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A History of the Nineteenth Century, Year by Year

Among the new Chartist newspapers were the Northern Star


Toward

the close of the year, Queen Victoria held a Privy Council at Buckingham Palace, at which she announced her intention to marry her cousin, Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha.

[Sidenote: Queen Victoria's betrothal]

Greville wrote in his diary that "about eighty Privy Councillors were present, the folding-doors were thrown open, and the Queen came in, attired in a plain morning gown, but wearing a necklace containing Prince Albert's portrait. She read the declaration in a clear, sonorous, sweet tone of voice, but her hand trembled so excessively that I wonder she was able to read the paper which she held."

All this time the agitation for the People's Charter in England went on unabated. In the autumn, St. Paul's Cathedral in London was temporarily taken possession of by a large body of Chartists. Churches were likewise entered in Manchester.

[Sidenote: Popular riots in England]

[Sidenote: The Charter propaganda]

At Newport, in Monmouthshire, an organized attempt was made, under the leadership of John Frost and Zephaniah Williams, to rescue Henry Vincent from prison. Armed with guns, crowbars and pick-axes the mob poured into the town twenty thousand strong. They were met by a small body of soldiery, and after a sharp conflict were scattered with a loss of ten killed and fifty

wounded. The leaders were arrested and condemned in court. A vast periodical literature kept alive the agitation. Among the new Chartist newspapers were the "Northern Star," the property and the organ of Feargus O'Connor; the London "Despatch"; the Edinburgh "New Scotsman"; the Newcastle "Northern Liberator"; the Birmingham "Journal," and many others.

1840

[Sidenote: England declares war on China]

The Chinese edict prohibiting all trade and intercourse with England was put in force on January 5. The English missionaries in China fled to Hong Kong, which port was put in readiness for defence against the Chinese. Great Britain declared war, and sent out an expedition consisting of 4,000 troops on board twenty-five transports, with a convoy of fifteen men-of-war.

[Sidenote: End of Dingaan]

In South Africa, during January, the Boers inflicted a crushing defeat on the Zulus under Dingaan. The Zulu King himself was killed. His brother, Upanda, succeeded him as ruler.

[Sidenote: Union of Upper and Lower Canada]

[Sidenote: Canadian boundary commission]

On the other side of the globe, the legislative union of Upper and Lower Canada was at last effected, after a separation of forty-nine years. Each had equal representation in the common legislature, with practical concession on the part of the mother country of responsible government. Kingston was selected as the new seat of government, to be shifted presently to Montreal. To settle the long pending boundary dispute between Canada and the United States, a commission was appointed, consisting of Lord Ashburton for England and Daniel Webster for America. Between the line claimed by Great Britain and that demanded by the United States lay 12,000 square miles of territory. The commission sat all the year.


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