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The benevolent exertions of Lord Stanhope on behalf of the Society of Friends were, in 1796that is, six years laterrevived in the House of Commons by Mr. Serjeant Adair. He stated that seven of the people called Quakers were prisoners in the gaol at York for not paying tithes, and unless some alteration in the laws on that subject took place, they might lie there till they died. In fact, one of these Friends, named Joseph Brown, did die in the prison, and his death is the subject of a poem by James Montgomery. Mr. Serjeant Adair moved, on the 26th of April, for leave to bring in a Bill to extend the provisions of the Act 7 and 8 William III., by which tithes could be recovered by distraint when amounting to ten pounds, to tithes of any amount. Wilberforce, Pitt, Dolben, and others, usually opposed to concessions, spoke in favour of the Bill. Sir Philip Francis only opposed it on the ground that the petitioners probably did not entertain any serious objection to paying tithes, but only wanted to look like martyrs. The Bill went on swimmingly till it was about going into committee, on the 10th of May, when Francis rose again. A new light had burst upon him. He said that he had learnt that the Bill did not proceed from the suffering individuals, but from the yearly meeting of the Society itselfas if that were any solid objection, and as if a measure ought not to come with more weight from a whole suffering community than from a few individuals! The Bill readily passed the Commons, but no sooner did it appear in the Lords than the Bishops fell foul of it. The Archbishop of Canterbury saw danger to the Church in it, and moved that it be read that day three months, and this was carried. Thus the Bill was[164] lost for that Session. Adair brought in a fresh Bill for the same object, into the new Parliament, in October, but this was thrown out. MOB BURNING A FARM IN KENT. (See p. 325.)

At the same unfortunate juncture, the king[196] insisted on Lord North demanding from Parliament half a million for the liquidation of his debts, though he possessed a civil list of eight hundred thousand a-year. Simple as were the habits of George and his queen, the most reckless disregard of economy was practised in his household. No means were taken to check the rapacity of his tradesmen, and it was shown that even for the one item of the royal coach, in 1762, there had been charged seven thousand five hundred and sixty-two pounds! The Commons voted the half million, the public grumbled, and the popularity of Wilkes, the great champion of reform, rose higher than ever. A fourth time the freeholders of Middlesex nominated him as their candidate; and on this occasion a fresh Government nominee presented himself. This was Colonel Henry Lawes Luttrell. Two other candidates, encouraged by Luttrell's appearance, came forward; and on the 13th of April the list of the poll, which had gone off quietly, showed Wilkes one thousand one hundred and forty-three; Luttrell, two hundred and ninety-six; Whitaker, five; and Roach, none.

This is a mere fragment of a list of a hundred and forty persons thus bought up. Amongst the most prominent pickings were those of Father, with panting breast,

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