Journal of the House of Lords: Volume 17, 1701-1705. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1767-1830.
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DIE Martis, 7 Martii.
Dehaunt & al. Nat. Bill.
First Fruits and Tenths to Poor Clergy, Bill.
Hodie 1a vice lecta est Billa, intituled, "An Act for the making more effectual Her Majesty's gracious Intentions for the Augmentation of the Maintenance of the poor Clergy, by enabling Her Majesty to grant in Perpetuity the Revenues of the First Fruits and Tenths; and also for enabling any other Persons to make Grants for the same Purpose."
The Lord Herbert reported from the Lords Committees, the Bill, intituled, "An Act to enable George Evelyn Esquire to raise Portions for his Brothers and Sisters, according to his Father's Will," as fit to pass, with some Amendments.
Message to H. C. with Amendments to it.
Golden Star and Bull, trade as free Ships, Bill.
The Lord Herbert reported from the Lords Committees, the Bill, intituled, "An Act, that the Ships The Golden Starr and Bull, being taken as Prize and condemned, may have Freedom of trading as English Ships," as fit to pass, without any Amendment.
It is ORDERED, by the Lords Spiritual and Temporal in Parliament assembled, That the Papers this Day delivered by the Earl of Nottingham, by Her Majesty's Command, relating to the Lord Belhaven, March 2d, 170¾, shall be referred to the Consideration of the Lords Committees appointed to consider of the Scotch Conspiracy, and delivered to the said Committee.
Papers concerning L. Belhaven.
"My Lord Belhaven, whose Name is Hamilton, came to Paris about the Month of December 1701; where he continued for Three Months, during which Time he had frequent Conferences with the Court of St. Germain's, and was no less than Three several Times introduced to the late Queen by the Earl of Middleton, being ushered in to him by Captain John Levingston, who was Brother in Law to Belhaven. The said Lord often told me, "That he corresponded to, and received Instructions from, the Duke of Hamilton; who, he said, "was become the Head of all those who were true or faithful to the Interest of their Country;" which, he said, had been abused and cheated by King William, whom he hated upon that Account." The said Lord told me, "That the Conjunction of Scotland with England (for he could not call it an Union) had been the Ruin of that Kingdom; and that, if they did not set up a King of their own, or call Home the Prince of Wales, and so lay an Obligation on him to be more in their Interest than his Predecessors, that Kingdom would be undone."
"He farther said, "That, if the Prince of Wales could be prevailed upon to turn Protestant, it would be better to call him Home, than to set up a King of their own; for, said he, England is so much superior to Scotland, in Force by Sea and Land, that, if a King of Scotland have not a considerable Interest in England, he may run the Hazard of being conquered at one Time or other; but, said he, the Prince of Wales has not only that, but he will be sure at all Times to have a firm Alliance with France."
"He added also, "That, when he had an Audience of the late Queen, the 2d of February, he laid all this before Her; and gave Her Assurance, "That, if the Prince her Son would turn Protestant, that the Duke of Hamilton himself, and all that Party, which, he said, was very considerable, would declare for, and call him Home." But he said, to his Sorrow, that he found the Queen inflexible upon the Head of Religion, which he said would extremely divide and weaken the Party." He told me also, "By Advice of Duke Hamilton, he had made Proposals to the Queen, "That if the Prince could not change his Religion, that he should enter into Articles, and give Assurance that he would restrict himself to a determinate Number of Priests, and never attempt any Thing against the Protestant Religion." This, he said, the Queen consented to, and several other Things; upon which he engaged, in the Name of the Party, to do their utmost to keep the Scots from joining with the English as to the Succession."
"Having for these Four Years last past had an extraordinary Intimacy with Doctor Gordon late Bishop of Gallway, in so much that he concealed none of his Affairs from me; the said Bishop, about the Beginning of March last, at Paris, told me, "that he had a Prospect of making his Fortune ere long;" but said, "he was sworn to Secrecy." We met almost every Day; and he told me from Time to Time, "that his Hopes increased; and that, before he left France, he would discover to me, and me only, so far as his Oath could possibly allow him, and that he would even stretch a little." I being to leave Paris the 20th of April last, was some Days before with the Bishop every Day; and being about to take my Leave of him, he told me, "he would be in England in a few Days after me; for now, said he, I am engaged in an Affair that will make me or break me." I told him, "that I knew his Prudence to be so great, that I was not afraid of any Miscarriage." He said, "that the Affair was so delicate, that a Man of more Experience than he might easily miscarry in it; but, said he, as I have never concealed any Thing from you, so will not this, so far as I can or dare at present discover it." I am, said he, by the Abbé Rennedo, my good Friend, engaged to go as an Agent from the Court of France, into England and Scotland. At London I shall meet with the Lord Belhaven, who will carry me to the Duke Hamilton; and, having adjusted Matters with him, I shall go to Scotland, to the disaffected Party there, among whom I have many Friends and Relations. My Instructions, said he, I have not yet received, but in general Terms, and therefore cannot be more particular; but, said he, it is referred to myself what Money I will call for, for my Expedition." The said Bishop is now come over, and in Town, if he is not gone this Day for Scotland; if he be taken up, he is naturally timorous, and, I am sure, so great a Libertine both in Religion and Government; that he'll never run any Risque for one or t'other.
"The late Bishop of Gallway is aged about 58 Years, is of a fresh ruddy Complexion, pretty tall and broad set, full Six Foot high, and lodges, or did lodge, near The Blue Ball in Salisbury Street; he wears an Iron Girdle, being a little troubled with a Rupture, which nobody knows but myself.
"Being to come into England, I discovered my Design to Captain William Delavall at St. German's, who is, and has been, my great Friend. He desired me to make all the Haste back I could; and said, "I know you to be a Person of Secresy, and one that dare do any Thing; and, if you be here in Six Weeks or Two Months at farthest, I'll introduce you to one shall make your Fortune; for, said he, if a fortunate Card does not turn of all this Juncture for our King, something that will be surprizing is to be quickly attempted, and I will bring you in for one; therefore pray make Haste back:" Which I faithfully promised; he first having engaged, "that if the Design went on, to write to me about some pretended Business;" which was to be the Signal for me to make Haste; and accordingly I have received his Letter.
"Mr. Ramsey, a Scotch Gentleman, who resided in England during the last War, being then a Spy for France, and had Four Thousand Livres Pension, is now again come into England upon the same Account. It is so true, that Mr. Ramsey was a Spy during the last War, that I myself have seen and read his Petitions, written and signed by his own Hand, addressed to the King of France, wherein he set forth his Pretensions at large, with an Account of his Services. It is so true, that Mr. Ramsay is in the same Post again, that the Night before he left Paris I dogged him to Mr. Golar's House, who was the Man who engaged him at first in that Service, of whom he received Money, and with whom he still corresponds. He had no Money when he went in; and being to pay me Twenty Livres he owed me, he not only did it when he came out, but shewed me a Handful of Louis-d'ors and a Sealing Ring, which I presume he seals Letters with which he sends that Way.
"If this be discovered, I shall not only run a great Risque of my Life, but be rendered incapable of any farther Service, particularly in a very desperate Blow that I have Reason to believe is intended."
"Several Officers of Note are gone from St. German's into Scotland, who, I am sure, are ill intentioned against the present Government; videlicet, Captain James Murray, Brother to Sir David Murray of Stenhope; Captain John Bell, who formerly served in Major General Buchan's Regiment; Captain John Levinston, of my Lord Dunbarton's Regiment, commonly called Cassius, to distinguish him from the other; Captain William Deans, who lately was Governor to my Lord Clarmont, Son to the Earl of Middleton, at St. German's; Robinson of Struan, who has a considerable Following in Scotland, is in London, but absconds; nor do I know how to find him, he taking extraordinary Precaution, as being a Man of an Estate; Levinston, who is in Custody, is Brother in Law to my Lord Belhaven, having married his Lady's Sister."
Leighton versus Ford, in Error.
After hearing Counsel, to argue the Errors assigned upon the Writ of Error brought into this House, the Eighteenth of February One Thousand Seven Hundred and Three, from Her Majesty's Court of Queen's Bench, wherein Judgement of Discontinuance is entered, for William Weedon Ford, Warden of The Fleet, against Her Majesty; and due Consideration of what was offered thereupon:
It is this Day ORDERED and Adjudged, by the Lords Spiritual and Temporal in Parliament assembled, That the said Judgement given in Her Majesty's Court of Queen's Bench, for the said William Weedon Ford, against Her Majesty, shall be, and is hereby, reversed; and that the Record shall be remitted to the said Court; and that the Court do proceed, as if no such Judgement of Discontinuance had been given; and that the Court of Queen's Bench do give Judgement upon the Merits of the Cause; and, in order thereto, that the Record be amended by the said Court, and made as delivered the First Day of the Term.
"Posteaque, scilicet, Septimo Die Martii, Anno Regni Dominæ Reginæ nunc Secundo, in præd. Cur. Parliamenti, visis per Cur. ill. diligenter examinatis et plenius intellectis tam Record. et Process. præd. ac Judic. superinde reddit. quam præd. Caus. pro Error. superius assignat. et allegat. per eandem Cur. Parliamenti; ideo consideratum est, quod Judicium præd. ob Error. ill. revocetur, adnullecur, et penitus pro nullo habeatur; et quod Cur. Dominæ Reginæ nunc, coram ipsa Regina, procedat super tot. Record. præd. ad aliud Judicium superinde reddend. scilicet tal. qual. Lex in hac Parte postulat et requirit."