Page:English Caricaturists and Graphic Humourists of the nineteenth century.djvu/113
of suspending the Habeas Corpus Act, on the first occasion at the end of February, and on the second in June.
At a meeting held at Manchester in March, for the purpose of petitioning the Regent against the suspension of the Act, it was proposed and agreed that another meeting should be held on the following Monday (the 10th of March), with the professed intention that ten out of every twenty persons who attended it should proceed to London with a petition to His Royal Highness. The meeting took place accordingly; many thousands actually attended in full marching order (i.e. provided with a bundle and a blanket); and a considerable body appear to have made some advance on their way before their further progress was arrested. Expeditions of a similar character were simultaneously planned, attempted, and frustrated in other parts of the country.
Government Spies.Meanwhile, there were trials for high treason at Westminster Hall; trials of rioters at York and Derby; and at the latter town, on the 7th of November, three miserable men were hung. Among the witnesses at these trials appear to have been two men named Castle and Oliver: and it came out that these fellows, with two other Government spies, named Edwards and Franklin, had been among the chief fomenters by speeches and writings of the seditions in the Metropolis and northern counties. The disclosures made by these scoundrels produced of course a great sensation and numerous satires. One of these, entitled, More Plots!!! More Plots!!! published by Fores in August, 1817, is "dedicated to the inventors, Lord S[idmouth] and Lord C[astlereagh]." It is divided into four compartments. In the first we see four foxes (typifying no doubt the four informers) watching the movements of a flock of geese. "'Tis plain," says one of the former, "there is a plot on foot; let's seize them, Brother Oliver." "I have no doubt of it: I can smell it plainly," answers his companion. In the second, a couple of fierce nondescript beasts are regarding a number of innocent lambs: "These bloodthirsty wretches," remarks one of the two, "mean to destroy man, woman, and child, I know it to a certainty; for they carry sedition, privy con-