9780217012317: Life of Canning

This historic book may have numerous typos, missing text or index. Purchasers can download a free scanned copy of the original book (without typos) from the publisher. 1905. Not illustrated. Excerpt: ... CHAPTER XIII THE STRUGGLE FOR THE PREMIERSHIP AND THE END {February to August iSth, 1827.) The history of Canning's premiership is rather that of the formation of a cabinet than of the work of a ministry. A review of the events leading up to it will explain the position. On January 5th, 1827, died the Duke of York, after Eldon the most steadfast of Anti-Catholic leaders. As the Cabinet ministers waited two hours in St. George's Chapel for the funeral Canning, with his usual thought for others, induced Eldon to stand on his hat to avoid the cold of the flagstones. This incident induced *Tom Moore to write one of his admirable witticisms. But in truth the banter was tragic in its way, for it was literally true. The great opponent of Emancipation escaped harm, its great champion caught a chill from which he never recovered. Canning was so ill from the end of January onwards that he could do little or no business, and only rose from his sick-bed on March 8th, to make one of the most brilliant of all his speeches (unhappily not well reported) in favour of Catholic Emancipation. Unfortunately the motion failed by four votes to pass the Commons, and for the session the Emancipators resigned their hopes. On March 6th a yet more important bill passed the Commons, that on Corn-importation. At this time the corn laws placed an extraordinarily high duty against foreign wheat, with the view of encouraging home agriculture. * You too, ye Britons, had this hope Of Church and State been vanished from ye. Just think how Canning and the Pope Would then have played up Hell and Tommy. At sea there's but a plank, they say, 'Twixt sailors and annihilation. A hat that awful moment lay 'Twixt Ireland and Emancipation, The terrible distress of 1825-6, the depression of trade, and the ve...

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