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SPEECHES



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RIGHT HON. GEORGE CANNING.



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SPEECHES



or ruT.



RIGHT HON. GEORGE CANNING



DELIVEASD OV



PUBLIC OCCASIONS



LIVERPOOL.



WITH A PORTRAIT OF MR. CANNING.



LIVERPOOL:

THOS. KAYE, 45, CASTLE-STREET.
PUBLISHED BY BALDWIN, CBADOCK, AND JOY, LONDON.

1826.



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THESE

SPEECHES,

DELIVERED BY
THE RIGHT HONOURABLE GEORGE CANNING

DURING

HIS FOUR SUCCESSIVE ELECTIONS FOR THIS BOROUOH

AND ON OTHER PUBLIC OCCASIONS

IN LIVERPOOL,

ARE VERY RESPECTFULLY INSCRIBED TO

HIS FRIENDS,

FREEMEN AND INHABITANTS OF THE TOWN,

BY THEIR OBLIGED

AND OBEDIENT SERVANT,

THOS. KAYE.



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CONTENTS.



IVTBODVCTIOV i

Sfzzchxs during the Election of 1812 1

Spbechxs at a Public Dinner in 1814 81

Sfxzchxs dining the Election of 1816 113

Speeches during the Election of 1818 167

Speeches during the Election of 1820 237

Speeches at Public Dinners in 1822 331

Speeches in the Town-hall hi 1823 T..... 379

Abdbesses on Public Oocasicms 889

Appevbix.— Description of a Piece of Plate presented to Mr. Canning by



. 409

hifl Friends



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INTRODUCTION.



In the following pages are coUected all the
Speeches delivered by the Right Honourable
George Canning, at the successive elections which
placed him in the representation of this borough,
from the year 1812» and on several occasions
arising out of that connexion. They were taken
down in shorthand at the period of delivery, and
have had the advantage of Mr. Canning's sub-
sequent revisal and correction. They are given in
the order of time; and at once embody a history
of those contests which, though local, excited a
very extensive interest; and present eminent ex-
amples of the manly and eloquent discussion of
those questions of deep and public concern which,



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11 INTRODUCTION.

in a free state and among a free people, will
always command the attention of the commu-
nity in general.

The ardour with which Mr. Canning's first
election was carried was a public homage, ren-
dered by the inhabitants of this great commercial
town, to the leading principles of that distin-
guished statesman, and to the talents by which,
in various difficulties and critical periods of the
state, he had advocated them; but the increased
attachment of his constituents, which was mani-
fested as often as a niew appeal was made to
their suffirages, and on every other occasion on
which he appeared among thein, was produced
by thzt personal esteem which the manly avowal
of his opinions, the courtesy of his intercourse,
and his unwearied application to the interests of
the town, drew from all ranks, and from the
moderate and respectable of all parties.

Independeiit of the fame which these speeches,
called forth by Mr. Canning's connexion with this
borough, have added to his character, as an orator
and a statesman, no representative of any place
ever retired from his station .with more gratifying
and marked proofs of confidence and afiection.



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INTRODUCTION. Ul

Hef hid, at fir^t, to plutage into the fuU tide of party
conflict; ^«nd, during successive elections, the
excited state of the political combatants, and the
frequent pressure of public affairs upon particular
interests, tendedlittle to encourage the exercise of
candid and liberal sentiments: yet, even in these
circumstances, the influence of hfei honourable
condnct triumphed over the riiggied and boister-
ous feelings of party; and his services w^re not
suffered to terminate before he secured, in the
address presented to him, at his farewell visit, by
''the unanimous votes of all the mercantile asso*
ciations of the great commercial community,"
embracing many persons of political opinions
very different from his own, the most marked and
flattering acknowledgments of his .''attention,
kindness, impartiality, and exertions in the pro-
motion of every object in which the chajracter
and prosperity of his constituents . had . been
involved."

A few words may be necessary to explain, the
state of our local parties^ at the tim^. of Mr.
Oanning's introduction among us.



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nr INTRODUCTION.

Idverpool has always had to boast a majority of
intelligent persons, in its best and most respect-
able circles, whose patriotism remained firm
amidst commercial pressures, and whose enlarged
views of national policy were never made sub-
servient to a partial and temporary interest Firm
supporters of that form and structure of govern-
ment under which the nation has risen to emi-
nence, they have had no respect for political
theories; and, unshaken in their loyalty, they
have ever presented a barrier against the factions
which have aimed their insolent violence against
the throne and the institutions of the country.

Of this loyal and influential class, the members
for the borough, in their personal opinions, had
long been the representatives. But a few consti-
tutional whigs of the old school have ever been
found among us ; and the majority of the oppo-
sition party was composed of modem low-cast
whigs, and of no inconsiderable number of per-
sons whose tendency towards democracy was
even still more violent and mischievous. What
this party wanted in strength it usually endea-
voured to supply by activity, and by insidious



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INTRODUCTION. T

and inflammatory appeals to the passions of the
unwary and* the disaffected. Divided on some
particular questions, and in the latitude which
they gave to others, they were, however, generally
united in election contests ; and, having ancey by
taking their opponents unawares, succeeded in
securing the election of a member of their own
choice^ these combined parties assumed an atti-
tude of confidence as lofty as though they had
succeeded in effecting a revolution, in favour of
their own opinions, in the sentiments of the town
at large* Their triumph was of short duration ;
for, on the dismissal of '* the Talents," and the
subsequent dissolution of Parliament, the party
found, that they had before triumphed not over
tike weaknessj but only over the carelessness of their
opponents. The strength of the friends of the
throne and the constitution was put forth, and
success was easily secured. The defeated party,
always happy in comforting themselves under dis-
aster, sheltered themselves under' the pretence,
that the people had been misled by the ^' No
Popery" cry; and they had also at hand an idle
Btory of riot to account for their disappointment.
The hcty however, was, that the opinions of the



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Tl mmODUCTIOK.

town -were theD^.afiDd always had been^.s^aiiifit
them. Their; leaders : were^ either th^OBelTes wil-
Ung to believe the contrary, or thought it politic
to make their >followes6 believe so. They, there-
for^ Jkept up.a high tone at their public dnmers,
and hdid out thei certainty of their being able to
bring'in two members of their own nominating,
whenever the next election should take.place.
They ;appear> however, to have fbund .a diflBi-
cuky in obtaining candidates, and mdny names
were occasionally m^itioned. At length, Messrs.
Brougfaamand Creevey were definitely fixed upon.
As wbigs, they ware acceptable to the leaders of
the party; and, being ardent in their partisan
character, they approached the views and wishes
of the more violent of their followers. There
were, also, some accidental circumstances much
in favour of these candidates, and they were, on
this account^ better fitted tathe purposes of their
Mends in Liverpool, who must have felt some
fears as to their strength, and therefore made
the best of the advantages which the candidates
had acquired from an accidental popularity. Mr.
Creevey had exerted himself in the question of
a free tvade to India ; and his way had been



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iNTnomrcTfovi vn

prepared in Liverpool by a pamphlet on the «iib^
ject. Mr. Brougham had made himself the idol
of thai opponents of the Orders in Cowiicil/' and
the party, which American interests had created
m the totm^ With these auxiliaries a complete
triumph was . anticipated, , and . the party was
flushed with confidence./

It was not probable, that this bold attednpt to
seize upon the entire representation would be
submitted to; and the step taken to defeat it was
one which did great credit to the judgment of
those who proposed it. Mr. Canning was selected^
and induced to offer himself. Never was triumph
more complete. Around his standard were in^
stantly assembled, not the retainers of ministers,
not men under government influence and obliga*
tion, for he was not the ministerial member; but
those independent men who, without any respect
to the ministry of the day, cherished in their
hearts principles of love to the sovereign, respect
to the constitution, firmness in the national
struggle in which we were then involved, and
a high determination to support the country in
every disaster, till it should win for itself such



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Vm INTRODUCTION.

a peace as the justice of its cause demanded and
deserved.

The invitation to Mr. Canning was proposed
at a meeting of gentlemen, held at the Golden
Lion InUj on the 25th September, 1812; and a
resolution, moved by Mr. John Gladstone, and
seconded by Mr. Ralph Benson, was passed
accordingly. The following is the invitation :

Liverpool, Octobbr l, 1812.

Entertaining, as we do, the highest respect for and the fbllest
confidence in your talents, integrity, and public conduct, we feel
a strong and anxious desire that this loyal and ancient borough
should possess the high advantage of being represented by you in
Parliament; and we, therefore, do most earnestly invite you to
offer yourself as a candidate at the ensuing election.

Should you favour us by your compliance, we beg to assure
you of our utmost zeal and exertions in your behalf; and, ftom
the knowledge we possess of the very favourable sentiments
generally entertained of you by the freemen and other inhabitants
of this large and populous borough, we cannot permit ourselves
for a moment to doubt your being returned to Parliament by a
large majority, notwithstanding any opposition that is or may be
contemplated by others on the occasion.

With the greatest respect,

We have the honour to be.
Sir,
Your faithful and obedient Servants,



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INTRODUCTION. ix

To this Mr. Ganniiig replied :

mamhead house, near exeter,
sukdat, october 4, 1812.

Gentubmen,

In returning from a more distant part of the cowitry,
upon intelligence of the dissolution of Parliament, I am met here,
this day, by your flattering iuTitation to Liverpool.

I have not words to express my sense of the honour thus ten-
dered to me. It is one which, unconnected as I am with the
town of Liverpool, I certainly should never have presumed to
think of soliciting ; nor can I forbear, even now, entreating you to
reflect, whether any advantage or satisfaction which you can hope
to derive from choosing me one of your representatives, can
compensate the trouble which (I am led to apprehend) you may
have to encounter in accomplishing that object.

Having said this, if it be, nevertheless, your pleasure to call
me to that distmguished situation, my services are at your com-
bmumL I put myself into your hands ; relying confidently upon
the exeitioos which you will employ to give effect to your own
, and to vindicate your choice by makmg it triumphantly



Had I presumed, uninvited, to solicit your suffrages, it would
have been incnnkbent upon me to address to you some profession
of my public principles, and some exposition of my public conduct

As it is, you allow me to flatter myself that to your indulgent
and favourable construction of those principles and that conduct
(by which alone I am known to you) I am indebted for the invi-
tation which I have this day received from you.

I am not likely to swerve from principles which have procured
1o me 80 signal and so gratifying a distinction.

My conduct in Pariiament will always be governed by the best
judgment which I am able to form of what is conducive to the
welGira or essential to the honour of the country.

I have only to add, that gratitude, as well as duty, will ensure

C



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X INTBODUCTION.

my unwearied attention to every thing that may affect the peouHar
interests of the town of Liyerpool, or which can contribute to its
prosperity,

Ihaye the honour to be.

With the highest respect and acknowledgmeaity
Gentlemen,
Your most obliged and faithful servant,

GEORGE CANNING.

Mr. Canning arriYed in Liverpool late in the
evening of the 7th October, 1812, and published
the following letter to the freemen :

LIVBRPOOX, WBDNBSBAT MIGHT,
OCTOBER 1, 18i2.

to the freemen of uverpool.

Gentlemen,

I had no sooner returned my acknowledgment of liie
very flattering invitation sent to me from Liverpool^ than I feh it
my duty to hasten hither for the purpose of paying my personal
respects to the gentlemen by whom that invitation was signed
and to you.

I regret that distance and accidents have delayed my arrival
here to so late an hour; most especially when I learn with what
extraordinary and cordial demonstration of kindness you were
prepared to receive me this morning.

Finding, upon my arrival, the same unmerited partiaitty pro*
vailing in my favour, which had dictated the requisition to me to
offer myself as a candidate to represent this ancient and loyal
town, I can no longer hesitiite, in compliance with that requisition,
to offer to the freemen at large my humble but zealous services ;
and to express to them the pride and satisfaction which I should
feel in being honoured, by their suffrages, with the high trust to
which I have been encouraged to aspire.



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INTRODUCTION. XI

I haTe no claims^ Oentlemen, upon your confidence from pri-
Tate connexion or acquaintance* And, I confess, I am not fond
of extravagant professions ; because, I think, it often happens,
that when too much is professed at first, something is to be after-
wards qualified, or explained, or retracted.

But my public life is before you : irom that your judgment of
me win naturally be formed. And I can confidently assure you,
that, if you should think fit to honour me with your choice, you
shall find me (according to the best of my ability) careful in watch-
ing over your peculiar concerns, and steadfast in maintaining those
principles by which the prosperity of such a town as Liverpool is
most surely to be upholden, connected as that prosperity must
necessarily and inseparably be with the wel&re and the honour
of Great Britain.

I have the honour to be, with the highest respect,
Gentlemen,
Your most obedient and devoted servant,

GEORGE CANNING.

Before Mr. Ganning's answer was receiYed, a
very active canvass had been instituted by the
fifiends of Messrs. Brougham and Creevey ; and
it was pretended, that they had met with an encou-
ragement decisive of success. On Monday, the
5th, Mr. Brougham made his public entry.

On Thursday morning Mr. Canning was
escorted to the hustings by a very numerous and
respectable assemblage of friends, amidst demon-
strations of the most ardent enthusiasm. The
unusual number of five candidates were then put
in nomination; and the result of the first day's



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Xll



INTRODUCTION.



poll gave, as to Mr. Canning, a pleasing earnest
of ultimate success. The numbers, at the close
of the day, were — Canning 139, Gascoyne 117,
Brougham 137, Creevey 135, and Tarleton 5.
The numbers on each day's poll, from the com-
mencement to the close, are exhibited in the fol-
lowing view :



Camnimo ••..


mDmy.


•dD»y.


adD»,.


4lliDay.


SIhOsy.


6th Dmy.


niiD«y.


cthtey.


1S9


818


620


722


926


1,076


1,361


1,631


Oascothb ..


117


288


483


673


864


1,003


1,276


1«632


Brougham ..


1S7


284


488


691


892


1,030


1,105


1,181


Crbbybt • • . .


1S5


27T


478


666


866


991


1,065


1,068


TARLffTOIf ..


5


5


6


6


6


6


6


11



Number of Freemen polled, 2,726.

The greatest number of freemen that ever polled
in this borough on any former occasion was 2,415;
so that the above number exceeds that of any
former election by 311.

The contest was sharp and indecisive, except as
to Mr. Canning, until the sixth day of the poll;
and, to those who judged only from appearances,
the result was considered doubtful. Persons of
better information as to the state of opinion felt no
fear ; and they abready anticipated the defeat of a
party whose principles were even more objection-
able than the arrogant air which marked all their



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INTRODUCTION. Un

proceediiigs. On the seventh day the dispaiitj
became strongly marked ; and on Friday morning,
October 16, bdng the eighth day of the contest,
Messrs. Brougham and Creereyj despaiiiog of suc-
cess, very handsomely took leave of the return*
ing officers at the hustings, and parted ftom the
two successful candidates with expressions of po-
liteness and personal regard, which were warmly
returned by Mr. Canning and General Gascoyne.
The poll was, however, kept open for the firieads
of the remaining candidates till five o'clock in the
evening, and the contest closed, leaving a lange
Bugority in favour of the successful candidates,
and crowning a zealous struggle, begun late, and
under many disadvantages^ with a victory which,
had it been merely personal, would have lost its
interest, but which will long be exultingly remem-
bered as a tnumph of constitutional and British
principles.

The addresses delivered by Mr. Canning, lon
this occasion, excited great admifation; and, by
the swtiments avowed and defended in the more
extended of them, as well as by the eloquence
with which they were clothed, served to increase



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XIT INTRODUCTION.

greatly the zeal of his friends, not only for the
successful, but for the triumphant issue of the
contest. At every succeeding election and visit,
he appeared, however, to rise, in all the attri -
butes of eloquence, above his former efforts ; to
enlighten all the subjects which, at the time,
agitated the minds of men with stronger illus-
tration ; and to fascinate his auditors with a spell
of greater power. Of this the whole collection in
this volume will be sufficient evidence; but, inde-
pendent of the eloquence which at once animates
and adorns them, they possess a claim upon
public attrition which arises from another con-
^deration.

Mr. Canning is, so fsur as our recollection serves,
the first British senator who has valued himself
upon maintaining a constant intellectual inter-
course with his constituents, and who has seized
every opportunity of personally inculcating, with
all the vigour of his commanding talents, those
political opinions which he had invariably advo-
cated, and with such splendid success, in the
Commons' House of Parliament We have, it is
true, four election speeches of Mr. Burke, pro-
nounced by that incomparable man during the



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INTRODUCTION. X?

too brief period in which Bristol enjoyed the
glory of calling him her representative. But those
speeches, though abounding in every variety of
oratorical excellence — argumentative, ingenious,
playful, and impassioned — ^refer chiefly to the
posonal conduct of that illustrious statesman
upon political questions which engrossed the
fleeting anxiety of the day. It was, however, die
privil^e of Mr. Burke's genius to give the endur-
ing impress of his wisdom to every transient topic
which he touched. But Mr. Canning's fortune,
as a public man, has been happier than that of
Mr. Burke. Summoned by the majority of an
enlightened community to become not only the
constitutional guardian of their int^ests, but the
accredited expounder Of their political sentiments,
Mr. Canning took occasion to vindicate the pro-
priety of their choice by exhibiting the extent of
his ability. Upon all the leading questions of our
foreign and domestic policy, he submitted his
opinions to his constituents, with a fairness and
manly freedom which they knew how to appre-
ciate. Placing a dignified confidence in his own
practised and matured judgment, Mr. Canning
shrunk firom no subject, declined no controversy;



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Xn INTSOPUCTION.

but faadeasly presented bis political principles
andrcotidtict to the test of popular scrutiny. We
cannot concave a more dedsive proof of that
progress towards the practical perfection of our
UMcivalled institutions, which weilove to contem^
plale> than such a connexion subsisting between
ther^Nresentative and those who honour him with
tiheir choice.

But in these addresses, except where they
rdiate merely to the passing events of election,
contests, Mr. Canning is seen in a loitier position,


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