History of England, Part III, William and Mary to 1887

Tout, T. F. --Powell, F. York


CHAPTER VI: The United Kingdom in the Nineteenth Century

1. [1] When the century began the central government of the country rested with ministers who in a very real sense remained Ministers of the Crown. They have since become for most practical purposes the ministers of the people. 's great power was based upon his influence over an unreformed Parliament, and his success in appealing from Parliament to public opinion. But the French Revolution frightened both king and landowning governing class into a close alliance to uphold the power that each possessed. Then a great tide of outside opinion rose up against both, by reason of their selfish rule, and the lack of good law or executive. It did not cease to flow until England became a democracy. The Reform Bill of destroyed, though not all at once, the power of the Crown and the old aristocratic character of Parliament. When the Crown ceased again to govern, things fell back into their condition under the first two Georges. The House of Commons became again the one strong source of power. But it no longer rested on the noblemen, the squires, and a few select popular boroughs. From to it mirrored the feelings of the well-to-do middle-classes. After the better- paid workmen of the towns also came in. Since the householders in shires and boroughs alike became the arbiters of the national fate. The old landmarks moved slowly, but the Crown and House of Lords have gradually found it wise not to exercise many of their most important legal rights. They no longer strove to withstand strong currents of public opinion, but became content to act as moderating, regulating, and controlling forces. Thus the executive government has become altogether dependent on the House of Commons. Shrewd observers, like Prince , feared lest parliamentary government might prove weak government. How could a State ruled by men of little special knowledge of their departments, and depending altogether on the whims of a popular chamber, hope to carry out a firm and consistent policy?

2. [2] The possible weakness of the executive became the more dangerous as a strong tendency set in with the present reign towards extending on every side the work of the State. It was in vain that the old school of Radicals and Political Economists maintained that every body should be left as free as possible, and that the State should make its sole business the protection of life and property. Public opinion felt they were wrong, and bitter experience showed that leaving each individual to follow his selfish instincts brought about great evils. So the State more and more busied itself with things that in our grandfathers' time it cared little for. It now sought to check the bad results of fierce competition; to see that the workmen laboured in clean, healthy, and properly-fenced workshops; to save helpless women and children from unsuitable or excessive toil; to procure for every child a proper education, and for every household a fitting dwelling. It strove to control the giant monopolies which the modern trading system had brought into being; to save the poor and weak from forces too strong for them to withstand, and to sweeten men's lot by providing means for recreation, study, and refreshment of mind and body. Bit by bit it began to concern itself with nearly every side of the well-being of the community. The extension of the State's functions has not yet stopped.

3. [3] The growth of the functions of the executive supplied a corrective to the dependence of the Government on the whims of a popular chamber. A great mass of new work, most of it consisting of dull and seemingly unimportant details, and much of it of a very technical and special character, now fell to the Government's share. This brought about a more elaborate organisation of the executive power. New ministers had to be appointed, but as English ministers have no special training or knowledge, and are chosen for their popular and oratorical qualities rather than for their power as administrators, they were forced into contenting themselves with the general oversight of their department, while the details of the work were done by a paid and trained staff of permanent officials.

[4] In old days finance had been managed by a Lord High Treasurer and a Chancellor of the Exchequer, the navy by a Lord High Admiral, and the legal system by a Lord High Chancellor. The deliberative executive body was the Privy Council under its President,


and the two Principal Secretaries of State were the recognised go-betweens between king and the people. After the Revolution great changes set in. The Privy Council gave way to the Cabinet. The great offices of State were (except the Chancellorship) put into commission. After the accession of there were no more Treasurers, but several Lords Commissioners of the Treasury, of whom the First Lord was always practically Prime Minister, though the law of the Constitution knew as little of a Premier as of a Cabinet. This change made the Chancellor of the Exchequer, who now generally led the Commons if the Prime Minister were in the Upper House, responsible for the annual budget, or statement of ways and means for the year. The First Lord of the Admiralty similarly replaces the Lord High Admiral, except during William of 's brief and unlucky tenure of the office. The number of Secretaries of State (who must be carefully distinguished from other Secretaries of less dignity, such as. the Secretary-at- War) was gradually increased, and, though remaining in theory equally competent to transact any business, they became in practice limited to a special department. From to there was a Scotch Secretary, though his office was then divided among the two other Secretaries, who had from an early period been called the Secretaries for the Northern and Southern Departments. In a Third Secretary for the Colonial and American Department was appointed, but the office was abolished in as part of the plan of Economical Reform. In a new division was made, and the Secretaries became respectively the Home (and Colonial) Secretary and the Secretary for Foreign Affairs. But in the Third Secretaryship was revived as the Secretaryship for War and (after ) for the Colonies as well. In the War Department was separated from the Colonial, and a Fourth Secretary for the Colonies empowered. In the annexation of to the Crown brought about the Fifth or Indian Secretaryship of State, instead of the Presidentship of the Board of Control, established in , as a sort of Indian ministry.

Other departments were also established. 's Council of Trade and Plantations became, in , the Board of Trade, according to 's plan, which was abolished by in , but revived in as a Committee of Council, which, under its President, grew bit by bit in independence, power, and importance.


In a Poor Law Board was set up, which in was transferred to the Local Government Board, whose President is now generally a Cabinet minister. An Education Department has grown up since from a Committee of the Privy Council, which in received a special organisation, and in was brought under a Vice-President of the Council, who shared with the Lord President the duties of Education Minister. Thus some of the old administrative powers of the Council came back to it. It has also by Commissioners the control of all Civil Service appointments.

After a First Commissioner of Works and Buildings was appointed. The Lord Privy Seal and the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster still continued as nominal officers with little work. Recently the Scotch Secretaryship has been revived, and a Minister for Agriculture has just been established. The Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland has gradually become mainly occupied with the ceremonial duties of the mock Court at Dublin. The responsible Irish minister is now for practical purposes the Chief Secretary to the Lord-Lieutenant, a post which recent events have rendered of very great importance.

[5] Under each minister has gradually grown up a large department with extensive offices and a large staff of trained clerks and officials, with a permanent non- political Under Secretary at the head of each, who, from his long experience, cannot but exercise very great power, especially when, as often happens, his political chief has no special knowledge of the work of his department. Fortunately the English Civil Service has always been


; that is, non-party and permanent. This does a great deal to balance the evils of party government, though it has dangers of its own in the liability of officials to be enslaved by red tape and routine. Of late years entrance into the Civil Service has mostly been by open competition.

4. [6] Local government became increasingly complicated, as new bodies were created, with great carelessness for system, to discharge new functions. In the English counties the local government remained with the Quarter Sessions of the Justices of the Peace, a class largely made up of the landed gentry. But in borough towns throughout the kingdom the Corporations exercised a local self-government, which has recently been restored to the country districts of England and Scotland


by means of popularly-elected County Councils, and had already been extended to populous places through Local Boards of Health. Elective Parish and District Councils have also been set up, and have done something, but not everything, towards reducing the waste, chaos, and confusion that sprang inevitably from so many clashing jurisdictions. In Ireland the Grand Jury, composed of persons such as in England are Justices of the Peace and sit at Quarter Sessions, is just superseded by County Councils as in England.

5. [7] The army which fought so bravely under is described by its own general as recruited from the

"scum of the earth, the most drunken and worst men in every village,"

and was only kept in discipline by flogging and sternness during the twenty-one years of service. The officers were mostly high-spirited gentlemen, ignorant of the art of war till they came face to face with an enemy, and in time of peace idle and as lacking in discipline as their men. The army administration was a marvel of complication and inefficiency. The Commander-in-Chief, the mouthpiece of the king, was the military head of cavalry and infantry, but could do nothing involving expense without the leave of the Secretary-at- War, a member of the Government responsible for the army estimates and finances. But the artillery and engineers were not under the Commander-in-Chief, but under the Board of Ordnance and its Master-General, and the home militia was ruled by the Lords-Lieutenant of the counties, who looked to the Home Office for their orders. The Commissariat was dependent on the Treasury. When war broke out all military operations were controlled by the Secretary of State for War and the Colonies.

After the peace of , the army was still looked on with some of the old jealousy, and sought to hide it away in small bodies to prevent it getting too conspicuous. The old system went on all through the long peace, and finally collapsed in the needless miseries which it brought upon our army in the Crimean war. Reforms were then introduced. A new Secretary of State for War was appointed to discharge the work of the former Secretary of State, the Secretary-at-War, and the Master of the Ordnance. But the dual system of the Commander-in-Chief and his office at the Horse Guards, and the War Secretary at the War Office in Pall Mall, still led to confusion, as every attempt to bring the general under the statesman was


resisted as an attack on the prerogative. At last 's reforms in and laid the foundations of the present army system. The command of all forces, regulars, militia, volunteers, and all, was brought under the Commander-in-Chief. Purchase of commissions was got rid of, and the officers were required to go through an education in military science at Sandhurst or Woolwich. The Staff was improved, the Transport and Commissariat arrangements brought into some sort of order. Short service was introduced, seven years with the colours, and five, now six, with the reserve. Before long, the army was localised-that is, every regiment had its depot fixed in some county from which it took its name, and included, besides at least two battalions of the line, both the militia and volunteers of the district. The Minie and Enfield rifle, with its percussion lock, superseded the smooth-barrelled, flint-locked, old

"Brown Bess,"

which would not fire straight over 150 yards, just in time for the Crimean war, and has, since , been superseded by breechloading rifles. The number of field artillery has been much increased. Pains have been taken to make the soldier's life more attractive, and to raise the tone of the soldiers. Flogging has been abolished altogether. The army, which in was 80,000 strong, now consists of about 200,000 men, with a reserve of 80,000, besides 100,000 militia, and over 200,000 volunteers; but the organisation is still somewhat incomplete, the divided authority still stands in the way of reform, and it would be impossible to mobilise at all fast.

6. [8] Greater changes have taken place in the navy, though that force was never allowed to drop so low as the army between , and we always had a fairly efficient system of naval administration under the Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty. The introduction of steam brought about the first revolution. But it was very long before steam was thought a practicable way of propelling warships. In the few steamers in the royal navy were small despatch paddle-boats not intended for fighting. After , a number of wooden frigates and corvettes were built with screw propellers, while

" auxiliary screws"

were also fitted on to many ships already built. The navies which did so little in the Crimean War were driven by steam, though they kept the general appearance, rigging, arms, and structure of the old line-of-battle ships. Their inability to fight against shore fortifications led to the building of some batteries protected by 4(3/4)-inch


plates of iron, a system first taken up by the French, but soon adopted by us. These first ironclads did good service in bombarding Kinburn. Before long iron armour was also adopted for vessels of a sea-going character, and the improvements in the iron manufacture soon caused all large ships to be built with iron, and latterly with steel. Masts and sails almost disappeared along with the graceful lines of the old man-of-war. A large number of small cannon were replaced by a few very heavy and powerful guns; and ships grew bigger and the armour-plating thicker as the guns were made heavier and more powerful. Improvements in the steam-engine made it possible to move these unwieldy monsters at a speed of sixteen or seventeen miles an hour. Latterly torpedoes have become very prominent in naval warfare.

The condition of sailors changed with the change of the type of their ships. Much smaller crews are now required, and a large proportion of them are engineers and stokers, with nothing to do with navigation or fighting. But greater care was in many ways paid to the sailors' health and well- being, though many modern battle-ships are but sorry substitutes in comfort and convenience for the old wooden walls. The brutal system of impressment dropped out of use. The navy is now recruited from boys in training-ships, who serve from eighteen onwards for twelve years. A Naval Reserve from the merchant service has recently been organised. Great efforts have lately been made to enlarge and improve the navy.

7. [9] The general condition of the Church early in the cen tury was not very high. Many of the bishops were either noblemen, noblemen's tutors, or distinguished scholars, and some of them greedy, lazy, and indifferent to their spiritual duties. Scandalous lives and drunkenness were not rare among the parochial clergy, and even among the rest there was more decorum than hard work and zeal. Non-residence was shamefully common, and increased after an Act in gave the bishops power to give or withhold licences not to reside. The poet describes a type of country clergyman that was still sometimes to be found :-

"A jovial youth who thinks his Sunday task

As much as God or man can fairly ask;

The rest he gives to loves and labours light,

To fields the morning and to feasts the night;

None better skilled the noisy pack to guide,

To urge their chase, to cheer them or to chide;

A sportsman keen, he shoots through half the day,

And, skilled at whist, devotes the night to play."

Such men were often good-natured, honest, and kindly, but the clergy

"as a body were secular in their habits, though above the level of general society."

" The expulsion of the poor from the churches,"

says a great High-Church statesman,

"the mutilations of the fabrics, the horrors of the Church music, and the coldness and indifference of the lounging or stooping congregations would shock a Brahman or a Buddhist."

The Evangelicals, led by the devout Charles Simeon of Cambridge (), were the most active section of the clergy. But the

"Evangelical party,"

properly so called, was not very numerous, and as a rule not very influential throughout the country, though its teaching gave colour to many outside their own body. They were also looked on with great suspicion by orthodox old-fashioned High- Churchmen. But they did much good work, and careers like that of Henry Martyn, the missionary to (), showed that Evangelical views could inspire noble self-devotion and unselfish Christian zeal. But they worked too much by themselves to inspire the whole nation with their spirit, for they chiefly aimed at advancing spiritual life in the individual rather than the spiritual development of the Church as an institution, and their peculiar methods were not always attractive to persons of education and culture. To them is largely due the cry for the new churches, which, helped by large Government grants, now grew up in the large towns, the movement in London owing much to the zealous Charles James Blomfield, bishop between .

There was still much bigotry, and the Church clung hard to its old exclusive privileges, and set itself against needful reforms. The emancipation of the Roman Catholics in was not popular, though many bishops voted for it. But practically all the bishops opposed the Reform Bill, and the Church seemed so unpopular that the Reformed Parliament, it was thought, would make short work of it altogether. The strongest bishop, Phillpotts of Exeter, led a fierce opposition to all reform. The very moderate proposals of the Whigs, especially their Irish Church policy, filled many with the greatest alarm.

8. A few years before the Reform Bill, Oriel College, which had thrown open its Fellowships, became the centre of intellectual life in Oxford. It was also the seat of a


liberal theological movement, [10]  led by Edward Copleston, the Provost (Bishop of Llandaff in ); Richard Whately, a haughty and terror-inspiring logician (Arch- bishop of Dublin in ); Renn Dickson Hampden (Bishop of Hereford in ), writer of Bampton Lectures that few read but many denounced as unsound; and , the reformer of public school education, and headmaster of Rugby after . But the removal of the Liberals to other work brought forward some younger Fellows of the college of a very different way of thinking. Among these were John (), after Vicar of Hursley in Hampshire, a shy, retiring poet, whose sweet and graceful Christian Year had first appeared in ; Edward Bouverie Pusey (), Professor of Hebrew since , and a man of caution, learning, wealth, and social position; and above all John Henry (born ), Vicar of St. Mary's,

"a thin pale man, with large lustrous eyes, and a slight bend forwards,"


" subtle and sympathetic mind was a ferment of emotion, speculation, and yearning for truth."

To this little band the Church outlook seemed very gloomy, and sounded the note of alarm by a sermon on National Apostasy, on 14th July , a day ever regarded by as the starting-point of the new religious movement. The little knot of like-minded men met together and resolved to

"revive through the press the doctrines of the Church, the Ministry, and the Sacraments. The result was the Tracts for the Times,"

which were received with violent enthusiasm by a few, and by a howl of reprobation by the many. But the movement spread, connecting itself with the leaders of the old High Church party, which had always had a considerable following among the clergy, and was then upheld by Hugh James Rose, Principal of King's College, London, between , Walter Farquhar Hook, Vicar of Leeds between , and Henry Phillpotts, Bishop of Exeter between . By the end of the High Church revival had become general. But the outcry against the Tracts grew until it came to a head in the storm excited by Tract Ninety, in which sought to prove that the loose language of the Thirty-Nine Articles made it possible for English Churchmen to hold some form of the mediaeval doctrines which they seem specially to condemn. The crisis soon came. The Tracts were stopped, and withdrew from active teaching. In Pusey was


suspended for advocating extreme views bearing on the doctrine of the Real Presence in a sermon. William George Ward was deprived of his degree for going even beyond the doctrine of Tract XC. in his Ideal of a Christian Church. But some of the leaders had gone so far that they began to doubt whether the Church of England standpoint had any logical basis. At last in became a convert to the Roman Church, and was followed by Ward and many others of his ablest and most enthusiastic disciples.

9. [11] The Tractarian movement proper ends with the secession of its greatest genius, but the mass of the party stood firm under the quiet and diplomatic leadership of Dr. Pusey, from whom they were often called Puseyites, though they chose to style themselves the Catholic school. The impulse which the Tractarians gave lived on, and, becoming more practical and less intellectual, brought about a very general revival of Church life and feeling. [12] One further result was a fresh study of mediaeval art and practices which led up to the revival of the symbolical ritual of the middle ages, and gave the extreme following the nickname of Ritualists, though the great teachers laid all the stress on dogma, and cared little for mere outward forms. Despite much opposition and great outcries of No Popery, the noble lives and devotion of many of the Ritualist leaders spread their teaching among the people, and procured for them a practical toleration, though they have sometimes gone to lengths not easy to reconcile with the Church's teaching. Yet the attempts to put them down have all failed, and none more signally than 's Public Worship Regulation Act of . The Bennett judgment of the Court of Arches in definitely permitted the teaching of the most dis tinctive doctrine of the new High Churchmen. [13] Meanwhile the Evangelical or Low Church party continued to flourish, though it began to show signs of losing its power of spreading more widely. In the Gorham judgment had given the same toleration to its dogmatic teaching as the Bennett judgment afterwards did to that of its rivals. A new school of Liberal or Latitudinarian Churchmanship revived the spirit of Tillotson and Burnet. The opinions of Whately were too hard and logical to have much influence outside universities, but the influence of the poet and thinker, Samuel Taylor , inspired men of active and enthusiastic temperament, like Frederick Denison () and Frederick


Robertson of Brighton (), to build up a theology to suit the needs of modern thought, and disciples like Charles Kingsley (), Rector of Eversley, novelist, poet, clergyman, and social reformer, to carry their teachings into practice. [14] They were looked upon with great suspicion by lovers of the old ways, and in was unjustly turned out of his professorship at King's College, London. But gradually they won a position for themselves, and all the outcry against the more outspoken advocacy of new ways by some of the seven writers of a book called Essays and Reviews, published in , did not secure the conviction for heresy of Dr. Rowland Williams, Vice-Principal of St. David's College, Lampeter, before the Privy Council. So each of the Church parties got some sort of legal recognition as well as practical toleration. Some evil has resulted from the stronger growth of party cries, but also a good deal of activity and energy, which has not altogether limited itself to sectional channels.

10. [15] The increased activity and usefulness of the Church has been helped forward by all parties, and by men who have avoided party altogether. Organisation has been improved, and vast sums spent on building new churches and repairing old ones. Within the last fifty years more than 3000 new parishes have been created, mostly under 's Church Building Acts. The Ecclesiastical Commission, set up in , has done a great deal towards the better management and more equal distribution of the Church estates. Nine new sees-Ripon, , St. Albans, Truro, Newcastle, , Southwell, Wakefield, and Bristol-have been established; many suffragans have been consecrated, and a whole hierarchy of bishops of the flourishing series of Colonial churches set on foot, so that in ninety-five Anglican prelates met together in a Pan-Anglican Synod, and a still larger number in .

In Convocation was again allowed to sit to transact business, an act mainly procured through the zeal, activity, and tact of Samuel (), Bishop of Oxford and afterwards of Winchester, the son of William , and the leading bishop of his time. But as Convocation is not a very representative body, voluntary Congresses and Councils have been gathered together to get at Church opinion more fully. Meanwhile the Church has not neglected its more definite spiritual work, and the tone and character of public worship have been largely raised.


Something has been accomplished towards bringing the Church into harmony with the growth of democratic feeling in the nation, though much still remains to be done. All through the century the Established Church has been, little by little, losing its old invidious supremacy, and has had to justify itself by its work. It has so far succeeded that it is much better liked and does much more work than in the days of the Reform Bill. Even in districts like Wales and Cornwall, where the Church was once at a low ebb, its prospects are brightening. In the towns its position is incomparably stronger.

11. [16] The nineteenth century has gradually witnessed not only the sweeping away of the large number of odious disabilities once imposed upon Nonconformity, but a distinct growth of the spirit of toleration, which is quite a different thing. In and the worst of the old restrictions were removed. In Dissenters were allowed to be married in their own chapels or before a registrar, and to record the births of their children in a less invidious way than taking them to church to be baptized. In Jews were admitted to sit in Parliament. In abolished compulsory Church Rates. In religious tests were got rid of at Oxford and Cambridge. In burials were allowed in parish churchyards

"with any Christian and orderly religious service."

Nonconformist bodies have grown in numbers, wealth, influence, and organisation. The Wesleyans have gradually drifted from their old half-way position into the place of a new Dissenting Church, and several distinct organisations have broken off from the parent connexion, of which perhaps the most important are the Primitive Methodists, a sect established in by , and very strong among certain sections of the agricultural poor. The tendency to further organisation has brought together into a Congregational Union and a Baptist Union bodies of Christians whose first principle was that each individual church was a self-governing independent community. Of late years a zealous but strange body called the Salvation Army has won for itself great influence. A great change of feeling has led to the conversion of the mass of Nonconformists to what is called the Voluntary Principle, and to the belief that the State should have nothing to do with religion. The Irish Church Act of has been their greatest victory.

12. [17] Another feature of the century has been the great growth of the Roman Catholic Church in England, beginning with the repeal of the old repressive laws against it, and helped forward by the secession of (Cardinal in ) and so many of his followers, the longing of many quiet souls to find rest from a troubled and sceptical age in the bosom of an infallible Church, and by the large migrations of Irish to the English and Scotch great towns. In a regular hierarchy of twelve bishops, with new titles taken from great towns, under the Archbishop of Westminster, was set up, which, though much resented by Protestants at the time as a Papal Aggression, was not put down by 's abortive Ecclesiastical Titles Bill. A similar territorial episcopate has since been introduced among the Roman Catholics of Scotland.

13. [18] In Scotland there grew up early in the century the same zeal for ecclesiastical independence which marked the High Church revival in England. The Evangelical party gradually won back a majority in the General Assembly under the leadership of Dr. Thomas (-), a great preacher, pastor, and teacher, and a man, says ,

"of great modesty, much natural dignity, ingenuity, honesty, and affection, as well as sound intellect and imagination, very eminent vivacity, and bursts of genuine fun."

[19] In the Evangelicals carried in the Assembly the Veto Act, which gave the male heads of families the right of refusing the appointments of ministers made by the patrons. This revived the old controversies which had brought about several schisms in the preceding century. Patrons denied the legality of the Veto Act, and in the Court of Session in the Auchterarder Case decided in their favour. A great contest now broke out between Church and State. The Assembly tried to coerce the Presbytery of Strathbogie which had obeyed the law-courts and disobeyed the Church authority, and much bitter feeling was stirred up. The ministry was ignorant or careless, and did little to help over the difficulty. [20] At last the Ten Years' Conflict ended on 18th May , by 470 ministers, headed by , giving up kirk, manse, teinds, and glebe, and forming a Free Church, where their spiritual liberties were not controlled by State compromises or secular laws. A large number of the congregations followed them, and in some parts, particularly in the Highlands, the


Established Churches remained almost deserted, and to this day the Church of Scotland, though of late years much strengthened, has ceased to contain the majority of the population. The withdrawal of the hottest champions of seventeenth-century orthodoxy gave more room for the liberal movement in the Church, which in itself became a fresh ground of difference. In the Patronage Act of was repealed, but it was too late to be of much use, and Scottish Presbyterianism remains split up into different camps. [21] Some of the older secessions were in joined together to form the United Presbyterian Church, mostly distinguished from the Free Church by its upholding as a theory the

" Voluntary Principle."

But of late years a strong party within the Free Church has given up the ideals of the Covenanters, and has declared for disestablishment. As in England, the growth of religious differences was in some ways compensated by more earnest rivalry in spiritual work.

14. [22] In the early years of the nineteenth century the chief English industries were somewhat languishing, yet between the manufacturing population increased by over thirty per cent. The improvement sprang from the gradual bringing in of Free Trade by and . Between the population of the United Kingdom has run up from 25,600,000 to 37,000,000, and that despite the large falling-off in Ireland, and the stationary or declining numbers of the purely agricultural districts. Wealth has grown ever more rapidly. The coal trade has increased fourfold, and the iron trade has found new centres at Barrow and Middlesbrough, and increased nearly eightfold. The cotton, woollen, and linen trades have doubled, and the value of the exports mounted up from £ 45,000,000 to £ 270,000,000. The national revenue, £ 52,000,000 in , was about £60,000,000 in , and in about £ 90,000,000. Prices fell as goods could be made more easily, and raw materials could be bought in the cheapest markets, and this benefited every one. Artisans and professional men earned better salaries, and the income-tax returns showed a steady increase in the number of people comfortably well off. Owing to increase of railways, the call for greater food-supplies to the towns, and the high price of meat, rents rose, and despite the repeal of the Corn Laws, farmers and landlords continued as prosperous as the manufacturer and tradesman. But of recent times the growth of foreign competition, in meat


as well as corn, has cut down the profits of English agriculture, and made corn-growing one of the least profitable forms of employment, while the great national States that have grown up on the Continent are proving much more dangerous rivals to England's manufactures than the smaller and less organised communities that preceded them. Yet the volume of British trade does not fall off, and wages have risen slowly, though prices decline. Manufacturers no longer make colossal fortunes so quickly, and capitalists have to be contented with a smaller percentage of interest, and traders with a diminished margin of profit. Each change brings about great disturbances and difficulties, but as things settle down it seems likely that though England can never expect to get back the position she once bade fair to obtain, as the one great manufacturing and commercial nation in the world, she has no reason to fear, for being every whit as well situated as her competitors, she is likely to retain a very large share of the world's business.

15. [23] There is nothing quite so striking in the annals of nineteenth century inventions as the story of the great discoveries which made the Industrial Revolution possible, yet all sorts of machinery became elaborated with a subtlety, detail, and scientific knowledge to which the eighteenth-century inventors were strangers, and man's control over matter wonderfully increased. Enormous results flowed from discoveries like the Bessemer process for making cheap steel. New machines and methods made the increased volume of trade possible, yet so long as inland communications did not improve, it was hard for very rapid progress to be made. The canals became choked with traffic, and the canal companies, having a monopoly, raised their rates, and handled their traffic as slowly as they chose. The horse-tramways were rare outside the colliery districts, and road transit was too expensive.

16. [24] Steam had long been thought of as a means of locomotion, but the only steam locomotives attempted had proved little better than toys. At last, in , William Symington navigated a steam tugboat on the Forth and Clyde Canal. In the American Fulton first made steamers a commercial success on the Hudson River, and in a steamboat, the Savannah, safely crossed the Atlantic, though it was not for nearly a generation after that improvements in engines, and the utilisation of the screw, made steam navigation possible for large ocean-going vessels. The same process of improve


ment has gone on with little interruption ever since, and steam navigation has now become so cheap that steamers bid fair to almost supersede sailing-ships.

17. [25] In a Frenchman named Cugnot built a locomotive engine for ordinary roads. In Richard Trevithick, a Cornish mining captain, took out a patent for a locomotive, and in an engine of his was used at Penydarren, near Merthyr. In Blenkinsop, near Leeds, and Blackett at Wylam, near Newcastle, regularly used steam locomotives to take down coals from the pit mouth; and in rough, shrewd George Stephenson (), a Wylam fireman's son, ran his first engine on the Killingworth Colliery Railway, with such success that in he started an engine factory at Newcastle. In the Stockton and Darlington Railway was opened, largely through the efforts of the Quaker Edward Pease, and one of Stephenson's engines drew a train of thirty-eightwagons at a rate of about six miles an hour, though for some years horses were used more than locomotives, the one passenger coach, the Experiment, being always drawn by a horse. Meanwhile a new railway was constructed from to , and the success of Stephenson's engine the Rocket led to the introduction of locomotives as the ordinary means of working it. In the opening of the railway was, as we have seen, made memorable by 's tragic death. But lovers of old ways looked askance on the new and mysterious mode of motion, and the most that was expected from it was stirring up the canal companies by competition, passenger transport being hardly thought of. New railways gradually grew up. In the period of experiment came to an end, and railway construction on a large scale began; In Robert Stephenson (the son of George) built the London and Birmingham line, on which the first train ran at twenty miles an hour. This line was soon connected with the and by the Grand Junction Railway. Isambard K. Brunel laid down the Great Western. But there were still grave doubts as to the respective merits of locomotives, stationary engines working a cable, and the atmospheric system, and the Battle of the gauges was not over until , when the amalgamation of the broad gauge (7 foot) Bristol and Gloucester line with the narrow gauge (4 feet 8(1/2) inches) Midland, led to the general adoption of the cheaper and easier width, and left the Great Western, which alone upheld the broad gauge, out in the cold.


In came the Railway Mania, when over 8000 miles of line were sanctioned in three years, and wide excitement and reckless speculation in railway shares produced a long depression and ruined many honest people, while rogues grew fat from ill-gotten gain, though some speculators, like George Hudson, the Railway King, lost their fortune as rapidly as they had won it. Meanwhile a series of giant private monopolies got the control of the communications into their own hands, for it was soon found impossible to regard a railway as a high-road on which anybody might run if he paid the tolls, and the State shrank from the risk and cost of buying up the companies. Bit by bit they were brought under some sort of State control, the first Railway Commission being constituted in . Meanwhile the companies grew stronger by amalgamation, while competition gradually increased the speed of trains, and gave greater facilities to the humbler traveller.

18. [26] In Francis Ronalds of Hammersmith invented the electric telegraph, and offered it to the Admiralty in vain. And now in Cooke and Wheatstone took out their patent for this invention, and what had hitherto been a scientific experiment became a practical fact. Yet for many years telegraphs were but little used. It was not till that the first public telegraph office was opened. But in an effort was made to lay a submarine cable between England and America, though it was not until that it was successful. In the British telegraphs were bought up by the State, and, with the cheapening of the tariff and the increase of public facilities, became for the first time widely and generally used. About the telephone became utilised. But whatever may be the future, the age of steam is not yet over, and the age of electricity is still to come. The result of all the great inventions was that it became infinitely easier and cheaper to spread information, communicate directions, and get about; less expensive to move heavy goods and machines, and harder to keep up the old barriers which cut off place from place. Markets became wider, travel infinitely extended; though whether these inventions have tended to advance human happiness must long be an unsettled question.

19. [27] Early in the century the terrible cruelties and evils of the early Factory system still went on unheeded, while the agricultural labourer was a helpless and spiritless serf. The worst horrors of the apprenticeship system had been redressed by the elder


in , but the great mills of the north were still largely worked by miserable child labourers,

"confined in close and heated rooms, stunned with the roar of revolving wheels, poisoned with the noxious effluvia of grease and gas, until turned out, weary, exhausted, and half naked, to the cold air, to creep shivering to their beds, from which a relay of their young fellow-workers had just risen."

Still worse horrors were wrought in coal-mines, where small children laboured for weary hours in darkness and solitude on dry bread. Even the able-bodied labourer had a wretched time. Between the workmen in the midland hosiery trade hardly earned seven shillings a week when they could get employment, and a widespread practice grew up of stilling the cravings of hunger by doses of opium. Still worse was the chronic distress of the ill-clad and ill-fed hand-loom weavers. Skilled workmen in constant work found bare life a hard struggle. Even the New Poor Law of , which marks the beginning of the improvement of the agricultural poor, at first brought with it some new evils of its own. Drunkenness, brutality, immorality, and ignorance were the natural fruits of such a system.

20. [28] Such horrors drove Robert Owen, a saddler's son from Newtown in Montgomeryshire, who, when still a shy awkward youth, had shown such business gifts as would surely have led him to fortune, to turn his warm imagination, keen sympathy, and deep enthusiasm from the pursuit of greater wealth to improving the condition of the workers, and to brilliant schemes for the regeneration of society. The great cotton mills at New Lanark on the Clyde, of which he became manager and part proprietor by his marriage in , became under his care the wonder of philanthropists, with their night schools, infant schools, and improved workmen's dwellings. He gave the first impulse to Factory Legislation, and was the founder of English Co-operation. But the times were dark, and he gradually came to believe that

"the whole fabric of society was based on a fundamental error."

[29] About he started a wild scheme of Socialism, believing that salvation would only come if men lived together in large square villages and had all things in common. For a time he exerted enormous influence, the Chartists in particular owing much to his teaching. But his Socialism turned out a failure, and his fantastic Labour Exchange was quite unworkable. His fierce hostility to Christianity lost him some of his best fellow-workers, and,


as things grew better, he ceased to be a power in the land, though he had given the impulse to some of the greatest movements of the century.

21. [30] About a systematic effort was made to put an end to the cruelties that daily went on in a large number of factories. A little knot of Leeds manufacturers, headed by Richard , the a generous, impulsive, and undisciplined enthusiast, and Michael Sadler, a Leeds banker, of great eloquence and untiring zeal, took up the movement. Early in Sadler brought forward in Parliament a Ten Hours Bill, limiting the labour of children and women in factories to ten hours a day. But the Reform agitation caused the new movement to be forgotten, and the newly enfranchised middle classes of Leeds refused to return Sadler, who, like most of the leaders in the factory agitation, was a strong Tory, to the reformed Parliament. Lord Ashley, afterwards Earl of Shaftesbury, a young man of high character, good ability, and rigid Evangelical views, now became the spokesman of the factory hands in the House of Commons. For fifteen years the agitation was kept up, though both Whigs and Tories looked on it with indifference or dislike, shelving the main questions by inadequate though useful measures such as Lord Althorp's Factory Act of , and 's Factory Act of , which limited

" children's"

(those between nine and thirteen years of age) labour to six and a half hours, and

"young persons'"

(between thirteen and eighteen) to twelve hours a day. But Lord Ashley and his friends redoubled their efforts. Books like 's Chartism (), 's Sybil (), and Kingsley's Alton Locke (), showed that the public conscience was aroused, despite the capitalist prejudices of , the hostility of the Political Economists, who talked of laissez faire and the rights of property, and the selfish and unscrupulous opposition of some of the millowners, led by and by Richard . In women and children were altogether prevented from working in mines, and in John Fielden, member for Oldham, at last carried the Ten Hours Bill, though the piecemeal methods of English law-making still required many supplemental statutes before women and children were properly protected in the chief industries, and there is still something to be done in this direction. At last in Cross's Factories and Workshops Act consolidated this most important branch of English law. No direct effort


was made to protect grown men, who were thought able to see for themselves, but every mill-hand profited by the wholesome workshops and properly fenced machinery which were now compulsory.

22. [31] When the century began iniquitous laws still prohibited the combination of workmen. In the Combination Laws were repealed, but next year fresh Acts imposed new restrictions, and for many years the Conspiracy Laws were wrested to put down or punish trade combinations, while six labourers who had pledged each other to mutual support in their efforts to better their condition were sentenced to transportation for administering unlawful oaths. Political Economists argued that as wages were fixed by

"natural laws"

it was quite useless for workmen to attempt by combination to raise their rates of payment, and self-interest and fear combined to look upon workmen's societies with disfavour. Trades' Unions, thus under the ban of the law and society, got many of the worst characteristics of secret associations. They were often headed by ignorant, violent, and unreasonable men, and the strikes which, under their auspices, became more important movements were sometimes marked by outrage and brutality, and met by unscrupulous repression, which led to bitter feelings between class and class. But bit by bit things got better. Despite the coldness of the law, there was no positive reason to prevent the stronger trades from forming strong unions, and in the Amalgamated Engineers' Society, established by the consolidation of all the scattered branches of a great trade into one union, set a new example of further combination which was soon extensively followed. In gross outrages at Sheffield were brought home to local unionists, and especially to the Saw-grinders' Union and a ruffian named Broadhead. This led to a great outcry, but the searching investigations which followed showed that such misdeeds were the exceptions and not the rule, and led to a series of Acts beginning in , which fully protected and recognised legitimate trade societies. By teaching self-help, and by increasing the workmen's power, and also by acting as benefit societies on a large scale, they have done much to raise the condition of the more skilled labourers. In Joseph Arch established a Union of the poor and dependent agricultural labourers. The extension of Unionism to the coarse unskilled labour of the towns has had a remarkable exemplification in the successful and orderly strike of


the London dock labourers in . But as combination grows more perfect, strikes and locks-out have become less violent, though unhappily they are still frequent among many branches of trade. Moreover, Boards of Arbitration and Conciliation, such as that started by Mundella in at Nottingham, and self-acting Sliding- Scales of wages have, though not without difficulties of their own, diminished the necessity of recourse to open warfare.

23. [32] Constant and beneficent State intervention, the growth of self-respect and self-help among the workers, and a better feeling between class and class, have combined to improve the condition of the mass of the nation. The change for the better began perceptibly about . Workmen are now better fed, better housed, better clothed, and better paid. They work shorter hours and have better means of occupying their leisure than the brutal drunkenness and degrading pastimes of a hundred years ago. They are educated practically at the State expense, and are in some ways better off than the less organised and heterogeneous but higher-paid lower middle classes. The future must reside with those to whom the Constitution gives an almost absolute command of the ballot-box. The least satisfactory side of modern life is found in the slums of the large towns, though even here an ever-active philanthropy is at work, and things are better than they were, if only because the public conscience is more alive to them. But there is far too much dulness, monotony, and lowness of aim among those comfortably off, and too much abject misery and want among large sections of the community, to give us any room to look on nineteenth century progress with undue or self-complacent satisfaction.

24. [33] Neglect of the first principles of art and passion for sham and pretence had brought architecture to a low ebb in . A somewhat incongruous mimicry of Greek architecture was then fashionable for public buildings, which is to be seen in many churches built after , and at its best in the costly and imposing New St. Pancras. But the Romantic and Tractarian attraction for the Middle Ages now brought about a Gothic Revival, which began in imitation of Perpendicular English Gothic, and gradually worked back through the Decorated to the Early English and Romanesque styles. The best illustration of the earlier steps of this revival are to be seen in the


new Houses of Parliament built by Sir Charles Barry between , and in the chapels of the Brothers Pugin, by far the best trained and most artistic of the leaders of the Mediaevalists. The best result of this movement was the careful and loving study of mediaeval monuments both at home and abroad, especially in Italy and North France, and the influence of John was especially powerful in bringing this about. The practical result was not at first a very happy one; mock-Gothic buildings of every style and date sprang up all over England. Later on things got better, though something was still wanting. The numerous churches of the fashionable Sir Gilbert Scott often shew heaviness and want of grace, and always a lack of originality. Street's new Law Courts in the Strand, though composed with more artistic feeling, are ill designed and ill adapted for their purpose. A higher standard has been attained in Pearson's Truro Cathedral and Bodley's Memorial Chapel, while the work and influence of such a designer as Burgess show the capabilities of this school. Unluckily zeal for uniformity, love of prettiness, and conventional propriety have led to many so-called Restorations of old buildings, which have in too many cases wiped out the historical record, on the pretence of removing incongruities and differences, and providing modern accommodation. The practical destruction of many an historical church is the worst result of the Gothic Revival.

Later than the taste for Gothic came the study of Renaissance architecture, and it has been taken up by several men of ability, as Jackson's New Schools at Oxford may suffice to show. Hitherto buildings have been erected indiscriminately in all sorts of ways, and nowhere with worse results than in our houses. But the

"battle of the styles"

must cease as soon as a wholesome, natural, home-bred school of architecture arises, and it seems as if in the study of English domestic architecture of the eighteenth century, by such men as Norman , there was a possibility of a real revival of sound principles and good practical work, which will make modern houses less hideous and dull than those which were built by the


architects of the first half of the century. The arts of design so intimately bound up with architecture have found many able exponents in England, and, as in the great days of Italian art, English painters and sculptors have devoted much attention to them. This can be seen in the beautiful art-work of William , and the complete and healthy change of taste which has


since been felt in every branch of art-manufacture, notably furniture, glass, and fabric patterns.

25. [34] In painting the century opened in England with but small promise of the excellence to come. and Gainsborough were succeeded by Sir (), whose polished portraits satisfied the taste of his day. The finer and truer works of Sir Martin Shea, and the Scottish President Raeburn were however admired. But in the noble and splendid colourist John Constable () England produced a master the effect of whose work at home and abroad has been second to none in this century. He had affinities with the fanciful and delicate Norwich School, of whom the chief figure was Old Crome (). Popularity and high prices, however, followed rather Sir David Wilkie and the Scottish School, who, more or less happily inspired by the Dutch genre painters, attempted domestic subjects with considerable success. But art training was absurdly inadequate, and the tragic failure of that true critic and draughtsman Benjamin Haydon (), no less than the passing success of the

"cloysome richness and muddled forms"

of William Etty (), revealed the miserable state of public taste.

A new and better era began with the water-colour sketches of Girtin, and the marvellous romantic landscapes painted by the gifted and original Joseph Mallord William (), whose genius was signally proclaimed in by the eloquence and fancy of John 's Great in oils, was unsurpassed in water-colours, and under his influence there grew up a remarkable school of British landscape painters in the latter medium.

A further step in advance was made when, partly under the spell of the romantic medieval revival, partly in obedience to a deep hatred of the conventionality and shams of English figure-painting, a knot of young students, in , amongst whom , (), Holman Hunt, , and William Bell were the most prominent, formed the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, and published in the Germ as the organ of their endeavours

"to encourage and enforce an entire adherence to the simplicity of nature."

From these men's efforts sprang a lasting improvement in English art, which was felt far beyond the narrow limits and original conceptions of the actual brotherhood, and is found in


modern work inspired by very different ideals. In the National Gallery was founded, and in its present ugly, but convenient, building in Trafalgar Square was opened. Art teaching became more real and systematic, and finally a critic here and there was bold and wise enough to follow the courses laid down by John , which have become the commonplaces of the present generation. The result was a raised level of technical skill and effort, and British artists of the present day (though curiously and unwisely neglecting landscape, in which their predecessors had surpassed all foreign schools) have at least taken the trouble to learn their profession. Of late years the influence of the French Impressionists has been great, and may be greater. Nor can one omit to note the effect upon English artists of the exquisite art of Japan, perhaps the only country in the world where fine art is now natural, and enjoyed by the whole people.

26. [35] Nothing could be more pitiful than British sculpture at the beginning of the century. After the death of John , a draughtsman of genius, the cold and somewhat mannered work of Sir Francis (-) and the foreign work of John Gibson (), a Welshman who lived in Rome, were its chief representatives. What with lack of opportunity, and poor training, there has been no sculptor of note among us, with the singular exception of that ill-treated, but vigorous, genius Alfred Stevens, till the advent of the truthful and beautiful work of Gilbert, and other young men, who have learned the best lessons of modern French sculpture.

In black and white work the arts of steel-engraving and mezzo-tint have gone out of fashion, though the recent revival of etching, neglected since the death of George Cruikshank (), and


(Hablot K. Browne) is noteworthy. The woodcuts of Stothard, Harvey, Birket Foster, and Linton, and the designs for wood drawn by , John Leech, Frederick Walker, , Noel Paton, David , Paul Grey, and Charles Keene, are among the most remarkable and beautiful works of the century. Nor are their successors to seek; the art of woodcut illustration, largely carried out by young artists in periodicals, has attained a decidedly high level.

27. In music, the most progressive art in modern times, there has been a remarkable development, mostly due to a higher level of musical culture, a more general sense of


the seriousness and high aims of the art, and a greater taste and appreciation of the great German masters. The results are widely seen in the almost universal Music. introduction of organs and musical services into parish churches and even Nonconformist chapels, and of the pianoforte into the home. The diffusion of taste throughout the land has largely been due to the local Festivals, which have been often chosen for producing great works of famous writers, Norwich bringing out Spohr, and Birmingham Mendelssohn. Choral societies are now found in every town, and, in Wales and Yorkshire in almost every village, and have vied with societies in great centres, like the old Sacred Harmonic Society, in spreading sound knowledge and taste. Orchestral music has made great strides, largely furthered by the London Philharmonic Society. Popular concerts of classical music have become numerous and well attended; and efficient centres of musical education have been established, such as the Royal Academy of Music and the recent Royal College of Music. Prince in his day did a great deal for good music. From about to Spohr was the most attractive composer. Mendelssohn then became supreme for a long period, but of late years taste has become more catholic.

There has been a great growth of English musical composition. Early in the century glees and madrigals of a purely English sort flourished, the leading writers including Calcott, Attwood, Bishop, and Pearsall.. The old schools of Church music revived and were developed. Foremost among church composers and organists were the two Wesleys, nephew and grandnephew of the founder of Methodism. The so-called English Opera of Bishop, Balfe, and Wallace is at least remembered by its pretty songs, and has been succeeded by an original species of extravaganza opera, invented by Gilbert and his colleague Arthur . A severer style of composition dates from the influence of Sir William Sterndale Bennett (), the founder of the Bach Society. Within the last fifteen years a flourishing school of writers, headed by Mackenzie, Parry, and Stanford, has grown up, strongly influenced by and Brahms. Italian Opera, after lingering long as a fashionable amusement, has shown during recent years signs of a decided revival in England, while the new musical dramas of have at last begun to gain a popular foothold.

28. [36] Practical extinction has fallen upon the poetic drama, while plays, though in less literary shapes, have become the most popular of amusements. The English school of acting was at a high pitch at the beginning of the century when the classic acting of Mrs. Siddons, and the strange poetic genius of Kean, the greatest actor since , possibly since Burbage, ennobled our stage. The last relics of these great times lingered in the hearty and vigorous comedy of Robson, and the pantomimic talent of Joseph Grimaldi. Our own times have seen the revival of comedy in new shapes, and the Shaksperian revivals of Macready, Fechter, Charles Kemble, and Henry Irving. The influence of the French stage, which has dominated Europe by the genius of its playwrights and the talent of its actors, has greatly influenced English acting for good, though its influence on English dramatic composition has led to more doubtful results. The melodrama of modern life, and the comedy of the day, have acquired and held popular sympathy. The multiplication of theatres and music-halls has been a striking feature of the last thirty years.

29. [37] At the same time that indoor amusements have become more numerous, and, on the whole, more healthy, there has been an enormous development of outdoor pastimes. Cricket, popular in a rude form in the eighteenth century, became more scientific and more universal in the early years of the present, when round-hand bowling, at first denounced as unfair, began to be introduced. Rowing as a pastime dates from the same period, the first College races at Oxford dating from , but the racing-boats of the period were clumsy and unwieldy until about the outrigger was perfected by Henry , while twenty years later the sliding-seat added to the oarsman's power. About Athletic Sports came into vogue. About the old game of Football was taken up in new forms, and has ever since become increasingly attractive. With the spread of such healthy and pure forms of recreation men began bit by bit to turn with disgust from the brutal, demoralising, and cruel pastimes of a previous age, such as cock-fighting and bullbaiting.

30. No aspect of nineteenth century development is more important than the growth of Natural Science. Englishmen were among the foremost in finding out those marvellous laws of nature which have so greatly altered our whole way


of looking at the universe, and in their applications to the practical arts have so immensely increased man's command over matter. [38] The investigations of Joseph (), preacher, politician, and man of science, and Henry ) laid the foundations of modern Chemistry, and the Quaker John 's () Atomic Theory gave workers an hypothesis from which they could advance still further. Sir Humphry () made a great step in advance by finding out the metallic basis of the alkalies. In our own times larger and more fruitful generalisations, and a more exquisite and minute analysis have again revolutionised the science. The American journalist and politician Benjamin laid the basis of Electricity long before he became the strenuous advocate of American freedom. worked out this science with almost as much success as chemistry, and found a great successor in Michael Faraday (). Joule's discovery of the mechanical equivalent of heat was of the utmost importance. In more recent times the application of Mathematics to Physics by men like James Clerk Maxwell and William , Lord Kelvin, has led to wonderful advances. Sir William Herschel (), a Hanoverian musician, who turned astronomer, discovered in the planet Uranus, and his son Sir John (-) carried out further at the Cape the researches begun by his father at Slough. The discovery of Neptune by Adams, when still a Cambridge undergraduate (), is the greatest triumph of mathematical Astronomy. The invention of Quaternions by Sir William Rowan Hamilton, a Dublin professor, marks a new stride in mathematical science.

The foundations of the new science of Geology were laid by the observations of James Hutton () and William Smith (). In a later generation it was helped forward by the labours of Buckland, Lyell, Sedgwick, and Murchison. Paleontology was ably advanced by Owen, a great authority on Anatomy, and proved a connection-link with the old science of Natural History, already developing into the modern science of Biology, when a revolution in scientific thought was brought about by the publication in of the Origin of Species by Charles (). It was the first of a long series of brilliant and epoch-making books which gradually led to the general acceptance of Evolution, or the theory of progress by gradual growth, which about the same time was


simultaneously hit upon by Alfred . 's theories soon extended into every branch of science the fruitful method of trying to find out the origin of things by patient investigation of their history, rather than by startling theories based upon their later and developed aspects. It is in the Social Sciences as fruitful a method as in Biology, and the sciences of law and of history have been metamorphosed by its influence and action. Philology has been raised by it from the confined limits of elegant scholarship into a real science of language. More than any other single principle this Historical Method marks out the contrast between eighteenth and nineteenth century thought. In the foundation of the British Association for the Advancement of Science, with its annual meetings in various large towns, has served to bring men of science together, and to make their studies better known.

31. [39] Literature has not fallen short in its progress. Early in the century the new school of poetry was represented by the Lake School, headed by William (), the lofty and sincere singer of Nature and the natural man, by Samuel Taylor (), subtlest of poets, most mystic of thinkers, and most unstable of men. Fear of the French Revolution woke these writers and their friends, such as the scholarly Robert Southey (), from their fervid dreams of a coming era of peace and truth into sympathy with old ways, though men like and retained, their strong Liberalism. And soon the very bigotry of the Reaction drove younger men, and notably George Gordon, Lord (), the greatest poetical force of his day, and the most popular and inspiriting of modern poets, into fierce and eloquent though unmeasured denunciations of the tyranny of cant, custom, and ignorance. To this day the poetry of the whole civilised world shows clearly the effects of 's writing, spirit, and form of verse. He has been the herald of Liberalism to the youths of Europe and America for two generations. Side by side with , as a poet of Revolution, stood Percy Bysshe Shelley (), the most musical, most imaginative, and most unworldly of modern lyrical poets, who entered far more deeply than into sympathy with the moral and material yearnings of the modern mind. Alongside them wrote John Keats (), cut off before his rare genius had wholly ripened, in a youth undisturbed by political tumult, in the single-minded worship of beauty. His


career marks the exhaustion of the impulse which began with Burns and Cowper, and which had now filled all Britain with singers. Among other notable poetic work of this period must be reckoned the musical lyrics of Thomas (), the noble songs of (), the robust, vigorous and popular poetic romances of , and the faint Wordsworthian echoes of John 's pious and refined Christian Year.

A new poetic wave surges up with the great stir of national life marked by the Reform Bill, and the Mediaeval Revival and Tractarian movement. The new writers grapple with all the problems of life and nature that were disturbing the minds of the new generation. This movement seems as it were to culminate in the poems of two men -Alfred (), whose work, inspired originally by and Keats, tenderly and beautifully reflects with Virgilian finish the varied moods of nature; and Robert (), the poet-philosopher, the deepest, roughest, and noblest of our modern singers. To be named with, but after, them is 's faithful but wayward disciple (son of Arnold of Rugby), who also wrote admirable criticism in most lucid and polished prose, and , 's gifted wife.

In strong contrast to these stands the AEsthetic School, who, like Keats before them, have gone to Greece and Mediaeval Europe for models and subjects, careless of external aims, and pursuing art for her own sake. Their work, foreshadowed by Charles Wells and Beddoes, seems to centre round the exquisite sonnets and pictorial poems of , as consummate a poet as he was unique as a painter. It has become most widely known by the musical and eloquent verse of Algernon Charles Swinburne, the fresh and beautiful narrative verse of William , a painter and designer of rare excellence, and the pious and delicate lyrics of , first of English poetesses.

32. [40] Nor is this nineteenth century less remarkable for prose than for poetry. Early in the present era the Romantic School spread as rapidly and surely by its prose fiction as by its verse and drama. Disgusted at the levelling tendency of the French Revolution, crushed by the dull monotony of the middle-class life of the preceding age, and attracted by the glamour of the remoter past, the Romanticists found, like the Tractarians and the Gothic and Pre-Raphaelite revivalists, their fullest


satisfaction and consolation in the study of the Middle Ages. With much that was fantastic, much that was of permanent good sprang from the movement. History again becomes a serious study, and the labours of the judicious prepared the way for the fuller and more detailed investigations of later times. Thomas Babington () glorified, with eloquent rhetoric, the triumphs of Whiggism and of modern material progress, and became the most popular, vivid, and picturesque of historians, and the best index of the merits and deficiencies of his time. But the great growth of modern times is the novel, which in the hands of Sir (), an Edinburgh lawyer who aspired to be a Border laird, became at once the best exposition of the romantic past, a shrewd and sympathetic analysis of human character and manners, and the greatest literary influence on modern life. Among the best prose literature we may enrol the poetic and impassioned eloquence of Thomas De Quincey (); the austere style and vigorous fancy of Walter Savage Landor (); the exquisite taste and gentle humour of our greatest critic, Charles (); the classic simplicity and keen appreciation of William ; the fine, sturdy directness of William ; and the subtle art and skill of 's eloquent pleadings for the theology and system of Modern Rome.

[41] A school of strong, but narrow, reformers sprang up from the teaching of Jeremy Bentham (), and were represented in literature by , the scientific lawyer, James Mill, the historian of , and George , the banker and historian. They were called Utilitarians, because they applauded or condemned actions and institutions, according to their usefulness and bearing on the

"greatest good of the greatest number."

But save in the important departments of law and constitutional reform, their action was perhaps more effective in criticising old than in framing new plans, and their insistence in politics and economics on the doctrine of laissez faire kept them out of harmony with the deeper movements of the time. The last teacher of the school, John Stuart Mill (), son of James Mill, found it hard to square his cold philosophy with his sympathetic and wide philanthropy, and after his time new influences reigned over English thought, represented by the Hegelian German school, expounded by such men as Thomas Hill Green, and


the fervid advocates of Evolution, headed by Spencer.

[42] Strong reaction from the doctrinaire Utilitarians, bankereconomists, and greed-inspired mill-owners fired the most influential teacher of the middle part of the century, Thomas (), who taught reverence, obedience, hero-worship, and the gospel of duty and work in the strangest, most irregular, and most irritating of styles, and wielded a mighty influence in turning men away from the coarse materialism of an age of shams, machinery, and mammon-worship. His friend and disciple, John , richest, most eloquent, and most capricious of writers, made art criticism his vehicle for the moral and social teaching of his master. Another disciple of 's was James Anthony Froude, a great writer, but a poor historian.

[43] The scientific study of past history has gained much from the inspiration of Great German teachers like Niebuhr. , Bishop Thirlwall, and George wrote the History of Greece in a new and more real spirit. The labours of Lingard, Kemble, , and Palgrave, and the advance of historical work in France and Germany, have stimulated the growth of an English Historical School of which Stubbs, Freeman, and Gardiner are the conspicuous members, while Sir William Napier (brother of the conqueror of Sind) and Kinglake wrote admirable narratives of contemporary events, and John Richard Green popularised the history of the English people.

[44] Novel-writing continued to be the most popular form of literature; the historical novel, founded by and followed by Hugo and Dumas in France, and less able writers here and in America, was long in vogue, but the novel of contemporary life, in its many varieties, secured the adherence of most writers and readers. The admirable sketches of Miss Edgeworth, Carleton, and Galt were succeeded by the work of the greatest of English novelists, William Makepeace (), who analysed and satirised the society of his day; by Charles (), the most popular of all writers of fiction, who dwelt with laughable exaggeration on the foibles and humours of London life, and strove to promote reforms by lurid pictures of some evils of society. Among prominent works of fiction may be included the sea stories of Captain Marryat, which have delighted three generations


of English boys; the powerful and passionate fiction of the three Bronte sisters, , , and ; the powerful wayward tales of George Borrow; the faithful photography of dull English middle-class life by Anthony Trollope; the vigorous and purposeful stories of Charles Kingsley, Charles Reade, and Mrs. Gaskell; the clever and amusing caricatures and romances of Charles Lever; the admirable pictures of country and country-town society, which, with too great an admixture of didactic reflection, mark the work of Marian Evans (), who wrote as George Eliot; the showy and popular but hollow and unreal novels of Lord Lytton, and the fantastic novels of , some of which, despite their exaggeration and affectation, will survive on account of the shrewdness of their political aim, and the light they throw on the character of their writer. Foremost among recent writers stands the great work of the poet George Meredith, whose brilliant, thoughtful, and thoroughly artistic novels, though they may never become widely popular, will never lack admirers and readers.

33. [45] The growth of periodicals and of the newspaper press is the sign of a large class of people fond of reading, but not able or willing to read deeply. In a group of young men of letters living at Edinburgh, then an intellectual centre hardly second to London, founded the Whig Edinburgh Review, to which contributed his famous Essays. In the Tories started the opposition Quarterly Review. Blackwood's Magazine was founded in , the organ of the poet-professor , and 's son-in-law and biographer John Lockhart; and the equally brilliant Fraser's Magazine (), with its wonderful body of contributors, came a few years later with many other monthlies. In London the Times newspaper, started in , and edited between by Barnes and Delane, having exposed a series of commercial frauds, gained a wonderful influence and shrewd power of forecasting opinion. The first daily paper in Scotland was started in . The reduction of the newspaper stamp to a penny in , and its abolition altogether in , caused a great growth of the provincial press, daily papers now cropping up in all the large towns, and rivalling the London ones. The Scotsman, the Guardian (twice a week), the Leeds and Mercuries, and the Northern Star (once the Chartist organ), previously leading local weeklies, soon became daily papers. A new departure began with the London Daily News in ,


edited for a time by , the first cheap daily paper, which in was first sold for a penny. The cheapening process went on until few papers cost more than a penny, and many a halfpenny. Charles Knight's excellent Penny Magazine (), published for the Society for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge, Chambers's Edinburgh Journal, and the Dublin Magazine were the first cheap magazines. In 's Household Words was published every week. In George Henry Lewes, a writer on philosophical and scientific subjects, started the Fortnightly Review for the free discussion of serious subjects by known writers, and his example has been followed by a number of imitators. A crowd of cheap magazines, mostly consisting of tales and light articles, now floods the literary market. Of late years there has been an immense increase in the number of papers devoted to special branches of science and sport, several of which are of much excellence.

34. [46] The circle of educated or partly educated readers, for all that is now written, has been immensely widened by the diffusion of education. Early in the century most of the old grammar and charity schools had sunk very low, and few children of the English, and none of the Irish, lower classes had any education, though in Scotland a plan projected by John Knox and the Reformers had been a reality since , and every parish had had its school for over a century. A new departure was made with the efforts of Bell and Lancaster, and the National Society started in , on Church principles, to rival the


British and Foreign School Society begun in . But at first their operations were on a small scale, though a new period begins in , when public money was first granted for elementary education. In the rudiments of an Education Department appear, and the earnest efforts of Dr. Kay, afterwards Sir James KayShuttleworth, the secretary to the Committee of Council on Education, gradually built up the best system circumstances allowed. But religious animosities long stopped the way of further progress. In the bishops prevented the establishment of a Government Training School, so that the whole work was thrown on the two societies. In the Dissenters stopped in the same way the education clauses in Graham's Factory Bill, and soon afterwards, led by , strongly opposed the progressive Minute of , because they saw it would help on church schools most, as the zeal of the clergy was, and remained


till , the most effective means of supplying popular education. Nevertheless, the number of children in National and British schools continued to grow, and the State grants mounted up in to three-quarters of a million a year. In Robert , then Vice-President of the Education Committee, brought in the new code with its plausible but baleful system of so-called

"payment by results."

In 's Education Act supplemented the labours of the voluntary educators by establishing schoolboards, compulsion, and a really national system. The result was that the million children receiving elementary education in was raised by to over three millions. In Ireland the system adopted has been different, and progress much slower.

[47] England had now a system of primary education, but secondary education remained in the old chaos, though much was gradually done to better the state of individual public and grammar schools. Public School Education received a new start with the labours of at Rugby, and in the Public Schools Act reformed seven of the greatest historical English Schools. In the Endowed Schools Act began the reform of the grammar schools, and, in the long-run, much improved secondary education. A

"payment by results"

system was started by the Government in Ireland, and in an Act was passed to promote intermediate education in Wales.

[48] The Universities were casting off the slumber of the eighteenth century. The Tractarian and Liberal movements after made Oxford full of real intellectual life, and, more gradually, Cambridge, never sunk so low as Oxford, became a centre of zealous study. But the corruptions of generations could only be cleared away by force, and the large changes thought needful to bring the ancient seats of learning abreast of modern times were sought for from external sources. In Oxford and Cambridge were reformed by Royal Commissions. The monopoly of power of the heads of houses, the clerical, local, and celibate restrictions in the Colleges, the dependence of the University on the Colleges composing it, were assailed, while the Universities themselves had already begun to bring in new studies, like History and Natural Science. A new spirit now came over Oxford and Cambridge, which for good and evil has since endured, and was strengthened by the abolition of religious tests in ,


and the second Commission of , though the outside reformers worked without method or policy, and in some ways did distinct harm. Competition has awakened the slumber of students, but has often led them aside from the real ends of all study.

In 's reign the London University was started by and , to open out higher education to non-Churchmen, while the Church started King's College in opposition. A Charter to confer degrees was given to both in , but unluckily the London University, as the degreegiving body was called, afterwards became a mere place for examining all comers, though 's foundation continued to flourish as University College. The four Scotch Universities, poor and unorganised, but full of rough and vigorous intellectual life, and often taught by men of the greatest eminence, though for the mass of their students rather higher popular schools than seats of the highest culture, were very partially reformed in . In Ireland religious and political difficulties have retarded the progress of higher education. Dublin, despite the abolition of religious tests, retains largely the Protestant character. A retrograde step was taken in , when the Queen's University was superseded by the Royal University, a simple examining body. In recent days local colleges, now fast winning State support, nave been started in most of the larger towns, and have done a useful work in popularising higher culture, and in some cases have become great centres of serious study and research, notably in the newer branches of education, such as natural science. Owens College, , the oldest, wealthiest, and largest of these, has been united with its neighbours, University College, , and the Yorkshire College, Leeds, to form the new Victoria University. In the three university colleges set up by the State in Wales have been similarly federated in the Welsh University.


[1] The State and the Executive.

[2] Growth of State interference.

[3] The machinery of the Central Government.

[4] The Ministers of State.

[5] The Permanent Civil Service.

[6] Local Government.

[7] The Army.

[8] The Navy

[9] State of the Church early in the century.

[10] The Tractarian Movement, 1833-45.

[11] High Churchmen.

[12] Ritualists.

[13] Evangelicals.

[14] Broad Churchmen.

[15] Revival of Churchlife.

[16] The Protestant Nonconformists.

[17] The Roman Catholics.

[18] The Scotch Church.

[19] The Ten Years' Conflict, 1834-43.

[20] Foundation of the Free Church of Scotland, 1843.

[21] The United Presbyterians 1847.

[22] Material growth.

[23] Inventions.

[24] Steamboats.

[25] Steam Railways.

[26] Telegraphs.

[27] Condition of the People.

[28] Robert Owen, 1771-1858.

[29] Socialism and Co-operation.

[30] The Factory Acts.

[31] Trades' Unions and Strikes.

[32] Progress and its limits, 1850-1887.

[33] Architecture.

[34] Painting

[35] Sculpture.

[36] The Drama and acting.

[37] Amusements.

[38] Natural Science.

[39] Poetry.

[40] Prose.

[41] Utilitarians.

[42] Carlyle and Ruskin.

[43] History.

[44] Novels.

[45] Magazines and Newspapers.

[46] Elementary Education.

[47] Secondary Education.

[48] The Universities.

This object is in collection Subject Temporal Permanent URL
To Cite:
DCA Citation Guide    EndNote
Detailed Rights