Journal of the House of Lords: Volume 15, 1691-1696. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1767-1830.
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DIE Lunæ, 19 Decembris.
Domini tam Spirituales quam Temporales præsentes fuerunt:
Gay's Cause in Chancery, Proceedings there approved of.
The Lord Marquis of Halifax reported from the Lords Committees for Privileges, to whom was referred the Petition of Martha Gay, "That they had heard Counsel for her, upon the several Complaints set forth in her Petition, against some Proceedings in the Court of Chancery: First, as to Security in general; then as to the Two Thousand Pounds Security; the Commitment of her Solicitor Mr. Ford; and as to an Injunction mentioned in her Petition likewise referred to the said Committee: That they had sent for, and heard, Sir Will'm Rawlinson One of the Lords Commissioners of the Great Seal of England, to each of these Points; who gave the Committee such full and satisfactory Reasons for what the Court of Chancery had done in this Case, that the Committee were fully satisfied therewith."
To all which Report, the House agreed.
L. Villiers's Bill.
Hodie 3a vice lecta est Billa, intituled, "An Act for the clearing and removing some Doubts which may arise in an Act of Parliament, intituled, An Act for the vesting several Manors, Lands, and Rents, in the Counties of Lincoln, Berks, and Devon, in Trustees, to be sold, for the buying other Manors and Lands, to be settled for the same or the like Uses as those to be sold are now settled."
The Question was put, "Whether this Bill shall pass?"
It was Resolved in the Affirmative.
Sir G. Parker's Bill.
Hodie 3a vice lecta est Billa, intituled, "An Act to enable Sir George Parker, of Ratton, in the County of Sussex, Baronet, to make a Settlement upon his Marriage, notwithstanding his Minority."
The Question was put, "Whether this Bill shall pass?"
It was Resolved in the Affirmative.
Message to H. C. with these Bills:
A Message was sent to the House of Commons, by Sir Miles Cooke and Mr. Meredith:
To carry down the said Bills, and desire their Concurrence thereunto.
Warden of The Fleet, Office of, for selling to pay Debts, Bill:
Upon reading the Petition of Colonel Baldwin Leighton, claiming a Title to the Office of Warden of The Fleete; and praying that he may be heard, by his Counsel, upon his said Petition, before the Second Reading of the Bill, intituled, "An Act for the Sale of the Office of The Fleete and Mansion-House, where the said Office is now kept, and Thirteen Houses adjoining; and the Office of the Custody of the Palaces at Westminster, and the Shops in Westm'r Hall, to the said Office belonging, for Payment of Debts:"
Colonel Leighton to be heard against it.
It is ORDERED, by the Lords Spiritual and Temporal in Parliament assembled, That the Petitioner shall be heard, by Counsel, as desired, on Saturday the Seventh Day of January next, at Ten of the Clock in the Forenoon; and that the Petitioner do cause Notice hereof to be given to the King's Counsel, who may be heard, if they think fit, at the Time aforesaid.
Dowley versus Bagnall.
Upon hearing Counsel this Day, at the Bar, upon the Petition and Appeal of John Dowley, from a Decree made in the Court of Chancery, the First Day of May, One Thousand Six Hundred Eighty-nine, and a Confirmation thereof the Sixteenth Day of December, One Thousand Six Hundred Ninety-one, on the Behalf of George Bagnall, surviving Executor of George Bagnall deceased; as also upon the Answer of George Bagnall put in thereunto:
After due Consideration had of what was offered by Counsel thereupon, it is ORDERED and Adjudged, by the Lords Spiritual and Temporal in Parliament assembled, That the said Petition and Appeal of John Dowley shall be, and is hereby, dismissed this House; and that the Decree and Confirmation thereof, made on the Behalf of George Bagnall shall be, and is hereby, affirmed.
The Earl of Westmorland reported from the Committee, the Bill, intituled, "An Act for the settling of the Manor of Kingsnoth, for the enabling Barnham Powell Esquire to make Provision for his Younger Children," as fit to pass, without any Amendment.
It is ORDERED, That the said Bill shall be engrossed.
Papers brought in by the E of Nottingham, concerning Naval Affairs, reported from the Committee.
Then the several Heads reported from the Committee (on Saturday last) appointed to consider of the Narrative, Papers, and Letters, brought to this House by the Earl of Nottingham (pursuant to an Address to His Majesty), were read, as followeth:
"Before the Battle:
"The Fleet was ordered to the Flats off of The Foreland.
"The Admiralty was directed by the Queen to order Mr. Russell to fail with the Fleet to the Flats off of The Foreland.
"Sir Ralph Delavall was ordered to Sea; and The Flats was to be the Rendezvous of the Fleet, to which Delavall was to retreat in case he met with a superior Strength.
"But the great Ships did not sail till Mr. Russell came on Board the Fleet; who took his Leave of the Queen the 29th of April, and went to the Fleet in the River on the Third of May, on which Day also the Queen sent him Orders so to do.
"Mr. Russell says, "Had I not sailed the very Moment I did, we had been at this Time at The Buoy of the Nore; but it was done contrary to the Opinion of the Pilots: But I concluded the Occasion required some Hazard, in which, it hath pleased God, I have been very lucky."
"Between Cape de Hague and the Isle of Wight was to be the Rendezvous, whither Sir Ralph Delavall and Rear Admiral Carter were also directed; and Notice was sent to Mr. Russell, that the French Fleet was believed to be at Sea, and the Admiralty was ordered to direct him to sail to that Rendezvous."
"Mr. Russell acknowledges the Receipt of the Orders of the 5th; and says, "That his present Thoughts are, that the most certain Way to have the Fleet join, had been to have had this Squadron anchored off of The Nesse, or Beachy;" but says, "I shall certainly perform what I am commanded."
"He sailed by Dover with a fair Wind, and stopt in Rye Bay till the 12th.
"Mr. Russell calls a Council of War; who, upon considering the Orders which have been given to Sir Ralph Delavall, for the proceeding with the Squadron under his Command, were of Opinion, That, for the more sure and speedy joining the said Squadron with Their Majesties Ships, they should remain there 48 Hours; and that, if the Wind blow hard Westerly, the Fleet should come to an Anchor off The Nesse; and that, if it blow hard Easterly, they should sail to, and anchor at St. Helens."
"Mr. Russell says, "The Wind blew so extremely hard Easterly while he lay in Rye Bay, that he could not purchase his Anchors till Yesterday; and then the Wind was so strong, that several of the Ships were forced to leave their Anchors behind them."
"Mr. Russell was directed to call a Council of War, and to attack the French if strong enough; a Battle being much to be wished, with the Advantage he hath of the French, being in the Channel.
"The like Orders were repeated; and to leave some Frigates on the Coast of Normandy, to prevent Transports from France, while the Fleet were gone Westward.
"Mr. Russell proposes, "that, when the whole Fleet is together, a Detachment of Six or Eight Frigates to attend on the Coast of Normandy; and then that the Soldiers be embarked, and attack St. Malo, while the Fleet lies to the Westward; and afterwards, in case of Success in a Battle, to pursue them even to Brest, taking with him the Land Forces."
"Mr. Russell says, "I cannot advise the sending away (to the Coast of Normandy) any of this Number from the Fleet; but, if the Flag Officers approve thereof, I shall be very free: Nor can I think reasonable to sail with the Fleet to the Westward in Search of the Enemy, unless you can have a certain Account where they are, and that they be within a short Run of us."
"The Council of War agree with Mr. Russell, not to search the French Fleet beyond St. Helens, without certain Advice that they were on the Coast; but to proceed to Cape de Hague, and return to St. Helens: Which Resolution Mr. Russell said he would execute.
"The Queen disapproved this Resolution; and that the whole Naval Power ought not to be employed about Cape de Hague and St. Helens, and that the Noise of a Descent should not frustrate the whole Summer's Service; and therefore ordered him to leave Ships on the Coast of Normandy, and proceed even to Brest, since the French could not get in.
"Mr. Russell gives the Reasons of this Proceeding in his Letter of May 23th, in which he complains of the Queen's Order of the 17th, and gives his Reasons for his going to Cape de Hague; videlicet, "From this Place the Transport was to be made; hither the French Fleet was coming to convoy them, and its appearing on our Coast could be no Danger to England; and says, the Event has justified his Opinion." But,
"Mr. Russell said, "I take the Design of the Enemies Landing in England to be at an End, till they can beat you at Sea; which I am of Opinion they will not attempt, unless you can force them." And,
"Mr. Russell said, "Since the Fleet is joined, I do not expect to see the French this Summer."
"Touching the Battle:
"Mr. Russell says, "If it please God we have the Victory, we can follow them, not as they did us, but into their very Harbours."
"Mr. Russell says, "The Enemy left me in the Evening between Five and Six o'Clock, and that I was then in Search of them: The Weather clearing up, I saw most of them under the Shore, between Cape Barfleur and Cape de Hague; the Wind Easterly, and they crowding away to the Westward, and we and the Dutch after them. Some Hours after, the Wind shifted Westerly, they and we plying to Windward upon the Ebb, and they and we anchoring upon the Flood.
"On the 21th in the Morning, I saw most of them get into The Race of Alderney, Eighteen or Twenty of them cutting their Cables, and running to the Eastward, &c."
"Mr. Russell, in his Relation of the Battle, says, "I sent to all the Ships that I could think were near me, to chase to the Westward all Night; telling them, I designed to follow the Enemy to Brest. And sometimes we could see a French Ship, Two, or Three, standing away with all the Sail they could make to the Westward. About Eight the next Morning, I saw about 32 or 34 Sail, distant from us between Two and Three Leagues, &c."
"Mr. Russell had resolved, at a Council of War, to have gone Westward himself with Fifty Ships to Fornehead, in Hopes to have met the Ships which the Dutch and the Admiral of the Blue lost Sight of; but hearing by a Genoese, that he met Twelve French disabled Ships off of The Start, bound for Brest, he concluded it was in vain to go thither to look after them."
"After the Battle:
"Mr. Russell writes, "that he designed to come to St. Helens, but judges The Downes more proper."
"The Earl of Nottingham signified the Queen's Pleasure, "that he should stay at St. Helens, to be readier to execute the Designs he knew of."
"Resolved, by the Flag Officers, That the Fleet of Sixty Men of War should sail to Ushant as soon as possible, without staying for Landmen, and send some Frigates to see what Ships were in Brest Water, and to act against the Enemy as the Flag Officers judged best.
"Mr. Russell writes, "that he designed to go to Sea with the Ships that were ready, and leave the rest to be resitted."
"Upon Intelligence that a considerable Number of French Ships were got into St. Malo, the Queen ordered him to sail Westward with such Ships as were ready; and if the French Ships were in St. Malo, or upon that Coast, to take or destroy them.
"Mr. Russell writes, "that he believes the French Ships were got into St. Malo."
"Mr. Russell acknowledges the Letter from the Lord Jermyn, about the Ships at St. Malo; but says, "he knows not what to make of it."
"The Earl of Nottingham sends him the like Advice, which he received from Guernsey, that the French Ships were at St. Malo.
"Mr. Russell writes, "that, if this were probable, certainly the Governor of Guernsey would send some Vessel thither, to know the Certainty."
"The Earl of Nottingham sent to Mr. Russell the like Advice, which he received from France, that the French Ships were at St. Malo; and,
"June 9. 11. 13.
"Mr. Russell had the like Advice from the Prisoners taken by The Cloudsley Gally.
"And then Resolved, at a Council of War, To put to Sea with the whole Fleet; and,
"On the 14.
"He sailed from St. Helens.
"In relation to the Ships at St. Malo:
"Mr. Russell was ordered, if he could not destroy the St. Malo Ships without Land Forces, to cruise so as to prevent their Escape to Brest.
"The Earl of Nottingham reminded him of it.
"And again, by the Queen's Command.
"Mr. Russell resolves to go to The Fornehead, to intercept their getting to Brest.
"Mr. Russell writes, "that, if the Enemy be still at St. Malo, he hoped to keep to the Westward of them."
"That 'twas impossible to keep the former Station.
"And resolved, by the unanimous Advice of the Pilots, that the Fleet might ride safely off of Cape Farrell, to proceed thither.
"No Way to prevent the St. Malo Ships getting out, and going North about, but by lying before the Port.
"That 'tis impossible to lye any where on the French Coast to the Westward of St. Malo, to intercept their Ships going to Brest.
"Mr. Russell writes, "that he had sent Captain Nevill, with Thirty Ships, to lye Ten Leagues North from the West End of The Isle of Basse, &c. which he thought the best Posture to intercept any Thing that came Eastward or Westward."
"Mr. Russell designs to go for St. Malo.
"Though he had little Hopes of doing any Thing there with the Fleet.
"Mr. Russell says, "the Pilots would not venture over to St. Malo; the Weather being thick, and the Ground not being good for above 40 Ships."
"Mr. Russell writes, "that 'twas resolved by Vice Admiral Rook, at a Council of War (while he was on the French Coast), that a Squadron of Ships in the Summer Season may be ventured to lye before St. Malo."
"And Mr. Russell resolves, at a Council of War, to go Ten Leagues South from The Start, as the most proper Station to prevent the Escape of the St. Malo Ships.
"But on the 25.
"Mr. Russell sends Fifty Ships under Sir John Ashby, as he had before on the 18th sent Thirty under Captain Nevill, to lye Fifteen Leagues North from The Isle of Basse, to prevent the Escape of the Ships from St. Malo.
"As to the Attempt upon St. Malo and the Ships:
"Mr. Russell says, "St. Malo, by the best Information, is easily taken."
"When the Fleet is to the Westward of St. Malo, something must be attempted to destroy them.
"He will consider, with the Flag Officers, what can be done, and how.
"Something ought to be hazarded, for the destroying those Ships.
"If an Attempt can be made with Probability of Success, it shall be pushed.
"He had little Hopes of doing any Thing with the Fleet in that Place.
"And it not being fit for the whole Fleet to anchor before St. Malo, he detaches Vice Admiral Rook to examine the Ground, and get an Account of the Ships at St. Malo; and comes away with the Fleet from Guernsey to The Start.
"As to the Attempt with the Assistance of Land Forces:
"The Queen ordered Mr. Russell, "if Land Forces were necessary, to send Notice of it, that what he judged requisite might immediately be sent to him."
"June 9. 11.
"This was repeated to him, by the Earl of Nottingham.
"But Mr. Russell sent no Answer to this Part of that Order.
"Only on the 13.
"Mr. Russell writes, "that the Land Army would be of great Use."
"But on the 23.
"He says, "Whether the Land Men can be serviceable, he cannot judge."
"And July 4.
"He says, "if the Number of Men to be landed did not exceed 12000, they can be of no Use at St. Malo;" and proposes the landing at Le Hogue, to take away the Cannon which the French had fished up; as was afterwards on the 28th of July resolved to be done."
"But on July 10.
"He says, "Half the Number of Men, a Month since, would have performed what can be expected from Double their Number now."
"Concerning the Descent:
"The Establishment for the Train of Artillery was settled by the King, before He went out of England.
"Orders were sent to the Victuallers of the Navy and Commissioners of Transports, to provide Victuals and Shipping for the Men designed for the Descent: And however the News of the French Designs upon England might interrupt the Proceedings, yet, immediately after the Battle, the necessary Orders were reinforced; and particularly,
"Mr. Russell was desired to send some Ships to The Shannon, to convoy from thence the Artillery which was to be used in the Descent.
"And the Transport Ships not being come about from Bristol, and to prevent any Disappointment of the Service for Want of them;
"The Earl of Nottingham signified the Queen's Pleasure to him, That he should send all the Tenders to Portsmouth that could be spared from the Fleet.
"This was repeated to Mr. Russell.
"Mr. Russell writes, "that he will send them."
"Mr. Russell writes, "that, if they are wanted, he will send them."
"They arrived at Portsmouth.
"July 10. 29.
"Mr. Russell writes to this Effect:
"1. That no Resolution was taken for any Attempt on France.
"2. That the Admiral and Officers were not informed of those Resolutions.
"3. Nevertheless the Army is embarked, and sent to cruize in Search of the Fleet.
"4. And, when joined, 'twas too late to make any considerable Attempt."
"In relation to the First and Second:
"The King resolved upon the Attempt of St. Malo and Brest, before He left England.
"In order to the Execution of these Designs, the Duke of Leinster, the Lord Galway, and Mr. Russell, met several Times.
"And a French Refugee, lately come from France, attended them, with exact Descriptions of those Places.
"The King communicated the Design on Brest to the Committee of Council.
"Mr Russell was ordered to prepare, by the Advice of the Flag Officers, a Draught of Instructions, proper for that and all the Operations of the Campaign.
"The Queen required this Draught.
"The Earl of Nottingham repeated it to him.
"The Queen again required it.
"But Mr. Russell never sent it.
"Mr. Russell himself proposes the Attempt on St. Malo and Brest.
"The Queen approved his coming to St. Helens, that he might be the readier to execute the Designs he knew of.
"'Twas resolved, at a Council of War, That a Fleet of Sixty Sail should go to Ushant, in order to attempt Brest, if possible.
"The Queen ordered Mr. Russell to make the Attempt on St. Malo and the Ships there.
"The Earl of Nottingham wrote to him, "That St. Malo ought to be attempted, if there was any Prospect of Success by any Means."
"June 13. 21.
"Mr. Russell again says, "That something ought to be attempted at St. Malo, though it should be with Hazard.
"June 23. July 4. 11.
"In order to the more effectual Attempt of St. Malo, Mr. Russell was desired to endeavour to prevent the Escape of the Ships till our Troops came to him.
"The Earl of Nottingham acquainted him, "That the Queen was resolved to have the Destruction of the St. Malo Ships attempted, if possible."
"Mr. Russell doubts whether the Design be on that Place.
"The Earl of Nottingham again tells him, "That the Queen continued this Resolution."
"Mr. Russell observes, that the Queen resolves to have the Destruction of the St. Malo Ships attempted.
"The Queen ordered it, if possible.
"He answers the Earl of Nottingham's Letter of the 7th, in his of the 10th, as follows:
"In relation to the Third Point, That the Army is embarked, and sent to cruize in Search of the Fleet:
"He was desired to appoint a Rendezvous for the Transport Ships with the Fleet; and, if he did not name one, the Troops would be sent toward St. Malo.
"He writes, "that he would send a Rendezvous, when agreed on; but that at present he named Eight Leagues off of The Start."
"Guernsey was proposed to him for the Rendezvous, unless he knew a better.
"He says, "Really I am not able to tell you."
"He takes Notice, "that the Troops were embarked; and that he would come to Spithead, if the Wind was Westerly; but, if Easterly, he would be in Torbay."
"The Troops sailed, with the Wind Easterly; and Mr. Russell came with the Fleet towards Spithead.
"As to the Fourth Point, that 'twas too late to make any considerable Attempt:
"The Designs of the French Descent here interrupted the Preparations that were at first ordered; but no Delay has been occasioned for Want of timely Orders being given or sent away to all Persons whatsoever concerned in the Preparations or Executions of the intended Descent.
"But, when all was ready, which was on July 26th, the greatest Ships might have stayed out till the End of August, as the Council of War resolved.
"And all but the First and Second Rates, to the End of September, as Mr. Russell proposed.
"And July 19.
"Mr. Russell proposes the laying up of the First and Second Rates, and that the Remainder of the Fleet would be sufficient to oppose any Enemy.
"The Council of War of Admiral Rooke agree, that a Squadron might lye before St. Malo in the Summer.
"And July 10.
"Mr. Russell explains what is meant by Summer; for he says, "that Six Weeks will near conclude that we call Summer."
"Touching the Squadron to Newfoundland:
"The Queen ordered Mr. Russell to send some Ships and Fire-ships immediately to Newfoundland, to destroy the French there.
"Mr. Russell writes, "he was cleaning Two Fourth Rates and Two Fifths, which will be ready in a few Days; and then they shall go to Newfoundland."
"Mr. Russell sent a Copy of the Instructions he gave to the Commander of this Squadron. But it does not appear when he sailed.
"Touching other Services:
"The Earl of Nottingham writ to Mr. Russell, to send Two Frigates on the Coast of Kent and Sussex, to secure our Fishing; and prevent the Correspondence with France.
"Mr. Russell writes, "that there will be Ships enough for the Fleet, and for all the Services the Admiralty used to be so much concerned for."
"The Earl of Nottingham writ to Mr. Russell, to send a List of the Ships he desired to keep for the main Fleet, for Newfoundland, and the Coast of Normandy, that the rest might be employed in cruizing.
"Mr. Russell says, "He does not apprehend a greater Strength from the Enemy than we shall be, all Services performed."
"Mr. Russell does not desire more than Seventy Ships for the Fleet.
"Mr. Russell sent a List of the Line of Battle, which would be about 75.
"And also of the Ships for the Coast of Normandy, and of the Cruizers.
"And those sent to the Admiralty, which, with the Fourth Rates they have already, will be sufficient for the Services they have to employ them on.
"In another he says, "He thinks himself strong enough; and shall be able to send in constantly some to clean, and some few to cruize on the Coast of Ireland."
These Papers, &c. to be delivered to H. C. at a Conference.
And, after Debate thereupon, it was agreed, that those Heads, and the Letters and Narrative, with a Copy of the Dates of the Queen's Orders, and the Earl of Nottingham's Letters, shall be delivered to the House of Commons, at a Conference; and that, at the Time when they are delivered, the Managers for this House shall say as followeth:
"We, by Command of the House, deliver you these Papers and Letters; because several Persons who are Members of the House of Commons are often mentioned in the said Papers, from whom possibly you may be more particularly informed of the Matters contained in them."
Message to them, for the Conference.
A Message was sent to the House of Commons, by Mr. Justice Eyre and Mr. Baron Powell:
To desire a Conference, To-morrow, at Twelve of the Clock, in the Painted Chamber, to communicate to them some Papers this House hath received, relating to the last Summer's Expedition at Sea.
Committee of Privileges.
It is ORDERED, by the Lords Spiritual and Temporal in Parliament assembled, That the Lords Committees for Privileges do meet To-morrow, at Four of the Clock in the Afternoon; and do hear all Persons concerned, that were appointed to be heard this Day.
Rob'tus Atkyns, Miles de Balneo, Capitalis Baro de Scaccario, Orator Procerum, declaravit præsens Parliamentum continuandum esse usque in diem Martis, (videlicet,) vicesimum diem instantis Decembris, hora decima Aurora, Dominis sic decernentibus.