As it was now clearly useless to endeavour to prevent these desperate hordes from crossing the Nerbudda, it was determined to march into their own retreats beyond that river, and regularly hunt them down. Sir John Malcolm, one of our ablest officers, who has left us a most graphic account of these transactions, had just now returned from England, and he was appointed, with Major-General Marshall, to this service. Not only Cheetoo, but Kureem, was again on foot; and Sir John learnt that Cheetoo was posted near the camp of the Holkar Mahrattas, and had received a lac and sixty thousand rupees from the Peishwa. By this time he had advanced as far as Agra, but on this information he fell back on Oojein, where Sir Thomas Hislop lay with another body of troops. On the 21st of December, 1817, Holkar's army and Cheetoo's army made a united attack on the British at Mahidpore, on the banks of the Seepra. They were received with a murderous slaughter, and fled, leaving seventy pieces of artillery, all they had, and a great quantity of arms. They fled in confusion to Rampoora, a fortified town in Malwa. The British on their part had suffered severely, having one hundred and seventy-four killed, and six hundred and four wounded. Amongst these were thirty-five officers wounded, half of them severely.

The Church Temporalities Bill, with some alterations, passed the Lower House; it encountered strong opposition in the Lords, who defeated the Ministry on one important amendment, but it ultimately passed, on the 30th of July, by a majority of fifty-four, several peers having recorded their protests against it, among whom the Duke of Cumberland was conspicuous. The Commissioners appointed under the Bill were the Lord Primate, the Archbishop of Dublin, the Lord Chancellor and Chief Justice of Ireland, and four of the bishops, and some time afterwards three laymen were added. The following were the principal features of this great measure of Church Reform: Church Cess to be immediately abolishedthis was a direct pecuniary relief to the amount of about 80,000 per annum, which had been levied in the most vexatious mannerand a reduction of the number of archbishops and bishops prospectively, from four archbishops and eighteen bishops to two archbishops and ten bishops, the revenues of the suppressed sees to be appropriated to general Church purposes. The archbishoprics of Cashel and Tuam were reduced to bishoprics, ten sees were abolished, the duties connected with them being transferred to other seesDromore to Down, Raphoe to Derry, Clogher to Armagh, Elphin to Kilmore, Killala to Tuam, Clonfer to Killaloe, Cork to Cloyne, Waterford to Cashel, Ferns to Ossory, Kildare to Dublin. The whole of Ireland was divided into two provinces by a line drawn from the north of Dublin county to the south of Galway Bay, and the bishoprics were reduced to ten. The revenues of the suppressed bishoprics, together with those of suspended dignities and benefices and disappropriated tithes, were vested by the Church Temporalities Act in the Board of Ecclesiastical Commissioners, to be applied by them to the erection and repairs of churches, to the providing for Church expenses hitherto defrayed by vestry rates, and to other ecclesiastical purposes. The sales which were made of perpetuities of Church estates, vested in the Ecclesiastical Commissioners, produced upwards of 631,353; the value of the whole perpetuities, if sold, was estimated at 1,200,000. The total receipts of the Ecclesiastical Commissioners in 1834 were 68,729; in 1835 they amounted to 168,027; and in 1836 they reached 181,045. The cost of the official establishment was at one time 15,000; during the later years, however, it averaged less than 6,000. Its total receipts, up to July, 1861, were 3,310,999. The Church Temporalities Act imposed a tax on all benefices and dignities whose net annual value exceeded 300, graduated according to their amount, from two and a half to five per cent., the rate of charge increasing by 2s. 6d. per cent. on every additional 10 above 405. All benefices exceeding 1,195 were taxed at the rate of fifteen per cent. The yearly tax imposed on all bishoprics was graduated as follows:Where the yearly value did not exceed 4,000 five per cent.; not exceeding 6,000, seven per cent.; not exceeding 8,000, ten per cent.; and not exceeding 10,000, twelve per cent. In lieu of tax the Archbishopric of Armagh was to pay to the Ecclesiastical Commissioners an annual sum of 4,500, and the see of Derry to pay 6,160. The exact net incomes of the Irish bishops were as follows:Armagh, 14,634; Meath, 3,764;[361] Derry, 6,022; Down, 3,658; Kilmore, 5,248; Tuam, 3,898; Dublin, 7,636; Ossory, 3,874; Cashel, 4,691; Cork, 2,310; Killaloe, 3,310; Limerick, 3,987total, 63,032. The total amount of tithe rent-charge payable to ecclesiastical personsbishops, deans, chapters, incumbents of benefices, and the Ecclesiastical Commissioners was 401,114. The rental of Ireland was estimated, by the valuators under the Poor Law Act, at about 12,000,000this rental being about a third part of the estimated value of the annual produce of the land.

As soon as the Ministry had been restored, the House reassembled for the election of a new Speaker in the room of Mr. Abercromby, who had declared his intention of resigning, having no longer sufficient strength to perform the arduous duties imposed on him by his office. When his intention was announced, he received, through Sir Robert Peel and Lord John Russell, the highest testimony of the esteem in which he was held by the two great parties, not only for his conduct in the Chair, but also for his strenuous exertions to improve the mode of conducting the private business of the House. This was in accordance with precedent, but as a matter of fact Mr. Abercromby was a very weak Speaker, and his ruling had been repeatedly questioned by the House. He was chosen Speaker in 1835. On his resignation of that office he was raised to the peerage as Lord Dunfermline. Mr. Handley nominated Mr. Shaw Lefevre, member for North Hants, as a person eminently qualified to succeed to the vacant chair. Mr. Williams Wynn, a member of great experience and reputation in the House, proposed Mr. Goulburn, member for the University of Cambridge. The motion was seconded by Mr. Wilson Patten. It was a party contest, and tested the strength of the Ministry and the Opposition. The House divided on the motion that Mr. Shaw Lefevre do take the Chair, which was carried by a majority of eighteen, the numbers being 317 and 299. George had arrived in England from his German States on the 11th of November of the preceding year, 1719, and opened Parliament on the 23rd. In his speech he laid stress on the success of his Government in promoting the evacuation of Sicily and Sardinia by Spain, in protecting Sweden, and laying the foundation of a union amongst the great Protestant Powers of Europe. He then recurred to the subject of the Bill for limiting the peerage, which had been rejected in the previous Session. George was animated by the vehement desire to curtail the prerogative of his son, and said that the Bill was necessary to secure that part of the Constitution which was most liable to abuse. Lord Cowper declared, on the other hand, that besides the reasons which had induced him to oppose the measure before, another was now added in the earnestness with which it was recommended. But Cowper was not supported with any zeal by the rest of the House, and the Bill passed on the 30th of November, and was sent down to the House of Commons on the 1st of December. There it was destined to meet with a very different reception. During the recess Walpole had endeavoured to rouse a resistance to it in both Houses. He had convened a meeting of the Opposition Whigs at Devonshire House, and called upon them to oppose the measure; but he found that some of the Whig peers were favourable to it, from the perception that it would increase the importance of their order; others declared that it would be inconsistent in them to oppose a principle which they had so strenuously maintained against a Tory Ministrythat of discountenancing the sudden creation of peers for party purposes; and others, though hostile to the Bill, declared that they should only expose themselves to defeat by resisting it. But Walpole persisted in his opposition, and declared that, if his party deserted him, he would contend against the Bill single-handed. He asserted that it would meet with strong resistance from the country gentlemen who hoped some time or other to reach the peeragea hope which the Bill, if carried, would extinguish for ever.