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Mr. Salt and myself more completely examined one recently. The surface around the depressions is irregularly raised by accumulations of small coal and coal ashes,
nich, like the causeway, must be of considerable antiquity, for they are thickly covered with heath. This coal bassets out at the hillside, about half a mile away, and can be obtained by the simple process of quarrying. The depressions themselves are partially choked with débris of soil, peat, stones, and more coal and its ash. This removed, a circular pit is revealed at the foot of the funnel-like depression. The pit that we attacked was cut through the condensed clayey shale, and showed on its sides the mark of a blunt pick. It was 6 ft. 5 ins. in diameter, and we excavated it to a depth of 6 ft. 6 ins. from the shoulder. Half-way down it contained débris as above, with several huge stones. Below this it contained regular beds of clean peat, with intervening thin seams of coal ash. We were unable to dig deeper, lest the large stones should give way. My observations of this and another of these pits leads me to think that they were originally bottle-shaped; that is, that they had a comparatively narrow mouth, of 5 ft. or 6 ft. in depth, below which the chamber expanded to the size above given. The ground above the chamber falling in, accounts for the débris ; and it is highly probable that the layers of peat and ash were accumulated while the pits were in use. Large rough blocks of sandstone, which must have been conveyed from a distance, are to be seen peeping through the débris of most of the depressions ; and it is reasonable to think that they were connected with the mouths. No potsherds or implements of any sort have been found in these pits ; in fact, nothing to throw light upon their age or use. .
The most feasible explanation is that they were subterranean dwellings, inbabited by a people who burnt coal in consequence of the local scarcity of timber.1
1 Since Mr. Ward wrote this Paper, Mr. Turner's book on Mr. Salt's work has been published.--EDITOR.
REMARKS ON TWO MEDALS,
POLITICAL STRUGGLE THAT OCCASIONED THEIR BEING
BY B. WINSTONE, ESQ., M.D.
HE two medals exhibited, one dated 1794
and the other 1795, although possessing no artistic value, are of interest as outcomes of the great political struggle, then existing, between the landed proprietors on one side, and the manufacturing and
the trading classes, on the other. It gave occasion for the arrest and trial of many persons belonging to the commercial class for high treason. Prominent amongst the number were Thomas Hardy and Isaac Eaton, whose trials and acquittals the medals commemorate. On one side of the medal celebrating the acquittal of Isaac Eaton is a cock, perched on the fence of a pigsty, in the act of crowing. It is connected with a story which brought Eaton into trouble : so it will be further mentioned when speaking of his trials for treason.
Many causes existed at the time for discontent with the organisation of the Government on the part of the large, wealthy, and intelligent middle class, which had arisen through the introduction of manufactories into the country, and the increase of trade, both domestic and foreign. This class contributed very largely to the revenue of the kingdom, and also to the prosperity of the landowners, by purchasing the produce of their
1 Isaac Eaton's medal has been lent to me by Mr. John Pearson, a partner in the Epping Brewery. One of its collectors, without noticing it, had received it with other coins in settlement of accounts of the inns or beer shops supplied by the firm. Hardy's medal was purchased with some other coins.
farms. Manufacturers purchased the wool, which had at one time been exported and paid export duty; whilst the other products of the land were bought by the persons employed in their inills, and by the inhabitants of the towns — merchants and smaller tradespeople. Large towns, such as Manchester, Birmingham, Sheffield and Leeds, had come into existence; and mines, also, were rendered profitable through the industry of the middle classes. The increased population, moreover, found employment in the manufactures and other industries, which the land could not have supplied.
Although the prosperity of the country was admitted by the Government to be due to the industry and energy of the middle class and to the introduction of machinery, its members, unless they were freeholders, had no voice in the government of the country: neither in the imposition of taxes, through which they contributed so largely to the resources of the Government; nor in the expenditure of the large sums of money obtained through their labour. For the franchise (i.e., the electors) was limited to one class of property-holders : viz., those whose property consisted of land—freeholders, as they are termed-and the few freemen of borough towns.
The government was virtually in the hands of the large landowners. They had fifty-six borough towns, whose representatives in Parliament were their nominees ; and, by patronage in the Church through the advowson attached to their manors, and by the control they could exercise over the many appointments vested in the Crown, they possessed great influence amongst the smaller freeholders in the counties in which their large estates were situated.
The freeholders had, perhaps, some grounds for believing the government of the country belonged by right to them, as they were the owners of the country, including the minerals as well as the soil ; whilst leaseholders and other inhabitants lived in the country as their tenants, and on such terms and conditions as might be arranged by them. The governing classes, having absolute possession of the land in England, and the power through Parliament of imposing what taxes they pleased upon the nation, supposed they possessed similar power in the Colonies.
in the Colonies. But the Americans, Colonial subjects of the English throne, alleged that there should be no taxation without representation; and, successfully maintaining their proposition, drew thé attention of Europe to the unfairness of concentrating in one class the governing authority of a nation. The French Revolution was the outcome of ideas respecting the rights which belonged to a nation, through their being adopted by the military forces sent to assist the Revolutionists in America, and circulated, on their return from America, amongst their fellow-countrymen.
The proceedings in France were watched by the discontented portion of the English nation; and the interest taken in them was shown at Birmingham in 1791, where a festival was organised under the presidency of Dr. Priestly, assisted by other eminent persons, to celebrate the success of the Revolutionists in France. A few days before it was held, hand-bills had been circulated holding out the French Revolution as a model, and calling upon Englishmen to rise against oppression. In Scotland, exultation was manifested at the success of the French in a battle in which English troops were opposed to them.
That it was not right to confine the Government of the
country to the owners of one class of property was admitted by some members of the privileged class, for Mr. Grey (subsequently Earl Grey) in 1792 asked permission to introduce a Bill for reforming the House of Commons. Pitt, the Prime Minister, with other members, opposed his application on the grounds that in the excited state of the country it would be dangerous to make any change in the Government. So strong, however, was the popular feeling on the subject of Parliamentary Reform, that clubs were formed throughout the country with the object of promoting it, The most important was the Society of the “ Friends of the People.” Amongst its members were Mr. Grey, who proposed Parliamentary Reform, Lord Russell, thirty-eight Members of Parliament, and other influential persons. Another important and active association or club was formed by Thomas Hardy, and a few other persons, called the “ Corresponding Society.” Thomas Hardy was appointed secretary and treasurer. The Society issued during the year many addresses in the form of hand-bills, signed by him ; also a congratulary address to the National Convention of France, which was the governing power of the French Revolution. It was, moreover, by the end of the year in correspondence with the numerous societies formed in many places with the object of procuring, they said, by legal and constitutional means, Parliamentary Reform. Thomas Hardy, the secretary, was a boot-and-shoe maker in Piccadilly, and he had no social position beyond that of a shopkeeper. It is therefore probable that he was put prominently forward to disseminate the views of a political party, whose members found the money necessary for its support, but were unwilling to appear as actors in the political struggle.
The societies, by means of their publications, were proroulgating ideas which the Government considered seditious, so a proclamation was issued in 1792 against the publication and distribution of seditious writings. The proclamation, although considered by some persons to be unnecessary and hurtful, had the approbation of the citizens of London and other persons of property, who preferred a strong and settled Government to the possible