The 'Glorious' 12th? One of Clare's many letters to a Newspaper



Vestminster Pit, Sunday


            Sar – To-day bein vat a Lawyer’s Clarke as cums to my Pit calls a “die ease num” (by vich I suppose he means a day on vich my bear and bajjer’s has an easy time of it,) I’ve mended the old pen as I rote all my former yepissels with, and have tuk it up to call yure attenshon to summut as I hav jest red in the Bishop’s paper.  Here is it.


GRAND SHOOTING PARTY – Friday se’nnights and Monday week were slaughtering days in the home coverts at Whersted Lodge, the seat of Lord Granville, near Ipswich.   On Friday there were killed with guns, 2 partridges, 151 pheasants, 6 woodcocks, 70 hares, and 36 rabbits – total 265.  And on Monday, with 12 guns, 4 partridges, 433 pheasants, 4 woodcocks, 320 hares, and 58 rabits – total 819.  Grand total, 1,084.


            The following list has been handed to us, as containing the number of heads of games killed on Monday by the NOBLEMEN and GENTLEMEN respectively.  It does not exactly correspond with the statement above, which we have no doubt is correct, but we suppose it included THE WOUNDED BIRDS, which were not picked up till the next day!


Duke of York                          128  

Duke of Wellington                120 

Lord Granville                        48       

Hon. Mr. Greville                  120       

Hon. Mr. De Roos                 105       

Hon. Mr. Anson                     88                   

Hon. Mr. Lamb                     78

Hon. Mr. Montague              70

Hon. Mr. Ponsonby               55

Hon. Mr. Arbuthnot              26

Sir Robt. Harland, bart           45

Rev. Mr. Capper                     41

Total                                       924


            Vel sir, vat do you think of that?  Theres 819 poor annemels kild in vun day, and 105 VOUNDED – picked up in the voods the next day – left to die of broken legs and vings!


            And vat sort of annemels vas they, Ser? – tame annemals, vat vas fed in “the Home Coverts” till they was as tame as barn dore fouls; pretty annemals, Ser, innocent annemals; annemals as feel as much as Mr. MARTIN.  And hoo vas it as kild and vounded them, Ser?  Vy a Rial Dook, a common Dook, a Lord, seven HONNORABELS, a Barrownite, and a REVEREND Minister of that religgon, vich Mrs. Fry told vun of our chaps tuther day in Newgate was a religgon of kindness, of mercy, and of luv?


            And vy did they commit this “slaughter?” – Vat vas there motiv for this butchery?  Ile tell you, Ser. – Pleshure! Greet pleshure, Ser!  There was the pleshure of eatin a few of em; there was the pleshure of laying rich people, as havvent got no “home coverts”, under the sort of Hobblegashon vich they think it to reserve a present of game from a Dook or a Lord; there was the pleshure of boastin about there shuting, and of coutin the number as died at vunce, and the number as died by degrees in the voods; there was the pleshure of lettin the Rail Dook shute the most!  -- that’s a pleshure as may be varth sumthing sum day, and, last of all there vas the pleshure of having their names in the Newspaper.  I dont say much of that, for its a pleshure to me, and yure verry good to indulge me in it.


            But I jest vant to ask MR. MARTIN vat he thinks of all this?  I no he vont do nothin, but I vant to no vat he thinks?  I jest vant to no vether he thinks there’s any jestice in his Hact of Parliament, vich settels a donkey-boy in a jiffey, and lets all them NOBS commit as much cruelty as ever they like?  Lord, O Lord, vat at a wurld this is!  Here’s he as will be the Had of the Law; here’s Dooks, Lords, Barrownites, and Honnorabels, all law-makers themselves; here’s Parson-Magistrates, as upholds the laws and executes em,  as preeches againste cruelty, and sends a poor man to the mill for pickin up a ded hare vich had dies of a mortificashun caused by vun of theer own guns.


            Here’s a set of Rial, Nobel, Honnorabel, Vurthy, Reverrent Gentlemen, going out to a “slaughtering day in the home coverts” to kill 819 annemals, as never did em eny harm, and to vound 105 more, all for pleshure.  And here is the Bishops Paper, vat rites for the shuvvels hats, and vat so often blackards “the ignorant, cruel, feroshous, lower-orders,” publisahin a fine boastien descriptishon of the “slaughtering day,” and calculatin the number as vas kild outrite and the number as died of slow lingerrin pain in the voods, and vas picked up the next day “by the Noblemen and Gentlemen!”


            A happy new yeer to you, ser, and if you puts this in, you’ll be, as yushall, a frend to the Poor  -- Yure most obedient sarvent to command,


                                    ‘CHARLEY EASTUP’


Far spread the moory ground a level scene
Bespread with rush & one eternal green

That never felt the rage of blundering plough

Though centuries wreathed spring blossoms on its brow

Autumn met plains that stretched them far away

In unchecked shadows of green brown & grey


Unbounded freedom ruled the wandering scene

No fence of ownership crept in between

To hide the prospect from the gazing eye

Its only bondage was the circling sky

A mighty flat undwarfed by bush & tree

Spread its faint shadow of immensity


& lost itself which seemed to eke its bounds

In the blue mist the horizons edge surrounds

Now this sweet vision of my boyish hours

Free as spring clouds & wild as forest flowers

Is faded all—a hope that blossomed free

& hath been once as it no more shall be


Enclosure came & trampled on the grave

Of labours rights & left the poor a slave

& memorys pride ere want to wealth did bow

Is both the shadow & the substance now

The sheep & cows were free to range as then

Where change might prompt nor felt the bonds of men


Cows went & came with every morn and night

To the wild pasture as their common right

& sheep unfolded with the rising sun

Heard the swains shout & felt their freedom won

Tracked the red fallow field & heath & plain

Or sought the brook to drink & roamed again


While the glad shepherd traced their tracks along

Free as the lark & happy as her song

But now alls fled & flats of many a dye

That seemed to lengthen with the following eye

Moors losing from the sight far smooth & blea

Where swopt the plover in its pleasure free


Are banished now with heaths once wild & gay

As poets visions of lifes early day

Like mighty giants of their limbs bereft

The skybound wastes in mangled garbs are left

Fence meeting fence in owners little bounds

Of field & meadow large as garden-grounds


In little parcels little minds to please

With men & flocks imprisoned ill at ease

For with the poor scared freedom bade farewell

& fortune-hunters totter where they fell

They dreamed of riches in the rebel scheme

& find too truly that they did but dream


MP II 347