martinique; but they avoided him, and made their escape into the harbour of Fort Royal. Hearing of the approach of a Spanish fleet of twelve sail of the line, and a great number of lesser vessels and transports, bringing from ten thousand to twelve thousand men, Rodney went in quest of it, to prevent its junction with the French; but Solano, the Spanish admiral, took care not to go near Rodney, but, reaching Guadeloupe, sent word of his arrival there to De Guichen, who managed to sail thither and join him. This now most overwhelming united fleet of France and Spain left Rodney no alternative but to avoid an engagement on his part. He felt that not only our West India Islands, but the coasts of North America, were at its mercy; but it turned out otherwise.
The effects of the growth in our commerce and manufactures, and the consequent increase of the national wealth, were seen in the extension of London and other of our large towns. Eight new parishes were added to the metropolis during this period; the Chelsea Waterworks were established in 1721; and Westminster Bridge was completed in 1750. Bristol, Hull, Liverpool, Manchester, Birmingham, Sheffield, Leeds, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Frome, Dublin, and several other towns, grew amazingly.