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other woollen works, as well as for its supply of fuller's earth, long ranked third among English cities. Its population in 1693 was between 28,000 and 29,000, and it was believed to have nearly or quite doubled by 1760. Manchester had been the seat of a woollen manufacture under the Tudors, and a book published in 1641 mentions that cotton was also worked there, which appears to be the earliest record of that industry in England. It is said to have contained at the end of the seventeenth century less than 6,000 inhabitants, but if so it must have increased with extraordinary rapidity in the first years of the eighteenth century, for Defoe, in his Tour through Great Britain,' which was published in 1727, estimates the population of the city and suburbs at not less than 50,000. According to another estimate, the town alone contained from 40,000 to 45,000 persons in 1760,2 at which date the population of Birmingham was believed to have been about 30,000, and that of Newcastle, including the suburbs, about 40,000.3 Liverpool was somewhat slower in emerging into greatness. It was a village of much antiquity, consisted, in 1565 of 138 houses or cabins, derived some importance from the fire and the plague, which induced many merchants to abandon London, and gradually became a centre of commerce for the new colonies in the West Indies and for America. It was assisted also by the reclamation of great tracts of waste lands, which stimulated the corn trade, and by the growth of Manchester and other manufacturing towns in its neighbourhood. It is curious, however, to notice that it was only in 1699 that it was thought sufficiently important to form a parish to itself, and that its first dock was not built before 1709. Its population in 1700 is believed to have been slightly under 6,000, but to have increased in the course of the next half-century to about 30,000. Liverpool had by this time become indisputably the third port in the kingdom, and it was soon prominent beyond all others in the

1 Macaulay, ch. iii. Macpherson, iii. 323. Blomefield's Hist. of Norfolk, vol. ii.

2 Curry's Hist. of Lancashire, i. 276. Macpherson, iii. 136, 323. Baines'

Hist. of the Cotton Trade, pp. 99–100.
Defoe's Tour, iii. 210. Whittaker's
Hist. of Manchester.


Macpherson, iii. 324–325.

slave trade.' The whole population of Lancashire was estimated at 166,200 in 1700, and at 297,400 in 1750.2 At the time of the census of 1871 it exceeded 2,800,000.

In addition to the other causes which united the industrial classes with the Whigs we must reckon the funded system and the creation of the great mercantile companies established after the Revolution. The national debt, which at the accession of William had been very inconsiderable, had increased during his reign and during the reign of his successor with a portentous rapidity. Incurred as it was in a struggle against the Power that was in alliance with the Pretender, it was more than doubtful whether the interest of the debt would be paid if the Government of the Revolution were overthrown, and, thus an immense proportion of the capitalists had the strongest personal reasons for supporting the Government. In this manner the national debt, which was in some respects very injurious to the country, was eminently advantageous to the Whigs. Very similar considerations apply to the Bank of England and to the new East India Company. These great corporations exercised an influence which extended to every city in the kingdom, and affected, directly or indirectly, almost every great mercantile fortune. Both of them were created by the Whig Government. Both of them obtained their privileges by the loan of large sums to that Government, and both of them depended for their very existence on the regular payment of the interest.

In this manner a great Whig interest was artificially created, which was attached by the closest ties to the Government of the Revolution and to the House of Brunswick. 1707, at the news of the intended invasion by the Pretender,

'Baines' Hist. of Liverpool. Picton's Memorials of Liverpool. Corry's Hist. of Lancashire. Macpherson's Annals of Commerce, iii. 135. Derrick's Letters from Liverpool. See too the voyage of Gonzales (a Portuguese) to England and Scotland, in 1730, Pinkerton's Voyages, ii. 39. It appears


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the price of stocks at once fell fourteen or fifteen per cent. In 1710, when the Queen resolved to dismiss the Whig ministry of Godolphin, the Bank of England sent a formal deputation to her to deprecate the change. The accession of the Harley ministry, though it promised a return of peace, was at once followed by a depreciation of the funds, which continued till Harley, following in the steps of his predecessors, created the South Sea Company, on the same principle as the great Whig corporations, by granting important mercantile privileges to a portion of the national creditors. As long as Harley retained his ascendancy the national credit was not seriously imperilled, but when Bolingbroke succeeded in displacing him, when the reins of power seemed passing into Jacobite hands, a panic immediately ensued. The funds, as we have seen, rose when the illness of the Queen was followed by a report of her death; they fell at a false rumour of her recovery; they rose again when her sudden death disconcerted the Jacobite intrigues. The Jacobites, on the other hand, looked forward to the ruin of the Bank as the most probable of all means of accomplishing their designs.5 Had Bolingbroke continued in power, it is possible that the funds would have been taxed, and probable that measures would have been taken seriously to restrict the powers of the great mercantile companies, and there were great fears that they might be wholly subverted. The country gentry looked with feelings of the keenest jealousy on the new political power which was arising, and contrasted bitterly the exemption of the fundholder from taxation with the burdens imposed upon land. The proprietor of the land,' it was said, and the merchant who brought riches home by the returns of foreign trade, had during two wars borne the whole immense load of the national expenses; while the lender of money, who added nothing to the common stock, throve by the public calamity, and contributed

1 Francis' Hist. of the Bank of England, i. 85.

2 Parl. Hist. vi. 906–907.

Macpherson's Annals of Commerce, iii. 17-21. Somers' Tracts, xiii. 35.

Calamy's Life, ii. 292.
• See
Papers, ii. 211-212.


See a remarkable passage in Bolingbroke's Letter to Windham.


Nor was this all. It was a

not a mite to the public charge.'1 fundamental maxim of the Tory party that Law in a free country is or ought to be the determination of the majority of those who have property in land;'2 that the right strength of this kingdom depends upon the land, which is infinitely superior and ought much more to be regarded than our concerns in trade.' The Landed Property Qualification Act of 1712 was intended to assert this principle, and it was elicited by the manifest fact that in the latter days of William, and still more in the reign of Anne, the moneyed was, in a great measure, superseding the landed interest. Power,' said Swift, which, according to an old maxim, was used to follow land, is now gone over to money.' Individual capitalists, and still more the two great corporations, descended into the political arena, wrested boroughs, by sheer corruption, from the landlords who had for generations controlled them, and strained every nerve to acquire the political influence which was essential to the security of their property. In 1701 there had been grave inquiries in Parliament about the lavish sums which the East India Company expended among the Members," and the increasing corruption at elections was universally recognised. "It is said,' wrote one high authority, that several persons, utter strangers in the counties to which they went, have made a progress throughout England, endeavouring, by very large sums, to get themselves elected.... It is said that there are known brokers who have tried to stock-job elections upon the Exchange, and that for many boroughs there was a stated price.... Some persons, having considerable stocks in the 'Bolingbroke's Letter to Windham. 2 Swift.

Davenant, iii. 328. Thus, too, Defoe said that in case of the dissolution of the Government, power devolves on the freeholders, who are the proper owners of the country.' Wilson's Life of Defoe, i. 425.

Examiner, No. xiii. In one of his private letters (Jan. 1721), he says, 'I have ever abominated that scheme of politics, now about thirty

years old, of setting up a moneyed interest in opposition to the landedfor I conceived there could not be a truer maxim in our Government than this that the possessors of the soil are the best judges of what is for the advantage of the kingdom. If others had thought the same way, funds of credit and South Sea projects would neither have been felt nor heard of.'

5 Burnet's Own Times, ii. 258-259.

Bank of England and in the new East India Company, are more particularly charged with these facts.'1 "The mischievous consequence,' wrote Bolingbroke, which had been foreseen and foretold too at the establishment of these corporations, appeared visibly. The country gentlemen were vexed, put to great expenses, and even baffled by them at their elections; and among the Members of every Parliament numbers were immediately or indirectly under their influence." 'Boroughs,' said a third writer, are rated in the Royal Exchange like stocks and tallies; the price of a vote is as well known as of an acre of land, and it is no secret who are the moneyed men, and consequently the best customers."3

Under all these circumstances the political influence of the industrial and moneyed classes was greatly increased by the Revolution. They have been the steady supporters of English liberty, the steady advocates of religious toleration within the limits of the Protestant creed. To them, more than to any other class, may be ascribed the tempered energy, the dislike to abstractions and theories, the eminently practical spirit so characteristic of English political life; and their influence has been especially useful in moderating the love of adventure and extravagance common to pure aristocracies. On the other hand, the mercantile theory, which governed commercial legislation till after the writings of Hume, planted a new and powerful principle of international jealousy in European politics. The narrow spirit of commercial monopoly crushed the rising industry of Ireland, and trammelled the industry of the colonies; and the desire of the moneyed classes to acquire political power at the expense of the country gentlemen was the first and one of the chief causes of that political corruption which soon overspread the whole system of parliamentary govern

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