Journal of the House of Lords: Volume 20, 1714-1717. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1767-1830.
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DIE Sabbati, 3 Septembris.
Palatines, Ireland, Bill.
Hodie 2a vice lecta est Billa, intituled, "An Act for allowing a Time for Two Hundred and Thirteen Families of Protestant Palatines, now settled in Ireland, /?/ take the Oaths, in order to entitle them to all the Benefits intended them by the Act of the Seventh Year of Her late Majesty's Reign, for naturalizing Foreign Protestants."
Laws, for continuing, Bill.
The House (according to Order) was adjourned during Pleasure, and put into a Committee upon the Bill, intituled, "An Act for continuing several Laws therein mentioned, relating to Coals, Hemp, and Flax, Irish and Scotch Linen, and the Assize of Bread; and for giving Power to adjourn the Quarter Sessions for the County of Anglesea, for the Purposes therein mentioned."
And the Earl of Clarendon reported from the Committee, "That they had been in Consideration of the said Bill, and heard Counsel for and against the Clause relating to the Adjournment of the said Quarter Sessions; and had gone through the said Bill, and made some Amendments thereunto, which the Committee had directed him to report, when the House will please to receive the same."
E. of Oxford's Answer to the Articles of Impeachment against him.
And, being examined upon Oath, touching the same, said, "He received it from the said Earl of Oxford, as his Answer, this Morning; and had Directions from his Lordship to deliver it to this House as his Answer."
"The Answer of Robert Earl of Oxford and Earl Mortimer, to the Articles exhibited by the Knights, Citizens, and Burgesses, in Parliament assembled, in the Name of themselves and of all the Commons of Great Britain, in Maintenance of their Impeachment against him for High Treason, and other high Crimes and Misdemeanors supposed to have been by him committed.
"The said Earl, saving to himself all Advantages of Exception to the said Articles, and of not being prejudiced by any Words or Want of Form in this his Answer; and also saving to himself all Rights and Privileges belonging to him as One of the Peers of this Realm; for Answer to the said Articles, faith: He admits, many solemn Treaties and Alliances have been formerly entered into, between the Crown of England and other Princes and Potentates of Europe, for their mutual Security, and to prevent the immoderate Growth of the Power of France, which might prove dangerous to the neighbouring Princes and States; and that therefore it was laid down as a fundamental Principle and Maxim of Union amongst the Allies, "That France and Spain should never come and be united under the same Government; and that One and the same Person should not be King of both these Kingdoms:" And he apprehends, that the principal View and Aim of the Allies was, to settle and maintain an equal Balance of Power in Europe; and, since the Conjunction of Spain to the Dominions of France might possibly ensue from the Duke of Anjou's being possessed of that Crown, the dispossessing him was desired, as the most likely Means to prevent that Conjunction; and, for the same Reason, the Union of Spain with the Empire must have been equally fatal, and the Prevention of it equally the Design of the Alliance; nor could the Continuance of Spain in the House of Bourbon be in any respect prejudicial to the Allies, if the Union of that Crown with France could be prevented. As new Dangers of such Union have been apprehended, new Treaties and Stipulations have been entered into among the Allies, to obviate such Dangers; and particularly the Treaty for an intended Partition seems to have been concluded upon that View. And though he acknowledges the Wisdom of Parliament in condemning that Treaty, as prejudicial and fatal in its Consequences to England and the Peace of Europe; yet, he presumes, it was not condemned because Part of the Dominions of the Crown of Spain were thereby allotted to the House of Bourbon, but because such considerable Parts of those Dominions as the Kingdoms of Naples and Sicily, the Province of Guiposcoa, and other Territories, were allotted to that Branch of the House of Bourbon to whom the Crown of France was to descend, which might have been a great and dangerous Addition to the then formidable Strength of that Crown; and because it was made against the repeated Remonstrances of Charles the Second, then King of Spain, who declared, by His Ambassador, "That such Partition Treaty could have no other Effect, than to force Spain to throw itself into the Arms of France, to prevent the dismembering of the Spanish Monarchy;" and that it had this Consequence, appeared upon the Death of that Prince, who seems to have been induced by that Consideration to bequeath the entire Monarchy of Spain to the Duke of Anjou, a Younger Branch of the House of Bourbon, who accordingly, upon the Demise of the said King Charles the Second, took Possession of the Monarchy of Spain; but this Accession of the Duke of Anjou to the Crown of Spain did not produce the Alliance in the Article mentioned, between Leopold then Emperor of Germany, His late Majesty King William the Third, of Everglorious Memory, and The States General, as immediately necessary at that Juncture; for King William, as well as The States General, acknowledged the Duke of Anjou as King of Spain; thereby allowing, that the Duke of Anjou's Enjoyment of the Monarchy of Spain, while he was but a Younger Branch of the House of Bourbon, was not inconsistent with the Liberties of Europe, or the Preservation of a due Balance of Power: And afterwards, when the French King had seized The Spanish Netherlands, King William, by Advice of Parliament, came in to the Assistance of The States as an Auxiliary only, by sending upon their Request Ten Thousand Men, which England was obliged by Treaties to furnish in case The States were attacked; after which, many Conferences passed at The Hague, betwixt the Ministers of England and The States and those of France, in order to find out some Expedient, by which, upon a reasonable Division of the Dominions of Spain, a new War might be prevented: And The States, in the Course of those Conferences, often asserted, "That though they had acknowledged Philip, King of Spain, yet such an Acknowledgement was not contrary to the Demand of a reasonable Satisfaction to be given to the Emperor for His Pretensions to the Spanish Succession;" which was in Effect to declare, "That the Satisfaction demanded for the Emperor was such, as would leave King Philip in Possession of Spain." But these Conferences broke off, about August One Thousand Seven Hundred and One, without Effect; and in September following, King William entered into the Grand Alliance with the Emperor and The States General; whereby it was agreed, "That, in the First Place, Endeavours should be used, by amicable Means, to obtain the Satisfaction desired for the Emperor;" who probably at that Time would have accepted a very easy Composition for his Pretensions. But, when the French King acknowledged the Pretender as King of England (which not long after happened), His Majesty King William and the Parliament of England, justly provoked by this Affront, resolved to enter into the War, which had been begun by the Emperor alone in Italy the Year before; and the late Queen mentions this Indignity as the chief Motive of Her engaging in it, as appears by Her Declaration of War against France and Spain, in May One Thousand Seven Hundred and Two. The said Earl admits the several Treaties set forth in the Preamble to the said Articles, and that such Advice was given by Parliament, and such Speeches were made from the Throne, as in the said Preamble are mentioned; but, for more Certainty, begs Leave to refer himself to the very Treaties, Addresses of Parliament, and Speeches, when they shall be produced: And he humbly hopes your Lordships will allow him to observe, That those Treaties manifestly shew, that the Design of the Allies, in endeavouring the Recovery of Spain from the House of Bourbon, was to prevent the Union of those Two potent Kingdoms in one and the same Person. In the Grand Alliance in One Thousand Seven Hundred and One, the avowed Ends are, "The procuring an equitable and reasonable Satisfaction to His Imperial Majesty, for His Pretensions to the Spanish Succession; the Security of the Dominions of the King of Great Britain and States General, with the Navigation and Commerce of their Subjects; the preventing the Union of France and Spain under the same Government;" and the Territories and Provinces pointed out in the Fifth Article were the farthest Views of that Alliance: Whereby it was thought His Imperial Majesty would receive the utmost Satisfaction which He could reasonably demand for His Pretension to the Spanish Succession. No Mention is made of the Recovery of the whole Monarchy of Spain to the House of Austria, either in the Grand Alliance, or in the Defensive one made the same Year between His Majesty King William and The States General: And when, in the Treaty between the Emperor, the Queen of Great Britain, and The States General, on the one Part, and the King of Portugal on the other, about May One Thousand Seven Hundred and Three, it was concerted to place Arch-duke Charles, the present Emperor, upon the Throne of Spain; He was then but a Younger Branch of the House of Austria; and there is great Reason to believe that the Queen, as well as other Princes of Europe, and in particular the King of Portugal, did not think a Treaty to procure the Crown of Spain for the Arch-duke, when a Younger Branch of the House of Austria, did lay any Obligation of procuring that Monarchy for Him when He became First of that House, and was elected Emperor; since the Imperial and Hereditary Dominions, joined to the whole Spanish Monarchy, would have given such Excess of Power to one Prince, as would have been formidable to Europe, and a Means to destroy that Balance of Power which Her Majesty in all Her Treaties had constantly laboured to preserve: And it is a known and an allowed Rule, by the Law of Nations, in reference to Leagues between Princes, That, if there happens a material Change in what was the principal Ground and Cause of the Treaty, the Obligation thereof ceases. If, therefore, in the Preliminary Articles in One Thousand Seven Hundred and Nine, and afterwards in the Conferences at Gertruydenberg, a Cession of the Spanish Monarchy to King Charles the Third, who was then Younger Brother to the Emperor, was thought reasonable to be insisted on: Yet the said Earl humbly submits to your Lordships great Judgement, whether there was equal Reason for insisting on such Cession, when King Charles the Third was become Head of that House, and had Possession of that Empire and all the Hereditary Countries of Austria, as a Condition without which no Peace should be made. The States General were so far from admitting, or yielding, that the Monarchy of Spain should in all Events be given to the House of Austria; that he the said Earl hath heard they refused to admit it to be inserted as a Condition of their Barrier Treaty, when proposed by Her Majesty's Ambassador at The Hague; and chose rather to put a Stop to the Proceedings of that Treaty, and hazard the Advantages they thereby expected, than comply with that Proposal. The Advice of Parliament is of great Weight; to which Her late Majesty always gave, and he the said Earl always paid, a just Regard: And he doubts not but the House of Peers had proper Inducements, when they gave their Advice to the Throne, "That no Peace could be safe, honourable, or lasting, so long as the Kingdom of Spain and The West Indies continued in the Possession of any Branch of the House of Bourbon:" But, if he may be permitted to offer his humble Conjectures of the Motives of that Advice, he conceiveth it might proceed from an Apprehension of a future Union of those Two Crowns, as likely to ensue in case Spain should continue in the Possession of any who might become Heir to the Crown of France; and that even the Conjunction of the Empire and Spain would be less dangerous than such an Union: But, when Her Majesty communicated to Her Parliament, the Sixth of June One Thousand Seven Hundred and Twelve, the Terms upon which a Peace might be made, and thereby informed them, "That France had been brought to offer, that the Duke of Anjou should, for himself and his Descendants, renounce for ever all Claim to the Crown of France; and that, at the same Time the Succession of the Crown of France was to be declared, after the Death of the then Dauphin and his Sons, to be in the Duke of Berry and his Sons, in the Duke of Orleans and his Sons, and so on to the rest of the House of Bourbon; and that the Succession to Spain and The West Indies, after the Duke of Anjou and his Children, was to descend to such Prince as should be agreed upon at the Treaty of Peace, for ever excluding the rest of the House of Bourbon;" both Houses of Parliament, by their respective Addresses to Her Majesty in the same Month, expressed their entire Satisfaction: And as the House of Commons desired Her Majesty "to proceed in the Negotiations then depending, for obtaining a speedy Peace;" so the House of Lords assured Her Majesty, That they entirely relied on Her Majesty's Wisdom, to finish that great and good Work. And, after Her Majesty had concluded a Peace on those Terms, both Houses of Parliament severally congratulated Her Majesty on the Conclusion of the Peace; and also joined in an Address of the Twenty-second of April One Thousand Seven Hundred and Fourteen, expressing their just Sense of Her Majesty's Goodness to Her People, in delivering them, by a safe, honourable, and advantageous Peace with France and Spain, from the heavy Burthen of a consuming Land War, unequally carried on, and become at last impracticable. He the said Earl acknowledges, that Her Majesty was pleased, about August One Thousand Seven Hundred and Ten, to re-admit him, among others, to a Place in Her Council, and require his Services in Offices of Trust; to which he submitted, purely in Obedience to Her Majesty's Commands, with great Reluctance, from the Prospect of the Difficulties with which he was likely to struggle: But, as he never asked any Employment, nor used any wicked Arts or base Insinuations to obtain the same from Her Majesty; so, in all Employments with which Her Majesty was pleased to honour him, he sincerely endeavoured to discharge his Duty with the utmost Integrity; having always with the truest Zeal desired and eudeavoured, as far as he could, to promote the Honour and Service of Her Majesty, whose Aim he knew to be the Welfare of Her Kingdoms in the First Place, and (as far as She judged it consistent with that) the common Good of Her Allies. In or about the Month of September One Thousand Seven Hundred and Ten, Her Majesty (whose undoubted Prerogative it was) thought fit to dissolve the Parliament then in being, and call a new one. In the Year One Thousand Seven Hundred and Eleven, Propositions were made by France to Her Majesty, for Peace, without the Contrivance or previous Knowledge of the said Earl: Her Majesty, out of Her Affection for Her People, having it much at Her Heart to establish Peace in Her own Days, expressed Her Concern for the Disappointment of former Negotiations, and Her earnest Desire to put a speedy End to the War and to the Effusion of Christian Blood, and to ease Her Subjects from the heavy Burthen of their Taxes: The said Earl doth acknowledge, that he thought a Peace was very much for the Interest and Advantage of Great Britain; and, in his humble Opinion, the most favourable Juncture for obtaining advantageous Terms of Peace was immediately after the signal Victories gained by Her Majesty's Arms in the Year One Thousand Seven Hundred and Six; for, after the Reduction of the Dominions of the Electors of Bavaria and Cologne, with other important Conquests in Germany; after the entire Destruction of Three great Armies of France, in Flanders, Spain, and Piedmont; after the Allies had recovered The Spanish Netherlands, Milan, and other Territories in Italy; it might have been hoped, from the great Distress in which the Enemy then was, a just and reasonable Peace could have been obtained, since so much was at that Time gained from the Enemy; and so much more, in all Probability, would have been yielded by them, as would have fully answered the Ends of the Grand Alliance. Peace was at that Time sought by the Enemy: And the said Earl, who had the Honour to be then One of the principal Secretaries of State, owns, he then advised the accepting of it; and he humbly begs Leave to observe, that the War had been continued upon so unequal a Foot, that the Burthen of it annually increased, and at the Time when those Proposals were made by France was become almost insupportable. It had indeed been stipulated by the Grand Alliance, "That the Allies should assist one another with all their Forces, according to a Specification to be agreed on in a particular Convention for that Purpose;" but it doth not appear any such Convention was made, otherwise than as the House of Commons were informed by One of the Principal Secretaries of State to His late Majesty King William, "That, by the Proportions adjusted with The States, England was to furnish Two Parts of Five by Land, and The States the other Three; and England was to furnish Five Parts of Eight by Sea, and The States the other Three; but The States not always allowing themselves to be under an Obligation to furnish such Proportions, gave Occasion to England's bearing an unequal Part in the War, with respect to the Allies. The States had that prudent Regard to the frugal Ordering of their Affairs, that they frequently insisted they ought not to be pressed beyond their Ability, and made themselves the sole Judges of what came within the Compass of it; and by that Means avoided the supplying any Quota or Proportion which they thought improper for them to furnish. In the mean Time the Charge of the War was greatly increased upon the Subjects of Great Britain. In the Year One Thousand Seven Hundred and Two, it was under Four Millions; from thence it gradually increased till the Year One Thousand Seven Hundred and Six, the Charge of which Year amounted to above Five Millions and a Half; and still advancing till the Year One Thousand Seven Hundred and Eleven, it was then grown to near Seven Millions; and at the same Time there was a Debt contracted, not provided for by Parliament, amounting to Seven or Eight Millions, the very Interest of which, and other Debts wherein the Nation was involved, amounted to Three Millions per Annum; and the Revenues of Great Britain was under such Anticipations, that it was found difficult to raise above Two Millions and an Half for the growing Service, to be paid within the Compass of the Year; so that, when the Duties and Difficulties upon Trade and the Continuance of the Taxes upon Land (which had lain so heavy above Twenty Years) are considered, the said Earl believes it could not be thought for the public Interest to prolong the War, without an absolute Necessity: During this Time, The States had managed with so good Oeconomy, that the said Earl hath not heard of any additional Duty laid by them upon Trade, from the Year One Thousand Seven Hundred and Two, to the Year One Thousand Seven Hundred and Eleven; and what Acquisitions were made upon the Continent, during the Continuance of the War, though at the Expence of British Blood and Treasure, accrued to the Share of the Allies; and the Dutch, being under no Prohibition of Commerce with France, had a further Advantage of the British Merchants in respect to a free Trade. Although the Princes of the Empire were engaged by previous Treaties to furnish their Quotas to the common Cause; yet, when they were often pressed to do it, they alledged in Excuse, "that those Troops (which they were obliged to furnish at their own Expence) were in the Pay of the Crown of Great Britain;" the Emperor left it to Her Majesty to provide for those Troops which, by the Portugal Treaty in the Year One Thousand Seven Hundred and Three, He was to furnish; the King of Portugal not only neglected the Proportion of Twelve Thousand Foot and Three Thousand Horse, which by the said Treaty He was to provide at His own Expence, but even refused to permit the Eleven Thousand Foot and Two Thousand Horse (for which He had a Subsidy from Her Majesty) to be paid by Musters, according to an Article of that Treaty; and, when pressed to furnish his full Number of Troops, alledged His Inability for Want of that Part of the Subsidies which The States ought to have paid Him; so that almost the whole Charge of the War in Spain was left upon Her Majesty; The States having sent few or no Troops thither after the Battle of Almanza, and all the other Allies being likewise defective in their Proportions. This was the Condition of Affairs with respect to the Charge of the War; nor did there appear, from the then Situation of Affairs, any more promising Prospect with regard to the Event; for, although it had pleased God to bless Her Majesty's Arms with wonderful Success, at which the said Earl most sincerely rejoiced; yet it did not appear that, after the Year One Thousand Seven Hundred and Six, our Successes in other Parts had countervailed our Losses in Spain; for, after Two great Battles wherein we had been there defeated, after our Forces had been Twice obliged to retire from Madrid, and after the taking the British Troops at Brihuega, the Recovery of Spain (which was the main Article that retarded the Conclusion of the Peace at Gertruydenberg) seemed almost desperate; especially since the French, in the Year One Thousand Seven Hundred and Eleven, by their plentiful Vintages and Harvests, had well nigh recovered the Effects of the Famine; and since some of the Allies, at the same Time, made pressing Instances for re-calling Part of their Troops, as they had done frequently during the Course of the War; from whence it appears, how just the Grounds were, upon which both Houses of Parliament represented to Her Majesty, "that the War had been unequally carried on, and was at last become impracticable." And the said Earl humbly hopes, he shall not be thought to have designed any Disservice to his Country, if, in such a Condition of Affairs, he did not dissuade Her Majesty from hearkening to the Overtures of Peace made to Her from France; or if, during the Negotiations, he endeavoured, by corresponding, with Her Majesty's Knowledge and Approbation, in any Courts concerned therein, to rectify any Mistakes, or contribute in any Measure towards the Conclusion of a General Peace: But the said Earl believes, that, in all the Negotiations towards such Peace, the Allies had such Knowledge and Communication of all Measures therein taken by Her Majesty, as the Treaties Her Majesty was engaged in required; that the Propositions transmitted from France, about April One Thousand Seven Hundred and Eleven, were immediately communicated to the Pensionary and Ministers of Holland; that Her Majesty did at the same Time assure them of Her Resolution to act in Concert with them, in making Peace as in making War; that, when The States had expressed their Desires to be equal with those of Great Britain, for a general and lasting Peace, and had declared, "that they were ready to join in proper Measures to procure it, and desired France might explain itself more particularly upon the Points contained in those Propositions;" Her Majesty endeavoured to obtain such Explanations, and afterwards communicated them to The States: And, if Her Majesty thought it not expedient to proceed in the Method of a Preliminary Treaty, which had proved so ineffectual in the Years One Thousand Seven Hundred and Nine and One Thousand Seven Hundred and Ten, but thought it might be sufficient upon Articles signed by a Minister of France, by his Sovereign's Command, to open Conferences for a Peace; the said Earl humbly hopes, that this Proceeding will appear to be so far from being an unreasonable Deviation from the Methods of former Transactions in that Kind, that it will be justified by many Precedents of such Treaties. The said Earl can affirm, that, during the whole Negotiation, so far as he was concerned, he acted with a sincere Intention to obtain a general Peace, for the Welfare and Honour of Her Majesty and Her Kingdoms, and such as might give reasonable Satisfaction to Her Allies, and answer all the Obligations Her Majesty was under by any Treaties with any of the Confederates; and is not conscious to himself that he hath in any respect transgressed that Duty, which, as a Privy Counsellor or Officer of State, he did owe to Her Majesty or to the Public. He is not insensible that many of the Articles wherewith he stands charged are complicated with such Circumstances, Aggravations, and Inferences, as may render it difficult for him to acknowledge some Facts alledged, without acknowledging, or seeming at least to acknowledge, those Circumstances or Inferences: And as he is not conscious to himself of being guilty of any Crime he stands charged with; so he takes it to be agreeable to the common Course of Proceedings of this Nature, and to your Lordships Justice, that he should not admit any Circumstances which may tend to the Accusation of himself. He therefore begs Leave, that he may be allowed to distinguish between the Acts themselves, and the Inferences drawn from them; and that, wherever he acknowledges any Fact, he may not be understood to acknowledge those Consequences which are in the Articles deduced from it, unless it shall appear that the Consequence was the Aim and Design of the said Earl, or is the necessary Result of any Act he hath done.
"In Answer to the First Article; the said Earl saith, That he always had the greatest Regard to the Honour and Safety of Her late Majesty and Her Kingdoms, to all the Engagements She was under to the Allies of this Nation, and to the common Liberties of Europe; that he never was devoted to the Interest or Service of the French King; that he is not conscious to himself of having acted, whilst he had the Honour to be Her late Majesty's High Treasurer, or One of Her most Honourable Privy Council, contrary to his Oath, or in Violation of his Duty and Trust, or with Disregard to, much less Defiance of, any Treaties in the said Article mentioned, the Advices of Parliament, Her Majesty's Declarations from the Throne, or any mutual Assurances which had been made or renewed between Her Majesty and The States, to act in perfect Concert with each other, in making Peace as in making War: And he utterly denies that, in or about the Months of July or August One Thousand Seven Hundred and Eleven, or at any other Time, he did form any Contrivance or Confederacy to set on Foot a private, separate, dishonourable, or destructive, Negotiation of Peace, between Great Britain and France; nor doth he know of any such Contrivance or Confederacy formed by any of Her Majesty's Privy Council, or that such Negotiation was at any Time set on Foot. But the said Earl faith, he doth believe that, about the Month of April One Thousand Seven Hundred and Eleven, Her late Majesty did receive from France some Proposals, in order to set on Foot a Treaty for a general Peace, signed by Monsieur de Torcy, Secretary of State to the Most Christian King; which, as he believes, were immediately communicated by Her Ambassador in Holland to The States General; whereupon, as he has been informed, they "thanked Her Majesty for Her Confidence in Them, declared themselves to be weary of the War, and ready to join in any Measures Her Majesty should think proper for obtaining a good Peace; and that they hoped Her Majesty would bring the French to explain more particularly the several Points contained in the abovementioned Proposals;" or to that Effect: And that, after such Request, Her Majesty sent Mathew Prior Esquire to the Court of France, in order to obtain as full and ample an Explanation as he could of the First general Offers. But the said Earl denies that he did advise Her Majesty to send the said Mr. Prior to the Court of France, to make Propositions of Peace without communicating the same to Her Allies; or that the said Mr. Prior did, by his Advice or Privity, communicate any Propositions to the Ministers of France, wherein the Interests of Great Britain or the common Interest of Europe were betrayed; nor doth the said Earl know that the said Mr. Prior had any Power to communicate Propositions to the Ministers of France, which betrayed either the Interest of Great Britain, or the common Interest of Europe. Therefore the said Earl insists, that there is no Ground to charge him with the treacherous or pernicious Contrivances in this Article mentioned: And if any Article was inserted in any Propositions to be communicated by the said Mr. Prior, "that the Secret should be inviolably kept, till allowed to be divulged by the mutual Consent of both Parties;" yet the said Earl denies that such Article was inserted by his Advice; and if any such there was, he cannot, however, believe it was designed to exclude Her Majesty's Allies from the just Share in the said Negotiations: And hopes he may be allowed to observe, that in case any Instructions were given for not divulging Propositions which concerned Great Britain in particular, the same were far from manifesting such Design as is beforementioned; since it is well known to be the undoubted Right of every Member of a Confederacy, to demand particular Advantages for themselves, not inconsistent with their Alliances, and which are not to take Place but on the Conclusion of a general Peace; and it has been usual for those to whom the First Overtures of Peace are made, to make Demands for themselves in the First Place; as The States particularly did in the Negotiations at the Hague in the Year One Thousand Seven Hundred and Nine, and at Gertruydenberg in the Year One Thousand Seven Hundred and Ten. And though he apprehends that an Agreement not to divulge the Propositions without the mutual Consent of both Parties could not be to the Prejudice of the Allies; yet he believes that, in order to prevent any unreasonable Jealousies among them, even those Propositions which related to Great Britain in particular were communicated to them; and that it will likewise appear, that the Propositions signed by Monsieur de Torcy, and transmitted in the Month of April One Thousand Seven Hundred and Eleven, in the said Articles mentioned, whereby it is said, "the French King offered to treat with the Plenipotentiaries of England or Holland alone, or jointly with those of the Allies, at the Choice of England," were Proposals relating only to the Manner of Treating when the Conferences should be opened; and that Her Majesty was so far from taking upon Her to treat singly for the Allies, that She chose to have all the Parties admitted to the Congress, where they might have an Opportunity of treating, and adjusting their respective Interests; that being in Her Opinion the fairest Method of proceeding, most advantageous to the Confederates, and most likely to prevent Jealousies and Discords among them. And the said Earl faith, That He doth not know that any Negotiation of Peace was contrived or set on Foot, by any Persons employed in Her Majesty's Service, which was in any respect more advantageous to France than France had asked, or which had a Tendency to give the Enemy a Power to create Misunderstandings between Her Majesty and Her Allies, or to destroy the Confidence between them.
"In Answer to the Second Article; the said Earl faith, That he believes Monsieur Mesnager, a Subject of the French King, did, some Time in the Year One Thousand Seven Hundred and Eleven, with Her Majesty's Leave, come into the Kingdom of Great Britain, and bring with him a Letter from the said French King to Her late Majesty, acknowledging Her Majesty Queen of Great Britain, and likewise expressing a Desire to re-establish Peace with Her; and that he was furnished with full Powers from the said French King for that Purpose. The said Earl further faith, That it hath been the usual and allowed Practice in most Nations, especially in England, for Privy Counsellors, by verbal Orders from the Sovereign, to confer within the Realm with Ministers of Foreign Princes; and he conceives such Practice to be agreeable to the Laws of this Realm; and that full Powers are usually granted to Ministers who are sent Abroad, for the Justification of the Persons with whom they shall treat, rather than to justify such Ministers themselves. And the said Earl denies that he did, in the Month of September One Thousand Seven Hundred and Eleven, or at any other Time, secretly and unlawfully, or without Authority, confer or treat with the said Sieur Mesnager, on the Negotiations of Peace between Great Britain and France, or that he did advise or promote the making a private and separate Treaty or Agreement between the said Crowns; but he hath been informed, and doth believe, that there was a Paper, styled, "The Answer of France to the Preliminary Demands of Great Britain," more particularly signed by Monsieur Mesnager only; to which was subjoined a Declaration of the Queen's Acceptance of those Preliminary Articles as Conditions His most Christian Majesty consented to grant, which were to be reduced into the usual Form of Treaties, and explained after the most clear and most intelligible Manner to the common Satisfaction of Great Britain and France, and this only in case of a General Peace; and this Declaration, or some other Declaration to the like Effect, he believes might be signed by the Lord Dartmouth and Mr. Secretary St. John, as in the said Article is set forth: But the said Earl must crave Leave to submit it to the Judgement of your Lordships, whether a Paper of that Sort (if any such there was) containing Offers from France, which were not to take Effect but in case of a general Peace, can be called a separate Treaty: He believes the Allies had early Knowledge and Participation of the said Proposals from the Ministers of Great Britain; but denies that the Interests of Great Britain were thereby given up to France, or the Duke of Anjou admitted to be King of Spain; since, in the Declaration annexed to the said Proposals, he believes it is expressed, "that Her Majesty might in Justice expect the Securities and Advantages mentioned in those Proposals, what Prince soever he should be to whom the Monarchy of Spain should be allotted:" And the said Earl, recollecting as well as he can what were Her Majesty's Views at that Time, is persuaded, that Her Majesty had then a Prospect that the Monarchy of Spain would fall to the Share of another Prince. The said Earl denies that, by his Privity, Consent, or Advice, any private or separate Treaty or Agreement, whereby the Interests of Great Britain were given up to France, or the Duke of Anjou was admitted to be King of Spain, was agreed, concluded, or signed, by the said Sieur Mesnager on the Part of France, and by the Lord Dartmouth and Henry St. John, or either of them, in Behalf of Her late Majesty; much less did the said Earl at any Time assume to himself Regal Power, or take upon him to meet and treat with the Enemy without Authority from Her Majesty, or do any Thing to subvert the antient and established Constitution of the Government of these Kingdoms, or introduce any illegal or dangerous Methods of transacting the Affairs of State. And the said Earl further faith, That he did never aim at or endeavour, by any separate Treaty, to dissolve or cancel any of those solemn Treaties in which Her Majesty stood engaged to Her Allies; nor was he privy to any Treaty whereby the Queen was brought under a Dilemma, either to submit to the Dictates of France in the Progress of such Negotiation, or to lose the Considence of Her Allies.
"In Answer to the Third Article; the said Earl denies that, to disguise or carry on any private, separate, or dangerous Negotiations, he did contrive or advise the preparing and forming the Set of general Preliminaries in the Article mentioned, intituled, "Preliminary Articles on the Part of France, to come to a general Peace," or any other Set of general Preliminaries of like Nature, or that the same should be signed by the Sieur Mesnager; or that he did advise Her Sacred Majesty, that the same should be received by Her Majesty: But the said Earl hath been informed, that certain Articles, called, "Preliminary Articles on the Part of France, to come to a general Peace," signed by the Sieur Mesnager only, were received by Her Majesty; and believes the same might be communicated to the Ministers of the Allies then residing in England, as a Ground whereon the Confederates might treat or negotiate concerning a general Peace; but whether the same were communicated as the only Transactions that had been on that Subject between Great Britain and France, the said Earl knows not: But, since it is termed impious Advice, and contrary to the Duty and Trust of a Minister of State of Great Britain, to advise the receiving such Articles, the said Earl, from his Concern for the Honour of Her late Majesty's Administration, and the future Welfare of these Kingdoms, doth submit, whether it is criminal for such Minister to advise the receiving Articles from a Minister of a Prince in War, containing Proposals for giving reasonable Satisfaction to Great Britain and all Her Allies, and which, being signed by the Minister of that Prince only, were not intended to bind any other: And since Preliminary Articles are noessential Step towards a general Negotiation, there being, as he believes, but few Instances where any Matters of Importance have been settled before the Opening of general Conferences, the said Earl doth not conceive that, if any Minister of State had advised Her Majesty to accept the Preliminaries or Offers from France, said to be signed by Monsieur Mesnager, the Twenty-seventh Day of September One Thousand Seven Hundred and Eleven, as the Foundation of a Treaty, he had thereby offended against any known Law; since the Proceedings upon such Preliminaries could not be more unsafe than proceeding without any at all. The said Earl denies that any Treaty, signed by the Earl of Dartmouth or Mr. St. John, or either of them, on the Part of England, and the Sieur Mesnager on the Part of France (if any such there be), was industriously concealed from the Allies, Her Majesty's Council or Parliament, by his Advice or Contrivance; or that he dissuaded Her Majesty from laying any such Treaty before Her Allies, Her Council, or Parliament; or that he advised Her Majesty to receive the said general Preliminaries, or to communicate the same in Her Name, or by Her Authority, to The States General, as a sufficient Foundation whereon to open the Conferences of Peace with France. The said Earl hath been informed, and doth believe, that there were certain Instructions prepared and signed by Her Majesty, and delivered to the Earl of Strafford, Her Majesty's Ambassador to The States General, wherein the said Ambassador might be directed to represent to the Pensionary of Holland, and such others as should be appointed to confer with him, in such Manner as is set forth in this Article, or to the like Effect: But he denies that the said Instructions were prepared, signed, or delivered, by his Advice. Nevertheless, the said Earl believes the said Instructions were well warranted by the Truth of such Facts as in the said Article are set forth to be contained in those Instructions; since the said Earl hath had credible Information, that, after Her Majesty had received an Account of the Sense of some Persons in Holland, concerning the Overtures made by France for the setting a general Negotiation of Peace on Foot, very pressing Instances were made on Her Majesty's Behalf with the Enemy, to explain the First Offers made by Monsieur de Torcy more particularly, and to form a distinct Project of such a Peace as they were willing to conclude; and that such Instances had Effect, will appear from the Preliminaries, said to be signed by Monsieur Mesnager, September the Twenty-seventh One Thousand Seven Hundred and Eleven, wherein several Explications are made, and many Particulars of Moment are contained, which were not in the Propositions of Monsieur de Torcy. Wherefore the said Earl apprehends, that the Propositions said in this Article to be sent over to France (if any such were sent) were not so general as the Propositions of Monsieur de Torcy, nor in any respect ensuaring or destructive to the Interests of Great Britain or the Allies; but yet the said Earl believes, that Her Majesty, at the same Time She did communicate the said Preliminaries to The States General, did likewise order Her Ambassador to acquaint them, "That She judged those Articles did not contain such particular Concessions as France would be probably obliged to make in the Course of the Negotiations;" or to that Effect. If therefore Her Majesty did, for the Good and Ease of Her People, endeavour to prevail with Her Allies to enter into a Negotiation of Peace, and did communicate the said Preliminaries to them with that View; the said Earl cannot be induced to believe, that the said general Preliminaries, communicated to The States by Her Majesty in Manner aforesaid, were calculated to amuse and deceive them; nor doth the said Earl know, or believe, that Her Majesty's Instructions to Her said Ambassador, either in the Particulars abovesaid or in any other, contained Matters false, prevaricating, or evasive: And the said Earl must take the Liberty to affirm, that in the late Negotiations of Peace, as well as in all other public Transactions of State, as far as he was concerned, he acted with the highest Regard to the Honour of Her Majesty, and with the utmost Zeal for the Welfare both of Her and Her People; and is not conscious to himself, that he ever gave any Counsels, whereby the Truth and Sacredness, which ought to constitute and accompany the Instructions of Public Ambassadors to Princes in Friendship and Confederacy against the common Enemy, were in any Wise prostituted, or the Honour of Her Majesty and of the Imperial Crown of these Realms in any Sort debased or betrayed. And he humbly hopes no Instance can be given, wherein the Royal Hand of Her late Majesty was made the Instrument to advance the Interest of the common Enemy.
"In Answer to the Fourth Article; the said Earl doth not remember what Representations were made by Monsieur Buys to Her Majesty, in relation to the Propositions in the said Article mentioned. But saith, That if any Representations were made, the same were not rendered ineffectual by any Influence of the said Earl. And the said Earl doth admit, that, at a Committee of Council, there might be made some Declaration in Her Majesty's Name to M. Buys, to the Effect in the said Article mentioned; but doth not admit, that any such Declaration was made by him the said Earl, or by his Management or Contrivance; and the said Earl believes, that what was so declared to the said M. Buys was agreeable to Truth, and to the real Sentiments and Intentions of Her Majesty; nor doth he know, wherein the said (fn. 1) Article signed by Monsieur Mesnager, and accepted by the Lord Dartmouth and Mr. St. John (if any such were then signed) were inconsistent with such Declaration, or how Her Majesty was thereby dishonoured, or Her Allies abused; or that any Negotiation entered into with France was either dangerous in itself or fatal in its Consequences.
"In Answer to the Fifth Article; the said Earl admits, that Her Sacred Majesty Queen Anne did, in due Form of Law, and under Her Great Seal, constitute the Right Reverend John Lord Bishop of Bristol and the Earl of Strafford Her Plenipotentiaries, with full Powers, to meet, treat, and conclude, with the Plenipotentiaries of the Confederates, and those whom the French King should on His Part depute for that Purpose, the Conditions of a good and general Peace, that should be safe, honourable, and, as far as was possible, agreeable to the reasonable Demands of all Parties; and believes Instructions were prepared, and delivered to them, wherein they were instructed, among other Things, to the Effect in the said Article set forth; and is firmly persuaded, that, when the said Plenipotentiaries were so instructed to insist that Spain and The West Indies should not be allotted to the House of Bourbon, no Treaty had been negotiated and agreed, that Spain and The West Indies should remain in a Branch of that House; and he has Reason to believe, that, at the Time when the said Instructions were given to Her Majesty's said Plenipotentiaries, there was just Ground to believe that King Philip would be induced to abandon Spain and The West Indies, and content Himself with the Dominions of Savoy and the Kingdom of Sicily; and he believes he may so far depend on his Memory as to say, "That he heard the late Queen declare, She believed the Prospect King Philip had of succeeding to the Crown of France, would be an Inducement to Him to be easy with that Allotment;" and it seemed probable, that the Addition of the Dominions of Savoy to the Crown of France, in case King Philip should succeed to it, would be esteemed by the French Court as a Thing more to be desired by them, than that Spain and The Indies should remain in the Possession of a Younger Prince of the House of Bourbon, under the Condition of his renouncing the Right he would have to the Crown of France if the Eldest Branch should fail. These seem to him to have been Her Majesty's Views, at the Time when the said Instructions were given to the Bishop of Bristol and the Earl of Strafford: And he therefore believes, that whoever contrived or prepared the same, did prepare them conformable to Her Majesty's real Sentiments, and was far from any Thought or Design to abuse the Royal Authority, delude The States General, prejudice His Imperial Majesty or any of the Allies, or carry on the Measures of France. And if King Philip afterwards, upon Information that the then Dauphin was likely to live, or at the pressing Instances of the Spaniards and Influence of Spanish Councils, or upon any other Motives, refused to accept of Savoy and Sicily, and chose rather to renounce the French Monarchy; he thinks no Person who acts in the Service of the Crown can be safe, if it may be charged on him as a Crime, that he advised Instructions, which, by intervening Circumstances, afterwards became improper: But he the said Earl doth not admit that he contrived or prepared the said Instructions, or was consenting or advising to the contriving or preparing of them, or prevailed on Her Majesty to sign them; much less that he abused the Royal Authority to the Delusion of The States General, or intended the Prejudice of His Imperial Majesty or any of the Allies, or was engaged to carry on the Measures of France, or had, when the said Instructions were prepared, negotiated or agreed with the Ministers of France, that Spain and The West Indies should remain in a Branch of the House of Bourbon, or had prevailed on Her Majesty to be Party to any private Treaty wherein the same is necessarily implied. If the Plenipotentiaries were instructed, "That in case the Enemy should object, that the Second Article of the Seven signed by Monsieur Mesnager implied the Duke of Anjou should continue on the Throne of Spain, to insist that those Articles were binding to France, but laid neither the Queen nor Her Allies under any Obligation;" the said Earl doth not apprehend how an Instruction to Her Majesty's Plenipotentiaries, to make a just Answer to a false Inference that might happen to be drawn by the Enemy from the Words of such an Article, can be interpreted an entering into a Confederacy or Collusion with the Ministers of the Enemy; or that Her Majesty's Consent to such Instructions could imply any Design to impose on His Imperial Majesty or the Allies, or to conceal any Negotiations between Great Britain and France. But the said Earl is consident it will not appear, by any of his Actions, on the strictest Scrutiny, that he ever entered into any Confederacy or Collusion with the Ministers of the Enemy, or prevailed on the Queen to give Her Consent thereto, or had any Designs to impose upon His Imperial Majesty or any of the Allies, or ever was privy to any secret Negotiations or separate Treaty between Great Britain and France, whereby, either in the before-mentioned or in any other Particulars, any Reproach could be brought on the Crown of these Realms, or any Treaties wherein Her Majesty was engaged to Her Allies were violated.
"In Answer to the Sixth Article; the said Earl doth admit, that, after the Conferences of Peace between the Plenipotentiaries of the Allies and those of the Enemy for negotiating a general Peace were opened, wherein he is persuaded Her Majesty and Her Ministers did act in perfect Considence with the Allies, in order to promote their common Interest, and to obtain from the Enemy all just and reasonable Satisfaction, the Progress of the said Negotiation was delayed by Debates concerning the Enemies Refusal to give their Answer in Writing to the Demands of the Allies; but he doth not know that any of the Ministers of Great Britain did, by any Encouragement or Concurrence, contribute thereunto. And if during that Time Her Majesty thought fit to authorize any of Her Ministers to write or negotiate upon any particular Points relating to the Peace, directly from England to France, in order to facilitate the general Negotiation of Peace, which he the said Earl doth not admit to have been done by his Privity; yet he the said Earl doth not apprehend that, by the Constitution of the Kingdom or any Law in being, the Queen was debarred from doing so; or that, by constituting the said Plenipotentiaries, She had so far delegated to them Her Royal Authority, as to be disabled, without revoking their Commission, to treat or negotiate any Matters conducing to that End, in such other Manner as She should think fit. The said Earl saith, That he did not advise, contrive, or promote, any private, separate, or unjustifiable Negotiation with France; nor doth he know any Negotiation relating to the Peace was carried on without Communication thereof to the Allies. And the said Earl denies that he ever assumed Regal Authority; or that he treated of Peace with France in any Manner that could be liable to such Imputation; or did promote the Design of the Enemy, to the Destruction of the common Cause of Her Majesty or of Her Allies, contrary to the Laws or Constitution of this Kingdom, or in Violation of any of the Alliances Her Majesty stood engaged in, or of the Assurances given by Her Majesty, or of Her Instructions to Her Plenipotentiaries; or that any Terms of Peace were by him at any Time concerted. prejudicial to the Interest of Her Majesty, or Her Kingdoms or Allies, or whereby the good Effects of the general Negotiation were defeated.
In Answer to the Seventh Article the said Earl saith, That he never advised Her late Majesty to accept of a Treaty with France, on a Supposition that the Spanish Monarchy should continue in the Possession of a Branch of the House of Bourbon; nor did he advise or carry on any private or separate Negotiation with France, on the Subject of a Renunciation to be made by the Duke of Anjou of the Right he might have to the Kingdom of France, and that such Renunciation should be the Security against the Re-union of the Two Kingdoms; or that by his Counsels Her Majesty was prevailed on to accept, and finally to conclude and ratify, a Treaty of Peace with France, wherein the said Renuciation is taken as a sufficient Expedient to prevent the Mischiefs that threatened all Europe, in case the Crowns of France and Spain should be united upon the Head of One and the same Person; nor doth he know that, during the said Negotiation, any such Memorial as in the said Article is set forth was transmitted by the said Monsieur de Torcy to any of Her Majesty's Principal Secretaries of State: But he the said Earl doth freely acknowledge, that, if he had been called upon to give his Opinion concerning the leaving of Spain and The West Indies in the Possession of a Branch of the House of Bourbon, and accepting the Renunciation of his Right to the Kingdom of France by the Duke of Anjou; he doth not at present see any Reason why he might not have been of Opinion for leaving Spain and The West Indies to the present Possessor, and accepting the Renunciation, rather than have continued the War, so burthensome to the People, and so impracticable upon the Foot on which it then stood; especially since all Endeavours to remove him by Treaties or Force had so long proved ineffectual: And in case any such Memorial as is set forth in the said Article was sent by any Minister of France to the Secretary of the late Queen, he should look upon the same as a Proof of the Earnestness of the Court of France to avoid such Renunciation, which might more effectually prevent all possibility of annexing the Crown of Spain to that of France. But, whatever Inducements might be for such a Memorial (if any such was transmitted), the said Earl doth affirm, that he never gave any Counsels, by which the Interest of the common Cause could be betrayed into the Hands of the Enemy; nor doth he think it was possible, by any Power and Influence, to engage Her Majesty to become Party with France in any Deceit; but whatever Credit he at any Time had by Her Favour, he always used it, with the utmost Sincerity, for Her Service and the Good of Her People."
"In Answer to the Eight Article; the said Earl believes that Her late Majesty Queen Anne did, on the Seventh Day of December in the Year of our Lord One Thousand Seven Hundred and Eleven, recommend it from the Throne, "that Provision might be made for an early Campaign, in order to carry on the War with Vigour, and as the best Way to render the Treaty of Peace effectual;" and he doth believe that, in order thereto, Supplies were granted, and Magazines provided at a great Expence, for an early Campaign; and that, in Pursuance thereof, Her Majesty might send some General Officers to explain Her Intentions to Her Allies; and likewise instructed Her General the Duke of Ormonde to declare Her Resolutions of carrying on the War, and to concert with the Generals of the Allies the proper Measures for entering upon Action: And he doth believe that the Confederate Army was provided with all Necessaries; but whether the said Army had approached, or how near they had approached, to the Enemy; whether they had any, or what, Superiority as to the Number of Troops; or what Likelihood there was that they would have been able, either by Battle or Siege, to have bettered the Affairs of the Allies, or to have facilitated the Negotiations of Peace, the said Earl is not able to say: But it must be obvious to every one, that any Miscarriage or Disaster on the Part of the Allies, at such a Juncture, must have been fatal to them; and though the Divine Assistance had been very remarkable in the many Victories Her Majesty's Forces had obtained, yet Her Majesty's Piety was so great, that it is not likely She should, without the greatest Necessity, have been willing to have tempted that Providence which had been so signal in Her Favour, by hazarding the Blood of Her Subjects, at a Time when She had so near a Prospect of the Conclusion of a Peace: And the said Earl believes it might be owing to this Piety of the Queen, and her Knowledge of some important Matters then depending, that Directions were sent to the Duke of Ormond (if any such were sent) to avoid engaging in any Siege, or hazarding any Battle, till further Orders; which he supposeth Her Majesty might do upon any Causes She thought proper, as well as the Deputies of The States; who, as the said Earl hath been informed, have often refused to engage in Siege or Battle upon such Ground as they alone thought fit, when their own Generals and the Generals of the other Allies were of Opinion they had a visible Advantage of the Enemy, and might engage in such Siege or Battle with great Probability of Success. But he doth affirm, that the Ministers of France never represented to him, or to any others as far as he knows, during any Negotiation, any Apprehensions they had from the Bravery and good Disposition of the Confederate Army; nor was he ever informed of any sure Prospect, which, it is alledged, the Army of the Confederates then had, of gaining new Conquests over the Army of France, or whereby they would have been enabled to have forced any better Terms of Peace than there was at that Time Likelihood of; but, on the contrary, he has been informed, that the Forces of France were superior in Number to those of the Confederates, especially in Horse. However, the said Earl doth not admit that he did advise or consent that any Order should be dispatched in Her Majesty's Name to the Duke of Ormond to the aforementioned Effect; nor had he any View or Design to disappoint the Expectations of the Allies, or to give Success to any secret Negotiations with the Ministers of France: The said Earl likewise denies that he did consent or advise that Orders should be sent to the Bishop of Bristol, One of Her Majesty's Plenipotentiaries then at Utrecht, to declare to the Dutch Ministers, "That Her Majesty looked on Herself, from their Conduct, to be then under no Obligation whatsoever to them." He doth not know what Alarm the Allies might take, or what Representations they made to the Bishop of Bristol of their Dissatisfaction or Consternation; but doubts not the said Bishop would readily represent what they desired, though such Representation made by his Lordship, if any such there was, fell not under the Knowledge of the said Earl; nor doth he admit that any Application of that Kind was made to him: And in case The States General made such Address directly to Her Majesty, by a Letter of the Fifth Day of June, as in the said Article is set forth; he the said Earl, not being acquainted therewith, could neither advise Her Majesty to hearken to the Instances therein made, nor to disregard or reject the same. He faith, he never entered into Measures for the Advancement of the Interest of the common Enemy; or countenanced, encouraged, advised, or promoted, any Negotiations with France, without Participation of the Allies, or contrary to Her Majesty's Engagement, or to the Ruin of the common Cause; nor is he conscious to himself, that he ever gave any Counsels, by which the Progress of the victorious Arms of the Confederates was stopped, or any Opportunity lost for conquering the Enemy, or which had any Tendency to destroy the Confidence between Her Majesty and Her Allies, or make the French King Master of the Negotiations of Peace, or which could put the Affairs of Europe into his Hands.
"In Answer to the Ninth Article; the said Earl denies he was privy or consenting to any Concert with the Ministers of France, for the separating the Troops in Her Majesty's Pay from the rest of the Confederate Army; and, not being privy to any such Concert, he hopes it will not be imputed to him as any Want of Duty, that he did not advise against such a Proceeding. He denies also that he ever entertained the least Design of imposing upon the Allies any Necessity of submitting to the Terms of France, or of leaving the Confederate Army to the Mercy of the Enemy; or that he did consent, or advise Her Majesty, that the Duke of Ormonde and the Troops in Her Majesty's Pay, or such of them as would obey his Orders, should separate themselves from the Army of the Confederates. The said Earl hath been informed, and believes it to be true, that the Imperial General and some other Generals did propose to the Duke of Ormonde, in June or July in the Year One Thousand Seven Hundred and Twelve, to decamp from the Ground where they lay, and to proceed towards Landrecy, in order to form the Siege of that Place; and that the Duke of Ormonde thought it not proper to consent thereto, and gave Notice to the said Generals, "That, if they decamped, they must not expect him to follow them." And the said Earl believes Instances may be given, where Generals of other Potentates in the Alliance have refused to comply with what has been proposed to them by Her late Majesty's General. The said Earl hath likewise heard, that, notwithstanding such Notice from the Duke of Ormonde, the said Generals separated themselves and their Forces from the said Duke, and marched towards Landrecy without him; and that the said Duke continued for some Time in his former Camp after such Separation; and that the Generals of the Auxiliary Troops paid by Her Majesty, although required by the said Duke of Ormonde, under whose Command they then were, to continue with him and to obey his Orders, refused so to do. He the said Earl. supposes it might proceed from Her Majesty's Resentment of that Instance of Disobedience in the Auxiliary Troops to the Commands of Her General, that She did not think fit immediately to pay the Arrears of those Forces, which had so obstinately withdrawn themselves from Her General, and marched without him towards Landrecy; as not apprehending Herself obliged by any Conventions, or the Provision of any Act of Parliament, so to do. But, whatever might be the Causes or Occasions of Her Majesty's Resentment, the said Earl saith, That he, being in the Office of High Treasurer under Her Majesty, could not, by the Duty of his Place, issue out any Monies without a proper Warrant or Authority from Her Majesty; and denies that he ever received any Warrant or Authority from Her Majesty for issuing any Sum or Sums of Money, for or towards the Pay or Subsidies on Account of the said Foreign Troops who had so separated; without which, the issuing or directing any Monies for the Payment of them had been a Violation of his Duty. And the said Earl denies that he did at any Time refuse or put a Stop to any such Pay or Subsidies; but, on the contrary, when the Ministers of the Princes to whom those Forces belonged did apply for the Payment of the said Troops, the said Earl desired them to make Application to Her Majesty for the necessary Warrants, in order thereunto. And as the said Earl had no Notice of any Separation intended between Her Majesty's Forces and those of the Allies before the same was made; so he absolutely denies that, by his Advice or Counsel, or with his Privity, any such Separation was made; and humbly apprehends, that he ought not in Justice to be charged with any Consequences of it. He believes that the Forces of some of the Allies were engaged in the unfortunate Action of Denain; and that the Siege of Landrecy was raised, and the Towns of Quesnoy, Bouchain, and Doway, were some Time after re-taken, by the French Army. But whether those Disasters might not have have been prevented by a Compliance with the Measures Her Majesty had taken for the common Good, the said Earl submits to your Lordships.
"In Answer to the Tenth Article; the said Earl denies that he did carry on or concert with the Ministers of France a private or separate Negotiation for a general Suspension by Sea and Land between Great Britain and France; or that he did advise Her Majesty to send over Henry Viscount Bolingbroke to the Court of France, with Powers to settle such Suspension: But hath been informed, and believes it may be true, that, about the Nineteenth of August, N. S. One Thousand Seven Hundred and Twelve, a Suspension of Arms was agreed on in France, by the said Viscount Bolingbroke on Her Majesty's Part, for Four Months; but whether such Agreement was made without the Knowledge or Participation of Her Majesty's Allies, or how far the Terms of Peace were then settled with France, either for Great Britain or the Allies, the said Earl is not able to set forth; but, from the Informations he hath received of that Affair, believes it will appear that the said Suspension was a Continuation only of a former Agreement for a Cessation of Arms, which had been not only communicated to the Allies, but into which they had been invited; and believes Her Majesty might be induced to desire such Cessation, as what was usual amongst Princes and States in War, during Negotiations of Peace; by which Means the British Merchants enjoyed a free Trade, and had an Opportunity of carrying the Merchandizes of other Countries to several Parts of Europe, as the Dutch had done during the War: And therefore the said Earl doth not conceive that Her Majesty, by the said Suspension, did in the least intend the Violation of any Treaties between Her and Her Allies, or to deprive them of any Assistance to which they were entitled, or expose them to the Insults of the common Enemy; nor doth he discern how these Consequences could ensue, without the Default of the Allies themselves; much less how the Ties of Union and Friendship between Her Majesty and them were cut asunder, or Her Majesty's Person or Government, or the Safety of Her Kingdoms, or the Protestant Succession, were exposed thereby: But the said Earl assures himself, that he shall never stand chargeable with any Consequences of such Suspension, which he never advised; nor did he the said Earl ever entertain the least Thought or Design of occasioning the Destruction of the common Cause of Europe, or hindering Her Majesty from resuming the War against France in Conjunction with Her Allies, if it had been so thought fit, or of weakening the Union between Her Majesty and them.
"In Answer to the Eleventh Article; the said Earl saith, he believes it to be true, that, in or about the Months of September or October One Thousand Seven Hundred and Twelve, The States General were in Possession of the Town and Fortress of Tournay; and that Her Majesty, in Her Instructions of December the Twenty-third One Thousand Seven Hundred and Eleven, to Her Plenipotentiaries at Utrecht, did direct them to insist with the Plenipotentiaries of France, in the General Congress, "That, towards forming a Barrier for The State General, Tournay should remain to The States; and doth believe the French King did at one Time incline thereunto; but doth not know that Her Majesty, in Her Speech in the said Article mentioned, did declare Herself as in the said Article is set forth. The said Earl admits that, until and after the Months of September and October One Thousand Seven Hundred and Eleven, there was open War between Her late Majesty and the French King, and that during such War the French King and His Subjects were Enemies to the late Queen; but the said Earl hath been informed, and believes, that full Powers were given by Her Majesty and The States General of the United Provinces to Their respective Ministers, and by the French King to His Ministers, to negotiate and treat of Peace between Her Majesty and The States General and the said French King, upon which Negotiations a Peace was afterwards concluded between Them: During which Negotiations, he hath heard that the French King did insist upon the yielding up the Town and Fortress of Tournay, by The States to Him; and the said States General desired Her Majesty's Interposition with the French King on their Behalf; and that, at such Request, Her Majesty interposed Her best Offices on Behalf of The States General; and did at last prevail, that the said Town and Fortress of Tournay should be (and he believes the same is) continued to The States General, as Part of their Barrier. But the said Earl absolutely denies that he did design to give Aid or Succour, or to adhere to the French King; or that he did, in or about the Month of October One Thousand Seven Hundred and Twelve, or at any other Time during the said War, aid, help, or assist, or adhere to, the said French King; or that he did ever counsel or advise the said Enemy, in what Manner, or by what Methods, the said Town and Fortress of Tournay, or either of them, might be gained from The States General to the French King; in Manner and Form as in the said Article is charged: On the contrary, he the said Earl did use his best Offices to preserve the said Town and Fortress of Tournay to The States General. But the said Earl saith, That, during the Negotiations of the late Peace, he had the Honour to be One of Her said late Majesty's Privy Council; and whatever Counsel or Advice he gave relating to any Terms of the said Peace, he acted therein as a Privy Counsellor and Minister of State, and no otherwise; and doth insist, that for any Privy Counsellor, or Minister of State, during the Negotiations of Peace, to advise or negotiate concerning the yielding or giving up any Town, Province, or Dominion, upon the Conclusion of the Peace, as Part of the Terms and Conditions of such Peace, is not High Treason by any Law of this Realm; and that such Construction might hereafter deprive the Crown of the Advice and Assistance of several Members of the Privy Council in Matters of the greatest Importance, by deterring them from giving such Advice as by their Oaths and the Duty of their Place they are obliged to do; would overthrow all Means of restoring Amity between Princes, and render the Law in Case of High Treason uncertain (which, by Reason of its being the most Penal, ought to be most plain); and would be highly dangerous and destructive to the Lives and Liberties of the Subject.
"In Answer to the Twelfth Article; the said Earl, not admitting that Her late Majesty Queen Anne stood engaged by Treaties in Manner as in the said Article is alledged; but referring himself to the Treaties when they shall be produced; for Answer, denies that he did, in any of the Years One Thousand Seven Hundred and Ten, One Thousand Seven Hundred and Eleven, and One Thousand Seven Hundred and Twelve, or at any other Time, aid, help, assist, or adhere to, the Duke of Anjou in the said Article named; or advise or counsel any of the Enemies of Her said late Majesty, or concert with any of them, or promote the yielding or giving up Spain and The West Indies, or any Part therof, to the said Duke of Anjou, in Manner and Form as in the said Article is alledged. And the said Earl saith, as in his Answer to the Eleventh Article he hath already said, That, during the Negotiations of the late Peace, he had the Honour to be One of Her said late Majesty's Privy Council; and whatever Counsel or Advice he gave relating to any Terms of the said Peace, he acted therein as a Privy Counsellor and Minister of State, and no otherwise; and insists as in his Answer to the Eleventh Article he has insisted.
"In Answer to the Thirteenth Article; the said Earl admits, that the flourishing Condition of Trade and Navigation contributes much to the Riches, Power, and Strength, of these Kingdoms; and believes that Her late Majesty had a just Regard thereto, and a sincere Desire to obtain some Advantages therein for Her People; and did make the several Declarations from the Throne, set forth in this Article; and that both Houses of Parliament did from Time to Time express their grateful Acknowledgements to Her Majesty, for the great Care and Concern for the Welfare of Her People: And believes Her Majesty might think it reasonable, considering the Share and Burden She and Her People had sustained in the War, that France should in the First Place adjust the Interests of Great Britain, which were to be secured on the Conclusion of a general Peace; but the said Earl doth not know, or believe, that, at the setting on Foot, or in the Progress of, any Negotiation between the Ministers of Great Britain and France, it was laid down as a Principle, that France should in the First Place consent to adjust the Interests of Great Britain, to the Intent that the Ministers of Great Britain might thereby be enabled to engage the Queen to make the Conclusion of the Peace easy to France; nor doth he know that any Concessions were made by the Ministers of Great Britain, with Intent to promote the Interests of France against the Allies; or that any Measures were entered into or concerted between them, in order to strengthen the Hands of the French, or to enable them to impose the Terms of a general Peace: And the said Earl doth absolutely deny that he was engaged, in Concert with France, in any Negotiation destructive to his Country; or that he ever had the least Imagination or Thought tending that Way, or to the sacrificing the Commerce of Great Britain to the Aggrandizement of France: But, on the contrary, he hath always had the most real and sincere Desires to secure and advance the Commerce of Great Britain, and to preserve his Country; in whose Service he hath been always ready to sacrifice himself and every private Interest whatsoever. And the said Earl is not conscious to himself of any Want of Duty, either in not insisting upon, or not procuring, the most certain Securities that could be obtained, for the Safety and Advantage of the Commerce of these Kingdoms: And the said Earl doth not admit, that he did advise Her late Majesty that any Propositions should be sent by Mr. Prior to France; or that any private or separate Treaty, or the Preliminary Articles, which are said to be signed the Twenty-seventh Day of September One Thousand Seven Hundred and Eleven, should be signed: But the said Earl hath been informed, and believes, that, in a Paper, intituled, "The Answer of France to the Demands of Great Britain more particularly," it is said, "That the entire Restitution of Newfoundland and of the Bay and Streights of Hudson was demanded for the English;" and that the French King's Answer was, "That the Discussion of that Article should be referred to the general Conferences of the Peace; provided the Liberty of fishing and drying of Codfish upon the Isle of Newfoundland should be reserved to the French:" And the said Earl conceives that Paper not conclusive; but was to be the Subject of future Conferences, wherein the whole Matter might be entirely considered; and consequently, that the entering into Conferences on that Paper, was not the yielding to the French the Liberty of fishing and drying Fish on Newfoundland, which they insisted on: And the said Earl denies that he advised the Demands of Great Britain, in Point of Commerce, should be made in loose, general, or insufficient Terms; or that he advised the Liberties insisted on by the French should be given up to France, as in the said Article is alledged: And he believes, that when it is considered what Advantages were likely to ensue to the Commerce of Great Britain, by the Assiento Contract and the Liberty of Trading to The Spanish West Indies, by the Cession of Accadia, the Bay and Streights of Hudson, the Island of St. Christopher, Newfoundland, the Island of St. Peter, with other adjacent Islands, by the Demolition of Dunkirk, and the Cession of Port Mahone and Gibraltar, it will not be thought the Commerce of Great Britain was neglected by Her Majesty in the late Treaties of Peace: And as the said Earl doth not know that France was at any Time Master of the Negotiations; so he denies that he did engage Her Majesty in any private Treaties with France, without Security for the Commerce of Great Britain; or that he did contrive, with any of the Ministers of France, to keep in Suspense any Matters that concerned the said Commerce; or that he was any Ways instrumental to the preventing any Advantages of the said Commerce from being settled; or that he endeavoured to elude any Thing that had been agreed on in any Negotiations for the Benefit of Great Britain. And although the said Earl doth not admit that he advised the Ninth Article of the Treaty of Commerce with France; yet he begs Leave to observe, that nothing is positively stipulated in that Article; but the Whole is conditional, and left to be determined by the Wisdom of Parliament; and hopes it will never be thought an Act of Treachery, to refer any Article of any Treaty to the Judgement and Consideration of Parliament, whatever Judgement the Parliament shall think fit to make thereon. And the said Earl denies that he advised Her Majesty to agree with France, that the Subjects of France should have Liberty of fishing and drying Fish on Newfoundland; but the said Earl believes, that what Her late Majesty agreed with France relating thereto will not seem unreasonable, if it be considered that the French long ago claimed a Right to, and were in Possession of, great Part of Newfoundland; and that they were allowed to continue in Possession thereof by the Crown of England, in a Treaty made at Whitehall in the Year One Thousand Six Hundred Eighty-six, and in another Treaty made at Ryswick in the Year One Thousand Six Hundred Ninetyseven: And the said Earl doth not know that such Agreement of Her Majesty is contrary to the express Provision of any Act of Parliament; since, he presumes, the Act made in the Tenth and Eleventh Years of the Reign of King William the Third, intituled, "An Act to encourage the Trade to Newfoundland," cannot reasonably be intended or construed to extend to any Part of the Island, other than what was at the Time of making that Act in the Possession of the English; and the said Earl is informed, that at that Time the Part of Newfoundland, where the Subjects of France are, by the Treaty of Utrecht, allowed the Liberty of fishing and drying Fish, was not in the Possession of the English. The said Earl denies that he advised Her Majesty to make a Cession to France of the Isle of Cape Breton; or that he advised Her Majesty to consent that what is agreed in the Treaty of Utrecht concerning the Fishery of Newfoundland or Cape Breton should be made an Article in that Treaty: However, the said Earl doth not know that Cape Breton was Part of the Territories of the Crown of Great Britain; nor doth he apprehend that Her Majesty, who, in Her Speech from the Throne, declared, "That France had consented to make an absolute Cession of Annapolis, with the rest of Nova Scotia or Accadie," should be understood to speak of Cape Breton, which is no Part of that Continent, but an Island distinct from it. The said Earl further saith, he conceives that the only Advantages in Trade stipulated for Great Britain did not depend on Conditions to be made good by Act of Parliament; on the contrary, he doubts not to make it appear, that many Advantages in Trade were stipulated for Great Britain in the late Treaties of Peace and Commerce, which have been enjoyed by the Subjects of Great Britain since the Conclusion of the said Treaties, notwithstanding the Parliament has not thought fit to make any Act to enforce the Ninth Article of the Treaty of Commerce with France: And the said Earl denies that by his Counsel the good Intentions of Her Sacred Majesty to have obtained for Her People advantageous Terms of Commerce were frustrated, or the Trade or Manufactures of Great Britain rendered precarious or at the Mercy of the Enemy, or any beneficial Branch of Trade yielded up to the Subjects of France. And as the said Earl disowns the being concerned in any Violation of Treaties, or in carrying on the Measures of France, or in any Negotiation which could terminate in the Sacrifice of the Commerce of Great Britain to France; so he observes with great Satisfaction the flourishing Condition of the Trade and Navigation of these Kingdoms, since the Conclusion and by Means of the late Peace, in the great Increase of the Number and Tonnage of Shipping, of the Exportation of the Woollen Manufactures, the Fish, and other Produce of this Kingdom; in Consequence whereof, the Customs have been greatly advanced, near Three Millions of Gold and Silver hath been coined, and the Exchange has been all along in Favour of England to and from all Parts of Europe.
"In Answer to the Fourteenth Article; the said Earl doth not admit that he formed any Project or Design for disposing the Kingdom of Sicily to the Duke of Savoy from the House of Austria; or that he did advise Her Majesty to give any such Instructions to Henry Viscount Bolingbroke as in the said Article mentioned, or to consent to any Treaty wherein a Cession is made of the said Kingdom to his Royal Highness, without any Concurrence or Participation of His Imperial Majesty; nor doth he admit that Her Majesty was prevailed on by his Advice to assist his said Royal Highness with Her Fleet against the Emperor, in order to obtain the Possession of that Kingdom; but, in Justification of Her Majesty's Proceedings in relation to the said Kingdom, the said Earl doth beg Leave to observe, that, by the grand Alliance, it was agreed, among other Things, "That the Confederates should use their utmost Endeavours to recover the Kingdom of Sicily out of the Hands of the Enemy:" And that the principal Ends for endeavouring the Recovery of Sicily were, "That His Imperial Majesty might have a reasonable Satisfaction for His Pretension to the Spanish Monarchy; and that the Trade and Navigation of the Subjects of Great Britain and Holland might thereby be better secured:" Since, therefore, the Empire and Hereditary Countries of Austria were now fallen to Charles the Third, who, at the Time of that Treaty, was a Younger Branch of that House; since several Towns in The French Flanders, which were not in the Possession of King Charles the Second at the Time of His Death, together with Spanish Flanders, Milan, and Naples, might seem a reasonable Satisfaction for His Imperial Majesty's Pretensions to the Spanish Succession; and since the Trade and Navigation of the Subjects of Great Britain and Holland would be as effectually secured by the Disposition of the said Kingdom of Sicily to the Duke of Savoy, as if the said Kingdom had fallen to the Share of the Emperor; and greater Difficulties would be likely to arise in obtaining the Disposition thereof to the House of Austria than to that Duke, inasmuch as King Philip might be more easily induced to yield it to the Duke of Savoy than to so potent a Prince as the Emperor; and there were Grounds to believe that all or most of the Princes and States of Italy were so apprehensive of the growing Power of the House of Austria in Italy, that they would suffer any Extremities, rather than submit that Sicily, together with Milan and Naples, should be in the Hands of the Emperor; the said Earl doth not discern how any Project to dispose the said Kingdom to that Duke could be thought unjust, dishonourable, or pernicious, or an Act of Injustice to His Imperial Majesty, or Violation of the grand Alliance; nor doth the said Earl remember in what respect it was contradictory to any Declaration of Her Majesty, or the Instructions She had given Her Plenipotentiaries: And in case Her Majesty thought fit afterwards to employ any Part of Her Fleet to assist that Duke, Her good and faithful Ally, to take Possession of that Kingdom from the Enemy, in Consideration of the said Duke's steady Adherence to the Confederacy and great Sufferings by such Adherence, he the said Earl is not able to discover why such Assistance might not be given to the said Duke, as well as to any other of Her Allies whatsoever: And since it is allowed by this Article, that the then Duke of Savoy never made any Application in order to obtain the said Kingdom for himself; it seems an Evidence, at least, that the Person or Persons who advised the late Queen to agree to such Allotment did not act upon any private Interest; or had any other View than the Preservation of a Balance of Power in Europe, and the Security of the Trade and Navigation of the Subjects of Great Britain and Holland; and cannot reasonably be thought, upon a fair and candid Interpretation, to have been guilty of betraying the National Faith or Honour of the Crown, or employing the Naval Power of these Kingdoms, or the Supplies granted by Parliament, against any Ally of this Kingdom.
"In Answer to the Fifteenth Article; the said Earl saith, he is and always was of Opinion, that the Word of the Sovereign is sacred; and that all Communications from the Throne to Parliament ought to be true; and that it becomes all Ministers of State, as far as in them lies, to maintain the Honour of the Crown, in such Cases, with the utmost Exactness: Nor doth the said Earl know that he hath at any Time been defective in his Duty in this Particular; or ever took upon himself any arbitrary or unwarrantable Authority, much less the chief Direction and Influence in Her Majesty's Councils; nor did he ever prostitute the Honour of the Crown, or Dignity of Parliament, by misrepresenting any Part of the late Negotiations of Peace, to deceive either Her Majesty, Her Allies, Her Parliament, or Her People; nor did he ever prepare, form, or concert, or advise Her Majesty to make, any Speech or Declaration from the Throne to Her Parliament, that was not conformable to Truth. He believes Her Majesty might make several Speeches from the Throne, to Her Parliament, at the several Times in the said Article mentioned, to which the said Earl refers; and particularly, that Her Majesty did, on the Seventh Day of December One Thousand Seven Hundred and Eleven, declare, "That Her Allies, especially The States General, had, by their ready Compliance for opening a Treaty of a general Peace, expressed their Confidence in Her." But the said Earl, not admitting there were such Representations as suggested in this Article, begs Leave, in Vindication of the Honour of His Royal Mistress, who was a Princess of strict Piety and Truth, to observe, that The States General sent over M. Buys to Her Majesty, with Letters full of Assurances of their Respect for Her Person, and their Resolutions not to separate themselves from Her; and likewise signified by him to Her Ministers, their Readiness to concur with Her Majesty; and the said M. Buys, immediately upon his Arrival at London, delivered Passports for the French Ministers to come to Utrecht; and, at a Meeting of several Lords of the Council, shewed his Approbation of sending circular Letter to invite the rest of the Allies to the general Congress: And the said M. Buys exhibited full Powers for preparing and signing a new Treaty, whereby Her Majesty and The States should be mutually engaged to each other in making War and Peace, to guaranty the Peace when made, and to invite the rest of the Allies into such Guaranty. All which Matters and Transactions being previous to the Seventh of December One Thousand Seven Hundred and Eleven, Her Majesty might justly regard the aforesaid authentic Acts and Assurances as greater Proofs of the Confidence The States had in Her, and of their Readiness to concur with Her, than any Representations or Reports before that Time; and that the said Declaration of Her Majesty from the Throne was founded upon the strictest Truth. And the said Earl believes, that every one who impartially considers the Steps taken in the late Negotiations of Peace, the Length of the Treaty, the several Letters from One of Her Majesty's Principal Secretaries of State to Her Plenipotentiary at Utrecht, the Ratification of the Engagement signed by Her Ministers and M. Buys the Eighteenth of December One Thousand Seven Hundred and Eleven, and Her exhorting The States to ratify the same; Her pressing Instances to the Princes and States of the Empire, and the many other Acts which were done by Her Majesty's Orders, during that Transaction, for the Service and Satisfaction of Her Allies; will readily acknowledge, that Her Majesty did Her utmost to procure for Her Allies, and in particular for His Imperial Majesty, all reasonable Satisfaction, and to unite with them in the strictest Engagements to render the Peace secure and lasting, agreeable to Her Speech of the said Seventh Day of December, and Her Message of the Seventeenth of January following, in this Article mentioned: And if, by any extraordinary Demands or groundless Jealousies of any of the Allies, or other Accidents, Her Majesty was not able to obtain for them all the Advantages She desired, this will not derogate from the Truth and Sincerity of Her Majesty's Expressions: And it is evident Her Majesty did procure them so great Satisfaction, that the Allies did all sign the Peace at the same Time with Her Majesty, excepting only the Emperor; and even His Interests were so far adjusted, that what remained in Dispute was not thought of Consequence sufficient to delay so great and good a Work; and it is well known the Emperors of Germany have frequently declined signing Their Treaties of Peace at the same Time with Their Allies: But that Her Majesty was induced by any Influence of the said Earl to enter into any Negotiation with France, exclusive of Her Allies, or that the said Earl carried on any such Negotiation; or that the Interest of the said Allies, or in particular of the Emperor, were, by any Practices of his, given up to France; he utterly denies. And when it is considered, that much British Blood and Treasure had been spent to recover Spain and The West Indies from the House of Bourbon; that an expensive War had for many Years continued, which Her Majesty still supplied with new Recruits and redoubled Expence; that Her Armies, and those of the Allies, had been beaten in Spain; that Prince Eugene had declared, "That Forty Thousand Men, and Four Millions of Crowns per Annum, would be necessary for carrying on that War, and that his Master could supply no more than a Fourth Part of that Charge;" that it was found, by long Experience, how averse the People of Spain in general were to submit themselves to the House of Austria; that Her Majesty discerned the Charge of renewing the War in Spain would be a Burthen too great for Her Subjects, and that there was little Probability of its being successful; that the Hereditary Countries were then, by the Death of the Emperor Joseph, fallen to King Charles, who was soon after chosen Emperor (by which Event the Interests of the Princes and States of Europe were changed); it cannot be doubted but that Her late Majesty had, at the Time when She made the aforesaid Declaration, done Her utmost to recover Spain and The West Indies by Force of Arms; and the most She could do afterwards was by Way of Negotiation, wherein She insisted with that Earnestness on King Philip's quitting Spain, that France complied with Her Majesty's Proposals: But when King Philip could not be prevailed on to give up Spain, Her Majesty thought His Renunciation of the Crown of France, as Circumstances then stood, the most practicable, if not the only Method left, to prevent the Union of those Two Monarchies. But the said Earl doth not think it probable, that the leaving Spain and The West Indies to the House of Bourbon was the Foundation of the Preliminary Articles signed by Monsieur Mesnager, and of the Declaration annexed, which had been signed by the Lord Dartmouth and Mr. St. John with Her Majesty's Consent (and which the said Earl supposes is what is called the Private Treaty in this Article), since he believes it was then thought more likely that the Crown of Spain might fall to some other Prince. And the said Earl doth not observe how Her Majesty can be charged with uttering any Falsity in Her Message of the Seventeenth Day of January, wherein She takes Notice how groundless the Reports were, that had been spread, of a separate Peace being treated; for which Report there was not then, nor at any other Time, the least Foundation; since only some few Points were adjusted, relating to the particular Interests of Her own Kingdoms; and even those were to have no Effect but upon the Conclusion of a general Peace, and were likewise, before such Conclusion, communicated to the Allies. And the said Earl denies that thenceforth, or at any Time, there was carried on by him any separate Measures with the Ministers of France: Nor doth he conceive that the Proposal about the Renunciation was merely speculative; but that it was of such a Nature, as would execute itself, and keep the Crowns of France and Spain more effectually divided than ever; if it be considered, that it did not consist only in a Renunciation to be made by Philip, then in Possession of the Crown of Spain, of His contingent Right to that of France; but that there was a Title to the Crown of France thereby given to the Duke of Orleans, and after him to the rest of the Princes of the House of Bourbon, who could not be presumed to want the Will, nor would be likely to want the Power, to take Possession of the Crown of France, by virtue of such Title, in Opposition to a Prince at such a Distance, and who had solemnly renounced all His Pretensions to it: Nor can the said Earl think the Declaration of any Minister of France against such Expedient (if any such there was made) a sufficient Ground for Her Majesty to decline it. The said Earl therefore must beg Leave to repeat, that he is not able to discover, from any Thing that appears in those Speeches, that, in the Particulars aforementioned, or any other, the essential Points relating to Peace and Commerce, or which concerned the Interests either of Her Allies or Great Britain, were misrepresented by Her Majesty: Nor doth he know, or believe, that any Instance can be given, wherein he abused the Favour of His Royal Mistress, to whom he did always bear and pay the most sincere Veneration and Duty; or wherein he did mislead her Parliament into any groundless or fatal Resolution, or prevented their Advise to Her Majesty, or obtained their Approbation to any dangerous Practice; or whereby Her Majesty could be ever deprived of the Confidence of Her Allies, or exposed to Contempt.
"In Answer to the Sixteenth Article; the said Earl doth insist, that, by the Laws and Constitution of this Realm, it is the undoubted Right and Prerogative of the Sovereign, who is the Fountain of Honour, to create Peers of this Realm, as well in Time of Parliament, as when there is no Parliament sitting or in Being; and that the Exercise of this Branch of the Prerogative is declared, in the Form or Preamble of all Patents of Honour, to proceed ex mero Motu, as an Act of mere Grace and Favour; and that such Acts are not done, as many other Acts of a public Nature are, by and with the Advice of the Privy Council; or, as Acts of Pardon usually run, upon a favourable Representation of several Circumstances; or upon Reports from the Attorney General, or other Officers, that such Acts are lawful or expedient, or for the Safety or Advantage of the Crown; but flows entirely from the beneficent and gracious Disposition of the Sovereign. He farther saith, That neither the Warrants for Patents of Honour, the Bills, or other Engrossments of such Patents, are at any Time communicated to the Council or the Treasury, as several other Patents are; and therefore the said Earl, either as High Treasurer or Privy Counsellor, could not have any Knowledge of the same: Nevertheless, if Her late Sacred Majesty had thought fit to acquaint him with Her most Gracious Intentions of ereating any Number of Peers of this Realm, and had asked his Opinion, whether the Persons whom She then intended to create were Persons proper to have been promoted to that Dignity, he does believe he should have highly approved Her Majesty's Choice; and doth not apprehend that, in so doing, he had been guilty of any Breach of his Duty, or Violation of the Trust in him reposed, since they were all Persons of Honour and distinguished Merit; and the Peerage thereby was not greatly increased, considering some of those created would have been Peers by Descent, and that many Titles of Peers were then lately extinct: And the said Earl believes many Instances may be given, where this Prerogative hath been exercised by former Princes of this Realm in as extensive a Manner, and particularly in the Reigns of King Henry the Eighth, King James the First, and His late Majesty King William. The said Earl begs Leave to add, That, in the whole Course of his Life, he hath always loved the Established Constitution; and in his private Capacity, as well as in all public Stations when he had the Honour to be employed, hath ever done his utmost to preserve it, and shall always continue so to do.
"As to the First of those Articles, he saith, That he believes, in or about the Month of January One Thousand Seven Hundred and Ten, an Expedition was projected, for making a Conquest of the City Quebeck, on the River of St. Lawrence, Canada, or other Possessions of the French King, in North America; but denies he advised Her Majesty either to consent to the making such Expedition, or to give Orders for detaching any Battalions of the Forces in Her Majesty's Service in Flanders, or to send any such Battalions or any Squadron of Men of War on the said Enterprize: But having heard that the said Project, or some Expedition of the like Nature, had been some Time before considered in a Committee of Council, and afterwards laid aside for that Time; and not being fully apprized of the whole Project, nor so well versed in the Affairs of that Part of the World as others who had more Opportunity of knowing them, and lest the Expedition might not at that Time prove so feazable or advantageous as others of better Knowledge in those Matters than himself did expect; he did all that he apprehends his Duty required to prevent the putting the same in Execution, and expressed his Concern at it to some Persons about the Queen; and, having so far shewn his Opinion of the said Design at that Time, believes it would not have been thought proper for him to have appeared at the Meetings, where the Methods only of carrying on the Expedition were to be adjusted; of which Meetings there had been but few before a Misfortune befel him, which confined him to his Bed. But the said Earl denies that he knew the said Expedition was dangerous or destructive; nor did he hear that it was laid aside formerly, by a Committee of Council, as dangerous or impracticable, but only as improper in the Circumstances of Affairs at that Time; nor doth the said Earl know, or believe, the said Expedition was set on Foot with any Design to promote the Interest of the French King, or to weaken the Confederate Army in Flanders, or to dissipate the Naval Forces of this Kingdom: And when others of Her Majesty's Council, better acquainted with that Affair, did judge it to be proper and practicable, he did not think it became him, upon the Strength of his own single Judgement, further to oppose an Expedition, which, if it had succeeded, most certainly would have given a great and sensible Blow to the Settlements and Trade of France in that Part of the World. And the said Earl, with good Reason, is persuaded your Lordships will not think it unfit that Her Majesty should take the Opinion of those who better understood Affairs of that Nature, or that your Lordships can judge the said Earl in that respect to have been wanting in his Duty to Her Majesty; but hopes it will be rather an Evidence of his Fidelity to the Queen and his Country, that he so far discouraged what, in his own Judgement, he was diffident of: However, he is satisfied that those of Her Majesty's Council who did approve the Expedition acted therein with a sincere Desire for the public Good, notwithstanding the ill Success it was attended with; which might chiefly be owing to Delays by contrary Winds, and other unforeseen Accidents: And he doth not believe that Her Majesty's Allies did suffer any Prejudice, or the common Enemy receive any Advantage, by the detaching of Forces from Flanders to serve on this Enterprize; and is informed, that, to prevent any such Danger, Her Majesty's General who commanded at that Time in Flanders had Orders for providing other Forces in their Place, if he judged it necessary. And the said Earl doth acknowledge, that the Sum of Twenty-eight Thousand Pounds, or thereabouts, was demanded at the Treasury, about June One Thousand Seven Hundred and Eleven, on account of Arms, Accoutrements, Goods, and Merchandize, said to be sent on the said Expedition to Canada: But he faith, That he was so far from advising Her late Majesty that the said Sum should be issued and paid, that, on the contrary, he put a Stop to the Payment of the same, until he had done all he could at that Time to examine into the Expenditure of the said Money: But, being then High Treasurer of Great Britain, and having received Her Majesty's Orders to pay the said Sum, and not being able, with his utmost Precaution, then to discover any just Cause why it should not be paid, he did afterwards, in Obedience to those Orders, and according to the Duty of his Place, countersign a Warrant to the Pay-master of Her Majesty's Forces for the Payment of the same, pursuant to which, he believes, the same was issued and received. And as to that Part of the said Article which charges the said Earl with employing his Arts or Credit to keep the House of Commons from examining that Affair; he begs Leave to say, That (whatever Suspicions he might entertain in his own Mind) he did not, upon Examination, find that there was sufficient Proof to justify the laying them before either House of Parliament: And although he hath been informed that the Papers relating to that Expedition were laid before the last, and have been all along in the Power of the present, House of Commons; yet he hath not heard that any Fraud hath been made out in that Affair, notwithstanding the Gentlemen who had them under their Inspection neither wanted Ability to make the utmost Discoveries, nor could be supposed to be prevented therein by any Influence of the said Earl; and he hopes it will not be imputed to him as a Fault, if he had used any Skill or Credit to keep the House of Commons from examining this Affair at that Juncture, when, by an unseasonable Inquiry, before a proper Proof could be had, the Fraud (if any such there were) would be likely for ever to escape unpunished: But the said Earl denies that he ever exercised or had any arbitrary Power or Influence, either in Her Majesty's Private Council or the Great Council of the Nation; or entertained any Design to prevent the Justice due to the Queen or the Nation; or that any Discovery had been made to him, further than what might give Suspicion to one who was always jealous (as became him) of any Misapplication of the Public Treasure. And the said Earl saith, That he is not conscious, that, by any Letter or Memorial to Her Majesty, he hath acted contrary to his Duty; but humbly hopes he may be allowed to observe, that it would be a Matter of particular Hardship, and what seems to him inconsistent with the Rules of Government, and without Precedent, if the most secret and intimate Papers and Letters, wrote to that most Renowned and Pious Princess Her late Majesty, by Her own special Command, and for Her own private Perusal, should be imputed to any as a Crime: And if any Quotation from any such Letter or Paper could be alledged against the said Earl, he doubts not but there might appear, from other of Her Majesty's private Papers, what would justify him in many Particulars wherewith he is charged, and would give further Proof (if it were needful) how tender and affectionate Her Majesty was to all Her Subjects.
"In Answer to the Second additional Article; the said Earl doth admit, that, about October One Thousand Seven Hundred and Eleven, Her late Majesty did sign a Warrant, directed to him, then Her Treasurer of Great Britain, for the Issuing and Payment of the Sum of Thirteen Thousand Pounds, to John Drummond Esquire, in the Article named; and that, on or about the Twenty-fourth of November following, in Pursuance of the said Warrant under Her Majesty's Sign Manual, he the said Earl did sign a Warrant for the Payment of the said Thirteen Thousand Pounds; but, for more Certainty, begs Leave to refer to the said several Warrants, when the same shall be produced. And the said Earl takes the Words ["for special Services of the War"] to have been inserted by Mistake of the Clerks; for he absolutely denies that he gave any Direction for those Words, or any other of like Import, to be inserted; and he believes all the Clerks of the Treasury know, that the Monies which arose from the Sale of Tin, were the Queen's proper Money, for the Support of Her Household, and such Occasions as She should please to direct, and not appropriated to the Services of the War; although sometimes it hath been practised, that Loans have been taken upon Tin Tallies, for the Services of the War, and other public Services, and afterwards re-paid to the Civil List, which might possibly give Occasion for such Mistake. And the said Earl saith, That, having been acquainted with the Services the said Mr. Drummond had performed, by Order of the late Earl of Godolphin, in borrowing Money upon Tin at a low Interest, the said Earl asked Mr. Drummond's Consent, that a Sum in Tin Tallies might be struck in his Name; and, with such Consent, did direct that Orders amounting to the Sum of Thirteen Thousand Pounds should be charged in the Register of the Exchequer, on the Monies arising by the Sale of Tin, in the Name of the said Mr. Drummond, who afterwards, before his going to Holland, indorsed the said Orders at the said Earl's Request, and left them in the Treasury; but how long it was before the said Orders were indorsed, or how long they remained afterwards in the Treasury, the said Earl doth not particularly remember; but doth acknowledge, that the said Orders and Tallies came afterwards to his own Hands, and were disposed for his own Use. But, in order to lay the true State of this Affair before your Lordships, the said Earl humbly represents, that, upon his First attending the late Queen after his being wounded, Her Majesty had the Goodness to tell him, "That She designed him a Sum of Money:" Upon which, he represented to Her Majesty the bad Condition of Her Civil List. But several Times after, Her Majesty asked him, "Why he did not find a Way for receiving the Money She intended him, and bring the necessary Warrants for that Purpose?" He still urged the same Reason against it; and for near Six Months made no Step in it; till at last Her Majesty was pleased to say, "She was resolved to have it done." And as Her Majesty had, in Matters of Her Bounty, made Use of Tin Tallies for other Persons, She was pleased to mention the same Herself; and ordered proper Warrants to be prepared for the Sum which Her Majesty of Her Royal Bounty intended him. That, after Her Majesty had so positively signified Her Royal Pleasure to bestow such Mark of Her Favour upon the said Earl, the said Tallies and Orders were struck, in Mr. Drummond's Name, with Her Majesty's Knowledge, and at the said Earl's Nomination; and from that Time the same were kept under the said Earl's Direction, for his Use; and the said Earl was advised, that nothing further was requisite to be done, after the Assignment of the said Mr. Drummond, for securing the said Earl's Interest in the said Tallies, till an Accident happened, which made it necessary, for further Security, to have the said Warrant, as a Declaration of Trust; which was accordingly signed by Her Majesty, and is to the Effect following; "ANNE R. Whereas, in the Year of our Lord One Thousand Seven Hundred and Eleven, in Consideration of the many good, faithful, and acceptable Services, which before that Time had been performed unto Us, by Our Right Trusty and Right Well-beloved Cousin and Counsellor Robert Earl of Oxford (then and now Our High Treasurer of Great Britain), which Services have tended to the Quiet, Safety, and Prosperity, of Us and Our Realms, though the same were accompanied with great Difficulties upon himself, and Hazards to him and his Family; and particularly reflecting upon the impious Attempt made upon his Life; We did then fully resolve, as a particular Mark of Our Favour, and of Our Gracious Acceptance of the said Earl's Services, to bestow upon him a Sum in ready Money: But the said Earl representing to Us, that the Arrears then due to Our Servants and Tradesmen, chargeable upon Our Civil List, were very great and pressing; We did therefore agree and determine, that the said Earl should have to his own Use the several Sums amounting to Thirteen Thousand Pounds, comprized in certain Orders of Loan, bearing Date on or about the Eleventh Day of December One Thousand Seven Hundred and Eleven, in your Name, and charged upon the Register in Our Exchequer, on the Monies arising by Sale of Our Tin; which Orders are not yet in Course of Payment. Now We do hereby declare and make known, that the said several Sums, amounting to Thirteen Thousand Pounds, contained in the said Orders, and the Interest thereof due and to be due, are, and shall be, the proper Monies of the said Earl of Oxford; and We do hereby direct and authorize you to transfer and assign the said Orders, and the whole Right and Benefit thereof, to the said Earl and his Assigns, or to such Person or Persons as he shall appoint in that Behalf: And in case any the Monies due, or to be due or payable, upon the said Orders, shall come to your Hands; in such Case, Our Pleasure is, that you forthwith pay over the same to the said Earl, his Executors, Administrators, or Assigns, to his and their own Use and Behoof, without any Accompt to be thereof rendered to Us, Our Heirs or Successors; and this Our Warrant, or an attested Copy thereof, shall be your sufficient Warrant and Discharge for so doing. Given at Our Court at Windsor Castle, the Fourteenth Day of December, and the Twefth Year of Our Reign, Annoque Domini One Thousand Seven Hundred and Thirteen. To Our Trusty and Well-beloved John Drummond Esquire." And the said Earl believes the said Warrant was drawn by Mr. Lowndes, Secretary to the Treasury; and by what Means the same was omitted to be entered in the Treasury, he knows not: But, upon hearing there was a Discourse about the said Thirteen Thousand Pounds in Tin Tallies, he sent a Copy of the said Warrant to the Officers of the Treasury, without signifying any Desire to have the same entered; well knowing it received its Authority from the Sign Manual, which wanted no additional Force from any Entry thereof in the Treasury Books. And the said Earl saith, That Her Majesty was pleased, of Her meer Goodness and Bounty, and of Her own free Will, to give him the said Sum of Money, in Reward of his faithful Services, and for his Sufferings in Her Service. And the said Earl saith, That the said Grant, according to the Discount upon those Tallies at that Time, amounted to the Sum of Ten Thousand Pounds, or thereabouts, wherein he acknowledgeth the great Bounty of Her Majesty; and takes Notice, that Grants much larger have been made from the Crown to other Ministers of State, while the Necessities of the Crown have been equally pressing. And the said Earl doth not know that, in this, or any other Part of his Administration, he ever was guilty of any Corruption, or any Breach of his Oath or Trust as High Treasurer of Great Britain; or that he did in any Manner abuse Her Majesty's Goodness, or make an ill Use of his Access to Her Majesty, or embezzle the public Treasure; or did at any Time knowingly injure or oppress Her Majesty's Subjects: But, on the contrary, the said Earl saith, That he managed the public Money in the most frugal Manner, in order to lessen as much as might be the Charge of the War; and to ease, if he could, the Commons of Great Britain from all grievous Taxes. And, in further Vindication of himself against all the Imputation of Avarice or Corruption insinuated in this Article, the said Earl saith, That, in every Employment to which he was called by Her Majesty's Favour, he was always contented with the accustomed Incomes and Profits of the said Employments, without endeavouring to increase his Gain by any unwarrantable or extraordinary Perquisites: That, whilst he was in any Office of Trust about Her late Majesty, he never abused that Trust, in making any Manner of Profit or Advantage to himself; either by the Disposal of Places in his own Gift, or by the Recommendation of Persons to Her Majesty for such as were granted immediately by Herself: That neither in or out of Place did he ever receive any Pension from the Crown: That, as he came with clean Hands into Her Majesty's Service, so went, not only with clean, but almost empty Hands out of it, having spent therein most Part of the Profits which accrued to him from the Places he enjoyed; so that, at this Time, notwithstanding all the Advantages he received from them, and the extraordinary Bounty of the Queen to him, in this Article mentioned, he can with great Truth affirm, that his private Fortune hath received very inconsiderable Addition thereby.
"In Answer to the Third additional Article; the said Earl saith, That, Mathew Prior Esquire being employed by Her late Majesty at the Court of France, Warrants were signed in the usual Form, for Payment of several Sums of Money to the said Mr. Prior; which he believes, from the Twenty-seventh of August One Thousand Seven Hundred and Twelve to the Tenth of July One Thousand Seven Hundred and Fourteen, might amount to the Sum of Twelve Thousand Three Hundred and Sixty Pounds, as in the said Article is set forth; and he believes he did pay, or cause to be paid, at several Times, the said Sums, pursuant to the Authority he had from Her late Majesty for that Purpose; which, he conceives, was not only lawful, but a Duty incumbent on him. Her further saith, That he doth not know that, by any Law, there ought to be certain Appointments or Allowances, for the Maintenance and Support of Ambassadors, Envoys, Plenipotentiaries, and other public Ministers of the Crown in Foreign Courts: But that Her Majesty was at Liberty to very such Appointments, and the Manner of paying them, as She in Her Wisdom should think fit, out of any Funds appropriated to the Civil List. He doth believe that there are several Instances, where Persons employed to negotiate Matters of Importance, as Ambassadors or Plenipotentiaries, have been allowed One Thousand Five Hundred Pounds for their Equipage, One Hundred Pounds a Week for their ordinary Entertainment, and One Thousand Six Hundred Pounds for Extraordinaries; and likewise further Sums for Services performed by special Order: And if the said Mr. Prior had been paid upon that Foot, he would have been entitled to a greater Sum from the Crown, for the Time wherein he was employed by Her Majesty as aforesaid, over and above all Disbursements for special Services. And the said Earl saith, That he takes the said Mathew Prior to have been sent by Her Majesty into France for Her Majesty's Service, an din order to carry on the Negotiations of a general Peace: But denies that he was any Creature of the said Earl, or sent by the said Earl into France, or that he carried on any Negotiations of the said Earl, or that Her Majesty was prevailed on by his Counsels to send the said Mathew Prior as Her Plenipotentiary to the French King, without the Privity of, or any Communication with, the Allies; or that the said Earl used the least Contrivance for carrying on, or did carry on or promote any dangerous Practices with the Ministers of France, or the Enemies of Her Majesty or Her Kingdoms; or that he did at any Time combine with the said Mathew Prior, to defraud Her Majesty of any Sum of Money whatsoever, under colour of his Employment; or that the said Mathew Prior was sent into France, with the Character aforesaid, without any settled Appointment or Allowance for any such End; or that he the said Earl did give the said Mathew Prior an unlimited Credit, or promised to pay him any Bills whatsoever, other than what he should be duly authorized to pay; or that any Bills of Exchange in the said Article mentitioned were drawn in Pursuance of any such Contrivance. The said Earl saith, That, Thomas Harley Esquire having been Twice sent by Her late Majesty to the Court of Hanover, he the said Earl, being then High Treasurer of Great Britain, paid, or caused to be paid, to the said Mr. Harley, the Sum of Five Thousand Five Hundred and Sixty Pounds, or thereabouts, by Authority from Her Majesty, and according to the Duty of his Office, out of Monies appropriated to the Use of the Civil List; and he believes that, if Mr. Harley had received an Allowance in Proportion to what hath been paid to Ambassadors, it would have amounted to a greater Sum: But denies that the said Sum of Five Thousand Five Hundred and Sixty Pounds, or any Part of it, was paid without Authority, or for promoting any wicked Purposes of the said Earl; or that he did either illegally or fraudulently issue or direct, or advise the Direction or Payment of, any Sum or Sums of Money, out of Her Majesty's Treasury, to any Person whatsoever; or that he ever entered into any Combination with the Persons abovementioned, or any other Person whatsoever, to defraud Her Majesty of any of the public Money which he was entrusted with the Management of.
"In Answer to the Fourth additional Article; the said Earl denies that he ever held any Correspondence with Mary the late Consort of the late King James the Second, either by the Means of Mr. Prior or by any other Means whatsoever; or that he ever intended, or had the least Design, any Way to promote the Interest of the Pretender: Nor doth the said Earl know, or believe, that Monsr. Gaultier, in the said Article named, was entrusted or employed as an Agent, between any of the Ministers of Great Britain and France, in transacting any Affairs relating to the Pretender; and denies that he the said Earl had any Conferences with him the said M. Gaultier on that Subject; nor doth the said Earl know, or believe, that the said M. Gaultier was empowered to concert with him the said Earl particularly the settling any Payment or Remittance of the Annuities hereafter mentioned, or any other Yearly Sum to be paid or remitted out of Her Majesty's Treasury into France: Neither had the said Earl the least Design that any of the Fruits or Advantages of the Peace should be made an Offering to any Adherent of the Pretender; nor did he agree or undertake to procure the Payment of the Yearly Sum of Forty-seven Thousand Pounds, or any other Yearly Sum, to the Use of the said late Consort during Her Life. But the said Earl doth admit, that the late King James the Second, by Letters Patents under the Great Seal of England, bearing Date on or about the Twenty-eighth Day of August in the Year One Thousand Six Hundred Eighty Five, granted unto Lawrence Earl of Rochester, Henry Earl of Peterborow, Sidney Lord Godolphin, Robert Worden Esquire, and Sir Edward Herbert Knight, (who are all since deceased,) divers Annuities, or Yearly Sums of Money, amounting to Thirty-seven Thousand Three Hundred Twenty-eight Pounds, Thirteen Shillings, and Seven Pence, payable out of the Hereditary Duty of Excise and the Post-office, and other Revenues in the said Letters Patents mentioned, to hold, to them and their Heirs, during the Life of the said Consort, in Trust for Her; and, by other Letters Patents, bearing Date on or about the Third Day of December in the Year One Thousand Six Hundred Eighty-six, also granted unto the said Consort a further Pension, or Yearly Sum, of Ten Thousand Pounds, to hold during Her natural Life; whereby the said Revenues arising from the Hereditary Excise and Post-office, and other the Revenues in the said Letters Patents mentioned, became charged with, and were liable to, the said Annuities, or Yearly Sums, as in this Article is mentioned: And the said Earl doth admit, that the said Revenues were, by several Acts of Parliament, granted and settled during the Life of His late Majesty King William the Third, for the Use and Service of His Household and Family, and, for other His necessary Expences and Occasions; and after His Demise, during the Life of Her late Majesty Queen Anne, were appointed to be for the Support of Her Household, and of the Honour and Dignity of the Crown: But saith, that, in the same Act of Parliament whereby the said Revenues are so appointed, there is a general Saving, to all and every Person and Persons, of all such Rights, Titles, Estates, Interests, Claims, and Demands whatsoever, of, in, or to, or out of, the said Revenues and Hereditaments, or any of them, as they or any of them had, or ought to have had, before the making the said Act, as fully to all Intents and Purposes as if the said Act had never been made: And the said Earl doth admit, that an Act of Parliament was made in the Twelfth Year of Her late Majesty's Reign, whereby the Sum of Five Hundred Thousand Pounds, for the Causes therein mentioned, was to be applied (in Aid of the Revenues or Branches which were appointed for the Support of Her Majesty's Household, and of the Honour and Dignity of the Crown) for or towards the paying and discharging such Arrears of Salaries, Wages, Diet-money, and other Allowances, and such Debts, for Emptions, Provisions, and other Causes, as should appear to be due and owing to Her Majesty's Servants, Tradesmen, and others. But the said Earl saith, he hath heard that the said late Confort of the late King James the Second, esteeming Herself to be entitled, by the Laws of England, by virtue of the said Letters Patents, to the several Sums of Money therein mentioned, did, by Letters of Attorney, empower and authorize the said M. Gaultier to demand and receive, for Her only Use, Benefit, and Behoof, all Sums of Money, which, from and after the Feast of the Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary 1713, were become due and payable upon the said several Annuities, amounting to Thirty-seven Thousand Three Hundred and Twenty-eight Pounds, Thirteen Shillings, and Seven Pence; and the other Annuity, or Yearly Sum, of Ten Thousand Pounds; and to give Acquittances and Discharges for the Monies he should so receive to Her only Use and Behoof as aforesaid; and that thereupon he the said M. Gaultier applied himself to Her Majesty, for the Payment of the Monies which were incurred or grown due on the said several Annuities, from the said Twenty-fifth Day of March One Thousand Seven Hundred and Thirteen; and that Her Majesty was pleased to sign a Warrant directed to him, the said Earl being then Her Majesty's High Treasurer, or to the High Treasurer or Commissioners of the Treasury for the Time being, in the Words, or to the Effects, in the said Article set forth; but, for more Certainty, refers himself to the said Warrant, when the same shall be produced; and that, in Obedience to Her Majesty's Commands signified by the said Warrant, he the said Earl did direct Two several Warrants to the Auditor of the Receipt of the Exchequer to the Effect in the said Article set forth; but, for more Certainty, refers to the said several Warrants, when the same shall be produced. But he denies he advised Her Majesty to sign the said Warrant of the Twenty-third of December One thousand Seven Hundred and Thirteen: But when such Warrant was brought to him, and he knew that the Jointure of the said Confort had been confirmed by Act of Parliament, and had heard that, by some private Article or Agreement at the Treaty at Ryswick, Provision had been made in relation to it; and the Legality of the Demand not being doubted by Her Majesty's Counsel learned in the Law, the said Earl thought it his Duty to pay Obedience to it, and the Sum of Five Hundred Thousand Pounds, intended to be raised by the said Act of the Twelfth Year of Her Majesty's Reign, together with a great additional Sum in Tallies, being designed for Discharge of Her Majesty's Debts, the said Earl thought himself sufficiently authorized to direct, that the said Sum of Money mentioned in the said Warrants, which he was advised was a Debt from Her Majesty, should be paid out of the said Five Hundred Thousand Pounds; yet the Sum in the said Warrants mentioned, or any Part thereof, was not paid out of the said appropriated Sum of Five Hundred Thousand Pounds or otherwise; but the whole Sum of Five Hundred Thousand Pounds was applied to other Uses, for which it was appropriated. And the said Earl humbly hopes, that he hath not hereby betrayed the Honour of Her late Majesty, or the Imperial Crown of these Realms, or acted contrary to his Duty. And the said Earl doth acknowledge, that the said M. Gaultier coming into England with Letters of Credence from the French King to Her late Majesty, after having resided some Time in England; Her Majesty was pleased, before his Departure hence, to direct a Present should be made to the said M. Gaultier, as hath been usual in like Cases to public Ministers; and he believes Her said Majesty was the rather inclined to make such Present to the said M. Gaultier, because the said Earl hath heard, and takes it to be true, that the said Gaultier had been instrumental with the French King, to obtain the Delivery and Release of those poor Protestants, who had suffered aboard the Gallies on account of their Religion; whose Rescue from Slavery Her Majesty, out of Her known Zeal to the Protestant Religion, and out of Her wonted Piety and Compassion to the Confessors in so good a Cause, had much at Heart, and had prevailed therein beyond Expectation; it being what by His Majesty King William had been attempted in vain, and was thought by many impossible ever to be obtained: And the good Offices of the said Gaultier in that Affair having been very acceptable to Her Majesty, She was pleased to increase his Present in respect thereof; and therefore ordered it to be paid in the same Manner as had been done to others whose Presents Her Majesty thought fit to augment: And for this End, Her Majesty, about the Time in this Article mentioned, did sign a Warrant, directing the Payment of One Thousand Pound Sterling to Daniel Arthur Esquire, in the same Article mentioned, to the Intent it might be paid to the said M. Gaultier, on the Account aforesaid; and the said Earl believes the said Monies were issued and paid accordingly; and doth not apprehend he hath therein acted contrary to his Duty.
"In Answer to the Fifth additional Article; the said Earl doth admit, the Sovereign of this Realm may refuse to receive any natural-born Subject, who hath committed and is under the Guilt of High Treason, as a public Minister, or with any Character from any Foreign Prince, State, or Potentate; and that where such Person is known to be guilty of such Crime, it may in most Cases be fit so to do: But the said Earl apprehends that the Sovereign is the proper Judge whom to refuse or receive with such Character. The said Earl believes, that a Person styling himself, or commonly known by the Name of, Lilcot or Lawless, did, about the Year One Thousand Seven Hundred and Twelve or One Thousand Seven Hundred and Thirteen, come into England, with Letters of Credence to Her Majesty from the King and the late Queen of Spain, and Authority to treat about carrying British Merchandizes to The Spanish West Indies; and that Her Majesty was pleased to admit such Person with such Letters of Credence; and, before his Return to Spain, was pleased to order, for the Use of such Person, the Sum of One Thousand Pounds, to be paid out of the Monies appropriated to the Civil List; which the said Earl, in Obedience to such Orders, caused to be paid, and humbly apprehends it was his Duty so to do: But the said Earl believes, that, when the said Lilcot or Lawless was so admitted, he was generally thought to be a natural Spaniard; and that, from the Advantages of those Licences which he brought for carrying the British Merchandizes to The West Indies, he expected a much larger Present: However, the said Earl denies that he knew, or was informed, before the Arrival of the said Lawless in England, any Thing of his coming hither; nor, after his Arrival, did he see him, or know of his being here, before he had been introduced to Her Majesty, it being usual for public Ministers to be introduced, by those Servants of Her Majesty to whose Office it belongs, as Matter of Duty and common Dispatch, without consulting therein other Ministers of State; and, upon the Notice taken of this Affair formerly in the House of Peers, it appeared, that the Noble Lord who introduced the said Lawless to the Queen by virtue of his Office did it as of Course, and did not then know he was other than a Native of Spain. And the said Earl saith, That, of a long Time after he had been so introduced, the said Earl neither knew or heard that he was other than a natural Spaniard; but, when the said Person had continued in England a considerable Time, there was a Rumour, and the said Earl was afterwards informed, he was a Native of Ireland, and departed out of that Kingdom in his Youth, and had since been in the Spanish Service; but doth not know, nor was informed, that he had committed or been guilty of High Treason, or that he had served the late King James the Second, in the War in Ireland, against King William the Third, or had followed the said King James the Second into France, or been in His Interest or Service, or had been in Rebellion against King William, or in Arms against the late Queen. And the said Earl, having no Notice of the said Person's Arrival before his being admitted to Her Majesty, nor any Knowledge of any Crime he was guilty of, submits, whether it shall be imputed to him as any Want of Duty, that he did not advise Her Majesty against admitting or receiving him in the Character aforesaid; or that He did, by Her Majesty's Authority, meet, confer, or negotiate with him, concerning any Affairs about which he was authorized to treat (in case he had so done, which however the said Earl doth not admit); or that, by Authority from Her Majesty, he paid the said Sum of One Thousand Pounds to the said Daniel Arthur, which after came to his Use: But the said Earl doth deny that he advised Her Majesty to sign the Warrant for Payment of the said One Thousand Pounds, or gave any Directions for Payment thereof, contrary to what was intended by Her Majesty. And the said Earl admits, that some other Sums of Money, which might amount in the Whole to Nine Hundred and Fifteen Pounds or thereabouts, were paid, in Satisfaction of Monies advanced to the said Lawless, as Part of the Monies agreed to be advanced to His Catholic Majesty by the Assiento Contract: But denies that he directed the Payment of any other Monies whatsoever, out of Her Majesty's Treasury, to the said Lilesh, alias Lawless; or knows that any other Monies were paid to him, beside the aforementioned Sum of One Thousand Pounds, and the Monies paid in Satisfaction of what was advanced to him towards the Part due to His Catholic Majesty by the said Assiento Contract. And the said Earl never assumed the supreme Direction in Her Majesty's Councils; neither was he advising that the said Person should be introduced to Her Majesty, or should be received or treated by Her Ministers, under the disguised Name of Don Carlo Moro, or should at all be received as a public Minister here. And the said Earl doth acknowledge, that the House of Lords, with commendable Zeal, made such Address and came to such Resolution, and that Her Majesty made such Answer and issued such Proclamation, as in the said Article is mentioned. And as the said Earl had always the highest Regard to the Safety of Her Majesty's Person, the Security of the Protestant Succession, and Advice and Resolutions of the House of Peers; so he denieth that he had the least Knowledge that the said Lelish, alias Lawless, had ever been Minister or Agent of the Pretender at the Court of Madrid, or the least Suspicion that he was sent into England to promote the Interest of the Pretender in these Kingdoms. Nor is he conscious to himself that he hath done any Thing to expose the Person of Her most Sacred Majesty, to enervate or render ineffectual the Advice of Parliament or Her Majesty's Declarations, to countenance any Emissary of the Pretender, or encourage his Adherents, to the Danger of the Protestant Succession, as by Law established, in the Serene House of Hanover: But, on the contrary, is persuaded his Conduct in that Affair is so well known, as not to need any further Justification: But, if it should at any Time be thought necessary, he is able to produce those Proofs of it, which are the best Authority in the World, for his Vindication.
"In Answer to the Sixth additional Article; the said Earl hath been informed, and doth believe it may be true, that, after several unsuccessful Attempts by Her late Majesty, in Conjunction with Her Allies, to establish His present Imperial Majesty upon the Throne of Spain, Instructions in Writing were given to Mitford Crow Esquire, about the Seventh of March One Thousand Seven Hundred and Five; taking Notice, "Her Majesty had been informed, that the People of Catalonia were inclined to cast off the Yoke imposed on them by the French, and to return to the Obedience of the House of Austria; and that Her Majesty, desiring to maintain and improve that good Disposition in them, and to induce them to put the same speedily in Execution, had made Choice of him to carry on so great a Work, for the Advantage of Her Service, and the Good of the common Cause, as was the making a Treaty with the Catalans, or any other People of Spain, for the Purposes aforesaid; and that the said Mitford Crow was thereby empowered to give the Catalans, or other Spaniards, Assurances of Her Majesty's utmost Endeavours to procure the Establishment of all such Rights and Immunities as they had formerly enjoyed under the House of Austria, and the Confirmation of such Titles as had been conferred on any of them by the Duke of Anjou; and that, for their further Satisfaction, Her Majesty had sent to King Charles the Third, for Powers for confirming the same to them; and was willing, if they insisted on it, to become Guarantee that it should be done." And the said Earl hath been likewise informed, that Her Majesty, in a Commission granted to the said Mitford Crow, expressed, "That She thought fit to enter into a Treaty with the Principality of Catalonia, or any other Province of Spain, on Condition they would acknowledge and receive Charles the Third as lawful King of Spain, and utterly abdicate the House of Bourbon; and join their Forces with Her Majesty's;" and that Her Majesty was pleased also to sign and deliver to the said Mitford Crow Credential Letters, directed to the Nobility, Magistracy, and other Officers of Catalonia, or any other Province of Spain, desiring them to give Faith to every Thing the said Mitford Crow should tell them in Her Majesty's Name: And that Instructions were likewise given to the Earl of Peterborow and Sir Cloudesly Shovell, about the Time, and to the Effect, in the said Article mentioned; and that a Manifesto, or Declaration, was afterwards published by the said Earl of Peterborow, to the Effect in the said Article set forth: But the said Earl denies that such Manifesto or Declaration was prepared by his Advice or Privity; and the said Earl believes it may be true, that some Part of the Nobility, Clergy, and Inhabitants, of the Principality of Catalonia, and also of the Inhabitants of the Island of Majorca, did afterwards acknowledge King Charles the Third, now Emperor, for their lawful Sovereign, and did join their Arms with those of Her Majesty and Her Allies, against the present King of Spain; but by what Motives they were induced thereunto, the said Earl doth not know. And the said Earl doth acknowledge, that, for some Time, the Arms of Her Majesty and Her Allies, in Spain, were attended with considerable Successes, in which the Bravery of the Catalans appeared, and the Forces of the Confederates Twice entered the Capital City of that Kingdom; by which signal Conquests, and the great Supplies that have been granted by Parliament for their Assistance, the said People were under the highest Obligations of Gratitude to Her Majesty: But, the Advantages those Successes had given King Charles the Third being lost, Her Majesty found the Burthen of that War very heavy to Her Subjects, the Conquest of Spain for the present Emperor impracticable, and, after the Accession of the Empire and Descent of the Hereditary Countries to Him, esteemed inconsistent with the Interests of many of Her Allies; and therefore thought it necessary, for the Good of Her People and the Tranquillity of Europe, to enter into Negotiations for a general Peace: But the said Earl denies that he entered into any Conspiracy for subjecting the Spanish Monarchy to the House of Bourbon, or even had the least Design of the Ruin or Destruction of any of the Rights, Liberties, or Privileges, of the Catalans; or that he ever formed any Contrivance for abandoning them to the Fury or Revenge of the Duke of Anju or his Adherents, or for the Extirpation of any of their Rights, Liberties, or Privileges; or that he advised Her Majesty to give Directions to the Lord Lexington, to acknowledge the Duke of Anjou King of Spain, before any Negotiation of Peace was set on Foot, in due Form of Law, between the Crowns of Great Britain and Spain: On the contrary, the said Earl saith, That, by Letters and Papers sent by One of Her Majesty's Principal Secretaries of State to the Lord Lexington, it will appear, that, after Her Majesty had hearkened to the Proposals for a general Peace, for the Good of Her own People and Her Allies, She used Her best Endeavours for obtaining the Liberties of the Catalans at the Conclusion of the Peace; and that his Lordship was directed peremptorily and absolutely to insist thereon: Nor doth the said Earl know, or believe, that any Orders were ever sent from, or given by, Her Majesty to any of Her Ministers, to recede from that Demand, or that the said Lord Lexington ever desisted from making the utmost Efforts he could for obtaining it; and if, from any Measures of the Catalans or of His Imperial Majesty, or from any other Cause, Her Majesty's Endeavours had not their full Effect, the said Earl conceives it cannot be imputed to any Neglect of Her Majesty, or any Want of Duty in him the said Earl. He believes that, about the Time in the said Article mentioned, His Imperial Majesty did enter into a Convention or Agreement for evacuating Catalonia; and that Her Majesty, out of Inclination to perform Her best Offices to the Emperor, was prevailed on to become One of the Guarantees thereof; but denies that His Imperial Majesty was necessitated, by any Practices of the said Earl, to make any such Convention; and is ignorant for what Causes His Imperial Majesty, whom it most concerned, omitted, in such Convention, to make express and positive Stipulation for the Liberties of the Catalans: If it proceeded from any Dependance upon the Declaration of Her Majesty to interpose Her best Offices on their Behalf, and the Promises of the French King to join His Endeavours therein; he is confident, it will appear Her Majesty's best Offices were employed in that Affair; when it is considered what repeated Instances She made by Her Ministers, and in the most pathetic Manner, to obtain for them the Privileges they desired; and that Her Majesty, by Her earnest Interposition, did obtain a Grant and Confirmation to all. the Inhabitants of Catalonia, of a perpetual Amnesty and Oblivion of all that was done in the late War, the full Possession of all their Estates and Honours, and a farther Grant of all their Privileges, which the Inhabitants of both Castilles, who of all the Spaniards were most dear to the King of Spain, enjoyed, or might at any Time after have or enjoy; whereby the Catalans, if they obtained not all the ancient Privileges they pretended to, received however, in Compensation thereof, the Advantage of trading directly to The West Indies, and other Privileges to which they were never before entitled: And the House of Peers, upon Consideration of several Papers laid before them relating to this Affair, in Pursuance of their Address to Her Majesty in that Behalf, expressed their utmost Thankfulness and Satisfaction, for Her Majesty's repeated and earnest Endeavours for preserving to the Catalans the full Enjoyment of all their just and ancient Liberties: And it is probable Her Majesty had prevailed, to obtain for them the ancient Privileges and Liberties in the largest Extent, if they had waited the Event of Her Gracious Interpositions in their Favour, and not determined to carry on the War by themselves against King Philip, after the Emperor had signed the Convention for evacuating their Country; which incensed the King of Spain in the highest Degree, and was looked upon by Him as the most obstinate Rebellion. However, the said Earl saith, he never amused the Catalans with any Expectations whatsoever, nor in any Degree contributed to engage them in any obstinate Defence against the Duke of Anjou; nor advised Her Majesty to conclude a Peace with Spain, without Security for the ancient Rights, Liberties, and Privileges of that People; or to send Sir James Wishart with a Squadron of Men of War, for the Purposes in the said Article mentioned: But believes Her Majesty might think Herself obliged, by being Guarrantee to the said Convention for the evacuating of Catalonia, to send the said Sir James Wishart into The Mediterranean, with a Squadron of Men of War, although he knows not the Orders or Instructions given on that Occasion; and humbly apprehends, that he cannot in Justice be charged with any Consequences from that unhappy People's Refusal to comply in their Submission to the King of Spain, upon the Terms Her Majesty hath stipulated for them.
"Thus the said Earl has laid his Case before your Lordships; wherein, he hopes, he hath fully answered the several Articles exhibited against him. Yet, lest there should be any Omission in his Answer, which may be made Use of to his Prejudice, he says, he is not guilty of all or any the Matters contained in the said Articles, or any of them, in Manner and Form as they are therein charged against him; and humbly hopes that your Lordships will excuse any Imperfections or Defects in the said Answer with regard to Expression or Form, and impute whatever of that Kind may appear to the great Weakness of Body and ill State of Health which the said Earl now labours and hath for some Months past laboured under; and that your Lordships will be induced to make all further due Allowances in his Favour, from the following Considerations, which relate to the Nature of the Charge in general, and the Difficulties with which his Defence of himself against the Particulars contained in that Charge is, and must be, attended. Most of the Articles with which he stands charged relate entirely to the Negotiations of the Peace lately concluded at Utrecht. He doubts not but your Lordships will consider, that he must of Necessity be under great Difficulties in giving a full and particular Account of such a great Variety of Facts as are contained in these Articles; that several of these Facts concern Transactions with the Ministers of Foreign States, who cannot be produced as Witnesses in his Defence, be their Testimony never so material; that many Steps and Proceedings in an Affair of this Nature, where the Interest of several Parties, not only separate from, but some of them also contrary to each other, are to be adjusted, do require great Secrecy and Address in the Management; and that, in Treaties between Enemies, such Terms are often proposed, and such Arguments used, as carry a different Appearance from the real Intentions of those that treat; upon which Accounts, it must be very difficult to set every Thing that passed in the late Negotiations, with regard to the Enemy and to the Allies, in a clear Light, and to justify every Step that was taken towards conducting them to the End proposed, especially since the Account of those Transactions, and of the Reasons on which they were founded, cannot, as he conceives, be duly cleared, but by inspecting the entire Series of Letters and Papers which passed during the Continuance of those Transactious, and by comparing together such Passages in them as might give Light to each other and to the Whole; all which Letters and Papers are (as he is informed) now in the Possession of the Honourable House of Commons; nor was it thought fit, upon his humble Application to your Lordships, that he should be indulged with a Copy of any of them: He hopes it may not misbecome him, on this Occasion, to observe to your Lordships, that the House of Commons, by being possessed of those Papers, have a fuller View of the whole Progress and of all the secret Steps of that Negotiation, than perhaps was ever in the like Case imparted to any House of Parliament; and they have therefore all the Advantage possible towards forming the Charge against him upon the Articles of his Impeachment; whereas he the said Earl, being destitute of all Assistance from those Papers, is under great and particular Disadvantages towards making his Defence in the Points whereof he there stands accused; and he is therefore humbly assured, that as your Lordships, on the one Side, will not expect from him any such Proofs of his Innocence as can only be drawn from a Perusal of those Papers; so, on the other, you will not admit of all or any of those Articles as made good against him, unless the Accusations therein contained be supported by the clearest and most unquestionable Evidence of which the Nature of the Facts is capable. He submits it likewise to your Lordships Consideration, whether, in a Negotiation drawn out into a great Length, where the Advice of all those in high Trust about Her Majesty was to be taken, and where several Persons were to be intrusted with the Management of what was agreed upon, he can with any Colour of Equity be made answerable for advising and conducting the Whole. He desires also further to observe, that every Thing with which he is charged was done in the Reign of a Gracious Princess now deceased, who, by reason of the perfect Knowledge She had of the ill State of Affairs at Home, of the Advances made towards Peace from Abroad, and of the Commands which She at several Times laid on Her Servants, had been the best, and indeed could be the only competent Judge, whether She was fraudulently dealt with, led by ill Advice into Measures which She did not direct and approve, or made an Instrument of sacrificing the Interest of Her Kingdoms to the Enemy. It is with great Grief that he finds such Things suggested, as seem to lay a Stain upon the Character of so excellent a Queen, whose Memory, he is consident, will be for ever dear to this Country: And therefore he takes Leave in the most solemn Manner to assure your Lordships, that, as far as he knows or can remember, every Thing relating to the Tranfactions of Peace was communicated to Her late Majesty, and maturely considered by Her before any Thing was determined thereupon; nor was any Step taken but in Pursuance of such Determination. As to the Peace in general; he the said Earl thinks he has very good Reason to say, that the Queen had nothing more at Heart than to procure so great a Blessing for Her People; and that, when it was obtained, She had this Satisfaction in Herself, that She had taken the most proper Measures to justify Her Conduct, both towards Her Allies and towards Her own Subjects; for, upon a Review of Her Majesty's whole Proceeding in Relation to War and Peace, he believes it will appear, and hath in Part appeared by the Answer of the said Earl to the said Articles, that, as Her Majesty entered further into the War than She was obliged by any Treaties subsisting at the Time of Her Accession to the Throne, so She contributed more Men and Money towards the carrying it on afterwards than She was engaged to provide by any subsequent Treaties; that, her earnest Desires of Peace being Twice frustrated, when such Conditions might have been obtained as would have fully answered all the Ends for which War was at First declared; that all our Successes and Victories ending in the Annual Increase of the Charge of England, without any further Assistance from our Allies; and Her Kingdoms being exhausted to such a Degree (notwithstanding the great Advantages obtained by Her Arms) that She was not able to continue the War, upon the Foot it then stood, One Year longer; whilst Her Allies refused to continue it upon those equal Conditions to which they were by Treaties obliged; She was at last constrained, in Compassion to Her People, to hearken to the Overtures of Peace then made Her from France, without relying further on the vain Hopes of gaining more advantageous Terms by protracting the War a Year longer: She had carried it on for some Time under that Prospect, without reaping the Benefits proposed, even at Junctures that seemed most favourable to Her Demands and to the Pretensions of Her Allies: She had indeed, by that Means, raised the Glory of Her Arms; but She could not think this a sufficient Recompense for the encreasing Miseries of Her People; and therefore resolved to lay hold of the Opportunity then offered to Her, of ending the War by a Peace, if it might be obtained upon Terms every Way just, safe, and honourable: And those who were then employed in Her Majesty's Councils thought themselves obliged to second Her good Intentions in this Case, and to obey Her Commands with all Readiness. The said Earl presumes on this Occasion to mention to your Lordships the Saying of as wife a Man, and as great a General, as the last Age produced, the Duke of Parma: When France was in a far lower Condition than now, being almost equally divided between Two contending Parties, and Spain was at the Height of its Glory, and he himself at the Head of a Spanish Army supporting One of those Parties, after Parts itself had been besieged by the other, it was his Opinion (and the Advice he gave to his Master the King of Spain was grounded upon it), "That, if France were to be got only by reducing its Towns, the World would be sooner at an End than such a War." The Queen seemed, at this Time, with better Reason, to frame the like Judgement; and it was therefore Her Pleasure, and a great Instance (as the said Earl conceives) of Her Wisdom and Goodness, to think of securing a Peace, while She appeared able to carry on the War; Her Armies being full and numerous; and before the exhausted Condition of Her Kingdoms, and the Impossibility on Her Side of maintaining so disproportionate an Expence, was discovered by Her Enemies. At this Juncture, the Queen entered upon a Negotiation of Peace, with Circumstances of great Honour to Herself; France applying to Her first on this Account, previously owning Her Title, and acknowledging the Right of the Protestant Succession, Two chief Grounds upon which the Declaration of the last War was built. As to the Allies, it was conducted in the same Manner as all Treaties of Peace in Confederacies have ever been, and according to the known Laws of Nations in such Cases; the First Motion, and the several Steps of it as fast as they ripened into Proposals fit for Consideration, being without Delay communicated to The States General. By the Terms of this Peace, as all reasonable Satisfaction and Security due to any of the Allies by Treaty were obtained for them by the Queen, and their just Pretensions effectually supported; so larger Advantages were actually procured for Great Britain in particular, than ever had been demanded before in any Treaty or Negotiation between this and any other Foreign State. The said Earl craves Leave on this Occasion to appeal to your Lordships, whether all the Ends for which the War was entered into have not, by this Treaty, been fully attained? Whether it does not appear, by the best of Proofs, Experience, that the Kingdoms of France and Spain are, by the Conventions of this Treaty, most effectually separated? And whether any other Expedient could have been so successful to this Purpose, as that whereby it is now happily brought about? Whether the Balance of Power in Europe be not now upon a better Foot than it has been for an Hundred Years past? Whether the Advantages that have accrued to Great Britain by this Treaty do not appear, and have not appeared, in the Security of the Protestant Succession, and in His Majesty's peaceable Accession to the Throne with the universal Applause of His Subjects? In the Additions made to our Wealth, by the great Quantities of Bullion lately coined at the Mint, by the vast Increase of Shipping employed since the Peace in the Fishery and in Merchandize, and by the remarkable Rise of the Customs upon Import, and of our Manufacture and the Growth of our Country upon Export? For the Proof of which Particulars, he refers himself to those Offices and Books wherein an authentic Account of them is contained. And as the Terms of the Peace were, in these and other respects, manifestly profitable to Great Britain; so the said Earl begs Leave, humbly to remind your Lordships, that they were communicated to the Parliament, and with their Concurrence agreed on; that the Peace, thus concluded, was afterwards highly approved by both Houses; that solemn Thanks was rendered to God for it in all our Churches, as well as in the Churches of The United Provinces; and that Her Majesty received on this Subject the hearty and unfeigned Congratulations of Her People from all Parts of Her Dominions. These being the real Effects, and this a true Representation, of Her Majesty's Conduct in the Affairs both of War and Peace; the said Earl sees not how he or any others then in Her Majesty's Service can be justly charged with betraying the Interest of their own Country and of the Allies, by negotiating and promoting that Peace, which then was, and (as he hath good Grounds to believe) still continues to be, very acceptable and advantageous to these Kingdoms: And if the Peace itself be not condemned; and if it be not even charged upon the said Earl as a Crime, that he advised Her Majesty to conclude that Peace; neither of which appear to him from the Articles; he humbly conceives, it is a particular and extraordinary Hardship upon him, that rough Draughts and Essays towards a Peace, with other preliminary Steps in a Negotiation, all leading to an End which he looks upon to be just and prositable, and which is not in any of the Articles alledged to be otherwise, should be branched into so many distinct Heads of Accusation against him; for, supposing that in the Process of so nice and difficult an Affair, subject to divers unforeseen Obstructions and Events, any improper Steps had been taken (which the said Earl doth not admit, but altogether on his Part denies); yet, if Things were at last conducted to a right Issue, and ended in an honourable and advantageous Peace, there can be (as he conceives) no just Ground to find Fault with the Measures made Use of to compass it, because they seemed before the Accomplishment to have a different Tendency; especially if it be considered, that scarce any Peace hath been made by a Consederacy, where less Occasion was administered for Jealousy among the several Parties, and less Reason given to complain that every Nicety required by the Letter of such an Alliance was not strictly observed: And therefore he humbly hopes, that no Steps taken for obtaining a Peace approved by the Wisdom of former Parliaments shall by any succeeding Parliament be accounted criminal, unless it can be made appear that those Steps were taken contrary to the Queen's Orders, or upon corrupt Views of private Advantage: But that no Charge of this Nature can be made good against him, he presumes to affirm with great Assurance; nor does he know of any other Persons justly chargeable upon either of these Accounts. And, as a further Proof that those who had the Honour to serve Her Majesty in the Negotiations of Peace acted with upright Views and Intentions, and without being conscious to themselves of any Failure in their Duty either to their Queen or their Country; the said Earl craves Leave to observe to your Lordships, that they never attempted to cover their Actions from public Censure by any Pardon or Indemnity, though they had very good Reason to believe that, had they judged or imagined themselves to have wanted such Security, it might, through the Goodness of the Queen, have easily been obtained; nor can he think it an Observation unfit to be made, that, in few of the Articles which concern the Negotiations of Peace, the Charge is founded on any Breach of the Laws of Great Britain; but it is in most of them built chiesty on the supposed Infraction of certain Treaties and Alliances with Foreign Princes and States; and he conceives, that such Infractions of Public Treaties, where they do not particularly affect the Interests of Great Britain, being cognizable by the Laws of Nations only and not by those of the Realm, are not wont to be examined into here at Home, and prosecuted as criminal; but upon the Complaint of some Prince or State pretending by that Means to be injured, and lodging such Complaint, in some reasonable Time, with the Prince by the Advice of whose Ministers and Servants such Injury is supposed to have been done: But he knows not that any such Steps have been taken, since the Peace, by any of the Powers concerned; on the contrary, he believes, that all the Allies, except the Emperor and Empire, made their Peace with the Enemy at the same Time the Queen did; and that none of them did afterwards complain to Her Majesty (who survived the said Peace a Year and almost Four Months) of any Hardships imposed upon them in it: That the Princes of the Empire, who contributed very little to the War, might have concluded their Peace upon reasonable Terms, at the same Time the other Allies did; and would probably have done it, if the Emperor, on His Part, had been willing to sign together with them; which, he is informed, at the Conclusion of any general Peace, has been seldom done; and particularly, at the several Conclusions of the Peace of Munster, that of Nimeghen, and that of Reswick, was not practised. And he submits it to your Lordships Consideration, whether the Emperor, having had all reasonable and equitable Satisfaction made Him for His Pretensions to the Succession of the Spanish Monarchy, according to the Terms of the Grand Alliance, could have any just Reason to complain of the Queen's Ministers, or those of Her Allies, for concluding a Peace without insisting, on His Account, upon impossible Conditions; especially when no Provision was made, or offered to be made, to reimburse to Her Majesty any Part of those vast Sums She had already expended in Support of His Pretensions; whilst He failed of supplying His Quota almost in every Part of the War, notwithstanding His new and great Acquisitions: But whether the Emperor, or any other of the Allies, had any just Ground of Complaint or not, still the said Earl presumes to insist, that it ought to have been signified to the Queen; who, upon such Complaint, had She found any of Her Servants justly blameable, as disobeying Her Orders, or misleading Her by their Advice into unjustifiable and dishonourable Measures, might have punished them forthwith, as their Offences deserved: But, nothing of this Kind having been done, he humbly leaves it to be considered by your Lordships, whether the Silence of the Powers concerned doth not carry in it a strong Presumption, either that they had no real and just Ground of Complaint in relation to the Terms of the Peace itself, or at least did not look upon the Ministers of the Queen as any Ways liable to blame on that Account: And therefore he must again beg Leave to express to your Lordships his Concern, that he should be charged as a Criminal, by the Laws of this Land, for supposed Breaches of Treaties with Foreign States; which never were complained of as such, by those States themselves, during the Life of Her Majesty. He desires further to observe to your Lordships, that wherever he is charged with carrying on a private and separate Negotiation, it is all along understood with regard only to The States of the United Provinces; no Step that was communicated to them being censured upon this Account; whereas all the other Allies had, by virtue of their Treaties with the Queen, a like Right to a Communication of Counsels; and Her Majesty was under no Stipulations to act more in Concert with any one, than with all of them. He doth indeed allow it to have been most agreeable to Reason, and to the Interests of State, that the Queen should act in a closer Conjunction with Holland than with any other of Her Allies, because that, next to Great Britain, Holland bore the greatest Share in the Charge of the War; but then he hopes it will be allowed also, that The States being more interested in the Success of the War than England, and that England having submitted to a greater Share of the Burthen, in order to procure, not only a fitting Security for The States, but such as brought great Advantages to them, though no Benefit to England, it was very reasonable for the Queen to take Care of the Interest of Her own Kingdoms some other Way; and, since the Advantages She demanded from the Enemy were such as She might obtain without any Prejudice to The States, it was as lawful for Her to negotiate this Matter, without communicating it originally and in the First Rise of it to them, as it was for Her and The States to concert their mutual Interests together, without the immediate and express Participation of the other Allies, which, being known to be done without a Design to defeat any of the main Ends of the Alliance, was never complained of by any of the Confederates: And as for the Matters concerted previously with France for the particular Interest of England, without the original Intervention of Holland, The States were so far from protesting against Her Majesty's Measures, and condemning Her Conduct in this respect, that their Minister proffered several Times, in their Name, to have led the Way in the most difficult Part of the whole Negotiation, and to have done his utmost to facilitate the Conclusion of it, provided his Masters might have a Share in the Assiento Contract and Trade to The Spanish West Indies; One of those Advantages which France had discovered its Willingness should be allowed previously and entirely to England.
These few general Observations the said Earl has thought fit to add in the Close of his Answer to the several Articles of his Impeachment; not only in his own necessary Vindication, but also in Defence of Her late Majesty's Conduct in the negotiating and concluding a Peace, the perfecting of which She esteemed the greatest Happiness of Her Reign.
"Upon Review of the Two and Twenty Articles with which he is charged; as he is not conscious of any Offence committed by him with respect to any one of them, so it is with a particular Concern and Surprize that he reflects on those Two wherein he is accused of High Treason, for endeavouring to procure Tournay to France, and so deprive The States of that intended Part of their Barrier; and for procuring Spain and The West Indies to the Duke of Anjou upon his Renunciation of the Crown of France: Referring himself to what he has said in his Answer to both these Articles, he here further assures your Lordships, (and thinks it is sufficiently known both at Home and Abroad) that his Opinion and Endeavour, as Occasion offered, always were for Tournay's remaining (as it now does) to The States General; and as to the latter, he doubts not but that what has lately happened in France, is a convincing Proof to your Lordships, and to all the World, that the Renunciation was the best Expedient that could have been proposed, towards hindering the Two Kingdoms from being united under One and the same Monarch; that that Branch of the Treaty which relates to this Expedient has fully answered its End, and made good the Character given of it by the Queen, "that it would execute itself:" And therefore, that whoever advised this Method of separating the Two Crowns, was so far from being guilty of any traiterous Design, that he eminently promoted the Welfare of Great Britain and the Good of Christendom.
"The said Earl, with all the Assurances of an innocent Man, begs Leave to repeat, that, as well in this, as in all other Affairs of State in which he had the Honour to be employed by Her late Majesty, he ever acted, according to the best of his Skill and Judgement, with sincere Desires and Intentions to serve the Public, and without any View to his own private Advantage. As he was in several great Stations under Her Majesty, he came into all of them by Her own special Command, without his seeking or desiring them; and he served Her in all with the utmost Respect, Zeal, and Faithfulness; and while he continued in those Stations, for many Years, it was with great Wonder and Pleasure that he observed how Her Majesty's whole Thoughts, Endeavours, and Time, were divided between Her Duty to God and Her Love to Her People, whose Good and Security She preferred always to Her own Ease, and often hazarded Her Health and Life itself to procure it; he knew, that the most effectual Way for any one to recommend himself to Her good Opinion, was to act upon the same Principles of Justice and Love to his Country that She did: And as She abhorred the Thoughts of any Thing burthensome or injurious to Her People; so She often expressed Herself with the greatest Satisfaction and Delight, when She reflected on the Advantages obtained by Her for Her own Subjects, and the Quiet and Repose She had gained for Europe, by that just and honourable Peace, for which, as the present Age doth, so Generations to come will, bless the Memory of that Excellent and Renowned Queen.
Committee to search Precedents after Delivery of Answers to Impeachments.
Ordered, That the Lords following be appointed a Committee, to inspect Precedents of the Method of proceeding, after the Delivery of Answers to Articles of Impeachment, and report to the House; (videlicet,)
Tobacco and Wine Merchants, Bill.
Whereas this Day was appointed, for the House to be put into a Committee upon the Bill, intituled, "An Act for Relief of Merchants, Importers of Tobacco and Wine, concerned in Bonds given for Part of the Duties on the same;" and for the Officers of the Customs concerned in the Revenue, and the Merchants for whose Relief the Bill is desired, to attend their Lordships: