7 JANUARY 1832, Page 5


THE trial of the Bristol rioters forms the chief, we might say the, only, feature of the week. The Commission was opened on Mon- day, by Chief Justice TINDAL, with a speech which has been pub- lished at the request of the Grand Jury; a compliment as much to the occasion of its delivery as to the document itself, which, however appropriate and useful, contains nothing new, and which does not attempt to embellish the antiquity of its facts by rhetorical display. At the moment when we write, the reports, which have reached town, come down to Thursday. There have been three trials,—the first, of six men charged with attempting to destroy the new Gaol; the second, of two men, or boys rather, charged with destroying the Bishop's Palace; the third, of five men, for destroy- ing the Irridewell. In the first case, five of the six prisoners were convicted; in the second, the Crown obtained a verdict against both the accused; in the third, four were found guilty.

Of the convicts, one at least appears to be a common thief, and at the capture of the Gaol, to have been prosecuting his ordinary trade of picking pockets ; the rest- are labourers, • or something nearly approaching to that rank. One Of them, CLARKE, who had: been held forth as a leader of the mob,—on no better authority, it now appears, than that he called to them to "come here" or "go there" (the point is disputed), and was not Obeyed, and who was spoken of as a " respectable " person, in the English sense of the word,— is proved to have been in the habit of cooking his own dimier ; an indication of respectability, no doubt, inasmuch as it goes to-esta-- blish that he had a dinner,. but not less equivocal 'as it criterion of his station in life than his -claitn to the dignitY' of. mob cap- tain. One of the boys' is sworn to have sited, for the last eigh- teen months at least, like a natural fool. Doctor.BURRoWS sOüld hardly require- mere; but the learned Mi. Justice ROSANQUET seemed to desidemte a more lengthened period Of fatuity. Against the other boy; we find 'no proof offered, but that he broke a window in one place; threw -about some furnitnre, ivhich -was lying in the street, in a second, and declared, in a third, that he had lost ten - There is-nolack of clearness in the statements_ot the witnesses' in these trials; nor does there appear in their evidence any.desire.• either to aggravate or extenuate the disorders of the memorable Three Days of Bristol. Two of the men examined—Mr. STRAT- TON and Mr. Jorms—described in a very precise and intelligible manner the attacks on the Gaol and the.yalace • both appear to have behaved with the greatest coolness and intrepidity; and Mr. JONES, in particular, with a presence of mind and a zeal for his master's interests which are above all praise: but neither from these respectable witnesses nor from any thing that has come out on the trials, have we been able to derive the most remote hint of the causes, proximate or ultimate, of these or the other acts of the rioters. Why the disturbances began, why they were allowed to go on, what prevented their suppression—the trials leave wholly unexplained. We can only account for this on the principle of the oh], adage, Ex nihilo fit,—that it is impossible to trace by processes of reasoning the origin of phenomena in whose produc- tion reason had no share, or to elicit system out of an assemblage of accidents into which no system entered. The mob and the magistrates, the constables and the Mil' itary, seem indeed to have been one and all infected by the spirit that habitually _rules that Knight of "niche fame," whose exploits set them to act and to suffer, ,and to have gone an blundering, as he generally does, *inn one act of folly to another, no mortal uninspired could discern wherefore.

The only other piece of news of the week,—if we may call that news which is but-a confirmation of what we announced some time ago as resolved on,—is the gratifying visit of Earl GREY to Brighton. The business on which the noble Earl visits his Sove- reign is, of course, the arrangement of that great measure of policy by which the Reform Bill is to be secured against any farther delay from the factious obstinacy of a few interested or ignorant individuals. The creation of Peers, now understood to be fully and finally arranged, has struck with utter dismay the organs of the Anti-Reformers. The Post says- " All doubts respecting the result of Lord Grey's interview with the King at Brighton on Tuesday, appear to be at an end. The .good-nature of the Monarch has yielded to the subtle importunities of the Muster ; and it is finally deter- mined that the Peerage of the empire is to be degraded by an unexampled in- crease of its number, for the purpose of enabling Lords Grey and Durham to carry their revolutionary project into effect."

The result, it seems, will be very terrible to the Premier- "I-low the Premier will be able to reconcile his conduct, in this instance, with his unequivocally expressed sentiments against its legality on a recent occasion, remains to be seen. But nothing can prevent him from standing before Parlia- Ment and the Country a self, confessed violator of the Constitution, after his open and candid admission in the House of Lords, that any increase in the Peerage with tivieiv.io 'carry a disputed question between the two Houses of Parliament would Lein, the highest degree unconstitutional."

How the Earl is to reconcile himself to the Post, we shall not say; we rather think there is a plan by which he might convert such an enemy into a friend, but we doubt whether Lord GREY will adopt it. The Courier says not more than forty Peers will be created in the first instance : not more than forty, if forty will suffice.