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maintained as a standing army in time of peace. In these trials of party strength, Walpole was opposed by Pulteney, his chief political rival, who long afterwards became minister himself, and Earl of Bath.
A dispute which arose on commercial grounds led to a declaration of war with Spain, in 1739, and eventually to the resignation of Walpole, who was created Earl of Orford on his retirement from the ministry. This war was carried on in the West Indies with little success. In the course of it Commodore Anson made his celebrated voyage round the globe; being the first Englishman who had achieved that voyage since the time of Drake.
In 1742 the country was again engaged in a continental in which England espoused the cause of Maria Theresa, queen of Hungary, who had been deprived of part of her dominions by the unprincipled aggressions of Frederick, king of Prussia. Frederick was supported by France, and the King of England was bound to succour the Queen of Hungary by the terms of a treaty called the Pragmatic Sanction, which guaranteed to the heirs-general of the Emperor Charles the succession to all his dominions. The king himself took the command of the troops which were sent to co-operate with the Austrians in Flanders, and gained the advantage over the French in the battle of Dettingen, 1743. In this battle the king displayed great spirit and courage. His son, the Duke of Cumberland, was defeated by the French about two years afterwards in the battle of Fontenoy. No king of England has commanded an army in person since the battle of Dettingen.
The year 1745 was remarkable also for the chief effort of the friends of the exiled family to recover the crown of England for the descendants of the Stuarts. Charles Edward, the Pretender's eldest son, a young man of prepossessing manners and person, was sent to the Highlands of Scotland; having obtained a sum of money and the promise of assistance from the King of France. He was joined by several of the Highland clans, and through the misconduct of the royalist general, was able to march to Edinburgh. The city opened her gates to him, and his father was proclaimed king. He took up his residence in Holyrood-house, the ancient palace of his ancestors; and at the battle of Preston-pans, near Edinburgh, com
pletely routed the troops sent against him under Sir John Cope. It was then resolved to march into England; and the young Chevalier de St. George (as the prince was generally called) advanced as far as Derby. Great consternation was felt in London: but division had already arisen among the Pretender's few adherents. He was joined by none of the English Jacobites; and found it necessary to give orders for a retreat to Scotland. He reached Carlisle without loss, and from thence proceeded to Glasgow. At Falkirk a gleam of success again shone upon his cause; but at the battle of Culloden, near Inverness, April 16, 1746, his army was hopelessly and completely routed. It is deeply to be lamented that this success of the lawful authority was afterwards disgraced by the most shocking cruelty. The young Chevalier had been joined by the Lords Strathallan, Lovat, Balmerino, Nairn, and others; of whom the greater number suffered on the scaffold. This severity was probably no more than was necessary; but the cruelties which were perpetrated in cold blood in the Highland valleys by the Duke of Cumberland's soldiers were disgraceful to him and to his cause.
The adventures of Charles Edward, after the battle of Culloden, remarkably resembled the perils which Charles II. encountered in his escape after the battle of Worcester, and were in the highest degree romantic and affecting. A reward of 30,000l. was set on the adventurer's head, and he was forced to assume every species of disguise. His secret was necessarily made known to many persons, but was kept with the most admirable fidelity, and he at length reached France in safety. Measures were adopted for preventing any similar revolt in the Highlands, by abolishing the power which the chieftains had possessed, of exercising a species of patriarchal sovereignty over their several clans. From this period we may consider that the hopes of the house of Stuart were completely crushed.
The outbreak of 1745 was the cause of much distress and hardship to those in Scotland who still adhered to their Bishops and episcopally ordained Clergy. Their communion had ever since the Revolution been suspected of Jacobite tendencies; and Acts had passed the Legislature on various occasions during the interval, of a discouraging character. Of the sovereigns who had suc
cessively ruled, Anne had, perhaps, been the only one who had treated them with consideration. But in 1746 and 1748, Acts were passed which rendered the very profession of their creed, and much more the public exercise of divine worship in their chapels, dangerous and penal. Orders conferred by their Bishops were disallowed by the latter of these Acts. It is scarcely possible to imagine at the present day that such a Statute could have passed the British Legislature. But such was the political animosity then prevalent, that it was carried in the House of Commons with but little opposition. In the House of Lords it was carried also, but only by a majority of five. Not one of the English Bishops would support it; and some of them, as Sherlock, Secker, and Maddox2, spoke strenuously against it. Thenceforth for forty-two years, the worshippers belong. ing to this persecuted body were obliged to celebrate their offices of religion with fear and trembling. Lofts of ruined stables, approachable only by trapdoors and moveable ladders, garrets and antiquated apartments, nay, even "dens and caves of the earth," were used as their places of assembling. In the words of the historian of their church, 'the fact that their communion was not utterly extinguished before forty-two years of such darkness passed away, can only be ascribed to the power of principle cooperating with the sense of duty'.'
A general peace was concluded at Aix-la-Chapelle in 1748, and continued for some years. In 1756, however, a war broke out, which is known as the Seven Years' war, from the period of its duration. It arose from the ambitious designs of France in America.
The importance of the colonial possessions of France and England in the vast continent of North America had long been silently increasing; and the French, who were then masters of Canada to the north of the British colonies, as well as of Louisiana to the south, attempted to encroach on the intermediate states, which were then the territory of the British crown. Various acts of hostility had occurred in America before the war broke out in Europe,
2 Sherlock was then Bishop of London, Secker, Bishop of Oxford, and Maddox, Bishop of Worcester.
3 Bishop Russell, "History of the Church in Scotland," vol. ii. p. 406.
where England acted with Prussia in alliance against France, which was supported by Austria, as well as by Russia and Sweden.
An expedition, under Admiral Byng, was sent to the Mediterranean, where the island of Minorca (which had belonged to England since the reign of Anne) was attacked by a French fleet. Byng acted with less spirit than might have been expected from a British admiral, and Minorca was wrested from the English. The admiral was brought to a court-martial, which was so much influenced by the public indignation against this unfortunate officer, that he was condemned and shot on the quarter-deck of the St. George at Portsmouth; a victim to the want of moral courage on the part of the king's advisers, who seem to have sacrificed him to the vindictive temper which had seized the public mind.
At this time Mr. Pitt (afterwards Earl of Chatham) was the most influential person in the ministry, in whose character the want of moral courage was certainly not an habitual defect. The Duke of Newcastle and his brother Henry Pelham had been ministers since the year 1744; but on the death of the latter (an upright and useful servant of the crown) the affairs of the country had been conducted with little energy or spirit till Mr. Pitt acquired the chief control in the government. The Duke of Newcastle and Mr. Fox (the secretary) had opposed the appointment of Pitt, but continued to hold office with him; and under his able direction, the year 1759 was remarkable for the success which was granted by Divine Providence to the British arms by land and sea.
In Germany, where the French had overrun the Hanoverian dominions, their army was routed by the English at the battle of Minden. In the Mediterranean, advantage was gained over the French fleet by Admiral Boscawen : and their naval forces in the Channel were defeated by Sir Edward Hawke. In India also the British arms were at this time successful.
It was in America, however, that the greatest triumph was gained. Quebec, the capital of Canada, was taken from the French under Montcalm, by General Wolfe, who fell in the very moment of victory. As he lay expiring, he heard the cry, "They fly," and asked, "Who fly?" On being
told, "The French," he said, "Then I die content." In the following year Montreal surrendered to General Amherst, and Canada has ever since been annexed to the British dominions.
On the 25th of October, 1760, the king died suddenly in his palace at Kensington, of an apoplectic attack. He had survived his eldest son, and was succeeded by his grandson, who now became George III., in the twenty-third year of his age.
Of the private character of George II., little that is favourable can be said. His manners are described as = having been coarse, and his conversation sensual. His morals are known to have been most corrupt. Whatever was decent about his court for a part of his reign was attributable to his queen.
The Church did not exhibit many symptoms of amendment during so unpropitious a reign. Her preaching was without warmth; her services without order; her richer Clergy were frequently non-resident; and her Bishops were too much inclined to be politicians. Archbishop Secker, Bishop Butler, and the apostolical Bishop Wilson were glorious exceptions; but we speak of what things were generally. The result was, that dissenters multiplied, and earnest-minded men were tempted to seek in irregu larly-constituted societies for that religious encouragement and that field for exertion which they could not find in the Church. This was the origin of the sects which owned Wesley and Whitfield as their leaders, and probably of many others besides; but, as we shall see in the next reign, the Church was thus urged to exertion, to the exercise of her powers, and to a sense of her high commission.
Pope, who lived till A.D. 1744, Thomson, Gray, Akenside, the two Wartons, and Collins, are the chief poets of the era of George II. Hume and Robertson should be mentioned among its historians; Fielding and Richardson among its novelists. Painting could boast of Hogarth, Reynolds, and others; sculpture, of Rysbrach, Roubiliac *, and Willis; engraving, of Strange and Bacon: and music attained, perhaps, its highest perfection under Handel.
4 Rysbrach, Roubiliac, and Handel were foreigners by birth, but the fabric of their reputation was raised in England