Inhabitants of Great
Britain & Ireland;
FRIENDS AND COUNTRYMEN:
ROUSED from that torpid state in which We
have been sunk for so many years, We are, at length, compelled, from the
extremity of our sufferings, and the contempt heaped upon our Petitions
for redress, to assert our RIGHTS, at the hazard of our lives and
proclaim to the world the real motives, which (if not misrepresented by
designing men, would have United all ranks ) have reduced us to take up
ARMS for the redress of our Common Grievances.
The numerous Public Meetings held
throughout the Country have demonstrated to you, that the interests of
all Classes are the same. That the protection of Life and Property of
the Rich Man, is the interest of the Poor Man, and in return, it is in
the interest of the Rich to protect the Poor from the iron grasp of
DESPOTISM; for when its victims are exhausted in the lower circles there
are no assurance but that its ravages will be continued in the upper;
For once set in motion, it will continue to move until a succession of
Our principles are few, and founded on
the basis of our Constitution which was purchased with the DEAREST BLOOD
of our ANCESTORS, and which we swear to transmit to posterity unsullied,
or PERISH in the Attempt. Equality of Rights (not of Property) is the
object for which we contend, and which we consider as the only security
for our LIBERTIES and LIVES.
Let us show to the world that We are not
that Lawless Sanguinary Rabble which Our Oppressors would persuade the
higher circles we are --but a BRAVE and GENEROUS PEOPLE, determined to
be FREE. LIBERTY or DEATH is our Motto, and We have sworn to return home
in triumph - or return no more!
Shall YOU, Countrymen, bound by the
sacred obligation of an oath, to defend your Country and your King from
enemies, whether foreign or domestic, plunge your Bayonets into the
Bosoms of Fathers and Brothers at the unrelenting Orders of a Cruel
Faction and sacrifice those feelings which hold in common with the rest
of mankind? SOLDIERS, turn your eyes towards SPAIN, and there behold the
happy effects resulting from the UNION of Soldiers and Citizens. Look to
that quarter, and there behold the yoke of hated Despotism, broke by the
Unanimous wish of the People and Soldiery, happily accomplished without
Bloodshed. And shall You, who taught those Soldiers the principles of
Liberty, refuse to spread them in your own Country? Forbid it Heaven!
Come forward then at once, and FREE your Country and your King~ from the
influence of those base maxims that have ruined our Country.
FRIENDS AND COUNTRYMEN: The eventful
period has now arrived, where the Services of all will be required, for
the forwarding of an object so universally wished , as just and equal
Laws. Come forward, then, and countenance those who have begun the
completion of so arduous a task, and support the laudable efforts which
we are making to give to BRITONS those rights consecrated to them by the
MAGNA CHARTA and the BILL OF RIGHTS and Sweep from our Shores that
Corruption which has degraded us below the dignity of Man.
Owing to the misrepresentations which
have gone abroad with regard to our intentions, we think it
indispensably necessary to DECLARE inviolable all Public and Private
Property. And, we hereby call upon all JUSTICES of the PEACE, and all
others, to suppress OUTRAGE of every description; and to endeavour to
secure those Guilty of such offences, that they may receive that
Punishment which such violation of Justice demand.
In the present state of affairs, and
during the continuation of so momentous a struggle, we earnestly request
all to desist from their Labour from and after this day, the First of
April, and attend wholly to the recovery of their Rights and consider it
as the duty of every man not to recommence until he is in possession of
those Rights which distinguishes the FREEMEN from the SLAVES, viz. That
of giving consent to the laws by which he is governed. We, therefore,
recommend to the Proprietors of Public Works, and all others, to Stop
the one, and Shut up the other, until order is restored, as We will be
accountable for no damages which may be sustained; and which after this
Public Intimation, they can have no claim to.
And We hereby give notice to all those
who shall be found guilty of PILLAGE OR PLUNDER that they shall meet
with the severest Punishment, as we are determined by every means in our
power, to prevent those evils of which we have ourselves so just reason
By order of the Committee
for Forming a
Glasgow 1st April, 1820.
Britons - God - Justice - The wishes of
all good Men are with us. - Join together and make it one CAUSE and the
Nations of the EARTH shall haul the day when the Principles of LIBERTY
shall be those of our Native Soil.