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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Anno 2 Georgii Regis.
DIE Lunæ, 9 Januarii.
His Majesty presents
His Majesty, being seated on His Royal Throne, adorned with His Crown and Regal Ornaments, and attended with His Officers of State (the Prince of Wales, in his Robes, sitting in his Place on His Majesty's Right Hand, the Lords being also in their Robes), commanded the Gentleman Usher of the Black Rod to let the Commons know, "It is His Majesty's Pleasure, they attend Him immediately, in the House of Peers."
King's Speech, delivered by the Lord Chancellor.
"The Zeal and Affection to My Government, and the vigilant Care for the Safety of the Nation, which you have shewn in your respective Counties, have not only fully answered My Expectations; but give Me Assurances that you are met together resolved to act with a Spirit becoming a Time of common Danger; and with such a Vigour, as will end in the Confusion of all those who have openly engaged in this Rebellion, and in the Shame and Reproach of such as by secret and malicious Insinuations have fomented, or by an avowed Indifference encouraged, this traiterous Enterprize.
"It is, I doubt not, a great Satisfaction to you, to have observed, that the Powers you entrusted Me with for the Preservation of the Public Safety have been employed in the most proper and effectual Manner, and made strictly subservient to those Purposes only for which you intended them; and you must have had the Pleasure to reflect with Me, that, as the Measures taken for our Defence have been just and necessary, so it has pleased the Divine Providence to bless them with a Series of suitable Success. And I cannot but take this Opportunity of doing Justice to the Officers and Soldiers of the Army, whose brave and faithful Discharge of their Duty has disappointed our Enemies, and contributed so much to the Safety of the Nation.
"I did hope that the detecting and preventing the designed Insurrections in some Parts of the Kingdom, and the defeating in others those who had taken up Arms against Me, would have put an End to this Rebellion: But it is plain that our Enemies, animated by some secret Hopes of Assistance, are still endeavouring to support this desperate Undertaking; and the Pretender, as I have Reason to believe, is now landed in Scotland.
"It is, however, with Pleasure, I can acquaint you, that, notwithstanding these intestine Commotions, Great Britain has in some Measure recovered its Influence and Reputation Abroad. The Treaty for settling the Barrier for The Netherlands is now fully concluded between the Emperor and The States General, under My Guarantee. The King of Spain has agreed to a Treaty, by which that valuable Branch of our Commerce will be delivered from the new Impositions and Hardships to which it was subjected by the late Treaties, and will stand settled for the future on a Foot more advantageous and certain than it ever did in the most flourishing Time of any of My Predecessors: And the Treaty for renewing all former Alliances between the Crown of Great Britain and The States General is brought very near to its Conclusion.
"I must rely on your Affection to Me, and your Care and Concern for the Safety of the Nation, to grant Me such Supplies, as may enable Me to restore and to secure the Peace of the Kingdom; and I will order Estimates of the necessary Expences to be laid before you.
"Among the many unavoidable ill Consequences of this Rebellion, none affects Me more sensibly than that extraordinary Burden which it has and must create to My faithful Subjects: To ease them as far as lies in My Power, I take this First Opportunity of declaring, that I will freely give up all the Estates that shall become forfeited to the Crown by this Rebellion, to be applied towards defraying the extraordinary Expence incurred on this Occasion.
"It is Matter of the greatest Uneasiness to Me, that the First Years of My Reign, the whole Course of which I wished to have transmitted to Posterity distinguished by the fair and endearing Marks of Peace and Clemency, should be clouded and over-cast with so unnatural a Rebellion; which, however impotent and unsuccessful a due Care may render it in all other respects, does most sensibly afflict Me, by the Calamities it has brought on many of My faithful Subjects, and by those indispensable Returns of Severity which their Sufferings and the public Safety do most justly call for: Under this Concern, My greatest Comfort is, that I cannot reproach Myself with having given the least Provocation to that Spirit of Discontent and Calumny that has been let loose against Me, or the least Pretence for kindling the Flame of this Rebellion.
"Let those whose fatal Counsels laid the Foundation of all these Mischiefs, and those whose private Discontents and Disappointments, disguised under false Pretences, have betrayed great Numbers of deluded People into their own Destruction, answer for the Miseries in which they have involved their Fellowsubjects. I question not but that, with the Continuance of God's Blessing, who alone is able to form Good out of Evil, and with the chearful Assistance of My Parliament, we shall, in a short Time, see this Rebellion end, not only in restoring the Tranquillity of My Government, but in procuring a firm and lasting Establishment of that excellent Constitution in Church and State, which it was manifestly designed to subvert; and that this open and flagrant Attempt in Favour of Popery will abolish all other Distinctions among us, but of such as are zealous Assertors of the Liberties of their Country, the present Establishment, and the Protestant Religion, and of such as are endeavouring to subject the Nation to the Revenge and Tyranny of a Popish Pretender."
Address, on His Majesty's Speech.
Ordered, That an humble Address be presented to His Majesty, "To return His Majesty the Thanks of this House, for His most Gracious Speech from the Throne; and to congratulate His Majesty on the Success of His Arms against the Rebels; and to express the Thanks of this House to His Majesty, for His Care in preserving His People in Safety at Home, and in procuring Security and Advantages to our Commerce Abroad; and to assure His Majesty, that this House will stand by and assist His Majesty and His Government, against the Pretender and all his open and secret Abettors;" and likewise on the Debate of this House.
Message from H. C. to sit some Time.
E. of Strafford's Answer to the Articles of Impeachment against him.
"The Answer of Thomas Earl of Strafford, 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 the Impeachment against him for 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, for the Uncertainty and Insufficiency thereof, 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; in Answer to the said Articles, admits that divers Treaties and Alliances were entered into, by the Crown of Great Britain, with the several Potentates mentioned in the Preamble to the said Articles; but, for more Certainty as to the Contents thereof, the said Earl refers to the said Treaties themselves; and, with the utmost Deference to the Memory of his late Royal Master King William the Third, doth acknowledge the great Wisdom of that glorious Prince, who, by the grand Alliance, formed a noble Design of settling a due Balance of Power in Europe; but humbly begs Leave to observe, that the Affront offered by France, in acknowledging the Pretender King of Great Britain, though justly mentioned by Her late Majesty Queen Anne, of Ever-blessed Memory, as One Cause of the War, which, in May One Thousand Seven Hundred and Two, was by Her declared against France and Spain, could not be any Inducement to the forming the Grand Alliance, as is suggested in the Preamble to the said Articles, being subsequent to it, as most evidently appears; inasmuch as that Alliance was not only formed, but concluded and signed, at The Hague, during the Life-time of the late King James the Second. And the said Earl admits, that the Emperor and The States General did also, about May One Thousand Seven Hundred and Two, declare War against France and Spain; and that other Kings, Princes, and States of Europe, soon after became Parties to the said Confederate War; which having been carried on for many Years at a vast Expence of Blood and Treasure, Her said late Majesty, out of Her tender Regard for the Good of Her People, and from a sincere and real Design to prevent the further Effusion of Blood, and to ease Her Subjects from the heavy Burden of Taxes which they had so long endured, did hearken to Overtures of Peace from France, after former Negotiations had been rendered fruitless; and give Instructions to the then Lord Privy Seal, now Bishop of London, and him the said Earl, to treat thereof at Utrecht, in Conjunction with the Ministers of Her Allies, in order to bring the same to an happy Conclusion; and among such Instructions several Clauses were interspersed, to the Effect in the said Preamble set forth; but, for more Certainty, refers to his original Instructions; which, together with all his other Papers relating to his Negotiations in The Low Countries, were taken from him in the Beginning of January last, and he supposes may continue in the Hands of One of His Majesty's Principal Secretaries of State: But the said Earl is totally ignorant of any treacherous Correspondence with the Emissaries of France, or of any private or destructive Negotiation of Peace, set on Foot with Intent to weaken or dissolve the Confederacy between Her said late Majesty and Her Allies.
"And for particular Answer to the several Matters wherewith he stands charged in the First Article; the said Earl saith, That, having been employed by His late Majesty King William in the Army during His whole Reign, and likewise in His Court for several Years next before His Death; and having also had the Honour to be sent as His Majesty's Minister to the King of Prussia; he was so happy as to reconcile some Differences which had lately arisen between those Two Princes, and upon his Return received his Royal Master's Approbation. Her late Majesty Queen Anne, soon after Her Accession to the Throne, was pleased to command him to leave his Post in the Army, and to go again to the said Court of Prussia, in the Year One Thousand Seven Hundred and Two, where he had the Character of Her Ambassador Extraordinary, and continued in that Quality till April One Thousand Seven Hundred and Eleven, at which Time Her Majesty thought fit to appoint him Her Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to The States General; and in June following, Her Majesty was pleased to honour him with the Title of One of Her Privy Council; and about December in the same Year to appoint him One of Her Plenipotentaries to treat at Utrecht, with the Ministers of France, of a general Peace. And the said Earl thought it his Duty, not to scruple any Danger or Pains for Her Service, believing his Zeal therein was the best Evidence he could give of his hearty Affection to his Country; and he constantly did, with the utmost Sincerity, endeavour, according to his Abilities, to pursue the true Ends of his Commission and Powers, to promote the Honour and Safety of Her Majesty and Her Kingdoms, to answer the Engagements She was under to Her Allies, and to secure the common Liberties of Europe: But he must, with the utmost Detestation and Abhorrence, deny that he was in the least devoted to the Interest or Service of the French King; or that he ever acted in Defiance of any of the said Treaties, or of the Advice of Parliament, or of any Declarations of Her Majesty from the Throne, or of Her Assurances to The States General to act in Concert with them, in making Peace as in making War, or of Her Instructions to him under Her Sign Manual. The said Earl admits, that, as he was a Privy Counsellor, it was his Duty truly to have advised Her Majesty in all Matters treated of in Council whilst he was present; and, had any Thing so treated of appeared to him to have been to the Dishonour of Her Majesty, or to the Prejudice of Her People, the said Earl would not have been wanting to advise against, and with all Humility to oppose the same; but, as he was Her Majesty's Ambassador and Plenipotentiary, he looked upon himself as a Ministerial Officer, whose Duty it was to pursue such Instructions as he should from Time to Time receive; and, since he could not doubt but that all Orders sent him by Her Majesty's Directions had been first maturely weighed and digested, he humbly apprehends your Lordships will think it had been too great a Presumption in him to advise against or oppose such Orders, which carried not in themselves any apparent Illegality, when he knew not the Springs or Reasons of them; and which therefore it became him to believe well warranted, and to have proceeded from just and proper Grounds and Motives. And the said Earl saith, he was so far from advising or exhorting that any private, separate, dishonourable, or destructive Negotiation of Peace, should be continued and carried on between the Ministers of Great Britain and France, without Communication thereof to Her Majesty's Allies according to their Treaties, or from being instrumental in promoting any such Negotiation as in the said Article is charged, that he did not know, or believe, that any such Negotiation was entered into. And, for a plain Relation of the said Earl's proceeding in this Affair, he saith, That, about May One Thousand Seven Hundred and Eleven, being then Her Majesty's Ambassador and Plenipotentiary to The States General, he received, from One of Her Principal Secretaries of State, a Paper, supposed to be signed by Monsieur Torcy, containing some Proposals for setting on Foot a Negotiation of Peace, with Orders to communicate the same to the Pensionary of Holland, that his Sentiments might be known thereupon; and to assure that Minister, and others of that Republic, "That the Queen was resolved, in making Peace as in making War, to act in Concert with The States:" In Pursuance of which Orders, he the said Earl did immediately communicate the said Proposals to the Pensionary, and unto Two others of The States General who had formerly been employed in the Negotiations at Gertruydenbergh, and whom the Pensionary thought the most proper to be entrusted with that Matter: And they, having considered the said Proposals, did pray the said Earl to return Her Majesty Thanks, in the Name of The States, for Her Confidence in them; declared themselves 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. Of this, the said Earl sent an Account to Her Majesty's Secretary of State, and soon after received Her Commands to repair to England; and, on his Arrival here, acquainted Her Majesty with his Proceedings at The Hague: But being, by Her Gracious Permission, allowed to follow some private Affairs of his own, he was often in the Country, and so much engaged that he did not know of any of the Transactions with Monsieur Mesnager, or what was done in relation to the Explications The States had desired Her Majesty to procure from France, upon the Points of Monsieur Torcy's Proposal; till, in October following, he received Instructions, dated the First of that Month, whereby he was required to return to Holland, and to communicate to The States some Propositions, which had been signed by the said Monsieur Mesnager the Twentyseventh Day of September before, as a Foundation for opening the Conferences of Peace with France; which he supposes to be the Instructions intended by those mentioned in the Preamble to the Articles, as dated the Twenty-first Day of October, none of that Date appearing amongst the Copies of his own Papers he has been permitted to take: But the said Earl never saw Monsieur Mesnager, till he met him at Utrecht in January One Thousand Seven Hundred and Eleven-twelve; nor during all the Time of the said Minister's Stay in England was in the least privy to, or made acquainted with, any Transaction between him and any of the Queen's Ministers. The said Earl, having received his said Instructions, took his Journey for Holland; and, on his Arrival there, in Pursuance thereof, imparted to The States General the said Propositions, and what had been communicated to him concerning any Transactions between Great Britain and France; and at the same Time, in further Pursuance of his said Instructions, declared to them, "That if they did not think those Propositions a sufficient Ground to open the Conferences, but were desirous to carry on the War, Her Majesty was willing to concur with them; but could no longer bear that disproportionable Burthen which had been Yearly increased on Her Subjects, nor that Deficiency Her Allies had been guilty of in every Part of the War; and that therefore it was incumbent on them, if the War continued, to furnish such Quotas of Ships and Forces for the future, as they had to that Time been wanting in: That this was what Her Majesty thought She might justly insist on: That they should comply with Her, in War or in Peace; since, in the former, She required nothing but what it belonged to them to perform, and what was necessary to the Success of their Arms; and since, in the latter, She had done, and would continue to do, what was in Her Power towards obtaining such a Peace as might be to the Satisfaction of Her Allies." Soon after this, The States General sent Monsieur Buys to England, as their Plenipotentiary, to confer with Her late Majesty's Ministers, and inform himself of the Circumstances of Affairs, and make Report thereof to his Masters; who having continued here some Time, and transmitted to Holland an Account of the Posture of Affairs, The States General consented to open the Conferences for Peace, and to invite the other Allies to send their Ministers to Utrecht, the Place agreed on for that Purpose; and, in order thereunto, granted Passports for the French Ministers to repair thither: And the said Earl is informed, that, amongst other Transactions by the said Monsieur Buys whilst in England, he signed a Treaty with Her late Majesty's Ministers who were empowered for that Purpose, dated the Eighteenth Day of December One Thousand Seven Hundred and Eleven, O. S. for the carrying on the War and the Negotiation of Peace, according to the mutual Engagements of former Treaties between England and Holland; which Treaty was ratified by Her said late Majesty the Day after it was signed, and was sent to Holland by the then Lord Privy Seal; but The States General, though Their Ministers were often called upon, never ratified the same. And the said Earl admits, that the said Lord Privy Seal and himself were appointed to be Her Majesty's Plenipotentiaries at the said Congress at Utrecht; and he can with great Truth affirm, that he acted, on all Occasions, with the highest and most disinterested Zeal, for procuring a general Peace, for the mutual Advantage of Her Majesty's Subjects and Allies, in Pursuance of the Powers and Instructions received for that Purpose; and is firmly persuaded his Colleague did the same. The said Earl faith, That every one of the Confederates had their Ministers at Utrecht, who all agreed in the Method and Manner of proceeding in the said Negotiation; and had frequent Meetings and Conferences to that End among themselves, in order to lay down a general Scheme for their Conduct; and, for the better concerting these Measures, it was thought fit to have Two Conferences a Week with all the Allies; Two with the Dutch apart, and Two of all the Allies with the French; and in those with the Dutch and the other Allies, what was to be proposed on the Part of the Allies, to the French, was always previously settled. In the First general Conference with the French Ministers, they offered either to proceed to the Explanation of the general Points signed by Monsieur Mesnager (which they acknowledged were binding only to France, and not to the Allies), or that each of the Allies should make their Demands. On Deliberation, it was insisted by the Allies, That the French should first give in a specific Plan of the Offers of the King their Master to all and each of the Allies; and the French complied to give in such specific Plan, in case the Allies would promise to return an Answer thereunto, containing their several Demands: And accordingly the French Ministers did give in such Plan, in Writing; and the Allies, in Answer, delivered in their Demands also, in Writing. The French, having thus given in their Concessions in Writing, and received the Demands of the Allies in like Manner, thought fit to propose the entering into Debate upon the several Propositions mutually delivered in, agreeably to the Course of proceeding in former Treaties: But though some of the Allies thought there was no Necessity of insisting very much on any further written Answer, yet others pressed it more vehemently; to which the French replied, "That, both Sides having already explained themselves in Writing, it was agreeable to the Method of all Negotiations, to proceed to debate Matters; and, in such Debates, specific Answers to each Demand of the Allies would occur." And all the Allies agreed in this Principle, "That the Method most expeditious and safe, whether by Writing or otherwise, was fittest to be followed."
"Thus having given your Lordships a short Narrative of the Proceedings which might render his Answer to the several Particulars charged in this Article more intelligible: As to that Part which mentions his frequently concerting private and separate Measures with the Ministers of France; the said Earl doth acknowledge, that, when the settling any particular Interest of Great Britain might require it, he and his Colleague might confer with the Ministers of France, in the same Manner as the Ministers of each of the Allies conferred separately with those of France, touching their respective particular Interests: And the said Earl apprehends they were justified therein, by their express Orders from England for that Purpose. And sometimes the said Bishop and Earl had separate Conferences with the Ministers of France, at the Request, and on the Behalf, of one or other of the Allies, whose Regard to Her Majesty made them often desire the Interposition of Her Ministers, to support their several Pretensions; wherein the Zeal and sincere Endeavours of the said Bishop and Earl for the Interest of the Allies always appeared, to the Satisfaction of those on whose Behalf they acted: But he denies that he did concert any private or separate Measures with the Ministers of France, in order to impose upon or deceive Her Majesty's Subjects or Allies, or tending to their Prejudice or Detriment. And as to that Part which charges him with commending the Prudence of the French Ministers, in refusing to answer in Writing; the said Earl saith, That, after the written Propositions and Demands on each Side had been delivered in, he took it to be a Matter in its own Nature indifferent, whether there should be any further Transaction thereupon in Writing, or not; and whether it were better to proceed by Way of Writing, or by Conference, to adjust and settle the Terms of Peace, upon the respective Offers and Demands which had been so given in. There was Variety of Opinions: Many of the Ministers of the Allies declared it to be the most usual and expeditious Method to proceed by Way of Conference, which they thought gave better Opportunities of considering and explaining Matters; there being usually seen a greater Stiffness and Obstinacy in maintaining what is once put down in Writing, which oftentimes renders Negotiations tedious, and sometimes clogs them with insuperable Difficulties; and there seemed to be just Grounds for Suspicion, that some, who were most pressing for the Method of Writing, might have those Ends in their View, which it became Her Majesty's Plenipotentiaries, as far as they could, to obviate and prevent. If, therefore, the said Earl inclined, in his private Opinion, to the Sentiments of those who thought the Way of Conference more expeditious and equally safe (admitting he had been mistaken therein), he hopes it will not be imputed to him as a Crime: Much less can he apprehend your Lordships will esteem it any Evidence of his encouraging the Enemy in any fallacious or unjustifiable Manner of Proceedings, if, in a Letter from The Hague to a Minister of the Queen, before this Matter had been fully considered, he intimated the Thoughts he then entertained of it; since he takes it to be very proper for a Public Minister Abroad, in his Correspondence with the more immediate Servants of the Crown at Home, to give minute and particular Accounts of all Occurrences and Discourses, to lay open his Thoughts, to suggest the First Motions and Suspicions that arise in his Mind, and to descant upon Things without Reserve, in order to receive more plain, full, and express Informations and Directions for his better proceeding: And the said Earl believes it will appear, that, if, in any Letter, he intimated his Thoughts upon that Subject, he did not give any positive Judgement, but suspended his Opinion therein till he should have Opportunity of further considering it: And he faith, That, when afterwards the Matter came to be more maturely debated among the Ministers of the Allies, upon his Return to Utrecht, he did join in pressing the Ministers of France to give a further Answer in Writing. And as to that Part which chargeth the said Earl with suggesting Methods for France to make Use of, to create Dissentions among the Allies, and procure separate Negotiations between each of the Allies and France; he saith, That it was generally thought most proper, that the respective Demands of the Allies, which were sometimes clashing and contradictory to each other, should be considered apart, and not at general Conferences with the French; which seemed the more requisite, since no Prince or State had undertaken the Part of a Mediator, to reconcile the Differences which might happen to arise among them, as has been usual in former Treaties. If, therefore, in a Letter to a Minister of the Queen, from the Consideration of the Possibility that some might be for the contrary Method, he intimated that the Inconvenience of such a Method would best appear by beginning, in the Congress, to argue on some Demand of one of the Allies, which would probably induce such Ally to propose the debating separately; he hopes this can never be construed "the suggesting a Method for France to make Use of, to create Dissentions among the Allies," or which could have any Tendency to dissolve the Confederacy; it seeming rather, to him, a likely Means to prevent any such unhappy Consequence: Sure he is, that he sincerely laboured to prevent it; and, for that End, employed his utmost Endeavours to obviate and discourage any fallacious or unjustifiable Manner of transacting the Negotiation of Peace. And he denies that he did at any Time suggest any Method whatsoever, for France to make Use of, to create Dissentions among the Allies, or separate Negotiations between any of the Allies and France, thereby to dissolve the Confederacy; and as he constantly opposed what he apprehended or suspected to have any such Tendency, so he never failed to support, in the best Manner he could, Her Majesty's Allies in their Demands against France; and denies that, in the Course of the Negotiation, he was guilty of any treacherous Proceeding, or of any Practices whatsoever, whereby he could prostitute the Honour of the Queen or the Imperial Crown of these Realms; or whereby he did violate his Powers or Instructions, the Treaties Her Majesty stood engaged in to Her Allies, or any Assurances he had given them by Her Order, or in Her Name; or whereby the Design of the Confederacy, or the Support expected from it, were rendered useless; or the Affairs of Europe given up into the Hands of France.
"In Answer to the Second Article; the said Earl saith, He always thought an Union and good Correspondence between Her late Majesty and the Illustrious House of Hanover of the utmost Importance, and therefore used his best Endeavours to continue and improve it; and never had the least Design to create or widen any Differences or Misunderstandings between them. He acknowledges, that the Parliament, with great Wisdom, provided Laws for preserving the Protestant Religion, establishing the Protestant Succession, and laying the Obligation of an Oath on the Subjects of these Realms to maintain the same; and the said Earl humbly hopes, that he, in his Station, hath never been wanting in his faithful Endeavours for the Security thereof: And, to his great Honour, he hath frequently received from Her late Electoral Highness the Princess Sophia, and from His present Majesty, Their Approbation of his Zeal for Their Service: And he does with great Pleasure and Satisfaction reflect on the happy Success of his Endeavours in the late Treaty of Peace at Utrecht, by which France and Spain were brought to acknowledge our present Sovereign's Right of Succession to the Imperial Crown of these Realms, and to engage never to oppose or disturb the same directly or indirectly; whereby His Majesty had a peaceable Accession to the Throne, and the Benefit of the several Laws made in Support of the said Succession will more securely be transmitted to Posterity. The said Earl denies that he, by false Representations, or by any Reflections upon His Majesty, when Elector of Hanover, in any Letter to the late Queen's Ministers or otherwise, did endeavour to alienate Her Majesty's Affections from His Electoral Highness: And saith, That to such a general Charge it is impossible to make any particular Answer or Defence; but the said Earl is firmly persuaded, there is not any Expression, in any Letter by him wrote, that carries the Appearance of any such false Representation or Reflection; such Expressions being as remote from his Heart and Intentions, as they are inconsistent with that Respect to the Illustrious House of Hanover, which, by the whole Tenor of his Actions, he hath endeavoured to demonstrate. And therefore the said Earl hath that Assurance of your Lordships Justice, as to believe that no doubtful Words or Passages contained in any of his Letters, no Accounts or Censures (if any such there be) of what was said or done by any Minister or Servant of His Electoral Highness, inconsistent, as he apprehended, with that Deference which ought to have been paid to Her late Majesty, will be taken by your Lordships as an Evidence of any Design to alienate Her late Majesty's Affections from His then Electoral Highness, or to create or widen any Differences or Misunderstandings between Them, with which the said Earl is charged in the said Article. And as to the particular Reflection supposed to have been made by the said Earl, in his Letter of the Seventeenth Day of July One Thousand Seven Hundred and Twelve, on His then Electoral Highness; the said Earl humbly hopes that your Lordships will not interpret any Expression in that Letter to have been meant of His Electoral Highness, who is not so much as once named throughout the same, and whom the said Earl hath never mentioned, in any Letter whatsoever, without the highest Respect and Veneration; but that your Lordships will rather understand it, as it was meant, with respect to the General of the Hanover Troops, whose Conduct, the said Earl owns, he hath expressed himself, as well in that as in some preceding Dispatches, not to have been intirely satisfied with: How far he was right in his Opinion, he submits to your Lordships wise Determination; but humbly hopes, that no Representation thereof by him made, however he may be thought to have been mistaken therein, proceeding only from a sincere Zeal for the Honour of His Royal Mistress and the Interest of his Country, can be judged criminal. And the said Earl saith, That the late Queen was so far from being prevailed on, by his Advice, to make a Cessation of Arms with France, without Concert with His Electoral Highness, or against the Consent or Representations of any of the Allies, that he can and doth with Truth affirm, that Her Majesty's Resolutions, concerning the said Cessation, were not taken upon his Advice, or with his Privity. The said Earl doth admit, that, about June or July One Thousand Seven Hundred and Twelve, he was sent to the Army, by Her Majesty's Command, with particular Instructions touching the said Cessation; and that, in Pursuance of his said Instructions, he discoursed several of the Generals of the Allies, particularly Monsieur Buleau; and that he might, in such Discourse, on the Sixteenth Day of July One Thousand Seven Hundred and Twelve, affirm, as he then thought, "That Her Majesty had made no Truce with France;" and the said Earl was then of that Opinion; the Articles demanded by Her Majesty for a Cessation of Arms, as the Conditions without which no Cessation was to be made, not having at that Time, to his Knowledge or Belief, been performed by France. And the said Earl can assuredly say, That he doth not remember he hath, at any Time, knowingly, affirmed to the Ministers of His said Electoral Highness, or any other of the Allies, any Untruths, or any Thing contrary to the Intentions or Interest of the late Queen, thereby to deceive or impose upon His Electoral Highness, or any of Her Majesty's Allies: And apprehends that he hath not, in any of his Negotiations or Proceedings, prostituted or dishonoured the Character he was invested with; or done any Thing tending to dissolve the mutual Confidence and good Understanding between Her late Majesty and the Illustrious House of Hanover.
"In Answer to the Third Article; the said Earl denies any pernicious Negotiations of Peace to have been carried on by him with the Ministers of France; and saith, That, in the Paper mentioned in his Instructions to be signed by Monsieur Mesnager, and delivered to him, together with his said Instructions, on or about the First Day of October One Thousand Seven Hundred and Eleven, it is said, "The French King will acknowledge the Queen of Great Britain in that Quality, as also the Succession to that Crown according to the present Establishment;" and in the specific Explanation of the Offers of France, delivered the Eleventh of February following, it is said, "The King will acknowledge, at the signing of the Peace, the Queen of Great Britain in that Quality, as well as the Succession to the Crown according to the present Establishment, and in a Manner most agreeable to Her Britannick Majesty:" But the said Earl denies he ever heard that the French King proposed such Acknowledgement should not be before the signing of the Peace; nor doth he conceive how the Proposal (before the entering into the Negotiations of Peace) indefinitely to acknowledge the Queen, and the subsequent Concession to do so at the signing of the Peace in what Manner Her Britannick Majesty should please, doth necessarily infer that He would not do it sooner; nor are there, in any of the Propositions from the French King, any negative Words, that He would not do it sooner, as intimated in this Article: And the said Earl apprehends, that, in Fact, He did it sooner; for, when the Sieur Mesnager came into England, the said Earl is informed, he brought with him a Credential Letter from the French King, wherein Her Majesty was styled and acknowledged Queen of Great Britain: And, in the very First Offers and general Conferences at Utrecht, the French Ministers named Her Britannick Majesty in such direct Manner, that the Ministers of the Allies took it for a plain and sufficient Agnition; and the French Ministers understood it in the same Manner, who continued to name Her Majesty as Queen, without Reserve, in their Discourse and Letters to Her Majesty's Plenipotentiaries: And although the said specific Explanation may, in some Part of it, seem to refer to a future Agnition, to prevent the Imperial and other Ministers of the Allies from insisting likewise on a present Acknowledgement of the Titles of their Masters, which might probably have put a Stop to the Negotiation; yet, the said Earl conceives, the Agnition of the Queen was not thereby the less manifest; and is humbly of Opinion, that Her Majesty was treated with distinguishing Marks of Respect, inasmuch as those Titles were given Her, throughout the whole Course of the Negotiation, which had not been allowed on the like Occasions to other Princes till the Conclusion of Peace. It is well known, the Title of His late Majesty King William was not acknowledged at Ryswick, till that Peace was signed; nor was the Emperor's or the King of Prussia's owned, during the late Negotiations, till the concluding Their respective Treaties of Peace. When, therefore, the said Earl had no Instructions to insist upon a more formal Acknowledgement; he hopes he cannot be charged with any Want of Duty to Her Majesty, or Want of Zeal for the Protestant Succession, in not advising Her Majesty against treating with France, upon the Terms on which She entered into the Negotiation at Utrecht. The said Earl believes, the House of Lords, conceiving the French King had proposed to acknowledge Her Majesty's Title to these Realms no sooner than when the Peace should be signed, did, by their Address of the Fifteenth Day of February One Thousand Seven Hundred and Eleven, with a commendable Zeal, represent to Her late Majesty their just Indignation at such dishonourable Treatment, and express their Resentment at such Terms of Peace offered to Her Majesty and Her Allies by the Plenipotentiaries of France; and it was agreeable to the Duty and Affection that August Assembly always demonstrated towards that Excellent Princess, to be touched with the least Appearance or Apprehension of Disrespect to Her Sacred Person: And Her Majesty, being sensible that their Address proceeded from those Motives, was pleased to return them Her hearty Thanks, for the Zeal they expressed for Her Honour. And the said Earl admits, that, in a Letter from the Secretary of State to the then Lord Privy Seal and himself, Mention was made of the said Address; and thereupon they gave an Account of the Steps by them taken on this Subject, to the following Effect: That, the Day after the Receipt of that Letter, the French Plenipotentiaries were told, "That, the deferring to make a formal Agnition of the Queen at first having had all the Effect intended, it would be proper then to do it more formally, for Reasons with which it was needless to acquaint them; otherwise it would be necessary to insert it in the British Demands:" That they made no other Difficulty in it but this, "That, having reported to their Court how that Matter had passed, they ought, in Decency, to give Account of what was then desired;" and said, "They doubted not in Ten or Twelve Days to give intire Satisfaction therein:" But, being pressed to do something immediately, they agreed, "That, if Her Majesty's Plenipotentiaries would write to them, they would give an Answer, whereby the Queen should be directly acknowledged:" Which was accordingly done; and the said Earl believes, that a Copy thereof might be transmitted to Engl'd, but not the Original: And denies that, to his Knowledge, it was a collusive Letter; or that there was any Agreement between the British and French Ministers, not to make Use of it at Utrecht, or not to have it taken as an Acknowledgement by France of the Queen's Title to the Crown; or that the Copy of it was transmitted with Design to deceive or impose upon the Queen or Parliament; nor doth he know, or believe, it was made Use of for any such Purpose; but he takes it to have been an actual Acknowledgement of the Queen's Title by France, and a further Evidence that such Agnition was not deferred till the signing of the Peace, though it was intended to be then made in a more solemn Manner. And the said Earl believes the Honourable House of Peers, for whose Judgement he ever had the highest Veneration and Regard, were satisfied in this Point; since, by their Address of the Tenth of June following, after they had been acquainted, by Her Majesty's Speech from the Throne, with the Terms on which a general Peace might be had, they thought fit to thank Her Majesty for Her Condescension therein, and did express their Reliance on Her Wisdom to finish that great and good Work; as the House of Commons also did, by their Address to Her Majesty, about the same Time. And the said Earl is well assured, he was not wanting in his Zeal and Regard for the Security of the Protestant Succession; on which Head the British Plenipotentiaries, at the very First general Conference with the French Ministers at Utrecht, pressed their Explanation; and they agreed thereunto: And, when the Allies delivered their respective Demands, the Queen's Ministers, on their Part, insisted in such Manner on what related to the Security of that Succession, that the Princess Sophia was pleased to honour them with a Letter of Thanks, and to acknowledge their Care of the Interest of Her Family: Nor were they less careful, at the Conclusion of the Treaty, to settle that important Point with the utmost Exactness, to the Satisfaction of the Queen, the Court of Hanover, and both Houses of Parliament; and the Articles for that Purpose were not only conceived in stronger Terms than had been made Use of at Ryswick, for acknowledging the then Settlement of the Crown; but, before they were inserted in the Treaty, were communicated to the Minister of the Elector, and had His Approbation; and the Manner of that Transaction seems sufficiently justified, from the happy Effects. The said Earl absolutely denies, that he did ever concert or agree with the Ministers of France, that any Proposals mentioned in the said Article, or any other Proposals whatsoever, should be the Conditions whereon France should treat of Peace with Great Britain: Nor doth he know that the Queen, the Parliament, or the Nation, were in any respect abused, or drawn into destructive Measures; or that any Step was taken, on this Occasion, whereby Dishonour could accrue to Her Majesty or these Kingdoms, or any Danger to the Protestant Succession.
In Answer to the Fourth Article; the said Earl faith, That the Bishop of Bristol and himself, being appointed Her Majesty's Plenipotentiaries, did, soon after their Arrival at Utrecht, pursuant to their Instructions, begin by concerting with the Ministers of the Allies, in what Manner it was most proper to open the Conferences, and what Method was to be observed in the Progress of the Treaty; and if it had been thought proper to begin with the Disposition of the Spanish Monarchy, the said Earl was ready to have insisted as the said Instructions directed him to do in that Case; but, upon such Concert, it was thought most adviseable, and so agreed by all the Ministers of the Allies, that each of them should, by a separate Instrument, make their respective Demands, with a general Clause to support each other's just and reasonable Pretensions; and this was looked upon as the most proper Method, and necessary to avoid that Confusion which would otherwise ensue from the Contrariety of the Demands of the several Allies; it being then known, that many of them did and would insist to have the same Thing for themselves, in Opposition to each other. The Imperial Ministers, as well as the rest, acquiesced in that Method; and at a following Conference, it was further desired, that there should be added to such general Clause the Words in Conformity to their Alliances, with which the said Bishop and Earl, as well as the rest, most readily complied; and these Words were accordingly added to the general Clause in each of the Allies Demands, which seemed to give a general Satisfaction; and there was nothing further at that Time insisted on. In Consequence of this Agreement, it was the general Expectation, that the Demand relating to Spain and The West Indies should be particularly inserted only in the Instrument to be given in by the Imperial Ministers: But there having been a Day long before fixed for delivering in to the French all the Demands of the Allies; the Imperialists, the very Night preceding, at a Conference, proposed, "That all the Allies should mention Spain and The West Indies likewise in their several Demands." This caused a general Surprize, and none but the Ministers of Portugal concurred with them; those of The States in particular declared, "The said Dominions ought to be demanded by them whom it did immediately concern; and that the Method Things had been put into, could not suffer it to be otherwise:" But the next Morning, to give Content to the Imperialists, they yielded to make a verbal Declaration among the Allies, "That they were resolved to make good all their Treaties on Occasion of this War, as well those that related to Spain, as those make with Portugal, Prussia, Savoy, and others." The British Plenipotentiaries, to give the like Satisfaction, declared publicly at the Conferences the same Day, "That as Her Majesty insisted for a just and reasonable Satisfaction for all Her Allies, in Conformity to all Her Alliances, those that might concern Spain and The Indies were understood thereby, as well as others that concerned the Interest of the rest of the Allies;" wherewith the Austrian and Portuagal Ministers seemed satisfied; nor did they request any Thing further from the said Bishop and Earl on that Head. And therefore he humbly apprehends, that, in the Negotiation, he neither declined to insist that Spain and The West Indies should not be allotted to the House of Bourbon, as far as his Instructions directing him to act in Concert with the rest of the Allies required; nor refused to join with the Imperial and Portugal Ministers, or either of them, to strengthen that Demand in such Manner as was proper; but in this, and all other Matters, he pursued with Constancy the Orders he from Time to Time received from Her Majesty, as the Nature and Circumstances of Things would give Leave; and in case Her late Majesty found it impracticable to persist in Her First Designs of gaining Spain and The West Indies from the House of Bourbon, and thought other Expedients for preventing the Union of the Two Monarchies of Spain and France, might as well answer the Ends of Her several Alliances, and did thereupon enter into other Measures for obtaining a general Peace, in which Her Allies concurred; the said Earl hopes, that his conforming himself to the Measures not only prescribed by Her Majesty, whose Minister he was, and whom it was his Duty to obey, but also approved by both Houses of Parliament, will not be esteemed an acting in Defiance of the Treaties between Her Majesty and Her Allies, in Contempt of the Advice or Opinion of Parliament, or in Violation of his Instructions: And he cannot entertain such Diffidence of your Lordships Justice and Goodness, as to suspect that his Actions, which proceeded from a Principle of Obedience to His Sovereign, and Zeal for the Public Service, should be condemned as perfidious or unwarrantable. And the said Earl denies that, by any of his Practices, any Jealousies or Discords were created between Her Majesty and Her Allies, the mutual Confidence between them was dissolved, the just Balance of Power in Europe betrayed, or any Advantage given to the common Enemy to impose what Terms of Peace he should think fit upon Her Majesty or any of the Confederates.
"In Answer to the Fifth Article; the said Earl doth acknowledge, that Her late Majesty, in Her Speech from the Throne, on the Seventh Day of December One Thousand Seven Hundred and Eleven, having acquainted Her Parliament, "That both Time and Place were appointed for opening a Treaty of Peace," did at the same Time remind them, "That the best Way to make the Treaty effectual, would be to make early Provision for the Campaign;" and believes Supplies were granted, and Magazines provided, for that End: But the said Earl faith, That, at the Time in the said Article for that Purpose mentioned, he was not informed of any reasonable Prospect the Confederates then had of gaining new Conquests over the Army of France; nor doth he believe that the Confederate Army at that Time was the strongest that had been in the Service during the whole Course of the War; but, upon the Informations he received at The Hague, about the Nineteenth-Thirtieth of April One Thousand Seven Hundred and Twelve, he understood, that the French were better posted than the Confederates, and their Army stronger; and that the Confederate Forces could not march to surprize the French in their Lines till they had green Forage, which would not be up in Three Weeks at soonest; and that the French had all their Troops, and the Confederates wanted great Part of theirs, especially the Imperialists, who it was thought could not, and in Fact did not, join the Army till about a Month after; and the said Earl conceiving the Treaty of Peace in so great Forwardness, that, by a constant Application of the Plenipotentiaries, it might probably be brought to a Conclusion in a Month's Time; he did, upon these Considerations, apprehend it would not have been any Disservice to the common Cause, if a Cessation of Arms for a Month had been then agreed on, during which Time the Negotiation might have been ended one Way or other; and he believes that, according to his Duty, he might about that Time, in a Letter to Her Majesty's Secretary of State, send an Account of the Posture and Condition of the Two Armies; but denies that he took upon him to counsel or advise on that Subject, but only proposed the Matter for further Deliberation in England, if upon those or other Accounts such a short Cessation should be thought necessary; much less did he then, or at any other Time, suggest or advise any Cessation of Arms to be made with France, without or against the Consent of the Allies, or with Design to disappoint any just Expectation they might have, or to give Success to any secret or wicked Negotiations whatsoever; and he is not yet sensible that a Cessation for a Month, at that Time, could have been any Hindrance or Prejudice to the Cause of the Allies, or have given the least Advantage to the Enemy: However, in Fact, no Cessation was made upon his said Letter. The said Earl saith, he doth not know, or believe, that, in Pursuance of any Counsel or Advice given by him, any Directions were sent to Her Majesty's General in Flanders, to avoid engaging in any Siege, or hazarding a Battle; nor was he privy to the sending any such Directions; and he denies that he advised Her late Majesty to send any Person, much less himself, from England, to the Army in Flanders, to cause a Cessation of Arms to be made or proclaimed, between Her Majesty and the French Army; but acknowledges that, he being Her Majesty's Ambassador, She was pleased to give him Orders and Instructions, under Her Sign Manual, dated the Twenty-first Day of June One Thousand Seven Hundred and Twelve, whereby he was commanded "to make all possible Dispatch to the Army in The Low Countrys; and, upon his Arrival there, to inform Her General and Commander in Chief of the Resolutions taken in the then important Conjuncture of Affairs; and also to declare to the Generals and Commanders in Chief of the Foreign Troops in Her Majesty's Pay, and in the Joint-pay of Her Majesty and The States General, with how much Surprize Her Majesty heard there was the least Doubt of their obeying such Orders as they should receive from her said General; and likewise commanding the said Earl to continue with the said Army, till the Affair of the Suspension of Arms and the Surrender of Dunkirk were determined one Way or other;" and that thereupon he resorted to The Hague, and there, in Conjunction with his Colleague the then Lord Bishop of Bristol, acquainted The States General with Her Majesty's Intentions for a short Cessation of Arms between the Armies in The Netherlands, upon certain Conditions to be performed by France, One of which was, the Surrendry of Dunkirk into Her Majesty's Possession; inviting The States to join with Her Majesty therein. After this, the said Earl proceeded to the Army, and acted conformably to his said Instructions; and hopes, that what was the Performance of his Duty, will not be imputed to him as a Crime: But the said Earl denies that any Cessation or Separation of the Troops was executed or performed by his Advice; nor was he otherwise concerned therein, than in signifying the Orders he had in Command from Her Majesty to Her General; and he believes, from the best Judgement he can make upon the them Situation of Affairs, that, if the Cessation that was made by Her Majesty had been generally complied with by the rest of the Army, it would have increased the Confidence between Her Majesty and Her Allies, and have obliged the French King more speedily to comply with their Demands in the Negotiations of Peace; and that the most promising Expectations from the Operations of the Campaign, during those Two Months for which the Cessation was to continue, could not equal the Advantage accruing to the Confederates by the Surrender of the important Fortress of Dunkirk, which was put into Her Majesty's Hands as One of the Conditions of it.
"In Answer to the Sixth Article; the said Earl, not admitting that he did advise or procure a Cessation of Arms, or obtain for France any Separation of the Troops of Great Britain from the Confederate Army, or was otherwise concerned therein than as in his Answer to the preceding Article is set forth, denies, with a just Abhorrence, that he ever had any treacherous Purposes, to advance or promote the Interests of France, or to render any future Correspondence or Harmony between Her late Majesty and The States General impracticable, or to weaken or distress the said States, or bring them under any Necessity of complying with, or submitting to, the Measures of France; nor did or doth he know, or believe, that the taking Possession of Ghent and Bruges by the British Troops was likely to produce any such Consequence; on the contrary, he conceives, that it was very much for the Advantage of the Allies, especially The States General, that the English took Possession of those Towns, which would otherwise, in all Probability, have fallen into the Hands of the French. The said Earl doth acknowledge, that, when the British Troops were left by the other Forces who separated from them, and were under a Necessity of retiring to some Place of Security, and it was reported that the Dutch had given Orders to all the Commanders of the Towns in their Possession to refuse them Admittance or Passage, he did not think the Resolution improper, which was taken by Her Majesty's General, to send a Party of the Queen's Troops to march through some Part of those Towns, to make Experiment whether they would refuse them Passage; for, if Passage should not be refused them, the Dutch would be vindicated from the Report which had been given out, so highly reflecting on their Honour, and so repugnant to the repeated Professions and Assurances of the Good-will and Friendship they had so constantly declared for Great Britain; and if such Passage should be refused, it would demonstrate the Necessity the English Troops were under of resorting to Ghent and Bruges: However, the said Earl doth not admit that he did advise therein; much less had he any such Hopes or treacherous Designs as in the said Article are mentioned; nor did he seek any Pretence to put in Execution any Design or Resolution concerted with the Ministers of France; nor was any such Design or Resolution, to his Knowledge or Belief, concerted: The said Earl doth believe, that a Party of the Queen's Troops, being sent with Intentions to obtain Admittance into some of the Towns in Flanders, where some of the English Magazines and Hospitals were, or at least to obtain a Passage through them to some other Places of Security, were refused by the Dutch Commanders, although those Towns had been conquered chiefly by British Blood and Treasure: But The States General disavowed their giving any Orders for that Purpose; and thereby rescued themselves from the Reproach of an Usage, that might have been thought inhuman to Confederate Troops, who had spent their Blood for their Service, and had done no Act of Hostility, nor given any just Reason to The States to apprehend any ill Consequences from such Passage or Admittance. The said Earl doth acknowledge, that, after this Refusal of the Dutch Commanders to receive any of the Queen's Troops into, or permit them to pass through, the Towns in their Possession, they retired into Ghent and Bruges; the former having been their usual Quarters, and the Citadel thereof having been garrisoned by them from the Beginning of the Campaign: But the said Earl does not know, or believe, there was any treacherous or destructive Design in the marching of those Troops into, or taking Possession of, those Towns; nor doth he know, or believe, it was done in Concert with any of the Ministers of France, who, he is confident, were not privy to, or knew any Thing of it, till after it was executed; nor doth the said Earl discern how it contributed to the Prejudice of the Confederates, or Advantage of the French Army: But, on the contrary, the said Earl is very well assured, that it proved greatly to the Advantage and Security of the former, whose Convoys were thereby protected, and the Communication between Holland and the Confederate Army kept open; and the Advantages thereby to the common Cause were so notorious and visible, that the Allies frequently expressed their Satisfaction that those important Places had been so well secured, by which Means the Allies had all the Advantages of those Towns without being at the Expence of Garrisons, the furnishing of which would have obliged them to make such Detachments from their Army as would have rendered it difficult for them to have kept the Field; and, on the other Hand, the French Ministers frequently complained of the great Disadvantages occasioned thereby to the Arms of their Master, whom they thought not well treated by Her Majesty on that Account: And the said Earl apprehends, that the British Troops had equal Right with those of The States, to enter into Ghent and Bruges, or any other Place of The Low Countrys, which by Agreement were under the joint Government of the Queen and The States General; and this happened at that Time to be of the greater Importance, since the Queen's Troops were thereby enabled to maintain a Communication with Dunkirk and England; and was afterwards found likewise very useful, towards obtaining the Removal of the unjustifiable Impositions laid by the Dutch upon the British Merchandize in the new Conquests in The Netherlands, which they themselves had many Months owned to be a Grievance, but had not before thought fit to redress.
"The said Earl humbly hopes, he has fully answered the several Articles exhibited against him; and he doubts not but your Lordships will, in your great Wisdom, maturely weigh the Nature of the Charge, which is chiefly founded on his Transactions Abroad with the Ministers of Foreign Princes and States, whose Testimony, though never so material towards clearing his Innocence, it will be impossible for him to produce: He assures himself, your Lordships will have a due Regard to the wide Extent, the great Length and Intricacy, of the Negotiations wherein he was engaged by his late Sovereign's express Commands; to which he did the more chearfully submit, being joined in the most considerable Parts thereof with a Reverend Prelate, whose long Residence Abroad, and Experience in the Methods of treating with Foreign Princes and States, had abundantly qualified him for the Discharge of so important a Trust. However the said Earl on his Part may in any respect have been unequal to to the Province assigned him; yet sure he is, that he always endeavoured to acquit himself therein with the utmost Integrity; and cannot but express a just Derestation of the many evil Intentions wherewith he is loaded by the said Articles: And, as he humbly apprehends the several Facts mentioned in the Articles (if they could be proved) will not appear criminal, abstracted from the ill Motives and Designs from which they are supposed to proceed; so, he is fully persuaded, your Lordships will distinguish between the Actions themselves and the Intentions wherewith they are charged to be done; and he assures himself, that your Lordships will judge of the Sincerity of his Intentions by the Tenor of all his Letters and Papers, and not by any particular Passages selected from them; and is secure in your Lordships Justice, that no strained Construction of any such Passages will be made by your Lordships to his Prejudice. He cannot but think himself extremely unfortunate, in falling under the Displeasure of the Honourable House of Commons; nor could he receive the First Intimation of it without the greatest Surprize, not being conscious to himself that he had transgressed any known Law. He was not without Hopes, having spent the best and greatest Part of his Life Abroad in the Army and in several Embassies, always endeavouring to promote the Welfare of his Country, that he might at his Return have met with its Approbation, as a Recompence for his long and faithful Services; however, he comforts himself with this Reflection, that every Step of his Proceedings in the late Negotiation was laid before Her Majesty, and received Her Royal Approbation: Nor will it, he conceives, be judged improper, if he observes to your Lordships, that The States General, in the Letter to Her Majesty a little before the signing the Peace, acknowledged they could not enough commend Her Plenipotentiaries, for the Assistance they had given them in their Treaty with France; and that all the Allies gave frequent Marks of their Esteem for the said Earl and his Colleague, on Account of the many Services they had received from them. The said Earl is confident, it will appear to your Lordships, that although he did, with the utmost Application, pursue the Good of his own Country preferably to that of any other Nation whatsoever; yet he was never wanting to promote the Advantage of the Allies, particularly of The States General, where it did not interfere with the Interest of Great Britain. A separate Treaty of Peace was so far from his Thoughts, that, on the contrary, he was trully zealous to make it general; and he had the Happiness to succeed therein, in as great a Degree as was ever known when so many Consederates were concerned; nor was the said Earl less zealous in supporting, to the utmost of his Abilities, the Honour and Reputation of his late Royal Mistress, which was so far from being prostituted, or suffering any Diminution, by his Negotiations, that Her Majesty did, through the whole Course of those Negotiations, and to the very Hour of Her Death, maintain as great and glorious a Character as any of Her Royal Predecessors, or as She Herself had done in any former Part of Her Reign.
"And as to all other Matters and Things in the said Articles contained, and not herein before particularly answered; the said Earl faith, he is not guilty of them, or any of them, in the Manner and Form as the same are charged upon him in and by the said Articles; and humbly submits himself to your Lordships Judgement.
E. of Derwentwater impeached.
"The Commons of Great Britain in Parliament assembled, having received Information of divers Treasons committed by a great Peer of this House, James Earl of Derwentwater, have commanded me to impeach the said James Earl of Derwentwater of High Treason: And I do here, in their Names, and in the Names of all the Commons of Great Britain, impeach the said James Earl of Derwentwater of High Treason. And I am further commanded by the House of Commons, to acquaint your Lordships, that they will, with all convenient Speed, exhibit to your Lordships Articles to make good the Charge against him."
L. Widdrington impeached.
"The Commons of Great Britain in Parliament assembled, having received Information of divers Treasons committed by a great Peer of this House, William Lord Widdrington, have commanded me to impeach the said William Lord Widdrington of High Treason: And I do here, in their Names, and in the Names of all the Commons of Great Britain, impeach the said William Lord Widdrington of High Treason. I am further commanded by the House of Commons, to acquaint your Lordships, that they will, with all convenient Speed, exhibit to your Lordships Articles to make good the Charge against him."
E. of Nithisdale impeached.
"The Commons of Great Britain in Parliament assembled, having received Information of divers Treasons committed by a Peer of this Realm, William Earl of Nithisdale, have commanded me to impeach the said William Earl of Nithisdale of High Treason: And I do here in their Names, and in the Names of all the Commons of Great Britain, impeach the said William Earl of Nithisdale of High Treason. And I am further commanded by the House of Commons, to acquaint your Lordships, that they will, with all convenient Speed, exhibit to your Lordships Articles to make good the Charge against him."
E. of Winton impeached.
"The Commons of Great Britain in Parliament assembled, having received Information of divers Treasons committed by a Peer of this Realm, George Earl of Winton, have commanded me to impeach the said George Earl of Winton of High Treason: And I do here, in their Names, and in the Names of all the Commons of Great Britain, impeach the said George Earl of Winton of High Treason. And I am further commanded by the House of Commons, to acquaint your Lordships, that they will, with all convenient Speed, exhibit to your Lordships Articles to make good the Charge against him."
E. Carnwath impeached.
"The Commons of Great Britain in Parliament assembled, having received Information of divers Treasons committed by a Peer of this Realm, Robert Earl of Carnwath, have commanded me to impeach the said Robert Earl of Carnwath of High Treason: And I do here, in their Names, and in the Names of all the Commons of Great Britain, impeach the said Robert Earl of Carnwath of High Treason. And I am further commanded by the House of Commons, to acquaint your Lordships, that they will, with all convenient Speed, exhibit to your Lordships Articles to make good the Charge against him."
Viscount Kenmure impeached.
"The Commons of Great Britain in Parliament assembled, having received Information of divers Treasons committed by a Peer of this Realm, William Viscount Kenmure, have commanded me to impeach the said William Viscount Kenmure of High Treason: And I do here, in their Names, and in the Names of all the Commons of Great Britain, impeach the said William Viscount Kenmure of High Treason. I am further commanded by the House of Commons, to acquaint your Lordships, that they will, with all convenient Speed, exhibit to your Lordships Articles to make good the Charge against him."
L. Nairn impeached.
"The Commons of Great Britain in Parliament assembled, having received Information of divers Treasons committed by a Peer of this Realm, William Lord Nairn, have commanded me to impeach the said William Lord Nairn of High Treason: And I do here, in their Names, and in the Names of all the Commons of Great Britain, impeach the said William Lord Nairn of High Treason. And I am further commanded by the House of Commons, to acquaint your Lordships that they will, with all convenient Speed, exhibit to your Lordships Articles to make good the Charge against him."
Messages from H. C. to desire the Lords would continue sitting.
Message from thence, with the Articles of Impeachment against the Earls of Derwentwater, Nithisdale, Carnwath, and Winton; Viscount Kenmure, and the Lords Widdrington and Nairn.
Who said, "He was commanded by the House of Commons, to deliver to this House Articles of Impeachment of High Treason, against James Earl of Derwentwater, William Lord Widdrington, William Earl of Nithisdale, George Earl of Winton, Robert Earl of Carnwath, William Viscount Kenmure, and William Lord Nairn." He said, "He was also commanded by the Commons, to acquaint their Lordships, that they are ready to maintain their Charge."
"Articles of Impeachment of High Treason, exhibited against James Earl of Derwentwater, William Lord Widdrington, William Earl of Nithisdale, George Earl of Winton, Robert Earl of Carnwath, William Viscount Kenmure, and William Lord Nairn.
"Whereas, for many Years last, a most wicked Design and Contrivance has been formed and carried on, to subvert the ancient and established Government and the good Laws of these Kingdoms, to extirpate the true Protestant Religion therein established, and to destroy its Professors, and, instead thereof, to introduce and settle Popery and arbitrary Power; in which unnatural and horrid Conspiracy, great Numbers of Persons of different Degrees and Qualities have concerned themselves and acted; and many Protestants, pretending an uncommon Zeal for the Church of England, have jointed themselves with professed Papists, uniting their Endeavours to accomplish and execute the aforesaid wicked and traiterous Designs.
"And whereas it pleased Almighty God, in His good Providence, and in His great Mercy and Goodness to these Nations, to crown the unwearied Endeavours of His late Majesty King William the Third, of Ever-glorious Memory, by making Him the Instrument to procure the Settlement of the Crown of these Realms in the Illustrious House of Hanover, as the only Means under God to preserve our Religion, Laws, and Liberties, and to secure the Protestant Interest of Europe; since which happy Establishment, the said Conspirators have been indefatigable in their Endeavours to destroy the same, and to make Way for the vain and groundless Hopes of a spurious Impostor and Popish Pretender to the Imperial Crown of these Realms; and, to accomplish these Ends, the most immoral, irreligious, and unchristain-like Methods, have been taken; but more particularly in the last Years of the Reign of the late Queen Anne, during which Time all imaginable Endeavours were used by the said Conspirators to prejudice the Minds of the Subjects of this Realm against the Legality and Justice of the said Settlement of the Crown; and, for that Purpose, the holy Scriptures were wrested, and the most wholesome Doctrines of the Church of England perverted and abused, by Men in Holy Orders, in the most public and scandalous Manner, in order to condemn the Justice of the late happy Revolution, and thereby to sap and undermine the Foundation of the said happy Establishment; and the most notorious Instruments of these wicked Purposes were countenanced by particular Marks of public Favour and Distinction; false and dangerous Notions of a sole Hereditary Right to the Imperial Crown of these Realms were propagated and encouraged by Persons in the highest Trusts and Employments, contrary to the ancient undoubted and established Laws of these Kingdoms; Jesuitical and scandalous Distinctions were invented, and publicly inculcated, to enervate the Force and Obligation of those Oaths, which had been contrived in the plainest and strongest Terms, by the Wisdom of Parliament, for the Security of the said Establishment; and, to conceal their Designs, thereby the better to enable them to carry on the same, great Numbers of the said Conspirators, of all Ranks and Conditions, pretending a Zeal for the Protestant Succession, openly and voluntarily took the said Oaths; groundless Fears of the Danger of the Church of England were fomented throughout these Kingdoms, to disorder the Minds of well-disposed Protestants. By all which and many other such ungodly Practices of the said Conspirators, the most causeless and dangerous Jealousies and Dissatisfactions were created in the Minds of the good People of this Kingdom, and great Numbers of wellmeaning but deluded Protestants were much disquieted; but nevertheless, these dishonest Methods were pursued by the said Conspirators with indefatigable Industry, as the only Means to weaken the Foundations of the said happy Establishment.
"And whereas the Dissolution of the late glorious Confederacy against France, and the Loss of the Balance of Power in Europe, were further Steps necessary to compleat the Designs of the said Conspirators, and the same being effected by the late ignominious Peace with France, the French King was rendered formidable, and the Protestant Succession was thereby brought into the most imminent Danger; and, by these and other pernicious Measures, the Destruction so long intended by the said Conspirators for these poor Nations seemed near at Hand; at which Time, and under which most deplorable Circumstances, it pleased Almighty God, in His infinite Wisdom, to call to Himself the late Queen Anne, and, by a Concurrence of many most wonderful Providences, to give a quiet and peaceable Accession to His present Most Gracious Majesty to the Throne of His Ancestors, to which He was received with one full Voice and Consent of Tongue and Heart, and the united Joy of every good Subject and good Protestant, as their only lawful and rightful Liege Lord; and although, from the Moment His Majesty ascended the Throne to this Day, His Reign has been one Series of Wisdom, Justice, and Clemency, His Labours constant, unwearied, and successful, to retrieve the Honour and Reputation of these Nations, to re-establish the Trade and recover the Wealth of His Kingdoms; and although all imaginable Encouragement has been given to the Church of England, and all Tenderness shewn even to His Popish Subjects, and His constant Care has been to procure the universal Good of His People nevertheless the said Conspirators have, by the most vile and impious Methods, renewed their Endeavours to throw these Kingdoms into the utmost Confusion, and to entail endless Miseries on us and our Posterities: For these Ends, many of the above-mentioned most wicked and dangerous Practices have been repeated, with the utmost Industry and Inveteracy, to delude, disorder, and corrupt, the Minds of His Majesty's good Subjects; the most groundless Jealouties have been fomented against His wise and happy Administration; and, in many Parts of His Kingdoms, the most unnatural unexampled Riots and Tumults, by the secret and malicious Endeavours of the said Conspirators, have been procured, stirred up, and encouraged, against His peaceable Protestant Subjects, under false Pretences of Zeal for the Church of England, and thereby more effectually to delude His good Subjects, and seduce them from their Allegiance, and prepare them for an open Rebellion.
"And the said Conspirators, having at length resolved to deprive these Nations of the invaluable Blessings which they now enjoy under the wise and gentle Reign of His present Most Gracious Majesty King George, and of the certain Prospect of Happiness which they have for their Posterity in a Succession of Princes derived from Himself, did contrive, consederate, and resolve, to put their most malicious, wicked, and traiterous Designs, into immediate Execution; for which Purpose, James Earl of Derwentwater, William Lord Widdrington, William Earl of Nithisdale, George Earl of Winton, Robert Earl of Carnwath, William Viscount Kenmure, and William Lord Nairn, together with Thomas Forster Junior, the Lord Charles Murray, Edward Howard, Thomas Errington, John Clavering, William Shaftoe, Sir Francis Anderton, Ralph Standish, Richard Townley, Thomas Butler, Thomas Walton, Gabriel Hesket, Richard Gascoigne, and divers other Persons, as false Traitors to His present Most Sacred Majesty King George, the only lawful and undoubted Sovereign of these Kingdoms, having withdrawn their Allegiance and cordial Love, and true and due Obedience, which they as good and faithful Subjects owed to His said Majesty, did, in or about the Months of September, October, or November, One Thousand Seven Hundred and Fifteen, most wickedly, maliciously, falsely, and traiterously, imagine and compass the Death of His said Most Sacred Majesty.
"And, for the accomplishing and executing their said traiterous Purpose, they the said James Earl of Derwentwater, William Lord Widdrington, William Earl of Nithisdale, George Earl of Winton, Robert Earl of Carnwath, William Viscount Kenmure, and William Lord Nairn, did, in or about the said Months or some of them, and at divers other Times, and in divers Places within this Kingdom, wickedly and traiterously agree, confederate, conspire, and resolve, together with many other evil-disposed Persons, to raise, excite, and levy, within the Counties of Teviotdale, Northumberland, Cumberland, and the County Palatine of Lancaster, and elsewhere within this Kingdom, a most cruel, bloody, and destructive War against His Majesty, in order to depose and murder his Sacred Majesty, and to deprive Him of His Royal State, Crown, and Dignity.
"And the said James Earl of Derwentwater, William Lord Widdrington, William Earl of Nithisdale, George Earl of Winton, Robert Earl of Carnwath, William Viscount Kenmure, William Lord Nairn, their Accomplices and Confederates, in or about the Mouths aforesaid, in the Counties aforesaid, or some of them, did gather together great Numbers of His Majesty's Subjects, and with them did assemble in a warlike and traiterous Manner, in order to raise Tumults and Rebellion within this Kingdom; and, having procured great Quantities of Arms, Ammunition, and Warlike Instruments, at the Times and Places aforesaid, or some of them, did form and compose, or did assist in the forming and composing, an Army of Men, consisting of His Majesty's Liege Subjects, in order to wage War against His said Majesty, for and in Behalf and in Favour of the said Pretender to the Crown of these Realms; and the said last-mentioned Conspirators, their Accomplices and Confederates, at the Time and Times and Places aforesaid, and at divers other Times and Places within this Kingdom, did maliciously and traiterously make, levy, and raise War and Rebellion against His Most Sacred Majesty; and, in a warlike and hostile Manner, did march through and invade several Parts of this Kingdom, and did unlawfully take and seize the Horses and other the Goods and Chattels of many of the peaceable and good Subjects of His Majesty; and in other Places did take and seize from His Majesty's faithful Subjects Guns and other warlike Instruments, for the carrying on their traiterous Purposes; and the said last mentioned Conspirators, their Complices and Confederates, during their March and Invasion aforesaid, in open Defiance of His most Sacred Majesty's just and undoubted Title to the Imperial Crown of these Realms, did wickedly and traiterously cause and procure the said Pretender to be proclaimed, in the most public and solemn Manner, as King of these Realms; and, in several Places in the Counties aforesaid, or some of them, did unlawfully take and seize, from His Majesty's Officers of the Revenue, the public Money, for the Use and Service of the said Pretender; and, though many of the Conspirators are avowed Professors of the Popish Religion, yet, the more effectually to cover and disguise their most wicked and traiterous Designs, and to delude His Majesty's Subjects, they did prevail on and procure several Men in Holy Orders, Ministers of the Church of England, and who had before that Time abjured the said Pretender, to accompany, countenance, and abet, the said most traiterous Enterprize; and, in several Places in the Counties aforesaid, where the said Conspirators their Complices and Confederates then were, to pray for the said Pretender, in the public Churches, as King of these Realms.
"That the said last mentioned Conspirators, their Accomplices and Confederates, did, in or about the Ninth, Tenth, Eleventh, Twelfth, or Thirteenth of November aforesaid, traiterously seize and possess themselves of the Town of Preston, in the County Palatine of Lancaster, against His Majesty; and did then and there, in a warlike and hostile Manner, levy War, oppose, engage, and fight against, His Majesty's Forces; and did then and there cause and procure a miserable and horrid Slaughter and Murder of many of His Majesty's faithful Subjects.
"All which Treasons and Crimes abovementioned were contrived, committed, perpetrated, acted, and done, by the said James Earl of Derwentwater, William Lord Widdrington, William Earl of Nithisdale, George Earl of Winton, Robert Earl of Carnwath, William Viscount Kenmure, William Lord Nairn, and other the Conspirators aforesaid, against our Sovereign Lord the King, His Crown and Dignity, and contrary to the Duty of their Allegiance, and against the Laws and Statutes of this Kingdom.
"Of all which Treasons and Crimes the Knights, Citizens, and Burgesses, in Parliament assembled, do, in the Name of themselves and of all the Commons of Great Britain, impeach the said James Earl of Derwentwater, William Lord Widdrington, William Earl of Nithisdale, George Earl of Winton, Robert Earl of Carnwath, William Viscount Kenmure, William Lord Nairn, and every of them.
"And the said Commons, by Protestation, saving to themselves the Liberty of exhibiting at any Time hereafter any other Accusations or Impeachments against the said James Earl of Derwentwater, William Lord Widdrington, William Earl of Nithisdale, George Earl of Winton, Robert Earl of Carnwath, William Viscount Kenmure, and William Lord Nairn, or any of them; and also of replying to the Answers which the said James Earl of Derwentwater, William Lord Widdrington, William Earl of Nithisdale, George Earl of Winton, Robert Earl of Carnwath, William Viscount Kenmure, and William Lord Nairn, or any of them, shall make to the Premises, or any of them, or to any Impeachment or Accusation that shall be by them exhibited, according to the Course and Proceedings of Parliament: And do pray, that the said James Earl of Derwentwater, William Lord Widdrington, William Earl of Nithisdale, George Earl of Winton, Robert Earl of Carnwath, William Viscount Kenmure, and William Lord Nairn, be put to answer all and every the Premises; and that such Proceedings, Examinations, Trials, and Judgements, may be upon them, and every of them, had and used, as shall be agreeable to Law and Justice."
Lords already under Commitment:
To be brought to the Bar.
"Whereas the Commons assembled in Parliament, having this Day exhibited to this House Articles of Impeachment of High Treason, against James Earl of Derwentwater, William Lord Widdrington, William Earl of Nithisdale, George Earl of Winton, Robert Earl of Carnwath, William Viscount Kenmure, and William Lord Nairn:"
It is Ordered, by the Lords Spiritual and Temporal in Parliament assembled, That the said Earl of Derwentwater, Lord Widdrington, Earl of Nithisdale, Earl of Winton, Earl of Carnwath, Viscount Kenmure, and Lord Nairn, be brought to the Bar of this House To-morrow, at One a Clock in the Afternoon, to hear the said Articles read, and to abide such further Order as this House shall think fit to make concerning them.