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MEN WHO HAVE RISEN.
" Whoe'er amidst the sons
Of reason, valour, liberty, and virtue,
Of nature's own creating.”
THE RISE OF THE PEEL FAMILY.
ABOUT a week before Whitsuntide, in the year 1765, at nine o'clock in the morning, a line of Manchester bell-horses (nineteen in number), loaded with packs and attended by chapmen, were seen by the weavers of Irwell Green descending from the moors by the bridle-road into that hamlet. The weavers (thirty in number, or thereabout) stopped their looms, and went forth to ask questions about trade, wages, prices, politics; Lord Bute, Grenville, William Pitt (the elder), and young King George III.; and to inquire if there were a likelihood of the young king doing anything for the good of trade.
The spinning women had come forth also from their spinning-wheels, and, in reference to them, Mr. William Garland, a merchant (locally called
a Manchester warehouseman), who had accompanied his pack-horses thus far to make some arrangements with the resident weavers of this hamlet, said, “If the young king would make the lasses spin more, he would do some good.” “Or," said a weaver, “an t' king would make a spinningwheel to spin two threads instead of one, it would be some good.” “Nonsense,” replied another, “no
” man can make a wheel to spin two threads at once; no, not even King George upon the throne.”
The chapmen having baited their horses, proceeded on their journey towards Blackburn, which they hoped to reach early in the afternoon. When they were gone, the children of Irwell Green ranged themselves in a troop across the stony causeway, hand in hand, and sang,
“Bell-horses, bell-horses, what time o' day?
One o'clock, two o'clock, three, and away!".
At the word "away,” they raised a shout, ran down the causeway, their wooden-soled clogs clattering on the stones as loudly as all the shuttles of Irwell Green. About two in the afternoon, the bell-horses reached Blackburn.
If the reader should now for the first time visit Blackburn-winding through the vales by the turnpike road, or, on the railway, through tunnels, over ravines, along the mountain-sides—he will find it a town containing fifty thousand people, or thereabout, with narrow crooked streets, situ