« PreviousContinue »
Jamaica conquered, and made an English province. The great poet Milton lived in the time of Cromwell, to whom he was Latin Secretary.
Charles II. son of Charles I. on July 3, 1646, went from Jersey into France, and remained abroad till May, 1660, when he arrived at Whitehall, and was proclaimed King of England the 29th of the same month.
The principal events of his reign were, the great fire in London, 1666, and the plague the year before; in this reign the Royal Society was established. Several men of genius flourished in this reign; as Boyle, Dryden, Otway, Butler, Temple, Waller, Cowley, Halley, and the Earl of Arundel. Charles II. reigned 24 years, and died, Feb. 1685, in the 55th year of his age, and was succeeded by his brother James.
James II. was a bigot to the Romish religion, and fond of arbitrary power. In his reign the Duke of Monmouth rebelled; he was proclaimed king at Taunton, but being afterwards taken prisoner, was beheaded in London. The attempts of James II. to restore the Roman Catholic religion, 'obliging biin to abdicate the throne, he retired to France, where he died, A. D. 1701, leaving three children, James, Mary, and Anne.
James having deserted the throne, the Prince and Princess of Orange were declared joint sovereigns, July 13, 1689. William III. was the son of William, Prince of Orange, and of Henrietta Maria, daughter of Charles I. He was born at the Hague, in Holland, 1650, and was married to Mary, the eldest daughter of James II. William was a great warrior, and a steady friend to the protestant religion, and civil liberty: and Mary, though her father was a strong papist, was also a firm protestant; she was excellent as a wife, and a truly pious woman. Her person was very handsome; she died before William, in 1694.
The principal events of this reign were, the battle of the Boyne, in Ireland, where King James II. was defeated; the French fleet destroyed at La Hogue; and the Bank of England established. 'Newton, Locke, Tillotson, Prior, and Burnet, flourished in this reign.
William and Mary had no children; they were succeeded by Anne, second daughter of James II. who was married to Prince George, brother to the King of Denmark. Queen Aone is said to have possessed inany excellent qualities. The principal events of her reign were, the battles of Blen
by Anne George, o have pher reign
George RRogland and she reigned i
heim, Ramillies, and several others, won by the great Duke of Marlborough; the defeat of the combined fleets, by Sir George Rooke; Gibraltar taken by the English ; and the union of England and Scotland, under the title of Great Britain, 1707. Queen Anne reigned twelve years and a half. The most celebrated literary characters in her reign were, Pope, Swift, Congrese, Rowe, Bolingbroke, Shaftesbury, Addison, and Steele. ;
George I. who was previously Elector of Hanover and Lunenburgh, and a descendant of James I. succeeded to Anne; he was a good king, and an enemy to every species of tyranny. The principal events of this reign were, the rebellion of the Scots, in favour of the Pretender, son of James II. but which was soon quelled, and the Pretender obliged to retire into France, 1717 ; the Electorate of Hanover annexed to the British crown; ipnoculation first introduced into England, and successfully tried upon two condemned criminals, who were pardoned on submitting to the operation.
George I. was succeeded by his son, George II. who reigned from 1797 to 1760. In this reign ihe river Thames was frozen, and a fair held on it, 1740; the Scots again rebelled in favour of the Pretender, but were defeated in 1745; Westminster bridge was built; Admiral Anson took a Spanish ship, with treasure to the amount of £1,500,000; Quebec was taken and General Wolfe killed. George Il. had seven children ; two sons, and five daughters; the eldest son, Frederic, Prince of Wales, died before his father, but left nine children, the eldest of whom is George William Frederick, our present king.
George III. 'succeeded his grandfather to the crown of England, on the 25th of October, 1760, being then 24 years of age. He was married to Charlotte Sophia, Princess of Mecklenburg Strelitz, and they were crowned the 20th of Sept. 1761. In the early part of his reign war was declared with America, which led to that country eventually throwing off its allegiance to Great Britain, in the year 1776. The levying of certain duries to be payable by the Ainerican colonies in aid of the public revenue being resisted, it became necessary to use measures, which brought forward an open defance on the part of that country to the restraint of the British governinent.
The revolution in France commenced in the year 1789, and for a long time France exhibited a coutinued scene of
bloodshed, rapine, and misery, under a delusive idea of civil liberty being substituted for the old regal government; in which the king, Louis XVI. was made a sacrifice by the guillotine, together with the queen and many of the nobility, and innumerable other persons of every rank, who became objects of dislike to the various factions in power. The tranquillity of England was much disturbed by the French revolution; for after the death of the King of France, England and Holland engaged in war with that country; Austria and Prussia, being alarmed with the principles disseminated by the French, having previously declared war against France in their own defence. The continental powers being defeated, and their kingdoms overrun by the French, they were obliged to make peace, and Great Britain was for a time left to contend alone with France.
. After that country had been successively in the power and control of various succeeding factions, a form of government was at length settled, under the dominion of three consuls, whereof the first, as chief, was Napoleon Buonaparte, a Corsican by birth, and a general in the French service, who afterwards altered the government, and caused himself to be declared Emperor of France. But previously to this the French had seni an expedition to subdue Egypt, under Buonaparte; their feet was attacked, in the Bay of Alexandria, by Admiral Lord Nelson, who completely defeated them, with a great loss both of ships and men, which memorable action was called the victory of the Nile. The French army also was beaten by Sir Ralph Abercrombie, who lost his life in the moment of victory. These great events at length obliged the enemy to abandon their views on Egypt. The war between England and France was brought to a conclusion in the year 1802; but it was of short duration, for the restless atnbition of the French Ruler, gave reason to suspect he was preparing for new aggressions; and disputes taking place between the two governments, war was resumed the following year. Soon after the renewal of hostilities, a great naval advantage was gained by this country at the ever memorable battle of Trafalgar, in which the undaunted hero, Admiral Lord Nelson, achieved a splendid victory, but uphappily for his country he was himself slain. In iestiinony of grateful respect, his remains were honoured with a public and splendid funeral in St. Paul's church; and his death was justly deplored as a national calamiry.
. In the year 1807, England was solicited by Portugal and Spain to assist in defending those countries from the ag. gressions of the French ; and a large military force was sent over to them, under the command of Sir Arthur Wellesley, whose important services and talents enabled Portugal io free herself from her enemy, and whose subsequent achievements and successes at Barossa, Almeida, Albuera, Talavera, and Vittoria, in Spain, were principally instrumental in obliging the French to evacuate that country likewise.
The British government having obtained information that the Danish feet was to be placed under the control of France, a British fleet under Admiral Gambier, and a land force under Lord Cathcart, were sent to Copenbagen ; and on the 7th of September, 1807, they obliged the Danish general to deliver up, by capitulation, their whole fleet, consisting of 18 ships of the line, 15 frigates, 6 smaller vessels, and 25 gun-boats, together with all the stores.
In 1808, the French power having prevailed to reduce Austria, Prussia, Russia, Holland, and the Italian States, to a state of humiliation, those countries were compelled to make peace with France, and to submit to the condition of resisting the introduction of English goods into any of their respective ports, with the view of ruining the commerce of this kingdom. But this state of things led to some consequences prejudicial to the French arms. The shutting up the continent from English commerce having been enforced by the most arbitrary and oppressive conduct on the part of the French governinent, it was found intolerable, and the sacrifices required likely to have no end. Russia, therefore, abandoned her, alliance with France, and this rupture induced Buonaparte to invade the Russian dominions with a force of near 300,000 men, but on penetrating to and reaching the city of Moscow, and finding it burnt, so as to be inadequate to afford shelter to his army, he was compelled to commence a retreat in the depth of winter; harrassed by the Russians on every side, his army was not only defeated, but almost annihilated, by the sword, sickness, and various calamities, arising from the inclemency of the season, "The disastrous termination of the French expedition to Russia gave an opportunity for Austria and Prussia to adopt the same measures of abandoning their connection with France, and enter into an alliance with Russia, to destroy which, the French Ruler, the following year (1813) collected a powerful army in Saxony, but being attacked by the allied powers, and defeated in the battle of Leipsic, was
compelled to retreat to France, followed by the united forces of his enemies; who, undaunted and victorious, in their turn invaded and penetrated into the very heart of France, to seek and to ensure peace to Europe.
England, after sustaining the burden of a continued war of upwards of twenty years succession, was still ready to animate and assist her allies on every occasion, and put forth her strength with undiminished ardour; to Spain and Portugal she gave the assistance of a powerful force, under the auspices of a general unequalled in the annals of his country, and whose talent and genius not only compelled their enemies to retire, but planted his own banners on French ground. England has been uniform, persevering, undaunted, and undismayed, in a contest of unexampled difficulty; her conduct has gained her the admiration of Europe, as worthy the character of a magnanimous, brave, and generous people.
But the glorious events which have lately taken place in France have left her little to fear, and every thing to hope. Buonaparte, once the idol of one half of Europe, and the terror of the other, has at length sunk into that state of dea gradation which his crimes have justly merited ; and the throne he had so disgracefully usurped is now occupied by a descendant of Henry IV. Whatever may have been the various opinions respecting the struggles of the French for liberty, and the means they have taken to obtain it, all those who take a delight in human happiness, will rejoice that the French people have united in the choice of a prince, whose reign seems to promise the return of liberty and peace to that unhappy country, as well as the rest of the nations of Europe, who by the tyranny of Buonaparte had been so long deprived of those invaluable blessings : aod England, ainidst ihe general joy, may contemplate the fruits of her former painful conflicts; and rejoice that those who have been so often improperly styled her natural enemies, are now her declared friends, and happy under a constitution and government like her own.
BOTANY is a science which, in its utmost extent, signifies not only a general knowledge of plants, but also of the