Journal of the House of Lords: Volume 16, 1696-1701. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1767-1830.
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DIE Jovis, 20 Martii.
Address upon the Treaty of Partition.
The Earl of Nottingham reported from the Lords Committees, appointed to state Matter of Fact upon the Treaty of Partition, and to draw an Address thereupon, "That the Committee had accordingly drawn an Address, to be presented to His Majesty."
"We, Your Majesty's most loyal and dutiful Subjects, the Lords Spiritual and Temporal in Parliament assembled, having read and considered the Treaty of the 27th February, 3d March, 1700, made with the French King, together with the separate and secret Articles, which Your Majesty has been pleased to communicate to us, do with all Humility represent to Your Majesty, That, to our great Sorrow, we find the Matters thereof to have been of very ill Consequence to the Peace and Safety of Europe; for, besides the Occasion it may have given to the late King of Spaine to have made His Will in Favour of the Duke of Anjou, if this Treaty had taken Effect, the Prejudice to Your Majesty and Your Subjects, and indeed to all Europe, by the Addition of Sicily, Naples, several Ports in The Mediterranean, the Province of Guipuscoa, and the Dutchy of Lorraine, had been not only very great, but contrary to the Pretence of the Treaty itself, which was, to prevent any Umbrage which might be taken by uniting too many States and Dominions under One Head.
"And by all the Informations we have yet had of the Progress of this fatal Treaty, we cannot find that the verbal Orders and Instructions (if any were given to Your Majesty's Plenipotentiaries) were ever considered in any of Your Majesty's Councils; or that the Draught of this Treaty was ever laid before Your Majesty at any Meeting of Your Council, much less that it was advised or approved by any Council, or Committee of Council.
"We therefore think ourselves obliged, in Duty to Your Majesty, and Justice to our Country, most humbly to beseech Your Majesty, That, for the future, Your Majesty will be pleased to require and admit, in all Matters of Importance, the Advice of Your natural-born Subjects, whose known Probity and Fortunes may give Your Majesty and Your People a just Assurance of their Fidelity in Your Service; and in order hereunto, to constitute a Council of such Persons, to whom Your Majesty may be pleased to impart all Affairs, both at Home and Abroad, which may any Way concern Your Majesty and Your Dominions; for, as Interest and natural Affection to their Country will incline them to with the Welfare and Prosperity of it, much more than others, who have not such Ties upon them, and as their Experience and Knowledge of their Country will also render them more capable than Strangers of advising Your Majesty in the true Interests of it; so we are very confident, that, after such large and repeated Demonstrations of Your Subjects Duty and Affection, Your Majesty cannot doubt of their Zeal in Your Service, nor want the Knowledge of Persons fit to be employed in all Your most secret and arduous Affairs.
"And since it appears, that the French King's accepting of the King of Spain's Will, is a manifest Violation of this Treaty; we humbly advise Your Majesty, in future Treaties with the French King, to proceed with such Caution, as may carry along with it a real Security."
Protest against not communicating it to the Commons for their Concurrence.
"1. Because we conceive that the last Clause in the Address does necessarily imply a War, and that a very long one, by reason of the Extent, unintelligible, at least to us, of a real Security, and the great Improbability of obtaining any Terms of that Kind; and since this necessarily implies great Supplies, which cannot be granted without the House of Commons, we think their Concurrence in this Advice absolutely necessary; and that it is very improper for us to desire that of the King, which, for Want of such Concurrence of the Commons, we conceive His Majesty will not think fit or prudent for Him to grant.
"2. We conceive all the other Parts of the Address very fit to be communicated to the House of Commons; for upon the Success of it, depends the future Happiness of this Nation: And as we cannot doubt of the Readiness of the Commons to join in any proper Measures towards it; so we think their Concurrence in it would highly contribute towards the obtaining a gracious Answer from His Majesty; and we cannot but think it reasonable, that the Advice of the whole Nation assembled in Parliament should be made known to His Majesty upon this Occasion.
"3. Having desired the House of Commons to permit Mr. Secretary Vernon, a Member of their House, to come to a Committee of Lords, to inform them of some Matters relating to this Treaty; we apprehend that the House of Commons may think it extraordinary, and not suitable to the good Correspondence (which is highly necessary) between the Two Houses, not to acquaint them with the Things which have come to our Knowledge partly by the Information of their own Member.
"4. And having been otherwise informed of some Transactions relating to this Treaty between the Earl of Portland and Mr. Secretary Vernon, by Letters, of which we have not had a full Account; we think it may be very useful to the Public to communicate this Address to the Commons, who have better Opportunity than we have had of inquiring into this Matter, which seems to be yet in the Dark, and which their own Member may help to explain to them.
House to attend the King with the Address.
ORDERED, by the Lords Spiritual and Temporal in Parliament assembled, That the Lords with White Staves do attend His Majesty, humbly to know what Time His Majesty will be pleased to appoint for this House to attend Him with the Address.
Trelawney versus Carew & al.
Upon reading the Petition of Edward Trelawney Clerk and Elizabeth his Wife, on Behalf of Elizabeth Trelawney, an Infant, their Daughter, and of Daniell Sagittary Clerk and his Wife, on Behalf of John Sagittary and Anne Sagittary, their Son and Daughter, Infants; praying, "That a Day may be appointed for the Hearing of their Cause depending in this House, whereto the Lady Gratiana Carew, Sir John Molesworth Baronet, John Arscott Esquire and Frances his Wife, are Respondents:"
It is ORDERED, by the Lords Spiritual and Temporal in Parliament assembled, That this House will hear the said Cause, by Counsel, at the Bar, on Friday the Eight and Twentieth Day of this Instant March, at Eleven of the Clock.
Ly. Russel & al. Petition for Clauses to Brookfield Market, &c. Bill.
Upon reading the Petition of Rachel Lady Russell, Foulk Lord Brook, George Pitt, and John Pitt; praying, That some Clauses may be added to the Bill, intituled, An Act for confirming the Grants of Brookfield Market and Fair, and Newport Market, in the County of Middl'x, for confirming their several Patents by which they are entitled to the Markets mentioned in their Petition:"
State of the Fleet.
Tidcombe versus Boddington.
Upon reading the Petition of James Boddington and John Cholmley Merchants, Respondents to the Petition and Appeal of John Tidcombe Esquire; praying a short Day may be appointed, to hear the said Appeal:
It is ORDERED, by the Lords Spiritual and Temporal in Parliament assembled, That this House will hear the said Cause, by Counsel, at the Bar, on Saturday the Nine and Twentieth Day of this Instant March, at Eleven of the Clock.
Dominus Custos Magni Sigilli declaravit præsens Parliamentum continuandum esse usque ad et in diem Veneris, (videlicet,) vicesimum primum diem instantis Martii, hora undecima Auroræ, Dominis sic decernentibus.