The History and Proceedings of the House of Commons: Volume 6, 1714-1727. Originally published by Chandler, London, 1742.
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SPEECHES and DEBATES In the Fourth Session of the Second Parliament of King George I.
Anno 12. Geo. 1. 1725-26.
THE Parliament being met at Westminster on the 20th of January, pursuant to their last Prorogation, the King went to the House of Peers with the usual State, and the Commons being come thither, the King, by the Mouth of the Lord High Chancellor, made the following Speech to both Houses:
The King's Speech at opening the Fourth Session.
My Lords and Gentlemen,
"I Have had such frequent Experience of the Wisdom and Zeal of this Parliament, on many important Occasions, that it is with Pleasure I now meet you again, and I make no Doubt but that your Endeavours for the Good and Service of your Country will be as successful as they have hitherto been.
"The distress'd Condition of some of our Protestant Brethren abroad, and the Negotiations and Engagements entred into by some Foreign Powers, which seem to have laid the Foundation of new Troubles and Disturbances in Europe, and to threaten my Subjects with the Loss of several of the most advantageous Branches of their Trade, obliged me without any Loss of Time, to concert with other Powers, such Measures, as might give a Check to the ambitious Views of those, who are endeavouring to render themselves formidable, and put a Stop to the farther Progress of such dangerous Designs. For these Ends I have entred into a defensive Alliance with the most Christian King and the King of Prussia, to which several other Powers, and particularly the States-General, have been invited to accede, and I have not the least Reason to doubt of their Concurrence. This Treaty shall in a short Time be laid before you.
"By these Means, and by your Support and Assistance, I trust in God, I shall be able not only to secure to my own Subjects the Enjoyment of many valuable Rights and Privileges long since acquired for them by the most solemn Treaties, but effectually to preserve the Peace and Balance of Europe, the only View and End of all my Endeavours.
Gentlemen of the House of Commons,
"I have order'd the Estimates for the Service of this Year to be prepar'd and laid before you, which, from an Unwillingness I always have to put my Subjects to an extraordinary Expence by any unnecessary Precautions, are form'd upon the Foot of employing no greater Number of Forces, than was thought necessary the last Year; for which, if the Supplies you give shall be fully and effectually raised, I shall be enabled to have a strong Fleet at Sea early in the Spring. If the Posture of Affairs shall at any Time make it necessary to augment our Maritime Force, I confide so entirely in the Zeal and Affection of my Parliament, that I assure myself you will enable me to make such an Addition to the Number of Seamen, as shall be found requisite.
My Lords and Gentlemen,
"It is not to be doubted, but the Enemies to my Government will conceive Hopes, that some favourable Opportunity for renewing their Attempts may offer, from the Prospect of new Troubles and Commotions: They are already very busy by their Instruments and Emissaries in those Courts, whose Measures seem most to favour their Purposes, in soliciting and promoting the Cause of the Pretender; but I persuade myself, notwithstanding the Countenance and Encouragement they may have receiv'd, or flatter themselves with, the Provision you shall make for the Safety and Defence of the Kingdom will effectually secure us from any Attempts from Abroad, and render all such Projects vain and abortive.
"When the World shall see that you will not suffer the British Crown and Nation to be menaced and insulted, those, who most envy the present Happiness and Tranquility of this Kingdom, and are endeavouring to make us subservient to their Ambition, will consider their own Interest and Circumstances, before they make any Attempt upon so brave a People, strengthened and supported by prudent and powerful Alliances, and though desirous to preserve the Peace, able and ready to defend themselves against the Efforts of all Aggressors. Such Resolutions and such Measures timely taken, I am satisfy'd, are the most effectual Means of preventing a War, and continuing to us the Blessings of Peace and Prosperity."
Sir Robert Sutton moves for an Address of Thanks,; Which is agreed to and presented.
Jan. 20. The Commons being return'd to their House, and Mr Speaker having reported his Majesty's Speech, Sir Robert Sutton (fn. 1), Knight of the Shire for Nottingham, mov'd, and being seconded, it was resolv'd, That an humble Address be presented to his Majesty for his gracious Speech; and a Committee was appointed to draw up an Address upon the said Resolution; which was accordingly the next Day reported to the House by Sir Robert Sutton, and agreed to.
Jan. 22. The same was presented to his Majesty by the whole House as follows:
Most Gracious Sovereign,
We your Majesty's most dutiful and loyal Subjects, the Commons of Great Britain in Parliament assembled, beg Leave most unfeignedly to congratulate your Majesty's safe and happy Arrival in this Kingdom. Nothing can equal the Dread and Anxiety which filled the Breasts of your good People, whilst your Majesty's sacred Person was expos'd to the Perils of tempefluous Seas; but the universal Joy that was instantly diffus'd throughout the Kingdom, upon the welcome News of your Majesty's being safely landed on the British Shore.
'We return your Majesty our humblest Thanks for your most gracious Speech from the Throne; and cannot sufficiently acknowledge your Majesty's great Attention and Care for the Preservation of the Peace and Prosperity of this Nation, and the general Tranquility of Europe.
'The tender Regard and Compassion, which your Majesty has expressed for the distressed Protestants abroad, will give great Satisfaction to all, whose Profession of the same Religion must inspire them with a just Resentment of the Injuries and Persecutions which they suffer for the Sake of it.
'Your Majesty's Vigilance in watching over and disconcerting the ambitious Views and Designs of those, that are endeavouring to render themselves formidable; your Wisdom in early forming and entering into Alliances with Powers best able to withstand the common Danger, and to put a Stop to the farther Progress of the Negotiations carrying on by other Powers, and your particular Concern for the Trade and Commerce of these Nations, call upon us for all possible Returns of Duty and Gratitude.
'And that your Majesty's unwearied Endeavours for the particular Interests of your own Subjects of these Kingdoms, and for preventing a War, may have their desir'd Effect, we, your Majesty's most dutiful and loyal Commons, promise and assure your Majesty, that we will with the greatest Chearfulness, Unanimity and Dispatch, so effectually raise the Supplies for this Year, that your Majesty may be enabled to have a strong Fleet at Sea early in the Spring, sufficient to protect and defend the Kingdom, to disappoint the Hopes of the Enemies to your Majesty's Government, and resent any Insults and Attempts that may be vainly projected and undertaken.
'It is not to be wonder'd at, that in the low State to which the Affairs of the Pretender are reduced, his Emissaries and Instruments should be waiting for every Opportunity, that has the Appearance of being favourable to their languishing Cause; and as they have been very busy in foreign Courts, the Disaffected and Discontented here have not been less industrious, by false Rumours and Suggestions to fill the Minds of the People with groundless Fears and Alarms, in order to affect the Publick Credit, and, by distressing the Government, give Encouragement to the Enemies of our Peace.
'But we promise ourselves that the Prudence, Temper, and Resolution of those that truly consult their own Interest, and wish well to their Country, will, on the one Hand, prevent and obviate the Mischiefs that, by too great Credulity and vain Fears, they may bring upon themselves; and, on the other Hand, we are determin'd to convince the World, that if those who most envy our present Happiness and Tranquility, shall so far presume upon the just Sense and Value we have for these inestimable Blessings, as still to pursue their desperate Measures; how desirous soever we may be of Peace, we will not suffer your Majesty and the British Nation to be insulted; but that we will, to the utmost of our Power, as the Exigency and Necessity of Affairs shall require, stand by, and support your Majesty against all Attempts to disturb the publick Repose.'
To this Address his Majesty return'd the following Answer.
The King's Answer thereto.
"I Return you my Thanks for this dutiful and loyal Address. I make no Doubt but you will soon be sensible of the good Effect of this seasonable Vigour and Resolution. You may be assured, that I will make no Use of the Confidence you repose in me, but for preserving to us the Blessings of Peace, and for promoting the Honour and Interest of this Kingdom."
Jan. 22. The Commons took into Consideration his Majesty's Speech to both Houses, and a Motion being made for a Supply, the same was referred to the Grand Committee on the 24th Instant.
A Supply voted.
Jan. 24. The Commons went into a Grand Committee, to consider of the Motion for granting a Supply to his Majesty, which was unanimously resolv'd upon.
Debate concerning the Number of Land-Forces for the Year 1726.
Jan. 28. The House having resolv'd itself into a Grand Committee, consider'd farther of the Supply, and in particular of the Charge of the Guards, Garrisons, and other his Majesty's Land Forces in Great-Britain for the Year 1726. Mr Henry Pelham open'd the Debate, and mov'd, That Provision be made for the same Number of Men, for Guards, Garrisons, and Land Forces, for the Year 1726, as were provided for the last Year. This was oppos'd by Mr Shippen, who thereupon stood up, and spoke as follows:
'My Sentiments concerning a Standing Army in Time of Peace are well known here, and it may seem unnecessary, perhaps be thought impertinent, in me to debate anew on a worn and exhausted Topic, when other Gentlemen, who entertain the same Sentiments, are pleased to be silent. But surely the Question before you is not become a Motion of Course; surely as long as the Grievance is continued on one hand, so long there is a Right of Complaint on the other; and that Complaint, I should think, may without Offence be continued, till it can be proved, that the British Government is in its nature Military, or ought to be made so.
'I do not intend to trouble you with what I have formerly urged, or to use any Argument drawn from the Expence and Burthen, or from the Terror and Oppression, which have been brought upon this and other Nations, by raising and keeping up a greater Number of Forces, than were absolutely necessary in Time of Peace: Not but that the Gradations, by which Armies, with all their Inconveniences, have been first introduced into Free States, and afterwards imposed upon them, ought to be had in perpetual Remembrance. We ought never to forget, that such Steps have been usually taken, to gratify the Views of ambitious Princes, to carry on the Schemes of evil Ministers, to terrify Parliaments into Obedience, and to make the Members of them dumb Spectators of the Miseries of their Country.
'I will not insist on these Arguments, however just in themselves, however proper on other Occasions, because they would be unapplicable to the present Situation of our Affairs. For we have a Prince, whose only Aim is to continue to us the Blessings of Peace and Plenty; We have a Ministry, whose Merits are above my Commendations; We have a Parliament, which acts with a Spirit superior to all Influences, and to all Temptations. Besides, every Year has its particular Circumstances, and those particular Circumstances ought to guide our Resolutions, when we are making our annual Parliamentary Provisions for the Publick Service. I thought our Circumstances both at Home and Abroad, were so prosperous the last Session, that we might without Hazard have disbanded at least the Four Thousand Augmentation-Troops. [See p. 326] But the Majority of the House was of another Opinion. There was then indeed a Rendezvous, though not a formed Congress, of Plenipotentiaries, vying with each other in the Splendor of their Equipages and the Magnificence of their Entertainments at Cambray, which had for some time employed our Speculations, and promised great Events to the World. And it was thought good Policy to shew the Negotiating Powers, by continuing our Army, that, if they would not accept his Majesty's Plan for settling the Balance of Power, and for establishing the Tranquility of Europe, Great Britain was ready to do her Part towards compelling them to a Compliance. But that Policy proved ineffectual, and that Negotiation appears at last to have wanted Substance, as well as Form, and to have produc'd nothing to Great Britain, but an Increase of the Civil List Debt, as we were given to understand the last Session, in a Debate on that Subject, by one that knew the Secret.
'But we are now told, that prudent and powerful Alliances are actually made, and that what was only attempted at Cambray, has been fully accomplished at Herenhausen. Nor can there be any doubt, but that his Majesty's extensive Care over all his Foreign and Domestick Concerns, but that his alternate Residence here and abroad, as it hath procured, so it would, with the Advice of a good Ministry, and without the Aid of a great Army, preserve to us, thro' the whole Course of his Reign, that Security and those Blessings we now enjoy. For, whether at home or abroad, his Influence is irresistible, because his Counsels are wise, and his Designs are just. Nor am I altered in this Opinion by what has happened at Glasgow in Scotland, or at Thorn in Poland.
'For, if I am rightly informed, the Tumult at Glasgow was no more than a. Mob, composed chiefly of Women, a mere Mock-Resemblance of an Amazonian Army, that might have been quelled by the Interpofition of the Civil Authority, without Recourse to that Military Vengeance, which was executed there. Such Commotions we see arise almost in every Nation, when the Occasions of the Publick call for new and extraordinary Taxes; and yet they are generally despised, as impotent Efforts against Established Governments, and left to be punished by the Laws of the Country. But, now all is quiet, now all is safe in Scotland; not the least Murmur is heard against the Administration: The Highland Clans have been disarmed without any Disturbance; they rejoice, we are told, in their Submission, and are brought to a perfect Sense of their Duty to his Majesty, by the obliging Behaviour and prudent Conduct of the General, whose Province it was to enforce the Act of Parliament against them.
'As to the important Affair of Thorn; which, by the way, was no Act of Retaliation, as some, who neither consider the Circumstance of Time nor Things, would infinuate, but the Effect of a Spirit of Persecution; we are assured that his Majesty has done more towards obtaining the desired Satisfaction for the barbarous and unchristian Cruelties committed there, and gained greater Concessions from the Catholick Princes, by his Pacifick Mediation, and by his Personal Interest, than he could probably have done by rougher Resorts, by threatening, or even by entering into, a Religious War. Nor can Malice itself suppose, that, whilst he is resenting the Violation of Treaties; he would do any thing, that would but look like an Infraction of the Limitation in the Act of Succession, which restrains the Crown from involving Great Britain in any Foreign Disputes, except where her own immediate Interests and Alliances are concerned.
'I hope we conceive no ill Omens, I hope we have no Apprehensions, from the French King's Marriage to the Daughter of the Pretender to the Crown of Poland; no Distrust, that such an Alliance can shake our late Protestant Treaty with that young Prince; no Jealousy, that he will follow the Example of the Emperor and the King of Spain, by engaging in a clandestine League, without our Knowledge, and to our Prejudice. I must own, that would be a melancholy Consideration. For then an Army of twice Eighteen thousand Men would not be sufficient to defend that Cause, which his Majesty has hitherto asserted, with so much Glory to himself, with so much Advantage to the Protestant Part of Europe.
''Twas a notorious Saying, and the avowed Policy of one of our late famous Statesmen, who lived till after the Revolution, and was thought a secret Instrument in it, that, notwithstanding the Noise and Clamour of the People against Soldiers in Time of Peace, the easiest and best Way of governing England was by an Army; and that a Minister so guarded might prosecute his own Measures with Safety and Success, and soon make the boasting Assertors of Liberty and Property, as tame as a Flock of Turkies, and drive them which Way he pleased. This gives us a true Idea of some sorts of modern Policy, and of the Insolence of that Man in Authority, who ruined his Prince by the very Methods he would have enslaved his Fellow-Subjects; but not of the Genius of the People of England. For he found another Spirit in them; he found, they perpetually struggled with him in Defence of the Church and State, when he was endeavouring to sacrifice both, as he did his own Honour and Conscience, in order to erect an arbitrary and unlimited Dominion in these Kingdoms. Nor could they endure his Return into Power after the Revolution, tho' he was countenanced by King William himself, and tho' his meritorious Perfidy was strongly pleaded in his Favour. But they continued their Opposition to him, till they had accomplished his Disgrace; and still his Memory is as detestable, as his Administration was wicked, tho' he neither aggrandized his Family, nor augmented his Estate by the Spoils of the Publick.
'Now we are to hope the military Principles of this Statesman are dead with him, and we are sure good Ministers can never pursue the Maxims of bad ones, because the Means of their Actions must necessarily be as different, as the Ends are. 'Tis therefore unintelligible to me, how the keeping up an Army in Time of Peace, which has formerly been thought criminal Advice in Ministers, as being incompatible with our Constitution, shoul'd now be annually recommended to Parliament by our modern Patriots, as the only Method of securing us in the Possession of our Laws and Liberties. I say, this is unintelligible to me, and till the seeming Paradox can be reconciled to Reason, I must beg Leave constantly to oppose Questions of this Nature.
Mr Shippen was supported by Mr. Heysham, Mr Hungerford, and others, who insisted on the reducing the Four Thousand Men that were rais'd some Years ago, [See p. 291] upon an extraordinary Occasion, and which were now become altogether unnecessary, since on the one Hand Great Britain enjoy'd at present a happy and perfect Tranquility, which seem'd firmly secur'd by the late disarming of the Highlands of Scotland; and, on the other Hand, it having already been unanimously resolv'd, to enable his Majesty to have a strong Fleet at Sea early in the Spring, this they thought sufficient for the Safety and Defence of the Kingdom, effectually to secure us from any Attempts from abroad, and to render all Projects of the Pretender's Instruments and Emissaries vain and abortive.' To this it was answer'd by Mr Henry Pelham (fn. 2) and Hon. Mr Verney, 'That it would be highly imprudent to lessen the Number of our Land Forces, at a Time when some foreign Powers who endeavour'd to make themselves formidable, and threaten us with the Loss of our most advantageous Branches of our Trade, were augmenting theirs. That the Alliances his Majesty was lately enter'd into, to check such ambitious Views, and put a Stop to the farther Progress of such dangerous Designs, might make it necessary to send some Land Forces abroad, in Support of those Alliances; and that in such a Case, the leaving the Kingdom without a sufficient Number of Men for Guards and Garrisons, would be too great a Temptation to the Enemies of the Government, who are continually watching for favourable Opportunities for renewing their Attempts, and disturbing the happy Repose we enjoy.' Sir Joseph Jekyl, having hereupon declar'd, 'That he was indeed the last Year for reducing Part of the Army; but that the Face and Posture of Affairs in Europe being since changed, he thought it now unsafe; His Opinion had so great Weight, that, without any farther Debate, it was resolv'd, I. That the Number of effective Men to be provided for Guards and Garrisons in Great Britain, and for Guernsey and Jersey, for the Year 1726, be, including 1815 Invalids, and 324 Men, which the fix Independent Companies consist of for the Service of the Highlands, 18,264 Men, Commission and NonCommission Officers included. II. That a Sum not exceeding 655,178 l. be granted to his Majesty for defraying the Charge of the said 18,226 effective Men, for the Year 1726.
An Address for Copies of the Treatives between the Emperor and King of Spain to be laid before the House.
Jan. 29. These Resolutions were reported to the House by Mr Farrer, and agreed to; after which it was resolv'd, That an humble Address be presented to his Majesty, That the late Treaties of Peace and Commerce concluded between the Emperor and the King of Spain might be laid before the House.
Mr W. Pulteney moves for appointing a Committee to state the publick Debts from Dec. 25. 1714 to Dec. 25. 1725. ; Debate thereon.
February 9. Mr William Pulteney mov'd, 'That a Committee be appointed to state the publick Debts as they stood on the 25th of December, 1714, with what Debts have been incurr'd since that Time, 'till the 25th of December 1725, distinguishing how much of the said Debts have been provided for, and how much remain unprovided for by Parliament.' He was seconded by Mr Daniel Pulteney, and back'd by Sir Joseph Jekyl; Hereupon Sir Robert Walpole stood up and endeavour'd to shew, 'That such an Inquiry was unseasonable and preposterous, and that it might give a dangerous Wound to publick Credit at this critical Juncture, when Money'd-Men were already but too much alarmed by the Appearances of an approaching War; urging, That in the present Posture of Affairs, they could not better express their Love to their Country, than by making good their Promises and Assurances to his Majesty at the Beginning of this Session, and with the greatest Dispatch raising the necessary Supplies, to enable his Majesty to make good his late Engagements, for the Welfare of his Subjects, to disappoint the Hopes of the Enemies to his Government, and to resent any Insults that may be offer'd to his Crown and Dignity.' Mr Barnard, Member for the City of London, confirm'd what Sir Robert Walpole had said, as to the Danger of increasing the Alarm of Money'd-Men, which had already so much affected publick Credit, that the Stocks were within a few Weeks fallen 12 l. or 14 l. per Cent. But Sir Thomas Pengelly, having spoken for the Motion, Sir Robert Walpole reply'd to him. Hereupon Mr William Pulteney stood up and declar'd, 'That he made this Motion with no other View, than to give that Great Man an Opportunity to shew his Integrity to the whole World, which would finish his sublime Character:' To which Sir Robert Walpole answer'd, 'That this Compliment would have come out with a better Grace, and appear'd more sincere, when that fine Gentleman had himself a Share in the Management of the Publick Money, than now he was out of Place.' Then the Question being put upon Mr Pulteney's Motion, it was carry'd in the Negative, by 262 Votes against 89.
Copies of the Hanover Treaty, and the Treaty between the Emperor and King of Spain laid before the House.
The same Day Sir Robert Walpole acquainted the House, That he had received his Majesty's Commands to lay before the House the Treaty between his Majesty, the most Christian King, and the King of Prussia, made at Hanover the 3d of September 1725; and that his Majesty had likewise commanded him to lay before the House, pursuant to their Address to his Majesty, the late Treaties of Peace and Commerce concluded between the Emperor and the King of Spain. And he presented Copies of the said Treaties, with Translations of them, to the House: together with a List of the said Treaties; which List being read, it was Resolv'd to take the said Treaties into Consideration on the 16th Instant.
Feb. 16. The House proceeded to take into Consideration the above-recited Treaties, which, by his Majesty Command, had been laid before the House. After the reading thereof Mr Horatio Walpole (fn. 3) open'd the Debate with a Speech, wherein he laid before the House the State and Posture of Affairs in Europe, from the Peace of Utrecht to this present Time, and took Notice, 'That since his Majesty's happy Accession to the Throne of this Realm, his constant Care and Endeavours had been to settle the Balance of Power on a solid Foundation, and to preserve and secure the Tranquility of Christendom; to protect and defend the Protestant Cause, and promote the Honour and Interest of his British Subjects. That with these great Views, his Majesty was become Mediator and Guarantee both of the Barrier Treaty concluded in 1715, and of the Convention made in 1718, for the Execution of that Treaty, between the Emperor and the States General of the United Provinces. That in the Year 1716, his Majesty concluded a Defensive Alliance with the Emperor; and in 1717, another with the most Christian King and the States General; the genuine Design of both which Treaties was only to preserve the publick Repose of Christendom, establish'd by the Peace of Utrecht, and to guaranty the Succession to the Crown of Great Britain in the Protestant Line. That in order to fortify all the said Treaties, and to extinguish the War which the Spaniards had kindled in Italy, his Majesty in 1718, made a Convention with the most Christian King, for proposing Ultimate Conditions of Peace between the Emperor and the King of Spain, and between his Imperial Majesty and the then King of Sicily. That this Convention was, a few Days after, follow'd by a Treaty of Alliance between the Emperor, the King of Great Britain, and the most Christian King, which, by their Ministers, was concluded at London, and sign'd on the 22d of July 1718, and in which the States General were named as one of the Contracting Parties, upon a Supposition, that their High Mightinesses would come into it, from whence this Treaty was named the Quadruple Alliance. That a few Months after the King of Sicily was admitted into this Treaty, and at length the King of Spain himself was forced to accede to it, which was mainly owing to the generous Assistance his Britannick Majesty gave the Emperor in the Mediterranean. That there remaining some Points still controverted between the Emperor and King of Spain, the same were referr'd to be amicably determined in a Congress, which was afterwards open'd at Cambray, under the Mediation of his Britannick Majesty and the most Christian King. That by Reason of several Difficulties, industriously raised by the Courts of Vienna and Madrid, the great Pains taken for three Years by the Ministers Mediators, proved unsuccessful; and, at last, the Congress was suddenly dissolv'd, upon Advice that the Emperor and the King of Spain secretly had adjusted the Differences between them, and concluded a Treaty of Peace at Vienna. That this unexpected Event occasion'd no small Surmize, and raised Jealousies, which appear'd to be the better grounded, when it was known. That the said Treaty of Peace was soon follow'd by a Treaty of Commerce, the main Design of which was to support and countenance the East-India Company some Years before establish'd at Oftend, by granting to the Inhabitants of the Austrian Netherlands greater Privileges, both in the East and West-Indies, than were ever granted either to the English or Dutch, which visibly tended to the entire Ruin of many valuable Branches of our Trade, and was contrary to several solemn Treaties still in Force. That thereupon his Majesty, ever watchful for the Interest of his British Subjects, had caused lively Representations to be made against the said Treaty of Commerce, both to the Emperor and King of Spain. That at the Court of Madrid these Complaints were receiv'd with Coldness, and at that of Vienna with Stiffness and Haughtiness, even to such a Degree, that the Imperial Ministers did not stick to insinuate, that if his Britannick Majesty persisted in his Resolution to take Measures in Opposition to the Treaties of Vienna, his Imperial Majesty would not only think himself disengaged from the Guarantuy of the Protestant Succession to the Crown of Great-Britain; but that the same might be attended with Consequences in relation to his Majesty's Dominions in Germany. That these insulting Menaces made no Impression on his Majesty's Firmness, nor deterr'd him from his fix'd Resolution of concerting, with other Powers, such Measures as might give a Check to the ambitious Views of those who endeavour'd to render themselves formidable: That these Measures seem'd to be the more necessary, because there were just Grounds to believe, that the unforeseen Reconciliation of the Emperor and King of Spain was owing to the constant View of the House of Austria, of rendering the Imperial Dignity Hereditary in their Family. That in order to that, it might be reasonably supposed, That the Treaties of Vienna were to be cemented by a Match between the Emperor's eldest Daughter and the Infante Don Carlos. That it was easy to foresee the Consequences of such a Marriage. For the Issue-Male that might come from it, might, in Time, be possess'd not only of all the Hereditary Dominions belonging to the House of Austria, and of the Imperial Dignity, but also of all the Dominions of the Spanish Monarchy; which would entirely overthrow the Balance of Power, and render the Liberties of all the rest of Europe very precarious. That this Supposition would appear more than probable to any one who consider'd, that there was scarce any other Way of Accounting, either for the King of Spain's breaking through solemn Treaties with Great Britain, in favour of the Emperor's Subjects in the Netherlands; or for the Emperor's forgetting so far the Obligations he had to Great Britain and Holland, as to enter into Engagements to assist Spain, towards the Recovery of Gibraltar and Minorca, and to persist in supporting and countenancing the Ostend Company, establish'd with no other View than to deprive the Subjects of the Maritime Powers of several of the most advantageous Branches of their Trade. That in order to give a timely Check to the farther Progress of such dangerous Designs, his Majesty, in his great Wisdom, had entred into a Defensive Alliance with the most Christian King and the King of Prussia, to which several other Powers, and particularly the States General, had been invited to accede; that the States of Holland had already done it, and it was not to be doubted, but their Example would soon be followed by the other United Provinces. That the main View of this Alliance was to maintain and preserve the publick Repose and Tranquility of Christendom, and to secure to each contracting Party the Possession of their respective Dominions and Territories, with the Rights, Immunities and Advantages, particularly those relating to Trade, which their Subjects enjoy'd, or ought, by Treaties, to enjoy. And that as his Majesty ever had a particular Concern for the Protestant Interest, so out of his royal and tender Compassion for the distressed Condition of some of our Protestant Brethren in Poland, his Majesty had not only interposed his good Offices, in the most pressing Manner, in their Favour, but had taken the Occasion of the Defensive Alliance made at Hanover, to engage, by a separate Article, the most Christian King and the King of Prussia, who, together with his Majesty, are Guarantees of the Treaty of Oliva, to see it maintained and observed in its full Extent, and to cause Reparation to be made for what may have been done at Thorn, contrary to the said Treaty of Oliva. Concluding, with an Encomium upon his Majesty's Wisdom, Care, Vigilance, Steadiness and Resolution in the Conduct of all these weighty and important Affairs.'
Mr Walpole having done Speaking, Mr D. Pulteney stood up, and made his Observations on most of the Points mention'd by Mr Walpole, and infinuated, 'That the Subject Matter of this Day's Debate was of a very nice Nature, and of the greatest Importance, and therefore they ought maturely to consider of it, before they came to any Resolution upon it.' Another Member having suggested, 'That it was to be supposed, that the King of Spain did not seem to grant any farther Privileges to the Emperor's Subjects in the Netherlands, than what had been granted to the English, and other most favour'd Nations;' He was answer'd by Colonel Bladen, who pointed to the very Articles of the Treaty of Commerce of Vienna, whereby it was expresly stipulated, in the Second Article, "That the Ships of War and Merchant Ships belonging to the Contracting Parties, or their Subjects, should be allowed full Liberty to frequent the Harbours, Coafts, and Provinces of each other; naming particularly the East-Indies, and without any Exception as to the Spanish West-Indies, or any other Restraint on the Ships of War and Merchant Ships, than not to buy any Thing besides Victuals and Materials for repairing their Ships:" which implied a Permission to vend their Merchandizes for ready Money; so that it was manifest, that the Subjects of the Austrian Low-Countries were allowed more extensive Privileges than ever had been granted to any other Nation, contrary to several Treaties in Force between the Crowns of Great Britain and Spain.'
Mr H. Pelham moves for an Address of Thanks to the King, for communicating the above Treaties to the House, &c.
Then Mr Shippen raised an Objection to the Treaty of Hanover, viz. 'That it would engage the British Nation in a War, for the Defence of his Majesty's Dominions in Germany, contrary to an express Provision made for the securing our Religion, Laws and Liberties, in the Act, For farther Limitation and Succession of the Crown in the Protestant Line; which, being the Basis and Foundation of the present Settlement, was become Part of our Constitution, and therefore ought to be sacred and inviolable. 'He was answer'd by Mr Henry Pelham, who urged,' That the true Meaning and Intent of that Limitation was not wholly and for ever to deprive his Majesty's foreign Dominions of any Assistance from this Nation; for if so, his Majesty in that respect would be in a worse Condition upon his Accession to the British Throne than he was before; but only to restrain the Sovereign, for the future, from engaging the Nation, at his Pleasure, in a War for the Defence of any Dominions not belonging to the Crown of England, without the Consent of Parliament, to whom the Legislature wisely left to judge and determine, whether such a War was just and necessary or no? That for his own Part, he was fully of Opinion, That if in the present Juncture and Circumstances of Affairs, his Majesty's foreign Dominions should be attacked or insulted, this Nation ought to stand by and support his Majesty against all his Enemies whatsoever. And therefore he moved, 'That an humble Address be presented to his Majesty, to return his Majesty the Thanks of this House for his great Goodness in communicating the Treaties of Peace and Commerce concluded between the Emperor and the King of Spain, and the Defensive Alliance between his Majesty, the most Christian King, and the King of Prussia. To express our just Sense of his Majesty's Concern for the Balance and Peace of Europe, and the Protestant Religion; and, above all, our unfeigned Gratitude for his earnest and seasonable Care of the particular Interests of his British Subjects, by forming and entering into the said Defensive Alliance with the most Christian King and the King of Prussia, in order to obviate and disappoint the dangerous Views and Consequences of the Treaty of Peace betwixt the Emperor and the King of Spain; and to preserve the many valuable Rights and Privileges of this Nation, against the fatal Tendency of the said Treaty of Commerce, calculated for the entire Destruction of the British Trade, in Breach of several solemn Treaties now in Force. To acknowlege his Majesty's Prudence and Resolution, in not letting any Attempts or Insinuations whatsoever divert his Majesty from consulting and steadily pursuing the true Interest of these his Kingdoms; and to assure his Majesty, that in Justice to and Vindication of the Honour and Dignity of the British Crown, this House will effectually stand by and support his Majesty against all Insults and Attacks, that any Prince or Power, in Resentment of the just Measures which his Majesty has so wisely taken, shall make upon any of his Majesty's Territories or Dominions, tho' not belonging to the Crown of Great Britain.'
Debate upon that Motion. An Address voted; And presented to the King.
This Motion was seconded by Mr Doddington; but Dr Friend and Mr Foley raised some Objections to it. They were answer'd by Sir Joseph Jekyll, who was reply'd to by Sir Thomas Pengelly. After him the Lord Finch stood up, and made a short Panegyrick on his Majesty's illustrious Family; 'Which his Lordship observ'd had ever been the Bulwark of the Reformation; and took Notice of the great Sufferings of the excellent Princess Elizabeth, Daughter to King James I, Queen of Bohemia, and his Majesty's GrandMother, upon Account of the Protestant Religion. Concluding, that his Majesty seem'd to have been led to the British Throne by the Hands of Providence, as a Reward for the Piety of his Ancestors.' After this, Mr William Pulteney spoke against the Motion and suggested, 'That the Imperial Court's Backwardness in granting the Investiture for Bremen and Verden, might have been one of the Motives to some late Measures.' Upon this Sir Robert Walpole stood up and assur'd the House, 'That his Majesty might long ago have had the same Investiture, if he would have paid the exorbitant Fees that were demanded for it.' Upon the whole Matter, the Question being put on Mr Pelham's Motion, it was carry'd in the Affirmative by 285 Voices against 107. and a Committee was appointed to draw up an Address according to the said Resolution. The next Day, Mr Pelham reported the said Address, which was agreed to.
Feb. 19. The House presented the said Address to his Majesty as follows.
Most Gracious Sovereign,
'We your Majesty's most dutiful and loyal Subjects, the Commons of Great Britain in Parliament assembled, beg Leave to return your Majesty our most humble Thanks for your great Goodness, in communicating to us the Treaties of Peace and Commerce concluded between the Emperor and the King of Spain, and the Defensive Alliance between your Majesty, the most Christian King, and the King of Prussia.
'The Engagements which your Majesty has entred into by the said Defensive Alliance with the most Christian King and the King of Prussia, in order to obviate and disappoint the dangerous Views and Consequences of the Treaty of Peace between the Emperor and the King of Spain, and to preserve the many valuable Rights and Privileges of this Nation against the fatal Tendency of the said Treaty of Commerce, calculated for the entire Destruction of the chief Branches of the British Trade, and in Breach of the several solemn Treaties now in Force, call upon us to express our most unfeigned and grateful Sense of your Majesty's Concern for the Preservation of the Balance and Peace of Europe, the Protestant Religion, and the particular Interest of your British Subjects.
'And when we reflect upon your Majesty's Prudence and Resolution, in not letting any Attempts or Infinuations whatsoever divert you from consulting and steadily pursuing the Good and Welfare of these your Kingdoms; we think ourselves obliged, by the strongest Ties of Duty and Affection, to assure your Majesty, that we will, in Justice to and Vindication of the Honour and Dignity of the British Crown, stand by and support your Majesty against all Insults and Attacks, that any Prince or Power, in Resentment of the just Measures which your Majesty has so wisely taken, shall make upon any of your Majesty's Territories or Dominions, tho' not belonging to the Crown of Great Britain.
To this the King return'd the following Answer.
The King's Answer thereto.
I return you my Thanks for this particular Mark of your Duty, Affection and Confidence in me. Your Assurances not to suffer my Foreign Dominions to be exposed or insulted, on account of the Measures I have taken for the Interest of these Kingdoms, will, I hope, be a Means to preserve the Peace and Tranquility of Europe. I have no Views of Ambition to gratify; I have no Thought of aggrandizing myself, or extending any Parts of my Dominions, at the Hazard and Expence of the other; and as my Honour is the Common Cause and Concern of my Subjects, their particular Interests shall, upon all Occasions, be my constant Care."
Petition of R. Hampden, Esq; for a Bill to impower the Lords of the Treasury to compound with him for the Debt he ow'd to the Crown; which is referr'd to the Grand Committee.
March 2. A Petition of Richard Hampden, (fn. 4) Esq; Member for Wendover, was presented to the House, and read, praying, That Leave might be given to bring in a Bill, To impower the Lords Commissioners of his Majesty's Treasury to compound with the Petitioner, for the Debt due from him to the Crown. Sir Robert Walpole having acquainted the House, that the Petitioner had apply'd to the King, and that his Majesty had commanded him to acquaint the House, that his Majesty gave his Consent, that the House might do therein as they thought fit; the said Petition was thereupon referr'd to the Consideration of a Committee of the whole, House, on the 11th Instant.
Petition of Sir T. Lowther. for purchasing the Reversion, in Fee, of his Estate held by Grant from the Crown. ; A Bill order'd accordingly.
March 4. A Petition of Sir Tho. Lowther, Bart. Member for Lancaster, was presented to the House and read; setting forth, 'That the Site of the dissolv'd Monastery of Furneis in Lancashire and Lands thereto belonging were formerly the Estate of the Preston Family. That in 1674, this Estate was enjoyed by Sir Thomas Preston, a Papist, who, to prevent its descending to the Petitioner's Grandfather, conveyed the same to Trustees for superstitious Uses. That the Petitioner and his Ancestors have been at considerable Charges, in maintaining their own and in recovering the Crown's Title to the said Estate: That the Petitioner now enjoys the said Estate by a Lease, for 31 Years, of which 22 are yet to come; and praying, That as this Estate was the Family Estate, of which they were depriv'd for the Adherence of the Petitioner's Grandfather to the Protestant Religion; and in regard of the great Expence the Petitioner's Family have been at in recovering and maintaining the Right of the Crown, That Leave might be given to bring in a Bill to enable his Majesty to grant the Inheritance of the said Estate to the Petitioner, upon his paying such Consideration as, according to the Nature of the Case, should be reasonable.' Hereupon Sir Robert Walpole having inform'd the House that his Majesty gave his Consent to the bringing in such a Bill as was desir'd by the Petition; a Bill was order'd to be brought in accordingly.
A Petition of Sir Orlando Bridgman to the same Purpose. ; A Bill order'd accordingly. ; Hereupon Mr Hungerford moves for a Resolution against receiving any more Petitions for purchasing the Reversion of Crown Lands, which is agreed to.
March 7. A Petition of Sir Orlando Bridgman, Bart. Member for Blechingly, was presented to the House and read; praying, 'That Leave may be given to bring in a Bill to enable him to purchase the Reversion in Fee of BowoodPark in Wiltshire, which had been granted for a Term of Years to his Grandfather Sir Orlando Bridgman, Lord Chief Justice of the Common Pleas, by King Charles II. on Payment of such Consideration for the same, as shall be set by his Majesty's Surveyor-General.' Sir Robert Walpole having thereupon acquainted the House, that his Majesty gave his Consent to the bringing in such a Bill, as was desired by the Petition, the said Bill was order'd to be brought in accordingly. Upon Occasion of Sir Orlando Bridgman and Sir Thomas Lowther's Petitions, Mr Hungerford represented, 'That through the Generosity and Bounty of his Majesty's Royal Predecessors, the ancient Demesne of the Crown had been so curtail'd and diminished, that little was left of it; that therefore 'twas high Time to think of some Means or other to recover, at least, so much of it as reverted to the Crown, by the Determination of former Grants; that 'twas well known how apt the best of Princes are to yield to the Importunities of Courtiers, even to the Detriment of their own Families and Successors; and therefore he mov'd, That the House would receive no more Petitions for enabling his Majesty to sell the Reversion of Lands held of the Crown. He was seconded by Mr Freeman; and nobody opposing that Motion, it pass'd into a Resolution.
The Commons in a grand Committee consider of Mr Hampden's Petition. ; Debate thereon.
March 11. The Commons went into a Committee of the whole House, to consider of the Petition of Richard Hampden, Esq; After the Reading of which Sir William Yonge, who had brought it in, spoke in his Behalf, but was opposed by Sir Thomas Hanmer, Mr Bromley, Mr Shippen, Mr Hungerford, and others; who made just Reflections on the Crime of mismanaging and imbezzelling publick Money. This Charge was much aggravated by what Sir John Eyles, Sub-Governor of the South-Sea Company, declar'd, 'That it appear'd by the balanc'd Accounts of Mr Hawes, one of the late Directors, that Mr Hampden was so far from being a Sufferer in the South-Sea Project, that he was rather upwards of 9000l. Gainer.' Hereupon Mr Arthur Onslow said, 'That out of Regard to his ancient Family, and, in particular, in Consideration of his Great Grandfather, [John Hampden, Esq;] who made a most noble and courageous Stand against Arbitrary Power in opposing Ship-Money and fell the first Victim in the glorious Cause of Liberty, he was for having something done for his Relations:' To which Mr Shippen replied, 'That he would not enter upon the Merits of the Great Grandfather; but this he was sure of, That his Great Grandson had wasted more Ship-Money than ever himself sav'd to the Nation, or King Charles I. intended to raise.' Other Members spoke against the granting Mr Hampden's Petition, because it would be a dangerous Precedent; and 'twas to be fear'd, that several others in the like Circumstances might expect the same Favour. Upon this Sir Robert Walpole declar'd, 'That he would never give his Vote in Favour of any Body that embezzelled publick Money: But took Notice, that they could not come to any Determination in this Affair, before they had look'd into some Papers, particularly the State of Mr Hampden's final Account.' Hereupon Mr Speaker resum'd the Chair, and then the farther Consideration of Mr Hampden's Petition was put off to the 16th Instant.
Petition of Isabella Wife of R. Hampden, Esq;
March 15. A Petition of Isabella Hampden, Wife of Richard Hampden, Esq; was presented to the House and read; setting forth, 'That she brought in Marriage to her said Husband upwards of 10,500 l. And that the Petitioner is necessarily involv'd in the Misfortune of her said Husband, though having no ways conduced thereunto, &c. therefore praying the compassionate Regard of the House to the Hardship of her Case, by securing to her, 'till she shall come to the Possession of her Joynture, such a Provision for her Support as the House shall think fit.' This Petition was referr'd to the Consideration of the Committee of the whole House, to whom Mr Hampden's Petition was referr'd.
And of Jo. Hampden, Esq; his Brother.
March 16. A Petition of John Hampden, Esq; was presented to the House, and read; setting forth, 'That the Petitioner is the only Brother of Richard Hampden, Esq; and the sole Male-Heir of that ancient Family; that in Case his said Brother shall not have any Children, the Fee of the Estate, being in his said Brother, may devolve to the Crown, unless the House shall otherwise direct; that there is not the least Provision made out of the Family-Estate for the Petitioner, in Case his Brother should die without Children, so that the Petitioner may probably be left Heir to that ancient Family, without the least Support; and praying the Consideration of the House, and such Relief as the House shall think fit.' This Petition was likewise referr'd to the Consideration of the Grand Committee, into which the House resolv'd itself, and took into Consideration the Petitions of Richard Hampden, Esq; his Wife, and his Brother. After a Debate, in which many severe Reflections were made upon the first, the farther Consideration of that Affair was again put off to the 23d Instant.
March 19. The Commons order'd the Auditor of the Imprest to lay before the House the State of the final Account of Richard Hampden, Esq; when Treasurer of the Navy; which Mr Harley (fn. 5) laid before the House accordingly on the 21st of March.
Further Debate on Mr Hampden's Petition. ; A Bill order'd to be brought in, in favour of Mr Hampden.
March 23. The Commons went into a Committee of the whole House, to consider farther of the Petitions of Richard Hampden, Esq; his Wife, and his Brother, which occasion'd a very high Debate. After the reading of several Papers, Sir William Yonge took Notice, 'That Mr Hampden's Deficiency had, in some Measure, been occasion'd by a general Calamity; that he had already done all that lay in his Power to make it up; that however, since neither his Wife nor his Brother, had any ways been accessary to his Misfortunes, it were unreasonable and unjust to involve them in his Offence and its Punishment; that his real and Patrimonial Estate amounted to about 2,200 l. per Annum, one full half of which was settled for a Joynture to his Wife, who brought him near 11,000 l. in Marriage, besides an Annuity of 200 l. per Annum, during her Life, for her seperate Use, all which Settlements ought to be secur'd to her; that either Mr Richard Hampden, or his Brother may have Issue Male; and in Consideration of the signal Services, at divers Times, perform'd by their illustrious Ancestors, some Provision should be made for their Posterity out of the Family Estate: And therefore he mov'd, That a Bill be brought in, For vesting the real and Personal Estates of Richard Hampden, Esq; in Trustees for making some Provision for his Wife and Family, and for the better securing the Debt due from him to the Crown. This Motion was seconded by Sir John Hobart (fn. 6), and back'd by Mr William-Peer Williams; but Mr Clayton represented, 'That, if this Affair went through the usual tedious Course of Extents in the Exchequer, great Part of Mr Hampden's Estate would be consum'd in Law Expences, so that the Crown would never get 200 l. a Year out of it: And therefore he proposed that the said Estate should be divided into two equal Parts, one of which should be allotted as a Provision for his Wife and Family; and the other Half immediately sold off, towards satisfying the Debt due from him to the Crown.' Many Members shew'd their Appro bation of this Proposal: But the Majority were for Sir William Yonge's Motion; and the Speaker having resum'd the Chair, a Bill was order'd to be brought in accordingly; which afterwards pass'd into a Law.
March 24. Mr Methuen acquainted the Commons, That he had a Message from his Majesty to the House, sign'd by his Majesty, and he deliver'd the same to Mr Speaker, who read it, as follows:
The King's Message for an additional Number of Seamen, &c.
His Majesty having nothing more at Heart, than an earnest Desire to secure to his own Subjects the full and free Enjoyment of their Trade and Navigation, and in the best Manner, to prevent and frustrate such Designs as have been form'd against the particular Interest of this Nation, and the general Peace of Europe, has found it necessary, not only to augment his Maritime Force, but to concert such other Measures, as may most effectually conduce to these desirable Ends; and as these Services will require some extraordinary Expence, his Majesty hopes he shall be enabled, by the Assistance of Parliament, to increase the Number of Seamen already voted and granted for the Service of this Year, and to enter into, and make good, such Engagements as the Circumstances and Exigency of Affairs may require."
Debate thereon,; Mr Shippen. ; Mr Shippen moves for an Account of the 250,000 l. granted against Sweden, Anne 1717.
After the reading of this Message, Mr Shippen took Notice, 'That this Message had all the Air of another sent to them about the Beginning of April, 1717, [See p. 115.] importing in Substance, "That his Majesty being desirous, not only to secure his Kingdom against the present Danger from Sweden, but likewise to prevent the like Apprehensions for the future, had thought it necessary early to concert Measures with other Princes and States; and as this might require some Expence, his Majesty hop'd, that the Commons, by their Assistance at this Juncture, would enable him to make good such Engagements as might ease his People of all future Charge and Apprehensions upon that Account." 'That he remember'd, so unexpected and so unprecedented a Message was received with great Surprize, and occasioned very high and long Debates in that House; that he himself represented and urg'd the Unparliamentariness of asking and granting Supplies, without an Estimate of the Expence; and had the Honour to be then supported by a great many worthy Gentlemen, and by some in particular, who seem'd now to be of another Opinion. That after much Opposition, it was at last carried, by a Majority of four Voices only, [See. p. 120.] to grant his Majesty a Supply, which was afterwards fix'd at 250,000l. But that they could never know how that Money had been laid out; and therefore he mov'd, That an humble Address be presented to his Majesty, That he would be graciously pleased to direct the proper Officers to lay before the House an Account of the Disposition of the 250,000 l. granted to his Majesty, on the 13th of April, 1717. to enable his Majesty to concert such Measures with Foreign Princes and States, as might prevent any Charge or Apprehensions from the Designs of Sweden.' This Motion was seconded by Mr Snell; but the previous Question being put, that the Question be now put upon the said Motion, it was carried in the Negative.
Sir W. Yonge moves for an Address to the King on his Message, with a Vote of Credit. ; Debate thereon. ; Which is agreed to.
March 25. The Commons proceeded to take into Consideration his Majesty's most gracious Message of the Day before, which being read again by Mr Speaker, Sir William Yonge open'd the Debate, and having shew'd the Necessity of an extraordinary Supply, mov'd, 'That an humble Address be presented to his Majesty, that he will be pleased to make such an Addition to the Number of Seamen already voted, and to concert such other Measures, as his Majesty shall in his great Wisdom think will best conduce to the Security of the Trade and Navigation of this Kingdom, and to the Preservation of the Peace of Europe; and to assure his Majesty, that this House will effectually provide for, and make good, all such Expences and Engagements as shall be made for obtaining these great and desirable Ends.' This Motion was seconded by Mr Henry Pelham, but was oppos'd by Sir Wilfrid Lawson, Mr Shippen, Mr Snell, Mr William Pulteney, Sir William Wyndham, Sir Joseph Jekyll, Mr Hungerford, Mr Daniel Pulteney, Mr Freeman, Mr Sandys, Mr Lutwyche, and Sir John Rushout. Sir William Yonge's Motion being on the other Hand supported by Sir Robert Walpole, Mr Edward Thompson, Mr Onslow, Lord Finch, Sir William Strickland, Mr Doddington, and Mr Thomas Lewis, Member for Southampton; the Question was put upon Sir William Yonge's Motion, which was carried in the Affirmative, by 270 Votes against 89, and then it was resolv'd, That the said Resolution, by way of Address, be presented to his Majesty by the whole House; which being done accordingly the next Day, his Majesty was pleased to return the following Answer:
King's Answer of Thanks to the House for their Vote of Credit.
I Return you my Thanks for this loyal and affectionate Address; and you may be assur'd, I shall make no other Use of the Confidence you repose in me, but for preserving the general Tranquility, and in Support of the Trade, Honour, and Interest of my People."
A Bill order'd to be brought in, to prevent Bribery in Elections.
April 27. Upon a Motion made by Sir John Rushout, and seconded by Sir Thomas Coke (fn. 7) and Mr Arthur Onslow, a Bill was order'd to be brought in, For the more effectual preventing Bribery and Corruption in the Election of Members to serve in Parliament.
April 29. The said Bill was read the first Time, and order'd to be read a second Time the next Day; when it was committed to a Committee of the whole House.
May 7. Sir John Rushout reported the Amendments made in the Committee of the whole House to the BriberyBill, which was order'd to be engross'd.
May 9. The said Bill was read the third Time, pass'd, and sent up to the Lords, where it was lost.
May 24. The King came to the House of Peers, with the usual State, and the Commons being sent for up and attending, his Majesty gave the Royal Assent to several publick and private Bills.
After which, the Lord Chancellor read his Majesty Speech to both Houses:
The King's Speech at the Conclusion of the Fourth Session.
My Lords and Gentlemen,
I Cannot in Justice to you put an End to this Session, without returning you my hearty Thanks for the many Instances you have given me of your Duty and Affection to my Person and Government, and of your Zeal to maintain the Honour and true Interest of this Kingdom.
"The Spirit and Resolution you have shewn on this important Occasion, when our most valuable Rights and Privileges have been struck at, are highly becoming the Weight and Authority of a British Parliament; and the Steps that have been taken Abroad, in Support of the Measures enter'd into against this Nation, must convince every Body of your Wisdom and Prudence in endeavouring to put an early Stop to the farther Progress of them. I hope the Precautions you have enabled me to take, will be sufficient, in Conjunction with my Allies, to defeat the Designs which have been form'd against us; and that the Promoters of them, when they have fully weigh'd their own Circumstances, and better consider'd those of the several Powers united in Defence of the Tranquility and Liberties of Europe, will find it their own Interest to preserve the Peace, and think it most safe and prudent to desist from their dangerous Schemes.
Gentlemen of the House of Commons.
"I return you my particular Thanks for the Supplies which you have so chearfully and effectually rais'd; and you may be assured, that they shall be faithfully apply'd to the Uses for which you intended them.
My Lords and Gentlemen,
"The constant Employment of my Thoughts, and the most earnest Wishes of my Heart, tend wholly to the securing to my Subjects their just Rights and Advantages, and to the preserving to them and to all Europe the Enjoyment of a safe and honourable Peace: And I must not conclude without giving you the strongest Assurances, that the particular Confidence you have placed in me, shall be made Use of in such Manner only, as may most effectually conduce to the attaining those good and great Purposes."
The Parliament prorogued.
Then the Lord Chancellor, by his Majesty's Command, prorogued the Parliament to the Twenty first of July; they were afterwards, by several Prorogations, prorogued to the 17th of January.