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 Mercurii, 29 Martii.
Hodie 3a vice lecta est Billa, intituled, "An Act for punishing Mutiny, Desertion, and false Musters; and for better paying of the Army and Quarters; and for satisfying divers Arrears; and for a further Continuance of the Powers of the Five Commissioners for examining and determining the Accompts of the Army."
Address concerning Abuses in victualing the Navy; ViceAdmiral Greydon's Expedition; Sir Cloudesly Shovel's Expedition; and Exchange of Prisoners.
Then the Earl of Rochester reported from the Lords Committees, appointed to take into Consideration the several Papers delivered into this House, by Mr. Burchet, from the Admiralty-office, the 8th of February last, an Address, drawn by them, pursuant to the Order Yesterday.
"We, Your Majesty's most dutiful and loyal Subjects, the Lords Spiritual and Temporal in Parliament assembled, most humbly lay before Your Majesty, That we have taken into Consideration a Complaint, made by Charles Hore, Richard Hore, and James Hore, of great Abuses in the victualing Your Majesty's Navy; which, if not performed with the strictest Care and Honesty, must be of the most mischievous Consequence to the Lives of many Thousands of the Seamen of this Kingdom.
"And it appeared to us, That a Petition was presented, by Charles Hore, to the Council of his Royal Highness Prince George of Denmarke, Lord High Admiral of England, on the Third of February 170&frac2/3;, complaining of great Abuses and Frauds committed in the victualing of Her Majesty's Navy; and representing, "That, without a speedy and strict Inspection, it would be impossible to detect those Abuses, or prevent the dangerous Effects thereof;" and, therefore praying, "That his Royal Highness will please to order an immediate Survey of the Provisions for the Fleet to be made, by proper and fitting Persons, who have no Dependance on the Navy or Victualing-office, and make Report to his Royal Highness of the State of the Victualing; and that the Petitioner may have his Royal Highness's Protection for his Witnesses, till heard; a List of whose Names he is ready to deliver, they being daily threatened to be pressed into the Service, in order to stifle this Complaint."
"Upon which Petition, his Royal Highness gave an Order, on the Ninth of February 170&frac2/3;, to Sir Cloudesly Shovell and Sir Richard Haddock, requiring them forthwith to survey the Provisions complained of, in which they should be attended by Mr. Hore, or others he should bring: His Royal Highness also gave an Order to the Lord Marquis of Carmarthen, on the Eleventh of February following, to assist Sir Cloudesley Shovell and Sir Richard Haddock, in taking the aforesaid Survey.
"That the Prince's Council was sensible of the Necessity of an immediate Survey, appears, not only from the Tenor of the Prince's Order, but also by their ordering their Solicitor to attend a Justice of Peace, in taking the Affidavits of Twenty Evidences for the Queen, of which Justice Rider swore and examined Seven, on the Tenth and Eleventh of February 170&frac2/3;.
"And yet that the Prince's Council knew this Order was not put in Execution, is evident by several Letters that passed between Mr. Hore and Mr. Burchet, Secretary to the Admiralty; Mr. Hore insisting, "That the Persons he had desired to be present, would not attend at the Survey, unless they were empowered by the Admiralty;" and Mr. Burchet acquainting Mr. Hore, "That such a Power was not judged either reasonable or proper to be granted."
"But, on the 26th of February following, his Royal Highness gave another more express and peremptory Order to Sir Cloudesly Shovell and Sir Richard Haddock; requiring them to survey the Provisions complained of, within Four Days, though Mr. Hore or any other should not attend them.
"Which Order likewise the Prince's Council knew was not executed, as appears by a new Order of the 19th of April following, directed to the Navy Board, requiring them to report which of the Members of Trinity House were fittest to be employed, in Conjunction with my Lord Carmarthen and others, to survey the Provisions.
"And, on the 23d of April, there was another Order, directed to the Lord Carmarthen, &c. to take a strict Survey of the Provisions complained of ; which Order the Prince's Council knew also was not executed.
"For, on the Thirtieth of the same April, they granted the last and most peremptory Order to the Lord, Carmarthen and others, requiring them to take a strict Survey of the Provisions complained of, without Mr. Hore, if he still should refuse to attend the same; upon which, a Survey was accordingly taken in a few Days after.
"Upon the Whole, we are of Opinion, That the Prince's Council, in not commanding an immediate and strict Survey of Her Majesty's Provisions for the Fleet, upon such a Complaint, according to his Royal Highness's Order of the Ninth of February 170&frac2/3;, but suffering a known Delay thereof till the Thirtieth of April following, gave not only too great Discountenance to a Complaint of that Nature and Consequence, but also near Three Months Opportunity for removing what tainted and stinking Provisions there might be then in the Store-houses, or so changing the State thereof, that the Frauds and Abuses complained of might thereby very easily be covered.
"Upon this whole Matter, we humbly lay before Your Majesty, That the due Performance of this Service is of that Consequence, that the Discovery of any Miscarriages in the Management of it ought by all Means to be encouraged: And we are humbly of Opinion, That the Pains and Charge that the said Charles, Richard, and James Hore were at, in discovering the said Abuses, and desiring a Survey to be taken to justify their Complaints, was such a Service to the Public, as deserves a Reward and Recompense, suitable to the Charge and Trouble they have been at, and Service they have done the Public.
"We do also most humbly lay before Your Majesty, That we have taken into Consideration the Conduct of Vice-Admiral Greydon, in not attacking Four French Men of War, which he met in his Passage to The WestIndies, having at that Time Four of Your Majesty's Men of War under his Command; as likewise several Complaints from the Merchants trading to Jamaica, for his disorderly Proceeding, in pressing in the Night-time great Numbers of Seamen and Inhabitants of Jamaica, and for his severe Usage of the Masters of some Merchant Ships and Transport Vessels under his Convoy, to the great Disturbance of the Inhabitants of the said Island, to the frightening away many of the Seamen, and consequently the weakening and exposing that Country to great and manifest Dangers, and to the Interruption and Discouragement of Trade.
"Which said Complaints have been inquired into; and, after Examination upon Oath of several of the said Complainants, as also after hearing Vice-Admiral Greydon, both by himself and Witnesses, we have judged it proper to come to the following Resolutions; (videlicet,)
"Resolved, That Vice-Admiral Greydon, with a Squa dron of Four Ships of War of Her Majesty's under his Command, meeting with Four French Ships, in his Passage to The West-Indies, and letting them escape without attacking them, according to his Duty, from the Pretence of his Instruction, hath been a Prejudice to the Queen's Service, and a great Dishonour to the Nation.
"Resolved, That Vice-Admiral Greydon's disorderly Proceeding, in pressing Men at Jamaica, and his severe Usage of the Masters of Merchant and Transport Vessels under his Convoy there, hath been a great Discouragement to the Inhabitants of that Island, and prejudicial to Her Majesty's Service.
"And, in Consequence of these Resolutions, we most humbly beseech Your Majesty, That the said ViceAdmiral Greydon, having behaved himself so ill in his Expedition to The West Indies, may not be employed any more in Your Majesty's Service.
"We likewise lay before Your Majesty, That, whilst these Matters were under our Examination, it appeared; that, in this Expedition to The West-Indies, before the Fleet arrived in those Parts, the Design they were going about in Newfoundland was generally talked of among the Seamen; and that the Men on Board Two Transport Ships, that were separated from the Fleet, and went to The Maderas, spoke commonly of their going to Placentia; and Vice-Admiral Greydon informed, "That, before he received his Instructions, he was himself frequently told, that he was going to Newfoundland."
"The Effect of which Discovery, we humbly observe to Your Majesty, proved so fatal to that Design, and was so unluckily made Use of by the Enemy in their better Defence, that, when the Fleet came there, they found all Preparations so sufficiently made for the Security of the Place, that, that Attempt was rendered ineffectual, which otherwise, in great Probability, would have done considerable Damage to the French, and must have been attended with great Advantage to the Service of Your Majesty and this Kingdom.
"We farther think it our Duty to represent to Your Majesty, of what Importance the Defence and Preservation of Jamaica is to England itself, by its Situation, as well for Trade, as by the Convenience it affords of offending Your Majesty's present Enemies the French and Spaniards; as it lies in the Centre of the most valuable Part of The West-Indies, at an easy Distance from the Spanish Settlements, and more particularly is in the Neighbourhood of The Havana, which hath been hitherto the Rendezvous of the Spanish Galleons and Flotas.
"This Island produces the best Sugar, Indico, Cotton-wool, Dying-wood, &c. and may be yet made more beneficial to England, by being a Staple of our European Product and Manufactures, and a Mart for Negroes upon a Peace or Friendship with the Spaniards; which Advantage is enjoyed now by the French, who do not only furnish the Spaniards with all their Negroes for working in their Mines, but almost entirely supply them with all Necessaries from Europe, for which they are paid in Pieces of Eight, or other the richest Commodities; which Benefit might accrue to this Kingdom in case of a Revolution in Spain, but cannot be maintained without the Island of Jamaica, there being no other of Your Majesty's Plantations situated so far to the Leeward, and so near to the Spaniards, as to afford a convenient Communication with them, and a Means of protecting them at the same Time against the French.
"This Island also affords good Reception for great Numbers of Your Majesty's Men of War; who may be there in a Readiness to defend this important Place, and to annoy the Enemy on all Hands, who have only some open Roads and Harbours of no great Defence to their Shipping.
"With the Loss of this Island, besides its natural Product, this Kingdom would also lose the whole Advantage of so beneficial a Trade as that of the Spanish West-Indies; which would fall to the French and Dutch, who have their Settlements in those Parts.
"Having thus laid before Your Majesty the great Advantages of this Island, we must crave Leave to observe, that, in this Place of so great Concernment and Importance to the Trade and Prosperity of this Kingdom, there has been no Chief Governor since the Death of Colonel Brewer, during this War, till within a few Weeks; which, we are of Opinion, may have been the Occasion of losing several Opportunities of taking Advantages upon the Enemy, as well as of lessening the Discipline amongst the Soldiers; the Authority and Prudence of a Chief Governor always drawing more Respect, Obedience, and Dependance, upon him, than is usually observed towards any Officer in an inferior Command.
"We have also received Informations, from many of the considerable Merchants in this City trading to Jamaica, of several French Men of War, to a considerable Number, fitted out, and many Transport Ships, with Soldiers on board them, bound for The West-Indies, which, the said Merchants conceive, they have good Ground to believe are designed to attack Jamaica; their Correspondents in that Place signifying to them, "That the Prisoners from all Parts agree in their Reports, that the Governors in the French and Spanish Dominions in The West Indies design to make a powerful Descent on that Island, which at this Time is extremely exposed, for Want of Soldiers and Ships of War to protect it."
"Whereupon, after due and mature Consideration of the great and eminent Advantages of this Island, in respect of its Neighbourhood to the Spanish Settlements, which must always be of the greatest Importance to this Kingdom, whether in Time of War or Peace, as also of the natural Product of that Place so highly valuable to Your Majesty's Subjects here, and how irreparable the Loss of such a Place would be, if, by any Accident, such a fatal Miscarriage might happen; we find ourselves under the highest Obligation of Duty to Your Majesty and the Kingdom, to make this our humble Address to Your Majesty, That You will be pleased to take Care, that so advantageous a Plantation may be effectually and seasonably supplied with all Things proper for its Security and Defence; and particularly, that the Regiments there may be recruited and kept full; that Instructions be given to the Commanders of Your Majesty's Ships that attend on this Plantation, to observe strict Discipline and Order in the pressing such Seamen as are absolutely necessary for the Use of the Men of War only; Want of due Care in that Service having extremely weakened this Island, by the Loss of many of their Seamen, frightening away more, and hindering others from resorting thither; and that such a Number of Ships of War may be constantly maintained there, or relieved from Time to Time, that there may not want a sufficient Strength at Sea, to defend Your Majesty's own Subjects, and annoy Your Enemies in those Parts, which will likewise prove of very considerable Advantage to Your Majesty's Service in all Your other Dominions.
"The Expedition into The Mediterranean last Summer, under the Command of Sir Cloudesly Shovell, had raised so great an Expectation in the World, and concluded with so little Advantage to the Undertaking, that we thought it our Duty to inquire into the particular Execution of it: And having seen the Instructions given on that Occasion, and observed the Time the Fleet sailed from hence, we most humbly offer it to Your Majesty,
"That it is our Opinion, That the Time the Fleet sailed from England, being about the Middle of July, under the Order Sir Cloudesly Shovell had to return out of The Streights within the Month of September, made it impossible to execute the main Services that, appeared before the Committee, were required to be performed by his Instructions.
"And we do humbly address to Your Majesty, That, whenever there shall be a Necessity of sending a Fleet into The Mediterranean, the Coast and Trade here may not be left so naked and unguarded, as it was the last Year.
"We have judged it necessary to represent at One Time these several Matters to Your Majesty, relating all to the Maritime Affairs; hoping that it will be approved in Your own Royal Judgement, that a distinguishing Care may be had of that Part of the Administration; that the Glory of the English Nation, so renowned in all Times at Sea, may be preserved in its highest Reputation during Your Majesty's happy Reign; and that the Naval Strength of this Kingdom, in which Your Subjects have a singular Satisfaction as well as a Security, may be maintained and improved by all proper Means, especially by the encouraging of the Seamen, and observing the ancient strict Discipline of the Navy, to the immortal Honour of Your Majesty's Government, in the Defence of Your own Kingdoms, and the most effectual restraining the Power of Your Enemies.
"We likewise represent to Your Majesty, the Complaints laid before us from several Masters of Merchant Vessels, in relation to their having been taken Prisoners by the French, with many other Seamen, and detained there a long Time, under very hard Usage; into which Matter having inquired with all due Care and Consideration, we humbly lay it before Your Majesty, beseeching You to give such Orders for the better Management of the Commission for the Exchange of Prisoners, as Your Majesty shall judge most fit.
"That we have been informed, on the Oaths of several Persons, who have lately been Prisoners in France, and who some of them purchased their Liberty at great Rates, "That several English Prisoners there, through long Imprisonment, and the Hardships they underwent therein, put themselves into the French King's Service, and into French Privateers; alledging, "They would rather do so than die in Prison;" and some others had likewise done so, had they not been furnished with Money by One of the Informants, who, in near Three Months he was Prisoner at Dinant, believes, there died there more than Sixty Prisoners;" and by another of them, "That he had an Account, that near Three Hundred died there in Four Months, between the Return of the Transport Vessels;" and by another of them, "That in August last, when he was Prisoner at Martinico, there were between Seventy and Eighty Ships belonging to Her Majesty's Subjects, that had been taken by the French, and about Two Hundred Prisoners."
"We have likewise heard the Commissioners for Exchange of Prisoners; who said, "They never had any Complaint made to them by any Prisoner, after his Return, of bad Usage in France; nor did they ever hear, that any of them gave Money for his Ransom: But, upon Notice given by One of their Agents (who had frequent Orders to inquire into the Usage of Prisoners), "That the French did not make sufficient Allowance to their Prisoners," the said Commissioners reduced the Allowance to the French Prisoners, from Five Pence to Three Pence per Diem, till they were certified from the Prisoners there, that they had their Allowance raised to what it had been here: That they constantly, Once in Three Weeks, after the Return of a Vessel sent for Prisoners, sent another on the same Errand, except after the great Storm in November last, which, with the Privity of a Principal Secretary of State, they forebore to do just at that Time, left Intelligence should be thereby carried of our great Losses in Men and Shipping. They produced the Instructions they gave to, and the Securities they took of, the Masters of the Transports they employed, to provide good Vessels, and sufficient Entertainment aboard, for the French and English Prisoners, without demanding any Thing of them for the same: And their usual Course in the Exchange of Prisoners was, to return Man for Man, and Quality for Quality; and to bring Home first the Sick, Wounded, and Aged, who could least endure the Hardships of Imprisonment; then those that had been longest Prisoners; in the next Place, those that had been taken in Her Majesty's Ships; and after them, those taken in Merchantmen; and in the last Place, the Men taken in Privateers. At the Time of this Examination, they said, there were few more than Two Hundred of the English Prisoners in France, who were then sent for; and that there were now more than Two Thousand French Prisoners in England." They laid their Commission before us, which is from his Royal Highness Prince George of Denmark, Lord High Admiral of England, together with the Instructions given them by his Royal Highness for their better Government and Conduct in the Execution of the Trust committed to them. And they acquainted us, "That, upon any Accident that might require farther or more particular Direction, their Course was, to make Application to the Cabinet Council, and the Earl of Nottingham, Principal Secretary of State."
"It appeared to us, that, by the Neglect of the Duty of some of the Masters of the Transport Vessels, and particularly of one Gibson, and contrary to Bonds given not to bring over any Passengers but Prisoners, several Persons have been brought over in the said Transport Vessels out of France, who have been found, by the Examination of a Committee of the Lords of this House, to have been concerned and trusted in the Management of the Scotch Conspiracy."
House to attend the Queen with it.
It is ORDERED, by the Lords Spiritual and Temporal in Parliament assembled, That the Lords with White Staves do attend Her Majesty, humbly to know what Time Her Majesty will be pleased to appoint, for this House to attend Her, with their Address.
After some Time, the Lord Chamberlain acquainted the House, "That he had attended Her Majesty, humbly to know Her Majesty's Pleasure, when She would be attended by this House with their Address:" And that Her Majesty was pleased to appoint Friday next, at One a Clock, to be attended, by this House, at St. James's."
Mrs. Fox committed to Newgate:
"Whereas Mrs. Frances Fox, having gone into France, did, since the Commencement of Her now Majesty's Reign, return from thence into England, without Licence of Her Majesty under the Privy Seal, whereby she has incurred the Crime of High Treason, committed contrary to the Statute in that Behalf made and provided: It is ORDERED, by the Lords Spiritual and Temporal in Parliament assembled, That the said Mrs. Frances Fox shall be, and is hereby, committed Prisoner to the Prison of Newgate, there to remain until she shall be delivered by due Course of Law; and this shall be a sufficient Warrant on that Behalf.
Mrs. Fox to be prosecuted
It is ORDERED, by the Lords Spiritual and Temporal in Parliament assembled, That Her Majesty's Attorney General do forthwith prosecute Mrs. Frances Fox, for that she having gone into France, and did, since the Commencement of Her Majesty's Reign, return from thence into England, without Licence of Her Majesty under the Privy Seal, whereby she has incurred the Crime of High Treason, committed contrary to the Statute on that Behalf made and provided."
"ORDERED, by the Lords Spiritual and Temporal in Parliament assembled, That the Gentleman Usher of the Black Rod attending this House, his Deputy and Deputies, in whose Custody Mrs. Frances Fox now is, do forthwith carry the said Mrs. Frances Fox to the Prison of Newgate, there to remain until the shall be delivered by due Course of Law."
"Whereas Mr. Colin Campbell, by Order of the Two and Twentieth of February last, stands committed to the Gentleman Usher of the Black Rod attending this House, his Deputy or Deputies, in whose Custody he now is: It is ORDERED, by the Lords Spiritual and Temporal in Parliament assembled, That the said Gentleman Usher, or his Deputy or Deputies, do forthwith deliver the said Colin Campbell into the same Custody from which he received him."
Meers and Clarke to be prosecuted.
Report of the Scotch Conspiracy to be laid before Her Majesty.
"It is ORDERED, by the Lords Spiritual and Temporal in Parliament assembled, That the Report made by the Lords Committees appointed to consider of the Scottish Conspiracy, the Twentieth Instant, shall be, by the said Lords Committees, laid before Her Majesty."
Keith's Papers, Attorney General to report his Opinion upon.
"It is ORDERED, by the Lords Spiritual and Temporal in Parliament assembled, That Her Majesty's Attorney General do consider of Mr. Keith's Papers now laid before this House; and give the House an Account To-morrow, at Twelve a Clock, with his Opinion of what can be done thereupon."
Address concerning the Scotch Conspiracy, and for Endeavours to be used to settle the Succession there in the Princess Sophia:
The Duke of Bolton reported from the Lords Committees (appointed to draw up an Address to be presented to Her Majesty, upon the Resolutions agreed to the Twenty-second Instant) an Address as followeth; (videlicet,)
"We, Your Majesty's most dutiful and loyal Subjects, the Lords Spiritual and Temporal in Parliament assembled, humbly beg Leave to acquaint Your Majesty, That, as soon as all the Papers relating to the Conspiracy in Scotland were, by Your Majesty's Command, laid before the House; according to our Duty, and with that Zeal which we have always shewn, where the Safety of Your Person, and the Security of Your People may be concerned;
"We applied ourselves to search into the Designs of Your Enemies, as well by a careful Perusal and Consideration of the Papers, as by appointing a Committee to examine the Persons who had been taken into Custody upon Account of the Conspiracy, and others from whom it might be reasonably supposed any Light might be gained towards the Discovery. And the Committee having made their Report to the House; upon mature Deliberation of the whole Matter, we came to this unanimous Resolution:
"That it did appear to us, there has been a dangerous Conspiracy carried on, for the raising a Rebellion in Scotland, and invading that Kingdom with a French Power, in order to the subverting of Your Majesty's Government both in England and Scotland, and the bringing in the pretended Prince of Wales.
"We do also humbly take Leave to offer to Your Majesty, as our concurrent Opinion, that nothing has given so much Encouragement to Your Enemies at Home and Abroad, to enter into this detestable Conspiracy; as that, after Your Majesty, and the Heirs of Your Body, the immediate Succession to the Crown of Scotland is not declared to be in the Princess Sophia, and the Heirs of her Body, being Protestants.
"We, being fully convinced of this important Truth, most humbly beseech Your Majesty, in regard to the Safety of Your own Royal Person, the Quiet of Your Reign, and the present and future Happiness and Peace of Your People, to use Your Royal Endeavours, by all such Methods as Your Majesty in Your Wisdom shall judge most proper, to have the Succession of the Crown of Scotland declared to be settled upon the Princess Sophia, and the Heirs of her Body, being Protestants. And we do also humbly beseech Your Majesty to take all other Measures, which may best and most effectually conduce to the disappointing and frustrating the Designs of Your Enemies, and of such of Your traiterous Subjects as are engaged with them in this dangerous Conspiracy against Your Majesty, for the utter Subversion of Your Government. And we do most heartily and unanimously assure Your Majesty, that, when Your wife Endeavours for the settling the Succession in Scotland shall have taken the desired Effect, we will do all in our Power to promote an entire and compleat Union between the Two Kingdoms of England and Scotland, for their mutual Security and Advantage."
House to attend the Queen with it.
It is ORDERED, by the Lords Spiritual and Temporal in Parliament assembled, That the Lords with White Staves do attend Her Majesty, humbly to know what Time Her Majesty will be pleased to appoint, for this House to attend Her, with the Address agreed to this Day.
It is ORDERED, by the Lords Spiritual and Temporal in Parliament assembled, That the Report made by the Lords Committees appointed to consider of the Scottish Conspiracy, the Twentieth of March Instant, and the Papers laid before this House by Her Majesty's Command concerning the same, and the Proceedings and Resolutions of this House thereupon, shall be forthwith printed and published; and that the Lords Committees appointed to consider of the Public Accompts, the Seventeenth of February last, or any Five of them, do give Directions how and in what Manner they shall be printed; and to meet To-morrow, at Ten a Clock in the Forenoon.