The History and Proceedings of the House of Commons: Volume 5, 1713-1714. Originally published by Chandler, London, 1742.
This free content was digitised by double rekeying. All rights reserved.
Several Papers laid before the House.
The 17th of April, the Commissioners of Trade and Plantations, laid before the House several Papers, relating to the Regiment at Jamaica: And Mr. Secretary Bromley presented to the House, by her Majesty's Command, pursuant to their Addresses: An Account of what Instances have been used with the Emperor, for revoking the Passport granted by him, for the Pretender's residing in the Dominions of the Duke of Lorrain, or against renewing the same. 2. A List of Persons Outlaw'd, Attainted, or that have born Arms in the Service of her Majesty's or the late King's Enemies, who have had Licences to return into Great-Britain, or other her Majesty's Dominions, since the Year 1688. 3. The State of the Fortifications and Harbour of Dunkirk: and what Representations have been made from Time to Time, by the Engineers and Officers, appointed to inspect the Demolition thereof, with the Answers thereto, and Orders given thereupon; with Lists of the Papers relating to the said Demolition. 4. An Account how far the Peace is complete, between her Majesty's Allies, and France and Spain, and what is yet wanting to make the same universal; as also, what Obstructions her Majesty has met with in her Endeavours, to make the same universal and complete. 5. A Copy of her Majesty's Commission, appointing Commissaries to treat with the French, dated the 13th of December 1713. 6. And Copies of other Commissions appointing Commissaries in Matters of Trade, since the Year 1660. The Saturday before (April 10th.) Mr. Secretary Bromley, presented likewise to the House, 'A Copy and Translation of a Letter from the Bishop of London, to the Baron Le Begue, Resident to the States General from the Duke of Lorrain.' All which Papers were order'd to lie on the Table, to be perused by the Members of the House.
Account of the State of the several Treaties of Peace.
The most remarkable of these Papers. viz. An Account of the State of the several Treaties of Peace, between Her Majesty and her Allies, and France and Spain, with an Account of the Obstructions her Majesty has met with in her Endeavours to make the same universal and compleet; and of what was done relating to the Catalans: Which was said to be written by the Lord Bolingbroke, was as follows:
In answer to the Addresses of this House, That Her Majesty will be pleased to order an Account to be laid before this House, how far the Peace is complete, between Her Majesty's Allies, and France, and Spain, and what is yet wanting, to make the same universal; as also what Obstructions Her Majesty has met with in Her Endeavours, to make the same universal and complete; and likewise that Her Majesty would please, to order an Account to be laid before this House, of what Endeavours have been used, that the Catalans might have full Enjoyment, of all their ancient Liberties and Privileges, and that a full State of all Proceedings, during the Treaty of Peace, relating thereunto, be likewise laid before this House, Her Majesty has thought fit to order in, besides the Papers herewith delivered, the following State of the Treaties, of the Negociations of Peace, and of the Endeavours which she has used, that the Catalans might have the full Enjoyment of all their ancient Liberties and Privileges, to be prepared and laid before this House.
On the 11th Day of April, N. S. 1713, the Ministers of Great-Britain, of Portugal, of the present King of Sicily, and of the States-General of the United Provinces, signed their respective Treaties with the Ministers of his most Christian Majesty at Utrecht.
From that time therefore no Treaties between France and any of the Allies, remained unfinished, except those of the Emperor and of the Body of the Empire: The first of which was executed at Rastadt, on the sixth of the last Month, N. S. and his Imperial Majesty undertaking therein, to procure the Consent of the Empire, to all the Articles of it, the Peace of the latter may in effect be reckoned, to have been likewise made at the same time, although a Congress is appointed to meet at Baden, where the Consent of the Electors, Princes, and States of the Empire, is to be given in Form, and several particular Claims to be discuss'd.
Passports not having been granted to the Ministers of Spain, till more than Fourteen Months after the Conferences at Utrecht were opened, the Duke d'Ossuna did not come to the Congress, before the 19th of April, N. S. 1713, nor enter on any Business till the Arrival of his Collegue, the Marquise de Monteleon, in the Month of June.
The Peace between Spain and Portugal, Her Majesty looks upon to be as good as concluded, it appearing by late Accounts from Utrecht, that the Project thereof had been drawn up in Form, and sent to the Two Courts to be approved; and that the Differences which remain were too inconsiderable, to occasion any new Delay. In the mean while, her Majesty has taken the most effectual Care of the Interests of the King of Portugal, having given to that Prince, on the 18th of August 1713, of her own Motion, and without any Requisition on his Part, a new Guaranty, whereby the Queen obliged her self to secure the Restitution, even by Force of Arms, if that should become necessary, of any thing which might be taken from Portugal, before the Conclusion of the Peace; to procure to that Crown the Colony of the Sacrament, or in lieu thereof, such an Equivalent as the King of Portugal himself should be contented to accept; to obtain Satisfaction to the Portugueze, for what they claim to be due to them, on account of their Assiento or Contract, with the Crown of Spain; and to set on foot, after the Peace, an amicable Negociation, for accommodating the Differences which have arisen, concerning several Estates scituated in Portugal, and claimed by Subjects of Portugal residing in Spain; and concerning those Spanish Ships which were, about the beginning of the War, seized by the Portugueze. On these Principles the Earl of Strafford made a solemn Declaration to the Ministers of Spain, in February last, when he exchanged with them, the Instruments of Ratisication of the Treaties, between her Majesty and the Catholick King, That the Peace which the Queen then ratified, did not dispense with the Obligations which she lay under to the King of Portugal, as well by her Guarantry lately granted, as by Her defensive Alliance, made in 1703, and that her Majesty was determined, to assist and defend this Prince, on the foot of the Pretensions, specified in the said Guaranty, and according to the Tenor of the said defensive Alliance.
All the Articles of a Treaty between the Catholic King, and the States-General, have been long ago adjusted; and that Treaty would have been executed in Form, had not the Ministers of the States-General, made and insisted upon a Declaration, which those of Spain apprehend to be repugnant to the Terms already settled.
It has not hitherto been possible, so much as to enter on a Treaty between their Imperial, and Catholic Majesties; the Emperor having thought fit to withdraw the last of his Ministers from Utrecht, before those of the King of Spain, could appear and act in that Congress.
This short Account of the present State of the several Treaties of her Majesty, and her Allies, with France and Spain, shows how little is wanting, in comparison with what has been already done, to render the Peace at last as universal as it would have been long ago, had not continual Obstructions been thrown in the way of this great Work, at its beginning, and in every Step of its Progress.
France having complained of the manner of Treating, when former Treaties were made, to set a Negotiation for a general Peace on Foot; and having for that Reason refused to make any new Overtures to the States General, her Majesty received in the Month of April 1711, a Proposal from the most Christian King, which she immediately communicated, by her Ambassador, to the Ministers of Holland; assuring them, that in making Peace, as in making War, she would act in perfect Concert with the States. The Dutch Ministers, in return to this Mark of Her Majesty's Considence in them, and Friendship for their Republic, having expressed themselves to be weary of the War, heartily desirous of Peace, and ready to join in any Method Her Majesty should think proper to obtain it, gave their Opinion, that the Overture made by France was too general; That it was necessary the Queen should make the French explain themselves more particularly; and that till they had done so, it was not proper to take any Concert with the rest of the Allies.
As soon as Her Majesty received this Answer from the Hague, she insisted that the French should be more direct and particular in their Overtures, and that they should form a distinct Project of such a Peace as they were willing to conclude: No time was lost in carrying this Negociation forward, and the utmost care was taken, according to the Desire of the Ministers in Holland, whom her Majesty had consulted, to proserve the Secret; but the dilatory Method of Treating, which in those Circumstances was unavoidable, and other Accidents, to which Transactions of this kind must be always exposed, were the Occasions that nothing more satisfactory than the first Propositions, which France had made, could be obtained till the end of September 1711.
On the 1st of October, the Queen's Instructions were given to the Earl of Strafford, to repair with all possible Diligence to Holland, to acquaint the Ministers of the States, with all that had been done, in consequence of what they had in the Month of May desired; and to communicate to them the Propositions, signed by Monsieur Mesnager four Days before, to wit, the Twenty-seventh of September; which Her Majesty looked upon to include, in their general Expressions, all the particular Demands proper to be made, in the Course of the Negociation, and to be a sufficient Foundation whereupon to open the Conferences. The Earl of Strafford was at the same time instructed to assure the Ministers of Holland, that Her Majesty was determined to accept of no Advantages to her self, repugnant to their Interests; nor of any Peace, unless they had all reasonable Satisfaction, as to their Barrier, as to their Trade, and to every other Respect: He was likewise to exhort them to join with Her Majesty, in promoting the strictest Union among all the Consederates, as the only Means to carry the Negociation successfully forward; and Communications and Assurances of the same Nature, were at the same time given to the other Allies.
Before these Orders could be executed, and even before the last Overtures had been made on the Part of France, or it could possibly be known what had been transacted, the whole Confederacy was industriously alarmed; and Jealoulousies were every where sown; and even in Britain, the most licentious Clamours were raised against Her Majesty's Proceedings.
This Behaviour must appear very extraordinary, when, besides what is above-mentioned, it shall be considered, that the receiving a Minister from France by Her Majesty, which was urged as the Reason of the Apprehensions of the Allies, and which was the only one they pretended to give, was no more than what the Dutch, and (there was ground to believe) others of the Confederates, had several Times done; and that the Person sent hither, was the same Monsieur Mesnager, who, a Year or two before, had lain concealed in Holland for many Weeks, and had treated during that time, with the chief Ministers of that Republic.
The fatal Consequences, which the least Appearance of Disunion among the Allies, would necessarily produce, began then to be felt; and Her Majesty found her self obliged to let the Imperialists, and the Dutch know, that the French might have been brought to explain themselves further than they did, had it not been for the extraordinary Uneasiness, Impatience, and Jealousy, which, upon the first Appearance of taking any Measures towards Peace, discovered themselves among the Allies.
From thence are all the Obstructions to the Peace to be dated, and to those Obstructions alone, such Points, as seem to fall short of the Expectations of any of the Parties concerned, are to be attributed. The Queen foresaw, that nothing would be left undone to force the Negociation out of her Hands, as well by those who were against any Peace at all, as by those who feared that her Majesty, being at the Head of the Negociation, more Advantages might accrue to Great Britain than they were willing to allow. And therefore the Confederacy, which formed itself in Opposition to what the Queen had undertaken, instead of altering her Conduct, became the strongest Reason imaginable to continue it. Things were already brought to that Extremity, that there was no Middle, between a steady Pursuit of the true Interest of Great Britain, in the first place, and abandoning ourselves to be disposed of in War, or in Peace, as should suit the Conveniency, or gratify the Passions of the Confederates.
Soon after the Earl of Strafford's Departure to Holland, Monsieur Buys arrived here with the Character of Envoy from the States General. When a Minister of this Consequence was sent, Hopes were immediately conceived, that all Jealousies might be cured, and a perfect Harmony be created be tween the Queen and the States; after which, an Union with the other Allies would necessarily follow; and the whole Confederacy entring as one Man into the Congress, the Sincerity of the French would have been so tried, and the Possibility or Impossibility of obtaining a good Peace soon decided,
In order to this End; her Majesty's Servants were instructed and empower'd to settle with this Minister such Disputes as related to the reciprocal Interests of the two Nations, and to prevent, by this previous Concert, any Difference which might arise in the Course of the Treaty between the Queen and the States. They were further directed to adjust, in Confidence with him, such a Plan for the general Peace, as it might be proper finally to insist upon: And in this Case her Majesty would have been ready, jointly with the States, to have broken the Conferences, if these Terms had not been granted without Exception, and without Delay. But, such was the public Misfortune at that Time, that this Minister was only empower'd to hear, and not to speak, and could not take upon him so much as to conclude, or even sign, sub spe rati, a new offensive and defensive Alliance betwixt the Queen and the States, which in these Circumstances of Affairs, he judged, and her Majesty's Servants concurred with him, to be extremely necessary.
By the Conferences which were held with Monsieur Buys here, by the Accounts which came from abroad, and by the Representations which some of the Allies made about the same time to her Majesty, it appeared undeniably evident, not only that the War was become on the present Foot absolutely impracticable, but also that no Alteration could be attempted, either in the Method of carrying it on, or in the Views towards which it was directed, without dissolving at once the Confederacy; and that the Dispute was in Fact, not whether a Peace, by which Spain and the Indies would be left to Philip, should be made, but who should have the making of it?
The real annual Expence of this Kingdom amounted to more than seven Millions; whereas it is certain, that we were not in a Condition effectually to raise near six Millions in the Course of a Year. From hence it follows, that if this Proportion had been continued, about nine Millions would have been the true Charge of a second Year, and about eleven Millions that of a third.
This was the State of our Affairs, while the House of Austria contributed nothing but one Regiment to the War of Spain; little to that of Italy; had but few Forces, and those entirely unactive, on the Rhine; and sent none in the Netherlands, except such as those harrassed Provinces were obliged to maintain, and were thereby render'd unable to furnish Troops, or make the necessary Provisions for the Operations of the Army; both which they might otherwise have done, and both which they did in an eminent Degree, whilst they were under the Government of the present King of Spain.
The States General bore a considerable Burden; but as they had from the Year 1708 sent no Supplies of any kind either to Portugal or to Catalonia, and had drawn themselves almost entirely out of the Spanish War; as they furnished, in no Proportion, their Quota for the Sea Service; as they had reduced their joint Contributions with the Queen in all Payments to one third of the whole; and as they were very backward in answering even this Share of Expence; so the Load of Great Britain came, upon their Account, as well as upon the Emperor's, to be vastly increased. As to the rest of the Allies, all the Troops which they furnish'd were maintain'd by the Queen, and the States, except a few, and those almost wholly employ'd in covering their own Frontiers.
In this Situation of Affairs, her Majesty declared to the Imperialists, and to the Dutch, that if they would not allow France to have given sufficient Grounds for opening the Conferences; if they were desirous to carry on the War, and determined to accept of no Terms of Peace inferior to those which had been formerly demanded and refus'd, she was, on her Part, ready to concur with them; but that, in Justice to herself, and to them, she thought herself bound to let them know, that she could no longer bear so disproportionate a Burden; that it was evident, that the common Effort must be still greater than it was, or that there would remain no Prospect of arriving at the Ends which they proposed; and that for these Reasons, it would be incumbent upon them, if the War continued, to increase their Expences, whilst the Queen reduced hers.
The Ministers of the States General were very candid and open upon this Head: Monsieur Buys asserted, that his Masters had done their utmost already, and could be obliged to no more; many of the other had, on several Occasions, declared their Country unable to support the Charge they were at another Summer; and the Pensionary himself, in a Deputation of the States, appointed to attend the Earl of Strafford in October, 1711, declared, that it was impossible to think of continuing the War another Year; that what from the Emperor, and what from the Princes of the North, we should be in the utmost Danger, should we attempt to do it; and, finally, that they were Traytors to their Country who were against the Peace.
Many Instances may be produced, to shew that there was at least as little Reason to expect from the House of Austria, as from the States General, a greater Effort than they had hitherto made. The Peace of Hungary was concluded about the Month of May, 1711, and that constant Excuse, which the Ministers of Vienna used to make for all their Deficiencies, did by Consequence no longer subsist; yet her Majesty found it impossible, at the latter End of that Year, to obtain a Reinforcement of no more than eight thousand Men from thence, although her Minister was empower'd to have offer'd forty thousand Pounds for the March of them; and although the present King of Sicily, then Duke of Savoy, undertook, if he might be assured of this Reinforcement, any time before the Close of the Campaign, to establish his Winter Quarters on that Side of France: which would have been in that Point of Time the more decisive; because a Project was then form'd, and would have been executed, could the States have been in time induced to have taken even less than their own Share upon them, her Majesty supplying their Deficiency, as well as her own Proportion, to have kept a great Body of Horse all the Winter on the Frontiers of the Low Countries; by which means Picardy, and the Isle of France, would have been ravaged, no Magazines could have been erected, and the French must have gone in the Spring a great Way back into their Country to assemble their Army.
The Imperial Ministers consess'd very freely, that their Master expected the Queen should furnish all the Money, and that the utmost he could do, was to send Troops at her Expence; in the same Breath avowing the Emperor's Intention to break the Negociation of Peace, and to continue the War till Spain was conquered, the entire Monarchy whereof he expected: But if there had remained any Doubt of the little Assistance which was to be hoped for from the House of Austria, who aimed at such great Acquisitions, this Matter would have been put entirely out of Dispute by the Proposals which Prince Eugene himself made in Holland first, and afterwards to the Queen.
These Proposals, it must be thought, were carried at least as high as his Imperial Majesty judged himself able to make good; since it is notorious, that he would have stuck at nothing which might have broke the Measures of Peace, and have encouraged the Resolution of prosecuting the War: And yet, even by these Proposals, his Imperial Majesty did not pretend to act in the Field with two thousand Men more than, in the Year 1702, it was understood that the Emperor Leopold undertook to furnish, although the Expence of a great Part of these Troops was not to fall upon him, and although he offer'd to contribute but a Fourth of the Charge of the Army in Spain, so that the remaining three Fourths, as well as the whole Transportation and Extraordinary of that War, would still have been placed to the Queen's Account.
From what has been said, it is manifest, that the Method in which the War was proposed to be carried on, could no longer be supported, and that there was not any Glimpse of Hope left, that the Allies could be brought to make any considerable Augmentation of Force to have prosecuted the War; therefore in this manner must have been the Ruin of Britain, to have insisted upon an Impossibility as a Condition, without which the Queen would not proceed, must have disunited the Alliance, and suspended the Operations of the Armies in all Parts; in both these Cases, the Consequences are too evident to be enlarged upon.
In the beginning of the Year 1711, died the late Emperor Joseph, and the Eyes not only of the Princes of the Empire, but of all the Confederates, and of her Majesty, in the first place, were immediately fixed on his Brother. This Event occasioned a great Alteration in the Counsels of Europe, and gave a new Turn to the Sentiments of many Princes.
There was Reason to believe, that the Ministers of Vienna themselves began to cool, in the Project of recovering Spain and the Indies: They seemed to intend nothing more than to get the present Emperor into Germany, and to secure the Possession of Italy to themselves; and the former, as well as the late Instances they had made, for attempting the Reduction of Sicily, though at the Expence of diverting part of that Force which was applied to the War of Spain, pointed the same Way.
In Holland, a Partition of the Spanish Monarchy seemed almost the general Scheme, and the Conduct of that Republic, as well as the Confession of its Ministers, shewed, that the Project of driving Philip out of Spain was look'd upon there to be pure Chimera.
Soon after the Death of the Emperor Joseph, her Majesty had been acquainted, that some of the Princes of the Empire thought it a Point which deserved the most serious Reflection, whether they should suffer the Imperial and Spanish Crowns to be united on the same Head, and whether it might not be proper, in the Capitulation of the Empire, to insist on the separating of them; other Members of the Grand Alliance, and those the only two with whom her Majesty had entered into any formal Engagement for recovering the entire Spanish Monarchy, represented upon the same Occasion, against placing this Crown on the Emperor's Head. It was urged by one of the most considerable Princes in the Alliance, that the Principle upon which he engaged in the War was now altered, and that, instead of Fighting, to procure the Spanish Monarchy to the House of Austria, his Interest, and even his Safety, required that he should fight to prevent it.
The Case therefore stood thus: The present Emperor, even after his Brother's Death, and his own Election, would content himself with nothing less than the whole Spanish Monarchy, and insisted that the War should be prosecuted in this View. Of the other Allies, some looked on this Prospect as chimerical, others as dangerous; from whence it follows, that to keep the Grand Alliance united in this Principle was impracticable; and it must be allowed, that to have altered this Principle, to have changed so many Treaties, to have reconciled so many different Interests, and to have formed a System entirely new, in the midst of the War, was an Experiment too hazardous to be attempted.
In this Situation of Affairs, no Time was to be lost: The Queen knew very well, that Attempts to open a Treaty with France, separately from her, were made by those who clamoured the loudest against her Measures; and the present Emperor had thought fit, on board one of her Majesty's Ships, and by her own Minister, to send her a Message of the same nature. She therefore insisted with the Imperialists, and with the Dutch, that she would be at some Certainty, and that they should comply with her in the Measures either of War or of Peace.
The principal, and indeed the only avowed Disputes between her Majesty and the States at this time, concern the Method of carrying a Negociation forward. The States pretended, that a fair Opportunity would be given to the Ministers of France to divide the Confederates, if they were suffered to meet together in a General Congress before the essential Articles of Peace were settled by Specific Preliminaries. The Use which had been made of this Method, on a former Occasion, to evade the concluding of any Peace, when, according to the Confession of the Dutch Ministers themselves, the Differences on which the Allies and France broke off, did not deserve the Life of a single Soldier, gave no great Encouragement to pursue the same again; besides which, as the Queen would not take upon her to settle the Interests of others, so neither would she suffer others to determine those of her own Kingdoms; and if all the Consederates were to assemble, in order to adjust a Preliminary Treaty, the Objection made by the States returned upon them.
In December 1711, The States concurred with her Majesty in sixing the Place of the Treaty, appointing the Day on which the Congress should open, inviting the Allies to send their Ministers thither, and giving the necessary Passports to the Plenipotentiaries of France. And if nothing had happened to revive the Spirits of those who were bent against the Peace, it is highly probable, by the little Time which it cost to conclude most of the Treaties, after the Conferences, that had been interrupted, were resumed at Utrecht, and the Allies proceeded in earnest to negociate, that the Treaties of all the Confederates with France might have been finished before the Season of opening the Campaign in 1712. But, before Monsieur Buys returned into Holland, or the Conferences could begin, the Efforts were renewed with the greatest Vigour to break off the Negociation; the Cry against a Peace, by which Spain and the Indies should be left to any Branch of the House of Bourbon, became louder than ever; and Letters and Memorials were not only delivered, but printed, and Appeal made against her Majesty's Proceedings to all Europe, and even to her own Subjects.
On these Encouragements, the good Dispositions towards Peace received a Check, and some of those who had own'd themselves against the Prosecution of the War, to recover the whole Spanish Monarchy to the House of Austria, joined now, under this very Pretence, to break the Measures of Peace. The Treatment which her Majesty met with at this Time, will appear in the clearest Light from this Circumstance: The Minister of the States General proposed to her Majesty's Servants, that, considering the Difficulties which the Queen lay under, how impossible it was to recover by War, or by Treaty, the Spanish Monarchy from King Philip, and how impossible he likewise apprehended it to be, in the present Circumstances of Affairs, for her Majesty to carry on any Negociation, by which this Monarchy should be left to Philip, he was ready to extricate her Majesty from this Dilemma, and to screen her Ministers in carrying on the Work which they had begun, in the Name of his Masters, to present a Memorial, by which the Point of obtaining Spain and the Indies, should be given up; provided he might be assured that the Dutch should have an equal Share with her Majesty's Subjects in the Assien to, which Contract he supposed it was stipulated should be made with Great Britain.
From the Causes, and by the Steps, which have been here mention'd, was the Disunion among the Allies, arrived to the highest Pitch at the Opening of the Conferences in the Month of January, 1711-12, when the strictest Union amongst them was more than ever necessary, and when the whole Fruit of those Successes, wherewith God had blessed their Cause in the Course of the War, depended on it. They sent their several Plenipotentiaries to Utrecht, but it was very apparent, that most of them acted on that Maxim, which one of them professed, that giving into the Measures of Peace, was the surest Way to continue the War. They flatter'd themselves that the Imperial Ministers, in Conjunction with those of Britain, having two Years before baffled the Designs of Holland to make Peace, it would be at least as easy for the Ministers of the Emperor, in Conjunction with those of the States General, to render fruitless, at this time, all her Majesty's Endeavours to the same End. After this, it will not appear surprizing, if the utmost Dexterity was exerted to delay the entering on Business at Utrecht, and to wait for the Events of the Campaign.
On the 29th of January, 1711-12, the first general Conference was held between the Ministers of the Allies and those of France, and by the beginning of April a Dispute was set on foot concerning the Method of proceeding, which made all Treaty impracticable, and which was kept up, till a Quarrel happening between one of the Plenipotentiaries of France, and one of those of the States, a new Obstruction was created to take Place, and to answer the Ends of the first.
The French had made their Overtures in Writing; the Allies had likewise given in their Demands in Writing; and the Question arose, whether the French were obliged to give a Specific Answer in Writing, or whether they should now proceed in the Negociation, by debating with the several Allies, agreeably to the Method used in former Congresses? By the Minutes of the Protocol, to which the French Ministers appealed, it appeared, that they were under no such Obligation; but between the 2d of April and the 5th Count Sinzendorff had been at the Hague, where the Resolution was taken to carry Things to Extremity, that is, not to treat with the Ministers of the most Christian King, unless they gave an Answer in Writing, and Orders were accordingly sent by the States to their Plempotentiaries. The Design was laid upon this, to have broke off all further Treaty; but this Design was disappointed by the Declaration which the French Ministers made on the 6th, that their Instructions allowed them to go no farther than they had offered, but that they would write to the King their Master to know his Pleasure; after which, during 3 Months time, there was not so much as any Steps made on the Part of the Allies, for an Answer from the French, though at the same time the Imperialists were pushing to get the Congress broke, or at least her Majesty's Ministers excluded.
Ten Months having been lost at Utrecht, and the Success of the Campaign not having answered the Design of those who projected the breaking off the Treaty, by the Operations of the Army, the Ministers of the Allies made no further Difficulty to proceed in the very Method which her Majesty's Plenipotentiaries had from the first advised, This Method succeeded so well, that, in two Months after the Negociation was resumed, all the Parties in the War made their Peace with France, except the Emperor and the Empire; and the Ministers of those Powers had likewise brought their Disputes to so narrow a Compass, that on the 15th of May, 1713, the only Difference between them was concerning the Marquisate of Burgaw, estimated at the yearly Value of about 12000 Crowns.
In this State of things Monsieur Kirchner, the last of the Imperial Ministers who continued at Utrecht, left that Place, and the Emperor's Resolution was declared of supporting that War single, which, assisted by the Queen and the States, he had not been able to carry on with any tolerable Vigour.
It was from this Time easy to foresee, that the Emperor intended to treat no more at Utrecht, and that a separate Negociation between the Courts of Vienna and France, whenever it should happen, would not prove very advantageous to the Empire, or favourable to the Protestant Interest in Germany, of which her Majesty had taken early, and, as she hoped, effectual Care, by obliging France to consent, that all things concerning the State of Religion in the Empire should be settled conformably to the Tenor of the Treaties of Westphalia; in such manner, as to make it plainly appear, that the most Christian King neither would make, nor would have had made any Alteration in the said Treaties. Thus one of the contracting Parties had already, in effect, yielded to the Abolition of that Clause, in the fourth Article of the Treaty of Ryswick, so fatal to the Protestant Religion. And if his Imperial Majesty had concluded his Treaty at Utrecht, it is hardly to be believed, that, in the midst of so many Allies, whose Blood had been shed, and whose Treasure had been exhausted in his Cause, he would have refused to their joint Intercession, what France had complied with, on the single Instances of the Queen.
It has been already observ'd, that if the Allies, when the Congress at Utrecht was open'd in the beginning of the Year, had, in good earnest, gone about their several Treaties, the Peace might in all Probability have been made before the Armies could have taken the Field. It may be necessary here to observe the State of Affairs at another Period of Time, and another Opportunity lost of Treating with the greatest Advantage on our Side, and with the greatest Probability of Success.
On the 6th of June, 1712, her Majesty communicated to both Houses of Parliament, upon what Terms a general Peace might be made. Those who were against any Treaty, and who entertain'd Hopes, that the Sense of the Nation would not go along with her Majesty, and that Obstructions would arise, even in Britain, to the Conclusion of the Peace, might have seen how vain those Expectations were, by the Returns which the Two Houses made to this Instance of her Majesty's Condescension, By the Assurances they gave of their Confidence in her, and of their entire Reliance on her Wisdom to finish this great and good Work, and by their humble Desire that she would please to proceed in the present Negociations for obtaining a speedy Peace.' Those who pretended only to be against the Method of Treating, and who were fond of Specific Preliminaries, had now the very Thing which they defired, his most Christian Majesty having declared himself explicitly and particularly on the most important Points that were to be settled in the Treaties of Peace. The Queen was even at that Time not under the least Obligation, but at full Liberty to have proceeded in the Negociation, or to have broke it off, according as the French had behaved themselves. But France was under the strongest Obligations to her Majesty, and, by her Majesty's Means, to the Allies. The Concessions then made on the Part of France, were made without any Concession whatever on the Part of the Confederates: If therefore, even then, they could have been prevail'd upon to unite with the Queen, and with one another, during a short Cessation of Arms, the general Peace might have been secured, or if that had failed, we should have got by the Cessation, into our Hands, a Place of greater Importance than we could have expected by the most successful Campaign to conquer. But, instead of applying themselves to improve this happy Conjuncture, the Ministers who met to treat of Peace, seemed attentive only to what passed in the Field, and Utrecht seem'd the Scene of no other Business than unnecessary Disputes concerning the Forms of proceeding, and Negociations to accommodate Differences which the Quarrels of Servants had begun.
This People had submitted to the present King of Spain, on his Accession to that Throne; had taken the Oaths of Fealty to him, and in the Cortes held at Barcelona in the Years 1701 and 1702, had receiv'd from him a new Establishment of their Privileges; notwithstanding which, they began in the Year 1704 to shew their Inclinations to a Revolt, and it appears that, in the beginning of the Year 1705; they made Overtures of this kind to the Queen, and that Numbers of them were already actually in Arms. In Compliance therefore with what they desired, and encouraged by the Assurances she received, that not only the Catalans, but other People in Spain, were ready to declare for his present Imperial Majesty, as soon as they should see any Prospect of being supported in their Revolt, the Queen thought fit to give Directions to the Earl of Peterborow and Sir Cloudesly Shovell, joint Admirals of her Fleet, on the first of May, 1705, to do the best they could to induce the Catalans to co-operate with them for the Reduction of Spain. In order to which, they were empower'd to promise, in the Queen's Name, that she would secure to them a Confirmation of their Rights and Liberties from the said Prince, King Charles the Third. But it appears by the same Instructions, that, instead of giving these Assurances, the Admirals were to take Measures for annoying the Towns on the Coast of Spain, and for reducing them by Force, unless suitable Returns from the Catalans and Spaniards were made to these kind Offers on her Majesty's Part. This likewise appears to have been the Measure by which the Queen proceeded from the Commission, Credentials and Instructions which were given to Mr. Crowe, who was sent to Genoa in March 1705; besides which, it is also to be observed, that, after the Earl of Peterborow and Sir Cloudesly Shovell were arrived with her Majesty's Fleet as Lisbon, it still remain'd, for some Time, uncertain what Design they should prosecute; and this Uncertainty hinder'd them from pressing the People of Catalonia, whilst King Charles rather check'd than incited them, so that when the Queen's Forces proceeded on this Service, the Catalans were looked upon to be the Principals, and we only Accessories in the War. From all which it is evident, that the Landing of the Earl of Peterborow in Catalonia, and her Majesty's entring into that Part of the War, were in Consequence of the Sollicitations of the Catalans, and other Spaniards, affected to the House of Austria; and that all the Engagements which she gave to this People, went no further than the obtaining from King Charles the Third a Confirmation of their Rights and Privileges; and although her Majesty offer'd at that Time to give a Guaranty for the same, and to enter into a Treaty with that People; yet it does not appear that such a Guaranty was ever given, or that such a Treaty was ever made. This being the State of the Queen's Engagements to the People of this Province, there could have been no doubt of making them good in every Part, had the Events of the War, and the Circumstances, render'd the placing his present Imperial Majesty on the Throne of Spain practicable; and there is as little doubt, that, besides what has been obtain'd by her Majesty for the Catalans, the Confirmation of all their Privileges would likewise have been procured from his Catholic Majesty, had not the Conduct of the Emperor singly prevented it.
In the Year 1712, it has been already said, that although the fairest Prospect of making a General Peace was opened, yet his Imperial Majesty continued in his Resolution not to make it. The Queen, on the other hand, was under a Necessity of pursuing the Measures she had taken, and thereby not only of agreeing to a Cessation of Arms, but also of withdrawing her Troops out of the Province of Catalonia, the Supplies granted by Parliament for that Year having been so calculated, that the whole Establishment was given only for the first Quarter, and one Third of four Millions of Crowns for the other three Quarters, conditionally, that the Emperor and the States General would take upon themselves the other two Thirds, which in Fact neither of them did.
Under these Circumstances, it was plain, that the Catalans would be left without any Terms made in their Behalf, and that the Empress and Imperial Forces who remain'd in that Province would be exposed to the greatest Difficulties and Dangers. The Queen therefore took immediately all the Care she could to prevent these Misfortunes, and at the same time to secure and strengthen his Imperial Majesty, as far as lay in her Power, notwithstanding the Treatment she had receiv'd, and the just Provocation she had to leave him to struggle with the Consequences of his own Measures.
At the latter End of this Year 1712, her Majesty set a Treaty on Foot for the Evacuation of Catalonia, and for the Neutrality of Italy. Her Majesty's Aim by the first Part of this Treaty, was to secure the Return of the Empress and the Imperial Troops, and since she could no longer support the Catalans by her Arms, to provide for them by the Terms of Peace. Her Majesty's Aim in the second Part, was to leave as little room as possible for France or Spain to attack his Imperial Majesty, when the Treaties between her Majesty and the States General should be concluded with the most Christian King. The Queen consider'd that these Treaties, and the Barrier of the States, would secure the Ten Provinces of the Netherlands from any Invasion, and, by this Convention for a Neutrality in Italy, the Emperor's Territories in that Country were likewise cover'd; so that by the Care which her Majesty took, since he was determin'd to run the Risk of continuing single in the War, he would lie open in no Frontier but that of the Rhine, where by the same Means he would be able considerably to increase his Strength, as well with Draughts out of Italy, as with the Germans and other Forces which were to be transported from Spain.
It was no sooner than the end of January 1712 / 13, that, by the good Offices of her Majesty's Ministers at Utrecht, the Imperial and French Plenipotentiaries were brought to meet upon this Negociation, and in the mean time her Majesty endeavour'd, as well by her Ministers at Madrid, as by pressing the Spanish Minister, who was then here, to induce the Catholic King to facilitate this Matter as much as possible, and particularly on the Head of the Privileges of the Catalans, in which the Minister of France concurr'd with the greatest Earnestness. But it soon appear'd that his Catholic Majesty, who saw the Advantage which the Conduct of the Imperial Court gave him, would hardly be prevail'd upon to grant any thing more than a General Act of Oblivion, and a Restitution of Honours and Estates.
On the 14th of March, N. S. 1713, the Convention for the Neutrality of Italy, and the Evacuation of Catalonia, was executed by her Majesty's Ministers on behalf of the Emperor, and by those of France, and by those of the King of Spain, and the Article concerning the Privileges of the Catalans left undetermin'd, a Right being reserved to her Majesty to insist, whenever the Emperor should treat of Peace, that those Privileges should be preserv'd to them; and the most Christian King declaring that he would concur with the Queen to the same End.
In May 1713, the Treaty of Peace between her Majesty and the Catholic King was sign'd provisionally here, and in July definitively at Utrecht, whereby there is not only an absolute Amnesty, with a full Possession of all their Estates and Honours, but also the Privileges of the Castilians granted to the Catalans; which Article is, at least in this respect, considerable, that the People of Catalonia are thereby entitled to hold any Employments in the West-Indies, or to trade directly thither, in as full and ample Manner as the People of Castile, from which they were formerly as much excluded as any Foreign Nation whatever.
The Preservation of their ancient Privileges is neither granted nor directly refused by this Article; so that the Queen, either when the Peace shall come to be treated between their Imperial and Catholic Majesties, or on another favourable Occasion which may offer itself, is at Liberty to renew her Applications upon this Head. In the mean time, it is certain, that the Refusal of the People of this Principality, as well as the Island of Majorca, to submit to the Catholic King, when, in Pursuance of the Treaty of Neutrality, these Countries were evacuated by the Emperor's Forces; and their obstinate Resistance since that Time, must have rendred the obtaining of their Privileges still more difficult, if that be possible, than it was.
If the ancient Privileges of these People, in their full Extent, were not obtain'd, it must be attributed to those who rendred it impracticable to treat effectually for them, before the withdrawing of the Queen's Forces out of Catalonia; and if their Condition is become since more desperate, those are only to answer for it, who have encouraged them not to submit a second Time to their Prince, with the Hopes of Relief, which they who gave such Hopes must have known themselves in no Condition of making good.
From this State of the several Treaties between her Majesty, her Allies, and France, and Spain, by this Account of the general Negociations of Peace, and of the particular Case of the Catalans, the Reasonableness of all the Steps her Majesty has taken, and those Designs which have been pursued at first to wrest the Negotiation out of her Hands, and since to unravel all that had been done, and to throw us into Confusion, will sufficiently appear.
The State of the Nation consider'd, and the Protestant Succession. ; Sir Edward Knatchbull. ; Mr. Secretary Bromley. ; Mr. Walpole. ; Lord Hinchingbrooke. ; Sir Thomas Hanmer. ; Resolutions thereon.
The 15th, the House consider'd the State of the Nation, with regard to the Protestant Succession, in a Committee of the whole House, of which Mr. Freeman was chosen Chairman. After the Reading of the several Papers that had been laid before the House, relating to the Pretender's being removed out of the Duke of Lorrain's Dominions, to the Negociations of Peace, to the Demolition of Dunkirk, and to Passports granted to Persons Outlaw'd or Attainted, a Motion was made by Sir Edward Knatchbull, and the Question put, 'Whether the Protestant Succession in the House of Hanover be in Danger under her Majesty's Government?' Mr. Secretary Bromley endeavour'd to prove the Negative, by representing what her Majesty had done for securing that Succession, and removing the Pretender from Lorrain. He was answer'd by Mr. Walpole, who, with a great deal of Vivacity, shew'd the Protestant Succession to be in Danger, not from her Majesty, but from the dubious Conduct of some Persons; and therefore insisted, that her Majesty might not be mention'd in the Question. Mr. Campion having spoken in Vindication of the Ministry, was answer'd by the Earl of Hertford. The Lord Hinchingbrooke express'd likewise his Fears of the Protestant Succession being in Danger, both from the Encouragement that was given to the Pretender's Friends, particularly in North Britain, which his Lordship had an Opportunity to observe when he was there with the Regiment in which he had a Troop. After some other Speeches on both Sides, the Court-Party being apprehensive that the Question would go against them, endeavour'd to drop it, by moving, that Mr. Freeman should leave the Chair. Hereupon Sir Thomas Hanmer, the Speaker, made a memorable Speech, importing in Substance, 'That he was forry to see that Endeavours were used to wave that Question, and stop their Mouths; but he was of Opinion this was the proper, and, perhaps, the only Time for Patriots to speak; that a great deal of Pains were taken to screen some Persons, and, in order to that, to make them overlook the Dangers that threatned the Queen, the Nation, and the Protestant Succession; that, for his own Part, he had all the Honour and Respect imaginable for her Majesty's Ministers; but that he owed still more to his Country than to any Minister; that in this Debate so much had been said to prove the Succession to be in Danger, and so little to make out the contrary, that he could not but believe the first; and thereupon he took Notice of Sir Patrick Lawless being suffer'd to come over and admitted to an Audience of her Majesty.' This Speech had a great Influence on all unbyass'd and unprejudic'd Members, but nevertheless after a warm Debate, that lasted till towards Nine a-Clock in the Evening, it was resolved, by a Majority of 256 Voices against 208; 1. 'That it is the Opinion of this Committee, that the Protestant Succession in the House of Hanover is in no Danger under her Majesty's Government. 2. That it is the Opinion of this Committee, That the House be moved humbly to address her Majesty, returning the Thanks of the House to her Majesty, for the Instances she has used for the Removal of the Pretender from the Dominions of the Duke of Lorrain, and humbly desiring her Majesty to insist upon, and renew her Instances for his speedy Removal from thence.
Debate on the Report. ; Mr. Walpole. ; Gen. Stanhope. ; The Protestant Succession voted not to be in Danger, &c.
The next Day Mr. Freeman reported these two Resolutions to the House, and the first being read a second time, there arose a Debate, in which Mr. Walpole, Mr. Lechmere, and General Stanhope made very fine Speeches. Mr. Walpole, among other Things, applauded the public Spirit, the Speaker ' had shewn the Day before, but added, he despair'd of seeing Truth and Justice prevail, since, notwithstanding the Weight of a Person of his known Integrity, Merit, and Eloquence, the Majority of Votes had carried it against Reason and Argument.' General Stanhope endeavour'd to prove the Protestant Succession in Danger by this single, but forcible Induction, or conjunctive Syllogism, 'That as 'twas universally acknowledg'd it had been the French King's Intention, so it was still his Interest, and he had it now, more than ever, in his Power, to restore the Pretender.' However, the Question being put upon the first Resolution, the same was agreed unto, without a Division; as was also the second Resolution.
Debate about the Lords Address. ; Papers call'd for. ; The Queen's Answer to the Commons Address against the Pretender.
The 17th, upon a Message from the Lords by Mr. Baron Price, and Mr. Justice Powys, jun. That the Lords had agreed to an humble Address to be presented to her Majesty, to which they desir'd the Concurrence of the House; the said Address was twice read; after which the Messengers who had withdrawn, were call'd in, and acquainted, That this House would consider of the Address sent from the Lords; and then sent an Answer by Messengers of their own. This done, some Members mov'd, that the House would immediately concur with the Lords in their Address, which was oppos'd by others, and occasion'd a warm Debate: After which it was resolv'd to present three Addresses to her Majesty, That she would be pleas'd to direct the proper Officers to lay before the House, 1. 'The Treaties of Peace and Commerce between her Majesty and the King of Spain, and the Instructions given to her Majesty's Ambassadors thereupon, together with the Copies of the King of Spain's Ratifications of the said Treaties, and the Preliminaries sign'd by the Lord Lexington, and the Marquess of Bedmar, at Madrid, and all other Agreements and Stipulations which had been made concerning the Commerce between Great Britain and Spain. 2. An Account what Engagements of Guaranty her Majesty has enter'd into by virtue of any Treaty with any Foreign Prince or State from the Year 1710. And, 3. An Account what Instances had been us'd by her Majesty for the restoring to the Catalans their ancient Privileges, and all Letters relating thereunto.' And then it was also resolv'd, 'To take into further Consideration the Message that Day sent from the Lords, upon Thursday next following.' After this, the Consideration of that Part of her Majesty's Speech relating to Libels, was farther put off to that Day fortnight; and Mr. Secretary Bromley acquainted the House, That, pursuant to their Address for the Pretender's speedy Removal from Lorrain, her Majesty had been pleased to declare, That she would insist upon, and renew her Instances, as this House desired.
The Commission to treat of Trade with France, voted no new Commission.
The 19th, a Bill for the better regulating the Forces to be continued in her Majesty's Service, and for the Payment of the said Forces, and of their Quarters, was presented to the House, and order'd to be read the next Day. Then Mr. Bridges laid before the House (by her Majesty's Command, pursuant to their Address for that Purpose) a State of the Demands of his Highness the Elector of Hanover, upon account of his Troops, which were in her Majesty's Pay and Service in the Low-Countries; which was referr'd to the Consideration of the Select Committee about the Supply. After this it was resolv'd to address her Majesty, for a Copy of the Proposals of Peace, sign'd by the Marquess de Torcy in April 1711. And then the House resumed the Consideration of the Com mission granted to Sir Joseph Martyn, James Murray, Esq; and others, Commissaries, to treat with Commissaries of France, for settling the Trade between Great Britain and France. Hereupon the Copy of the Commission to the Earl of Sunderland, and others, dated May 2, 1687, and several Clauses of an Act of the Sixth Year of her Majesty's Reign, entitled, An Act for the Security of her Majesty's Person and Government, and of the Succession to the Crown of Great Britain in the Protestant Line, were read: And 'a Motion being made, and the Question put, That the Office of the Commissaries, who are appointed by her Majesty's Commission, dated the 13th of December 1713, to treat with Commissaries from France, upon Matters of Commerce between the two Kingdoms,' is a new Office, created or erected since the 25th Day of October 1705, it passed in the Negative.
The Bill for lessening the Drawback on Tobacco, dropt.
Mr. Conyers having reported from the Committee of the whole House, to whom the Bill for lessening the Drawback upon Tobacco carried into Ireland, the Amendments they had made to the Bill, the same were read and agreed to by the House: But a Motion being made, and the Question put, That the Bill, with the Amendments, be engross'd, there was a Division, and the Votes equal, viz. 110 on each Side, upon which the Speaker gave his Casting Vote for the Negative, and so that Bill was dropt, to the great Disappointment of some Persons.
Resolutions on Ways and Means. ; The Commons concur with the Lords in their Address.
The 20th, several Papers were laid before the House by Mr. Secretary Bromley and Mr. Pytts; after which, in a Grand Committee upon Ways and Means to raise the Supply, it was resolv'd, 'That two Shillings in the Pound be raised in the Year 1714, upon all Lands, Tenements, Hereditaments, Pensions, Offices, and personal Estates, in that Part of Great Britain call'd England, and a proportionable Cess, according to the 9th Article of the Treaty for the Union, upon that Part of Great Britain call'd Scotland:' Which Resolutions were the next Day reported, agreed to, and a Bill order'd to be brought in thereupon. Then, according to Order, the House took into Consideration, the Message from the Lords, of the Saturday before, upon which there arose a very warm Debate, that lasted from One, till Six a-Clock in the Afternoon, when it was resolv'd, '1. That the Blank in the Address be fill'd up with the Words, and Commons. 2. That the House doth agree with the Lords in the said Address, to be presented to her Majesty:' And order'd, That Mr. Chancellor of the Exchequer do carry the Address to the Lords, and acquaint them with these two Resolutions.
Address of both Houses, upon the Safe, Honourable, and Advantagious Peace.
'We your Majesty's most Dutiful and Loyal Subjects, the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in Parliament assembled, beg leave to express the just Sense which we have of your Majesty's Goodness to your People, in delivering them, by a Safe, Honourable, and Advantagious Peace with France and Spain, from the heavy Burthen of a consuming Land War, unequally carried on, and become at last impracticable. And we do most earnestly intreat your Majesty, That you will be pleased, with the same Steadiness, notwithstanding all the Obstructions which have been, or may be thrown in your Way, to pursue such Measures as you shall judge necessary, for compleating the Settlement of Europe, on the Principles laid down by your Majesty, in your most gracious Speech from the Throne.'
Her Majesty's (fn. 1) Answer to this grateful Address, was as follows.
Her Majesty's Answer.
The State of Public Affairs in Europe, as well as the Necessities of my own Kingdoms, obliged Me to enter into a Negotiation of Peace, and, notwithstanding all Obstructions and Difficulties, I have, by the Blessing of God, brought it to a happy Conclusion.
'I esteem this Address as the United Voice of my Affectionate and Loyal Subjects; and I return you all the heartiest Thanks which can be given by a Sovereign, who desires nothing more, than to see her People Safe and Flourishing.'
Resolutions on the Supply.
The Day before the said Address was presented, the Bill for the Land Tax was read the first time in the House of Commons; after which, Sir William Whitlock moved, 'That an Account might be laid before the House, of the Produce of the several Duties upon imported Books and Prints, for one Year, before the 24th of June, 1712: And also the Produce of the said Duties, in one Year, since the 24th of June, 1712; upon which the Commissioners of the Customs were order'd to lay the said Accounts before the House. Then, in a grand Committee on the Supply, it was resolv'd, 1. That 55281 l. 16 s. be granted for the Charge of the Office of Ordinance, for Land Service, in the Year 1714. 2. That 8874 l. 13 s. and 10d. be granted to make good the Deficiency of Principal and Interest, upon the Act made in the third Year of her Majesty's Reign, for granting a further Subsidy on Wines and Merchandizes imported, call'd the Two-third Subsidy: Which Resolutions were the next Day reported, and agreed to by the House. It is to be observ'd, that the Commons had appointed that Day, to consider of the State of the Nation, with Regard to the Protestant Succession; but, whatever was the Reason, no further Notice was taken of that Matter.
Bill for a Drawback on Salt.
May 5, The engross'd Bill for allowing a Drawback upon the Exportation of Salt, to be made use of for the Curing of Fish, taken in the North Seas, or at Iseland, was read the third Time, pass'd, and sent to the Lords; then the House resum'd the adjourn'd Consideration of the Residue of the Amendments made by the Grand Committee to the Land-Tax Bill, which were agreed to, and the Bill order'd to be engross'd.
Address for a Proclamation to prevent the Running of Wool. ; Resolutions on Ways and Means.
The 6th, upon the Motion made by Sir Edward Knatchbull, it was resolv'd to address her Majesty, ' to issue her Royal Proclamation, promising such further Reward as she should think fit, for the discovering any Person or Persons that shall run or export Wool, or Woollen Yarn, until further Provision shall be made by Parliament for preventing the same.
Malt Bill order'd to be brought in.
The 10th, in a grand Committee on Ways and Means, to raise the Supply, it was resolv'd, 'That, towards raising the Supply granted to her Majesty, the Duties on Malt, Mum, Cyder, and Perry, which, by an Act of the last Session of Parliament, were granted for one Year, until the 24th of June, 1714, be continued, and charged upon Malt, Mum, Cyder, and Perry, within the Kingdom of Great Britain, from the 23d Day of June, 1714, to the 24th Day of June, 1715.' Which Resolution was, the next Day reported, and agreed to by the House, and a Bill order'd to be brought in thereupon. The same Day, upon a Message from the Lords by Sir William Oldes, Gentleman-Usher of the Black Rod, importing, That the Lords, authoriz'd by virtue of her Majesty's Commission, desir'd the immediate Attendance of this Honourable House, in the House of Peers, to hear the Commission read. Mr. Speaker, with the House, went up; and being return'd, reported, That the House had been up at the House of Peers, where her Majesty's Commission was read, notifying and declaring, in her Majesty's Absence, the Royal Assent to several public Bills, and to one private Bill: And that the Lord Chancellor of Great Britain, Lord Steward of her Majesty's Houshold, and other Lords commission'd for that Purpose, did accordingly notify and declare the Royal Assent to the several Bills following, viz.
7. An Act for Sale of Part of the Estate of Joseph Oliver, Gent. lying in the County of Devon and City of Exon, for Payment of his Debts, and for making Provision for Maintenance and Education of his Daughter.
Bill to prevent the Growth of Schism, order'd to be brought in.
On the 12th, upon a Motion made by Sir William Wyndham, the 8th, 9th, 10th, and 11th Sessions, of the Statute of the 13th and 14th Year of King Charles II, entitled, An Act for the Uniformity of Public Prayers, and Administration of Sacraments, and other Rites and Ceremonies, and for Establishing the Form of Making, Ordaining, and Consecrating Bishops, Priests, and Deacons in the Church of England, were read: After which it was order'd, That Leave be given to bring in a Bill to prevent the Growth of Schism, and for the better Security of the Church of England, as by Law Establish'd.
Address intended against the Troops of Hanover.
After this it was resolv'd to (fn. 2) address her Majesty, for a Copy of the Instructions given to the Earl of Strafford, 'with relation to the Declaration made by him, on the Part of her Majesty, to the Ministers of the several Allies, who had any Troops in her Majesty's Pay, before the Cessation of Arms.'
Bill against the Fishing of Foreigners rejected. ; Bill for taking away Mortuaries, in the Diocesses of Bangor, Landaff, &c.
The 14th, An Engross'd Bill for the effectual preventing the Importation into England, Wales, and Town of Berwick, of any fresh Fish caught by Foreigners, was read the third time; and a Motion being made, and the Question put, that the Bill do pass: It was carried in the Negative. After this, an Engross'd Bill from the Lords, entitled, An Act for taking away Mortuaries within the Diocess of Bangor, Landaff, St. David's and St. Asaph, and giving a Recompence therefore to the Bishops of the said respective Diocesses; and for confirming several Letters Patents granted by her Majesty for perpetually annexing a Prebend of Gloucester, to the Mastership of Pembroke-College in Oxford, and a Prebend of Rochester to the Provosiship of Oriel College in Oxford, and a Prebend of Norwich to the Mastership of Catherine-Hall in Cambridge, was read the first Time: And Mr. Secretary Bromley acquainted the House, That the Mortuaries taken upon the Death of every Clergyman in the Diocesses of Bangor, Landaff, St. David's, and St. Asaph, having been represented to her Majesty as a great Grievance to the Clergy of those Diocesses, and a Recompence having been propos'd to be given to the Bishops in lieu thereof, to her Majesty's Satisfaction; her Majesty had been pleas'd to give her Consent to the bringing a Bill into Parliament for taking away the said Mortuaries, and giving the Recompence desir'd to the Bishops of the said Diocesses respectively: Hereupon it was resolv'd, That the said Bill be read a second Time.
Amendments made to the Malt Bill.
Then the Order being read, for the House to resolve itself into a Committee of the whole House, upon the Bill for charging and continuing the Duties upon Malt, &c. It was Order'd, 'That it be an Instruction to the said Committee, 1. That they have Power to receive a Clause for transferring to the Register, which is to be kept in the Exchequer, pursuant to that Bill, the Loans remaining unsatisfied on the Register for the Malt Act; which granted that Duty from the 23d Day of June 1712, to the 24th of June 1713, to be paid, with the Interest thereof, out of the Monies to arise.' 2. That they have Power to receive a Clause of Credit. 3. That they have Power to receive a Clause, for making forth Duplicates of Exchequer Bills and Lottery Tickets which have been Lost, Burnt, or Destroy'd. 4. That they have Power to receive a Clause for the Encouragement of Tillage, and promoting the Consumption of Malted Corn. Then the House resolv'd it self into the said Committee; went through the Bill, and made several Amendments to it, which were order'd to be reported on Thursday the 20th of May, to which Day the House adjourn'd, by reason of Whitsun Holidays. Accordingly those Amendments were then reported, and agreed to by the House, and the Bill order'd to be Engross'd, as was also the Bill for the better Regulating the Forces to be continued in her Majesty's Pay, &c.
Bill against Schism. ; Bill for enclosing Common Grounds.
The 21st, Mr. Secretary Bromley, acquainted the House, 'That the States General having sent a Letter to her Majesty, upon their Demand of the Arrears due to the thirteen Dutch Regiments, which have formerly serv'd the Crown of England, she had commanded him to lay a Copy thereof before this House; which he did accordingly, and the same was order'd to lie on the Table.' The same Day Sir William Wyndham presented to the House, a Bill to prevent the Growth of Schism, and for the further Security of the Church of England, as by Law Establish'd: Which was read the first, and order'd to be read a second Time. Then the Bill for making Enclosures of some Part of Common Grounds, in that Part of Great Britain call'd England, for endowing poor Vicaridges and Chapelries, for the better Support of their Ministers, was read a second Time, and committed to a Committee of the whole House, who were empower'd to receive a Clause to exempt the Lands that shall be enclosed by virtue of the said Bill, from paying Tythes where the Impropriations are in Lay-Hands.
Bill for resuming Episcopal Lands in Scotland. ; Bill for settling the Militia in Scotland. ; Bill to raise the Militia for the Year 1714. ; Bill for the better Maintenance of Curates.
On the 22d, a Bill was order'd to be brought in, for Vesting the Revenues and Rents which did belong to the Archbishops and Bishops of that Part of Great Britain call'd Scotland, in her Majesty, her Heirs and Successors, to be by them applied for the Support and Maintenance of such of the Episcopal Clergy there, who shall take and subscribe the Oaths of Allegiance, Supremacy, and Abjuration, and shall pray for her Majesty and the Princess Sophia in express Words, and conform to the Liturgy of the Church of England: And, at the same time, it was resolv'd to address her Majesty, 'for an an Account what Rents and Revenues, formerly belonging to the Archbishops and Bishops in Scotland, are now vested in the Crown, what Grants have been made out of the same, to what Uses, and upon what Considerations. Then a Bill was order'd to be brought in, for settling the Militia in that Part of Great Britain call'd Scotland. The 24th the Commons order'd a Bill to be brought in for raising the Militia for the Year 1714, although the Month's Pay formerly advanc'd be not repaid: Then the Bill to prevent the Growth of Schism, was read the third Time, and committed to a Committee of the whole House: And besides this, and other Bills in favour of the establish'd Church, another Bill was the same Day order'd to be brought in for the better Support and Maintenance of Curates within the Church of England, who supply the Places of Rectors and Vicars not residing upon their Rectories and Vicarages: With an Instruction to the Gentlemen appointed to prepare and bring in the said Bill, That they should provide therein, for the preventing the Sale of the next Avoidance of any Ecclesiastical Living with Cure of Souls. Then, in a Grand Committee on the Supply, it was resolv'd,
Resolutions on the Supply.
1. That the new additional Duty of 30 per Cent. ad Valorem, laid on all Books and Prints imported into Great Britain, by an Act of the Tenth of her Majesty's Reign, is a Discouragement to Learning, and prejudicial to the other Duties laid by former Acts of Parliament, on Books and Prints imported into Great Britain.' 2. That the said new additional Duty of 30 per Cent on Books and Prints imported into Great Britain, be taken away.'
Bill to take away 30 per Cent. Duty on Foreign Books. Regimental List of Officers order'd to be printed.
'3. That 107831 l. 9s. 2d. be granted to her Majesty, for maintaining her Majesty's Forces in Flanders and at Dunkirk until Michaelmas, 1714. 4. That 19308 l. 10s. be granted for maintaining Colonel Handasyd's Regiment at Jamaica, and Colonel Alexander's Regiment in the Leeward Islands, until Christmas 1714. 5. That 5862 l. 16 s. 2d. be granted for the Charge of Half-Pay to such Officers who are allowed it by special Warrant from her Majesty, for the Year 1714. 6. That 123293 l. 19s. 2d. be granted for the Charge of Half-Pay to the Officers of the Land-Forces and Marines, being her Majesty's natural born Subjects, or naturalized, for the Year 1714, upon Account. 7. That 57877 l. 11 s. 6d. 2 q. be granted, to satisfy the Arrears due to the Officers of the Land-Forces and Marines for Half-Pay, at Christmas, 1713.' Which Resolutions being the next Day reported, were agreed to by the House; and a Bill was order'd to be brought in upon the two first Resolutions. The same Day the Malt Bill was read the third Time, pass'd, and sent to the Lords, after which it was order'd, 'That the Regimental List of the Half Pay Officers, and the List of other Officers provided for by special Warrants from her Majesty, for the Year 1714, laid before the House, be printed; and resolv'd to address her Majesty for a List of the Half-Pay Officers belonging to the Sea-Service for the Year 1714.
Bill to prevent Schism.
On the 26th the House, in a Grand Committee of the whole House, went through the Bill to prevent the Growth of Schism, &c. and made several Amendments to it, were the next Day reported and agreed to; and another Amendment being made by the House to the Bill, the same, with the Amendments, was order'd to be ingross'd.
The 28th, upon a Message from the Lords, authorized by her Majesty's Commission, the Commons, with their Speaker, went up to the House of Peers, where the Lords Commissioners gave the Royal Assent to three Public Acts, viz.
Acts passed by Commission.
First, An Act for Charging and Continuing the Duties upon Malt, Mum, Cyder, and Perry, for the Service of the Year 1714, and for the Encouragement of Distilling Brandy from Malted Corn and Cyder, and forth making for Duplicates of Exchequer Bills, and Lottery Tickets, lost, burnt, or destroy'd; and to enable the Governor and Company of the Bank of England, and others, to lend Money upon South-Sea Stock.
Secondly, An Act for making more effectual. An Act pass'd in the 9th Year of her present Majesty's Reign, entituled, An Act for Repairing the Highways between Dunstable and Hockley, in the County of Bedford.
Papers about the Fortifications of Portsmouth, &c. call'd for.
After which the Commons being return'd to their House, read the third Time, pass'd, and sent to the Lords, The Bill for the better regulating the Forces to be continued in her Majesty's Service, &c. After which it was order'd, First, 'That the Treasurer of the Ordnance do lay before this House. An Account of what Money is in his Hands, an Account of the Fortifications intended to be made at Portsmouth, Chatham, and Harwich. Secondly, That the Commissioners appointed by her Majesty to make a new Survey of such Lands, Tenements, and Hereditaments, as are necessary for the Fortifications now in being at Portsmouth, Chatham, and Harwich, do attend this House upon Tuesday Morning next.' Then, in a Committee of the whole House, it was resolved, 'That a Sum not exceeding 300000 l. be granted to her Majesty, towards satisfying the Debts due for Seamen's Wages, and to the Yards, and for the Debt due to the Marines: Which Resolution was reported, and agreed to on Monday the last Day of May; to which Day the House adjourn'd on the 28th.
Riotous Petition of the Shoemakers.
We may here take Notice, that on the 26th of May, a vast Multitude of Shoemakers, with their Journeymen and Prentices, having assembled at Covent-Garden, went from thence to Westminster, in order to present the following printed Petition.
'To the honourable the Knights, Citizens, and Burgesses, in Parliament assembled. The humble Petition of the Cordwainers, inhabiting the Cities of London and Westminster, and Parts adjacent, in behalf of themselves, and others of their Trade, in the rest of the Kingdom, sheweth,
'That your Petitioners are far more numerous than any other Trade, and that in the late War, many Thousands of them served their Country both by Sea and Land; many of whom, since the Peace, would have returned to their former Occupation; but they, to their very great Disappointment, find the Trade they prosess almost ruin'd: And the Masters who formerly employ'd a Dozen Men, can hardly now find Work for Three, whereby Multitudes of your Petitioners are in a starving Condition, with their Families. Which Decay of their Trade, is entirely owing to the Drawback of the Duties laid upon Leather exported, which most evidently cuts off the Majorpart of her Majesty's Revenue arising by the said Duty, and causes large Quantities of Leather to be exported, to the unspeakable Prejudice of her Majesty's Subjects, who find the Remainder so dear, that very little is manufactur'd here, in comparison of late Times; and that which is worked up, is at so small a Price, that your Petitioners, who are Journeymen, and in Work, can't support themselves and Families. And whereas in Times past, great Quantities of Shoes and Boots were exported, and now only the Leather unwrought: This Drawback, if continu'd, does not only deprive this Nation of that Manufacture, but may inevitably reduce several Thousands of poor Families, who might otherwise support themselves by their Industry.'
'Therefore your Petitioners most humbly pray the Consideration of this August Assembly in the recited Premises, and with all Humility beg to be relieved, by such proper Methods as this Honourable House shall think fit. And your Petitioners, as in Duty bound, shall ever pray, &c.'
Bill for the Maintenance of Curates, and preventing the Sale of Adrowsons. ; Bill against Schism read the third time. ; Debate about it. ; Mr. Stanhope. ; Mr. Bromley. ; Mr. Walpole. ; Mr. Hungerford. ; Mr. Collier. ; Mr. Lechmere.
On the First Day of June Sir Peter King presented to the House of Commons, A Bill for the better Maintenance of Curates within the Church of England, and for the preventing the Sale of the next Avoidance of Ecclesiastical Benefices: Which was receiv'd, read the first Time, and order'd a second Reading. The same Day, an engrossed Bill to prevent the Growth of Schism, and for the further Security of the Church of England, as by Law establish'd, was read the third Time, and the Question being put, that the Bill do pass, the same occasion'd a warm Debate. Mr. Hambden, Mr. Walpole, General Stanhope, Mr. Lechmere, Sir Peter King, and Sir Joseph Jekyl, exerted their Natural Abilities and Eloquence in opposing this Bill; representing, among other Things, that it tended to raise as great a Persecution against our protestant Brethren, as the Primitive Christians ever suffer'd from the Heathen Emperors, particularly Julian the Apostate. Mr. Stanhope shew'd, in particular, the ill Consequences of this Law, as it would of Course occasion Foreign Education, which, 'on the one Hand, would drain the Kingdom of vast Sums of Money; and, which was still worse, fill the tender Minds of young Men with Prejudices against their own Country. He illustrated and strengthened his Reasoning by the Example of English Popish Seminaries abroad, which he said were so pernicious to Great Britain, that, instead of making New Laws which will encourage Foreign Education, he could wish those already in Force against Popish Schools were mitigated.' The chief Sticklers for the Bill were Mr. Bromley, Principal Secretary of State, Sir William Wyndham, Mr. Collier, and Mr. Hungerford. Mr. Bromley said, among Things, That the Dissenters were equally dangerous both to Church and State: And if the Members who spoke in their Behalf would have this Bill drop, he would readily consent to it, provided another Bill were brought in, to incapacitate them either to sit in that House, or to vote in Elections of Members of Parliament. Mr. Walpole answer'd this Speech with a great deal of Vivacity: After which Mr. Hungerford re-capitulated, and labour'd to answer what had been said by the Whig Members. Mr. Collier back'd Mr. Hungerford; and, in order to expose the Dissenters, he desir'd leave to read to the House, a Collection of Absurdities and Impious Expressions, which he pretended to have cull'd out of their Writings. After the reading of Part of his impertinent Legend, he fell on a Passage taken out of the nonsenfical Rhapsodies of the late Mr. Hickeringill, Minister at Colchester, wherein Mr. Collier pretended he averr'd, that our Blessed Saviour, was a Son of a W—At these shocking Expressions, Mr. Bromley stopt him short, Saying, such im pious Words ought not to be repeated in that Assembly. Some other Members observ'd, on the other Hand, First, That the late Mr. Hickeringill was not a Dissenting Teacher, but a Minister of the Church of England; and Secondly, That he was known to be Crack'd-brain'd; so that his Extravagancies and Blasphemies proved nothing against the Dissenters. Mr. Lechmere spoke against the Bill, with a great deal of Vehemence; and, among other Things, took notice, 'That the Indulgence granted to Protestant Dissenters since the Revolution, had been so far from hurting the Church, that it had rather enlarg'd its Pale; and that it was notorious, that some Persons who had been bred among Schismatics, were, or, at least, pretended to be; the strongest Supports of the Establish'd Church. Several other Speeches were made for and against the Bill; but whoever got the better in Point of Reasoning, it was carried by a Majority of 237 Voices, against 126, That (fn. 3) the Bill do pass; and Ordered, That Sir William Wyndham, Chancellor of the Exchequer, who brought in the Bill, should carry it to the Lords, and desire their Concurrence.
Addresses about the Fortifications at Portsmouth, &c.
On the 2d, the House proceeded to take into Consideration the Report made to the Lord High Treasurer of Great Britain, concerning the Fortifications of Portsmouth, Chatham and Harwich, and the Petition of the Propriators of the said Land, Tenements and Hereditaments: And the Petitioners, and their Counsel, and the Commissioners appointed by her Majesty to make a new Survey of the Lands, Tenements and Hereditaments, necessary for the Fortifications now in Being, at Portsmouth, Chatham and Harwich, attending according to Order, they were called in, and the said Report and Petition were read, and the Counsel were heard thereupon: And also the said Commissioners were heard: And then they withdrew. After which it was resolved, 'That an humble Ad dress be presented to her Majesty, that she will be pleased to to give Directions, that the Purchase-money agreed for as a valuable Consideration for certain Lands and Tenements, vested in Trustees for the Crown, for the better fortifying and securing the Docks and Harbours at Portsmouth, be paid, pursuant to the several Contracts made with the Proprietors of the said Lands and Tenements. 2. That another Address be presented to her Majesty, that she will be pleased to give Directious, that the Purchase-money agreed for as a valuable Consideration for certain Lands and Tenements, vested in Trustees for the Crown, for the better forifying and securing the Docks and Harbours at Chatham, be paid pursuant to the several Contracts made with the Proprietors of the said Lands and Tenements.' In this Debate, it was made appear to the House, that the Fortifications at Portsmouth, and other Sea-ports, were in so wretched a Condition, that, during the late War, the Enemy might, with an inconsiderable Force, have made themselves Masters of those important Places.
Order against tumultuous Assemblies.
The same Day, upon Complaint of the riotous Assembly of the Shoemakers beforementioned, it was ordered, 'That the Sheriffs of London and Middlesex, and the High Bailiff of the City of Westminster, do take Care to disperse any disorderly Assembly of Persons crowding to the Palace Yard, Westminster Hall, and Passages to this House; and to prevent any such tumultuous Resort for the future.
Bill for Commissioners of public Accompts.
The 3d, the Commons ordered a Bill to be brought in, for taking, examining and stating the public Accounts of the Kingdom. And upon a Debate, it was ordered, by a Majority of 179 Voices against 118, 'That it be an Instruction to the Gentlemen appointed to bring in the said Bill, that they do provide a Clause or Clauses in the said Bill, for appointing Commissioners to take, examine and determine the Debts due to the Army, Transport Service, and the Sick and Wounded.'
Resolutions of the Supply. ; Mr. Harley. ; Mr. Foley.
The next Day, the Commons, in a Grand Committee on the Supply, resolved, 1. 'That 2188 l. 9 s. 2 d. be granted to her Majesty for the military Officers and Chaplains that served in the Train of Artillery in Flanders and Spain, and on several Expeditions, which, with the Allowance they have on the Establishment in the Office of Ordnance, is to complete their Half-pay for the Year 1714. 2. 300000 l. towards satisfying the Debt due on Account to the Land Forces, out of which the Sum of 60095 l. 9s. 2d. is to be applied to discharge Bills of Exchange drawn by William Chetwynd Esq; her Majesty's late Envoy at Genoa, for Corn sent to Barcelona. 3. 3000 l. upon Account to be equally distributed among the Chaplains that served in the Fleet during the late War, and are not otherwise provided for. 4. 18540 l. 12s. 9d. ¾ to make good the Interest on Debentures, to the Sufferers at Nevis and St. Christophers, for three Years, to the 25th of December 1714. And 5. 42785 l. 14 s. 4 d. for the Support of the Royal Hospital of Chelsea, and pay off the Out-pensioners; and for extraordinary Allowance for Forage for Dragoons in North Britain, from the 25th of December, 1713. to the 24th of December 1714.' These Resolutions were the next Day reported, and agreed to by the House, and the second of them Nemine contradicente; but it is to be observed, That, in the Grand Committee, a Motion being made, to pay the Arrears due to the Troops of Hanover, some Reflections were cast upon them, for not obeying the Duke of Ormond's Orders, in the Year 1712. Hereupon, Mr. Auditor Harley, and Mr. Foley said, 'That whatever Reason the Generals might have for what they did, they were sure those Troops had ever done their Duty, and therefore they were supprized to hear them reflected on:' Which gave Occasion to a WhigMember to say, 'He wondered the Gentlemen of the contrary Side, should fall out among themselves, at a Time, when they prosecuted so warmly a Bill against Schism.
An Act for taking away the new Additional Duty of Thirty per Cent. ad Valorem, imposed upon all Books and Prints imported into Great Britain, by an Act made in the Tenth Year of the Reign of her present Majesty Queen Anne.
An Act for taking away Mortuaries within the Diocess of Bangor, Landaff, St. David's, and St. Asaph, and giving a Recompence therefore to the Bishops of the said respective Diacesses; &c. and three private Bills.
Bill for Commissioners to enquire into the Value of Bishops Lands in Scotland.
The 7th, the Commons ordered a Bill to be brought in, to appoint Commissioners to enquire into the Value of the Lands and Revenues which belonged to the Archbishops and Bishops in that Part of Great Britain, called Scotland; and into the Value of all Grants and Alienations of the same, since the Year 1689. and to what Uses, and upon what Considerations the same have been granted.
The next Day, Mr. Wikes reported the Resolutions of the Committee, to whom it was referred to consider of the State of the Leather Manufactures in this Kingdom, and what farther Encouragement might be proper to be given to the same; which Resolutions were referred to the Consideration of the grand Committee on Ways and Means. After this Mr. Bertie, from the Commissioners for determining the Debts due to the Army, &c. presented to the House, the Answers of several Persons concerned in the Report of the Commissioners sent into Spain, with the Replies of the said Commissioners, for determining the Debts due to the Army, together with several Books and Accompts relating thereunto: Which Papers were ordered to lie upon the Table.
Three Addresses to the Queen about the Assiento, the Island of Minorca, and Gibraltar.
The 9th, the Commons resolved to present (fn. 4) three Addresses to the Queen; 1. 'That her Majesty would be graciously pleased out of her great Goodness to her People to give Directions, That the fourth Part of the Assiento Trade reserved to her Majesty, by the 28th Article of the Assiento Contract; as also all such other Benefits or Advantages arising from the Assiento Trade, or the Licenses relating thereto, or from any Duties or Profits reserved to his Catholic Majesty, as her Majesty may be entitled to, by Virtue of any subsequent Agreement or Assignment from the King of Spain to her Majesty, may be disposed of for the Use of the Public, and towards the discharging the Debts of the Nation. 2. That the Revenues of the Island of Minorca, and the Rents of the Houses at Gibraltar, may be applied towards the Maintenance and Sup port of the Garrisons in those Places; and 3. That the Ports of Mahone and Gibraltar may be made Free Ports.
Address for the Payment of Lands to fortify Harwich. ; Bill in Favour of the Commissioners of the Equivalent.
The next Day, upon the reading of a Petition of the several Proprietors of Lands and Tenements in Harwich; taken surveyed, and agreed for by her Majesty's Commissioners: It was resolved to address her Majesty, that she would be pleased to give Directions, that the Purchase-money agreed for as a valuable Consideration for certain Lands and Tenements vested in Trustees for the Crown, for the better fortifying and securing the Docks and Harbours of Harwich, be paid; pursuant to the several Contracts made, with the Proprietors of the said Lands and Tenements.' After this, the House having considered the Report from the Committee to whom the general Abreviature of the Receipts and Payments made by the Commissioners of the Equivalent in North Britain, was referred; a Bill was ordered to be brought in, to discharge and acquit the Commissioners of Equivalent for the Sum of 381509 l. 15 s. 10d. ½ by them duly issued out of the 398085 l. 10 s. which they had received.
Towards the latter End of April, Mr. William Whiston, M. A. and Mr. Humphry Ditton, Master of the New Mathematical School in Christ's Hospital, London, having as they thought, found a new Method, for discovering the Longitude both at Land and Sea, were encouraged by some Gentlemen to apply themselves to the House of Commons for a Reward, which they did in the following Paper, or Petition.
Petition of Mr. Whiston and Mr. Ditton, for a Reward for Discovery of the Longitude.
'Whereas her Majesty has been pleased, this very Sessions of Parliament, particularly to recommend the Improvement of the Trade and naval Force of Great Britain, from the Throne: And whereas it is known, that nothing can be either at home or abroad, more for the common Benefit of Trade and Navigation, than the Discovery of the Longitude at Sea which has been so long desired in vain, and for want of which so many Ships and Men have been lost: Whereas also a Proposal for that Purpose has now been offered to the World for some Time, and has met with Approbation among some of the best Judges, to whom it has been privately discovered, but, for Want of any suitable Encouragement, could not hitherto be communicated to the Public: It is humbly desired, that a Bill, or Clause of a Bill, may be brought in this Parliament, to appoint a suitable Reward, for such as shall first lay before the Public, any sure Method for the Discovery of that Longitude; to be then due, when the most proper Judges, who may be appointed in the Bill, shall declare that such Method is both true in it self, and is also practicable at Sea; That the lowest Reward may be allotted to the discovering the same within one whole Degree of a great Circle, or seventy measured Miles; a greater to the discovering it within one half; and a still greater to the discovering it within one Quarter of that Measure: And that withal, if it be thought fit, proper Rewards may be also allotted to such as shall afterward make any farther considerable Improvements for the perfecting so important a Discovery. This is the humble Desire of the Authors of this Invention, as well as of many others; who are unwilling that this their Native Country of Great Britain should lose the Honour and Advantage of its first Discovery, Practices and Encouragement.' April 29, 1714.
Resolutions of the Committee thereupon.
The House appointed a Committee, to consider what Encouragement was fit to give to such as should find out the Longitude; which Committee, having on the 4th of June, asked Mr. Whiston and Mr. Ditton some Questions, in the Presence of Sir Isaac Newton, Dr. Halley, and some other celebrated Mathematicians, came to these two Resolutions, 1. 'That it is the Opinion of this Committee, that a Reward be settled by Parliament, upon such Person or Persons, as shall discover a more certain and practicable Method of ascertaining the Longitude, than any yet in Practice, and that the said Reward be proportioned to the Degree of Exactness to which the said Method shall reach.' 2. That the House be moved, that Leave be given for a Bill to be brought in accordingly.
A Bill ordered to be brought in thereupon. ; Resolutions on Ways and Means. ; Recommitted.
The 11th, the House took into their Consideration, the two Resolutions before mentioned, which were agreed to, and a Bill was ordered to be brought in, upon the first. Then, in a Committe of the whole House, on Ways and Means, the House came to sixty-one Resolutions, for laying several new Duties on Soap, Paper, Parchment, Pasteboards, &c. imported Linnens, Silks, Callicoes and Stuffs, &c. for settling a Fund of 112500 l. per Ann. for 32 Years, for raising the Sum of 1500,000 l. by way of a Lottery: Which 61 Resolutions being the next Day reported to the House, it was resolved, that they be recommitted.
Resolutions to appoint New Commissioners of public Accompts. ; Accompt of public Debts, and Interest there upon called for.
Upon the second reading of the Bill for taking, examining, and stating the public Accompts of the Kingdom, which was committed to a Committee of the whole House, a Motion was made, and the Question put, 'That it be an Instruction to the said Committee, that they do appoint the same Commissioners for executing the Powers contained in the said Bill, who were appointed to put in Execution the former Act, for taking examining and stating the public Accompts of this Kingdom, except Francis Annesley, Esq; who had desired to be excused from the said Employment.' The said Question passed in the Negative; and it was resolved, 1. That the Number of the Commissioners be seven; 2. That they be chosen by way of Balloting. Then, in a Committee of the whole House, some Progress was made, in the Consideration of Ways and Means, which was resumed the next Day; after which Mr. Conyers reported to the House from the Committee, that they had directed him to move, 'That an humble Address be presented to her Majesty, that she would be pleased to give Direction, that an Accompt be laid before this House, of the public Debts provided for by Parliament, and of what Interest is paid for such Debts respectively.' This Address was resolved upon, and ordered to be presented accordingly; which raised an Apprehension in those concerned in the public Funds, That the Commons being puzzled how to find Ways and Means to raise the Supply, designed to reduce the high Interest of some Parliamentary Funds, and put them all on the moderate Rate of Four or Five per Cent.
Commissioners of public Accompts chosen.
The 16th the House in a Grand Committee considered further of Ways and Means; and the next Day, proceeded to the Choice of Seven Persons, to be Commissioners of public Accompts, and having appointed a Committee to examine the Lists, the said Committee reported, on the 18th, that the Majority had fallen on Thomas Lyster Esq; James Bulteel, Esq; Henry Bertie Esq; Sir William Barker, Bart. George Lockart, Esq; Jonathan Elford, Esq; and Abraham Blackmore, Esq; whose Names were ordered to be inserted in the Bill.
Notice taken of the Affair relating to the Affiento Trade.
The 18th, the House taking into Consideration certain (fn. 5) Transactions which had passed the 16th at a General Court of the South-Sea Company, ordered 'that the Directors of the South-Sea Company, do lay before this House, an Account of all Proceedings in the said Company, relating to the Assiento Trade, together with all Orders, Directions, Letters, or Informations, which the Directors or any Committee of Directors had received concerning the same. At the same time, the Commons resolved to address her Majesty, 'That she would be pleased to give Directions, That an Account be laid before this House, of all Orders that had been sent to the Lords of the Admiralty, for fitting any Ships to attend the Service of the South-Sea Company, and what Directions had been given (fn. 6) for altering the Service, for which such Ships were under Orders, and what Representations had been made by the Admiralty upon that Account.
Bill to reduce the Rate of Interest &c. ; Resolutions on Ways and Means. ; Bill for a Lottery.
The 18th, it was proposed in the House of Commons, to reduce the Interest of Public Funds; but no Member offering to second that Motion, the same was dropt, and, on the contrary, it was ordered, Nemine contradicente, That a Bill be brought in, to reduce the Rate of Interest, without any Prejudice to Parliamentary Securities: Which was done, or at least intended, to encourage People to place their Monies in the public Funds, and thereby to advance public Credit. The next Day, the House, in a grand Committee on Ways and Means, to raise the Supply, came to Forty Resolutions, which were in Substance, to lay a further Duty upon all Coals exported; Vellum, Parchment, and Paper; Stamps, Soap, Paper, Paste-boards, Milboards, and Scaleboards imported; Linnens, Silks, Calicoes, and Stuffs, to be printed or stained; Transfers of Stock; Starch; and Buckrams imported, except from Ireland, one of those Resolutions was for ' Allowing a Drawback of the whole Duty of one Penny half-penny per Pound Weight, on all tanned Leather, manufactured and actually made into Goods or Wares, and exported out of Great Britain, to be ascertained out of the Weight of such Wares or Goods respectively.' The three last Resolutions were as follow, viz. 'That the said Additional Duty upon Coals exported into foreign Parts; and upon stampt Vellum, Parchment and Paper, and upon Soap and Paper, and upon certain Linnens, Silks, Callicoes and Stuffs, and upon Transfers of Stocks, and upon Starch, and upon Buckrams imported, be granted to her Majesty for the Term of 32 Years. That a Fund not exceeding 105,000 l. per Ann. for 32 Years, be set tled and established, and charged upon, and made payable out of all the said Duties, for raising a Sum not exceeding 1,400,000 l. by Way of a Lottery. And that, towards raising the Supply granted to her Majesty, the Surplusages and unappropriated Monies, which after the 12th of June 1714, shall be paid into the Exchequer for the Use of the Public, be applyed to the Current Service of this Year. These Resolutions were on the 22d reported, and, with some Amendments to some of them, agreed to by the House; and a Bill was ordered to be brought in thereupon.
1. That her Majesty would be pleased to give Directions, that the Purchase Money, for certain Lands, &c. for the better fortifying, &c. Portsmouth, Chatham and Harwich, may be paid; and that her Majesty was pleased to answer, 'That she will give the Directions which are desired.'
The Queen's Answers to several Addresses.
II. That her Majesty would give Directions, that the fourth Part of the Assiento Trade, reserved to her Majesty, &c. might be disposed of for the Use of the Public; and that her Majesty was pleased to give this Answer, 'That her Majesty gave to the South-Sea Company the Assiento or Contract she obtained from the Catholic King for importing Negroes into the Spanish West-Indies, and her Majesty has since thought it necessary, for their further Encouragement, and for removing Difficulties in the carrying on that Beneficial Trade, to grant them the fourth Part in the Contract reserved to herself; her Majesty being of Opinion, that the Encouragement of Trade, will best enable her Subjects, to discharge the Debts of the Nation.
'As to the other Reservations of an inferior Nature, which may have been under Negociation, if they are obtained, her Majesty will make such Disposition of them as she shall judge proper for her Service.'
III. That the Revenues of the Island of Minorca, and the Rents of the Houses of Gibraltar, might be applied towards the Maintenance and Support of the several Garrisons in those Places; and that her Majesty was pleased to say, 'That a Survey has been taken, by her Majesty's Direction, of the Island of Minorca, in order to make the Possession thereof beneficial to this Kingdom; and her Majesty will take Care that the Revenues of Minorca, and the Rents of the Houses of Gibraltar, shall be applied for the public Service.'
IV. That the Ports of Mahone and Gibraltar might be made free Ports; and that her Majesty was pleased to say That, soon after the Surrender of Gibraltar to her Majesty, Orders were given, that the Port of Gibraltar should be declared a Free Port; and her Majesty has it now under Consideration, in what Manner Port Mahone may best be established, and declared a Free Port.'
V. That her Majesty would be graciously pleased to confer some Dignity in the Church upon the Reverend Dr. Pelling, Chaplain to this House; To which her Majesty was pleased to answer, 'That she will confer some Dignity in the Church upon him, as is desired.'
VI. That her Majesty would be pleased to give Directions, that an Account might be laid before this House of the Public Debts provided for by Parliament, and of what Interest is paid for such respective Debts respectively; And that her Majesty was pleased to say, 'She will order an Account desired to be laid before this House.'
VII. That her Majesty would be pleased to give Directions, That an Account be laid before this House, of all Orders that have been sent to the Lords of the Admiralty for fitting any Ships to attend the Service of the South-Sea Company, &c. And that her Majesty was pleased to say, 'She will order the Account, Directions and Representations desired, to be laid before the House.'
An Address of Thanks for the Encouragement given to Trade.
VIII. That her Majesty would be pleased to give Orders for the reducing the Number of Commissioners of Equivalent, and that her Majesty said, 'That she will give Orders for reducing the Number of Commissioners for the Equivalent, and for lessening the annual Charge of that Commission.' It is to be observ'd, that this last Address was order'd to be presented just the Day before. After the Report of her Majesty's several Answers to those several Addresses, it was moved by the Court-Party, and resolv'd, 'That an humble Address be presented to her Majesty, to return the humble Thanks of this House for the Encouragement which she had given to Trade, by granting to the South-Sea Company the fourth Part of the Assiento Contract, reserv'd to her Majesty, in order to their immediate carrying on that Trade; and to assure her Majesty, that this House would entirely acquiesce in all such Dispositions of the future Advantages which her Majesty should obtain, as she should think proper for the Benefit and Increase of Trade.'
The Lords Amendments read by the Commons. Debate thereupon. ; Mr. Lochmere. ; Mr. Walpole. ; Sir William Wyndham. ; Mr. Campion. ; General Stanhope. ; Mr. Hungerford. ; The said Amendments approved.
The Lords having made certain Amendments to the Schism Bill, the House put off the Consideration of them to the 23d, when a small Debate ensued. Mr. Lechmere and Mr. Walpole, among the rest, represented, 'That since the Pro testant Dissenters of Ireland were made liable to the Penalties of this Bill, it were but just, either to insert a Clause in it, or to bring in another Bill, to make them enjoy the Benefit of the Toleration Act, that was pass'd in England, in the last Reign, But Sir William Wyndham and Mr. Campion said thereupon, 'That if leave were given to bring in such a Bill, they hoped they should have leave also to bring in another, to incapacitate Dissenters from voting in Elections for Parliamentmen.' Upon which that Matter dropt, On the other Hand, General Stanhope proposed, 'That the Tutors in Families of Members of the House of Commons, might be put on the same Foot with those who taught in the Families of a Nobleman or Noblewoman; it being reasonable to suppose, that the Members of that House, many of whom were of noble Extraction, had as great a Concern as the Lords for the Education of their Children; and an equal Right to take care of their Instruction.' Several Members of both Parties, were of Mr. Stanhope's Opinion; but Mr. Hungerford was very plain, and represented that the least Amendment now made in the House, might occasion the Loss of the Bill: Which had such Weight with them who all along promoted it, that the Question being put, it was carried by a Majority of 168 Votes against 98, that the Commons agreed to the Lords Amendments; and ordered, That Sir William Wyndham do carry the Bill to the Lords, and acquaint them therewith.'
A Proclamation for apprehending the Pretender.
Address of Thanks, &c. on that Occasion.
'That an humble Address be presented to her Majesty, acknowledging the grateful Sense which this House has of her Majesty's Concern for the Protestant Succession in the House of Hanover, by issuing so seasonable a Proclamation, promising a Sum of five thousand Pounds out of her own Revenue, as an Encouragement for apprehending the Pretender, whenever he shall land, or attempt to land in any of her Majesty's Dominions; and to assure her Majesty that this House will chearfully aid and assist her Majesty, by granting, out of the first Aids to be given by Parliament, the Sum of a Hundred Thousand Pounds, as a further Reward to any who shall perform so great a Service to her Majesty and her Kingdoms; and also that this House will heartily concur with her Majesty in all other Measures for extinguishing the Hopes of the Pretender, and all his open and secret Abettors.'
It is to be observ'd, that Mr. Freeman, Knight of the Shire for Hertfordshire, made the Motion for this Address, and was seconded by Mr. Auditor Harley, the Lord Treasurer's Brother, and supported by the Earl of Hertford, Son to the Duke of Somerset, who proposed the Sum of a Hundred Thousand Pounds. Some Objections were raised, as if the promising a Reward so much beyond what was mention'd in the Queen's Proclamation, were disrespectful to her Majesty: But the same were over-ruled, and the said Vote pass'd unanimously. On Monday the 28th of June, the Commons, with their Speaker, waited on her Majesty at Kensington, and presented their humble Address; to which the Queen was pleas'd to give this Answer:
The Queen's Answer.
The 25th, the Secretary of the South-Sea Company laid before the House a Book, containing the Proceedings of the Directors relating to the Assiento Trade, together with all Directions, Letters, and Informations, which the Directors, or any Committee of Directors, had receiv'd concerning the same: Which Book was order'd to lie on the Table. The same Day the Lords, authoriz'd by virtue of her Majesty's Commission, gave the Royal Assent to the several Bills following.
Bill for stating the Publick Accompts, rejected by the Lords.
July 9, The Queen being come to the House of Peers with the usual State, and the Commons being sent for up, and attending, her Majesty was pleased to give the Royal Assent to several public and private Bills, viz.
1. An Act for laying Additional Duties on Soap and Paper, and upon certain Linens, Silks, Callicoes, and Stuffs, and upon Starch, and Exported Coals, and upon Stampt Vellom, Parchment and Paper, for raising 1400000 l. by way of Lottery, for her Majesty's Supply; and for Allowances of Exporting Made Wares, of Leather, Sheep-Skins, and Lamb-Skins; and for Distribution of Four thousand Pounds, due to the Officers and Seamen for Gun-money; and to adjust the Property of Tickets in former Lotteries; and touching certain Shares of Stock in the Capital of the South-Sea Company; and for appropriating the Monies granted to her Majesty.
2. An Act for raising the Militia for the Year 1714, altho' the Month's Pay, formerly advanced, be not repaid; and for rectifying a Mistake in an Act passed in this Session of Parliament, entitled, An Act for the regulating the Forces to be continued in her Majesty's Service, and for the Payment of the said Forces, and of their Quarters.
5. An Act for rendring more effectual an Act made in the Third Year of the Reign of King James the First, entitled, An Act to prevent and avoid Dangers which may grow by Popish Recusants; and also of one other Act made in the first Year of the Reign of their late Majesties King William and Queen Mary, entitled, An Act to vest in the two Universities the Presentations of Benefices belonging to Papists; and for vesting in the Lords of Justiciary, Power to inflict the same Punishment against Jesuits, Priests, and other trafficking Papists, which the Privy Council of Scotland was empower'd to do, by an Act passed in the Parliament of Scotland, entitled, An Act for preventing the Growth of Popery.
7. An Act for reducing the Laws relating to Rogues, Vagabonds, sturdy Beggars, and Vagrants, into one Act of Parliament, and for the more effectual punishing such Rogues, Vagabonds, sturdy Beggars, and Vagrants, and sending them whither they ought to be sent.
10. An Act for the speedy and effectual Preserving the Navigation of the River Thames, by stopping the Breach in the Levels of Havering and Dagenham, in the County of Essex; and for ascertaining the Coal-measures.
11. An Act to explain, and make more effectual, an Act passed in the Tenth Year of her Majesty's Reign, for preventing Abuses in making Linen Cloth, and regulating the Length and Breadth, and equal Sorting of Yarn, in each Piece made in Scotland; and for Whitening the same.
13. An Act to explain a Clause in an Act of Parliament of the Tenth Year of her Majesty's Reign, for laying several Duties upon all Soap and Paper made in Great Britain, or imported into the same; and upon chequer'd and strip'd Linens imported; and upon certain Silks, Callicoes, Linens, and Stuffs, printed, painted, or stained; and upon several kinds of stampt Vellom, Parchment and Paper; and upon certain printed Pamphlets and Advertisements; for raising the Sum of Eighteen hundred thousand Pounds, by way of a Lottery; and for other Purposes in the said Act mentioned, so far as the said Act relates to Lawns, Canvas, Buckrams, Barras, and Silesia Neckcloths.
14. An Act to explain Part of an Act made in the Seventh Year of her Majesty's Reign, (for enlarging the Capital Stock of the Bank of England, and for raising a further Supply to her Majesty, for the Service of the Year 1709) so far as it relates to Unwrought Incle, imported into this Kingdom.
15. An Act to continue an Act of the Sixth Year of her Majesty's Reign, entitled, An Act to enable her Majesty to make Leases and Copies of Offices, Lands and Hereditamenes, part of her Dutchy of Cornwall, or annexed to the same; and 14 local and private Acts.
The Queen's Speech to both Houses.
I return you hearty Thanks for all your good Services to me, and to your Country, and particularly for the Supplies you have given me, as well to defray the Expences of the current Year, as towards the Discharge of the National Debts.
'My chief Concern is, to preserve to you, and to your Posterity, our holy Religion, and the Liberty of my Subjects; and to secure the present and future Tranquillity of my Kingdoms. But I must tell you plainly, That these desirable Ends can never be attained, unless you bring the same Dispositions on your Parts; unless all groundless Jealousies, which create and soment Divisions amongst you, be laid aside; and unless you shew the same Regard for my just Prerogative, and for the Honour of my Government, as I have always express'd for the Rights of my People.'
The Parliament prorogued.
'It is her Majesty's Royal Will and Pleasure, That this Parliament be prorogued to Tuesday the Tenth Day of August next: And this Parliament is accordingly Prorogued to Tuesday, the Tenth Day of August next.'
It may not be amiss to conclude this Tome with the remarkable Letter of the Lord Treasurer Oxford to the Queen, together with his Recapitulation of the Public Affairs during his Ministry, by way of Self-justification against the Complaints of the Lord Viscount Bolingbroke.
The Earl of Oxford's Letter to the Queen.
'I presume, in Obedience to your Royal Commands, to lay before your Majesty a State of your Affairs. Though I have very much contracted it from the Draught I made, and the Vouchers from whence it is taken; yet I find it swell under my Pen in transcribing, being willing to put every thing before your Majesty in the clearest Light my poor Understanding can attain to. It was necessary to lay it before your Majesty in the Series of Time, from the beginning to this present Time; and when that is completely laid before you, it remains only for me to beg God to direct your Majesty.
And as to myself, do with me what you please, place me either as a Figure or a Cypher, displace me or replace me, as that best serves your Majesty's Occasions, you shall ever find me, with the utmost Devotion, and without any Reserve,