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YONSIDERING the very long acquaintance which
we have so happily maintained with the Public, a Preface to our Twenty-eighth Volume seems a very unnecessary ceremony. Éven acknowledgments of kindness and professions of gratitude become tiresome by a continued repetition; and yet, if custom has rendered fuch an introduction necessary, and it is expected that we should say something upon the subject, how can we possibly refrain from the genuine expression of our fentiments, under the strong impressions which the liberal and unvarying favour of that Public, through so long a course of years, has indelibly stamped upon us ?
The proper manifestation, however, of our gratitude, will be in act and not in words; in using our utmost exertions still to preserve the Annual Register in that style of reputation and character, which has hitherto procured it such marked distinction and so unlimited a patronage.
As the year of which we treat did not fuperabound in political events of great general importance, and was happily free from the dazzling brilliance of military exploits, these circumstances afforded us an opportunity, which we gladly embraced, of completing our retrospect of such matters of confideration, as the excess
and urgency of matter in late busy years, had necessarily occasioned our postponing. Of these, the public affairs of our sister island and kingdom, not only claimed the first place from our mutual relation and interest, but demanded it on the account of superior importance to all others. We have likewise brought into view no small share of curious and interesting matter from the transactions of foreign nations, which seemed hitherto to have been overlooked. Spain, in particular, has, through the great improvements which for some time have been taking place in that kingdom, afforded a most pleasing and fertile field for retrospect. Nor have other countries, apparently more sterile, been by any means unproductive. In the business of the present year, the exceedingly complicated affairs of Holland, presented so alarming an aspect, and indicated contequences by which the interests and even security of this country might have been so deeply affected, that their discussion necessarily required our utmost care and most ferious attention.
Ireland. Retrospezlive view of ihe internal ftate of affairs in that country. Attempo
10 reform the constitution, by shortening the duration of parliamenis. Muriny bill passed. Meetings of the Irish volunteers 10 oblain a parliamentary reform. Ineffeālual artempi io induce rbem to disbar.d. Bill for effecting a parliamentary reform . -rejected by a great majority; and rejo!urion ibereupon. Addrejs 10 bis majesty on that subject. Counter address. Anoiber bill presented and rejected. Propofition for ibe relief of ibe Roman-carbolics. Perision of ibe delegates conveyed 10 Nir. Pitr. Air. Piri's answer. Disunion among ihe volunteers, on the subječt of the Roman. carbolics. Lord Charlemont thanked by the city of Dublin for his conduet. Steps iaken by government to prevent she meeting of ibe delegares. Letter from obe Ai. torney General 10 the sberiffs of Dublin. Hig, jberiff of the county of Dublin prosecuted, fined, and imprisoned ; orbers also prosecuted. Meetings of delegates neveribeless beld. Another bill presented, and rejected. Dirrelles of she manufacturers of Dublin. Committee appointed for ibeir relief. Mr. Gardener's plan--rejected by a very great majority. Violent ferment amongst the people Outrages of ibe mob, wbo are dispersed by tbe military. Bill for restricting ibe liberty of the press. Petitions against Modified, and passed. Non-importation agreements entered into. Precautions 10 preveni enormities. Lord Liedteriant incurs popular odium, and is openly insulted Comn:ercial arrangement berrveen Great Britain and Ireland. A fer of resolutions prejenied 10 ibe boruse of commons in Ireland; agreed 10; VOL. XXVIII.
transmitted 10 England. Business opened in the house of commons ibere by Mr. Pine; bis perch. Propejcions minutely investigated. Tennew propositions added. Propoprions palled. Very strongly opposed in the house of lords ; passed Bill ibereupon. Propofitions transmired 10 Ireland; their recepcion there. Bill moved for, correspondent in that in England; debates thereupon. Speeches of Mr. Gralian and Mr. Flood. Bill brought in ; ordered to be printed. Further prosecution of the measure declined. Mr. Örde's speech on the occafion.—Intended emigrarion of the Genevese to Ireland Reception of their commisioners there. Dijagreemeni berween ihe parties. Scbeme proves abortive.
E have already seen, that kingdom of Ireland.-It has always by several acts of parlia- been queftioned, whether any con
ment which paised in the fiderable part of the people of Engyear 1780, the commerce of Ire- land, however unpopular the house land was freed from those ruinous of commons may at times have renrefiri&tions with which it had been dered itself to the nation, was at all long thackled, through the short- ditiatisfied with the establithed mode fighted policy and narrow prejudices of representation, or expected any of the British nation.
effcctual relief from the more freIn the year 1782, the declaratory qnent return of elections. act of George the Second was re- In Ireland, these projects of reforpealed; and by another statute, mation certainly met with a much which pailed in the following year, more general reception-a circumthe authority of the British parlia- stance not difficult to be accounted ment, in all matters both of legisla- for, when we confider the ferinent tion and jurisdiction, were renoun- which then existed in that kingdom, ced, and the political independence and how favourable fuch moments of the kingdom of Ireland was com- are to every fpecies of political inpleatly eftablithed.
novation. The only object therefore that In the year 1779, the parliament remained for the confideration of of Ireland, in their addreiles to the the retpective governments of each throne, had, in tirm and manly lancountry, was the settlement of a guage, demanded the restoration of system of connercial intercourse their commercial freedom. In orbetwixt the two kingdoms, upon a der to give effect to this requisition, firm and permanent batis.
resolutions were entered into by the Before we enter upon this part of inhabitants of the trading towns to our hiftory, it may be neceflary to prevent the importation of British take a short retrospective view of the manufactures ; and there refolutions internal state of affairs in that coun- were often enforced with a degree try.
of violence and outrage, which the The spirit of reforming the con- civil authority of the country was ftitution, by thortening the duration unable to restrain. This vigorous of parliaments, and eftablishing a and determined ipirit of the people more equal representation of the peo- had a forcible eifect upon the deple, which broke out in Great Bri- liberations of parliament; all new tain about the year 1779, paff d fupplies for the current services of over at the same period into the the executive government were de