On the 22nd of June, 1781, Lord Macartney arrived at Madras to take the place of Whitehill as Governor. He brought the news of the war having broken out between the British and the Dutch, and he determined to take advantage of it to seize the Dutch settlements on the coast of Coromandel and in Ceylon. But Sir Eyre Coote had lately had a stroke of palsy; his faculties were failing, and his temper had grown morose. Finding he could obtain no assistance from the Commander-in-chief, Macartney called out the militia of Madras, and at their head reduced the Dutch settlements of Sadras and Pulicat. Finding Sir Hector Munro waiting at Madras for a passage to England, in consequence of the insulting conduct of Sir Eyre Coote, he induced him to take the command of an expedition against Negapatam. Admiral Hughes landed the troops near Negapatam on the 21st of October; they then united with a force under Colonel Braithwaite, and on the 12th of November Negapatam was taken, with large quantities of arms and military stores. Leaving Braithwaite to make an expedition in Tanjore, where, in February of the coming year, he was surrounded by Tippoo and Lally, the French general, and taken prisoner, Admiral Hughes sailed across to Ceylon, a most desirable conquest, because of its secure harbour of Trincomalee, as well as the richness and beauty of the island, and also on account of its position, for it lay only two days' sail from Madras. On the 11th of January, 1782, Trincomalee was won.
BENARES. (From a Photograph by Frith and Co.)
But in October the patriots of Breda surprised the forts of Lillo and Liefkenshoek, on the Scheldt. Dalton dispatched General Schr?der with a strong force, who retook the forts; but on Schr?der's venturing to enter Turnhout after the insurgents, a body of three thousand of them, under Van der Mersch, armed with pitchforks, bludgeons, and staves, attacked and drove him out. General Bender, who had been dispatched against the insurgents at Tirlemont, was driven out in the same manner. General Arberg was compelled to retreat behind the Scheldt, and the people were victorious in Louvain, Ghent, Bruges, Ostend, and most towns of the district. Both Joseph and his Governor and Commander in the Netherlands now fell into the utmost alarm. The news which Marie Antoinette sent from Paris to her Imperial brother only rendered this consternation the greater. Joseph, with that sudden revulsion which he had manifested on other occasions, after equally astonishing rashness, now issued a conciliatory proclamation, offering to redress all grievances on the condition of the Netherlanders laying down their arms. But they were not likely, after former experience, to trust any such promises of Joseph. On the 20th of November the States of Flanders assumed the title of the High and Mighty States; they declared the Emperor to have forfeited the Crown by tyranny and injustice; they proclaimed their entire independence, and ordered a levy of twenty thousand men.
[See larger version] The Privy Council decided that the petition from Massachusetts was framed on false and exaggerated allegations, and was groundless, vexatious, and scandalous. Two days afterwards, the king dismissed Franklin from the office, which he had till now held, of Deputy-Postmaster of America.
MARIE ANTOINETTE (1783.)