Category Archives: Diaries

A Diary of Two Parliaments – 13 May 1874

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Over the coming weeks and months we are publishing excerpts from the book ‘A Diary of Two Parliaments’ by Henry W Lucy, published in 1885. A popular book in our library, it covers the parliament of the Disraeli government during the years 1874-1880.

Catch-up with other posts in this series here, or search our library here.

The Disraeli Parliament 1874-1880

 Wednesday 13 May 1874

GERMS OF OBSTRUCTION
The County Franchise Bill

The second reading of the Household Franchise (Counties) Bill moved by Trevelyan in a clever speech, a considerable portion of which was addressed personally to Disraeli, who, unfortunately, was not present to hear it. Salt moved the rejection of the Bill, not so much on the ground of actual hostility to its principle, as because he believed the time was not opportune for the suggested reform. Burt supported the motion in an able maiden speech, brief, but weighty in argument, delivered with a considerable degree of natural grace, and losing nothing by the curiously broad dialect in which it was spoken. Newdegate was unusually moved by the proposal further to amend the representative system, and declared in sad, slow tones, that Trevelyan was one of those who think “The Constitution was intended For nothing else but to be mended.”

Forster congratulated Trevelyan upon the fact that the extension of the franchise in counties was now reduced to a mere question of time. For his own part, he believed it had become a pressing question, and it was high time it was settled. In an eloquent and warmly spoken passage, he declared that the reason why England had advanced by means of reform instead of revolution was because new social powers as they rose were taken within the precincts of the Constitution, and made a portion of it. Such a new power was the agricultural labourer, who had been deaf and dumb, but who, thanks to a cheap press, and to extended means of education, could now hear and speak. Murmurs from the Ministerial benches had formed a running commentary upon this declaration; but when Forster referred to Arch as “that eminent man,” and expressed a desire, in the interests of the Legislature and the country, that he were sitting in the House of Commons, Conservative indignation burst forth in derisive laughter and emphatic shouts of “No, no!”

Disraeli, who had entered the House whilst Salt was speaking, rose at four o’clock, the House being densely crowded, and was received with loud cheers. He spoke in his quietest manner, till he came to refer in sarcastic terms to the “passionate fervour” with which Forster had addressed the House, and to the “look of severe scrutiny” with which he had regarded him (the Premier) when he touched on the question of land tenure. Roused by the cheers and laughter these personal thrusts elicited from Conservatives, Disraeli proceeded with increased animation to “look at the question in a more business-like way.” His “great objection,” disclosed in the course of his remarks, was that it was not possible, or at least not desirable, to en franchise large bodies of the people without at the same time revising the distribution of political power. A deep silence fell over the Conservative benches when the Premier declared that in all such revisions the country had been approaching the system of electoral districts, and that in all future changes of a similar character further approaches must be made in the same direction. But the cheering recommenced when the right hon. gentleman, whilst acknowledging the inevitableness of the consequence, declared, though in comparatively mild terms, his personal objection to be an agent in hastening its approach, and cited figures to show that it would, when it came, strike a fatal blow at the system of borough representation.

After some words from Trevelyan the House divided, and the Bill was rejected by 287 votes against 173, the announcement of the majority being hailed by loud cheering from the Conservative side.

Excerpt from A Diary of Two Parliaments by Henry W Lucy published in 1885

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Further Reading and External Links

The Author – Henry W Lucy on Wikipedia

Benjamin Disraeli on Wikipedia

War in the East – 10 May 1855

 

Search the library for more like this

Below is another compelling installment from “The War” by William Howard Russell – War Correspondent to The Times Newspaper, it gives a daily account of events during the Crimean War (157 years ago).

The book and our excerpts cover from the landing at Gallipoli to the death of Lord Raglan.

Catch-up with earlier posts in this series here or search our library here.

War in the East – 10 May 1855

The Crimean War (October 1853 – February 1856) was a conflict between the Russian Empire and an alliance of the French Empire, the British Empire, the Ottoman Empire and the Kingdom of Sardinia – most of the conflict took place on the Crimean Peninsula.

Thursday 10th May 1855

About one o’clock this morning the camp in front was roused up by an extremely heavy fire of musketry and repeated cheering along our right attack. The elevated ground and ridges in front of the Third and Fourth Divisions were soon crowded with groups of men from the tents in the rear. It was a very dark night, for the moon had not yet risen, and the sky was overcast with clouds, but the incipient flashing of small arms, which lighted up the front of the trenches, the yell of the Russians (which our soldiers have christened “the lnkermann screech”, the cheers of our men, and the volume of the fire indicated, the position, and showed that a contest of no ordinary severity was taking place.

For a mile and a half the darkness was broken by outbursts of ruddy flame and bright glittering sparks, which advanced, receded, died out altogether, broke out fiercely in patches in innumerable twinkles, flickered in long lines like the electric flash a!ong a chain, and formed for an instant craters of fire. By the time I had reached the front about five minutes after the firing began the fight was raging all along the right of our position. I cannot now ascertain the particulars of the affair, and can only describe what I saw. The wind was favourable for hearing, and the cheers of the men, their shouts, the voices of the officers, the Russian bugles and our own, were distinctly audible. The bugles of the Light Division and of the Second Division were sounding the “turn out” on our right as we reached the high ground, and soon afterwards the alarm sounded through the French camp close to them. Hundreds of the soldiers had got up, and were drawn up, watching with the most intense interest the fight before them, as far as they could see it. The tents of the Fourth Division were lighted up, and the old Inkermann men were all anxious and ready for the word to march, should their services be required. The musketry, having rolled incessantly for a quarter of an hour, began to cease at intervals along the line. Here and there it stopped for a moment altogether; again it burst forth. Then came a British cheer which thrilled through every heart. “Our fellows have driven them back; bravo!” Then a Russian yell, a fresh burst of musketry, more cheering, a rolling volley subsiding into spattering flashes and broken fire, a ringing hurrah from the front; and then the Russian bugles sounding “the retreat,” and our own bugles the “cease firing,” and the attack, after half-an-hour duration, was over.

The enemy were beaten, and were retiring to their earthworks; and now the batteries opened to cover their retreat. The Redan, Round Tower, Garden Batteries, and Road Battery, aided probably by the ships, lighted up the air from the muzzles of their guns. The batteries at Careening-bay and at the north side of the harbour contributed their fire, and the sky was seamed by the red track of innumerable shells. You could see clearly at times the ground close around you from the flashes of the cannon. The instant they began to fire, our ever active allies the French, on our right, opened from their batteries over Inkermann and from the redoubts to draw off the Russian guns from our men; and our own batteries also replied, and sent shot and shell in the direction of the retreating enemy.

The effect of this combined fire was very formidable to look at, but was probably not nearly so destructive as that of the musketry. From half-past one till three o’clock the cannonade continued, but the spectators had retired before two o’clock, and tried to sleep as well as they might in the midst of the thunders of the infernal turmoil. Soon after three o’clock a.m. it began to blow and rain with great violence, and on getting up this morning I really imagined that one of our terrible winter days had interpolated itself into our Crimean May. 

Excerpt from The War 1855 by W H Russell – Correspondent to The Times.

This volume contains the letters of The Times Correspondent from the seat of war in the East – The Crimean War – the first war with war correspondents.

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Further Reading and External Links

Maps, Plans and Pictures of the Crimean War

William Howard Russell on Wikipedia

William Howard Russell on BikWil

War in the East – 8 May 1855

 

Search the library for more like this

Below is another compelling installment from “The War” by William Howard Russell – War Correspondent to The Times Newspaper, it gives a daily account of events during the Crimean War (157 years ago).

The book and our excerpts cover from the landing at Gallipoli to the death of Lord Raglan.

Catch-up with earlier posts in this series here or search our library here.

War in the East – 8 May 1855

The Crimean War (October 1853 – February 1856) was a conflict between the Russian Empire and an alliance of the French Empire, the British Empire, the Ottoman Empire and the Kingdom of Sardinia – most of the conflict took place on the Crimean Peninsula.

Tuesday 8th May 1855

THE details of the Kertch Expedition have lost their interest, inasmuch as it effected nothing. The most extraordinary rumour are afloat respecting the reasons of its return re infecta; but it is sufficient to say that the fleet, consisting of about forty sail, with nearly 12,000 men on board, arrived at the rendezvous, lat. 44’54, long. 36’28, on Saturday morning and on the previous night, and that they were summoned to return to the place whence they came by an express steamer which left Kamiesch on Friday night or Saturday morning with orders (it is said) from General Canrobert. These orders were, it is reported, sent by the French General in consequence of a communication from Paris, which rendered it incumbent on him to concentrate the forces under his command in the Chersonese. It is not to be wondered at that this abrupt termination of an expedition which, from its secret character, was doubtless intended to effect important services, excited feelings of annoyance and regret among those who expected to win honour and glory and position. Admiral Bruat could not venture to take on himself the responsibility of disregarding orders so imperative and so clear, and Admiral Lyons was not in a position to imitate the glorious disobedience of Nelson.

Those on board the ships which were the furthest at sea could easily make out the land. A high peak rising out of the sea to the north was visible to the whole squadron; two or three smaller elevations at no great distance could also be seen distinctly; and there is no doubt but that the low land itself could have been discerned from the tops of the men-of-war at the rendezvous.

Kertch is said to have been the place where Caesar penned his pithy despatch “Veni! Vidi! Vici!” We may certainly say we came, and saw, but we cannot complete the sentence.

The men disembarked this morning.

Sir Edmund Lyons is said to be unwell, and his illness is attributed to chagrin at the result of the expedition, or rather at the want of it.

Excerpt from The War 1855 by W H Russell – Correspondent to The Times.

This volume contains the letters of The Times Correspondent from the seat of war in the East – The Crimean War – the first war with war correspondents.

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Further Reading and External Links

Maps, Plans and Pictures of the Crimean War

William Howard Russell on Wikipedia

William Howard Russell on BikWil

War in the East – 2 May 1855

 

Search the library for more like this

Below is another compelling installment from “The War” by William Howard Russell – War Correspondent to The Times Newspaper, it gives a daily account of events during the Crimean War (157 years ago).

The book and our excerpts cover from the landing at Gallipoli to the death of Lord Raglan.

Catch-up with earlier posts in this series here or search our library here.

War in the East – 2 May 1855

The Crimean War (October 1853 – February 1856) was a conflict between the Russian Empire and an alliance of the French Empire, the British Empire, the Ottoman Empire and the Kingdom of Sardinia – most of the conflict took place on the Crimean Peninsula.

Wednesday 2nd May 1855

There was a very brilliant exploit performed by seven battalions of French infantry, in which the 46th Regiment were particularly distinguished, last night and this morning. They advanced before midnight and seized on the Russian ambuscades under a heavy fire. The Russians came out to meet them in forces – a tremendous conflict ensued, in which the French used the bayonet in repeated charges, and at last they forced the Russians back into the works, followed them, stormed the outworks of the Batterie Centrale, and took off eight cohorns, in which they brought to General Pelissier. In this gallant affair, which lasted till two o’clock this morning, the French had sixty-three killed and two hundred and ten wounded, and nine officers put hors de combat.

The obstinacy of the combat was sufficiently evident from the spectacle presented by the ground between the French lines and the Batterie du Centre. The space of rubbish, broken earth, ruins of batteries, and the debris of outworks, was covered with gabions, fragments of arms, and dead bodies, and the Russians were busily engaged in burying those who had fallen inside their lines. The firlog on the left was incessant and exceedingly heavy, and the Russian artillery did their best to avenge the losses of their comrades, but probably not with much effect, although the air was obscured by the clouds of dust arising from the shower of cannon balls, which tore along the surface, marking their course they ricochetted among the batteries by pillars of earth dashed as up by the concussion.

The French replied with vigour, and from dawn till eve the contest was continues between the artillery and the riflemen in front of the Flagstaff Battery. Our batteries all day maintained a most profound silence.

Early this morning a little flotilla of some twenty-five or thirty French vessels, most of them brigs and schooners, sailed from Kamiesch, and stood over to the south-west with a gentle breeze. They were visible all day, and could be readily seen from Sebastopol. At sunset some were hull down. Several French men-of-war accompanied them. It is supposed that these vessels contained a portion of the troops and stores of the secret expedition. At half-past two, a body of Russian troops, in three divisions, each about 2500 strong, were seen marching into Sebastopol from the camp over the Tchernaya. A very large convoy of carte and pack animals also entered the town in the course of the day, and an equally numerous string of carts and horses left for the interior. The troops marched along by the road at the head of the harbour, on the north side, and were lost to sight at three o’clock, behind the rise of the cliffs on the south of the road. The day was so clear, that one could almost see their faces through the glass. Their officers were well mounted, and the men marched solidly and well. Numbers of dogs preceded and played about the line of march, and as they passed by the numerous new batteries, at which the Russians are working night and day, the labourers ceased from their labours for the time, saluted the officers as they passed, and stood gazing on the sight just as our own artisans would stare at a body of troops in some quiet English town. A smaller body of troops subsequently passed out from the town, and marched up towards the camp at the Belbek, taking a road more to the north than that by which their comrades entered.

Excerpt from The War 1855 by W H Russell – Correspondent to The Times.

This volume contains the letters of The Times Correspondent from the seat of war in the East – The Crimean War – the first war with war correspondents.

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Further Reading and External Links

Maps, Plans and Pictures of the Crimean War

William Howard Russell on Wikipedia

William Howard Russell on BikWil

War in the East – 1 May 1855

 

Search the library for more like this

Below is another compelling installment from “The War” by William Howard Russell – War Correspondent to The Times Newspaper, it gives a daily account of events during the Crimean War (157 years ago).

The book and our excerpts cover from the landing at Gallipoli to the death of Lord Raglan.

Catch-up with earlier posts in this series here or search our library here.

War in the East – 1 May 1855

The Crimean War (October 1853 – February 1856) was a conflict between the Russian Empire and an alliance of the French Empire, the British Empire, the Ottoman Empire and the Kingdom of Sardinia – most of the conflict took place on the Crimean Peninsula.

Tuesday 1st May 1855

May-day in the Crimea! Worthy of the sweetest and brightest May Queen in merry England! A blue sky, dotted with milkwhite clouds, a warm but not too hot a sun, and a gentle breeze fanning the fluttering canvas of the wide-spread streets of tents, here pitched on swelling mounds covered with fresh grass, there sunk in valleys of black mould, trodden up by innumerable feet and hoofs, and scattered broad-cast over the vast plateau of the Chersonese. It is enough to make one credulous of peace, and to listen to the pleasant whispers of home, notwithstanding the rude interruption of the cannon before Sebastopol. This bright sun, however, develops fever and malaria. The reeking earth, saturated with dew and rain, pours forth poisonous vapours, and the sad rows of mounds covered with long lank grass which rise in all directions above the soil impregnate the air with disease.  

As the atmosphere is purged of clouds and vapour, the reports of the cannon and of the rifles become more distinct. The white houses, green roofs, and the domes and cupolas of Sebastopol stand out with tantalizing distinctness against the sky, and the ruined suburbs and masses of rubbish inside the Russian batteries seem almost incorporated with the French entrenchments. The French on the left are indeed too near the enemy’s lines; they are exposed to constant annoyance and loss by frequent volleys of hand grenades and cohorns, and their works are interrupted by little sorties of a few yards out and back again.

On the extreme right, however, the English works towards the Round Tower are in advance of the French works towards the Mamelon. On our proper left we can make no considerable approaches in advance of our actual works up to the Redan, in consequence of the deep ravine before our batteries. The ravine winding from the right between the two attacks sweeps down below the Green-hill, with a precipitous ascent on the Russian side towards the Redan, and a gentle rise up to the Green-hill. The French approach towards the Round Tower is obstructed by the Mamelon, which is due south of it, and we cannot approach much nearer towards the Round Tower working from our right, till the Mamelon is taken. The distance from the Mamelon to the Redan is about 550 yards. From the Round Tower to the sea (of the harbour) behind it the distance is about [1700] yards. The French are now within a few hundred yards of the Mamelon, and our advanced parallel, which is connected with theirs, inclines forward of their line towards the Round Tower. Although the Mamelon is pierced for eleven guns, there are not apparently more than five guns mounted, but all the embrasures are screened. The Russians have been checked in their attempts to advance upon our right towards Inkermann, and as I have said the French on the left towards the sea have pushed their lines inside the old Russian outworks; but the centre, protected by the Garden Battery, Road Battery, Barrack Battery. and Redan, still offers considerable difficulty to an approach, and presents a very strong position.

An expedition from the British and French fleets, consisting of the smaller heavy-armed steamers and gun-boats, is to sail this evening for Kertch, to test the strength of the fortifications there and at Yenikale. If the flotilla reduces the forts which guard the entrance to the Sea of Azov, and leaves the navigation open to us, it will effect an enormous service – always supposing the Russians are not allowed to build them up again, and that we will really take some efficient steps to cut off the source of supplies from which the Russians are mainly furnished with their provisions, if not with their materiel of war.

Lord Stratford has gone to Eupatoria in the “Royal Albert,” and is expected back on Monday.

Excerpt from The War 1855 by W H Russell – Correspondent to The Times.

This volume contains the letters of The Times Correspondent from the seat of war in the East – The Crimean War – the first war with war correspondents.

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Further Reading and External Links

Maps, Plans and Pictures of the Crimean War

William Howard Russell on Wikipedia

William Howard Russell on BikWil

A Diary of Two Parliaments – 29 April 1874

 

Search the library for more like this

 

Over the coming weeks and months we are publishing excerpts from the book ‘A Diary of Two Parliaments’ by Henry W Lucy, published in 1885. A popular book in our library, it covers the parliament of the Disraeli government during the years 1874-1880.

Catch-up with other posts in this series here, or search our library here.

The Disraeli Parliament 1874-1880

 Wednesday 29 April 1874

GERMS OF OBSTRUCTION
First Appearance of Major O Gorman,

House discussing question of purchase of Irish railways. 

When it was believed the debate had finished, it being close on midnight, Major O’Gorman, newly elected for Waterford, rose from a back seat below the gangway. The Major, who is of gigantic stature and burly to boot, stood a few minutes speechless in full view of the House. A titter rose from the Ministerial benches, which broke forth into a roar of laughter when Major O’Gorman suddenly and angrily cried, “Mr. Speaker!”

When the outburst had partially subsided, the hon. member said he was about to vote against the motion, and could not do it without a word of explanation; the word was that if the English Government got hold of the railways there would not at the end of three weeks be an Irishman in the service of any of the lines. The House laughing again at this hot utterance, he repeated and emphasised his observation by declaring that in three weeks all the Irishmen on the line would be “sent to hell or Connaught.” This brought up the Speaker, and Major O’Gorman having, with considerable difficulty, been made to understand that he must temporarily sit down, the right hon. gentleman reminded him that he had “exceeded the usual licence of Parliamentary debate.” Major O’Gorman showed a disposition to argue the matter with the Speaker, affirming, amid shouts of laughter, that the expression he had made use of was “perfectly well known.” Finally, he “offered his sincere regret” if he had said what he should not have said, though, he added, “it is perfectly historical.”

He then proceeded to observe that he “was not a Hellenist, and need not change his sex and become a Cassandra in order to be able to prophesy that with three weeks of English management the Irish railways would be ruined.” Next he volunteered an anecdote. “It’s not a bad story,” said he; but all the House could make out was a reference to a horse which a Lord Lieutenant was riding with a distinguished man, and was “thrown over his ears.” In conclusion, the Major, whilst declaring “his sincerest respect for that most talented young gentleman who had introduced the motion,” repeated that he would not be able to vote with him, his maxim being, “On all occasions vote against the introduction of Englishmen to Ireland.” Major O’Gorman’s remarks brought the debate to a close, and upon a division the motion was negatived by 241 votes against 56.

Excerpt from A Diary of Two Parliaments by Henry W Lucy published in 1885

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Further Reading and External Links

The Author – Henry W Lucy on Wikipedia

Benjamin Disraeli on Wikipedia

A Diary of Two Parliaments – 24 April 1874

 

Over the coming weeks and months we are publishing excerpts from the book ‘A Diary of Two Parliaments’ by Henry W Lucy, published in 1885. A popular book in our library, it covers the parliament of the Disraeli government during the years 1874-1880.

Catch-up with other posts in this series here, or search our library here.

The Disraeli Parliament 1874-1880

Mr Smollett attacks the Late Premier

Friday 24th April 1874

Houses of ParliamentWhen at five o’clock Smollett rose, in accordance with notice to call the attention  of the House of Commons to “the abrupt dissolution of the late Parliament,” and to move a resolution, there was present only such a House as is customary on Friday evenings, when a private member is availing himself of the privilege of airing a grievance on going into Committee of Supply. A quarter of an hour earlier Gregory had, by a speech on probate in England, Scotland, and Ireland, driven the bulk of the members away. But they came flocking back as the news spread through the lobbies that Smollett really was moving his resolution, and that Gladstone was on the Treasury bench taking notes, with the obvious intention of replying.

Smollett set out with the declaration that he was not working in conjunction with any party, nor was he expecting sympathy from either Ministers or the Opposition. The former were, he declared, too well satisfied with the position in which the dissolution had landed them to interpose, and the other too fully impressed with the wisdom of not crying over spilt milk, to complain of “the political madness of Mr. Gladstone,” or to bewail their own “condition of political disorganisation.”

This way of speaking, the plainness of which was considerably augmented by a certain brusqueness of manner, raised a laugh on the Conservative benches. Thus encouraged, Smollett proceeded to indulge in “a short historical retrospect of the Session,” the dramatic interest of which he somewhat damaged by declaring at the outset that it was designed to prove that Gladstone had “organised a dissolution in secret, and sprung it upon the House.” It was not, he was careful to state, for the sake of the late House of Commons that he was moved to protest. He had not himself belonged to that House, had “never thought much of it,” and had even seen it referred to as “an assembly of soap boilers.” But the facts did not lessen his indignation against Gladstone and his colleagues, whom, in the course of his speech, he accused of “having, by unworthy, improper, and unconstitutional methods, tried to seize power of having “acted in a manner that was ungenerous to their friends, insolent to their enemies, and to the country at large barely honest;” whose conduct he variously described as “indecent,” as “utter wantonness,” as a “device,” an “artifice” a “plot,” a “pious fraud,” as “sharp practice more likely to have come from a sharp attorney’s office than from a Cabinet of English gentlemen.” To account for all of which the most charitable suggestion that offered itself was that “the late Ministry had lost their wits, and were not responsible agents.”

To this, members on the Conservative side listened with appreciative laughter and applauding cheers, and only once when Smollett declared, speaking of Gladstone, that “the stratagem had recoiled on the head of the trickster” did indignant cries of  “Order!”  from the Liberal benches interrupt the speaker.

When Smollett sat down, Gladstone half rose from his place, but there appeared a prospect of his speech remaining unspoken. No one had seconded the resolution, and no response came in reply to the Speaker’s demand for the name of the seconder. At the second appeal from the chair, however, Whalley came forward, hat in hand, from the obscurity of a corner under the Strangers’ Gallery, and said,

“I beg to second it.”

A great roar of laughter and cheers followed upon this unexpected apparition. It was some moments before silence was restored, and the Speaker found an opportunity for putting the motion from the chair. Then Gladstone appeared at the table, and was greeted by long and loud cheering from the benches behind him and below the gangway. In tones of grave mockery he declared that, as the motion had been supported by “two such distinguished members” as the proposer and seconder, he felt it his duty to lose no time in replying to it. In the same tone of grave banter, hugely relished by both sides of the House, Gladstone, whilst admitting that Smollett had the support of a name that stood high in historical literature, took exception to the date of the “historical retrospect” which they had listened to. “What he calls history I call romance,” said he, and, with a half apology for treating the matter seriously, he proceeded at some length to contradict and disprove the serious allegations “which appeared amid the jokes and the invective of the hon. member. “The main statement, to the effect that the Ministry had early in January determined upon the dissolution announced in the last week of the month, and had secretly informed their supporters of their intention, with the view to their obtaining advantages at the hustings, Gladstone denounced as “not only untrue, but absurd; not only absurd, but impossible.” Coming to the passage in which Smollett had stigmatised her Majesty’s late Ministers as “tricksters,” he, pointing over to the place where Smollett sat, called out, in a loud voice,

“Let the hon. member rise in his place and say whether he still holds to the utterance of the word ‘trickster.'”

He paused a moment, and Smollett, standing on his feet, said hurriedly,

“I shall not rise again from my seat.” The House laughed at the “bull” but it became hushed as Gladstone protested his scorn for a man who, when challenged, had “not the decency, had not the manliness, to reply, but took refuge in ignoble silence from the consequence of his act.” A prolonged cheer from the Liberal benches followed, and when Gladstone spoke again it was in a quiet, subdued manner. Thenceforward his speech resolved itself into an elaborate defence of the course taken by the Cabinet in dissolving Parliament, and comprised an historically interesting statement of his personal views and feelings in the last critical moments of his Premiership.

When Gladstone had finished, he, amid loud cheers, walked out of the House, and Whalley presented himself, this time from a seat behind the front
Opposition bench. His naive confession, that he had “scarcely read the resolution he had seconded,” caused great laughter, which became quite boisterous when he said he was very glad to have the opportunity of commenting upon the inconvenience occasioned to candidates for election and re-election by the suddenness of the dissolution, adding, “It found me in prison”  When, finally, Whalley sat down, there was a pause, and all eyes were turned towards the Treasury bench, where Disraeli sat with folded arms and downcast eyes. Showing no signs of intention to interfere in the matter, Sir George Bowyer rose amid deprecatory cries. It transpired that he wanted Smollett to withdraw his resolution, but the Liberals opposing to his suggestion a determined shout of “No!” the question was formally put from the Chair and negatived.

Excerpt from A Diary of Two Parliaments by Henry W Lucy published in 1885

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Further Reading and External Links

The Author – Henry W Lucy on Wikipedia

Benjamin Disraeli on Wikipedia

 

A Diary of Two Parliaments – 23 April 1874

We are publishing excerpts from the book ‘A Diary of Two Parliaments’ by Henry W Lucy, published in 1885. A popular book in our library, it covers the parliament of the Disraeli government during the years 1874-1880.

Catch-up with other posts in this series here, or search our library here.

The Disraeli Parliament 1874-1880

Mr Gladstone Criticises the Budget

Thursday 23rd April 1874

Houses of ParliamentThe appearance of the House of Commons at half-past four betokened a condition of high expectancy. Every seat in the body of the House was appropriated, and members overflowed into the galleries, a double row facing the Opposition benches indicating that the speaker looked for would rise from that side. The gallery over the clock was densely crowded, amongst the numerous peers present being Earl Granville. Both the front Opposition bench and the Treasury bench were filled, a notable addition to the occupants of the former being Gladstone, who has not of late been very constant in his attendance upon the debates.

As has been his custom this Session, he sat several seats below the one usually filled by the leader of the Opposition, having Bright on his right hand and Childers on his left. The questions disposed of, Raikes, the Chairman of Committees, brought up the Report of the Budget; whereupon Gladstone rose, and was greeted by loud and prolonged cheering from the Liberal benches.

He commenced by observing that he was not about to enter upon a course of hostile criticism, and this pledge was, throughout a speech extending over three-quarters of an hour, kept, not alone in the general scope of his remarks, but in the manner of making them. He was studiously courteous to “my right hon. friend” Stafford Northcote, and most gentle in the utterance even of the strongest of his criticisms upon the financial policy of a Conservative Government.

Stafford Northcote, who followed, observed that, after such a speech, he felt scarcely called upon for an answer; and forthwith proceeded at great length, and in somewhat wearisome detail, to reply.

Excerpt from A Diary of Two Parliaments by Henry W Lucy published in 1885

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Further Reading and External Links

The Author – Henry W Lucy on Wikipedia

Benjamin Disraeli on Wikipedia

 

War in the East – 21 Apr 1855

Search the library for more like this

Below is another compelling installment from “The War” by William Howard Russell – War Correspondent to The Times Newspaper, it gives a daily account of events during the Crimean War (157 years ago).

The book and our excerpts cover from the landing at Gallipoli to the death of Lord Raglan.

Catch-up with earlier posts in this series here or search our library here.

War in the East – 21 Apr 1855

The Crimean War (October 1853 – February 1856) was a conflict between the Russian Empire and an alliance of the French Empire, the British Empire, the Ottoman Empire and the Kingdom of Sardinia – most of the conflict took place on the Crimean Peninsula.

Saturday 21 April 1855

The advanced rifle pit was taken this morning by the English troops in the right attack after a feeble resistance from the Russian infantry, but we were exposed to loss from the fire of the guns in the Redan, and the 41st Regiment had fifteen men killed and wounded in the fire which the Russians opened upon us yesterday evening. The pit was levelled, filled in with earth, and the men then retired. The French, in extending their lodgment last night, had to overcome a very vigorous opposition, and suffered considerably from the fire of the enemy’s batteries inside the town, but they persisted, and have now fairly established themselves on the flanks of the Flagstaff.

There was a skirmish between the Cossacks and the Turks in the plain this morning.

 

Excerpt from The War 1855 by W H Russell – Correspondent to The Times.

This volume contains the letters of The Times Correspondent from the seat of war in the East – The Crimean War – the first war with war correspondents.

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Further Reading and External Links

Maps, Plans and Pictures of the Crimean War

William Howard Russell on Wikipedia

William Howard Russell on BikWil

War in the East – 18 Apr 1855

 

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Below is another compelling installment from “The War” by William Howard Russell – War Correspondent to The Times Newspaper, it gives a daily account of events during the Crimean War (157 years ago).

The book and our excerpts cover from the landing at Gallipoli to the death of Lord Raglan.

Catch-up with earlier posts in this series here or search our library here.

War in the East – 18 Apr 1855

 

The Crimean War (October 1853 – February 1856) was a conflict between the Russian Empire and an alliance of the French Empire, the British Empire, the Ottoman Empire and the Kingdom of Sardinia – most of the conflict took place on the Crimean Peninsula.

Tuesday 18 April 1855

FOURTH DIVISION CAMP

OUR fire is very much diminished to-day. The Russian fire is also slackened just in proportion as they find our guns do not play on them. The French batteries have also relaxed a little in their energies. Even were there no considerations connected with the state of the siege and of our supplies of ammunition involved in this diminution of the weight of our bombardment and cannonade, it must be remembered that, unless with constant reliefs, four hour spells at working heavy guns in the heat, dust, and blood of the trenches will wear out the strongest men.

At present the men are employed in repairing damages, in replacing injured guns and platforms, etc. There was exceedingly heavy firing last night and this morning. 

Excerpt from The War 1855 by W H Russell – Correspondent to The Times.

This volume contains the letters of The Times Correspondent from the seat of war in the East – The Crimean War – the first war with war correspondents.

===+++===

Further Reading and External Links

Maps, Plans and Pictures of the Crimean War

William Howard Russell on Wikipedia

William Howard Russell on BikWil