Journal of the House of Lords Volume 35, 1776-1779. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1767-1830.
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December 1778 1-10
DIE Veneris, 4o Decembris 1778.
His Majesty's Answer to Address.
I thank you for this loyal and dutiful Address, The Zeal you shew for My Honour and Support, and the Firmness and Vigour you manifest in ihe present Conjuncture, cannot fail to produce the best Effects; it must add Confidence to My People, and encourage animated Efforts to withstand, oppose and subdue, every hostile attack upon the Honour and Interests of My Kingdoms."
E. Ferrers sat first in Parliament;
This Day Robert Earl Ferrers sat first in Parliament after the Death of his Brother Washington Earl Ferrers; his Lordship having first at the Table taken the Oaths, and made and subscribed the Declaration, and also taken and subscribed the Oath of Abjuration, pursuant to the Statutes.
Spottiswoode to enter into Recognizance on Alston's et al. Appeal;
The House being moved, "That John Spottiswoode of Northumberland Street, Gentleman, may be permitted to enter into a Recognizance for John Alston and others, Merchants in Glasgow, on account of their Appeal depending in this House, they living in Scotland:"
and on Thriepland's Appeal.
The House being moved, "That John Spottiswoode of Northumberland Street, Gentleman, may be permitted to enter into a Recognizance for Doctor Stuart Thriepland, Physician in Edinburgh, on account of his Appeal depending in this House, he living in Scotland:"
Vickars against Attorney General of Ireland.
The House being moved, "That a Day may be appointed for hearing the Cause wherein Jeremiah Vickars of the City of Dublin, Merchant, and another, are Appellants, and the Right Honourable John Scott Esquire, His Majesty's now Attorney General of Ireland, is Respondent:"
Baillie against Chaigneau et al.
Gorman et al. against Mac Culloch et al.
The House being moved, "That a Day may be appointed for hearing the Cause wherein Francis Gorman Esquire, and others, are Appellants, and William Mac Culloch Esquire, and others, are Respondents, exparte, the Respondents not having put in their Answer thereto, though peremptorily ordered so to do:"
It is Ordered, That this House will hear the said Cause ex-parte, by Counsel at the Bar, on the first vacant Day for Causes, after those already appointed, unless the Respondents put in their Answer thereto in the mean Time.
Vicars and Grace against Colclough, et al.
L. Macdonald against Mac Leod.
Upon reading the Petition of Lord Macdonald, late Sir Alexander Macdonald, Appellant in a Cause depending in this House, and of Norman Mac Leod Esquire, Respondent thereto, which stands appointed for hearing this Day; setting forth, "That the Matter in Dispute between the Parties in this Cause has for some Time been under Terms of Compromise, but the Treaty cannot be finished till the Return of the Respondent from America, where he now is on the Publick Service in the Army;" and therefore praying their Lordships, "That the Hearing of this Cause may be postponed till the next Session of Parliament:"
D. Argyll against Mac Lean.
Upon reading the Petition of John Duke of Argyll, Appellant in a Cause depending in this House, and of Allan Mac Lean of Drimnin, Esquire, Respondent thereto, et e contra, which stands appointed for hearing on Monday next; setting forth, "That the Proceedings in this Cause being very voluminous, and requiring much Time to prepare, the exemplified Copy of them is not yet arrived from Scotland;" and therefore praying their Lordships, " That the Hearing of this Cause may be adjourned till after the Causes already appointed:"
Stewart against Magistrates of Greenock.
Upon reading the Petition of John Shaw Stewart Esquire, Appellant in a Cause depending in this House, and of the Magistrates and Town Council of Greenock, Respondents thereto; setting forth, "That this Cause standing in Course to be heard at their Lordships Bar on Monday next, the Cases are printed and ready to be delivered; but the Petitioner's Agents have been informed by Letters received from Scotland within these few Days, that the Parties are in Terms to compromise the Cause, and they expect every Post to hear whether an Agreement has taken place;" and therefore praying, "their Lordships will be pleased to delay the hearing of this Cause till Friday the 11th Current, or any other Day their Lordships think more proper:"
Scourfields Petition referred to Judges.
Upon reading the Petition of Henry Scourfield, of Lanion in the County of Pembroke, Esquire, and Elizabeth his Wife, and Francis Scourfield, of Chobham in the County of Surry, Clerk; praying Leave to bring in a Bill for Purposes in the said Petition mentioned:
It is Ordered, That the Consideration of the said Petition be, and is hereby referred to Mr. Justice Ashhurst and Mr. Justice Nares, who are forthwith to summon all Parties concerned in the Bill; and after hearing them, are to report to the House the State of the Case, with their Opinion thereupon, under their Hands; and whether all Parties who may be concerned in the Consequences of the Bill have signed the Petition, and also that the Judges, having perused the Bill, do sign the same.
McLean against Wilson.
Upon reading the Petition of Archibald McLean, Appellant in a Cause depending in this House, to which John Wilson is Respondent; setting forth, "That in the Course of the last Session of Parliament the Petitioner exhibited his Appeal to their Lordships against certain Interlocutors of the Court of Session in Scotland, in a Cause between him and the Respondent: That in stating his said Appeal to their Lordships, he omitted an Interlocutor pronounced by the said Court on the 19th of June 1775;" and therefore praying their Lordships, "That he may be at Liberty to amend his said Appeal by adding the said Interlocutor, he amending the Respondent's Copy:"
Short against Munro, et al.
Upon reading the Petition of Thomas Short, Appellant in a Cause depending in this House, to which Donald Munro and others are Respondents; setting forth, "That the Petitioner finds his Circumstances such, that it will be impossible for him to prosecute his Appeal, without their Lordships allow him to prosecute in forma pauperis:. That the question turning upon a Point of Scotch Law, he is in Hopes of having the Assistance of Scotch Counsel after the Rising of the Term of the Court of Session;" and therefore praying their Lordships, "to put off the Hearing of this Cause till the 24th of March next, or to such other Day as to their Lordships shall seem proper, the Agent for the said Respondent having signed the said Petition as consenting thereto:"
East India Goods and Naval Stores delivered.
"1. An Account of prohibited East India Goods imported into St. Helens and Private Trade Warehouse in the Port of London, from Michaelmas 1777, to Michaelmas 1778; what delivered out for Exportation during that Period, and what remained in the said Warehouse at Michaelmas 1778.
"2. An Account of prohibited East India Goods imported into Leadenhall Warehouse in the Port of London, from Michaelmas 1777, to Michaelmas 1778; also what exported during that Time, and what remained in the said Warehouse at Michaelmas 1778.
"3. An Account of prohibited East India Goods remaining in His Majesty's Warehouse in the Port of London, at Michaelmas 177; what have been since brought in, what exported, as also what remained at Michaelmas 1778.
4. An Account of East India Goods prohibited to be worn in this Kingdom, in the respective Warehouses in the Out Ports at Michaelmas 1777; what have been since brought in, what exported, as also what remained at Michaelmas 1778.
5. An Account of prohibited East India Goods which have been delivered out of the Warehouses at Saint Hellens, Leadenhall and Billiter Lane, and the Custom House in the Port of London, since Michaelmas 1777, in order to be dyed, glazed and refreshed, what have been since returned, and what remained at Michaelmas 1778.
8. An Account of the Number of Ships which have been employed in the Whale Fishery to Davis's Streights and the Greenland Seas, with their respective Names and Burthens, from whence they were sitted out, and at what Port in Great Britain they were discharged, and also what Quantity of Oil or Whale Fins each Ship has imported in the Year 1778."
Order for erecting a Gallery read.
Surveyor General to attend.
Papers published at New York; Address.
Ordered, That an humble Address be presented to His Majesty, to desire, "That He will be graciously pleased to give Directions that there be laid before this House, "A Copy of the several Papers published at New York, by the Authority of His Majesty's Commissioners there."
L. Percy for a Divorce Bill.
Upon reading the Petition of Hugh Baron Percy, praying Leave to bring in a Bill to dissolve his Marriage with Anne Baroness Percy, his now Wife, and to enable him to marry again; and for other Purposes therein mentioned:
DIE Lunæ, 7o Decembris 1778.
M. Lothian takes the Oaths.
Corman et al. against Mac Culloch.
Alston et al. against Campbell et al.
King's Answer to Address.
The Lord Chamberlain reported, "That the Lords with White Staves had (according to Order) waited on His Majesty with their Lordships Address of Friday last, for the Papers therein mentioned; and that His Majesty was pleased to say, "He would give Directions accordingly."
Papers published at New York delivered.
Surveyor General examined in relation to crecting a Gallery:
Motion to prepare Plans for a Gallery, refused.
Order for erecting a Gallery discharged.
State of Dominica, Address for.
Ordered, That the humble Address be presented to His Majesty, to desire, "That His Majesty would be graciously pleased to direct that there be laid before this House, the State and Condition of the Fortifications on the Island of Dominica, specifying the Time when the different Works were executed, and the Expence for the same, together with the Particulars of the Quantities of Artillery, Ammunition and other Ordnance Stores, with which that Island had been supplied since January 1770; as also, An Account of the Number of Regular Troops on that Island, at the Time of its being attacked by the Arms of the French King."
America, Address relative to Manifesto published by the Commissioners, negatived:
Moved, "That an humble Address be presented to His Majesty, to express to His Majesty the Displeasure of this House at a certain Manifesto and Proclamation dated the Third Day of October 1778, and published in America, under the Hands and Seals of the Earl of Carlisle, Sir Henry Clinton Knight of the Bath, and William Eden Esquire, Commissioners for restoring Peace to the Colonies, and countersigned by Adam Ferguson Esquire, Secretary to the Commission; the said Manifesto containing a Declaration of the following Tenor:
If there be any Persons who, divested of mistaken Resentments, and uninfluenced by selfish Interests, really think it is for the Benefit of the Colonies to separate themselves from Great Britain, and that so separated they will find a Constitution more mild, more free, and better calculated for their Prosperity than that which they heretofore enjoyed, and which we are empowered and disposed to renew and improve, with such Persons we will not dispute a Position which seems to be sufficiently contradicted by the Experience they have had; but we think it right to leave them fully aware of the Change which the maintaining such a Position must make in the whole Nature and future Conduct of this War, more especially when to this Position is added the pretended Alliance to the Court of France. The Policy, as well as the Benevolence of Great Britain, have thus far checked the Extremes of War, when they tended to distress a People still considered as our Fellow-Subjects, and to desolate a Country shortly to become again a Source of mutual Advantage; but when that Country professes the unnatural Design not only of estranging herself from us, but of mortgaging herself and her Resources to our Enemies, the whole Contest is changed; and the Question is, How far Great Britain may, by every Means in her Power, destroy or render useless a Connection contrived for her Ruin, and for the Aggrandizement of France: Under such Circumstances the Laws of Self Preservation must direct the Conduct of Great Britain; and if the British Colonies are to become an Accession to France, will direct her to render that Accession of as little Avail as possible to her Enemies."
To acquaint His Majesty with the Sense of this House, that the said Commissioners had no Authority whatsoever under the Act of Parliament in virtue of which they were appointed by His Majesty, to make the said Declaration, or to make any Declaration to the same or to the like Purport, nor can this House be easily brought to believe that the said Commissioners derived any such Authority from His Majesty's Instructions.
Humbly to beseech His Majesty that so much of the said Manifesto as contains the said Declaration, be forthwith publickly disavowed by His Majesty, as containing Matter inconsistent with the Humanity and generous Courage which in all Times have distinguished the British Nation; subversive of the Maxims which have been established among Christian and civilized Communities; derogatory to the Dignity of the Crown of this Realm; tending to debase the Spirit, and to subvert the Discipline of His Majesty's Armies; and to expose His Majesty's innocent Subjects, in all Parts of His Dominions, to cruel and ruinous Retaliations."
1st, Because the Publick Law of Nations, in affirmance of the Dictates of Nature and the Precepts of revealed Religion, forbids us to resort to the Extremes of War upon our own Opinion of their Expediency, or in any Case to carry on War for the Purpose of Desolation. We know that the Rights of War are odious, and instead of being extended upon loose Constructions and Speculations of Danger, ought to be bound up and limited by all the Restraints of the most rigorous Construction: We are shocked to see the first Law of Nature, Self-Preservation, perverted and abused into a Principle destructive of all other Laws; and a Rule laid down by which our own Safety is rendered incompatible with the Prosperity of Mankind. Those Objects of War which cannot be compassed by fair and honourable Hostility, ought not to be compassed at all; an End that has no Means but such as are unlawful, is an unlawful End. The Manifesto expressly founds the Change it announces, from a qualified and mitigated War, to a War of Extremity and Desolation, on the Certainty that the Provinces must be independant, and must become an Accession to the Strength of an Enemy. In the midst of the Calamities by which our Loss of Empire has been preceded and accompanied, in the midst of our Apprehensions for the farther Calamities which impend over us, it is a Matter of fresh Grief and accumulated Shame, to see from a Commission under the Great Seal of this Kingdom, a Declaration for desolating a vast Continent, solely because we had not the Wisdom to retain, or the Power to subdue it.
2dly, Because the Avowal of a deliberate Purpose of violating the Law of Nations, must give an Alarm to every State in Europe. All Commonwealths have a Concern in that Law, and are its natural Avengers. At this Time surrounded by Enemies, and destitute of all Allies, it is not necessary to sharpen and embitter the Hostility of declared Foes, or to provoke the Enmity of Neutral States. We trust that by the natural Strength of this Kingdom we are secured from a Foreign Conquest, but no Nation is secured from the Invasion and Incursions of Enemies; and it seems to us the Height of Frenzy as well as Wickedness, to expose this Country to cruel Depredations and other Outrages too shocking to mention (but which are all contained in the Idea of the Extremes of War and Desolation) by establishing a false, shameful and pernicious Maxim, that where we have no Interest to preserve, we are called upon by Necessity to destroy. This Kingdom has long enjoyed a profound internal Peace, and has flourished above all others, in the Arts and Enjoyments of that happy State. It has been the Admiration of the World for its Cultivation and its Plenty; for the Comforts of the Poor, the Splendor of the Rich, and the Content and Prosperity of all. This Situation of Safety may be attributed to the Greatness of our Power: It is more becoming and more true that we ought to attribute that Safety, and the Power which procured it, to the ancient Justice, Honour, Humanity and Generosity of this Kingdom, which brought down the Blessing of Providence on a People, who made their Prosperity a Benefit to the World, and interested all Nations in their Fortune; whose Example of Mildness and Benignity at once humanized others, and rendered itself inviolable. In departing from those solid Principles, and vainly trusting to the Fragility of human Force, and to the Efficacy of Arms rendered impotent by their Perversion, we lay down Principles and furnish Examples of the most atrocious Barbarity. We are to dread that all our Power, Peace and Opulence should vanish like a Dream, and that the Cruelties which we think safe to exercise, because their immediate Object is remote, be brought to the Coasts, perhaps to the Bosom of this Kingdom.
3dly, Because if the Explanation given in Debate, be expressive of the true Sense of the Article in the Manifesto, such Explanation ought to be made, and by as high Authority as that under which the exceptionable Article was originally published. The natural and obvious Sense indicates that the Extremes of War had hitherto been checked, that His Majesty's Generals had hitherto forborne (upon Principles of Benignity and Policy) to desolate the Country; but that the whole Nature and future Conduct of the War must be changed, in order to render the American Accession of as little Avail to France as possible. This, in our Apprehensions, conveys a Menace of carrying the War to Extremes and to Desolation, or it means nothing. And as some Speeches in the House (however palliated) and as some Acts of singular Cruelty lately exercised, are perfectly conformable to the apparent Ideas in the Manifesto, it becomes the more necessary for the Honor and Safety of this Nation, that this Explanation should be made. As it is refused, we have only to clear ourselves to our Consciences, to our Country, to our Neighbours, and to every Individual who may suffer in consequence of this atrocious Menace, of all Part in the Guilt or in the Evils that may become its Punishment. And we chuse to draw ourselves out, and to distinguish ourselves to Posterity, as not being the first to renew, to approve, or to tolerate the Return of that Ferocity and Barbarism in War, which a beneficent Religion and enlightened Manners, and true Military Honour had for a long Time banished from the Christian World."
I. St. Asaph.
DIE Martis, 8o Decembris 1778.
Epus. Bath. & Wells.
Ds. Thurlow, Cancellarius.
Alston et al against Campbell and Co.
The House being moved, "That a Day may be appointed for hearing the Cause wherein John Alston Merchant, and others, are Appellants, and Messieurs Colin Campbell and Company, Merchants, are Respondents:"
Causes put off.
Ordered, That the Hearing of the Cause wherein John Coltart Esquire is Appellant, and Winifred Maxwell and others, are Respondents, et e contra, which stands appointed for To-morrow, be put off to the First Cause Day after the Recess at Christmas; and that the rest of the Causes be removed in Course.
Westminster Bridge Accounts delivered.
Also, "Accounts of the Treasurer to the Commissioners for Building Westminster Bridge, from the 10th Day of October 1777, to the 10th Day of October 1778, together with a Rent Roll, and an Account of Bridge Rents, from the 5th Day of July 1777, to the 5th Day of July 1778."
DIE Jovis, 10o Decembris 1778.
Thriepland against Walsh et al.
King's Answer to Address.
The Lord Chamberlain reported, "That the Lords with White Staves had (according to Order) waited on His Majesty with their Lordships Address of Monday last, for the Papers relating to the Island of Dominica; and that His Majesty was pleased to say, He would give Directions accordingly."
Lawson against Tait.
Upon reading the Petition and Appeal of James Lawson, Merchant in Glasgow; complaining of Two Interlocutors of the Lord Ordinary in Scotland, of the 16th of July and 10th of August 1776; and also of Three Interlocutors of the Lords of Session there, of the 6th of February and 5th of July 1777, and 15th of January 1778, in so far as the Petitioner is found liable in Payment of any Part of the Sums mentioned in the said Appeal, or found a Partner in the Works and Purchases also therein mentioned; and also so far as it is found, that besides the One Twenty-fourth Share in which John Hamilton was a Partner on his own Account, he or his Son Alexander was not also a Partner for a Twelfth Share more; and praying, "That the same may be reversed, varied or altered, or that the Appellant may have such other Relief in the Premises, as to this House, in their Lordships great Wisdom, shall seem meet; and that John Tait, Writer to the Signet, may be required to answer the said Appeal:"
It is Ordered, That the said John Tait may have a Copy of the said Appeal, and do put in his Answer thereunto in Writing, on or before Thursday the 7th Day of January next; and Service of this Order upon the said Respondent, or upon any of his Counsel, Agents, or Solicitors in the Court of Session in Scotland, shall be deemed good Service.
Fordyce et al. against Walsh et al.
Upon reading the Petition and Appeal of the Reverend Doctor James Fordyce and others, Assignees to the Tack of the Lands and Estate of Belhelvie in Scotland; complaining of Two Interlocutors of the Lords of Session in Scotland, of the 18th and 23d of July 1778; and praying, "That the same may be reversed, varied or altered, or that the Appellants may have such other Relief in the Premises, as to this House, in their Lordships great Wisdom, shall seem proper; and that John Walsh Esquire, Francis Barlow Esquire, and Alexander Gerrard Esquire, Trustees for the Creditors of the Governor and Company of Undertakers for raising Thames Water in York Buildings, and Martha Grove, only Child and Heir of Samuel Grove, and certain other Persons, Creditors of the said Governor and Undertakers for raising Thames Water, may be required to answer the said Appeal:"
It is Ordered, That the said John Walsh Esquire, and the said several other Persons last named, may have a Copy of the said Appeal, and do put in their Answer or respective Answers thereunto, in Writing, on or before Thursday the 7th Day of January next; and Service of this Order upon the said Respondents, or upon any of their known Counsel or Agents in the Court of Session in Scotland, shall be deemed good Service.
Pughe et Ux. against D. Leeds et al.
Upon reading the Petition and Appeal of Lewis Pughe Esquire, and Elizabeth his Wife; complaining of Part of a Decree of the Court of Chancery, of the 25th of June 1776, in so far as it directs that the Interest on the Sum of Five thousand Pounds should be computed from the Death of the Petitioner, Elizabeth's Father, whereas the Petitioners conceive that the said Decree ought to have directed the said Interest to be computed from the Death of the Petitioner Elizabeth's Mother; and also of another Decree of the said Court, of the 10th of December 1777; and praying their Lordships, "To vary so much of the said former Decree as aforesaid, and that the said latter Decree may be reversed, or to make such further or other Order in the Premises, as to their Lordships, in their great Wisdom, shall seem meet; and that Thomas Duke of Leeds, Francis Lord Godolphin, George Gould Esquire, and John Quicke Esquire, and Mary his Wife, may be required to answer the said Appeal:"
It is Ordered, That the said Thomas Duke of Leeds, Francis Lord Godolphin, George Gould Esquire, and John Quicke Esquire, and Mary his Wife, may have a Copy of the said Appeal, and do put in their Answer or respective Answers thereunto, in Writing, on or before Thursday, the 24th Day of this instant December; and Service of this Order upon the Clerks in Court of the said Parties, in the said Court of Chancery, shall be deemed good Service.
Dickson against Dickson.
Upon reading the Petition and Appeal of Captain Archibald Dickson, of the Royal Navy; complaining of an Interlocutor of the Lord Ordinary in Scotland, of the 20th of February 1774; and praying, "That the same may be reversed, varied or altered, or that the Appellant may have such other Relief in the Premises, as to this House, in their Lordships great Wisdom, shall seem meet; and that Captain William Dickson of the Royal Navy, may be required to answer the said Appeal:"
It is Ordered, That the said Captain William Dickson may have a Copy of the said Appeal, and do put in his Answer thereunto, in Writing, on or before Thursday, the 7th Day of January next; and Service of this Order upon the said Respondent, or his known Procurators or Agents in the Court of Session in Scotland, shall be deemed good Service.
Dallas against Dallas:
Upon reading the Petition and Appeal of Alexander Dallas, of North Newton, complaining of Six Interlocutors of the Lord Ordinary in Scotland, of the 1st of August 1775, the 20th of February 1776, and the 4th of July, 17th and 19th of November, and 16th of December 1777; and also of Two Interlocutors of the Lords of Session in Scotland, of the 13th of December 1776, and 28th of February 1777; and praying, "That the same may be reversed, varied, or altered, or that the Appellant may have such other Relief in the Premises, as to this House, in their Lordships great Wisdom, shall seem meet; and that William Dallas, Wright in Edinburgh, may be required to answer the said Appeal:"
It is Ordered, That the said William Dallas may have a Copy of the said Appeal, and do put in his Answer thereunto, in Writing, on or before Thursday, the 7th Day of January next; and Service of this Order upon the said Respondent, or his known Counsel, Agent, or Solicitor in the Court of Session in Scotland, shall be deemed good Service.
Chalmer to enter into Recognizance on said Appeal.
The House being moved, "That James Chalmer, of Leicester Fields, Gentleman, may be permitted to enter into a Recognizance for Alexander Dallas, on Account of his Appeal depending in this House, he living in Scotland:"
Seton to enter into Recognizance on Dickson's Appeal.
The House being moved, "That John Seton Gentleman, may be permitted to enter into a Recognizance for Captain Archibald Dickson, of the Royal Navy, on Account of his Appeal depending in this House, he being at Sea on His Majesty's Service:"
American Habeas Corpus Bill.
With a Bill, intituled, "An Act for further continuing an Act, made in the Seventeenth Year of the Reign of His present Majesty, intituled, "An Act to empower His Majesty to secure and detain Persons charged with, or suspected of, the Crime of High Treason, committed in any of His Majesty's Colonies or Plantations in America, or on the High Seas, or the Crime of Piracy;" to which they desire the Concurrence of this House.
Winforton Enclosure Bill.
With a Bill, intituled, "An Act for extinguishing the Right of Common upon certain enclosed Lands, within the Parish of Winforton, in the County of Hereford;" to which they desire the Concurrence of this House.